Diarmuid’s 180SX – Good things take time!

Click pics for high quality!

Paddy’s day 2014. Instead of drinking his life away, at least one Irishman was headed an hour down the road to pick up his first Japanese car, and first RWD. It was a big moment in Diarmuid’s life.

After arriving home, the car was put straight into the shed for a good polish, and the GReddy boost gauge was hooked up.  A couple of test burnouts may or may not have been performed to check for optimal boost gauge operation.

After a few months the car was pulled off the road for some much needed maintenance repairs – new brake lines, brakes pads, LCA’s, ball joints, locking collars, anti-roll bar bushings, rocker cover gasket along with a few other bits and pieces. Upon its return, the 180SX was fitted with a new wood grain steering wheel and a HID headlight kit. It was now ready to hit the street.

After a while Diarmuid the car was sent away for painting. While it was off the road, some new parts were purchased. First up was a pair of Evo VII Recaros followed by a set of brand new Kouki tails (still in Nissan boxes) and the Carbon RPS13 centre garnish.

Along with those items a HKS EVC IV Boost Controller was also purchased as well as a Buddy Club style exhaust system, a Dmax hood scoop and roof spoiler. As time went on a few more items made their way into Diarmuid’s hands, like the genuine 3piece Origin Carbon Ducktail spoiler and Lowenhart Meshes.

Parts kept rolling in while Diarmuid was patiently waiting for the body and paint work to be completed. I guess it was like Christmas every time something new turned up, like the Apexi Multichecker for example. Next up on the list was the Z32 AFM and rear brake setup off a 300ZX followed by the BRIDE covered roof lining and door cards.

How can you have the hood lining and door cards without the actual seats? Don’t worry, they were added to the car as well.

This is all going well and sounding pretty neat right? Well let’s throw a spanner in the works. Turns out, for the past 10 months, the painter has been feeding Diarmuid lie after lie, enough was enough and the 180SX was collected in a semi prepped and primered state.

Because there was now a lot of down time, the decision was made to pull the motor and box so the engine bay could also be repainted. This is where Jason came into the mix, he was hired to get the cars body work and paint done once and for all, but unfortunately it was not going to be that straight forward. The previous work that had been completed was done so in such a poor fashion, that most of it had to be done again.

Once the body work had been done right, dents smoothed, pin holes filled, interior plastic trims painted, it was time to re-fit the engine and Cusco dash dodger roll cage. During this time the rocker cover, brake calipers and brake servo were all given a fresh lick of paint.

Now it was time, the long awaited paint job was completed and the 180SX was ready to drop some jaws!


  • SR20DET Redtop
  • Braided turbo lines
  • T28 S14 turbo
  • Front mount intercooler and pipework
  • Japspeed manifold
  • Japspeed elbow
  • Japspeed 3″ downpipe/decat
  • Cat back exhaust (unknown) & custom shotgun exhaust
  • A/C removed
  • Braided oil breathers
  • 2 way diff (unknown)
  • Battery relocated to boot


  • TEIN coilovers
  • Sub-frame locking collars
  • 5 stud conversion
  • Brand new ball joints
  • S14 4 pot calipers and slotted disc rotors
  • S14 rear slotted discs with S13 calipers
  • Braided lines all round
  • Shiny wheel studs
  • Front strut brace
  • Cusco rear strut brace


  • Pearl purple
  • Full Works 9 kit
  • Kouki Tails and Carbon rps13 centre piece
  • Crystal side repeaters
  • Crystal bumper lights
  • 25mm vented wings
  • 50mm overfenders
  • Dmax bonnet vent
  • East Bear wing mirrors
  • 326 Power roof spoiler
  • 3 piece Origin Labs carbon fibre ducktail spoiler


  • HKS Turbo Timer
  • HKS EVC IV Boost Controller
  • Apexi multi checker
  • 4x imitation Defi gauges: water temp, oil temp, oil pressure and boost
  • Choice of wooden or normal 3 spoke steering wheels
  • Cusco dash Dodger  roll cage
  • Bride Brix 1’s on genuine bride rails


  • Lowenhart Glanzard Meshes
  • Front: 18×9.5 et15 wrapped in a 225/40/18
  • Rear: 18×10.5 et15 wrapped in a 235/40/18

It was a long year of torture but Diarmuid persevered and came out the other side all smiles.

So, what’s next for the 180? Diarmuid just wants to enjoy it for now, but he will be looking into further power mods in the future.

Owner @diarmuidomalley

Location Sligo, Ireland

Photos thanks to @luke_staton

Words by @mr_schassis

Full gallery below!

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