Club Garage > Non-Nissan Garage

My old 240SX "Zonic"

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Rev:
I'm always concerned I'm going to post the pics of my car and that someone is going to go, "Hey I know that car, you cut me off in traffic the other day!" It's not mine anymore, sold it a while back /sadness... I miss it so much. Anyway I've talked a lot about my old 240SX but I never had posted any pictures of it. I figured I should because it really was an awesome car.

This 240SX was a 90 model, but it was odd because everything about it screamed 91-93.



In 1991 there was a bit of a refresher for the 240SX, it got a new face and the DOHC version of the KA24 engine. Prior to that the car had what was referred to as the "Pig-nose" and the SOHC KA24.



I bought the car in 2008 from a high school kid that didn't want to get it fixed. I wanted my own project car, so I paid the kid $800 and towed it home.



The first challenge was getting it into the garage because, as you can see, that was a steep driveway. It actually took less to get it running than I was expecting, but once it was running I started running into all sorts of other problems. For one the lug spaces in the wheels were worn out so much that the wheels were actually bouncing on the lugs and breaking them off.



Discount Tire hooked me up with a cheap set of wheels they needed to get rid of and work began.



All the fluids were drained and replaced, the engine was tuned up, and it started acting like a decent car.



And so modding began, starting with the exhaust system. Brought the old rusty one out in one big piece...



...and had a nice shiny new one ready to take its place. All of this stuff was technically cheap ebay parts, but it was really cool to be actually changing all this stuff out.



A big AEM intake found its new home under the hood. Here you can see the aluminum overflow tank, and low impedance NGK wires.



After the first run the header pipes got their oily purple/blue look, helped match the wires lol.



People used to make fun of this thing for not being a "true" dual exhaust, but for being a cheap aftermarket catback I liked the sound. It sounded more low key and aggressive than the big bumble bee cans I see on most 240s. Though when you put your foot into it people would say it made a heck of a lot of noise for not moving very fast ;D



Then it needed some body work. I didn't get any photos of the passenger fender when I bought it, but it had hit something and caved in that side of the car pretty good.



Also I think the paint job it had before might have literally been done by a bunch of kids with Wal-Mart model paint. You could tell the car had originally been black, but the outside had globs of purplish/blue paint all over it. Even the plastics and weather stripping had been painted with the stuff which ruined the rubber.



The car ended up at the Tucson Maaco shop for about two months... I had a really good experience with the El Paso Maaco and decided to trust the Tucson franchise with this job... I'll leave it that I did not have as good an experience with the Tucson shop.



I was really happy to have the car back. It was looking pretty good with new lights and mirrors and parts.



It seemed ready to take out to some races, so I got some new seats and 4 point harnesses and started getting it out to AutoX.



The face was off again fairly soon though as I started retrofitting HID projectors.



Unfortunately I ran into stuff that Maaco left behind and didn't fix properly when they put on the new bumper and fender. The bracket that connected the bumper to the fender on that side for instance was warped from the accident and reused instead of being straightened or replaced.



It sat for a while without a bumper because I couldn't get the parts to line back up until I found a donor car to get the brackets from.



Once the HID projectors were on though I was really happy. I think this was my avatar on ClubX for a while even. This made my 240SX pretty unique I think, because I'd seen people install HIDs in the headlight housings of other 240s, but this one had a custom bracket for a real projector.



The last thing I did to this car was lower it with Eibach springs and convert it from 4 to 5 lug hubs. I put some H&M spacers on it too to get the wheels a bit more flush with the body.



The process of putting the springs on almost killed me. I was piecing together the spring compressor that we were going to be using to take the springs off when I hear an impact wrench going. I turn to look just in time as the nut holding the cap on the shock is removed and the spring launches the whole assembly right at my face. I swear it came within an inch of nose as I ducked out of the way and everything hit the wall behind me. My friends helping me out swore they thought there was some other cap actually holding the compressed spring down ;D



Once all that was on I got a few more AutoX runs in it. I didn't care if it wasn't that fast or if most of the suspension parts were still old and loose, it was so much fun ;D

You can still see my number on the windshield for which position I was out on the track on.


I swore this car was my baby and that I'd never give it up. But I did. As much as I loved it there was just no getting around that it was over 20 years old, and for every two weeks I drove it, it spent a month needing repairs. Not once was it ever able to pass the annual emissions inspection without needing work done to the fuel system or something. It ate fuel injectors like candy. The electrical components worked sometimes. I forgot to mention that at one point it needed a new tranny. What did it though was that I had to move out of the house with a garage and into an apartment where I could no longer work on it myself. I tried to slyly fix a few things on my own in the parking lot but kept getting non compliance warning from the management. And being that it needed work done on it more often than it didn't left me without much way to care for it.



I found someone who swore they'd take really good care of it and watched it drive away without me. Sorry for getting sentimental ;D

I still have this hanging on my wall though:


As much of a pain as that car could be, I wouldn't know nearly as much about cars and Nissans if it wasn't for having gone through all the things I did with it. It was great having both my 240SX and Frontier that had the same KA24DE engine.

Now that I'm moving back into a house with a garage I'm kicking myself for not finding a way to just store the car rather than sell it. If I could get it back now though, would I? Probably not... I saw it going down the street the other day and the exhaust has been replaced with a single big can, and it has a carbon fiber hood with a scoop on it I think. Not to mention it looked like they took out my pop up HIDs. Totally not my car anymore.

If Nissan ever brought back the line in say a "250SX" I'd jump on that in a heart beat. 'Till then I'll stare at cars like the 370Z and Subaru BRZ and think, "I want a sports car again... but is that really the one?" For sure though someday I will have both a street toy and my "Off the streets" toy together ;D

remo1991(Brent):
Believe me I know the feeling. I had a almost new 2002 Corvette that I got in 2004 and I modded it all out. I used to race it once a month with SCCA. I had to sell it when I lost my company truck. The X is my first 4wd so that's why I joined AZXC to show me the ropes and they have more then done that. Thanks all

Rev:
A C5 huh? All Corvettes are so pretty. Have you seen the new C7 coming out? I know there's a lot of controversy over some of the drastic changes, like the Camaro lights in the back, but I think it looks awesome. Though if I could afford it my favorite Corvette is the C3 Stingray. I'd love one of those with a T-Top. One of those or an original 240Z are the only cars that I would actually restore rather than mod. Everything else I'm like, "This car needs a V8, coilovers, Turbo Charger, LED lights, and a dyno tune."

The SCCA is awesome, I'm hoping I might be able to get into it again and that a few friends of mine will let me drive their cars so I don't get too rusty at it lol ;D

4WD though is it's own brand of fun. It can be a toy like a sports car, but the game is completely different, and I love it too. Before I got my Xterra I went through my 00 Frontier, an 03 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner, and a 95 Silverado 1500... I'll have to share the stories of all those some other times because... geesh... ;D

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