1978 Datsun 200SX


This 1978 200SX was the first car I ever owned. I bought it new from the Datsun dealer in 1978.

Engine: L20B with large port head, Datsun Comp cam with spray bar, Racer Brown valve springs, lightweight steel retainers, O-ringed, ported, CC'd, low compression head. Dual remote oil filters. Turbo-ZX oil pump. All Aeroquip water, oil, fuel, and brake lines.

Had a nitrous oxide injection setup for a year or so and it got to be a real drag constantly refilling the bottle. I do have to say, though, that the system worked great and it was an instant, serious power increase (it was jetted for about 50 hp). But once while running nitrous the water injection tank ran out and I got detonation and suffered a broken piston. It was my own dumb mistake. After that, though, I took off the nitrous system because it was my only car at the time and I didn't want to break it again. The nozzles were left in place.


Turbo Setup: Rotomaster T04B turbo with highly modified Holley 750CFM 4-barrel, Turbonetics wastegate, Turbo Toms aluminum log intake manifold, custom ceramic coated exhaust manifold. Mechanical water injection system with two gallon tank.

200SX engine

Exhaust: Entire system is 3-inch including Flowmaster muffler. Used to have a Supertrapp but took it off.

200SX engine

Drivetrain: Lightweight steel flywheel, Tilton 900KG pressure plate, Datsun Comp solid-hub clutch disc, 280ZX 5-speed with shortened shifter, 3.70 final drive.

Suspension: Front coil-overs, adjustable tension rods, 1-inch aluminum ball joint spacers, 1-inch front sway bar, 3/4-inch adjustable rear sway bar. Rear traction bars and panhard rod. 13x6-inch Shelby wheels and Visa 205/60-13 tires. Most rubber bushings have been replaced with rod ends or nylon bushings. 4-wheel disc brakes. Removed the power assist.

200SX rear suspension

Chassis: Roll cage that goes through firewall to strut towers. Strut tower brace.

Body: Enlarged rear wheel openings, removed emblems, added vents to hood, rear spoiler, blacked-out chrome. DuPont Imron light gray paint. Tinted windows. Custom grill and headlight covers. Flush mounted license plate.

200SX cylinder head

Interior: Custom aluminum dash with VDO gauges, Momo steering wheel, lightweight pedal ass'y, remote boost adjust, remote radar detector, exhaust temp gauge, compressor inlet and outlet gauges.

200SX interior

History: Street drive, autocrossed, and drag raced. Never did too great at autocrossing because of the poor rear suspension, but did OK drag racing with a run of 13.1 without nitrous or slicks. In 1988 I stole the engine and turbo setup out of this car and installed it in a much more worthy car - my black 1970 510. The 200SX got the rebuilt L20B from the black car. I then sold the 200SX in 2001.


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