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320 Balljoint conversion

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The truck steers almost as if it had power steering ... not too light, but certainly lighter and more responsive than when I first drove it before the conversion. The more I drive this truck, the more I can appreciate the little things Matt did along the way to improve the driving experience in a 320.


Not to threadjack, but Matt, I just wanted to add that the last couple of days those Carello foglights have come in handy in our early morning Tule fog. They really light up the path to work in the wee morning hours!



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Back to the steering column. A flange had to be made to mount the column to the firewall. The old column mounted rigidly to the box so this wasn't needed, but with the new u-joint setup, you have to do something. This was the easiest and most weather proof way to go, and it did away with that unobtainable, oval grommet that comes on the stock 320.


Make a template for the plate. I started by tracing the carpet/sound deadening panels on the inside, then transferred the template to the outside so I could drill the new bolt hole in the lower corner.




Transfer all those markings and cut it out. I used 16ga steel sheet.






Mount it in the firewall for fitting and welding.



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  • 2 months later...
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OK. Instead of taking forever to finish this thread, I'm just going to post up the remaining pics.


Here are the rest of the clip install.


Shortened T/C rods.





Front bumper mounting.





Final assembly.







Starter clearance.



Finished ride height.


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In the world of 320's, this truck is fast!!


You did a good thing to it. I really like the front clip swap.



You drove it? I did build the motor quite a bit. It runs soo strong, that at around high midrange, it actually helps pull the secondaries open. You can feel it on the bottom of your foot. The bummer is it's too high end and not emough down low.

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The front clip is still the best mod done to this truck. Really transforms how it drives. Besides taking the Dachshunds for a ride in the Datsun, most of my cruising is at freeway speeds, where the ride quality is really apparent. I drove it way off in the back of beyond to scout a movie shoot (I am a film commissioner for my county) and this suspension really smooths out the ruts, it you get my drift.

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