Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

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zKars
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Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 05 Nov 2013 12:49

This thread is about my return to 510's, which was technically my first foray into Datsunland. I got lost for a while (30+ years) when I decided to abandon my lowly and beat up 69 510 some time in the very early 80's, and proceeded to have a series of sorrid affairs with its pretty sister, (cousin?), the 240z. Those damn things have been consuming my life for a very long while now, and frankly I wanted a break. Time for something new (or new again), a change from the same-old. Only so many Z's you can restore and/or modify. Not much to do that hasn't already been done MANY times.

Now I'm lazy, so I didn't want to wander too far from the flame, (I have a yard full of Z parts, surely SOME of this stuff would fit on a 510!) so I figured, why not do the 510 thing again? I've certainly been aware of the 510's growing popularity as many in the Z world own one or more of "both", and I see many vendors supporting both Z's and 510's. Popularity is rising, availability of parts and restorable shells of both is falling, so there is merit in expanding my Datsun influence to 510's to continue a personal objective of supporting the brand overall for myself and an increasing group of Datsun nuts, young and old.

Now just what would I do with a 510 if I had one? My personal '73 240z is a many year labour of love that is a blast to drive. I goes on yearly long drives, lots of local jaunts, has every modification ever attempted to Z's, but the reality is I don't drive it that much day to day. Maybe, if I had a really fun to drive 510, I'de take it to work, to the store, buy it a trailer and haul Z parts back from god knows where all the time (something my boring Ford PU does now), you know, drive the bag off the damn thing and not worry about someone stealing it, or putting a dent in it at a parking lot. Something I just don't do with the Z. Sad but true.

So that's what I'm aiming for at the moment. Get a good body (rule #1 in buying a Datsun to restore, ANY Datsun, lesson learned long ago), get a simple Datsun drive line, modernize, safety-ize and fun-er-ize the heck out of it, put a decidedly so-so paint job on it after the rust repairs are complete (no $15 grand sparkly paint job that I'll worry about all the time) and just have fun.

The posts from here on out will chronicle the progress of the build. Maybe it won't be the "usual" of what you see here, as I said, I have a lot of Z parts, who knows which ones will show up bolted onto this 510, somehow..... somwhere.....
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zKars
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door. The 'Plan"

Postby zKars » 05 Nov 2013 12:55

Every Restoration needs a plan. Just so you have something to refer to and ignore from time to time. "Naw, I can't do that, can't afford it." Or "decided to do something else"

1. Strip it and lay its soul bare. Chop out rust. Sand blast old crap off the bottom and the engine bay.

2. Fix holes left from step 1.

3. Seal the underside. No water getting into this again where it shouldn't go. (this also seals water in where it is already... I know.... Datsun's aren't forever)

4. Clean stuff. Sandblast stuff. Everything. Paint and seal it with POR or equivalent.

5. Buy new stuff. Brakes, brake lines, engine, electrical, suspension, OEM stuff that missing/broke, all that stuff.

oh yeah, step 1a, kill all the spiders you find (there are lots) that came with it, from the swamp back at Jason's

6. By used stuff. Get to know you local and distant 510 parts dealers. Cruise kijiji and ebay and the like incessantly and buy bits you've always wanted. (you know who you are...)

7. Put it all back together.

8. Go for a nice drive, break it, start all over all again.

9. Get that out of province inspection out of the way.

10. Decide you need more power.... better handling, Oh yeah, that's later...
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door. Step 1

Postby zKars » 05 Nov 2013 12:58

Step 1.

Here is the result of stripping it bare and laying its soul out for all to see.

my Z rotisserie is all wrong, so I built a nifty 90 degree rotating rotisserie. $50 bucks and you can roll your 510 without hurting it this time (don't ask....)

Sand blaster's coming. Roll this out into the back lane, make a big mess the neighbors will complain about, again, and get rid of 40+ years of crap on the bottom and engine bay. THis year I'll say "I'm adding sand to prevent you from sliding on the ice back here! You should thank me!! Ingrates!" (It snowed this weekend big time....)
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qwik510
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby qwik510 » 05 Nov 2013 14:11

Wow, pretty cool start and nice intro.

Yes, 510s are great and a nice change from the Z car. I have had both, sold my Z last Year (72 240Z with LS1/T56 swap)

I love the home made rotisserie. Great idea.

I will be watching your progress. Good luck.
Enjoy The Ride!
David
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zKars
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 05 Nov 2013 14:57

Thanks for the nice comments. I'll try to do this justice as I go along.

I'll try and be a good boy and do things like post the exact dimensions of this style of rotis. so that others can make one without the trial and error part.

The more I play with it, the more things I see that are "same as a Z", "damn near the same as a Z" and "not the same as a Z at all but should be". I'm comparing everything I take off to its nearest Z equivalent that I have on hand. Should take pictures and post that stuff too in its own thread. Lots of this "what's the same as a Z and what isn't and what could I use" has been done in the past, but I suspect its not all in one place, and certainly not recorded with much accuracy. Its not often you get to lay Z (its two major variants 240 and 280), ZX and 510 front struts next to each other for comparison. Same for front cross members, control arms, T/C rods, etc etc etc... As parts availability for both continues to fade, having a good cross reference between them and a shared list of suppliers, will be more and more important. As will the sharing of tricks learned on both sides that we all can use.

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jason
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby jason » 05 Nov 2013 16:16

Nice Jim! You're making progress fast! I know we talked over the drivetrain, but, having driven the KA, I can say that it's fun! I like the rotisserie, sure makes getting at the bottom a lot easier! Good luck with her and keep us posted!
Jason

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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 13 Nov 2013 17:12

Big progress today. Had the chassis (bottom, engine bay, wheel wells and back panel) by a mobile blaster (Natech Calgary. Thanks Rob! Only had the police show up once! A neighbor was a bit concerned about the dust and noise.

My 90 degree rotisserie made it easy to roll it out into the lane, do the wheel wells and engine bay, then flip it up and do the bottom.

The mess in the lane was surprisingly small in the lane. He used 4 50lb bags of "Eviro-blast". Appears to be a metal oxide product.

Now I have seam weld all the important bits, then get a coat of Chassis Saver on it to seal.

There are lots of old repairs that need some re-doing, and really very little generic rust damage.

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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby jason » 13 Nov 2013 19:06

Dang Jim, that's awesome! Guess this part really needs to be done before the snows though!
Jason

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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 17 Feb 2014 17:28

Time for a progress report. It's been a busy winter.

There was more body work and rust repair than I initially envisioned, but that's not too surprising. What Datsun rust repair ever ends up with less than you thought was there? Never happened to me yet.

This one had quite a body repair history and there were several things that I had to undo then redo. The rear quarter repairs
were more extensive than expected, especially the discovery of wheel well rot inside the rear doors. There was a piece of duct tape on one that was hiding quite a hole. Gave me a chance to practice my panel beating/curving skills with my new East Wood english wheel and shrinker/stretcher. Nice Christmas present. Anyway, that's behind us now.

The roll-it-on-its-side rottiserie was invaluable. Only downside has been working on the areas behind the rear support.

Finally started the coatings on the underside and engine bay over the last few days. After the Chassis Saver coats, the engine bay will be seam sealed and bondo'ed, then final color. The underside will stay in ChassisSaver with bed liner in the wheel wells and gravel spray areas. All body seams and repairs were welded and seam sealed. There will be no place for moisture to enter any longer. After paint and everything else, the entire "interior" frame will be flooded with "Rust Check" to hopefully keep this thing in piece for the forseeable future. There will NO excuse not to drive this thing when ever I darn well please.

I've been sandblasting and coating all the suspension parts as I got tired of panel beating and welding. It's getting pretty much new everything mechanical, including brake and fuel lines, and very nice 2.4 litre engine, but that's for another post.

Underside assembly is next. The brake and fuel lines will be run in the trans tunnel, no more under the floor board and thru the wheel well nonsense. Who's idea was that? Electric low pressure pump, SS flex lines, no hose clamps.

Few pictures of the under side and the like just for teasers.


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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 17 Feb 2014 17:34

Few more pics
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zKars
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 17 Feb 2014 17:36

ok, one more
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two_68_510s
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby two_68_510s » 17 Feb 2014 17:44

Restoring is definitely the word here, very thorough.
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: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby qwik510 » 17 Feb 2014 18:12

Wow. Great Progress. Looks like you will have the rust locked out well.

One suggestion. Since the battery tray has been removed, now would be a great time to remove the indentation where the tray used to be mounted. If you pound it out and smooth it to match the other inner fender well, it will look much nicer when you paint it and install that good looking motor. It is one of those subtle items that most people will not notice if you do it but will more then likely notice if you don't.

Keep up the great work.
Enjoy The Ride!
David
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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby zKars » 17 Feb 2014 19:10

Qwik, excellent idea about that indentation removal. Simple! Here dolly dolly....

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Re: Restoring a '69 510 4 door.

Postby housew » 18 Feb 2014 11:00

nice work!

looks like a lot of restore projects going on. Makes it easy to see the problem areas on these cars and how everything goes back together. Nice job, keep it up


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