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69 521 Build


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Welcome to Ratsun! I also used to be big into early VW'S. I have owned several bugs,Ghia's, split window busses,a '60 double door panel,& a '67 bug EMPI GTV tribute with a balanced 1835,dual Kadrons,drop spindles,Empi sway bars front & swing axle sway bar rear,rolling on 4 lug original Empi sprint stars. I've always liked Datsuns too. Here's a pic of my old ''67 gtv in front of my old workplace,Discount Import Parts about 15 years ago ( that's me with it). I traded that car for my '63 Riviera.


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Here is another one of my cars I did about 4 years ago. Sold it to a friend and now it is going to Japan.



I can see why VW guys are liking these. I'm just getting burned out building VWs right now. I am in the middle of build a ghia vert for the wife, trying to finish the blue notch, have my other notch half way complete, and 2 more long term expensive projects.  Over in VW land there are so many stock Nazi's and naysayers. You can't really stray to far from stock or you hear about it all the time. I know I tend to be the same, but I keep it to a select few cars. My blue Notch being one of them. Finding parts for that thing will drive you crazy. I bought a full correct OG interior from Germany for it. My bus (57 23 window) is going to put me in the grave. That thing cost so much money. My middle seat alone cost $3500. So this truck I feel free to do what I want. I'm the new guy who will probably make all the new guy mistakes. I'm just gonna build what I like. Maybe I will end up with the stupidest truck, but I will not know. Ignorance is bliss!


So where can I get some of these 720 4x4 leaf springs. There are none at the local pick and pulls right now. Do they sell them new somewhere?


I spent most of the night fixing all the captive nuts that I broke bolts in and test fit the lower valance (I guess that is what you would call it). I'm surprised it fit as good as it does. It was a twisted prezel when I took it off.




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In Datsun speak, the lower valence is called an apron.  Bad news, they bend easy, but that means they straighten easy, too.

I have more than one 521, and a few of these aprons, all bent to one degree or more.  This is a fixture I made to hold the apron  while I am working on it.



You need to get the curve on the lower part of the front fenders good.  It can be a real pain to get the apron, and front fenders to have a good gap, if this curve is wrong.  Once everything is good, the apron adds strength to the fenders and also the fenders to the apron. 

Then the front bumpers has to be fitted.  The two center brackets are attached to the bumper, and then slid in throught the apron, and bolted to the frame.   The holes in the frame are the 5/16-24 you still need to get a tap for.  Then the gap needs to be adjusted on both ends of the bumper, between the bumper, and apron.  And then fit the two small brackets that hold the ends of the bumper.  I do not think the rubber biscuits are still available, but it is just a round rubber block, with a hole in it.   The inside one does not need to be perfect, just something to cushion the bolt. again a 5/16-24 bolt.


Be aware the two center brackets for the bumper bolt to the frame, and the two ends of the bumper bolt to cab sheet metal.  

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VW's you are going to build the stupidest truck,NICE that is you are already going down the right path plus your building 1 of the nicest import trucks on the planet.Just keep doing what your doing and you will have a master piece.As for the 720 leaf springs good question were to find them,although here is another idea I think bell tech or suspension technics makes a set.Check out oldskoolvw's thread and look what he bought.As for me I think I am going with 4 link and coil overs.

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720 4x4 leaf springs can be found on ebay.  Looks like there are some right now.


Welcome to the forum.  It seems the 521 is becoming more and more popular.  With the powder coating, how do you feel it does at seams and other tight crevices (like a curved panel coming into a straight panel, eg back of a wheel well to quarter panel)?  Also, how well do later primer coats adhere?

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Ok, so I think I know what you are asking about for the powder primer. So first, I have not gone through the whole process. I have my 2nd notchback done in powder and now this truck. So technically speaking the truck will be my first attempt. SO as far as sanding goes. I sanded this out in 400 in about a minute. The first thing I  noticed is I did not break thru on the hard edges. It sands very much like regular high build primer. It is pretty smooth like high build, maybe not as smooth. Don't know yet. Havn't done more then this section. In terms of top coats, from what I understand, you can paint your color coat right over this after sanding in 400. Chances are you will not cuz as in this example I have a few lows and highs, which will require some hammmer and dolly work and probably a skim coat and then some high build anyways.





If you are going to go straight to filler then scuff in 36 I was told, and filler can go right over it. In terms of powder primer vs regular powder coat, this is definatly different stuff. From what I am being told, there is no extra prep to this. Just treat it like any other primer/ sealer.


In terms of nooks and crannies. Here is a pic of a notchback door in powder, I will show you the indside of the door for the blue car (which was painted the traditional primers/ sealers/ etc, and the primered door.



As you can see it is covered very well. But here is where it really pays off:


Inside edge of the door bottom, completly coated even up the vertical wall that will never be possible to paint.




Blue notch door same area, I even shot straight down as much as possible, and look what was missed:




So basically. on the areas that you are going to see, you will probably sand down and still have the regular way of doing things. In the areas you are not going to paint, or can't paint, it will be coated. It is a thick coat. I was told by my powder coater that they have flattened panels to perfection with this stuff. They powder the part, block sand powder again block and again until all the lows are gone. Basically using it as filler. Of course we are talking about near perfect panels in that case.

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I'm not an expert. Only can say what my coater is telling me. As far as I know it is an excellent sealer. In fact there are a couple of choices. The one I used is different then another option that has zinc. So in terms of rust protection it is suppossed to be very good. In terms of epoxy, I have used it several times. Here in Santa Clara you can no longer buy the good stuff. But with epoxy you have to do more work I find. If you get a non-sandable epoxy then you need to put at least 2 to 3 coats of sandable primer on the same time (24 HR window) generally speaking you would pick up you blasted parts, spend about 4 hours blowing out as much as you can. Shoot 2 to 3 coats of epoxy (about 3 hours) clean gun spray 2 to 3 coats of high build or something else that is sandable another 3 hours, so you have potentially 10 hrs to get to where this is and have less result, cuz there will still be areas you will not cover.


I stopped using epoxy a while back and just started using DTM primer. Transtar makes a nice one, I'm sure in your area you might find better, but here they banned everything good. I usually start with that and do my filler work then some high build block it etc. Then on paint day I start out with a nice sealer coat and shoot single stage wet on wet.


Talking about paint and welding is always a hot topic. So I am just explaining my process. I'm sure there are professional painters who will disagree with my process.

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Thanks for the info.  

I have been using PPG primers, on some stuff, a 1791/1792 wash primer, followed by PPG DPLF.  I use a Shopline JP202, with activator for the high build surfacer, and then Omni MTK singlestage, or Dupont Centari single stage, with hardner.  You absolutely must have an approved respirator with the Centari.


Honestly, even though it is a old acrylic paint formula, I really like the Centari.


But what I need is a heated shop, ideally with a paint booth.

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I have used several brands of single stage. The best I have found is Limnco. It is made by BASF who makes Glasurit. Except it doesn't come with the Glasurit price tag. I have 2 gallons with hardner and reducer for my wife's ghia in Glasurit 22 line. It cost $1950. My blue notch is painted with Limnco single stage 1.5 gallons with reducer and hardner $310. Here is a pic of my doors about 20 mins after painting when it just glassses out. Shot in a garage so got a bit of dirt, but if it wasn't for dirt I would not be color sanding and buffing. Also the key to this paint is using an Iwata LPH400 with orange cap. Also I suspect it is the same shit just relabeled!



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I was at Pick and pull today to try to get some things and stumbled on these. They are a Izuzu Rodeo Back glass gas shock bracket. I took all 4 pieces but ended up only using 2.




Next get the driver side front hood strut from a 2000 Range Rover. Driver side only because it has next to no pressure and has a lock/ stop at the top range of motion. To release the stop you raise it up slightly higher and it releases the lock and retracts back. This shock is not like the others. It will not propel your hood up. That is the reason I am using it so it doesn't bend up the hood.




For now I am using sheetmetal screws but will get some nut inserts for it later.





Since I don't have a reference. Does it look like it will clear the motor?

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Holy crap! The new guy brought some skills into this! I don't know anywhere near that much about paint,powder coats/primer,etc. I wouldn't have got into all that front suspension stuff either,without alot of advice from the rest of you guys. This truck is going to turn out awesome!

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Well today was interesting. I didn't like how my braces looked under the hood so I decided to make a cover. I had a scrap piece of aluminum that was just barely the right size. So I got it all cut out and forgot that I dropped my bead roller and that it didn't work. So the rest of the day I ran all over town to get things to fix it. Finnally fixed it and ran the x pattern and called it good.




Spent the evening realigning everything. The doors are almost fitted. But they are both fucked up. I don't know if I will switch back to the original doors yet. I didn't use them because they need alot of body work, but they were nice in terms of shape around the perimeter. The passenger door has had some serious damage on the door bracing along the latch side. and I can't get it to go anymore forward, will wait till i get latches installed before making a decision.





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So they both run at the same time.The lights are flat and from danielstern.com.

They are the a German company i believe and it is Ciebe lights,they cost a pretty penny but they are quality shit,and that aint no shit.


Notice the bumper has no holes or bolts,so clean.lol

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