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Old 11-02-2014, 09:01 AM   #1
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Kingtal0n's Unofficial guide to buying a 240sx

This is a rough draft, I made it to help folks find the right car, hope it helps

You can download software I made, for 97/98 240sx, to generate an estimate of it's value:
http://www.megafileupload.com/91o0/240sxestimation.zip



It was written from the perspective of a poor college student who desires a reliable daily driver that will maintain its value in the long-term, and also provide a solid foundation for a future project


Unofficial 240sx diagnosis for purchase flowchart
For all Original Parts
240sx Chassis, generally 1997-1998 USA


Body:
-Garage kept status (Good dashboard, unfaded interior, should also have original paint and no unacceptable rust)
Original paint
-Car sat in the sun, paint is original but faded (still a very good thing, because wherever you see original paint, you can bet there has been no body work and thus no accidents.)
-Car sat in the sun, but was repainted (paint job should be a few years old and holding up well. Beware of anything freshly painted)
-Paint job is a few years old but does not seem to be holding up well. Also, paint job was done around the same time the car switched owners. (bad sign. Car might have been wrecked, fixed, painted, sold.

Original engine
-Are you sure ?
All vin tags in place
Missing vintags in order of importance: (Hood, front support, trunk , fenders, doors, bumpers)

Leaking anything besides oil (Transmission, differential; power steering does not count they all should leaking PS or you will be suspicious)
-Frame rails are good (you can live with it )
-Frame rails are excellent (better than you would hope for or expect DESIRED)
-Frame rails are mint (nearly perfect, no malicious jacking no dents RARE)
Doesn’t leak water into the sides of the trunk (good sign it was never hit in the rear, lights not removed)
-Basically Accident free
-Accident free

Engine and underhood:

All original clips and wiring no modifications
missing some clips that hold down the air intake tube AND more than 100,000 miles
Oil looks clean after an oil change.
-Under valvecover fairly clean (oil is not super bright and clear but there is no oil sludge buildup visible)
-Under valvecover extra clean (no sludge, camshafts clean, no black oil sitting on top of the cam caps)
-No oil leaks (a little from the valvecover is ok)
-No obvious obnoxious silicone protruding from anything (no repairs, original parts)
Original bumper hardware, nothing missing
*Original headlight hardware, original headlight “cut-off” and proper alignment of lights




Engine has:
Under 150,000 miles (2-3 more years of service)
Under 120,000 miles (4-5 more years of service)
Under 75,000 miles (6-7 more years)
Under 50,000 miles (7+ years of service left)

An OEM KA24DE engine should go at least 150,000 miles or more (sometimes 180,000+) without needing any major repair. You should expect to replace it around 180,000-220,000 miles, but some can go even farther.
Minor repairs include: valvecover gasket, water pump/thermo, radiator & hoses, vacuum lines, clutch fan, a/c gas refill)

Chassis has:
200,000-220,000 miles (look for replaced suspension components, check the inner tie rods and shocks)
150,000-200,000 miles (shocks, also check the differential if there is oil in it, and what does it look like)
100,000-150,000 miles: (TC-rods are bad between 60k-120k)
Under 100,000 miles: mostly original suspension parts. Tie rod ends could be halfway shot by 40K.
Under 50,000 miles: very unlikely. Rare.
For all chassis, you would like the inner tie rods to be original and unbent.


Interior

Original carpet is nearly mint (drivers side is almost like new, RARE)
Original carpet in excellent condition (drivers side especially is in good condition with no holes)
Original carpet in good condition (drivers side has a tear from use but overall carpet is nice
Original floormats clean (somewhat rare)
Original uncracked dash (valuable and rare)
Uncracked but somebody changed the dash (original one may have sat in the sun, or the airbag went off)

All visible electronic components (such as relays and wiring under the dash clearly visible) is OEM/clean
Dash is cracked from the sun or any other reason
Cluster is original and works (carfax verified)
Door locks work
Windows work
Windows seal up nearly completely (drive at 80mph and check for rustling) rare


What generally doesn’t matter:

Interior: Switches, buttons, plastic panels, center console, radio, plastic trim, door panels, speakers, seats, carpet (most of these things are available and affordable)

Exterior: everything matters
Original “Mud Flaps” (flimsy plastic panels around the tires) are intact and all plastic clips are in place (describe) rare


Drivetrain inspection points assuming original parts, check for maintenance of:
steering rack condition (describe)



power steering lines (describe)



sway bar, control arms, all end link rubbers, check for accident / curb contact (describe)



dirt and filth under the hood? Condition of chassis underhood paint including hood and insulation? (describe)



signs of pressure washing or strong solvent use under the hood to remove filth? (describe)



State of “everything else”:
Items such as driveshaft, engine mounts, most brackets, should hold up until you would normally replace them anyways such as during an engine swap. Most OEM 240sx components last as long as the engine. The catalytic converter may be ruined inside due to age and often needs to be replaced.

Rust anywhere? Describe


What often rusts that is not a big deal: exhaust parts and brackets close to the heat of the exhaust. Original Brake master cylinder often rusts. Subframe may develop a very slight surface rust that should appear minimal and slight, especially around the output shafts of the differential. Many bolts and nuts under the hood will develop a slight rust as well. Sunroofs in many 240sx have rust also.


You should restore a protective coat to anything that appears to be actively rusting away. WD-40 is a temporary fix but a permanent solution should be found. If it is a bolt, replace the bolt. If it is a washer or bracket, replace that. The subframe and differential can be changed easily as well.

Trunk area:
Check the corners of the trunk for water. Check under the spare tire for water.
Water In the trunk is often due to leaking rear lights, which often indicates that they have been removed at some point. Sometimes for paint, but other times for accident repair.
Look carefully at the seam glues, they are the best indicator for repairs. Clean factory glues all the way around is desirable.

Look at the insides of the body panels (quarter panels) for accidents and body work. A quarter panel is very difficult to replace and as such many accidents require body work in that area as opposed to replacement of whole quarter panels. Often the factory will make small seemingly pointless spot welds on the inside near the center, this is normal. (include picture)

Check the rear light wiring and make sure all of the clips and loom is intact. The 240sx rear light wiring should not ever be removed and it should survive just fine for 20+ years. Any signs that someone has tampered with the wiring indicate that there was a reason to remove or re-wire the rear lights which may have to do with an accident. Painting the vehicle should not require removal of that wiring.

Remember, we can change the seats, dash(debatable), carpet, door panels, plastic trim, transmission, engine, engine wiring harness, differential, rear subframe, outer tie rods, steering rack bushings, Tension control rods, hubs, windshield, hood, trunk, spoiler, exhaust, most plastic clips, (add more) EASILY.

What we cannot change easily or cheaply (would not want to have to change):
Inner tie rods (preferable), Lower Control arms, headlights, body panels, core support, steering rack (debatable), frame rails, any under car damage and dents, firewall, under dash components, mounting supports/locations for headlights, original bumpers and bumper hardware (debatable), steering shaft, A/C related hardware (besides lines off the compressor), rust or accident damage,

If any of that is damaged or ruined chances are the car is permanently ruined (with respect to original-ness , daily driver status, or high dollar minimal modification builds *clarify). Once its been wrecked or hit, yes bodywork can be done, but rarely will anything line up the way it used to, and even if it does, there is no way to truly hide body work from a professional eye unless its all done exactly like the factory does it- Which is possible, but very expensive and rare, which is not likely for a 240sx as the cost of a repair like that would often be more than the car is worth.







4-lug / Base (will be lighter and faster in the long run) personal preference
5-lug / SE (heavier, spoiler, options) personal preference

How to approach the 5-lug conversion on a 4-lug 240sx:
Many people are selling “5-lug conversions” that cost around $200-$500, but NOT all conversions are equal. You do not want the spindle/bearing from 240sx here in the USA for your conversion due to mileage concerns and brake size. The ideal 5-lug for the front comes from a Japanese S14/S15 Silvia because it will often have low miles and large brakes and the cost is similar to the high mileage tiny brake conversions you find here in the USA.
As to the rear, when the time comes to upgrade the engine, a great option is use an S15 sr20det and get the complete subframe from the Japanese S15 silvia to get the 5-lug, low mileage wheel bearings/axles/control arms, and low ratio differential for the six speed transmission. You also get fresh subframe bushings usually.
The idea is to use low mileage OEM components to push the 240sx chassis to 350,000+ miles reliably.
Keep in mind:
Even if the car is already 5-lug, you will usually still desire to change the spindles/brakes/subframe anyways due to mileage related wear and tear.






Unofficial 240sx diagnosis for purchase flowchart
For swaps, 240sx Chassis



Attention to details during the swap:
Wiring first. It was done somewhere, look at it. Can you find it? Is there a lump in the harness at one of the ends? Heatshrink was used, right? Does it look professional?

Intercooler plumbing. Was it custom or a kit, if so what kit? What brand is the intercooler?

Most kits do not fit perfect, but some are surprising. Any custom work should be obvious and adds value if it is done right. A name brand intercooler adds value as well.

“The Hole for the cold pipe” where is it? How was it cut? Is it protected with rubber and against rust? Is it symmetrical?
Is the battery still in the stock location? Battery relocations are usually not a good sign, completely un-necessary and often done poorly. If it has been relocated, can it be moved back?
Are any ugly holes cut? Look carefully at the firewall, and in the trunk area for “custom” holes.

Is the factory wiring harness grommet intact and complete? If anything was run through the firewall, it should be done in a manner that allows for an easy 100% reversible removal.

Check the air filter. Is it name brand? Is there is a clean mounting bracket? Is the filter being kept in a proper position by something (even napkins work and absorb vibration- the point is does the air filter flop around and vibrate on the chassis or is it stationary and secure and straight somewhere)

You want the original clutch fan, you want it clean and there is no oil or grease on the fan or the front of the engine. You want a clean fan shroud with a small space cut out for the a/c dryer. Check for relocated dryers and if so, the quality of the relocation (how are the lines bent?)
If the radiator is an aluminum unit, name brands add value. OEM Is desirable but not necessary. Electric fans are ok if they are controlled by a non-invasive high quality controller with redundant fusing and multiple relays (one for each fan).

check the engine for knock off parts. Knock off bypass valve, oil pan, intake manifold, remove value from the engine. OEM parts are preferable for stock engines. OEM T-28 turbochargers are desirable and add value if the compressor wheel appears to be in great condition (looks great and little shaft play)
Original T-25 turbochargers in great condition are rare, and should be left at 7psi to preserve their life.

Is the bypass recirculated? If not, an HKS ssqv authentic bypass should be used on the hot-pipe of most stock engines to provide adjustment-free operation that is acceptable but not optimal. An optimal bypass will be open during idle, recirculated well after the maf, allowing the compressor wheel to freely spin.

Check the oil color, look under the valve cover for black oil sitting on the cam caps. Check the cam lobes for scratches. Watch that oil comes out of every orifice that it should. Low mileage sr20det engines have very clean oil, even after 2000-3000 miles of operation. Every 25,000 miles a little black oil will accumulate on the camshaft caps and could be cleaned when you change the valvecover gasket to reset the “service interval”.

Look for oil leaking at the front main, and for oil dripping out of the transmission bellhousing. While the front main is fairly easy to change if you have experience and tools, the rear main is not as easy.

Is the ECU properly mounted? A properly mounted ECU is rare, and a sign that whoever did the swap is probably taking the time to do it right (pride in ownership)

Is the Igniter properly mounted (if applicable)? Same thing here, it isn’t necessary but it indicates that somebody is paying more attention to detail and adds potential value to the entire swap.

Is the clutch damper intact? And if not, how was it removed? Often if it is removed, somebody will bend the line in an ugly fashion, this is undesirable and removes value. You would like to see the damper installed and un-touched, because it gives you the clean factory lines to work with, and the option to remove it yourself in a clean fashion at a later date.

Is the transmission to exhaust hanger installed? This critical piece is absolutely necessary; all four 12mm bolts should be installed with the tension pulled away from the rear (keeping the turbocharger from any strain due to the exhaust system). Seeing this intact is just like seeing the ECU properly mounted; it means whoever did the swap knew better than to leave it off.

Does the car have Z32 rears? If so, follow the E-brake cable carefully to see how it was run/mounted (is it safe?) You don’t want a car with no e-brake, or half of an e-brake.

Look at the power steering hardlines behind the crossmember to see if they are bent up. When you install an engine into a 240sx it is common for these lines to get bent up. This is another indicator about the quality of the install, and helps to decide if this is the right car or not; If you see a floating ecu, a zip-tied igniter, a flopping around air filter, questionable wiring, bent PS lines, a missing trans-exhaust mount, the swap was done cheaply/poorly and I would walk away.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:15 AM   #2
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Cool idea man, this reminds me of my turbo KA tutorial. 240's have been around so long at this point, you could probably create quite a comprehensive guide to everything and anything you want done on one.

Some constructive feedback, starting your guide with info on the 4 to 5 lug swap reads a little odd. Maybe talk more about the car wikipedia style first, then what to look for in a 240, common problem areas, then maybe tips and tricks?
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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The 5lug swap needs to be moved down to the swap section.

All of this information is subjective. It's nice to have the information in one spot, but it is all on this site as it is.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmaddock View Post
Cool idea man, this reminds me of my turbo KA tutorial. 240's have been around so long at this point, you could probably create quite a comprehensive guide to everything and anything you want done on one.

Some constructive feedback, starting your guide with info on the 4 to 5 lug swap reads a little odd. Maybe talk more about the car wikipedia style first, then what to look for in a 240, common problem areas, then maybe tips and tricks?
When I think of looking for a 240sx, the first thing I notice about the car is the 4 or 5 lug wheels on it. If I was intending to drive the car stock, I would probably just leave the 4-lug on it, but thats usually because I am trying to avoid the swap, especially on the rear. It just isnt fun knocking those things off. So I figured it would be of primary interest / importance to the buyer to consider the car as a possible future 5-lug, or a permanent 4-lug car. If I was going to buy a 4-lugger and change it over to a 5-lug, I would do it RIGHT AWAY, and knowing how to approach it is important; Many folks will do a quick search and find the knock off hubs for cheap and figure it an easy job.

nevertheless, no two people think alike, and I can already see its going to be a common curiosity leaving it up top. So noted, Ive moved it down quite a bit

Feel free to re-arrange it, by no means is this any kind of set in stone final draft paper. Its just basically a nice list of things you can take with you to look at a car. How many times Ive gone to see a car and forgotten to examine a specific point on that car properly, because there are just too many things.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_ss View Post
The 5lug swap needs to be moved down to the swap section.

All of this information is subjective. It's nice to have the information in one spot, but it is all on this site as it is.
Well, I have yet to see in all my years on the internet, of anyone talking about the quality of a swap with respect to things like exhaust hangers and air filter brackets and bent PS lines. I think attention to detail goes a long way and many folks over look these tiny aspects, i.e. whether the igniter is bolted down or not is not a big deal; however, whether or not the original swapper thought it was a big enough deal to do, IS a big deal.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:02 PM   #6
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yeah ok. 240 for sale that fit this criteria: 0
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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good thread, hopefully this will stop some one from making another "is this 240sx for sale fairly priced"

also, explian PS leaking.. im aware its common, my s14 lost PS fluid and i had to top off once or twice a year
isnt it a closed system? couldnt the owner of said 240 have fixed that problem, why should you be suspicious ?
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviasandbeer View Post
good thread, hopefully this will stop some one from making another "is this 240sx for sale fairly priced"

also, explian PS leaking.. im aware its common, my s14 lost PS fluid and i had to top off once or twice a year
isnt it a closed system? couldnt the owner of said 240 have fixed that problem, why should you be suspicious ?
Well I always joke that you should be suspicious of any 240 that does not leak PS fluid because that is simply unnatural. Just like the front main on a high mileage KA should leak oil.

If it was fixed, then work has been done, which means you had better inspect it (be suspicious, ask the owner). If the owner says "no I never touched it" then somebody else did, and what else did they do? Its like finding out of the car was in an accident but the current owner has no idea it had happened. The moral here is to always be watchful for anything that is amiss, or abnormal, and a 240 that doesnt leak PS fluid is abnormal and should be carefully inspected in those areas. I might check to see if the two major brackets that hold the PS high pressure line are in place, the one by the crossmember that also supports the cooling loop for instance. It's a sign work has been done, and wherever there is work, there may be hidden defects.



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yeah ok. 240 for sale that fit this criteria: 0
Hah, true they are rare.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:47 PM   #9
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sweet, thanks! ill print this up and take it with me next time im in the market for a s14
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:32 AM   #10
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It's a sign work has been done, and wherever there is work, there may be hidden defects.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:08 AM   #11
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Maybe even throw in some fundamental stuff, like taking a compression tester to look at the car. I also like to take a cylinder leak-down tester and my Consult USB cable with my laptop to get a really good idea of the engine's bill of health without disassembling some stranger's car all that much, especially since all those things are not only cheap, but very valuable to just own for your own cars as well.

- Compression tester (~$14 shipped ebay, ~$24 Autozone)
- Cylinder leak down tester ($39 HarborFreight)
- Consult USB cable ($25 shipped ebay)
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:50 AM   #12
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Also, if a car does not have a clean title or the mileage is exempt. Beware. The car could have 900k on it for all you know and a seller will NEVER be honest about the true mileage even if they do know.

Just me $.02
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:55 PM   #13
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Damnit, crazy ass Kingtal0n is at it again...

Quote:
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Also, if a car does not have a clean title or the mileage is exempt. Beware. The car could have 900k on it for all you know and a seller will NEVER be honest about the true mileage even if they do know.

Just me $.02
Most states exempt mileage after 10 years of a car's production date... This means (since 2008) ALL 240sx would be exempt.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:05 AM   #14
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Here's a tid bit for you all...

You arent buying a collector car, you're buying a NISSAN 240SX. Its a cheap car made of flimsy metal and lots of plastic. It came with a slightly improved truck motor.

The other day I went to visit a friend who showed me an S13 that was recently purchased for cheap. By cheap, I mean about 500 bucks. The entire car was fucked... front end collision, poorly repainted, nasty interior, the works. They claimed it was purchased as a "project car."

Here's a fun fact for you. If you want to convert -400 dollars into -4000 dollars (or more), buy a beatup piece of junk like our cars and try to make a project out of it.


If you're going to buy a 240SX, its no different than any other car on the planet. Things like service records will show that the owner actually had the car maintained. A clean interior will show that the vehicle does not have 900,000 miles.

You can sit here and talk about leaky power steering and bullshit like that, but in the end... most cars will have over 100,000k (if not more) which means the car is a whore.

Remember folks, where a jimmy cap. The J... the I... the M...
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cbh148 View Post
Maybe even throw in some fundamental stuff, like taking a compression tester to look at the car.
Wooooow This is going straight to the top. Absolutely #1 thing to do especially if the car is swapped, thank you! I can't believe I forgot that one.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:36 PM   #16
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Here's a tid bit for you all...

You arent buying a collector car, you're buying a NISSAN 240SX.


A clean interior will show that the vehicle does not have 900,000 miles.
I think the 240sx will be a collectible antique in the coming 5-10+ years. And the proof is the all original 97's with 50,000 miles selling for $10000+ already. At least, I would rock an antique plate on one and call it an antique, drive it real slow with it's 500bhp 2jzgte automatic and pretend like its crippled. When you consider the limited production, and sheer impact of drifting/swaps on the pool of remaining OEM vehicles...

As to the interior. You can replace the entire interior for under $1000 and make a 240sx look new again inside. That was one of the key features of my guide, I pointed out that we do not care about the interior plastics/panels because they are readily available.

The age really shows up in the rubber under the car, and the frame rails/pinch weld if the car has been maliciously raised over the years.

I feel what really makes the 240 special is it's unique blend of opportunity-potential. You can build a 240 that can pretty much do anything that any other car can do, it has no obvious limitation as a starting point, and it still looks good doing it. And having an enormous aftermarket supply of parts, especially used affordable parts, is of benefit to those of us who are students (hence the guide for students seeking dailys). Heck I've gotten KA engines free just because people "hated" on them...

There are not too many cars out there that you can buy, drive for as long as you want, then re-sell for more than you paid. And that only applies to cars that meet my criterion; hacked up projects obviously don't count. My guide was intended to get you a car that will go up in value, and every bracket/plastic clip counts.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #17
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
I think the 240sx will be a collectible antique in the coming 5-10+ years. And the proof is the all original 97's with 50,000 miles selling for $10000+ already. At least, I would rock an antique plate on one and call it an antique, drive it real slow with it's 500bhp 2jzgte automatic and pretend like its crippled. When you consider the limited production, and sheer impact of drifting/swaps on the pool of remaining OEM vehicles...

As to the interior. You can replace the entire interior for under $1000 and make a 240sx look new again inside. That was one of the key features of my guide, I pointed out that we do not care about the interior plastics/panels because they are readily available.

The age really shows up in the rubber under the car, and the frame rails/pinch weld if the car has been maliciously raised over the years.

I feel what really makes the 240 special is it's unique blend of opportunity-potential. You can build a 240 that can pretty much do anything that any other car can do, it has no obvious limitation as a starting point, and it still looks good doing it. And having an enormous aftermarket supply of parts, especially used affordable parts, is of benefit to those of us who are students (hence the guide for students seeking dailys). Heck I've gotten KA engines free just because people "hated" on them...

There are not too many cars out there that you can buy, drive for as long as you want, then re-sell for more than you paid. And that only applies to cars that meet my criterion; hacked up projects obviously don't count. My guide was intended to get you a car that will go up in value, and every bracket/plastic clip counts.
Good write up, hopefully this will minimize the frequent new threads asking if this or that car is worth it or not.

The main reason the 240sx is priced high is due to the current fad at the moment. It is cool to "DRIFT" and drive a 240sx now. Every trendy fan boy has moved over to drifting and at the moment it is the cool thing to do. Rewind it back 15 years ago when Honda's were the craze and and every civic hatch and integra would fetch a premium. As soon as the hype died down and people realized there were better cars out there for the money prices dropped with the hype. This will eventually happen with the 240sx. I don't see how anyone in their right mind would spend 10k for a stock 240sx when there are many other cars that are just simply far superior for the same money. When you can purchase a S2000, 350z, and G35 for 10k or less it is really hard to see how anyone would chose a 15+ yr old 240sx over those 3 cars.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:05 PM   #19
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In my experience, the interior does matter a lot. It was beyond impossible to find a new interior in Texas (where the sun beats down on everything) and haven't had much better luck in PA. Anything I do find will cost a liver and a left testicle. Obviously, shipping large interior pieces will cost a right testicle; leaving me no choice but to waste a weekend and a few tanks of gas picking stuff up myself. And lets not forget, a new driver's side window switch will cost $250, headlight stalk is $100 and wiper stalk is another $70.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
As to the interior. You can replace the entire interior for under $1000 and make a 240sx look new again inside. That was one of the key features of my guide, I pointed out that we do not care about the interior plastics/panels because they are readily available.
Uhm............ NO. I'm starting to question your credibility here. How about this: lots of parts for our cars are no longer available, ESPECIALLY the interior panels. Besides the fact that these parts were outrageously priced to begin with. Ever lookup the cost of the individual parts of a seat? Its insane. Parts like the dash or door panels have been discontinued forever now.

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In my experience, the interior does matter a lot. It was beyond impossible to find a new interior in Texas (where the sun beats down on everything) and haven't had much better luck in PA.
^ Spoken like a true prodigy.


While I think our cars will carry a value (and go up) with time, I dont think they will ever command the value of cars like the JZA80 Supra, FD RX7... and Z32-TT.

The problem with the 240SX is that in stock form, its a heap. And most of the cars you want to purchase, should be in stock form (ie: unmolested).

I think the only cars that will carry value will be the ones built by the renowned enthusiasts in this community who have documented their builds and put endless amounts of time and money into them.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:07 PM   #21
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Uhm............ NO. I'm starting to question your credibility here. How about this: lots of parts for our cars are no longer available, ESPECIALLY the interior panels. Besides the fact that these parts were outrageously priced to begin with. Ever lookup the cost of the individual parts of a seat? Its insane. Parts like the dash or door panels have been discontinued forever now.
All he does is buy '97/'98 automatic granny owned 240sx and thinks he's found a gold mine.

My opinion, S13's are more of a collector car than an S14 ever will be.

Now if you want a unicorn go find me a mint condition 1989 Lavender Frost coupe with less than 100k miles.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:56 AM   #22
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Am I the only one not bothered with servicing old suspension components?

Tie Rods, ball joints, wheel bearings, LCA's.. its all part of the maintenance with a high milage car, no?
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:15 PM   #23
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Uhm............ NO. I'm starting to question your credibility here. How about this: lots of parts for our cars are no longer available, ESPECIALLY the interior panels.
I guess it depends where you live. Around me, there are at least 5 shops that regularly bring containers back from Japan filled with goodies, including seats and complete doors for instance. You also see for sale, used door panels for $100/pair and S14 seats for $100/pair all day long in the classifieds, carpet is $50~ just clean it up real good. I've done it more times than I can count. The hardest thing to find is a good dash. And this begets the real issue: even if interior were impossible to find, I would still rather buy a car that needs a dash than a new frame rail. The dash you can hold out for an eventually find; the frame rail will never be new again, no matter how long you wait.


Quote:
I think the only cars that will carry value will be the ones built by the renowned enthusiasts in this community who have documented their builds and put endless amounts of time and money into them.
Ah, but see, carry value is different than create profit. Carry value is fine if we invest the time and energy to document our work, true. But that is not a profit margin unless you are buying all the parts at pure cost, going to Japan yourself and bringing back a high cube container full of engines to swap into cars you intend to sell. I've been down that road, you need employees and a shop, a lift, a 3-phase tig, tons of tools and warehouse space, a paint booth etc... and it is a full time job, to be able to swap a car, paint it, and sell it for a decent $3000+ profit, and you have to build five of them per month and actually be able to sell them too.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:20 PM   #24
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All he does is buy '97/'98 automatic granny owned 240sx and thinks he's found a gold mine.
hehe,

# of 240's owned with automatics: 15
# of 240's owned with automatics that generated a profit: 15

I'm telling you, buy one, wear the tires out, steal underpants .... profit

they are too rare though. If I find one every three years thats pretty good. And everyone is figuring it out so the prices keep going up. I had to jump out of my car at a stoplight and run through a busy intersection dodging cars, flailing madly I must have been running 18mph yelling "heyyyyy sell me your carrr!!!" to find the last one.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:26 PM   #25
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Am I the only one not bothered with servicing old suspension components?

Tie Rods, ball joints, wheel bearings, LCA's.. its all part of the maintenance with a high milage car, no?
Yeah, so when you go under the car to do those things, you take pictures of your work and do it right. You wipe everything down until it looks new again. Always keep a set of oem tension rods with good bushings handy for the next car. Never replace an inner tie rod unless you have to. The wheels bearings I have had no trouble with beyond 300k miles on most 240s. Outer tie rods I also usually have a brand new set waiting, they are cheap enough.

Perhaps most importantly, find a shop that aligns real race cars, one that the owner that drives/aligns his own personal race car will also align yours. For some reason (HMM I wonder why) alignment is hard to get right on these cars, especially if lowered.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:54 PM   #26
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Unofficial 240sx diagnosis for purchase flowchart
For all Original Parts
240sx Chassis, generally 1997-1998 USA[/SIZE]
Original engine
-Are you sure ?
All vin tags in place
Missing vintags in order of importance: (Hood, front support, trunk , fenders, doors, bumpers)

Having all the vintags is nice, and likewise with factory glass. There are quite a few vintags on the 97-98 S14. So where on the front support is there supposed to be a vintag? I've never seen or heard of one in that location..
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:52 PM   #27
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Having all the vintags is nice, and likewise with factory glass. There are quite a few vintags on the 97-98 S14. So where on the front support is there supposed to be a vintag? I've never seen or heard of one in that location..
for some reason I thought it was on the bumper support, this is the one I was thinking of. Anyways, the main point is that you are finding them everywhere. Just like parts availability should not throw a wrench into your plans to own a 240, but if you have trouble finding parts, it might sour your attitude a little.


Factory glass is great! another good point to bring up. The original trim around the glass is usually beat up pretty good, nevertheless, I would still prefer to see it there rather than not.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:31 PM   #28
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^Gotcha, that's the one for the front bumper cover. It would be awesome to see some pictures of all the factory vin tag locations etc. in this thread. In my years of working on 240's, I've noticed how detailed so many of the factory parts are marked- certain bolts for each system of the engine can be paint dotted a diffrent color- blue/white/green/red for fuel sys./evap sys./etc. It may not matter to most people, but if you're like me, it's all in the details. Knowing the persnickety details is the best way to tell how hacked up -or- original your car is. Subscribed.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:34 PM   #29
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I commend you for making this thread however I still think you are way to high on pricing 240s period. They are nothing special the technology is outdated, compared to most of the cars on the road sports cars or not. It's sad Nissan quit making the a chassis but move on for the 17k or whatever your trying to get out of one is absolutely ridiculous...for 17k you can get more performance, styling and reliability out of lots of other sports cars.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:40 PM   #30
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Beat up trim means water and debris get in and sit in the sills and rust, not to mention it's unsightly. I'd rather see aftermarket glass with replaced weather stripping as it shows the car is maintained by someone who cares and not just the bare minimum is being done to keep it roadworthy. Plus, who wants a 20 year old pitted windshield? They are awful for night driving. I agree that these are not collector cars so general used car buying rules should apply. The reality is you will pay an inflated price for a nice car but to some people it's worth that to know the car hasn't been owned by an idiot who aspires to be ken block.
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