180sx – Front End Refreshments

After the destruction at Winton last month, I’ve given the 180sx some fresh bits to make it look better and run a little better. Only 8 days until I’m driving at Queensland again!


Obviously the first thing I needed was a new front end, which meant finding some clean factory guards. Anybody that has a 180sx will know how hard this is.


Lucky for me I had a friend with a standard pair!

Also got a fresh headlight with the guards, so that was two pieces done already. I had to get the indicator holes in the guards patched so I took them to a fabricator friend and I had him put in some sheet to fill the holes.


Next on the list was a front bar and lip. I was a bit hesitant about getting a new bar because mine has had some big work put in to delete some things. Its had the body line filled as well as having the license plate mount cut out and filled. To be honest, I had never really noticed until I saw another standard CA bar.


So instead of getting another one and going through the headache of filling in the hole, I tried refitting the bar to see if it was still able to line up properly. I won’t say it was perfect, because it was far from it. But it wasn’t too bad. The lip was in pretty bad shape, but I figured I could mount it using other points along the bottom of the bar.


Guards were good, front bar was ok and headlight was good. Biggest problem was the rad support. It had relocated itself about 20mm sideways and made everything mount up weird. After a bit of straightening, its a bit closer to where it should be. Its not 100% straight, but its definitely better than before.


After all the aero bits were in my hands, the next piece was a new radiator as my old one had copped a split. I don’t think it was from the crash as it was slightly leaking at the start of the last practise day. I’m guessing the wall made it worse because it was dripping quite heavily by the time I got it home.

As a replacement, I wanted something quality but didn’t want to spend millions. I always wanted to try a Koyorad and see the benefits over my old one. Decided it was finally time to get one and find out if the hype is real. Suprisingly it wasnt that expensive!


The next day, I had this awesome looking piece in the car.


So now I had two major things ticked off my list, with the final thing being paint.

With that in mind I figured while I was getting half the car repainted, I could get a few other things fixed up. One of them being the massive annoying dent in my passenger door that happened back in 2010. Yes, that dent has been in the door for 4 years, I hate myself for not fixing it sooner.


Paint list was more than 50% of the car! Guards, front bar, lip, headlight, passenger door and also a rear pod. The pod was fine, but the colour was off so I got that redone as well.

A week later I had almost everything I needed to make it look good again.


Didn’t waste any time getting all the fresh stuff onto the car.


And for once the sun was out so thought it might be a good chance to roll it out for a bit.


I had everything fitted and back to looking sweet! Very happy with how it all turned out especially given how garbage it looked after the last practise day. I still have a lot of stuff to get done over the next five days before I have to load it onto a truck heading to Queensland.

I also managed to get an awesome new exhaust at the start of this week, but I’ll put some details of that in another post.


I think this is the best it has ever looked over the past 4 years. Can’t wait to get it up to Queensland and go driving again!


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