Nissan Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, here is my situation. I'm obviously in need of a more capable platform to play around with. I may have found it, in a 92 SE-R. It's got 85K on it, but the thing that worries me is that it handles differently when turning. It seems to understeer more when turning left, and seems to hook more when turning right. It's not anything tuned out of whack, the car is straight, and in alingment, and the tires are the same brand and size. The car's totally stock except for wiper blades and maintenince/wear items.(brake pads, etc)

I checked the front tire pressure, and they were within 3 lbs of each other. Could it be the diff going south? If so, how expensive is the diff to replace, and what else should I be replacing/upgrading, if the decision to open the tranny case is made?

Btw, one more opinion needed. The owner wants 1200 dollars for it. No dents, paint is still pretty shiny, and the carpet is a bit thrashed, but you can still tell what color it's supposed to be. The seats aren't torn, and everything on the car works.

Good deal? or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
First, for $1200 and as long as it's not full of rust, buy the damn thing. If you don't want it, let me know. For that kind of money, I'll buy another.

As far as it understeering to the left and diving when you turn right... axels, ball joints, cv joints, bushings, struts, springs, etc... any/some/or even all of these can lead to this. None of these should keep you from buying the car... not when it's only $1200.

Is it the differential... no.

This board and others have tons of ideas/ways to fix, upgrade, replace and maintain the car... so, you'll always be able to find what you need.

Buy it, take care of it, and enjoy it.

Later,
Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Mark, I appreciate your replay, and no, there's not a bit of rust I could find on it. Are there hidden spots I need to look for body rot?

The front suspension is in good shape, no clunking, or loose stuff. I had the car elevated on a friend's father's garage lift, and we checked the front suspension, it still seemed pretty tight, and all of the dust boots on it were in good shape & the CV joints weren't making any more noise than should be on a car of that age and mileage.

What's the first thing you'd do, suspension & handling wise? The car has more than enough power for right now. I don't want to make a speedbump crawler, just something that will be a hell of a lot more tossable than my GTP & Crapalier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
There's not a lot of places for rust and rot to hide on the Classics. Double check the rear suspension and exhaust for rust, i.e. around the nuts, bolts and springs.

If you're just going to street drive(even if it's aggressivley) the stock suspension is fine. You will have to replace the bushings and what not. The car is fairly low mileage, but even age will do damage to those parts. Motor mounts will definitely make a difference. Shifter bushings.

But, since the car understeers when you turn left and dives when you turn right... I still suspect that there is a problem somewhere in and around the front suspension. If the current driver whacked a curb or pothole hard enough, one of the fron control arms could be bent. Does the car pull left or right when you brake? Can you take your hands off the steering wheel on the highway w/o the car steering left or right?

Your next best bet is finding someone in your area who already owns an SE-R and is willing to test drive it for you to help pinpoint the problem. Over on the sr20deforum.com, there is a list of areas and states where there are SE-R members. Go over there and see if there is anyone in your area and maybe they can give you more specific help. I know at least 20 members in my area who are always helping each other out.

Still, for $1200, it's a good deal. Oh yeah, also check for 5th gear pop out in the car... car will not stay in 5th gear or even go into 5th. That can be a huge pain to fix.

Later,
Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It dosen't pull to either direction onder any situation, except for aggressive driving, and rapid direction changes(if you saw the road I usually test cars on, you'd understand) and braking, whether it be mild, slow down 600 feet before the Stop sign, or 80 feet from the stop sign & hammering on the brakes like the golden spike.

The car runs like a top. It tracks straight. It's just the understeer/oversteer thing I'm worried about. I tried the same road with a friend in the passenger seat as well(the guy who's father lifted the car for me)he weighs within 15 lbs of me

I don't think the car has been bashed. If an arm has been tweaked, how would I know, especially if the alignment was spot on & if the arm had been replaced? Could the A-Arm bushings have been tweaked?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Hmmmm... well, if it were me and the car runs as well as you say, I'd go ahead and buy it and figure out the problem as you go. Is the steering wheel any more difficult to move in either direction? And as far as I know, you can align a car that has a bad control arm or strut. Unless the steering wheel has a type of "binding" when you turn it to the left, or feels loose when you turn it right, I'm going to guess the problem is actually on the RHS of the car. Without a stabilizer bar in the rear and no front tower stabilizer, the cars tend to understeer anyway... unless you trail brake, something you don't want to do on the street with traffic.

Last guess, check out the front springs/suspension. One side could be much stiffer than the other. One is probably fine, the other shot... not difficult to fix.

I'm probably screwing this all up. The '91 and '92's are pretty much alike. I've got an FSM for my '91 and will double check the suspension components... ok, double checked. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a problem/answer section for the front suspension. But, by just looking at the information and having a good idea what the springs and struts do, I'm going to say either something is binding in the left front strut, or the right front strut is blown or the spring is not on correctly. In other words, when you turn right, and the load bears onto your left side(assuming that strut/spring is good), there is no compensating force on the right side. Hence, the car "dives" into the turn... there is no balance for the weight shift.

Without driving the car, and from your descriptions, that's my best guess. You sound like you know something about cars and have ruled out the click/clack of the cv joint, no leaks or busted boots. The ball joint on either side can become dried out and will sometimes bind, but I don't know that it would cause that problem. Find a speed bump and drive over it with just the front driver side only, then with the front passenger side only... at about 5 to 15 mph. Then see if you notice one side "loading" differently than the other.

Still, for $1200, whatever the problem, I'd buy the car. I absolutely love mine and I'm someone who owned a Honda for 17 years.

Later,
Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The car dosen't bounce like the struts are blown, I tried that by going over some speed bumps, both forward, and reverse, straight and diagonally. We tried pushing down on the center front of the car, as well as the front corners to check rebound. It seemed to settle pretty quickly, but the only thing I had to compare it with was a POS Celebrity I had a loooong time ago that bounced more than an 12 switch Impala on 24 volts.

If, for some reason, someone has bopped a curb with it, and possibly had to change out front suspension components(the car's never been hit up front, 'cause there's no paint overspray on anything, and the fender & bumper fasteners look like there's never been a wrench on them) how could I tell if someone swapped a spring, or a strut from a more pedestrian model with a softer suspension. The springs looked to be the same diameter & length on each side & the car didn't sit higher or lower from one side to the other

[edit] For Vladha, I don't think the car has the 5th gear pop syndrome, I got to drive it around for most of Saturday, and it included a bit of driving on a 4 lane highway. I'll go back and have the car raised again to check for binding in the wheel, and the condition of the ball-joints.

Sorry about the novel Thanks for your help :D
 

·
bitter old man
Joined
·
1,456 Posts
If you can, try swapping the front tires side-to-side and see if the car behaves differently.

Also, YOU may be the handling difference. Many motorcyclists note that they can turn harder in one direction versus the other. Reasons are many and varied. I can turn harder to the left than the right as evidenced by tire scuff marks. In the car, I do better in left hand turns while autocrossing because it's easier to gauge my proximity to the cone(s). Something for you to consider.
 

·
No Nissan Yet
Joined
·
139 Posts
are the front tires mismatched? meaning is the LF tire different than the RF tire? two different treads could cause this. also, i would bring this to a mechanic and put it on a lift to see if it has been tweaked or a control arm bushing is worn.

what you can do with a friend is bring a tape measure. from center of front wheel to center of rear wheel measure the wheelbase. do the same on both sides. they should be exactly the same. if not, it has been in an accident or somebody has hit potholes with it.

dont forget to check bodyline gaps and check the front headlamps to see if they say Nissan on them. if not, it has been hit the front. GOOD LUCK!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top