Jump to content

My Datsun 510 re-restoration


Recommended Posts





So this is the Datsun that my wife bought for me for 15k plus import and transport fees. (FYI if you want something transported from Canada go with Mackie Trasport as they are hads down the nicest, most professional, best value transport company out there and they don't rip you off like everyone state side listing services on uship.)


She wanted to get me one last gift with her own money before she became a stay at home mom. The car looks as many commented well sorted and compared to others it is and I am super happy and blessed to have a wife that supports my hobby. ( I have 5 toy cars.) but (begin rant) there are some problems with it.


To start I want to say that whoever "restored" this vehicle should sell all of their tools and never touch a vehicle again as they rigged several areas that affect safety which to me is a HUGE no no.  While I wouldn't do it I can understand going cheap so long as it doesn't endanger anyone.  If that person happens to be on these forums and is offended well I don't care.  The fact that any time I attempt to enjoy my 510 I am forced to choke on the smell of gasoline, exhaust and the fear of it catching fire at any moment negates your feelings...  Ok so truthfully speaking I am not trying to offend because hey it gives me something to work on which is fun and I just want to highlight so no one gets hurt.  Now Rant over and on to listing out the projects.


The problems and projects:


The weber DCOE 45's leak fuel due to incorrect fuel pressure.  The vehicle has an aftermarket electric inline fuel pump.  The pump according to my guage puts out 25PSI.  This would be fine for early low HP EFI setups but is way over the weber recommended 4psi fuel pressure.  This caused the lower plate seal to leak and not only does this make the interior and me smell like gasoline after driving it the gasoline is dripping down onto the header. (I know liquid fule wont burn but gasoline vaporizes when exposed to high heat.)

I plan on replacing the pump from the cheap non labled china pump to something better and add in a fuellabs regulator with built in guage to insure proper pressure on top of replacing the seals of the carbs.  I also plan to relocate the metal fuel hardline away from the wheel well (that is how it is routed not sure if that is correct or not.) and to accommodate the return for the regulator I will add an additional hardline.   This of course means replacing and modernizing the tank to something that accommodates a return.


The electrical wiring under the hood is by far the worst job I have ever seen.  I honestly believe a 5 year old with a playschool tool kit could have done a better job.  For example there is a wire that spans  3 feet that is made up of multiple pieces of wire all different colors of various size that were electrical taped together that run to the MSD coil.  There are wires going through the firewall without any grommet to protect them from rubbing and subsequently arcing.  There is what looks to me to be a strand of solid core house wire. None of the wires are bundled together and are both scattered and intertwined in knots all over under the hood (I am afraid to look under the dash board.) All of them are of non heat rated insulation and of random colors that can't necessarily be traced from end to end.

I am re-wiring the entire car.  Initially I was going to purchase a universal kit but I got to thinking why spend the money putting in a system that uses ancient technology like thermal flashers and possibly have to do this twice if I do any upgrades and so I bought some sealed weather proof fuse/relay boxes (couple from Hella and one from another company I can't remember the name of off hand so I can pick the best option when i go to position it.) and all of the required wiring that exactly matches the factory wiring colors to include the striped wire in GXL. (wire was purchased from 4rcustomswire.com  Note- when buying their 6 or 10 packs be sure to send an email with order number indicating the exact striped colors you want. They do custom assortments at no extra charge and free shipping.)

All this was purchased for the same price as an EZ-wire kit and when done will allow me to utilize the factory wiring diagrams after adding in the relays to the diagram.  Relays for everything is the way to go.


There is a rubber line that does not appear to be pressure rated being used in the braking system, (The info may have worn off but still.)  Fix is self explanatory.


Hooking up the speedometer cable was apparently not important enough during its "restoration" cause who needs to know how fast they are going.  The same is true of the fuel gauge wires.  Wires I might add that were left hanging unprotected that after blowing the fuse for I assume the gauges I suspect were arcing against the tank.

Will be properly sorted when I re-wire


The seat belts are not even close to factory size and unless you are 400 lbs you have to cross them with the passenger side as there is not enough adjustment room on the latch side.  Honestly they remind me of seat belts from a Continental airlines flight but who knows. 

New seat belts that fit are on order.


High beam flasher was installed backwards and requires you to let go of the wheel and reach 10 inches forward to position it opposite of the way you should have to.

Already bought an NOS Niles flasher for left hand drive.


Windshield leaks and will need to be re-installed.


Wheels have the wrong offset and rub though frankly I like the BRE repros better so...


Sealed beams... even with a relay upgrade I am so used to modern headlights that it needs an upgrade.

As covered in another thread I have purchase a set of DEPO BMW E30 smileys and after gutting I have retrofitted them with morimoto mini H1 projectors, Elite H1 hid kit and ballasts, and the adapters all provided by squaredmotorwerks.com.  The price now on bundle is 380 and does include a relay conversion harness for those not rewiring their whole car.  The DEPO smileys were 160.00 for the pair on Amazon and Ebay they are only E-code but far cheaper than sourcing used Hella or Bosch lights.   I haven't decided if I am going to utilize the bi-Xenon actuators yet but I have the option.


Tail light inner housings.  I am covering this in another thread but I am in the process of duplicating the inner housings.  Next weekend I will be making the first housing mold and plan to have these available soon.  I don't know that I will try to offer them as a product but I will offer them to ratsun.net members.  (no this isn't a sales pithc this is just me letting you know I'm not stingy :)


The interior is outstanding in the car but might make me some sort of center console with the milled vacuum forming machine I am making.  (If you think of any other things I could vacuum form PM me :D


The body work.


So the radiator core support looks replaced as it has some very lousy tac welds on it but who knows that could have just been how they did them back in the day??  The quarter panels also have poor welds too.  The hood rubs on the drivers side fender and has lightly worn through the paint.  there is no paint on the jac point edge where the rocker and floor board meet. (used some eastwood stuff to seal it temporarily.)  The engine bay is black and looks like it has 3 different colors of black encapsulating primer on it. Lastly there are 3 bubbles (not rust bubbles) and two cracks in the paint.  These appear to be caused from a finger prints prior to paint application and two much hardener in the paint.  This leads to paint that doesn't stick and shrinks to form a bubble like area in concave areas and the paint to crack on flat areas.  So a paint job as well as fixing the welds will be in order which doesn't bother me.  The car was originally what I call smurf blue (thats what we called in in the Porsche world.)  and I love that color so I feel it deserves to be returned to its former glory.



Oh yeah that reminds me it also needs the pillar vents put back on it.  I have cnc milled me a pair (I made me a one off on my mill for me and they are not the ones you see on ebay for 400+ bucks.) I need to send them to a chromer but I don't know anyone chroming least not in the state of VA so I am open to suggestions.


Anyway if you suffered through this novel I just wanted to let you know that I will be updating this page with pics and links as I address all the issues and hope you enjoy.



Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Replies 7
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Yup. Sounds like a fuel pump is really the big issue. All these cars come with electrical gremlins. Wires honestly need to be replaced in every engine bay after 30 or 40 years. So go for it. Most guys put a regulator before the Webber to drop the pressure down to 4-5psi. Be stoked. My wife bought me my dime too. Only shit thing is that now you can't sell it.

Link to comment

Dont try to use a low pressure regulator with the high pressure pump, at least that's what I was told....

I use a carter p4070... high volume and 4 to 6 psi output....

I have a single 40dcoe and that was still a little too much preassure... my gauge showed around 6.5 psi and it was causing me to flood.... installed a Holley low pressure regulator and has started flawlessly every time since and it corrected my air/fuel ratio a bit too...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

So yeah having a baby just puts a damp on just about everything car related.  Not that I mind as its been fun.  In the mean time I have been collecting parts for the fuel system replacement.  I am replacing out the lines, tank, filler neck, regulator and pump.  I will also be replacing the lower seals on the carbs and installing these nifty heat shields on the bottoms.  

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...


I finally got some time to work on the car. I started pulling the wiring out in the engine bay before being attacked by a 5 foot black snake.   I mean it didn't bite me but upon exiting the rail beside the top of the shock tower it struck at me and poisonous or not I don't do snakes unless its at the end of a shovel.   After waiting to see if it would leave I walked up to the car to find it had made good use of the fresh air duct and was sitting comfortably coiled on the passenger seat.  No doubt enjoying the sauna like atmosphere of the car.  I guess the bright side is I don't have to worry about mice getting in the car....   A word of advice.  This is why you never park your car in the grass.


That didn't stop me from my parts buying though.  I went ahead and got me several power distribution centers.  Fancy speak for fuse/relay boxes.  I have an Eaton ssVEC the name brand version of what American Autowire calls their severe duty box only the one I got costs 120 bucks and has a better relay fuse combination.  I also got an Eaton Bussmann RTMR 5 relay 10-12 fuse box, and a littlefuse HWB60 box.  I know for sure I am using the ssVEC under the hood but I want to run a secondary inside the car and I am not sure yet which I will use if I use the other two at all.  I also picked up a dimmer relay so it dims a light off as opposed to just turning it off, and a sweet programmable relay for intermittent wipers!  New 3 speed wiper motor that I had as a spare for my 911 that I will adapt.  A wiper motor that high speed is fast enough to keep your windshield dry at 150 mph!  Not that I would ever go that fast but the one currently in the car is so slow I was better off sticking my head out the window and being pelted by the rain until my eyes bled.


Anyway I plan on smoking the snake out and starting the full car harness upgrade and creating the diagrams for my harness to boot here this summer. 




  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

So the paint completely popped off around the rear plate.  Looks like the color isn’t like the Smurf blue at all.  The bubbles ended up popping the paint off and revealing that the car is I think pale ice blue?  I really need to pull up the carpet as I highly doubt they painted everything given they didn’t bother sanding where the paint previously peeled on the interior above the door card. 


Also I have been collecting a ton of parts and should have some photos here soon.



  • Like 1
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.