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Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/28/20 11:02 a.m.

Hey guys,

 

 I like most of you on here like seeing oddball cars. Now this particular one isn't necessarily oddball per se, but in salty New England it's pretty odd to see. Yesterday afternoon I ventured to the local BJ's one town away. I was looking for a window A/C to cool the house down a bit, and to check out the Apple Airpods for my sons birthday.

 

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a rather small(by todays standards) car parked sorta far away from the building. I usually park in this area as well. I decided I would park next to it. Upon exiting my Sienna I realize it is indeed a Rad ride. It appeared to be a mid-90's Infiniti G20 in dark green, and I notice it's a manual. Pretty rare to see a car of this vintage in this part of the country that isn't riddled with holes, or three different colors, and barely holding onto life. To see one in a row-your-own spec blew me away. I quickly snapped a picture with my phone as I will do from tome to time when I see interesting cars.

 

Off to the store I go. While inside I don't find any A/C's, but do get a set of airpods for my son. Upon arrival back to my Sienna I notice an older gentleman getting into the G20. I strike up a conversation by telling him I really like his car. He immediately  jumps out of the car all excited that another mask wearing humanoid likes his car. We talk for probably 30 minutes about the car, and that he is looking to buy a new car(Subaru Forester), and the dealers around that he's gone to are all only offering $500 for the Infiniti. They all told him not to trade it in.  I agreed with them as while not perfect it is a really clean car with only 106k miles in 25 years of service. He then asks me what I thought it was worth, I tell him I'm not sure because I have no frame of reference, but definitely more than $500. He goes on and on about it being his second Infiniti after his first being a 92. I told him that if he decides he want to sell it I might be a buyer just because I like old survivor cars like this, and I feel it would be better served to be sold to someone that would care for it instead of a kid, or at auction where it goes to a buy here pay here lot.

 

We talk some more and figure out that we both live in the same town, not far from each other. He asks me for my name and number, and we exchange this info. He is all excited about possibly selling me the car, and to be honest I'm pretty stoked to potentially buy it even though I need another car like I need a hole in my head. It was nice talking to another car enthusiast about a rather obscure car that most people would just walk by, and not think twice about. It's funny too because I had to take a couple of hours off yesterday morning to see a dental specialist about potentially needing a root canal(yeah I do). Therefore I worked later than usual to make up for the time. This put me at the BJ's at a time I would never have been there normally, and would never have seen the car probably, even though I live about 6 miles from the owner. Ill post pics in a separate reply. The pics sorta suck as it was very bright, and my skills are lacking. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/28/20 11:08 a.m.

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
7/28/20 2:36 p.m.

Cool ride to see and good luck and getting it.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/28/20 9:41 p.m.

Green over tan G20 manual is a win in my book. I briefly had an auto. I like them more than Sentra SE-Rs, to be honest. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/28/20 9:47 p.m.

It's the SE-R in a business suit!  I loved these cars.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/29/20 11:39 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

It's the SE-R in a business suit!  I loved these cars.

I thought so too, but a few friends on Facebook tell me it's not a Sentra. I thought they were. I'm not a Nissan guy though. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/29/20 11:45 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Kinda, yeah. I had an SE-R back in the day and had a line on some G20 take-offs. Bzz, different bolt patterns. 

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/29/20 11:51 a.m.

It needs a battery service.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/29/20 11:56 a.m.
noddaz said:

It needs a battery service.

Yes it does. I pointed that out to the owner. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/29/20 12:07 p.m.
Mazdax605 said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

It's the SE-R in a business suit!  I loved these cars.

I thought so too, but a few friends on Facebook tell me it's not a Sentra. I thought they were. I'm not a Nissan guy though. 

well they are, technically, a different chassis, because it has the funky upper control arm and kingpin setup in the front instead of struts.  

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/29/20 1:13 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Mazdax605 said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

It's the SE-R in a business suit!  I loved these cars.

I thought so too, but a few friends on Facebook tell me it's not a Sentra. I thought they were. I'm not a Nissan guy though. 

well they are, technically, a different chassis, because it has the funky upper control arm and kingpin setup in the front instead of struts.  

I think they are a Primera. I didn't get a look at the front suspension, but that sounds kinda cool. From what I've since read these handle pretty well, so it must be a cool setup.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
7/29/20 1:23 p.m.

Yes, it's a Primera. Hence the chassis being given a 'P' code (P10) rather than a 'B' code (B13).  The overstated relationship to the Sentra is a common misconception, but is kind of like saying the 00-03 Maxima is a 02-06 V6 Altima in a business suit. Sure they are fairly close in size and share most of the drivetrain, but not much beyond that.

Great find on it though! The only thing better would have been if it was a G20t, which included the viscous limited slip. Those are definitely neat cars...Although I'm not sure what parts availability is like on them these days.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/29/20 1:59 p.m.
Driven5 said:

Yes, it's a Primera. Hence the chassis being given a 'P' code (P10) rather than a 'B' code (B13).  The overstated relationship to the Sentra is a common misconception, but is kind of like saying the 00-03 Maxima is a 02-06 V6 Altima in a business suit. Sure they are fairly close in size and share most of the drivetrain, but not much beyond that.

Great find on it though! The only thing better would have been if it was a G20t, which included the viscous limited slip. Those are definitely neat cars...Although I'm not sure what parts availability is like on them these days.

Thanks for clearing that up. I'm not a Nissan guy, but this car looks cool in it's understated boxiness, and small(relative to modern cars)size. I love my Sienna, but have been longing for a manual daily driver. This won't be as useful as the Sienna for sure, but I wouldn't mind running around town in it for a while. Maybe it could be a fun auto-x car if that is ever allowed again.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/29/20 3:03 p.m.

In reply to Mazdax605 :

You haven't bought it yet?  That one is almost a time capsule, bonus points if the tach still works! IMO they are the nicest handling FWD 90s cars this side of a Prelude.  As Driven5 said, not a lot of interchange with the B code Sentra outside of the drivetrain.  It's a grown-up Sentra SE-R, if there is such a thing.  I wish mine was that clean, i'm jelly!laugh 

EDIT: Just one caveat, this is a 90s Nissan so hop-up parts (and some replacement parts) are thin on the ground.  The only lowering/performance springs still available are TEINs i think, and then the funky front suspension will only let you go about an inch or two lower before you start to get geometry issues.  Wheels are same pattern as Honda Accords and later Sentras (B14 and early B15s - 4 x 114.3)  so not as many options available as a 4 x 100.  Wheel wells aren't the roomiest so fitting anything larger than a 225 cross section will be tight, and 225 itself may rub.  That one looks to be in great shape.  I'd do it.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/29/20 3:10 p.m.

Damn man, I love the looks of that!

I drove one of these a million years ago, but it was an auto, which sort of sucked the fun out of it.

That car looks amazing! I'd be all over it.

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/29/20 3:15 p.m.

I had a P11 with an Avenir DET swap. Loved that car.  Jim Wolf (did at least) have some really good upgrades for these. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/29/20 6:37 p.m.

Follow up :

 

Got home from work today and grabbed my RX-7 to head to the local gas station/inspection station (yes MA still has vehicle inspections for all cars). My inspection ran out in May, but due to covid the MA rmv allowed people to forgo the inspection until the end of July. I pointed out to the G20 owner that he was due a sticker too. Wouldn't you know his car was in the inspection bay just before I got there. 

 

We chatted some more and he looked over my RX-7 amazed by its condition. Due to the hot sun I asked him to follow me to my house where we would have some shade. We spoke with my wife about her Rav4 because they are one of the vehicles he's contemplating. Shortly thereafter he had me take it for a test drive. It ran well and the shifter felt good too which was a surprise to me as I've never felt a fwd shifter that felt very positive. I had to get used to the clutch, but figured it out. Felt different than the hydraulic ones in my Mazdas. I noticed a piece of black tape on the gauge cluster and realized it was covering the illuminated ABS light. He said it malfunctioned a bunch of years ago and the dealer disconnected it, but said the light would stay on. Is this an expensive repair? Unobtanium? Otherwise it's a solid car. A/C is ice cold, cruise works, power windows all work, power antenna works. Pretty much everything but the ABS. 

 

We brokered a preliminary deal for whenever he decides to buy a new car. Maybe I'll have my soon to be new driver oldest son drive it because it'll make him more attentive as a manual transmission vehicle. 

 

 

 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/29/20 7:11 p.m.

Nice! I love this story!

I know nothing about ABS, but if you're son drives it, you may want to fix it. I know I wish I had ABS when I was young. :D

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/29/20 7:19 p.m.

In reply to Mazdax605 :

Unobtanium unfortunately.  The wheel sensors have probably failed and I know the drivers side front is NLA.  If you can find any other parts of that ABS system they will be used/reman at best. The tape was probably there because whoever serviced the car could not get the parts to fix the issue that set the ABS light. The good news is that inop ABS does not inherently compromise the braking system function.  It will stop just fine, but won't have functioning ABS. Something to consider if you're getting it for someone's first car. Anyway, i really hope you get it, they are pretty cool cars.  Here's an old picture of mine

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/30/20 5:47 a.m.
CyberEric said:

Nice! I love this story!

I know nothing about ABS, but if you're son drives it, you may want to fix it. I know I wish I had ABS when I was young. :D

Yeah, I don't know if I'll have my son drive it, as he has a Pontiac Vibe already, but the thought of him in a manual does appeal to me as it might force him to pay more attention. Not that I feel he lack attention, but the manual demands it. The abs is pretty important. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/30/20 5:55 a.m.

In reply to Mazdax605 :

IMO, a manual might take a driver's head and keep it inside the car instead of paying attention to the world around.

 

And if you "NEED" ABS, you were already going to crash into something.  ABS is nice to have but it's not going to save you.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
7/30/20 9:52 a.m.

Congrats on the upcoming predestined purchase!

I think the attentiveness of people who drive a manual has more to do with the type of people than the type of transmission. At least for me, shifting quickly became so reflexive that it does little to actually prevent mental distraction on my behalf. In addition to functioning ABS, the Vibe is going to also be safer in a crash....That's not to say he should be deprived of the opportunity to drive it though.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/30/20 3:15 p.m.

I am of the belief that ABS would have helped me avoid a crash that occurred when I was 18 and I slammed the brake pedal, went into a slide (no ABS), and crashed into a car that ran a stop sign. The car was a MT, by the way.

I did not understand thresh-hold braking at the time. Even now, I find it hard to implement in panic situations at times. This even after years of driving and racing without ABS. Maybe I suck at driving. I doubt that.

I’m open to the idea that ABS would not have helped, but I am currently of the belief that I would have stopped in less distance if I had not been sliding. 

Sorry to derail the thread. I just know I would want my son to have ABS. Please feel free to move on. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
7/30/20 4:27 p.m.
CyberEric said:

I am of the belief that ABS would have helped me avoid a crash that occurred when I was 18 and I slammed the brake pedal, went into a slide (no ABS), and crashed into a car that ran a stop sign. The car was a MT, by the way.

I did not understand thresh-hold braking at the time. Even now, I find it hard to implement in panic situations at times. This even after years of driving and racing without ABS. Maybe I suck at driving. I doubt that.

I’m open to the idea that ABS would not have helped, but I am currently of the belief that I would have stopped in less distance if I had not been sliding. 

Sorry to derail the thread. I just know I would want my son to have ABS. Please feel free to move on. 

No worries. I bought a 91 Mitsubishi Montero for my son as his first car about 4 years ago. It was/is a project still all these years later. 

 

I had the opportunity to get the Vibe from a friend cheap and liked the idea of that much better as it is way more modern, has air bags, abs, and is probably less prone to tipping. He really wants to finish the Montero still. I'm okay with that, but I really want him driving the modern car. 

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
7/31/20 10:07 a.m.
CyberEric said:

Even now, I find it hard to implement in panic situations at times. This even after years of driving and racing without ABS. Maybe I suck at driving. I doubt that.

That's because in a true panic situation, everybody loses their fine motor skills...Which is what is required to successfully threshold brake. Once you panic, you'll be lucky to even pump the pedal. The only advantage you have over average drivers, or that Lewis Hamilton would have over you, is that a greater level of intense experience raises the level of intensity required for your brain to go into panic mode.

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