Column shift auto to manual?

General Discussion about the Datsun PL510
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Bruce Hiebert
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Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 18 Aug 2017 12:19

Hey all, I've never been a member of a site like this before, not have I ever posted anything, so not sure if I'm doing this right! But, here's my issue/question: I have a column-shift automatic 510 that I will in future be converting to floor shift manual. My question is about the steering column... I have the plastic surround pieces for the column, obviously those are needed as the auto surround contains the whole PRNDL indicator and will no longer work... but I'm wondering what to do about the actual column shifter itself, that whole mechanism -- can it just be removed, unbolted -- is it that simple? (I don't have access to the car at the moment to just go check this myself, it's in storage in another location away from my home.) As far as I can tell, this question hasn't been covered anywhere else on the site, but again I'm a newbie so apologies if I'm missing the info on here somehow. Thanks in advance for any help given...

Bruce

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Byron510
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Byron510 » 18 Aug 2017 12:41

Hi Bruce, welcome to the site.

In fact it is as easy as you think, the automatic shift linkage can be simply unbolted from the existing column. There is no need to change the column itself.

As noted, you will need to find the ignition cover for a manual transmission car, and there's also a small blank off plastic plate that covers the hole that goes through the dash cover where the automatic shift linkage used to go - between the speedometer and clock/tachometer pod if you have a 70 to 73 dashboard.

One good thing about converting automatics to manual is that you can put the shifter hole location in the correct spot. Many people, if staying with the L series engine, will use a Datsun Z or 720 gearbox. This is longer than the stock 510 gearbox. So when converting from automatic to manual, you can actually put the hole in the correct spot in the first place. One thing to watch, there is a brake line in that new shifter hole area leading to the rear brake system. Watch you don't cut that line when you cut the shifter hole.

Trust that helps, we look forward to your project and photos , and always to the members contributions.

Byron
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because the opposite never works.

Canadian510
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Canadian510 » 22 Aug 2017 16:54

As Byron said it is very easy. Was one of the first things i did to my car, never did end up getting a manual ignition cover actually. Just another bit of character for the car i find.

The silver bit thats stiking out has a set screw that once you take out allows you to pull the column straight out (after taking another at the bottom) if i remember correctly. Figure I'll use the hole to mount a gauge of some sort eventually.

Image

datzenmike
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby datzenmike » 23 Aug 2017 06:41

If you haven't selected a transmission yet there are several ways to go with this. Check out volume 11 issue 4. The author has some small knowledge about L series transmissions and the 510, what fits and what's needed to get them to fit.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByCvxnHNk90SYzc4N2E1MWEtMzg0MC00YTE4LTkxZGQtM2RjODA5ODA1YjU1
"Nissan 'shit the bed' when they made these, plain and simple." McShagger510 on flattop SUs

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Bruce Hiebert
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 24 Aug 2017 05:49

Hey guys, I just checked back into the site today and saw your replies... my bad for not checking in here sooner (I just noticed there's a "notify me when a reply is posted" check box, wasn't aware of that, will make sure to use it in future.) Thank you so much for your response to my question, I really really appreciate the help! OK, so all of that is good news, obviously I was hoping this wouldn't mean any changes would need to be made to the steering column itself, beyond simply unbolting the column shifter -- so that's great. Thanks for the other info as well -- the heads up on watching for the brake line, the different shifter hole location with a Z or 720 gearbox, etc. Appreciate the interior photo, tooI

I will post a photo of my car when I'm back at my home computer -- to be honest, I probably won't be starting the auto-manual changeover anytime really soon, the car needs other work as well and this is more of a long-term project for me, just trying to get things done gradually as time and budget permit. I have been slowly gathering the parts needed for the changeover, and do have pretty much everything I need now -- even little things like the small plastic plate that goes over the dash hole (as you mentioned Byron). I just bought a pedal cluster too, which was one of the big missing pieces for me. And when I say "long-term" project, I should mention that I've owned the car since 1981! It's a 1970 2-door, I bought it when I was still in high school in Winnipeg, my hometown -- it's been a part of my life for a long time and I'm really excited about getting it back on the road eventually, especially with that third pedal installed. :-) Thanks again, guys...

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Bruce Hiebert
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 24 Aug 2017 05:51

Oh, just saw the reply too about choosing a transmission... thanks very much, I haven't decided which way to go with that yet so I will definitely have a look. Cheers!

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Bruce Hiebert
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 25 Aug 2017 05:50

Forgot that I posted a photo of my car when I first joined the site. Anyway, here it is again. Appreciate the opportunity to get more involved in the 510 community!
Attachments
510-and-me.jpg
510-and-me.jpg (259.68 KiB) Viewed 428 times

datzenmike
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby datzenmike » 25 Aug 2017 05:59

Needs lower.
"Nissan 'shit the bed' when they made these, plain and simple." McShagger510 on flattop SUs

510rob
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby 510rob » 25 Aug 2017 10:58

oh nice, that's a really nice looking car!

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Bruce Hiebert
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 25 Aug 2017 11:03

Thank you! And yes, it needs a little lowering, for sure. It's bone stock in every way, except for the wheels. Speaking of which, it needs new wheels, too -- some 15" Panasports would be my choice (eventually). These 13-inchers have been on the car since the early '80s.

Canadian510
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Location: Fredericton, NB

Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Canadian510 » 26 Aug 2017 04:53

I used a 280z 5 speed and really liked it. With my 4.44 gears though i rev over 4000rpm driving 120 on the highway haha, was much more sensible with the 3.90s though.

datzenmike
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby datzenmike » 26 Aug 2017 19:09

I have the mid ratio 280zx 5 speed and 4.11s in my 710. Originally 3.70, gears really woke it up. Very pleased with the grunt it has now. My 2,734 mile Canby trip last summer, I got 29.324 US or 35.2 MPG Imp gallons over all.
"Nissan 'shit the bed' when they made these, plain and simple." McShagger510 on flattop SUs

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Bruce Hiebert
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Re: Column shift auto to manual?

Postby Bruce Hiebert » 28 Aug 2017 06:50

OK cool... that's very helpful, thanks guys!


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