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Jake's 320 Build


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oh no they definitely wouldn't be legal - we do have some very strict modification rules but sometimes you have to run the gauntlet


i think the bump stops on mine are already quite small - maybe only like an inch?


i saw a set of lca's for sale in aus probably six months ago but by the time pay day rolled around the bloke had already sold them

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My 521 has late 620 lower control arm bushings installed in it, this allowed me to install late 620/early 720 lower ball joint control arms and the late 620 disc brake tension rods, with adjustable tie rods you likely can use 720 drop spindles.

The upper control arms are harder to deal with, but if done with care, you could make 2 sets of 720 upper control arms into one set(lengthening them likely 3/4 of an inch), then smoothing the outside, then adding 620 bump stop bottom pieces to the control arms to close the bottom of the arm(box it) where it was modified, then drill the upper control arm mount holes and thread them for 720 mount bolts.

This will give you a ball joint front end with 85/86 720 vented rotor disc brakes, if you wanted to use your 320 rims then you would have to do Charlie69s lower control arm mod, but this will be impossible to hide, but if you just use a stock spindle your 320 rims will work with a little grinding of the rivets inside the rim, or use 521/620 rims without mods.

You would still be using your stock 320 steering column this way and it would not look scabbed together, but anyone that knows their stuff would know this is way safer than what the truck came with stock, but it would not be stock anymore nor would it look stock even though you are not changing the frame nor welding anything onto it, there is a little more involved but this is basically what I did to my 521 work truck around 12/13 years ago and most on here have seen the loads I have hauled with that truck, sure I had issues, but I addressed the worst one above, and I am not suggesting you put power steering in yours which really caused me some issues that I do not have a fix for except to modify the frame. 

Now I have heard some stories about 320s over there, one was that they wanted a collapsible steering column installed, so they are not against changing things for the better, but I have no idea what would be involved engineering wise to satisfy the inspectors. 


Were the LCAs you saw for sale stock or were they drop arms?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 320, 520, and 521 are basically the same, there are some differences, but over all they look the same and are interchangeable.

The 320 LCA needs the lower control arm bolt to mount it to the frame, if your using a 521 LCA on a 320 you will need the 520/521 LCA bolt to mount it, you see the 320 LCA has to different sized holes in it while the 520/521 LCA has both holes the same size to mount it.

You can drill the 320 arm hole to except the 521 mount bolt, but the 320 bolt can only be used on a 320 LCA.


That 320 has some rake to it, if you can find some Datsun/Nissan 720 leafs I would go that way first, then put some lowering blocks in if you need them.

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  • 6 months later...

I've read on this forum that there's not a lot to gain from a change to tubular exhaust manifold as at least some of the Datsun manifolds are fairly efficient extractors.


Seems that some have suggested/used the exhaust manifold from a 520 with J13 motor. Paired cylinders with two downtubes that merge at the leadout pipe and clears everything, as I recall.


If I were doing my 320 project again, I'd probably go with the J13 manifold.


Just a suggestion.


I believe that this is an example:



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I agree it's all about the look and also the sound - I already know this motor is going to make no power but making it look cool while it makes no power is paramount.

maybe later down the track i'll look in to getting someone to make custom headers

If those MG headers had fit i was going to get some of that exhaust heat wrap off of ebay and wrap them


not many j13 bits floating around down here so i'm sticking with the E1 manifold for now


I've made a plate to cover the hole that's normally covered by the standard manifold



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I am a mad max fiend, so I tend to build cars simple, loud, and out of spare parts repurposed.


Exhaust fiberglass wrapped will look nice and functional, possibly to a short glass pack muffler exiting short in front of the rear wheel would sound nice.

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  • 2 months later...


Got them running pretty well and idling okay. Had to learn how to set the dwell and the timing again etc.

here's a vid of them running


View My Video


The problem i'm having now is i think they're far too large for the poor thing

I have the fuel jet/mix screws on both carbs wound all the way up (towards the carb) to limit the amount of fuel to the absolute minimum which still seems to be too much

Engine blows a fair bit of white smoke and smells fairly fuel heavy 

And the plugs come out looking like this - these are new plugs and have probably done 20 minutes work




It runs (seemingly) fine while it's running but won't start when it's cold if the plugs are like this. If i clean them up it starts almost straight away. it does stutter sometimes after changing gears though

I will need to look at "re-jetting" them (i have no idea where to get replacement parts for these knock off SU's) or maybe sourcing some smaller SU's alltogether

either that or they just need a tune by someone who knows what they're doing





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  • 1 month later...


binned the old carbs. bought new carbs. These are the A12T flat top SU's that were on the A12GX engine





Cleaned up and mounted



Removed the Idle Mixture System stuff and made plates to blank it off








Runs pretty well with these on. It was running very lean and hot to begin with but i think i have sorted that out now. I ran the fuel rail a bit better and that leveled up the fuel bowls. I "balanced" them using a piece of hose with fluid in it - so not terribly accurate but close enough. Winding out the fuel adjuster to give them more fuel and then lifting the pin, listening for high idle then a drop back to idle works well for the rear carb, front carb does this but then starts to stall instead of returning to idle. But overall it runs fairly well.


I do have an exhaust leak though in from the join between the manifold and exhaust - i just can't get it to seal up properly


<embed width="440" height="420" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://v9.tinypic.com/player.swf?file=1r3m12&s=9"><br><font size="1"><a href="http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=1r3m12&s=9">Original Video</a> - More videos at <a href="http://tinypic.com">TinyPic</a></font>


View My Video


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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if the E1 engine exhaust manifold is the same as the j13 but there is some information in this thread that might be useful.  Wayno most likely can tell you what will work with the E1 engine.



Edited by Charlie69
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I have not done any of that yet Charlie, but I have collected a few exhaust manifolds, a Patriot exhaust header(H4800-1) from Autozone, a couple different MG exhaust manifolds and headers along with at least 3 different types of SU type intake manifolds/carbs.

Some day I will get around to doing that stuff, right now I am painting the truck.


Edited by wayno
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  • 2 months later...

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