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GRpufnstuf

1973 Green Weenie

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Hello Ratsun,

 

I thought I should introduce myself since I've been lurking around in here for a month or so now.

 

I picked up this little sweetie from Southern Oregon in July:

 

620pre_zps11406674.jpg

 

It's pretty straight and "rust free" with the exception of the hood, fender and windshield where a row boat tipped over onto it.

 

I limped it 270 miles up Interstate 5 to Portland where I immediately removed the shell, found straight sheet metal (in paint right now), cut off the big rear step bumper (bolts are still rusted in there), painted the tail light housings and polished the lenses.

 

It started running really badly and I didn't have time to tinker so I took it to Bill's Datsun Shoppe where it got a tune up, water pump, carb rejet, valve adjust (part of the tune up i guess) and general going over. Runs like dream now.

 

I live in Los Angeles most of the time but I'm from Portland and still keep a couple cars up there. I'll be heading back up this weekend (Sept 1st) to finish up my initial mods.

 

which will include:

 

Polishing the original paint to try and bring it up to the freshly painted panels' shine.

 

New windshield and rubber

 

Lowering it, I'm guessing 3" from what I have seen in these forums.

 

I'm going to index and adjust the torsion bars and extend the shock towers a couple inches in the front. probably holding off new shocks for budgetary reasons but it needs them.

 

The rear will get a C notch and probably a flipped top spring with a possible lowering block to get it right. Eventually I'll add air shocks out back for carrying my motorcycle.

 

Gotta wire brush and paint the passenger floor as this is the only spot that has significant surface rust.

 

Then I'll be getting an alignment and having the current rubber flipped to the white wall side for style. I need new tires but haven't decided if I want to run the 195 size that is on it or drop down to 185. Probably best to stay 195 for any load at all and the speedo issues... (see next item)

 

The speedo is WAY off and the truck winds out kind of early. My phone GPS speedo reads 65 when the speedo reads 76 (as i recall). That's all at, what sounds like, 4000+ rpm. I'll need to figure out a 5 speed, a new rear end, or both in the near future as I plan to bring this truck to LA and it'll see more hwy running. And maybe for now a new speedo gear if I can find one.

 

I've ordered Beebani's newest UCAs to run 620/720 ball joint discs in front but those parts won't be to me in time for this little flurry of work.

And really the drums are working great if I don't have a load in it, and the kingpins are tight so no rush there. I think I'll like the extra 3" of track width for looks when that gets done though. I liked BlueHands kit but he doesn't have an ETA for new kits at all and I'm impatient. I'll also be considering coil overs in the future. But that's after I get a taste for the ride and handling quality of the turned torsions.

 

I either need another set of stock steelies or I'll just set it up on blocks so I can pull and paint the wheels. They''ll go 1 of three ways, 1) stock silver 2) black 3) body color and cream with trim rings

 

I need to find 2 stock hubcaps for the driver side.

 

Then there's the original bench seat and little bit of vinyl that's left on it... maybe re-cover or maybe buckets? I think I like the bench but I'm 6'3" and might fit better with something like Porsche 914 buckets.

 

I basically want this truck.

 

http://www.speedhunters.com/2011/09/car_spotlight_gt_gt_na_tuned_datsun_620/

 

But the builder has sold it and I have yet to contact the new owner.

 

ANYway, I'm primarily a Volvo (142e) guy and had no idea the Datsun community was so big in the NW. I feel a little guilty for taking the truck south. But I want to drive it to JCCS in September and that means all LA all the time. Besides, I have a feeling that once the rain starts hitting this little truck it will explode into a puff of rust ;)

 

This truck looks just like my late Grandpa's 620 down to the color, this is the main reason I bought this truck (and paid a little too much). I can't bring myself to drive it the way I got it,,looking almost EXACTLY like Grandpa's, but it'll be a nice little mini truck for making runs around LA and Datsun activities in SoCal when I'm done. The mods will be tasteful and reverse-able for the most part.

 

I'll have more pics and a progress thread once the truck isn't 1000 miles away from me.

 

SO, hi everybody. This site is already a gem in my mind. So much good free info for a Datty noob. Thanks!

 

 

PS, I'm actively looking for:

 

Nice® dash, mine is cracked like Robert Redford's face. I'll cap it if I have to.

 

thanks again!

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Welcome and nice truck!

I see it is a 1973 620 so when you get the dogleg trans you are also going to have to shorten the drive shaft.  My '73 has a 280zx 5 speed transmission in it and it works great.  3 in lower is what everyone does and it gives the best stance at 3 in since you are keeping stock wheels.  My speedo is off by 10 mph too (still have the L16) but this engine can rev.  Believe the redline was 7K but if wrong I will be corrected.  As for the tach, keep a look out!  Most people ask $300, I got mine off ebay, datsun guy asking 300 got it for 200 shipped.  Little more than I would want to spend but just shoot people messages, helps a lot on ebay.  Oh and they are NOT ultra rare.  My guess is about 25+ come up for sale a year.  Finding a good original dash will be hard and when you do they tend to be pricey.  Mine just had four cracks but I bought a carpet to put over it.  Make a difference.  Some people here have put on caps but said they don't fit right.

Hope that helps some.  Keep us posted!

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I have never heard one good thing about Bill's. Watch yourself!!!!

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I have never heard one good thing about Bill's. Watch yourself!!!!

Huh, well they were a little pricey for what I got but they got my car done for me double time. I was leaving town and had to get it fixed and into storage quick. It's working great too (Edit: My truck stopped working great pretty fast on the drive from Portland to Los Angeles.  I'm no longer happy with the work I paid too much for). I'm going to stay friendly with them, if nothing else they've got tons of parts available for a Datsun owner in a pinch.

 

I'll read a few opinions (yelp maybe) before I head back in there for sure. ALSO, I tend to do my own work when I have time, and the move to LA for the truck will remove any chance of an issue with them in the future.

 

Thanks for the warning, I'll be more wary next time. I do plan to get into another Datsun, that will reside in Portland, at some point. I had a '71 240 in the '90s. I loved it but it got rear ended and totalled. So either another Z or possibly 510 wagon? I guess I can wait to decide.

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Awesome truck! Can't believe it came out of OR.... Sorry y'all PNW'rs

Very cool! How often do you stay in OR/CA?
Been thinking about moving up to PDX/OC 6months out of the year,
Hope to see you at JCCS!

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Good looking truck, love that color. Welcome aboard :)

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Awesome truck! Can't believe it came out of OR.... Sorry y'all PNW'rs!

 

It's actually a Northern CA truck that ended up in Southern OR.  It stays pretty dry down/up there

 

 

Very cool! How often do you stay in OR/CA?

Been thinking about moving up to PDX/OC 6months out of the year,

Hope to see you at JCCS!

 

I get up to Portland about 6 weeks a year it seems.  I just go randomly when Work is slow for me.

 

I'll be moving back up there in a year or two and just keep a room rented in LA for work trips.

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  As for the tach, keep a look out!  Most people ask $300, I got mine off ebay, datsun guy asking 300 got it for 200 shipped.  Little more than I would want to spend but just shoot people messages, helps a lot on ebay.  Oh and they are NOT ultra rare.  My guess is about 25+ come up for sale a year

 

Funny, you wrote this and a tach popped up in the classified section.  Seller's asking $300 and he doesn't have much history with the forums so I'm skipping that one.  But I will have a tach, and sooner than later.  Although maybe it'd be wiser to get new shocks before i do the tach...  but who wants to be sensible

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1200 Tach are wired just the same as 620 tachs, I'm running a 1200 tach in my 620. Picked it up at the Pomona Swap Meet for 20$!!!

They mount to the 620 bezel too, So i guess they ARE 620 tachs, just different lens, and no coloring.

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1200 Tach are wired just the same as 620 tachs, I'm running a 1200 tach in my 620. Picked it up at the Pomona Swap Meet for 20$!!!

They mount to the 620 bezel too, So i guess they ARE 620 tachs, just different lens, and no coloring.

That's good info thanks! It's pretty easy to find the double lens from the 620 speedo and gauges. I bet I could make 1/2 that work on the 1200 tach too.

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Ok, I got to Portland and got to work, kinda.

 

I immediately developed what the Dr is calling tendinitis in my left shoulder so my left arm has been almost useless this week. Super frustrating.

 

BUT, I've been pushing on with what I can get done anyway.

 

So I pulled the wheels off:

 

IMG_9250_zps9d02224d.jpg

 

Then I pulled the rear leafs which was super easy except for...

 

IMG_9253_zpsff4c044b.jpg

 

...The weird gas tank that is almost right up against the front leaf pack bolt. Also this was the only bolt that bound when I was removing it so it took as long for one bolt as it did for the rest of the springs, grrr.

 

Took the wheels to get the crusty rubber knocked off and then started sandblasting for paint prep:

 

IMG_9251_zpsdbad85c4.jpg

 

IMG_9258_zpsd997589e.jpg

 

And finally got them primed last night:

 

IMG_9260_zpsa5e73fd0.jpg

 

I'm ordering tires this morning but I'm still torn between 195 and 185 widths. Maybe I'll just let tire quality and price decide. There will be skinny white walls on this truck!

 

I took the leaf packs to Benz Spring here in Portland:

 

IMG_9254_zpsfb49a6cc.jpg

 

Notice the big overload spring? I wonder how much weight the original old timer planned on putting in or towing with this truck?

 

Benz is going to make me a new top leaf the has less arch and flipped ends to give me some natural drop, they will also heat treat the old springs and take a little arc out while giving them some new springiness. And finally I'm adding a small leaf in place of the overload to get it back towards stock spring weights.

 

I thought this would be easy and cheap but it turns out the top leaf isn't long enough to just flip so the other leafs are being shortened and then getting new pads etc... Oh well, there's probably a better solution on Ratsun (maybe the 720 spring thing?) but I don't have time to find it. Gotta get this thing back together and on the road to LA by next Monday.

 

Hopefully all this spring mess will get me 2+ inches of drop then I'll add a lowering block as needed. I'd like to keep that at 1" if possible.

 

This morning I'm looking for any Zerk that need greasing and adjusting the brakes all around. I was pretty surprised to find that they aren't self adjusting.

I have decent braking but a ton of pedal travel. The PO said it was a bad booster, but that is working fine. I'll adjust properly and I suspect I'll have all kinds of pedal to stomp on.

 

Then I'll hit my wheels with some paint, once the air warms up here. I chose Almond colored Rustoleum enamel. It's the closest to an antique white they had and I think it will look good with this Sage green truck. I am considering a brown pin stripe around the lip of the wheel once they are on the truck and I can rotate while holding a striping brush. It will be that or I'm going to get some of that reflective pinstripe they put on motorcycle wheels. Maybe a red would be cool for reflections at night.

 

Anywho, I've got some other things cooking but I'll save then for when the have cooked and are ready to photo and discuss.

 

I won't be notching the frame (maybe at all) or extending the shock towers this go round. Gimp arm and time won't allow it.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention I'll be re-indexing the torsion adjusters this morning as well. I'll just do one notch like everyone else and then guestimate the adjustment until I have wheels back on it.

 

I also found 1980 lower ball joint arms so I grabbed those and I'm picking up the hub, spindle, caliper setup this Saturday I still don't have my Beebani UCAs but they will probably be waiting for me when I get home to LA. The discs and hub etc I'm buying are possibly usable and have new brake lines attached which puts me ahead of Pick 'N Pull as far as price and such, and for what would probably be core use only.

I'll rebuild or replace as needed of course. I want to make sure this truck is as reliable as possible so I'll use as much new as possible. I'm also trying to do everything 'right' the first time so I don't have any redo action down the road, few things are more frustrating for me.

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Nice truck.  Love that color.  You WONT have to shorten the driveline to put in a DOGLEG 5 speed.  The 73 came with the shorter 4speed.  Look forward to seeing more of this 1 B)

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SUPER excited...

 

got wheels painted and tires mounted.

 

Got them home and HAD to "mount" them.

 

IMG_9273_zpsf230ff30.jpg

 

The leaf springs haven't materialized so the rear is on jack stands but this is about how I'd like it to sit.

 

I guessed at the front while I was indexing and adjusting and I think I nailed it! I hope it's drive-able like this. This is one notch down and then adjusted 1" out on the bolt threads. I'm kicking myself for not measuring before and after, but I'm not so upset that I'll be putting it back to do it.

 

Found that my local Baxter Auto parts carries a good selection of Energy Suspension parts. I went to look at bump stops.

 

They had part # 9.9102G in stock. It's the 11/16" thick x 2" round single threaded post in black (i think those are the specs, might be 1" tall?). Works perfect up front, though I did have to enlarge the hole just a hair. I went with black rather than red because I like to know the good stuff is in there and don't necessarily need others to.

 

At Baxter's I was flipping through the catalog looking for rear replacements and found that the 1 7/8" tall Jeep CJ bumpstops are about the right length for the stock bolt holes at the rear. I'm picking them up tonight. I'm hoping I won't need to cut them down. I have found polyurethane doesn't last long after slicing. I'll post a part number and pic when I'm done with that one.

EDIT: the jeep stops were too short from bolt hole to bolt hole. They are 5" overall length and the datsun needs a little over 5" just for the holes.

 

I found a guy selling hubcaps and they are in the mail. I only have 2 and i think I like them, although I'm kinda digging the black hardware against the white wheels:

 

IMG_9276_zpsff1c1784.jpg

 

SO, tomorrow I get the new windshield installed and hopefully the new rear springs will be completed and ready to pick up. After that I'll just drive it around and make sure the height vs drive-ability is good.

 

Most of my list from the beginning of this post got postponed. Mostly due to my arm pains but that's the way it goes.

 

I'll get it to LA and get to work on the cosmetics so that I'm ready for JCCS!

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GRpufnstuf, on 30 Aug 2013 - 4:48 PM, said:snapback.png

Polishing the original paint to try and bring it up to the freshly painted panels' shine.

THIS is a great way to roll!

Thank you and I obviously agree.  My buddy told me I like WabiSabi stuff.  I'll go look it up and see if he's right.

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OH!  I tried to adjust my brakes this morning but they were right where they should be.  I got my Haynes manual out and it mentioned adjusting the pedal throw.  I didn't know this was there so I gave it a few turns.  I went easy because I can't properly test it right now but I'm hopeful this fixes my super deep (in the pedal stroke) brake engagement

 

Please tell me if I did the wrong thing!

 

Edit 9/12/13:

 

The brakes are working great! the pedal rod was just the ticket to give me plenty of pedal right away.

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Nice truck.  Love that color.  You WONT have to shorten the driveline to put in a DOGLEG 5 speed.  The 73 came with the shorter 4speed.  Look forward to seeing more of this 1 B)

Thank you for this!  Part of why I wanted the dogleg was due to the length (or so I read).  Having to do driveline stuff just made me think I should go with Z 5spd like everyone else.

 

I also like the thought of a Valet trying to find reverse on the dogleg when I use my 4spd knob on it!

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Thank you and I obviously agree.  My buddy told me I like WabiSabi stuff.  I'll go look it up and see if he's right.

 

He's right,  Wabi-Sabi is definitely my thing.

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OK, suspension is done for the moment:

 

IMG_9281_zpsc3c684b2.jpg

 

There is a little more rake to it than this pic shows. I'm happy with the final product and it's driving nice. Might need to adjust toe in, it's a little light in the steering at speed.

 

I miscalculated on the rear spring flip/de-arching/and leaf adding.

I think it got me down 1.5" (would have been a little more without the xtra leaf).

I had to use 3" lowering blocks to get it where I want it. The upside is that the rear is firm and I still have lots of room from axle to the cut down bump stop.

I think I could pull the extra leaf and go down to a 2" block but I'm not worried about my L16 twisting up my rear end so I'll leave it. And hopefully my motorcycle won't have much effect on the current setup when I'm hauling it around.

 

The spring shop couldn't get me the stock rubber spring bushings in time so they upgraded me to urethane. That's great but they are red and I kinda like low key black. Oh well, it goes with the green truck.

 

Had to cut the rear bump stops down as I couldn't find any low-pro urethane that fit the stock location. The Jeep parts I bought ended up being too small. I've seen pix of red Energy Suspension stops mounted on the stock holes but I can only find the fronts when I search the forums.

 

SO, I guesstimate that I'm down nearly 5" all around from where I was. I think the PO had a little lift going on for camper and maybe towing. Still kicking myself for forgetting to measure the before. Maybe i'll measure a fixed piece (hub cap?) in a before shot and do some measuring and math...

 

Now I'm headed to the driveway to do the pass floor in wire brush and por15. I'll grab a few more pics of the suspensions bits and interior work for later.

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Well shoot, 2 SNAFUs

 

Flying back to LA today. Rushing back for a 3 week job that starts tomorrow.

This means I won't be driving the truck home this trip.

 

I could get back to PDX in time to drive to JCCS but that's the other issue.

My nephew's wedding is sept 28 same as JCCS and I need to be at the wedding. So no Queen Mary for me this year. I'll drive it home after the wedding and try to come to one of the SoCal regular events ASAP.

 

Also my new body panels haven't been painted yet and I'll be wanting those in place before the truck leaves Portland. Maybe it's all for the best.

 

Still to-do before 970mi road trip at end of Sept:

 

Longer ubolts for spring shackles

Alignment

Upholster or replace seat

Dogleg(?)

Driveline carrier and bearing

Possible third member swap. I have a 4.37 available but can't determine what's in currently, feels like 4.88

Tach, OE or aftermarket. I just want to know while I'm cruising the highways

Repack front hub bearings (can't find 620 inner wheel bearing, bluehands adapter or just swap disc right away?)

Fix Thermostat housing leak and possible heater core drip

New, slightly larger exhaust. Also look up L16 muffler options on forum

Retractable seatbelts

 

 

This list Is more my to-do than anything interesting for you guys.

 

I'll get some undercarriage pix and interior floor treatment pix up soon.

 

Once I'm in LA it's interior time; dash, headliner (mine died with new windshield install), more floor de rusting, paint floors, side window scraper/seals, etc... And the anti rust paint for frame and gas tank

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Updates!

 

Rear springs and bump stops:

 

Leaf packs, before;

 

null_zpsa06f1c0e.jpg

 

After

 

null_zps878a266a.jpg

 

Blocks and bumps top clearance;

 

null_zpse49a3fb1.jpg

 

null_zps1a7df3ed.jpg

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More updates:

 

Passenger floor de-rustifications;

 

Mat;

 

null_zps98d73f07.jpg

 

Floor as I bought it;

 

null_zpsc3cfeb1a.jpg

 

Wire brushed and vacuumed;

 

null_zpsce9d4567.jpg

 

Rusty primer stuff;

 

null_zps0ca08a51.jpg

 

1st coating;

 

null_zpsd0ac3210.jpg

 

2nd coat and done;

 

null_zps7a282d6a.jpg

 

This stuff worked great and dried fast. It's thinner than the Por15 I've used in the past and seems to work as well.

I have a couple little spots under the driver seat to do and then I'll need a paint to match the truck color to shoot on the floor.

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Front suspension:

 

Backed the torsion bar off all the way ( truck in the air on jack stands);

 

null_zps763fa651.jpg

 

Marked the splines at the lower control arm and turned 1 notch, also knocked the c-clip off the adjuster. I forgot to take a clip pic but this is all old news on these forums ( I had to think hard about which way to turn the splines)

 

null_zps0e4b3fad.jpg

 

Guessed at new adjuster position at approx 1" backed out. See clean thread showing in pic vv;

 

null_zps16182912.jpg

 

New energy suspension bump stop sitting pretty close to lower arm. I'd like to et stronger torsion bars to firm up the front a bit. (This is how I'm driving it for now);

 

null_zpsbeb80e2f.jpg

 

Before;

 

null_zps6f8bf539.jpg

 

After;

 

IMG_9281_zpsc3c684b2.jpg

 

Sadly I had to leave the truck in Portland and I'm in LA for the next 2-3 weeks. Here it is parked under the best cover I could manage;

 

null_zps92ed2a94.jpg

 

I miss it already (1 day) and can't wait to get back to hit the frame and gas tank with the rust paint and start working on the interior.

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