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521 on d21 frame


dat nasty

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There's a guy that lives here in Eugene that has a 521 on a 720 standard cab 4x4 frame and it's got it's quirks, but it's his daily driver and it's badass looking! Don't get discouraged if it's something you want to do. It'll obviously be a lot of work, but you'll have a one of a kind truck!

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Sorry for the delay, I work and have a two year old so time is limited. Nissan donor is pretty much tore apart. Wiring harness is completely unhooked, labeled and mostly pulled out (into the cab is easiest). Can and bed just need unbolted and rolled off. Hoping to start tearing apart the Datsun this week.

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If I wasn't so far into this and had everything already I would go to a junkyard and look at Pathfinder, I'm just going to let that idea go over my head. It is a good one but I'm going to roll with what I have going

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Lol. Everything I will be reusing us inside of the cab, doors are still on so it is weathertight . I was able to just leave the brakes and clutch and everything else in the engine bay and wrap it around the motor. Wiring harness is completely removed, labeled everything. Now I can put it back nicely tucked where ever

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Word of advice - since it appears that you have everything to complete this project, don't get rid of anything until the whole mess has been figured out.

 

I try to hang onto everything until the job is done, but sometimes that's a long time, so make sure you scour that shell for everything before it goes to the scrappers.

 

Wiring clips, brake line clips, breathers, connectors, fuel line pieces, misc nuts and bolts, pedal assembly, steering column and joints, seat tracks and seat belts, door handles, latches, dome light, rubber plugs, even certain body panel sections all get removed and saved. You never know what you're going to need.

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Already on the same pages you, I have already planned out every last piece of this truck except the core support. I hold onto stuff. I still have my first car from when I was a teenager. My 1990 hardbody 4 x 4, just got hit on the freeway a couple weeks ago :,( looks like they bought me that left-hand drop solid axle ha. Everything from using the bed to make my matching trailer. I have already use the interior parts in the other truck. When I'm done I should take in a small bucket, not even enough for cash. I've been doing the Nissans for a while now I have quite a collection of parts, another reason Why I am doing the swap

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Only thing I don't really have is the drivers door window guts for the 521. I put a stick in it for the winter and leave it down in the summer. Could use a hood and passenger fender but i like it a lil nasty

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I have put 720 wiring harnesses in my 521s several times now, I put a 1970 Datsun cab/box on an 85 Nissan 720 frame in the last year or so, I used the 1985 wiring harness which was the hardest one to do to date, the newer the harness, the harder it is for me to do.

The round headlights on a 521 are wired different than square headlights that most trucks have after 1980, so you need to modify or make pigtails to wire the headlights to a newer harness.

I have some of the stuff you need, we should get together, I live in Vancouver across the river from you.

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When I set my 520 on the 1980 720 frame I put the cab on first.  I started by centering the front wheels in the front fender wells and made sure I was centered and square with the cab on the frame.  I mounted the 2 cab mounts under the radiator supports first.  this was easiest and held the cab in position wheel I made and welded up the other mounts.

 

When the cab was mounted I set the bed on and propped it up with blocks to see where the bed mounts lined up or did not line up.  None of the 720 bed mounts lined up to the 520 bed mounts so I pulled the bed off and cut all the 720 bed mounts off of the frame.  I set the bed back on and blocked it up to where it was level with the body lines to the cab and square on the chassis.  I then cut the 4 front 720 bed mounts down to fit where the bed mounts on the 520 bed were.  My brother tacked them in place and we mounted the bed to the mounts.  My brother made two 3/4" x 2" x 4" blocks to weld to the rear frame for bed mounts.  These are too high but close enough.

 

Be sure that the gap between the cab and bed is even before welding any mounts.

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There's a guy here in SB that supposedly has this concept near completion.  I talked to him a little on the phone about a year ago.  I think I've lost his number at this point...only knew of him because he left a note on my windshield (we both bought some new 521 windshields that were shipped together, and he picked his up before I).  If I recall correctly, he sectioned the frame for width and shortened the rear D21 axle housing and said that the 521 axles slid right into the D21 housing.

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In doing this axle mod, I wonder if the D21 brakes can be used on the 521 axles. Are they better? If so, it may be worth looking into.

Aren't Pathfinder and Hardbody the same axles?

 

Pathfinder discs on 521 axles?

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Yes and no. Wd21 is a four link axle, so it would require a little more fab. Remove 4 link brackets and attach leaf spring brackets.

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Yes and no. Wd21 is a four link axle, so it would require a little more fab. Remove 4 link brackets and attach leaf spring brackets.

I didn't mean that part. The actually axle shafts and pinion.

 

Remive all the mounts from either and they're both similar, aren't they.

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