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1994 Nissan Hardbody 4x4

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Well a lot has happened since I last posted.. I never did do any more work to the 720 and ended up getting rid of it.. 


I just got a 1994 Nissan Hardbody though. Its the 2.4L with the 5 speed tranny and 4x4. 


Day I got it. 





After working on it a little. Took the reflective tape all off the truck.. left if on the camper top though. Straightened the lights and changed the rear diff oil and engine oil and oil filter. 





Things left to do is replace all 4 CV joint boots.. yes they are all bad. I think the CV joints are still good but going to have to inspect them. Probably will replace the ball joints at the same time. 


Also need to replace the timing chain sometime and the water pump gasket and maybe the valve cover gasket too. 

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Yeah they are great trucks I got this for $1500 and it had 156k on it.

Unfortunately I missed that it has some frame rust I knew they had problems with it and I had looked at the drivers side right above the rear tire and it was good there haha but its not so good in some other places. It was dark but it was still my fault for not checking it out better. But for that price I figure if it lasts 3 years its still worth it.

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I put Mobil none syn oil in it until I can figure out if its using oil or not and used a Bosch premium oil filter. 

I used some Walmart Super Tech GL-5 80w-90 for the rear diff. I don't think that is the best stuff to use, but I think the bearings in it are starting to go out, so no sense using more expensive oil and having to waste it changing the bearings. I put down to change the rear gear oil at 200K if I see more signs of the bearings going out, either going to buy a axle for it or fix it. 


My question is with the transmission I read somewhere that you don't want to use GL-5 or cheap oil in it is this correct? I doubt I would anyway, I'm not one to go the cheap way.


Lights work good though! They say hummer on them and it looks like they go with the bar which was just bolted to the camper top. I think somebody stole it from a hummer haha! 




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If any of you guys have a problem with one of the headlights high or low beam not working don't bother chasing wiring or anything. Its probably the switch. I just fixed the drivers side headlight high beam not working in less then a hour. Wish I took some pictures but anyway.


The headlight switch, turn signals, highbeam unit. Remove that, and look for a cover that is semi clear below it you can see 5 contact switches.

Carefully remove the cover because its held on by plastic that was melted. and the high beam contacts are the two ones on the left side, if you are holding it so the contacts are at the top. Low beams are on the right. I just used a small flat screw driver to clean the contacts. 


I went and tested it and the drivers side high beam worked! Saving me lots of time and money. A new switch is $55. And time chasing wires. 

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Good info on the headlight switch. Mine is doing goofy things & will try cleaning it before replacing it. Lights look good btw.


Glad if it helps anybody I read it on a forum somewhere so just spreading the word :) Anything that saves people time and money is information that should be easy to find :)



Well I'm going to have to replace the CV boots sooner rather then later because my ball joints aren't good. Never saw that much slop in ball joints. (course I haven't seen many) Whats weird is it passed the inspection the seller had it go though.

I'm curious though if you get the one piece boots you have to take the CV shaft apart right? Its not going to be a big deal since I have to do the ball joints anyway. And it all needs to be cleaned and inspected. I've felt into the CV joints and they don't feel worn or broken. So I'm hoping and thinking it was never really put into 4 wheel drive. 

I'll try to take some pictures of the boots tomorrow.. This old girl has been abused in her life sadly :( Hopefully the new engine oil will help her out a bit. 

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My question is with the transmission I read somewhere that you don't want to use GL-5 or cheap oil in it is this correct? I doubt I would anyway, I'm not one to go the cheap way.

In order to have an EP rating any oil has to pass a minimum test. So cheaper isn't a problem. More expensive oils may be 'better' in that they exceed the minimum test. GL-5 gear oil is hands down superior to GL-4 oil as far as gears are concerned. What makes it superior is an anti scuff additive containing (roughly) a 6% sulphur/phosphorous compound that binds to the two gear surfaces and forms a sacrificial layer that sheds rather than the gear metal. Most differentials need the superior protection of the GL-5 rating because of the type of gears used and how power is transmitted through them.


Transmissions in Datsuns use different gears and do not need this much protection and a GL-4 rated oil is more than enough. Additionally, the transmission contains metals other than steel. The synchromesh rings are a copper alloy (phosphor bronze?) which the anti scuff additives in concentrations above (about) 4% will bind to. This sacrificial layer will shed from wear removing a layer of the copper alloy exposing fresh metal beneath it. The process repeats itself as you drive and over a long time the synchros are eroded. That 2% difference doesn't seem like much but 6% is really 50% more than 4%.


When buying oil for your transmission do not let some collage kid behind the counter tell you that GL-5 is better than GL-4 in your transmission. Always get GL-4 OR something marked 'yellow metal safe' or 'compatible with brass synchros.' If not sure don't buy it. By all means if you are in a bind GL-5 can be used in a pinch but should be dumped out at the earliest.

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Just use 10w40 in the transmission instead of gear oil.  Works much better, especially in cold.  I've been using it in all my Datsun transmissions for the last two years, no issues.  My transmission builder specs 10w40 in all the manual transmissions he rebuilds.  Plus, it's a lot easier than finding GL4 oil.  I do sell two varieties of GL4 oils at NAPA though.  Royal Purple and the Sta-Lube.


As for your cv joints, crank those torsion bars back down, it's way too high in the front.  People do that to "lift" them which ends up putting the cv at the upper limits of it's flexibility all the time, thus cv axles wear out quick.  And balljoints.

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Thanks Datzenmike! That is good information.


Yeah I was wondering if somebody cranked the front up. HRH

When I redo the ball joints I'll set it to the right height.

Also I saw that I do need to take the CV axle apart to get the boots on but it looks pretty easy. I mostly need to make sure they aren't clicking and are good otherwise its a waste of time and money.

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Interior isn't too bad! 






Headliner isn't too bad either. 






Engine bay. Yeah I need to get a air filter too lol. And the battery barely clears but I'm going to replace that sometime too. Not totally sure what the white stuff is.. I think its some kind of paint. 




CV boot. 


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So I was looking for timing chain kits and Autozone is $95.99 Napa is $98.10 and that is for the sprockets, chain, tensior, and the guides. 

So I looked on Amazon and found these kind of kits. 




Has anybody used them? They seem to be too cheap to be any good. 

Is there any kits you guys would recommend? 

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Got tired of the shop being a mess and spent a bunch of time cleaning it up. It was a mess from too much junk everybody had. And not being set up well. 
















Got the timing chain parts.. Despite cleaning up I didn't find the puller to take off the balancer so I still gotta find that, before I can do the timing chain. 





Any of you guys know if I can use this kind of puller instead of the 3 claw puller I lost? Yes I know its for GM engines mostly.. I'm just curious if it might work I have 2-3 sizes. 



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You don't need a puller for Datsun/Nissan motors.  Just grab it and walk it out with your hands, back and forth at 180 degrees.  If it's really stubborn, hit it lightly with a rubber hammer 180 degrees from side to side, it'll walk off.  I have yet to use a puller, ever, on any Datsun L or KA motor.  I have heated up the crank pulley with a torch, but that was only one abused motor.

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Damn it! 




The engine is still good but that is the loose side tensioners bolt.. and yep it was out.. one of the solid tensioner side bolt was gone too and yes there was nothing left of that plastic tensioner. 


And you were right HRH no puller required gave it a few good yanks and it came off! Timing cover didn't come off so easy though.


Sucks that bolt is ruined because I can't put it back together until I get one which apparently is going to be $12 because of the stupid shipping and handling. 




Also somebody must have done something with it at some time because the chains brightly colored links were not aligned up with the dots. 

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If anybody else does a timing chain change on their truck. If you just changed the oil not more then 100 miles ago like I did be sure to drain it before taking the timing cover off.. That Mobil premium oil I used was simply a cleanser at this point other wise I'd have to count it as a total loss. 

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Well I did not have to take my oil pan off to take the timing guide pieces and the timing guide bolt that was down there out.. I took all the oil pan bolts out the one under the front diff is a pain but its possible. I took off the oil pan drain plug and poured cheap walmart oil down the front of the pan and that took out some of the small pieces. Then I shifted the pan to the passenger side with the back side down as far as it can go. Then I went to the passenger front tire and took the rubber cover off that. And taped a rubber hose to the shop vac and stuck it down there.. and yes it worked sucked those things right up. I had to bounce the pan a couple of times to get them all on the passenger side.. But then I had the problem of getting the bolt out when I came up with this idea. 




The tractor pin keeps the magnet from sticking to the sides of the oil pan and the oil pickup but it still allows the magnet to get to the bottom of the pan I got the bolt out on the second try! And I shook the pan again and there is nothing in there.. I may run some more cheap oil though the drain plug but it should be good. 

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Thanks yeah I only have to wait for the parts now and put it all back together. 


I don't see how they could install it wrong when the chains have the links plainly visible for them to line up with the dots. But then I guess, never underestimate peoples stupidity. (Like mine  :rofl: ) 

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