Body: Removing Windshield Post Weatherstrip

This morning, prior to beginning my second day of washing off the body, I removed the windshield post weatherstrip pieces. The rubber pieces themselves where mounted by long metal strips that were screwed through the rubber into the vertical windshield frame.

I unscrewed the small mounting screws using my cordless drill and a #2 Philips head driver.

On the lower end they were held in place by a small squarish plate, which I removed.

Then I unscrewed the remaining screws from the longer upper metal strip and pryed it off the outer windshield frame.

After I pulled the metal mounting strips off I removed the rubber strips themselves.

Stainless Steel Trim Removal

Next I went to work removing the remaining trim pieces from the body.

The first thing I did was to remove the D A T S U N and 2000 emblems from the rear.

Both emblems were connected through holes in the body by pins with little square tension clips on the inside. I pried these squares off the pins using a flat-head screwdriver and the emblems popped right off.

Next I removed the stainless steel trim from the rear fenders. These pieces were attached by bolts in the trim pieces and nuts on the inside of the trunk and fenders.

I removed the nuts from the inside of the trunk using my 1/4″ drive socket wrench and a 3/8″ socket–three nuts on each side.

There were a couple more nuts inside the fender just in front of the rear wheel wells.

With all of the nuts removed the trim started to come free. I had to work a couple of the bolts out from inside the turn in order to get the trim totally free.

There were similar stainless trim bits on the doors. There were two more 3/8″ nuts towards the rear end of the door, which I loosened.

And two more nuts towards the front end of the doors.

The door trim then came off with a bit of prying and tapping on the bolts from the inside.

I then decided to remove the hinges from each door. First I removed the door “levelers” that add support to the door and prevent the doors from swinging open too freely. They were inside the door post on the body and I just pulled them out.

Inside the doors are some plate that the bolts attach to that reinforce the connection; basically so there is more than just sheet metal anchoring the hinges to the door. On the front edge of the door were the four bolt heads, which I loosened using a 7/16″ socket.

I removed all four hinges, one at a time. When each came off I marked it using my nailset to create a divot in the upper edge of each hinge.

These markings will ensure that I can put the hinges back in the same positions they were in so that the doors are more likely to close. I put one mark on the passenger side upper hinge, two dots on the passenger side upper hinge, three on the driver’s side upper, and four on the driver’s side lower hinge.

The “twisties” and hooks used to secure the top and/or tonneau covers on the rear edge of the cabin were bolted in from underneath. I removed the twisty bolts using an 8 mm socket and the bolts on the hooks using a 9 mm socket.

Then there remained some large bolts into the wheel wells, which I loosened using a 21 mm socket.

I did the same on the other side and that completed the removal of the trim pieces that remained on the body.

Wiring Harness, Part III

Today I removed the third and final piece of the wiring harness, the rear portion that powers the tail lights, reverse light, and license plate lamp.

First I removed the single reverse lamp, which was connected to the frame by two 7/16″ bolts. When I first bought the car I thought that the other reverse lamp must be missing but soon discovered that there is only one (left) reverse lamp on these quirky little cars.

Then I began freeing up the harness from the frame. I previously disconnected all of the rear lights, all that remained was to remove the harness itself. The harness was held to the frame by several clips that cinch together and hold the harness. I pried these apart using a flat head screwdriver and left the harness dangling as I moved from the rear of the car towards the front. Two clips were located behind the rear wheel but I was able to reach them without removing the wheel itself.

Similarly the harness ran the length of the frame on the driver’s side with a clip every twelve inches or so. It fed through the holes in the frame where necessary.

Towards the front of the car, just before reaching the front wheel, the harness went through the frame and turned upwards and tucked into the engine bay.

The rear harness connected into the main harness where the front harness branched off the dash harness. I was able to disconnect it here and pull the rear harness free out towards the back of the car.

This completed the removal of all three wiring harnesses. Here is a shot of how they all link together.

There are a lot of connections but the whole thing is still fairly simple by new car standards. At the very least I am going to clean up the wiring harness and may end-up re-wrapping the whole thing in new electrical tape.

Radiator paint

This evening I painted the radiator and heater core using paint specially formulated to transfer heat.

Here are the two pieces with their shiny new coats of paint.

I also removed the stainless steel trim and emblems from the fenders so that I can begin cleaning the grit and grim off the inside surfaces of the fenders. The strips of stainless steel are attached with nuts on the inside that attach to studs on the trim pieces. I used a 3/8″ socket.

With the bolts removed (one on each side was rusted and just broke off), I popped the trim off.

Next I took off the Datsun 2000 emblems. They have pins on the back that are held in place on the inside of the fender with these square clips.

Bumper Removal

I removed the front and rear bumpers so that I can clean them up, address any dents, and send them off to be re-chromed.

The front bumper is mounted on a pair of steel brackets that project from under the body. Four 9/16″ bolts connect the bumper to these brackets; two on each side.

I used some Liquid Wrench on the bolts but one of the bolts got bound up toward the end and I rounded the bolt’s head. Eventually I was able to twist it off using a pair of vice grips. With those bolts removed the bumper came free.

The rear bumper has a license plate light mounted in the center. The light has a chrome cover plate on top that I removed by taking out the two philips head mounting screws (below left). From underneath the light was mounted with two 5/16″ nuts. Also there were two electrical connections, one one a ground. I disconnected both wires (visible below right).

Then I was able to pop the license plate light up and off the rear bumper. The bumper itself was mounted with similar 9/16″ bolts to those on the front bumper. In the rear there were three bolts, left, center, and right.

With the bumpers removed I could see that there was a considerable amount of surface rust on the inside, particularly of the front bumper.

I removed the overriders, which were attached each with two 1/2″ bolts.

Hood Latch

This morning I removed the hood latch mechanism and that enabled me to removed the hood release cable that feeds through the firewall.

Here is the latch mechanism. The release cable feeds into the mechanism from the right side; you can see from the close-up on the right that my cable has become frayed where it penetrates the firewall, probably because the rubber grommet has worn away.

I removed the two bolts that hold the latch mechanism in place using a 7/16″ socket. Then the mechanism below the sheet metal was free. Having the lower piece free allowed me to twist the assembly a bit so that I could get a flat-head screwdriver on the release cable’s holding screw. While I was in the area I removed the hood cowl, which is held in place by six small Philips-head screws.

Then I pulled the release cable back through the firewall and out of the car.


This evening I spent some time taking the final pieces out of the trunk. This included the trunk latch and gas-filler tube apparatus.

The trunk lid has a metal loop piece on a bracket that bolts into the underside of the lid (not shown). That loop secures the trunk shut by catching the latch mechanism. Side and front views of the latch are shown below on the left. After I removed the four latch screws and latch itself, the key tumbler behind was visible. The tumbler was held in place by a black metal clip on the inside of the trunk. The tumbler turns a pin that opens and closes the latch. In order to remove the tumbler I had to pull out the cotter pin that held the tumbler to the pin piece.

I then removed the remaining pieces attached to the trunk that allow for the filling of the gas tank from the rear. I slid the metal filler tube out from the body after removing the key-lock cap. Then I unscrewed the vent tube bracket and pulled up the black rubber gasket that surrounds the fill tube of the gas tank.

I also removed the remaining heater and radiator hoses that run into the cabin (cockpit?) from the engine bay. Here are a couple of pictures where those hoses penetrate the firewall on the interior (left) and engine bay (right). They were already disconnected on both ends, so I just pulled them off the car’s body.

Finally, here is the latest view of the car from the rear.

Door Guts

When I originally tore out the car’s interior, I removed everything from the doors that was necessary in order to take off the vinyl door panels. Last night I went back to the doors to remove the mechanical parts that remained, including the glass, door handles, and locking mechanism. There are a lot of moving parts involved, but it isn’t that difficult to get everything if you stay organized and take it one step at a time.

Here is what the doors looked like after the interior was removed.

The first step was to remove the glass. There is a triangular fixed vent window in front of the door window, which is easiest to remove with the window in the “up” position.

There are these round pins on the outside of the door that help to hold the vent windows in place. I removed them with a 5/16″ wrench. I removed the rubber trim on the outside of the car, for both the vent window and the car window, tearing them in the process.

There are two upper screws that hold the vent assembly in place; I removed these with a #3 Phillips head screwdriver. One of the screws goes through the black bracket into the body and the other goes through the body into the vent piece.

There is one more screw down low, recessed in the car door. It is found beneath the window crank. I removed this final screw and the vent window pulled out the top of the door.

To remove the car window, I removed two Phillips head screws that anchor the scissors-like opening mechanism in place below the window. Also, there is a plastic block with a screw that attaches the opening mechanism to the bottom of the window glass. I removed the screw and slide the block free from its channel.

After the plastic piece was free, I was able to slide the window-opening mechanism off the bracket on the bottom of the glass and slide the glass out of the door. The two lower screws held a bracket in place on the inside of the door.

Next I removed the interior door handle. There are two small Phillips head screws that attach it to the body. The handle has a loop that a rod hooks into; the rod drives the latch mechanism at the rear of the door.

In order to extract the mechanism that opens and closes the window, I removed the four remaining Phillips head screws located around the window crank. They were pretty tight. Then I pulled out the mechanism.

At this point I removed the driver’s side mirror. Mine was attached with a bolt through the car’s body. Located inside the door was a 12mm nut.

On the inside of the rear edge of the door there is a channel in which the window glass rides. There are two screws on the outside/back of the door that hold this channel in place. I removed those screws and pulled out the channel.

The catch plate for the door is mounted on the rear of the door as well. I removed the three Phillips head flush screws and dropped that piece into the door.

I then went after the door latching and locking mechanism. It runs from the door handle back to the latch plate and also up to the key lock and the pull-up lock at the top of the door. At this point, because everything else was already disconnected, I needed to only free the mechanism from the door’s key lock. A cotter-pin holds the mechanism to the lock tumbler. I pulled off the pin and rotated the mechanism off the tumbler.

Then I pulled out the entire mechanism in one piece.

Finally I removed the exterior chrome door handle. Two 3/8″ nuts on the inside of the door hold it in place. With those removed I was able to pull the handles off the door.

Now the doors are shells. There was no rust-proofing inside the doors, just bare metal, and I saw a lot of surface rust inside. I will clean up all the mechanical pieces and send some pieces out for re-chroming.

Friday the 13th

Tonight I removed the grill from the front of the car. Overall it is in decent condition, although there are a couple of dents and the chrome could be polished or re-done (similar to all of the chrome on the vehicle).
The grill just mounts to some cross-pieces that bridge the front of the body between the fenders, on some brackets.

After removing a trumpet-style aftermarket horn, I saw the OEM horns were still mounted on either side of the grill. I pulled them off and we’ll see if we can’t get them cleaned-up and working again.

Windshield Removal

Big weekend ahead! We got started tonight by removing the windshield on-route to hopefully getting the dash removed tomorrow.

The windshield came out without much resistance and didn’t break. It has some cracks and chips, so will most likely be replaced anyhow. I cut the gasket material around the inside edge and then stood inside the car and leaned into it, and out it came after a few bumps.

Then off came the rearview mirror and the sunvisor assemblies without much trouble.