Inspecting the 240SX

For anyone who missed it, my mother recently picked up an S13 convertible for herself after we found it at a local collector car auction. Yes, that really happened. Yes, I still find it hard to believe that my mother owns an S-Chassis. But moving on…

After collecting the car one of the first things on the to-do list was to have it properly looked over so she took it down to race car headquarters – Balance Auto Garage – to let Jackie and the guys go through it. Of course we had ‘inspected’ the car at the auction but without access to a hoist we couldn’t look over it completely – phone flashlights and limited access under a vehicle only get you so far. Nothing on the car had raised any red flags for me though so I wasn’t expecting anything crazy to be found elsewhere on the vehicle, but the only way to know for sure would be to get it in the air…


I headed over to Balance to meet my mother there and saw the car on the hoist when I arrived. I immediately made my way over to check out the undercarriage as that was the biggest question I had about the S13. Happily, the cleanliness of the rest of the car was at the very least matched – if not exceeded – by the cleanliness of the undercarriage! It’s actually cleaner than my Focus’ undercarriage and that’s not an exaggeration. Jackie expressed his confidence in saying that nothing on this car had ever been touched or patched/repaired before which further reaffirmed for my mother how good of a find this was. At this point I think she too was still a little shocked that she had actually bought the car! Haha


While the car was getting prepared for its alignment I went and grabbed a few more shots – it was a colder day so the top was up but rest assured that the top is down each and every time the weather allows for it! As it turns out the heater in this thing works like you wouldn’t believe so she’s had the top down on pretty cool days and still been perfectly comfortable behind the wheel.


Underside shots now, because of course I couldn’t talk about it without providing photos, and I was taking them anyway for the car’s records. I swear the original exhaust from the Focus looked worse when we pulled it off and it didn’t even stay on the car for two years…that’s Alberta vs BC for you.


Please ignore the wrench hanging by the axle! I took this as the car was being worked on – that wasn’t a gift left for her by the last person to be under the car. Haha


I’m always appreciative that Jackie more or less gives free rein to wander the shop and take photos. The balcony inside is a go-to spot for pictures for most people, and if I had had my wide angle on I could have shown everything going on in the shop but alas I didn’t – as always there were some really interesting projects laying around. I keep saying I need to get back to Balance for some proper photos when time allows and methinks I need to get around to that soon.


My race car sitting outside…this all happened when it was still sitting on the Turbomacs but they have since been replaced with the Wintermacs in preparation for you-know-what. No, I won’t say its name.


Back to the 240 though – it was nearly done at this point so we relaxed in the lounge up front.


Shortly after, with the car good to go and paperwork taken care of it was rolled off of the hoist and out into the lot. The guys were thanked once again and it was then time to head out.


Before departing though I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the shop ITR as it sat out on the road. Side note – sadly Jackie’s Toyota Tundra was recently hit while it was parked outside of the shop not far from where the ITR is here, and word has now come through that it was a write-off due to the extensive damage it sustained. I guess plans are already in place for its replacement and how much do you want to bet it too will get TE37s?


With the trip to Balance over there was still one more item on the agenda for the 240 that day, so we then headed over to one of the local Nissan dealers. To have extras, an order was placed for two new OEM keys which have since arrived and been cut for the car.

To fast forward a little bit, following the results of the inspection and having now spent a little bit of time living with the car, my mother has a small list of items to attend to on it but they’re all very small; the struts on the trunk lid could stand to be replaced as they don’t hold it up as well as they could, and there’s that one wear spot on the driver’s side rocker which I pointed out in the video that needs to be touched up. The washer fluid bottle also possibly has a crack as it leaked when it was topped up, so that’ll be checked and likely replaced next. Still though, for a 23-year old car (and especially a 23-year old 240) these are all extremely minor things.

While the purchase of the car was a quick decision – because it had to be – my mother couldn’t be happier with her new convertible especially after spending more time behind the wheel. As her first convertible, first import, and first car purchased from an auction she ventured into the unknown a bit with this one but she’s glad she did. One thing’s for sure – it definitely won’t be for sale any time soon, so everyone can stop asking now! Haha


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