Nissan Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Today while looking for an inexpensive commuter car I came across a couple of late 80s/possibly 1990 Sentras at a local tow yard. I am pretty interested and always liked that bodystyle, but I don't know much about these particular cars, especially issues they have when they get older. I'm a pretty accomplished mechanic so I'm not afraid to dive in and fix things. I'll list my questions to try and be as clear as possible:
1) what years were they carbed and what year did FI enter the picture?
2) Known problems with these cars, especially as they age?
3) Are they generally fairly peppy or slugs? (Car will spend most of its time on the freeway)
4) What kind of MPG do they get? (both carb and FI)
5) Easy upgrades for a bit more power?
6) Are they easy to work on and maintain or very cramped and just basically difficult?

I'll do some searching on the site, but if I decide to try and get them I have to move quick, which is why I'm asking questions right away b4 doing more research.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
87-90 is the b12 model which is what im more familiar with, my nisan books in the car so i cant possitively give u any info without being sure on anything older, the 87 sentra came normally carbed with a e16 engine but im pretty sure the e16i efi engine was a option
in 88 the e16i was pretty much standard, 5 speed is the way to go in my opinion for this car of any year
89 and 90 had the ga16i engine which has 20 more hp than the former e16 engine which had 70. its also got a timing chain instead of a belt like the e16. i used to hate the whole ga16i engine but now i just hate the fact that its chain driven mostly because they are known to blow up so that would be one thing to deff change or look at
as for things that normally go wrong.. axels, overheating when water pump and t-stat are neglected, umm they are failry old so anything that would go bad in peticluar bushings on the front control arms from the torque of the engine beating on them. i think ive talked enough... dont wanna hog the fun. so i will let others fill in where i missed stuff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
o yea and not to many mods. maybe a header and cai, and expect around 30 mpg with a good tune up my car hauls now that it has a good tune up, it was such a lemon
 

·
B12 Enthusiast
Joined
·
844 Posts
:thumbup: I can only help you with the 89 and 90 as I've had both.

known problems ? I've had to replace axles, front oil seals, clutch cables, door hinge pins/bushings, and all the normal tune up stuff. Have never had to replace any engine components on either car except 1 fuel pump. My cars were both drievn daily, mostly on highway.

might want to look underneath for rust. esp in the rear wheelwell area and/or frame rails.

Both of my cars were 5 speeds and IMO are very peppy. They'll cruise at highway speeds happily. Both of them have gotten great gas mileage, would say 30 + MPG.

as far as upgrades go, you'll probably find it much easier to upgrade the cars handling than it's power. and as far as working on them, I think these cars are about as simple as you can get. not very hard to wrench on and parts are readily availible and don't seem to be very expensive. Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
o yea rear fram rails, notorious for rot like around the gas inlet and the same area on the other side of the car, o and they almost always haev nissan trunk syndrome which is where water gets in the trunk.. a lot of it normally through the tail lights
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ok all good info, so for example that front oil seal you replaced was an easy job? I've done axles on a honda accord, which was my first car, and that was when I didnt have a good amount of tools so that part doesn't worry me much. I'll check the car for rust and also look at the rear frame rails as Slacky advises, I'm not too worried tho since I'm in California. Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming.


astreamk1 said:
:thumbup: I can only help you with the 89 and 90 as I've had both.

known problems ? I've had to replace axles, front oil seals, clutch cables, door hinge pins/bushings, and all the normal tune up stuff. Have never had to replace any engine components on either car except 1 fuel pump. My cars were both drievn daily, mostly on highway.

might want to look underneath for rust. esp in the rear wheelwell area and/or frame rails.

Both of my cars were 5 speeds and IMO are very peppy. They'll cruise at highway speeds happily. Both of them have gotten great gas mileage, would say 30 + MPG.

as far as upgrades go, you'll probably find it much easier to upgrade the cars handling than it's power. and as far as working on them, I think these cars are about as simple as you can get. not very hard to wrench on and parts are readily availible and don't seem to be very expensive. Good Luck.
 

·
Ex-mod/nissan guru
Joined
·
2,136 Posts
check for rust under carpeting ... the E16 are notorius for head gasket failure ... if you get one they're fairly easy to change but costy when rightly done. a good sentra should have been well maintained all its life and the engine should be running smoothly without hesitation throu out the whole RPM range ... then youll know you got the right one ... if not you pass over every gremelins everyone here passed throu ... if you want performance, dont mess up with this one and get an SER. For the price they're sold now, you wont be sorry :)
 

·
B12 Enthusiast
Joined
·
844 Posts
shok said:
Ok all good info, so for example that front oil seal you replaced was an easy job? I've done axles on a honda accord, which was my first car, and that was when I didnt have a good amount of tools so that part doesn't worry me much. I'll check the car for rust and also look at the rear frame rails as Slacky advises, I'm not too worried tho since I'm in California. Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming.
Front Seal is pretty easy job. Axles are easy too as long as you can get the axle nut off.... even pulling the tranny to do the clutch isn't that bad of a job.

I would hope rust would not be an issue for you there. my 1st car was a rust bucket, but I got lucky with #2 and she is almost perfect underneath. a rare find in this area. I guess someone must have kept it out of the snow as I do now ? :)
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top