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Norbert (1995 Nissan 240sx, Kouki Conversion)


Icy13’s Zilvia.net Forums | Nissan 240SX (Silvia) and Z (Fairlady) Car Forum Member Rides
Norbert (1995 Nissan 240sx, Kouki Conversion)
Background and History
So, after 7 years and 5 cities, I finally live in the same place as my 240. Her name is Norbert.

She started as a 1995 Base model in Pearl White bought by my grandparents as the car to get them around San Diego in their retirement. That's right, at 68, my grandfather traded in his AE86 to buy an s14 because he swore he would never own an automatic or a FWD.

When my grandfather passed in 2007, I told my parents not to sell his car. They were like "it's just some old compact, who cares?" Norbert had been sitting for about 2 years at this point and needed new tires. They took him to the tire place around the block, and the guy from the used car dealer next door jogged across the street to try to buy the car off them on the spot. See, I was right to forewarn them. Thankfully, they listened even though they didn't understand.

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So, at this point, we know that Norbert and I have a lot of personal history. She's never going anywhere and that means that a dollar put into this car is a dollar I will never even try to get back. The point of this build is to make the world see Norbert the way I see her, and I see her in the best possible light. Thus, we continue...
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It took me two years to get the car from San Diego to Texas. Once she got to Texas, I began amassing the parts neccessary for a kouki conversion. Again, the point is to make Norbert the best possible incarnation of an s14, and that means kouki. Sorry zenki folks, you know, side by side, 9 out of 10 ophthalmologists agree that shark eyes beat 90's altima eyes.

Over the next two years, I amassed 90% of the parts needed to do the Kouki conversion. By this time, I was living in Chicago and Norbert was stored at my parents house. My Kouki conversion including VersionSelect Front and Sides and a Seibon CF hood were also stored at my parents house. Kudos to them for being awesome when giant packages arrived!

Time passes.

Time passes.

In July of 2013 I move to SF to begin the rest of my life, starting with a PhD at Berkeley in Political Science. My girlfriend and I search for a long term apartment with off-street parking for her car. We find an awesome place in a historic building with reasonable rent (by SF standards). We tell the landlord (hey Paul and Donna, yall rock!) that we are looking for a second parking spot.

Two months pass.

Paul comes runnning down the street one day in October asking if I'm still interested in a second parking spot. Omfg yes!

So, now I have a place to put Norbert, but I need to complete the kouki conversion before shipping her out here because shipping car parts is expensive! I make plans to do the install over the winter holidays in Texas. Thanks a million to my girlfriend who was kind enough to let me fly around the country on a weird itinerary to give me the chance to do the conversion.

January 10th 2013, I've installed everything but the bumper and skirts (going to have the body shop do those), and my dad and I drive across town to the body shop to have the aero installed and the entire car painted KBC09 House of Kolor Organic Green. I picked this color out 4 years previously. It looks like the car is made of solid emerald. Seriously. Best. Green. Ever.

The guy at the bodyshop says it should take a couple weeks, and I fly back to SF to begin the next semester. Two months later, he tells me that the paint is lifting and that he is going to have to go down to bare metal to get the color to hold. No more money, but lots more time. No problem, I live in a city and Norbert is for fun, not for DD.

6 weeks later, he finally finishes painting the car, but decided not to install the turnsignals or front grill. Huzzah. The turn signals he finishes several days later. The grill takes another 6 weeks because, um, I don't know. Steal underpants.....???......Profit?

Anyway, it's now May 21st and my sister is graduating med-school (Wooooooot! Go Dr. Sibling!) so I fly back to Texas to celebrate with her. I finally get to see Norbert in all her emerald green glory.

I fly back to SF, finalize the parking spot agreement, and Norbert is shipped here, arriving on July 22nd.


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Things I've Learned:
  1. FRP fenders are for losers, go metal or go home. Seriously, metal Kouki fenders are like $450 for a perfect new set from the dealer. Just spend the money.
  2. If you can't afford to spend $200 more on something to do it right, don't touch that part of your car. I bought a couple of used parts to save $50 rather than go to the dealer and get the right parts. And they were bent and rusted out of working shape. So I bought the right ones, anyway. Live and Learn.
  3. The JDM S14 steering wheel with airbag will fit. However, the airbag won't hook up. Never remove safety features.

Zilvians to Thank:
  1. KoukiChick - Without her I wouldn't have a hood. And because of her, I went with a vented CF hood that I never would have considered otherwise. Thanks to her and Johny5 for delivery as well.
  2. SimpleS14 - for the Kouki conversion write-up. It's not perfect and had some frustrating small details missing but it's 95% complete which is 110% better than what anyone else has ever done.
  3. TEAMMiSCHiEFS14 - Solved the wiring issue with the Kouki Signals. Unfortunately, the pictures are now broken. I'll make a wiring diagram of how I did it at some point

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Quick Specs
Exterior
  • VersionSelect Type 1 Front Bumper
  • VersionSelect Type 1 Side Skirts
  • Bomex S14 Rear Valences
  • Seibon VSII Style Silver String CF Hood
  • Apex'i Worldsport Noir (Non-Turbo version) exhaust
  • LED Kouki Taillights
  • Angel-Eye Round Fog Lights
  • Custom Bronze Badges (Hood, Tail, and Key Blanks)

Interior
  • JVC Double-Din Touchscreen Header Unit (not too flash, will be replaced when Android Auto gets established)
  • Glass Crystal Shiftknob
  • Custom Shift and E-brake Boots (currently mocked up in green fleece, will eventually be leather)
  • Keyless Entry and Auto-Doorlocks with Trunk Pop(aftermarket)
  • JDM s14 Digital Climate Control
  • Soundproofing

Wheels
  • MB Weapons 17x9 in Bronze
  • Federal ss595 235/45 R17 (yes, I have actual rubber on my wheels)
  • 1991 300zx (Aluminium) Brake Conversion with Functioning e-brake (R33 cables)
  • 5 lug conversion
  • 1990-96 Q45 Spare wheel (aluminium alloy, fits in the spare well, fits over 300zx Calipers)

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More pictures to come. The new paint needs to be waxed and the interior needs to be detailed because of all the dust from the body shop.

Click Thumbnail to Enlarge.
Front, Bright Sun JDM "tight", Yay SF parking!  Makes me feel a little like Japan with the hills and small spaces Three-Quarter View With the temporary red grill.  The green is being repainted.
Gallery Statistics
Member: Icy13
Created: 07-30-2014 02:28 PM
Last Modified: 06-08-2016 06:15 PM
Views: 1587
Images: 4
Comments: 1

Comments
Author Comment Date
jniemeier Very interesting story and a very clean build! I dig it. 12-18-2014
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