Product Type: Nissan cars
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I can't believe it IS a Nissan
Nissan 200SX (1989-94)
Member Name: blackbob
Nissan 200SX (1989-94)
Date: 12/02/04, updated on 12/02/04 (3117 review reads)
Advantages: looks good, fast
Disadvantages: heavy on fuel
For those of you who have,and you have my undying gratitude,sat through my painfully long and meandering rambles before will no doubt have realiesd two things about me.
1. - I love cars.
2. - I love Fords and Vauxhalls.
You'll have read me wittering on about Sierras I've owned and Sierras I want,about Cavaliers I want and Cavaliers.......so on and so on etc.
Well it might suprise you to know that in amongst these many Dagenham dustbins and Luton litterbins I've actually owned not one but three Nissans though not always by choice.I confess now that these are the only three cases of brand treason I've committed and the fact that they were all Nissans is pure happenchance.
About three and a half years ago while on a seeming everlasting spell cashing my dole cheques and with my then XR4x4 Sierra(oh not again...Yawn!!!) to expensive to run I was offered a Bluebird(which after a week I rather ungracefully christened my Bluebucket)for £60.The then boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend reckoned on selling me a bailer but when it comes to the automobile you don't get one over Blackbob that easy and thinking the suspension about to go and the engine breathing it's last smirked of to the pub beaming at the thought of me with this soon to expire Datsun but(I did take it for a test run before parting with 3/4 of a gyro)after pumping up the rear tyres - suspension sorted - and replacing the missing air filter - engine sorted had a cheap run about with Mot and tax.
The second time of Nissanship came this summer when starting my new job and with my Cavy on axle stands,the engine scattered all over the house I was again in need of a cheap motor.Incidently after running the Bluebucket for 3 months I traded it in as a deposit against my now Cav SRi16v.At my new job and by the end of the first week a Nissan Sunny was offered for £100 T&T'd till January just past so I became a Nissan owner for a second t
In my last job,driving for a bakery,the bossman owned a grey yet completely standard '93 L-reg Nissan 200SX which though nice enough completely failed to capture my imagination somehow.A few months before I left this job a few mates of long years standing started working for the dealership where I now work and as I finished at around 9.30am would drop in and see them for a blether on my way home.Everytime I dropped by I'd notice that their boss(and mine now)also had a 200SX which I thought odd as I'd never even noticed these cars beforehand and suddenly there were two.Though my boss at the bakery may have had a standard plain looking one their boss's 200SX was candyapple red with lowered suspension,17' alloy wheels and a boot spoiler which overall transformed the look of this car.It had been sitting,apparently,for at least six months because due to marital break-up and one thing and another he'd just lost interest.I coveted his alloys convinced they'd fit my Cav and they would have made my SRi look stunning so finding that he couldn't sell the car offered to buy the wheels - and was flattly refused.
After starting the job and still wanting these wheels I bidded my time.On finding the Cavy wheels fitted the Sunny I tried again but this time offering to buy the car instead.He agreed a price of £300 and pleased as punch became the owner.The wheels in mint condition being worth at least £600 and about £850 new I knew I had a bargain.To my utter horror although the SX had the same four-stud wheel pattern as the Sunny(and the Cav)the actual PCD was wider on the SX and my wheels would never fit - niether do they fit my Sierra.I found myself with a 1990 H-reg Nissan 200SX that had rotten sills a boot floor more holy than the Archbishop of Canterbury and what's worse the thing was automatic.
Being handy with the welding torch and finding myself stuck with this beast I decided to make the best of i
repair it.Then I drove it - I'd not even test driven the thing because I'd been only after it's wheels but on driving it I found that actually I'd,by default,landed myself with a nice quick car.
Running from 1989-1994 the S13 Nissan 200SX is powered by either a 1.8 or 2.0 16 valve turbo charged engine which produces a factory-claimed 169 bhp (though 160 would be more usual for the 1.8 CA18DET like mine) which is good for a 1.8 engine,that when compared to the 89bhp of the 1.8cvh in the Sierra or the 112bhp of my Astra GTE or MK2 Cav SRis engines,though of course,these are all 8 valve and non turbo-charged (naturally aspirated) engines,still thats a very repectable output for it's size.
To bore you all some more I'll take a brief interlude to explain turbo charging for any that aren't sure about it.Turbo charging or forced induction is one method for cramming in more fuel/air mixture than the engine can naturally take or should I rightly say,atmospheric pressure can naturally provide.On the induction stroke of a four stroke engine when the piston moves down the cylinder it creates/or leaves behind it an area of low pressure which as air pressure will always seek to equalise is filled by the higher air pressure outside the engine.Popular belief has it that the piston draws in air when in actual fact the higher atmospheric air pressure flows in to fill the area of lower pressure inside the cylinder.The thing is that it will never fill the cylinder with more than by the force of atmospheric pressure.A turbo charger on the other hand is a turbine that is set into the exhaust system,usually between the manifold and he exhaust pipe that as the exhaust gases flow through the exhaust and pass the turbine they will spin the turbine - the faster the exhaust gasflow the faster the turbine spins.Connected to the exhaust turbine by a shaft,running in bearings,is another turbine sitting in the air induction flow,usual
ly just be
fore the fuel injectors which as the exhaust turbine spins will also spin and suck the air in and pump it into the cylinder cramming more air and fuel than by atmospheric pressure alone the bonus being as more flow is pumped in then more exhaust gases are pumped out which increases the speed of the turbo.This continues till desired boost is reached around about 150,000rpm when a valve within the turbo,called a wastegate opens to allow excess pressure to bleed off and to maintain correct boost pressure.Seeing that at low engine speeds there isn't much exhaust flow to spin the turbine theres equally not enough flow to spin the induction turbine and won't be till the engine speeds up - this delay while waiting for the engine/exhaust flow/rturbine to speed up is called turbo lag.Also a large turbine takes longer to speed up but once going pushes more air into the intake.
Although many will understand these principles well enough there will also be some that don't and may like to know so if anyone would like to leave constructive comment or opinion on whether they found it useful or just plain gibberish I'd like to hear as although it's all straight forward in my own mind expressing it in a way that others will understand is something I find far less straight forward - I don't want to get into formulas etc and try to put it clearly and concisely but have trouble just now truly telling if this is what I do.
The Nissan SX has a relatively small Garret Aireasearch T25 turbo but still suffers from turbo lag which is noticeable until you reach about 2500/2800rpm.There is an intercooler but it is placed under the wing taking in air from the wheelarch not only is it a sily place to take cooling air from but the route the intake flow has to go is longer and unnessecary which does much to stiffle potential power.Once the turbo starts to have an effect you get a rush of power right up until 6500rpm(on mine anyway which i
s in standard t
une).With the smaller turbo you get less boost pressure and the SX has a relatively modest amount of boost at about 10psi. but this makes for a reliable unstressed application.The fueling and ignition is taken care of by the Nissan ECCS engine management system and the fuel is delivered by a multi-point fuel injection system while the ignition spark is taken from a crank angle sensor and the ECU controls both these plus the idle speed.This system has both a 'limp home' mode or LOS limited operation strategy which automatically runs the engine within much safer peramiters should it detect a sensor fault and the ability to self-test,not only activating the LOS system but storing the fault code into the memory for a mechanic with the right fault code reading equipment to bring up later.It is possible with a list of fault codes to read them yourself by turning a screw on the ECU and reading the number of flashes of a LED on the ECU
The 200SX has an attractive look with a two-door bodt shell with a long low bonnet line pop-up headlights,sleek tail with a hatchback rear door sitting low it reminds me of something between a porsche 944 and a Lotus.
The driving position is Capri-like,while not quite on the floor but low to the road.Everything is in easy reach and tastefully done not with the acres of shiny grey plastic that is usual for a Nissan,it's uncluttered even sparse with comfortable bucket seats that grip you in the corners.It is suprisingly un-Nissan like in all respects except the reliability.Normally crammed full of switches and buttons the whole cockpit has a clean thought out feel grey carpeted and airy with good visibility,ventilation and heating.There's little room in the back for more than two small adults and although the rear hatch looks large the boot space is deceptively small but then this is not the kind of car you would buy for it's practicality.
On the road it feels solid and th
e steering is power
assisted yet feels weighty and balanced,bearing in mind that mine has been lowered and stiffened it grips the road like a train on rails.While driving a car near its limits and approaching a corner a bit too fast I like to ease off the accelerator rather than brake and I find this car has a disconcerting habit of changing gear on me when I least expect it,that said it is my first automatic and maybe my driving style would have to change to suit automatic gearboxes but if I were inclined to keep the car the more likely course of action would be to change it to a manual g/box.The overall handling is good though and as it is rear wheel drive feels direct and alive feeding back through the steering the car would definetly benefit from manual transmission as slight adjustments in throttle position can effect gearchanges which make it hard on B-road to set the car up for corners.Also the acceleration would improve and the fuel economy slightly aswell this being about 22mpg though I do tend when driving it to hammer it where ever I go.Thee is ABS brakes on board which feel positive and safe.
The top speed is around 145mph or so I have seen on the clock and the 0-60 takes 7 seconds with the 1/4 mile coming up in 15.08 seconds(this is for the manual) avg. fuel consumption @25mpg with super-unleaded,it can run on unleaded but it isn't advisable as you'd be relying on the knock sensor to stay out of trouble.Power @160bhp and cars in good condition seem to go for around £1500-2500.K&N Induction kit @£70 while a HKS kit would be @£180.Reconditioned turbo @£450
As I said at the start I never actually bought the car for itself rather for it'd wheels and finding them no use to me am stuck wondering what to do with it.Originally I was going to rob the wheels and sell off the good parts i.e engine,turbo,suspension,panels,bonnet and doors seperate as I reckon on making some money back to pay for the initial cost,now I don
't know.Although I li
ke the car I have my Cavalier to rebuild an engine for it to get it through it's Mot and then a whole new 2.0 16v engine to build for the Cav to make it a lot faster.This plus the fact that I'm determined to get a Sapphire Cosworth leaves me no time,money or inclination for the SX and therefore wil probably break it for spares