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waynos 521 work truck


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how did it get loose? isn't there cotter pins in there?


The 4 nuts/bolts holding the bottom ball joint to the LCA were really loose, I am not sure how they got loose as they are the nylock type nuts, but loose they were.

I likely have not looked at them nuts/bolts since this disc brake frontend was put together/fabricated several years ago.

I use this truck like it is a big truck, and the rear axle is far enough back that when I load the truck up, the weight is distributed evenly between the front and back, so the frontend settles the same amount as the back, this would mean that there is a lot more weight forward which is stressful to the frontend hardware, it is one of the main reasons I have power steering.

I am not saying I should have set it up this way, but I made it this way for a reason, then changed my mind about how I was going to use the truck.

See in the photo below how there is a door in back of the rear axle, this is where I would load/store my pressure washer, but one of the issues I was having is if I gave it the gas and dropped the clutch, the frontend of the truck would lift off the ground briefly(pull a wheelie), there was to much weight behind the axle.


After I extended the frame 24 1/2 inches, so I could put the loading door in front of the axle, I decided that the trailer would hold the equipment, so I made a top for the trailer, and made a flatbed for the truck.

I do not have a photo of the truck as a single rear wheel on each side flatbed truck, but it was that way for a couple years.

Then I bought a dually axle rearend from a 85-86 720 dually truck and made it a dually.


Here is the truck with a ton on the flatbed, and another ton in the trailer.




And this is the truck with a load of wood.


This is way over loaded, but I have done this at least 50 times, as I burn 5 cord of wood a winter, and I have been hauling wood with this truck for over 10 years like this.




When you treat a truck like this, things get loose sometimes, you go threw a few dogleg transmissions(4 in 5 years), and one 720 truck tranny, you go threw a couple rearends, and you will wear out an engine every once in a while( mine lasted 15 years), but in general, this truck has been awesome to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is what I did today and yesterday.







The first load I left my hand truck there, and the tree cutting guys took it, I coundn't beleave it, a bunch of theives, the guy I bought the wood from told them bring it back, I just cannot figure out how an outfit like that can be in business.

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I have this issue with my starters in my work truck, when I first put them in they work good, but over a period of maybe a year they turn slower and slower till they won't turn over anymore, I did run across an issue like this with my roadster, the roadster battery was always almost dead, and using an almost dead battery to start my roadster ruined the armature, and was told that the almost dead battery was the issue, well my battery is great in the truck, when I put another starter in the truck, it screamed(turned over fast) when starting the truck.

What would cause this problem, I was buying life time warranty starters for a while, and then I started feeling guilty getting free starters, so I bought an expensive one, and there was no differance really, well maybe that one lasted twice as long.

I have went threw a lot of starters in this truck, my guess would be at least 10 of them over the years.

This last used starter only lasted maybe 6 months, it's getting annoying.

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tried a gear reduction one?


No I have never tried one of them, but a couple days ago I had to put another one in there, but this one is differant, as I have run out of the traditional starters, but I had this one that looked newer, but the starter solenoid was clocked differant, it is very close to the side of the block, I am thinking it might be a Z24 starter, but I don't really remember where it came from.

Why would a gear reduction help?

I had this issue with my L20b, and I now have it with my LZ23, I am thinking/wondering if my wiring harness could be the issue, is it possible for my wiring to ruin the armature in a starter?

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Bad ground? Should have a good positive straight to the solenoid.


Gear reduction, well probably would just not have to try very hard, thus shouldnt go out as fast?


Have you ever tested the starters outside of the truck, like directly to the battery? Do they still spin as fast as new?

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Bad ground? Should have a good positive straight to the solenoid.


Gear reduction, well probably would just not have to try very hard, thus shouldnt go out as fast?


Have you ever tested the starters outside of the truck, like directly to the battery? Do they still spin as fast as new?


Yes I have tested them, no matter how hard I tapped on this last one, the motor would not run anymore even when by-passing the solenoid, the one before ran about 1/4 speed after I tapped it with a hammer real hard. :)

I beleave the one before that would barely turn at all, the solenoid works fine on all of them, they just won't run correctly after about a year.

Something is screwing them up, and I just thought of something, I have a isolator in line on this truck for a remote battery, but it is between the alt. and the starter post which leads to the battery, can this screw up a starter?

The battery positive post goes straight to the starter post.

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A battery isolator has, or uses diodes to isolate the battery. A diode loses about a half of a volt in the forward direction, so it is possible the battery is not getting a full charge.


Check the charging voltage with the isolator in place, and then bypass the isolator and check the charging voltage again.

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The battery is good, I even tried a new battery.

The isolator is between the alt and the starter post.

The symtoms at the end were the starter turned over for a second or two then stopped and never worked again even with encouragement.

The new starter worked great with the original battery.

Something is ruining the armature I beleave, and I need to figure out what.

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I had an issue today, the truck would not start, I quit turning it over when I realized it wasn't going to start.

I checked the fuel supply, it had fuel, next I pulled all the plugs, they were wet, and it appeared the engine was flooded, so I lit off every cylinder with a fireplace lighter, it went WOOSH in every cylinder, cleaned all the plugs and tried again, no hits, I repeated every cylinder again, cleaned the plugs and lit off each cylinder, so I was fairly sure it was not bad gas.

Next I used a plug in a spark plug wire, by this time I was using a remote starter trigger, I hit the starter and seen good spark, I put the wire back on #1 and hit the starter, absolutely nothing.

I next pulled the valve cover off and turned the engine to TDC, I then pulled the distributor cap off, it was dry and clean, the rotor was a bit off(advanced), but it ran two days ago, but I retarded it slightly anyway, everything was good,it was at TDC, lobes at 10am and 2pm, rotor at number 1 plug wire, I used no choke and hit the starter, it hit once, but the moment I used any throddle it quit hitting, I stopped touching the thoddle and stayed on the starter, it would hit but not run, but what could I do, it was stone cold, and no choke, and I couldn't touch the gas, so I stood on the starter till it finally started hitting on most the cylinders and then I touched the throddle again and it finally took off, and it sounded terrible, but after a while it smoothed out.

While this hitting was was going on, but the engine was not running yet, I touched the distributor and got ZAPPED, everytime I got near the cap, dist, or wires I got ZAPPED, my hand felt weird all day.

It started fine everytime I hit the starter after warmed up, so what do you all think the problem was, it took me an hour to get it to start, I had spark, the dist. was not that far off, I had power to the coil the whole time as I had a screwdriver test light, I really didn't change anything except maybe retarding it a degree or two.

BTW, where the exhaust pipe was pointed in the grass was wet black, but this is not anything new, as when it warms up in the morning it is running rich, as the choke is pulled on.

Everytime I pulled the plugs and cleaned them, and lit off each cylinder to burn off the gas, when I hit the starter it should have run, as it was not flooded anymore.

What's going on???????

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am still having issues with starting it cold, I cannot use the choke or touch the pedal, if I do it won't even try, but if I can get it to hit and then pull the choke on, eventually I can get it started.

This is new to me, it started when it got cold, I used to just pull the choke on and it would start, but not anymore.

It also used to start right away, then it went to turning over for 5 seconds maybe with the choke on and then start, now it hits once right when I touch the starter as long as I don't touch the choke, then if I pull the choke one perfectly it will run roughly for a few seconds, and eventually I can get it to rev up.

If I pull the choke on and hit the starter I get nothing at all, it don't try or anything, after 10 seconds or so I quit trying, and start over without the choke or touching the pedal as described above.

Anyone have any idea what's going on?

I have dual SUs bought from nissan in 1996ish new, a fresh LZ23 block and fresh head, after warm I have no issues getting it to start, it starts easy.

I am also having the starter issues again, when I first put them in, they work great, but over a period of time they start to click instead of turning the engine over, over the past week it has been going down hill fast, at first it only clicked once a day maybe, then it would take 2 or 3 times hitting the key before it took off, now I have to hit the key maybe 10 times before it will turn the engine over, can this be caused by battery post connection issues?

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK guys, something is wrong with this truck electrically, I have issues with the starters and the alternators, the alt. light has been on slightly(very dim) for years now, I finally gave up on externally regulated alts. last year because the light was on all the time, yet it was charging, so when it did go bad I didn't know it, so I made jumper wires and put an internally regulated alt. on, and the damned light was still on, but very dim.

This morning while going down the freeway something gave up, and the light got very bright, since I have a volt meter now I can see what was going on sort of, right now when the engine is running(idle) the volt meter needle slightly jumps up and down from 12v to 11v, it's like the blinker is on, but it is not on, when I do turn the blinker on it really jumps up and down.

The only time I seen the light this bright was when I tried putting a US made voltage regulator(points type) on last year just before I went to the internally regulated type.

Over the last several years I also have issues with starters, they either over a period of time run slower and slower till they won't turn anymore in or out of the truck with or without help from a hammer, and the solenoid starts the clicking thing and won't turn the engine over, I am back to the clicking thing this time, I can use a big screwdriver and jump the two main posts and start it no problem, so I am thinking about using a ford type starter relay and just connecting it to the starter motor post instead of the solenoid post, this is like the 3rd or forth starter this year.

I need to know what is causing these issues, it likely is a related issue as there is a main wire connecting the two, from the alt. output to the starter solenoid, and then the main wire to the battery.

My battery does not have a drain, it stays charged up, but the starters and alternators are going bad, and that damned ignition light has been slightly on for several years, it has been easy to see at night, but you would have to get close to see it during the day till today.

What is going on with this truck, I need to drive it everyday during the week, I do have 2 delco remy one wire alternators in the shed, but they are bigger, and I will have to fab a mount at the very least, but the fact is, there isn't a lot of room down there, and I will have to remove the oil filter minimum to get that type of alternator in there to mount it.

There has to be a reason why the starters and alts. are going bad and the alt. light is on slightly all the time.


Can anyone tell me what's going on?


BTW, this starter only lasted a week before starting to have issues, this one is a Z24 starter.

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Oh yeah, also sounds like a ground issue Wayno. With poor grounds, electrical systems tend to get hot because of the increase in resistance (and as indicated in one of your previous posts). This constant over temperature leads to resin delamination in electrical components such as starter and alternator stators / armatures and even the small solenoids in your relays.


I would begin there. When I reconfigure my VW's, there's two cables I usually add. An extra ground from the battery to the chassis and an extra load bearing cable directly from the alternator to the battery. This prevents overheating / frying of the factory wiring.


But if your burning up similiar electrical componenets, you might want to begin with a common ground..yes, pun intended.

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I have grounds everywhere, 3 from the engine to the body, and the alternator has two of the grounds, one leading to the old regulator, the other going to the engine lift ring, from there another wire is going from the lift ring to the body sheet metal inner fender, a new one I made today, and I still have the negative battery post to the block, and from the block to the inner fender.


Both alternators passed the test at the auto parts store, so I took them home and put the cleanest one back in, I totally bypassed the stock wiring, I connected the main alt. wire directly to the pos. battery post, the main cable still goes to the starter, and connected a exciter wire directly to the "S" on the alternator to the pos. side battery post also, did a double ground on the alt. and started it up, it changed nothing, the volt meter is bouncing between 10 and 12 volts, so I removed that alt. and put one in out of a 81 210 I had running a year ago, made a new adjustment bracket and used a longer belt, put it all back together, and did the same thing with the wires, now it reads 11 volts after I start it, then it jumps up to a little over 12 volts after a little time passes(5 seconds maybe), then it starts bouncing again between 12 and 15 volts, so I took it to the auto store and they tested it, they say it is charging, but it is jumping around like it was before, just at a higher voltage.

I changed the fuse block yesterday, I just went out and removed the cable from the starter and push started it, no differance, I can't remove the fuse block, because then the volt meter doesn't work to see if it is still bouncing.

I have to say this, since I removed the alt. cable to the battery, and bypassed the wiring to excite the alternator, the starter has been working most the time, I have not had to use the screwdriver to start it today.


So any more ideas, do you guys think that the auto parts store did the test wrong on the two stock alternators and they are bad, and the one I used out of the 210 is freaking out, I don't get the bouncing.

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well since your square on the grounds, did they check for voltage AND AMPERAGE when they tested? some places also have load simulation. after your work above, it sounds to me like you have the voltage, but not the amperage to charge the battery which in turn would could possibly lead to intermittent starter issues; not enough CCA's.


does it run if you disconnect the battery?

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well since your square on the grounds, did they check for voltage AND AMPERAGE when they tested? some places also have load simulation. after your work above, it sounds to me like you have the voltage, but not the amperage to charge the battery which in turn would could possibly lead to intermittent starter issues; not enough CCA's.


does it run if you disconnect the battery?


It is charging, I connected the ign. idiot light up and turned the key on and the light came on, then I started it and the light went 98 percent off, so then I connected amp gauge on another wire leading from the alt. to the battery running parallel to the main wire, it is only charging 10 to 15 amps, so I think I am good.


What baffles me is the bouncing of the volt meter, it's very annoying.

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Checking an IR alternator is pretty easy on a vehicle. Take the amp gauge you have in the picture, and wire it in series with the main positive out on the alternator, and then to the battery positive.

Obviously, make sure the frame of the alternator has a good ground connection back to the negative battery post. A stock 521 has a wire off the battery cable to the lifting ring, that goes down to the alternator.

With the engine off. Battery voltage should be 12.xx.

Take a test light, connect the lead on the test light to the positive battery terminal, and touch the "L" terminal with the probe. The light should light.

Start the engine. The alternator probably will not charge until you use the test light to touch the "L" terminal. The light may flash very briefly, and then you should see the amp gauge show a charge. Battery voltage should be 13.5 to 14.5.

You can connect a wire directly from the battery positive to the "S" terminal, this should change the voltage slightly, but it should still be in the 13.5 to 14.5 volt range.


If your battery is not fully charged, you should show a pretty high charge rate, for a period of time. Then it should drop down. This is normal.


Page two, this page, of "My Ratsun Datsun" shows more details on how I checked an IR alternator that I had laying around, and did not know any history of.


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Except for not having the "IG", I wired mine correctly.

It still acts freaking weird, and now my gauges are not working properly, I figure that the bouncing of the volt meter, and the way the instrument cluster voltage regulator works, it is screwing that up also.

One day I am going to figure out why that volt gauge is freaking out, as it is something it has never done before, I hope I figure it out before I have a fire or something gets smoked so bad that I am unable to make it home for the second time ever in a datsun.

I have to say that I have never felt so unsure about something before, it has always been something I can figure out eventually, but this stuff I have been fighting for a long time, and it just seems to get worse all the time.

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You're a "Datsun" icon, bro!



That's very nice of you to say, but electrical stuff is a mystery to me, it's an invisible foe, I suppose if I keep putting a golf ball with my eyes closed on a green with a curb around it, eventually the ball will fall in the hole, so if I keep looking, eventually I will find the problem, hopefully I will find it before something worse happens, like a fire to point out the issue.

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