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Aaron's 1972 Datsun 510: 4 Door Rust Bucket

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Well it finally happened. I found the deal of a lifetime and I was in a position to pounce on it.


I got a 1972 Datsun 510, it came pretty much complete, but not running and with a ton of extras. I will be spending the next few months tinkering and fixing the bigger things, the plan is to learn how to do some rust repair, and just drive it. It is a really complete car with an uncracked dash and good service records.


I took some pictures, but haven't uploaded them yet, hopefully later in the week I will.


The car came with

-FutoFab's big brake kit for the front,

- Silvermine's Maxima brakes for the rear

- XXR wheels and stretched tires

- L20b extra not currently installed

- 280zx 5speed

- clutch and flywheel

- aluminum radiator

- 3 extra steering wheels

- extra set of tail lights

- rear replacement body panels

- T3 kick plates

- T3 front and rear adjustable suspension

- T3 transmission adapter

- new alternator

- new starter

- 240z seats

- some other miscellaneous


I got super lucky and am very happy with the purchase.


*Edit Update*

The plan is to get her running decently before starting all the upgrades

Edited by Aaron Datsun
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  • 2 weeks later...

The parts that it came with! 




L20B: From California Datsun




Brakes (Silvermine rear, FutoFab Front)











Extra set of Tail Lights










Can anyone tell me what these "clear" things are?










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I am definitely on cloud 9. There are definitely some problems with the car. The previous owner was very honest about all of them, and I was wanting a project anyway.


SO here are some notes from my project log on the night I brought it home, it was 500+ miles away (but only about 50 miles from my parents house, so I hung out for the weekend:

- Re-installed stock carb, intake manifold, and exhaust manifold

- Cleaned gasket surface of old exahust adapter

- Cataloged all the parts that came with the car (Need to invest in some more hardware (bolts for intake and exhaust)

- Fired it up, idled very roughly, and the carb leaks a lot and will require rebuild

-- The electric fuel pump is overpowering the carb, the manual pump is just tied back into itself, it is also just run off the key so it runs all the time (it doesn't just prime and them shut off)


Was not counting on as much stuff as I got so I had to borrow my parents truck to get it all home, so I Had to figure out a way to get it put back on the car as much as possible so I:

- Put back on the grill

- Installed the Bumpers

- Repacked all of the contents in the car


The brakes do not work so that will be one of the first things I work on.










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use a low pressure pump for carbs or run the stock mechan pump.



get a 510 oil pan(pick up tube) look like a truck pan on there


Lots of nice parts you have. maybe be cheaper to install on more a rust free car. rust is a pain to fully get right otherwise it comes back.

Just rollit the way it is to keep the cost down and find a better body. I would just drive this one the way it is. maybe find better wheels that fit. the fronts dont look right. too much stretch.



header get it ceramic coated or they rust in 2 months painted or not. better yet get the stock one ceramic coated and use that instead those never leak. I have the same header ceramic coated but I dont plan on using it. most likely goes to the recycle dealer




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So, I read through this 2 days ago and was left speechless with all the extras that came with this deal.......and I still don't know what to say other than mind blown.


Good job man.

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When i got her home I decided to re-run the vacuum lines and get her idling. Some notes:

- Make double sure that you have the spark plug wires run to the right cylinder

-- I checked twice, but they were bunched together and I kept switching cylinder's 3/4

- The car is now idling much better, I followed the Weber Carb directions for setting idle and got it smoothed way out.

-- Problem: The car seems like it is "racing" I hooked up the timing light, if I know how to use a timing light my idle is set to 37* advanced on idle.

-- Solution: ?? I adjusted the distributor and the car dies, this is a new distributor the previous owner put on so I am trying to figure out how to set it up



I have been doing a fairly decent job of running my timelapses I should have a few in the next month or so (I am slow at editing).


I also took off the wheels. To look at the brakes that aren't working. I went to bleed them and the passenger's rear bleeder was broken off so I ordered new wheel cylinders.

- Need a new dust cap for the front wheel bearing


*Edit I have been looking, does anyone know a good source for dust caps? I will measure, but it seems like it could be any size from my google searches.

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I am trying to be very formatted with this build. I have been following a format for my logging of work. I have it all in my notebook in the garage, and I will try to transcribe from time to time.
Project Log (12 Nov 17):
Start Time:
Not Recorded
End Time:
Not Recorded
I got the car home on Sunday evening. It was a solid 10 hour drive, as I kept the speed down a bit. The car towed fantastically. I had a buddy (Jaime) come by and helped unload. We got the car in the garage and situated fairly easily. I ended up using the cars starter to drive the car over the bumps in the trailer. Thank goodness a 1972 Datsun doesn’t have a clutch lock out.
To Do (Daily):
    1.(Done) Get the car home and unloaded
1. Nothing significant to report on
    - I didn’t really unload anything from the car, just left it all inside the car, and unloaded the back of the truck
    - I started the Bill of Materials for all the items that came with the car. I didn’t complete it that first night, but it was over $9k worth of parts


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Project Log (16 Nov 17):

Start Time:

Not Recorded

End Time:

Not Recorded



   - Took the parts out of the car, I also sold the Moped to free up cash and make room in the garage

   - Brakes (front and rear) up on the shelves, as well as the rest of the parts

   - Cleaned garage:

o   Both Benches

o   Organized tools, still missing shallow metric socket set, haven’t seen them in MONTHS


Notes: None

Images: None

Links to Timelapse: None

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Project Log (18 Nov 17):
Start Time:
End Time:
The real work on the car started today at my house. There is a long list of things I would like to get done, but time will tell whether I do get it done or not
To Do (Daily):
   1. ¨ Replace Fuel Filter
   2. þ Pull and replace carburetor
   3. þ Redo vacuum lines (got done 19 Nov)
   4. þ Redo fuel lines
   5. þTry to start the car
   6. þ Film intro video for the YouTube series
1. I did not end up replacing the fuel filter, while I have one on hand, when I went to the parts store they did not have one on hand so I delayed replacing the fuel filter for now. I need to get this done though, because the gas in this car is fairly old and I need to ensure that it gets out of there soon.
2. Carburetor work: The new carburetor looks to be brand new. I will need to swap some stuff over to it in order for it to work, such as:
   - þ Vacuum hoses
   - þ Vacuum attachments
   - þ Fuel Lines
   - þ Throttle attachment
The work took forever on the carburetor. The original nut that held the C shaped piece was a circular nut on a shaft that had a slot for a large screw driver to go across the top. I did not have an appropriate sized flat headed screw driver so I attempted to use anything and everything in my garage to get it loose, including a razor blade, which I immediately sliced my finger with.
I also realized the mounting bolts were a different pattern between the two carburetors which meant I had to also switch the intake manifolds as well. The swapping of intakes after getting the throttle adapter moved started at 1730L,
4-6. Nothing significant to report
   - Carburetor Specifics

o   Brand: Weber Down Draft “Redline” 32 36 

o   DGAv33b1: 036 15

o   I will keep it on the L20B if/when I swap that, and it came with the car



Old Carb




Old versus new




Took Maybe 3 hours to get this dang thing off!




New versus old manifold



New stuff installed



Links to Timelapse: 

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Project Log (19 Nov 17):

Start Time:


End Time:


Car now starts, but definitely runs rough. The new carburetor does help the engine out (Author’s note after the fact: The car was still not running well at all). The brakes don’t work at all. The car came with a new brake master cylinder, but it does not line up perfectly with the existing brakes lines so it needed to be massaged into place. I received a lug nut adapter from my friend today so I can start working on the brakes and wheels. I am going to take off the wheels today.

-  All of the fluids (brake and clutch) are disgusting, and look horrible. Either pure black or a rust color

-  I have been thinking about how to jack up a rusty car, I think I have found ways that won’t put a hole (another one at least) through the floor pan

To Do (Daily): Goal: Get the car idling and the brakes working

1.       ¨ Replace Fuel Filter

2.       ¨ Bleed and Flush Brakes

3.       þ Do research on master cylinders

4.       þ Redo vacuum lines (got done 19 Nov)

5.       þ Run to parts Store

6.       þUnderstand Vacuum hose requirements on crankcase vent

7.       ¨ Start thinking about fans and relays


1. I still did not change the fuel filter.


2.  I really am dreading this work. So I did not get to it today


3. The master cylinder is not exactly the same and I have read there are check valves that can mess up (lock your brakes or cause them to be mushy depending on whether it is a drum/disc brake)

- The research I did was fruitful. I decided I would use the new master cylinder because the old was very rusty, and I already have the new one on hand.


4. The vacuum hoses got run, and now the car is idling a bit better (author’s note: Still wasn’t running very good at all)


5. I really needed to get coolant for the car as well as brake fluid I had run out. The overall trip to the parts store cost me about $55.23. I also bought some fuel hose and other things. I kept the receipt and placed it in the tracker.


6. PCV and Crankcase: According to Pg 103 of Chilton’s Datsun Repair & Tune Up Guide (Figure)

- PCV goes to crankcase

- Doesn’t appear to be critical if it is not hooked up, it should just pull air

- Drove a need from the parts store for a vacuum attachment so it can be attached to the carburetor.

- Author’s Note: Drawing created on original hard copy log



- The lack of exhaust makes it really difficult to run the car any length of time in the garage comfortably. I am usually working on the car during the evening after the kids go to bed, and two kids’ bedrooms are over the garage.


Images: Coming

Links to Timelapse: Coming

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You try a imming light?maybe dist of off and or offa tooth on oil spindal


fuel filter I would have got on a car that has sitting outside a long time(drain the tank)



I didnt see a need to rip it all apart/I bet I could have pour gas in the carb to see if it would fire.


post are too long. too detailed on stuff that dont need detail


just get to the main points.


adjust valves, carb works, timming , fuel delivery , have spark.

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You try a imming light?maybe dist of off and or offa tooth on oil spindal


fuel filter I would have got on a car that has sitting outside a long time(drain the tank)



I didnt see a need to rip it all apart/I bet I could have pour gas in the carb to see if it would fire.


post are too long. too detailed on stuff that dont need detail


just get to the main points.


adjust valves, carb works, timming , fuel delivery , have spark.

I let my timing light be borrowed. I got it back and that is where I noticed my timing seems like it is off, but the car is running way to well to believe the timing is that far off. I am pretty sure I am just reading the timing wrong.


Also I agree the posts are really long. I am attempting to be very detailed if that is off putting people should be able to read the To Do list for the day, and look at pictures and videos if so desired. I do really appreciate the honest feedback

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  • 2 weeks later...

Project Log (19 Nov 17): Part two

Start Time: 2000L

End Time: 2225L


To Do (Daily): None made, just continued work from earlier

- Replaced brake Master Cylinder, went to bleed brakes, rear passenger’s side bleeder valve broken off. Will have to remove

- The part run was $55.93. Two biggest items were fuel line and coolant

- Considered doing the rear disc swap so I don’t have to deal with broken bleeder valve

Author’s Note: Decided against doing the swap based on the desire to do a bearing change when I do the swap

-  Removed check valve from master cylinder based on internet reading (author’s note: I drew a picture of the check valve in the note book)

-  When installing the Master Cylinder I found metal shavings in one of the check valves

-  Clutch fluid checked, it is disgusting

-  I am not 100% sure installed the push rod correctly

-  I bench bled the master cylinder



-  I am hoping to get it driving under its own power by next Saturday under its own power (25 Nov 17)

-  Thanksgiving is this week, doubt I will get much accomplished prior to Thanksgiving.





Links to Timelapse: Combined with next couple updates

Edited by Aaron Datsun
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