Datsun 1200 Ute

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Splash
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Datsun 1200 Ute

Post by Splash » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 12:03 pm

I inherited this from my granddad (Poppa) when he died roughly a year ago. It's been sitting in Dad's shed in Gympie since then because I don't have anywhere to put it down here. Now it looks like my brother might be buying my S14 (same one that bought my old SSS, so easy to sell cars to family members), so I'll have space in the garage.

Not sure how I'll ever be able to afford to fix it up. I haven't looked at it too closely yet, but from what I've seen it's got some bad rust in the chassis rails under the tray and I think there'd be a fair bit of bog hiding under the dodgy resprays it's had over the years.

Some pics:
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The good news is you can still buy a lot of brand new parts for them, including complete panels, lights, rubbers, etc. If I could weld it would be relatively cheap and easy to fix it up, but I've never touched a welder let alone used one.

I've been day dreaming about engine options for it too. Lots of people fit CA18DETs to them, but I'm leaning towards keeping it NA with a SR20DE. Of course the same problem of not being able to weld will be an issue when it comes to making custom engine mounts etc.

At the end of the day the car has huge sentimental value for me because Poppa taught me to drive in it when I was only 12. Back then I had to sit on cushions to reach the pedals/see over the dash, now I can barely fit behind the wheel! I wonder if I can fix it up and keep it going long enough for Marika to do the same? (only 10 years to go :) )
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Post by blv » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 1:17 pm

Nice project, just dont buy/use a stick welder. Either go with a tig, but a mig would be the quickest/easiest to learn.

I would stick with a CA even if going NA. Not sure how much you know about rebuilding engines, but if it were me I would buy a CA20 and gearbox from a bluebird or pintara and put the CA18DE head on it. That would also ensure its fresh (ring bearings and gasket kit would go in at the same time). I know its not something everyone could do, but I believe this would be cheaper than buying a RWD SR20DE. You could go aftermarket ECU on either for ease of wiring, or I can get the standard RWD CA or SR loom made into a stand-alone for quite cheap.
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Post by cGr » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 1:32 pm

Sounds like the perfect project to work on for the next 10 years. By the sounds of things though, there's a lot of work involved just to recondition it! Good luck, I'm sure you'll love the challenge :)

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Post by Splash » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 1:44 pm

blv wrote:Nice project, just dont buy/use a stick welder. Either go with a tig, but a mig would be the quickest/easiest to learn.

I would stick with a CA even if going NA. Not sure how much you know about rebuilding engines, but if it were me I would buy a CA20 and gearbox from a bluebird or pintara and put the CA18DE head on it. That would also ensure its fresh (ring bearings and gasket kit would go in at the same time). I know its not something everyone could do, but I believe this would be cheaper than buying a RWD SR20DE. You could go aftermarket ECU on either for ease of wiring, or I can get the standard RWD CA or SR loom made into a stand-alone for quite cheap.

Engine stuff I'm happy to have a fiddle with, but with the welding I'm more inclined to leave it to someone who knows what they're doing.

You'd be surprised how cheaply people having managed to get SRs into 1200s for: http://www.ozdat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=8381
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Post by daBOODA » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 7:55 pm

Forgive the silly suggestion but is restoring the orignal motor an option?

In your situation I'd feel compelled to 'restore' the car rather than 'do it up' with modern bits and pieces. You know, make it the way it was when you're grand father first bought it.

Please don't feel like I'm trying to make you feel bad. I'm sentimental retard
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Post by Splash » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 10:07 pm

I agree with what you're saying, but there's no sentiment attached to the condition of the car, more so the time we spent together driving it. Plus he didn't buy it new and it's always been a bit rough.

I'd rather do something to make it "mine" and bring back the driving enjoyment I felt when I was 12. I'll still honour his memory in some ways (keep the same paint colour for example) and I'm definitely not going to go crazy and ruin a fairly original Datsun by cutting it up.
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Post by tipper » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 11:02 pm

very cool. SR20 would be nice, and so would a little hairdryer on the side of it. I am sure an S15 motor with a six speed would be a great addition.

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Post by dan » Mon 15 Aug, 2011 11:31 pm

sweet car danny
i reckon pay someone to fix up all of the rust.. you don't want to fuck it up.
sr20 would definitely be interesting! but i would focus on fixing up the body stuff first.. teaching your girl to drive in a hotted up datto ute might be hairy!! maybe put the engine in after she is already driving...
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Post by daBOODA » Tue 16 Aug, 2011 7:38 am

Splash wrote:I agree with what you're saying, but there's no sentiment attached to the condition of the car, more so the time we spent together driving it. Plus he didn't buy it new and it's always been a bit rough.

I'd rather do something to make it "mine" and bring back the driving enjoyment I felt when I was 12. I'll still honour his memory in some ways (keep the same paint colour for example) and I'm definitely not going to go crazy and ruin a fairly original Datsun by cutting it up.


Good enough for me!

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Post by SecaBoy » Tue 16 Aug, 2011 8:37 am

always had a soft spot for these...

good luck with the build. :)
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Post by cGr » Tue 16 Aug, 2011 8:50 am

daBOODA wrote:Forgive the silly suggestion but is restoring the orignal motor an option?

I reckon an L20 would be a great period motor to fit in this car despite the fact that the standard engine is a 1.2.

But that's like saying that the standard SR20DET in an S15 should be replaced with a VR38DETT.

Any modern engine in a car weighing 700kg is going to go like a cut snake!

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Post by Splash » Tue 16 Aug, 2011 9:06 am

tipper wrote:very cool. SR20 would be nice, and so would a little hairdryer on the side of it. I am sure an S15 motor with a six speed would be a great addition.

Turbo SR20 is too big to be legal in Queensland. If I was going turbo I'd have to stick with a CA18DET.

dan wrote:sweet car danny
i reckon pay someone to fix up all of the rust.. you don't want to fuck it up.
sr20 would definitely be interesting! but i would focus on fixing up the body stuff first.. teaching your girl to drive in a hotted up datto ute might be hairy!! maybe put the engine in after she is already driving...

Yes I'm going to get the rust sorted first, and probably work on whatever else it needs to get registered.

cGr wrote:I reckon an L20 would be a great period motor to fit in this car despite the fact that the standard engine is a 1.2.

Personally I think an A14 or A15 would be better choices as period motors, plus being easier to fit.
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Post by Splash » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 1:02 pm

Went up to Gympie on the weekend and had a better look at this thing.

The rust isn't as bad as I originally thought. Here's a pic of the worst of it:

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I also found that the floors have already been fixed at some point which is good because it's a common place for rust.
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Post by dorift » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 5:07 pm

I see it's running some quality rubber at the moment! Hahah

Wikid project btw.
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Post by Splash » Fri 26 Aug, 2011 8:56 pm

^ that's the spare

The others have more tread on them, but still very skinny. The standard wheels are 12 x 4, hah
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Post by Ewen » Sat 27 Aug, 2011 8:16 am

... Go along with a hammer and tap all that around, there may be a fair bit more rust.. Just did a restore of an old corolla with a friend, about 400-500 hours worth from his part... Learned a lot from the welding / fabrication side to replace rusty bits, clever guy. But its not as hard as you think, its a lot of common sense and fiddling .. :) Get into it, i love those cars.
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Post by wagnzrcool » Mon 05 Sep, 2011 9:22 pm

Wow you don't see many of these around now, pretty much a classic! :)

I recon the CA18DET is the way to go engine wise.
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Re: Datsun 1200 Ute

Post by antos » Mon 18 Jun, 2012 4:46 pm

Just run original motor (freshen it up with a rebuild) on webbers =D

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