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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 20 Jun 2016 15:34
bertvorgon wrote:Maybe you do not can shim that pump. behind that BIG nut head is the blow off spring. If you put a very thin washer there, that will give you more oil pressure. Start THIN so as not to blow up the oil filter.... :lol:
Good call Keith. I've heard of the shimming trick but didn't want to 'hack' a solution. But I'm now much more flexible (read: desperate) as it turned out the Lucas stabilizer hadn't fully resolved the tick. I dropped a .040"/1mm shim in the new pump and it was good for ~8psi. I'm now running about 62-63psi hot when cruising. For noobies, the shim goes in the hollowed bolt head where the screwdriver is pointing - photo borrowed from a nice member on Ratsun.
PumpShim.jpg (169.56 KiB) Viewed 2712 times
I finally pulled the valve cover off and noticed 2 things:
  • 1 - #3 exhaust was not well pressurized and likely the cause of my repeated ticks. I'll go ahead and order a new #3 exhaust rocker/lifter - that will be my 3rd and I'm starting to wonder if there's an oil flow/pressurization issue there in the head...

    2 - Intake valve 1 on #3 had damn-near 2mm of lateral play on the rocker arm shaft due to the clip being flared for some reason (proper FSM torquing procedures were used in the past). I managed to pinch the clip tight with channel locks and all seems well.
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I also dumped the 10w40 oil with Lucas supplement and when with brand new heavier weight 20w50 Castor GTX, along with a new Mobile 1 filter. The next morning after I let it idle with a light tick for 15-20 min before I took it out for a good hour of silence, including a couple of sustain highway runs which typically cause the issue to resurface. My fingers are crossed this is finally it.

On another note, my filler neck solution appears to be working well once I solved a couple teething issues. I managed to POR15 a little of the intake lip which cause the cap to not seal properly unless I really tighten. I'll sand the paint down in the near future. Also, I reused the existing breather tube which proved to be too old and split where I flared a shortened portion onto the fuel tank. Fuel was coming out quite easily before my nose caught it. :shock: I've taped it up for now but will want to find a better solution, any idea where I can get a new one?
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Finally, with the battery in the spare well I was getting sick of not having proper support in the trunk for heavier items. I didn't want stuff resting directly on the battery or risk shorting.
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So I fabbed up something quick that fastens to the spare wheel hole.
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It's not pretty but it holds plenty of weight now and keeps the battery isolated from other items I store beneath the cover..
SpareBracing_3.jpg (185.8 KiB) Viewed 2716 times

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 20 Jun 2016 16:54
by Track Junky
That support is cool! Nice work!


Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 20 Jun 2016 18:48
by bertvorgon
That shim is an easy trick I have done forever. As I basically have a huge "LEAK", due to both my spray bar and the turbo feed, my oil pressure dropped quite significantly. So, with a nice little shim, I get 70 PSI when cold, and a gauge indicated 60PSI when hot. I attribute my gauge reading to the fact that it comes of the same distribution block as the turbo and spray bar feed, so engine oil pressure is likely higher than indicated.

What's the rule of thumb...10 psi for every thousand rpm, or something like that...I know my last motor which went for 13 years of hard core combat was pretty mint inside.

Glad it worked for you.

Update: Wheel bearings, Oil catch can & stuff

Posted: 06 Jul 2016 18:21
Work-travel and kid's sports have been minimal this summer which means I've been able to keep chipping away at my list.

I've replaced the #3 exhaust Rocker Arm & Hydraulic Valve Lifter with a more expensive bit from RockAuto and the engine has responded quite nicely. Ticking is gone (gee, haven't I said that once to twice before???) and the idle is almost normal. I'm perfectly content with the engine if it stays like this.

Drivetrain noises
Despite getting the R160 LSD looked at this winter, I have two persistent noises I'd like to get addressed.
  • I get a steady 'whirring' sound which increases along with speed. Almost sounds like a WRC car but not as obnoxious. I suspect the wheel bearings.

    I also have a lashing sound from the tranny when coasting in-gear. I'm looking for a SR20 tranny (swap bellhousings) with a decent warranty as a cheaper alternative to rebuilding.
Since the wheel bearings are a cheaper option to address I went ahead and ordered some parts. The main nuts came from Nissan and the SKF (R6206-2SR1) provided the dual sealed bearings. I reused the OEM oil seals.
OldBearingForTapping.jpg (219.66 KiB) Viewed 2615 times
I followed Logical1's How-To on Ratsun ( ... t-a-press/) which worked quite well for me. I also rented a 5lbs slide hammer and pilot bearing puller from Canadian Tire (for free!). The slide hammer worked at pulling the outer bearings making the inner bearings easier to access.
5LbsSlideHammerBearingPuller.jpg (463.19 KiB) Viewed 2615 times
Once apart, I followed the freezer technique and repurposed an old bearing w/shaved outer race as the 'punch' to tap the new bearings in. .
WheelBearingParts.jpg (319.67 KiB) Viewed 2615 times
All in all in went pretty well. The rear feels smoother and more settled (?) but the whirring persists... One thing I did notice is that there's a fair bit of dragging on both rear calipers (I can still turn the hubs with a single hand - but it's an effort). After a short drive both rear wheel/hubs are quite warm but tollerable to touch (unlike the LSD).

Oil Catch Can
I was getting quite a bit of oil residue around the KA24E's PCV valve and the mini filter off the valve cover was getting drenched quite quickly so I decided to install an oil catch can. I shopped around a bit but many of the options were for EFI offering only a single input and single exhaust nipple. I wanted dual input with a vented top. Rather than order and be disappointed with the result (and likley have to modify anyway), I decided to make my own out of exhaust piping, some PCV nipples & tubing I hacked off several Dodge Caravans and an oil line from a GMC pickup.
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I found a discrete location but fabricating a mount to fasten to the block AND still be accessible to remove was a good challenge. I eventually settled on sharing one of the three passenger engine mount bolts to hold the can in place. Overall I'm pleased with the result. I'll get proper hose clamps once my new PCV valve arrives. I'll be curious to see how quickly it fills.
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CatchCan_4.jpg (228.72 KiB) Viewed 2615 times
Next up is the replacement of the current Yamaha R1 fuel pump with a potentially more reliable Facet ~3psi solid state. I'll also keep my eye open for a Nissan tranny.

New fuel pump

Posted: 10 Aug 2016 07:33
My current Yamaha R1 fuel pump has been working well for me over the last few years. It's quiet and turns itself off when the floats close off the bowls. When chatting with Bogg last year he mentioned that he's starting to see more and more of these pumps fail due to age, given that mine could be 15+ years old I decided to install something newer in the quest for improved reliability.
FacetWithFittings.jpg (331.34 KiB) Viewed 2490 times
Bogg recommended Facet fuel pump. This particular 40105 model is setup with a pressure output of only 2.5-3.5psi - likely lower still when it reaches the engine bay. The pump has to be mounted within 12" of the tank and the outlet needs to be tilted higher than the inlet to prevent vapour lock I believe. These requirements caused some difficulty in finding an ideal mounting location so I purchased two 90 degree swivel head fittings to help.
OldR1FuelPump.jpg (233.35 KiB) Viewed 2490 times
I ended up mounting the pump about 14-16" from the tank but given that it's gravity fed I'm hoping that it isn't an issue. I mounted on the underside of the trunk floor where it begins to dip into the spare wheel well. This angled part of the trunk offered a good location to satisfy the pump's outlet height requirement. I moved the fuel filter from underneath the chassis to right after the outlet nipple on the tank (behind the seat). Not as easy to get to but given that the new filter was plastic I wanted better protection.
FacetMounted.jpg (196.86 KiB) Viewed 2490 times
After the install the car ran the same. The pump is rather noisy, changing volume when the floats open or close the bowl, but can only really be heard at idle. I decided to insert some rubber grommets to help further quiet the pump.
RubberGrommets.jpg (134.52 KiB) Viewed 2490 times
Besides that, the car is running well. The lifters are still quiet which is nice, but the 20w50 weight oil does seem to sap a bit of fun from the engine.

Not much else is planned for this driving season besides finishing the horns and building a To-Do list for this winter. I am considering a heat shield for the rear portion of my new exhaust as it's heating up the rear driver's side wheel and the diff quite a bit. Eventually I'll have to get it properly heat coated.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 10 Aug 2016 14:44
by Sleepys-14
Solid lifters are the only way to really resolve the issue unfortunately... I swapped 5 sets of lifter and changed to thicker oil and all. I ended up getting some solid lifters and ran those for about 6-7 years without an issue, but I also raced it, soo I kind of needed them

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 10 Aug 2016 15:44
by RMS
I would think a rubber grommet is needed on the pass through. a bit of vacuum line with a lengthwise slit would do the trick minimizing the possibility of chafing through a fuel line.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 14 Aug 2016 06:44
That pass through is OEM and is already flared/smooth to begin with, and several years of a similar setup with my R1 fuel pump has showed zero issues. Regardless, it's a good precautionary tip that's I'll implement the next time I'm under the car.

As for the solid lifters, I know it will result in a better, more playful setup. The cam's more agressive ramp-up should provide better down-low response along with more top-end power from the Stage 2 cam. It might even address this persistent miss I experience on idle.

Having said that I have several issues I've got to clear in my head before proceeding:
  • $600+ USD ($300 lifters, $200 Cam, stiffer springs, shipping, and 15% Cdn import taxes) is a lot to spend on an engine that's barely worth twice that to begin with. Canadian currency conversion is also brutal these days...

    For that price I can almost purchase a full SR20DE and tranny! Sometimes I do long for a more modern drivetrain with less NVH for longer road trips and better fuel efficiency.

    Also, the engine is now silent and working fine in the operating range I use it (typically low to mid RPM). Experience has taught me not to break what's working - even if not at optimum. Finding that greener grass can often be more difficult, and more expensive than initially thought.

    Finally, although I have zero plans to sell my Datsun, I'm at the point in this project where all investment going forward has to increase it's value. That $600 USD would be much better served with refreshed Futofab bumpers or allocated towards paint.
Having said that, I do secretly hope the stock hydraulic setup starts to tick once again so "I'll have no choice". :wink:

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 14 Aug 2016 08:19
by Sleepys-14
As long as you understand whats going on and do whatever makes you happy with the car.

Don''t take this the wrong way, but this statement just made everything clear, "That $600 USD would be much better served with refreshed Futofab bumpers or allocated towards paint." You obviously would rather spend the money to make the car look good instead of perform well, which there is nothing wrong with that. I get it, and I absolutely respect both sides of the argument. Its not a high priority at this point because it doesnt hurt the engine, its just more of an annoyance.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 14 Aug 2016 10:11
by okayfine
DADZSUN wrote:For that price I can almost purchase a full SR20DE and tranny! Sometimes I do long for a more modern drivetrain with less NVH for longer road trips and better fuel efficiency.
IME, there's not really a noticeable difference between KA and SR for NVH or fuel efficiency. A 510 is a NVH nightmare anyway, and we don't help things with big exhausts making a bunch of noise. Provided your mounts are good and nothing hits (neither is respective of engine choice), my KA510 was substantially similar to my SR510s.

On fuel efficiency, I only really saw a big change when I was running carbs on the SR, but that combo also had the 4.375 rear gear compared to my KA510 that had 3.7. The KA would see 31mpg on freeway at 75, where the SU SR with 4.375 saw 25mpg on the same trip (to JCCS and back). I later changed Whitebird to SR with EFI and a 3.9 rear gear and saw 30mpg on a freeway run at 75mph. Not a lot in it. Highway efficiency is killed due to the brick aero.

Since I didn't rev the nuts off it, I liked the KA better overall. Uncork the exhaust and it would pull through the top end great, and had more torque down low so you could leave it in a gear for longer. My $0.02.

Youtube clip is up.

Posted: 14 Aug 2016 12:56
Good info on the SR vs KA. I get around 24mpg when I behave and not tow a bike, so my issue may be more the carbs than engine. I cruise at 13-14 A/F so I can lean things out a bit more, and new non-warped rear rotors are coming which should add 1-2 MPG.

Sleepy, trust me I'd LOVE to get those solid lifters but this is the first time my hobby/toy car can realistically be considered an investment (!) so I feel somewhat obligated to further leverage that advantage and only invest disposable 510 income where it helps the overall value. IMO, at this point in the project a potential buyer would be more impressed with a cleaner exterior than me saying it's got solid lifters... Maybe a weird perspective for someone who isn't interested in selling, but I enjoy owning my 510 much more knowing it's not a money pit.

I thought it was time to post a video of my setup as it is today. The engine bay portion shows there's no lifter noise or even idle miss, but at the exhaust pipe there's definitely seems to be a miss fire. Also, when I rev the engine I was hoping for more 'blipyness' considering there's lightened flywheel and what is effectively ITB carb setup. Maybe this is as good as it gets w/o sinking thousands into a lighter valvetrain and pistons/lifters. The KA is just a truck engine afterall...

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 20 Aug 2016 14:55
by Doraemon
About the breather tube to the fuel tank.. you mean the hose cracked ? I used some thick 3M shrink tube which has glue inside it to cover it.
Its called 3M MDT-A. It's bit pricey stuff but it's very strong stuff ! Not just a shrink tube which you normally see ;)

Chain tensioner mod and H4/H1 lamps coming...

Posted: 23 Aug 2016 07:49
Doraemon wrote:About the breather tube to the fuel tank.. you mean the hose cracked ? I used some thick 3M shrink tube which has glue inside it to cover it.
Its called 3M MDT-A. It's bit pricey stuff but it's very strong stuff ! Not just a shrink tube which you normally see ;)
The main breather hose which acts as a secondary connection to the filler neck.
LeakingBreather.jpg (138.38 KiB) Viewed 2234 times
Thanks for the tip. After talking with a local part supplier he felt their heater hose can handle the limited exposure to fuel. I'm not convinced but for now it's a better solution than electric tape - I'll order a proper 5/8" fuel resistant hose this winter.
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The 510 is now parked for a couple of weeks. Despite the tensioner and chain being new on the KA24e (~ 8000km) I've been getting more and more start-up rattle for the first few seconds until oil pressure can take over to add proper chain tension and quiet things down. Rather than risk skipping a timing tooth I'll park until this neat little solution arrives: . Essentially he sells a small 'cap' which slips over the existing piston to provide additional length and therefore tension until oil pressure builds. I'll be sure to document the installation.

I had an alternator tension bolt break on me this weekend while driving at night. I didn't realise until I got home - there was dim & flickering lights but I figured it was the switch. Thankfully there was still somehow enough tension/friction on the belt (likely due to being on a 4 lane highway and so the engine was under constant load) to keep the water pump turning (got no higher than 165deg - I watch that gauge like a hawk now). I've gone to the fastener store to acquire a proper shouldered bolt of a higher grade.

Although it was no fault of the headlight switch, the flickering lights prompted me to go ahead and order 4 Hella H4/H1 lenses & bulbs to replace the sealed beams along with a new harness/relay to reallocate the power to bypass the main switch. I'm hoping to log lots of kms (for me) this fall and will need strong lights to do so.

Off to Vancouver tomorrow for work, some mountain biking in Squamish, and a pleasant coincidence - the All Japanese Classics show on Sunday ( Should be a fun week!

September update

Posted: 13 Sep 2016 06:34
Following up on my previous post belwo are the details to the installation of my new headlights and a tensioner for the KA24e.


The damn plastic chain guide clip that resides on the driver's side of the car came off. It was a little surprising given the engine only have ~5000km on it and the entire timing part of the engine was replaced on the rebuild. It's quite apparent with the valve cover off that the chain was very slack and at risk of skipping a timing tooth. This slackness makes quite a rattle at start-up (until oil pressure builds enough to help the spring push on the tensioner pistor), and even rubs a little on gear shifts when oil pressure drops a bit. I managed to order a new guide and removed the plastic clip and reinstalled onto the metal housing already in the engine. The key was now to prevent this from happening again, despite the clip being back in the chain was still slack enough to rattle/knock the clip back off.

After a bit of research online I found a video of a James Martin offering a 'cap' that slips over the tensioner piston to prevent the piston from sliding too far back into the tensioner housing. The process was relatively simple:
  • - Adjust cam gear until slackness transfers from driver to passenger side of the engine, you'll see the collapsed tensioner extend along with the pivoting chain guide.
    - Measure the amount of maximum piston extension - I trimmed a piece of plastic pop bottle until it fit between the tensioner body and tensioner chain guide. Use a hack saw to cut the provided cap to that same length
    - Stuff a rag down the timing cover and below the tensioner
    - Mark the chain and cam gear to ensure they're put back together exactly the same
    - Use one of the wooden wedged included in James' kit to keep the tensioner collapsed
    - Remove the cam gear, use a bungee cord hooked onto the hood to keep chain 'pulled up' to prevent it from dropping and potentially skipping teeth on the crank gear. Remove wedge.
    - Pull piston out and place the shortened cap overtop
    - Reverse process for installation
The cap was relatively easy to cut and it has a nice friction fit on the piston.
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Reinstalling the piston w/cap was not as easy as it sounds. I felt like a surgeon with multiple tools stuffed in the timing cover and headlamp.
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End result is perfect silence on start-up and shifts. Almost sounds like a different engine to be honest.


True to this build's title, I'm going to try and provide a 'newbie's summary' to headlight upgrade questions that I first had to consider.
  • - Sealed beam vs H4: Two types of headlights primarily based on how they 'connect' with their bulbs. H4 (middle top of picture below) offers the ability to swap out bulbs and has a more modern/superior lense quality. Sealed beam headlight is 'fused' with the bulb to make a single unit (top right in picture below). When a sealed beam bulb expires, the entire headlight is replaced.
    HeadlightWiringDiagram.jpg (133.77 KiB) Viewed 2118 times
    - Why are there two different wattages quoted for H4 low beam bulbs?: One wattage is for low beam, the other wattage is for when the high beams are activated. High beam engagement interacts with all 4 lights, not just the two inner high beam lights.

    - Power through the dash switch: Many circuits use a relay, a device that is designed to cope with larger amounts of power (ie" fed & fused directly off the battery), and is triggered on/off by a lower amount of power such a dash switch. In the 510's case all of the headlight's power was routed through the dash switch. This can become and issue when resistance in stock wiring increases with age and/or more power is required to feed higher wattage H4 bulbs. Upgrading the headlight circuit with an aftermarket wiring harness introduces one or more relays, and converts the dash switch to a lower powered role of simply turning the relay(s) on/off.
    H4WiringKit.JPG (125.6 KiB) Viewed 2118 times
Installation of the new headlights & wiring was relatively simple when I purchased an aftermarket (eBay ~$20) H4 wiring harness:
  • - Disconnect the battery
    - Remove grill
    - Remove the two outer headlight trim pieces
    - Unplug the 4 headlights and then unscrew the 4 bolts holding each of the two headlight housings
    - Unscrew the 3 screws holding the chrome headlight bezel/ring to release the headlight from it's housing. Repeat 3 more times to swap all 4 headlights.
    - Reverse to reinstall the headlight housings.
    - Plug the new H4 sockets from the new wiring harness into the new H4 bulbs. I had to modify the two inner High Beam sockets to accomodate the H1 connection
    - Ground all 4 sockets/headlights to the chassis
    - Use the stock passenger low beam (right-most) light socket to plug into the new wiring harness. This plug & play setup piggy-backs the stock switch signals to power the new relays.
    HeadlightUpgrade.jpg (248.01 KiB) Viewed 2118 times
    - Clean up the wiring and you're done!
All that was left was to install the new dash vent generously given to be by FunWithMonkeys/Norm. Thanks again eh!
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She's all waxed up and ready for a final push to winter.
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 16 Sep 2016 21:38
by Byron510
I have a question about your filler neck mod.
The original neck has the vent out the top of the first elbow - of course this vent is nessecary for filling.
In you mod'd system, the vent line goes out the back, it almost appears to be clocked pointed down. Does this effect the filling action? Can it be filled right up without boiling out the cap end of the filler at the gas station?

This is a mod many of us will be doing soon as the OEM rubber parts become harder to find in good shape.