Short post today – my cousin sent this over from Petrolicious. Love that site. You wanna spend your afternoon down the blissful car-enthusiast abyss?
Thought so. Start it off with this one:
I’m on my morning Datsun CL search routine. and come across something very interesting: a Turbo Tom.
The Turbo Tom was an aftermarket turbo setup in the 70’s for the early Datsun L-series engines (think, a turbo before the 280zx). It was developed by SCCA racer Tom Wyatt III, which in his own right has a pretty inspiring Datsun racing story of his own. Supposedly as he raced his turbo’d L20b Datsun 510, they had to continue to move Wyatt up in class. He was blowing doors off each class all the way up to the Corvette and Cobras.. the big boys. And even then, he beat Porsches and Cobras by seconds*.
From what i gathered, the Turbo Tom was a BYOT (bring your own turbo) setup, coming with intake and exhaust manifolds, and featured a mount for a sweet 4 bbl carb.
240Z car straight 6 with a Turbo Tom
Like any other aftermarket product, it’s subject to nay-sayers and the Turbo Tom is certainly no exception (one forum member harked it should stay dead). But also with pieces this interesting, there are those who create builds specifically around this turbo setup (zcar.com forum). Personally, I like the setup – it’s unique, it’ll no doubt give that L-series some more get-up-n-go, and it’ll be sure to generate talk with who ever sees it.
Worth $700? eeehhh sounds like a stretch, but I suppose for the right enthusiast, it’ll be turbo-riffic.
Original posting: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/pts/4006283760.html
Ah yes! we’re talking transmissions today.
The Datsun 280z came with two manual transmission options in it’s lifetime: the 4-speed and the 5-speed (for which the car is also badged noting the upgrade). And after driving the 4-geared ’77 280z for nearly two years, I’m kinda at that point: I want more gears! :]
But wanting is often different from needing, and we just need to build a case to bridge the two. Call it, justification through research – let’s do it.
Here are the gear ratios for Datsun / Nissan transmissions at the time*:
’74-’78 280z 4-speed:
’77-’78 280z and first year ’79 280zx 5 speed:
5th…. 0.864 (13.6%)
’80 280zx 5 speed:
5th…. 0.773 (22.7%)
’81-’83 280zx non turbo 5 speed:
5th…. 0.745 (25.5%)
As you can see the ratio drastically changes in the ’80 280zx 5-speed when going from 1st to 2nd. Additionally, the ratio of the 5th gear gradually moves further from 4th’s 1.0 ratio as the years go on (differences noted by percentage changes).
With regards to the first difference mentioned, the change to 2nd gear really depends on driving style and fuel economy needs. A taller ratio in 2nd (closer to 1.000), will require more power, higher RPM, and thus more fuel. Gears 3 and 4 are ok because we’ll be moving quite a bit at those gears, but 2nd is tricky. Spend more time in first, or bang through gears?
For me, I actually spend a lot of time in 2nd. I usually take back roads for my commute, and time out traffic lights so i’m rolling into the green. So it’s natural to use 2nd to get the rolling 280z moving again (deeper than that, I’m terribly used to 2nd because i swear we used to have to start my brother’s 510 in 2nd gear – 1st was kind of wonky…though he says it was never that way hahaha).
So just by looking at the gearing, we can see with the early Datsun 5-speeds we’ll get better proportioned low-end, but not as tall on the top-end. Now that we’ve decided on a 5-speed…what are our 6-speed options? :]
Data specs from Ratsun post, DatzenMike, 09 July 2012.
Heading toward downtown, and a red blur allowed me to catch up with him.
It was a red Datsun 510 with Bluebird plates, roll cage, white side markers and rolling on Rota RBs – all bowed up with a CA Historic plate. The friendly guy mentioned a SF ride with details on the Ratsun Forum. I should really get on there and do a ride one of these days…
Saw a fresh posting for a 1969 Datsun 510 with KA24DE motor and in need of some work (needs a new transmission)… for $2500.
For a car that still runs, new clutch, bubble flares, 4-door, Enkei rims, and that looks like it’s in relatively great shape? That’s a flat out no-brainer price. Especially since 5-speeds can go for as little as $200, and man, we’ve pulled out that 510 engine soooo many times…
Rolling around Office Depot to do a return, and a gunmetal gray 1969 Datsun 510 pulls up just as I do the same!
A nice fellow (didn’t get his name) just recently got his 510 back from having work done by Troy Ermish (very popular 510 mechanic in Tracy, CA). I guess the work took several years to complete (ugh)! “Skinny Puppy” (as noted by the sole sticker on the rear windshield) sported lowered suspension, blacked out bumpers, rear bubble flares, and circular rear side markers. And if it’s from Troy, it probably has his 2.5″ exhaust down pipe. Well, here it is.
After a fresh wash, we cruised it up to San Leandro for Historic Japanese Car Gathering‘s Shokuji J-Tin event! This year they had folks from Japanese Nostalgic Car and called back an honored guest, “Mary” from the the Ken & Mary Skyline commercials!
It looked like a great time with food / ice cream trucks as well as people and their cars from all over the place.
Though it seemed to be dominated by Datsuns, there were plenty of Toyotas making a scene.
As we rolled up a 350z owner asked if i could park next to him so he could snap some old / new photos – haha hopefully i can get a shot of that from him.
Unfortunately, we arrived ~3pm and got really at the tail end of the event, but we were able to spot a few cars and snap some pics on that beautiful bay area day. Enjoy!
White on gold is always a pleaser.
Some RHDs – yes, just check out that Skyline on Watanabe’s… that’s delux.
Rising sun corners on these two Datsun trucks.
Bunch of 510’s getting ready for a ride.
A spectacular looking Toyota Corolla Levin – man that thing was a compact piece of muscle.
This guy just threw his well done 510 right over the speed bump without a care. Sorry, that type of showmanship isn’t for me.
Really nice to see this brown Levin bare-boned and empty. You just get the ideas of restoring running through your head.
A bit more modern classic. Very well kept.
Ah, there he is – just taking in the sun.
a 280z restoration one morning at a time
a 280z restoration one morning at a time
Looking through the lens with rods and cones.
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