1987 Nissan Bluebird LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Very reliable if a bit boring


Radiator went around 180,000 miles. Heater matrix around the 150 mark. Usual exhaust and brake pads. Serviced every year and it always started. Walked the MOT every year with nothing more than a bulb.

Engine gave up at 219000 miles. Never had a problem with rust.

General Comments:

Well equipped for a LX. Quite slow and not particularly economical. Tough as old nails and a Primera was supposed to have replaced it. I could not find one, but now I always buy Japanese cars (although it was built in the UK!)

Only its old fashioned image lets it down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2006

1987 Nissan Bluebird ZX Turbo T72 CA18ET 1.8 turbo EFI from UK and Ireland


A luxurious, comfortable and quick car, hard to beat


Well a fair few things have needed replacing, but considering the mileage and the amount of years I have owned it, it amounts to very little compared to other cars I have owned.

Both Rear Brake Calipers seized and needed replacing at £200 a side (Beware! will happen on any rear disc equiped older Nissan if the brake fluid is not changed every 3 years!).

Alternator stopped charging below 2000RPM, replaced.

2 Batteries.

Rear Strut Top Mounts started slightly knocking on rough roads, so needed replacing. (Replaced rear Strut/Shocks Inserts at same time).

Handbrake cable has broken on all 3 parts over the years (Common and around £120 for all 3 parts).

Drivers side Electric Window problems (Turned out to be a dry joint on the windows controller board in the door, if your window clicks and groans rapidly, but does not move, or will move after a few seconds, this is your problem!).

1 Complete Exhaust system, but 3 rear sections (Blows holes in rear silencer!).

Front Anti-Roll Bar Bushes.

Rear Disc Pads (due to calipers siezing).

1 Set of rear tires, 2 sets of fronts.

Both main Radiator hoses (Explode under pressure).

Radiator Fan Sensor/Bulb.

Both CV Joint Boots (split due to age).

Electric boot mounted aerial extended and then fell out, required a modifaction to a plastic peice for a cheap and reliable repair).

Sprung a slight water leak that dripped into the front interior under heavy rain, which caused a damp drivers or passenger seat, depending on angle car was parked at. Was caused by a tiny rust hole in the windscreen mounting area and a loose rubber seal. Fixed with silicone and repaired the rust hole.

Engine mounts are a little worn and will need replacing soon to get rid of slight vibration though body at idle with cold engine.

Tappets need regular adjustment (1500 miles) to keep completely silent, Book says 12,000 miles, but I can't stand any tappet noise period! Luckilly is a quick and easy job.

Oil leaks from rocker/valve cover, very common on CA engines, and caused by the silly screws that hold the cover on as the heads wear. Toss those and use bolts instead, so you can get the proper torque down and will never leak again!

Distributor cap, rotor arm and leads all replaced at 120,000 miles to prevent any future ignition issues.

Oil + Filter changed every 3000 Miles (10w40 Semi-Synthetic), Plugs changed every 9000 miles, other filters every 12,000 miles.

EFI Air Regulator ideally should be replaced, although does not cause me any issues (Engine should idle at 1200-1500RPM on a cold start, but only idles at around 900RPM, this is common and caused by the Air Regulator bolted to the inlet manifold which increases air supply to the engine to match the extra fuel during the warm up period, costs around £70. I have not replaced mine because it is not faulty enough, plus I do not have the other usual symptoms caused by it, which are hesistation when accellerating with cold engine, uneven running when cold and stalling when cold).

I think that's it, as you can see it is very little for 70,000+ miles and 6 years motoring. She has never failed an MOT, in fact the VW Dealership where I have it MOT'ed are constantly amazed at her engine, as she produces less emmisions that a brand new VW Polo! (26ppm HCC)

The interior has held up brilliantly, with no significant wear, squeeks or rattles.

The exterior is near mint condition with only a couple of tiny rust spots on the edge of the drivers door, no signs of rust underneath.

She has never failed to start, always in under 1 second, never had any engine or EFI related issues and everything including all the electrics still works.

General Comments:

As I think I covered in the above section, this car has been 100% reliable, and still looks like new when I give the old girl a coat of wax.

The engine is the best CA18ET I have owned (Had silvia's with that engine too), does not burn a drop of oil between changes, never misses a beat and none of that ghastly blue smoke!

Even with 136,000 miles under her belt, she still feels more powerful than her 135BHP would suggest, the turbo is origional and still shows no signs of wear. There must be some difference in the programming between the silvia and the bluebird turbo's, because I don't get the same lag with the bluebird as I have with the silvia's, the 8.5 second 0-60 time quoted by Nissan is conservative. I also own a modified Silvia Turbo and a ST185 Toyota GT4, but the bluebird is quicker than them both off the line.

I rarely push her that hard, but there is a rev limiter that kicks in at about 6800RPM which is a good safety device.

Handling is pretty good for the cars size, it tends to slighty understeer when pushed hard which is easilly corrected by backing off the throttle.

Considering it was built in 1987, it is very luxurious, with everything being electric including the suspension stiffness.

If I was going to change it for a similar car of the same age, I would be very hard pressed to find anything that would measure up to its performance, reliability and its equipment levels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2004