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 Post subject: AJS N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
Finally the cold has gone, it was about time after nearly five months of winter and ugly cold. So I decided it was about time to get my Nissan Sunny out on the road. It had been sitting in a dry and warm storage since the midst of October, and I hadn't touched is since.
I bought this Sunny (N13) last year, this model was my first car and it's the reason I drive Nissans to this day. I still regret that I sold that car. So much even, that I needed to get a N13 Sunny again. Last year I found this car 25 km (15 mi) from my hometown, it had been for sale for three months. I bought it the minute I saw it. Ofcourse I went for a testdrive which was almost literally a trip down memory lane. The noises, the feel, the smell... It was like I had traveled back in time. The car looked and felt very solid, but there was no maintenance history. But it had 150.000 km's (93.000 mi) on the odometer and the engine was running like it was brand new. My old Sunny had done 300.000 km (jup, 186.000 mi) when I sold it, and the engine was still running like a dream, so I figured this Sunny was a safe buy.

When I bought it last year, I've only driven it for about a week and then put in the car storage. I wanted to work on the Sunny during the winter, but I couldn't because I had to work on a million other things. Anyway, yesterday I went to the storage / garage to pick up my car. The owner of the storage looks after the cars in there like they are his own, he has covers for every car and he charges the batteries every now and then to keep them in a good condition. He told me that the battery of the Sunny had died, so we had to jump start it. He had already placed a charged battery and jumper cables next to my car.

So, we hooked up the external battery and jumper cables and I turned the key... The fuel pump started pumping for a while, the clock on the dashboard started flashing and the warning lights were all lit. When the fuel pump stopped, I tried to start it and... it immediately started. Hm, didn't expect it to start that easily... But the joy was shortlived: I saw tiny drops of coolant running down the engine when I disconnected the jumper cables. One of the freeze plugs leaked a tiny bit, and ofcourse it was the freeze plug that is the hardest to replace: the one exactly behind the header. And the removal of a 23-year old header, with it's rusted bolts can be a real pain in the... So I drove the Sunny to the garage and asked for advice. With the right tools and knowledge it isn't that hard to remove the header and to replace the freeze plugs, but since it's (still) a small leak, the mechanic suggested to try a leak-stopping fluid. So that's what I did today.

Drained the cooling system, liquid rust coming out:
Image

Flushed the system with the garden hose. The filled it with frsh coolant and added the Tunap leakage-stop agent:
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After that, I went for a drive and to my surprise, the leaking stopped. I'm not entirely convinced that it will never leak again, but we'll wait and see... After that, I washed the car and started polishing and waxing. It was the first nice day of the year, and the Sunny hasn't had too much TLC in the last 2 or 3 years. This is the end result:

Image

Cleaned the engine bay:
Image

Image

Image

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And yes, the car is as red as in the pictures. The red paint hasn't faded the least little bit. Still got a lot of work to do planned, starting with new tyres. These are the original tyres :?

_________________
'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


Last edited by AJS on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Beauce, Quebec, Canada
Very clean and nice car, what is the engine?

The best with the coolant fluid would be to flush it a couple of times with water to remove most of the rust and than switch back to coolant.

Love it! :D

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Daily driver: XE V6 4WD D21 Pick up
Daily driver (standby): Sentra B13 coupe
Summer ride: 71 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
Thanks SLCustoms! The engine is a GA16i - 12 valves with single point fuel injection. It has hydraulic valve lifters and a timing chain, so it virtually lasts forever ;-)

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'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Beauce, Quebec, Canada
Do you intend to keep it all stock?

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Daily driver: XE V6 4WD D21 Pick up
Daily driver (standby): Sentra B13 coupe
Summer ride: 71 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
@SLCustoms: I'll try to keep it stock. I've got a few modifications in mind, like installing a instrument cluster with a tachometer. Also, I'm not so sure if I want to keep the towbar. Actually I don't really like the double rear-spoiler, but it's a rare dealer option, like the 13 inch wheels the towbar and the foglights. I like almost every build I see here on the JNC forum, but I also keep in mind that these Sunny's are almost extinct. So if I'm going to modify this car, I want the modifications to be reversible. Maybe I'll lower it and replace the stock intake filter by a K&N filter. That kind of stuff. But first I want to adress some minor issues on the car, it has got small holes in the sills and in the rear wheelarches. When I fixed that, I'll see where I go from there.

AJS

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'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 142
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes CA
Your Sunny reminds me of my wife's USA model 1990 Sentra [since traded in so no pictures]. On the odd chance that your existing instrument panel looks like hers did, the USA model 1990 240SX instrument cluster looked like an exact fit and did have the tachometer.

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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
@MikeRL411: The '90 Sentra has a lot in common with the N13 Sunny, but I think the instrument cluster is different from the one in the European-market Sunny's. In my first Sunny I installed the instrument cluster from a SLX-spec. But I'm afraid it's almost impossible to find another one on a junkyard.

Anyway,to give everyone an idea of how well the leak-stop additive works, here's a short movie I shot this afternoon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KED0Evpd8Ik&feature=youtu.be

Before I drove the car to the workshop I cleaned the trunk and the spare wheel well. The original spare wheel is still in place:

Image

Look at the production dates, 2-'89 (DOT on the tyre) and the rim (3-'89). This car must have been produced early 1989:

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Wait, what? Looks like my shoe!

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The rubber plug that is missing in this picture above was sticking to the spare wheel. I treated the rust on the surroundings of this hole with zinc-spray and put the plug back in place.

AJS

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'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
Good news: the coolant leakage is solved. The old freeze plugs have been replaced with new shiny bits. The cooling system is flushed, refilled with fresh coolant and pressure tested. It works perfectly now! The old tyres are also gone, they are replaced by new Vredestein T-Trac tyres (Vredestein is a Dutch quality brand). The new tyres make a true difference, the steering is much lighter and the handling is way better. I also like the look of the new tyres, compare the old with the new:

Before:
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After:
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And some short clips of the engine running (with the new freeze plugs) and the exhaust note during idling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpzGNs3PHKY&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3py6D8PfEsA

That's our son talking in the background. He wakes up every morning asking if we're gonna work on the Sunny this day ;-)

_________________
'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Beauce, Quebec, Canada
Swapping the head and ecu from a ga16de would be a cheap, great and easy power/economy upgrade.

Just an idea I had when looking at your car. :P

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Daily driver: XE V6 4WD D21 Pick up
Daily driver (standby): Sentra B13 coupe
Summer ride: 71 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: AJS' '90 N13 Sunny
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: Fryslân, The Netherlands
Well, I guess it's time for an update. The Sunny didn't go hibernating this winter and is being used as a daily driver. Although I want to preserve / partially restore my car, I had to drive it on dirty winter roads (sometimes with a huge load of salt on them) and the car is always parked outside. The main reason is that we sold our K12 Micra and the Sunny has become our second car. Hopefully I can afford a car for the winter season next year and park the Sunny in a warm and dry shed during the winter. Anyway, the Sunny is doing well, I drove 15.000 km's (9400 miles) without a single problem. On of the first mods I made, was the instrument panel conversion.I have installed an instrument panel from a SLX version, so with a tachometer. I found one on an online parts finder where numerours junkyards and dismantling companies sell their stuff. The next day I received this:

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I dismantled it to clean it and to correct the odometer. Then I found out that the new one was missing a pulse counter, that is the device behind the magnet cup on the speedometer cable (on the back of the metal frame, with the white and black wires). This pulse is used as the vehicle speed signal for the ECU:

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The easy way out was to build the old speedometer into the new instrument panel. So I removed the dial, which required the removal of the pointer and as a result the re-calibration of the speedometer:

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The 'new' instrument panel was quite dirty insode, so I cleaned it:

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The next step was to install it into the car, and unfortunately it's not plug and play. The connectors of the 'simple' version are different from the SLX (and SGX) versions. There are three connectors on the luxury version, where there are two on the simple instrument panel (without tachometer). To cut costs, Nissan didn't even install a wire from the coil to the dashboard which acts as the signal for the tachometer. So, the connectors in the dashboard and the instrument panel are non-compatible which means there's only one way out: cut them, and replace the connector with a whole bunch of aftermarket connectors. This is what the instrument panel looks like before installation:

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And this is what the connectors on the dashboard look like:

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Then I needed a signal from the ignition coil. According to the electric schematics the iginition signal comes from the black-red wire:

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So I attached a cable to it and routed it to the new instrument panel. Then came the moment supreme the first start:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IFkFGQ1jBA&feature=youtu.be

This is what the new instrument panel looks like:

Image

Last december I ordered a new set of shocks. The old ones had died after nearly 25 years of service. I bought a set of Monroe Sensatracs, new old stock from a former Nissan-dealer. The difference with the old shock is huuuuge. The Monroes are a bit too harsh for my taste, but the Sunny is handling corners like a R35 :-)

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I didn't replace the springs, they were in good condition. But I did replace the rubber protectors on the shocks:

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The strut towers and the underbody were in great condition. I applied some rust protection (ML) to keep it rust free:

Image

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Last week I had my exhaust replaced by a custom made stainless steel one. The old one was leaking, so I had to replace it. But some parts were hard to find, so I decided to go for the 'sustainable' option and ordered a custom made exhaust. The standard diameter was 40mm (1,5 inch), we enlarged it to 50mm (2 inch). And this is what it sounds like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upa3BMOalTw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnMNYRtN5bo

_________________
'90 N13 Sunny 1.6 GT - '00 P11-144 Primera 1.8 - '03 K12 Micra 1.2


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