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My Ratsun Datsun 521, now with L-20-B and a five speed


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Yesterday, Ratsun had this many miles on it.  It has been a little too long since its last oil change.



Now now.  I put the jack under the left wheel, because the oil drain on on the right side of the oil pan.  A fair amount of old oil came out after jacking up the left side.


Then I put new oil in.  I used Valvoline VR-1 Racing oil, 20-50 W, four quarts. 


After putting the oil in the engine, I stack the four "empty" oil bottles like this.



The next day, I stack the two bottles that were on the bottom like this.



And on the third day, the one oil bottle on the bottom is put on the engine.



Depending on how quick you were putting the oil in the engine when you did the oil change, you can get quite a bit of oil out of "empty" oil bottles.  Good idea environmentally, keep oil out of landfills from throwing oil bottles away, blah, blah, blah...

Never mind that.  Oil is expensive.  Getting all the oil out of the bottles, and putting it in your engine, means you can go longer before you need to add oil to your engine, between oil changes.   


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This morning, I had to go to church early.  This is a picture of the windshield of my Aerostar, parked next to Ratsun, notice how foggy it was.



Notice how clear the windshield of Ratsun is.



This is what I did.  I put this little space heater in Ratsun about 45 minutes before the above picture was taken.SpaceHeaterinRat_zps35d67631.jpg


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Today, I put new spark plugs in Ratsun, put gas in Ratsun, and picked up a half ton of gravel.

Changing spark plugs is easy, I am posting details for new people.  You have to start somewhere.

the spark plugs for as L-16, and the tools needed to change them.  The spark plug socket has a rubber insert, that holds the plug, and also helps prevent breaking the insulator on the spark plug



You have to check the gap on new plugs.  This is one tool for checlking the gap.



This is a second type of gauge for checking the spark plug gap.



I am about 5' 11" tall.  If I just open the hood, my forehead bangs on the edge of the hood.  If I move the hood support rod like this, it opens the hood farther, and I do not bang my forehead.



Twist the spark plug boots before pulling them off.



Move the plug wires out of the way.



Use both hands on the wrench to break the plugs loose, so they can be unscrewed.  I am taking pictures with my right hand in this picture.



In this picture, I am taking the picture with my left hand.    When actually removing the plug, keep the spark plug socket centered with the left hand, while unscrewing with the right hand.



After the spark plug is broken loose, you can unscrew it just with your fingers.



Time to put the new already gapped, plugs back in.  There is a special spark plug thread lubricant available.  But if you do not have any, put some oil on the threads.  The dipstick is a handy source of oil.



Screw the new plug into the spark plug hole.


and then you tighten then like they were removed.  I need a picture of that, and also putting the wires back on.


Here is a picture of the plug wires back on the engine.



These are the plugs I removed from the engine.



I also got gas in Ratsun, another big fill up.  10.393 gallons. 

Then I went and got some more sheet steel for floor pans I am making, and on the way home got a half ton of gravel, to put into some horse stalls, and some other uses.

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Ratsun doing more work.



There was more gravel in the truck than this, but I did not take a picture of the full load of gravel.  I put the gravel into two stalls, on Saturday, and today, I filled two potholes in a driveway.

The I got the pressure washer, and cleaned out the bed of Ratsun.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On Feb 3, 2015, I put a newer steering wheel on Ratsun.  Nothing too complicated, but a steering wheel puller is nice to have.

Make one.  This is just a piece of 1/2 inch steel, with three holes.  Two holes are 5/16, the middle hole is a threaded 1/2-13 hole.  If you do not have a 1/2-13 tap, and the right sized drill, just weld a nut on the back side of the plate.  It was late one night, when I made this, I did not even have two matching 5/16 bolts that fit the holes in the steering wheel, so I used a piece of all thread for one bolt.  Unlike most of the threaded fasteners on the body of a 521, the holes in the steering wheel are 5/16 NC, or course threads.



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I just start mine about 10 minutes before I leave, but it isn't as clear as yours, but clear enough to see.

Mine is out in the street though, but with the trailer connected to it, I am not worried about someone stealing it.

I keep a GOOD quality squeegie in the truck w/o handle.....quick swipe and clear. Gas 2 expensive...110v close 2nd. Always have my goofy lookin' dog with me....leave windows down, tools, keys,radio/ lights on. Takes a pretty brazen( or stupid) thief 2 mess with a dog. Little do they know she wouldn't mind if they drove off with her.....after a few miles she'ed just curl up and go 2 sleep like usual.

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I did a little work on Ratsun yesterday, (it's after midnight)

I adjusted the brakes.  You have to do this often, on a 521, the brakes are not self adjusting.


This thread is how you adjust the brakes on a 521 truck.



After doing that, I greased a few things.  Suspension parts, Kingpins, drive shaft slip joint.

One suspension joint.



King pin, that side.





You also have to grease the slip joint on the driveshaft.



There is a lot more places to grease.  But is is a PITA to keep taking gloves off, and making sure my hands are clean each time I moved the grease gun, to take a picture.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice work again on the floors. I see you run pellets for heat. I do the same but buy them by the pallet and haul them with a Dodge 2500 cause my Datsun would make me take three trips to get em all. Good to see the little one working though!

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I have a Ford F-250 that I got a load of pellets, a ton, on a pallet.  Even though the pallet of pellets was wrapped, it still shifted, and I did not feel comfortable with the shifted sideways load.


I get a ton of pellets at a time on Ratsun.  That is a full pallet, I just take the bags of pellets off the pallet at the store.  I do not have to worry about the disposal of the wrapping, or hauling the pallet back to the store I buy my pellets from.

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They must not wrap it too well, because the one I get is tight. I do also tie it down with cargo straps to make sure she doesn't move. Then I use the pallet in the bed of my truck to tie down car parts to all year long. I swap out the pallets every year to keep em fresh!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ratsun got loaded with some fence tools, and went to work.  Bottom board, is broken.



The fence tools, In Ratsun.



New bottom board.  Ratsun was backed to the next broken board.



New middle board.



On to the next fence repair, through a narrow gate.  I can not drive straight to the gate, I have to come in from the right side, and turn in to the gate.



This is where a post was broken.  the board were taken off the post in the foreground, and I am putting in a new post.  The tree behind the tractor, is not happy.  I had to go through two roots from it.



Later that day, I got some new fence boards, and posts.  I just left Ratsun in the pasture, and took this trailer to the lumber yard.  But to get the trailer up to where I was working on the fence, I used Ratsun.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, no pictures.

Yesterday, I checked the oil level in Ratsun, and added about a half quart.  I also checked the coolant level, and added some to the radiator.

You need to watch these things on our old vehicles.


I use a 50/50 mix of Antifreeze, and distilled water.  I buy it at Walmart.  It is cheapest there.  You can buy premix 50/50 antifreeze, but it is cheaper to buy full strength, and mix it yourself.

An easy way to get started to having some antifreeze, is to buy one gallon of premix, a gallon of full strength, and a gallon of distilled water.  Use the 50/50, until the gallon jug is empty.  Then fill that gallon jug HALF full with the full strength antifreeze.  Pour in a half gallon of distilled water.   Then pour the other half gallon of water in to the half empty full strength antifreeze jug, and mark it 50/50.


Later, in the afternoon, I got another load of hay in Ratsun.

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