1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

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Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:25 pm

Hey folks Li'l Truckie here.

Looking to finally start the restoration of my 1960 Datsun PLG-222 so if you know someone with an early '58-'61 Datsun 200 series sedan, roadster or truck let them know or just check in to see how this one goes.

Here's the link to Alan Bent's earlydatsun.com and the Datsun PLG-222 entry. A good run down of the Datsun PLG-222. As noted mine is the longer wheel base G model with the 1200cc, 37hp E engine.

http://www.earlydatsun.com/datsun222.html

For those of you who slept through US History 102, that's the Civil War through modern times (at least it was when I was in high school), George Wallace's 1968 presidential running mate and the USAF fire bombed Japan....relentlessly, then two big bombs later Japan capitulated. Shortly afterwards the American Caesar occupied Japan and began the arduous task of rebuilding a devastated and non existent industrial base. And for this reason many of the earliest Japanese cars were copies or near copies of some of the least desirable automobiles ever produced by the British. That's right, the Brit's Austin A series to be exact, as the huge American cars of this period were, well, just to big and resource intensive to produce and work in Japan. Knowing this is half the battle of restoring any early '60s Datsun as many BMC parts work, though there are a some minor differences that I have expensively discovered along the way. So let's get started.....

Here is it, sorry for the bad pics, all I could find from 3+ years ago.
Image

Here's the good -
Rust free and original sheet metal and body panels, though the battery area does have a little cancer that needs to be fixed.
All good glass - not a crack, pit, or chip.
Image
Matching numbers - that's the frame serial number and engine serial number with the data plate
Original "Dallas Cowboy" colored seats under the red vinyl.
Pretty much complete minus a few things below.
Engine is an E, just an E an not an E1, but a rebuild is easy
Transmission - it a 4speed column shift, but basically the same as in a 320, so seals and gaskets are no problem.

The bad -
Missing the original oil bath air cleaner
Missing the original front bumper
Missing the original "Datsun" emblem from the grille, nicked long ago....
Missing the original brake and clutch master cylinders, but the 320s are close, and, I need to double check, but the early TRs have the same brake M.C....I think
Missing the shift knob. Probably just fell off and out to the vehicle.
Missing the original ignition switch and key, but something from Victoria British or Moss Motors should do just fine.
Missing 2 x 15 inch steel rims, yes 15 and not 14 as on the 320. I believe 16 inch were an option, need to check the brochure.

I could definitely use some help with these missing parts - thanks.


The Ugly -
The brakes...what a disaster. Who ever thought this was a good idea???? More on this in an upcoming post.
Image
Suspension - yeah, not familiar with the front reverse Elliot I beam front suspension system. But LMC (that's Long Motors Corporation) is just around the corner from Victoria British, down in Lenexa, KS. So hopefully we can find some compatible parts from the earliest Chevrolet and Ford 1/2 trucks.

Well that's about it for now. More pics are here in my PLG-222 album on flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/113742723 ... 6064915279

cheers,
Li'l Truckie


User avatar
Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:33 pm

So let's start the research -

Alan Bent's earlydatsun.com is one of the first places we will start. http://www.earlydatsun.com/index.html

From browsing around we find the PLG-222 has the same underpinnings as the sedan 220 sedan (and probably the from the front door forward for body and sheet metal)with continued common parts usage with the later 221.

So tracking a different frame between the 222 and the 223/320, but I want to say this is due to the front suspension and not necessarily due to changes in the dimensions - more research needed, but I think my parts 320 frame has the front frame welded up for where the 222's reverse Elliot suspension would go, so let's have a look....

1960 Datsun 222
Specifications
Length - 3752mm
Width - 1466mm
Height - 1625mm
Wheelbase - 2220mm
Weight - 915kg
Top speed - 1000 90kph
- 1200 103kph
Transmission - Column change 4 speed
Final drive
1000 - 5.86 : 1
1200 - 5.57 : 1
So this is for the PL-222 and then in the paragraph above we find the length of the G model was a long wheelbase version of the standard 222, which at a total length of 4040mm was 288mm longer than the standard 222. (http://www.earlydatsun.com/datsun222.html)

1961 Datsun 223
Specifications
Length - 4015mm
Width - 1480mm
Height - 1650mm
Wheelbase - 2520mm
Weight - 920kg
Top speed - 1000 unknown
- 1200 120kph
Transmission - Column change 4 speed
Final drive
1000 - unknown
1200 - 4.875 : 1

1962 Datsun 320
Specifications
Length - 4185mm
Width - 1515mm
Height - 1505mm
Wheelbase - 2470mm
Weight - 945kg
Top speed - 120kph
Transmission - Column change 4 speed, synchro on 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

So initial assessment is probably wrong, each model - 222,223 and 320 all have different specs for length and wheel base which means each has a different length driveshaft...hmm...but no serious concern here.

So let's look at the different engines

Both of the 220 and 221 sedans came with the C and E engine. The 988cc or 1000 C engine with a 73mm bore and 59mm stroke and a single barrel Hitachi VAA-28 and the 1200cc E with a 73mm bore and 71mm stroke with dual throat Hitachi 2D-30C . Each, C, E, and E1, all have the same bore at 73mm so no issues with pistons or rings. And since the E and E1 have the same stroke, no issues with interchanging rods. From this I would venture to guess each share a common 3 bearing main bearing crank and block, main bearings, and rod bearings. Which translates to available parts for a rebuild - so far so good.

However, I have some initial concerns for the head. As Bent points out the E1 received carburation - a dual throat Hitachi 2D-30C found on all later E1s for the 320 and 410 and an improved head over the previous E. So what does an "improved head" mean? hmmm... Well we will see once we get here. In the mean time I'll compare the part # / stamping number on the top of the head to my other E1s and J13. Could be a change in valve diameter, but again, we'll have to wait for this.

From here we can find the spec to the C engine -
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - C
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - [email protected]
Torque - 49ft/[email protected]
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburetor - Hitachi Solex VA-26-6 26mm single throat down draught

and compare them to the E and E1 engine -

1200 Engine
Model - E
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1189cc
Bore & Stroke 73x71mm
Power - [email protected]
Torque- 60ft/[email protected]
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburetor - Hitachi VAA-28 28mm single throat down draught

and the E1

Model - E-1
Capacity - 1189cc
Bore & Stroke 73x71mm
Power - [email protected]
Torque- 67ft/[email protected]
Compression - 8.2 : 1
Carburetor - Nikki 2D-30C dual throat down draught
Final drive - 5.143:1

What we want to determine are the specific changes from the C engine as it transitioned to the E, if any beyond carburation and stroke, and then any further the changes from the E to the E1 not mentioned by Bent (to include the changes from the E1 MK1 to MK II, to the MK III and the final E1 MK VI with 13 cog cam, distributor and oil drive cogs that are not compatible with anything from BMC).

So doing a little reverse engineering I know the E1 is a close copy of the three main bearing BMC B motor found in the MGA and early Bs. With this we know the E has some commonalities then with the BMC B motor too. Now we need to research the BMC B motor and find what early MGs had a 988cc or 1000 engine based on the BMC B motor. Pretty sure, and verified, Nissan just increased the stroke from the C to E to E1, but with Bent's mentioning the improved head from the E to E1 we'll need to research more than just the MGA to find what other British cars had the BMC B motor as we might need to look at intake and exhaust valve diameters to see how they compare to those of an MGA/E1.

User avatar
Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:04 pm

Outstanding issues

Just a running list of issues -

Missing Parts List (as of 06 Aug)

Part(s) Possible solution
Reverse lever assembly and shift knob :rolleyes: seriously how's this missing? fabricate??
Front bumper, over rides, and bumper brackets
"Datsun" grill logo
Front park lights Clear Datsun Roadster or Something BMC
Engine vent tube Not listed/shown in 222 parts manual - but have one from a E1/J13 or go with BMC
Oil bath air filter
Engine trouble light lens Check Roadster
Brake Master cylinder
Clutch Master Cylinder Have extra(s) for a 320
Brake/Clutch Cover
Wheel Cylinder/Brake adjust rubber covers '40's Chevrolet 1/2 ton
Ignition Key Resolved - picked up 3. One for the 222, one for the parts '62 320, and one for later
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MOTORCYCLE-NEW- ... ee&vxp=mtr
2 x 15" rims
"Datsun" tail gate foil/tin plate
Tail light (complete assembly) Datsun Roadster or something BMC

Beyond Repair?
Brake wheel cylinders '40's Chevrolet 1/2 ton (Part # WC3396 and WC3406)
Front windshield seal Will check local custom hot rod shop
Rear glass seal Will check local custom hot rod shop
Seat cushion Am Foam (http://www.amfoam.com) for new foam
Vinyl upholstery National Fabric (http://national-fabric-co-inc.kansas-ci ... ric-co-inc)

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AZhitman
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Car: 72 240Z RB25, 63 Bluebird RHD, 63 NL320, 67 WRL411, 67 SPL311, 68 510 SR, 77 620 SR20, 92 SE-R, 97 D21, 98 S14, 11 LS460L, 12 Titan 4x4, 20 MX5 Club.
Location: Surprise, Arizona
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Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby AZhitman » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:04 am

I'll start reaching out to my sources - This is an AWESOME project. Wish I could take a month off and help with the disassembly, just for my own education!

Color me jealous, brother. :)

User avatar
Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:30 am

Thanks Greg. Disassembly is about complete. Motor/trans are ready to be pulled. Only hiccup is how to remove the starter button on the dash:confused:

Will be back on today with some updates and more pics.

Andy

User avatar
Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:26 pm

Okay time to catch up some. So over the past week the son and I made some real progress....

Did I say I was happy? :facepalm: Oh well, so let's put "it runs" into perspective.

:bigthumb: No ignition issues - cap, rotor, points, condenser, coil, wiring (all of it) plugs (okay, these are new) are still operational after who knows how many years of sitting idle.

:yesnod Carburation, ran okay and strangely the dust inside throttle body disappeared...oops. In a later video (pay no attention to the "accident") we did pour fuel into the float bowl and the carburetor pumped fuel and we were able to rev it a little.

:dblthumb: I know I don't have the best hearing, but all I heard was the nice mechanical sound of tappets going up and down. No grinding, no weird noises coming from the time chain, no strange knocking from the block or any other noises that would make me think we are on the verge of a catastrophic breakdown. And I think the compression reflects that all the internals are in working order.
Image
That's not bad and actually pretty impressive with an even reading across the cylinders.

Shortly after the last short run the engine disassembly commenced. No major issues to speak of. There were as assortment of nuts, bolts, washers, and lock washers. I guess that can be expected from a 55 year old little truck. Only issue encountered the removal of the temperature sensor in the head. The tightening ring/nut came out with no issues; however, the sensor itself required a little persuasion from Mr. Vise Grip. Otherwise not broken bolts, stripped nuts, no welding or helicoil required. So all in all and easy engine tear down so far.

We'll let you go. The son will be home in little bit and with the rain coming we will take advantage of the cool temps and pull the engine tonight.

I'm sorry, what's that? Is it Metric or SAE Li'l Truckie? :rotfl :lolling:

Cheers
Li'l Truckie

User avatar
Li'l Truckie
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Li'l Truckie » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:33 pm

Okay Datsun fans,

Motor is stripped down and ready to pull, but prior to grabbing the son for some help we needed to "prep" the engine and transmission. I do not know whether this is in any manual, but I have added a few "procedures" above and beyond those in the manual when working on my fleet of early Datsuns and are as follows -

-Put transmission in neutral and check ever so often to insure it did not get bumped or place back into gear.
-Set engine to TDC for the number one cylinder, verify this with the position of the rotor, pull distributor and take picture of the distributor cog position and later with the engine still at #1 TDC take picture of timing chain, crank and cam gears (we'll add this one later) - like so -
Image
-Remove fan blade before radiator
-Drain and flush all anti-freeze from block otherwise it will go everywhere and you will track it into the house.
-Have son or someone else drain the oil from engine and transmission because I always forget :facepalm:
-Tag and number spark plug wires and remove distributor cap - remember they do not make this one anymore!
-Take pictures of everything! Before, During, and After. Also verify pics and save in several locations!
-Finally - THROW NOTHING AWAY! I thought I could order new inner wheel bearing for my one 320 - wrong. Federal Mogul's part is incorrect so now I'm out an inner wheel bearing.

Well that's about it for my "special procedure list." A couple of these are extremely important for the rebuild as I'm finding a mix of metric and SAE nuts and bolts. Additionally, very few of the nuts and bolts are matching, it's like someone went through their coffee can of leftovers and just found something that worked. Needless to say I'm a little nervous - are the bearings SAE like the 320 and BMC B motor or are they metric :ohno:

Well that's about it for now. Engine and trans are ready to be pulled.

cheers
Li'l Truckie

Jf928601
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:52 pm
Car: Datsun Pickup 1960

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Jf928601 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:55 am

Hi, I just got a 1960 pickup Datsun truck
I would like to get in touch with you, please send me an email [email protected]
Thanks

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AZhitman
Administrator
Posts: 70831
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:04 am
Car: 72 240Z RB25, 63 Bluebird RHD, 63 NL320, 67 WRL411, 67 SPL311, 68 510 SR, 77 620 SR20, 92 SE-R, 97 D21, 98 S14, 11 LS460L, 12 Titan 4x4, 20 MX5 Club.
Location: Surprise, Arizona
Contact:

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby AZhitman » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:43 am

Welcome aboard, JF!

Crosleyman
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:31 am
Car: 1960 Datsun 221 pickup truck

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Crosleyman » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:16 pm

Hi Iam Crosley man I have a 1960 Datsun 221 pickup truck Iam restoring Iam new to this club but would like to follow your project keep posting updates thanks John

Crosleyman
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:31 am
Car: 1960 Datsun 221 pickup truck

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby Crosleyman » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:27 pm

Hey li'l Truckle lam John I also have a 1960 Datsun truck project you my contact me at [email protected]

User avatar
AZhitman
Administrator
Posts: 70831
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:04 am
Car: 72 240Z RB25, 63 Bluebird RHD, 63 NL320, 67 WRL411, 67 SPL311, 68 510 SR, 77 620 SR20, 92 SE-R, 97 D21, 98 S14, 11 LS460L, 12 Titan 4x4, 20 MX5 Club.
Location: Surprise, Arizona
Contact:

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby AZhitman » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:17 pm

Welcome aboard, John!

vsavoldi
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:48 pm
Car: 1962 Datsun 223

Re: 1960 Datsun PLG-222 Restoration

Postby vsavoldi » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:29 pm

Hello everyone, a little late to the show. I just got a 62, I was under the impression it was a 320 being from 62 until today I saw that the 223 was sold in 62 also.
Here she is, I am still deciding on how far to go with the restoration.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/8a6XXsmAhCbZEw4E8
These are from day 1, it has since had a bath some deep cleaning, plugs/oil/filter/compression test (OK)
Running pretty good.


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