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Dawa's 73 620 build

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here is your fair warning: i am long winded.


ive never been a truck guy, but ive always loved Nissan/Datsun. bought a 96 240sx in 04, and later a 76 280z around 08/09?

then a 90 TT 300zx in winter '11. well for a little over a year ive been on the search for a more practical sedan or wagon as opposed to all these limited space coupes.

i tried to keep it in the fam but i also dig on 70s toyotas as well as novas/chevelles/malibus/el caminos. well i realized i need a lil truck to lug shit

around, specifically my ka24de to the machine shop, hazmat to disposal centers, scrap metal to recyclers, and my motorcycle to the shop (before it was totaled.)

i searched daily for 620s, 720s, el caminos, and hi luxs (toyota pick ups.)


anyways, fast forward to about a month ago and my constant search, emails and phone calls lead me to this guy.


the tabs expired in 07, so it had been sitting for about 6 years. when i came to test drive it, the truck wouldnt start.

owner said someone had sabotaged him by stealing the gas and replacing it with water (lol.) the second occasion i came to test drive it,

i was only a few blocks away before it died. we had to push it back to the owners house. after a weekend i was finally able to pick it up.

i was super apprehensive about taking it on the freeway but she did fine. got her for about $1350. electronic ignition and weber carb, as well as a box

which included a 73 fsm (SCORE!!!!,) haynes manual and original carb. she also had a new battery and new brake master cylinder.


first thing was to change the oil. then i took off that 'roll bar' or whatever you wanna call it. which is for sale. $20 come pick it up.


Plans for Car: 27 august 12



-5 speed Swap


-L20 rebuild & swap in (currently l16)


-king pin to ball joint conversion

-drop spindles

-disc brake conversion

-coilovers front 1st then rear

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this was the clutch fluid.


so i had to replace that. i used dot 3/4 fluid, and thoroughly bled it. its clear now, yay.


First break down

i learned that "1/4 tank" on my gauge actually means "EMPTY."

had my gf bring me a can of gas and drove home. the truck was having problems and i thought my carb jets might be clogged up from sucking the shit at the

very bottom of the gas tank. i did a topical cleaning with carb cleaner of all the areas i could reach without dissassembly/removal. after that i fired her up and took

for a drive around the block. i realized i needed to give her more gas and speed than neighborhood driving so i took her on the street. well, now i can finally say

ive had the 'pleasure' of having my hood fly open. luckily i wasnt on the freeway and i was only going 30-45 and no other cars in either lanes.

explanation: i hadnt fully latched my hood cuz i had originally only anticipated driving around my neighborhood.

needless to say, it messed up the hood, almost folded it in half. the latch wouldnt line back up so i had to remove it and used 550# paracord.

i had removed the grill for cleaning and repainting.


^ it isnt optimal or 100% safe but it works for now. currently working on sourcing a replacement.


back to the carb.

of course the 'topical' cleaning wasnt enough and i eventually and reluctantly took the carb apart to thorougly clean all the pieces.

i must say this truck is a constant learning experience. for one, ive never had to F with carbs.

well, the cleaning helped, i think.

this is what the 'secondary fuel filter' looked like:


it was pretty nasty. and if you look at 7 oclock of the filter, between it and the top qtip, youll see

something that was black but is now mostly 'brown.' that is a piece of rubber that was in the 2nd filter.


i replaced the fuel filter around or before this time:


^ an ominous hint of whats to come.


well after the clean it was running better, better throttle response (for an L16...)

except on this one hill on the highway home. the car would bog, backfire, and die.

after some reading i figured it might be flooding the carb because of the way i had cleaned the carbs (pulled up too much on the floats to clean them.)

so i found the suggseted float settings and readjusted, and i think that fixed the the flooding problem. i took the car to work the next day and broke down 3 times.

i had someone pick me up and bring me to work. while at work i signed up for AAA, haha. after work i got dropped off, and took the back roads to my house from

where the truck was parked. it made it home. then, instead of trouble shooting and buying/replacing vacuum hoses, i bought a set of 2" and 3" lowering blocks.

i spent a while installing the 3" blocks. after installed, i realized i didnt have enough clearance as i'd like and planned on installing the 2"s instead but took the truck

around the block to see how it rides, etc. well, i made it 2 or 3 blocks before it died again. i spent 2 hours inspecting and troubleshooting.

heres the problem: ill turn the key and all i hear is a click, sometimes it would turn over but not for long.

i inspected the fuel filter, it definitely has already collected a lot of rust particles. i shook it out as much as i could. reinstalled it. i kept trying to start the car. i noticed

the filter wasnt filling up with gas. i removed the fuel pump and tried to clean it (this type doesnt disassmble so there wasnt much i could do.) reinstalled the pump.

walked home and called AAA (hadnt brought my cellphone or wallet cuz i was expecting a short ride down the road and back) and got it towed home.

ive since ordered a new fuel pump and bought a new fuel filter. after seeing the filters i realized i just need to drop the tank and derust it.


DOES ANYONE KNOW (OFF HAND) THE ID AND OD OF THE RUBBER FUEL LINES? i had planned to just bring the lines into the store and compare and buy.


next step is to reinstall tank, replace fuel filter & pump and see if she starts up. then ill swap out the 3" blocks for 2".

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here are a few goodies waiting install:


brand new 32/36, electric choke. i'd rather start with a new, fresh carb so that i know everything is set to factory spec.

which means ill be selling my current 32/36 :)


aaand, something i was super excited about! some goodies from MOONEYES!!!


from top left going clockwise:

grill emblem, motorcycle chrome shift knob (ill see if i can get it to fit,) metric black/black shift knob, & 6" foot pedal.

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found a guy selling 620 parts, specifically hoods in SD. guy by the name of Greg. very knowledgable. told me the problem i thought with my fuel pump

might actually be my starter, so i got one from kragen/oreilly. ill try to start it up later with current starter, then swap starters and see if thats it.

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put the new starter on yesterday, and will be re-installing the gas tank today.

bought these last night from a friend in Japan.




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mesh types w green center caps:

Hawsers, 16x8.5 w a 0 to -10 offset


Rays, 15x7' -11 offset


and thank you both for the kind words

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dear fucking god that first set of rims are nice. the second too! i searched soooo hard looking for a nice mesh 6 lug rim but to no avail :sleep: but i definitely dont have the funds to import any wheels from jap hahaha. but on the other hand, get some more pictures of your TRUCK up! it looks like its coming along well and i definitely like where its going! :thumbup:

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wooo. all day and i finally got it running. i started working on her around noon and didnt get done til 9 hrs later!

getting her running included: re-installing the tank, finally discovering where the reservoir is, dropping that, cutting new fuel hoses,

slightly dropping the fuel tank again to get the stubborn rubber fuel filler neck 'just right.' replacing the fuel pump, removing valve

cover to ensure the pump is lined up with 'that lobe,' valve cover back on, try to start... nothing....


the fuel filter still wasnt showing any fuel. i thought if i got the engine running for a bit, it would turn the pump faster and then i'd get fuel, so i filled the bowl with gas, ran it til it died.

next i disconnected the rubber line between filter and pump, blew into it, and i could hear bubble coming from the gas tank, so i thought the lines were clear.


anyways i eventually checked the hard lines for assurance, at least. started to loosen the 1st hardline coming from the tank end, started to drip right away so that didnt seem like it was it.

started to loosen the hard line that goes leads into the engine bay.. eventually removed that and tried to blow into it (i dont have a compressor.) i couldnt blow through it completely. i took my trusty carb cleaner, stuck its straw in the hardline, discharged, and all this shit came out. it was that hard line that was the problem for sure!!!


i installed a clear (not opaque) inline fuel filter between the tank and the first hard line so the lines will never get clogged again!!! (so, yes, running 2 fuel filters)


got her running for a few minutes, less than half an hr. i might test drive her later today and see whats what.


once she's on the road again ill have photos coming your way.

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so the other night after i took her for a spin i got under the truck to remove and clean the 'pre' fuel filter... well as i was twisting it off from the hose and one of the plastic nipples just seperated from the body. this rendered it useless. this is what THAT pre inline fuel filter looked like.


next day, i go to pep boys to replace the 'main' filter (pep boys carries PUROLATOR fuel filters, so they must be good.) i also wanted to buy another pre filter but upon describing it the guy brought me out this instead.


it's $10 BUUUT you can disassemble it for cleaning or change out the filter cartridge. plus this thing has a finer filter, catching more shit that the regular styles!


Im not a fan of drum brakes. despite the inefficency, i just find them very visually unappealing. well, today i bought a pair of BEEBANI's front disc conversion brackets to run 26mm 300zx calipers. i just HAD to go THAT route because i NEED my calipers to say NISSAN on them, im not a die hard purist but i prefer my parts to be of nissan origin if possible.

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banzai your input is always appreciated, keep it comin.

bought these from a fellow zilvian tonight


(26mm 300zx calipers.)

also bought the rear brackets from str8_69 earlier today. i am already blowing my next paycheck aha. but the 'second' pay check (of the month) is always the big one so its all good.


also, this is what the 'pre' fuel filter looks like everyday:


so im lucky i can disassemble and clean it. i have to clean it everyday. i SHOULD clean it after every drive but im lazy...

what is it you might ask? it's the powdered oxalic acid i used to initially derust the tank. even though i rinsed and rinsed the tank til the water was clear, i guess there

was still some of that shit in there.... i hope i get it all out now. im too lazy to drop the tank again!!!

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Yep, I was having the same luck so a WTB ad on here. I needed a truck for the same reasons as you. I got tired of stuffing my mountain bike and other filthy crap into the trunk of my TSX and my 240Z project wasn't going to be practical. I actualy met up with that Greg guy in El Cajon too and picked up a crap ton of parts from him. Did you snag up that hood he had?

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thanks for the heads up Krecs but i purchased the brackets from beebani earlier this week and they are on the way :)


also, im super excited because i found:

1: short drive shaft &

2: crossmembers, transmission mounts, & speedo cables.


as well as numerous candidates for the bmw headlight upgrade.

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so coming home earlier today my exhaust sounded obnoxiously loud and i could smell fumes.

first thought was exhaust leak somewhere. got home and looked over the exhaust pipe, didnt see anything.

i was going to wait til it got cool so i could hand over hand the pipe...


also, she's been just CHUGGING oil recently.


went out for a wee bit and got back. thought id check under the hood for that exhaust leak. well, a little after the exhaust mani the pipe is just split.

so theres another thing i gotta fix. and i noticed a bit of oil near the valve cover, and then small puddles underneath on various pieces....

i had forgotten that i overtorqued the rearmost driver side valve cover bolt. it didnt take much either. i didnt try to TOOOORQUE it down, and my

search for torque spec and sequence for the cover had failed. well overtorquing snapped that bolt and so now i have a leak point....


a split exhaust and leaky vavle cover are definite problems, but they arent catastrophic. ill fix them within a couple days for sure, but i have

other things that need my immediate attention.


i am just so done with this 1.6. found a few 1.8s @ the yard but my intention is 2L so im just gonna bite the bullet til i find a 2L


photos of exhaust:


this was not the correct stuff to use, btw. i followed the directions exactly: let engine cool, install 'bandage' & let sit for @ least 30 minutes, then start car and let

idle for 10 minutes. the stuff burnt off almost completely. this stuff is only for small holes, not entire breaks aha. i admit my mistake but i was in a tight spot and

did only need to fix it for a bit. luckily i had ALSO installed the old tin can & hose clamps OVER this.

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a few photos of the actual truck, as requested:



in the bottom right corner you can see my current Z (tt z32) ♥


also edited the post before this one to include photos of 'broken' exhaust.

speaking of exhaust, i have an appt with the muffler shop tomorrow morning. looking to fully replace the system from exhaust manifold back.

besides the split, its in pretty good condition, age unknown. but when they fab this new system up, itll definitely be 'lowered friendly' :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

i felt as if i was getting TOO update happy and tried to tone back my posts for BIG updates.


ended up getting the Y pipe downstream of my exhaust mani welded up and now everything is all good. looks like i wont be going custom exhaust after all.


wheels & brakes

received the Volks/Rays wheels in the mail. they dont clear the stock 620 brakes, which is fine because i wanted to mount up the Hawsers instead.

received both front and rear brackets for my disc brake conversion, but again everything is dependent upon receiving those Hawser wheels from japan.


went to the junk yard a few weeks ago as a scouting mission. found a few 620s. well i went back today and the main truck i wanted to use for parts is GONE.

i think someone bought the whole truck outright, since it was in such good condition.



should be picking up an L20b tomorrow, has a spun bearing, ill have to rebuild it, but thats fine. current L16 is running like a champ.



2 weeks ago i pulled out the carpet and the bench seat and laid down some sound deadener http://www.lobucrod.com/

ordered hood bumpers & a new carrier bearing from rock auto since my insulator is bad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

update time. prepare for alotta photos!


the L20b i scored:



hainz' videos & this will help me through my rebuild:



bought this but realized that im gonna be swappin the front drive shaft out for the shorter one

during the 5speed swap so didnt install it on current carrier bearing:



l20b's head removed, i didnt see anything abnormal, do you?



"shrapnel" in the oil pan & pick up:




mooneyes shift knob ♥



what do you think this is, from thailand?



theyre hood bumpers! new vs old:


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for nothing specific:



damn she looks badass without a hoood!



replacement hood as well as grill installed. dropped the license plate down.



ill eventually remove, and recover these with black pleather:



had a stripped valve cover bolt hole. drilled, tapped, & time serted the hole. didnt drill the hole deep enough

and the time sert is at least 1mm above the seating surface. hopefully the gasket will make up for it


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