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Bought a $500 240SX "Drift" car... and broke it before I got it home

So I came home with my first Nissan 240SX today. http://eva…52645.html

Barked 'em down on the price a little (got it for a mere $500 cash money), and it DID run pretty good. Chirped the tires in three gears on the test drive, welded diff is a bit scary to drive in the rain on… got to within a block of home, and BOOM! radiator blew it’s contents all over the engine bay, and I limped home, stalled apparently overheated (Can’t tell what the gauge reads 'cause the gauges don’t work)

Now the motor turns over REALLY easy… like maybe there’s no compression :gaah:

The goal for this car is to invest as little as possible and take it on the BABE rally this spring, after which I can shoot for the Trifecta of crap (BABE, Lemons, and Grass Roots Motorsport Challenge in a single year)

So - with that, what should I do with this thing, part it out and find a nice Kia Sephia or something in the same price range, or fix it? Keep in mind that I need to fix this thing for as close to free as possible, but may have access to a knee mill, and have a reasonably well equipped tool kit. Before it blew up, it had plenty of go…

I do not mean this in a sarcastic manner but if you cannot figure out why this vehicle quit then your mechanical skills are not that great and it’s time to say good-bye to this thing and send it to the crusher.

Run a compression test. If the numbers are down then the engine is either scrap metal or rebuildable, all depending.

Sounds like the motor overheated and burned up. Possibly the thermostat was stuck, causing pressure to build up until it finally burst. Meanwhile the engine was getting little to no cooling, which you couldn’t tell since you had no working gauges. By the time you noticed it, it was cooked. As OK said, run a compression test and see what you get. I suppose if this engine has a timing belt, the water pump could have seized, which would cause the engine to overheat, and eventually the timing belt would jump or break, probably destroying the valve train if it’s an interference engine. If you’re very lucky, all you need is a timing belt.

If the radiator blew up, it may have already had a head gasket blown, and now it’s really done for. Check the timing belt to see if that is why you have no compression. If the timing belt is good, and the timing marks are lined up where they belong, it’s probably time to pull the head and see how much damage was done from overheating. Any $500 car is normally a project or money pit, not a viable driver, and racing costs money (you will break a lot of stuff), so good luck.

will have to borrow a compression tester… actually, I think I just need to get mine BACK…

The crusher is for quitters. And it’s got too many go-fast goodies on it to just junk it. Parting it out would turn a profit on just the aftermarket stuff, but that would mean failure for the rally effort :frowning:

I’d check the head as well, if that’s warped you need a new/used one and or get the old one machined, which will run afoul of the $500 limit for the competitions you listed. Actually, any repair work or parts you have to pay for will put you over the $500 limit (excluding safety gear, tires, wheels, and brakes of course).

As long as I have the work done at a buddies garage machine shop, and don’t tell anyone I think I can get away with it :wink:

This would be my second Chumpcar, so yes I am familiar with the extra cost.