18 November 2014

2015 plans for the 1974 Datsun 160J SSS KP710 Violet Turbo

As we come close to the end of 2014, I have to say that I'm on a roll with this 1974 Datsun Violet Turbo again. I guess there are many things to be done yet as part of the restoration process and I will try to list out on this post some ideas for what I think will be needed for next year in 2015.

1) Engine:

Engine was out of the car since 1993. I have had a bad experience with a local machine shop some 21 years ago when I was on route to rebuilding the engine. It was an itch I could not scratch! It left me very discouraged so much so that I gave up on the car!  Let me relate. On first disassembly, it was found that engine crankshaft was scored on no.1 con-rod journal so I had the crank out and sent to what seem like a reasonable engine machining shop. Instructions was given to grind undersize 0.010" the no.1 con-rod journal and what was a very typical job ended in horror when I returned for my crankshaft. The incompetently trained machinist had removed the all important strength giving radius on both sides of all four con-rod journals thinking he had done me a favour!

I was so distraught by that I gave up on the rebuild after trying to contact various sources for another brand new Nissan/Datsun L18 competition 8 flywheel bolt holes crankshaft to no avail. This was with my new forged Cosworth pistons and Argo steel rods all made and ready for the LZ18.

The one good thing I did back in 1993 was to assemble the engine completely back to whole.

21 years later on, today in 2014, I read that many developments in material science/welding are now being carried out by competent crankshaft repair shops that may offer a ray of hope for rescue:

  • Journal grinding to remove prior hardening.
  • Submerged arc welding to rebuild the journal and restore the radius.
  • Grinding back radius and journal diameter to stock.
  • Nitriding treatment.
  • Crankshaft straightening.

After sending out emails to a couple of shops, I am awaiting confidently for some good news. There is always the more costly option of custom machining a brand new crankshaft today as a backup.

Other engine work like late model programmable ecu , injectors, cdi ignition, air fuel ratio logging are pretty straightforward to source and implement today.

2) Bodywork:

Body requires some sheet metal work for rusted out regions. Sheet metal cut, reshape and reweld for rusted out portions. Not too bad! only floorpan behind driver, spare wheel well and engine firewall needs it. The rest of the body is in very good condition. Fibreglass on both front fenders and quarter panels are basically good. Some minor repairs will be needed to bonnet and both doors as well as the front air spoiler. Spray paint interior and exterior to original colour coding after welding.

Anti-roll cage in good condition. Missing attachment joint bolts to be reinstalled.

Driver bucket seat to be secured properly.

A set of 4 points seat belts to be installed.

3) Undercarriage:

Overhaul brakes and hydraulically operated handbrakes. Will drain and refill only with Dot 5 synthetic fluid to make system last longer. Gearbox, driveshaft all available. Mountings to be sourced. Bolts may need to be sourced.

Road tyres shod on all four rims.

Suspension basically untouched. Come car testing time will diagnose more.

4) Fuel Tank/Dry Sump ballast tank:

Original aluminium fuel tank was located with the multiple top lids/caps ransacked and welded onto a locally fabricated sheet metal fuel tank (Not to my taste). That fuel tank is coming out. Will have the aluminium unit leak tested and welded if necessary. All the original lids, fill plate, pickup, screws and gaskets will be custom made and reinstalled back with foam baffling that can be purchased today. Most likely will install two units of late model in-tank fuel pumps to simplify/remove external ballast tank install.

The dry sump oil ballast tank is basically untouched. Will be cleaned and checked.

5) Electrical:

May need to 3D print an alloy handle for the kill switch which was inadvertantly lost!

There will be numerous other unmentioned parts of the car that may need attention and will be covered as best as possible in future postings.


  1. Is the real thing.
    Very nice
    I will buy it if sell.


    1. Thank you Yoshi for your comments. Now not for sale but thank you for asking.