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Old 07-24-2019, 09:02 AM
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1930 Plymouth U sedan

Started this project in 2018.

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Old 07-24-2019, 11:54 AM
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That's a good start. BTW, welcome to HR.com.


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Old 07-24-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 454 Rattler View Post
That's a good start. BTW, welcome to HR.com.


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Thank you, 454Rattler!

Going to try to chronicle the build thus far as best I can.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:06 AM
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I don't know much about the history of this vehicle, but my guess is that it was a west coast car, and that it was well taken care of. Reason being, is that there is very little rust, very straight body panels, fairly solid paint and hardly any dents/scratches on the under-carriage. So, maybe a family or company vehicle from a West coast city?

I understand that many of these cars were used by migrating families during the great depression(and subsequently were fairly well knackered by the time they got to the west, if they made it that far) and also by cab/commercial companies as a low-cost limo/cab/shuttle vehicle due to the large, comfy back seat.

When I first opened up the hood, I was in for a surprise because I found that a Datsun 510 engine/4 speed combo had somewhat been "shoe-horned" in. In retrospect, i actually appreciate one aspect of the bubba'd install job (seller bought it that way about 10 years ago) because they absolutely avoided cutting up the vehicle and made an effort to use existing bolt holes when they could.

So, strangely enough, I actually got to drive her down the road a bit which can't be said of most of my other projects at the very beginning.

It was a very "interesting experience"...Loud, slow, hot...BUT the brakes had just been done so very quick/easy to stop, and with 4 leaf spring packs at each corner - quite comfortable over bumps.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:14 AM
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Original "silver-dome" flathead that came with the car. After searching around for a few months, I realized some specific things about this motor:

1. it's old
2. it's very underpowered for how big it is. (40ish HP)
3. probably sounds awesome running - like a sewing machine on steroids.
4. Parts would be hard to find
5. someone would likely be able to use such a solid, good condition motor (it was not stuck and rotated freely (obviously stored inside)

Ended up off-loading it to a Plymouth/Dodge enthusiast who intends to rebuild it. Since I have no plans to "restore" this car, I'm glad it went to a good home.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:42 PM
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Congrats on your finds.

When I saw the words Datsun 510 in your info I came immediately to alert status. When I went back to school in the late 70's I needed reliable transportation and since I was a starving student I had no discretionary funds for such a thing. I was working part time at a local Truck Shop doing odd jobs and delivering and picking up trucks and also helping install new 5th wheels.

I was at lunch one day setting in the shop and the owner comes over and asks me why I don't have my own wheels? My reply was I can't afford to buy one. He looks at me and says what about getting some parts and build something. He then says if ya want you can have the 1600 out of my wifes 510 wagon. The motor has 5000 miles on a complete rebuild. He said "The car is a write off thanks to my ex wife. apparently she got drunk and blew a stop sign and was hit on the right front. Bad... He says take the roll truck up to my house and load it up bring it down here and You can pull the engine.

Now to move the story along about a week after removing the 1600 I got a call from an old friend and an invite up to his place in the mountains. While I was there I noticed a little pickup hiding in the underbrush. I couldn't see what it was but it was evident its usefulness had ended a long time ago. I inquired what was it's status. He said engine and transmission, Radiator, and some small parts were missing. He said some one had stolen it and stripped it. He goes I towed it home when it was found and haven't touched it since! That was a couple a years ago. You want it? I asked how much and he said free just get it out of the yard.

I took the little truck which was a 1972 Chevy LUV truck. After looking at the truck I decided "What the heck lets stick the 1600 in the LUV and drive it like I stole it. It was the simplest install I ever did. I used the 510 engine Trans and driveshaft. The only fabbed parts I had to make was throttle linkage to reverse the throttle and For mounts I used the built in motor mounts and took a 1/4 inch steel plate laid it flat on top of the luv frame mounts and extended it about 4 inches and mounted the stock 1600 mounts to the plate and did the same on the crossmember. The stock 1600 down pipe fit just like it was made for it.

It turned out to be the coolest little truck I ever had. No one would believe it was "Powered by Datsun" Then I popped the hood and there it was looking like it was made to go in a LUV truck. I meet a lot of Datsun people with that truck and found out there were all kinds of trick speed parts for the 1600 and the 2000 cc motors. I never got any fancier than a header and a holly carb but that 1600 and Luv truck combination was a winner. It was a quick little truck got good mileage and was reliable as heck.

So what I was getting at was these small Datsun 4 cyls are great little motors. with just a few tweeks you have a street snarler.... I would recommend getting all of the other items fixed and squared away and then look at maybe keeping the little 4 and going hog wild with it. I like doing things differently and I bet with some gearing and a little tuning that Plymouth would cruize along with the 4 cylinder.��

Last edited by Rip VW; 07-25-2019 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Course correction to 166 mark 5
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip VW View Post
Congrats on your finds.

When I saw the words Datsun 510 in your info I came immediately to alert status. When I went back to school in the late 70's I needed reliable transportation and since I was a starving student I had no discretionary funds for such a thing. I was working part time at a local Truck Shop doing odd jobs and delivering and picking up trucks and also helping install new 5th wheels.

I was at lunch one day setting in the shop and the owner comes over and asks me why I don't have my own wheels? My reply was I can't afford to buy one. He looks at me and says what about getting some parts and build something. He then says if ya want you can have the 1600 out of my wifes 510 wagon. The motor has 5000 miles on a complete rebuild. He said "The car is a write off thanks to my ex wife. apparently she got drunk and blew a stop sign and was hit on the right front. Bad... He says take the roll truck up to my house and load it up bring it down here and You can pull the engine.

Now to move the story along about a week after removing the 1600 I got a call from an old friend and an invite up to his place in the mountains. While I was there I noticed a little pickup hiding in the underbrush. I couldn't see what it was but it was evident its usefulness had ended a long time ago. I inquired what was it's status. He said engine and transmission, Radiator, and some small parts were missing. He said some one had stolen it and stripped it. He goes I towed it home when it was found and haven't touched it since! That was a couple a years ago. You want it? I asked how much and he said free just get it out of the yard.

I took the little truck which was a 1972 Chevy LUV truck. After looking at the truck I decided "What the heck lets stick the 1600 in the LUV and drive it like I stole it. It was the simplest install I ever did. I used the 510 engine Trans and driveshaft. The only fabbed parts I had to make was throttle linkage to reverse the throttle and For mounts I used the built in motor mounts and took a 1/4 inch steel plate laid it flat on top of the luv frame mounts and extended it about 4 inches and mounted the stock 1600 mounts to the plate and did the same on the crossmember. The stock 1600 down pipe fit just like it was made for it.

It turned out to be the coolest little truck I ever had. No one would believe it was "Powered by Datsun" Then I popped the hood and there it was looking like it was made to go in a LUV truck. I meet a lot of Datsun people with that truck and found out there were all kinds of trick speed parts for the 1600 and the 2000 cc motors. I never got any fancier than a header and a holly carb but that 1600 and Luv truck combination was a winner. It was a quick little truck got good mileage and was reliable as heck.

So what I was getting at was these small Datsun 4 cyls are great little motors. with just a few tweeks you have a street snarler.... I would recommend getting all of the other items fixed and squared away and then look at maybe keeping the little 4 and going hog wild with it. I like doing things differently and I bet with some gearing and a little tuning that Plymouth would cruize along with the 4 cylinder.��
I actually SERIOUSLY considered that, once I did some research on the motor and realized how many gearheads know that motor and how highly they spoke of it.

After mulling the decision over for a couple months, based on the fact that I have a big family who will be cruising in this thing with me, my dad( who is a retired gearhead with experience in drag cars and chase trucks in the past) and I decided something with a bit more power was required.
The HP output of the Datsun motor just wasn't going to cut it, so out it came, carefully stored in my garage.

I tell you, though, the day that i posted it for sale, I had a Datsun enthusiast coming down from Los Angeles to pick it up for his project. he was happy as a clam.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:00 PM
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After a couple conversations with my dad(the expert) and the boss (my wife) surrounding the direction of this project - I decided a couple things:

1. I wanted healthy amounts of power, but I definitely didn't have the coin for anything too hot.
2. I wanted a reliable, known powerplant with lots of aftermarket support.
3. I wanted to be able to do as much work myself as possible spending money on tools/equipment as needed.

Having decided those couple of things, a sweet deal on a low mileage 283 V8 came my way and I was off to the races on my build. It was fairly complete with an intake manifold, Rochester carb, rams head exhaust manifolds and a few other bits and pieces.

I went through it as best I could, refreshing or replacing what I needed to and what I could afford (new water pump, new oil pump, gaskets, rebuilt carb, etc.)

My dad and I fired her up earlier this year, and she idles very smoothly, with very nice oil pressure at idle.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:31 PM
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You're going to need a flexplate. In recent years, most of the easily copied parts, such as flexplates, have been farmed out to shops in the Orient and made of the cheapest, thinnest materials that can be found. We hear of broken flexplates all the time. Do yourself a huge favor when it comes time to get a flexplate and order one made to SFI Specification 29.1 by a leading manufacturer such as Hughes, ATI, TCI, etc. I'm just trying to save you some grief down the road.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hup-hp3992/overview/

Jim Hughes has been a friend of mine for 30 years and I have found him to be a man of honor and integrity.....
http://www.hughesperformance.com/
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Old 07-28-2019, 04:37 PM
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Now that I had my motor fairly well sorted, I moved onto making some room in the engine compartment.

Pulled the light bar, radiator shroud, and radiator. Grabbed my cherry picker and pulled the Datsun out. Once I had it out, I also had to remove the booty fabbed master cylinder and battery tray setup.

Starting the teardown:
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Bare frame:
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:00 PM
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Once I had the engine compartment space free, and found the th350 Chevy transmission I was going to use, it was time to order my engine install kit from Butch's Cool stuff

I ordered this kit:
https://butchscoolstuff.com/26-38-pl...nt-kit-2201cp/

Very slick setup.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:50 AM
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Next, I hooked the engine/trans package to my hoist and centered the motor side to side and made sure the distributor, fuel pump, steering box and exhaust manifolds had proper clearance. Then I leveled the carb, which was interesting because it put a slight 1-2 degree rearward slant on the motor which I guess makes sense because you want the oil draining back to the rear mounted oil-pump, right? Once I was happy with the positioning, I proceeded to trim the intentionally "too long" trans cross-member to fit, box the frame up front where the engine mounts go with some scrap steel, and then tacked the mounts for yet another test fit.

I gotta say, I completely under-estimated how useful an engine-levelling attachment was until now. it completely changed how able i was to carefully measure and consider the best placement of this obviously non-stock motor.

This is the one I bought. About $25.00 with a coupon. Very solid design for the coin.
https://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qu...ler-67441.html
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My welds aren't the best, but they're honestly getting better as i keep practicing and doing my own work.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:10 AM
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My focus, at the beginning once I had a general direction, was on researching any "adapter kits" I needed for my intended drivetrain/running gear. It's my experience that they are always at risk of going off the market with niche vehicles (as opposed to kits for say, Ford hotrods), so that's where I spend my money first.

First example was the engine install kit from Butch's. IMO it was top-notch, at a great price, and would have taken much more money and time for me to figure out on my own. Once I had the engine and trans in, I focused on my other adapter kit: Brake disc conversion.

I have a rule about old cars. Once I make it "go", I work on making it "stop". I have done this on several projects, and usually I end up putting disc brakes up front with a dual master cylinder. Even a manual setup is light years ahead of a drum/drum/single master as far as safety and performance. Since I definitely have plans to take this rig on the freeway, I sourced a kit from Scarebird kit that was made for my exact model year Dodge/Plymouth:

https://scarebird.com/index.php?rout...product_id=167

It was $189.00 plus shipping for a VERY nice zinc plated caliper mount, custom machined spindle spacer, clips, cotter pins and banjo bolts.

Everything else (hub/disc, caliper, pads, bearings and oil seal) I got at a local Oreilly's for about 260 bucks, so all in, $450.00 for the conversion. You use your original spindle, castle nut and keyed hub washer.

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The other huge benefit is that is allows me to run a normal 15" 5x4.5" bolt pattern dodge/jeep wheel. I LOVE the look of my wood spoke'd wheels, but they have a speed rating of about 35-40 miles per hour (no Bueno) and I also plan on a specific look with red wheels, baby moon covers and either blackwalls or whitewalls.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:23 AM
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Wilwood Dual master setup.

By the way, this is what I'm thinking for the dual Master setup for this project:

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Wilwo...edal,1960.html

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Does anyone have experience with this or other types of "all-in-one" setups that include the pedal? I'm thinking that for about $200.00, this seems pretty clean, good looking, from a good company, that'll allow me all the flexibility I'll need to mount it on the firewall....

...BUT, I'm definitely open to other options?

I'm definitely not considering used brake parts, but if you know, for example, that the master/pedal assembly from a XJ cherokee/Dodge coronet/Ford mustang is widely used for universal projects and can be had cheap from summit/jegs/etc...that'd be great to know.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:03 AM
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Ok, well that pretty much catches up to several weeks ago. I am definitely committed to getting this rig back on the road in 2019, so I've got a long list of Honey-do's to get done. Now that the engine/tranny are where I think I need them to be, it triggers some other projects.

1. purchase and mount master cylinder/brake pedal assembly.
2. purchase and mount accelerator pedal.
3. fab floorboards and toe kicks.
4. install rear axle and fab temporary driveshaft.
5. fab new brake lines to master
6. locate battery mount and attach.
7. mount radiator and adjust fit as necessary.
8. fab/source alternator mount and alternator
9. Rewire vehicle (probaby using something like KillBillet's prefab kit)
10. order replacement cable and install Pro-Matic shifter kit.
11. etc, etc, etc...lol.

Also, I took some time off and did some quick, low-buck paint work. It's very NOT professional...lol, but it did a great job keeping me motivated after a long road of work, especially since 99.9% of my project budget is being used for mechanical priorities.

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