72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

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Rush
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72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 23 Jun 2014 18:57

Just a little background first. I bought my 72 510 near my home in Simi Valley, CA in 1989 just before my 16th birthday and I've had it ever since. I moved to northern WI many years later & dragged the 510 along, but only drove it a short while before the timing chain went out (1997).

At that time, I had a boyfriend who was a professional machinist and he built a lot of the local racecar engines. He took the head off the Datsun, rebuilt it, and did all the "racing" modifications on the ports, seats, & whatever. Once the head was back on, I started the car and it hemorrhaged water between the bellhousing and engine & ran terrible. I didn't have the money or mechanical aptitude to fix it at the time, so I parked the car on a slab behind my dad's house. I knew someday, I'd have the ability to fix it, so I waited.

Fast forward 17 years. My dad passed away and I had to go get the Datsun from his place before his wife sold the house. Now, I have my car at my house and I have the mechanical aptitude and money to fix him (my Datsun is a him) up.

Here are some photos.
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Mattndew76
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Mattndew76 » 23 Jun 2014 19:12

The velvet bucket seat looks cozy.
An Idea doesn't work unless you do.

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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 23 Jun 2014 19:22

Ha! It's awful. It's one of those lightweight racing buckets. It's about as comfortable as a wash bucket.

I don't know how many photos are allowed to be in one post, so I'm just adding a post.
Here are a few more pics.
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Here is my progress in the last week.
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I removed all the freeze plugs, they were all rotted out.
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Once I got the head off, I found out that I have flat top pistons and the motor was bored .020 over (?) and unfortunately, piston numbers 2 & 4 have broken skirts and piston number 1 is broken all together. Lots of broken rings to round out the carnage, too.
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The rod and main bearings were good and there is no damage to the journals, that I can see.
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On that note, can anyone ID that crank? My engine seems to have quite a few little mysteries.

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Mattndew76
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Mattndew76 » 23 Jun 2014 19:26

Get all that stuff off that Mopar!! ;)
An Idea doesn't work unless you do.

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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 23 Jun 2014 19:29

Incidentally, the 70 Road Runner is for sale.

Good eye!

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Mattndew76
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Mattndew76 » 23 Jun 2014 19:36

$50,000 or $60,000 for the Roadrunner?
An Idea doesn't work unless you do.

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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 23 Jun 2014 19:44

I wish. It's a bit of a project car, as well. $12K
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Plymouth-Road-R ... ars_Trucks

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okayfine
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by okayfine » 24 Jun 2014 06:36

Just for edification, was there a headgasket installed, and by your estimation had it been torqued properly? The original failure seems odd. Not much point in diagnosing it now, just odd.
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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zKars
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by zKars » 24 Jun 2014 08:07

I think the size of the valve bite in the top of that piston gives at least one clue.

No matter, enjoy the 510 restoration. Sorry to hear about the road runner. Perhaps an homage to it can be put on the 510, like a switch that opens an air scoop...

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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 24 Jun 2014 08:13

Well, I never had a head gasket failure, as far as I know, though. The head was removed to do the timing chain and head work, but when it was replaced, it was a FelPro with the rubber "printing" seals. The water hemorrhaging was from the severely rotted out freeze plug between the engine and bellhousing. Just a perfect storm of failures to sideline my car. :(

When I tore the engine down the other day, I checked the cylinders and they are in nice shape. I don't see or feel any noticeable scoring, however, they each have a half-moon ding out of the very top lip. It looks like valve contact at some point in the engine's life, but not after the new head. The valves themselves and the head show no signs of any sort of damage. Since there is zero miles on the engine after the head rebuild, I can only guess it was prior.

The flat top pistons that are in the engine have .50 stamped into them, that's metric for .020 over, correct? I am hoping the bores can simply be honed and I can replace the pistons with .50 flat tops, but I have to see what the machine shop says about the dings at the tops of the cylinders. It looks like it's above the rings, but I want to make sure it's ok.
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I like the idea of a little memento of the Road Runner. Maybe a little badge. I don't think I could ever afford an air grabber hood for the Datsun. lol!

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Dave Patten
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Dave Patten » 24 Jun 2014 12:19

By the looks of the ding in the cylinder wall the valve hit it.

L16 bore engines would do this if you install oversize valves. Only way around it is to clearance the bore at the valve (stay above the top ring swept area) or overbore the engine to have clearance.
Dave Patten
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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 24 Jun 2014 13:48

I believe part of the "racing" work that was done to the head included oversized valves. I'll have to measure them to be sure; it's been so long now, I can't remember. I know he "ported and polished" the intake and exhaust runners and smoothed any intrusions in the paths. Whether that actually does anything performance wise, I don't know. Could be one of those old racing urban legends.

Thank you for the information about clearancing the lip where the valves may hit. If that's the case, I may be able to just have the bores honed and not bored to the next oversize. I'd rather not bore, if I can help it, but if it has to be done, it's not the end of the world. I have to buy pistons regardless.

On that note, is there a good supplier for these pistons? I think they're 240Z pistons? I've seen them sold in sets of 6, but I obviously just need 4.

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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 24 Jun 2014 14:24

Another update, while I'm at it. Yesterday, I did some blasting on the car to assess the rust and get the crossmember cleaned up & stuff. The car definitely has some rust, but it's not as bad as I had anticipated. The area I'm really concerned about is the lip of the passenger quarter panel. Is there a source for sheet metal panels for 510's? I've seen fiberglass, etc, but I'd rather have metal. The quarter panels are especially concerning & I'd really like to find repair panels for that area. I saw some rust repair panels on ebay, but good grief!, the shipping!

Pics!

"Take me to your leader."
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And a pic of my car in it's former glory. California, 1991.
The front one is an orange 71 2-door, the middle is a 71(?) 4-door, and the little guy in the back is mine.
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okayfine
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by okayfine » 24 Jun 2014 14:30

Circa 1991 picture is awesome.

As for metal panels, Dave is (again) the man. Check out futofab.com, linked in his signature above. He has some stuff already for sale, other stuff coming on the boat. He's the only game in town, and I never thought I'd see the day when 510 sheetmetal would be reproduced.
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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Rush
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Re: 72 2 Door 510 Restoration-25 years in the making

Post by Rush » 24 Jun 2014 15:10

D'oh! I didn't even see his signature! I'll check it out, that brings me a lot of hope! :D

Off to check it out...

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