Nissan Silvia on the road again - Our Shed

By: Kian Heagney - Words & Photos

nissan silvia 1 nissan silvia 1

After a bunch of headaches, time and money, Kian finally gets his troublesome nissan on the road

Good things come to those who wait, and I’m delighted to say that this episode of the saga with my S13 is just that. With the car finally running, driving and rust free, I could actually turn my attention to fixing anything it would need to pass a Victorian roadworthy certificate inspection, the final step before I could register it.

A week prior to the inspection we threw it up on the hoist at my friend’s workshop to give it a check over before heading in for the real deal. Despite my pessimism, we didn’t find a huge list of roadworthy dramas under the little Nissan.


Bench bleeding the new master cylinder first before bolting it in saves a bunch of time 

With the rust in the drivers side sill now fixed (which we detailed in last month’s issue), the only other niggles we could find were some worn rear sway bar bushes and a leaky brake master cylinder.

I ordered those parts, and with a weekend to spare before the appointment I rolled the Silvia into another mate’s home workshop to tick off those final jobs. The rear sway bar end links come as one unit with bushes and take about five minutes a side to fit, so that was easy. The master cylinder did try to put up a fight at first when one of the line fittings rounded off, but some locking pliers and choice words sorted that out.


A leaky master cylinder really makes a mess. Luckily there was no bad rust, so a quick treatment and paint sorted it out

With the old one out I quickly gave the booster and a few areas of the engine bay some rust conversion treatment and squirt of paint, before we slid the new master on and bled the brakes all ‘round and I declared the car roadworthy.

The following weekend I made the hour-long trip from Bendigo to Carisbrook in regional Victoria to drop the car off for its roadworthy inspection. It was the furthest I’d driven the car since owning it, and after watching the gauges like a hawk for the first 10 minutes I relaxed a little bit and actually enjoyed my first proper drive in the car.


The noisy thing behind the lights now works properly

A few days later the call came through that the car had actually passed first go, which seemed like such an oxymoron given how often it had kicked me in the balls to that point. Handing a car over for a roadworthy is a bit like when a family member goes in for surgery; you know everything should be fine, but that doesn’t ease the stress until they make it out the other side.

At this point I thought the saga was over, until VicRoads tried to force an issue with the rego history. They tend to try to overcomplicate the rego process for grey imports like the S13, but given the car had been complied and on Aussie soil for 20 years that was laughable.


Dropping the car off for its roadworthy inspection, with all toes and fingers crossed for a good outcome

Thankfully sensible heads prevailed on the day, and I finally got to screw my plates onto the Silvia!

In between getting the car ready for rego I’d managed to find my dream set of wheels for the car, 15-inch XR4 Longchamps freshly imported from Japan.


Success! Screwing the plates on for the first time at VicRoads, ready for its first registered drive

I threw them on and lowered the coilovers a touch, and with that my vision for the car I’d had for over two and a half years was finally complete.

That weekend I took the S13 to what was its first of many cars and coffees to come, and made sure I took the long way home during unseasonably nice Victorian sunshine to really get to know the car.


New period-correct Japanese shoes and a touch lower on the adjustable suspension makes for the perfect look

Make no mistake, I’m sure this car will re-appear in these pages at some point as I find more faults and change things up, but for now I simply plan to get out there at every opportunity and enjoy it!


The Silvia’s first car meet, a local cars and coffee with a good mates D21 Navara


From Unique Cars #475, Feb 2023

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