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Life, Do it in a Datsun.

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I have been feeling rather reflective due to a school assignment, and figured I should share the stories that got me addicted to Datsuns.


It was about 2002, and my brother Brandon was shopping for his first car. Rotting away in a local junkyard, a few days from the crusher, sat a "metallic army green" 1973 Datsun 610 wagon. The owner told him, "If you can get it running, you can have it." Before the day was out, he drove away in it, title in hand. We affectionately named it "The Turd".


That little car drove flawlessly for a few years, until Brandon curb checked the front passenger side wheel, which seized the hub and bent the spindle. He wasn't going to pay for a tow truck to go half a mile, so he drove it home, shredding the tire and scraping a good half-inch off the lip of the rim. That rim is still leaning up next to his donor Datsun. The Turd was out of commission for a while, due to parts being difficult to find. A 1989 Nissan Pathfinder was its replacement for a while. 


After a few months, the spindle and hub were replaced, and The Turd could cruise the streets once again. The little Datsun's life was pretty uneventful for a year or two, besides an incident with stupid friends and a skid loader, until the garage caught on fire. It was a very shitty summer. In 2007, my parents divorced, I had to get stitches in my knee and wear a leg brace for 3 months, my grandfather died, and to top it all off, the garage caught on fire. And so did the Datsun. My mother saved her new Ford Fusion, but alas, The Turd burned. 


The Fire Department beat it with axes and drowned it with water, finally extinguishing the inferno. The hood looked similar to origami, twisted and folded like paper. The windshield melted, along with the dash and part of the seats. Most people would have given up, let the thing go for scrap, but my brother is not most people. 


I apologize at this point for no pics. 


The Turd spent a few years not running, as Brandon rebuilt the wiring harness and collected various pieces for it. I remember quite vividly the day when it fired up again. I had been watching him work on it, probably much to his annoyance, and i asked if it ran yet. He fiddled under the hood a bit, hooked up the battery, then got in the drivers seat and turned the ignition switch with a screwdriver. It cranked over a few times, sputtered, and finally began to run. My brother smiled, and my dad walked into the garage with a surprised look on his face. He began to laugh and said: "I didn't think you'd ever get this thing to run!" 


That was the day I decided I wanted a Datsun.



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  • 1 month later...

I have built several wiring harnesses from scratch, 66 ford pickup, 60 willy's station wagon and repaired a heavily damaged harness in a 75 B210.  It is not that hard to do if you have a schematic.  The 60 willys was the hardest as it was from scratch and nothing was original except the speedo and the blinker.  The windshield wiper switch is out of a 74 B210.  We dropped in a ford 302 and had to wire in all of its electronics.  Fuse box out of a Datsun also.

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