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Nana Spec 69' 510

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Been a big day today. Had a good mate, Lachie helping me.



The pics don't really tell the full story...

Removing and refitting the brass bush in the end of the crank. Installing the flywheel and clutch.


We had lunch and after a few distractions the real game began.


Putting the 5 speed in. This was more miracle than you might expect. I was trying to find parts I'd packed before we moved. We finally got the box in position and realized the locating sleeve on the exhaust side was too big. We pulled the box out and clearanced the hole. When we finally got it in for the last time it was 7 pm at night. Then I realized the shifter was too far back. So we stopped for the night.


I totally don't know how I would have got it all done on my own. Cars are a lot more fun with friends. 🙂



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3 hours ago, Draker said:

Now you'll have to modify the tunnel and get your drive shaft shortened to fit.


I've got some friends with lots of parts who I can probably get a driveshaft off. But yeah, the tunnel will get a little more clearancing. 

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It's been a very odd week and yesterday (my usual day off) was another odd day. Caronavirus is messing with the church I work for in a myriad of ways. I was half way through the day working on some things when my boss called me out of the blue with extra issues. None of them are serious, but it consumed an hour of "Datsun time". Which is just one more reason things are going slow. The other reason is unexpected surprises.




I was all ready to patch some new metal into the end of the chassis rail when I discovered that even the little I had left was like lace. Even trying to fill holes on low heat was just hopeless, so I ended up cutting it all off. Whilst holding the fuel lines out of the way of the grinder! I'm currently seeing if I can find a rust free piece off another car to graft in. It's not looking likely. I'll probably need to fab (read: hack) up my own version.


I also managed to get the 5 speed in the tunnel properly yesterday.




This took a lot longer than planned. The box went up and down multiple times while I trimmed around the shifter tower. In the end, I had this.




It's not amazing, but it's in. I still have to sort out how to cover it up effectively.  It's clear to me the 810 5speed is a LOT longer than the auto I had in there. I may even elect to add a little metal to the tunnel to stiffen things a bit. The soft mount still needs tightening, I'm hoping I car shift it sideways a little. And I need to measure up for the tailshaft too.


Also related to the trans, I was having issues getting the clutch lines done. After a long discussion with our local brake specialist, I went with a 'hard line delete' style setup. So I've got a long braided hose and banjo bolts (that need shortening). When the brake guy asked, 'Do you care what it looks like', I laughed. It's a ratty old Datto, not a Ferrari. I just need to find a few minutes this weekend to shorten them and install it. 




I've still been struggling to find the right colour for the car. There doesn't seem to be much online that refers to the colour codes I've found on the compliance plate. So I took a stab and went to the hardware store looking for a similar colour to paint the bottom of the car, the floor and the engine bay with. I found this colour and by some miracle, it's almost identical! Amazing!




My bro sent me this t-shirt the other day for my birthday. Spreading the love at work today. 🙂



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  • 2 weeks later...

I've spend a fair amount of time on the car in the past week or so. There doesn't feel like there's a lot to show for it but here they are anyway. I pulled all the steering links off the other day in preparation of renewing the tie rod ends on.




Everything was covered in a baked-on combination of old grease, dirt and small rocks. EVERY-THING. Even brake cleaner made almost no impact on this stuff and I ended up chipping it all off tiny screwdriver. As you can imagine getting all the lock-pins out wasn't that fun either, but I digress. Getting the tie-rods to release also dropped huge chunks of dried mud on my me from up inside the fenders on the passenger side.




Keep in mind, I already blew everything out with a hose some time back, but this was caked on.


With my drag link and idler in hand, I headed off to Stewart Wilkins Motorsport to have him check them for me and grab some other parts. Sadly the idler was knackered (as I thought), but he had some LHD units he changes over to RHD, along with a idler chassis mount. Just as well because I managed to shear the nut off the chassis mount when trying to remove the idler. Oops...


Can't tell you how good Stewart is. He found me a new mount (sand-blasted and painted it!) and I was ready to go.




He also lent me this black drive-shaft to see if it was the right length.




Sadly it's an inch too short. 😞 Which means we'll need to get the stock one shortened... more $$$$. Yay. 


Good news is, I have a working clutch pedal now. I needed to buy a few pins but it and the brake are all done now and working.




Next up, I thought, "I'll put the front end back together". Then I pulled out my first tie-rod end and found this.



I also picked up some 1.5mm steel to "craft" (I use the word very broadly) a new section of chassis rail. I'm sort of tempted to make it a bit more triangular than the stock one. I guess we'll see. 

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With a little more advice from Stewart, I climbed backed under the car this morning measured up the tailshaft again. HOORAY! It's in spec. Still needs a front uni replaced, but man what a load off my mind.


Now to clean up the garage and find my bench grinder... 🧐

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I ended up spending a lot of time in the shed yesterday. 



I thought this was in a box. Just goes to show how bad my memory is. Later on in the night, my wife was all interested in watching the new coverage of COVID-19. Honestly, what a load of bull. They were just stretching out every minor fact to make the show go longer and longer. So I gave up on that.



I didn't actually clean up the shed, but I cleaned up some other bits.




This drag link got a paint too. And then this. The shifter mount. It was covered in 50 years of awful. I have to decide how to get the shift boot I have onto it next.






Square peg on a round hole? 🙄



Edited by slowlearner
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Tailshaft is back out at SW Motorsport getting new unis and balancing. That happened Thursday when I emerged from the Slowlearner bunker to forage for food. Man, this having kids home from school business is hard on the fridge and the wallet!


Across the weekend, I've actually got quite a lot of stuff done.




Much of the garage is actually usable now. I rearranged a few shelves, unpacked some boxes and generally made the place easier to use. There has been more progress on the car too.


This innocuous looking belhousing cover was beyond filthy and didn't fit. Two new holes, a slight bend and a coat paint has it looking sexy where no one will ever see it... unless I get very airborne, very slowly. 😄




All the steering linkages are now back on the car. I'll do a quick and dirty alignment at some stage before I drive it.




The starter is also back in and working again.




Took me way to many goes to get this in. Of course one of the stock bolts was too short (2 tries). Found a bolt that worked (3rd try). Then realized the negative strap for the battery needed to go under the top bolt (last try). derp 🤪


For my next adventure, I get to unearth the diff. Literally.






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Spent a few hours digging around with the diff today. I pulled off the nuts and washers for the rear subframe to check the rubber bushings. Miraculously, they're still in good condition. So I cleaned up the washers and painted them before putting them back on.




The diff bushings are another matter.




Then came the half shafts. What the heck were Datsun thinking? I have a few different 14mm spanners, but only this nasty, cheap thing was the only one that would grip things properly.






The driver side was particularly bad. Penetrating oil, hitting the nuts with a brass drift, stacking spanners on top of other spanners. They finally came loose, but it was a struggle. I can't get the passenger side off the diff at the mo. I'm off to pick up my drive shaft tomorrow. I might take the half shafts out with me and have Stuart look at them. Something tells me they need rebuilding too. *sigh*

Edited by slowlearner
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Went out to see Stewart again this morning. Picked up the drive shaft and (having driven away and remembered I forgot), an early gearshift boot.






I also bought some red paint. For "go-fast" bits. No, it's not wrinkle paint for the valve cover.


BTW, Stewart's a champ. I got talking to him about L series stroker motors. He was saying an L20 is a much better idea than stroking an L18. Even then, a properly built head on top of a L20 is better value than an L24 stroker that taps out higher up. And a KA24 or K24 transplant is better value for $$$$ than an L series stroker. In the end I conceded I should stop dreaming and get my L18 going properly.


This evening I got to go back into the garage after dinner. Managed to get both half shafts disconnected from the diff. Stewart didn't have any rebuilt units, so I'll grease mine up for now. Then, with a suitable amount of violence, the diff came out. Can't tell you how happy I am I own a rattle gun. 



I don't know how much oily dirt and filth came off the diff. I've got a lot of cleaning to do on the crossmember before I can put the new diff in. And I get to wrestle the old bushes out of the moustache bar. Fun times! Any advice on how to do this is much appreciated. 🙂 


Edited by slowlearner
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Climbed back under the car again today to clean up the crossmember. Sprayed on some brake cleaner... then realized it was stone guard... *derp* 😳


So then I hosed if off with brake cleaner and started chipping off the baked on grease and dirt with a flat blade screwdriver. Even then, it was stuck on like nothing I've ever seen before. There were new shapes in the crossmember I didn't even know were there. Man, what a marathon that was. Then I got out some compressed air. 






So much dirt, grease, grass and dust came out of it. I'd prefer to paint it, but it's not worth it unless I could pulled the whole crossmember out and wirebrush the whole thing. But as you know, I wasn't planning to do that coz the bushings looked alright... werl so I thought.




This is what the crossmember bushings look like at the mo with the crossmember unsupported at the back. What I'm trying to sort out is if they're in fact, ruined. I'd rather not pull the rear crossmember out. However, if the bushings are ruined, now is the time. I have urethane replacements. I just don't want to. So, thoughts?


P.s. On a related now, the moustache bar bushings are actually not split like I thought.

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Well, in the absence of anyone telling me otherwise, I threw it all back together... which is the short story of trying to get the R180 past the tow bar on the bottom of the spare wheel well. It fell off the jack once, but thankfully it was still almost on the floor at that point. Levering it into position was a bit of a challenge, but I got there eventually. Not keen to do it again so hopefully the bushing are all ok. After dinner I was able to get the driveshaft in. So yeah, I'm pretty excited now. For those late to the thread, specs are listed in the insta pic...



I've got to grease a few things, sort out the gear shirt and a few bits of rust, but I'm pretty happy with this setup. There's lots of room for engine upgrades down the track. This is first LSD I've had in a car I own. I discovered that Aussie Locker make a Subaru R160 model that I've discovered I could use in my factory diff (I think). It's a great option for people who can't afford Subaru plate diffs but want something for drifting or dirt racing. It retails for $429, which is a nice price. Although I think my diff would have needed a rebuild and $429 would have been near on $1k before it landed in my driveway. But great for you guys in the US.




What I did reflect on was that the LSD had probably set me back about $1500 all up. When I was having the trans built for my old beetle, a quaife torsen for the car wouldn't have been a lot more money. My wife wasn't keen at the time, but in retrospect, I should have pushed harder and done it all at the same time. I know it wouldn't have been as good as the 2way LSD, but it would have saved me from having to sell the car when the price doubled a few years later. Do it once, do it properly. The cost only goes up. 


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So, a bit of a development. I've been looking at my sad, rusty 810SX alloy wheels. Yes, that's right. Rusty allow wheels. They we're covered in rust from sitting in a leaking shipping container. Looked up a local media blaster and he sent me some great pics of previous work on alloy rims. Wasn't sure if the local authority was gonna be happy with me spending $$$ on them, but she really liked his sample pics. This was a major coup as I expected a "No!" and two months in the garage with sand paper and cursing. So I dropped them off yesterday while teaching my daughter to drive. The guy who does the blasting is a real character. Today he send me this before and after pics.





And after...



The current plan (my wife's preference) is for a quick coat of clear gloss and they're ready for tyres! 😄


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I like the "Local Authority" bit.

I always tell folks I have to check with the C.O. (Commanding Officer).


Them wheels look the goods for sure.

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1 hour ago, KELMO said:

I like the "Local Authority" bit.

I always tell folks I have to check with the C.O. (Commanding Officer).


Them wheels look the goods for sure.


The other one I like is, "The minister for war and finance". 😄


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After 4 days of intense work, I managed to go and get the wheels today. A couple coats of clear and they're looking really good. I could only get gloss clear, but the surface is such that even the gloss looks like satin.




So I'm pretty happy with that. I guess they can go on the car once I get some tyres on them. I'm also gonna look for some centre caps and lug nuts to go with them.


In other news, I had a close shave today. My first near encounter with several heavy cases of Corona...

























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Did a test fit this morning...



The car reminds me so much of those Alfa 105 sedans like this. I guess they have a lot in common. Then it was time for some "CAD" (Cardboard aided design) ala Binky and Coldwarmotors. The cardboard part went reasonably well. You'll note I've simplified the shape somewhat. I saw no point in making the complex shape of the stock frame rail end. It was punched on a huge press and I don't have one.








Even making it from sheet steel wasn't too bad.




It was when I started welding that everything went wrong.




It's covered in a generous layer of weld through primer here, but lets be honest. It wasn't pretty and I did as much welding as grinding. I truly HATE welding upside down. I did one side and got the hang of it well. Then when I went to do the other side, it started mucking up again. It could be a dirty pot in the welder. not sure. Anyhow, it's done now and the stone guarded. It's not pretty, but it's a darn sight stronger than the rusted diasaster that was there before.


I then tried to put my rear Bilsteins on, but of course that didn't go to plan either. Ordering parts now... 😕 

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Probably spent too much time on this but... I tried to put the rear Bilstein's on yesterday and discovered the bottom bushings had a metal sleeve bonded into them. Even with removing the bushing I couldn't get the sleeve out, so it was new bushing time. And that's how I ended up AutoOne Castle Hill, again and down the rabbit hole we go. Unusually (for parts shops around here), they had the bushings in stock and David mixed up a can of "Bilstein" yellow. 



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Back Bilsteins are on now. Excitement! Just waiting on decals.




I'm also lead to believe the 550lb springs I have in the back are fine.


This week's dilemma...




What I love about this car is the patina. You can't buy it or fake it. There's 50 years of work, rest and rust on the car and I don't want to loose it. However, I can't have those blisters eating the rest of the quarter. It frustrates me, because most of the rust on that panel is just stone chips and light surface rust. I could cut out the strip with the blisters and save the patina, but it's pretty long. Or I could buy one of these...




I'd sort the rust blisters, but I'd also loose the patina. What would you do?

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