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1980 Datsun 510(A10) Wagon Build, KA Swap (Questions,How to)


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I bought a 1980 Datsun 510(A10) wagon 4 years ago with wanting to learn on how to rebuild a engine with the intention to do a KA Swap down the line.

Well I finally acquired a 93 KA24DE. I wanted to go ahead and remove unnecessary things from under the dash leading me to just remove all the interior since i was that deep in and for a good reason. If you ever want to know what your gonna find in a 37 year old car its a rats nest, bunch of cigarette butts and a crayon. 



What is recommend to clean the floor? I was thinking soap and scrub brush? 


Also going about replacing the carpet. What have you used in the past? What type of barrier do i put down? 

Should go ahead and use por 15 and paint the floor to prevent rusting, the car is pretty clean of rust only a few spots. 



Old Picture:

38231251214_9165eab3a0_c.jpgDone by thesegamaster, on Flickr


Interior Pictures:

25075978918_836dd50384_c.jpg2 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

25075980688_ba3d7224c0_c.jpg1 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

25075974968_6731032b1e_c.jpg4 by thesegamaster, on Flickr


Little homemade tool to get the screws out from the top of the dash. 

25075973668_2207c30cca_c.jpgHome Made Tool Dash by thesegamaster, on Flickr




Questions, Comments, Help Appreciated


Thanks for looking.


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There rally should have been little reason to remove the dash. You're keeping most of what's there. What a pain in the ass job for little benefit.



Hint: use really good hose clamps for the heater core as you don't want to do that again.



Overall, not half bad. Use dry ice to break up the deadening material on the floors and see what it looks like after.

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  • 1 month later...




Went to the Auto Salvage yard today, They had a 83 Nissan Pickup that had a z20s with a Manual Transmission. 

I picked up the KA24DE that came with a automatic transmission. Of course that would not work for me. 

Upon research online i found that you can use a good old manual stumpy trans for the swap, Since the KA block is practically the same as a z20s having the same hole pattern, so the transmission will bolt right in. I also started cleaning up the plastics with some 303 Automotive cleaner and man, do the plastics look new!

I have the wiring harness in the car, need to wire up the CAM/AM Box, I pulled the two connects i needed from a 240sx chassis harness that was at the same salvage yard. That way i do not have to cut the engine harness. I tired finding the connectors online with not much luck. I power washed the gunk of the engine with still more cleaning to do. I need to get it up on the engine stand so i can starting replacing a much over due gasket job. 



Question: I am looking at rockauto for a Flywheel and Clutch. The Clutch and Flywheel for the KA or the Clutch and flywheel for the 83 Pickup.

Stumpy Specs: I can get a Clutch either in 225mm or 240mm disc diameter. It looks like the KA Clutch disc diameter is 225mm. I assuming i go with the 225mm. 

Flywheel:  Z20s/Stumpy Flywheel says diameter is  12.09". While the KA diameter 12.03. Or does it really matter, its such a small amount it wont be noticed? 

I assure i am just over thinking it. But info is always appreciated.   


Thanks for reading! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Answered Solved.


I just wrapping up the gasket job. Cleaned everything up the best i could without getting too extreme, Clean enough to not get your hands all greasy when you work on it. 

I am ordering some new vacuum lines and coolant hoses that are attached the manifold. Its coming along pretty smooth and not rushing anything. I still need to fabricate a Clutch pedal but that will come when the engine is in the car. So i can get everything lined up correctly. 

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Clutches are measures across the friction face on the flywheel.


The Z20 in the 720 will have a 240mm flywheel and clutch in it.


Truck KA engines also have the 240mm clutch.

Car KAs has the 225mm clutch.



The Z20 5 speed, flywheel, clutch and pressure plate and the release bearing and collar should all fit the KA.


If you have a KA with a 225mm flywheel and clutch assembly (be sure you get and keep the release collar, it's matched to the 225mm clutch) the Z20 5 speed will bolt right up and work.

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Yes in theory it should bolt up directly to your existing trans,, i say in theory cuz i never actually did it but have been told by a few it should work no problem. 


MHub said he used a 240sx motor mount on one side or the other and it made it so the other side be able to use stock type mounts..?? So keep those if you have them from donor car..  Notice question marks  as my memory isn't as "keen" as i would like it to be. 




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  • 1 month later...

Update 4/8/2018


Engine is mostly assembled with all new gaskets. Still need to do the rear main seal and thermostat. New Hoses and Vacuum lines are in place. I have ordered the rest of the items needed for the install. Hopefully the engine will be installed by the end of this month so i can get working on wiring and start re-installing the interior. 

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  • 3 months later...

Update 7/19/2018


Engine is installed with transmission, Went in pretty smoothly after a few adjustments. Used a A10 motor mount on passenger side and a KA Motor mount on the driver side. 

Engine Harness is mostly plugged in. Currently working on figure out wiring up the transmission to get reverse lights and neutral. Once i figure out that i will move on wiring to the cam/am box. Then i can get to the fun part on making some custom modifications, Installing Clutch pedal, radiator etc etc. 


43468593642_e7ef766a27_c.jpgIMG_20180701_130841 by thesegamaster, on Flickr


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  • 2 months later...

Update: 9/23/2018


I have been working on getting everything buttoned up. You can use a stock throttle cable. I got the wiring harness all hooked, beside CAM/AM Box. I wired up pigtails that plug into the harness, to ease my mind on cutting the harness. I have it all labeled, Just waiting to get ready to install the dash to see how i want to mount it. Currently gonna be running the old radiator with a electric fan. I will have to make a custom cold air intake pipe to get it to fit under the hood. I have been in the process of trying to figure out a custom clutch pedal. I took a Clutch Assembly from a 85 300zx from the salvage yard. It fit in the original mounting hole so i went with it. 


44874224371_2e8da071d7_b.jpgIMG_20180923_140338 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

Edited by Hondanx250
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  • 1 month later...

Update: 11/8/2018


Clutch Pedal is in working order, Rolls back and forth in the driveway so that is a success! Brake lines where also flushed in the process along with a new master cylinder. I have the CAM/AM all wired up. If you have a Automatic converting it to a 5 speed, From the stater you have to bypass the B/W Coilwire/relays and plug it straight into the B/Y Wire. I got it to fire over with starting fluid but not on its own yet. I have a feeling i need the Vacuum line hooked up to the intake for the pressure regulator to pull gas through. I ordered 3" Aluminum pipe and will be making a custom intake. I also received my electric fan so i will also be wiring that up also. Once i get it fired up and it runs on its own. I will order a header,, Oil,Temp,Volt meters for it and start buttoning everything up. 

Edited by Hondanx250
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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a question. 


I am going to be reinstalling my heater core. I am wondering while i have it out if i should take it apart and clean it. I see dried leaves inside that i would like to clean out for safety reasons(Possibly of a fire hazard?) It was working fine when i pulled i out. Would it be wise to take it apart and clean it? 





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Heater water is about 180F. Leaves might ignite at 450+F. More to the question they would block air flow or heat transfer so yes, clean them out and vacuum the housing. Reverse flush the core with a garden hose to flush out sediment that will block flow and heat transfer. You can do this from the engine compartment using the heater hoses out there. Be sure the heater is set to HOT so the valve is open inside. Be sure that air cannot squeeze past the sides of the core by using self sticking weather stripping. Make sure all the linkages are free moving and cables and slides lubricated... and adjusted. 


You might want to remove the wiper arms from their pivots and unscrew and remove top of the plenum directly in front of the windshield. This is where the maple keys and pine needles like to collect. On left and right sides are openings to under the fenders for rain water drainage.  If part blocked, the water can back up and go down the air inlet to the heater, not to mention speed up rusting. If pine needles or maple keys are a constant problem cover the under side of the louvers with fly screen to keep them out.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Its time for a Update 3/3/2019.


With the New year i have been extremely busy with holidays, other projects and not the best weather when i have free time on the weekends. I went ahead and got everything hard wired, all the electrical is good to go. I installed the electric fuel pump with a 5/16" intake line, I need to go back and install a 5/16" return line. I got the engine to start but not idle. I think its due to the fact that the return line is restricting on the fuel flow(back pressure). Engine will run when given gas. Could also be the ECU needs to relearn? Everything sounds good. I finally found a down pipe for it so i have been working on getting the hacked up o2 sensor that was rusted on there off. So now that i have finally got that free, i plan on ordering some header pipe warp and rubber 5./16th fuel line and installing that soon.  

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  • 3 months later...

Update 6/23/2019


Exhaust down-pipe got wrapped and proper 02 sensor plug, Has been installed. Engine bay is almost button up, I've worked on cleaning up the wiring harness with a loom, Installed a custom intake. I've been working on the inside of the car this week. I took out all the old sound deadener because i have new stuff to install. Wanted to also clean up the rust that was on the inside and neutralize it. Dry Ice method works wonders.  A lot of scraping and fumes cleaning up the residue. I also made a custom tube straighter for the 5/16th fuel line. 


48117376242_028d02f132_k.jpgDSCN5517 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

Working on getting the nasty smell out and old sound deadener. 

48117286596_8b002ba90b_k.jpgDSCN5504 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

48117324918_39c6735c88_k.jpgDSCN5505 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

48117383567_0a01e7eafc_k.jpgDSCN5516 by thesegamaster, on Flickr




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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress Update: 7/15/2019

I've tackled some rust around the front windshield. Wire wheel and sanding. I applied some ospho rust inhibitor. Smoothed it out with some bondo. 
I also applied 50mil Kilmat to the floor. Took me 8hr to get it all down. 


48293722496_a8f5a0c752_k.jpgDSCN5557 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

48293827232_5522bea3e0_k.jpgDSCN5659 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

48293827482_40c4ce1847_k.jpgDSCN5656 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

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  • 8 months later...

Update:  4/10/2020

Hey everyone, I know its been a minute. I've have made some progress on the car. Fired up the KA and backed it into the garage. I did not have a 02 sensor hooked up, so i think that is why it was running rich and choking out. I ordered a Megan Racing header to relocate the O2 sensor, Will have to build a custom down tube. I built a custom bracket for the ECU and CAM box that will be hidden behind the dash. Also, Wired up the Oil Sender unit and Temp gauges. Going to be mounted as so with stainless cutout, fuse box is behind it. Still need to think about how i want to mount a radio. Pulled the rear springs and axle, i have all the parts to fresh'in it up. Plan to wire wheel and put a nice paint coat on it. Might just be me, but while i was under the car decided to clean it, makes the wheel well shine. 


49759304811_24a7071239_c.jpgDSCN6271 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

49758772988_6487e302e2_c.jpgDSCN6274 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

49759626532_1be34a1a56_c.jpgDSCN6290 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

49759304461_06ae7671b0_c.jpgDSCN6291 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

49759309686_d04069be6f_c.jpgDSCN6294 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

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  • 6 months later...
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Update: 12/19/2020

Yes, Between My Job, Side Jobs and Other Projects i am very busy. I try to work on it when i get the time and i do. Might not be getting it done as quick as i like. I wanted to have it off the stands by the end of the year but i am not complaining, Sometimes the best things take time. I hope to improve on future projects i have lined up. Current Line up for future projects is Turbo Charged Z24 Motor in my 720 and S15 Front end swap on my 240sx. Okay, Back to the A10 510.


Since the last update, I've installed a Isuzu Rodeo front seat i had laying around, Gonna get the OG interior seat reupholstered down the road. I've found the missing pieces to get the rear axle/diff put back together to freshen it up to last with the motor swap. Currently how it sits in the picture. Wire wheel, cleaned, rust prevention and painted the axle, springs, etc. I also cleaned up the wiring and its all hidden underneath the where the AC unit use to be. Installed the last few switch's for my gauges. I would say it's coming along nicely. 


50736281788_216b586d33_k.jpgDSCN6752 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

50737124447_f0e2cd57d4_k.jpgDSCN6753 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

50737124317_e11a792189_k.jpgDSCN6756 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

50737020436_8be3c22ad0_k.jpgIMG_20201101_160217 by thesegamaster, on Flickr

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