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Guest Message by DevFuse

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A few parts and mods I've used on my s12

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#1 MaxFrohnen


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  • Name:Max
  • Car:1985 CA20E hatch

Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:20 AM

I wouldn't call this a build so much as trying to keep my car going but so far I've been able to swap over a few readily available parts in place of ones that have gone bad on my car. I'm sure I'll find more as stuff breaks. 


- Canuck lowering springs are stiffer (325/275#) but don't really lower your car much. Drives better at least. Running on stock replacement KYB shocks until I go to coilovers.


- Amazon special $100 S13 Aluminum radiator. Lines are in the same place and are the same size as my CA20. All I did to the car was drill out the mounts in the chassis to accept the S13 radiator. On the top I made some flat mounts to stand it off from the core support using the s13 bushings. I was even able to pop rivet a flange to the extra material on the radiator to mount the s12 CA20 fan shroud. With some paint it looks mint. 


- B15 sentra fuel pump. The flange pattern on the top of the fuel pump is the same between the two. The whole unit drops in without the fuel level sender. Its plastic, cheap, and common. Our cars have a regulator on the rail so the fact that the sentra probably uses a higher fuel pressure is a non issue. I just wired my car up to have both pig tails on it if I ever want to go back to the s12 fuel pump and level sender. I do seem to have some unused volume in the base of the tank as well since it seems to run out at around 11 gallons. I primarily autox and toy around with my car so I just keep it full.


- Z31 poly rear subframe bushings. I have been told these are a direct swap. This is not the case. They are thicker and I removed the washer that goes above the bushing to gain some clearance. It still did not engage enough threads with the oem nuts and I got some nylocks at a local hardware store. 


- Chopped intake tube. I located a parts car s12 and cut up the intake tube that crosses from the inlet on the right to the airbox. It has a larger diameter down by the airbox on the left and can be cut to intake from the left side directly into the airbox. Zero noticeable power gain. Seems like a good idea but would not recommend.


- Exhaust. NB Miata resonator in place of the catalyst with a step up to 2.5" and a single 14"(length) "magnapack" from a mustang at the tip. Sounds really good actually and has decent manners around the neighborhood. 


- Porting. The CA20E head has awful ports. Really if you have your head off clean up the ports. I didn't even remove much material just cut down the sharp edges and flashing. Tons of potential there. 


- Fuel injector hoses. If you have a leaky fuel injector hose it can be replaced. The injector has a barbed top that works well with the old hose and base collar removed. Good luck pulling that off. I just cut mine off. 


- Timing. Timing really wakes these up as well. I don't have a knock light so I haven't done anything radical but just a little advance seems to go a long way. 


- A notch interior will almost fit in a hatch. I actually swapped in a full MKII notch interior that was a bit less "lived in". Seat belt latches are different between the two. That could be a MKI vs MKII deal. The rear interior plastics fit with minor trimming and gluing. The rear pillar changes the shape on this part leaving a gap making this is the ugliest part of all this. It was a major improvement over my existing plastics and the notch seats will only fit with them. The rear seats fit but need a back fabbed. I just used some aluminum angle and big piece of ABS plastic attached to it with glue and rivets. There are exposed metal rods in the notch seat back near the fold down seat anchor points. I'm sure someone could make a trick setup but my aluminum frame is just attached to the anchor points with U bolts and the seat back to the ABS with zip ties in a few places. The bolts at the base of the seatback bolt to the floor of the hatch just like the notch. This removes the fold down seat feature. 


- CB7 Accord Shift Knob. Shortens the throw on the shifter by reducing total length. Threads right on. Super common in junkyards etc. Has a nice oem look. The auto shift bezels also make great bases to install a faux leather shift boot. 


- T4 Rotella is cheapcheap 10/10 would recommend. Ford MTF is engineered to work with yellow metals and helps keep your shifts buttery smooth.  


- Single din radio swap. Its super easy to get rid of the oem radio with a universal single din radio mount sleeve that can have some tabs cut into it and folded over the oem radio mount and then hidden with a plastic blockoff plate. I made one from the same ABS as my seat back and just cut it with a dremel.  

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