Telkwa Posted March 24, 2013 Report Share Posted March 24, 2013 There won't be anything exciting in this project, like a KA swap or fancy wheels. Not that I'm opposed to the idea. If I had the know-how and resources to drop an injected engine into this thing I'd do it. My goal would be to share what I've found with some of the folks who don't have 3,000 posts on this forum. Who knows where it'll end up, but I'd at least like to get the truck running right and stop the rust. This is the only shot I took before I started taking pieces off of it. Well, I already took the grille off but you know what I mean. Some background. According to the manual and some of the paperwork, which was still in the dash when I bought it, the truck is an '86. It's got about 150K miles on it. The plate on the driver's side door frame says it was built in /7 of 1985. The paperwork from the glove compartment says it was delivered February of 1986. A furniture delivery outfit bought it, but had been letting it sit for a year or two by the time I spotted it in 2001. I kept pestering them and they finally sold it to me. I took the stake bed off and put the dump box on. The dump box came off a 1981 Datsun that the City of Portland had run into the ground. My wife & I drove it back & forth to work for a few years while our employer was giving away fill material. They stopped letting employees take the fill material, and the truck began to set for long periods in an open-sided lean-to. We live in a rural area, and we feed wild birds. The bird seed attracts mice. Our local hawks and owls must be slackers. The mice tend to get into anything that's not garaged and/or run regularly. Truth be told, I just stopped caring about this truck. I didn't maintain it, I didn't do much to keep the vermin out, and you could see the slow death spiral. Recently I decided to either get rid of it or fix it up. That's when I found Ratsun.net. The truck had stopped idling a few months ago. With datzenmike's help, I figured out that the idle stop solenoid had died. It had a slow voltage leak. This had gone on for years and I was too lazy to investigate. It would appear that the cabin light timer was the culprit. I had no idea a 27 year-old truck would have a cabin light timer. The cabin light had been burned out forever, and someone before me had cut the wires to the driver's side door switch. I hit the Olympia WA Pick-A-Part today and found a few door switches in decent shape, so I'll attempt to get that working again. The truck had always gotten poor gas mileage; 17 mpg or so. Datzenmike explained that in the case of a dead O2 sensor the ECU under the driver's seat will go into a "limp home" mode and tell the carb to run rich. I replaced the O2 sensor. Hoping that will help. Our local NAPA had a Bosch sensor, which came with a piece of heat-shrink and a crimp fitting on the wire. The paint job is ruined and rust is attacking the roof, cowling area, etc. I found that removing the fenders (not the "quarter panels") was relatively easy. The front valance comes off easily too. Only one bolt broke off, right next to the hood hinge on the passenger side. I lucked out and drilled it out right through the center, and should be able to remove it with an EZ-Out. The windshield has to be replaced. Pretty sure that there will be rust behind the rubber, so have to figure out how to fix the damage and paint out from there. Will probably have to treat and paint that area, then have a windshield installed, then try to paint back to it later. Mice had taken over the cowling area in front of the windshield. They also set up shop behind the driver's side seat belt reel. The antenna had fallen off years ago, and there was some mouse mischief in the framework behind the right fender. I stripped out the seats, seat belts, etc. and removed the stinky carpet. If I can find some good junkyard vinyl flooring I'll probably do that, or buy replacement carpet. There are several outfits selling replacement carpet. I don't know who's good. The front bumper is bent up. Bent bumpers seem to be universal on these trucks. Looks like new bumpers can be had on eBay. Don't know who makes them but I doubt that it's genuine Nissan. The truck has always leaked oil. I looked underneath, saw it dripping off the front edge of the tranny, and assumed the rear engine seal was shot. That was years ago. I found out recently that the oil psi sender underneath the intake manifold has been leaking like a stuck hog. NAPA had a unit with the wrong electrical fitting on it. O'Reilly had the right piece, with the single bullet-style fitting. I'm crossing my fingers that the rear engine seal is not blubbering oil. The driver's side door flops like a drunken sailor when opening and closing. I found a donor truck at the Olympia Pick-A-Part and took its hinges. I need lots of little things like dashboard dimmer switches, etc. so it looks like more trips to Olympia are on the agenda. By the way, the dashboard dimmer switch comes off easily if you know how. I didn't. Quote Link to comment
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