Noobie's 510 project

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DADZSUN
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Welding, a true 'noobie' skill for me

Post by DADZSUN » 12 Jan 2014 20:08

So one of my original hopes when getting the 510 was that I'd not only get the chance to work on the car and swap/rebuild an engine, but to also learn & apply welding 'skills' - and to eventually paint the body.

I'm sure for many, the thought of a noobie learning to weld on a classic is pretty damn scary, even stupid. The fact is that this car, while fairly sound, was already riveted with panels from the PO. This car would never be a good candidate for a perfect restoration which was alright by me. Having said that, I do love my 510 so I still made sure to pay attention and be extra careful.

Unbeknownst to me, on my B-day my wife bought me a Century 80 Welder made my Lincoln Electric. She did alright! This is a basic flux-core, 120v MIG welder, with a hi & Lo setting and adjustable wire feed, and as a package it is reportedly good enough to weld a maximum of 1/8" steel. Frankly, it serves 95% of my needs to date (seat rails, oil pan, body work, engine mount, exhaust).

I didn't go crazy on the 510 the second my welder was setup. To get started I purchased some scrap from a local welder who was kind enough to punch a few dozen 1"x3" plates. My son and I then proceeded to have 'weld-offs' where we would agree on a shape, weld the plates together and then see if we could destroy each other's work.

The main work on the 510 was the crash structure, both sides. After taking a cutting wheel to most of the top portion I then proceeded to size/cut/shape metal pieces. I was encouraged to simply lap weld (none of this would be visible with the fender on - thank Gawd!), but I wanted to see if I could make things a little cleaner with butt welds. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the work at this point. I'm in the process of adding the main 'rib' that will allow the fender to hook over, then I'll drill holes and weld nuts so that the fender can be bolted down. Once complete, I'll apply seam sealer and then POR15.
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'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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Byron510
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by Byron510 » 12 Jan 2014 21:23

Well, you certainly couldn't go wrong really. Anything you add with restore the structure - and face it, these cars are not exactly on the edge of technology when it comes to unit body design.
It's always blown be away to see how car - much much rustier than yours - hold up under stress. I look at my old ice race. When I first ran that car, it was way worse than yours, and nothing seems to move....which really surprised me to be honest. That car was so far gone on the front end that I grafted another clip on that car to "repair" it.

We look forward to your posts, any progress is good progress.

Really take a lot of time getting your fenders mounted - it's tricky to do and really get right.

Byron
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because the opposite never works.

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RonM
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by RonM » 13 Jan 2014 09:50

My hat's off to you DadZ, most new guys would choose to look the other way when finding rust." Well I'll just seal it, throw some bondo over top, and Wallah! good as new. 9 months later he learns that rust never sleeps, not even with the cover's pulled over and the light's turned off. It's always impressive to see someone doing it right the first time. Bravo
Sometimes people loose touch with subjectivity, because they've got they're heads stuck too far up they're own,,, Reality.

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DADZSUN
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Engine and tranny angles

Post by DADZSUN » 14 Jan 2014 18:21

Thanks for the positive feedback guys. It's always reassuring to not see a post saying something like "OMG what did you do?!?!".

A quick question to you gurus out there.

How can I ensure the engine & tranny angle is proper for the driveshaft? I've read some reference to the requirement but nothing in detail regarding the process and tools needed.
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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defdes
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by defdes » 14 Jan 2014 18:59


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KA24e running with Yamaha R1 carbs

Post by DADZSUN » 25 May 2014 18:00

It's been awhile since the last update. There's been a few bumps by the 'noobie' but I can say the car's now up and running. :-)

Here's a Youtube clip of the engine idling with a few revs: http://youtu.be/bW0xVBA9hsU. I ran with 22 main jets and 22.5 idle jets. So far it's pretty good but I'll hook up the wideband in the next week or two.

More details of the build will be posted in the near future.
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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two_68_510s
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by two_68_510s » 25 May 2014 19:32

Seems like it really wants to rev! Very nice.
Joel

2 '68 510 2 door sedans
'95 240SX
74 Jensen Healey

“We will either find a way, or make one.” – Hannibal

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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by DADZSUN » 07 Jun 2014 17:29

Here's the latest update - apologies that it's been copy & pasted from my posting in the Ratsun R1 thread but I don't have the time/patience to reword it.

So I installed my Innovate wide band O2 sensor today. As per my driving impressions, it looks like my initial jetting was pretty close.

Setup: R1 carbs 22 mains and 22.5 pilots with 3.5 turns out (any less and it starts to cough). Needles at OEM setup. Rebuilt KA24e with 8.6 compression ratio, running premium gas, ignition timing 15BTDC, JWT cam, Webber DCOE 45 velocity stacks, Pipercross air filter.

Air fuel ratios at 28 degrees Celsius:
Idle: 800 RPM steady with occasional miss, 14-15:1
Cruising: 55-60MPH, ~2500 RPM, 12-12.5
Rolling throttle: 5th gear starting at 2500 RPM then pin it 11 rolling up to 12:1
Pin it: Start 2nd gear through to 5 shifting at 6000RPM, steady 13:1

So it looks like the jetting is not too bad. I might play with the needles to lean the cruising/mid-range a bit but being from Canada the temperatures are usually lower which can leans things out quick.

Driving Impressions: This car idles/cruises/changes speeds at all RPMs very nicely. You'd have a hard time telling this was carbed with the exception of the velocity stacks. I was thinking of getting a MegaJolt to squeeze a little more but I'm starting to wonder if the installation/costs/tuning would be worth it. Torque might be a little less than I envisioned but when I look at the speedo I'm constantly caught by surprise at the rate of acceleration - especially over 60MPH. This feels like a typical 0-60 in the high 6 / low 7 car - shifting to 3rd gear to get to 60MPH doesn't help the stopwatch. There's enough power to have some fun but not so much that you have to be paranoid driving in the wet.

Issues: The cooling system in the car is screwed up. Initially I blamed the thermostat not opening (and removed it altogether) but after getting today's A/F ratios the cap blew coolant (no overflow tank yet). The eBay oversized rad is fed by both hoses on the passenger side end tank. In order from coldest to hottest: 1) Driver-side rad end tank, 2) passenger side end tank, 3) hose entering the rad (top) from thermostat housing (quite hot but still touchable), 4) Hose exiting bottom of rad and feeding intake manifold - extremely hot and can't be touched. WTF!?!?!

The car also has a hot-start issue. WAY harder than cold starts. I thought it was maybe the carbs heat-soaking and evaporating fuel but today they were fairly cool to the touch. I'm wondering if the cause of the issue is the coolant mentioned above.
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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duke
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by duke » 07 Jun 2014 18:01

Watching the video it looks like you have the radiator hoses routed backwards. The thermostat is on the water inlet side of the engine on KA's, so as you have found out, the hot hose is the water outlet on the head. Once you get the hoses sorted it is very critical the get the air fully bled from the cooling system on these motors. This can be a little difficult, but I have found that jacking the front of the car up so the radiator cap is the highest point in the system while filling usually works pretty well.
Duke Schimmer

'72 2-Door 510
"Simplify and add lightness."

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DADZSUN
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by DADZSUN » 07 Jun 2014 18:46

Thanks for confirming my suspicion Duke. My next move would have been to reverse the hoses to see if it would help. Hopefully that will also address the hot-start issue.

I guess that means my coolant bung also needs to be moved. :?
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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Quick update

Post by DADZSUN » 25 Jul 2014 17:26

Due to my coolant hose alignment confusion I managed to blow the head gasket (I guess the 'newbie' self-title will take a bit more time to dispose eh?). Thankfully there appeared to be no major issues so a quick head shave (8/1000's I believe) and new gasket/bolts I was ready to go once again. While it was down I took the opportunity to pull the pan and check bearing wear and address a minor oil leak.

About a month ago I played with the R1 needles to drop/lean out the cruising A/F and somehow managed to bust a couple of the plastic clips on #3 slider which holds the plug/spring/needle in place. The car idled fine but when I applied any load I could tell the car was missing a cylinder.

I've managed to source replacement sliders and the car is running well once again. I'm still 12.6 on the wide band during cruising with a little less spacers (only one clip on my needles so I have to play with the spacers), I'll wait until fall to see if the cooler air will lean her out. Otherwise, I'll try a smaller main jet for next year (24->22 I believe) because WOT initially sends the A/F to the 11 range until it pulls back to 12s.

I think there's still some potential to squeeze out of the KA24e. The idle is good (L series blue top electronic dizzy currently) but there's still a little miss - Megajolt is in the plans using the R1 TPS and running a custom ASP crank pulley with a provision for EDIS trigger wheel (how I'll fasten a steel ring to an aluminum pulley has yet to be determined). Best 0-60 time I've pulled is 7.2 seconds according to my Speedhut speedo GPS. I'm confident high 6's are possible but the upshift to 3rd is what's killing the 0-60 number. Otherwise, this car runs like a 0-60 mid 6 second machine. She pulls pretty hard from 3-5K but runs out of breath approaching the 6K which is a little surprising considering the JWT cam and short R1 manifold runners and lack of cat.

Oil pressure has been high with my KA. I switch from 10w-30 dino to 5w-30 Mobile 1 synthetic and it's been a bit better (now 80-85 psi at 3K when hot). 10w had a hard time getting under 90psi unless I was idling. With synthetic my idle is just under 20psi.

Mileage wise, the car is certainly more thirsty than the original L16 which was shocking good. I haven't done official numbers yet (approx mid 20MPG) as the engine is barely at 1000km and I'm still honking on the throttle plenty.

The Megajolt will be my last substantial investment for the foreseeable future as I've recently purchased a new companion for my 510, a '73 Celica. Plans are to make it the mellower cruiser with a 2/3RZ EFI swap, rack & pinion, power brakes, stereo etc... Basically it will be the anti-510. If anything this will now allow me to start tweaking the 510 for more hard core Solo2 duties... :shock:
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Post by DADZSUN » 18 Dec 2014 19:48

So it's that time of the year again, the car is parked and enhancements (or fixes to previous screw ups) will be getting done. It's funny, I almost look forward to this time of the year as much as the driving season.

When I look back at this summer it has been a botchery to say the least. I've overheated the block and blew the head gasket, I very nearly blew myself and my boys up, and started the brand new engine without properly priming the oil pump. Thankfully I managed to get through all of this without major cost/headaches.

Last winter was pretty ambitious in terms of changes and plans, I'm proud that I at least got it running (however imperfect that may be). While the car ran, there were three on-going issues:
  • 1) Lack of a proper starter to handle the hybrid KA24e truck block and KA24e 240sx tranny setup
  • 2) Lack of a proper coolant setup, had to run w/o a thermostat
  • 3) Improper placement of the engine block, causing the Pittman arm to hit the exhaust manifold when turning left - that caused me to skip all Solo2 this season.
Along with the fixes listed above, I plan to finish up a few overdue items, parking brake, horn etc... I also plan to add one enhancement, a MegaJolt EDIS 4 setup.

One of the first things I was able to quickly get done and mark it off my To-Do list was to test fit Celica wheels (cheap Solo2 rims). They appear to fit ok with the except of the front hub bore being about 1/4" too small (2.25" on the rim, approx. 2.5" on 280zx strut). Also, the Celica wheel uses shanked nuts like the OEM Datsun, but finding the proper width that matched the Nissan thread pitch was a challenge. After a good bit of research I believe the shanked nuts to Pathfinder/Frontier/Xterra are the perfect shoulder width along with the proper Nissan pitch.
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How she looked all summer.
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Engine bay looking tidy. Velocity stacks under that Pipercross filter.
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Last edited by DADZSUN on 18 Dec 2014 21:05, edited 4 times in total.
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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DADZSUN
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Starters

Post by DADZSUN » 18 Dec 2014 20:12

So the starter issue comes down to the fact that I'm using a 240sx flywheel on a truck block (lighter options), and the 240sx block extends out to provide a mounting surface for the starter whereas the KA24e Pickup block does not. The truck starter simply bolts to the tranny.

I've tried quite a few different starters and none of them are perfect.
  • The 240sx starter 'snout' is too long/deep to fit within the tranny when bolted directly to it. When shimmed about 1/2", the fit works.
  • The L20 starter I've been using (I believe it's from a L20), is almost perfect but it's about 1/4" too shallow and therefore doesn't get enough contact on the flywheel teeth, causing it to slowly get chewed to bits. Thankfully these Chinese flywheels are cheap.
  • The KA24e truck starter has a much shorter snout (as it bolts directly to the tranny), but still not deep enough to reach the 240sx flywheel.
I believe my best option is to shave about 1/4" off the L20 starter base so that it sinks deeper into tranny and therefore provides better tooth engagement. Otherwise, I'm hoping someone out there has dealt with this before and has a solution to some odd Nissan starter.
Attachments
ChewedUpFlywheel.jpg
Missing just under 1/4" of additional starter wheel throw.
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StartersExperimented.jpg
Top left then down: L20 (I believe), 6 cylinder Z car starter, some high compression starter.
Right top to bottom: New KA24e truck starter, new 240sx starter
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Shimmed240sxStarter.jpg
I required 1/2" of shimming (ie: 240sx block mounting depth) before the 240sx starter finally fit properly.
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ShaveTruckStarter.jpg
L20 starter on left, see how it's snout is a little deeper than the brand new KA24e truck starter. My plan is to shave 1/4" off the base of the L20 starter.
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'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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DADZSUN
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KA24e Coolant

Post by DADZSUN » 18 Dec 2014 20:26

The KA24e coolant setup threw me for a loop. Because I was too lazy to thoroughly research what was required it cost me a head gasket. I eventually pulled the thermostat to run the car throughout the summer.

My first mistake was not realising that the KA24e thermostat is actually on the exit of the radiator. That threw me for a loop for quite some time. How the hell did it see hot enough coolant to open? The answer is that the KA24e manifold has a little bypass coolant pipe which allows coolant flow within the engine while the thermostat is closed. This bypass exits the intake manifold and re-enters just behind the thermostat. So as the bypass coolant gets hotter it hits the back of the thermostat causing it to open, and I believe somewhat plug the bypass.

Pretty cool, but unfortunately my custom Bogg R1 manifold has no provision for this bypass (second mistake). Since I'm sending it off to get a vacuum nipple added to runners 2 & 3 (for a MAP-based MegaJolt), I've decided to get a bypass nipple welded in as well.
Attachments
KA24e_CoolantDiagram.jpg
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Last edited by DADZSUN on 18 Dec 2014 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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Pittman contact

Post by DADZSUN » 18 Dec 2014 20:41

It took awhile to figure out what causing that vibration/restriction in the steering when I was about 1/2 way through the range turning left. Only once it was on the alignment rack did I spot the issue - the Pittman arm was swinging into the exhaust manifold causing it to jam the steering.

I originally though about having a custom Pittman arm made with a curve to accommodate the manifold but the cost/hassle sent me in another direction. I realised that there was enough room in the engine bay to push the engine back nearly 1 inch. The manifold would then be beside the Pittman arm's swivel point and therefore experience no movement. Unfortunately, as the engine moved back the centrelink came into play and hit Andrew's nice custom oil pan. I realised that the engine has to be raised AND moved back. An added bonus with raising the engine is that the oil pan will now be sheltered behind the subframe instead of partially hanging below it.

However, changes rarely occur for free. One downfall to that is that I've got to cut the tranny tunnel a bit to clear the shifter, and the driveshaft will likely have to be shortened (less than 1"). At least Ottawa Driveshaft shop only charged me about $130 last summer. Another PITA is that I'm not a good welder and custom mounts will be required. I thought about hockey pucks (almost perfect height) between the upper and lower mount, and simply drill through it to bolt the two mounts together. Otherwise, I might turn the upper mount's bolt 'ears' down, make a new upper plate that bolts to the lower mount and then weld the upper ears (again, almost perfect height) to that new plate. Either way I've got time to think about it as the engine won't be reinstalled for another month or so.

Next up, installing the MegaJolt/EDIS setup. :D
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PittManClearance.jpg
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SubframeProtection.jpg
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'72 Datsun 510 - Orange w/Watanabes & KA24E
'76 Datsun 280z - Current rebuild project

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