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How much have you spent on yours??

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HI Ratsun folks


I was just wondering this today as I was driving home from work...having been involved in the rat rod community since 2007.....in that world it is all about how much you did NOT have to spend to build a project....the bartering and awesome craigslist finds are what a lot of the talk is about...a lot of really cool vehicles are built with not very much money...(compared to the shiny cars at least)


Then I got to thinking about what I have $pent on the Jerry Hicks Datsun truck project so far.....what I paid for it and what I have spent so far is about double the original cost...(and I have only owned it 3 months)...


Just wondering out loud what kind of cha-ching $$$ are you guys spending on these vehicles???





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2k for truck

2k for brakes and everything involved except the hardlines so far

1k for wheels, tires and powder coat

i have no idea how much on the fuel filters or random bits and bobs. 

600 on flex thru window

400-ish on the weber carb

150 on bumperettes


250 on the truck, some odd on a trailer and gas


trailer and gas for the pickup, swapping motor from a different vehicle into this one to get running sooner so i can drive it this year instead of the first truck


and now i'm tearing her down to do a frame off so price is gonna skyrocket as i start engine build, buying paint supplies and other parts. thread started 16apr2014. would have more money to spend on her if my stupid ass didn't decide to buy a house and more vehicles....

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Paid 400 for the shell back in 05 and never kept track of the money I've spent over the years since from the beginning I planned on keeping my dime and really categorized my build as a hobby, so with that being said...no idea, I did keep most receipts.....but I don't care to count, I already decided I don't want to ever sell it.

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They nickel and dime ya to death, but when I joined Ratsun most here were just keeping them running except for a few.

The Datsun community has changed, I see a lot of folks now buying something other than a classic Datsun/Nissan and then tearing their Datsun down for extended periods of time to "Rebuild" them from the ground up, for most of this community I didn't see that type of thinking when I joined Ratsun, most were just trying to make them look decent and keep them reliable, a lot of them members are not here much anymore if at all, fact is when I joined Ratsun, Datsuns could be had for cheap, parts in the wrecking yards were cheap, now everything is expensive.

When I bought my first Datsun 521 truck($1100) I was poor, I upgraded to a used L20b/5spd/EI dist/W58 head($400) from the wrecking yard 3/4 months later, spent $500 on brand new set of dual SUs from Nissan at a clearance sale they were having(wish I had bought a couple more sets now but I was poor back then), bought a W53 head and spent about a $800 on that to open it up about a half year later, I drove it that way for over 10 years.

I started using it as my work truck and started going thru dogleg transmissions, I went thru 4 dogleg 5spd transmissions in 5 years(I think they are pieces of shit myself), then I figured out how to make a hybrid 5spd out of a 1986 Nissan short shaft 5spd, that one lasted 5 years, these transmissions were also very cheap(under $100) compared to the doglegs($200/$250), now they are expensive, most everything I have in my inventory was bought when stuff was cheap, I even towed home a couple free Datsun 521 trucks over the years.

I spend very little keeping my Datsuns running, but every few years now I will rebuild and engine, or have a vehicle painted so it doesn't rust(rains a lot around here), if I didn't make shit like 521 kingcabs I would spend very little money on them, drive them till they break, fix it and drive it till it breaks again, but I understand them for the most part, I have only been towed home once in any Datsun, and that was because of one of them POS dogleg 5spd transmissions, every other time my Datsuns have broken, I have been able to get it home somehow by buying something at the auto parts store I drove to, or I limped all the way home sometimes by using extreme measures, once I only made it to within a couple miles of home, there was a hill I could not get up, so I walked home, grabbed an electric fuel pump and rode my bike back to the truck/trailer, installed the electric fuel pump and drove it home, I got that freaking truck/trailer 18 miles out of 20 miles home by removing the valve cover and pumping the fuel pump arm with a screwdriver till it filled the dual SU bowls every 2 or 3 miles, but I could not get it up that damned hill.

I don't count how much I spend on them, it would just depress me, but I have never spent what I would spend on a new vehicle now or then on any Datsun I own.

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I have no idea and I really do not want to know as my project is not even finished yet! 


My friend just started the body work and I have no idea where that is going to end up. And I still have tires to get, brake lines to make, interior to finish and...........

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I bought my RL411 new and did all the maintenance myself once the 12 month bumper to bumper warantee ran out.  I kept records of all that I have done [less oil and filter changes] ever since.  I have never added the expenses up but I believe that less idiot driver accident damage covered by insurance that I have about $2000 in expenses.  That includes rebuilding the engine at 120,000 miles because I planned ahead and bought the rebuild parts when they went on sale through my local Mom and Pop store and good info from my local Datsun dealer's parts people.  Example, my exhaust valves are stainless steel from Australia, not Datsun stock.  The most expensive single expenditure was a NISSAN $500 "universal" type R 1600 head after I blew the radiator hoses.  It is a universal head from the standpoint that the holes for accessories are untapped allowing personal choice of early SAE or later metric threads.  Also, the bosses for the late air injection exhaust fittings are there, but they are undrilled and so untapped.  Really. the low cost way is to buy new and keep taking care of the little things.

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Lord knows, I might cry or marvel if I knew the truth. There are worse things to spend money on and have zero to show for it. It's been a lot of things but mostly fun when I'm alone with my Datsun on a road trip. I do all my own work and it has NEVER been in a shop let alone anyone else touching her. I never throw away parts and can usually repair or swap parts or make them.

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^^^ X2



I was keeping track when I first got my 620 kc. My wife saw the list and asked me what happen to it being a cheap truck.


Now I've moved on to my 521 and that cost me $700 and needed a lot of work to get back on the road. The way I think of it is that my truck cost less than $3k brand new 47 years ago. If I spend $3k making it a running reliable truck almost 50 years later that's pretty f'n cheap. And well worth it

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Hi Ratsun folks


I have more into the Jerry Hicks project than what I drive daily to work(98 S10)....I always keep my receipts too....every vehicle I sell I hand them a manila envelope with all the receipts...I think I watch my pennies too much but if I croak today...there will be no bills to pay of mine on anything...My wife will have enough to live on for a while too....I pay cash for everything..


Old school I guess...


Maybe I better not look at the bottom line...hmmm...it is always there tho..



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Original acquisition price: $5K


I have all receipts but  quick mental tally, factoring in a bit of 'Kentucky Windage', tells me that I've spent another $3.5K.


Another $2-3K to get to what I envision as the goal.


I can but don't do body work so that'll be a purchase item. Don't have the tools or facility (too much dust and crud to introduce to the shop), Approximately $1700 was for plating and ceramic coating, some needed and some to satisfy addictions. $500-$1000 more plating in the future and most of it is optional. That stuff's not cheep !!! 


A lot of people would say that i'm crazy but I wouldn't trade, title-for-title, this little pickup for a 'Stupid Duty-Ram Tuff-GM Locomotive' right off the lot if I had to drive it and not sell and buy what really fits me (physically and mentaly) like this tiny little machine. One of those 'Love at first sight' affairs. 


Every time I drive it or even work on it, it's therapy that works and that Sh1t's not cheep either. The 'Shrink's' office is open 24/7/365. All I have to do is go out to the shop and just sit in the 320. Never too old to fall in love.


Whew !! Got carried away. 


I'm outta here !!!

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