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The Nissan Datsun 310 is a subcompact car produced by Japanese automaker Nissan starting from 1978. The model had different nameplates in global markets, but the Datsun 310 badge was exclusive to the U.S. market. Spanning nine generations, the Datsun 310 represented the first generation of the series. It came in a variety of body styles: a three- or five-door hatchback, a four-door fastback sedan, a five-door van or station wagon, and a three-door fastback-styled coupe. The vehicle's dimensions were 3,890-3,940 mm in length, 1,620 mm in width, 1,360 mm in height, and had a wheelbase of 94.3 in. It weighed 840 kg. Available with a range of engines with 1397 - 1488 cc displacement, these units could generate 48.5 - 50 kW (66 - 68 PS, 65 - 67 hp) of power and were mated with a five-speed manual transmission. The Datsun 310 was front-wheel drive and achieved respectable fuel efficiency with 23 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 26 MPG combined. The car underwent various upgrades throughout its production years. It originally came with a 1.4-liter engine in North America and offered a four-speed or five-speed manual gearbox. Over time, a larger 1.5-liter engine was introduced. The car's exterior underwent a facelift in 1981, introducing a sloping, horizontal bar grille and rectangular headlights. Debuting in May 1978, it replaced its predecessor and featured design elements from the Cherry model. Despite keeping the rack-and-pinion steering and independent suspension, the Datsun 310 was recognized for its unique sedan bodywork and a 1.2L engine.
The Nissan Datsun 310, while recognized for its value, has encountered specific mechanical issues, notably overheating and head gasket failures. Overheating can persist even when there is sufficient coolant and a functioning radiator fan. To troubleshoot this, owners should first ensure the appropriate coolant levels and confirm the radiator cooling fan's operation. If these parameters are satisfactory, the next step involves replacing the engine's thermostat. During this procedure, a reverse flush of the cooling system can help eliminate blockages, promoting smooth water circulation. After flushing, refilling with a mixture of 30-50% new antifreeze is advisable. The bleed hoses, crucial for venting air to the header tank, should be free of obstructions. Another potential cause of overheating is the water pump impeller disengaging from its shaft. This malfunction is identifiable by halting the impeller with a screwdriver during manual engine rotation. Furthermore, any signs of belt slippage, manifested as shiny or cracked belts, warrant immediate replacement, and it's essential to ascertain that all connected pulleys revolve unimpeded. To optimize coolant flow, it's vital to purge all air from the system by scrutinizing the small hoses for blockages, running the engine with maximum heat, and intermittently squeezing the primary hoses. Upon reaching the desired temperature and subsequent cooling, coolant levels should be adjusted to the recommended limit. Additionally, the model's susceptibility to head gasket failures, a pivotal component sealing the combustion chamber, cannot be overlooked. This gasket is instrumental in maintaining engine efficiency, ensuring adequate compression, containing exhaust gases, and thwarting coolant and oil from seeping into the combustion chamber. Failures often arise from temperature fluctuations and elevated combustion gas pressures, leading to symptoms like coolant leaks, white exhaust emissions, radiator bubbles, milky oil, and deteriorated cooling system efficacy. Operating a vehicle with a damaged head gasket can intensify engine degradation, resulting in substantial repair or replacement costs. Preventing such issues mandates keeping combustion chamber pressures minimal, moderating RPMs, and adhering to proper installation and maintenance protocols during engine overhauls. If disregarded, these gasket problems can morph into extensive engine challenges.
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