LTJ's 1981 DATSUN STANZA (A10) WANNABE RALLY CAR. SOLD and moving.

LukeTheJoker

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Ok, been promising to do this since I first bought it, but here is the thread for my old 1981 Datsun Stanza!

As bought:



Genuine one owner granny car with only 90,000 km on the clock (55,000 miles) 1.6 litre with 3 speed auto, seat covers on the seats since new etc...

Slowly been working my way through all the steering and suspension joints replacing as needed and cleaning/re-greasing everything else, still have to fix the neutral/park start switch on the auto (currently starts in any gear), re-clip the lower windscreen trim in place and hopefully it should pass straight through the rather strict road-worthy inspections we have in our state.

Finally got around to trying one of the 14" Dragway 2 piece wheels on the car, they came from a later model front wheel drive Nissan so was not 100% sure the offset would be correct, but they are perfect!





Clearance to the strut:





Was not really keen on using them, did not really like the style, but seeing them on the car, I think they could look good! :thumbsup:

So, I now am thinking of running the car in three phases:

Step 1: Drive it pretty much as is, but with the 14's while I get the next step organised.

Step 2: Pull the L16 and auto and drop in the L20b and five speed I have sitting in the backyard, pretty much a straight swap, all the same engine mounts, slightly shorter drive shaft, no need for extra engineering tests as it meets the requirements of an "Equivalent engine swap" no cutting/welding on the car, within 20% of weight and power of the original, just drop it in and change the numbers with the authorities. Drive it like that while organising step 3!

Step 3: This will require more time, money and engineering!

a: Limited slip diff, it seems to be rather hard to find a decent LSD in the 4x4.5" stud pattern, so will step up to an even stronger diff from either an RN25 Toyota Hilux (8.8" crownwheel) with a later 3.9 ratio LSD centre and converted to either R31 Skyline or Ford Falcon disc brakes, also changing the rear of the car to 5x4.5" stud pattern in the process (this is correct length diff for the car, just requires changing the mounts over.) Or a shortened Ford Falcon (also 5x4.5" stud pattern) or Holden Commodore (GM) (5x4.75" stud pattern) Borg Warner 78 series (7.8" crownwheel) with the factory LSD and disc brakes. Of those two, I would probably go the Ford version as it legally allows more wheel offset (dish) for better looks... Any of these diff swaps would require drive shaft modifications.

b: Upgraded front brakes and stud pattern change, I have found many bolt in kits to do this, most of them switching to the 5x4.5" stud pattern to match the common Hilux or Ford diff swap, and using Nissan R31 Skyline or Mazda Rx7 callipers, however the up front cost is fairly steep.

With some in depth research I have found that the Holden Commodore front hubs/discs actually use the exact same bearings as my little Stanza, and some quick measuring with the callipers looking at depths and clearances at the parts store indicates they should slip straight on allowing either 270mm (10.6"), 290mm (11.4"), or even up to 327mm (12.8") front vented discs, making a "dogbone" adapter to run the bigger 2 and 4 spot callipers should be fairly straight forward too, allowing a complete Commodore 4 wheel disc brake set up if I went with the matching diff.

More research on the Timken bearings site turned up the fact that Ford Falcon front hubs while running a different bearing, use the same outer cone size, so the standard Stanza bearings would slide straight in like a factory fitment, I have been unable to find a disc/hub to measure regarding depths and clearances yet, but a quick Google search brought up 3 Stanzas running the Falcon brake discs/hubs, so apparently that is possible too! The good thing about that is the stud pattern would match either the Hilux or shortened Ford diff. Local Falcons only ran one size disc, a 287mm (11.3"). "Dogbone" calliper adapters would be required for this swap too.

Any of those brake set ups would be more than enough to pull up such a light weight car...

The pre-made front kits while costing more, do come with engineering pre-approval, so I need to make a decision regarding time and effort verses $$$'s... The easiest set up of all would be the Hilux diff with the standard drum brakes kept and the bought Skyline front brake conversion, the correct disc/drum master cylinder is available fairly cheaply too, but if I am going to all that trouble, do I really want to keep those heavy rear drums? The R31 Skyline rear disc conversion is not too expensive, would probably step up to them...

Once all that is in the car I would have to find some new wheels to put on it, thinking either 15x6", 16x6.5 or 17x7.5" factory Ford steels powder-coated black or some 5 or 6 spoke or mesh alloys in either gold or black...









By then I would probably want more power, so I would put a rebuild kit through the Datsun 180B SSS twin Hitachi/SU intake set up I have had sitting in the laundry cupboard for the last 5 years, that and a hotter cam should allow plenty of fun without risking my license...

Oh, and I am thinking somewhere along there it will receive a 2" reverse cowl scoop and blacked out bonnet. (hood)

Currently not planning on painting it.

I only live an hour away from a raceway that has open drive days, should be fun!

Luke.
 
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Luke, looks like you've got big plans for the Datsun!
Only Datsun I've ever owned was a F10 (cherry) hatchback years ago.
kinda like this one....

Got it for cheap, and it got me thru some tough financial times - very frugal with tiny 1.4 4cyl and 4 speed manual.
Years later, after I had sold it and moved on I was surprised to read it was regarded as the worst Datsun model made! sure was a fun and tough car.:)
 

LukeTheJoker

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510s are one my faves. Lucky you.
I wish it was a "real" 510, but I am happy with this, easier for diff swaps and much, much lower initial outlay to buy it!
I agree that those wheels you got got with the car could look good on there. The trial pic shows that. And goes well with the car color.
I will be watching this one.
:)
:thumbsup:
Luke, looks like you've got big plans for the Datsun!
Only Datsun I've ever owned was a F10 (cherry) hatchback years ago.
kinda like this one....

Got it for cheap, and it got me thru some tough financial times - very frugal with tiny 1.4 4cyl and 4 speed manual.
Years later, after I had sold it and moved on I was surprised to read it was regarded as the worst Datsun model made! sure was a fun and tough car.:)
We had them over here as the Nissan Pulsar with anything up to an A15 turbo in the front, very solid little car, a friend of mine had one many years ago with a non turbo A15, we dropped a 32/36 Weber on it and it made a huge difference, great fun little car!
Those 14s look pretty good. Looks like they are fairly wide. Wonder if you can find wide-ish 14 inch tires.

Some Panasport copies light look cool on there.

They would look great! Specially with a gold centre, polished rim!

Nice find. What kind of look are you guna go for?

If you haven't done so, check out Ratsun on Facebook and Forum. Plenty of Australian Datto-guys on FB group of theirs.
I forgot to mention some of my other plans last night when typing that first post, I intend to get another pair of bumpers from the scrap yard near me (two Stanzas in stock, both manual, so can grab a pedal box while I am there) and then using them and my original pair fabricate a thinner wrap around bumper all steel that sits closer to the body like the early models, then get them powder coated satin black.

I have already sourced a pair of "C" pillar trims/fuel door in satin black to replace the peeling chrome ones currently on the car too... So I guess I will be looking at blacking out almost all of the chrome on the car, but keep the original paint aside from the blacked out hood with the reverse cowl scoop, kind of ratty but mean looking...

Also found that the Australian built R31 Skyline diff is also a BW78, same as the Falcon and Commodore ones, but keeps the 4x4.5" stud pattern, so there may be an option there to keep 4 stud all around but give me the big disc brakes and limited slip diff...

Luke.
 
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Many moons ago I had a couple of Datsun 1600s the
version before the Stanza which had the independent
rear end rather the solid rear end of the Stanza, cool
cars in there day very popular as rally cars.

Had a few Dattos 120y coupe and wagon, a couple of
1200s and even a high top C20 van, don't mind a Datto!

Yours looks cool wouldn't say they were dime a dozen?!
 
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Hey Luke, I finally found the picture of "my" '72 510.

This picture was taken by the new owner. He had changed the "spook" spoiler and the wheels, otherwise, this is the car I built. 2.2 L engine overbored. Weber carb. Z-5 Speed. Z bucket seats. Z front brakes, Lowered, Sway bar on rear. Everything that would fit in a Powder Coat Oven was blasted and powder coated, including the rear suspension member. I would say a complete "frame off" build, except the 510 uni-body does not have a frame. What a fun car! Hope you like it!

 

LukeTheJoker

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Looks like we have a few old school Datsun freaks on here!

I have found a Hilux of the correct year model for the correct length diff, still undecided if that is the way I want to go, it comes with a 4.88:1 ratio centre so would need to change that... Also looking at a Eaton Torsen if I go that way...

Been doing more research on front brakes and double checking measurements on the Holden Commodore hub/discs, definitely looks like that will work, only worried because no one else on all the forums has done it before, I am finding it hard to believe no one has stumbled across the bearing size match and tried it in the past, those guys on the Datsun forums seem to try every possible option...

Looks like the 290mm discs (11.4") might be my best option, they are the biggest I can go under 15" wheels, not keen on stepping up to 17's on the front to clear the 327mm's (12.8")

Thinking of the steel wheels in 15x6 on the front and 17x7.5 on the rear, will have to get the offsets changed but they are steel wheels that will be easy. (+20 front 4.3" backspace and 0 rear also 4.3" BS)

Because I am upgrading the diff, the laws allow me to match the tire size of the car the diff came from on the rear, so while the front will be sitting on 185/50/15's (567mm diameter 22.3"), the rear can step up to 205/50/17's (638mm diameter 25.1") to really fill those rear arches, all depends on what diff I use though...

More updates as they happen!

Luke.
 
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Hey Luke, I finally found the picture of "my" '72 510.
Wow that's a real beauty!

Thinking of the steel wheels in 15x6 on the front and 17x7.5 on the rear, will have to get the offsets changed but they are steel wheels that will be easy. (+20 front 4.3" backspace and 0 rear also 4.3" BS)
You might want to do some photo experimentation before you commit to that stagger. 17s might look odd on there with a 15 inch front. Maybe compromise and do 16s all around? Sounds like you have lots of good ideas going.

You're making me crave some old car smell!

Interesting vids. Man he was pretty spry at 105!
 
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Back when I did my car the 4 spoke AR Libres like BRE ran on the 46 car were popular. I never had a set. I ran a set of 6 spoke Z car wheels, mainly because I needed a larger wheel to clear the Large Z car front disk brakes.

Little known fact, actor Paul Newman got his start racing 510s.
 

LukeTheJoker

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I always have had a soft spot for Datsuns/Nissans. I just bought a Nissan Frontier myself. I don't think I've ever heard of a Datsun Stanza until now. I'm guessing they are quite rare?

Very cool!
Only called that in Australia I believe, they were called the 510/1600 series 2 in the USA, Datsun Violet or 160J in Europe...

You might want to do some photo experimentation before you commit to that stagger. 17s might look odd on there with a 15 inch front. Maybe compromise and do 16s all around? Sounds like you have lots of good ideas going.
I am kind of an old muscle car guy, I like a bit of stagger in both diameter and width, still up in the air until I figure out the brake and diff combination I want to run...

Luke.
 
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heya luke
I dunno if this is an old post or not but man what a sweet Datsun.
I am kinda partial to these lil datsuns
I had a 70 something b 210 hatchback that I loved
I also had the ever famous 280 z and a 260 z at one point.
been thru my share of Datsun vehicles and all I got to say is they will run forever .
looks like you found a good one here cannot wait to see it fixed up..
Sean