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New 320 owner, 62?

320 Newb

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The block surface near where the gasket blew looks a bit pitted. Can you see any sanding marks or signs of machining there? I doubt it.


If a reputable shop built the engine, you should give them a chance to fix it for you. Chances are, since you already removed the head, they will tell you the warranty has been void, but it may be worth a shot. If you plan on using them in the future, they should know what happened.


If the block and head are straight, then the gasket could be the culprit. Did you ever re-torque the head? I like to do this even on "no re-torque" gaskets. That's one of the reasons I hate to paint the head studs and nuts, because you ruin the paint by putting a wrench on them.

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Checked the head and block, everything looked great. Put in an MGA Payten gasket from Moss Motors, tuned the valves, and got it back together. While I was in there I replaced plugs, wires, and retimed it. I found the timing was way off and have a feeling this maybe contributed to the blown gasket?


It's running better than it ever has--engine idles like a top and I feel increased performance. Feels peppy. 

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19 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Timing that's off can blow a head gasket, but it can also crack rings. Hopefully you're rings are safe. Did you notice and scratches in the bores when the head was off?

I cleaned everything really well and inspected with a bright light. No scratches in the bores thank goodness. 

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  • 1 month later...

Got the new MGA head gasket in, valves adjusted, switched over to a Petronix electronic distributor and she's been driving like a dream.


Anyone interested in polished stainless steel 320 hubcaps? Jake Makes is doing a run for $350 a set which includes shipping within the US. 


Here's a few weekend pics a friend took. Shoutout to Aaron from Arizona Classic Japanese Car Club. 



320 profile.jpg

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Finally got carpet installed so I could get my heater and cig lighter put back together and wired up. Those are the last puzzle pieces--she's complete and everything works. This was my first car project and am feeling a sense of accomplishment. 


 It's been a 6 year journey and so thankful for everyone on this forum. You've all be generous with your knowledge and spare parts and I couldn't have done it without you.  


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2 hours ago, thisismatt said:

Any more pics of the carpet/interior?  Looks cool

The carpet turned out really nice and is functional, but it's the one part of the build that's not in the "off the assembly line" spirit. I was really hoping to find a way to recreate the light grey rubber factory mat. I beat the bushes for a couple years but couldn't find anyone who'd do it. The cab floor was sprayed in Raptor liner, then I put an adhesive noise dampening map, then a thin carpet pad, then the carpeting. The bolts to the transmission tunnel are accessible and the trans tunnel is a separate piece so I can take the trans tunnel off without ripping up carpet. The rubber plug to the trans dip stick is upholstered so I can easily pop it off. Behind the seat I took the carpet back and stopped at the final floor pan ridge right before the tool bad and jack are stored. 






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I like the original rubber mats too, Moses. There more functional if the vehicle is going to be used regularly and at least lightly 'Worked'. In addition, like you've posted, the rubber mat is not available anywhere. Saying that, the carpets are just perfect; not too fancy, functional, and done in more or less 'period correct' material that is durable and probably easy to maintain. Sections can be replaced if some disaster befalls any area instead of the whole floor covering. Well thought out, Moses.


Just like the rest of your little pickup project, 'Better Than it Left the Factory' !! Dig up another project; we're ready for another detailed thread here. Find one of my favorite Nissan vehicles and a rarity (approximately 500 basically hand built); a 1967 Silvia. Probably have to import one from Australia.



Edited by difrangia
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Thanks Steve for the kind words! If anyone knows of anyone of anyone who has the capability to reproduce factory floor mats, I have access to one what is about 85% complete. It's a great example for someone to replicate. 


That Silvia is gorgeous--I didn't even know they existed! What a cool piece of automotive history.


But I'm a pickup truck guy and the end of the rainbow for me is an NL or a U320. I had a chance to buy an NL for $1K but it had the engine bay was cut up, it was smashed at the tailgate, was missing trim/tail lights... Sadly it was more of a parts truck than a good candidate for restoration. At least at my skill level. 


Someday I'm hoping to take everything I learning on the Green Hornet and recreate a factory fresh NL or U. 



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No, I see your jack set behind your 320 seat.  It is a pleasure to know you and see what a nice rendition you have done with your 320.


I also see you sourced a hand crank starter also.

Edited by Charlie69
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The period correct factory floor mat was a weird combination of rubber and fiber. Which probably made it easier to form with heat or steam. Classic materials are not available anymore and that bothers me, but the reason they aren't available is because the materials used in them were toxic. Not only for the mfgr, but for the end user as well.


While the carpet is nowhere near original, it does the same job and looks period correct, so by those criteria, I would call it a successful interpretation of what the factory may have done.


Yes, the factory rubber floor would look more appropriate, but who gives a shit? Me? no.

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Hi, I've bought one of the "original" dynolites for my 320 - these are good quality but expensive, and were one of the first of this type on the market. 

https://www.powerlite-units.com/about-dynalites.html   Available in positive earth as required. I haven't had a chance to run mine - my 320 is still a kitset.


There are now Chinese copies (lurking on Amazon etc), as for everything.  My auto electrician, when asked about rebuilding my original British starter (BMC Mini MK1) vs a new low cost Chinese copy, advised on the rebuild as "it will last longer". New things that are built to a price often disappoint... 

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