1977 Datsun 120Y Reviews

1977 Datsun 120Y 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10

Summary:

Reliable

Faults:

Not much has gone wrong with the car its got a leak in the heater tap and a partly ceased front brake.

Passengers seat had been twisted

Needs a paint job badly.

General Comments:

The Datsun is genrally a good car. It has a lot more power after I put on a open air filter.

Crashed into a embankment about a week ago and me and my friends lifted it out. the car had no damage from the crash.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th April, 2005

1977 Datsun 120Y 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired247000 kilometres
Most recent distance300000 kilometres

Summary:

Excellent first car. 13 inch rims and a 1400 motor make a world of difference

Faults:

Rust around the bottoms of the doors.

Poor electrical system.

Needed rear wheel bearings.

General Comments:

Excellent car.

I installed a reconditioned Datsun Sunny 1400 motor - lots more performance.

Stock differential ratio (3.9 : 1) - revs too hard - nearly 4000 RPM at 100 km.

Wanders on the road a bit at 100 km/h.

Excellent fuel economy.

Goes well, will sit at 120 km/h all day long.

Hates cold starts.

Easy to drive - good first car.

Would benefit from a 5 speed gearbox.

Brakes not crash hot.

Handles better with 13 inch rims and wide tyres.

Bad body roll.

Excellent turning circle.

Great car for running around town.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th August, 2001

5th Aug 2001, 11:59

Hates cold starts? Datsun's usually always start fine in all weathers. We've got a '79 Sunny 1.4 (probably like the one you took the engine from). Reliable, never broken down since new (1979). Comfy, good acceleration/performance. Very few Datsuns left here in the UK.

4th Sep 2001, 05:04

Yeah (I put the original entry in) - she didn't like cold starts at all. I used to have to drive it with the choke half way out until warm or it world stall. The motor was from a 1980 Sunny Wagon.

3rd Oct 2001, 12:13

Yes, I agree about cold starting, but I believe this happens because of the poor fuel ratio that is used, but this makes it excellent in fuel economy. A great car!

1977 Datsun 120Y 1.2 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.2 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired77777 kilometres
Most recent distance89764 kilometres
Previous carHolden Gemini

Summary:

Very cheap, extremely tough, everyday car and thrash car

Faults:

My 120Y has never had any problems apart from general wear and tear and from my continuous abuse, which it has held up to quite well considering how hard I cane the poor car. Although the problems I have had which I have caused, I have stated below for interest to anyone who thrashes a 120Y.

About two weeks ago I bent a rear wheel (lucky I didn't have my mags on), wheel bearing, brake hub and axle. I received this unfortunate damage by going sideways around a corner and unexpectedly having to avoid a car, resulting in hitting a curb quite hard. This did not cost anything to fix because I have heaps of spare Datsun parts at close hand.

The suspension and wheel alignments stuffed up due to already worn suspension from old age, but also provoked by general everyday thrashing and often weekend thrashing. I still haven't fixed the front suspension because I don't have enough money, but I replaced the rear shockers with Nissan/Datsun Bluebird wagon rear shocks (because my 120Y is a wagon).

I am soon going to replace the whole front suspension with Datsun Stanza suspension (whole struts including springs, brakes etc, radius rods, steering arms). Replacing all these is a relatively easy job for any slightly mechanically minded person, and only takes a few minor modifications eg. drilling a few bigger holes. The result of this modification is very much improved handling, braking and a very firm ride due to the fact that a Datsun Stanza is a fair bit heavier that a 120Y - approx. 300 kilos. With Nissan/Datsun Bluebird rear shocks as well as a Stanza front end it is a very adequate combination and improves handling greatly.

I am only now having a few engine problems from continually driving at high revs and with about 1 litre of oil in the engine. Because I just bought an A15 motor (1500 Nissan Vanette) motor to replace the old A12 motor (1200 standard 12Y motor), I want to see if I can blow the old motor up and I can tell you that it's hard work even with nearly no oil left in the engine. I have been trying for a while and I have only been able to produce a bit of a bottom end bearing rattle, and a sufficiently smoky car, nothing else. The engine still wants to run forever (typical Datsun engine).

General Comments:

All Datsuns are great cars and I recommend them to anyone. I especially recommend 120Y to those people who are learning to drive and/or buying a first car. Because they are easy to get, cheap to run, buy and repair, they are not very powerful so you learn to make the most of what you have, and they have relatively good handling (depends on how well it has been maintained).

I am currently in the process of severely modifying most aspects of my 120Y. In the future I am hoping to modify my car more apart from the 1500 engine and the Stanza suspension. Some of the things I am hoping to do are fit a Toyota Celica 5 speed manual gearbox, a Nissan/Datsun Bluebird limited slip differential (which has to be customised to fit), a Holden Gemini radiator and a thermo fan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2001

15th Oct 2001, 05:00

Is there any way of contacting people in pursuit of a "commercial" interest? I am trying to locate a spare part for my old Datsun 120Y and I wonder whether I am on the right track.

Dimitris Kalles

dkalles@acm.org

9th Dec 2001, 20:00

Excellent review buddy. I love reading about people who try to blow up engines! Full credit to you for testing out that lump properly.

2nd Apr 2003, 19:18

I bought my 120 for 150 dollars, its had six months of thrashing, including lots of high speed bush missions, two channel crossings, lots of road kill, a few stacks. All this (and lots more) have done nothing to halt the progress of my Datsun, apart from a few battle scars. I have added a radiator out of a Toyota Celica GT4 which allows me to drive 24/7 without it ever getting hot. I am currently building a hot 1200 for it which includes, very lumpy cam, standard bores, 48mm wbebber carb, extractors, standard rods and bottom end and a shaved head.

12th Apr 2004, 06:20

Mate you're a champion you do all the things me and my mates do to Datsuns. (LIVE THE DREAM DRIVE A 120Y)

9th Nov 2005, 17:29

This review and comments have just about made my day. Particularly all the stuff about flogging the guts out of 120Y's (a car that's soooooo unhip it's almost hip).

10th Dec 2005, 01:20

I am part of a Datsun 120y speedway team. You think you've thrashed a Datsun... think again. Looking for body panels is pretty hard though. Nobody has any these days. All fun though. Accidents are inevitable.

5th Sep 2008, 21:54

Better get a big gearbox 60 series 1981/82 A14/15 sunny wagon gearbox to cope with that A15. 1200 boxes will grenade.

27th Jan 2012, 17:52

120y coupes had a 5 speed box with a 1500 motor. Why a Toyota gearbox?? A12 motors are 2 types. The distributor is in different position 1200/120y.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 5 reviews