Whitebird - the no-nonsense version

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okayfine
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Re: Some NOS - 1969 Fuse Box

Postby okayfine » 10 Feb 2009 07:59

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:33, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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We have ignition!

Postby okayfine » 12 Feb 2009 08:13

The final piece of the puzzle has been completed. My SR distributor has been built and blessed and received.

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Constructed from one SR CAS and one L-series EI distributor, the result looks entirely factory.
The difficult part of this project was in dealing with the distributor shaft. Neither the SR or L-series shafts were long enough by themselves, so everything had to be measured out and the shafts joined, then measured for runout and ground into spec. The L-series mechanical distributor bowl was parted from the rest of the distributor, as the SR CAS shaft and adjustment tab was parted from the upper housing. These two parts were joined together.

Inside, it looks suspiciously like an L-series EI distributor.

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And installed it looks like a factory piece. The SR spark plug wires aren't long enough to reach the extended distributor cap, so I'll try a set of L-series spark plug wires and go for that "OS Giken" effect.

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Now I just have to prime the oil system and make some initial adjustments to the SUs.

Then I get to turn the key and see what happens :shock:
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 12 Feb 2009 09:39

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:35, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 12 Feb 2009 12:05

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:35, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 12 Feb 2009 12:33

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:36, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Elephant Oil Cap

Postby okayfine » 19 Feb 2009 08:23

Nissan switched to a screw-in oil cap in the L-series valve covers early in the life of the 510. I had a small collection of caps from my years of L-series ownership and no idea what to do with them, since I haven't had an L-series I planned on keeping for most of this century.

Now the L13 in Whitebird had the tabbed press/turn oil cap that the early, ribbed L-series valve covers had. Still, upon inspecting my new SR I took the oil cap of to peer inside at the cam. Then I looked at the SR oil cap threads and wondered...did the Nissan "LEGO" tradition carry on this far and for something so minor?

A quick search of my stock parts boxes turned up an elephant oil cap. Half a second later I had my answer:

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And I had another nod to OE originality for Whitebird.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Whitebird's Completed Engine Swap

Postby okayfine » 19 Feb 2009 08:30

The "Before Running" check lists are growing short. There's very little to do before firing off the engine. The SU carbs are hooked up to the throttle, fuel, and manifold. I have a SSS choke cable on its way. The distributor has been installed and the engine static-timed. Spark plug wires have been installed. The oil system has been pressurized to ensure oiling at initial start.

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I still need to wire in the distributor and find a way to get coolant into the engine past the closed thermostat. Beyond that (and whatever inevitably crops) I am ready to fire the engine for the first time.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 19 Feb 2009 08:59

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:37, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 20 Feb 2009 09:51

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:38, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Whitebird lives.

Postby okayfine » 21 Feb 2009 21:24

I started my 510 for the first time in 2009. For the first time in a year, actually. February 2008 saw me take my white Bluebird 1300 Deluxe out of its brief service under my ownership and begin its transformation into Whitebird.

All in all, today went farily smoothly. Dialing in the ignition took a bit of work, partially because I looked at the picture in an old issue of DQ regarding wiring of the EI dizzy black box (which was wrong) instead of reading the text (which was correct). I can report that a picture IS worth a thousand words, but frankly most of my 1000 were unprintable.

Upon correcting the wiring, it was only a few cranks before my SR20DE, with only static-timed distributor and WAG carburettor settings fired into life and a surprisingly steady ~1200 rpm idle. I quickly got that down to ~800 rpm and set about balancing the idle settings. Then I looked for leaks, made sure all the burning smells were just things burning off the exhaust (and not something more important) and stood back.

Despite my attempts to keep the car quiet (with a long resonator at mid-pipe and a necked-down muffler) the car is still going to be loud. Maybe too loud for its intended duty, but that's something to fix down the road. I'm afraid there's too much exhaust pipe resonation due to the silicone-shimmed 2.25" pipe and 2.5" hole. Something else to address in the near future.

Things were going well enough that, after giving the car an exploratory fuction check of reverse and first gear (It moves! Huzzah!!) I backed the car out of the garage and gave it a much-needed bath.

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:39, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Whitebird caught on film!

Postby okayfine » 22 Feb 2009 12:22

Just an intial video grab of the car at idle, moving around to the back so you can hear the exhaust at idle. The video kinda tones it down, it's pretty bassy for a four-cylinder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlm3WMMwb_g

So, carbs are balanced at idle here, but not much else had been done for tuning yet. I drove forward and backward in my garage to figure out if I could get it back in the garage (sloped driveway) under its own power, then backed it out, washed it, and fired it off for the vid.

I'll have more once the car gets along further. Maybe have a co-pilot with feet out the window and film the responses.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 23 Feb 2009 08:47

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:40, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 23 Feb 2009 09:28

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:41, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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Re: Whitebird

Postby okayfine » 24 Feb 2009 15:45

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Last edited by okayfine on 10 Jun 2009 13:41, edited 1 time in total.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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okayfine
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When getting her purring is only the beginning

Postby okayfine » 07 Apr 2009 08:23

The last few weeks have seen me chase down issue after issue while bringing Whitebird back from "project" status to daily driver. When I last updated progress, I was tracking down a power drain that I thought was due to two light-green wires that weren't on any wiring diagrams I had.

Since no diagrams were going to tell me where those wires went, I had to find out for myself. After unwrapping those wires in the dash, I found one went to a dead-head plug, the other joined the blue wire to the cigarette lighter. In short, neither of the wires were the cause of my problems. So I set about a slow process of narrowing down the power drain, pulling fuses until I isolated it. After much searching and staring at the screwup for about four days, I finally discovered an important fact.

The SSS dash light in the center top of the dash cluster is NOT the high-beam light. Wiring that light with the HB wiring will produce a drain, as it shares circuitry with the oil pressure gauge (or light in the stock dash, it's all the same circuits). The real HB light is a little light at the base of the speedo. Once I fixed that wiring, there was no more drain!!

Time for driving, right? Well, no. Now with the dash lights correctly hooked up, it was now time to verify my alternator issues. Which wasn't so easy since while I have a 1969 Bluebird, I seem to have a mixure of '69 and '68 wiring! My ignition switch, for example, has four prongs, as does my headlight switch. As relates to my story, my alternator wiring is of the '68 style, which apparently is hooked up much different than the later 510s, including what you need to do to bypass the external voltage regulator. With help from Derek, the BB list admin, he steered me in the right direction to correctly hook up the alternator wiring and...verify my alternator was bad.

I have no knowledge of the state of the SR accessories when I bought the engine, but it is not too much of a surprise to find that the alternator won't charge - this same thing happened when I swapped the KA into my old blue car. Maybe they don't like to sit. Whatever, the voltage regulator was bad in the KA alt, and the same symptoms were present in my SR alt. When I last played this game with Nissan, they wanted $330 for a voltage regulator, and $390 for a complete alternator :shock: Back when, I took the KA alt to a local rebuilder, only he couldn't source the parts. This time, with the itch to drive the car very strong, I simply bought a new alternator.

And when I say new, I mean, "New." There's a company called NSA selling parts through RockAuto and they offer an alternator made from all new parts for the 240SX, for a shockingly-low $130. With that arrived (it took over a week to get here from N.H.) and installed, it was time for driving, right?

Well, no. Now it was time to get the SUs sorted. Taking quick blats up the street revealed some serious issues, mainly manifesting itself as zero power above 2000rpm and no ability to rev. I could free-rev it in the garage once or twice, but after that it would backfire out of the carb. I know what you're thinking, it's lean, right? Well, I cranked on the fuel nozzle knobs until they were turned far more than I thought necessary, yet it was still acting the same. Thoughts turned to timing, which revealed itself to be spot on. Thoughts then turned to bad or mis-assembled distributor - after all nothing says Frankenstein like what I've got going in the distributor department. In the end, after a suggestion from a friend (and a check of the SU float levels, which were fine), I realized my error.

In routing the fuel supply, I had the SU float bowls set up with "T" fittings. The 1/4" line from the fuel pump came in to the top of the "T" and sent fuel through it, the second float bowl "T" and out the 5/8" return line. Now it was obvious what was happening - the fuel pump was basically pushing fuel through the loop, with only a trickle making the 90° turn into the float bowls. With a pair of vice grips clamping shut the return line just aft of the carbs, I made another run up the street. Success!!

It was now time for driving, right? Well, no. Now it was time to track down a radiator cap, as the one I have was leaking coolant out under pressure. Simple, right? Well, the large metro area I live in has a dearth of auto parts shops. In fact, in the larger Conejo Valley, home to mostly upper-middle class that wouldn't be caught dead in something as pedestrian (I know) as an auto parts store...there are only three, all 10 miles away, two of which might have a radiator cap, only one of which would be open after 6pm...but not open at 8:10pm when I managed to get there.

As well as an update to my Whitebird project thread, this is also meant as an example of how little things can derail your project timelines as easily or even easier than big things. You can plan for big projects and have the materials you'll know you need to flip a crossmember or convert to rear discs. It's the little things, the details, that tend to bite you in your unprepared buttocks. Not that any of my little setbacks were project-ending - not even close. But they did delay gratification for about a month, what with all the other "life" issues to work with.

Currently the new radiator cap is on. Now I'm dealing with a faulty brake light switch! I know I have a spare in one of my boxes of parts...but the switch is not an especially large part, and it's probably buried in the bottom of the last box I'll open.

Still, it's almost time for a drive.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson


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