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1981 datsun 210 wagon wont start


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I parked the vehicle running,  came back a couple days later since I dont drive it everyday.  It was fairly chilly that day I primed it cranked it a couple of times it wouldnt start, I assumed I flooded it. I took my other car that day, came back a couple days later to start it I get nothing wouldnt turn over,  I had just bought a new battery a month ago and figured it couldnt be that had it checked out anyway it was good, I started by changing the ignition switch because the old one was janky anyway, then I had the alternator rebuilt and changed out all the old battery leads because they were crappy.  Car cranks and when hit with starter fluid will almost start and run for a sec.  I am not a mechanic but I figured maybe I disconnected something or it may be a fuel issue.  Any suggestions would be helpful.   Thanks for the help

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You need spark and fuel to run. As it almost starts, we'll leave spark for now and look at fuel.


Take air filter top off and hold the choke butterfly open so you can look down into the carb. Pump the throttle several times. What you should see is a strong squirt of fuel from the accelerator pump. If none, the carb is empty and you may have a fuel delivery problem.


Yes... engine should start if there is good ignition spark. Take plugs out and dry them. Hold choke plate open while starting.

No..... Tank empty? Fuel filter plugged?


Fuel pump not working?


GAS is very flammable, be very careful with it and don't do this indoors.


Pull the hose off the fuel pump that goes towards the carburetor. Direct into a suitable container to collect any. Pull the coil lead off so the engine does not start. Have someone turn the engine over once or twice. What you should see is strong surges of fuel pushed out into the container.


Yes.... fuel is available carb is not letting it in. Inlet needle stuck closed or float in carb stuck. Inlet filter plugged.

No...... tank empty did you check? Fuel filter plugged, did you check? Fuel line plugged? Bad pump?


Is the pump good?


Pull the inlet hose off the pump and place in a container of gasoline. Direct the output into a container like the above test. Have someone turn the engine over. Does the pump squirt gas now?


Yes..... the pump is OK. Fuel not getting to pump. Plugged line. Loose hose letting air in. Tank empty.

No...... the pump needs replacing

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried everything that you said and it still doesnt start I changed the pump and the filter, the filter was really clogged I thought that might fix it but still wont start I pulled the lines you suggested and it squirted fuel coming from the carb side .  I would assume the only thing left would be the carburator, anything else you think I should try.

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You shouldn't change things until it definitely known bad. First, what if it adds another problem on top of what it didn't fix. Second it's an expensive non fix. Third the original pump is probably better than the 'new' one.


Does the choke plate close? If not it may not start because of this. Choke should be closed on cold start up. If OK....


Engine off, look down the carb while holding the choke plate open. Pump the gas.... you should see a strong squirt of fuel and the sight glass should show fuel at the full line. Lets assume you now have fuel.


YES to all of the above.


Remove a plug wire and put an old plug in the end. Lay on a grounded surface, like the valve cover. Have someone try to start the engine while you look for spark. Got spark???

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  • 1 month later...

I have been forced to act on my, datsun 210 that is sitting in my drive way, someone in my neighbor hood has complained of inoperable cars,  although my cars are tagged and insured.  if they look inoperable they give you a notice or they can pursue criminal prosecution of the property owner, put a lien on your property or tow your cars at some inflated charge.  What a joke

now that I vented let me explain what i have done since my last post    I actually got the car running I sprayed starter fluid down the carb and just kept spraying till it stayed running for about 5 min on its on turned it off and it wouldnt start without the fluid again. Is that an indication that the carb needs to be rebuilt, I checked my hoses and they look ok.   I am in the process of taking off the carb  and there are two bolts that are extremely hard to get to, and I wondered is there an easier way to get to them.

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You are fuel starved, pull the fuel line from the carb n stick it in a glass jar....turn the engine over n measure the fluid, after a few turns should b about 1/2 cup plus. Plys check the clarity of the fuel.


Start there. Post your results.

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I talked to a friend of mine that has a 310 he agreed to help me and he said he was having some of the same problems a while back and he updated his Carb to a 32/36 DGEV - DGEV REDLINE WEBER 32/36 Progressive Carburetor Conversion, and it was the best money he spent.  So i think I will order this and see how it goes,  any thoughts on this carb.  Once again im brand new to this working on my car stuff any advice is appreciated

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The original carb from what I hear is good it's been good to me so far had my car 3yrs only reason I didn't do the redline conversion which I would really like is because in CA it isn't okd from what I read up on. I hear really good stuff about Webber's

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The Hitatchi it came with is a great carb. Only if the throttleshaft is worn would you have a problem.


Most guys tear off all of the old worn out smog equipment and put on new gaskets when putting on a "Weber" and are like WOW, this carb is so much better....Try either cleaning up and repairing OR removing all smog equipment BEFORE you spend $$$ on a "Weber".


Over the last 40 years I have owned dozens of B210's and the best running ones ALWAYS had a Hitatchi (stock) carb on them.



1. Clean fuel tank.


2. Clean fuel line.


3. Replace ALL rubber fuel hoses (including ones on top of tank (vent lines) and return lines).


4. Replace inline fuel filter.


5 Clean fuel filter at inlet of carb.


6. Drain the bowl of the Hitatchi carb and spray cleaner in untill it is clean.


7. You only need a vacuum advance line to the distributor..plug any remaining hoses that EXIT the carb (the choke pull off hose must remain)


8. Spray some cleaner down yer carb throat at about 1500 RPM untill cleaned out.


9. Check points (if necessary).


10. Check the timing.


11. Have better response, power, MPG...n smiles.





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I have a guy that will rebuild it for about 180, I didnt no if replacing it would be a better alternative to the weber, I do like keeping it all original because it is a solid car with little rust  thanks for the advice guys  my only issue I have now is how to get to the two bolts on the firewall side of the carburetor, what do i have to remove to get to them, I dont want to take off unnecessary stuff.

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Finally got the carb off,  ready to send it the shop for rebuild.  What is a reasonable price for rebuild,  I have a guy that will do it for about 165  and if he has to get a rebuild kit versus if he has the parts an extra 20.  they flow test it and leak check it.

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I hate the stock carb and smog equipment, its so tiny and sucks for any kind of performance. The weber dgv is a good start once you get it dialed in as with any carb. The first worthwhile upgrade to an A series is to ditch the factory carb setup in my opinion. I liked the SU carbs but twin Dellortos ran the best but required a lot of tinkering. Next for me will be EFI...performance and reliability!

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Not thinking OP is looking for performance.....are you?


If you want reliability and MPG with a well running and quite car.....Hitatchi.


If you are looking for performance gains, the Weber 32/36 will help but it has to be part of a package of upgrades....the "B" will be much louder from under the hood and the exhaust. If you are looking for true performance gains you will need to open your pocket book pretty wide along with hours upon hours of research.

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Im looking to get the car running right first obviously this is not a great platform for speed,   my next question is what should i do about cleaning my engine bay  now the carb is out and I plan to replace the valve cover gasket but just want to get rid of all the oily gunk, any products that anyone recommends

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Is your choke working????? Carb engines are not at all like EFI and are easier to start if the choke is properly set and working.


$180 for a rebuild that anyone can do in a few hours???????? Don't go to that guy he's a rip off. A good kit is maybe $30 and all you need is some carb cleaner and spray, some screwdrivers.

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@datzenmike I am already committed to the rebuild the kit was 34 dollars, got it from orielys  I think it was a Walker brand.  I dont have the no how to rebuild it or better yet I dont have the confidence to rebuild it and then create a bigger mess.   The choke was working when we checked.  And the main problem is im on a dead line to get the care working because the city is hassling everyone with cars that appear to be inoperable even if they are taggged and legal with insurance



So in the state of California do they have inspections, we dont have them

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