Datsun 510

2012 update:  The Datsun project is dead in the water at the moment, but I’ve kept this page as a reminder of what I had hoped things would become, and for a 510 resource for others.

My Datsun 510So in July 2008 I finally took the plunge and got a 510 of my own. My buddy Nick Corwin got me into the 510 back in 2001/2002. I couldn’t understand why he was into such a painfully ugly car with less than 100hp. I went along and did my little Honda thing for a while, but I slowly learned more and more about the 510. As I soon realized that it takes piles of cash to fix a car up and trying to have a late model tuner was a losing battle. The 510 started to look better and better, as a long term project that would only get better as the car aged. Once I figured out you could get modern, DOHC, fuel injected engines into the 510 I knew I had to have one.

So when my girlfriend needed a car for grad school I decided it was time. She could have my car and I’d take a 510. She found this 510 on Craigslist and was going to buy it herself, but when we went down there I decided to buy it and let her drive the Corolla. $1800 for a 510 in need of lots of TLC. Interior was a mess, exterior was a mess, and it didn’t even start, but it did have some goodies to make it worthwhile.

  • L18 engine
  • 200SX 5 speed transmission
  • Stage 2 clutch
  • All original paperwork dating back to 1972 (even the warranty card)

The Plan

Step one for the Datsun is to get it driving. The car went to My Daddy’s Muffler in Vancouver on July 11th. So far the list of work the shop is going to do is: Install new carb, install starter, check electrical, install exhaust system, and fix car cap / hosing. The exhaust will be a Flowmaster system that should provide a nice sounding system and increased performance over the stock 1.5″. For the carb I’m going with a Weber 32/36 DGV. The car came with 2 partially functional OEM Hitachi carbs, but the cost of rebuilding them is about the same as a whole new Weber, and the Weber provides better performance.

Once the car runs I’ll have some time to look things over and see exactly what needs repair. At the moment I’m trying to focus on safety / comfort. I’d like a nice ride and I want the car to be safe for my girlfriend to drive this winter. At the moment, the interior is trashed, so I ordered a new carpet kit from Too Intense Restoration and some sound proofing to go along the floorboard, to reduce road noise. I’m looking at my next safety move to see what can be done to combat against the number of Hummer and Excursion owners out there.

  • Racing seats
  • Harness seatbelts
  • Roll bar
  • LSD Differential (snow/ice on a open differential is bad)
  • Rear / front brake upgrade (The drums in the back need to go)

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