My kids and their teachers always refer to Friday as FRI-YAY, so I am going to embrace it today since I am definitely excited for the weekend. It has been another active week in my garage. Despite devoting most of my time to stripping parts off of the part out hatch, packing, and shipping them I did manage to plug away at some small tasks on my coupe build.
The first thing that had to happen last weekend after dropping the SR swap into my coupe was to get my hatch back on the ground and out of the garage so that I had space to take the part out coupe apart. My friend Tim loaned me a set of S14 SE wheels so that I had something to move the car with, so I threw them on and promptly moved the car out side. I gotta say, it’s amazing how a nice set of TE37s can take your eye away from all of your car’s imperfections. It looks absolutely terrible sitting in the driveway right now, but it’s what needs to be done. With spending so much time and energy on the coupe and seeing the hatch looking like this, it definitely makes me consider parting ways with it. For now though it will sit outside while I finish the hatch part out and get the shell out of my garage- which I am hoping to accomplish by this time next week with any luck.
No, you can’t see it on S14 wheels. LOL
Alicia wanted to work on cars- what better way to start out than to rip one apart that you don’t need to put back together?
I received an order of small miscellaneous items from Courtesy Nissan last week, so I slowly began going through those and helping them find a home on the car. The first of those items was a replacement dipstick to fix the broken one on my SR. Believe it or not, the part number is the same between the KA24DE and SR20DET.
Next, I installed my new hood prop that I sourced from Japan (since it is discontinued stateside) along with all of the fresh hardware needed for installation. This makes a huge difference in the bay in my opinion. Very small details that are so satisfying to install.
A fresh Z32 fuel filter was snapped into place. I’ll spend some time connecting the fuel lines soon.
Since I will be keeping this car without AC like it came from the factory, I installed a fresh drain block-off grommet on the firewall to replace the worn original unit that I removed in order to paint the engine bay.
Here are the bolts for the downpipe to bolt up to the turbo- in factory form there are three bolts and two studs with nuts on them. I need to find the time to install the downpipe soon as well…
Fresh rubber bumpers were installed for the hood. I also tracked down the bumpers that go on the Silvia headlight brackets in addition to the proper bolts. I had hoped to paint the headlight brackets with the engine bay, but couldn’t get them to the painter in time. I’ll have to have those painted at a later date when I do the rest of the car. In any case, the front end of the chassis should now be ready to accept the Silvia front end after all of the work in the engine bay is finished.
My bushings for the top and bottom of the radiator were also in this shipment- which was a good thing since my fresh Koyo Radiator just arrived for the car this past week as well. I’ve used Koyo radiators in my hatch for many years now and have never had an issue with them before, so I was pleased that Koyo was willing to help me out with obtaining one for this S13 as well. Appreciate the help, Scott! The radiator is now bolted in place with new brackets and hardware from Japan. It makes the front end look much more complete!
I topped off the radiator install with fresh new brackets and hardware.
The next order of business was to refresh the cowl area below the windshield. I began by cleaning and painting the cowl plastic and wiper arms with SEM trim black paint since both of these are sadly no longer available. I have a brand new set of wiper arms in storage, but elected to hold onto those for the hatch if I ever paint it. But who knows, the coupe is looking so fresh that I might just toss them on here. But for now, they look quite nice!
I also hit the wiper motor cover with some Rustoleum. I could have really gone nuts and spent more time cleaning the assembly up I guess, but I am content with this for now. I have to keep reminding myself not to go too overboard so that I don’t lose my mind.
The nuts for the wiper pivots were stripped and had to be cut off of the car, so I was excited to find that they are still available from Nissan. I installed both new pivots along with fresh hardware. I probably should have replaced the wiper linkages too since those developed some play, but a set I had from a previous part out were in much better shape and clicked together pretty snug. Perhaps I’ll grab those and replace them down the road, but for now I don’t think I will have any issues.
The cowl plastics were reinstalled with fresh clips. I also installed a new cowl seal that runs along the back of the hood. This is still available from Nissan here in the states, but I found it to be a bit cheaper in Japan- even with shipping.
The final item for the cowl refresh was the metal trim along the bottom of the windshield. This can easily be repainted, but I really wanted to have a new piece with a fresh seal on it. I ordered two of these for the 180SX in Japan after learning it was discontinued stateside, but ran into a bit of a snag when I went to install it. There’s a small indentation at the bottom of the piece that travels around the wiper arm. Of course, the cowls and wiper arms are reversed in Japan, so this indentation did not line up on my car. I probably should have thought of this, but didn’t catch this detail initially.
I felt a bit defeated, but ended up trimming the JDM panel to fit on my car. There is a bit of a gap one one side of the cowl near the wiper arm now, but it’s hardly something that people will really notice. This piece adds so much to the look of the car that I think it was worth the sacrifice vs. painting the stock unit with a bad seal on it. I’ll of course need to remove all of this when the car gets painted and the windshield is pulled to be replaced, but I am not really sure when that is going to happen. Better to get the car running and completely assembled first, then sort that out when the time comes someday.
So that’s where things stand after another week in the books. My goal is to finish removing items from the part out hatch over the weekend so that I can list the rolling chassis for sale and hopefully have it out of my garage sometime next week. Then I’ll be able to order a few more parts I need for the coupe and continue to make some progress. It’s pretty funny working on dismantling one car, then walking across the garage and installing the same items onto a different car. Things are crazy but I have been enjoying myself.
Thanks to everyone that takes the time to read this and reaches out to me with questions. Always happy to help out if I can. Have a great weekend!