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Old 06-22-2017, 07:58 AM   #1
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1979 Datsun Sunline Solaris Mini Motorhome

Welcome to the project thread for the Islanders RV. This thread will document info for the unit, and any reconditioning we do to it over time.
We'll be going to "RestoMod" route, that is, "Restored with Modern" parts.
First we'll have to go through and fully document the RV before we make any changes.

Here's where we started, with the RV sitting for sale, the day we bought it showing 37K miles on the clock:



....and the VIN tag for it showing the Sunline number -> S24679


This is the cockpit, still in quite good shape for a vehicle almost 40 years old:


...and the upper berthing area (some of the first items we'll be replacing):



Cleaning out the camper and pulling the previous owners accouterments was the first order of the day, next will be checking through all power features to see what does/doesn't work. Then we'll be documenting how everything looks in the "stock" configuration before we make any changes. I'll post more pics as we move along and hopefully we'll have it on the road for a trip quickly.
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Old 06-22-2017, 12:00 PM   #2
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Wow don't see many of these anymore! Can't wait to see the progress!
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:23 PM   #3
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Subscribing!

Fun fact...Sunline themselves actually kept one of these around for many years, perhaps into the early 2000s, for an employee loaner. I've never seen a picture of that one or heard many details on it, but people could sign it out for a weekend vacation. Apparently it was pretty beat up by the time they got rid of it. It was a self contained option that any (non-Amish/Penn Dutch) employee could drive somewhere without needing a tow vehicle.
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-22-2017, 06:57 PM   #4
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More initial pics

Here are some additional pics of the RV in the original state, inside and engine compartment.

In the camper, looking back


Right side storage:


Left side storage:


The brand new fridge, hoping it works well:


The engine compartment, not too bad, a few jury-rigged items, no oil leaks though:


The RVIA tag from outside the side door:
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:46 PM   #5
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Brakes

The RV was a bit short on brakes, and here's the culprit, a leaky wheel cylinder on the drivers side. I went ahead and bought two new units, figuring to replace both over the weekend.

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Old 06-24-2017, 02:50 PM   #6
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Skylight

Pulled the makeshift cover from the skylight, found it to be in pretty good shape, although it is leaking around the frame.



Here's the water damage from around it, only on the side though, the other side is dry.




We also found a bit of water damage near the front of the berthing area, both sides unfortunately




Looks like we have some work to do on the RV....
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:42 PM   #7
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Rear Brakes Update

Rear Brakes - Replaced both wheel cylinders and shoes , bled rear brakes - 6/25/17
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:17 PM   #8
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WOW..... Thanks Islanders for these really cool pics. This is a treat for us to see one of these in such detail.


And here is another WOW, a distributor with points in it and a carburetor... These are so simple compared to anything, new....


H'mm what is the spare coil on the driver fender wall?? A spare? I do not see the distributor wire in it.

Looking forward to your progress.

Thanks for sharing

John
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:43 PM   #9
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Coil

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H'mm what is the spare coil on the driver fender wall?? A spare? I do not see the distributor wire in it.
Hi John,

Thanks for the reply and compliment!

Actually, that is the coil. I have the coil wire pulled as a theft deterrent. Since this vehicle is older, I'm figuring to pop the door locks and hot wiring is something that could be found with a quick google search. Just trying to keep it safe and parked in our driveway.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanders View Post

Actually, that is the coil. I have the coil wire pulled as a theft deterrent. Since this vehicle is older, I'm figuring to pop the door locks and hot wiring is something that could be found with a quick google search. Just trying to keep it safe and parked in our driveway.
Ah, yup. It is not going to run without that coil wire.... Never even thought about the theft issue....

True, these older vehicles are so simple, someone with a little know how can get them running real quick. Odds are high that age vehicle may not even have a steering wheel lock. Get it running and your gone...

Maybe need a fuel line shutoff hidden somewhere only you know? Ideally close to the carb so it will only run a few seconds. It probably has a mechanical fuel pump so you can't just break the fuel pump motor wire as there isn't any...

Darn crooks...
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:20 AM   #11
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It should have a steering lock. No one carries a distributer rotor with them better than a key. It's easy to make the engine run on 3 cylinders with a plug wire.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:51 AM   #12
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I thought of the distributor rotor too. That is a classic kill switch.... No getting past that one...

However it creates issues as the main course of anti theft if you use the camper often. Think about popping the distributor cap on and off 3 times a week or 3 times a day while camping??? It for sure will work as anti theft but with my luck I would goof up something after a few times and need to deal with it... The cap holding clip breaks and now I'm out of luck...

Ya have to kill the ignition or the fuel somehow simple and reliable. Maybe a hidden key switch somewhere in the ignition coil power supply lead that you can't tell is there or some kind of easy access fuel shut off? If someone really knows what they are doing, these can be overridden for sure. The hope is the crook is not a very good mechanic.

There are these kinds of deterrents. Never used one but recall the old advertisements. they still seem to make them.

The Club. Remember that? The Club Ė A Winner International Company‚ÄĒMaker of The Club Seems to be a few of them Automotive / Vehicle Anti-Theft / Steering Wheel Locks ‚Äď Winner International Online Store Amazon sells them too

Or a wheel lock https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...l_54sqruokc8_b

It slows them down and they know its there. Move on to easier pick'ins.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
It should have a steering lock.
Do you remember what year steering wheel locks started? I lost track of that.
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:35 PM   #14
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Steering Wheel Lock

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Do you remember what year steering wheel locks started? I lost track of that.
Unfortunately, this model does not have a steering wheel lock. I was moving the RV around earlier and verified after parking, no lock.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:31 PM   #15
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Decals, Badges and Vehicle Info

I found a couple more tags, just to document the RV.

Found this Sunline tag on the driver-side inner fender well, under the hood. Same number as the other tag, I guess that makes this RV "numbers matching".



Here's a Datsun Engine Info tag that has been polished away.......notice the Sunline VIN tag above it on the fender.



Here's the Datsun Emissions Info tag



Hydraulic Brakes Vacuum Booster tag

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Old 07-10-2017, 06:14 AM   #16
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Inspected

Saturday morning I took the RV up for the state safety inspection, and it passed!
Now we're on to getting the title changed, and registration for license plates. Then we'll be on the road. Well, almost, still have some repairs to do, but at least we'll be ABLE to get on the road.
Got the plastic Datsun grille repaired, cleaned up and painted. Just letting the paint dry and then it can be reinstalled.
Have about half the screws holding the skylight in removed. They are a chore. The elastomeric sealant has to be chipped away from each screw head and dug out of the slot to get a driver on it. Sheesh!
We used the 30Amp to 10Amp adapter and plugged the RV into the house power, all the outlets in the RV are working, so that's good.

The major focus now is the roof around the skylight, getting it repaired, parts replaced and the skylight reinstalled WITHOUT any leaks.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanders View Post
I found a couple more tags, just to document the RV.

Found this Sunline tag on the driver-side inner fender well, under the hood. Same number as the other tag, I guess that makes this RV "numbers matching".



Here's a Datsun Engine Info tag that has been polished away.......notice the Sunline VIN tag above it on the fender.



Here's the Datsun Emissions Info tag



Hydraulic Brakes Vacuum Booster tag

Awesome, thanks for documenting!
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:40 PM   #18
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Monday Monday

GF installed the front grille, now we're showing Datsun again
I managed to finally get the last of the screws out of the skylight, and then broke the skylight loose from the last of the sealant to get it removed.
The hole left is a bit rough. We still have to get the wood frame pulled and replaced, but at this time, we're thinking of covering over the hole, and going without a skylight. I will miss it, but it will be the easier way to move forward (and we can always add a skylight later).
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:41 AM   #19
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I think I would take the effort to fix the skylight it gets pretty hot inside with no vent.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:14 AM   #20
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Skylight

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I think I would take the effort to fix the skylight it gets pretty hot inside with no vent.
Agreed! And that was my plan all along. However, this particular skylight doesn't appear to open in any fashion, just a window to the stars. Its missing the plastic dome on top, so we had been looking for that part to cover it.
Being as we don't have any real experience with mounting/installing/sealing this item, we thought it might be better to delete it for now and move on to other items (A/C, fridge, propane system...etc).
This item only hit the list because of the leaking around it. We didn't feel good about moving forward with other repairs until we had a watertight roof.
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