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My '72 two door 510


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Copy and pasted from another forum. Will be updating he from now on:



Well, the WRX is gone, and as some of you know this is what's next on the list of projects.


A little history:

I've had the car since I was 16 (10 years...I know) and never really had it completed to a level I was happy with. We purchased the car from Tom Hnatu (more on that) and he had prepped the car for vintage endurance racing.


The car was registered for road use from 1971 to 1973, and had one owner. I am "technically" the second owner of the car. It's been a club racer most of it's life, and show its been well kept (no obvious damage, all original metal).


As some of you know, Tom passed recently. This was a shock to both me and my father. Another close friend had also passed during the build of this car. So this build is about more than just metal and parts to me.


The build:

The car is currently setup as a race car. However I do have everything to make it "street legal". The plan is as follows:


S13 front suspension

S13 front knuckles

S13 rack and pinion

180sx brakes

Lexus 1uzfe


S13 rear coils on 510 rear suspension


Many, many other things.


I am completely open to input and suggestions, as this is my first build of this scale.


I'm trying to find some pics of it. Scrolling through 1500 pictures in my photobucket will take some time.


I'm hoping to have the car done for next season, but I refuse to compromise the build simply to meet a deadline.










Me again. Well, things have changed motor wise. Well actually, nothing's changed there, I still feel this car would perform best with a lightweight small displacement V8 (1UZ). However the one thing that has changed is my budget. Instead of spending money on a V8 that's not necessary, I will be running a Nissan four cylinder (CA18DET) in an effort to make the car cheaper to run, easier to work on, and a put the additional money into the chassis.


Anyway, I picked up a few goodies over the past weeks and have begun work. I picked up some 30mm Z32 brakes, Tein adjustable TC rods, S14 engine crossmember, S14 knuckles, and an intercooler. I'm waiting on a Hicas steering rack, and S13 control arms to finish mocking up the front suspension, and begin cutting to make my adjustable control ams (for track width) and outer tie rods.


The next step after front suspension and rack install will be making custom brackets for the Z32 rear brakes, and then ordering wheels and tires. The goal is to have the front and rear suspension in the car and rolling by the new year.


Mocking everything up before breaking down for coating:



Punched out 20 year old studs to make way for new ARP ones before stripping and coating:



All steel TC rods (not the weak aluminum ones):




Well the important first step is finally complete. The shop renovations are done, and we moved the car there last night. Tonight I'll be putting it up on jack stands and hopefully mocking up the subframe and getting rolling with the front suspension.


First time it's been on the road in 20 years?



All tucked in and ready for the work to begin:



I'm HOPING to have a rolling chassis on street tires by the new year...we'll what the bank account says about that.



This weekend I started working on the front cross member. I'm using the rack from an S13, so I'll need to maintain the s-chassis' distance between the control arms. I'll also need to "flip" the cross member if I use the 510 x-member.


However if I use the s13 x-member I'll have to lower the point it mounts to the chassis, shift the whole thing back towards the car, and shift the motor mounts forward.


So I'm leaning towards cutting up the 510 one, and making my own control arms and outer tie rods to suit the correct track width i want.


Anyway, I snapped a few pics for comparison sake. Sorry for the dull update. There will be exciting things to come in the next few weeks.









So, tonight I got angry - errrrr productive.

I'm trying to make a mishmash of a 510 and 240sx cross member. I want to run the 240sx rack, custom control arms, 510 mounting location, the wheel's position in the wheel well, and new engine mounts.

Anyway, I cut some tubing and braced the cross member in preperation for cutting the center out.


With the current "design" the engine will move roughly 2" closer to the firewall, and the front of the transmission will move 1" closer to the back of the rack.


Anyway, I'm exhausted, so HERES SOME PICTURES.




My art attack:


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Thoughts and input is welcomed with open arms!


The alternative would be to make new mount points roughly 3" further back on the 510 frame, and use the 240sx cross member. Moving the mounting points back would be in an effort to keep the wheel centered in the wheel well.

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I still have to do some more measuring, but I believe I may have over thought this by trying to use the 240 crossmember. I could simply flip the 510 x-member as people normally do, and affix rack mounting points to it (obviously at the right distance offset to the rear of the car).


Has no one done this before to do a rear steer rack swap?

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Well, today I met with someone with much more experience than I with race cars, and racing, and steering boxes....


...well you can guess where this is going now. he talked me into giving the steering box a chance. The assembly I have is freshly rebuilt. So in an effort to have the car out running this year I'm going to keep it simple, get the car set up, and give the steering box a shot.


So anyway, today I got busy and flipped the crossmember.


I braced the cross member (yesterday)




After marking it, and cut it.




Tacked it together, double checked fitment, and welded it together:




All welded up and ready to go:




Now onto the control arms!

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Spent a little bit of time poking around the 510 today with some friends.

I reinstalled the factory steering linkages and box. As it sits, there's absolutely zero slop at dead centre, but I will reserve judgement until I get the car down on the ground with some weight in it. It looks like Tom completely replaced all the joints and linkages, as well as getting a new steering box.


Also put the reversed sub frame in. Looks like I did a reasonably good job bracing it, as it bolted right back in as if it were new.


I also checked to see if the 510 ball-joint would work in the S14 spindle. it's so close to seating! I'm going to take it my machinist tomorrow to see if he can open it up (I would be surprised if it was off by more than a hundred thou) and get the 510 ball joint to seat properly so I can run the s-chassis spindles, opening up more options for brakes, and suspension.


Also, keep in mind I own a powder coating company as a part time business, so all these fabricated pieces will be getting blasted and coated.


Next week I'm hoping to tackle the control arms.





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Here's another one for you oliver!



So, rather than machine the hub, I bought S14 outer tie rods to see if they thread onto the 510 inner tie rod....Whatta ya know they fit...sort of.


So Datsun originally used a right hand thread on the inside and left hand on the outside of the tie rod on the drivers side, and the opposite on the passengers side. Now in the 90's nissan smartened up and only produced one outer tie rod with a right hand thread.


So this works fine for the passenger side but not the drivers side. So I'm having a driver side inner tie rod machined with a right hand thread on both ends, and I will deal with removing the ball joint to adjust toe. Its an M14x1.5 thread, so each turn is 1.5mm which on a standard car equates to about 1/3 of a degree adjust per one full turn. So I SHOULD be ok with this new setup as far as adjustment is concerned.


anyway, passenger install pics:






i also ordered all the heim joints and rod to make my front control arms

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I should be getting my tie-rods back from machining tomorrow.


Anyway, this weekend I picked up some parts:



My self lubricating chromoly QA1 rod ends came in from Hitman today. I'm excited to make these into something!



I picked up some Stance GR+ coils, and a 510 chassis harness as a spare as well.



Parts all cleaned up and waiting for a home. I also grabbed some used S13 control arms to chop up (thanks Alex!!)



I've been brushing up on my CAD. I'm still incredibly rusty (not using it for 5+ years will do that) but I do like the mac interface. It's taking some getting used to, but I'm getting there. With the help of my machinist friends, some cool parts should find there way onto this build! Pictured is a very rough mock up of the bushings I'll be using to adapt the rod ends to the 510 front control arm spindle.


This week I'm hoping to get the front control arms tacked together, get the rear coils in, get the fronts suspension hung, and start assembling it. I'd like to be able to break it down and coat it all next weekend. but with the semester winding down, that will likely be a tall task. Especially with the winter work load of wheels ramping up again.


At any rate, fingers crossed this whole crazy idea of mine doesn't bit me in the ass.

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Well, I've been extremely busy as of late, but over this past week I took a few minutes to unwind and mock up the suspension. My main concern was that when I mocked it up, I would be left with a ton of positive camber at ride height. So i popped a spring off one of the coils and put it all together with the 510 control arm. At ride height, I'll be left with just over one degree of positive camber with the 510 length arms. So I mocked up my adjustable length arms to be the same length as the original 510 ones with the camber plates set to "0". So, I'll have plenty of adjustment out to add negative camber.

I also got my inner tie rod back from the machine shop. I'll be putting that in sometime this week to ensure that I have enough adjustment to accommodate for the added track width of these new control arms.



S13 control arm and hub assembly is considerably shorter than the 280zx units.

S13 control arms place the ball joint on a greater angle to the hub.


S13 control arms cut, and mocked up



All parts waiting for some free time:



S13 coilover, S14 hub, 510 control arm.



New inner tie rod:


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Ask and ye shall receive.


Tonight, I had the chance to unwind tonight and get some stuff done.

I got around to cleaning up and anti-seizing everything on the coilovers and bolting in the steering box assembly. I also put in the driver's side suspension to figure out the caster and camber, and make sure the tie rods are long enough to accomodate the adjustable length of the control arms.


it's starting to kind of look like a car...



I then put my new hardware kit in the calipers and mocked them up:






I found that I can use the factory flex line locations:




However, i found that the brand new Z32 bolts I ordered leave about a 1/4" of bolt exposed when bottomed out in the caliper. I thought it was the shoulder bottoming out on the caliper, but there's about 1/4" of thread exposed as well. So I'm thinking maybe i need to use S14 caliper bolts?


My helper for the evening:




I also mounted my AP Racing master cylinders on the balance bar. They're both 7/8" bore, so I may get a 1" bore for the front.




Onto the rear!


I put the rear S13 coil in to mock up and make sure my research was correct. I need the make some bushings to adapt the lower mounting point. However the top needs more work. I'll be adapting the Stance upper pillow ball mount to work in the 510 tower.

I will use the Stance spherical bearing, and mount it ontop of a new smaller diameter spring retainer.


Rough sketch:



Stance spherical bearing:





S13 rear strut tossed in:



I also flattened out the angle the front lower ball joint sits at to accommodate the new front geometry:




I'll be boxing this all in when I put the adjustable rod ends in.


If I squint, it kind of looks like a car....


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  • 1 month later...



I haven't forgotten about this project. Exams got me down a little, but I've been steadily chipping away at it. 


In the past month I have:

Registered and insured the car - a mission in itself. I had to dig up the bill of sale, get an appraisal and deal with the MTO, but in the end I discovered that the car is actually a '73, and I am the fourth owner. It was last registered in 1988 with ~3000km on it, and was white.


Anyway, I've also sent some parts off to the machine shop. I have Jay working on the bushings for the front suspension, rear suspension, turning down the coil mounts in the rear, and a few other small things. I also met with Joe, my cage builder. I plunked my seat into the car, and discovered that I REALLY didn't fit in the car. So we did some cutting and moving and I know fit like a dream!


We've also started in on the body work. I've been filling holes all over the car (mostly in the engine bay), and my body man Oscar has been blocking out the car (with me helping occasionally) and getting it ready for primer.


Oscar working away on the body work:



The fenders appear to be a fibreglass copy of the originals with a fibreglass flare bonded to them. So we cut the inner lip out, smoothed it, and panel bonded it together.



Some of the filling in the bay:



I also picked up a bunch of parts including a prop valve, mounts for my TC rods, 225/45/15/ R888's, 15x9j +0 Rota Grid-v, and a bunch of other things I've probably forgotten.






Most importantly I've given up the quest for a CA18. They are impossible to find, and parts not nearly as readily available as it's made out to be. so...the car will be getting an SR. fuck.


How she sits today:



I feel like it's moving backwards, but I know the assembly is just around the corner.


And finally, a mock up of where the wheel should sit with zero camber:



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Well, I wasn't hung over yesterday so I went out and got a few things mocked up and figured out. 


Firstly, I had been stressing over the lack of a heater core for some time now. Aftermarket ones are WAY over priced, and I couldn't find an oem one that would work the way I wanted it to. So I decided to give the WRX one I had sitting around a go, and lo-and-behold it works. The arms for the flaps are in the right spot, and with (a lot of) cutting it fits where i want it to, and the hoses are even int he right place. I will have to make my own ducting from the blower motor to the unit, and then again to the dash, but that's not a major deal. I also happen to have the harness for it laying around!






Next up, I mocked up the suspension (again) and put on my TC rods to see where they sit in relation to everything.

Welp, these are going to require some reworking. At this point, I think I'm going to ask for the help of an expert just to be sure the whole package comes together properly. However, assuming my measuring has been right the whole time, it should just require the shortening of the TC rods and drilling holes for them on the control arm at a different angle to make it all work....SHOULD.

Also, again, the local hotrod shop (hit man hotrods) comes to the rescue with ends for these things:




Now, while doing all my mocking up, I did get a chance to throw a front wheel on to check brakes clearance, and get a better idea of fitment.

It looks like I will need a 3-5mm spacer to clear the calipers, but I have room for that once we introduce some camber. 

I'm really happy I stayed with the 510 track width. These things couldn't fit more perfectly in the front.






And last but not least, I brought this out to the shop. It should have something sitting on it in the next week or so.


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