1981 Datsun 210 Sedan

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  #1  
Old 03-25-02, 08:16 AM
Ernie Ray
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1981 Datsun 210 Sedan

This 1981 Datsun 210 (with l.5, 4 cylinder engine) has always been almost impossible to start in cold weather; requiring much pumping and attempted starts before it finally starts. After it starts it runs fast for a while, (as if choke is finally working) until I mash the gas pedal quickly to the floor. Anyway, I pulled the breather cover off recently before I had attempted to start it first thing on one of our cold mornings; this was after I had mashed the gas pedal all the way to the floor to activate the choke when cold. The choke flap never flipped over to close. I pressed down on the flap with my finger and it wouldn't budge, as if frozen. I was looking in my Haynes manual and it looked like the cover to the thermostatic coil could be removed via 3 screws attaching it. Alas, on the cover it appears at the top two attachment points on the cover there are two rivets and the bottom attachment point is a screw. So how do I get the cover off or am I just looking at it wrong? Thanks much for any help/and or suggestions!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-02, 10:05 AM
Joe_F
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You'd have to drill the rivets out. The replacement choke element comes with screws or it comes with new rivets.

You may have to take the carb off the car to be able to service the element. Try spraying the linkage with Gumout or WD40 to free it up.

Probably now is a good time to rebuild the carburetor if you have it off.

These are pesky old carburetors. This is where owning an old American car rules .
 
  #3  
Old 03-26-02, 07:37 PM
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If your choke is frozen solid, then the thermostatic choke pulloff is not the problem. Either the actual choke is stuck, or a linkage is bound. The 2 rivets and 1 screw are there to allow adjustment without removal of the element. You should be able to loosen the screw, and turn the element....but I would free up the choke before any adjustments are made to the pulloff element.
 
  #4  
Old 03-27-02, 05:00 AM
Ernie Ray
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Smile Yet another question

Dumb question: Why do they call it the choke pull off (I assume you're talking about the element inside this housing with the 2 rivets and screw)? I ended up taking the car down to my local(I know these guys)garage to have the carburetor rebuilt. I'd rather pay someone to do this than make a bad situation worse - I'm one of those guys who fixes about half of his stuff(by Haynes or Chillton and trial and error) and ends up pulling my vehicle to the garage and paying a "real" mechanic to finish what I started LOL. Thanks a lot to you and Joe for the answers!!!
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-02, 05:40 AM
Joe_F
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The choke pulloff is the vacuum operated diaphragm that "breaks" open the choke with vacuum.

The choke thermostat or element is a bimetallic spring that as it expands will open the choke flap.

A worthy investment is probably a used Nissan shop manual if you are going to do any kind of work on the car. For something that old, the factory book is probably dirt cheap or can be found as such.

Chilton and Haynes are very generic and frustrate most folks that get into any half way serious repairs...leaves out too many details.
 

Last edited by Joe_F; 03-28-02 at 05:50 AM.
  #6  
Old 03-27-02, 10:02 PM
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You caught my slipup...Joe is right about what the pulloff is. Just had me a mental lapse, lol.
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-02, 05:51 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up Lol to Cheese

Don't worry buddy, we all get that every so often .
 
  #8  
Old 03-29-02, 05:43 AM
Ernie Ray
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carburetor saga

Hi,
Just thought I'd post a follow up to my carburetor adventures.
Come to find out, the carburetor (Hitachi) has certain parts that need to be removed for a rebuild that must be removed with a special tool that no one in town has. I called Nissan and they told me they didn't rebuild carburetors, they just sold and installed new ones; I didn't even ask the price. I priced one at Autozone and Advance - around $237. Then I went to NAPA; told the lady at the counter I wanted to price a carburetor for a '81 Datsun 210. She says "probably $500", not changing the expression on her face. Meanwhile I'm hoping that's her straight faced joke. Not todaaay; she pulls up a total of $411 - for a REBUILT carburetor. I remark that I wonder what a new one would go for; she tells me I can't get a new one now. So I guess I've got to save a little more moolah if I want to put this one back on the road. Thanks again for all the help guys.
 
  #9  
Old 03-29-02, 05:58 AM
Joe_F
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Such is the pains of owning an old Japanese beater/heap . Another reason if you buy old, to buy American .

Yes, the carburetors are likely only available rebuilt from Nissan the cost easily exceeded the value of the car 10 years ago . New ones probably have not been available for some time. If they ARE available new, you're looking at 800 to 1000 bucks for a new Hitachi unit. That's insane money to put in any car that old unless it's a classic .

Yes, parts stores ones run in the 400 dollar range. The best "off the shelf" rebuilds are made by a company out of Chicago called "FC" or Foreign Carburetor.

The dealer is being lazy in a way, parts ARE available from Nissan to rebuild it. Most can't be bothered fixing something this old. They don't want to be stuck with an old beater when you say "What???? 800 bucks to fix it????? Keep it!!!". Also, they likely have only one or two guys that know how to do old time stuff like this and it's very labor intensive to do it.

Find an old time independent garage. They can get, will source and find the parts and they will be able to handle the job.

You have to ask yourself if this old shoe is worth the green to fix. Old Japanese cars will soak you bad when they get old. The parts don't change in price, they just go up. American cars of this vintage are far easier to fix and source parts for. Everyone makes parts for them .

Your other option is to have the mechanic do the rebuild and you do the R&R of the carburetor. However he won't likely guarantee anything since he didn't do the adjustments.

They are unneedingly complex and pesky.

What would I do?

Do a reality check and ask if this thing is worth fixing? If it's not, pitch it now and count your blessings.

If you want to use it as a learning tool (which is what I think you want), perhaps pick up another carburetor like it at the junkyard (if you can find another old heap like this around...try www.junkyarddog.com) and try your hand at rebuilding it. Any parts store should be able to order the needed parts. At the same time get a Nissan repair book.

Use it as a learning tool. If you grenade it, you still learned something in the process.

Good luck and let us know.
 
  #10  
Old 03-29-02, 07:02 AM
Ernie Ray
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Datsun continued

Hi,

The Datsun with this carburetor problem sat up for 5 years so it should have a carburetor problem; other than that it's in fine condition (with 60,000 miles on it). Former owner could not get a title for it (long story) but I did the legal song and dance and got a title and gave him $300 for it.
I have two more 210's, an '80 with 171,000 miles and an '82 with 244,000 miles, both still going strong.
I'd like to do the old "patriotic" thing and buy American but I've just had a lot better service out of these Japanese cars for the money. Different strokes for different folks huh? America, doncha just love it? LOL!
 
  #11  
Old 03-29-02, 07:31 AM
Joe_F
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There you go. You have your parts cars . Use it for such for the other two that run well. That's what I would do instead of sinking all that green into that 1981 model.

Other than that, use it as a learning experience.

I know a lot of folks with far more mileage on their American cars than that and they were used in HARD service .
 
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