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Wounded SR20DE cars and Crash Stories

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From: W. Cade Metz II

Here is the story of Dagger6, my 1992 Sentra SE-R. I wrecked it on November 10, 1997. I don't yet have the pictures in digital format, but plan on getting them soon; I'll email the URL as soon as I get them. Here goes...

About 9:30 PM on November 10, 1997, I'm driving home from basketball practice. I'm headed down a two lane, lightly twisting, up and down kinda road where the speed limit was 35 MPH. I came up and over a slight rise in the road into a decline and slight turn to the left. My back end came out from behind me. I attempted to compensate to no avail. I ran off the road into a ditch off to the right. My back right wheel caught an embankment (which was someone's driveway) which flipped me up. By the term flipping me up, I mean my tail came up and over my head. My front went digging into the ground, making a one foot hole in the ditch. My car for some reason made a slight hook, avoiding a telephone pole, and continued the flip. The back end caught a mailbox next to the road. The post to this mailbox was still in the ground upright which indicates I was some 4 feet in the air, airborne. The tail end landed back onto the road crushing it pretty badly. The front being the heavy end smashed down onto the road. I came skidding to a halt on the roof, resting on the front part of the roof and the hood. I was facing the way I had come from upside down, in the lane I had been in. Both me and my passenger both had our seat belts on, so we both unbuckled them and climbed out. To my amazement, the engine was still running for a few seconds when I was upside down.

Damage to the car included a cracked valve cover, every panel was damaged except the passenger door. The top of back right wheel had bent in some 15 to 20 degrees. The car looked like a hatch back almost. The roof was slightly crushed in front and back. My seat was bent, but other than that the inside was intact. Both windows and the rear window had been shattered and fallen out, while the two back windows were fine and the windshield was cracked. The electrical system still work, including the door alarms, the radio, the ignition, and all four speakers.

So that's my story about how I wrecked my Sentra SE-R.

From: Tim Boles

Here's the story behind my totalled and beloved '92 SE-R.  In February of 1998, I had dropped in the motor from Jeff Naeyaert's '94 (following our SR20DET transplant).  Jeff was cool enough to lend it to me; my '92 motor had spun a bearing and I was too broke to do the rebuild I had planned.

I had just bought a new CD player from my friend who worked at Circuit City off U.S. 75 in Dallas.  He got off work and I was going to follow him to his house so we could do the install.  El Nino had brought us a nice, rainstorm with torential rains hitting just as we merged onto 75 northbound.  We had gone about 400 yds (about a mile south of 635) when we ran through some flowing water.  My friend went right through it at 65 mph, I was pointed straight ahead, but not for long.  My rear tires were slightly bald and hydroplaned.  My car did an immediate 180, and I was staring at the traffic behind me.  I started in the middle lane, crossed the left lane and ran straight into the median wall at over 60mph.  I had the wheels cocked so that the car actually started to spin back around just before I hit the wall, but I was moving too fast, and the tires merely left nice, black streaks a few feet before the wall.    I craned my head around the seat to see where I was going, but I couldn't see anything but water and dark.  When I hit, the car immediatley spun back around and stopped.  I got out, rain pouring down, and looked at the damage.  It sucked!   The right rear corner of the car was pushed almost up to the rear window. Surprisingly, the rear suspension was unaffected, except for the strut towers.  I had one of Jeff's rear STB's in the car, and could see where the force had been transfered from the right rear tower to the left (which had not touched the wall).  the sheet-metal around both towers had crumpled around them, indicating that the towers were a point of strength.  If I had not had the brace, I would expect that the impact would have been worse, crushing more of the car and probably the rear window.  I drove the car home at about 50mph, and that was it.  I had to pull all my parts off an replace them with the OEM stuff.  My advice to everyone, keep all the stuff you replace, it may come in handy.

I ended up using the money I got from insurance to by another SE-R. This one, a '93, and all the way up in Pennsylvania!  The car has been worth the trip.

From: Matt Eads

So I'm just finishing some errands and on my way home. I'm sitting at a red light listening to Howard Stern fat, dumb, happy. I start smelling smoke and notice out of the corner of my eye some white smoke towards the front of the car. I pass it off [in my inattentive state] as puffy exhaust from some car that just drove by. A few more seconds go by, hey there is no more cars driving by [perpendicular to me] and the smoke is still there, and the smell is getting stronger...

Spring to attention, assess the situation! Burning smell, white puffy smoke coming from under the hood. Quick glance at the coolant temp-its dead center. UH-OH! MY CARS ON FIRE! Adrenaline takes over and from then my instincts take control. Blow the red light and pull into a parking lot just around the corner. At this point, I still think maybe the cars overheating. Park the car, shut it off, and pop the hood. The smoke is getting more intense and as I approach the front I hear crackling. I ain't gonna open that hood! Run around the corner and into a laundry mat, spot pay-phone.   "911 What's your emergency?", "Ya I think my cars on fire." "Okay I'll send the fire trucks."

Go outside, people are starting to gather, others walk by and don't even notice. Smoke is billowing out the front of the car and flames are starting to become visible. "Where the hell is the fire department?" I go around the corner, I can't watch my baby burn. At this point about a dozen people have gathered, its amusing to them. A squad car arrives and the officer [and some other guy] empty two fire extinguishers to no avail, the fires already to fierce. I approach the officer and identify myself as the owner. I ask if I can go make a call, I still have no desire to watch my car burn.

As I'm walking back to the laundry mat the fire trucks are pulling in. I go to call my father, I have an overwhelming urge to talk to my dad. I call my dad and explain the situation and we converse for a few minutes before I end the conversation to go see how things are going. I go outside and the fireman have hosed the fire out. I fill out some paperwork and go look into the engine. Its toast. The car is a total loss, right after I spent $1500 on the clutch and tranny. Wait around for 45 minutes to get a tow. Drive home and crack a beer, here I am writing this message.

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From: John Milton

Grand Prix of Miami 1991, went early so I can see the awesome GTP cars up close. While at practice, on the day before the race, I saw a trailer with a huge rising sun (Nissan logo) and Nissan Motorsports written all over it and I said: "cool Nissan brought TTZ's." So I go and check out the trailer. What I saw was about to change my auto enthusiasts life for ever. The most beautiful white, red, and blue colored race car had ever seen, what I initially thought was a 510 with one of those GT? fiberglass kits happen to be the new stock bodied Sentra SE-R driven by Mark Youngquist. Needless to say I hung around his trailer and pit the whole 2 days. I was in *love* with the Sentra SE-R, I had to have one. I was 15 at the time so one was out of the question.

I got older, the car kept on winning a spot in the 10 best cars lists and that hook was in deep. Got a job and started saving. I visited ALL the Nissan dealers here in Miami, and in Sept of 94, after one week and 12 hours of haggling down to $12,995, drove away in an Aztec red, value option packaged 94.5 Nissan Sentra SE-R. My love for the car grew as time lengthened. First, the usual mods allowed me to run 14.9's, but the turbo bug from Jui-Lin was in deep. I purchased a turbo manifold august of 96, the car was turboed October of 97. Usual problems arose (lack of turbo SE-R knowledge), but thanks to Mike Kojima and others they were solved.

Due to a Clutchmasters clutch and a faulty 5th gear, a turbo re-vamp was scheduled. Turbo came off the car Aug 98 and a slew of new turbo parts were purchased, new intercooler, manifold, downpipe, intercooler piping, ect. The car was all stock except for motor mounts, ecu and injectors on Dec 1st when I had an appointment at the dealer to get my 5th gear changed for free... Do any of you remember the Ali Vs. Foreman fight? Well, Ali knocked foreman out with right hand jabs to the face. In boxing, it is an insult when your opponents throws a right hand jab to the face, it's like saying "you're too slow to block it". I thought only old women putting their make up on were the ones to rear end people, well my SE-R going about 30 or 35 destroyed the rear of a '90 probe that was stopped. I felt a feeling that I had never felt before while breaking parts, it was like an "emotional" pain, sorta like Veronika had been disrespected, slapped in the face without my permission. I have NEVER driven a car with so much joy as my late SE-R.

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