After over a year of being on here I thought it would be time to start my build thread. I’m sticking my neck out now and saying that by this time next year the old girl will be done – no doubt I’ll be way off the mark! But anyway here she is:
It’s a 1970 1600 that has an L18 with extractors which we think came from a Stanza (owing to its W53 head). It’s got a 2.5 inch exhaust with a resonator and it has been lowered but the rest of the running gear is all stock. The car belongs to my dad and we are doing it up together as a father and son project – the first of hopefully a few more in the years to come
So a bit of Datsun family history
My dad bought his first 1600 brand new in 1971 after his old HR gave up the ghost. At my folks place there is a photo of me as a baby being brought home from the hospital in it – that’s right, my first ever car ride was in a Datsun 1600.
He hung onto it for about 6 years and sold it. Fast forward about 12 years later and he bought another one. This was a stock L16 red one (it had those Sebring dealer plates on it – still have one of them somewhere) which he restored for me to have as a first car. After 3 years, and numerous prangs on behalf of my shitty driving
she sat in the shed for a year or so. Then in 1999 he bought the one that is the topic of this thread. This one was also a stocker but it has an L18 engine and it was in a relatively poor state. Dad did this one up, borrowing parts from the old red one, did most of the panel repairs himself, fitted a console from a 240K, bluebird S1 seats and did a few other custom mods and got it painted it black courtesy of the kind automotive apprentices at Dandenong TAFE college. We christened her with the name Lucille in honour of BB Kings Gibson guitar – we tend to give names to our cars.
He’s driven the old girl almost daily since then but now she is in a very sad state. Rust is practically everywhere and the motor is pretty shot, lots of tapping noise coming from the rockers, blows a little smoke on start-up, but it still goes. The gear-shift throw from first to second is about the length of the Flemington Straight and the clutch has barely any take up too. Interior is aging a bit as well but those Bluebird seats are still very comfortable.
So the plan for the rebuild is to get the entire L18 rebuilt with twin webers, flat-top pistons, bigger valves, hotter cam, everything balanced etc.... and bolt it up to a 240K 5 speed. Front brakes will be upgraded to discs (I like the look of those Datsport reco’d 200B ones) and we’ll get most of the interior re-trimmed. The body is going back to bare metal to be professionally rust repaired. After that we’ll look at doing all the other things like relocating the battery, maybe add air conditioning, replace the stereo, rear disc conversion etc…. in due course.
Here is a few photos of the rust in all the usual places, this first one is the worst, a sizeable hole in the rear drivers quarter
Wheel arch rust bubbles
Sills seem okay but they probably arent’
To help with the rebuild my dads mate Rob sold us a rear-cut of a 1600 . We wire-wheeled it on the weekend to check it and it is actually in good nick – hopefully this can reduce the costs of the rust repairs
Bit of wire-wheeling
And here is the 240K 5 speed I bought off an OzDat forum member about a year ago
Datrally style manifold and Webers with K&N's
I've accumulated a few drive-line parts as well to go on the car but for now I'll post more details maybe in a month or so
1971 Datsun 1600
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