LD20 turbo wagon build

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510tdi
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Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 18 May 2016 08:53

Thanks for the update Jon!
We're all rootin' for ya.

510tdi
Posts: 112
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 16 Jun 2016 08:28

OK Jon,
I'm gettin' antsy again. Too long with no update, the suspense is killin' me! What's up?
I went to the Canby Datsun show last weekend and half expected to see you there.

jon510
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Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 16 Jun 2016 13:06

I'm tooling around in the wagon these days trying to work out a few bugs. It seems to be running fine except it does smoke a fair bit on first starting and running, but it seems to clear when it warms up. I had an exhaust made up which is a bit sub par, and I swear I'm getting an exhaust leak in the cabin but can't seem to find it so hope I'm not gassing myself out.

The car is very driveable but seems quite a bit less torquey than I had expected. Reading http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25128&hilit=diesel it sounds like tedneugent found it full of torque even with 3.33s in the rear. I find it feels pretty gutless until the boost kicks in. Wickipedia specs give it ~130 lbft at 2400rpm, this does seem to be where it's happiest. Definitely not easy to peel the tires though, and I assume I've got a 3.90 or 3.70 in the rear if I'm recalling correctly for the wagon. I hope this isn't a reflection of the condition of the engine as it really appears to have come off the identical vehicle to tedneugent's.

I'm not quite sure what shape the engine is in. It sure smokes a lot upon startup, and I know this is common for the old diesels, but it's more than I'm used to with my landcruiser and than I expected. It does seem to clear mostly as it warms up. Driving it, it's quite smooth, just needs more go below where the turbo kicks in. And when the turbo kicks in ;-) Maybe I'm just spoiled by my 2dr.

I've put in a fair bit of a dynamat equivalent but it's still pretty noisy. I think it's just the nature of the diesel beast. The potential exhaust leak might not be helping, I have to do a bit more sleuthing on that, and I will dynamat the firewall better. On the highway it's a bit loud but I've yet to install the outer window rubbers so we'll see if that makes a difference. The car seems reasonable on fuel, it's hard to tell so far as my speedo isn't working, I need a new cable and probably will get a garmin to actually get an accurate read. Then I can tell how my cruising RPM will work out, I think sitting at ~110kph seems ok but much faster gets to be a bit heavy on the engine noise.

I had been having some problems with overheating, I thought, but it's very hard to get a proper gauge in this car. The ports in the thermostat housing at 12mm x 1.25 which is very hard to adapt to any meters. I think the electrical gauge I got from autometer may work with an adapter they're sending me shortly. I hope. Otherwise I will have to T into the heater lines to get a proper gauge installed, the sender I have reads quite high on the stock gauge but gives me a bit of info anyway. I also went to do a valve adjust but unfortunately the adjusting and set nuts are difficult to access, it might work with crows foot wrenches but may be too tight in which case I"ll need to find a special tool. After that's done I was thinking I'd see if I can get the engine compression tested +- a leak down test. It was supposed to be compression tested before I imported it, but the guys in malaysia didn't mention they don't compression test diesels until after they had my money ;-) I also have to figure out a tach, I had hoped to tap into the crank sensor on the engine and figure out a way to get a tach wire out of this, but after some googling I"m not sure I"ll be able to figure this out. I may just end up getting one of the autometer alternator driven ones.

In any case, it is pretty fun to drive. The suspension is quite firm, but I wouldn't go a lot softer. It will be interesting to see what it's like with a sway bar up front. I've added a couple creature comforts like a civic center console (with cup holders!) and a new deck so I can drown out the diesel with some tunes, so it's feeling more like a real car. I blew up the plastic bushings on my shifter lever and installed some new brass chrysler door hinge bushings and the transmission feels tighter than anything I've had in a datsun before. So it's getting there....

I'll post a few pics soon. I've been holding off getting all the trim on until I either get the whole car wet sanded and polished or even re-painted, the base unfortunately has a bit of a weird patchy effect to it. But I'm getting antsy to get it back in one piece, and given I'd be looking at another big bill I'm having a hard time convincing myself to go ahead with the latter. But if not now, maybe never, I know I'll not want to take everything apart again anytime soon.

Jon

510tdi
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 16 Jun 2016 23:06

Great to hear that you're driving it.
Overall good,eh? There's always going to be teething issues. I wonder if there's some adjustment to the injector pump that can be done. Maybe the wizard of injector pumps (Giles in Ontario) would see fit to work on a Nissan pump.
I'm still on the fence whether to convert my Volvo or go back to my 510 idea. Either way I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the VW engine. However I think I may have decided to go with the earlier mechanical injected AAZ IDI engine instead of the TDI. The AAZs were rated at 75hp/114lbs torque but Giles claims he's rebuilding/modifying the pump, turning up he boost and getting 150hp/200+lbs torque. He said his 3300lb Jetta was 0-60 in under 8 seconds and still getting 40mpgs. A 2200lb 510 would be even better I'd think.

Let me know when you come down south,
Bryan

510tdi
Posts: 112
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 29 Jul 2016 19:34

Hey Jon,
Hope you're having a good summer. Any news about the wagon?

510tdi
Posts: 112
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 19 Aug 2016 22:32

Anything happening?

jon510
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 29 Aug 2016 15:56

Bryan,


Not a lot to update. I got new glow plugs for the car and it starts easier, but it's a pretty terrible smoke show. It's hard to drive because of the fumes. Unfortunately I think the engine is probably toast. I'm having a heck of a time finding anyone who will touch it to do a compression test and assess the engine, I think it's too weird for most and isn't the typical vw or american diesel most shops are used to dealing with. I have finally found a place that will do a compression test in a couple weeks so that's a start. I'm a bit worried it will need a complete rebuild, and where to start with that is a bit of a puzzle, I haven't found anyone really interested in going there....

The wagon itself is coming together otherwise. Paint looks great, and I've got most of my trim back on, just need to remove the outer door chromes and figure out a way to install new rubber seals. I think the rear sway bar will have to come off, it's too stiff in the back and lifts the tire pretty easily and spins, hopefully the 215lb springs will do the trick. I haven't figured out a front bar yet, I was going to get the futofab bar re-bent but I'm going to wait to see what happens with this engine first before modifying it. To be honest, I'm starting to think the engine may have to come out if I can't find someone willing to service it, I'm not sure I'm willing to embark on a full rebuild unless I can find someone confident to take the job on. Maybe an SR will be the solution, hopefully not and I can get this thing actually driveable.

Jon

510tdi
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Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 30 Aug 2016 00:10

Jon,
I'm really sad to hear the beast is sick. It's a pretty simple turbo diesel engine, I can't imagine there's not someone who'd take on the rebuild.

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bertvorgon
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby bertvorgon » 30 Aug 2016 07:35

Hey Jon,

Sorry to hear your problems, but, if that was me at this point, I would pull that out, cut your losses and just put a nice KA in there and call it dialed! Good bottom end and wicked on the highway. You car looks nice now and why fight an engine that has major issues and may continue to haunt you as no one wants to work on it.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

510tdi
Posts: 112
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 30 Aug 2016 08:21

I can only speak on why this build is interesting to me. The idea of having a dime with good performance AND exceptional mileage, plus the option of alternative fuels is very appealing. From what I've experienced and read, none of the the other Datsun/Nissan engine options offer the "exceptional mileage" piece of the puzzle. My wagon with it's L-20, Weber, and Z-car 5 speed is lucky to get 24mpg cruising at 55-60. In my book, that sucks. What would swapping in a KA get? 25mpg? I've been very excited to see how my favorite 510 build will turn out since this thread began. I commend Jon on his beautiful build and hope everything gets sorted but I'd understand "cutting your losses" too.

510rob
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510rob » 30 Aug 2016 10:23

See what Allan Wong has to say about it ---> http://westcoastturbos.com/

jon510
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Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 30 Aug 2016 18:49

I'm not quite ready to give up on this project yet but I am a bit surprised at how hard it is to even have someone look at this engine. I would have thought with all the JDM diesels kicking around here it would be easy, but people seem to want to stick with only what they're used to. Fair enough I guess. After driving this thing I'm just a little skeptical that I will ever really get performance out of it, it is just so gutless, the stock L16 had more torque than this thing does. That said, if the compression is shot and I can find someone to do a rebuild on it I think it's probably worth it given how far into it I am. I just worry it will be one of those things that keeps getting more complicated given nobody has any experience with this thing around here.

Anyway, I'm going to give it a breather for a bit and see if the place that will compression test it has any luck and whether they have any suggestions. I might try switching up the oil to something a bit thicker in the meantime and adjusting the valves and seeing if I notice any difference, seems unlikely. A KA wasn't quite the way I'd been thinking to go with this project, although it's a reasonable thought. Sure would be a lot quieter than this thing ;-) I've got more soundproofing in this car than any of my other 510s and it's still twice as loud as anything else I've driven. I guess that's an old diesel for ya...

J

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bertvorgon
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby bertvorgon » 31 Aug 2016 05:13

Sorry...I guess I give up too easily...I just feel your frustration a bit....I know what you have been through with this car
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

510tdi
Posts: 112
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 13 Oct 2016 22:01

Hey Jon,
Any luck with the diesel shop?

jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 14 Oct 2016 10:01

I was just meaning to post

I've had a bit of luck. I found guy near my place who seems to know his way around diesels (Adria import). Compression was tested and is good across the board. He checked the injectors and one of the nozzles and one was stuck wide open. Probably the cause for much of my smoke. He cleaned them all up and it definitely runs better. Less smoke on start up and a bit more power and smoother. He was concerned the timing was potentially off so I took everything off the front again and we checked it, no problems except the belt was a bit tight which may have been causing a slight problem with the timing too. He also checked the actual timing at the injector pump which is fine.

I've been driving it around the past week. It certainly isn't a spirited beast, but it's a bit more fun to drive. The power band is very narrow. Nothing down low until the turbo kicks in, and nothing up high either. I'm surprised how gutless it is at low rpms for a 2L, but it's certainly not a high performance engine. I will need to do some more work on soundproofing as it sure is loud despite a bunch of dynamat. And it still smokes a bit when first running, I found new injector nozzles so I'll probably have those installed to see if that helps. I need to get around to a valve adjust too, but it's a really finicky arrangement to do this, hopefully I have the right tools (I had some wrenches bent for the purpose that I haven't tried out yet).

I ran by Specialty engineering yesterday to see if Andy would have a look at tuning the thing and turning up the boost. He seemed amused +- mily impressed with the car, I think mostly the body (thanks Mike!) and I think if we can figure out a way to turn up the fuel on the pump he'll have a look at it when he has time. I assume this will need a pyrometer. I had been waiting on ordering anything else to see if I could get the basic issues sorted, but I finally have ordered a diesel tach, boost gauge, and boost adjuster to install. So I'll get these setup and see where we're at. I would love to somehow be able to set up the factory orange needle tach with the diesel, but I haven't found any way to do this and don't have many resources to look into. THere is a crank sensor I was hoping to use, MSD makes some kind of funky magnetic pickup I was thinking might work, but for now I'll use the autometer gauge and see if I can find a way to integrate it into the stock pod.

Oh, and it seems pretty good on fuel. I don't have a proper speedometer, and probably will just get a garmin, but it seems better than any 510 I've had before (not shocking). I think the only downside with the diesel in the wagon is the vapors tend to come in easily, it's hard to drive with the window down at all. Closed is ok. I might see if extending the exhaust somehow will help.

Anyway, a bit of progress!

Jon


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