1980 Datsun 200SX 2.0 I4 NAPZ motor from North America

Summary:

The reason why imports are taking over

Faults:

I bought the car with an idler arm that needs replacement, but was able to find the part at my local auto parts store (a rebuild kit) for 15 dollars. Just had to order it because they don't stock it. I replaced a battery that was about 7 years old in it. Normal maintenance. The car has a short or something in it, because if the car isn't driven for a week, the battery gets drained and the car won't start unless jumped.

General Comments:

The best $950 that I've ever spent on a car. Runs great, I just have to take a tester to the battery, and pull out individual fuses to figure out where the power drain is coming from. That should make it easier to figure out which system is causing the drain. Other than a new battery and idler arm repair kit, I haven't had to stick much money into the car. The body on the car was somewhat rusty when I bought it, but compared to other Japanese cars of the era, the rust was very repairable and wasn't bad. The motor runs great, trans shifts smoothly, and the car has good acceleration, especially given the year, the size of the motor (only 100 horsepower from the 2 liter 4 cylinder). Very surprised that the car has electronic fuel injection, 4 wheel disc brakes, and an electronic system monitor; very advanced stuff for the time the car was made. It's light, and rear wheel drive. A great combination.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2007

1978 Datsun 200SX from North America

Summary:

It's just friggin' amazing

Faults:

For a 1978 with 200K miles on it, it's in exceptional condition.

When I bought the car, it overheated rather quickly. The guy I bought it from had already told me that it was leaking water, so I knew it was gonna overheat. I was really excited, though, and wanted to drive it something fierce... even if it was only for a little bit. Turns out the problem was just an extremely deteriorated hose. Yep, all it needed was a hose that didn't have a huge gaping hole in it.

Tachometer isn't working. A wire needs to be replaced, is all. I've ordered it already and it should be in any time now.

The light on the inside doesn't come on, but I haven't checked it yet.. might just need a new light bulb.

The steering, I had to get used to. It doesn't have power steering. It doesn't have Anti-Lock brakes either, but they work just fine (I tested them... a lot). :D.

General Comments:

I love this car.

I bought it this month for $250 and I am totally flabbergasted. It has current inspection/registration. I had a complete tune up done, engine washed and the crusty hose replaced. It feels like I'm driving a new car. After the paint job and the new tires, it's definitely gonna LOOK like a new car too. It's fast and handles as good as, if not better than, my 2002 Honda Civic. Very smooth ride. I seriously thought everything was gonna rattle when I drove it, but it's surprisingly quiet. Great on gas... turns on right away, no funny noises or smells... it's great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2006

6th Mar 2007, 21:48

Your 200SX is sure very hard to find and not many of them are around anymore which is a shame, I always thought the late 1970s 200SX's were unique looking cars and they're in my opinion very underrated cars.

1980 Datsun 200SX from North America

Summary:

Bulletproof and Long Lasting - The Most Reliable Car I've Ever Owned

Faults:

The rear brakes were a new disk brake design for Nissan and were dangerously bad. They didn't work well with the proportioning valve, and would often lock up.

After a near death experience, I rebuilt the rear brakes with new rotors an calipers. I had no serious problems after that. (BTW the design used in the 240SX is similar. They solved the lock up problem by using much smaller brake pads. That solved the lock up problem, but the it also means the 240SX rear brake pads wear prematurely... faster than the front pads).

The idle switch is touchy and needed to be adjusted.

I replaced the alternator at about 135,000 miles.

The clutch was replaced at about 120,000 miles.

General Comments:

The 240SX was a decently performing and handling car.

The interior was OK, but not designed well nor put together well.

Mechanically, the car was incredible. Almost zero maintenance, and as reliable as a doorknob. The NAP-Z engine was a great engine.

It was also a dream to work on. It had plenty of room under the hood, and was actually engineered with servicing in mind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2005