Datsun 180B

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Datsun 180B


Datsun 180B

1973 - 1977
4 cyl.
105 bhp at 5700 rpm
4 spd. man / 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
Datsun 180B
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


In 1972 the Datsun 180B was launched (in countries outside Australia it was known as the Datsun Bluebird 810) replacing the Datsun 1600 series. Although similar in concept to the previous model with more Japanese styling the 180B's only similarity was that it shared the L series engine now increased to 1770cc producing 68kw and independent rear suspension.

All models, including the four-door sedan, coupe and wagon were launched at the same time. In Australia the 180B was released as a locally assembled 4-door sedan and fully imported coupe. The 180B SSS had a twin carburettors over the other models single that produced 82kW and, in 1975, was offered with a 5-speed gearbox. In 1974 the 180B was facelifted with a new grille, front wrap-around indicators and revised rear taillights. In 1975 horizontal bars to the front grille replaced the previous styled grille.

The 180B GX

The 180B GX was top-dog in the light-medium Datsun range. Fully imported, it shared some features with the five-speed SSS coupe introduced to the Australian market in the first quarter of 1975. The GX took the Japanese custom of comprehensive standard equipment a few steps further than the norm by providing almost every conceivable luxury item as standard equipment.

Mechanically, the GX was unchanged from the more common 180B sedan, using the lusty and well proven 1.8 iitre powerplant and a fully independent rear end which set the 180B apart from most of its contemporaries. Externally, the GX looked little different to the lesser 180B models, with only minor changes to identify it as the flagship of the Datsun 180B range. There was the option of metallic paintwork, which was not available on the locally-assembled 180B’s, but to the casual observer it was difficult to see where the extra money was spent.

Seating, like the coupe model, was cloth and the driver's side incorporated a height adjustment device which did wonders for both under-thigh support and the actual driving position. By tilting the forward edge of the squab upwards in conjunction with adjustment of the backrest, even the tallest drivers were able to achieve an exceptionally comfortable seating position. Shaping of the seats also provided a reasonable amount of lateral support and the cloth covering had the cool-in-summer, warm-in-winter advantages over the normal vinyl materials which were still much the standard fare in most new cars of the 1970s.

Inside the 180B GX

Instrumentation of the GX was basically as per the other 180B models, with an electric clock and temperature and fuel gauges flanking the speedometer, which incorporated an odometer. The glove-box was lockable, and four air vents were situated around the fascia, the central outlets working in conjunction with the heater and the outer two at either end of the dash operating independently and passing fresh cool air only. A rear window heater was also fitted and was controlled by a small tumbler switch to the right of the steering column.

The GX featured generous use of mock wood which also appeared on the floor console containing the gearshift. Datsun persisted with the under-dash pull-out handbrake, which by the mid 1970s was fast losing ground to the much more popular centrally located on-the-floor type. The GX came standard with a four speed manual transmission, the three speed automatic gearbox and air-conditioning being virtually the only options available on the car. But the nature of the 180B was more compatible with a siick four speed shift than with a performance-robbing automatic. Fitted with radial ply Dunlop Aquajets as standard equipment, the Datsun GX encouraged brisk driving, the only drawback to the car's roadholding/handling properties being the insensitive steering which had a characteristic vagueness around the straight-ahead position.

Behind the Wheel

Some road testers even thought that the GX’s handling felt more balanced in the GX than in the beefed-up SSS coupe model. The sedan may have leant a little more when pressed into a corner, but the amount of understeer was considerably lower and the GX could be positioned in mid-corner more easily with use of the throttle. Performance from the relatively large-capacity overhead cam four placed the Datsun among the front runners in its class, putting down standing 400 metres times In the 18 second bracket and accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 13.2 seconds. The car ran a relatively high rear axle ratio for long-legged highway cruising, but a degree of engine noise did begin to creep into the passenger compartment when cruising near the legal limit. Gear spread was wide enough to allow third gear passing at 100 km/h and the 78 kW engine's torque was sufficient to give relatively strong acceleration from low-rpm situations in the intermediate ratios. It was never a "peaky" engine that demanded constant gearshifts to keep on top of the power band.

Ride quality, with the all-independent suspension, was reasonably compliant even on rough roads, but in typical Datsun fashion, the car somehow felt a little flimsy when being pounded along in the rough. Obviously, this impression was simply an illusion, as Datsuns had long proved how rugged they were in some of the more notorious Australian trial events. Still, to our mind, for ruggedness’ nothing beats the Datsun 1600. Braking in the GX was well controlled by an anti-lock system which brought the rear brakes into action fractionally slower than the front discs and then modulated the pressure to keep the wheels turning.

Datsun 180B Safety

Body construction incorporated all the then latest safety features like – and for 1975 this meant progressive-crumple impact zones at front and rear, and a strong central passenger cell and safety steering column. The boot incorporated a remotely located fuel tank, well out of the way In the event of a rear end collision, but the safety-orientated design meant the boot had a high lip which made for awkward loading of heavy suitcases, etc. Naturally, the GX's boot was equipped with an automatic light - as were all four doors. The quality of finish on the 180B GX was faultless - particularly the metallic paintwork - but there was of course the usual 1970s Japanese obsession with tacky plastic trim and fancy scrollwork on the inside of the doors.

The money would have been better spent on fitting a day/night rearview mirror, or even a central rear armrest. They didn’t – but the GX was still a very well equipped car. The 180B GX led the opposition on a price / equipment and even behind the wheel criteria, and at A$3900 (approx 1975 cost) it was bloody good value. It was followed in late 1975 by the fully imported station wagon. In 1976 bumper overriders were introduced. The sedan models were available in Deluxe and GL while the coupe was the 180B SSS (Triple S).
Datsun 180B Interior

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Datsun Brochures
Datsun 180B Specifications
Datsun History
Datsun/Nissan Production 1934 - 1979
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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Posted Recently
We have a 1974 Datsun Bluebird SSS 4 door, ( 180 B )
with only 7,000 kilometers documented
Why restore one when you can get an almost new one?
Find us at Heartbeat cars on Facebook
we also have many more Datsuns and 2 Hakosuks'a
Posted Recently
not a bad car but apart from a firm ride the rt104 corona was a better car.datsuns always had shoddy bodies and were flimsy-have owned a few of them-but usually very relaible and durable mechanically.not many left as like most jap cars of the 70,s they rusted badly
Posted Recently
My father a I just bought a sss and we are restoring. Ive only seen one in my life.
Kiyoshi Manabe
Posted Recently
My family had a 1975-made Datsun Bluebird 1600GL(610); known as "Datsun 160B" overseas from 1975 to 1978 in Japan, my home country.
She was a fair performer, powered by L16 unit(1595cc), a smaller-displacement version of L18 of the 180B, armed with supple ride owing to all-independent suspensions.
Her main defect was meager low-end torque under using air conditioner, sometimes engine stopped while waiting for the traffic lights.
Its L16/1595cc unit yielded 100ps/6000rpm(SAE), equivalent to 87DIN-ps, which was competent to world standard of those days, but being *** ed some horsepower compared with pre-1973 version due to emission control equipments.
Posted Recently
hey guys I need a Datsun 180 which is manual doesn't matter if it doesn't run or how badly the damage is on the outside.
johnny criminal
Posted Recently
Hi i have a harbour blue 180b for sale. i recently aquired it some silly duffer left it outside there house!
Posted Recently
Hi my beloved Datsun 180b auto deluxe which was bought new by my parents and handed down to me was stolen from the front of my house yesterday. I am inconsolable with grief. If someone tries to sell you a harbour blue datsun contact the police PLEASE !!!
Posted Recently
i have a1977 datsun 180b for sale if anyone is interested.. $1200
suzanne cartl
Posted Recently
I've still got my 1st car my Datsun180b 1973 which had for 30 yrs
Brian Underwood
Posted Recently
I have had my 180b SSS for about 24 years. I'm only the 2nd owner and the books are still in the glove box. Still my daily driver. Ultra reliable.
Posted Recently
My first car was a 180B, i loved that car and named it Danny Datsun. It was always reliable and we did many long trips in that car.
Posted Recently
I absolutely love this car, i'm looking for a 180b sss, has anyone got one in victoria, I saw one and i fell in love with it
Posted Recently
A friend of mine is looking to see her 180B she has had it since new. it is orange and well looked after. the interior needs some work but other wise great car. please contact me on 0420276457 if you are an interested collector.... thanks
Posted Recently
Hi Datheads. Which L4 head had the EFI fitted to it. I thought it was the 180B SSS that went into South Africa but can't find any info, does anyone know. I've had mostly 1600's but I'm addicted to my Dattos of all denominations.
Rod Dugan
Posted Recently
I repaired a SSS that had been rolled in 1981 and ended up owning the car as the guy could not afford to pay me,At the time I can remember being amazed that a roof skin was only £19 and that a small piece of "plastic" chrome trim was £10.I drove the car for about 3 years and then sold it for £100. The car was great to drive but always felt a bit lumpy at low revs and rolled a bit on corners compared to the Fiat Mirafiori Sport which I owned at the same time,it was a much better handling car(pity about the rust.)
Corey Hart
Posted Recently
We called ours 'the Ratsun!' and it was full of huntsman spiders. Probably because the panel gaps and vents were easy for them to crawl into. Scared the hell out of everyone.
John spencer
Posted Recently
I had the SSS for from 98 to 02, it is still the best car i ever owned simply coit was built to be driven, if you drove it gently it would cough and splutter but keep it above 2000rev and she would purr all day, I now have a 240z i am restoring
Posted Recently
I finally have the 180b that has been passed down 4 generations. My greatgrandfather bought it
Posted Recently
I had one in 1977. I was 17 years old and it was my first car... *** pletely indesructable.
Posted Recently
I have 1 unit in Indonesia, a convenient vehicle.
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