Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

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spriso
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Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 19 Jun 2010 23:20

My name is Michael Spreadbury, and I own a small automotive restoration business called Spriso Motorsports in Corvallis, Oregon. We have dabbled in many different facets in the automotive realm, but our claim to fame the last few years has been building SR20DE(T) powered Datsun Roadsters. Due to professional commitments of my day job, our full-blown customer projects are scaling back, but we are still working on personal projects and providing SR conversion parts for roadster owners.

I am a 510 guy. I have been playing with these cars for over 25 years now, and I have owned mild to wild examples over the years. Over the last 10 years I have been heavily distracted with SR20 powered Datsun Roadsters, and my 510 interest had cut way back, but it is time to brush off the dust and get back to work on a 510 again-- I miss them!

Just over 10 years ago, I imported this 1970 Bluebird Coupe from Nagano, Japan. I had always lusted for a Coupe, and finally my dream had come true. Due to it's high elevation, Nagano is a great place to find vintage cars in Japan and they usually have a little less rust than cars from other regions. This particular car was sitting, waiting for a new owner when I found it. Soon it was running and on a ship bound for Seattle, where it arrived a few weeks later:

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Getting the car home and in the driveway, it was time to get it cleaned and inspected to see what kind of car was under all that grime:

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The car had typical rust in the normal areas that you see it on Japanese market cars-- the rocker panels and bottom edges of the doors were rusted, as well as the tail light panel. The car had evidence of skim coats of body filler in several locations, all things that you normally find on any home-market car. On the inside, the interior door panels, headliner, and dash pad were all in excellent condition, and the floors were solid with no rust at all.

Trying to figure out how they had got the car so low provided a nasty surprise-- there were NO springs in the front struts. Drum front brakes too... The engine had a nasty tick and every system showed neglect, mostly from not being used we presumed.

A used L18 and 5-speed were found, a 3-row radiator installed, and a set of 510 struts were slammed in the car to make it roadworthy for Shasta 2000.

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Later a set of 16" Panasports were added:

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I was having a blast with the car, but it had no power, and soon the ring lands on the pistons had so much blow-by that it was literally poisoning me as I drove down the road.

It was time to do something...
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

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spriso
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 19 Jun 2010 23:39

SR Power-- Of Course!

To fix the lack of power, a SR20DET was the logical choice. Being that the Coupe is RHD, a turbo engine is an easy fit in the Coupe's engine compartment. In the fall of 2001, the car was stripped of it's L-series powertrain and a S13 SR20DET was test fit.

In January 2002, Ms. Olivia joined our family, and soon after we brought her home, I had her try out the valve cover for size:

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An intercooler and radiator were sourced from Mario at TSR, and they were put into the car:

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Then as they say, life got in the way... I built a shop, I got distracted with SR powered roadsters, there just was not time for the 510... it sat, waiting, waiting, and waiting...

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Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
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spriso
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 20 Jun 2010 00:03

New Help, New Energy

In 2006, Eric Straw and I started building roadsters together. During a weekend in between projects, we drug the Coupe out of storage, and built a new front crossmember and transmission mount for the car, and put the now S14 SR engine back into the car (the S13 SR20DET had been robbed for a customer's roadster project!)

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When we were done with the weekend, we had the engine and 6-speed transmission mounted on a newly fabricated 68 crossmember:

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I was feeling pretty pleased, after a 5-year rest, the car was looking like it was making progress again. Alas, it had to be pushed back into a back corner of the shop, as we had more SR20-powered Roadsters to build for customers...

Fast forward 4-years, and here we are today. Eric has been busy this winter working on his own SR20DET swap, and it has inspired me to get back to work on my own car. The 68 crossmember and trans mount that we built in 2006 went into Eric's S15 SR20DET project (as seen here: http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14174) and I have decided to use a Datsport kit as I am intrigued with the longer control arms that the 810-based front suspension has to offer.

The car is back out of the dark corner of the shop, and it has been cleaned up so we can get back to work on it for awhile.

Here it is out in the light of day:

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What next?
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

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dislexicdime
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby dislexicdime » 20 Jun 2010 00:40

I like your motor mounts
L series only have one header!

i need another garage mine is full of part's

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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby 510rob » 20 Jun 2010 00:56

Hi Mike, welcome to the 510 Realm. Your car looks great. I like the custom SR valve cover - a genuine one of a kind! We all look forward to your contributions, ideas, thoughts, input, criticisms, and honesty.

yeah, those motor mount welds are good

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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby qwik510 » 20 Jun 2010 04:17

.

It was good to meet you at the Mitty Michael. That copper colored Roadster you built was Amazing.

Sweet Looking Coupe Project. I know you will work magic on this one too.

Keep the updates coming.
Enjoy The Ride!
David
ImageImage

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okayfine
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby okayfine » 20 Jun 2010 10:00

The Coupe lives. Long live the Coupe.

I didn't know it originally had four-wheel drums. 8)
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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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby goichi1 » 20 Jun 2010 14:46

Very nice to see you here, even better to see you getting back to your Coupe too! Are you planning a full resto?? I will be following with lots of interest! keep the pics coming. I hope to see it when I return to the states next year.

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spriso
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 20 Jun 2010 20:52

Rich wrote:

Are you planning a full resto??


Eventually, yes. The plan for now is to get the car running and driving again, drive it, work out the bugs, figure out what I am going to change, and then tear it down for the full-blown body work and paint job. Like I mentioned earlier, it needs numerous rust repair on the rocker panels, tail light panel, etc. but that is outside of the scope of the project right now.

The car as it sits is a good 10-footer, and I am ok with that, it is what it is.

So, the plan as of today is this:

Powertrain:

S14 SR20DET/stock turbo/stock ecu/MAF to get it running.
S15 6-speed transmission, lightened flywheel, stock clutch

Suspension:
Front:
S12 200SX front struts, MR2 inserts, coil over kit, camber plates
Datsport fitting kit with 810-based front suspension geometry

Rear:
Adjustable crossmember of some sort, rear disk brakes, all of which needs to be determined.
Rear coil overs (TBD)

Brakes:
Sentra SE-R Brembo front calipers, rear???
Custom front brake rotor/hat to suit brakes

Wheels:
16x7 Watanabe RS-8s in the front, 16x8 RS-8s in the rear

So, nothing too radical or groundbreaking-- what I really want to do is to be able to drive my car again... I have a couple month window available right now while I have a roadster out for paint, when that is done, this is going to be put on the back burner again for a bit, so I want to get as much done as possible while I can...

Michael
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

qship510
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby qship510 » 20 Jun 2010 21:06

Michael!! Long time no see (talk).

Congratulations on the forward progress, look forward to seeing more.

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spriso
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 20 Jun 2010 21:19

Wow... lots of old friends here on the Realm! Thanks for the messages and PM's! It is great to be playing with 510s again...

I have been collecting and building parts for this project for a long time, and today was a good chance to do more test fitting so we can come up with a game plan on what we are going to need to do to get this all together.

As I mentioned earlier, the struts are based on S12 200SX units. These have been shortened to use a Tokiko Illumina MR2 insert with a standard coil over kit. The camber plates are Office units that I robbed off a Japanese market S14 Silvia that we scrapped in Japan. These were test fit for the first time today with the Sentra SE-R Brembo's test fit as well-- I want to squeeze these under a 16" Watanabe wheel, and we are almost there-- it is very, very close.

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I also mocked up a tubular manifold that Eric picked up few years ago for a project and it looks like it is going to work out well for the Coupe:

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I also had a custom built stainless downpipe that I bought in Japan-- it should work out fine after the mounting flange is cut off and we modify it to suit.

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So far things are looking good. 510s are so generous on space compared to a roadster-- this is going to be a much easier job than what we have been working on the last few years!

I will update as more work gets completed!

Michael
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

macdatty
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby macdatty » 21 Jun 2010 03:46

G'Day Michael,
Great to see you're working on your car again. I've always wanted to know more about this car after seeing images of it all over the net.
Good luck with the build, I'll be following this thread with much interest. I too am building a SSS Coupe. In fact it's even the same colour, or at least very similar! You can see it here:
http://www.ozdat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=21439
Not much done yet, but so far I've picked up new lights, brakes, SR20det, wheels, steering wheel etc.
Can't wait to spend some time on it!

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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby goichi1 » 22 Jun 2010 15:29

I used about the same down pipe and just cut off the 3-bolt flange and put it on a speader, spread it to just about 3 inch, then welded a V-Band flange to it, worked great with no leaks and it's really easy to remove the exhaust too.

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spriso
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby spriso » 22 Jun 2010 17:13

Rich wrote:

I used about the same down pipe and just cut off the 3-bolt flange and put it on a speader, spread it to just about 3 inch, then welded a V-Band flange to it, worked great with no leaks and it's really easy to remove the exhaust too.


That is exactly what we are going to with this one. Once you use a V-band clamp you will never go back to 3-bolt flanges! We put them on all of our conversions!

Michael
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

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kayakdude07
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Re: Spriso's SR20DET Bluebird Coupe Project

Postby kayakdude07 » 22 Jun 2010 20:54

re your 200sx front struts- i have access to a set, but from a 4 cylinder car. Are they serviceable, or is it a must to get them from a v6 model? Hard to believe Nissan would have stocked a whole different strut assembly for the v6
thanks
Jordan || '72 2 door KA project || '72 2 door goon project- Flintstones powered (dad's)


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