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FairLady70
FairLady70 New Reader
11/10/21 2:40 a.m.

This is a 1970 Datsun “sport” (311) roadster with the 1600 engine. Once we get this running, it’ll be a Sunday drive type car more than a racing car. JoeyM was offered the car, but I (the elusively referred to Mrs.) decided this one was mine. 

 

The first projects we have are to get it running again, as it has sat for two years. 

 

The fuel tank needs to be dropped and cleaned, possibly replaced.

The fuel pump *may* need servicing.

And the emergency brake is currently frozen.

 

After Eliza is running, my FairLady will need sand blasting for rust (some under paint that looks worse than moderate areas other places), a new paint job, and a roof. However, I'll be glad to finally have a car I can drive with the top down after the fiery fiasco that was my 1997 Saab.

 

JoeyM has some ideas on what to do, so I'll let him continue. 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/10/21 2:56 a.m.
FairLady70 said:

Once we get this running, it’ll be a Sunday drive type car more than a racing car.

Translation:  I have been told that Eliza is too cute to be sacrificed to the racing gods.

JoeyM has some ideas on what to do, so I'll let him continue. 

This is a generous assessment.

I will need lots of advice on this from the GRM hive mind.  What resources and would you recommend?  I will compile a list here:

https://www.311s.org/

Throttle Grotto:  resurrection of a barn find roadster (youtube playlist)

  •  

311 interiors

GRM/Classic Motorsports

GRM Build Threads

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
11/10/21 7:22 a.m.

I am pumped. I have -0- good recommendations, but I have always loved these cars.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/10/21 7:36 a.m.

In terms of the tank, check local radiator shops for cleaning.  Many  moons ago, when I asked about that, my mechanic said he sent the tank and radiator to the same place for cleaning and sealing.

OR- if there aren't holes, then there are some home sealing systems that I've seen do really well.  IIRC, the tank for the Roadster is reasonably simple- so it may take this treatment quite well.  Again, many moons ago, we did this to an Alfa tank that was leaking along the seam that connected the top to the bottom- and it worked really well to fill the holes up.  So if there are no holes, it should work like a charm.

Also, blow some low pressure air through the fuel lines.  Not to purge the lines, but to purge *stuff*.  Big stuff.  And when you put it back together, do a Roadkill thing, and stack multiple filters before the carbs- so that when one fills, you just take it out.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/10/21 7:39 a.m.

This is awesome! Good luck with it. Mine's not really anything Datsun anymore and I no longer have useful parts leftover, but I'll be watching. 

@ joey - there might be more roadster builds on GRM now than 311s.org, but even if not the ones here are better! the 311s.org crew is good people though. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
11/10/21 7:40 a.m.

I really like the idea of the EcoBoost in one of these.

Just sayin

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/10/21 8:22 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

Mine's not really anything Datsun anymore

Well, obviously not the formula chassis or the bike drivetrain, but you still got a lot of datsun sheet metal on that car.  It is sort of the opposite of my type 11 replica; the drivetrain is 100% Datsun but none(*) of the sheet metal is.

I no longer have useful parts leftover, but I'll be watching. 

I appreciate it

----

(*) - almost true... The floor was made out of the datsun station wagon's hood

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/10/21 8:27 a.m.
alfadriver said:

In terms of the tank, check local radiator shops for cleaning. 

Wonderful idea.  

OR- if there aren't holes, then there are some home sealing systems that I've seen do really well. 

I haven't checked yet, but the previous owner hasn't said anything about holes.  Fingers crossed.

Also, blow some low pressure air through the fuel lines.  Not to purge the lines, but to purge *stuff*.  Big stuff.  And when you put it back together, do a Roadkill thing, and stack multiple filters before the carbs- so that when one fills, you just take it out.

I  *love* this idea.  Cleaning it it's bound to stir up some rubbish that could get through the lines and cause havoc.

The goal is to be a stock-ish driver.  If the mechanical pump turns out to be bad, would you repair, replace, or replace with an electric pump near the fuel tank?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
11/10/21 8:38 a.m.

I would go electric. I did on my bugeye.  One note on the facet pumps, when you do the install, mount them with a bit of a rubber isolator to cut down the clackity noise. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/10/21 8:46 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

I would go electric. I did on my bugeye.  One note on the facet pumps, when you do the install, mount them with a bit of a rubber isolator to cut down the clackity noise. 

I would, too.  The most complicated part would be to wire it.  Other than that, do some research to find a pump that you can find pretty much anywhere.  So it's easy to deal with IF it fails.  For sure, it will be easier than finding the mechanical pump.

iansane
iansane HalfDork
11/10/21 9:39 a.m.

These roadsters are one of my all time favorite cars. Good luck!

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/10/21 12:58 p.m.
alfadriver said:
Apexcarver said:

I would go electric. I did on my bugeye. 

I would, too.  

Okay, that seems reasonable.  If the mechanical one is bad, I'll probably switch over to electric. Which fuel pump cut off switch would you recommend, an inertia one or an oil pressure one?

Other than that, do some research to find a pump that you can find pretty much anywhere.  So it's easy to deal with IF it fails.  

We are using a holly red on the type 11, with an MSD Street fire ignition. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up doing something similar with this car

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/10/21 1:29 p.m.

In reply to JoeyM :

I would use the ignition key to shut the fuel off.  Not a big fan of the others unless problems can't be dealt with....  Especially with carbs- the engine will run on the float bowl for a while- so it's not a perfect thing for oil pressure problems.

Maybe the inertial one, but if there's a big enough accident where a fuel spill would be a problem, the tank would probably rupture anyway.  Which means drive defensively to the N^n degree.  

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
11/10/21 10:04 p.m.

These cars offer many "rabbit" holes that will absorb lots of time, effort and copious amounts of money.  I will address the "money" part first.  If you can live with the car not stock you can save on things like rear wheel cylinders rear brake shoes and rear drums.  Then parts like rear brake hard lines can be other than stock.  It starts to add up from there, but I know my limits and a I would rather "buy" than fabricate.

On my car every gasket that was supposed to be keeping oil inside lubricating things was in fact outside off those assemblies collecting road grime.  So I have chosen to replace all the gaskets and the fluids, together.  I have also replaced the the hydraulics and gone with stainless steel braided hoses for clutch and brakes. The engine and transmission mounts were goo from the leaking motor gaskets, they are now new.  It goes on from there...

But if you are going to have the gas tank and radiator serviced, also have the the over flow tank flushed and resealed.  These are quite a work of art and they collect lots of sediment.

Then you have to address the distributor, an other "rabbit hole" for the future!  Start you reading and planning, it is worth it.

David 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/11/21 7:56 a.m.

I just added another resource at the top of the page; Throttle Grotto on youtube has a whole playlist showing the resurrection of a barn find datsun roadster.

Throttle Grotto:  resurrection of a barn find roadster (youtube playlist)

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
11/11/21 7:59 a.m.

We're over half way thru the first page here, and still no pics?  This situation needs remedied. laugh

 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/11/21 10:49 a.m.
Indy "Nub" Guy said:

We're over half way thru the first page here, and still no pics?  This situation needs remedied. laugh

Good point. Here is a repost of the pictures in The other thread (i.e. from before we decided to bring it home)

There are a couple more photos here

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/16/21 1:41 p.m.

My tools are taking up half the garage, so the roadster will need to be stored -at least temporarily - in the car port outside.  With that in mind, I have been cleaning and repositioning stuff to make room

Today, I tested the wiring, bought new shop lights, and fairlady70 and I hung greenhouse plastic as "windows"

Still to do:

  • Add metal along bottom
  • Hang new shop lights
Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
11/16/21 3:06 p.m.

Remember my " that's not a basket case" roadster comment?

Pic #1:  The 2000 was "won" from ebay for $128.  Sat in a Wisconsin farmers field for 20 years and had no title.  It was toast although it had a lot of factory parts that brought me more money than I paid for it.  Those rear fenders were factory replacements (red primer) and were solid that a guy drove from Toronto to Windsor (get girlfriend) to Chicago to cut them off the car. He also spent time hanging in Chicago with his lady.  The megaphone muffler itself was newer and sold for $150 on ebay.  

Pic #2: this one was sitting in Evanston, Illinois and I just couldn't pull the trigger since I spent a lot of time parting out car #1.  Rough was the name of the game on this one too.  

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
11/16/21 3:13 p.m.

So what is the ultimate Datsun Roadster?  You will sink your savings trying to restore one of these.

The 1967 Datsun 2000 Roadster - 1000 of them.  You could add the factory Solex carbs, different camshaft and a better oil pan and get 150hp out of a single OHC 2 liter sports car with a 5-speed manual transmission.  For 1967 this was big stuff.......

This is the baby if you have a stack of cash collecting dust. 

 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/16/21 4:42 p.m.

The goal is to turn this into a Sunday driver for my wife.  I'm not looking for peak performance or contours awards.  If she can put the top down and park it next to me at the local cruise-in, we will be happy.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
11/16/21 7:47 p.m.

Given your stated goal of building a driver, work on the back end first.  It teaches you what you are in for as you move to the front end.  Picking a parts source is also part of the decision tree you will work through.

I have a monthly budget that I am willing to spend on mime.  Once you start on the front end of the car, things/parts and prices escalate. The number of zerk fittings on these car is very telling.  My car has 130,000 miles with some new parts, but with lots to refresh. 

If you can avoid the body work and paint on your first pass, getting to a driver status will happen that much sooner. This is my plan also.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
11/16/21 8:05 p.m.

I suggest you get it up and driving not worrying about too much originality.  

In 1996 I sold the dark blue '66 to a guy who wanted it original for his wife as she worked for Nissan.  It had three layers of paint and was a great car to cruise around in (rust free too) but it wasn't a show car.

The new owner immediately took the body and interior apart to restore it back to original.   In 2011 it wasn't finished and his wife bought a newer Mustang convertible and they offered it back to me.   The mechanicals were never touched and had sat all those years.   

This is a reason go get it running ASAP so you can enjoy it.   
 

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/18/21 7:53 a.m.

.... And of course, it's been dry all week, but the day that we need to move the car to its new home, it starts to rain

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
11/18/21 6:14 p.m.

 

Well, the car is home, but that was a pain in the butt.  My trailer has sat in a friend's field so long that we need new tires on it....so I rented a U-Haul car carrier, only afterwards discovering that 311 roadsters are so narrow that they can't have all tires do fully on the trailer.  We ended up having it towed on a flatbed...and the rear tires as tarted rolling!!!  That is nice.

Fairlady70 likes the car 

 

 

 

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