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BrandonS

A Bird of Prey - Brandon's Bluebird Build

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Hey everyone!  I usually just lurk on here; mostly asking questions when I'm stuck on something. If you all don't mind; I'd like to share my upcoming build with you guys.  I have a 1971 Bluebird Coupe 1800SSS that I bought while I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  The search took about a year and I believe it was about the 5th car I had looked at.  Even in Japan they can be hard to find.  When my car came up for sale I just knew it was the one that was for me.  It wasn't missing any trim (except the 1800SSS grill badge), had a full interior, faux hood vents and the price was good for the condition it was in.  Oh and it was the perfect color (although I do really like that stock pea green color I keep seeing).  

So since I've had the car, I've only done a few minor things to it.  I've replaced a leaking stock radiator with a KoyoRad, put new valve stem seals on it, built a mandrel bent 2.25" stainless exhaust, upgraded the headlights, restored a set of Riverside R109's I found on Yahoo Auctions Japan, and finally upgraded to electronic ignition which was a nightmare because all the tutorials online didn't work with the stock wiring on my car.  My time with it has been a little short because I got the car and deployed a few months later, came back and had to make sure it was ready to ship to my next duty assignment.  Which brings us to now.  The car has FINALLY arrived at the port in Germany and I am waiting for it to clear customs.  Since the summer is nice I'll start doing some small things, but plan on mostly enjoying it.  Once winter comes though, hopefully I'll have all my ducks in a row to tear it down and start a motor swap this winter.

 

A build thread is worthless without pics, so here are a few to get the thread up to speed.  I know we're a small community so I apologize to those who may have already seen some of these pictures as I posted them in different places on the internet.

Oh and if interested, here is my old "build thread" over on The Realm.  http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29308&start=15

 

When i bought the car:

cONLub0.jpg

Night shot of the inside:

PQ2Jwlm.png

 

First "mod" custom made by me... At least I think it's humorous.

gCbJnnj.jpg

 

KoyoRad installed:

gUFOSVs.jpg

 

Fixing up a new set of wheels:
What I was working with

KUIK91N.jpg

iNMVyvz.jpg

 

Final Product awaiting wrapping in Nankang NS2-R.  Sanded these from 400 grit up through 2000grit and then used 3 different wheels on a polishing machine.   :o

ijUMRP3.jpg

 

The exhaust:

ALdWTmQ.jpg

Pj3lIrB.jpg

 

And the car now:

Hki5u1z.jpg

qZcbmyF.jpg

 

Dropped off at port back in January with it's "shipping wheels"

Fd23PQ9.jpg

 

The plan is a CA18DET.  I'm hoping to get 300+ whp out of it, but we'll see.  At a minimum, it will be rebuilt and get a bigger turbo.
ksYwspl.jpg

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FUCK YEAH CA18DET!!!! I think I'm one of the few people who still love that engine. Such a little powerhouse in the right hands. 

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Yea the CA should make the power, isn’t near as cookie cutter as an SR20 and is a little cheaper. I also chose it as a nod to my car being an 1800.

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Hey everyone! I usually just lurk on here; mostly asking questions when I'm stuck on something. If you all don't mind; I'd like to share my upcoming build with you guys. I have a 1971 Bluebird Coupe 1800SSS that I bought while I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. The search took about a year and I believe it was about the 5th car I had looked at. Even in Japan they can be hard to find. When my car came up for sale I just knew it was the one that was for me. It wasn't missing any trim (except the 1800SSS grill badge), had a full interior, faux hood vents and the price was good for the condition it was in. Oh and it was the perfect color (although I do really like that stock pea green color I keep seeing).

 

So since I've had the car, I've only done a few minor things to it. I've replaced a leaking stock radiator with a KoyoRad, put new valve stem seals on it, built a mandrel bent 2.25" stainless exhaust, upgraded the headlights, restored a set of Riverside R109's I found on Yahoo Auctions Japan, and finally upgraded to electronic ignition which was a nightmare because all the tutorials online didn't work with the stock wiring on my car. My time with it has been a little short because I got the car and deployed a few months later, came back and had to make sure it was ready to ship to my next duty assignment. Which brings us to now. The car has FINALLY arrived at the port in Germany and I am waiting for it to clear customs. Since the summer is nice I'll start doing some small things, but plan on mostly enjoying it. Once winter comes though, hopefully I'll have all my ducks in a row to tear it down and start a motor swap this winter.

 

A build thread is worthless without pics, so here are a few to get the thread up to speed. I know we're a small community so I apologize to those who may have already seen some of these pictures as I posted them in different places on the internet.

 

Oh and if interested, here is my old "build thread" over on The Realm. http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29308&start=15

 

When i bought the car:

cONLub0.jpg

Night shot of the inside:

PQ2Jwlm.png

 

First "mod" custom made by me... At least I think it's humorous.

gCbJnnj.jpg

 

KoyoRad installed:

gUFOSVs.jpg

 

Fixing up a new set of wheels:

What I was working with

KUIK91N.jpg

iNMVyvz.jpg

 

Final Product awaiting wrapping in Nankang NS2-R. Sanded these from 400 grit up through 2000grit and then used 3 different wheels on a polishing machine. :o

ijUMRP3.jpg

 

The exhaust:

ALdWTmQ.jpg

Pj3lIrB.jpg

 

And the car now:

Hki5u1z.jpg

qZcbmyF.jpg

 

Dropped off at port back in January with it's "shipping wheels"

Fd23PQ9.jpg

 

The plan is a CA18DET. I'm hoping to get 300+ whp out of it, but we'll see. At a minimum, it will be rebuilt and get a bigger turbo.

ksYwspl.jpg

What a very nice Coupe, The car of my dreams. Welcome to the forum and very glad to see such a fine machine.

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It's a fine example of a 510. Welcome.

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What a beautifully sensual example of 20th Century automotive art/history !!

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Before I left Japan-astan I came across what I thought was a 4.11 R160 LSD differential for cheap w/ the axles.  I was short on time with getting everything ready to move so I never even opened it.  I honestly  just wanted a spare cover to polish while I drove the car around.  Last night I finally popped the cover off and it looks like I have an R160 Ver1 VLSD, which I hear is a little more robust (4 spider gears) than the later model VLSDs (2 spider gears).  Unfortunately, it has 4.44 gears and the axles I got with it are not the correct ones that engage the VLSD portion.  I lucked out though;  I was able to find a set of correct axles in the UK and ordered them for a cool 35£ which seemed good after hearing how difficult they can be to come by.  I have a buddy with a mill and lathe so the plan is to make new stubs the 510 flanges and the Subie splines.  I'll just pair this to the stock halfshafts. 

 

I am not sure how much the R160/stock halfshafts can support, but I'm not one drag race or beat the crud out of my car and I much prefer just rolling into the power.  It keeps the parts shaped correctly and the car going the direction I want.  I do know an R180 with CV Axles upgrade is out of my budget for now; and what the hey I already have these parts and I'm less than $150 into it.

 

I am not so sure how I feel about the 4.44 gear ratio; a calculator says that puts the car at 135mph at 7500rpm.  I'm not sure if a 510 is even really stable at those speeds.  Anyone with experience?  Is it possible to put my OEM R160 3.91 gears in the subie differential?

 

lz2jNu3.jpg

 

fVi8WAd.jpg

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Wow, killer clean Coupe & welcome to the forum!  There are two different R160 pinion gear bolt sizes, so if different, you will need some professional fab'ing done.  ALL of the stock 510 pinion gear bolt sizes were the same.......I think the change came between the early Subbie vs the late Subbie.  Good luck with the project!

 

TJ

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I think 3;90 is a better gear ratio

In Germany a 3.70 might be better for the autobahn cruising at 85mph.

 that motor will have enough torq to pull it I would think

 

If not buring out alot I think the diff will be OK. I alwasy have spare haft shfts ready to go in in case the U joints go

 

 

dont drive this in winter in germany keep it stored( most their cars rust out afterwhile there(I had a Capri beatiful car but rust was starting to show) car wasnt that old

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It feels just fine at 135 :)  Suspension, steering, tires, and brakes must be sorted.

 

27445533795_3734090201_c.jpg20160603_200831 by thomas telesco, on Flickr

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If you're going ca18 I would strongly suggest CV axles, I only have a stock ka24de and have half shaft problems.

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If you're going ca18 I would strongly suggest CV axles, I only have a stock ka24de and have half shaft problems.

What problems do you have? Do you have new Ujoints in the half shafts? What is your driving style?

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Details on this kit or conversion?

 

 

I bought the correct (for the diff) subaru cv's, and bought vw bug/beetle transmission side, stub axles.

 

Put them each on a lathe and made them fit into each other.

 

Then welded together.

 

Essentially getting rid of the need to run an adapter on the diff side of the cv.

 

I have yet to put my setup into my car.  Still running half-shafts at the moment.

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I bought the correct (for the diff) subaru cv's, and bought vw bug/beetle transmission side, stub axles.

 

Put them each on a lathe and made them fit into each other.

 

Then welded together.

 

Essentially getting rid of the need to run an adapter on the diff side of the cv.

 

I have yet to put my setup into my car.  Still running half-shafts at the moment.

Thanks for the info. That makes sense. I had been looking at this option and pseudo following the Datsun Quarterly writeup with the VW Type 2. I think it said for higher power you can also look into Porsche axles.

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There are so many ways to get the job done, but theyre either expensive, or custom.

 

I am excited to see that they are finally remaking the 300zx turbo axles which will bolt to the wheel side of our stubs.

 

The solution is out there in mixing and matching parts, but no one has the time to devote to the cause.  I wish I did :(

 

https://www.partsgeek.com/gbproducts/DC/6643-05674490.html?utm_content=DN&utm_term=1984-1989+Nissan+300ZX+Axle+Assembly+SurTrack+NI-8442+Rear+Right+84-89+Nissan+Axle+Assembly+1988+1985&fp=pp&gbm=a&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ff&utm_campaign=PartsGeek+Google+Base&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0PTXBRCGARIsAKNYfG04kojtJNN2uEcPLV7V3mq2ikNT8HhWt3IeNZNu8HXhPiJIAb3wsSIaAiJ2EALw_wcB&ad=47433949932

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I finally got my car back yesterday!!!!!

 

I had bought some "tools" before shipping the car in hopes to do an alignment but never got around to it. With the speeds being higher here the tramlining is considerably more noticeable so I got up this AM and checked the alignment. I put the car up on jackstands but under the suspension so it was loaded up like it was sitting. I figured this way adjustments would be easier and more accurate the first time around than trying to make them with the tires acting against concrete. The toe seems good with it toed in at 1/16" so I didn't touch anything.

 

Once I did the toe I took a jackstand out and leveled the car with a jack under the lowest side. I used a level across the struts so the camber tool would be accurate on each side. I guess another option would be to zero it on the angle of the car. The camber was actually positive so I took care of that and set it to -0.75* Some reading online had recommendations at -1.0 max you'd want for a street car with recommendations for -0.5 so I just split the two.

 

The car does seem to corner better with the little bit of camber added but when there are worn ruts in the road it still is tramlining pretty good. I think this may be the tires at this point and also bump spacers wouldn’t hurt. I'm down for suggestions if anyones had and fixed this problem. Also, please let me know if you see errors in my method for aligning the car; this is just a system that seemed to make sense in my head when I was trying to figure it out.

 

TnPFuw0.jpg

 

YQvtDZK.jpg

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There are so many ways to get the job done, but theyre either expensive, or custom.

 

I am excited to see that they are finally remaking the 300zx turbo axles which will bolt to the wheel side of our stubs.

 

The solution is out there in mixing and matching parts, but no one has the time to devote to the cause.  I wish I did :(

 

https://www.partsgeek.com/gbproducts/DC/6643-05674490.html?utm_content=DN&utm_term=1984-1989+Nissan+300ZX+Axle+Assembly+SurTrack+NI-8442+Rear+Right+84-89+Nissan+Axle+Assembly+1988+1985&fp=pp&gbm=a&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ff&utm_campaign=PartsGeek+Google+Base&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0PTXBRCGARIsAKNYfG04kojtJNN2uEcPLV7V3mq2ikNT8HhWt3IeNZNu8HXhPiJIAb3wsSIaAiJ2EALw_wcB&ad=47433949932

 

Thanks for that info as well.  This would be a nice solution if I could just change the differential stub end on a lathe.  I'll have to look into the lengths and see if they are close and if it's doable.  If it's long it does look possible to take a little bit of length off each end at those "tubes" and then reweld maybe.

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What problems do you have? Do you have new Ujoints in the half shafts? What is your driving style?

I drive pretty conservative, I've put 2 full sets of u joints in the half shafts in 12 years two of those the car was on jack srands, and I've only driven it 20k in the last 6 years. My car isn't super low and I don't beat on it. The half shafts just don't hold up to a lower car with added power. With a CA and new ujoints I would give it a year, there cheap it fix just a pain in the ass to do.

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If you have access to a lathe or mill the possibilities are endless.  Proper heat treating would be the next thing to tackle.

 

If it were me I would use the correct diff end cv (depends on what diff/spline count) and the now reproduced 300zx wheel side cv, and and make the axle to tie it all in.

 

The tricky part would be finding off the shelf parts that can be dissembled and reassembled to make it work with out custom parts.  Cause Im good at breaking custom parts :)

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If you have access to a lathe or mill the possibilities are endless.  Proper heat treating would be the next thing to tackle.

 

If it were me I would use the correct diff end cv (depends on what diff/spline count) and the now reproduced 300zx wheel side cv, and and make the axle to tie it all in.

 

The tricky part would be finding off the shelf parts that can be dissembled and reassembled to make it work with out custom parts.  Cause Im good at breaking custom parts :)

 

I've been looking into options for the past few days due to feedback here about going to CV axles.  I have been leaning toward the VW route as it looks like you can get the axle portion in varying lengths.  I just need to get under the car with a tape measure and start planning.  I am also trying to figure out what I want to do for brakes.  When I change the diff I think I want to just do the whole "axle" and enlarge the exhaust hole, put the new diff in, upgrade to CVs and hopefully brakes.  But all that is $$$ and time.

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Congrats on that Coupe Brandon, she's a beaut. LOVE the idea of keeping it an 1800.

 

There are CV axle kits made for the 510 that are very well made and more than stout enough to handle 300 plus HP in a lowered 510. I have Troy Ermish's axle set in my 300 HP SR 510 and beat on them for 5 years with no problems. 

 

IMHO, that R160 VLSDs isn't worth the trouble, because it doesn't perform nearly as well as a clutch-pack unit. Not to mention the gear ratio is not optimal. For a car as special as yours, it makes financial sense to invest in the best solutions. The r180 LSD is a much better diff and you can still find them on the market. You can get them out of a Subaru WRX sti.

 

2004-2005 Clutch LSD Ratio 3.9 - This is the one I used. Launches off the line like a scalded money, and runs at 2700 rpm at 65 mph with the SR's 5 speed.

 

2006 Clutch LSD Ratio 3.545
2007-2015 Torsen LSD Ratio 3.545

 

The only thing that isn't a direct swap with the 510 is the stub end spline count on the WRX diffs are 27, and the 510 is 25. Again, there are companies that make a 27 spline stub with a 510 coupler. You can buy the axles and stub ends separately or there is a company called The Drive Shaft Shop that makes the whole thing as a set. 

 

Best of luck on this build Bro, it's a dream car.

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Congrats on that Coupe Brandon, she's a beaut. LOVE the idea of keeping it an 1800.

 

There are CV axle kits made for the 510 that are very well made and more than stout enough to handle 300 plus HP in a lowered 510. I have Troy Ermish's axle set in my 300 HP SR 510 and beat on them for 5 years with no problems. 

 

IMHO, that R160 VLSDs isn't worth the trouble, because it doesn't perform nearly as well as a clutch-pack unit. Not to mention the gear ratio is not optimal. For a car as special as yours, it makes financial sense to invest in the best solutions. The r180 LSD is a much better diff and you can still find them on the market. You can get them out of a Subaru WRX sti.

 

2004-2005 Clutch LSD Ratio 3.9 - This is the one I used. Launches off the line like a scalded money, and runs at 2700 rpm at 65 mph with the SR's 5 speed.

 

2006 Clutch LSD Ratio 3.545

2007-2015 Torsen LSD Ratio 3.545

 

The only thing that isn't a direct swap with the 510 is the stub end spline count on the WRX diffs are 27, and the 510 is 25. Again, there are companies that make a 27 spline stub with a 510 coupler. You can buy the axles and stub ends separately or there is a company called The Drive Shaft Shop that makes the whole thing as a set. 

 

Best of luck on this build Bro, it's a dream car.

 

This is pretty solid advice I would say and thank you for the info on the years.

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