Jake Andrews
FJ20 Turbo Dat
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1972 Model Datsun 1600

Installing an FJ20DET (skyline) into a 510

 To Begin with a bit of background I have been brought up in the modified car scene. My father worked from home building race cars so some might say what chance did I have, I say none, cars are in my blood. I have owned over 20 cars since I turned 16 and I had a few before then, but for this article I will concentrate on my Datsun 1600ís or 510ís as I prefer to call them. I bought my first 510 at the age of 19, mainly for its independent rear end and parts swapability. I was also convinced by a mate Dave who I met through another hobby, though some of you might know him through Datspares. Dave introduced me to 510ís  before I even had my learners, one ride in his SSS 510 convinced me that one day I would own a 510.

 My first 510, which is still the car I drive today, I bought for the princely sum of $200 with out reg or RWC. I got the car registered and tried to destroy the L16 that came with it while I tried to decide on a motor to put in it. A couple of other 510ís went through my hands over the next few years, some becoming parts cars, and my favourite, a 1969 SSS, was sold as I had nowhere under cover to keep it and could not bring myself to butcher it. I had almost decided on a Z18ET and was buying the Trading post and Parts Peddler religiously looking for a cheap second hand motor when I spotted an FJ20DET in Porepunkah with the gearbox, computer, airflow meter, and loom all for $1000. I rang the guy immediately and took off the next day in a mates 510 to pick up the motor. Well we got the motor in the back seat of his 510 after removing the left hand rear door  and the gearbox and manifolds went in the boot. Needless to say the front wheels where pretty light the whole way home. 

 As soon as I got home I started stripping everything out of my 510. The car already had 240K struts and brakes which I decided to stick with. I decided to have the car rewired as I did not have the time to do this myself. After making a few enquires I bought a SSS automotive fitting kit as I was told this was the easiest way. Included in this fitting kit are block to rubber engine mounts, a reversed 510 front crossmember, custom gearbox crossmember, shortened tailshaft and a custom front anti-roll bar. I am sure you don't need to be told how to strip the standard driveline and engine bay. So, to jump to an empty engine bay, I had the front of the car seam welded  and painted the engine bay myself. It was now time to test fit the motor. I pulled the manifolds off the motor and attached the SSS engine block to rubber mounts, bolted a set of old 510 engine mount rubbers on and proceeded with a test fit. No. 1 problem, the engine mounts I was supplied where to wide to fit the cradle on the engine crossmember, and this was with stuffed engine mount rubbers, new ones where thicker again making the problem a lot worse. So out with the engine and some modification to the mounts including stiffening them where they had bent and back in with the engine. Once I had the motor bolted in I tried to put the manifolds on. No. 2 problem, because I have a Skyline motor the turbo hits the lower section of the firewall. I contacted SSS and they suggested belting the firewall to provide some clearance. After some careful measuring I determined that no amount of belting with any size hammer would give me the clearance I needed so I had a hole chopped in the firewall and a new section made to provide more clearance and allow me to fit a bigger turbo in the future. The next problem was the exhaust gas recirculation pipe from the turbo to the inlet manifold that would not clear the firewall. Some modification of the pipe helped as did the removal of the mounting for the rear brake junction, but I ended up moving the motor forward 1 cm to get the clearance required. Now the motor fitted it was a case of joining it to the gearbox. After extending the gear lever hole in the transmission tunnel I worked out I could not access the top bellhousing bolts so out with the motor again and bolt on the gearbox. 

 At this stage I was hoping the motor would only be going in once more so I outfitted the rest of the engine bay. The battery cradle was removed, a 7/8ths mastercylinder installed on a 180B SSS booster and a 720 van remote reservoir system was modified to suit. New brake lines where installed and the clutch mastercylinder was bolted up. At this stage I also moved the heater hoses so they both entered the firewall on the drivers side and the steering box was also reinstalled. 

 The motor and gearbox where then installed and all the clearances checked, unfortunately the turbo touched the idler arm so it was now time to modify that. I took the top front corner off the idler arm which gave me the clearance I needed. Every thing else cleared OK so it was time to work out the ancillaries and where the wiring would go. I decided on a Bluebird SIII spade type fuse box mounted under the ashtray with the computer mounted on rubber mounts to the firewall underneath the glove box. I bought an N13 pulsar radiator from a wreckers and after shortening the filler neck it fitted like it was designed to. I added a large Davies Craig thermo fan as well.  A Stanza bottom hose and an Escort top hose with a slight extension had the water ways all connected with the exception of the heater and catch tank. The heater hoses connected with two short alloy pipes between the original FJ20 hoses and my modified heater hoses and I mounted a radiator catch tank behind the left strut. I also installed a remote mounting block for the oil pressure sender so I can run an oil pressure light and gauge. A High pressure fuel filter was installed in the engine bay along with a low pressure primary filter under the car and all fuel lines where changed to 3/8th id. A Bosch high pressure pump was mounted under the rear seat and I also installed a 200b petrol tank with large feed and return lines put in to it. The exhaust was connected to my old 2 inch system and the old speedo cable connected up. I mounted the shortened tailshaft, fitted and bled the clutch slave cylinder and installed a floor mounted handbrake out of a 120Y. I then realized that I would need to move the washer bottle to provide room for an air filter so that was relocated to the other side. The car was then rewired by a friend of mine and it was ready for some testing and final assembly. 

 With the car back home I put in some 97 pulsar seats and installed a firewall where the rear seats used to go with a couple of  harness mounts added for good measure. The dash was installed complete with boost gauge and tacho and everything was tested  to make sure the wiring was right. Everything worked first time except the efi computer which needed the fuel pump and igniter circuitry repaired. With this fixed I was now back on the road in a 510, nearly. I still had to get an engineers certificate. 

 On the first attempt at an engineers certificate the car failed. This was due to the front springs being to short (not locating on full droop), a slight leak from the fuel tank breather, and I needed to heat shield the idler arm from the turbo and install an R180 diff or larger. These problems where solved with a complete front suspension change including new springs and strut inserts of the Pedderís red variety. I managed to get them cheaply off a mate who was wrecking a 200B that had the front springs and inserts fitted a month before he wrecked it. A R190 diff was sourced from Nissco/1600 workshop that set me back $150 for a 3.7:1 single wheeler complete with half shafts. Once this was installed I fabricated a heat shield for the idler arm from some galvanized steel and after much hunting managed to fix the fuel tank leak. The second trip to the engineers brought with it success as I left with the certificate in hand. From here I made the trip to the RTA where I had my engine no. changed and the car registered as a two seater. All the extras such as the 200b fuel tank, the Pulsar seats, and the harnesses mounting points and diff where included in the engineers. As a result I know have a four door 510 that is registered as a two seater due to the harnesses. 

 I can now say after driving my 510 for a couple of months that I feel the need for more power. By this I am not saying that a standard FJ20DET is not adequate but I simply crave more. To give you an idea of the cars performance their is very little on the road that gives me a hard time. Standard WRXs are dispatched of with relative ease and neither Holden or Ford (or HSV or Tickford) offer any vehicle worth worrying about. High priced exotica such as turbo Porches and the like are the few cars that will actually beat me in standard form, though a well modified WRX will really give me a hard time. Never the less modifications are planned starting with a three inch mandrel bent exhaust and an aftermarket computer so as I can get rid of my restrictive air flow meter. The car has been built with club competition in mind so I will update my progress as soon as I can. A quarter mile run is planned for  the near future so I will get the results up as soon as possible. 

 And as for getting beaten by a few expensive cars, where else can you get performance like I have for under six thousand dollars.

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