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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new poster, but I have searched around quite a bit before registering and posting.

The story:

A friend of mine mentions to me that he has a 1995 Nissan 200SX sitting in his driveway, doing nothing since he bought a new car. He was going to literally scrap this car...have it towed and sold for scrap. I am totally new to Nissan, so I would like to ask the experts here about this car, and if I should buy it from my friend for $350. I need a general use vehicle to give my other cars a rest from time to time, and this may be what I am after.

It is a 5 Speed with the 1.6 L GA16DE engine, 110,000 miles, and generally not taken care of. Cosmetically, it needs a little work. The parts I would need off the bat are:

Front grill, Driver-side Mirror, Passenger front seat belt, the heater switch resistor (only setting 4 works..found that here too), front right corner assembly for the driving light and t-signal, and the muffler is disconnected from the pipe that runs to the front of the car...and I don't know if that is easy to repair on this car or not.

I have found most of these parts for quite cheap..so I don't mind the minor cost there. Also, parts store links are welcome.

He would go 25,000-30,000 miles at some points without an oil change, which is extremely stupid, but the situation is what it is. The car sat for 6 months, through a Michigan winter and started on the first turn, so it seems strong to some degree. I couldn't drive it yet, but from just starting it and moving through the gears, the clutch felt tight and the gears didn't clunk or grind in any way...so I think the clutch and tranny are OK.

My friend is totally honest about the history of the car, what works and what doesn't, and that he has never been stranded on the side of the road or had engine problems of any kind. One consideration is that the car doesn't have to last me 100,000 miles, but there is a possibility it could if I can get involved and take care of it well from this point on.

My biggest concern and main deterrent is that the car has an oil leak, so he states, and I assume it is the front gasket that I have found to be a common problem with this car from reading this informative site. I am not a mechanic, but I am mechanically inclined, so I think I could handle that part of it..but if not I know enough mechanics who could.

So, my main question is:

What should I look for specifically that should make me avoid this car totally? Are there other bad oil leaks that could be far worse than the common one? Considering the $350 price, and the fact that the only things that need addressing mechanically are the oil leak...I would like to hear your opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1.6pete said:
i would say for $350 you cant go wrong. and even with the engines history its still worth the cash. i would buy it just because of the tranny. i have the sentra with the same engine but an auto and a tranny swap would cost about $500+all the time it would take me. so get the car, and if need be swap in a new GA, they are quite cheap. or swap in an SR20 later down the road. but for the time being it is an extrmly reliable car.
Cool...I appreciate the info. Do you guys have any links or ideas for the misc. parts I have listed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep...found some real cheap stuff on Ebay so far...

...now the wife is giving me grief over the 200SX..."We don't need that".

I don't remember this being a joint decision, however. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wildmane said:
If you buy the 200sx, you'll be very angry at your wife for saying "We don't need that." :thumbup:

I would totally snag that thing for $350
Yeah...I make decisions with reason and logic, while she makes decisions with emotion and hairspray.

We both lease cars, and at $0.15 per mile over the lease agreement of 12000 miles per year, she alone will cost us $1000 by the end. This has never been a problem, but an employer change now forces her to drive extra miles.

Besides, who doesn't want a car to mess around with, and one to take the wear and tear out of the other vehicles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
WRXrob said:
nice. Your story sounds similar to mine, except I paid $2000 from a friend to buy my 96 200SX SE 5sp with 130K miles almost 2 years ago.

The oil leak he mentioned may be a leaky rear main seal. When I bought mine, I knew of various cheap problems (that was one of them). Thankfully the car has lasted me 40K miles (170K now) with no major problems other than needing a new clutch at 163K.

These are great beater cars. Many desired creature comforts, and GREAT gas mileage, cheap insurance, all for a very low price, especially in your case.

Congrats!
Yeah, I am going to really comb it through this weekend and then decide on it.

From what I gather...are any of the possible oil leaks "life-threatening" to the engine as they pertain to this car? I don't know where it is yet, but I would like to know if a specific one is a slam-dunk for a major problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Kindfiend said:
You searched and know quite a bit about this car, which is an excellent start. The only thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is the timing chain tensioners. There are two of them, and they tend to wear out by 100k. The upper one is easy to replace, the lower involves many hours of labor just to get to it. If let go, the chain can wear into the timing cover. Nothing life threatening however.
The timing chain stuff...I saw a little about that, but I will make sure to check it out.

I come from a long line of Hondas...a loooonnngggg line, and it is virtually impossible to find anything in a lower price range that both runs and is a good deal.

The thing about me, however, is that I don't really get involved in car vs. car, rice vs. muscle, Ford vs. Chevy vs. Honda vs. Nissan vs. Acura, etc...I like to think I have matured beyond that.

I look for consistent reliability and for the history of both Nissan and Honda, I don't think I could go wrong either way in this case. This case, however, will be much cheaper in the Nissan world this time around, so here I am.

My current cars:
2003 Civic Si
2004 Civic EX
-former cars
2001 Civic EX
1993 Civic Hatch
1989 Accord
1987 Prelude
1985 Prelude

These were all owned in the last 7 years or so. Some were modded, some were not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I called my buddy last night and tried to get more info on the oil leak.

He said that from 4 quarts, it would have to be refilled in 2 to 3 weeks, and that oil does not spill on the ground. That sounds like an awful lot of oil consumption...I didn't read anywhere the average rate at which these leaks will consume oil...but that can't be normal, is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
1.6pete said:
if you have a good car now, just buy the 200 and rip it open, dick around with it on the week end and by the time your lease is up it should be running like a clock. the body its self is worth at least $350, then if you just put a fresh/rebuilt engine in it you should be set for quite awile. and out of many of the beater ass ecno boxes i think the sentra/200sx has a good looking interior, its a nice deep charchol color instead of that awful milky grey.
Hmm..maybe. I am sure not too excited about that oil leak news. The last thing I need is to be screwing with it constantly.
 
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