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Thread: First Day Car Adventure

  1. #1

    First Day Car Adventure

    Hey Everyone!

    I wanted to say hi as a new member. Today after work I am driving from Colorado to California, with an empty trailer to pick up my new '87 Pulsar NX SE. It's black with a manual and has the SportBak top. It's going to need a lot of TLC but it looks like it's all there and stock.

    I will be using this thread to document the trip and post pics. It's a long trip for a weekend but car adventures are always my favorite kind and because it involves an NX, I thought this would be the perfect place to write about it.

  2. #2


    Here is one of the original pics from the seller's ad. The first stop before getting on the interstate will be a car wash.

  3. #3
    Not so Newbie
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    Can't wait to see the progress on this! My friend sent me the ad and I'm glad I get to see updates. Welcome to the forum!

  4. #4
    EXA/NX Maniac th3infekt3d's Avatar
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    Welcome to the family, keep the legend alive

  5. #5
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Good to see another member on here. Not to active this site anymore due to facebook.

    Plenty of info on this site so if you get stuck have a poke around.

    Also some of us log in here regularly. So by all means ask to

  6. #6
    Well, now that I've had a chance to get the Pulsar home and look it over, I figured I should write about how all this went.

    The Trip - First let me say, I've used a U-haul car hauler hitched to my 2006 Xterra before and it was just fine. I hauled a Ferrari Mondial from Chicago back to Denver and the Xterra did great. This trip was much different. Even though the trailer was empty on the way out to Bakersfield, the mountains and endless inclines between Denver and Bakersfield made this a VERY slow trip. Not to mention I would have to find another way back to Denver once the car was loaded. No way was that Xterra gonna lug the car and trailer back up I-70 though the mountains. I left Denver at 8:00pm and didn't arrive at the seller's house until 2:00pm the next day.


  7. #7


    By the time I arrived at the seller's house, I was exhausted. This place was out in the middle of nowhere...and I mean nowhere. Not even a cell signal. This pic was taken when I was 7 miles from this guy's house.

  8. #8
    Once I arrived it was time to get down to the business of making the deal. The car was up on a trailer. The interior was not as nice as I hoped and the clutch was frozen. The pedal wouldn't even push in at all. The wheels on the car didn't fit either. He said he just put them on to roll it around.

    I did a quick inventory and it looked like it was all there and completely stock. It did say in the ad that it needed a fuel pump. I did want to see the engine turn over and fire before loading it up so I had the guy find a battery and some starting spray. It did fire and sputter for about 10 seconds so i figured that was good enough. I bargained a little on the price and shook hands. The deal was done.









    As you can see the U-Haul isn't the best choice for a small FWD car. All the weight is on the tongue of the hitch. Soon enough I'll have a 20' enclosed car trailer for this sort of thing.
    Last edited by MyersCasa; 7th January 2019 at 12:00 PM.

  9. #9
    After several road sides naps and a long...slow drive through AZ an NM to minimize the mountain pass towing, i was home. I asked a lot from my 190K mile Xterra and it didn't let me down. now to find out what all this little car needed to live again. It hadn't run in about 10 years was my guess.

    - Fuel pump. Once I was able to track one down at one of my local auto-parts stores I was ready to clean out the tank, install the pump and a new battery and give it a try. I also had to fill the radiator with coolant as the hoses were taken off for some reason.

    With a turn of the key the fuel pump kicked on and I could hear it pressurizing the lines.it took a lot of cranking but finally fired. it wouldn't idle but after 5 minutes of feathering the gas it did run on its own. as the temp came up I saw the dreaded greenish brown foam from the radiator fill. Yep...bad head gasket hopefully. Nothing in the oil, it was still clean, just oil in the coolant.

    The next day I found a new slave cylinder for the clutch and replaced it, bled it and started it up again. I was finally able to move the car under its own power for the first time. The wheel bearings and probably the CV joints sound so bad I didn't drive it far but I did get through all the gears. Here are a few "glamor shots" of how it looked before any cleaning was done.








  10. #10
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyersCasa View Post

    I spy a ca18de

    Good work mate. Bit of a trek.

  11. #11
    I wish...it's a 1987 so it should be the CA16DE. Did any '87s come with the CA18?

    Also I was able to find a dash with no cracks, so i can fix that grand canyon.
    Last edited by MyersCasa; 8th January 2019 at 07:45 AM.

  12. #12
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyersCasa View Post
    I wish...it's a 1987 so it should be the CA16DE. Did any '87s come with the CA18?
    Well it has the ca18de intake pipe - the one that goes over the engine to the Throttle body. And the manifold looks to have ECCS on it. so that also would say CA18de. I also cannot see and dropping resistors for the ca16de injectors.

  13. #13
    What's the best way to tell what engine this is? The 1987 U.S. version Pulsar NX SE has the ca16de listed on all the sites I can find. It doesn't look like anyone swapped it. I suppose i need to start really looking at this car and see if it is in fact an '87.

  14. #14
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyersCasa View Post
    What's the best way to tell what engine this is? The 1987 U.S. version Pulsar NX SE has the ca16de listed on all the sites I can find. It doesn't look like anyone swapped it. I suppose i need to start really looking at this car and see if it is in fact an '87.
    Engine number on the block just below the head on the gearbox end (right side)

    As i said above - the intake hard like and intake manifold are CA18de (ECCS=ca18 - NICS=CA16de)

    It also doesnt have the CA16 dropping resistor pack on the firewall (silver thing in the middle of below pic)

    It all looks like a CA18 from the pictures you put up. So im 99.99% sure ca18 - if so well done

    This is what a ca16de looks like

  15. #15
    You have a good eye, that's for sure. Everything you mentioned is dead on. I'm going to check the engine number and do a VIN check tonight when I get off work.

  16. #16
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyersCasa View Post
    You have a good eye, that's for sure. Everything you mentioned is dead on. I'm going to check the engine number and do a VIN check tonight when I get off work.
    having roughly 11 of these cars you learn to spot everything. Yet im still learning. But yeah im sure its a ca18de ;P

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf4107 View Post
    having roughly 11 of these cars you learn to spot everything. Yet im still learning. But yeah im sure its a ca18de ;P
    You are correct fine sir. This car is in fact a 1988 model year. The door plate shows it's birthday in September of 1987. The Nissan VIN decoder I used (took a while to find one that would work for an 80's Pulsar NX) listed it as a 1988 with the CA18DE. Needless to say I am all smiles...well mostly. the fuel pump i bought is for the CA16DE.

    here is the one I used.

    http://en.vindecoder.pl

  18. #18
    EXALATED Smurf4107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyersCasa View Post
    You are correct fine sir. This car is in fact a 1988 model year. The door plate shows it's birthday in September of 1987. The Nissan VIN decoder I used (took a while to find one that would work for an 80's Pulsar NX) listed it as a 1988 with the CA18DE. Needless to say I am all smiles...well mostly. the fuel pump i bought is for the CA16DE.

    here is the one I used.

    http://en.vindecoder.pl
    Nice - fuel pump for a ca16de should still be ok tho.

  19. #19
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