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1981 Datsun 200sx - Lemons

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Hi all, I hope this fits in well here, I don't see many postings for 200sx... Everyone seems to be so into these 510s, 610s, b210s etc.


Let me start out by saying me and my friends have no idea what were doing. We have no background in auto repair, we're all tech/networking guys from the Bay Area, CA. Somehow, we decided it would be a great idea to do a 24 Hours of LeMons race. I'm hoping we can get some help, hints, pro tips here for getting the most out of what little we have.

Here's the first of the log, and I'll post some pics afterward and maybe update some more


Ok guise' date=' it is REALLY happening. The first $250 of our 500$ limit has been spent. I think we got a hell of a deal, the paint overall looks great, except in a few areas where its cracked or rusted. I guess I should start from the beginning.....


Earlier today while in IRC, we were talking about Lemons again, and of course I started browsing, looking for sub 500$ cars. Well I come across this bute, but there's no pic and I'm kind of worried. But, Kraz gives the guy a cal anyway and sets a time for us to meet tonight.


Jump forward seven-ish hours, I'm on my way to Kraz and Boris' workplace, but stuck in traffic because there's a shitload of traffic on 101N. Around 6:30 I finally show up, we pile into the Taurus and we're off! Another half hour or so later we're in Burlingame taking a look at a 1981, baby blue 200sx Datsun.


The current owner smells like pot and gives us a shifty review of the history, saying that it was started two, three months ago and ran well. Before that it had been sitting for two years and before that it was his brother's car, and before that it was in Los Banos (wtf?) owned by some couple. From the looks of it, it must have sat around a lot. There's some rust here and there, but most of the paint is good. All the lights on the back work, and on the front, I can see that it hit something, a planter maybe, the front lip is pushed back, no frame damage to be seen. Windshield is opaque, and so is the rear and windows, but after some wiping down you can barely see through.


Inside is a shit load of.... well shit. Aquarium parts, an extra gas tank (wtf?, could be useful), a bunch of house electrical plugs, bag full of plastic round things?, a long Philips screw driver (I wanted the car just for this), a small broom/brush thing, and a stuffed animal kitty.


After a look around the car, some obvious stuff sticks out, like the front right tire is flat, been flat, for a long time, but there's a spare behind the drivers seat. The tail pipe is rusted to shit, interior isn't completely shot, and engine bay has some cobwebs, but other than a little rust by the battery shelf (it doesn't have a battery), everything looks pretty good.


Because it doesn't have a battery, we pull Kraz's car up next to it and use some jumper cables to try and get it started by pulling juice from Kraz's car. Even with the car on, revving around 3k, still wasn't happening... wait. This part is hazy. Somewhere in here, we found out the jumper cables were giving too much resistance, and not enough juice was getting to the Datsun, so we take out the battery plop it in, and start it up. Somewhere in here we find out the key that opens the door and gas tank, dosen't want to start the car, let alone turn the cylinder. So a little while later, Mr. Electrician/car thief Kraz is under the dash, hot wiring it. After a few failed attempts, wire stripping, and trouble shooting, we get the car to turn over and it starts up. A little rough at first, but shes smooths out.


A tire change and window wipe down later, Kraz is backing out of the drive way, and I'm riding shot gun, and we take off down to the end of the block, turn left on to the main street, and we can't see shit. No joke. I was a feared. Left on another side road and we come back around to the house. I wanted to take this bad girl for a spin, so after parking, we swap places and do a little more wipe down on the windows, but its hardly better. Back out to the main street, the car pulls pretty well, but at the stop sign, who drives by, buy Burlingames' finest. They keep rolling, cuz they know not to get up in my grill. Out, around, making some right turns this time, and back. I'm liking what I'm driving, even though the steering wheel is a little loose in turning, and the car is really bouncy (shocks are shot).


At the house(?) Kraz starts to work his magic, and I take another once over on the car. The guy really just wanted the car gone, and needed 500$, but said if we took it tonight, he'd let it go for $300. Not quite good enough, so Kraz tries 250$, and it's sold. Kraz and Boris drive off, leaving me alone with the car as they go get monies from an ATM, but because the ATM only gives 20's we end up paying 260$. Paperwork is signed, car is on, Kraz's car is on, and we roll out to hit up the closest gas station.


There was one closer, but we ended up going to Chevron across the street of the main street, and air is added to the tires, windshield is washed off, and tank is filled with 4.7 gallons of high quality 87 octane. Some more wiping and cleaning of shit from the bottom of the windshield, as well as some adjustment of the mirrors, and we're good to go. I'm driving the thing back to Kraz and Boris' work.


Amazingly enough the car dose alright on the freeway, we even hit 70 at one point, and the only part I was a little scared on was the exit turn from the freeway, took it a little wider than I planned, but it was all good.

All in all, I think we got ourselves a bad ass car, for an amazing price.



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Continued from last post, pics:


Pics explained:

Engine bay, not too bad, rusty on the exhaust, but who cares?



Kraz getting in/out; me & kraz; back of the car; Steering wheel(?); Me bad ass in the driver's seat



More badass me; getting ready to go; the seatbelt has ripped and sewn (shittily) back together *__*; I found the cable I need to null modem connect the Quadra to the PC :D parallel to COM :); the clock and dash



That's right, I set the time 8); The rag we used to wipe the windows, it holds true; Kraz, Kitty, and I; Kraz Kitty and I in the fog at Kraz and Boris' work

On the way over to see the car, we talked on how the previous owner might have had a cat piss all over the car and then die in it, and it would probably add value, but we'd still take it. Then we really did find a stuffed kitten in there. awesome.



A little while later a fancy ignition system was installed:


Edited by Hybridchemistry
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  • 3 months later...
I had some spchiel about being lazy and i am. Here's pics as best narrated as i can right now.

Cleaning intake I think' date=' and head with valves after they were all fancy ground down and what not, then putting on the valve springs, which I can replace in under 5 min per spring.



More valve springs and exhaust header port matching



Block, all the valves and springs and whatnot in place



A job well done and the head gasket



Caulking the head gasket and oil pan gasket



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The all mighty Dremel at work! Attaching various pieces' date=' intake, exhaust manifold gaskets.



Gaskets again, David, and the car coming back from Evil Genius Racing,



One more pic of the car coming back, Oh mah gaw, the engine going in, Kitty helping with the To Do lists, more engine gettings in



Pics of the cage, rear hoop, shot from the back, driver's side door bars and pimp steering wheel cover, heavy ass doors



Our boss awesome muffler ($5@pick n pull w/ half off), it's less of a muffler and more of a straight pipe becoming two straight pipes, it stands by it self!!, boss awesome intake ( needs some angle pieces and stuff ), stock exhaust riddled with holes



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Awesome centerline wheels Kraz low balled and bargained for' date=' welds for the cage, our Corbeau race seat



Big radiator is our new engine rad (has to be twice as big as the old one), smaller one is for oil if we get it hooked up, more cage welds and front shot of engine bay



Metal gasket thing for between engine block and transmission, WARNING Industrial Purple is not for wusses - this shit annihilates dirt, grease, grime, light metals in no time flat. We almost lost some of the engine because of it. Anyway it made quick work for cleaning stuff.



Before and after!, Look at the Ft/lbs for Flywheel bolts. That equals approx 1 metric Shit Tonne. Both books say it requires a metric shit tonne.



More metric shit tonnage, getting the clutch on, cleaning the transmission



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Cleaning the transmission' date=' some idiot riding the engine, engine mostly complete



Some dude freaking out about the engine, and riding it, and then doing his PlayGirl shoot with it. Engine going in



More engine going in, FAUCKCJA; LSKDJSDFH;WLKE MOTOR MOUNTS PIECE OF SHITTTTTTTTT, then Bruce choppin' the doors down a bit, then some more choppin', ppl standing around watching Bruce do the choppin'



Choppin' all done, more standing, the car's on stands! Kitty helping put the engine back in



Doors all cut up (meant to panoramic that...), Bruce doing some more torch'n and pounding, he's working on putting in the rails for the seat



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Our car is hot' date=' Hot, HOT! I didn't take these shots, but it looks like some extra bracing from when we had to notch the frame rails for the big ass radiator (came out of a v8 Jeep grand Cheroke)



More welding stuff...



Stephane cutting a hole in the hood for the radiator to poke out of, Boris the troll, more cutting of the hood, more cutting, more...cutting.



Cutting again... and again, from the inside!



Lots of cutting.



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Cuts' date=' cuts, cuts, we're so emo. But SPARKS!!!



Cuts, and seat's rail mounted decently (final? i think )



High quality stock shift knob, finally finishing cutting the hole in the hood, and pulling it out



Inpsection, then cutting out the bottom part, and hazaa! It almost closes



Needed some room for hoses and the fill port so some other notches were cut, more cutting/pounding to fit the rails, smoke rising is always a good sign, Bruce approves



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Yyyeahhhhh the hood closes! The radiator is mounted rather well



Awww right' date=' radiator is mounted like a boss, lots of metal dust from cuttings, Bruce and Boris working inside the car



De-burring the hole, HAHAH NERD ALART!!!!, Had to get some new bolts, washers and nuts because the threads on the old ones managed to get almost completely flattened... Cutting the bolts because they're a little long.



SPARKS! I have no idea what's going on in these next few pictures.



Buris and Kraz putting things together, Kraz's awesome patch job on our holey stock muffler, Boris digging thru box of bolts




Kay, that's all campers, there will probably be more tomorrow


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Good luck! I always wanted to do a LEmons. Let us know how it goes. If the car gets totaled. I am interested in that engine.. :)


Ha, what? Interest in this engine? I didn't think anyone would want a z20 engine :P Unfortunately, the engine has bigger plans in store for it, my friend wants to do the next race all on carbs and woodgas... :| :D


Thanks for the luck! We'll need it!

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nope no build thread


z20 bottom end

w53 closed chamber head

1.5 intake ports un shroud the valves 44 mm intake valves

490/290 nissan comp cam and comp valve springs (you will need different retainers)

side drafts


this set up was built by nismo 4 ever on here .

the engine was in slodats old 510 it pulled verry hard from 3000 to 7500 i never revved it past that because it scared me. slodat did he shifted from 2nd to 3rd at 8500 and it pitched him side ways at about 40 miles an hour and took off like a rocket!

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How much?!!?!?!?!?!


Current figures are 980$, that includes suit, helmet, boots, temp racing license, drivers fee, and prep of the car. Most likely the cost will go up a little for any unforeseen costs (extra tires, gas, broken parts, etc). If you want, I can fwd you the spread sheet outlining the costs of everything.


Btw, where are you located? We're mostly in the San Jose area.

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Besides Laguna Thunderhill Raceway Park is one of my favorite places on the planet. It's like a real life video game.




Never drove a car there but I have hundreds of laps on superbikes. It is the most fun you can have with you clothes on! There is no better feeling that T8 flat out or getting the entry to T9 right so you are hooked up pulling hard out onto that back stretch!




Great project guys, I will be rooting for you. Are you going to be able to do the open test day? Or are you just going to take it up on 280 in the middle of the night? :D

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