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Bruiser! 78 620 KC project


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Well, last night I set out to replace the steering box seal as the girls have a horse show this weekend and I don't want them stranded with a broken box.


I bought a "front end repair kit" at Harbor Freight, one of the pitman arm pullers was just the right size.




However, being a Harbor Freight tool, the amount of force I was willing to put into the tool was not enough to pop the arm loose.  I tried wedges between the tool and the steering box and also tried hitting the pitman arm with a hammer and a long screwdriver from the top of the engine compartment.  Nothing would make it budge and I didn't want to overstress anything inside the box by going caveman on the thing.  So I cleaned up the everything as good as I could with a rag and got out the propane torch.  After a few minutes of heat application to the pitman arm around the steering box shaft, I re-hung the puller, cranked the bolt, and the arm came right off.




The seal took a while too, but eventually I persuaded it to come out with a flat screwdriver and some careful prying motions.




New seal in place and seated with a deep socket.




I reconnected the arm, torqued the giant nut, filled the box with 90W, cleaned up, and went to bed.


This morning there was not a drip in sight.  VICTORY!!!

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Now you just need to jack the old girl up and remove all the wheels and go to town on the whole underneath with some heavy duty degreaser and a pressure washer.

Makes working on the car so much nicer and also easier to spot any issues as they arise when there is no oil or grease build ups.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had the day off yesterday so Brenda and I drove down to Vancouver to deliver a 620 rear axle assembly to John Wallum who is building the RX7 LSD rear for me.




Truck started misbehaving on the way down.  It was a challenge to maintain freeway speeds on long uphill grades, often coughing a little as it would reach the top and level out.


I was thinking fuel starvation and figured I'd look into it when we got home, probably a new filter is needed or something.


After dropping the rear end off with John and getting some ice cream for Brenda at Ice Cream Renaissance (it was a date after all) we headed North.


The situation was the same coming home but then climbing the hill out of Fife, it got worse until I couldn't maintain freeway speed on level ground.  So we exited at Federal Way and found an auto parts store so I could see what's up.


In the process of replacing the filter I noticed that the fuel line between the filter and pump was in pretty bad shape.  "I'll have to fix that tomorrow" I thought... 


Then I grabbed the line to pull off the filter and fuel bled out one of the cracks.  Aha! 




If fuel can get out, air can get in...  The pump was sucking air and couldn't keep the float bowl full in the carb.  So I replaced the fuel line too and we made it home without any further issue.


Which was great because we were picking up a Patrol rear cut from Dave for one of the Canada guys.



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  • 1 month later...

You may be right.  However, those are the elements that part should be designed to live in.

I have a different style in Granny and it failed in a different way - in just a couple of months.  And it was all steel.  So poor design isn't limited to material choice.  I had to modify the parts so that it wouldn't fail again.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Z car is finally gone and out of my yard.

Can't believe I couldn't find anyone interested in this thing.  Had to cut it up for recycle.  Oh well...  they can't all be Datsuns.


but parts of them can live on in one :)

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  • 2 months later...

The headlights switch started giving me trouble.  Pulling the switch wouldn't always make the headlights come on unless you turned the knob a little side to side.


Then one morning...




Oops, that's not helpful...


It did go right back in and with a twist the headlights came on.  But that was the last time.  When I tried to use them coming home the switch wouldn't work - I got marker lights only.  Had to follow my brother-in-law home from my kid's soccer practice so I wouldn't freak people out driving with no headlights.


I pulled the headlight switch out of my spare dash the next morning thinking it would be a 5 minute swap but found the fiber optic line was connected elsewhere in the dash.




I wasn't expecting that because the one in the truck had been pulled out or something at some time.  You can see the back of the switch there above the fuse box.




Pulled the switch out of the dash and found the problem.




One of the wires separated from the terminal.  Awesome!  I'll just solder it back on!




Job complete.  Reinstalled.  Still  no lights. 


Fine.  I shorted the wiring harness to make sure it was not just the headlights themselves and that worked so I knew it was still the switch.  So I pulled the switch, light source, and wipe/wash switch from the spare dash all as one unit.




That switch worked fine so there you go.


How expensive was that fiber optic line?!  They didn't leave a spare inch back there.  It is strung so tight you can almost play a tune on it!

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Victoria and I had planned to paint the truck by now but since she gave up interest in the project, that never happened.  I'm tired of a floor full of water every time it rains so I got a windshield seal from Route 66 Restorations.  I noticed that the description on their website matched the description on Precision Replacement Parts word for word.  I was very pleased to discover upon arrival that it was indeed a PRP seal.  They are good quality!








I've been told I can swap in the new windshield without removing the dash but I'm not sure.  I might just use this as an opportunity to swap in the spare dash which is in so much nicer condition than the current one.  We'll see...

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