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What have you done to your 1200 lately


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I have wanted to stagger the rear shocks and decided that this year was as good as any. As stiff as the rear springs in Smurf are they do tend to "wrap-up" at times.

Staggering the shocks should eliminate this condition, after this much work, I will find out- soon.


Cut brackets, the U channel was mostly for locating but decided to leave it place.

Mocking up parts, using left side lower shock mount on the right side so shock would be in front of axle housing.
Part of the floor cut and bent-up for welding in of sheet metal box.
Shock support bracket welded to orginal shock cross member, sheet metal box and u channel welded to the floor pan.
Going to autocross race in Astoria Oregon with NWAA on August 10th & 11th, should be a good test.
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I have no idea how long my 1200 sat before I got it, so time to go through the brakes.

I started on the back and the adjuster was seized, which led to removing the axle and while I was there I thought I'd sandblast and powdercoat the backing plate.

Of course to get the backing plate separate from the axle you have to pull the bearing.  That means cutting the collar, which I'm ok with, but destroying the perfectly good and non-standard bearing didn't seem like such a good long-term plan.  Of course I'm going to replace it with a sealed bearing anyway but that didn't stop me from spending a couple hours making a special puller just for the Datsun 1200 axle bearings I'm not planning to re-use anyway.  No wonder I can't get my projects finished!

Anyway, the bearing is off, the backing plate is gloss black, adjuster is free, and it's ready to go back together so I can do the other side.

I'd include pics but not sure how without an image hosting service.

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OK, once I stopped fooling with that wheel bearing I finally got some work done.

Keeping in mind this was a junkyard rescue, it was missing a lot of parts:

Rebuilt back brakes, replaced rear rubber line, bleed.

Tear-down and clean front brakes, replace rubber hoses, bleed.

Replace front wheel bearings and seals.

Replace the strut fluid: 280Ml per side of 15Wt fork oil.

  No matter how many times I do a strut-oil replacement, it's always a messy and annoying job.  Pretty rewarding though in terms of the ride quality.

  This vehicle had really nasty crud in one side, chunky and crusty.  Looks like the strut will be fine with a cleaning and new oil though.

Keyed and installed steering column lock and ignition switch.

replace 3 of 4 tires... thanks very much to Fivetenguy for the wheels and tires!

rebuild a carburettor and install.

Install cowl vents, door latch eustucions, window cranks, 

install rea-rview mirror

remove the last of the tinting film

remove tiny aftermarket steering wheel and replace with Nissan B210 wheel (it's almost right)


I was getting ready to take it for it's first outing since my first and only aborted trip half-way around the block just after I bought it when I noticed the alignment had a bunch of toe-out.

I need to replace a bent tie-rod and adjust.  That and finish the fitting of the B210 seats and I'm ready to go for a drive.


When I get a minute with the tire machine I'll weigh the 12" wheels I have and the few different tires on hand and also weigh the different 13" tires I've collected to see how they compare in terms of total unsprung weight since I know that's an especially critical factor for the 1200.


Edited by pdp8
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I did a little sanding to see what might be under the really heavy layer of oxidation on the respray. I started at #1000, then when that didn't get me there switched to #600, got impatient there too and went to #500 until I got very bored.  I know it's going the opposite direction I should be going but best case I render the car decent looking until I have time to do a respray, worst case I cut through the tired respray and have a better base for my new paint.


Oh, before that I finally drove the car.  A quick trip around the block and then 150 miles!

In retrospect it would have been prudent to do a couple more shake-down trips as the cooling system was full of crusty crud and the differential turns out to be on it's way out, but the car made it, so now I can do little bits daily rather than having it in another county and only seeing it every couple weeks.


I've been trying to make the car more positive, everything about it was vague and non-committal.  Brakes, steering, gearshift, it all barely worked.  Tighten the steering box, bleed and adjust the brakes, and today replaced a bushing in the shifter (8mm ID, 14mm OD in case anyone has lost their A/T shift bushing).

Edited by pdp8
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OK, seriously, post some pics of this thing already.

We know your new around here but quit with the teasing FFS.

imgur is the easiest, even for old guys like me.

My wife and I call this one the Bitch....Cuz you have to drive her like one and she loves it.


We call this one Priss….Cuz she has to be handled just so.


The priss is the wife's car....I just don't let her drive it.

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9 hours ago, Mattndew76 said:

Started to work on the Datsun again after the Unibody.


meet the A12 lunch box turbo manifold.



That's an awful lot of chips on the floor right there.  I just finished making a 65Lb block of 6061 into a 20Lb block that later becomes a 12Lb finished product and it's an expensive endeavor.   What about a lost-wax casting and just NC the wax?  For bonus points, 3D print or NC a mold for the wax so you can make many of them pretty cheaply.

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Meh. I have a cnc and this plenum is 10.2" long x 4.0 wide. A12 is tiny and its parts are tiny.


I have made a few custom 4 cyl intakes before and this is the smallest of them all.

Edited by Mattndew76
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  • 6 months later...

Been a looong time since I've logged in here.


In November? I chucked a 620 grille in the front of my ute


And I forgot the stuff around of loading images on forums so no pic 

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In the past ~3 months:

A12 to A14 swap.

Auto to manual swap.

Alternator swap.

Worley radiator.

Changed to slot-mags, 12" in front, 13" in back. running some used 155/80s in front and new 175/70s in back.

New carpet, new back quarter window seals, B210 seats installed and reupholstered.

New locks in doors, ignition and trunk.

Factory(ish) radio install.

Straighten and paint driver door.

Some other stuff.

Every time I turn around I'm getting another box of parts and tearing apart some chunk of the car.


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Cleaned up and POR15'd the entire inside of an old fender, installed new front speakers (loud as hell again now), fixed malfunctioning fuel gauge, installed new horn after rolling without one for 19 years.

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  • 2 months later...

Waiting on some165/50/14 to try out, circumference is about an inch smaller so should help with the rubbing at half lock.

I have always run 13" wheels, so the 14"s may look? 

If this photo posts I will put more up with some before and after shots.


Edited by graveltrapp
Cant get pics to load, try agin,
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Running 185/60/14 on my grey coupe. Looks a little Hot Wheelish....or so I am told.


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Generally you can go one size larger rim, maybe two without messing with the looks, but ask any kid today who are used to 17, 18 and more they would say too small. Kelmo it look great! (maybe a little lower?)

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On 7/5/2020 at 11:23 AM, graveltrapp said:

Waiting on some165/50/14 to try out, circumference is about an inch smaller so should help with the rubbing at half lock.


That's a really small size, may be too small...


This is a 185/50-14...



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I'm running 12" in front and 13" in back.  It was intended to be temporary but it's really grown on me.  Finding decent quality 12" tires is a challenge though.  At least in 13" you have some more options.  Funny thing though, now that I'm used to the "big" tires in back, setting a factory 12" in there makes it look like a donut spare.


Replaced front quarter vent seals, finished modifying B210 rails for front seats and had the seats reupholstered.  New 175s in front (I want to go back to 155).  Bought a replacement R. fender and working on getting paint on it.

Thinned the lens in front of the hi-beam bulb to compensate for it's darkening over the years.

20200411 side view.JPG

Edited by pdp8
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The 12" inch tires on my coupe I found on a Mini Cooper site 6 to 10 years ago. I looked recently and decided I would rather try and find a set of chicken lips

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8 hours ago, KELMO said:

The 12" inch tires on my coupe I found on a Mini Cooper site 6 to 10 years ago. I looked recently and decided I would rather try and find a set of chicken lips


Mini Mania still stocks a few different options?




I ended up getting mine from the UK on ebay. Even with shipping, the price wasn't too bad. 

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