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DanielC

My Dragon Datsun 521

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Its too cold to put primer or paint on Dragon.  But after taking a trip to Wayno's house, to get some shift levers and other parts for two five speed transmissions I recently bought, and he helped me set up the linkage on one of the transmissions, I noticed the shift lever on Dragon was really sloppy.  Wayno also told me of a fix he heard of from Datzenmike, I believe of using a hardware store to get a bushing to fix shifter slop.  I went to Ace Hardware, and got about $4.00 of some parts from their hardware.  It was just bulk hardware, I did not get part numbers.  I will try to describe the hardware so you can get it, but it helps to have the pin out of the shift lever first.
 
This is how I removed a lot of the slop in the shifter.
First, you need to get the seat out of the way, to get access to the plate covering the top of the transmission.  My garage is too tight to remove the seat out of the truck, and it was late last night and raining, so I just raised the seat on two short pieces of 4x4 wood.
SeatOnBlock1.JPG
The far side of the seat on a block.
SeatOnBlock2.JPG
 
Now would be a good time to remove the shift knob,
ShiftKnobOff.JPG
 
Then remove the transmission cover plate screws, and then the cover plate.
TranCoverPlate.JPG
 
TranCoverPlate2.JPG
 
TranCoverPlate3.JPG
 
That exposes the shift lever pivot pin. 
ShiftPivot1.JPG
This is the gap in the shifter with the lever moved right.
ShiftPivot2.JPG
 
ShiftPivot3.JPG
 
In the last picture, the pin clip is open side up, I carefully pushed it around the pin until the opening is down, with a smaller blade screwdriver.  Then I used the screrwdriver to carefully pry the clip off the pin.  Put the screwdriver blade in the opening of the clip, and twist the screwdriver against the pin, and the clip will come up.  I also held my thumb against the clip, so to would not spring off somewhere I could not find it.  Even thought the body parts of a 521 are Imperial measurements, the engine and transmission are metric, and it would be hard to find a Metric "E" clip.
ShiftPivotClip.JPG
 
With the clip off the pin, then you can start to push the pin out of the lever.
ShiftPivot5.JPG
 
Here I am using the screwdriver to pry the pin more out of the shift lever.  after the screwdriver will not move it any farther, it should come out with your fingers, or maybe a pair of pliers.
ShiftPivotPinRemoval.JPG
 
 
These are the parts I got at Ace Hardware.  The flanged bronze bushing has nominal inside diameter of 3/8 of the inch, and an outside diameter for half of an inch.   The brass washers are 5/16 inch ID, and 3/4 inch OD.
AceBushingWashers.JPG
 
If you can take the pivot pin with you, the pin will go into the bronze bushing,
PinInBushing.JPG
 
The pin will not go into the brass washers.
PinNotInWashers.JPG
 
I used a tapered reamer to slightly open up the hole in the brass washers.
WasherReam.JPG
 
And tested the brass washers on the pin.
WashersOnPin.JPG
 
Then you need to use a file to remove any burrs from reaming the hole in the washers. 
WashersOnFile.JPG
 
Then you need to modify the bushing.  This is the hole on the shift lever.
ShifterHole.JPG
 
and this is the bushing diameter.
BushingDiameter.JPG

 

The bushing is to long also, and has a flange on it.  i cut the flange off with a 1/32 cutoff wheel in a die grinder,

BushingCut1.JPG

 

and then cut the length of the bushing, so it could be squeezed together.

BushingCut2.JPG

 

Then I used a pair of vice grips to close the gap in the bushing.

BushingClamped1.JPG

 

BushingClamped2.JPG

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Now install the bushing in the lever.  I ground a slight taper on the bushing, and started that end of the bushing onto the lever.  Then I used a vise to press the modified bushing into the shift lever.  This is hard to explain, but you want use some force to push the bushing in the lever, but not so much force as to damage or break the bushing.  But it cannot go in too easily or the next few steps will be difficult.
BushingLeverPress.JPG
 
This is just some excess bushing.  It will be cut off with the 1/32 cutoff disk.
BushingPressed.JPG
 
I used a punch and a hammer to drive the bushing all the way through the hole in the shift lever.
ExcessBushing.JPG
 
Then I cut the excess bushing off.  try not to cut into the shift lever like I did.
ExcessBushingCut.JPG
 
After cutting the bushing, I used a file to smooth both sides of the bushing and the shift lever.
BushingFiled.JPG
 
The slot cut in the bushing, and pressing it into the lever now makes the hole in the lever too small for the pin.  I drilled the hole with a 23/64 drill, to provide clearance for the pin.  this is why the bushing needs to be kind of tight in the shift lever, so it can be drilled without spinning in the lever hole.
BushingDrilled.JPG
 
Just another view of the drill in the bushing.
BushingDrilled2.JPG
 
This is a close up of a metal drill gauge.  It is really handy to have around.  why did I choose a 23/64 drill?  because that is the smallest holes in the drill gauge the shift lever pin would fit into.
DrillGauge.JPG
 
 
Try to fit the pin in the bushing pressed in the shift lever.  When it fits, file the sides of the shift lever again, to remove any burrs.  Try the pin again, it still should go in the bushing in the lever.
 
Now the bushed lever can be put back in the transmission.  Start the pin into the transmission lever pivot.
PinStart.JPG
 
Put one of the brass washers on the pin.
PinWasher.JPG
 
Put the lever in the transmission with the end of the lever in the shift rod end in the bottom of the hole, and slide the pin into the lever.  Then put the second brass washer in the space between the lever and the ear of the transmission pin pivot.  Now the fun begins.  You have to move the second washer around until it's hole lines up with the pin.  I used the edge of a cold chisel to move the brass washer.  the second washer need to move forward, and down to line up, in this picture.
PinInLever.JPG
 
I missed a picture, I used this chisel on the brass washer to move the washer around until the hole lined up, just like I am moving the pin clip.
ChiselOnClip.JPG

It took a lot of time to get the second brass washer to where it needed to be to line up, but i got it in the correct place, after about 20 minutes.
PinFinished.JPG
 
This is just another picture of using a cold chisel to push the pin clip around.
chiselOnClip2.JPG
 
This is a small rubber boot that goes over the shift lever, and keeps dirt and crud out of the hole the shift lever engages the shift rod in the transmission.   I got it from Dick Hanna Nissan Friday March 25, 2018.
SmallLeverBoot.JPG
 
This is that boot on the transmission.
SmallBootOn.JPG
 
I then put the transmission cover plate with the shift boot over the shift lever.  No picture of screwing it down, do you really need that?
TransPlateOn.JPG
 
Then I put the knob on the transmission shift lever. 
KnobOn.JPG

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I think it is going to be warm enough to paint soon.  I have been sanding old paint, and primer off fenders, getting them ready to paint.
I built this fixture a few years ago, for fender work.  It is reversible to work on right or left fenders.
FenderFix1.JPG
 
This is the fixture from a more front angle.
FenderFix2.JPG

A view toward the back.  In the front of the picture, is a sandbag.  I put the sandbag on the fixture, or the fender to hold the fender in one place while working on it.
FenderFix3.JPG

 

I just support the back of the fender with some wood blocks.
FenderBlocks.JPG

 

This is the fender after a lot of sanding, but not done yet.
FenderSand.JPG

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The one of the parts of the fender that still needed sanding.
GreenTop.JPG
 
These are some of the tools I use to remove paint.
Electric orbital sander.
ElectricOrbital.JPG
 
Nylox brush.  These are at Ace Hardware, in the USA.  They are made of Nylon, I think, with an abrasive embedded in the nylon bristles.   The bristles will go down into shallow pits pretty good, and will remove rust too.  You have to keep than moving, if you stay in one place, at too high of a speed, the metal will heat up, and melt the nylon. Keeping the speed slow also helps reduce metal heating
 
Nylox.JPG
 
The Nylox goes in a drill.
DrillNylox.JPG
 
This is how I control the speed of the drill, this drill had a trigger lock, but it only locked at full speed. 
DrillSpeedControl.JPG
 
I also use these 3M Clean and Strip disks.  They remove paint, and surface rust, and also are really good at removing plastic fillers.
Clean&Strip.JPG
 
 
This is how I held the fender, to work on the top of it, using the sandbag.
SandBagHold.JPG
 
The 5 inch pad on the orbital sander will not get into these low areas.
TightArea.JPG
 
The Nylox brush will get into these tight areas.
NyloxTightArea.JPG
 
After cleaning the low area.
TightAreaClean.JPG
Another picture of the cleaned tight area.
TighAreaClean2.JPG
 
The Nylox brush also cleans minor surface rust good.  The lower rear fender tab.
RustTab.JPG
 
After cleaning the tab with the Nylox.
RustTabClean.JPG
All that was yesterday.

Today was warm enough to spray primer. I drove Dragon out of the garage, to where early afternoon sun was shining.  I cut a piece of cardboard to block the door opening, and then recleaned the bare metal on the lower door frame.

Then I sprayed a thin coat of rust inhibiting PPG Dx1791/Dx1792 wash primer, and let that cure for about an hour.

WashPrimer.JPG

and then three coats of PPG Dp40LF/Dp401 epoxy primer.

EpoxyPrimer.JPG

When this picture was taken, Dragon was parked in the later afternoon sun.


 

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Thursday, March 29, another warm day, even warmer than yesterday.

I got paint sprayed on the door opening,

DoorFramePaintLf.JPG

and I also put paint on the cowl, previously, I had only painted the windshield opening.

CowlPaint.JPG

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Is the paint just a single stage lacquer? I've been thinking of respraying my front fender after I fix the rot on the driver's side. Do you have a hard time getting the dragon green mixed up?

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The paint is Dupont Centari.  It is a Acrylic Enamel, I also use Dupont 793S hardener, reduced with Dupont 8022S reducer.  Mix ratio, 8 parts Centari, 1 part 793S hardener, and about 2-3 parts 8022S reducer.  I used a Husky HVLP spray gun, from Home Depot, several years ago.   About 15 to 17 PSI at the gun, trigger pulled.  I have the feed adjustment on the gun turned to about three turns, medium closed, and the fan adjustment set narrow, because I was painting narrow areas, and not full panels.  It is a fairly viscous paint.  I spray on a medium coat, then after that coat has tacked up for a few minutes, a heavier, wetter coat.   Then after that, if the paint still looks a little "orange peely"  I will use a small amount of the 8022S reducer for the first gun cleaning, spraying that on the still tacky paint.   After about a half hour, I carefully remove the masking tape and paper.  This is the method that works for me.  It may not work for you.

 

The Centari is an old school paint, from the 1970's, it was developed for fleet work, painting trucks. There are more modern paints out there.  YOU MUST WEAR A RESPIRATOR WHEN MIXING AND SPRAYING THIS PAINT!

 

Dupont's internal code on this paint color is 31025.  Nissan code is 558, for a 1970 Datsun pick up.  Your paint supplier may insist on calling your 1970 truck a Nissan.

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Paint update.  When trying to get more paint , I found out that Dupont has been bought out by some company called "Axalta".  Centari is pretty much not available any more.  But the paint code numbers are still the same, I believe.  Axalta paint code 31025 should still be 1970 Datsun Dragon Green, Datsun code 558.

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I have been working on some damage on the front of this fender. This picture was taken after I did some work.

RtFenderFront.JPG

 

This is how I am working some of the dents out.  I made this dolly or spoon about the same curve as the inside of the front of the fender,

FenderSpoon.JPG

 

This is how the spoon fits inside the fender, by the headlight opening.

FenderSpoon2.JPG

 

In the foreground is a piece of leaf spring I have.

LeafSpring.JPG

 

With the spoon held under the fender, on the dents, I "slap" or hit the area that is damaged.  You do not hit hard, the idea is to slowly work the high spots in the outside of the fender into the low spots, being pushed up by the spoon.  You do not hit directly on the spoon, but very close to it. You know if you are directly on the spoon, because it rings.  You use the ring to find exactly where the spoon is making contact with the fender, and then move the spoon under the fender to a spot that needs to move up.  Then by applying upward pressure with the spoon, and at the same time tapping high spots with the spring, you move both areas in the direction you want them to go.  This takes a bit of practice.

LeafSpring2.JPG

 

Another use for the leaf spring is to use the sharp end,

LeafSpring3.JPG

 

Down in the crease at the front of the fender,

LeafSpring4.JPG

 

And hit the spring.  This drives the crease forward.

LeafSpring5.JPG

 

Later, I got some door hinges, to use on Dragon.  I want to clean them up.  I chose one of these upper hinges,

DoorHinge1.JPG

 

And one of these lower hinges

DoorHinge2.JPG

 

these two hinges.

DoorHinge3.JPG

 

I mounted a vise on the plywood I am working on, and put the hinge into the vise,

HingeInVise.JPG

 

And using this wire wheel, cleaned a lot of rust off the hinges.

WireWheelMetabo.JPG

 

The hinge in the vise.

HingeInVise2.JPG

 

This is after I cleaned the hinges some.

HingesCleaner.JPG

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I have been working on cleaning door hinges for Dragon.  It is really difficult to get into tight places cleaning these parts.

DoorHinges1.JPG
 

Other side of the hinges.
DoorHinges2.JPG

 

The pair of hinges in the post 185 above are right door hinges.  I intended to clean and paint left side hinges.  I got left side hinges from my collection of hinges, and cleaned them also.

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Put them in some phosphoric acid and save yourself a lot of labor!

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I thought of using phosphoric acid, and sandblasting, but was worried about the hinge pins.

Also thought about electrolysis.

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Aren't the pins steel on these? Either way I think it'd be fine.  There's a fairly inexpensive phosphoric acid concrete etcher at Home Depot.  I think it's about $15/gallon...Kleen-Strip brand I believe.  I'm not sure what % acid it is but it works great for stuff like this.  

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Put them in some phosphoric acid and save yourself a lot of labor!

 

Was this post edited?

I thought you said sulfuric acid, I have some of that but wondered as that stuff is nasty.

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Was this post edited?

I thought you said sulfuric acid, I have some of that but wondered as that stuff is nasty.

No, it always said phosphoric. I wouldn't use sulfuric as it will eat at the base metal, and is dangerous to your health. Muriatic is another one could use but I've heard it's difficult/impossible to neutralize, and is also pretty nasty. Phosphoric is a lot safer and leaves a protective layer suitable for painting/coating.
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I did a light sandblast on the remaining places that I could not remove old paint, primer, and rust off of the door hinges.
Hinges3.JPG

Hinges4.JPG

Hinges5.JPG

Hinges6.JPG
 
Then I sprayed them with PPG DP40LF/DP402LF epoxy primer and activator.
Hinges7.JPG

Hinges8.JPG

Hinges9.JPG
 
Since I had primer mixed up, I also sprayed primer on the outside of this gas filler door.  The inside was primed already.
GasDoor.JPG

After the primer had cured enough to touch the hinges, I put them on these yogurt cups, to spray the other side of the hinges.  when I took this picture, I had already moved one hinge to another bench to get them out of the way.
Hinges11.JPG

Hinges12.JPG
 

I still had a little primer left.  This is the inside the front of a right fender, the one I was doing some metal finishing on the front of.  I also sanded up into the crease by the headlight bucket, trying to remove as much rust as I could.  I used coarse #3 steel wool for this.
FenderInside1.JPG
 
Then I sprayed the remaining primer I had in to the front of this fender, purposely letting it run down into the crease.
FenderInside2.JPG
 
Lower edge of headlight bucket.
FenderInside3.JPG
 
The fender was hung this way when I over sprayed the primer I wanted to run into the very front of the headlight bucket.
FenderClamped2.JPG

This is how I hung the fender, so I could spray primer inside it.
FenderClamped.JPG

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Saturday, April 7, I did some repair on a bad looking weld.   It did look like this,
CenterBrace1.JPG
 
Now it looks like this.
CenterBrace4.JPG
 

 

Today, Monday was warm and sunny.  I decided to get some paint on some parts.  I used a 3M Scotchbrite scuff pad, and scuffed the inside of this fender. That was to prep it for paint.  I mixed up some grey paint, and sprayed the inside of this fender, and the inner fender on the right side of the truck.
FenderInside4.JPG
 
This is the inside of the right fender after it was painted.
FenderInsidePaint2.JPG
 
I also needed to paint the inner fender, this area.  Picture was taken after painting the grey.
InnerFenderPaint1.JPG


Then I mixed some Dragon Green paint. I painted the grill rail,
GrilRailPaint1.JPG

GrillRailPaint2.JPG

I also painted the door hinges, and gas cap door, inside only on the gas cap door.
HingesGasDoor.JPG

and I painted the right side door post. green where it is visible.
DoorPostPaint.JPG

This is after painting the inner fender, and door post,
InnerFenderPaint2.JPG

 

 

Dragon was outside for only about 6 hours today, this is the pollen that collected on the windshield.

Pollen.JPG

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Daniel, I've enjoyed reading through all your posts.   I will have to undertake a few of your projects on my truck and appreciate all the info.  I'll also make use of the paint code info.  Only the last digit "8" is visible on my paint code plate.

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Yes very nice indeed. Love the fact that you take your time nd do it right.

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Nice work you're doing, this is going to be one beautiful 521. :cool:

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I am not trying to make Dragon as a "show" or a pretty truck.  I want it to be a functional truck.   But thanks for the kudos, people.
Dragon has had a hard life.  It was involved in a front end collision when i was much younger, and I did repairs on it as I was learning how to do body work repairs.  Later in its life, the right side was scraped by tail swing on a large box truck it was parked too close to.  It also has a lot of more minor scrapes, dents, and other imperfections.
It also got and is still being used as a farm truck.
Some pictures from last Saturday April 14.

I had just finished putting two new boards on this fence, the top two board were broken in the middle by a tree limb falling on them.
FenceWork.JPG
 

The pasture is still very muddy, and the rear tires on Dragon are not bald, but do not have a lot of tread.  Tire chains help make driving in the pasture possible.
TireChains.JPG
 

This is the mud by the pasture gate I had to drive through.
MudPath.JPG

 

Tuesday, I pressure washed the tires, and some of the back of the truck.  i also have been working on the left fender for Dragon.

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Damn, son...nice work and truck

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Some work preparing the left fender for primer.  I spent some time down in the front area cleaning rust, and dirt on the fender.
InsideHeadbucketClean1.JPG
 

I also cleaned the lower front edge.
InsideHeadBucketClean2.JPG
 

Still more work cleaning rust out of this area.
InsideHeadShelfClean.JPG
And more cleaning.
InsideHeadbucketClean1.JPG
 

This is after priming,  I need to get some more primer in the corner.  Probably need to just use a brush to get primer where I want it.  My camera is smaller than my head, I can take a picture of some places I cannot see.

InsideHeadShelf.JPG
 

Some debris get into the fender, it was a windy day.  I sanded this debris out, and still need to prime this area again.
InsideHeadBucket.JPG
 

I also primed the inside of this fender.

InsideLeftPrimed.JPG

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