Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

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Whistler41
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Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Whistler41 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:52 pm

Hi Everyone,

I've been a silent member watching the Classifieds and patiently waiting for the appropriate time to finally pull the trigger on a roadster. I'm enamored by these beautiful little cars. And hope to enjoy driving one along the coast of Maine where I grew up. I finish my MBA in December, and the time is near. And am at a point where I could grab a car now or anytime.

What are important things I need to consider? What do I need to check on any car I am considering? The questions to ask?

Saw this listing on Hemmings, and would love to take the romantic view that I could drive this from MT to MA/ME, though likely unrealistic.
https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/ca ... 0404.html#

But I want to get educated on what I need to look for. What to expect. And what I need to be prepared to maintain.

Many thanks in advance to the entire community.
Andrew V.
Andrew
2004 Infiniti FX35
... on a patient search for a 2000/SRL311
Boston, MA/Midcoast Maine

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Mainer311
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Mainer311 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:58 pm

Damn, you just missed a beautiful car that sold on eBay right up in Derry, NH.
Jordan
1968 SPL311-21773. Needs paint and some upholstery.
2012 Xterra Pro-4X, 4" lift on 34's, UCA's, pre-runner bumper. Member of the New England Xterra Off-road club.

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Gregs672000
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Gregs672000 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Welcome! It really depends on what is important to you. The R16 and 4 speed work well for general driving, but many like the added power of the U20 and the advantage of the 5 speed. However, the U20 and 5 speed are more expensive to rebuild and that can vary a lot if certain things like the timing gears are worn out... they run about $1000 for the gears alone. If power is an issue, engines can be swapped in, but the cost and complexities begin to climb, though some conversions are very well sorted out with lots of support. Cars from 1963-1967.5 are low windshield cars and have a different, flat dash that some prefer, '68 and later are high windshield with a different "safety" dash. However, if you are tall you may end up eating bugs with the shorter screened cars. There are some differences in a few other items, such as an improved steering box in the '69 and later cars as I recall, but otherwise they pretty much drive and handle the same. All of them can be upgraded some with different shocks and springs, but they all will be vintage in their ride (which makes them fun!).
Rust is a major issue, and they tend to rust behind the front wheels, in front and back of the rear wheels, and the floor boards, so be sure to check carefully. Rust repair is quite possible (see what folks have done by going through the 311s site). Brakes can be expensive, but again there are choices there (example, using a 510 master cylinder with adapters vs the stock MC that costs considerably more). Wiring can be an issue sometimes, as the amp guage can act like a very expensive fuse if the alternator is messed up or a main power wire goes to ground. Otherwise, they are very reliable cars!
Greg Burrows
'67 2000 #588
Tacoma, WA

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Gregs672000
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Gregs672000 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:43 pm

The car you posted is a high windshield car, U20 with a 5 speed, appears nice. Note the different grill too by the way, but otherwise the same as a 1600 version
Greg Burrows
'67 2000 #588
Tacoma, WA

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Alvin
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Alvin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:03 pm

Welcome!
Whistler41 wrote:
What are important things I need to consider? What do I need to check on any car I am considering? The questions to ask?


All of your questions and the ultimate roadster buyer's guide here:
http://www.datsunroadster.com/MISC_PAGE ... _guide.htm

Another excellent roadster buyer's guide here:
https://www.datsun.org/roadster/resourc ... guide.html
Alvin Gogineni
San Jose, CA
1967.5 SPL/SR20
1997 Acura Integra GS-R
2013 Prius V wagon
zcarblog.com
Instagram
YouTube
My SR20 Build Thread

Whistler41
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Whistler41 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:26 pm

Many thanks for the direction you all.
Andrew
2004 Infiniti FX35
... on a patient search for a 2000/SRL311
Boston, MA/Midcoast Maine

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AidanDawn2000
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby AidanDawn2000 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:02 pm

a 69 2000 is a great car and is what i would look for.
Oil a little low? Time to get a longer dipstick:)
Instagram!!!
1968 2000 SRL311-05110 (first car!)
1969 2000 SRL311-10440 (matching numbers, Solex!)

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mraitch
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby mraitch » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:55 pm

I have owned 4 1970 roadsters, ALL of which worked for me.
BUT
given what I NOW know,if I were to purchase a new one would be a -1967- flat dash 1600 and then stroke it and put in a 5-speed

B-Cam, stroked, 5-speed box - got as much torque as I need. Not sure of top speed - never run beyond 100, but I didn't set it up for that.

I love the british style dash, all toggles and all, while I admire the effect of the later padded dashes, being english I would still prefer the flat dash style.

My 2c
Peter Harrison
1970 1600 (Stroker) - TOAD SAN (Eliza)
Lake Balboa (SFV) , California

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fj20spl311
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby fj20spl311 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Here is a list of items that Ted sent to me to evaluate a roadster.

Datsun Roadster
The items are graded 0-10. (0 = bad, 10 = excellent).
ITEM GRADE DETAILS
Motor
Trans
Fenders
Body damage
Body Rust
Trim spears
Grill
Headlight buckets
Windshield
Wheels
Tires
Seats
Interior
Shift Knob
Dash Pad.
Gauges and Switches
Antenna
Gas cap
Heater
Wipers
Bumper front
Bumper rear
Horn button
Steering wheel
Top. soft
Top. Hard 1
Tonneau
Boot cover
Taillights
Radiator
shroud
air scoop
Radio
Title
Brakes
Clutch
Rear end
Center console
Trunk
Doors alignment
Hood alignment
Trunk alignment
Paint
Rear lights
Front A Arms
Steering box
Steering
tie rod ends wear
Ball joints
Idler box
Brake master
Wiring
Exhaust
Carbs
Fuse box
ID plate
Matching #s
Phil

67.5 SPL311 FJ20E teal blue SDS EFI
69 SRL311 FJ20ET Yellow SDS EFI

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fj20spl311
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby fj20spl311 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:44 pm

PS: low or high windshield?....you need to drive one if you are over 5'10".
Phil

67.5 SPL311 FJ20E teal blue SDS EFI
69 SRL311 FJ20ET Yellow SDS EFI

Whistler41
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Whistler41 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:26 am

Phil,

Thanks for passing along that list. Definitely a helpful tool and checklist to have when evaluating a car. And definitely high windshield. I'm 6'0". Not too tall. But I know that's the way I probably need to steer. Love the low windshields and the dashes of the low windshields with the toggle switches (they just look awesome). Thanks all for the continued resources.
Andrew
2004 Infiniti FX35
... on a patient search for a 2000/SRL311
Boston, MA/Midcoast Maine

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msampsel
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby msampsel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:51 am

mraitch wrote:
B-Cam, stroked, 5-speed box - got as much torque as I need. Not sure of top speed - never run beyond 100, but I didn't set it up for that.


My 2c

I like all of this, but would add an aluminum flywheel to the mix.
Four speed is okay, I've gotten up to 110 mph with stock size tires and the four speed. This was not top speed though.

I've only owned one 67, B cam, stroked, alum fly, and for racing or track I added the 7 qt pan too. Of course you'll want the comp sway bar maybe lowered stiffer springs and "orange" :shock: shocks (well maybe bilsteins or kyb orange ones are hard to find.

The five speed is nice for long highway drives and more
Stout. Maybe some day ... sigh.
67 1600 (Mods only a mother could love)
78 911 SC Targa (Severe Oversteer but still loved)

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redroadster
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby redroadster » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:42 pm

I just bought a new one as the old one rusted badly on the bottom .
I bought the stainless one ,look to see if a chicken and a nice size roast beef fits
Glass top is cool too

Whistler41
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Whistler41 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:05 pm

Hi guys,

So spoke with the owner on Saturday. The master cylinder is the original. Has the original soft top, but not in great shape, but he has a new one with an extra frame. Question for the group, since I haven't had first hand experience with these cars. How hard is dealing with the soft top? If this guy has an extra frame and brand new top, is it unreasonable to ask him to get that on the car? And should I worry about the master cylinder if it is the original? And it sounds like the brakes are in okay shape, but will need to be addressed in near future.

Appreciate the thoughts.

Andrew
Andrew
2004 Infiniti FX35
... on a patient search for a 2000/SRL311
Boston, MA/Midcoast Maine

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Pjackb
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Re: Getting a Roaster - Things to Consider

Postby Pjackb » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:00 pm

mraitch wrote:I have owned 4 1970 roadsters, ALL of which worked for me.
BUT
given what I NOW know,if I were to purchase a new one would be a -1967- flat dash 1600 and then stroke it and put in a 5-speed

I'm curious to hear your reasoning, not disputing just curious


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