Black 1970 510

A very clean, very black 510

Black 1970 Datsun 510

General: This is a low-mileage 510 that has been garaged for most of its life and is relatively rust free. It was originally owned by a Datsun mechanic, back before they decided "The name is Nissan". I  personally owned this car for more than 12 years while making a lot of modifications. I had considered a rotary engine for it for a long time but eventually decided on a turbocharged, 2-liter Datsun 4-cylinder. Sold: I sold this car in September, 1999.

Body: The entire underside of the car has been cleaned, primered and painted, including the engine compartment and wheel wells. Black tinted windows, brake lights, turn signals, and side marker lights. Painted door handles, bumpers, and trim.

Black 1970 Datsun 510

Suspension: This car features a fully rebuilt suspension with shortened struts, aluminum ball joint ("bump steer") spacers, TMC springs, Tokico shocks, and big sway bars. The rear subframe is slotted for camber and caster adjustment. It has 15 by 6.5-inch Nissan wheels and Goodyear Eagle 50 series tires; 195/50-15 in front, 205/50-15 in the back.

Interior: The interior features 240Z seats with black sheepskin covers, all new black carpeting, VW Rabbit floor mats, black headliner, extremely clean dash and glove box, VDO mechanical gauges, and a Momo Jackie Stewart steering wheel. A driveshaft tunnel mounted hand brake lever replaces the stock under-dash one. A Lokar remote trunk release cable enables opening the trunk lid from inside the car without the key. A day/night rear-view from a later model Datsun was installed too.

Cylinder head

Engine: L20B with large port head, Racer Brown turbo cam with custom spray bar, Racer Brown valve springs, lightweight steel retainers, O-ringed, ported, CC'd, low compression head. Dual remote oil filters. Turbo-ZX oil pump. All Aeroquip water, oil, fuel, and brake lines.


I had the Datsun valve cover powder coated with a wrinkle black finish.
It features a custom oil spray bar for the cam, and an Aeroquip breather connector.

Engine installation: By using an oil pan from a 1978 200SX I was able to put the engine about 1/2 inch lower and 2 inches further back than the usual position. This improves the weight distribution, the center of gravity, and the polar moment of inertia. I had to make custom motor mounts to position the engine properly. The oil pan is modified to accept an Aeroquip -10 braided stainless steel turbo oil drain line.

Ignition: Electronic distributor, High performance ignition coil mounted next to the radiator (in the air stream but out of the way). Custom Taylor spark plug wires. Bosch platinum spark plugs, stock heat range. 1mm spark plug gap.

Lubrication: I added a dual remote oil filter setup with Aeroquip stainless steel -10 oil lines. The dual remote filters provide added filtration area, cause less oil pressure drop than a single filter, and provide one more quart of oil capacity. They also make it much less messy of a job to change oil filters.

Turbo setup: Rotomaster T04B high flow turbo with highly modified Holley 750CFM 4-barrel and custom, aluminum air cleaner housing. Turbonetics wastegate and adjustable remote boost control. Custom Turbo Toms aluminum log intake manifold, custom ceramic coated exhaust manifold.

1970 Datsun 510 Turbo engine
Right side view

1970 Datsun 510 Turbo engine
Left side view

1970 Datsun 510 Turbo engine
Top view

Offset aluminum air cleaner

Drivetrain:  Tilton aluminum flywheel, a Tilton 900KG pressure plate, and a Tilton solid hub lightweight clutch disc. Borg-Warner T5 5-speed transmission from a 280ZX turbo. Custom transmission mount. Fresh 3.90 R160 limited-slip differential. Custom driveshaft.

Custom driveshaft

Exhaust system: 3-inch turbine outlet pipe, 3-inch down pipe, 2.5" exhaust system, 2.5" turbo muffler, custom hand-built TIG welded system with mandrel bends. Ceramic coated. Enlarged exhaust system hole in rear crossmember. How to modify the rear crossmember

Exhaust system

Carbs: Before I turbocharged this 510, I went through several normally aspirated carb setups. It started out with a stock L20B carb that was installed with the engine. Next I replaced the stock carb with a Weber 32/36 DGV, then with a set of SU sidedrafts, and finally with a Holley 2-barrel. Of all of these, the Holley worked the best, followed by the SU's. The first two were just too small. In its turbocharged form, it features a highly modified Holley 750 double-pumper!

Black 510 engine

Black 510 engine

Black 510 engine

Electrical: The entire car has been re-wired with modern components. An internally regulated, 80-amp GM alternator was used by making a custom bracket. All relays have been eliminated. The battery has been relocated to the trunk. The fuse holder is located in a protected location under the dashboard.

Black 1970 Datsun 510

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