Well what comes after ice racing, rallycross, winter road rally? It's time for something a little different, and that something is what some call "soft roading" That's mild off roading that a compact 4WD car can handle. So I headed out today on a reconnaissance run, to sample some seasonal roads and off-road trails for an upcoming 4WD compact car adventure run next month. I have a few fellow compact 4WD car guys that will join me. One has a cool '91 Civic RT 4WD wagon and another a Suzuki SX4. I found exactly the type of roads/trails I was looking for. They were challenging enough where you had to pay attention to avoid the rockadillos to stay damage free, but not beyond the capabilities of a compact 4WD car.
I had to pay attention and be careful not to bottom out in some areas.
There were a few streams that flowed across the road to make it interesting.
That huge boulder is about five times the size of the car!
I didn't see another vehicle out there all day That's good because in some sections there aren't alot of places to turn around. If two cars met from opposite directions, someone would have to back up.
The idea was to get out today before the big storm this week. [For historical purposes - this was two days before Hurricane Sandy arrived in the northeast.] I would imagine that these roads will be flooded by Monday night.
As I explored another "trail" this weekend, I got out and cleared the occasional rocks/boulders that impeded my path. However, under the leaves there was one pointed rock that stuck up just a bit too far for my undercarriage. In the front it nicked the sway bar [no damage] but in the rear it grazed one of the rear control arms. It felt like just a small scrape from inside the car but when I got home I saw this:
The 4WD wagon has some very light gauge steel rear control arms. I straightened it out with a hammer and a dolly, then prepped it for strengthening.
I cut out a template from a cereal box to transfer to some steel plate that I will weld onto the arms to "box" them in.
Finished boxing in the lower control arms today. There is one downside to stregthening these arms: if I hit anything susbstantial again, it could damage something larger - like the crossmember. I may add some angled deflector flanges to help the arm deflect up and over the object.
I was thinking today about how the Tercel 4wd's guys have thier own forum - just for the 4WD Tercels no less! The Toyota All-Trac wagons and Civic wagons both have their own forums. Heck even Subaru Justy's have their own forum. And they are all thriving.
But there is no 4WD Sentra forum. Frankly I'm not sure there are enough of us out there to warrant even having our own forum. This thread is clearly the most complete source of information for the 4WD B12 Nissan Sentras on the internet. I'm pretty surprised at the lack of participation here. It seems like an extremely small community.
The first northeast USA 4WD Compact Car Adventure went great! The two local Suzuki SX4's did not show up, so it was an all old-school turnout of compact 4WD cars last weekend.
The Historic Subaru forum's Paul S. easily took the honors for the most historic entry with his '78 Subaru 4WD wagon. Paul and his son Luke drove out 2 3/4 hours from Bridgeport, CT.
Seeing one of these in the snowy salt belt of the northeast is quite a rarity these days.
After meeting up in West Sand Lake, NY we headed straight for the hill climb portion of the event. For some reason pictures don't portray depth of field very well, or in this case how steep the angle of the climb was, but hopefully this will give you an idea of the length of the hill.
Mark's '91 Civic Real Time 4wd Civic wagon powers up the hill.
Another Historic Subaru forum standout [Subafreak] Jesse N. was next up the hill in his clean '85 Brat.
Next we headed out into the woods.
Jesse's Brat clearly had the best ground clearance of all of us. Nothing on this trail bothered the Brat!
Just before the lunch break I placed my Subway meatball sub on my valve cover to warm it up. I wanted to wire it to the turbo heat shield, but forgot the aluminum foil! It still worked out pretty well though.
A good time was had by all and by the end of the day no one got stuck or had any mechanical problems.
I put this together as part of a thread featuring Compact 4WD cars and this is the 4WD Sentra portion of the write up.
Fourth in the series, this week's featured vehicle is the Nissan 4WD Sentra wagon.
The first US market [B12] model Sentra available with 4WD came out in 1987. Prior to this all Sentras were FWD. These models featured an electrically activated single-range transfer case to drive the independently suspended rear wheels, making the car a selectable four-wheel-drive vehicle. The '87 and '88 models were identicle and used a push button in the shift knob for the part time 4WD system.
There is a 4WD indicator light on top of the steering colum that illuminated when the system was engaged. The sytem was then locked with a 50/50 split of power to the front and rear axles. All four tires had to match in size for the system to fuction correctly. If tires were mismatched the system had a lot of trouble switching modes. I read that Nissan got tired of the warranty complaints of people who didn't rotate their tires or simply didn't have a matched set causing problems when switching in and out of 4WD. So in it's final year in 1989 Nissan changed the design to a full time 4WD system by adding a viscous center differential coupling to the rear of the transfer case. They did this by deleting the solenoid actuation system for the transfer case shifting and simply leaving it in 4WD mode full time. There was no actual 1990 model. Nissan simply sold the leftover 89's as '90 models.
The '87 and '88 models both used the 8 valve E16i SOHC engine with throttle body fuel injection for 70 h.p. The 89's used a 12 valve GA16i engine that made 90 h.p. Both were 1.6 liters.
I just wanted to point out that the price stated in this picture can't be right. I don't see how any B12 Sentra ever cost almost $22-k. I have a window sticker from an '87 GXE wagon [FWD] that was only $10,548.
Does anyone know what our 4WD models cost when new? It can't be double what a FWD model was.
Hi Folks, Here's my first post - I have a 1989 Sentra Wagon XE. I picked it up in Portland a year ago with only 100,000 mi. Sold new in Portland, OR. Now it's driving around Northern CA. I Had no idea what the heck I was getting into with this thing! I bought it without a rear window... the previous owner had replaced the back glass with poly carb (plastic) - I didn't think too much about that until I found out just how rare these things are. Now the PolyCarb is cracked all over and leaking like heck. I can't for the life of me find a replacement window for her and she's starting to mold! There are a myriad of recent problems popping up for me, but, I like the car and want to keep it on the road! The car is starting to bounce around on the road like a drunk bouncy ball every time I hit a bump and the 5th gear wants to pop out every time I give it a lill too much gas (It's fine if I hold the shift nob up in 5th the whole time I am driving in 5th) Well... I may have found glass for the rear but it is from a 89 wagon w/o a wiper. Now, there seems to be some kind of distinction between the model that feature a wiper and the model that does not....
THE BIG QUESTION IS: Will a rear window from a 1989 Nissan Sentra Wagon w/o wiper fit into a 1989 Nissan Sentra Wagon w/ wiper?
Welcome to the forum. The quick answer to your question is yes, the non rear wiper glass will fit your hatch. It really doesn't matter because the wiper motor's shaft does not go through the glass at all. So any '87 to '90 Sentra wagon hatch glass will work - be it front wheel drive or 4WD.
It's rare that anyone would need a new rear hatch glass. My guess is that someone put something that did not fit into the cargo area and tried to close the hatch with part of it sticking out.
It might be easier to buy the entire rear hatch and just swap it to your car. What color is your car?
Hey Mike, Thanks for the help! My car is the same red color as your wagon picture in the first northeast USA 4WD Compact Car Adventure. I found a sentra wagon in Portland at a junk yard with the glass but it is blue and w/o the wiper. Might have to take the long drive up in a few weeks to pick that up.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.