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Trucky-chan KA-T 620 project

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Hello all,

I am using this as my introduction/build thread. So, for the introduction. I'm Andrew, I am a life long car guy with a primary focus on Mustangs (I have a '66 coupe which is a project in waiting and an '05 V6 being force fed by a snail), but recently have been getting very bored with my current daily beater. I have been lurking on the site off and on for the last several months while I was searching for my first Datsun. Well, about 3 weeks ago I finally found one out here in the mid-west that wasn't too far gone.

I picked up a 1973 620, it is a 4 speed truck with an L16 and came complete with enough spare parts to build half another truck (many of which will get listed in the classifieds once I reach my post limit).

The good:
The motor has already been gone through and has new everything (pretty much).
Head has been gone through already.
All new brakes (drums, shoes, hardware, hoses, wheel cylinders, and I believe master cylinder) minus the booster.
Basically anything that wasn't already on the truck came with it with lots of extras.

The Bad:
Both floor pans.
Driver's side pinch weld.
Distributor relay (not really needed?).

Both floor pans are pretty bad. The driver's side is pretty well gone, but the truck came with a replacement so I'm not too worried about that. The driver's side pinch weld, at least the span below the door, is pretty much gone as well so I will need to patch that up while doing the floors. The passenger side floor pan at some point in its life had a patch job done with fiberglass, so that will need to be taken care of at some point as well, but has a much smaller area to replace than the other side.

Progress so far. When I picked up the truck it seemed like it was pretty much good to go. The PO wasn't at all familiar with ignition or carburetors and was having trouble getting someone to help, as a result, after he put all the pieces on it just sat. I decided to forgo learning all about the Hitachi carb that was on there and go a head and move up to the 32/36. To eliminate a point of failure I also opted to go with the DGV with the manual choke. Got the carb installed Last Friday and then spent the rest of the weekend trying to diagnose my no spark.

Figured out the spark issue last night, looks like my distributor relay is bad, I ran a wire from straight from the - side of the coil to the distributor and now I have spark. It was already dark when I got spark so decided not to fiddle with it too much after that. Hopefully I will be able to get her fired tonight and finally moved from the driveway into the garage.

I don't have many pictures at the moment, and the ones I do have are bad, but too bad because they are getting posted:


The truck came with a stepside bed and the original, which is more my style...




My '05 Mustang

My current daily which has only one redeeming quality being the chalkboard paint job. Beyond that it is just way too practical.

I'll be sure to post up my progress and if I ever find an issue that the SEARCH can't solve I'll post questions as well.

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cool little truck


lots of pics


already working on it



you should fit in just fine - welcome to ratsun 

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love the chalky Saturn its cool

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Welcome aboard, nice introduction. Love the green 620 :D

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you have an 05 mustang and you daily a saturn? :poke:

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Thanks all for the warm welcome.


Almost got the truck fired last night.  She tried to catch a couple of times and then died and then I killed the battery...


Yeah, the Saturn was free and replaced the Crown Vic I had been rolling.  Plus anymore the Mustang isn't any good for daily driving, it can be, but it is very loud, very stiff and smells awesome after removing some emissions bits  :D (got to love the mid-west and it's lack of emissions control).

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She Lives!!



Picked up a battery for the truck on my way home from work today, after killing the one I borrowed from my mustang  :D


I need to make a couple of adjustments on the Weber and pull her in to the garage tomorrow so the real fun can begin.


p.s. Ignore my hillbilly roommate.

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yeah I ignored that fake cowboy hat wearing commentary ... congrats ..... warm it up ...tune it....time it..... tune again .....set the idle and drive the bitch

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I'm "working from home" this afternoon so I am going to double check the baseline settings on the Weber and get it dialed in after work.

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Once 5 o'clock rolled around yesterday I got back to the truck.  I was to the point before I started where I could right foot idle, but would die the second I let off.  As a result of this and working mostly by myself I had to keep making minor adjustments to the carb with the truck not running and then try again.  After some tweaks and a trip to the gas station to top off my "gas tank" Got her idling pretty well and timing pretty well set it's not perfect but was good enough to drive it out of the driveway, down the street and then finally into the garage.


More shitty pics




After getting her in the garage I decided to do some clean up and organization before continuing.  So, I didn't get too much more work done.  I started moving some things around in preparation for some engine bay clean up/mild wire tuck.  I am thinking about moving the coil up to the core support around where the washer jug sits from the factory and then relocating the washer jug under the drivers fender liner.  I'd also like to go ahead and relocate the battery, but we will see where my budget is after taking care of the things I actually need.


Tonight I'll be putting her up on jackstands and trying to decide where I want to start.  Unfortunately I will be out of town Saturday and Sunday so I won't be making a whole lot of progress this weekend.


Can anyone tell me if the distributor relay is actually needed?  I am not getting power through it from the coil to the distributor, so at the moment I am just bypassing it.  I have seen plenty of posts of people saying "if it works it's fine", but I can't help but think it was put in there for a reason and depending on the reason I may want to replace/ditch it.  Thoughts are appreciated. 

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I am really bad about updating forums, so I'll do my weekend update now.  I was out of town for the weekend so I didn't really get anything done.  The truck is in the garage and up on jackstands and the wheels off so I could start cleaning everything.  I had checked the brakes previously and verified that all of the parts are were new. It does look like the front shoes have cut into the boot on the wheel cylinder so I will have to look into before getting to bleeding.


I ordered basically all of the steering components, bushings and shocks which will be arriving throughout the week.  Tonight I will start taking apart the front end and depending on how far I get with that I may also pull the interior so I can start getting the floors taken care of.


Obligatory pictures:





I still haven't bothered to take many pictures, but I might one of these days. It is tough to think to do it since I am more concerned with working on it.

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In case I haven't mentioned this before, I am really bad about updating forums.


So how about a quick overview of the last couple of weeks.


Front suspension is almost all off, I am just having some trouble getting the pin that holds the right lower control arm on out, but otherwise everything is off.  I did manage to destroy both fulcrum locking pins while trying to remove them...so now I am trying to track down replacements for these.  If anyone happens to have one or two of laying around I'd be happy to take them off your hands.  Or can anyone tell me if the lock pins from a 70-78 Z will work for this application?


I opened up the right side fulcrum pin to find out that a chunk was missing from one side of the pin and cap so I also get to track down a replacement pin/cap set...anyone have one of these?


Most of my parts have arrived, other than the hard to find ones that is.  Anything I am reusing is getting cleaned and fresh paint.








My lightweight floor.



and my kinda scary, but manageable pinch welds. 



In addition to having fun tracking down a fulcrum pin and locking pins I am also finding it difficult to find dust boots.  I am looking for boots for my torsion bars and upper arm as mine are cracked and torn, anyone know where to get these?

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If you send me a picture of what the pins are, I'll dig through my box and send you mine(from a 76 kc). I'm not using the stock suspension so I don't need them. PM me.

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The fulcrum pin connects to the lower control arm to the dog bone.  One of mine is damaged along with one of the caps.  It looks like someone may have tried to remove the pin in the past and smacked it with something hard...



I found a couple of NOS pins on fleabay. So, hopefully those will do the trick.

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hahaha "trucky chan" i love it

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I am back for another short update.  It has been pretty hard to get actual time devoted to the truck of the last few weeks, but I have managed to get a little done.


All the front suspension is off and most of it has been cleaned and painted, as seen in earlier posts.  I am still trying to get the lower control arm bushings out which has been proving to be a total bitch.  I have been trying the puller method using a 1 1/4" conduit and a large threaded rod, but unfortunately the conduit was weaker than the bond between the bushing and it's sleeve so I ended up crushing it. It doesn't help that the only thing I have to apply heat is a small propane torch that I don't think will get the sleeve hot enough to really make a huge impact.


Since I have plenty of other work to get done on the truck I am not too worried about the bushings yet, so to keep from getting too frustrated with them I moved on for the time being to the rust issue under the battery tray.  I have gotten most of the bad rot cut out of this area and will get to making patch pieces for the new holes I made as soon as I get back home.  I am planning to go ahead and relocate the battery to the bed before I get the truck on the road so I will not be putting a battery tray back in.




I'll have to do a little work on the core support as well.



One of the POs had welded a piece of angle iron in to hold up the battery tray rather than fix what was under it.



And just because naked Datsun.



Also thanks Dawa, it is one of many working titles for this truck, but one of the better ones.  It is my response to my roommates old "truck norris".

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I might as well give an update on this since I haven't been for a while.  Between being really lazy and it being really cold outside here in the mid-west I have not been doing a lot of work.


But yesterday I finally finished welding up my inner fender under the battery tray.  I ended up making new panels to replace this section, which may not have been the best idea considering my tools for the job include a grinder, a vice and a hammer. I still need to grind down my ugly welds and make a bracket to mount the inner fender/core support to the frame mount. then I can smooth it out with some filler and call that part done.


I didn't take any pictures after finishing up last night, but here is one from the other day.


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Time again for another update.


Inner fender is finished with the exception of adding some filler to smooth it out a bit.  It is supposed to be warmer this week so hopefully I will be able to knock that out in the next few days. I am planning on relocating the battery to the bed so there will not be a tray for it anymore.



Front suspension is going back together, although I damaged the threads on one of the pins that holds the lower control arm on so I am going to have to pull it back out and re-thread it.  I realized while putting things back together that I did a better job of bagging and tagging some bolts than others.  As a result I got to do some digging through piles of bolts and dirt looking for bits.



Aside from that I also have my spindles stripped down in preparation for front disc brakes, just waiting on my brackets to arrive then I'll put them back on the truck and move to pulling the interior to start work on my floors.



Has anyone played around with various master cylinders to find one that works "best"?  At the moment I am looking at a 7/8" master for the 70-78 Z cars coupled with a proportioning valve for the rears.

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Another Quick update.


Front disc brackets finally showed up and I got them painted and mounted last night.  My new master cylinder, calipers and rotors will be here later today and my hoses next Tuesday.  Unfortunately I have non-datsun things to do tonight so the spindles won't go back on the truck until tomorrow.




Only big project left is to replace the floor pans and enough little crap to keep me busy for a while. 

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Front suspension is back together, finally and I did a check of my ride height.  I like it a lot, but I'm going to raise it back up an inch shooting to have it ride right about where the factory bump stops would have stopped the travel.








And because everything looks better in black.



Just waiting on my brake hoses to show up, and still need to swap my master cylinder.


Now that all of the steering and suspension components are off the seat I can finally pull out the interior and get to work on the floor.

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Ran home at lunch today so I could grab a package off the porch and inspect the contents...






I did some measuring the other day to determine how much space I had to work with and found that I had about 4" from the face of the brake rotor to the lip on the fender.  Most of the wheels I had been looking at 15X8 rallys but the only ones I could find either had 5"+ from the mounting surface to the front edge or had a positive offset, which I really didn't want.


I landed on some 15X7 0 offset wheels which are pretty close to perfect for the truck.  For tires I'm planning to run some 215/60s which are nearly the same diameter as the tires that were on the truck when I got it.


I need to put the calipers on still and do one more test fit of the wheel, then the interior comes out.

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Ran in to a little snag the other day when I went to put the brakes together on the passenger side of the truck.  It turns out the rotors came from different castings and only one of them actually fit.  Luckily one of the local parts stores had a rotor in stock that did fit so I was able to finally finish putting the front end together.


I also did a test fit and found I will need to run a very small spacer to get the wheels to clear the calipers up front.


Last night I pulled the parts I have left out of the interior of the truck and pulled the seat. Surprise surprise, I found more rust hiding behind the seat.  I already have replacement floor pans for both sides and it looks like I'll get to redo all the body mounts in the cab.


I won't be able to work on it tonight, but starting tomorrow I will be stripping the floor and cut off the rocker panel covers the ppo made to hide the rusted out ones.








Fiber glass patch job on the passenger floor.



Pile of rust hiding the body mount bolt.


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Quick update, haven't done too much work since last weekend as I have been dealing with the radiator in my daily.  I got the back half of the floors sanded down and the driver side rocker panel cover cut off.  I probably won't get much more done until this weekend, my neighbors are very close and I'd rather not piss them off by grinding all night throughout the week.


Anyway have some pics.



passenger side rear body mount no longer attached to the floor.  Drivers side is still attached, but it has some holes.





Here you can see the cover that someone had previously made to cover up the rusted out rockers.



Got the driver floor marked and half cut out.



Where I left off the other night and will pick back up this weekend.



I'm shooting to have the driver's side finished up this weekend, but the way I have been going that may or may not happen.

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Just in for another quick update.  I definitely didn't get nearly as much as I was hoping accomplished last weekend, but I did make progress so that is something I guess.


I got the old rocker panel, side plate and what was left of the body mounts cut out of the driver's side and was able to get the replacement piece I made for the side plate tacked in.  There will be some trimming and grinding to get it to fit like the original, but for now it is in and holding the front and back halves together.






Next up on the agenda is to make new body mounts so the new floor pans will have something to sit on. 

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