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Figbuck last won the day on March 24 2010

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About Figbuck

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 06/15/1952

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  • Location
    Portland, Oregon
  • Cars
    '73 620 that I bought new.
  • Interests
    Jazz music, Saxophones, Blues music, Guitars.
  • Occupation
    I've been a licensed contractor since '81 and specialize in finish carpentry & woodworking projects.

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  1. I'm late to this, but yeah bondo cracks, fiberglass eventually fails I have used a ton of two part polyurethane sealants and joint fillers in concrete construction. You can make a big expensive mess really fast!! I tried an acetylene plumber's torch and 50/50 bars of solder used for sheet metal guys. I thought I cleaned the crap out of everything in paint prep. I used PPG DP epoxy primer and PPG primer surfacer, then Color/Clear coats. It looked and worked great for years. But eventually something started bleeding out from the seams discovering the paint. Then the paint began to ripple and fail. Somehow the flux I used the joint or the flux in the solder began to corrode behind the solder. Or else there was rust way back in the joint that you can't get at. And even using PPG Metal cleaner and Conditioner, it didn't arrest all the rust. What a mess. What a waste of a paint job. My vote is to weld the seams. You definitely can't weld very far before you need to skip around, or just quit until the panel cools. You have to have the right set-up to, maybe even practice unless you are a real badd-azz welder. It's a nasty job... but one you only do once. I'm working on my truck again, and thinking about how to fix my situation. Thinking about welding a strip of metal an inch wide over the seam... then bondo the fuck outta it. I learned my lesson; Spending money on painting a Datsun that you daily drive will lead to heartbreak... 3 words; Rustoleum Midnight Blue
  2. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    I spent a couple days taking stuff apart and cleaning. I used Plasti-gage on the connecting rod bearings and they were not very worn. The crank looked great. I should Plasti-gage the mains too... but everything wears the same... and I don't want to take it any more apart. The pistons looked really nice, I ordered a standard ring set and connecting rod bearings. I'm going to hone the bores. They all look really nice, so do the pistons. Not a lot of gunk, some varnish buildup, but something you would expect from an 80K mi. engine. It's either that or 180K on the clock, but stuff doesn't look that worn out. The head is a W58 and looks like it was put on not that long ago from the way the gaskets were installed. I'm still going to send it out for new seals, guides and what ever machine work is needed. I'll still get and new timing gears, tensioner, guides and water pump.
  3. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    Yesterday Don came out to help me pull the engine. Good thing too, I never would have done it without experienced help. What a good guy! There were some problems. I bought a Harbor Freight engine stand. The "Ears" that bolt to the rotisserie plate and fasten to the block, didn't quiet fit so we had to punch a 1/2' hole through 5/8" of steel. We both got a little chewed up on that. We were in my farmer friend Laurel's tractor shed, with the most fucked rocks and dirt to work on. Drop a washer, lucky to find it with a magnet. There were some other small things that were a bitch, but we had enough tools and stuff laying around to get done in a reasonable amount of time. I think we returned the engine hoist to the rental place in under 4 hours. Somehow I was using a 14mm combination wrench, set it aside, never found it again. I was going nuts looking for it. I looked this morning again. Can't believe it's not there. I went down to McMinnville to talk to the machine shop in the NAPA Auto Parts store. It was like stepping back in time a few decades. No problem… the guy at the counter told me everything I needed to know. Told me what to bring them, then in a week or ten days it will be done. An assembled short block would be $1,900. I guess I’m building the engine myself. The machine work is still going to be five or six hundred bucks, then bearings and main seals. Last week I called and or visited all the machine shops in SW Portland, Hillsboro, because that's mostly where I am, and I'm going to do the final swap further south out in Newberg. There are only a couple machine shop left around Portland, and they are expensive and busy. Only one guy I talked to way out in Gresham, had done a L28 block for a Datsun 280Z. He said he would do the L20, but he was busy and expensive… and in Gresham. My feeing is all the old machinist have retired, and they didn’t really apprentice young guys, because everything new is CNC. The old guys knowledge of how to set up machines was taken over by computer programming. The machine shops I visited all had a ton of aluminum heads all over the place. They don’t really mess with blocks. Too much easy money in the small aluminum heads that are in every little hoopty fucking car on the road anymore. Smaller higher compression engines, run hotter and all these little turbo cars warp heads. All it takes is for a sensor to go bad overheating before the driver realizes it. It just happened to Laurel’s 2018 Chevy econo-zoomer. And just when it was out of warranty too. She had to fight tooth and nail to make Chevrolet help her out. I looked on YouTube and there were a dozen videos of guys who were calling bullshit on Chevy’s engineering of that very same car and sensor failure. When I built the L16 back the the early ’90s, there were real machine shops and real auto parts stores all over Redwood City. There were three local Nissan dealers, and the head parts guy at Palo Alto Nissan, raced Sports Car Club of America series in Datsun 510 coupes and 240Z cars. He had all kinds of tips and tricks that only somebody who as built engines to go fast and then blown them up, would know. Like using Z Car, 6 cylinder oil pump, in the 4 cylinder engine. And using Main Bearing bolts from the Deisel engines because they torque to 65 pounds in stead of 45 foot pounds in the gasoline engines. Said he never blew up a bottom end after that. No more Nissan parts. They quit dealing with older cars about five years ago. The Nissan dealer in Beaverton still had the old parts Micro-fisch tucked in the corner of the parts room. Only one old guy was still left who knew how to find your part, get the parts number, then look it up on the new parts computers to get superseded numbers. Then poof the dealership got sold, and that was that.
  4. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    Don, I was going to try to pull the engine tomorrow Saturday, but Sunday could work too. I have a lot of stuff to do, got to work on Laurel's tractor for a minute. I could use a spare hand, just so I don't get hurt trying to use my foot as a third hand. Monday would be good too. Mike; I just checked the Title it's a 1979. I looked at a couple '77s also... neither of them drove, but the engines ran! They were both trashed though.
  5. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    That's great. The King Cab is resting comfortably in a tractor shed on my friend's Farm in Newberg. So you aren't that far away. I'm planning on taking the engine out this weekend... maybe... I hope. I'm leaving the transmission. There are a ton of pieces and parts on it I would love to keep as spares inventory... hahaha... but my Farmer friend Laurel was not that happy to see a another barn find added to her already obnoxious collection of junked vehicles. Even less happy to find out I'm doing an engine swap out there. hahaha Dude, I'm so fucked on so many levels. I will make it worth the effort for you to take it. Better that a Ratsun kind of guy ended up with it. Hey! Come over and help me for an hour! I'm ready to take the engine/head out. Would love to have another hand. I'm going to rent a cherry-picker from the rental place in Newberg. You can see what shape it's in. It's a really beautiful place too... pick lugs or buckets of blackberries, apples, pears... everything is ripe it's never going to get picked except by the birds. PM sent I can e-mail photos tomorrow
  6. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    I will have to look at the tag on the door pillar again. I thought that is where I saw it... or else the title. It seems like Automotive machine shops are a dying breed. I talked to most of the shops in this area and they do lots of old heads but not so many blocks. They didn't seem that interested in working with old blocks, because it's hard to get parts... or some other issues. Probably valid too. I did talk to a guy in Gresham that actually knew what an L engine was and had just done a 280Z short block for a guy. I talked to my guy at Aluminum Head Rebuilders and he said machinist and full service machine shops are a dying breed. Not good news. I still have a couple of shops that are even further out of town. Maybe they are not as crazy busy and everybody else. It's just now starting to sink in how hard this is going to be for me to pull this off.
  7. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    I bought a '77 King Cab with a 5 speed. It's a nice truck and should/could be a good daily driver or restored. The guys I got it from took the seat and lost interest. The guy they got it from... looks like the middle of doing a Weber conversion... three nice stock carbs, older intake manifold, an empty Weber box and the package with the Weber throttle linkage. A little rust, but great floor pans, good bed, great intact doors. The seller guys said most people who responded to the ad, just wanted parts. Good hood, tailgate, bed, grill, fenders valances... it's all there pretty much. Maybe not such a great deal money wise for me... but I can't wait around. A guy listed a running L20 for $300. He was doing a KA swap. I told him I wanted this engine... It still wasn't out of the truck. I could bring him cash after the weekend on Monday. It got sold out from under me. I did a compression test on this L20, the reading were wildly different. Put some oil in the cylinder, and got higher numbers, but way too inconsistent for a serviceable engine. It doesn't look like a very high milage engine. It must have been running ok for the guy to want to put a new carb on it. If I am going to all the trouble to put another engine in my truck, I want it to be a fresh engine. I'm looking for a machine shop around Beaverton/Hillsboro area to do the block for me. I will take the head to Aluminum Head Rebuilders in SE Portland. They did the A87 head I'm running right now 2 years ago. Great service, good work, fair prices. They gave me a lead on a machine shop near to where the King Cab is parked now. Not sure if I'm going to try and part the rest of truck... or just have it towed to the Pick n Pull in Sherwood. The King Cab needs to be gone soon.The seller guys said a bunch of people called up wanting parts off the truck... most calls on the factory 620 tach and the clean dash panel. He said some guy wanted to give him $450 to remove the tach and sent it to him. hahaha Who wants a factor tach? How bad? I run a little AutoMeter tach mounted up on the clamshell that I like... and a little AutoMeter oil pressure gauge in the left spot where the tach would go. Once I harvest the hood and a few other things, it's going to the Pick n Pull. Maybe I will craigslist it for a week to see if anybody wants a project or parts truck. I need to get the truck gone pretty soon from where it is. Somebody who wants a King Cab with the factory front disc brakes project truck... this would be it. It looks rough but it's not a bad as my truck ten years ago , before I banged all the dents out and painted it. Stay tuned; I need good luck.
  8. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    Good, that's what I needed to hear... I may just buy the 720 truck to chase parts and stuff while while the 620 is apart. I might have to tow one of these later non-op 620s that I've seen on craigslist, out to the farm where I'm going to work on it. I can be patient and find a good L20, but my L16 is getting really tired.
  9. Figbuck

    L16 to L20 swap

    I'm finally losing the rings in my #3 cylinder. Original L16 got a new head recently and new Webber... not happy with real compression... hahaha. I'm looking for some way to end up with an L20. I found a guy who has an '82 720 that runs and drives, 110K miles. But it is an automatic. Should I grab it for $1000, take the engine and look for a 5 speed transmission? Should I pass on this and find an engine and trans together... I have spotted a couple of 620s that were project trucks that are sitting and don't run... less money, potential spares for my truck and part them out when I'm done. Right now it's a hassle to think about towing a roller. Any suggestions or ideas
  10. Saturday December 21, 2019 In few minutes we will officially be into Winter. The days will start to get longer again. This year will be a good memory finally. Even though I got chewed up and spit out a couple times… I'm still alive… and had a fantastic amount of fun. Coming up on 47 years now... the old 620 is still in service as my daily driver. After neglecting it, just driving it into the ground again, I couldn't put maintenance off anymore. I was racing a girl in a BMW on the freeway in the middle of the night, when I floated a couple valves and spit out #3 rocker-arm-pivot- guide. I rebuilt this engine a hundred thousand miles ago... and have been winding the fuck out of it since 1990! Aluminum Head Rebuilders in SE Portland did a flawless job on my head. I tried to block the timing chain and remove the cam gear, but the cam chain tensioner popped out. I had to pull the front cover off and change out the both timing gears, timing chain, chain guides and tensioner. Working in a dirty dark carport sucks! I should have pulled all the timing kit even though it was all in good shape. I should have pulled the oil pan too, but I was trying to put it back together quickly a possible. In the end, I had a tiny oil pan leak right at the joint between the timing cover and the front of the block. Even though I cleaned it and gooped the hell out of that spot on both sides. I'm re-torque the head and cam towers after another tank of gas. Then I pulled the oil pan to hopefully find the lost rocker arm guide and a couple chunks of cam lobe that broke off. Mostly just ground up metal. I changed the oil pan gasket then. hahah It runs great making good power and idles perfectly. The short version is; I had my L16 head worked on by Aluminum Head Rebuilders in SE Portland. New cam, bearings, timing set. I put on a new oil pan gasket too, so no leaks. New ABS/aluminum radiator, new AutoMeter tach. New hoses, clamps, cleaned everything, pulled my heater apart again, new hoses, cleaned and fixed everything. I forgot to torque the plugs tight, plus I smeared a ton assembly lube all over the cylinder walls, so it didn't want to fire right off. I pulled both the carb and distributer running... so I should be able to bolt them up and have it run. The head was milled a very small amount, plus new timing gears and chain seemed to be making it run retarded. I moved the distributer more retarded and it began to stall... I turned to advance it, so it ran in time. I threw a timing light on it and set it to 9 degrees. It runs and idles good. I'll burn another tank and then re-torque the cam towers and head bolts, adjust the valves. Then set the dist. dwell and time it with a tachometer. RIDE FAST & TAKE CHANCES... Last Summer, I had a tree branch break my windshield while I was parked on the street. Insurance got a new one. I took apart my windshield wiper mechanism, made new parts and neoprene booties to keep rain from washing the lube out of the wiper arm shaft. Fixed the washer system too. It's great to be able to see at night and in the rain… in the rain at night!! Since I converted to 4 wheel Hitachi brakes, I never service them, so new pads and new master. Bled brakes and clutch. Changed my transmission and rear-end fluids. Then I took a 1,600 mile trip to California. Ran strong, no problems, burns some oil and gas milage is down to 20/21 mpg. I needed to go back to make sure my dist dwell and timing are set right. Right as I came back, I had two really close calls a week apart where I burned #13 & #14 of my nine cat lives. Scary shit. Almost got hit head on… then I almost hit a homeless guy on the freeway at 2 AM. Also my stock Hitachi Carb stopped idling right. I put on an identical spare that ran, but had the same problem with the accelerator pumps. I had a rebuild,kit but no desire to spend a day on rebuilding one, or both of them. I bought a new Webber 32/26 kit from California Datsun, then spent a couple days making it work. I had to get towed home one night because the little bolts that hold the carb to the manifold adaptor came loose causing a huge vacuum leak. It was dark and raining hard, I couldn't see and called AAA. The Weber is not getting good milage. but I haven't rechecked dwell and timing. I might need to re-jet the carb too. But it runs strong, the choke works, good cold starts, but I'm not real happy with how it starts warm. If there is a trick, I haven't found it. I had to install a breather hose filter canister vent thingy, too that I'm not really happy about. The other project I did took six months for me just to get parts. The short version; I spent about a grand for all new front suspension and steering components from Greece, Cyprus, Mexico, Singapore... and other stuff from the parts counter at the local Nissan dealer. It was about a thousand bucks to have a Suspension and Brake shop install the King-Pins, the rest of the bushings and steering components, then align the steering. Finally, I found a fifth chrome Pathfinder wheel for a spare tire, that matches my wheels… so I could get five new 225-50-15 SUV tires… and have the wheels aligned. It runs down the road really well now, and handles like a sports car. Feels great going through twisty back roads and stops great from high speeds on the freeway. It's like it handles better than it ever has! Four wheel discs and 225 x 15s... I still have a bunch of projects like seat, dash, some more rewiring, but for now it's running. I found and fixed four spots where the cab was leaking and leak proofed the camper too. I cleaned it out and have good sleeping bags, insulated sleeping pad and a plastic bin of camping gear. I put together a really good tool kit to handle almost anything out on the road, and some critical Datsun spares too. One thing I have not been able to get sorted out is a new laptop. I'm still on this ancient hand-me -down MacBook Pro that doesn't work on lots of web stuff. I wish I could link photos and videos, but I just can't make it happen. Here is some Ratsun YouTube stuff… I hope it works…
  11. For me the first thing to fail is that neoprene bellows sealing the pump shaft. I got a Hygrade brand rebuild kit # 1513A, from Napa Auto I think. It was two years ago, $55.00. It seems like you can get the kits from Amazon for $25 and shipping. The problem was that I didn't understand to order the kit with the float. There is another part number for the kit with a float and then a separate part number for just the float parts. I thought I would build it last summer... but I ran a spare carb until that neoprene bootie thing rots and tears. I never got a new float. Have heard stories about sinking floats but have never had mine fail. I rebuilt my OEM carb with one of these kits and ran it for 50K mi before I put an identical carb that had been removed nearly new, replaced by a Weber. It took all day and was tedious but i had good instructions from Colin Messer's book, "How to Keep Your Nissan/Datsun Alive"... and the instructions in the kit has good blow up diagrams. Never got around to rebuilding one of them or even taking the accelerator pump out of the kit and changing it out by itself. I got a Weber 32-36 a few weeks ago. I'm still working on getting it set up right. Don't like the air cleaner and breather vent, need to tweak that. Runs great, starts, idles and more power too. Haven't checked gas milage yet but it seems ok as long as I don't floor it. It seems like it might be worth getting a rebuild kit just for the new accelerator pump? Here is a link to carb stuff I just listed; https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/pts/d/portland-datsun-carbs-air-cleaner/6973499465.html
  12. No. I did try to hold the throttle wide open and start it as if it was flooded. I though the same thing Mike suggested. No dice. Now that I got it running and tuned; Turn ignition key to power choke. Pump gas once to set choke linkage. Turn starter, engine starts and idles about 1100, 1200 rpm. Wait a bit then tap the throttle and the choke resets. Runs pretty good cold it think. Idles at 850 900 once it warms up. Accelerates great! Makes good power through out the rev range. I'm going to have to resist the urge to wind it out all the time! hahaha FontSize Or in my case maybe wiring to the dist short or open. No It was running, I looked everything over and ruled ignition out. I fooled with this for three days. When I got frustrated, I quit and did something else. I knew I was going to figure this out and it would some stupid simple... I'm going to fell like an idiot. But, you called it too Wayne! One of the problems was crap in the Idle Mixture screw. Pulled it to inspect, re-seated it them back it out 2 turns... started running badly... but it started and ran. In the end my girlfriend who used to run the office for a Jaguar shop said, Oh that's a Vacuum leak! With no hesitation. So I tried to think back to installing the new carb a couple weeks ago. The installation guide said to use thread lock on intake manifold threads. I remember thinking does that mean, apply thread lock to the nuts holding the carb body too? Nah... really? I thought no. I cranked the fuck outta those little nuts I thought. I didn't want to strip the intake manifold, and could see cracking the base to the carb! It did occur to me a few times to check that they were still torqued down. Somehow I never did that, chasing other things that might cause the symptom. Shit. When she said Vac Leak, the first thing I did was see if the studs were tight. Studs were thread locked, but all 4 nuts were a turn, or turn and a half loose. Fixed that and fired right off. Set Idle Speed, Idle Mixture, Fast Idle and the Choke Spring. Starts, runs, idles. Now the problem I'm having is as i hooked breather vent back up... it is totally fucking with the choke operation and carb in general . I saw a YouTube video of a guy who put a webber on a Mazda truck... he had what I assumed is a canister mounted on the firewall in between the valve cover and the air cleaner. I don't think I have ever seen this set-up on a Datsun... anybody run a breather filter?
  13. I have been driving the new carb for a couple weeks. I had to tweak the idle spring tension & idle speed screw a few times to get 850 or 900 rpm. It seems like I got the linkages working right. I set the Idle Speed Screw 1 1/2 turns in, making sure the linkage was completely closed. The Idle mixture screw got set a little less than two turns out. It was driving around fine. I re-set the choke, checked the Primary Idle screw so it was snug but not binding. I checked that the wire I used for the Choke is hot and switched by the ignition key. I drove ten miles over streets, on and off the freeway, when all of a sudden it stalled at a stop light. Started again, but had to keep the throttle a little open to keep running. In a half mile, it started stalling as I gave it gas, like as the secondary opened up, it flooded or ran lean. It would only run badly on part throttle, wouldn't idle. wouldn't accelerate. Finally died and wouldn't start again. Dark, raining, no tools. Got towed home. I have gone through the carb set up procedure a dozen times. Checked gas flow and filter. Good battery that cranks like mad. Cleaned & gapped the plugs. The two outside plugs looked tan, the two inside were a little oiled, don't think it's flooding. All 4 nuts securing the carb to the base plate were loose. I thought, perfect, that is what it is! It's like a vac leak, more throttle, more vacuum, more air leak. But no. I stuck my old carbs in the Weber box took then to the storage building... Redline/Weber customer service hot line will talk to me, but not without telling them the production code number stamped on the box... It tries to fires for a few revs but won't run. It fires for the first few revolutions, like it's wants to start... it's trying to start. But it just cranks and cranks, like the distributer wire is disconnected. Come back after a while and the same thing, it kinda wants to fire, but then just spins... I've been through the basic carb set-up procedure a dozen times. Idle speed screw, Idle mixture screw, choke spring tension and fast idle screw. Any ideas?
  14. Finally after wasting a bunch of time, the choke plates and their linkage were jammed shut. It's a brand new Carb, I didn't want to force anything. I loosened the adjustment screw for the choke shaft/step plate, and loosened the choke ring so I could rotate it freely... the choke plates did not rotate on their shaft. WTF? it was so choked that even when I poured gas in it it didn't fire. I thought if it warmed up the choke would open?? I kept thinking it was electrical, sounded like loose coil/dist wire... no sparking. Fuck, I knew it had to be something simple. But I wasn't understanding how or why this shit was stuck. It was running when it got shut off? Why can't I open the choke mechanism? This sucks. I suck my finger on the primary plate and pushed, thinking... this is out of frustration and so wrong... but pop, the linkage freed itself. It seemed like the choke plates were stuck in the throttle body and not the linkage binding. But I can not make them stick again! Made sure all the throttle linkage was tight and put the choke in the middle of it's range. Saw gas spraying into the primary. Fired it off first time. Idles great @ 850, crisp throttle response, great acceleration. Wow, happy guy finally after wasting a nice afternoon and blowing an appointment. Now we will see what kind of gas milage we get... What should i do about the breather vent in the valve cover? Route it into the base of the carb with the plastic fitting fitting supplied? The stock air cleaner had the valve cover vent before the filter. This would be after the filter and directly into the carb. What needs to go on here?
  15. 1973 620 with L16 ran OK for all these years with stock emissions and stock carb. I had two Hitachi carbs that I have rebuilt once each. Finally, I they are too much trouble to fool with anymore, the accelerator pumps need to be replaced... and I even have an unopened rebuild kit to do it. I ordered a Weber 32/36 DEGV kit from California Datsun for $325 including shipping. Was delivered in 6 days. It was pretty straight forward to put the adapter plate on and hook up the throttle linkage. It was a little tedious to re bend the stock metal fuel line and re-connect the short section of fuel hose. Hooked up Vac Advance, connected the choke to 12v switched. plugged the evap return line to the fuel tank. It cranked a few times before it finally got fuel, then fired off in pops and starts. The third crank it ran as I blipped the throttle... I thought it was going to die becasue the throttle stop seemed way low. But it ran at like 500 rpm... and idled like a sewing machine cold. I was blown away. I bumped up the throttle stop to 900-1000 and realized the choke was working. I took it for a spin, runs great. Adjusted the idle mixture, then the throttle stop back to 800. It started, ran and idled fine... running great on short 5 and 10 mile errands over three days. I just tried to start it and it cranks forever, but no fire. It was running great when I shut it off. I seems like it is not getting fuel. The choke plates are completely closed. I don't know how to open them... not going to force anything. tried to pour gas into over the choke plate on the primary a couple times... not firing. Seems amost electrical no spark, but all the distributor and pug wires are tight. Pulled #2 plug, no gas on it really. not fouled. I think it is not getting fuel. when I cycle the throttle, I don't hear fuel spray, don't real;y smell gas evaporating after pumping the throttle either. Cant' see into the throttle body. I loosened the choke ring and wiggled it and reseated it in the middle of it's adjustment range. Seems like the choke plates are being held completely shut, no gap. Why or how did the choke plates get stuck shut. Why doesn't the choke open the plates as it warms up or is cooled down and disconnected?
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