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IST CENTURY ROMAN CHARIOT 1930 BSA SLOPER 557CC AND SWALLOW SPORTS SIDECAR 1932 MERCEDES SSK DROP HEAD 1959 ROVER P4 100 1989 NISSAN EXA

1989 NISSAN EXA N12

I looked around for a 1980's Coupe. Coupes or two door cars from the 1960's and 1970's are becoming valuable to the point they are changing hands for huge sums of money. So while still available, and at a decent price, I looked for a Nissan Exa. These were reasonably priced coupes of the 1980's and are fast dissappearing off our roads. They have a light weight frame and will make an ideal car to fit an electric motor one day. They will no doubt become a valuable classic of the future.

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I found this good example at a reasonable price. It was made in 1989 but registered in 1990. It has only 112 000 km on the clock so very low for its age. I have seen other examples that are still running with more than 350 000km on the clock.
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With pop up lights and wedge shaped front this typifies the designs of the 1980's.
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The square shaped back and sharp corners were the designers dream for the period.
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Good condition for a 28 year old car.
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Initially the pop up lights would lift nicely but would not go down again. If left over night they would be down the next morning. Initially I thought they could be on a timer system but after reading about these cars this is not the case. As it happened at night I suspected a thermal connection. I checked the battery connections and found these dirty and not very secure. Once cleaned up and secure the lights go down and the car has a more robust start.
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Strong fabric on the seats, still all original.
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Interior in prestine condition.
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The engine was neat but needs a service and clean up. A few other issues need to be sorted mainly from the car standing unused for a long period.
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I replaced both CV joints. The rubber boots on the originals were split so the grease had been spun out which resulted in their failure. The boots on the steering joints have also split, so I will grease and replace just the boots as the steering seems fine.
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The brake proportioning valve is bolted onto the firewall. Over time brake fluid has leaked onto the paint and caused it to peel off the steel. I will clean this up and repaint it. I will also put in a spacer behind the valve to move it away from the fire wall so I don't have this problem again. This seems to be a common problem on these cars.
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The master cylinder also showed some leakage so I will pull it out and repaint the brake booster and firewall.
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Battery trays always seem to rust. Sealed batteries are the answer to prevent battery acid from leaking over the battery tray.
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I pulled out the battery tray. Luckily the corrosion was not too bad. No damage to the chassis frame. The area cleaned up well.
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I am painting the engine compartment with first a black etch primer, this will be on the bare metal sections and then with a dark grey.I intend to paint the whole car a two tone black with metallic charcoal grey upper. So the engine compartment will go a grey to compensate rather than the green.
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Battery tray painted and re-fitted. All looks good on that side.
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I removed the brake booster and master cylinder. This area will clean up well as althought the paint is gone the steel is still very much intact.
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The steel behind the brake proportioning valve is still good.
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I scraped off the loose paint and applied some rust removal solution.
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This worked really well. I applied some degreaser then power washed the whole area.
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I painted on some black etch primer.
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Then painted on two coats of grey.
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Firewall looks good, will clean off the paint on some of the wires and pipes.
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Engine looking clean.
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When I was cleaning up the brake booster, I found some brake fluid had leaked past the master cylinder seal and into the brake booster. There should be no brake fluid in the brake booster. Because the brake booster works on a vacuum system any brake fluid that is in the booster gets sucked into the engine and burnt under combustion. This will give poor engine performance and oiled up spark plugs. As the booster seems fine I will just recondition the brake master cylinder.
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The proportioning valve had been leaking. I pulled it out and sent it in to be reconditioned. It still had a leak. So I found a proportioning valve from a later model Nissan.
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I had the brake master cylinder reconditioned. The later model propostioning valve showed no leakes. Painted the brake booster. All went back into place, No leaks, good brakes. All sorted.
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I pulled the old steering rack boots off. There was still some grease in the ball joints so I cleaned them up. I re-greased the rack and ball joints then replaced the boots. Steering rack still solid.
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I wanted better acceleration so I dropped the tyre size and went from a 165*80*13 to a 175*70*13. This gave me 6.1% extra on the tyre width but 3.2% reduction on the diameter. So all the work done so far proved worth while after a test drive. Big improvement in steering and handling particulary around corners. What did stand out however was engine performance and acceleration. Now a very nice car to drive.

These cars can move!!

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This car needed a sound system. Besides a car does go faster with loud music. I don't like to cut door panels, especially on a car as rare as this one. So I opted to make up some speaker boxes.
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I used plywood lined in the inside with carpeting to stop the speaker banging and give a better bass tone. Dimmensions of the box is relative to speaker size.
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These are going in the back and will sit on the seats and act as an armrest.
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The whole speaker box was covered in a backing material then covered in black vinyl.
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These sat nicely on the back seat all of 350 watts powered through a 480 watt pioneer amp. An amp needs to be bigger than the speakers and not the other way round. Speakers blow when the input power is too low. A thick cable direct from the battery through a 60amp fuse powered the amp. Car now goes faster and wow that sound belts out.
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I wanted to change the timing belt so renewed the crank oil seal as well.
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Judging by the condition of the belt I don't think it had ever been changed.
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The tentioner did not look good either so wise move to change both. So engine all good.
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The big rub down has started.
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I mark out the dents with a permanent marker in black.
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I use a block and P400 paper and rub down till the mark is gone. Making sure that a big area is rubbed down so as to not form just a big depression.
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The car body is very solid. No rust, panels straight.
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Some Epoxy Primer
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Flatting down
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More flatting down
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I decided on red
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This gave it a sports car look
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Brings out the 80's shape
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Looks good from the front
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Nice Car
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