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320 Newb

New 320 owner, 62?

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I had my 320 interior redone years ago. Luckily my orignals were in good enough shape to grab the pattern and colors.

 

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Honestly though, the reason I sold the truck is because I couldn't get window rubbers. Water got in and started destroying the door panels. That was it for me. If I can't keep a vehicle from deteriorating further, I should just pass it on.

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Thanks for the pics! Bummer about the vent rubbers the interior looks really nice. 

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Just a heads up: I purchased a couple of front round turn signal lenses from Wayno a couple days ago but if anyone's in the market I just got an email from Greg at Clauss Studios who's got them for $64 a pair with free shipping: Claussstudios@aol.com

 

I think it's cool he pops old 320 stuff so I told him I'd give him a shout out on the forums. 

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Claus Studios in the past made the NL tail light lenses.  Good info thank you for sharing.

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Seats at the upholsterer. Still trying to figure out a bracket so I can put the seat in and drive it around when I get it back. Trying to avoid using channel strut but it looks like thats the way I might go. If anyone's got a lead on a 320/520/521 seat bracket let me know. 

 

Got the re-cored radiator back yesterday and stuck it back in today along with a coolant recovery tank. I just used a universal cylindrical stainless tank and made a little bracket so it attaches to the radiator bolt. 

 

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Once I get seat belts installed and the seat back in I'll register it and we'll hit the road. 

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I got the seat upholstered, seat belts in, re-cored radiator in, coolant recovery tank in, and I've been driving around a bunch. Starts right up, idols well... But I noticed a couple small oil leaks. I'm pretty sure one is coming from the oil pan gasket and there might be another one on the front of the engine somewhere. 

 

As far as gaskets go, the engine is a J15 so if I find gasket sets listed for '69 521s should they work? Here's a set from Rockauto:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3655305&cc=1211195&jsn=355

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Good work.  J15 were used in forklifts here in the states.  If you can find a complete gasket set buy it.

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Chek out these Ebay slitings.

 

http://tinyurl.com/zt54r8g

 

http://tinyurl.com/zt54r8g

 

Also might try Ivan at Ft Worth Import Parts in Ft. Worth Texas. I got a gasket set for the E1 for about $60-$70. Also other engine internal parts and pair of rear shocks for the 320. Here's some ph. #'s.

817-921-3944 

817-926-9704 

817-966-6165

 

And lastly; Fork lift/industrial engine supplies/service provider:

 

http://www.motorpowerinc.com/

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In the 320 turn signal I talked about restoring my steering wheel so here goes! I used a grinder to cut out the peeled back parts, sanded, and filled in with JB Weld plastic weld putty. The first picture is the before pic and the second picture is after two rounds of putty and a rough sand. I'll probably do one more light coat of putty and then start the loooooong process of wet sanding. 

 

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Finished my steering wheel restoration today. The chrome horn button is still a little pitted but I'm pretty happy.

 

 

 

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Stunning !! Very nice work. Keep us posted on how it holds up when you've manhandled it for a while. 

 

Seems like I remember companies like Eastwood sell steering wheel restoration kits.

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I think the kicker will be how well the JB Weld plastic putty resists cracking in the heat since it's an AZ car. 

Also any tips in getting the horn button back in once the steering wheel's back on the car?

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Pulled the motor today intending to replace all the seals--I bought a complete J15 seal kit on eBay out of Mexico. Got the motor out, then chickened out pulling off the crankshaft to replace the rear main rope seal. Definitely over my head. I'm going to bite the bullet and have it rebuilt/resealed professionally. 

 

Any idea what price range I might be looking at to have a J15 rebuilt?

 

Also the 320 clutch pressure plate is a little worn--some of the tabs that hold in the springs are worn down so the springs can fall out. Any chance anyone has a spare pressure plate or is there an aftermarket replacement available?

 

On the bright side by brother was in town and welded in a missing seat bracket. Jcooper hooked me up with a 520 bracket and it's a close match. Had to trim a little off the front and slot one the holes maybe 1/4" to get the seat to fit. The 520 bracket holes are maybe 1/4" wider than the 320 bracket.

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This is certainly a case of "you get what you pay for", so don't find the cheapest shop to do the work. Maybe Charlie or someone else down there can help you with a shop recommendation.

 

I would guess a complete "budget" overhaul to be in the $2500 range.

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I would just find someone to help you with the rope seal unless you know the engine is wore out.

As I said, the first one I did I pounded on that seal the best I could on the block side of the crank, cut it off, then installed the crank and torqued the main, then I removed the rear main cap and seen how far down the rope seal had been pulled down past the block surface, it was a long ways, so I did the main cap side leaving as much extra as I could and I torqued it down again then pulled it back apart, then I took what gap I had left and filled it with more rope leaving lots of extra rope for compressing it in there, put it back together and torqued it down again, then I pulled it apart again and everything looked good, I trimmed everything off that got between the main cap and block surfaces and put it back together for the last time, it never leaked on me the whole time I used that engine in the Roadster, I finally replaced that R16 engine with a U20 from another Roadster, and sold the other Roadster with the R16 in it, I likely put 30,000 miles on that engine before selling it, I never had a rear main seal leak.

It doesn't matter that yours is a J series, and mine was a R series, it's the same rope seal.

As I said, I wasn't impressed with what I did, but it worked fine, I actually thought I was going to have to do it over again, but it never leaked.

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Wayno that's probably good advice. The engine ran great, no knocks. Just leaked a little from a handful of places. I plan on having them clean it up and do the seals. I'm hoping everything else is good. 

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This is certainly a case of "you get what you pay for", so don't find the cheapest shop to do the work. Maybe Charlie or someone else down there can help you with a shop recommendation.

 

I would guess a complete "budget" overhaul to be in the $2500 range.

 

S. Motors if if a budget overhaul is going to be in the $2500 range would this maybe be a better route? http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-Datsun-J15-Rebuilt-four-cylinder-engine-Comes-with-original-Transmission-/272389933786?hash=item3f6bb48ada:g:mP8AAOSw9a5XPrH2&vxp=mtr

 

The only thing that makes me nervous is that it's a dry motor and has never had oil after the rebuild. Is there a chance the seals are bad after sitting and is there a way to test a dry motor for leaks?

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Buying a used engine is always a risk, but that one is so cheap, it may be a risk worth taking. It doesn't say how long it's been since it was built, but if done properly, the seals and such should be lubed prior to assembly, in which case, they should be fine. This is highly dependent on the quality of the seals used though.

 

One thought; has anyone done or considered doing a B series 1.8L MGB engine swap? They share so much architecture with the Datsun motor, I wonder if it would be a slam dunk.

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I just got off the phone with the eBay seller and he said he rebuilt the J15 back in the late 1990s and he's confident all the seals are still good. He said he's on the coast and it's been inside since the rebuild. He also said he rebuilt it with an asbestos rope rear main and that the new rope seals are shit. He said the seals were lubed on install but the motor's been dry since. 

 

He was kind of an interesting guy and sounded very knowledgeable. He said he mostly rebuilds mid 30s to mid 60s domestic stuff but has done a handful of Datsuns over the years. 

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Buy it, and mothball yours for posterity.

 

I still have a few packets of Mikuni brand woven asbestos cloth for use in heat shields. Gotta love asbestos.

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Cleaning up the old engine compartment and other odds and ends in preparation of dropping back in a rebuilt J15. 

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