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Fletch's 1974 Datsun 260c Wagon


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We bought a 40foot container over at the beginning of november. It cost more to get from mackay to brisbane, than brisbane to auckland..................


Got it registered 2 dec. was easier than i thought. Took it to silvia park vtnz. Had no trouble.




Kangaroo dent in front bumper. I hope it can be repaired without re-chroming.



First job back home was to strip the electric window in the rear quarter. It was only going down 1/4 before tripping the circuit breaker.

No photos but i stripped it all apart and greased everything and the slides and now its nice and smooth, and fast.

While i had the cover off the inner guard, i popped the dent out of the back quarter. Can hardly see it now.





The dash is pretty far gone from 40 years of Tamworth summers, so i got a new one from Japan. It wasnt cheap...




Hope to fit it in a few months




For new years we went away to the beach with a few mates. around 1200kms all up. 



The chev had some pretty big running issues on the way there and we discovered a big vacum leak in the inlet manifold. Once that was solved it ran a million times better. 

The 260c has been running worse and worse and when we got back, I discovered the vacuum hose to the brake booster was all old and hard and split.

Fixed it up and it runs far better




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After our road trip at new years the car was running bad and getting worse.

The carb kit i ordered came in so Gen and i rebult the carb. I thought it would be a simple strip, clean, new gaskets and o-rings, and throw it back together. But it was not to be. 

The main shaft in the carb has worn into the housing and the butterfly has worn the side off. This made a big air leak that was making the idle bad. I think it was caused by the mechanical linkage from the firewall being spring loaded towards the firewall and pulling on the shaft.




The shiny bits on the shaft are where the shaft has worn, and also worn into the carb base. Also, both screws sheared off when i undid them :(


LUCKY for me, i had another carb in stock from an e13 datsun sunny. Its the same carb but later type. The 240c and 260c have the hitachi DAF 342 carb, and the sunny had the later DCH or DCF 342 carb. the 342 means 34mm secondary, 32mm primary butterfly. The later carb is a better carb and has electronic choke, but my one was damaged by the spectacular failure of the engine it was attached to. Im looking for another one as the jets all swap over.


Long story short, i swapped the main shaft, butterfly, and bushes into the 260 carb and it went back together sweet as.

I didnt bother cleaning the outside as the air cleaner covers it




Now it starts and idles with no choke! Great success!


I also fitted a rebuilt 280z electronic distributor. The points were shitting me so i got one from ebay us cheap and threw it in there.

Its a common mod in the 240/260z community. You have to change the base plate to suit the dizzy.


Ooohh shiny!



Dizzy installed



I didnt have a 12v coil in stock, or the time to scrounge one off one of rays relics, so i just did the quick bypass on the ballast to give the 6v coil 12v. gets warm but runs sweet



I put Gen to work cleaning the interior, but it obviously was hard work and boring so she went to sleep..




My old man took it for a test drive and got 15 minutes away when a cloud of smoke came out of the dash and the engine stopped.

Turns out an electrical addition by the previous owner was loose and shorted out. It blew one of the fusible links in hte engine bay. Lucky the car comes with a spare which went straight in and away it went again.

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So i have been keen to increase the number of speeds in the wagon since i got it.

I picked up a z16 column change d21 navara box cheap ages ago, and pinched a l series box from ray recently.


the other day i pulled the front housings off both boxes for an inspection and to put the L front on the z rear.




The z box is a FS5W71'C' and the L box is a 'B' 

No major differences, slightly wider gears in the C, larger countershaft bearing, larger 1st/2nd selector fork.


The only problem i see is the ratios of the z16 box are terrible. see the table below


z16........Lseries.....260c wagon













Currently 1st gear in the wagon is not bad, maybe a bit tall, so the 3.321 of the l series box i have would be good. For an overdrive, ill take whatever i can get.


Im thinking i should fit the l series internals into the c series case to get a better spread of gears.

Or buy a few cheap boxes and mix and match the gear sets.
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I pulled the 3 speed box the other day to do a measure up.

its 135mm longer than the boxes i have. dammit.


You can see the extra length here






and here




The design of the 3 speed box (and 4 speed as an option in some cars) has all the gears in the front half of the box. The rear part of the shaft has no spline on it for 5th and reverse. My first plan was to slip some extra gears in, that was before i opened it up and saw the bare shaft.


See the pic below, there is also no room for 2 pairs of gears to fit in the longer housing.

At least the mounts line up




So heres where im at today




I need a driveshaft like this, but 135mm longer, which is 452mm between uj centres. Same yoke as s13/s14/r32 etc

I went to a few wreckers today and they all told me the sideways hat brigade has bought them all to do manual conversions on laurels and cefiros.


I did stumble upon a GD21 navara at a wreckers on my way home with the parts i need but i have to wait a few days until they decide if they are going to wreck it or keep it for a farm hack.


Also looking for a tidy H190 diff head. 4.11. Diff code HF41. came out in ka24e d21 navaras. i dont think we got them, or japan either. I drove one in american samoa a few years back, but im not going there again..

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Some progress on the gearbox front


i chose the L series gearset as it had the better ratios. 

I thought i would just change to the column change selectors and be done with it.


one problem with this is that nissan went to a larger 1/2 selector shaft in the later gearboxes

I couldnt run the larger shaft as the selector that fits it is for the bigger synchros that the earlier gearset does not have.

Here is the larger 1/2 selector on the earlier shaft 14mm vs 16mm




The column change 1/2 shaft also has a notch in it for clearance of the selector.




I decided to make a sleeve to fit the fork to the shaft. cant be that hard.


Using some precision engineering skillz i learned from my brother in law Ray, I lined up the 2 detent notches and marked where the new hole for the dowel pin needed to be.

I ground a flat and dot punched it then drilled.




Some of my workmates told me i would never drill it as it was some kind of hardened tool steel shit. They were wrong.

I used this fine quality chinese drill press and only fucked 4 drill bits




Then i made this sleeve up to go from 14mm up to 16mm. Pressed it on, machined a notch in it with 20 axis angle grinder





Test fit last night. Its the top one





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  • 3 months later...

Bit of a late update.


So i reassembled the gearbox and it seemed to change gears ok.

After i chucked it in i made cut up the navara driveshaft to make a new front half 130mm longer. I used the UJ's off the navara front half as they were sweet and the hanger bearing rubber was still good. I turned the tube off in the lathe and cut a section out of the rear half to go in.

A mate gave me a hand to assemble it on his bigger lathe and we arc welded it up.


It looks like its sticking out a long way from the box, but its only about 8mm further out than it was in the navara. 





The column changer shaft on the wagon was a tiny bit short but the navara lower half was a perfect fit. They are splined together to be collapseable  in an accident.




Also the wagon lever did not have enough in and out travel to select the extra row of gears. The part i am holding is the bush from the wagon which i punched out and as luck would have it, the navara with the spring return fitted perfectly




I turned the old stopper off the navara shaft and made a new one to grub screw on










Once i had it all installed i used a mixture of the navara and wagon linkages to get the shortest shift travel and also mixed and matched the best bushes for minimum slop.


First test drive was around the block then the next day ray and i went to hamilton for the night and the next day went to auckland for the cruise to the leadfoot ranch then back to new plymouth.

Around 950kms test drive and it went well. Only problem was the bolt on the column change shaft nearly fell out a few km from home and the gear changes got real sloppy.

Also by pure luck the driveshaft that was welded by a pair of low flying seagulls seems to be perfectly balanced. got it up to 136kmh and no vibrations


Only downside was my rebuild of the gearbox. I mix and matched the synchros but put the 1st and 2nd around the wrong way. When the box is cold it wont go into 2nd when moving. Its no trouble when warm. 


Also, the speedo drive is on the other side of the tail housing so the cable hits the exhaust. Im waiting on a right angle drive box for the right price to come up on ebay and ill be away. For now its all good.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Got back from chch last night. Around 2100km total by the time i went and caught up with some mates and a bunch of chch OS gc's.


Bit heavy on the way back.



2x l28, 1x h190 diff head, 1x datsun 430 front suspension complete, a bunch of concrete garden ornaments from the in-laws, a pair of KEF home speakers (about a ton each), a whole pile of baby related shit, blah blah blah


just off the bumps at the back



These fuckin hubcaps are terrible for falling off. Nearly lost another one and i checked them all at wanganui





I unloaded using the ray approved method. couple of pallets and a few old tyres on them and just push the motors out the back




Now im going to sit back and drink beer until my 90 deg speedo drive box turns up and my shed is finished

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

All of the diffs have some kind of issue so the the one with the least slop went in.

I also parted with some cash for someone to make a new front piece of the driveshaft and balance it.


Been burning around in it today to make sure there are no issues.

Gearbox - check

Driveshaft vibration - check

Diff - hmmmm. I'll take some bananas 

Front end - not so good

I pulled the front left apart and the outer wheel bearing has decided to shit the bed. 

Same bearing as 80 series cruiser kingpins and the 12 roller version that I have is prone to dying. 

Tomorrow is Taranaki anniversary so no shops open. I'll try and get some overnight parts from Japan from Auckland.

Leaving for chch Friday with my 2 yr old son. Don't think he will be that keen on sitting on the side of the road for a day waiting for help.

Maybe I should join the aa? 

No photos of bearings due to me being busy swearing at the fucking thing.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...

whoa, a year later...

so i got the bottom end together


But to get to this point took a few steps back and forward.

I opened up the combustion chamber a bit and it turned out i would be around 12.5:1 comp which is not daily driver material.


The bore spacing of the head chambers to the bores is lol so i had to mark each one to the head. The head gasket is also terrible spacing, but some guy in the us is getting cometic to make him a custom one to his design so ill try and buy one of them


Gave the piston a bit of dish to drop the comp a little. Not sure if we did it the right way, but it worked out sweet


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  • 2 years later...

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