Nissan Pao meets Nissan Pulsar nx se A.K.A Paosar

The Project:
Take a CA motor and stuff it into a Pao

The Back Story:
I have a 1989 Nissan Pao that originally had the 987cc engine mated with a automatic transmission. I rather enjoyed my new ride as it was quirky to say the least, but felt that the power was.... well not there. SO I dug a little and found that the easiest way to put a little pep in her step was to install a ma12. Seemed rather easy as it was a direct fit.
I started my search and found a Nissan Micra with a ma12 and standard tranny, and started the swap. Now for the life of me I don't know why I didn't swap the transmissions out, and in hindsight I would probably have been satisfied with that build. But because I left the auto in it I still was rather disappointed with the end product. Don't get me wrong the 9hp increase was definitely a breath of fresh air, as I no longer needed to sweat when I tried merging onto a highway. Yet it was still lacking something. I probably should of just cut my losses and invested in something.... well with more power and was a bit more tuner friendly. But I just couldn't let go of that oh so unique Pao.

Thus started my next search, what has been and could be stuffed into this car. I found numerous amounts people who installed the very impressive MA09ERT into there cars. I WOULD LOVE to have this engine........ I would also love a plethora of parts for when it broke down, but being in Canada this was not a feasible option. Others have installed the CG13DE which would also be a good candidate if Nissan ever released it in Canada. As my search continued I was becoming very discouraged, then I came across someone who was in the process of a CA18DET engine swap into their K10. That is something I could get behind!! Now I know that Nissan did not release this engine in Canada, but it has gained such a following that is constantly being imported. The added bonus is that Nissan did release the Pulsar Nx Se which came with the CA16DE and the CA18DE in Canada. So off we go.....

I sourced out a 1987 Nissan Pulsar NX SE with not one but TWO CA18DET engines for $780.00 WOW!!! This was going to be a reality. The guy told me the car wasn't running because of a timing issue and was on its way to getting the transplant when interest weaned, I was so excited that I put my blinders on and focused only on getting this vehicle. I drove to the neighboring province on high hopes and no experience, to buy this sweet deal and start my project. I arrived to find that both the engines were in pieces (not a problem as I would have torn them apart anyways to rebuild them) And that the car was indeed not running. I installed my tow bar and headed home. Now with the project home and the blinders off I stared to realize what I'd done. Little did I know that Nissan released various versions of the CA18DET's and that I had received the dinosaur of the bunch. The first generation CA18DET with extra runners for low rpm, not a problem except the gaskets are extremely hard to find, so much so that I haven't found them.
But Back to the donor car, yes the oh so sweet Nissan Pulsar. I was so excited to have the complete car for my project, I mean I have everything I need to swap the engines over. As I said earlier Nissan released a 1.6L and a 1.8L engine for this car. This one had the 1.6L which I didn't think was a problem, until a friend of mine asked if the gearbox could handle the extra power of the CA18DET. So I searched.... and was not happy with what I found. Turns out the gearbox in the 1.6L the RS5F31A is a inferior gearbox, with common problems of 5th gear pop-out. Nissan did come out with a fix for it, a 5th gear pop out kit, where in my understanding brought the 5th gear closer. But everyone who has been involved with this gearbox has just sourced out the 1.8 gearbox the RS5F50 and installed it.

SOO I have a dinosaur of a turbo engine and a lemon of a gearbox. I am still hopeful I will find a RS5F50 gearbox, but haven't had any luck yet. which brings me to..

The Predicament:
This is where I would like your input.
Do I
1. Cut my losses and sell or burn the whole thing!!!
2. Get the Pulsar running and sell to someone else, and be happy I have a Pao. :)
3. Wait to see if I can source out a RS5F50 gearbox and gaskets for dinosaur head, or swap the dinosaur head with later ca18 model.
or
4. Install the CA16DE into the Pao

I don't want to give up on this project as I am determined to make this work. I want nothing more than to have the experience of stuffing a big engine into a small car. I just need a little guidance to where I should invest my time.
Thank you for reading and posting your comments, maybe together we can make this happen.
:)
 

pork

Club Member
Sounds cool!!

Love a pao,

Shame you can't get a cg13de, they literally bolt straight on, jus make a driver side mount.....do you not have the Nissan Cube out there?

Keep us posted :)


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OP
OP
Paogasm
Unfortunately I've only seen the second generation Nissan cube here in Canada. It just seems like Canada is not Micra friendly.
What would you do in my situation? Stuff the 1.6 in or wait for a better gearbox and try to stuff the 1.8 turbo in?
 

pork

Club Member
Unsure about the ca16..... But I think a ga16 engine bolts to the pre face lift cg10/13 gearboxes (which have same bell housing as ma10/12 g/boxes)
Are these engines available to you?
Would save on new mounts and shafts

The ma10/12 engines are ok, I've played about with a couple of these.

Maybe try bike carbs and a head skim and decent exhaust manifold....gives a decent gain.

I done this....then turbod it


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OP
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Paogasm
Thanks for the advice. There was a few vehicles with the ga16 engines released here in Canada. Definitely worth looking into, especially if they bolt to the gearbox. Still would like to switch to a manual, but this seems like less of a headache to do so. I will do some digging before I jump in blind again. ;)
Did you ever get a dyno run on your ma12 with bike carbs and turbo?
 

pork

Club Member
If you find a manual ma10/12 gearbox, should bolt straight into that (I think so anyway, )
Would need the correct flywheel.

With the cg's, I made a hybrid clutch out of the cg13 and cg10 (ma10) centre to help with extra power
Maybe something similar can be done like that with the ga16

Never dyno'd mine......the throttle cable came off and jammed the throttle open revving it till it popped lol!!

My k10 Was running a cg13 supercharged/turbo bolted to ma10 manual 4 speed (uses original mounts)
And a cg13/10 hybrid clutch

Only needed to make a driver side mount

There was a chap on here who has put a ga16 bolted to a manual ma10 g/box, think it's in the blog section somewhere


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OP
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Paogasm
Yikes!! :eek: didn't mean to bring up bad memory's of popping engines :) I will snif around the site and see what I can find. Thanks again
 
Hey guys, hope I'm not posting off topic (a little yes but) I have a question that I think Paogasm could answer for me. I just picked up a PAO a couple of days ago (I'm in Houston, Texas). Been driving it around and found that I seem to not have much top end speed. It accelerates pretty good considering it's small engine size but seems to be very buzzy around 100 km. Is this normal (have nothing else to compare it to)? I was hoping for a car that could go comfortably around 100km but this feels (key word feels) like I'm running 5000 rpm. It's an automatic so, wondering if there's a gear not engaging, converter slippage, solenoid stuck...etc causing it to rev pretty high. Love the car but this makes it useless if I can't go 100km comfortably. Going to get a tach and see what the revs are.
 
OP
OP
Paogasm
Lol I'm sorry to laugh but that is the problem with the whopping 987cc engine. Especially with an automatic. The thing is gutless, at least that is what I found. Good for around town but scary on the highway. Before getting my brain scheme plan to drop a ca18det into it I first swapped a 1.2 from a Micra. Extremely easy and the difference was night and day. I would advise the same for you if your looking for a comfortable 100km vehicle. Just learn from my mistake and swap the gearbox as well.
If your reaching 3rd shift on the tranny then solinoid is good. As for slipping It wouldn't hurt to check fluid and maybe swap it out for new stuff. Look at the old stuff when you drop it and see if it "sparkles" or is dark in colour. Will give you an idea of the condition. Probably hasn't been touched for decades. When I took the engine apart it looked very worked, which led me to believe that the engine was too small for the weight of the car. As for it being useless..... I don't think it was ever intended to be a high speed machine. Nissan had the Micra or march to put all its energy into, the pao was more of a family commuter. Just my 2 cents hopefully it helps.
 
Lol I'm sorry to laugh but that is the problem with the whopping 987cc engine. Especially with an automatic. The thing is gutless, at least that is what I found. Good for around town but scary on the highway. Before getting my brain scheme plan to drop a ca18det into it I first swapped a 1.2 from a Micra. Extremely easy and the difference was night and day. I would advise the same for you if your looking for a comfortable 100km vehicle. Just learn from my mistake and swap the gearbox as well.
If your reaching 3rd shift on the tranny then solinoid is good. As for slipping It wouldn't hurt to check fluid and maybe swap it out for new stuff. Look at the old stuff when you drop it and see if it "sparkles" or is dark in colour. Will give you an idea of the condition. Probably hasn't been touched for decades. When I took the engine apart it looked very worked, which led me to believe that the engine was too small for the weight of the car. As for it being useless..... I don't think it was ever intended to be a high speed machine. Nissan had the Micra or march to put all its energy into, the pao was more of a family commuter. Just my 2 cents hopefully it helps.


Thanks for your take on it. I didn't really mean the car is "useless", just useless for the secondary purpose I was thinking of when I bought it. Truth be told, I was thinking of the Festiva SHOGUN when I bought it. I was looking for a Maxima VQ35DE V-6 to drop in the back. I figured they'd be about the same overall weight and maybe a tick more power for the Nissan. That was the first idea then my girlfriend saw the car.........
I guess I'm used to low rpm American iron. My 4 litre Jeep turns 2000 revs at 70mph while the Pao works out to about 3900 at 65mph. Where I live, it's almost a necessity to hop on the freeway for at least 10 miles to get anywhere. For just shopping at the local market and running errands, it's great. Looking forward to maybe a Figaro next year or maybe a BE-1.
Thanks again
 
My Pao shipped four days ago, so it will be at least another month before I see it. I'm already looking at ways to improve the performance. Like Heryshaf, I live in the US. I have to drive at least 65 MPH (104 kPH) to get anywhere. I have an Aisin AMR500 supercharger that I could put on the M10 if there is room. It is the same supercharger that was on the March Super Turbo. Does anyone know how that supercharger was mounted? I think adding the supercharger would add enough power to meet my needs. If it doesn't, I'll find a replacement engine.
I'm also still looking for the size of the speedometer face, so I can fabricate a replacement with MPH markings. If anyone feels generous enough to take some measurements, I would be grateful.
Thanks.
 

pork

Club Member
I believe bathe charger was mounted on the back of the engine.

You'll need to go injection, or make some sort of blow thru carb setup.

The figaro inlet manifold and injectors cone up on eBay from time to time, that'll bolt straight on, then you'd need a ecu


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Hey Rick, I think short of changing the final drive there really isn't an alternative. I can get my car to 120 km easily but it's real buzzy as it's turning crazy rpms So, here's the formula (in case you don't have it for working rpm and gear ratios) RPM = mph X gear ratio X 336 divided by tire diameter. So, 60 mph X 3.73 (I've seen this as the stated final drive for the automatic) X 336 = 75196.8 divided by 20.75 gives you an rpm of about 3625 at 60 mph. If we could get (for an auto) a 3.08 final drive that'd knock the rpm's down to about 3000 at 60 mph. The manual car has a 4.05 final drive but 5th is a .72 ratio making it about a 2.91 final. Had I known I would have bought a manual car. My bad for not checking it out and assuming either trans would be good for steady state 60 mph.
As far as fuel injection, you could use the Mega Squirt with cheap GM parts for the sensors. I have a throttle body off a Zetec along with the injectors that I was toying with using if I went that way. Right now though, looks like I will sell it and get another one or maybe a BE-1 with a manual trans. Love the car just a little disappointed. Also, I think I have a fuel leak. Right now I've gone about 140 km on about 5 gallons!!!! That's about 18 mpg!! Something isn't right. Oh yeah, my car has the wrong size tires, they should be 155 X 12 but are 145 X 12 That's why the tire diameter may be less than your car's.
 
Thanks for the information. I'll be looking for the Figaro parts. I wanted a manual transmission, but the only one I could find was from a seller who refused to ship to the US. He said it was too much trouble.
My wife will use the Pao as a commuter. She doesn't drive as aggressively as I do, so I'll see what she thinks after she drives it for a while. We will buy a Figaro or a Copen when they become legal. That won't be too much longer.
 
Hello All......my 1.2 5 speed K10 swap was simple and resulted in a COMPLETELY different planet of performance...I keep meaning to video the speedo (yes v optimistic but its all relative) at full acceleration......it shoots round as opposed to appearing to be stuck like it did with the original 1.0 Auto...will try and do that v soon.
 
Well, my carb is kaput. That was part of the fuel leak as well as the tank where the lines go to and from. Been laid up for over a month now and I have really lost interest in it. Work has changed for me and right now I'm a bit underfunded for what I was going to do. Installed a Weber 32/36 DGEV on it but with removing the original carb and not having any wires to plug back into the empty sockets, it has an electrical issue (who'd of thunk that) that won't let it even engage the starter. The mechanic that pulled the carb didn't mark anything and has gone awol from the shop while owing the owner a bit of money. So, now I try to locate some wiring schematics so I can "rewire" the car. Had to remove the egr valve to get the carb to fit. 200 bucks for the new Weber and about 900 for the original Hitachi. Fortunately emissions isn't a worry otherwise I'd be in a real mess. I may just let it sit till next year and move ahead with my VQ35 midship plans.
 
Sorry to hear about your carb problems, Heryshaf. If you haven't bought the Weber yet, you could save a few dollars by switching to motorcycle Individual Throttle Bodies. As soon as I get caught up, I plan to put a set of Honda CBR1000rr ITBs on my Pao. I need an intake gasket to use as a template for building a manifold/adapter to mount them. I'm also thinking of using the motorcycle's control box to run the injectors. Does anyone know if that would work?
I still haven't figured out how to install the supercharger, but it will happen some day. If all that gets too complicated, I'll do an engine swap.
Right now I'm collecting parts for a suspension rebuild. I have had the Pao for a week, but only drove it around the block once. It feels like the suspension is made of wet noodles and marshmallow fluff. I'm shopping for coil springs right now. Does anyone know of anything available in the US? I really want to avoid paying over $300 to have $150 worth of coil springs shipped from the UK. Shipping from Japan is even more expensive.
Rick
 
Geez, hadn't realized it's been so long since I looked at the PAO and my email (don't use my regular email address for this site). Well, got the Weber installed which wasn't just a simple bolt on but not too hard. Had to turn the carb around so the linkage now is against the cam cover. That required removing the EGR (planned on it anyways) and then having a ton of vacuum hoses to re-connect as well as all the electrical connections that are NOT on the Weber. Because of the electrical, the car won't even turn over. So, now I have to rewire the front end engine and starting systems. I'm well versed in electrical (having worked on British Leyland cars in the 70's with Lucas components) but I don't have any schematics to compare. Downloaded a manual for the Micra which was supposed to cover 82-92 (I think) but actually only covered to 88. Bitched about it to the company where I got it then bitched to pay pal about how it wasn't what I had thought I was buying since the company selling the manual didn't include that it only went to 88 while showing the "real" haynes manual in the advert. Bunch of cheats, liars and losers that company. Anyway, PAO is on the back burner while I scout out another possibility of using the Versa front clip (which is 5 inches wider), engine and trans or just dumping a Maxima drive-train into the back seat.
And Rick, my car handles like a drunken weeble. Doesn't fall over but you swear it might. Maybe some extra strength bungee cords might help?
Later
 
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