Hardbody Success Story - Nissan Forum
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#1 Old Nov 5th, 2012, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Auburn, WA USA
Posts: 20
Hardbody Success Story

Recently, I bought an '88 HB from an older lady near Tacoma, WA. It had 131,000 original miles on it. Had a nice Sony stereo with the faceplate, but she said the radio didn't work. Idle was a little up and down, but you could tell the clutch was new, brakes were brand new, and the motor was solid. No smoking, no noise, plenty of power. She also said it hadn't been driven in more than a year except for a start-up every couple of months.

I get this truck home and a few things go wrong. Idle gets worse, engine light comes on (code was for the EGR) and then I noticed all the tuneup parts were pretty old. Also a slow drip from the front of the water pump.

Shop says: 'Your manifold gasket is bad. Your EGR is bad.' They charged me $120 to tell me this, then said it would be another $450 to fix, plus the cost of the EGR.


I limp this truck back to my house and start paying for new parts instead. I got to work. Here's what happened:

New intake manifold gasket installed.
New wires and plugs, cap and rotor.
New battery.
New EGR solenoid.
Radio fixed. You gotta snap in the faceplate correctly.
Changed oil.
Replaced a ton of hoses with new ones, and ditched the stock clamps for modern ones.
New water pump, flush cooling system.
Engine light goes off, does not return.

I'm taking it to a different shop now for the final tweaking for the emission controls. Shouldn't be much, it runs pretty good now.

Did all this work in two days. And this is my first Nissan since a 720D I owned back in 1996. My last car was a Suburu 4WD wagon, a 1987. They will go anywhere, but I wouldn't have another one. Ever try to work on those boxer engines? Tough.

Last edited by SciFiGuy; Nov 5th, 2012 at 10:29 PM.
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#2 Old Nov 6th, 2012, 08:38 AM
I Live Here
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: PHX AZ
Posts: 3,074
Good job! is it a 4cyl or V6?
#3 Old Nov 8th, 2012, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Auburn, WA USA
Posts: 20
Z24i, four-cylinder.
#4 Old Nov 8th, 2012, 08:11 AM
I Live Here
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: PHX AZ
Posts: 3,074
I have a 86.5 with a Z24I, its been a good truck...
#5 Old Nov 9th, 2012, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Auburn, WA USA
Posts: 20
There are still two small issues with this truck. First, there is a slow drip leak coming from the water pump. I'm going to fix that by switching out the pump this weekend. The other is a slow drip leak (running or not running) that comes right around where the water temp sensor is installed under the thermostat housing. I'm 95% sure this isn't because of a cracked manifold.

I was wondering if it is possible to develop a leak where the temp sensor goes into the manifold...seems to come from there.
#6 Old Nov 9th, 2012, 03:51 AM
NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
smj999smj's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Prospect, VA
Posts: 6,375
COuld be leaking past the threads of the sensor or through the sensor. There are also some coolant hoses in the area, IIRC, that you may want to confirm are not leaking.
#7 Old Nov 9th, 2012, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Auburn, WA USA
Posts: 20
Thanks. I will check that and post the results when I finish.
#8 Old Nov 10th, 2012, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Auburn, WA USA
Posts: 20
Once I drove it for a while, both leaks stopped for good. Don't ask me to explain it. Maybe all those gaskets I installed needed a chance to 'set' or something. In any case, everything is good now. Ran it 300 miles today with no problems.

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