After nearly a four year hiatus, I am glad to not only be back on NICO but also starting a fresh build! Where have I been? It is a long, long story...but here it goes in a nutshell: 2004 I bought a '91 240sx coupe and joined this forum as 1991s13, but have since lost the email I used to start the account (admins, read as HELP me get it back
). I had the car til '07, and in that time I added a body kit, had it painted, added a few minor bolt ons, and performed a 5 speed swap; then one dark cold night I ran it through a field of pine trees. Thought it was fixable until I removed the fenders/fender liners and found the driver's side frame rail was nearly rusted through right behind the strut and bent upwards from that spot forward. Here she was in her hayday...
Got a DUI, license suspended 6 months, 5 years probation, kicked out of my house, and the money I was spending on the s13 and furthering my education was redirected toward legal fees and living in the real world. I then bought a lifted Infiniti QX4 that at the time I thought was unique and for some reason practical in a time where gas prices reached upwards of $3 a gallon for the first time, but it slowly fell apart the whole time I owned it. I would love to meet the people who modified all the parts to fit, they probably went on to work for Toyota...but I digress...
I did what I had to do to get my proverbial ducks back in order. Fell in love, got engaged, that fell through (thankfully), and that brings me to my newest and what I believe to be my greatest love so far...
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Veronica! In those few years I spent...well, growing up...I kept buying KA-T parts here and there for a car I didn't own at that time, but knew I would have again some day. It all came full circle when I found this '91 fastback with a KA24DET for sale in Delaware. The body is not too shabby and the previous owner slapped together an affordable turbo setup, so between the parts I've been buying, what came with the car, and what was left of my original s13, I am VERY close to having everything necessary to finish building the s13 I have been dreaming about since '04. Okay, maybe not the one from my dreams because I believe Ivan from KA-T.org built that one already...but the best I can manage to afford right now.
As soon as I got it home I went straight to tearing it down so I could go over the body and thoroughly check for structural problems. The carpet was gone, and shortly the grease smeared/oil soaked seats were thrown out as well. The dash is still in good shape, but the steering wheel was replaced with an eBay racing wheel. Not only was it mounted crooked, but it was white so it of course was also covered with greasy fingerprints.
Thankfully I have a parts car. Yanked that column and replaced it with mine.
After pulling the passenger seat I found another pleasant surprise. A roughly 6"x6" section of the floor was rusted through, and the previous owner riveted what looked like a piece of tin foil over top of it to patch it up (you can see it in the above interior pics). I drilled out the rivets and cut around the rust so I have a clean hole to weld some sheet metal over eventually.
You may have noticed the doors were pulled, reason being they were mostly body puddy. The pair off of my old coupe are in great shape plus they have power windows/locks which I will wire up when Im ready to install them. The floor in the hatch had about an eighth of an inch of dirt stuck to it, so in the name of cleanliness and weight reduction I pressure washed it, took the wire wheel to it, and to finish it up before I paint it I am going to use scotch brite pads to remove the leftovers. After pressure washing some of the sound deadening insulation on the floor was peeling up, so I went ahead and used a chisel to scrape it all out. I was actually surprised how easy it came up. I took the wire wheel back over it to remove as much of the black tar residue that was left.
The engine/tranny came out easily, thanks to the previous owners lack of a torque wrench. MANY bolts/nuts, including the exhaust manifold nuts, bellhousing bolts, and pretty much every hose clamp on the IC piping were barely finger tight. The car also did not have power steering, which I found was because it is missing the line from the pump to the steering rack. If I didn't have my parts car I would be upset. Some more pictures I took along the way...
After pulling the engine and the front wheels I found what I was expecting, MORE RUST! In the lower back of the passenger side fender well there was a hole and, surprise surprise, the bottom of the driver side strut tower and a section of the frame underneath were ate out as well. Both this s13 and my old coupe were built in the same month of the same year in the same plant....saaame rust hole! I then cut out the rust and prepped the areas so I can eventually weld them back closed.
Now that I had the motor pulled and the interior stripped, I pushed her back outside to degrease and pressure wash the hatch and engine bay.
Back inside and sitting pretty (ugly) on stands, I dropped the rear subframe. Every bushing front and rear is going to be replaced with Energy Suspension polyurethane pieces, plus I wanted to drop it so its not in the way when I clean up the underbody and repaint it with 3M rubberized undercoating. This gave my father a reason to hook up the sandblasting cabinet that has been collecting dust for years now, so before replacing the bushings I am going to sandblast and paint the rear subframe. The car has Tanabe Sustec Pro coilovers as well, but they are showing their age. They will be scotch brited and painted as well.
I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but as I mentioned I have been dreaming about this for years. I feel like I've been moving backward since I got the car because I've been tearing everything apart but she will come around. If you're wondering what Im going to put in it, I am building a KA with forged internals, fully built head, and a Precision 6031. Im looking to put down some respectable numbers, so you'll see more about the motor build in the near future.
I hope to keep this thread updated very often...since I have brought it home I have spent roughly 10-15 hours working on it every weekend. Keep checking back and leave me your feedback, thanks for checking it out!