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4G63 510

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Shared Google Photos Album until Photobucket releases the images.


So, I figured I should start an official Build Thread for my car since I've been looming around this forum for a few weeks. I have posted my build progress on several other sites since different aspects of this build are suited to those forums as well. I'll add links to those build threads for those that might want more info on this project. So here it goes:

A little background on my 510 love. I first saw what I considered to be my "first" 510 in Sport Compact Magazine's Ultimate Street Car Challenge. I loved the classic lines and how compact the car is. Very little "bling" and a whole lot of zing. After that chance sighting, I was in search of a good chassis. I knew I wanted a 4 door for its utility. After getting a car, I now realize there won't be much use of the back doors. More on that later.

I originally purchased this 1972 510 as a rolling shell from Jeff Winter of Ralley Sport in Westminster, CO in December of 2005. It did have some items that I needed to return, such as the engine and some trim like the bumpers, but for $800 how could you argue. There was another factor in the price, and that was the lack of a proper title. After following the Colorado procedures for getting a salvage title, I was on my way.

My first steps were to evaluate the chassis and find out what needed to be replaced right away. I stripped out the engine that needed to be returned as well as the interior. The front seats were of no use (although I still have them for some reason) and the carpet was trashed. But under the carpet were some nice floor pans. Stock looking with NO RUST! But what horrors may be lurking in the trunk. Well, I had to get a key made since Mr. Winter never had one in the time he owned the car. After getting a key made by a local locksmith (only about $25) I had a look in the trunk. No big surprises. Some small rust around the edges near the wheel wells and that was it. Everything else seemed to be in pretty good order.

The car is pretty complete with all the trim and wiring in stock condition. No previous "hot rodding" here. However, I have noticed that the entire passenger side seems to have a different paint under the top layer of paint. I'm still not sure if this is just a respray, or if the entire side (including the B pillar) have been replaced. The car looks straight and, at the very least, was a professionally repaired car.

Of course the rear quarters are rotted and I'll likely have to replace the rockers on both sides. The rear of the front fenders is also rusted through along with sections of the front outer frame rails. However, the car is solid and far from being a rust bucket like those I see on this and other sites. So here's some pics followed by my plans and modifications:

When I found it.


The drive home.


Now it's time to get into my plans.

I definitely wanted to do a Mitsubishi 4G63T swap from the start. I love this motor and have learned how to wrench on cars with this power plant. A quick internet search will show you the potential of this motor. The problem was that Mitsubishi never made a good RWD transmission for this motor. They did make the Mighty Max with a 2.0L and 2.4L SOHC version of this motor with a RWD transmission, but it's power holding was less than spectacular. The Starion was the only other RWD vehicle from Mitsubishi, but required a wider spaced block to work with it's beefy transmission. So the search for an alternative was on.

Before I started this project, I did some searching to see what options were available. One person had taken the FWD bellhousing from the Eclipse and welded it to part of a Toyota bellhousing to mate a 4WD Toyota transmission to the 4G63 motor. This seemed like it had promise. With some emailing and searching, a gentleman by the name of Bill Hincher decided there was a market for a custom bellhousing to mate Toyota transmissions to the 4G63. People have been adapting the Toyota W series and R series transmissions to various motors around the world for years. The transmissions are strong, cheap, and readily available. In a short time Bill had a working design for my 4G63 and the Toyota R154 transmission from the MK3 Supra Turbo.

Edit June 27, 2019: Current parts list Google Doc


Edited by jeffball610
Updated info
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Next, i thought I needed baller status with 4-piston calipers and a 5-lug conversion. Needless to say, over time I have found that 4-piston calipers were only for show cars. But the 5-lug swap was started and there was no turning back. I began with a set of 280ZX front struts like everyone else and some Z31 front hubs and rotors. This combination does not work. So I began some junk yard searching and internet research and found that S12 V6 struts have the same dimensions as the 280ZX units with a different spindle that allows the Z31 hubs to fit. 4 cylinder units will not work form the S12. This was perfect other than the fact that I need some custom bump steer spacers made. The area where the strut mounts to the balljoint/ steering arm has a larger diameter hole on the S12 units.





Next were the brakes. The 280ZX units do not fit the Z31 rotors, so I sourced some S12 V6 units. They are both basically the same, but now my SS brake lines I got with my new Z31 rotors don't fit either caliper. So I needed Z31 turbo units. However, those are tough to find. Good news is that the Infinity J30 and Q45 share many of the same parts and some 2-piston calipers were sourced. These calipers offer a 25% more pad area and work with the larger Z31 rotors.




The rear is much more complicated. First, with a proper 5-lug swap, you want a 5-lug hub. The junk I see with people re-drilling the 510 hub with 5 holes looks week and is not the proper way to do it. Also, I'm a baller and I need CV axles to go with my R200 differential. So I (my stepfather) "simply" welded the entire hub area from some Z31 rear control arms to the 510 units. They seem to be straight and look much stronger than the 510 units. It also offers a bolt on option for CV axles of the proper length. We'll see when I get to that point.







In hindsight, I would recommend that the caliper bracket be mounted more toward the rear position to aid in easy routing of the E-brake cable.


The rear brakes from the non turbo Z31 are easy to source, and that's what I had. However, the Z31 turbo rotors I ordered, in baller status vented, do not fit properly with the non-turbo calipers. I happened upon a solution though. I had some 10mm wheel spacers I'd been using to keep the wheels from rubbing. I put one behind the rotor and voila, it almost fits. I think a 8mm spacer behind the rotor will be perfect and I'll address that before it hits the road.

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Now, back to the motor. I'm using a 2G (second generation of the American turbo 4G63) motor for its higher piston compression (8.5:1 vs 7.8:1) and main cap girdle design. I'm also using a 1G head for its larger stock ports and integrated ignition timing device. The stock motor mounts from the RWD Mighty Max bolt onto the stock 510 mounts without issue. The only modification is to flip the crossmember just like any other front sump swap.


However, the intake manifold in stock form faces the wrong way. Many owners doing RWD swaps with this motor simply cut a hole in the other end of the manifold and weld on a flange for the throttle body. Others use sheet metal intake manifold produced by race shops and have them simply mount the intake plenum in the opposite direction. But not me. I'm a baller. I chose to use the stock intake manifold and have it cut at the flange and welded upside down.


I chose this method not because I'm cool (although I am cool), it was more of a fitment issue with the race manifold I had and the 280ZX brake master cylinder. The "flipped" manifold offers lots of space and looks nearly stock. It resembles KA and SR type intake manifolds now.





The stock exhaust manifold has a symmetrical bolt pattern, so you can simply mount the turbo 180 degrees from the stock position. I'm using a ball bearing Slow Boy Racing GT11 I picked up cheap. I got this turbo more for the ball bearing center section to keep spool to a minimum and still make some decent power. My goal is 300whp daily and shouldn't be a problem. Well, until I found out my motor was no good. The previous owner spun the bearings (unknown at the time) and the crank is ruined. I'll source a used one to keep cost down.


My initial goals for this car were for it to be a classic daily driven car with plenty of fun under the right pedal. I'm also trying to keep the total cost under $10k for the entire project including interior and body work/ paint. I'm only running at about $4k right now, so I still have room to grow. Here's some more pics for fun.


Bellhousing and steering linkage clearance.


R200 in stock 510 rear suspension.


Kyalami 16X7 wheels.


Intercooler and radiator mounted behind the grill. Easy fit. I don't know why anyone would mount it any other way.


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Here are the links to my other build threads. Feel free to ask any questions or add comments.






The last one is not my build thread, but has just about anything you ever wanted to know about the 4G63 and the cars it has been put into.

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I have plenty of room for 90 degree couplers off the intercooler. I'll need reducing couplers, as the intercooler is 3" and I only want 2.5" intercooler pipes.


Here's a pic without the grill.



Every motor ever made has the chance of crank walk. The issue in the 7-bolt motors seems to stem from bad thrust bearings and low oil pressure from the oil piston squirters. The 7-bolt motors have the oil piston squirters getting oil from the crank journal area. Over time they can get stuck open and result in low oil pressure causing excess thrust movement in the crank. There are entire threads that have been written on the subject, and I don't want to get into it.


A properly build motor will not have any of these issues. There are several fixes out there the help prevent this from happening. I like the 7-bolt design for its main girdle and higher compression pistons. The rods are weaker and lighter than the 6-bolt design, but 6-bolt rods can be machined to work. Just like others use 2G pistons on the 1G rods, they can all be made to work. People even use EVO pistons on 1G rods in older blocks. We'll see what my final engine will be since I have to source another one due to bad luck.

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It looks like the same size intercooler I used, mine was 3 inch also I ordered the 3 to 2.5 90s and they were not tight enough to clear the frame rails so I ordered 2 2.5 cast 90s and cut and welded my intercooler just a thought if you can't find a tight enough 90 and it was cheaper than the silicone 90s. If you look at my build thread there are pics

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  • 7 months later...

I haven't been doing anything to this car for some time now. I got discourage for a while when I found out the motor I had in the car has a bad crank. Previous owner spun EVERY bearing and trashed the crank. I just ordered some new parts to put the motor back together, but I'm still searching for a crank. The plan is to have it running in the next month or two. I still need to run brake and fuel lines and finish some wiring. Then it's off to a fab shop to get some help making an exhaust, intercooler pipes and water pipes. It's ambitious, but I'm trying to get this thing road worthy by summer so maybe I can make some car shows and enjoy driving it. The car has never moved under its own power in the 5+ years I've owned it. Enough with the talk, I'm going to the garage to work.


And as far as I know, no one else has a 4G63 510 in America. Jelliot510 started the swap, and gave up. There might be some Australian swaps, but I have no idea.

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Very interesting build. I loved my GS-t's motor.Stock 2g turbo maxed itself out pretty fast tho. didn't like that it couldn't turn left due to the suspension being biased toward RHD driving(3point U-turns suck).


Saw a video awhile back of an FD rx7 throwing down 1000hp on a dyno with a 4G63.


Sucks that you had a trashed bottom end. This looks like it will be an awesome ride.

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Hook us up with some more pics. We need them!


I'll get more up when I get them. Unless you guys are looking for pics of a particular part of the car. I have a back seat full of part almost ready to go on the car. I just need a MLS head gasket, crank, run my fuel lines and a couple electrical wires and it "should" run. I still have lots to do, but it's close to being heard.


Big parts still got figure out are the intercooler pipes, exhaust, water pipes, and custom driveshaft. I still need to look and see if I need to shorten axles or anything like that. I have some wiring to finish and I also need tires and some wheel spacers. Other than that, it should drive with a seat in it. I know it's a lot, but I've been waiting so long to get this thing on the road. I think I could realistically get it on the road this summer. Let's hope the cash flow feels the same way.

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  • 4 weeks later...

New parts! I finally got my clutch master cylinder that I think will work. Also got this in yesterday:




Now I can bend all of my brake lines. (or try to) It has a built in brake bias adjuster and takes my 280ZX dual out master cylinder and sends it out to 3 lines. 2 front and one rear. I just need to build a little bracket for this baby and then get to building the rest of the system. I've been putting off building the brake lines because I haven't found anything to separate the lines out from the master cylinder that I liked. So, hopefully this is the piece that gets the car building back on track.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got around to posting pics of my front brake lines. As soon as I finish some work on my Colt, I'll make room to get under the 510 and run the rear lines.





Not impressive, but not too bad for my first try. It needs some tweaking and I'm going to paint all the lines black for protection and to just not be silver.

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The intercooler is a bit heavy, but seems like it's built well. Obviously I don't have any experience in the car to comment on its cooling ability. From others that I spoken to, it's a decent unit, and really good for the price. It just seems to get a bad rap for being an eBay unit and having a somewhat cheezy name.

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These motors should handle 400hp on stock internals. At least for a short time ;)

I'm not looking to go big with this. My purpose it to keep it pretty stock on the motor. 300whp will be more than enough for any tire I can squeeze under the stock 510 fenders. This is kind of a low key build in all aspects. My total budget is $10k with body work and interior. That's a lot for most Ratsun builds, but this will not be a rat car. Eventually (hoping sometime during my lifetime) it will just be a clean car that I can enjoy on the weekends and track on occasion, but still daily drive if needed. The initial inspiration for this car was Sport Compact Car Magazine's Ultimate Street Car Challenge. There were a couple of 510s in the earliest competitions. I think the 510, and other classic compacts, have everything needed to be cool daily drivers, have good power to weight ratios, and still kick ass on some of today's best cars.

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