RESTORATION PROJECT 'Lucille' begun

The quirky and versatile Datsun 410 and 411 series sedans and wagons laid the groundwork for the 510.
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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

RESTORATION PROJECT 'Lucille' begun

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

:bsflag Actually, wanted an 'announcing' flag, but B.S. will do;)

Thought I'd let you all know I've started the restoration on 'Lucille' ('67.5 RL411 SSS sedan with stick, red of course). This all started with an off-list conversation about the waaaaay high prices being asked for some early Datsun stuff on eBay lately. I'll catch you up mid-conversation... [this is from another list]

... Although, if the economy were better and we were a few years down the 'early Datsun promotional' bit, THEN maybe that'd be a fair price. Tell you this much... those of us in this early new-wave of getting the old cars back on the road will certainly be pioneers... and will have bled heaps of both money, and physical and mental sweat to do so. I just started stripping 'Lucille' today. Got 'Vikie' (my '73 Volvo 1800ES) out of the garage, under a tarp and car cover to keep her shiny - S.F. bay area weather you know) and cleaned it up last weekend so I'll have some storage and working room for a change. Got all the peripherals off the front and rear, and the trunk cleared out, including gas tank (tank was dry, but MAN the sludge that oozed out!! talk about the primordial ooze!!). Bumpers, lights, grille, some of the badges.

You know!!?? This damn car has all the original stickers still in place in the engine compartment... INCLUDING the gold foil 'Nihon Radiator Company' sticker on the top of the radiator!!! All in excellent condition!! Plus the original Toshiba headlights and radio antenna (just like Grace has with the locking pop-up feature with key). Also dug two of the original round-hole hubcaps out of the trunk. Good find!!

Next?? The hood and trunk lid come off, then I'll attack the engine and trans. Then the engine compartment peripherals. Then the interior comes out. Gotta find someone to check/overhaul/rebuild the engine, plus someone to check and repair-as-necessary the tranny while they're out. And detail of details, someone to do the bodywork. I may tackle most of it (maybe all given the 'budget' for this project), but I'd REALLY like to have someone who knows what they're doing make an assessment of the project and give advice on how to handle it. I'd pay for that advice if anyone can make a good referral in the S.F. bay area.

I'm taking tons of pics as I go so I can see the 'before and after' of it. Also to jog memory where necessary. Usually don't need that though. When I stripped my Fiat 850 spider down to the tub to prep it for autocrossing I had every piece off that car except the dash, and the only cataloging system I used were those plastic box parts holders (like for tackle) and old cupcake tins (very useful items for repair projects). This time I'm plastic-bagging the small stuff, and 'bankers-boxing' the rest that will fit.

I'm also noticing the quality craftsmanship and design that went into these cars... from the really neat locking antenna (which is in excellent working condition, along with the original radio), to the way they provided trunk lighting at night (a little clear lense on the inside of the brake light housings... just leave your parking lights on and you have a lit trunk).

Enough of Episode I. But be forwarned, I'll be updatine you as the project proceeds.

In the meantime (as always)...

Take Care & Enjoy,Carl 'Rockett' HockettAlbany, California


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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Pic didn't post, trying again

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Trying pic again.

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DeathBy240SX
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Postby DeathBy240SX » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Awesome project, any updates???

70WPL510
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I Remember...

Postby 70WPL510 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

"Rockett"; I remember working on the 411's in '68 right when the 510's were introduced.. Needless to say, I was working at a Datsun Dealership at the time.. One thing I'd like to "caution" you about is your comment that you didn't think taking all the pics was necessary as you can remember where everything goes.. I use to be that way, as well.. I never had a problem reassembling anything. Even my first Harley ('46 Knucklehead) was assembled out of a basket.. In '74 I dismantled a '53 Jaguar XK120 Drop Head Coupe.. Then "life" got in the way.. a child, four moves and twenty-five years later I'm looking at an awful lot of parts wondering where they go.. So, do yourself a favor, "tag & bag" every little nut, bolt and screw.. A bit time consuming in the beginning, a helluva time saver in the end.. You have a great looking 411 to start on.. looking forward to seeing the "finished" results.. Charles.

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Resto and fading memories

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Bag & tag DOES work well. I bought a case of small ziplocks with writing label for some parts I had made to sell, and have been using them with the disassembly. All in logical order. Labled in groups.

Have taken a couple pix as I went, but don't forget... I have several other identical cars as yet untouched. Always a sample around if I need it (but you're right... that's today... If I wait as long as it's taking me to restore my '69 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe, my memory will be long dead, and not just fading as it is, plus the 'sample' cars could be gone too. Gotta watch that.)

UPDATE: Lucille's been in the body shop for a few weeks now - not a priority project for them as we struck a deal based on his lull in business. They got one side's bodywork done and primered. I ended up pulling the rear glass as I had already pulled the stainless trim (mistake) only to find the rubber was petrified. Decisions: put the trim back in or pull the glass and replace the rubber. Big decision, huh? Only problem, the only rubbers available I've found do NOT accomodate the trim, and it would be sacriledge to NOT have the trim on a finished car. No choice at this point. I commited to the trimless rubber, at worst, and pulled the glass. I DO have a parts 411 that the rubber is in MUCH better condition on, so my hope is to pull that glass intact with rubber and trim. If not, I'll go with the trimless and keep working on sourcing the CORRECT rubbers.

Anyone got leads on this?? It's my belief that someone knowledgeable about this stuff could groove the trimless rubber to accomodate (it's just a minor superficial slit, not functional other than to hold the trim). Otherwise, I'll be looking into a 'close comparative' or having the correct ones made (I know, win the lottery first).

Enough. Will update when the paint's on.

70WPL510
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Re: Resto and fading memories

Postby 70WPL510 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

If possible, save a "Cross-Section" of the rear window weatherseal. Check out "Steele Rubber".. They make weatherseals for mostly GM cars going back to the thirties.. there might be a cross section that "might" be close enough to work.. both in holding the glass in, sealing and fitting the stainless trim. Another place is Restoration Specialties. They use to offer bulk resto items that generically fit a large number of marques. Both still advertize in Hemmings. Hope this is of some help to you. Charles.
Datsun411 wrote: I ended up pulling the rear glass as I had already pulled the stainless trim (mistake) only to find the rubber was petrified. Decisions: put the trim back in or pull the glass and replace the rubber. Big decision, huh? Only problem, the only rubbers available I've found do NOT accomodate the trim, and it would be sacriledge to NOT have the trim on a finished car. No choice at this point. I commited to the trimless rubber, at worst, and pulled the glass. I DO have a parts 411 that the rubber is in MUCH better condition on, so my hope is to pull that glass intact with rubber and trim. If not, I'll go with the trimless and keep working on sourcing the CORRECT rubbers.

Anyone got leads on this??

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

strip

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Thanks for the tip, hope it helps. Gotta be a solution.

BTW, goodfelladavies - what the hell IS that van anyway??

rb26dett510
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Postby rb26dett510 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

good luck

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DeathBy240SX
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Postby DeathBy240SX » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

RB26DETT in a 510? You have got to be kidding me! I think we all need some pics/video!!! NOW!

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Lucille Restoration

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Well folks, Lucille is at the paint stage now. I went by the shop Wednesday and they had the underside of the hoods done (sound-deadener and color coat), and the color looks great!! She'll be #824 Pagoda Red, and as soon as I saw it, I said "now THAT'S the color of my original car off the showroom floor!!".

Funny how age and weather turns the rich red into an orange-ish flavor. Gonna have to keep that baby waxed.

Next, she comes home and into the garage (now what the hell am I gonna move outside to make room?). Then the subframe comes off for stripping and resto. Then brake and fuel tubing gets re-zinc'd and installed, and the gradual, tedious build-up from there.

Grace will be donating her interior to the project and then sidelined. Anyone have a good tip on repairing a 1" slit in the headliner? It's at the very back just an inch or two from the rear glass. Other than that the headliner is perfect and I hate to either leave it as is or replace the entire thing. Seems like some sort of backing tape would do, but what kind would hold and last? (don't say duct tape, unless I'm wrong, as I'm sure it wouldn't last).

TC&E,Carl

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DeathBy240SX
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Postby DeathBy240SX » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

WE NEED PICS!!!!

BB Turbo
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Postby BB Turbo » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Just found the thread, any more pics? Updates?

Bandit240
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Postby Bandit240 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

BB i havent seen Datsun411 in awile. He might show up sometime

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Lucille's pretty paint

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Sorry been gone so long. BEEzee beeZEE here.

Anyway, least I can do is post pics from after her stint at the beauty salon:

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Datsun411
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Pretty paint continued

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

And....

BB Turbo
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Postby BB Turbo » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

That looks real nice. Anything else done to it so far?

Bandit610
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Postby Bandit610 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Is that the Miracle shop in Richmond? I've seen some nice looking cars come out of that place. How are their prices?

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Datsun411
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Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

BB: nothing accomplished yet. Life's gone crazy on me.

Bandit: dunno if you'd say it's in richmond... actually yes, their card shows an address of 'jacuzzi street, richmond'. Price I thought was good, considering the cost of things these days. I paid a shade over 3grand for body work and paint. I stripped the car and did some of the prep work (mainly cleaning the engine compartment). The deal was that this was a 'slow time' project, something for them to do during lulls.

SOMEday I'll be able to get back to work on her. Pretty much gotta get moved first, and that's taking forever to arrange.

TC&E all,Carl

Bandit610
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Postby Bandit610 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Yeah it's more of the Richmond Annex area. I used to work it the same center as the body shop. I was there when they were working on the chameleon volkswagen pictured behind your 411. That sound like a fair price for your project. How much body work did they have to do to it? Was there any major dents or rust? I'm just curious, because I'm tossing the idea of getting body work done to one of my rides in the near future. Did you get an estimate first, and was the final cost close to the estimate? Sorry for all the questions, I just don't trust anyone to work on my cars anymore. Looks like you struck a good deal with them, I guess since you don't "need" the car to be done by a predetermined time.

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Very little body work. One rust hole in a rocker sill, some minor work at the right rear tail light, couple small dings elsewhere. total body prep, like sanded to bare metal all over. They held to the exact estimate even though they ended doing a bunch more than included in the estimate. I was/am happy with the exception that the front splash panel had a few scratches in it when I picked it up. Looked like they pushed it into some boxes or something. They said they'd take care of it, but I haven't gotten around to taking the panel back in. Thought I'd wait until I was ready for more final touch up. Also, they included a pint of the paint for touch up.

Carl

jsiam
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Postby jsiam » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Hi Carl I met a guy that said he has a 67 SST wagon is there such a thing or is it a SSS Wagon. It has a R16 motor auto trans gold badges. He will be sending me pictures. is there much of a value for this car. the motor ran before he took out the auto trans. he said not rust. Thanks Joe

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Datsun411
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Car: 1967 Datsun RL411 Super Sport Sedan

Postby Datsun411 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:51 pm

Assuming it's a 411 series (and it pretty much has to be), there is no "SST". It has to be a RL411, which could be either a "1600" or "SSS". If it had the SSS badges, that probably what it is. If you saw the "1600" badge somewhere, it's an early '67 RL (SSS is late '67, with some differences). BTW, I don't really consider an auto trans version to be the REAL SSS in spite of it really being one... the stick makes the car.

Value hasn't developed yet on these cars, so, depending on condition, you should be able to have it for anywhere from free to maybe $800, MAYbe more if it's in really good condition. Where's the car?

Email me direct to [email protected] from here.

TC&E,Carl

Oh, and join my Early Datsun Club online on Yahoo. I'll send a link if you email me direct.


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