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Sh!ts and Giggles 510


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So I decided I need to create a thread for my 510. I purchased the car in 2004, all stock except for wheels and a weber. I was 20 years old and had big plans for the project. Slowly I came to realize that my original plans were more like dreams, lol. I want to thank the internet (ratsun/ the realm/ DQ/ etc) for providing most of my inspiration and more importantly the information that a build like this requires. I am still learning and I love it!

Here is what I started with, this was soon after I got it

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Don't you worry Z Chopper, it was a poorly done repaint. The car was originally 918 orange, then painted red before it was left to sit wherever for however many years. Had the car been wearing OG paint it most likely still would ;)

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So on with the story. I DD'd the 510 from the time I bought it till Fall of 2005. On one of my long drives around the state for work the trans got stuck in 4th gear. After nursing it over 2 hours to get home in rush hour traffic I parked the dime in the driveway. It sat, for a while. I went through a 94 Civic (stolen after 1 month), then got a 94 318is Bimmer. The Bimmer was a huge money pit, but it was a fun car to drive. I finally came to my senses and got a Honduh for my job to beat up (I average 45000miles/year).


Somewhere in all the DD chaos I had found a 521 parts truck with a friend. Hello dogleg 5 spd. I had another friend install the dog leg for me and it was back on! Things were all good up until Fall 2007. I did what a lot of people do. I took my car apart. WTF dude. I had not yet woken up ahahaha. Of course the plan was for a full body resto and paint job. This is maybe the only thing I wish I could change. I would have kept it driving.




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As I took it down to a shell I started to outline my plan. I knew going in that this was going to take me a few years and I was committed to gettin' it done. The L16 & dogleg were unloaded on craigslist yet I still had not decided what was going in. Early on there were some VQ35 fantasies, but this build was not going to be breaking that ground due to my (in)experience and budget. I wanted to utilize as many proven parts and ideas as I could to save hassles and money.


That pretty much narrowed it down to the common Nissan fours, CA18, KA24, or SR20. It did not take long to decide that if I was going to put in the work, money and time on an EFI swap I wanted some ponies. I liked the CA18det but really the extra displacement and availability of the SR20det is what sealed the deal.


Oh yeah and on 510 day 2008 I dropped my shell off at Nor-Cal Metal Strip in Windsor, CA for a dip.


I had weighed the pros/ cons and went for it. The rust was in my head. I wanted to get it all out, then patch it up and go from there.


While the shell was gone a friend and I had a few Lagu's and went to town on my red hood. Much time was spent on layout and masking then I bombed it with some Ivory Rustoleum that was in the garage. I think it turned out great and it's holding up quite well. I get more comments on the hood than anything of course, most good lol.




Home sweet Home, and clean to boot


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't even notice I got a reply. The dip and primer was about 1K.


After the car was stripped and dipped I was fully committed. This car would hit the road again, no matter how long it took. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with the body next :confused: . I spent time (and $) on other areas of the car for a while.


I wanted to start with the suspension and build up. Through much research I had decided on getting a Penultimate crossmember, DPR spherical bearing kit (went 5/8 bolts too!), Whiteline crossmember bushings, urethane mustache bushings, Specialty Engineering springs, and Tokico Illuminas in the back.



Whiteline on the right, other style on left


Up front I planned for and went with s12 struts, Mattndew76 1.25" spacers, DPR steel coilovers, DPR camber/caster plates, 8" 275lb springs, Tokico Illuminas (BZ3099?), spherical/adjustable control arms, spherical/adjustable T/C rods, and DGR swaybar.



In the braking department I have been running reman'd s12 calipers with new rotors, and out back the EDP 200sx rotor/Maxima caliper setup. I think I am using a Z master cylinder... details haha.


While pulling the struts at the yard I decided I might as well get all 4 steelies just to have something to roll around on. I painted them black and had a set of toyos mounted. I started with a 195/45, 205/45 setup on the 15x6's.


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keep going i love seeing posts like this where we already know its close to done so no waiting an eternity between updates

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I will try to keep up the frequency, I can be a smidge lazy sometimes though ;)


Here is a my cleaned and freshened up wiper linkage, one of the many small projects to take up time in between the big systems.



I moved twice with the car as a shell, and it spent a lot of time looking like this:


One of the ways I kept myself motivated was to keep the registration and insurance current the whole time the car was apart. It got 2 or 3 new stickers like this lol^

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After collecting parts for a while I had to do something with my shell. I wanted the rockers, driver dogleg area, front floors and roof patched up. I also wanted to have the engine bay stitched up in anticipation of the new powerplant. I dropped my 510 off at a Bay Area 510 shop and had the above work completed. The car ended up getting a new roof :blink:.












Unfortunately this portion of the project did not go so well. The roof swap turned out ok but I was less than thrilled with most of the rest of the work. I kind of got bummed on the 510 for a while and wasn't so sure I could get er dun.


I again took a break from the shell and started on this part of the build:


I picked up this sleeping dragon on good old craigslist out of the Berkeley Hills. It was previously owned by a 17 year old who rolled his 240sx trying to drift the touge that is Skyline Blvd. His parents made him part the car, so I swooped the swap setup. It was mostly stock and all I did was clean it up, replace water pump, replace all rubber lines and alt belt, AL. pulley, not much else.










I'll be back!

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The parts collection was growing. After having my cross member and turbo manifold fabbed I started to mock it up and check clearances.



I replaced all the exhaust studs. Some were missing and they were all pretty beat up. New Nissan studs nuts and washers were installed.



I have lost track of how many times I did this. The harbor freight dolly worked great for moving the engine and trans around my 1 car garage.



The engine is tilted back because I had no trans mount at this point.






For a while I went back and forth over running the stock turbo or doing an upgrade right off the bat. It turns out I just had to upgrade:)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah this is the one I'm driving. I will change the title when I get a little more up to date on the photo's. It is hard I am still making improvements on a regular basis:) I just had an ACT clutch installed, I will try to take some photos of the old one and post them tomorrow...
Last day before clutch replacement,

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After all the mock-ups and test fits of the hard parts were complete I needed some help with a few things. Intercooler plumbing, wiring, brake lines, and fuel lines were left. I was fortunate enough to have somehow convinced a pro to help me finish it up to the point I could drive it. In between electric cars and LS swapped Lexuses? my 510 got there. :w00t:


I drove it home from the shop mid April 2011 and one of the first things I wanted to do was schedule some pulls on a dyno.



And here is the graph

On the way to JCCS 2011


And another random shot from last year


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1/4 mile pull from Sacramento Raceway 5/12/12.   Car 503 on the right is the 510.




I had switched from the open 3.36 rear end and 205/45-15 tire combo I had used on the dyno in the last post to a 4.11 welded rear end with a 175/70-13 tire.  The other car was a 1994ish TT Supra AT :ninja:.   



Here is that clutch, it looks like it still had about 70% life :rofl:

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Moving right along to today, I was able to install some parts from Krecs that allowed me to finally fit my new wheels.


Thanks again Krecs!

These will give me the tie rod end clearance I need for my XXR 532’s +20 (5mm spacer). You can see where the tie rod made contact while I was running the taller 1.25” spacer. Now it’s all good!











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