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洋子 (Yoko) 81 210

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Thought I'd do a build thread for the newly acquired dato. Not the first 210, rather the second. First a desert yellow 2 door A15 w/ ac and the whole ten yards of dealer options. This is one is quite different, except for that of the body shape.


Back History: It was first sold at the former Courtesy Datsun down in Fairfield, CA in 1981. Was driven around the bay and eventually the owner moved up to the Sacramento area. It resided there up until my purchase. It was in the late 90's early 2000 that it was parked because of failed smog. Sat in the garage till 07/02/16. Property was being cleaned up by the PO I purchased from. It was given to him by the Og owner. What the deal was between the two is unknown to me but I do say that the PO was the first to have the vehicle out in the rain from what the vehicle looked like. 


PO made no tempt to get the vehicle running or driving rather got the paperwork straighten out and made a flip out of it. It was at-least 2 months on craigslist before I took the decision to buy it sight unseen. Couple of days chat and 1 week later it was in my possession, 02/06/17. This gives ya an Idea how long PO had it for.



From here on its in my possession: The arrival day was raining, foggy and depressing. None the less I was freaking out and hoping for it not to be a rust-bucket. As the tow rig made it's way down the street it looked awesome! Ya, it was nasty but no rust on the externals of the body. Hope prevailed. Further body search internally revealed none either. Or the underside either for that matter. I repent not taking images of the pool of water it had in the trunk area, it looked like shit.

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Utterly incorrect craigslist AD:


32161687563_3a2d8e0bc4_z.jpgad by cad lab, on Flickr


32851305861_f9fe8d67b5_z.jpg00R0R_6hsiwhjuos7_1200x900 by cad lab, on Flickr


32976100255_f14652fea2_z.jpg00r0r_5xFbzRXkJFk_1200x900 by cad lab, on Flickr


32851306551_4f81f583d3_z.jpg00P0P_89NTa8nLF9J_1200x900 by cad lab, on Flickr


32821553952_3561cc97f6_z.jpg00A0A_3miggPFHqHQ_1200x900 by cad lab, on Flickr


32976101515_dc7bacbc10_z.jpg00H0H_hNf7MB0jeu9_1200x900 by cad lab, on Flickr


Arrival Day:

32821581122_a6535c4aa5_z.jpgDSCN0952 by cad lab, on Flickr


32132202844_59bd5c09ed_z.jpgDSCN0950 by cad lab, on Flickr

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Removed the interior and pools of water to find no rust build up yet. Dried it out ad left the doors open over night to air out the fish stench!


I had quite the time at the DMV and found out some interesting things. It was non-oped (non-operational) since 2001 and tags were quite cheap. As I was looking over the new registration slip I looked at the vin and read out 16 digits which is odd. The other 210 has 17. Maybe an error or such. Didn't care much as it was in my name now. Couple days passed and finally able to get back onto it. DId an oil change 5w30-10w30 as well as some zddp. No metal shavings on old oil which was great. Trans was the same with no metal shavings. Threw some GL-4 at it which heck of difficult to locate. Rear end will be done later on.


Disconnected the gas line at the filter, drained vintage stuff (brown oily gas) washed it out with fresh gas and filled the tank. Checked the spark plugs, cables, distributor. So far everything looked great. Replaced some of the cracked vacuum hoses. New battery and all new fuses.


Drained the crud from the radiator and flushed the entire system with the garden hose. Filled it up with new coolant. Lastly was the infamous Hitachi carb! Which looked much newer that the rest of the engine parts. Leads me to believe it was replaced sometime in it's life.


Looked over at the plate in the engine compartment and did in fact show 16 digits. Low # maybe? Loaded with a whopping A12 / 4 speed.


Many hours later it fired up nicely! After the choke opened up 2 mints later at idle for 1hr. Gave er some throttle and rev'd good. I left it warming up for a couple hours and to my amazement it idled perfectly with no leaks. No weird noises.

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Breaks were nowhere so that was the next task. Did some tinkering to no result. Ended up replacing the brake master cylinder and that pretty much fixed the issue. Break pads will be needed soon but that'll be done before it hits the streets.


Clutch slave worked but was rusty so that'll be replaced later on as well. Catalytic and muffler looked newer as well so they must of been changed sometime too.


I've got 175/70/13's on the other 210 and thought those were small but 155/80/13's sure take the cake. Tiny, nope not even comparable.


So far I was able to get 1st-3rd and Reverse on the trans and it drove pretty good. Shocks are shot, so all bushings and suspension will be redone in the next months. Ordered all body gasket moldings to replace em since they're hard as stone. Tail lights on order at well since 1 is cracked.


The other 210 has quite a few dealer options installed but as far as I've seen, this 210 only has the undercoating as an option. No a/c, no door arm rests, no cig lighter, no radio, no antenna, no mile counter, no rear trash card slip-outs?. Not even the standard seat handle for reclining just a knob. Was the Og owner cheap? I will never know.


The Base-st dato? May just be. Not many people name their vehicles but I do. Each one is unique and so require an adequate name. 洋子 (yoko) is the Japanese meaning for sunshine. It may not be yellow rather it's beige but it sure puts a smile on people.


If your curious I've got the plan to keep er in stock form. She's got 279k on the clock. Re-ring? Maybe but wouldn't it be incredible to reach 1 million miles on er? Sure would so that's for the future to tell.


Isn't that something... Soon here will be getting ready to get to pass cali smog. What will occur? Stay tuned viewer.

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Undercoating/sound deadener is dealer installed and they pressure you into it so they can charge you for it. 18 year old student with little training does it. You should see the amount some idiot sprayed all over one side of my drive shaft. No way the factory would allow this.




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  • 3 weeks later...

March showed up as a great month to get quite a few things accomplished. Got the interior stripped out as well as plastic moldings around the bottom floor pan area. Vacuumed out all the crap and dirt out'a her. No rust buildup anywhere on the inside either. Yay!


Back seats were taken out and measured to get a close upholstery set from a newer Nissan vehicle. Came out to be that late 80's into the 90's sentras have a similar seat frame. Bit larger but would fit for the most part with minor mods.


PNP showed 2 in their lot. Later that day, off to strip em clean I went. $14 bucks and "seat covers" in hand.



32553727353_bd25e07f4e_z.jpgP1030299 by cad lab, on Flickr



33368088955_4703a295d6_z.jpgP1030300 by cad lab, on Flickr


We ain't trying to be perfect and for a cheap shot it sure did well. JDM doilies will make it all better.

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Smog was next. Need I say more... Sure do.


First up was get the engine compartment all tidy and full of goodies. Replaced pretty much all the following with new to get er to pass. NGK plugs, ACDelco wire set, cap & rotor, fan belt. Replaced the recent oil change with another using Valvoline 5w-30 with zddp. Checked timing which was dead on. Thanks to KELMO who located me the air filter housing cover. The Idle was a bit off at around 970ish lowered it to 800ish.


A12s don't make much noise at idle, which feels odd vs L series. Anyway once it's rev'd it sure sound nice and loud.


Pretty much all I could do to get er ready. Pics will go up once Flickr wan't to cooperate.

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Drove er in on the 6th after a 30 mile drive. This at least ensure me that the catalytic was Hot.


She was immediately in getting touched and violated via the tailpipe. Them techs are more scrupulous with pre 90's cars vs newer ones I noted.

$47 Later it was a polluter. I didn't expect much but it did better than I expected.



32554400393_27561ede38_z.jpg41414141425 by cad lab, on Flickr



33328081796_df3eb0db05_z.jpgP1030302 by cad lab, on Flickr


Came out the catalytic was the culprit. They sure are expensive ($690 for the install and passed smog certificate) but shes worth every penny to me.


32524970224_f0fb9e7957_z.jpgdmv by cad lab, on Flickr


Gets me thinking that this may of been the issue that plagued the Og owner in the early 2000s. No mechanical issues have shown up so far so it may just be.


Road worthy is an understatement, but insured & tagged she is. Now before the interior begins to be re-installed, I need to located a good quality rear windshield seal to stop water leaks. Until then, await viewer.

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As for the windshield seals, colourbox has given me some good info. I'll end up giving the "ebay" Thailand seals a shot and hope for the the best.


Onto better things, noted yesterday that the fuel gauge read 1/2 ish after filling up the tank full which meant another issue for diving onto. Took on the task today and got into taking things apart and get some insight onto the culprit.


Could it be the gauge? The sending unit? A darn wire? We'll see.



First up we take a look at what tools we will be needing: 2 Phillips, 1 Hammer, 1 Slot & some good o'l wd-40.

Looking at the right side of the boot area & hiding behind the metal is are two wires, disconnect them. There's lot of screws too, remove em:


33410646725_a4f5fc4233_z.jpgDSCN0990 by cad lab, on Flickr


Then remove the same color panel at the top section:


33410646075_5b608f0dc8_z.jpgDSCN0992 by cad lab, on Flickr


We move onto the aluminium color panel at the bottom part of the boot & remove em screws as well:


32596694123_d358e49f9c_z.jpgDSCN0993 by cad lab, on Flickr


We remove that aluminium panel and we are presented with the important parts of the fuel tank system:


33255155882_445e043ed4_z.jpgDSCN0994 by cad lab, on Flickr


The part that has wires is what we are in the search of removing and diagnosing and hence use the hammer and slot screwdriver to remove its locking ring. Close up:


33255155202_703daceafc_z.jpgDSCN0996 by cad lab, on Flickr



Pop that locking ring off and remove the level sending unit upwards. Once out we have it at our grasp to tinker with and diagnose:


33027916540_790b868b35_z.jpgDSCN0998 by cad lab, on Flickr


Once repaired or replaced, It's a matter or going backwards to get everything back to how it was:


33027915890_16502db84b_z.jpgDSCN0999 by cad lab, on Flickr


In this case we test the gauge by hard wiring the 2 wires that were disconnected at the beginning. If gauge reads full, then it works.

We then move onto connecting the sending unit up and moving the float to different positions. If gauge doesn't read of only partially reads then it's most likely the sending unit is bad. 

I'm a rookie so don't take my word. It could be anything! Years ago it was a fuse, or a melted wire. You never know, so check everything while your at it to ensure functionality.


Anyway I was able to get the sending unit to work by cleaning it up. How long it will last is anyone's guess. FYI: Place the unit in the same position from the beginning. It was giving me a weird reading at first till I placed it in the correct direction. (Pics are good to get back to the original state.)


So the question resides where can I find a new fuel level sending unit? What other models can I mod to function?

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Haven't yet found compatible sending unit. Still on the search.


In other news. Found the lost sd card with the engine pics, so here they are:


33422090976_4b1fd21409_z.jpgDSCN1003 by cad lab, on Flickr


33079295910_21f1f49fd4_z.jpgDSCN1004 by cad lab, on Flickr


33079295210_a07c4a54c7_z.jpgDSCN1005 by cad lab, on Flickr


Took er out for some fun mountain driving:


33306620912_d5ab4ae969_z.jpgDSCN1006 by cad lab, on Flickr


33422072616_1ea1a66e69_z.jpgDSCN1007 by cad lab, on Flickr


32619187484_e0962c997e_z.jpgDSCN1008 by cad lab, on Flickr


33462417725_65a53e1ea0_z.jpgDSCN1009 by cad lab, on Flickr


33462439275_40cde48eec_z.jpgDSCN1010 by cad lab, on Flickr


Ordered some specialty tires for er that should be in hopefully before canby. For being 18ish years old they still take a beating:


33306560122_ec17690265_z.jpgDSCN1013 by cad lab, on Flickr


For the miles, she's got plenty more to go:


33462400195_3f9ed60794_z.jpgDSCN1014 by cad lab, on Flickr



Need to get the stick shift bearing installed this week. It's super sloppy and hard to find 1st & 3rd most of the time. Grease the entire front end. I'll be redoing the suspension components far into the future. $$ is always needed for other things, bills and what not. So patience it is.

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Shifter bearing? Do you mean the bushing? A member of ratsun sells brass bushing set to replace the plastic ones...




Nice car ;-)


Yes, Got a Dodge B200 van, door hinge kit. Has bearings that pretty much work and fixed the sloppy shifter. Much better than the oem plastic ones for sure.


Went by Pick'n Pull and got a working turn signal assembly. Just need some lube and in it goes. Original ones plastic disintegrated. Dam sun!


32705886543_68f0da6ce8_z.jpgDSCN1015 by cad lab, on Flickr


Back side:


32705883673_eb4763ede9_z.jpgDSCN1016 by cad lab, on Flickr


Still waiting for tires!!!!!!!!

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Now back to the good side of things. Got some time to install the turn signal assembly. Was pulled from a 155k 4 door. In much better shape but still left much to be desired. Either-way it works so that's what matters!


First of start by removing the "D" or horn plastic molding. Two (2) screws on the back of the steering wheel:


33669632365_2eef4c7e82_z.jpgDSCN1035 by cad lab, on Flickr


Once screws are removed plastic molding will hang by the horn wire. Disconnect the black/red wire and molding will come off completely:


32856236063_4506431969_z.jpgDSCN1036 by cad lab, on Flickr


Remove large center nut and washer from steering wheel. Mark with a sharpie the location of the wheel before removal!!!!:


33669631585_d36ac1f73f_z.jpgDSCN1037 by cad lab, on Flickr


Wiggle the wheel and it should come off smoothly. Remember this is vintage sun dried plastic. Also note wear, so lube will be needed for reassembly:


32856235173_cac7768afb_z.jpgDSCN1038 by cad lab, on Flickr


Now onto the turn signal cover. Five (5) screws to remove from underside. Bottom panel will need some wiggle to be removed. Don't remove top section:


33669630845_5594e1dfa7_z.jpgDSCN1039 by cad lab, on Flickr


One (1) screw to loosen on the lower right side of the turn signal assembly:


32856234363_e2b8894e39_z.jpgDSCN1040 by cad lab, on Flickr


Disconnect red, blue and green wire set connections to the assembly (can be done before for better removal):


33669630105_9e818661af_z.jpgDSCN1041 by cad lab, on Flickr


It's a good time to put some lube on the bearings and steering wheel as well:


32856233813_54222cd910_z.jpgDSCN1042 by cad lab, on Flickr


33669629505_84d0cd0a67_z.jpgDSCN1044 by cad lab, on Flickr


Now it's a matter of going backwards to reinstall the turn signal assembly & re-screw the bottom turn signal cover:

(Install the replacement assembly, connect the wires, line up the pin on the assembly to the hole on the steering column and tighten screw)


32856233183_5fd7507872_z.jpgDSCN1045 by cad lab, on Flickr


Place the steering wheel back on and line it up with the mark. Tighten the nut and washer:


33669628835_4077f99e2c_z.jpgDSCN1046 by cad lab, on Flickr


Connect the horn wire and re-screw the horn molding to the steering wheel:


33669628465_5539b113e0_z.jpgDSCN1047 by cad lab, on Flickr


Pretty much all there's to it. Not the best way to type it out but it'll help someone out in the long run. At least I hope it does.....

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Other things that still need to be completed here in the next one to two months to get ready for canby!!!


Grease the most likely original; tie rod ends, idler arm, center link, ball joints.  (No time to replace, but will do sometime later in the year)

Check the staked u joints and figure out some way to grease em so they last a few 10,000 more miles.

Replace the front wheel bearings. (weird noise)

Grease the rear bearings, if it even has em....?  Need to check manual.

Replace the rear window seal sometime next month. (finally arrived & hope it works.)

Change the 700 miles tranny oil and criticize it for problems. Get some good shit in there!

Change 1 tire. Ya just one!

Get a spare non rusted wheel.

Tighten heater coolant line inside cabin. Minor leak.

Replace top and bottom rad coolant lines.



Replace Accelerator Pump (2BBL Hitachi).

Replace Output Shaft Seal.

Replace Idler Arm Bushings.


That's at least it. Motor is dry as a bone and no issues on the rear end which makes matters pleasant. Trannys been shifting good but ain't no problem to triple check for issues.

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Going down the country road at 55 and a big bang. Front end shakes like crazy. Come to a dead stop to diagnose.

Looks like I won't be changing just one tire. A few more miles on 17 year old rubber wasn't meant to be.  :no:

32971029773_db55396585_z.jpgDSCN00017 by cad lab, on Flickr
Closer look at the savage!
33399228950_7a4281062f_z.jpgDSCN00018 by cad lab, on Flickr
Amazing it was able to get me 6 miles home with some bungee cords. Datsun Saves is an understatement.
Ordered two more and they should be in next month. Better safe than on the roadside....
Edit: MOHAWK was acquired by YOKOHAMA in 1989. Chances are these are much older than 17 yrs. Wow!
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I've come across the first "real" hair pulling situation.


As previously posted, I replaced the messed up turn signal assembly with a low millage working unit. Now it was lubed and wire contacts were cleaned prior install.

Unit functioned as intended for a few days with no issue. All was good as I got home last night. This morning as I was getting onto the road I got no turn signal. No clicking sound and no turn lights on the dash or on the exterior of Yoko either. Weird thing is the quarter lights, headlamps and break lights do work.


So I went to work scratching my head. A few minutes ago I got digging into the problem.


What I've done: Disconnected and reconnected the turn signal assembly. Checked contacts and they are good. Checked all light bulbs and connections. Went ahead and replaced the flasher relay with a new one. Replaced the flasher fuse with a new one too.


Nothing.... Uhhhh, Now what???  :confused:


Haven't replaced the hazard relay so maybe that's it?

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Have you tried wiggling the hazard switch? I'm assuming this thing is wired like a 720 pickup, where the hazard switch disconnects the blinkers to engage the hazard circuit. On 720s the switch contact will only connect the signals if it's in the sweet spot. Too far forward or backward and it disconnects the blinkers but doesnt turn on the hazards, leaving you with nothing working.

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