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76 610 Goon Daily


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So, this is kind of my introduction to Ratsun. I initially set up this username some 4 years ago and never posted. I may be new here, but I'm not new to Datsuns.


I have owned my current 260Z for the better part of 10 years now, and for some reason or another I had gotten the itch to get a station wagon. I had looked at a few maxima wagons with the LD28 and the L24 due to my familiarity with the L6 engine but really didn't find anything that was in good enough shape to be my daily driver.


I was browsing craigslist one night looking for my wife a wagon wheel to put in our front flower bed, and happened across an ad for a Datsun 610 station wagon with no picture and a very vague description for $1500. I had no clue what a 610 was let alone a 610 Goon so after a quick google image search, I was hooked.


I called the guy and turns out he was the original owner of the car, said his wife was forcing him to downsize the amount of things he has because of his "ever increasing age". I talked with him a bit more and found out that the motor had a miss that had started the last time that he had driven it. I went to check it out a few weeks later, the car was really well maintained he had kept a note book log of EVERYTHING he had ever done to the car including all of the receipts for parts. The car was incredibly solid for having spent most of it's life in and around New Orleans. We chatted for a bit and I asked if he could start it so I could listen to hear if anything was the obvious cause of the miss. The top end sounded really noisy so we removed the valve cover and found it had thrown a rocker. Re-installed the rocker and it threw it again, compression test confirmed that it had no compression on number 3.


He was really impressed with my intention to daily drive the goon seeing as how it "was his baby". I finally talked him down a considerable amount, gave him the money, and had him tow it (had a tow bar setup) to my Pop's garage.








I dove into the motor immediately, pulled the head and found that it had dropped a valve seat. the loose valve seat beat the piss out of the head, but fortunately the piston had only been slightly touched. I could not for the life of me find an L20 head local to replace the ruined one. However I did have a friend that had an L16 laying around that was willing to donate the head to a good cause.  I gasket matched the L16 head to the L20 intake and bolted everything back together, ran great but used/burnt oil like it was going out of style.













I drove the crap out of it, I eventually swapped my riken meshies on it, swapped the 4 speed for a 280Z 5-speed, added a sunpro tach, swapped the steering wheel for a series 1 240Z wheel, and lowered it with 2.5" blocks in the rear/ cut 2.5 coils on the front. I lived with putting a quart of oil in it every time I filled the tank until the motor lost compression on number 3 again. I was lucky enough to have found an L20 on Craigslist in Asheville, NC. I picked the motor up for 100 bones and promptly pulled the motor out of the wagon and swapped it out over a weekend. I've been dailying the goon ever since.









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Thank you!

I've been trying to absorb as much knowledge from here as possible. This is my first rodeo with any other Datsun beside Z cars.

Future plans include:


1) Finishing the upholstery on the front seats

2) Bike carbs to replace the Crap-tachi

3) ????

4) Profit


It's likely to take a bit to get there since the toy money will have to be shared between the Goon and the Z.

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Lucky guy I for the life of me had so many opportunities to buy a 610 but I've always wanted a 610 sedan everytime one shows up for sale I don't have the monies to buy. With 5 Datsuns myself and going onto 6 I really gotta cut back but hey when you been bitten by the Datsun bug once this is what it will do to you. I do have a 79 810 wagon that already have parts to get it running again. Wagons are definitely fun since you don't see as many on the road today.


Welcome to Ratsun and keep updated.

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  • 3 years later...

This may end up being a huge picture dump. The car has changed a lot over the past 3 years.


Lets start from the top:


In June 2018 I started collecting the parts to install bike carbs on the new to me L20B.



I got a U-bend and 3d-printed some angle jigs to exactly match the CAD model of the intake I had already designed.






Welded everything up and test fit on the broken motor:



I painted the manifold originally, but went back and powder coated it OD green to match the intake manifold on the Z.




Fast forward to September 2018, I picked up some E30 convertible seats for up front. I love the adjust ability and bolsters on these!



Also, the previous owner met up with me and gave me a box full of spares he had on the shelf for the car.



My kiddos love cruising around in this thing so since I live super close to the smokey mountains, we decided to take a trip to Cades Cove in November 2018.

I got a few good pictures of the car by the tunnel in/out of the place.




Next in the timeline was a rad photo shoot with a good friend of mine that shoots analog photography. I have dabbled in film a little but I have no idea what I'm doing so we got together to collaborate on a photoshoot.







The car hibernated during the winter and come March 2019 I had a guy I work with do the body work and paint the car.








After getting the car back from paint in May 2019. The guy who painted it was gracious enough to "wet sand and buff" the car before delivery. However his buffing job just wasn't up to my standards, so I spent the better part of 2 months polishing the turd.










I should have pulled the bumpers because he didn't get good paint coverage behind them, so those areas got blacked out.



I made a set of "bluebird-u" emblems to replace my roached 610 ones.





I installed the rest of the trim and drove the car for a while trying to decide what I was going to do with the bumpers.




I finally settled on straightening and tucking the stock park benches for the time being. I had a hard time deciding on what finish I wanted the bumpers. I painted them semi-gloss black but decided that wasn't going to cut it. After a ton of research on chrome imitation coatings I finally decided to chrome vinyl wrap them.








That brings us up to October 2019. I more or less just drove the car up until spring of 2020 when I picked up a set of S13 coilovers to toss on the 280ZX struts I had traded into.










That more or less has the car up to date. Recently I picked up a set of seat covers for the E30 Seats and I'm in the middle of recovering them. Hopefully it won't take me 3 years to post pictures of them completed.




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