Project 510 – Grille, Badge, Wheels

Back to the front of the car again. It’s finally time to fix the missing piece of the grille.


Chris, a fellow Datsun 1600 owner, sent me a later model (72) grille which had the top slat broken off, perfect for what I need it for. Here’s the piece I’m talking about.


It’s not exactly the same as the ’69 model, but once it’s painted you won’t be able to tell.

I made up some small L shaped brackets out of aluminium and pop-riveted them to the loose grille piece.


Then I drilled some holes in the grille on this convenient flat section to attach the new piece to.


Finally the two pieces came together.


Later the whole grille was resprayed grey, so the two middle slats are no longer polished. You’ll see pics at the end of the post of the complete front end.

Another problem I’ve been meaning to address for a while is the lack of “Datsun 1600” badge on the passenger side front quarter panel/fender.


Luckily I have a couple of boxes of spare parts, and I had a feeling that I had one of these badges hiding away somewhere.


Bingo! It’s a bit worse for wear.


When I took it out of the box I was a bit dissapointed because I thought the chrome was flaking off. But just to be sure I gave it a bit of a rub with some steel-wool and metal polish.


Well it turns out that it wasn’t flaking off, it was just black paint which had preserved its condition. Good as new!


You complete me.

The next issue that I’ve been meaning to get to is the small bits of rust on the very front edge of the bonnet where the chrome trim screws to the body. I think the trim has worn away at the paint and started to form some surface rust.


Trim removed for a better view. Not pretty…


I masked up the surrounding areas and rubbed back the paint a little bit to remove the rust


Then it was hit with a couple of coats of paint.


The front end all reassembled with fixed/painted grille and no more bonnet rust…


It’s so much better now that you can’t see the radiator support when you look at the front of the car. (Go back up to the first image if you’re not sure what I’m talking about)


I also fitted some bonnet pins because I wasn’t happy with the amount of movement in the bonnet when going anywhere above 60km/h


And finally, the wheels were given some attention in the form of a bit of paint & polish.




Hope you enjoyed this update. Next one will see the car getting some decent suspension upgrades and a fair ride-height reduction, so stay tuned!

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