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Datsun Dude

Blown RL411 engine

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  • I was sent a video of the car running and driving (and stopping) like a beast.

Paint is now buffed out nicely.

Rolling on new Panasports and fresh Dunlop tires.

NOS bumper now attached.

Black paint removed from badges.

Interior, including new upholstery and custom carpeting—sound-proofing, is complete and looking sweet.

Wiring tidied up, everything electrical is working.

Rust removal on the rear quarter panel. Rust proofing done.

  • Looking into vintage body specialist for rust repair on the right rear quarter panel.

We got it on the dyno and the R16 is making quite a lot of power!

So much so, we need a custom built distributor to handle it

  • Coming in a few days. 

I think I'll get a chance to bring it home next week, possibly.

  • We're just waiting on the distributor.

Pix & vids coming soon

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Pics!!!

 

I got a ride today. Pretty dang sweet. Happy camper! Some tweaks coming next week. 

APC_2602.jpg

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What did you get for a Dizzy?

 

I build a 123Ignition bluetooth for the R16 and U20 if you still need an upgrade option.

 

Brian

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What did you get for a Dizzy?

 

I build a 123Ignition bluetooth for the R16 and U20 if you still need an upgrade option.

 

Brian

 

Hi Brian,

Thanks for your interest in the build.

  • Distributor: It is already installed. Think my original was used, however, it is modified now. That setup looks very cool, though. Wish I had known about that earlier.
  • Electronic ignition: is installed.
  • Alternator: New alternator was sourced. Everything is charging as it should.
  • Heater: Heater valve is stuck. We are working on that now.

Cheers.

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I took possession of the Bluebird last night. It is a great feeling!! Pics and stories to come. Now I must find a garage so it doesn't get heisted.

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Been running the 'Bird almost a month now. Great fun!

 

Biggest issues:

  1. Window rattle on all four windows
  2. Fumes in cabin
  3. Ride is still pretty rough
  4. Engine occasionally backfires through exhaust at highway speeds

I can see that I'll eventually need a 5 speed for highway cruising speed, but that can wait.

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"Fumes in cabin" is most likely exhaust gas leak at the header to exhaust pipe to pre-muffler / resonator [use muffler seal on  the face of the cast iron 2 to 1 adapter at the exhaust manifold]]. For the adapter to exhaust pipe joint. Also compounded if you do not have the drain tubing from the fresh air intake box that drains rain water to the ground.  The exhaust gas leak will immediately detour to the fresh air intake of the heater system on the driver's side.  VW flex heater tubing can be used to replace these missing drains, just use hose clamps the hold to the sheet metal drain outlet as the VW flex "hoses" are really a tight fit and will slip free if the clamps are not tight enough!

 

"Ride is still pretty rough" may unfortunately be front ball joints.  Good luck!  If just shocks, I posted many moons ago Sears life time warranty gas shocks that exactly fit and produce excellent shock performance for the RL411. To my mind's eye they are Monroe units with a paint job and a very good warranty.  Use search function, it's late and I am too lazy to do the search for you.  Good luck, they are worth the effort!  Also today's alignment techs do not want to fool with a car that is older than them.

 

For the adapter to single output pipe joint, use 2 510 gaskets, a sharp knife and patience.  You really can approximate the original RL411 gasket.

 

"Window rattle" is due to age and window felt deterioration.  Ultimately you will have to open up the doors and replace the existing felts.  Short stop, and verification that this is the problem, is to insert thin strips of cardboard or paper match sticks between the existing felts and the inner body steel.

 

"Backfire" sounds like a slight timing misadjust.  Use the vernier on the distributor to very slightly modify the current setting.  It just might work. 

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Been running the 'Bird almost a month now. Great fun!

 

Biggest issues:

  1. Window rattle on all four windows
  2. Fumes in cabin
  3. Ride is still pretty rough
  4. Engine occasionally backfires through exhaust at highway speeds

I can see that I'll eventually need a 5 speed for highway cruising speed, but that can wait.

 

On top of what Mike said

 

 

Window rattle easy fix datsunparts.com window run channel 

 

Rough ride... Your springs were cut. you are riding on bump stops. or your shocks are shot, bad joints

 

Back fire is many times debris in the fuel system, exhaust leak pulling in air, slightly improper timing or a lean carb

 

Smell points to exhaust leak

 

I would swap the rear gears to 3.7 from a roadster.  You are lucky you've got a h190 pretty easy swap and it can happen in a couple hours.

 

I'd be more than happy to poke at your car. I am just over the bridge from you.

 

Brian

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Thanks so much for your input, Mike & Brian

  • Window rattle: Currently using thin strips of cardboard cut from Corona 12 packs. Very natty—ratty! Quieting the windows improves the experience a lot! 
  • Suspension: Does anyone know the part number for a ball joint? Is it: 40110-16501 (ebay has one). Edit: I see this discussion that the part number is different. 
  • Suspension: Would these Sears shocks affect the stance of my slightly lowered vehicle?
  • Fumes: Heater was repaired, so more evidence that the drain lines might not be intact
  • Fumes: I'll check manifold condition (supposedly it was repaired)
  • Fumes: I'll check the seal between the header/exhaust/pre-muffler. I have a custom setup, so there may be issues when it was reattached.
  • Fumes & Backfire: exhaust leak pulling in air causing backfire may also point to manifold repair.
  • Backfire: RaceNeely also says to check the cleanliness of the fuel tank and lines
  • Mike Young, Roadster master mechanic lives in my neighborhood, he's going to look at the backfire issue tomorrow. Could also be a source for gears Brian suggested. He definitely has a 5 speed (nice!).
  • Brian, thanks for the offer of looking at my 'Bird. Let's set something up.
  • Mike, hope to be at JCCS this year. Hope you had fun on your recent trip to Japan! 

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Ball joints.  There was a major posting several years ago on newly manufactured ball joints.  Sold out before you could post a reply ,  No current new units that I can see.  Use search for the sad details.

 

Sears shocks fit the OEM stance.  If you have modified [or butchered] your original suspension, I have no idea.  The Sears units are gas charged and have a lifetime warranty.  Just remember to keep your original bill of sale!  My front shocks had developed a split in the lower rubber bushing after 20 years. I brought to the local Sears shop and asked if they wanted to replace the bushings.  They said no, the warranty only covered the whole shock and its installation and only if I had the original bill of sale showing the sale and installation.  He shit his pants when I pulled it out from my glove compartment.  I asked if he wanted to check out the rear shacks that I had bought and had installed the same day.  "No, we will just replace all 4 shocks." was the reply.  I am still driving this replacement set of shocks, and have both the original and replacement work orders !

 

I will be there at this year's JCCS!  If you still have problems, come over to my RL411, it may still be the only 411 in the show.  If others show up, it's the Torquoise one with the California license plate "67RL411".  No trip to Japan this year.  Too much construction and detours in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.  Last year was too many construction under way barriers/

 

5 speed Transmission may well be a roadster one.  Be careful, there are major differences between the early and late 5 speeds, like steel or bronze shift bushings which affect after market or factory gear sets.  I will try to remember to bring my Nissan/Datsun performance catalogs with me.

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"Fumes in cabin" is most likely exhaust gas leak at the header to exhaust pipe to pre-muffler / resonator [use muffler seal on  the face of the cast iron 2 to 1 adapter at the exhaust manifold]]. For the adapter to exhaust pipe joint. Also compounded if you do not have the drain tubing from the fresh air intake box that drains rain water to the ground.  The exhaust gas leak will immediately detour to the fresh air intake of the heater system on the driver's side.  VW flex heater tubing can be used to replace these missing drains, just use hose clamps the hold to the sheet metal drain outlet as the VW flex "hoses" are really a tight fit and will slip free if the clamps are not tight enough!

 

Exhaust leak was located in exactly this position. Taking care of that this or next week. Hopefully it solves fumes and backfire.

Thanks, Mike!

 

Kevin

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If your manifold doesn't have a brace from the block to that flange, you should find or make one. Make sure all your mounts are good as well. Supporting the exhaust correctly will help keep the leaks away in the future. 

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If your manifold doesn't have a brace from the block to that flange, you should find or make one. Make sure all your mounts are good as well. Supporting the exhaust correctly will help keep the leaks away in the future. 

 

Absolutely true !  Strangely enough, a front fender brace from a 1967 Camaro is almost perfect as a replacement.  Easy fix is to flatten and bend the ends of a piece of tubing and drill matching holes.

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For the adapter to single output pipe joint, use 2 510 gaskets, a sharp knife and patience.  You really can approximate the original RL411 gasket.

 

Thanks, Mike. Does anyone know what the part number might be or where I can find the gaskets?

 

Cheers!

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Thanks, Mike. Does anyone know what the part number might be or where I can find the gaskets?

 

Cheers!

 

Don't have the part number on me, but the 510 exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe is a standard Nissan dealer listed part, you will need two.  I'm sure RockAuto or other sites will have this gasket also. I made this cut and paste replacement [literally, I used "muffler sealer" as a paste to hold the cut and aligned segments to the manifold and exhaust pipe assembly while I torqued the fastening bolts.]  It has performed with no complaints for the past 20 years. Yeah, support for the RL411 failed early, there were only in the neighborhood of 4000 plus imported into USA and Canada.  There were slightly more wagons but I cannot remember their number, soccer Moms and school car pooling? Too small a market to attract the attention of book keepers, some "foreign sales" representatives at Yokohama soldiered on and gave good support, but then Renault put their French kibosh on good follow up customer service and ordered all RL411 and WRL411 spares shit canned, The Gardena warerhouse had to fill the trash bins of perfectly new factory parts,

 

Ended my dream project to buy the warehouse stock  of parts and store and sell as "The Yokohama Tin Store". As a counter to The Detroit Iron Works.

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Exhaust leak was located in exactly this position. Taking care of that this or next week. Hopefully it solves fumes and backfire.

 

I have a new exhaust leak now after driving it up to Sonoma (about an hour drive). Sounds like it's coming from underneath not in the place the former leak was detected. Man, is it LOUD. More info to come.

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"New" leak is most probably a rust through on the lower exhaust pipe section from the lower right angle bend to the pre muffle / resonator.  Go to a muffler shop and have them fabricate and weld in a replacement section from the right angle bend [which should be OK, the moisture accumulates in the horizontal section of the tubing] and the horizontal section to the resonator.  Worked for me, and works to this day.The original down pipe with the "deformed" D shaped cross section is not available as a replacement, although some users on this forum have found an oval pipe that seems to work.

 

NO!  I am too lazy to do your search for this oval tube! I don"t need it and will not spend time which you should be using as a follow up.

Edited by MikeRL411

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New exhaust leak was where there was no bracing for the weld connecting the downpipe and exhaust (as I understand it). The weld was fine, but simply snapped with no support. A new support was added and additional tweaking to the hanger for the muffler. It's back together now. 

 

I made some videos recently in vlog style. I hope to share those with the group very soon.

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Took the 'Bird to Manteca, CA for the "Datslocos" annual show. Some nice comments, mainly from women. They loved it.

 

The young dudes? They have no idea what it was and most of the attention, for them, was focused on dimes and 240zs. Ah well. 

 

Car ran well over the Altamont Pass. Windows rattling like crazy!

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I can keep up with traffic, even in the fast lane. However, I have to have the choke out all the way in order to prevent backfiring when the pedal is to the metal. That can't be normal is it?

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A quick update.

  • I recently drove the 411 from San Francisco to Long Beach and back for the JCCS show. 
    • Thanks to a tweak to the distributor, it stopped backfiring and no longer needs the choke out at higher speeds.
    • It ran great for the trip.
    • Might want to look into an upgrade for the cooling system. Got a little warm over the Grapevine.
    • The car got a good number of compliments at the show.
      • Most people just "don't know what it is..."
    • I only saw 2 411s there: mine and "Alice."
      • Unfortunately, they didn't put us near each other.
      • I was parked near mainly 70s and 80s Datsuns.
  • I took it down the coast on Saturday. 
    • Ran fine for the most part, but it was idling inconsistently.
    • Arrived home OK, but checked the engine.
      • A 17mm bolt that carries a small "ball" at the end of the threads was missing.
      • This is the bolt is one of two bolts holding the main support for the SUs' linkage.
      • Looking for a replacement bolt, though, I can't find one online.
      • If anyone has a part number for this piece, please let me know.
  • More info coming soon.
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