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Just bought a 521


mainer311

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Whoa, guys, no offense here, really. Love the Datsun community. I've just had 3 responses in here about the wiring harness. I get it. The reply about the KC3300 relay was helpful since it'll need to handle the current, and that one seems pretty beefy.

 

Angela, while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'll "mod" the truck how I want. Right now, my "mod" is getting it road worthy again. After searching around on the site a little bit, it seems to me that the purists are outnumbered. Not that that means anything.

 

Yes, that was the truck I bought in the Craigslist ad. 5k was probably too much to pay for it, after digging into it a little bit. The body is worse than the pictures show, but all things considered, it's still a nice truck. The old guy who owned it is disabled, and I commend him on taking as good care of it as he did. I have a log book dating back to 1992. I was 7yo at that point in time.

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Yes, that was the truck I bought in the Craigslist ad. 5k was probably too much to pay for it, after digging into it a little bit. The body is worse than the pictures show, but all things considered, it's still a nice truck. The old guy who owned it is disabled, and I commend him on taking as good care of it as he did. I have a log book dating back to 1992. I was 7yo at that point in time.

And your 521 was 21 years old, you young little whipper snapper!!!  LOL

 

The thing we see in the Datsun world is young people get these cars and trucks and get motivated to mod it out, hack up the particular Datsun up and the next thing that happens is it ends up in the crusher at the local bone yard.

 

So Angela you go girl and just keep putting your 2 cents out there because us old timers appreciate it.  I have been owning and modding Datsun trucks since the late 70's and not one of the trucks I ever started working on ended up in the crusher because I did finish it.  I had a 70 521 that I rolled and totaled and before it went away every usable parts was harvested to resurrect another 521.

 

Before you start any mod or repair there is a check list you might want to consider.

Check List

 

1. Have you researched what you want to do?

 

2. Are you capable of doing the repair/mod?  This means skilled enough.

 

3. Do you have the tools to complete this work?

 

4. Do you have the place (garage) to do this.

 

If you live in a rental property or an apartment and intend on working on it there, the owner/landlord has the right to have it impounded as a non drive-able vehicle in most states.

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Before you start any mod or repair there is a check list you might want to consider.

Check List

 

1. Have you researched what you want to do?

 

2. Are you capable of doing the repair/mod? This means skilled enough.

 

3. Do you have the tools to complete this work?

 

4. Do you have the place (garage) to do this.

 

If you live in a rental property or an apartment and intend on working on it there, the owner/landlord has the right to have it impounded as a non drive-able vehicle in most states.

Uh, thanks for the advice, but I'm not some boneheaded high schooler who's broke and doesn't have any tools. Do you guys always treat new people like they're completely inept?

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There is a wide range of skills and resources among the readers of this forum.  Even when giving advise to somebody who is an expert in working on and modifying cars and trucks, another reader of your posts may not have your expertise.

 

The longer term members of this forum have all seen many new people get in way over their heads, abandon a project, and the end result is it gets hauled to a scrap yard.

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There is a wide range of skills and resources among the readers of this forum. Even when giving advise to somebody who is an expert in working on and modifying cars and trucks, another reader of your posts may not have your expertise.

 

The longer term members of this forum have all seen many new people get in way over their heads, abandon a project, and the end result is it gets hauled to a scrap yard.

...there are times, even if you have been working in cars, there are nuances about Datsuns.
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Uh, thanks for the advice, but I'm not some boneheaded high schooler who's broke and doesn't have any tools. Do you guys always treat new people like they're completely inept?

I am not "treating you any way at all.

 

Now that I looked at your profile you state you are a mechanical engineer.  I will watch this thread now with great hopes that you can bring your mechanical engineer skills into your 521 and create a unique and beautiful truck.

 

If you would have entered your age it might have avoided some of the comments and suggestions.  With age usually come experience and wisdom.

 

I mean no demeaning hurtfull statements in my posts I am a dry old fart that hates to see these trucks and cars end up hacked up and discarded like yesterdays newspaper.

 

You have what looks to be a beautiful truck and a good starting point to make it your own creation.  I beleive if you own and want to mod it that is your choice.

 

If you look through my 66 520 thread you will see I have many mods on this truck and still have a few more planned before it is finished.

 

I also have threads on my 86 720 king cab dailey driver and my 85 720 king cab ST that turned out to have a bent frame so it is a parts truck now.

 

I also have a 67 520 parts truck.  One can not have too many Datsuns!  LOL

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Yeah, I jumped on the truck because I NEVER see them around here. Either on the road or for sale.

 

The brakes have been pretty neglected. The adjusters are all seized, so I'm thinking they never bothered to adjust the brakes. (The PO had a lot of work done at a garage.) The drive home was scary. Took a couple pumps of the brakes to get any stopping power.

 

The oil pan is leaking pretty good. No drips, so it's slowly weeping. I think I spotted a drop on the bottom of the drain plug last night, but nothing on the floor so far. Common Datsun problem there. The rear main on my roadster leaks, just like everyone else's.

 

The PO had a new clutch master installed and the pushrod was too long. They had the clevis positioned such that the top of the threaded rod was jammed behind the clutch pedal. I took it all apart and cut the rod back, moved the clevis all the way to the bottom and reassembled. It's better now, but the clutch pedal hits the floor, so I need to move the clevis back out a couple turns.

 

The rockers are pretty gone, and the areas behind the front bumper are full of holes. There's a lot of gray stuff flaking off from the wheel wells. I think it's actually old POR-15, but I'm not sure.

 

The suspension isn't half bad, although the shocks were/are so rusty that they're falling apart.

 

The interior is nice. No cracks or tears. The PO installed a 12V fan and CB radio. I didn't care for crap hanging from the dash so I removed it all. The AM/FM tape deck wiring is all over the place. I really don't want to install a modern looking radio, but I want something I can plug my phone into for charging/tunes. Still figuring out what to do. The doors already have nice Alpines installed.

 

The seat was reupholstered within the last year, but it feels like there's no foam in it. It feels like you're sitting directly on the springs and my lower back sinks in. It's really uncomfortable, actually. I was reading through Angela's thread and it seems she's having similar issues. I already scoped out those tabs on the side to see if I could get the seat to recline more. I think a quick fix would be one of those lumbar pillows.

 

The truck runs and idles really well, but I've only put 6 miles on it, and have no idea how reliable it is in its current state. The log book has dozens of fuel filter changes on it, so I may restore the gas tank. (I just did my roadster tank this past winter.) I need to learn this Hitachi carb first, and I'll most likely install a Pertronix module into it, run a 3 ohm coil and bypass the ballast.

 

Sat at the DMV for a couple hours and got a new title and registered.

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 I had a couple sets of used rockers here I will have to see if I still have them.  If I do I will take some pictures of them and PM you.  If I have them and you like what you see you can have them for the cost of shipping.  They were given to me by a good friend.

 

By the way welcome and it looks like you are putting your garage to good use.

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I put a set of these on my 520 before I did the 720 chassis swap.  Sold them to Gene Knight after the chassis swap.

 

http://www.bluehandsinc.com/320520521620-disc-brake-kit.html

 

The 520, 521, & the 620 drum brakes are they're weak link.  Another is the solid steering column. 

 

Do you access to any machinists tools?  Such as a lathe or a mill?

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The wheel cylinders on Datsun 521 trucks only have one port for fluid to go in and out of them.  If you use a pressure bleeder the air never gets pushed out of the wheel cylinder.

To bleed the brakes, you have to pump up the system, open the bleeder valve, and allow the brake shoe springs to collapse the wheel cylinder piston, and push any air back out to the bleeder valve.

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Damn how you find that?

 

I just bought a heater core for my 521 from a guy in New Hampshire & he told me about it...link was still up & I compared pics (back window stickers were the same) & I.D'd it :thumbup:

 

Beautiful truck.

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I put a set of these on my 520 before I did the 720 chassis swap.  Sold them to Gene Knight after the chassis swap.

 

http://www.bluehandsinc.com/320520521620-disc-brake-kit.html

 

The 520, 521, & the 620 drum brakes are they're weak link.  Another is the solid steering column. 

 

Do you any Machinists tools?  Such as a lathe or a mill?

 

Mike sells some great stuff! :)

 

I never really considered the drum brakes on a early Datsun truck a weak spot, they just have quirks, I drove my first 521(work truck now) for around 4/5 years with drums all around, what I didn't like about them was every time I did a emergency stop I ended up in a counter clockwise spin and ended up backwards on the road and would have to get turned back around, when it does that one is basically just along for the ride, since putting front disc brakes on the truck that has not happened and I am able to let off the brakes and turn away from the object I am heading at and miss it altogether(has happened twice), I didn't have that option spinning down the road.

The other thing I didn't like was after it became the work truck and I started loading it up with firewood was the brakes got hot fast and started fading, especially going down hill for long periods of time in traffic, that is when I fabricated a combination of 620/720 front disc brakes, at first I used the late 620/early 720 non-vented type disc brakes with ball joints, they also faded after going down hill in traffic, they actually didn't last a lot longer than the drum brakes, but they worked a little better after hot, then I upgraded to 1990 V6 Hardbody dual piston vented rotor disc brakes and have had them since, they work pretty good, but there is only so much weight one can stop with the brakes that come on these small trucks, no matter what brakes you have.

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Well, today turned into a shit storm. Successfully got the driver's side of the truck all back together. Started on passenger rear and after 2 hours of PB Blaster and heat, the drum wouldn't come off. I ended up cutting on both sides and that was enough to get it free. Ordered a new one. 3rd seized adjuster fixed. Rear cylinder was seized on one side, so I removed that and broke the rusty brake line in the process. Made a new ni-copp brake line and ordered a new cylinder while I was at it. This is all stuff I've come to expect with cars this old.

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