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Impressions: First drive [short] in years


Jedi Knight
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Brought our yellow BE home this afternoon from the shop that fixed the problems with my Datsun five speed install - slightly snowy, couple of degrees above freezing, top up, side curtains not.
It's been probably 5 years since last driving it at all regularly - hopefully this summer it will see decent miles.
Impressions: the cupola around the shift lever is off which presumably affected the noise level - but the 948 cc engine sounded like an enraged sewing machine. But not quite as powerful.
My feet are about 10 1/2 and I was wearing New Balance walking shoes which are a bit wide, and the pedals felt amazingly close together - will wear narrower shoes next time. The transmission felt awkward at some points and very easy shifting at others - the shift pattern will be something minor to get used to. The standard drum brakes aren't worth diddly squat when you're used to power assisted discs. I don't remember being concerned about the brakes back when it was our only car, some 40 years ago, so will just allow a bit more space and get used to putting a bit of leg muscle in to stopping. I also don't remember it being such a long way down into the seat and a longer way back up....
Lots of mechanical noise so will have to check the valve clearances, but it may also just be that I'm not used to anything that's not hydraulic or overhead cam, with plenty of sound proofing.
I thought about whipping around some corners, but just as well that traffic was heavy as I haven't checked the 'best before' date on the tyres (and their pressures haven't been checked since December.)
But it's just nice to have it home again, and ready for wandering off for ice cream etc. this summer. Or just wandering. Doug


Jedi Warrior
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I have a friend with a 948 and Datsun gear box. He told me that this was not an ideal combination. He felt he would have been better off with the stock gear box with the 948 or update to 1275 with the Datsun to better match power band and gears. It seems that I have read other blogs with similar thoughts. Did you do the 5 speed with intentions of changing the motor?


Staff member
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Sounds great that it is moving! It is certainly a much more tactile experience driving one of these puppies - but, you adapt quickly! glad it is running you`ll get used to the noise (and smells!) soon enough and pretty soon will be driving like you stole it! (which you can do with a Bugeye and NEVER get nailed for speeding!)


Jedi Knight
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The real appeal of the Datsun transmission was a synchromesh first gear so downshifting would be ideally simpler; secondarily the over drive fifth gear. We had no intention of changing engines (the 948 seemed to be running fine, and the additional expense of sourcing and rebuilding a 1275 seemed a bit excessive). Regards ratios: here's a brief summary from my scribbles years ago, trying to decide:

Datsun 2103.5132.171.37810.846


Jedi Warrior
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I guess I was born to drive a Bugeye because I wear a 7/12 to size 8 shoe. Someone also said it takes a larger foundation for an Estate than an Outhouse.


Staff member
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I guess I was born to drive a Bugeye because I wear a 7/12 to size 8 shoe. Someone also said it takes a larger foundation for an Estate than an Outhouse.

I was definitely NOT born for a Bugeye, at 6'1" with a 13eeee shoe size. Sometimes you just have to make it work. :grin:
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