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papamilad
papamilad New Reader
4/5/21 6:14 p.m.

Hello, you may recall me alongside a few of Wreck Racing's challenge builds or my own manual swapped LS400 challenge car. Recently picked up a pretty dang cherry S30 to replace said challenge LS400. Been my dream car since I was about 13 and with how crazy prices have been getting, when this one popped up for a great price I had to jump on it. The story goes that the original owner passed away years ago and his widow left the car parked in a shed up until about 2013 when some mechanics had found it, gave it some fresh fluids and plugs and it fired right up. Last registered in 1993. That is when the PO drove by one day, and took it home. From there he basically kept the car stock and just enjoyed every now and then, never even registering it. One day he got the motivation to get it in the garage and tear it down for a full restoration. Took apart the interior and then life got in the way and there it sat for the next 3+ years. And then that's when I swept in. Its a fantastic example, about as rust free and as close as you can get to a barn find without paying an arm and a leg for one of these. PO also included a full reupholstry kit. The best part is, when we got it home we poured some oil down the cylinders and bumped the starter with the plugs out of it and it seemed pretty smooth. The gas in the tank looked like mountain dew but still smelled like gas. We decided to hook up the feed line and try to start it and it had zero problems lighting off on the first go! Off to a great start with a great base for a project. Que pic dump:

And now for the money shot:

Video of the first start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM5hkLMI-7g

And of course, as mint as it is its still a 45 year old Datsun so theres gonna be rust, but it isnt too bad. This is all that I have managed to find:

Very repairable stuff. Bout as bad as a 2 year old car in Ohio really. Anyways expect the posts to be sparse while I wrap up my masters but I cant wait to start digging into this thing and reviving the car that ignited my passion for all things Nissan and automotive in general!

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/5/21 7:11 p.m.

Ohhhhh.......that looks like a great start.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
4/5/21 7:49 p.m.

Came here for the great title, staying for the Z content. 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/5/21 7:56 p.m.

Jealous. Posting here so I can follow along, green with envy.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
4/6/21 7:39 a.m.

That really is a great starting point.  My 24 y.o. band director in HS had one of these and generated quite a lot of envy with it.  Still one of my favorite cars.  Good luck with it.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/6/21 7:58 a.m.

They are really fun to drive, I ran one for about 3 years in the mid 80's.  The seating position, long hood (reminds me of an E-Type) and the great instrumentation, strong fuel injected 6 cyllinder all made for a great ride. Will be watching this one, looks like you found a real gem!

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
4/13/21 8:48 p.m.

Not really a picture-heavy update but I put some time in the car last weekend to get it running/idling nice. After diagnosing the efi harness I saw quite a few components not reading/showing open loop. Some further digging has basically convinced me that all my problems revolve around corroded connectors. Just about everything I disconnected was green so a hopefully a few hours scrubbing each connector will get her running like new!

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
4/17/21 8:31 p.m.

Good news is spent a good amount of time cleaning up the connectors and now the car runs perfect! Still blows my mind how quick this thing starts: https://youtu.be/NVAOEqZY8no

On the other front, started to remove some of the sound deadening to assess the metal underneath. Wouldn't be a datsun without rust. It's not too bad but that front section is rusted through and there's a few holes probably starting to be a bit too big to call pinholes. Trying to decide what the best way forward is, as in can I get away with just some rust converter/sound deadening/ carpet and a pinch of cognitive dissonance or should I actually take the time to make a proper patch? Would love for some rust aficionados to chime in.

 

 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/17/21 9:29 p.m.

Nice find, that's surely "low rust" as these things go. 

 With your car already taken apart and easy right now to cut and weld, I'd be inclined to do exactly that.  I'd probably just get a hole saw and do a 1" hole around those little holes (assuming that's into clean metal) and then just tack some metal plugs into the holes and seam seal it all up good. 

note: rust repair is definitely something I'd say I do well (though I do it often), so that may be terrible advice lol. 

Rocambolesque
Rocambolesque Reader
4/17/21 10:32 p.m.

Use a wire wheel on a grinder and see how the metal is damaged underneath. Cut everything that is pitted. The rust on this car isn't bad. 

GDare
GDare New Reader
4/19/21 1:55 a.m.

Hey, I'll have you know it takes at least 3 years to get rust that bad in Ohio

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/19/21 2:07 a.m.

A friend of mine bought one new in 76 (day after he got out of HS, and promptly drove from VA to CA and back. Took about a month on the way out, stayed 2 months, and about 2 months on the trip back. Kept it till late 80's. By then it was so rusty, parts were falling off it! He loved that car! Last few months he drove it, both doors were wired shut (so the would not fall completely of) and he crawled through the hatch to get in... And he's 6'2" . That's true love!

Fun looking score. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
4/19/21 7:21 a.m.

Wow, that's not bad at all. I agree if you want to get a better picture of how much you need to cut out, hit it with the cup brush and watch those holes enlarge suddenly. But still, that's nothing. You won't need new pans. I think small patches would be perfectly adequate, which would also be a great way to learn rust repair and keep your sanity. 

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
5/3/21 7:46 a.m.

Slowly but surely, we make progress. I need a new welder, this one has discrete heat settings and the only usable one is maxed out cause anything below that is a huge splattery mess.

Also popped the valve cover, this motor had to have been rebuilt at some point because it looks brand new. Numbers matching block though.

Obligatory valve cover rice.

Next project is going to be tackling the mess that is the "bodywork" done on the rear valance. Plan is to just cut out as small of a rectangle as I can for and maintaing the curled bit at the bottom so I don't need to use an english wheel.

And yes that is a 0.25" thick layer of bondo over a bolt

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
1/31/22 12:47 a.m.

Where did you get to on this? Driving?

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
1/31/22 10:27 a.m.

This thread is useless without updates!

 

 

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
2/1/22 9:45 p.m.

Apologies gents! Between grad school, work, and putting in some hours into building Wreck Racing's S10 challenge car I didn't quite have the time to work on the car. Been making some good progress the last few weekends though, albeit haven't been documenting as much. I'll try to get everything up to speed here and do a better job documenting from here on.

 

So after discovering the rear end damage and assessing what needed to be done, I decided to let a body shop across the street handle the rear end repair by replacing the damaged panel with just a cutout piece of scrap I gave em. There was some frame damage and I wasn't quite confident in my abilities with a come-along to do a good job of it myself. While they did a solid job straightening the frame in the rear, unfortunately the body work was less than stellar.

Don't quite know what they were going for with that contour but luckily I was able to snag a discount and scavange it with some relief cuts and rewelding.

Solid 10-footer, will definitely paint it that bit to match better eventually but Im happy for now.

Also threw some paint on my floor patch and added some insulation over it. Don't have good pictures but I'm sure y'all can imagine.

Since I also had the gas tank out for the repairs, I brought it over to a rad shop to have it cleaned and red-kote'd. I made an attempt at de-rusting myself by filling it with vinegar but couldn't keep the thing from flash rusting so I caved and had it done. Well worth it, fresh gas was coming out just straight brown through the filter prior to this.

 

 

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
2/1/22 9:57 p.m.

Some more work I've done that don't quite warrant pictures.

Valve lash adjustment, plug wires, brakes, front wheel bearings, air filter, fixed a bunch of HVAC plastic that was broken (though it seems unfortunately the blower motor just makes noise without and air flowing).  Also replaced a bad window regulator and replaced a bad switch inside the engine bay maintenance light as well as some fresh fusible links.

I fought the rear brakes for a bit since it was my first time doing drums. On my first attempt at driving it, the driver side rear cylinder blew out so I couldn't do much more than put around the parking lot a bit. Decided to rebuild both drums but managed to mix up the cylinders between sides. The handbrake levers were in the right spot but the little adjustment gear was not so the ramp on the teeth were pointed in such a way that pulling the hand brake lever did not extend the adjustment screw, so on the 2nd attempt at driving I over-extended the passenger cylinder and lost rear brakes again. Eventually I managed to get it right and was able to go for a solid hour drive! Didn't stray too far from my shop or get on the high way (no seat belts and 20 year old all seasons...) but this car is a riot! Footage to follow...

In the mean time, some pictures! Somewhere along the way I snagged an old urethane 240Z airdam and turnsignals for a pretty solid deal. Also came with these really weird mesh headlamp housings.

Started working on the interior as well. PO gave me a reupholstry kit with the car as well, though its for a 77-78 but it seems to fit well enough.

 

Obligatory victory burnout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmDxqFaHz30

 

Put insurance on her and now I'm just waiting on some wheels I ordered. Gonna hopefully do a mountain run soon!

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
2/1/22 11:16 p.m.

Hurray! Thank you! 

Congrats on first burnout!

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/2/22 8:13 a.m.

I didn't realize these cars came with floor pans!  I've never seen one with them before  

 

Color me very jealous!!

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
2/2/22 2:02 p.m.
papamilad said:

Some more work I've done that don't quite warrant pictures.

Valve lash adjustment, plug wires, brakes, front wheel bearings, air filter, fixed a bunch of HVAC plastic that was broken (though it seems unfortunately the blower motor just makes noise without and air flowing).  Also replaced a bad window regulator and replaced a bad switch inside the engine bay maintenance light as well as some fresh fusible links.

I fought the rear brakes for a bit since it was my first time doing drums. On my first attempt at driving it, the driver side rear cylinder blew out so I couldn't do much more than put around the parking lot a bit. Decided to rebuild both drums but managed to mix up the cylinders between sides. The handbrake levers were in the right spot but the little adjustment gear was not so the ramp on the teeth were pointed in such a way that pulling the hand brake lever did not extend the adjustment screw, so on the 2nd attempt at driving I over-extended the passenger cylinder and lost rear brakes again. Eventually I managed to get it right and was able to go for a solid hour drive! Didn't stray too far from my shop or get on the high way (no seat belts and 20 year old all seasons...) but this car is a riot! Footage to follow...

In the mean time, some pictures! Somewhere along the way I snagged an old urethane 240Z airdam and turnsignals for a pretty solid deal. Also came with these really weird mesh headlamp housings.

Started working on the interior as well. PO gave me a reupholstry kit with the car as well, though its for a 77-78 but it seems to fit well enough.

 

Obligatory victory burnout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmDxqFaHz30

 

Put insurance on her and now I'm just waiting on some wheels I ordered. Gonna hopefully do a mountain run soon!

Only thing that can be done to 20 year old all seasons is to obliterate them in a cloud of smoke 

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
2/2/22 2:21 p.m.

Sweet ride! I'm jealous

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
2/2/22 2:50 p.m.
StripesSA1 said:  Only thing that can be done to 20 year old all seasons is to obliterate them in a cloud of smoke 

Duly noted. Will do with my S30 ASAP

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
2/2/22 3:47 p.m.

Lookin good!!

papamilad
papamilad New Reader
2/5/22 11:05 p.m.

Little bit of exhaust work today. As much as I enjoy the sounds of pure violence that is a straight piped L28, this thing needs some mufflage to be driven as often as I want to. I had an old fart can lying around that my friend CTeo so graciously polished for me. Also picked up a 50$ Amazon cat too because apparently I'm getting old and don't like smelling like fuel everytime I drive my cars.

Pretty mellow for my track record and far fewer fumes! I also have some 6-1 headers to install as well but I'd rather not disable the car for longer than I have to so I can get her on the road.

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