New Air Cleaner

The original air cleaner that came on my truck had been modified at some point. The “horn” inlet had been cut off. See below:

These modifications were pretty common, but I wanted to get an intact stock air cleaner to put back on the truck. A couple of years ago I cut out a small swatch of my stock air cleaner to use it as a sample to get some paint mixed in Datsun air cleaner blue.
Earlier this year I was able to acquire a replacement stock air cleaner from a 1964 320 that someone was parting out. It is in good shape, but has clearly been repainted at some point.

The inside of the new air cleaner had also been painted, but the lid was its original blue.

I used some Metal Prep and a Scotch Brite pad to address the surface rust, which was mostly on the lid.

Then I sprayed some Rustoleum white Clean Metal Primer on the air cleaner.

Here are the air cleaner body and lid in white primer.

I opened the can of paint Ace Rust Stop paint I had custom-matched to air cleaner blue and stirred it thoroughly.

In order to make the paint flow better and hopefully self-level, I added in around 15% of Penetrol and stirred that in really well.

I started with the lid, just using a foam brush to coat the inside of the lid and the wingnut and other accessories.

After the paint dried, I flipped over the lid and painted the outside.

The air cleaner body had a rubber gasket inside the area where the bottom of the air cleaner mates to the top of the carburetor. Here are some shots of that gasket from the bottom of the air cleaner looking up (left) and from the inside of the air cleaner (right).

As you can see, the gasket has a lip that rests on the underside of the air cleaner. I used a screwdriver to work the gasket down from the inside of the air cleaner out the bottom.

When I got the gasket out it was crusty, the rubber hardened, and broken in several places.

Here is some detail on the top of the gasket where it aligns with the air cleaner lip that tightens around the mouth of the carburetor.

With that rubber piece out I moved on to painting the body of the air cleaner, also just using a foam brush.

Fuel Pump Options

Since I got the truck I’ve been trying to figure out a replacement mechanical fuel pump. Previously I mentioned one of the possibilities, which was to get a newer fuel pump for a more common L-series Datsun engine and modify it to fit the E-series engine.
Here is a picture of the original, OEM fuel pump that came on the E-1 engines, complete with tin-man styling and a cool priming lever (picture originally posted on Ratsun by Steve).

And here is a shot of the Nikki fuel pump that was on my truck when I got it. I am fairly certain this is a J-series engine fuel pump such as those found on the engines of the 520 and 521 trucks that followed the 320 in the Datsun line-up beginning in late 1965. Note the angle and length of the fuel pump arm are similar to the original E-series pump above.

I found and bought an L-series fuel pump. This is the pump that was found on 510s, 240zs, and 610 and later Datsun trucks, so they tend to be more readily available than either the E-series or J-series pumps. As shown below, the mounting surface and bolt-hole spacing between the J- and L-series pumps are identical, which is promising.

But clearly the arms are different in size and angle (L-series pump left, J-series right).

And the L-series pump is a Kyosan Denki whereas the J-series is a Nikki.

The fuel pump arms are mounted into the body by a pin. I was unsuccessful trying to press out the pin on either of the pumps, so I will need to take this to a machine shop to see if they have any luck swapping the arm from my E-1 compatible J13 pump onto the brand new L-series fuel pump.

Manifold & Oil Filter Housing Painting

This afternoon I painted the intake and exhaust manifolds, their mounting hardware, and the oil filter housing to make them all look new and original.
I had at least a half a can of Eastwood’s high temperature Factory Gray spray paint leftover from use on my roadster. This paint is designed to capture the appearance of new cast iron and is safe to up to 1,200 degrees so it is suitable for an exhaust manifold.

I masked off the threads of the studs for the intake manifold and started spraying. It came out pretty nice.

I also masked off the threaded studs on the intake manifold before painting.

I previously ordered a can of Al’s Datsun Engine Blue spray paint, which I’ve used with much success on Datsun engines and engine parts in the past. I bought this can on ebay, but I believe it is currently available from California Datsun’s website here.

The finished intake and exhaust manifolds:

Here are the manifold mounting washers, engine lifting bracket, and oil filter housing, which I previously cleaned up, prepped, and primed.

I sprayed them with the same Datsun blue engine paint, since I found traces of that color on each of the parts, suggesting that was their original color.

Manifold Clean-Up

This afternoon I spent some time cleaning up the intake and exhaust manifolds to prepare them for paint.
I started with the washers and engine-lifting bracket, which I sprayed with Simple Green and scrubbed with a Scotch-Brite pad.

After a fair amount of scrubbing they came pretty clean and revealed the original paint underneath the grease and dirt.

I used some Metal Prep to treat the raw metal, applying it also with a Scotch-Brite pad. The Metal Prep removes light rust chemically but also leaves a protective coating on raw steel to fend off new rust.

Next I turned my attention to the manifolds. I removed the hot spot gasket from the exhaust manifold. It’s thin and impregnated with metal.

I used a drywall knife to pry off the carburetor insulator from the intake manifold without too much trouble.

Here is a look at the thickness of the insulator.

I sprayed and scrubbed the exhaust manifold.

And I sprayed on scrubbed the intake manifold.

Then I turned my attention back to the manifold mounting washers and engine-lifting bracket, which had dried nicely in the sun. I sprayed on a coat of Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer.

After they dried, I slipped them over to prime the other side.

The exhaust manifold is cast iron, and it had more surface rust than the steel parts. I used a wire brush in my drill to remove some of the pitting.

Before…and after.

Here is the wire brushed outside of the exhaust manifold.

And the before and after of the inside of the exhaust manifold.

I applied some Metal Prep to the exhaust manifold.

And I also applied some Metal Prep to the intake manifold.

Intake/Exhaust Manifold Removal

I spent most of today removing the intake and exhaust manifolds from the engine.

Here is a shot of the intake manifold as it sits on top of the exhaust manifold. The light blue shop towels are still in place from when I removed the carburetor and stuffed them into the intake.

As shown below, the manifolds attach to the head by a combination of six bolts and washers. In the first picture, on the end toward the firewall is the bracket one can use to lift the engine out of the engine bay.

I used some PB Blaster and a 1/2″ socket to loosen the bolts.

I removed all of the bolts. The second left-most mounting point was actually a stud.

I removed the 1/2″ nut and the washer from that stud.

Then I did the same from the right-most stud, which also mounts the engine lift bracket.

Here are a couple of shots of the engine lift bracket.

I used a ratcheting wrench to loosen the inside bolts because there was no clearance to get a socket into the space.

And did the same on the other side.

The top of the manifold came loose from the engine, but the bottom was still mounted to the exhaust below. The truck came without a full exhaust system. After a brief downpipe with a resonator the exhaust terminates under the truck and never makes it to the back bumper. At first I tried to loosen the bracket that clamped the exhaust manifold to that short pipe, to no avail. So, with nothing worth saving south of the manifold, I took more drastic measures.

The exhaust pipe didn’t put up much of a fight.

So with the manifold liberated from the exhaust pipe below, I was able to extract the intake/exhaust manifold successfully.

Then I pulled that short length of exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold.

Here are some pics of the combined manifold, still assembled.

These two pictures show the four nuts that connect the intake manifold (upper) to the exhaust manifold (lower).

This is a look down into the two intake ports below the carburetor. There is an insulator and gasket that sits on those four bolts between the manifold and carb.

Here are a couple of shots of the engine on the driver’s side. Now with the manifolds and carburetor/air cleaner stripped away it looks pretty bare.

Next I separated the intake manifold from the exhaust manifold. I used a 7/16″ box-end wrench to loosen the nuts from the four studs at the corners of the intake.

After breaking them loose I was able to turn all four off with my fingers.

With those four nuts and washers removed, I was able to pull the intake manifold up and off the exhaust manifold.

The underside of the intake manifold that mates to the exhaust manifold has a cool, accordion shape. In the picture below is is caked in black carbon from combustion. Also between the two manifolds is a hot spot gasket that thermally separates the hot exhaust manifold from the cooler intake manifold above.

Here is the free intake manifold. It appears to have originally been painted Datsun blue like the engine.

New Filters!

Last week I ordered some replacement air, fuel, and oil filters from Rockauto. I was pretty pleased to find the filters still available. These are from Fram, which aren’t known as the best filters in the world, but frankly are probably as good or better than the ones that came on the truck in the mid-1960s. Plus I got a rebate!

The air filter is part # CA352.

The fuel filter is part #G3359.

The oil filter cartridge is part #CH820PL.

There is also a WIX oil filter cartridge available that is part #51300.

Drained the Gas Tank

I drained the old fuel out of the gas tank this afternoon. The fuel tank is located at the rear of the truck, under the bed. You put gas in the truck through the rear fender on the driver’s side in the U.S. (not sure about elsewhere) so the fuel tank is located just below that, inside and below that fender.

There is a drainage plug at the bottom of the fuel tank. In the picture below the drive shaft is visible for reference. I sprayed some Simple Green on the drain plug to loosen up nearly 50 years of dirt, grease, and grime covering the head of the plug.

Then I used a stiff brush to scrub away at the drain plug, revealing its head.

I positioned a drain pan underneath the gas tank and used a 3/4″ socket on my wrench to loosen the drain plug.

After it loosened up I finished unwinding the drain plug by hand, and the gas drained out.

The good news is that the gas looks very clear and the viscosity is thin. I don’t know how long this gas has been in the tank, but I suspect the truck hasn’t run in many years, maybe even a decade or more. Just as I was getting a little nervous that my drain pan might not be adequate, the gas slowed to a trickle and stopped draining.

It was a pretty good quantity of gas, and had an amber hue to it.

I reinstalled the drain plug to finger tight, and then tightened it up some more with the 3/4″ socket.

A final shot of the gas tank drain plug.

And here is a shot down the gas filler neck. I tried to ascertain whether there was a lot of sediment inside the gas tank, but couldn’t really tell.

Fuel Pump Removal

This morning I spent some time removing the old fuel pump from the engine. This is not the original fuel pump that came with the E-1 engine, but instead looks like a J13 fuel pump that came on the later 520 trucks. Those two are interchangeable, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate either an E-1 or J13 aftermarket replacement mechanical fuel pump anywhere.

Here are some shots of the Nikki fuel pump. The rubber hose still attached to the pump feeds from the fuel filter and before that a hard line from the gas tank. The second outlet from the fuel pump which isn’t attached to anything previously was connected to a hard line going up to the carburetor.

Here you can see the fuel line connections and where the fuel pump bolts into the engine block.

I used a flat head screwdriver to loosen and remove the hose clamp holding the rubber fuel supply line to the barbed outlet on the fuel pump.

Then I used a 1/2″ socket on my wrench with 6″ extension that I slipped underneath the steering column to loosen each of two nuts mounting the fuel pump.

With those nuts removed from the studs on the engine block I was able to pull the fuel pump off the engine.

Then I was able to work the rubber fuel supply hose off the barbed fuel pump inlet.

Here’s a shot of the the fuel pump mounting plate and also one of the mounting point and studs.

I pulled off the spacer block…

and plugged up the opening in the engine block with a shop towel.

Carburetor returns!

Happy New Year!

Today I came home to find my rebuilt carburetor had been delivered to the house.  It took longer than expected, but when I called Chicago Carburetor to chase it down they said it had been finished for some time and they had just neglected to send it out. Anyway, it was like a late Christmas present for the Datsun.

It looks brand new!

Datsun blue air cleaner color sample

I’d like to repaint my new air cleaner in the original Datsun blue. I’ve looked around, and while Datsun blue/green engine block paint is available, I couldn’t locate a vendor that sells the baby blue air cleaner color on these early trucks. So my plan is to harvest a sample of the color from the inside of my old air cleaner, which has already been mutilated, and attempt to get some new paint to match the color.

Today I spent some time cutting out a section from the inside of my old air cleaner to try to get a flattish coupon of metal with good original color. Easier said than done.

Here’s a shot of the inside of the air cleaner where the paint is in the best condition.

The first thing I did was use some Simple Green and a mild abrasive pad to clean up a couple of the raised areas where it looks like I could get a relatively flat sample.

I was pleased at how much fresher the color looked after cleaning off nearly 50 years of air filter grime.

I used my 4 1/2″ angle grinder with a cut-off wheel to start surgery.

After making a few plunge cuts I got a good-sized sample cut out of the air cleaner.

I removed the adjusting rod that tightens the bottom of the air cleaner to the top of the carburetor. The rod threads into a coupling on the bottom of the air cleaner and the nut holds it from overtightening had to be un-threaded.

And here’s a shot of the coupling that mounts on the carburetor. There is a thin rubber gasket that provides some cushioning in the coupling.