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75280z Reader
8/17/18 12:26 a.m.

Here is the video of the alternator replacement, wiring in the fans, replacing the fuel filler neck, and fixing the huge vacuum leak on the 510. 






75280z Reader
8/21/18 2:00 a.m.

Lots of work on the car in the past week (interior rust repair), not reflected in this post. I did however add ~50 pictures (likely more) to this build thread feel free to click through and see what I have been up to.  I need to get back to making detailed notes. I have somewhat stopped since I make a Youtube video of all of the updates it is like having 3 different forms of the information and it gets tiring and distracts from just working on the car. That being said, my videos only get like 100 views, so maybe I should just stick to pictures and words.


Any advice on the videos would be helpful

75280z Reader
8/25/18 10:33 p.m.

Well this happened today. The wife really liked it, the paperwork seemed to be in order. We will take delivery next week if all goes well. I don't have a lot of plans for it other than a very deep clean and a bit of engine cleaning as well.


75280z Reader
9/3/18 1:14 p.m.

I also added more text content to the past couple posts because I decided to type out the information that was in my paper garage journal. So if you go are revisiting my thread for the first time in a few months I suggest you go back a couple posts to see the work that has been done.

Project Log (12 Aug 18):

I have been unsuccessful so far in getting a new stock fan for the car, and like an idiot I pitched the old radiator and fan shroud (I know I am an idiot). Somewhere in the past few weeks i replaced the radiator, but forgot to note the time and date. As I wait to find the fan I decided to replace the driver’s side floorboard and perhaps the rocker panel (as it is completely rusted out in the rear)

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Remove interior

  2. ☑ Start removing sound deadening from drivers floor board

1. The carpet and seats removed easily. I put them in a box to get them out of the way

2. The sound deadening removed with a chisel and a hammer fairly easily

  • Remove the large portions with a hammer first

  • Then use a wirewheel to clean up the last of the remnants if you want my opinion on the best way to do this in an efficient manner

  • Remove the undercoating with a wire wheel

  • CAUTION: You Should always wear eye protection, breathing apparatus, and hearing protection when operating a wire wheel or sander (i have been coughing up some nasty crud, be smarter than me)

Note: Looking at the situation it is clear to me that I will have to replace the frame rail as well on the drivers side it has given up the ghost and is not doing its job.

Link to Timelapse:


Project Log (13 Aug 18):

Drivers Floorboard removal continues, I have removed ~90% of the drivers floorboard, broke my spot weld drill bit in the first ~5 minutes will have to buy another. I have been using the cut off wheel on the 4.5” angle grinder. I have been attempting to be very careful in how I cut and operate the cut off wheel in these close spaces it would be very easy for me to hurt myself a TON.


I also added more text content to the past couple posts because I decided to type out the information that was in my paper garage journal. So if you go are revisiting my thread for the first time in a few months I suggest you go back a couple posts to see the work that has been done.


75280z Reader
9/3/18 2:34 p.m.

Project Log (19 Aug 18):

Drivers Floorboard rust repair continues, firewall got cut. The frame piece underneath seems solid, just need to sand it down, get the remaining spot welds out, make a new piece. It was a short day today, just was too hot to do much, and we were doing stuff as a family.

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Cut the chunk of firewall off

1. Cut the firewall piece out of the way so I can fashion the firewall extension piece.

  • The spot welds were a pain in the bum, but it is nice to get the pieces out of the car


  • I ran out of welding wire on Saturday and didn’t get to Harbor freight before they closed (Sunday)



Project Log (24 Aug 18): Start Time: 1730 End Time: 2100
Drivers Floorboard rust repair continues

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Make the firewall extender sheet metal

  2. ☑ Finish Welding the frame rail under the seat and to the old rail

  3. ☑ Replace the front corner metal on the side (by the outer skin)

  4. ☑ Finish welding up small holes from the floorboard patches I made

1. The firewall has metal that extends down under the floorboard. It goes through in about a 90 degree angle. I measure the panel it is ~ 17.5” long and 7” wide. I created the panel with a ~1” overlap with the firewall the purpose is to attach the panel with spot welds, then use seam sealer to ensure I don’t get a bunch of moisture after adding the panel. The floorboard will also overlap this piece and I will use the same process to connect the floorboard to the firewall panel. The panel was created with a harbor freight metal brake, I added two bends to give the panel a more natural curve that I will finish with a hammer and clamps. I wanted to get this whole panel finished tonight, but realized I needed to paint on the rust converter before welding everything together.

  • The piece was originally too long so I had to trim it down a bit

  • I am still using the metal given to me by a buddy

  • I have been making sure to smooth the sides with a snader so I don’t have a ton of jagged edges

2. I am still not a great welder so the frame rail got finished stitch welded together. This was a weld grind weld grind process, but in the end I think it turned out well and is very solid (compared to the old rusted out frame). I finished the spot welds at the back of the frame as well.

3. The panel that is around the door (kick panel?) . The front corner was completely rusted. I cut it out and welded in another piece. I don’t think the repair will last forever, the metal around that area is pretty bad, but this will help keep moisture out of the new panels going into the car. The rocker panel and front fender definitely need replaced, but I will get to those at a later date

4. There were a few small panels that needed the holes finished welding up, I did that today.


  • 4 ½” wire wheels are very scary to me. I am always afraid it is going to wrap me up

    • One became a needle and flew off and embedded itself in my leg, it hurt

  • I ripped another pair of shorts today. This summer has been rough on my garage clothes I have had most of my pants/shorts the better part of a decade and they are finally giving up the ghost (the wife is not sad)

  • Still not looking forward to changing the rocker panels, hopefully this will be good practice

  • I did a lot of sanding getting the car ready to go back together

75280z Reader
9/9/18 2:09 a.m.

Project Log (1 Sept 18):  Start Time: Not Recorded  End Time:Not Recorded
Tac’d in Firewall and Floorboard today

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Attached Firewall extender

  2. ☑ Tac weld in Floor board

1. I continue to weld in the floorboard, I want to ensure that I get it well secured in the car. I did not have a good way to clamp down the floorboard to the rail I made so the gaps between the rail and the floorboard in a few places is larger than I really want, but it will have to do. I keep burning through the floorboard while welding


Project Log (8 Sept 18):  Start Time: 0945 End Time: 1330
Finished the driver’s floorboard welding today, and then moved on to the rocker panel.

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Finished welding drivers floorboard

  2. Removed doors

  3. Cleaned up Rocker Panel

1. The drivers floorboard had a bit more welding to do today, I attempted to weld the frame to the floorboard a bit more today, but was largely unsuccessful welding upside down. I tried bending the frame lip to touch the floorboard a little better, but it seemed to warp away when I started welding

The floorboard had 5-6 different places where there were still large holes or seams that needed to be welded to each other. I was largely more successful welding today without large burn-throughs or large globs of weld so that is promising.

After it was welded up I got out the grinder and ground down the welds. I made sure to put on a breathing mask, eye protection and ear protection so I wouldn’t be coughing up crap for the rest of the day, and could hear what the family says at dinner.

2. I removed the doors to start work on the rocker panels I figure before I start seam sealing and painting I will replace all the metal on this portion of the car (if possible). The doors came off with 5 bolts each. I marked each of the hinge locations so I can hopefully get them close to lining up when I put it all back together

3. Using a wire wheel I started removing the paint on the rocker panel to see the current extent of damage. They aren’t a total loss, but they are very bad so I will be replacing VERY large portions of the rocker panels.



75280z Reader
9/23/18 10:21 p.m.

Project Log (8 Sept 18): Start Time: Not Recorded   End Time: Not Recorded

Finished the driver’s floorboard welding today, and then moved on to the rocker panel.


To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Remove the front fender

  2.  ☑ Assess the damage to the Rocker Panel


1/2. The front fender had to come off to get to the front of the rocker panel. There are 2 screws and ~8 bolts that hold the fender on. I got about 4 of them to come off without snapping. The rest left half of bolts in them so that is another thing I will have to get out of there. When I took to the rocker panel with the wire wheel it was clear that there was rust throughout the rocker panel and that a patch job likely wouldn’t solve the problem. So a much larger portion of the rocker panel is going to need to be replaced.


The rear portion is completely toast. It is so bad that I am now looking up pictures of Datsun 510s on rotisseries to see if I can re-envision what that whole area should look like.


Not surprising there was rust around the perimeter. The front of the engine bay will likely need some rust repair. I will likely try and repair the fender myself while I have the fender off. The fender has several rust spots in it that I am going to attempt to fix.

Under the fender the front upper frame sections was in good shape. That is good news. I wire wheeled it and put a coat of rust inhibitor on it. Will do another coat tomorrow as well as I was in a hurry and believed I missed some of the surface rust.

I also was reminded of another spot of rust I have in the car near the suspension where the crossmember attaches to the frame at the bottom of the fender, will try and fix that rust as well while I have the fender off.

September 10th. Removed the 4 bolts that I broke in the fender.


A buddy of mine made these for me.




Ohh Yay more rust!


Link to Youtube:



75280z Reader
9/26/18 8:31 p.m.


Project Log (15 Sept 18):

Start Time: Not Recorded  End Time: Not Recorded

Finished the driver’s floorboard welding today, and then moved on to the rocker panel.

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Drill out all the spot welds at the bottom of the rocker panel

  2. ☑ Cut out the outer rocker panel

1. Removing the spot welds were a pain in the rear to remove, the good news is that I only had to do that until about the rear passengers door as after that the rust was so bad they didn’t exist any more.

2. Looking at the metal I determined that there was enough clean metal on the upper two surfaces for most of the rocker panel are in great shape so I left them. This made me feel comfortable to not add reinforcement today.  

The piece removed fairly easy, but I did miss several spot welds along the way. The inner sill panel had quite a bit of rot at the rocker panel mounting, so I removed large chunks.

Today was really the day that I determined the full extent of the rust in the rocker panel especially around the rear door.

Notes: A real fear I have is the car sagging without the support from that area in the car. I wanted to remove small sections one at a time to ensure that I don’t completely wreck my car, but getting access to some of these areas is MUCH easier with certain panels removed, so I am working to do the best of all worlds as I move forward. I ended up making bracing Friday 21 Sept 2018. I made a triangular brace out of square 1” 16 gauge stock.


  • The order that this needs to happen needs to be thought out in order to give best access to all the different locations. My opinion on the order is:

    • 1. Inner sill

    • 2. Rear Wheel Arch inner (along the inner sill)

    • 3. Floor board

    • 4. Rocker Panel

    • 5. Rear Wheel Arch inner facing rear tire

    • 6. Rear Wheel Arch outer

    • If I repair the rocker panel it is much more difficult to get the floor pan in, the problem is both sides of the car aren’t in that great of shape so I don’t know exactly how it is supposed to look in its final form

    • I have been looking for images for Datsun 510 restorations specifically them on rotisseries as references 






75280z Reader
10/7/18 6:51 p.m.

Project Log (16 Sept 18):

Start Time:

Not Recorded

End Time:

Not Recorded

Finished the driver’s floorboard welding today, and then moved on to the rocker panel.

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Cut out the front rocker panel holder

  2. ☑ Create the Front rocker panel holder panel

  3. ☑ Wire wheel the rear wheel arch

  4. ☑ Cut out the rear passenger floorboard

  5. ☑ Cut Out seat support


1. The front rocker holder is part of the A pillar it has a potion that is spot welded to the front of the rocker panel and a small overlap for the rocker panel as well. It was pretty well rusted out so I decided to cut it off so I could replace it. I attempted to drill out spot welds for the majority of the spot welds, but realized that would be pointless for some of it so I just cut it all out. I have determined it isn’t very difficult

2. I decided to attempt to make this whole section out of one piece of metal. so I made a template out of paper and masking tape. once I had the layout I went ahead and traced it on to my piece of spare metal, cut it out with the cut-off wheel, and used my metal brake to bend a few of the parts then bent the rest by hand and hammer. Once I am satisfied it works well I will be welding the curved pieces into place, but that won’t be until I get the rocker panel test fit into place.

3. The rear wheel arch is going to need to be repaired, the wire wheel told me that a TON of it would need replaced and it will need to be cut out. I wrote yesterday’s notes about the order after knowing this information. It is also the point that drove me to the point of knowing that I will certainly need to add bracing to the car as I need to cut out even more metal

4. When I realized I would need to do more research (which led to bracing, and ordering new parts from futofab) I decided to continue replacing the floorboard. Back out with the chisel and hammer getting rid of the old asphalt type sound deadening so I could determine where the rust ended. This floor board was in better shape than the front towards the middle of the car, but it also extended into the seat riser in the back of the floorboard. These were both cut out and I was able to remake the seat riser portion with my metal brake, and help add a bit of rigidity back to the floor structure at that corner.

  • I also cut out the new floorboard with more overlap so I could easily tac-weld it into the old floorboard.

  • The wire wheel continues to do a fantastic job of getting down to bare metal

5. where the floorboard attaches to the normal floor of the car it was clear there was more rust that extended to the seat brace both upper and lower structure. So I would have to cut that whole portion back. It was about here that I realized I didn’t need to actually make perfect seam welds for all of these panels so I started adding a bit of overlap to all of my panels assuming they won’t be the panels people are looking at when the car is complete


Note: as always I have been parking the wife’s Figaro in the garage at the end of the night so I have to ensure I clean and put away my tools daily.





75280z Reader
10/15/18 1:00 a.m.

Rust repair is continuing, videos being taken. Have been kicking around the idea of a fuel injected swap, just thinking not planning. The Ford ecotec engine seems like an amazing newer engine than the KA24DE. I have seen 2 other 510s with the swaps they are amazing and way beyond my skill level. Just so you all know I have the driver's floor boards, rocker panels and rear wheel arch swapped now have to get it all tidied up before putting that side back together. 

acheron64 New Reader
10/15/18 4:57 p.m.

Fun project,  32/36 weber is one of my favourites, lots of options with jetting and emulsion tubes, these set your power enrichments. Great book from the 50s 'tuning the sports car engine' best description of the theory I have found.

Do those rear coilovers pick up on the shock mounts? If so may need reinforcing without a cage.

75280z Reader
10/21/18 2:00 a.m.

Acheron,  I haven't seen anything from the other people who run these coilovers having that issue I will definitely keep an eye on it. The car will not be caged as I need it to also haul the kids around from time to time.


Project Log (17 Sept 18):

Test Fit the doors back on the car, then welded in the bottom support brace

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Put on Doors

  2. ☑ Take Off Doors

  3. ☑ Put in Door Brace

1. The doors went on very easily. I was able to use a folding chair to help me keep the doors balanced as I placed them back on. I was happy I put the bolts away in a good spot, because this project is taking WAY longer than I originally anticipated.

2. Took the doors back off and put them back over in the corner

3. The bottom horizontal brace is welded to the A, B, and C pillar this will hopefully act to ensure the car does not warp as I keep cutting metal out of it. It required bending the metal to ensure I got the right bow in the metal, I also ended up cutting it long enough to fit in the car, plus a few more inches. I had to angle the rear cut to get it to weld to the inner panel

The weld is not great, but I needed to leave the car for a couple days and didn’t want to worry about the sag


Project Log (22 Sept 18):

Added one more piece to the inner sill

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Make the new inner sill piece

1. The old seatbelt mount is made up of a large nut welded to an ~14 gauge steel, welded to the inner sill with spot welds. The panel I created was the inner sill. I got to use my metal nibbler for the first time. It works well, and I like it, but you need to make sure your metal is held firm

After creating a template with paper, and cutting out the metal my battery died on my camera, but I did not change it. I finished welding in the sill.




NOHOME UltimaDork
10/21/18 7:00 a.m.

That is some serious rust repair on this project. You seem to have a good grasp on what you are doing. 



75280z Reader
10/21/18 11:09 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I appreciate the comment, I will be honest I have NO clue what I am doing, I have never repaired any rust before owning this car

Ben_Modified HalfDork
10/27/18 8:17 a.m.

In reply to 75280z :

Any chance you would be willing to share your secret for embedding video here? You seem to be the only one that is able to do it! Thanks!!

Indy-Guy UltraDork
10/27/18 8:25 a.m.

Yuck, I hate rust, but you're working your way through it.

75280z Reader
10/27/18 7:47 p.m.

In reply to Ben_Modified :

Seriously right. OK here is how I embed videos, and i found it by accident. One here, and one over at RATSUN.net that allows the embedding.

1. You need another build thread on a website that allows you to embed video

2. Paste the link into the other build thread with text above and below it (I found a period usually works)

3.  Starting with the text above the video and selecting below the video copy it

4. Come to here and paste it into your reply.

Note if you come back and edit your post, you will likely have to redo the paste routine. Good luck!


75280z Reader
10/27/18 7:58 p.m.

Project Log (30 Sept 18): Start Time: 1635L   End Time:​​​​​​​1900L

Created the seatbelt bolt mount and filled in holes in the inner sill

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Clean Inner Sill

  2. ☑ Recreate the seat belt mount

  3. ☑ Create the inner sill

  4. ◻Weld in Floorboards

  5. ◻Recreate inner seat brace

1.  Using my wire wheel on my angle grinder I got rid of the rest of the surface rust on the front inner sill. Then cleaned up the mess made before starting to work on the seat belt.

2. The old seat belt mount is made up of a large nut welded to an ~14 gauge steel, welded to the inner sill with spot welds. Today i cut out the outer piece and welded it to the outer plate that has the nut on it. I then drilled holes in both so I could plug weld them to the inner sill. I also added a bend to the middle piece of metal like they have on the original car as well.

I had to cut the old plate apart with the grinder and smooth it all down prior to welding these parts together. I have a panel of thicker metal (16 or 18 gauge) I cut the new piece out and welded them to each other.

3. I used a brass hammer head as a heat sink and welded in the holes in the front sill. I ended up running out of welding wire and couldn’t find the other rol that I knew I had.  Once I welded in as much as I could I sanded the welds down to flush with the panel.




Ben_Modified HalfDork
10/27/18 8:59 p.m.
Thanks so much! I will give it a try. The Datsun is looking great!
75280z said:

In reply to Ben_Modified :

Seriously right. OK here is how I embed videos, and i found it by accident. One here, and one over at RATSUN.net that allows the embedding.

1. You need another build thread on a website that allows you to embed video

2. Paste the link into the other build thread with text above and below it (I found a period usually works)

3.  Starting with the text above the video and selecting below the video copy it

4. Come to here and paste it into your reply.

Note if you come back and edit your post, you will likely have to redo the paste routine. Good luck!



75280z Reader
11/10/18 3:03 p.m.

365 days since I bought her. I still love her, though she has been on jackstands now for over 60 days . Though the last 30 days I have not been able to work on the car at all due to work commitments. 

I have done quite a bit

- Repaired the rust in the engine bay.

- Repaired some rust in the trunk

- Replaced the 15" FWD offset wheels with a stock set of 14" wheels

- Replaced both rear wheel brake cylinders

- Replaced the Clutch master and slave cylinder

- Replaced the brake master cylinder

- Swapped in an L20B, with lightened flywheel and new clutch

- Upgraded to a Weber Downdraft carb

- Aluminum Radiator

- 5 Speed transmission

- Shortened the driveshaft

- Relocated the battery to the trunk, and removed the battery tray

- Repaired the fuel filler hose

- Repaired driver's side (front and back) floorboards

- Replacing Driver's side rocker panel (still in work)

- Repairing rear wheel arch rust (still in work)

75280z Reader
11/11/18 11:29 a.m.

Project Log (7 Oct 18): Start Time: 2115L  End Time:​​​​​​​2330L

Final inner sill piece added to the car

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Create the final piece of the inner sill

  2. ☑ Weld the Piece on

1.  Using paper I created the template for the inner sill. So things to note I needed to follow the upper line up a cure that follows the inner door frame. I also made the piece go down to low, my thought was that I could easily cut it off after I spot welded the rocker panel to it.

  • I got to try out a new tool from Harbor Freight it punches holes and crimps. I like what it did the hole punches are WAY faster than drilling

  • I also used a new tool called a nibbler that cuts the metal using a coordless drill. It worked really well, but the part really needs to be held more secure so it doesn’t try and move around on you. I definitely liked the nibbler

2. Now that I had the piece cut out and the plug weld holes drilled, I had to weld it to the panel

  • I used a new product called Copper Weld that allows a welder to weld around on a product. i coated both sides, I am hoping that this helps keeps the car from rusting in the future

  • The welding process wasn’t to bad so I was glad about that.

  • Once welded I ground down the welds and called it a night

Note: I added a bit of extra metal to hopefully add as a fold over. Only time will tell whether that was a good call.



75280z Reader
11/13/18 12:34 p.m.

Project Log (7 Oct 18):  Start Time: Not Recorded  End Time:Not Recorded
Welded in the driver’s side rear floorboard.

To Do (Daily):

  1. ☑ Cleaned up welding surfaces

  2. ☑ Prepped Floorboard piece

  3. ☑ Weld the floorboard in

  4. ☑Cleaned up welds

1.  The surfaces were easy enough to clean with the wirewheel on the 4.5” angle grinder.

2.  The prep consisted of painting all the welding surfaces with copperweld to retard rust formation in the welded sections. I did two light coats of the copper weld and punched holes for the plug welds in the floorboard

  • When fitting the piece I needed it to be installed with minimal gap I drilled a could holes through my plug welds to allow for some Cleco fasteners that hold the panel in place and used my small hammer to ensure the metal was touching before welding in the panels

  • Something I need to continue to work on is not inducing as much heat into my panels I have the habit of welding a bit to long and getting frustrated with burn through that is clearly my fault

  • The floorboard piece had a small hump added to it via “Hammer Power” to better fit the floorboard that it was being welded to (done in a previous video)

3. Welding the floorboard went fine, I started by welding along the inner sill, when that was complete I move from the inner sill towards the center of the car

  • The center of the car I made the mistake of having no support underneath the car to keep the floorboard level this meant that as I hammered the pieces they bowed downward. I realized this after about 6 plug welds which I had to cut out and do it again

  • I was able to keep the floorboard at the correct level with a 2x4 and a floorjack. and some gentle persuasion (aka Hammer)

  • I then finished welding in the pieces from the top

  • I added some reinforcing welds along the bottom, All of these will need to be seam sealed in the future, but the floorboard is MUCH more sturdy now.

4. Once the floor was welded in I cleaned up the welds with a ~60 grit flap disc on the angle grinder.

  • This makes a huge mess looking back at all of this I wish I would have more completely stripped the interior and put masking around all the stuff I couldn’t/didn’t remove I am writing this now ~1 month after I did this work and will be doing it before I move forward, but did not make this change for the next couple videos.

Note: The car is starting to come back together and it is a good feeling stay tuned!

Some images are from the last couple days of work as well.



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