Jump to content

Autocross/Street Handling '72 510 Wagon

Recommended Posts

Okay, so I had a thread on the 510 section, but now that the car is actually starting to get underway I decided to make an actual "build" thread. This is kind of a father son project, so the "we" will be my dad and I working on the car.


I got the wagon in December of 2010, and it was basically all cleaning from then until the summer of 2011, which is about when I got my driver's license.





White interior....







Once the car was "clean" and summer came around we tried to start it... well turns out there was so much crap in the gas tank that it was plugging the fuel line, so we shipped it off to get recoated and blew the fuel line. Once that was done we replaced the brake lines and the master cylinder. Then she was out for her first test drive!






That was the day before school started, so the hood was on and that night and it went with me to school the next day. The look on people's faces made me want to roll over and die laughing, but the girls were all in agreement that it was much cooler than the two mustangs that have been cruising around lately. cool.gif


I put some beauty rings and chrome lug nuts on the old toyota steelies that the car came with, and I've been rocking them since last august. Soon though, everything will change.




Did some improvements on the interior as well as some tear down to fix the heater core and put a JVC in (I got tired of putting an iPod dock in the passenger seat whenever I wanted to listen to music.) and got a new steering wheel.




It's actually a hand - me - down Momo from my dad's 510 (the deal was I'd "buy" that one from him so he had an excuse to get a nice new shiny one for his car)


Decided that the rusty hatch needed to be covered up, one of the PO (not the one I bought it from) tired to paint it and got the body color wrong and didn't seal it.







Share this post

Link to post

I also took the roof rack off at some point and plugged up the holes, planning on getting an old school wood slat VW roof rack to replace it.

Some engine bay shots after a little clean-up. Still running that little L16, gosh I love that little motor, starts up every time laugh.gif




Crap gaskets




I replaced all of the door gaskets with the exception of the hatch with Datsunlandsocal gaskets.


Here's how she sat just before December, one year anniversary!








Little more engine bay work, cleanerish and a new overflow tank to go with the three row radiator to replace the old two row that blew up on me.






Ok so I got creative with the valve cover, ended up getting a spare one from pick n pull and painted the letters blue to put one while the better shape one went to the sand blasters.




Then got the actual cover back, and polished the letters.








Now for some stuff that is actually interesting...

Got a set of third gen prelude seats from the junkyard, no easy way to put them in, but they have more bolster and side support than any OEM seat I've ever seen that I'd be able to actually get my hands on, and I paid like sixty bucks for them. So I took the car over to a guy that I know through my dad who does some pretty amazing metal work and had him put in a new seat bracket. One of the joys of being 6' 4" is that the seats needed to be moved 4 inches back from the farthest back factory setting, and 2 inches down so I could put a helmet on in the car with out putting it through the headliner.


















Back seat? what back seat?


I then decided that as much of the white interior was going to go as I could do practically and cheap. So I started to take out the white panels and began to make my own out of black ABS plastic from Tap Plastics.








In two weeks I'm going to have a week off of school so I'll be able to get all of my suspension done! Moar Lower! Going to lower the car 4 inches in the front with coilovers and Design Products camber plates that I've had for a while. I have a set of composite leaf springs that will be 2 1/2 inches lower for the rear and ordered some new rear shocks. I'm going to use my dad's panasports with 205/60/15 tires to test fist and make sure there's no unmanageable rubbing (I'll probably still need to roll the fenders). I also have a super secret box of goodies that are going to help me get the wagon even lower than most... see if you can guess what they are....






Maybe I'll even have time to put the SUs on.




Updates will be pending and I'll have the car lowered by the end of February!!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post

nice job man! looking good for sure! wish i could get my hands on those SSS su's...

Share this post

Link to post

Okay, little update. Just bought a 620 center console to put into the wagon (thank you Fuzz), should keep the datsun look but still be more functional than a bare trans tunnel.


Tomorrow I'm going to finish taking apart a pair of 280zx struts and paint the calipers and tubes (probably black or grey/silver nothing flashy). They won't be going on the car anytime soon because they still need to have collars welded onto them so that coilovers will work on them. Those strangely welded 510 struts will go on the car week after next along with all the other suspension.


Other thing that I'm going to start tomorrow is blending in a lot of the inconsistencies in the paint:








The bondo and bad paint is from a quarter panel replacement that somebody did some good welding on, and then somebody tried to bondo badly, followed by some rattlecan paint that was never sealed (it's also not quite the same color as the rest of the car). The stuff on the roof is all fading of some sort form the roof rack. I was planning on doing a lot of wet sanding and using a finishing sander on the quarter panel... if it takes it down to bare *eh* I'll roll with it, the cars not getting repainted for a long time so I'll just seal it somehow and roll the patina look, this is Ratsun after all! Pics will go up tomorrow of the product.

Share this post

Link to post

Got some of the work done that I wanted to do today. Started with the calipers from the 280zx struts, got done with one and then decided to work on something that would actually get done soon (the struts still need collars and I've got struts to use while those get finished).




One cleaned and painted one still needs to be disassembled.


Also did some work one the rear quarter panel with all the bad paint. Took sandpaper to it and got some paint off the corner, going to take a few more hours of work to clear it up completely and I need to decide how to seal it until the car gets a facelift (way far away...)











The last thing that I did was decide that I was tired of looking at those big rectangular holes where those silly drain vents were on the back of the hatch. So I took some aluminum and and old bike inner tube and made a sealed plate to keep water from getting in and to cover them up. Might paint them black later so they don't stick out so much.





Share this post

Link to post

^ Maybe exhaust vents, but most people that don't work on cars haven't appreciated that freak out moment when I tell them that smell is exhaust fumes laugh.gif


Something that I forgot to talk about earlier was that I really need to get a 5 speed in here sooner rather than later, cruising down the freeway in 4th gets kind of annoying at 3000+ rpms... I don't particularly want to put a dogleg in it because I'm going to autocross the car (hell yes autocross wagon!) and the movement from 1st to 2nd will be significantly compromised with a dogleg. After reading a ton of Dime Quarterlies I know that the FS5W71B transmission is compatible with an L motor, but if I can avoid shortening the driveshaft for the 280zx transmission (which seems to be the most common) I would like to. Will the short tailshaft go right in or will I still have to shorten the drive shaft for it. And which models did they come out of, for example I know that the NapZ motor would have a 5 speed on it, but I can't seem to get anyone to pin down exactly what car/truck they came in...

Share this post

Link to post

If you get the longtail version you can use a sedan drive shaft. You cant shorten a wagon shaft without re tubing the shaft cause their swaged tubes. Napz trannys have a different bellhousing but those can be swapped. I beleve the short tail 5spds came from 200sx but I could be wrong.

Share this post

Link to post

^ sweet! gives me a direction thanks a ton!


wait will a sedan drive shaft work in a wagon accounting for the different rear ends?



yes sir, bolts right in!!

Share this post

Link to post

I dunno but I used one in my wagon with the long trans ka combo worked perfect.

Share this post

Link to post

Okay update from the first day of break as promised.

Not too much going on, a lot of disassembly, Friday afternoon a buddy and I put the car on jackstands and started to take apart the front suspension. We only got to take the brake calipers and rotors off before it got dark, so today my dad and I began to take some more stuff apart.






So far we've got the front struts off, and the crossmember and control arms. The PO had already put new nylon ball TC rod endings so that didn't need to be done again.

The crossmember had to come off so that we could get to the oil pan. It's been leaking because of a bad gasket (we hope, cause if it's not that it's the rear main seal, which is a bigger pain in the ass). While I was taking that off dad stuck the factory carpeting back in the car, because I had forgotten it was sitting in the garage since we took it out, back when we first got the car.








Le sketch in car motor mount. IMG_1442.jpg


Tomorrow oil pan back on, rear end of the car out. Then we should have the front inserts from Troy Ermish, and the rear springs (which should have been here from last week) should be here on monday or tuesday.

Share this post

Link to post

Just to let you know, the console will go out tomorrow. Had a stomach virus last week and got dehydrated, none of my family wanted to be around me and I missed work :( Hopefully won't get fired monday, oh well. Please let me know when you get it in and throw up some oics.





Share this post

Link to post

Its always a great start having a clean straight car to work with, well down on the work so far.

Share this post

Link to post

Fuzz: Will do! Hope everything goes okay at work.


xvi00: For sure, the biggest thing was just being able to get the car on the road quicker. Once you drive one of these cars you know that you're never going to want to give it up for anything else, really keeps me motivated through all the things that seem to make the car hard to finish.


Today I got the oil pan back up under the car with a new gasket, and put the crossmember back on. Found out that the rear springs are going to be here on thursday.... and I'm going to probably need to pick up the inserts from troy sometime mid-week.


In the mean time I'm going to try to get the spook on, and do some more interior work and cleaning while the car is off the ground.


Spook mock up pics, looks awesome.






I've decided that eventually the car is going to need a VG33 eventually (far future, but planning on it none the less) My dad had one in his car for a long time.





Share this post

Link to post

them yota steelies are bad ass and vg33 is what i want to do

Share this post

Link to post

Thats your dad's car? I remember that at Shasta back in the day....I feel old now.


Me too. One of the cleanest VG cars I've seen. IMHO.

Share this post

Link to post

Unfortunately his car is in non op right now, but he's planning on it being ready by JCCS in southern Cali.


Finally got all my parts for the suspension.






And even a 7/8 inch sway bar, hopefully will make the car handle well without taking away street drivability.




Ran into a problem with the sleeves for the camber plates, turns out I was wrong and picked up the wrong ones from Troy, those are for tokikos and I got Konis. So we got a couple of plastic tubes and made temporary ones until we can get the correct ones from Troy.






Went with 200lb springs up front since I'm still only lugging around an L motor. Then the camber plates were too big for the openings in the strut towers, hooray for big ass grinders!! (maybe small to some of you but it's big enough)




I don't have any good pictures of test fitting the front wheels, but I'm excited. When I dropped the front of the car it bottomed out on the jack with the wheels barely touching the ground. Won't even be able to fit a jack under the thing any more biggrin.gif Promise more pics tomorrow when I get the rear end done and the whole thing on four wheels.


I did paint my back seats, and I've got a pic too!







  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post

I may have missed a comment in the post somewhere, but covering those vents is not going to do anything for the exhaust, or at least not alot. Usually that's due to a bum hatch seal. I've got a pretty ratty goon, and had the same exhaust issue, and just getting that new seal fixed it all. Those vents not only serve a purpose, but it looks pretty.... not good in my opinion. Just had a friend who machine cut out brand new vents for mine that look sweet. I'm trying to convince him to start making some. Keep an eye out

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post

^ I knew about the hatch problem, just wanted them covered up because the old hoses that ran the drains to the bottom of the hatch are bad and don't do anything helpful. This is only a temporary solution to keep water from collecting inside the bottom of the hatch and rusting it. Eventually I plan to have them welded up and frenched. I actually attempted to put the old "grates" back on but while cleaning the old crappy chrome off them I broke one...

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.