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Nana Spec 69' 510

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G'day from down-under. Got this old beauty a few weeks back after cutting my ties with the VW hobby. Starting to wonder why I didn't go Datsun a LOT earlier. 








It's a bit of weird car. At some stage in it's life, the 4 speed was swapped out for a Stanza auto/floor shifter. It's also got a 120y brake booster.




The worse rust in the car by a long way is under the fuse box.




Beyond that, it's super straight and clean beyond a ding in the back panel.






In truth, I was really keen for a 180B/610, but I just couldn't find one that was straight and original. Everything was rusted, nasty and needed lots of work. So, the plan with this car is twofold. I need a daily for about 2.5 days per week. As well, I've got a long history in autotests/khanas with my car club. So I'll using the car for club events. The same club that is over-run by Datsun freaks. Which is just awesome, because they're unloading all their cool parts on me. Yesterday I got the follow for under $1k...




180B SSS L18 motor, worked, fully balanced with a big cam.




Lightened flywheel and Bilstein rear shocks. 




200B/810 SX wheels




200b/810 front struts and brakes with Bilstein inserts and brand new HD springs


I've still yet to pick up a 5 speed and a R180 LSD for it. Down the track, once it rolls and stops ok, the L18 will get some sort of home-brewed plenum and Megasquirt engine control. I fully hate points and carbs. Anyhow, the plan for now is registration and keeping the wife happy by staying in my $15k budget. Which should be fine. Can't believe how cheap Datsun parts are, even compared to VWs. And that's saying something! 


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Been working on getting the L16 in the car running so I can at least drive it up and down my (steep) driveway. The bad news is, in the 15 or so years the car has been off the road, a few creatures have made nests.






The fuel, similarly was pretty awful. Smell and looks like lacquer.




Thankfully, inside the rocker cover, things look a fair bit different.




In fact, I couldn't believe how clean and tidy everything was up there and neither could my friends.


I changed the oil and filled the bores up with kerosene as per my diesel mechanic friend's instructions. I let it sit for a few days. Having cleaned up all the connectors to the starter and battery, I could turn the motor over and get oil pressure on the starter. So more good news there. Then I tried to get spark.


The coil, points and plugs were all good, but the leads were all 18Kohms. I think this is actually what put the car off the road. Once I swapped them over with the other set on my L18, I had spark finally. So I poured some petrol down the car and had a go at starting it. It coughed and fired, but wouldn't run without the starter. Still I'm pretty happy with that consider the car has been off the road more than a decade. 🙂 

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uanytime a old car ck the fuses or cleaniness or just replace them. just becase you see a wire don't mean the ends busted off inside where you can see it (solder is wek or cant take a current load

running on start means the 12volt ON wire is loose broken or key switch corrosion..  Try to reseat the plug in back of key.


with Key ON!!!!! see if you have 12volts to the blk wht wire to the +side coil. if not then trace back to the key switch and fuse box. and or the ballst resistor could be loose or broken. This is a simple fix.A Common proplem.  All Datsun point igniton vehicle will have a Hot start wire to the plus side coil(youll see 2 wire shorted at coil or maybe one side of ballast) get a wire diagram)  Be clean Clear here point coil needs a Ballast resisitor or the points will fry/burn up. they design to run on low current.. 


Be honest the plug wires are most likely OK they just g up to to higher voltage before it jumps a spark. I use NGK wire sets NE64.


automatic are weird so I know the car has to be in park for the start sytem to work right (or the wires hook up by the trans.


as for the R180 you can get ealy type and use the 510 stubs but this is not a LSD but early Subaru 3.7 LSDs will fit also.


Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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  • 2 weeks later...

This week is basically, 'try and get Nanna going' week. I've got the whole week off work and a (sort of) unlimited budget to get the car running. The two big things are...

1/ Make it run.
2/ Make it stop.

I'm sure my wife feels like no.2 about my whole car habit. Anyway, she's stuck with me. 😁


1/ Make it run.
Before I went away I got a good spark and the starting turning well. My issue now is the fuel system. Having put a new filter in and cranked it over, the fuel bowl started leaking.




I put it back together with a little RTV and then, of course, the accelerator pump started leaking as well. So, by some sort of miracle, my local parts shop had a carby kit in stock for the car.   Which leaves me in the not so inviting situation of going through the carb. Did I tell you how much I HATE carbs? 




My mechanic mate warned me it would be a disaster, but to be honest, the carb was so dry it's almost falling apart. Most of the screws aren't much more than finger tight. But the fact that I'm inside updating you instead of working on it tells you how much I love it. Not a lot.


2. Making it stop.


This has been a more serious situation. Seems like every brake part I pull off the car is pretty knackered, dried out or full of junk. The master cyl and calipers are off at the brake shop being rebuilt as I type. Just well. The master cyl was so nasty, that when I tried to top it up, it wouldn't even go through the filter baskets in the fluid pots. Ouch. The front calipers on the car were bone dry, so I'm installing the Girlock units I got with the bigger struts. By some miracle, the brake booster is fine, aside of some perished rubber and surface rust.




Onto the back brakes, this has been a bigger debacle thanks to these things...




Shoe adjustment screws. Please tell Nissan never did this to any of their other cars. Why would you put such a small head on such an important screw? Anyhow. I had penetrant, freeze and release, then finally a gas torch on it before it finally freed up. In terms of not ruining the head, I did this with my small socket set...




That's an allen adapter to an allen bit, into the same sized socket. Then you use the 1/4" driver as the square socket for the adjustment screw. The driver side let go with a little penetrant and some time thankfully. Inside, the drums look pretty good. They'll get some new slave cyls, rubber hoses and shoes and that should do it.






3. Unrelated rubbish
You'll note in the pic above, there are bright red rear coils. I'm assuming they're not stock. They are the same colour as the front ones I got with the 200B/810 struts. I also found the car has these shocks on the back.




I assume it's been used for a bit of towing from time to time and was probably a farm car. Coz there's dirt everywhere, but it's pretty dry and straight. It would also explain the 'Travelling Wilburys' tape in the glovebox. No kidding. I'll install the Bilstein's but it's nice to know there's some decent if I have to have them rebuilt. The heavy duty rear springs will stay for now.

Found some speed holes in the exhaust...




Dunno what to do about that. I'm tempted to throw a cheap exhaust wrap over it to get through inspection, coz it's getting a full 2" system down the track.

As I mentioned before, I've had the head off the L18 I bought. It looks as tidy as the L16 in the car, which is pretty great.




Here's the cam profile I mentioned before...




So far, I've called a few Cam grinders and it's none of there's. It says 'made in japan' on it. But I don't know if that's the billet that's jap made, or the whole thing was ground there. The mystery continues. Apparently it's got plenty of lift.


Now I'll go back to my favourite job. Carbs... 😞

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Bought a 200B/810 dogleg 5 speed last night from a mate. Spent the night wondering about what to do about the 'fabricated crossmember' rule for NSW rego. Apparently it requires engineering. Completely stupid really. Having climbed under the car for a squiz, I found this.






There's some creative engineering going on down here. Had to laugh really. The good news is my new gearbox appears to fit with the cross member in the stock position. 

Having run a few errands I got back into it tonight. With the carb back on the motor, it fired up almost straight away. 



It smoked pretty badly, but I think it's mostly kero and old oil burning off. Trans works too, so that's good. I'll get some brakes on it and then it's drivable.

In another odd twist, the oil filter seems to be vibrating on the engine mount. Have to look into that. But that's not the weirdest thing I discovered to night.




This is the motor IN the car. The seller told me it was a L16. Guess not, right? 🙂  Pretty happy about this.

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So do you need a shorter oil filter?

Why is it hitting the mount?


The stock should be an 8a... they are about 5 inches long.....


I have part numbers for a 4 inch long filter if that would help.....


I had the same problem because I modified my motor mounts.... for some reason the parts store sells a 720 motor mount thinking its correct for a 521.....

Since they 720 mounts are alot easier to get I modded the metal bracket and made them work but then I couldnt get the stock filter on.....

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This isn't an L16 cam. It is used on L18s and L20Bs. If L18 check the head between plug #1 and #2 where it meets the block. Should say A87. This head can be closed chamber or open chamber but would not be a good choice for a smaller displacement L16 anyway. If it's a U67 then it's an L20B head


As for the cam it looks stock or close to stock grind. Measure the narrowest and widest places on the lobe and subtract. Take this number and multiply by 1.48 (the rocker arm ratio) and you have the lift. A stock L20B cam has a lift of 0.413". Fabulously clean! someone changed the oil regularly.

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SHORTER FILTER?  maybe right hand drive issues?


Cam? look at the retaniers and lash pads and see if they are different or lash pad extends above the retainer. Then you know you got a regrind cam.  But I think in Austrialia I saw a retainer manufacture that made countersunk bottom retainers(I think BAZ at Datsports told me this) unlike the flat bottom ones sold in US here so they could still be flush

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K, will try that. Put 100psi into the fuel like today. Seems like the outlet of the tank is uber blocked. 😞


However, I did discover something rolled up tight next to the fuel tank...




It's only the outside cover the booklet. But interesting none the less. However, when I unrolled it, I found this!




And that's when I got excited. It tells me a few things I suspected already. It's definitely a 69' model. It's lived most of it's life in Tamworth, deep in the country. That's why it's so straight and rust free. Awesome, awesome stuff. I've covered up the key number, but it's there too, which is great for me and other future owners. I might try and laminate this thing.


I would like to contact the original owner, but I suspect he's no longer alive. I am really curious to know when it was converted over to an auto. I'm beginning to think all the parts were harvested from a 180B/610 at some stage. The brake booster/master cyl, motor and trans all come from the same car I reckon. 


Anyway, the bad news is, I'll have to empty all the good fuel from the tank and then pull it out and clear it out. Yay... might be easier just to get another tank off a mate, except this tank is really clean. 

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You can fit a suitable size nut onto the threaded part and then weld it on. The 510 floor shift wasn't available till about August '71 and with the 'new' Jatco 3N71B automatic that replaced the Borg Warner 35.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Feel like I'm getting nowhere with this thing, but that's not reality. So trying to document little, but important things that are getting done. As I mentioned last time, I had to pull the tank out. It was pretty grubby in there, but that wasn't the worst of it. The outlet pipe inside the tank, 6mm OD, was completely clogged with rust and who knows what else. I tried 100psi of compressed air, wire and various chemicals but in the end, I just gave up. I've blocked off the outlet and used the larger return as the fuel supply. I know it's not ideal, but for now, it'll have to do.




Under the car, I've put a T-piece (and another filter) in to allow me to run the supply and return lines effectively. Once I'm happy it works well, I'll zip tie it up in position.




Getting the tank back in created a few dramas. My local parts store had no O rings for the fuel gauge sender and the plastic breather fitting disintegrated whenever I touched it.




I managed to dodge up a solution using brass fittings and RTV and the tank is finally back in.




Gotta say though, it was nice to see all that original paint in such good condition under the tank and under the back seat. Such an honest car.




I just wish they hadn't emptied a bean bag under the seat.




All the master cylinders went back in the car today.




I also pulled the pedals off the manual pedal box I bought, wirebrushed them and painted them. This was the darkest colour I could find in my box of spraycans. 




I bought a Subaru STi R180 plate LSD last week (much to the horror of my wife) and went out to SW Motorsport to speak to Stewart about it. Gotta start by saying how much of a gentleman he is. Tremendously helpful and obviously an expert on Datsuns of every type. As soon as I opened the boot of my car, he saw the HD front spring and correctly told me, 'That's a stanza spring, not a 200B spring'. Violet/stanza struts are too long for a 510 front end. This is a bit of a blow as I just spend $200 having the callipers rebuilt. Additionally, it also means the Bilstein inserts in them are probably useless to me. So I need to find some 200B struts and hope the calipers fit, then worry about springs and inserts. Once again, Stewart offered to help me out there to with some sort of swap.


Anyway, the good news is, my LSD is the right sort and I'll be swapping my 4.44 ratio for a 3.9 he has that suits me better. Then the diff will get new flanges and whatever else it needs to go in the 510. He also supplied me with the bits I need for my shifter. I was able to test it and works well, shifting nicely into each gear and spinning appropriately.




Of course, like the bonehead I am, I forgot to take my clutch parts out so he could tell me which throw out bearing and clutch I need. Oh well. 

In other news, my front driver's door now locks by button and key. This seems like a little thing, but it's taken a lot of work to get it to do so.




Of course I hoped to have the car on it's wheels this evening and able to drive in and out of the garage. I guess I just need to be patient and more careful about buying parts.

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15 minutes ago, slowlearner said:

Feel like I'm getting nowhere with this thing, but that's not reality. So trying to document little, but important things that are getting done. Oh well. 

In other news, my front driver's door now locks by button and key. This seems like a little thing, but it's taken a lot of work to get it to do so.



I totally understand this statement. A build thread helps you to keep moving forward even though you feel like it's sideways. It IS the little things though that take time but pay off big later when you go to unlock the door and.... it works! and you don't have to climb through the passenger side to pull the lock up. Sometimes the simplest thing takes hours to get just right.

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More progress today. 

Brake lights all work, as do parkers.  😊

Clutch and brake pedals from the manual box are both in. This involved pulling the handbrake braket off the fire wall. Man, what a job! Course I need to redrill the brake pedal for the clevis pin and booster. Should have seen that coming from looking at the old brake pedal. Oh well. 🙄

Fuel system works well and the car run ok, up to temperature on the gauge too. Very pleased with this.


I am having a weird issue with the ignition key barrel. The motor will fire every time on the starter. However, there's something in the barrel not working right stopping it from running every time. I can wiggle and it and get it to run, but it's a touch and go thing. 🤨

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More work today. Another visit to SW Motorsport. Big props to Stewart. Seems we've found a compromise to the stanza strut issue. Back at home I was pulling struts apart and de-rusting my lightened flywheel. Yes, it was as bad the rusty one to begin with.




The hubs got similar treatment before I pulled them off the struts. Bearings look good so they'll get a light regrease before going on 200B struts.




All the pedals are now in and appropriately set up.




Real evidence the brake lights work. Yay!




In other news, the water pump leaks and I'm struggling with the Bilstein shocks I have for the back of the car.

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the fuel return . mine not in use anymore. I remember ing looking under the car and it was worn out and cut from something. Hate to see a halfshaft take out the hoses for some reason.

I just use 1 line goin into the carb and the fuel filter by the battery that it.


Your looks like a a lot of hoses and I would delete them if possible


as for 510 brakes and STANA Im don't know if they interchanges at all. IN USA most go to the 280zx struts with brakes and all. Lowers car abit and 3/4in more rim inside

Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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Yeah, I know what you mean. All those lines will be zip tied up out of danger. I just wanted to make sure they worked first.


Been working on a few things. This was today's big feat...



Finally got this done. Lock is working well too. Time to vacuum all the dust out and put it back together. Dropped off my struts to be swapped over today. Stewart will shorten the Bilstein inserts. Not ideal, but satisfactory as long as I don't launch the car or hammer it across big bumps. Car is also getting an Exedy Sports 2000 clutch.


In other news, the STi LSD is a 2 way unit. It's apparently in excellent condition and has lived a fairly easy life. Not for long! 😁 should be good for khanas and drifting if I want.


Also had most of my injection parts turn up. My neighbor is a machinist so he'll be helping me out with adding the injector bungs and fuel rail.


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  • 2 weeks later...

At the same time, I've been buying parts for my EFI conversion. My favorite person is none to happy with me, but Mario at the Dubshop has done me a great deal. So a Microsquirt is on the way along with a PDM that's easy to put together. The Aussie Dollar is US0.67c and then Paypal helpful reduced that to US0.64c, so even a cheap ECU like the Microsquirt wasn't cheap, but oh well. 😞


Needing to be careful now, because I'm getting close to my budget for the whole build. 🙄


Anyway got this whole exhaust off ebay for $90 the other day.




In slightly more interesting developments, my neighbour/machinist and I were chatting about my plan to put injector bungs on weber manifolds. He felt we should try and find a slightly better solution to the design. One idea was adapting a similar manifold from something else. With the L series spacing ruining that for me, we both realized pretty quickly we didn't have a lot of options. I went looking for a Nissan L28E intake manifold last night and there's nothing here in Australia that I could find online anywhere. I briefly considered L24E, but that's probably gonna be way too small for my heavily ported L18 head. There were also none of them about either. Hmmm... On a whim, I went an dug out some old throttle bodies I bought years ago.



These are old speedway (dirt circle racing) units for a VW motor. I was thinking about selling them. Anyway, wouldn't you know it, the spacing of the intake ports is almost identical to the L18. They're 45mm. They also have injector mounts that are easily bored out for bungs. So we're gonna have a go at making some 1" adaptors to fit them on. Should be pretty interesting. I also have some filters for them somewhere.  



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Managed to go pick up my suspension bits from SW Motorsport this week. Good news all around and I have to give Stuart big props again. Here is also the Subaru 2 way LSD. Mmmm, skids.




The plan was to fit these (slightly modded) Bilstein inserts into a pair of 200b/810 struts he was swapping me for my Stanza/A10 struts. Thing is, when he pulled the 200B struts apart, they had Bilstein inserts in them too. He had a good laugh at himself. So he gave me the struts/inserts for the cost of modding the other inserts. So I have 2 sets of Bilstein inserts now. 




As with everything this age, it's had a life before. In the case of these struts, Stevie Wonder had welded some braces on to them. Actually, that's not fair to Stevie. I'm pretty sure he could have done a better job. But anyway, the braces aren't going anywhere so I left them in place and just put them in. I'm still running stock front springs, but that's ok. On dirt, I don't need anything heavier.




In other news, I rebuild the passengers side rear brake drum. That's two hours of my life I'll never get back. Actually, to be fair, I'll be much quicker with the driver side brake. At least that's what I'm telling myself. It's just kinda frustrating being a fairly quick, amateur VW mechanic, then finding yourself a total slow poke on the Datsun. I just keep telling myself, 'take your time.' My wife keeps asking, 'is it gonna work soon?' And of course I reply, 'Maybe...' 😁

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Not a lot to report, but the front rotors are on and I managed to surgically remove the 20yo front brake hoses. Mmmm, I've gone through 1 can of INOX (rust penetrant) on the car so far. I'm expecting to use more yet. Although it's not bad for what it is really.




Speaking of INOX. I'm sort of wondering what to do about the bottoms of the doors and the rear quarters. There is the very beginnings of rust in them, but I'm not going to cut them open till it's proper. I know I could put cavity wax in there (I'm waxing the outside), but I'm wondering about spraying some penetrant (the none-evaporating type) into the seams to stop the rust for the time being. I don't care about oil marks. Thoughts?

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Well, this afternoon I signed some papers that will pretty much obliterate the datto budget for the next little while. Lucky I bought all the expensive things before that happened. Of course my wife wants the car driving in the next 3 months. It's doable, but maybe not on $0. This oughta be interesting... 🙄

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