I happened to find a very nice 1997 240SX SE pop up on Craigslist last Thursday after a few calls, and a test drive I put down a deposit on Christmas-eve day and Today I finalized the paperwork and brought it home ahead of the snow storm we’re supposed to get tonight.
It has 68K miles and spent it’s entire life with it’s original owner in West Virgina. I bought through Historic Motor Sports in Candia NH, who had it for sale on Consignment. (If you’re looking for a rare or vintage European car I highly recommend them, they have a beautiful showroom and made for one of the best car buying experiences I’ve ever had).
I’ve already started planning the process of moving all of my equipment from the Black car onto this one… stay tuned.
UPDATE: Here are some pictures from the for-sale listing…
I finally got all the bugs worked out of the custom rear brake setup on my truck. I drove it around for the first time today since the spring. A big thanks to Aaron at Silver Lake Fab for helping me get get past the last few roadblocks.
Rotors, calipers and pads are from the rear of a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4×4. The bolt holes on the rotors had to be drilled out slightly (14mm). They seemed to fit initially but they didn’t fully seat.
The brackets are a custom made from my own design. They’re 2-piece, so that the caliper is mounted at the appropriate offset to the rotor. They’re made out of 3/8″ hardened steel.
The soft brake lines are from the front of a Dodge Neon, I’m sure there are lots of other brake lines that could have worked (it’s a standard 10mm fitting) but that’s what my local parts store had in stock. The hard-lines are just pre-flared lines from the local parts store also. They didn’t have the exact sizes I needed so I had to add these j-bends into them to take up the extra length. The soft lines are longer than I would have liked also but they do have these nice little brackets on the ends so I could make up some adapter brackets and bolt them to the axle if I like.
Driving home from Peterborough in the rain, the roads felt slippery so I was driving 10-15 below the limit. Out of the nowhere the car just went sideways then off the road, through a sign post and into the trees; steering and brakes didn’t even hint at responding. My first thought was “fuck, this is probably the end of my car”.
The sign post destroyed the front end, though slowed me down quite a bit, the concrete mount for the sign cracked one of the wheels and tore off my side skirt, a big rock tore up the rocker on the other side and ripped my exhaust off. As I slid toward the woods my next thought was “I really hope I don’t get punched in the face by an airbag”.
As you can see I didn’t hit anything hard enough to deploy the airbags, maybe it was the adrenaline but the whole incident felt like the car was just gently gliding through it.
A nice father and Son in a minivan behind me saw that whole incident and stopped to help. Before I even had time to access what just happened the guy was clearing out the brush next to my door and asking if i was ok. I wish I got their name so I could send a thank you card. They let me sit in their van until the police arrived.
I had the car towed to Fujii, not sure what I’m going to do next I guess we’ll see what happens with insurance.
I received my S14 Kouki cluster from the UK in today. The European clusters are nice because the gauges have a lot cleaner look to them Instead of E and F on the fuel gauge there is just a red line at empty. The temp gauge is similarly styled. They’re clusters also went up to a higher speed and the UK is of course in MPH which is nice.
I found a set of Aluminum trim rings for the gauges which I think really improves the look of the cluster. These rings are made of polished aluminum. I’m not 100% sold on the shiny look I’m tempted to go over the rings with some steel wool to give them a brushed look… I’ll see how I like it polished for a while first.
For reference (not my cluster, but exactly like it) this is what my current cluster looks like:
…I’d say the new setup is way more classy.
I also noticed that the Euro cluster has the interior brightness adjustment right on the cluster, this means I’ll be able to remove the button in my dash which is quite nice since I was considering relocating it so that I could use the spot to mount the ambient temp sensor for the Digital Climate Control system.
>rear drum brakes had problems.
>rather than replace them I decide to upgrade to disc brakes.
>disc brakes don’t support an e-brake.
>I buy disc brake parts (a couple hundred bucks).
>I buy the disc brake adapter kit (a couple hundred bucks).
>and I buy a transfer case mounted e-brake kit (a couple hundred bucks).
>e-brake kit doesn’t support my transfer case (even though specs said it was compatible).
>decide I’ll have to throw out most of the kit and build custom to make it work.
>remove old drums destroying them in the process.
>calipers and rotors need to be modified to work (this is normal; part of the installation).
>install disc brake adapters and hardware.
>everything seems to be going well.
>surprise, the calipers wont fit under my wheels (even though the specs said they would).
>calipers wont even fit under the larger wheels I have.
>decide this is bullshit so I start taking measurements and doing research.
>buy completely different disc brake parts based on my research (a couple hundred bucks).
>mock up install and wheels have clearance for days.
>take additional measurements and design my own adapter kit.
>my design would be cheaper to manufacture.
>my design will be easier to install.
>my design requires less expensive brake parts.
>my design doesn’t require modification of the brake parts.
>my design is more appropriately proportioned for the truck.
>oh yeah, and my design clears the wheels with room to spare.
>this isn’t the first time I’ve spent over a grand buying specialized parts to save myself time and engineering.
>I sent my LS1 engine mount kit back 4 times before I finally gave up and just modified it to work.
>this time I didn’t even bother trying to send it back.
>apparently I can’t trust people design these things properly.
>if you want something done properly you have to do it yourself.
It seems sports cars aren’t the only vehicles that get cooler parts in Japan: I recently picked up an OEM inclometer/altimeter cluster from an early 90′s Hilux Surf… One of the cooler things about this cluster is it only needs power to function the lights.
Rene wasn’t the only one upgrading their suspension today…
Thanks to Rudy I got a new torque wrench and was able to finally install my Nismo suspension. it took longer than expected since I decided to sand and paint all the hardware and mounting brackets with a rust inhibitor. Also I discovered that the brake line bracket on the Silvia is backwards from the 240sx so I had to make a small modification to the brake-line to make it mount to the bottom of the strut housing.
I only did the front, so I’ve got a nice rake going on… I’m not sure if I’m going to do the rear too or just leave it like this.
This is the bird seed and insulation “nests” I pulled out of the headliner and side panels of my car today…
at least I had new seats to put in front and rear.
Some pics I took at the Bosstown/240sxONE Spring Bean Meet.