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New Datsun owner - 1976 620 "Project Clementine" (lowered, page 2)

PDX Matt

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Hey fellas, not new to car communities but new to Datsuns. I've wanted one for a very long time and I just purchased one today from a Craigslist find. It is a 1976 620 Pickup. Here are some pics:



There are a few issues with this thing. Has been sitting for a few months, didn't have much gas in it and had a dead battery. We managed to get the car started once by charging the existing battery and it sounds good. Definitely needs some idle tweaking and a tune up. The drum brakes also need work. The drivers side door is also stuck and won't open, seller stated it was rusted and door mechanism is seized. 


The good news is that it has a Weber carb, Infinity speakers, and a half decent bench seat. I will be popping in a new battery tomorrow morning, putting in fresh gas and seeing where that puts me. Shouldn't need much work to run but I'm excited to finally own a Datsun and have a project again. 


I know zero about Datsuns or carb'd motors so if you're in the Portland, Oregon area and want to help a fellow car guy and teach me a thing or two I'll gladly pay for help with beer. 

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Ubiquitous bungee cord... I love it.


Roll the window down and WD-40 the shit out of the door mechanism.  I doubt it's rusted but needs the door panel removed and the plastic nut adjusted to engage the outer lever more.

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Any ideas for helping it idle better? The throttle cable seems to be quite loose and doesn't have much room for adjustment. Last night I believe I pulled it as far over as possible but there's still a bit of slack.


Also the other issue with the drivers side door is that the window is also stuck, window is currently about half way down.

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Went back to where the truck was sitting today and did some small tweaking to get it running. The previous owner rigged the battery connections for side post terminals so I rewired them back to the traditional top posts with new terminals. After we put the new battery in the truck fired up on the first crank, I was surprised and super happy at the same time. We filled it up with some fresh gas, some fuel cleaner and new spark plugs. It runs smoothly but needed idle adjustment so we quickly tinkered with that and got it to hold a steady idle under it's own power. Once we got it rolling we heard a clanking noise from underneath the truck. Turns out that the driveshaft center support bearing was completely gone, there was a chunk missing from it and the other rubber was deteriorating very badly.


We managed to rig up some tow straps to hold the driveshaft up just enough to limp it home. Very ghetto setup but it was worth it to save a tow. Does anyone know where I can find a decently priced replacement? I didn't seem to find any on Rock Auto but are the eBay ones ok to use?




The door ended up being ok, turns out the door handle mechanism was broken. Managed to rig up a zip tie for now. The window is still stuck halfway down though so need to figure that out. Engine runs solid, throws a little smoke though so no idea what's up there. The Weber definitely needs a few more tweaks. 


Like I mentioned before if anyone around Portland would want to meet up and show me a thing or two about Datsuns I'd really appreciate it. :)

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Spent some more time with the truck today. Washed it and it cleaned up ok.


I attempted to get the driveshaft center bearing off and I ended up ripping out the whole destroyed bushing. So I'll definitely have to wait to take it to someone or find anyone that's willing to help me out with it.


The truck honestly needs a lot of work and I'm super frustrated with it right now. Don't know what I'm gonna do.

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The carrier bearing is fairly easy to replace, an air impact makes it much easier. I got a new one through rockauto.com not to long ago.



Edit: There are also quite a few guys in your area that are usually eager to help out a fellow Datto owner. Maybe post an offering of pizza and beer for a wrench session.

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what part of portland are you in? I'm free most weekends and would be willing to help you out. I did mine about a year ago, got it from halsey automotive ( they are a v.w. shop, but i get most of my datto parts from them) complete kit for like $30.00  let me know man more than willing to help

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Hey bub, I sent you a PM.


I ended up doing a fix myself which worked out very well. I went to Autozone and bought a "coil spring booster," then trimmed out the rubber to size to fit between the rubber cushion "hoop" and the bearing. I cut it to just the right size so that it was a tight fit between the hoop and bearing. Hollowed it from the inside out so that it would fit snuggly with the hoop. It doesn't budge at all and I imagine this rubber is much more durable than the rubber used in the replacement parts. 






I did this from under the truck and used a razor blade to trim all the destroyed rubber from the hoop. 

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where are you located in portland? 

SE, not too far from 82nd. 



nice, glad you got it figured out

Yeah, I was tired of it not moving and decided to give it a try. Worked out much better than I anticipated. 


I did a synthetic oil change and put in some Mobil 1 as the original oil was black and I have no idea of the age or mileage. Also put some seafoam through the carb and it helped it make the idle a bit smoother. Still throws a little while smoke so I'm curious what the cause of that is but I figure some of it is from the truck sitting for so long. I'm going to try to take it out a little later today and see if it clears anything up. 


If you guys are interested I'd still like to meet up and learn some stuff! My accelerator pedal seems pretty stiff and I have to give it pretty good effort to get it floored. Even then it seems like it's not opening up all the way (or maybe these trucks are super slow LOL). There is a bit of slack in the accelerator cable that I can't get tightened but I did order a new throttle cable from RockAuto for only $5 and I might tackle that this weekend if you guys are free. I sent both you fellas a PM.

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Finished up for the night, got a few other things fixed.


- Applied silicone lubricant spray on all the brake linkage, door hinges and pedal hinges/cables inside the cabin

- Fixed the sticking/stiff throttle pedal with the method above

- Put a bead of rigid RTV around my newly fixed driveshaft support, letting it cure overnight. I'm hopeful this will keep it in one nice, rigid piece


Having an issue with the ignition still, thread for that is here: http://community.ratsun.net/topic/56745-truck-doesnt-want-to-die/


Things on my to-do list

- Ignition issue (above)

- Drivers side door handle linkage

- Drivers side window (stuck halfway up)

- Passenger side low beam headlight

- Rear license plate light


If I get these things done I'll be a pretty happy camper, then I can focus on lowering and other goodies.

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So I am working on some more things today. For some reason when I bought the truck the horns were disconnected. Whenever I would plug in the connectors the horn would constantly stay on. I worked with the steering wheel horn button and I think pressing it a lot worked it back loose because I plugged the connectors back in and they no longer stay on on their own. So +1!


Also took out all the fuses, gave the connections a light sanding and ran some electrical connector cleaner over everything. Now I think I'm going to remove the bench seat, spray everything down with Simple Green and scrub away some surface rust and grime that's in the cabin. 

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I was sick of seeing the interior in disarray, so I went to town on cleaning it. I knew there was rust under the factory rubber cover but didn't know how bad. I finally got my answer. For now I'm doing a poor mans carpet/insulation installed until I can get that replaced.


Underneath the rubber mat



Took out handfuls of this stuff



The bench seat, not in too bad of condition. Need to fit some foam on the drivers side and wrap the bottom portion with a blanket


All vacuumed up




Drivers side rust damage


Passenger side rust damage


Scrubbed down with warm water and Simple Green


My poor man's insulation







Got as far as I could until I ran out of light. Will be finishing up the carpet portion tomorrow. I purchased the Ebony outdoor carpet from Home Depot ($4.50/ft). For anyone curious in the Frost King stuff, I've installed it in previous cars. Here's some vids when I installed them it in the doors of my Protege5. 




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So I continued the carpet job this morning and realized I can't cut for shit at night so I had to re-do it.




Carpet for behind the seat



In the truck



Decided to do the front in three pieces, mainly so that I can remove the center section if I ever need to rather than one entire piece. Made a new cutout for the shifter and it has velcro points all around. 



The result









Behind the seat



The noise difference is drastic. It's killed many of the cabin noise. Before I could hear exhaust and various small noises but now I can only hear a faint roar of the exhaust and not a lot of road noise. Very satisfied with the result and I think it looks great. Now I need to find a blanket for the bench. 


Also wanted to spruce up the look of my rear tail lights are the housings weren't looking so good. Decided to paint them with Plastidip then polished the lenses.


Cleaned lens on bottom



Plastidip result



Will post a pic of them assembled tomorrow. 

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Finished pic of the tail lights.




Also decided to Plastidip my grille, before






On the truck





And special thanks to Dan (bub510) who came to over to help me look at some things. The motor is pretty solid, has solid compression through all 4 cylinders, all the head bolts were torqued to 60 lbs. Turns out the Weber adapter plate was loose causing some play in the carb. We got that fixed and corrected the idle and air/fuel mixture. The timing was also retarded by a few degrees so we raised it back to stock. The truck drives wonderfully now! Need to figure out the smoking issue but otherwise it's all good.







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