1989 Nissan S13

First introduced in 1989, the 180SX went on to become a legend in the Nissan lineup. These first generation cars were the only ones that the 180SX name really fitted, named after its potent turbocharged 1.8 liter. Our ’89 Type…

1989 Nissan S13



First introduced in 1989, the 180SX went on to become a legend in the Nissan lineup. These first generation cars were the only ones that the 180SX name really fitted, named after its potent turbocharged 1.8 liter. Our ’89 Type II comes with quite a few quality upgrades to make it an even better drive. This one has had the generally more popular Chuki front end which would have been on a slightly later model. Based on the overall condition and color I would imagine the whole car was sprayed when they changed out the bumper. The Super Black (KH3) looks great as always. The paint and body are both in overall great shape. You can never get away with small imperfections like door dings and stone chips, but nothing out of the ordinary. The rear end also got a refresh with crystal tail lights instead of the amber lowers. In keeping with the OEM+ look of the exterior, 16″ Enkei Circles Racing 7 spoke wheels replace the drab stock ones. To assist with both handling and looks Tein coilovers help reduce wheel gap and body roll. And to step these up even further a Tein EDFC (Electronic Damping Force Controller) was fitted which is a particularly trick system. This makes it possible for the driver to control the damping force at the touch of a button while in the driver’s seat thanks to the controller mounted atop the steering column.

The interior is mostly all stock and well preserved. A few typical upgrades have been made, a Momo race wheel and Nismo shift knob take over for the clunky stock ones. As mentioned above, the EDFC controller sits atop the steering column but out of the direct line of sight of the gauge cluster. Above the gauge cluster is a nice Blitz boost gauge in order to legitimately monitor boost pressures. Anyone familiar with the S chassis knows how notorious these are for cracked dashes. This one is no exception to the rule, however a very nice dash mat was installed which brings a nicer looker to the interior overall as well as covering up the cracks. The stock seats are still present and in decent condition. The driver’s seat does have some fabric wear along the bolster, however it has not split or torn. The passenger and rear seats on the other hand show much better. All of the power accessories are functioning as expected. Power folding mirrors, power windows, door locks, and automatic climate control. The A/C is blowing cold so you can actually enjoy the car this summer. For the nicer evenings you can remove the manual sunroof and enjoy the sounds of the CA. For the times you do want to just sit back and cruise a newer Kenwood headunit was fitted which does have a USB input to make it more useful.

Under the hood is the reason we have the 180SX nomenclature. The CA18DET 1.8 liter makes more than enough power to push around the lightweight S13. While the CA has a tendency to be overshadowed by the SR from the later models, don’t sleep on it’s power potential. The 1.8 fires up with ease and the turbo spools quickly, pulling hard to redline. In order to help tap into some of the hidden potential an Apexi intake was fitted. The stock blow off valve was replaced for a far more pronounced Blitz Super Sound blow off valve. Out back a Kakimoto catback gives a deep tone that really fits the car; in stock trim these are painfully quiet. For added help to the suspension Cusco strut tower braces are present front and rear. The transmission engages with ease and send the power back to the rear wheels drama free. While all of our vehicles are mechanically inspected this one really came to us turn key. Simply a routine oil change, a fresh battery, and the Virginia safety inspection and it’s ready for it’s new life. Then again with only 81K miles it doesn’t come as much of a surprised based on how well the vehicle appears to have been maintained. Being one of the most versatile platforms out there you can never go wrong with a S13. Light weight, easy parts availability, powerful, and right wheel drive; it really is the complete package!

*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.

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