The Datsun 1200 engine may be small, but it has been around for many years and has proven itself as one of the most reliable engines out there. While there are many car parts you can rebuild or replace to make your engine more powerful or reliable, there are some fundamentals that must be done to ensure you’re doing everything safely and correctly, including how to rebuild a Datsun 1200 engine. For example, using the wrong gasket materials can cause serious engine problems, so you need to understand what gasket material will work best for your particular Datsun 1200 model.
The engine case
The next step is to remove the engine case. It’s held on by six bolts that you can see in the picture below. You need to find some new gasket material and sealant for this repair. Find the correct size of bolts for the case, and screws for mounting it back onto the car when you’re done. Make sure your parts are in good condition before buying them.
Installing the gasket set
The first step is to remove the gasket set from the rubber seating that it was sitting on. The easiest way to do this is by using a screwdriver or other flat tool. Once the gasket set is out of the rubber, lay them on top of each other in the order that they are going to be installed, starting with the bottom one and ending with the top one. Once they are in place, look at them carefully and make sure that none of them are upside down or backwards.
Installing the pistons
1. Remove the oil pan and drain the oil. This can be done by unscrewing the drain plug on the bottom of the engine block. Be careful not to pour any of this into your lap or onto your driveway, as it will make a mess.
2. Remove all 10 pistons from their cylinders with needle-nose pliers and small hammer (or vice grips).
3. Carefully inspect them for any cracks and replace any that are damaged or worn.
Installing the piston rings
Remove the oil pan and gasket.
Remove the pistons from the engine.
Install new piston rings on the piston, don’t forget to coat them with oil or grease.
Install pistons into engine, along with circlips at top and bottom of each piston.
Replace gasket for oil pan and tighten screws for securing oil pan back onto engine block.
Installing the connecting rod caps and crankshaft
For this step, you will need the connecting rod caps and crankshaft. To install the connecting rod caps, use a press to apply pressure to the cap and insert it into the hole in the crankcase. The bolts should point towards the back of the engine block. Next, slide on the washers, then tighten them down with a socket wrench or ratchet so that there is enough pressure on each bolt head. Repeat this process for all of your connecting rod caps.
Installing the main bearings
1. Place the crankshaft in the main bearing caps, making sure it is correctly oriented.
2. Place the main bearings on the crankshaft and secure them with main bearing nuts at each end of the shaft. Tighten each nut by hand until they are snug. You can use a socket wrench if you do not have enough hand strength to tighten them fully by hand.
Rebuilding the head gasket
The head gasket is the part of the engine that seals the combustion chamber. It prevents the gases in the combustion chamber from leaking out into the cooling system and engine oil. Once this seal is compromised, it’s time to replace your head gasket!
The process for replacing your head gasket varies by car model, but on a Datsun 1200, there are four bolts that hold down the head cover. You’ll need an assortment of sockets and ratchets for this job.
Finishing up with a new oil seal, O-ring seals, spark plug seals, and distributor housing seal
To finish off your engine rebuild, install the new oil seal, O-ring seals and spark plug seals. To do this, remove the distributor housing seal by removing the bolts on either side of it. Next, put your new distributor housing seal in place and use the bolts to tighten it back down.
Putting it all back together again
So, you managed to take your engine apart. Congratulations! It’s time for the moment of truth: Putting it back together again. It’s not as hard as it sounds, but there are some steps you need to keep in mind when putting your Datsun 1200 engine back together.