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Lil' Red 1970 510

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  I'm finally starting a build thread. On Thursday July 18th, I went and picked up my 2 door 510 sedan from the restoration shop that did the body, paint, inside engine compartment, trunk, coated under the car and diassembled/ reassembled the car. It's now in my driveway and I can start the work that I couldn't afford to pay them to do. Maybe this would be a could time to start from the beginning of my 510 story.


 Last year I located my 510 on Ebay. It was in Florida. After having a few email exchanges with the owner and seeing more pictures of the car from every angle I pulled the trigger. I wouldn't do that again knowing what I know now. I didn't see the car in person and never had anyone else inspect it. That was a mistake. Luckily it hasn't cost me a lot. The ad read like this...............


Awesome, SWEET! 5 and Dime! Love her, but with extended unemployment cannot keep her. (Damn!) The engine is straight from Japan, and it was rebuilt by one of the best, Bill Eserine! This is stage 1 motor with oversized Corvette stainless valves, runners were matched ported to the intake manifold. The SU/Hitachi Carburetors are the domed top 38mm that you purchased through the Nissan competition catalog. Radiator is a Nissan truck 3 row unit. Transmission is a 1977 Nissan 200SX 5 speed. She was once a automatic but I converted it to its current format for racing. The suspension is still original OEM configuration. Replaced parts, Both Half Shafts, One U Joint, Electronic Distributor and Coil, Rear brakes, Front Brakes, Dome Light, Hugh Beam switch, Hoses. Interior is partially stripped out for racing but was redone in 1993. Needs some work again. Originally green color has been repainted yellow (Maaco auto body) BODY - In pretty good shape, hardly any rust, has right rear quarter panel damage. Can be repaired without replacing. Right front corner (grill, hood, bumper) slight damage from light contact with a deer! 2 owners only before me. Very drivable for around town with great gas mileage. Drove from California to Florida in 2008 without a hitch! Been at Sebring! Titled in Florida, registration has lapsed due to funds. Great car, lots of work and TLC put into her. Buyer pays for shipping.









It was advertised as a 1971 Datsun 510. After I purchased it the owner informs me it's actually a 1970. That basically illustrates how my interaction with the PO went. he would say one thing and then I would find out later he was lying. He even tried to convince me to go to Florida and drive it back to Toronto Canada. He said it would do that no problem. I had it shipped instead. It arrived not running of course. The wiring was a mess. The body was very solid. The floors were original and apart from minor surface rust, had the original green paint on them. The car came fairly complete. The interior was and still is horrible. I'll deal with that soon. More to come!

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 Okay....so the PO and I had some back and forth emailing. He sent me a link to more photos. Here's some of them.......
















You can see by these photos the floors are very solid. There was a lot of cosmetic damage but it seemed like a solid car. I took a chance that the underneath of the car was in as good a shape as the floors from inside were. When it got here, luckily they were.

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When it arrived the shipping company unloaded the car by rolling the car down off the trailer. That's when I knew it wasn't as much of a runner as the PO had described it as. The driver for the shipping company managed to get it started by by-passing some wiring. I wonder in hind sight if the guy even knew what he was doing. Later I would find burnt wiring and frayed connectors. There were even house hold marrettes used in the wiring. I decided at that point to have some one else look at it. I also wanted to get a quote on body work and paint. I had a restoration shop transport the car over to their garage and do an assessment on the car's condition. They needed to fix the wiring first. When I went to have a look at the car and go over their findings they had it running and it seemed fine mechanically. It ran a bit rough but that was chocked up to old gas. I decided to go ahead with body and paint for the car since the Datsun now ran. Here's some preliminary pics of the car before the work began. Taken by the restoration company.










Then they proceeded to dis-assemble it and begin metal work. More to come!....... :)

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Okay, so now the shop proceeded to dismantle the car after we agreed a full restoration wasn't necessary or affordable, given my budget. The original quote they gave me included repairs to the twisted & dented bumpers and grill. I ended up sourcing both bumpers in chrome and a good looking straight grill. That apparently would save me thousands of dollars. So I was convinced by the shop manager to have the drive train removed to get at the engine bay and floor underneath. Here are some pics.......


















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 I was told that if I sourced my own parts it would save the mark-up fees. So I did. I asked them to let me know if they run across any parts that needed replacing or that they thought would be better to source used then to repair. I remember bringing them rubber seals and grommets for the car. The shop manager asked where the rest was. I wasn't sure what he meant. He then proceeded to tell me that when I said I would be sourcing some rubber seals, that it meant replacing all of them, even though that's not what I meant at all. Here's some pics of them taking out the engine and what not.














The engine bay eventually was coated with POR 15 to seal it. I will eventually go over that with Chasis Black paint. It'll look better in the end and POR 15 doesn't hold up well under the sun. I don't want a faded engine bay. The fuel filter that you see in the first picture was faded and yellow but they never told me it needed replacing. I just recently replaced that myself. Sorry about the blurry pics. They were taken by some one at the shop.

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Then came time for the body work. I wanted it taken to metal to be sure it will last. Mid way through they discovered some crash damage from previous accidents. It was apparent from the out set that there would be issues with some damage. You could tell by the rear bumper and front valance. However the fenders were never in question. As it turned out they had some damage that was just covered up with bondo. In the end they needed some hammer and dollie help. The shop manager emailed me and said that he was confident that they could leave the existing body work and just go over it. I had made it clear to him from the start that I wanted it to metal. For all we know it's held together with pop rivets and gum underneath. The metal work they did was very good. Here's moar oics.
























  The floors were all solid. Same with the trunk and engine bay.  Just some rust in the usual places. The inner fenders were good as well. Just some surface rust as you will see in the next oics.

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I've had a plan in mind ever since seeing this RC car kit, even before purchasing this car.




    This is the car/toy that got me seriously interested in finding a 510. This is my inspiration and illustrates the direction the car will go in. Now all I need to do is get it there. Easier said than done!!

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I even sent several different views of this RC car to the manager so that he could see what I wanted. He never mentions this car at all in my dealings with him. So I don't believe he even used it as reference. I did that several times with this guy. I sent him reference pictures and asked questions with reference and rarely did I get a complete answer from him. Some times my emails were never responded to at all.


Here's more pictures of the body work. This is the finishing stages before they sprayed it with primer.






















So this final stage of fixing the dents in the fenders, valance, etc. took a while and ended up costing about 1/3 of the final price. Very expensive body work. I sure hope it lasts!!!

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So now we go to the final blocking and sanding before paint. Have a look.








It had taken several months to get it to this point. I still hadn't received a  paint sample from the shop manager. The manager showed me a paint sample that was a true candy red with a darker stripe in it. Later, after I was told the budget was blown on just the body work alone, he informed me that the candy paint job would be excessively expensive. Which prompted me to ask the question, why show it to me if it was out of my price range? Luckily I was there to discuss my alternatives and saw a 69 mustang painted a deep red colour that was pretty much what I had wanted. I also had sent him, many months ago, the paint code to a Nissan red colour used in the older Skyline models. He never even mentioned it when we were discussing paint.

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 Then I finally had a chance to go in and see the colour in person. Here are some pictures.







  At this point they had started some assembly. The doors, trunk and hood had been put on and some trim was there. They painted the car with the drip rail trim installed because I was informed by some one here that if the paint was done and you tried to put it on after wards, it wouldn't fit on unless you take the paint down because they're usually a tight fit. I informed the manager to install it before paint and why. That saved some headaches I hope.

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Here's a visit I made to drop off some rubber seals, gaskets and the quarter window latches. They had the engine back in the car and all hooked up and a lot of the trim work done. Still missing the bumpers and some interior items.












 Before I had taken these photos the shop manager had informed me that while putting the engine back in, one of the guys made a mistake and damaged the new paint and rad support slightly. You can see it if you look close in the above picture of the engine bay. To fix this I was told by the manager that it would be smoothed out and wouldn't be painted over since it will be covered by a cowl. This raised a red flag as there is nothing to hide the damage, at least in stock form. I had to send an email asking what's the deal here. There is nothing covering this area. I'll post the oics I sent in the next post.

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  So now I was emailing back and forth with the shop manager to get and idea of what was being done about the damage to my car from installing the engine. He was saying it just needed to be smoothed out and not re-painted as it would be covered by a metal piece. As you can see in a picture of the engine bay before the restoration was started, there is nothing there that would appear to be a metal cover or cowl of any kind.





 And here's the engine bay from the visit I had. It clearly shows the damage.




 I asked for it to be fixed properly and painted the body colour as it was prior to the accident that caused the damage. I ended up getting lots of flak from the shop manager over that believe it or not. Just for wanting it fixed the way it was. Well it did get fixed properly in the end.

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there are always bumps in the road on these kinds of projects the paint looks good in the pics 

fixing the dent from the engine install is a no brainer I dont know why they would even think to give you flack on this 

I hope it all turns out as good as the pics look they look like they do very good work 

And good work is not cheap and cheap work is usually not good 

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A few weeks ago I was able to pick the car up from the shop and drive it home. I had a small problem when it came time to get it licenced for the road. We have something called Service Ontario here. they offer multiple provincial government services one of which is licencing and registration for vehicles. After I had the car delivered to my place, back in August of last year, I went to have it registered within a couple of weeks. Well they typed in the wrong year of manufacture. I didn't notice this until I applied for insurance on it last month. The insurance company caught the mistake. It had the year as 1935. I had a bunch of documents all stating that it was a 1970 Datsun but on the PO's registration they looked and found the number 1935 which was under vehicle weight. That's what they typed in. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer I guess. Anyway, I was able to have it changed once I jumped through a few hoops. So I secured some Year Of Manufacture plates for my car. They are 1970 plates that were never used. You can read it in the photos. The pics where taken on my way home with the car. I made several stops. Some of which were of my choice and quite a few were to check out why the car was losing power, like it wasn't getting gas. More on that later. On with the pics.





















   It started to rain as I left the shop. So I ended up finding a leak through my fire wall where there's a cable coming through with no grommet around it to seal it off. I'll need to get that sorted out later. I took some back roads that are less traveled and that's where these oics were taken. So as I'm driving the car would start to bog down. I would push the gas down and no reaction. Then when I pulled over to listen to the engine, it would stumble like it was starving for gas. It seemed to be firing okay and all cylinders sounded as if they were working fine. I shut it down for a short time. Then take off again and it would be okay for a few miles. Then it would start up again. The last leg of my journey home I was accelerating hard off of lights and keeping the revs up. That seemed to get things working better. I made it home without it acting up as much. It still ran rough.

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These pictures are of the car sitting in the driveway once I made it home. It finally stopped raining on the last half of my ride and the sun came out. It was a hot day and I was glad to finally be able to roll the windows down and get some ventilation.


















As you can see there's lots to do to the interior. First off I need to find out how to get the engine running smoother. I changed out the old fuel filter just a few days ago. It was so old it had yellowed the plastic and the date stamped on it was 2006. Now that's probably a manufacture year but I would say, judging from the condition it was in, that it's been on the car for a while. Then I went to start the car up again and found out the battery was almost dead. I think my alternator is screwed. I have to check that out. Eventually I started it up, after charging the battery. It ran a little better with the new filter but still wasn't smooth.

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