Things to Consider and Look for when BUYING a 510

General Discussion about the Datsun PL510
qwik510
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Things to Consider and Look for when BUYING a 510

Post by qwik510 » 20 Aug 2008 19:22

jonmorine wrote:Hey,

Is there a thread in here that basically answers "What to look for when buying a 510"? I did a search but didn't find anything. I assume there is one. It would be a good sticky. Maybe I just missed it.

If someone could point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.

This is a great thread to start. Everyone can add to it and let people that are new to 510s know the things to look for.

Maybe the Mods can make this a sticky. 8)

Please don't go off topic in this thread. Only post info relevant to the subject line.

I will start.

As said " rust is the biggest issue. And of course, prior accidents.

Common rust areas:

Lower rear quarter panels, front section of rear quarter panels where they meet the rocker panels, lower part of front fenders, tops of front fenders, floorboards front and rear, in the trunk, under the battery tray, firewall below the center cowl drain.

How about someone else adding to this?

Please don't go off topic in this thread. Only post info relevant to the subject line.
Last edited by qwik510 on 15 Mar 2009 13:19, edited 1 time in total.
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thisismatt
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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by thisismatt » 20 Aug 2008 19:34

Rust under front & rear window seals. If you see rust bubbling around the seal, chances are good that there is equal or worse rust under the seal. Same goes for around the tail lights.
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Byron510
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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by Byron510 » 20 Aug 2008 20:10

RUST!!!......

In my area, the biggest structural area to rust is the box section, extending forward from the fire wall to the headlight bucket area, under the front fenders. The first thing you'll notice is rust appears visible from the engine compartment, but the real damage happens underneath. I've seen this box section rust completely off on the top side, making attachment of a new fender all but impossible without a proper fix.

Of course no one has to mention low areas like the floors or the spare tire well in the trunk.

Another area of rust that I've noticed lately is the bottom side of the hood, near the front where water collects and just sits, same goes for the similar area on the trunk lid. Buy the time you see this damage, it's way to late as it rusts from the inside out. The bottoms of the doors are prone to this as well, and they are all areas that are difficult to repair.

Electrical:....

The fuse box is often a source of problems - if the car has ever gotten wet. As Nissan realized it was a mistake to put the fuse box outside (rectified in every model that followed the PL510) - well a weathered fuse box may have issues. A good cleaning on an unknown car is a very good idea, as corroded contacts will cause heat, and melt the plastic fuse box without ever blowing a fuse. And this is a shame, as fuse boxes are getting hard to find.

Well, 510's have been notoriously owned by cheap people in the past, therefore people who are very unqualified just love to hack at wiring, believing they know better than the engineers at Nissan - what a group of freaks these home jobs are. So having broken the ice, first you need to look at the back of the ignition switch, and see how many add-ons the previous owners have tried - usually unsuccessfully - to hook up, and probably left the failed remains behind, still live. Remove anything that isn't factory and save your self a head ache!

The next area for the usual hack jobs is the "professional" stereo install guy who cuts any wire near the center console looking for one that has the type of power signal he desires - and all the cut wires usually get twisted back together with a wrap of black electrical tape if they are lucky! If you car ever had an alarm system installed in the 80’s of 90’s – you may consider a new wiring harness all together. I have seen too many “professionally” installed systems that have messed with every system in the car – I send you my deepest condolences if this is your acquired product!

The next area of electrical gremlins is often the headlight circuit. Here, as is often the case, the previous owner(s) have usually cut and spliced wires trying to bypass the head light relay that simply wore out. So instead of buying a new one, they rewire the car for what ever they can make work - no matter how scary or how un-fused or unsafe it may be.

A little input for tonight, but these are a few areas that come to mind.

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by clouti » 21 Aug 2008 00:33

I like to look at things that should be changed on a regular basis. ie fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, the condition of the oil on the dipstick. If these things look like they've been on their since the early 90's, they probably have. they can tell a lot about how the PO treated the car.

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by MikeY » 21 Aug 2008 09:04

I would not over look the importance of getting a complete car. If anyone has kept up with the unavalibilty and price of odds and ends they will know. Does it have all the trim bits, is the dash cracked, are the taillight trims rusty, are there holes in the inner door panels ect. I know I am talking to a new 510 owner when the first thing they ask me for is bumpers and fenders. a mint pair of bumpers is worth about the same as a daily driven car.

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by hang_510 » 21 Aug 2008 11:43

along with the trunk lid rust areas, ive seen a lot of tail light assemblies that had filled w/(rusted) water, not good for the electrical.

excessive bondo usage. bring a magnet to check suspicious repairs.

on a DD(or at least running), look for the obvious oil leaks, esp around the brakes.

see how the windoes roll up/down. and whether you can push it down by hand from 1/2 way = bad regulator.

locks- IG/doors: may be different keys for everything...or not work at all

wagons - (not that you'd likely ever be able to/want to check) behind the cargo window seals, near the hatch, ive seen some very concealed bubling.

AFTER purchase: clean out the cowl drain!!! i found a pop top (how we use to open AL cans in the 70's :lol: ) in mine, along with 10lbs of leaves and other crud.
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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by Rally1969510 » 21 Aug 2008 12:50

As mentioned, look at any and all metal surfaces. Rust can be anywhere, look under the carpet and the mats. Run your hand under the fender wells, be careful though. Don't buy an incomplete car unless you already have the parts at home, you will never finish collecting what is needed. When you take the car apart, don't throw out anything! Check the brake lines, they could be swollen shut. Look at the engine vitals, check all fluids, and ask to run the car for an extended period. Most of all, don't be afraid to walk away from a 510. There are plenty of drivers out there. Above all start with a good solid body, everything else will be easier later.

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by goichi1 » 22 Aug 2008 07:49

This should be called "Things to CONSIDER when buying a 510!!" I see too many unfinished projects because this important step in buying a car was missed. But to stay on THIS topic, one of the things you should look for is a good price. There are too many out there that are way overpriced....I am talking mostly in the 3000 to 6000 price range, because this level of car is really hard to price, there is just too broad of a mix...rusty or straight....primered or painted....partially complete or really complete...time and patience will land you a good deal on a nice 510...with the help of this thread!! :D

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by defdes » 22 Aug 2008 08:41

Splice welds on core support. (front section where hood clicks into) , roof pillars, front fender arches etc..

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by thasneak » 30 Aug 2008 21:38

more, more, more... this is an excellent thread.

i am going to see a 510 i have found for sale on monday and want all the information i can get before i go (my father will only help me buy it if i can prove its in tip top condition).

thanks for the information so far and in advance for that to come.

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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by qwik510 » 12 Dec 2008 10:38

Bump. This thread is too important to let it get lost in the archives.

Mods, can we make this a STICKY??
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thisismatt
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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by thisismatt » 12 Dec 2008 17:16

qwik510 wrote:Bump. This thread is too important to let it get lost in the archives.

Mods, can we make this a STICKY??
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, too many stickies on general!!! We need ONE sticky with links to these threads rather than 300 stickies!
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Re: Things to look for when BUYING a 510

Post by djlotus » 15 Dec 2008 21:34

^^^ I like that idea. It would clean up the forum a little bit while still having the most important threads readily available. I'd take it a step further and make it a thread in which only mods can post to keep it even cleaner. But that's just my opinion

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Re: Things to Consider and Look for when BUYING a 510

Post by caesarDX » 17 May 2009 11:54

Overlooking the fact that some missing parts may be quite expensive and should be
considered in the value of the car. Ie. front and rear bumpers.
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Re: Things to Consider and Look for when BUYING a 510

Post by KoHeartsGPA » 13 Jul 2009 23:05

One thing too look for is "rattle can primer" I found many sellers that have the "ready to paint" in their message and by no means that car is ready for paint! Do not confuse rattle can with the real deal, get someone from a body shop or person with knowledge to inspect any car that the owner claims it is "ready for paint".
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