nbmgreg

2002 prospective buyer

10 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I'm Greg, I've found my way here after doing extensive reading on all things 2002.

 

A little back story: I've been a gear head my entire life, and about 2 years ago I lost my company vehicle due to some downsizing within the company, and I was forced to sell my pride and joy Jeep Wrangler in favor of something more fuel efficient as I drive about 30k miles per year for work. Long story short, I ended up in a Prius, and while the car has done its job very well and I appreciate the car for that, I have said since day 1 that I will have another "weekend toy" when money permits. The entire time I had my mind set on another Jeep, I just felt that I was not done with them and I basically know the things like the back of my hand. Well as of about a month ago, the time has come to start scouting for my weekend toy. While browsing craigslist, I accidentally stumbled across a Datsun 510 that was actually very clean and within my price range, I've always liked those cars, and at that very moment the gears in my head started turning. Long story short, I progressively made my way to the 2002 world and I am 98% set on owning one, and have some leads on a couple promising cars. I want some honest opinions/experiences on these cars, as I have never owned a classic vehicle or even a carbureted vehicle.

 

- Can these cars be maintained by the average weekend mechanic with average skills and basic resources? I do not have a garage with a two post lift, power tools, engine hoists etc. But I do have hand tools, some good old ingenuity, and know how to use a jack and jack stands :) 

 

- can a carbureted car be fairly reliable? I understand that the M10 itself is a well built motor, but it's the carb that intimidates me. I'm located in Los Angeles, so sometimes it can get a little toasty during the summer, but I don't live in an extreme climate. 

 

I've got a pretty good budget to work with, and from what I'm seeing it looks like there are a TON of knowledgable shops and enthusiasts right here in southern California, so that definitely gives me a little confidence. Feel free to share your thoughts/suggestions, I'm all ears!

 

Greg

Edited by nbmgreg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When buying a car, focus on the body for rust.  Mechanicals are easy, rust is a PITA. Check the floor pans as the heater core can leak and rust an otherwise dry car. Buy a car already done and sorted. Good documentation and ownership history a big plus. The roundie TII's have the most upside and you don't have to worry about the carbs.

 

just my $0.02

 

chris

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've owned my 2002 for the last 9 months. It's the only carbonated car I've owned. I feel like I have learned a lot in the last 9 months about carburetors and I can tell you at some point it all just clicks in your head and it all makes sense. I think if you are talking strictly reliability carburetors are definitely bullet proof. Basically as long as you have atmospheric pressure and gravity they will work ( if you don't have either i presume you have bigger problems to worry about).

 

I feel like the 2002 is as simple as it gets to maintain and given your past I think you will have absolutely no problem keeping one running.

 

..my condolences for living with a Prius all this time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, cbesing said:

When buying a car, focus on the body for rust.  Mechanicals are easy, rust is a PITA. Check the floor pans as the heater core can leak and rust an otherwise dry car. Buy a car already done and sorted. Good documentation and ownership history a big plus. The roundie TII's have the most upside and you don't have to worry about the carbs.

 

just my $0.02

 

chris

 

yes, on the cars I'm looking at the first thing I asked about were the floor pans and shock towers. My budget is around 10k, so I'm thinking that should yield a pretty solid base 2002. There is a Tii within my budget, but will definitely be needing some body work, and that fuel injection system scares me more than a carburetor after seeing some of the prices for those components haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, nk_zhp said:

I've owned my 2002 for the last 9 months. It's the only carbonated car I've owned. I feel like I have learned a lot in the last 9 months about carburetors and I can tell you at some point it all just clicks in your head and it all makes sense. I think if you are talking strictly reliability carburetors are definitely bullet proof. Basically as long as you have atmospheric pressure and gravity they will work ( if you don't have either i presume you have bigger problems to worry about).

 

I feel like the 2002 is as simple as it gets to maintain and given your past I think you will have absolutely no problem keeping one running.

 

..my condolences for living with a Prius all this time.

 

haha! I never thought I'd own a prius, but I can't argue with 60mpg's and dead reliability. The Prius will remain as my daily driver, while the 2002 would just be for the weekends. 

 

Very good point on the carbs. I know a lot of people actually prefer carbs over EFI, so I'm sure once I take the leap and dig in it won't be so bad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been daily driving my 02 for 6 years now in SoCal.  Its DEAD reliable.  Have 1 big carb on it and maybe lan to throw 2 carbs in it.  I have other jobs on the list that come before the carb decision.  No issues with the carb as far as getting it to run.  The ONLY issue is how well you want it to run.  I am trying to get it to run perfectly in all situations like a modern computer controlled EFI car.  So I tinker with it a lot.  Not hard to do and it runs pretty good.  I am sure others who are better at tuning could dial it in faster and better but I have fun with it.  I too had another daily and sold it because I never drove it.  Loved the 02 that much.  Lots of places to get parts and work done on your 02 out here.  Mechanicals are not rocket science and most things can easily be done in a garage with a decent tool set.  Other things can be taken to local experts. I suggest going for rides in a few...see if you like the feel of it then buy the cleanest one you can find.  Also do you want a finished 02 or do you want to tinker with it?  For me I wanted to get my hands dirty so I have spent ALOT of time doing various jobs on my own.  That to me is part of the fun of owning a classic car.  I'm starting to get to the bottom of my list so I am now starting to look for my next project...how am I gonna explain that one to the wife...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, jrhone said:

Been daily driving my 02 for 6 years now in SoCal.  Its DEAD reliable.  Have 1 big carb on it and maybe lan to throw 2 carbs in it.  I have other jobs on the list that come before the carb decision.  No issues with the carb as far as getting it to run.  The ONLY issue is how well you want it to run.  I am trying to get it to run perfectly in all situations like a modern computer controlled EFI car.  So I tinker with it a lot.  Not hard to do and it runs pretty good.  I am sure others who are better at tuning could dial it in faster and better but I have fun with it.  I too had another daily and sold it because I never drove it.  Loved the 02 that much.  Lots of places to get parts and work done on your 02 out here.  Mechanicals are not rocket science and most things can easily be done in a garage with a decent tool set.  Other things can be taken to local experts. I suggest going for rides in a few...see if you like the feel of it then buy the cleanest one you can find.  Also do you want a finished 02 or do you want to tinker with it?  For me I wanted to get my hands dirty so I have spent ALOT of time doing various jobs on my own.  That to me is part of the fun of owning a classic car.  I'm starting to get to the bottom of my list so I am now starting to look for my next project...how am I gonna explain that one to the wife...

Good to hear.. Today I've been reading through the technical articles on various repairs/swaps, and so far everything looks well within my wheel house. For me, being that I don't have a major shop or power tools and don't know how to weld, I want a fairly clean/restored example but not perfect, I still want some tinkering time and projects to work on, just not a full on restoration. I take a look at the first one tomorrow morning, so I'm getting anxious. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here was my thought process and my build so far....

 I wanted a car that I could mod and mold into what I wanted without worrying about projected value.  So I ruled out a Tii.  This was when Tii's were just a few grand more than standard 02s.  I wanted a square tail.  I am partial to them.  Not sure why but always liked the square tails.  I also felt a modified square tail again would not be a horrible thing value wise.  Roundies seem to be more pricey so why play around with one right?  I found a Fjord 76.  It ran, had a fairly clean interior, factory sunroof, very little rust and didn't have a ton of bodywork needed.  $3500.  Sold.  Flew up to the Bay Area, bought it in Sausalito up north and drove it directly home to Newport Beach.  Car wouldn't go more than 70 except up the grapevine...it seemed to pick up speed in the steep uphill grade.  

Since then I have replaced the motor, rebuilt the top end of the new motor, 292 cam, valves, etc...did the suspension with Ireland Stage II springs, Bilstien sport shocks and BBS RZ E30 wheels.  Redid the interior with e21 Recaros and matching rear seats, custom built a center console, did the audio system, and now the car is in the shop getting a Fjord respray.  I have a set of 15" BBS wheels going on soon and a 5 speed in the garage to go in later this year as well as a bottom end rebuild and a set of Dual 40 DCOE carbs on the shelf if I decide to put them in, in the meantime I have a weber 38/38 in it.  The car is VERY reliable and anytime something would go wrong its time for an upgrade.  Like e21 alternator, Volvo big brake front upgrade and e21 rear drums, poly suspension bushings, electric fan, 123 Tune distributor, headers, euro bumper conversion and a ton of things I have forgotten about lol.  My focus was reliability.  I have probably put 150,000 miles on the car in 8 years.  I drive it up north to the Bay area frequently as well as to Phoenix to visit family.  Then performance.  Great suspension upgrades, great brakes, peppy motor.  Then comfort.  Comfy seats, modern yet stealth audio system.  This has been the best car I have owned and even with all this work I have done, its less expensive than buying the average car per year.  Plus the smiles I have on a daily basis.  In the Porsche world its called Permagrin!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jrhone said:

Here was my thought process and my build so far....

 I wanted a car that I could mod and mold into what I wanted without worrying about projected value.  So I ruled out a Tii.  This was when Tii's were just a few grand more than standard 02s.  I wanted a square tail.  I am partial to them.  Not sure why but always liked the square tails.  I also felt a modified square tail again would not be a horrible thing value wise.  Roundies seem to be more pricey so why play around with one right?  I found a Fjord 76.  It ran, had a fairly clean interior, factory sunroof, very little rust and didn't have a ton of bodywork needed.  $3500.  Sold.  Flew up to the Bay Area, bought it in Sausalito up north and drove it directly home to Newport Beach.  Car wouldn't go more than 70 except up the grapevine...it seemed to pick up speed in the steep uphill grade.  

Since then I have replaced the motor, rebuilt the top end of the new motor, 292 cam, valves, etc...did the suspension with Ireland Stage II springs, Bilstien sport shocks and BBS RZ E30 wheels.  Redid the interior with e21 Recaros and matching rear seats, custom built a center console, did the audio system, and now the car is in the shop getting a Fjord respray.  I have a set of 15" BBS wheels going on soon and a 5 speed in the garage to go in later this year as well as a bottom end rebuild and a set of Dual 40 DCOE carbs on the shelf if I decide to put them in, in the meantime I have a weber 38/38 in it.  The car is VERY reliable and anytime something would go wrong its time for an upgrade.  Like e21 alternator, Volvo big brake front upgrade and e21 rear drums, poly suspension bushings, electric fan, 123 Tune distributor, headers, euro bumper conversion and a ton of things I have forgotten about lol.  My focus was reliability.  I have probably put 150,000 miles on the car in 8 years.  I drive it up north to the Bay area frequently as well as to Phoenix to visit family.  Then performance.  Great suspension upgrades, great brakes, peppy motor.  Then comfort.  Comfy seats, modern yet stealth audio system.  This has been the best car I have owned and even with all this work I have done, its less expensive than buying the average car per year.  Plus the smiles I have on a daily basis.  In the Porsche world its called Permagrin!

 

 

sounds like you've got a solid setup! I checked out your build, it's funny that you went down to mexico to get a paint job.. I remember as a kid my dad used to do that quite often in AZ. How did you end up finding your shop of choice down there? 

 

I too decided to stear clear of the Tii for modding purposes as well. I actually came across a Tii roundtail in SF for $7900 yesterday.. guy says it drives great, looks straight but the body panels are all different colors.. wondering if it was maybe in an accident? Regardless, I decided to stick with a standard 02 for my goals and I'm even more weary of that Kfish fuel injection than a standard carb lol. I'm excited to get behind the wheel of one tomorrow and see first hand how these things go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TJ paint job. I did tons of online research. Went down 3 different times and talked to a few shops. Talked to people that had work done even 8-10 years later to find out how the paint job held up. Plus the shop I used is very popular in the vintage air cooled Porsche world. If it's good enough for them then it should be good enough for an 02. Lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now