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Aaron's 1972 Datsun 510: 4 Door Rust Bucket

Aaron Datsun

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Update: I added photos to the past 4-5 posts, not a ton but it makes it better than just having to watch the videos. If you aren't watching the videos, I must say you are missing out that is where the detail is really happening


I sanded down the arch and got it looking good enough to be in a closed door ~99% of the time. I am waiting on some cleaning chemicals for painting. so I decided to move to the rear fender. The replacement fender that came with my car is not the complete fender so I will need to cut out some parts. There was lots of rust, so I wore a respirator the entire time.


Date: 10 March


1.  Removed the bumper that was not even fully attached, the side marker light (2x screws), rear light (8mm bolts), and the side molding (just pull). I also had to remove the trunk seal as well (scraped it out) 

2. Remove the spot welds in the trunk, the drop panel was pretty well rusted and I needed to remove the welds. I started by cleaning the trunk out, and then getting after it with a wire wheel (which is on its last leg). I tried to remove the spot welds with a spot weld drill it was not working, so I used the grinder to cut the welds as best i could and realized it would be better to just use a chisel to bust out the old spot welds as that panel is going to need some help anyway. Once those were done I kept moving around the trunk. Whatever the trunk is coated in I absolutely HATE.

3. Remove the spot welds along the top of the fender, I was very meticulous here as I wanted this whole area to come out very clean. There were at least 7 along the top, and two on the vertical surface as well. The rear panel I just decided to cut as I was not going to get those spot welds out at those weird angles.

4. I then used the angle grinder and removed the very back piece of the fender first, this was mainly to be able to slip the new fender on so I could get an accurate measurement for the front portion so I didn't accidently cut too much.

5. Removed the other portion of the fender,  inner wheel well, and the drop panel (these will have to be replaced as well.











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  • 1 month later...

Finally got some more work done. I just got the video done as well. I removed the inner and outer fender arch from the car. I then fruitlessly tried to remake the arch several different times by different methods before giving up. As Thomas A. Edison is quoted as saying: 'I have not failed. I've just found 10000 ways that won't work."



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In the next part of my work on the 510 I replace the lower and outer portion of the inner rear wheel arch, replace some of the trunk floorboard, and weld in the trunk drop panel. Not a bad amount of work. I am still working through the settings on the welder, but it is going well. Let me know what you think. 


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  • 5 months later...

While this project has largely sat for the past 4 months I have not given up hope. I should have another couple videos produced in the next few weeks to a month hopefully, work has started again.


Check out the passenger's side rust!

THe bondo was all from the passenger's foot well underneath a wicked awesome patch panel sealed with duct tape

That hole is after the bondo was removed, The back also had a good chunk of metal missing at the corner. Ohh and look at that bondo depth on the rear arch.







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  • 9 months later...

I have been thinking about my car for the past 7 months that I haven't been able to work on it (the work that pays the bills kept me from working on it). I am back and I want to get this thing back out on the road by my Birthday if possible (10 Oct). There is still a ton to do, but I am excited to get working again.


Work today:

- Shaped the Passenger's floorboard to follow the contour of the frame rail

  -- Added a whole bunch of holes for the coleco fastners

- Repaired 2x spots in the framerail on the passenger's front floorboard

- Replaced the front inner sill piece for the passenger's front floor board

- Cut out and replaced the inner sill for the passenger's side seat belt mount

  -- Made new pieces to replace the lower seatbelt mount (waiting on weld through primer to get in on Friday)


Moving Forward:

- I ordered the weld through primer as mine was dead when I went to use it.

- Continue work on the inner sill

- Cut out and replace the rear floorboard.

- cut out the remainder of the rocker panel and replace

- Fix the rear wheel arch.


I know that is a lot of stuff to get done, but I actually have a couple weeks off before I have to go back to work, so I am trying to stay motivated to work


I did not grind down welds where I didn't think they needed to be ground down. Thanks for looking I am still working on making youtube videos of all of my work as well.





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On 8/20/2020 at 3:46 PM, the510keeper said:

That's a comment, looking good man.

Vegas cool. A few 510ers in Vegas Jeff Ball lives there has a chill 4 door.


Enjoy man


Jeff Ball's 510 is amazing for sure.


I have continued work over the past week. Making good progress.

- Front and Rear Passenger Floor board are now in the car.

- The inner sill is 90% complete

- I removed the remainder of the rocker panel.


Here are the most recent two videos. Though the words above are actually still being edited, the videos lag the work usually by a week or so as I am not a fast editor and it isn't like I am making money from these videos.



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Here is the link to the next video. In this video I cut out the last of the passenger's side rear floorboard and continue working on cleaning out that corner.


I fully believe this side is going to stand the test of time better than the driver's side, but both are going to be better than what was there when I got the car.



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I think I found the front seats for the car. Out with the tired original 510 seats. In with some Mercedes CLK seats (1998-2003). The measurements are very similar to the original seats and should be much more comfortable. I am going to pick them up tonight

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I just looked at my Youtube videos, it took me 209 days to accomplish what I did in the last 13 days on the driver's side and I think this side is turning out better even. It is nice to have motivation, and time. The goal is my birthday October 10th to be complete with the repairs and have the car ready for daily driver status.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got the inner sill largely complete in the latest video, I also tacked in the rear floorboard. I am making good progress on the car. I have also been playing with some graphic design work as I do laser engraving as a side business. I decided I wanted to snazzy up my logos for my Youtube channel. I think they look pretty cool. 



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  • 2 months later...

Well since I posted last, I have published another 10 videos to my youtube channel. I have:

- Replaced floorboards

- Welded in the Passenger Rocker Panel

- Created a new A-pillar lower boxed piece

- Removed the rear Fender

- Replaced the Outer Wheel Well

- New Trunk Drop Panel

- Created a battery Box

- Fixed the rust in the rear panel and trunk floor

- Installed the rear fender



The videos lag real world work by quite a while. Today I actually painted the rocker and rear fender on the passengers side.

Edited by Aaron Datsun
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Next video is up in tis video I adjusted the seat mounts and the CLK seat rails to fit into the Datsun.


I started by thinking I was going to just put the seats on the old rails, but the mounts were much longer (They are the correct width), but that would have extended the back of the seat way past the back of the mount causing a large amount of leverage on the mount itself. so I devised a simple extension which allowed me to bring the excess forward on the seat, instead of backwards into the back seat. This wasn't a very hard project day, but was nice to see the new seats in the car. This is one of those little projects that I have been looking forward to figuring out. Sorry my camera always seems like it has a small sheen of vaseline on it.




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