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Just bought a 521


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Sometimes they get stuck on there, you should have asked how to get it off.

What you do is find a 6/7 foot piece of metal tubing(round/square) with a thick wall, I use a weight lifting bar(very heavy) and I place it on top of the leaf springs from the driverside to the passenger side and I place it against the edge of the back side of the drum, then I go to the other side and slam the end of the piece of metal/bar and pop it off, sometimes I have to turn the drum a quarter turn and repeat until it pops off, but it eventually comes off.

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How do you get around the metal backing plates using that method?


Early stuff has the edge/lip of the drum sticking out past the dust cover, your only getting an eighth inch of drum to work with, but that is enough to knock it off.

That is the type of drums my 521s had, I have upgraded to 720 stuff now except for my 320 rear axles, and I have been thinking about trying to use 85/86 Nissan 720 stuff on my 320 rear axles, just have not got around to seeing if it is possible yet.

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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.

Must be the glorious rust we make up here in mass.... while Waynos idea should work I was not successful either .... I had to do the same as you mainer311 to get my rear drums off.... whatever it takes...

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Quote: "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."


Hey there Mainer,


I'm real interested in your build & wish you the best at whatever you decide to do with it. I have not tackled my seat issues yet but am thinking about digging into it tomorrow. I will post whatever I come up with. I'm curious as to what you might do to your seat to make it more pleasurable to drive. A lumbar pillow is a great short-term fix. My seat has saggy or broken springs on the bottom & it's just completely wonky. I gotta figure something out soon cos it's totally uncomfortable as is.


Best of luck...you have a great starting point  :thumbup: 



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Charlie, I have access to a Trak DPM2. We'll most likely have a Hardinge lathe in the close future.

You could do some precise whittling with the Trak DPM2.  The Hardinge lathe will be a nice addition.  Now my expectations are even higher for your 521.


It is good to know you have Mikes kit on your Roadster.


Is there a thread on your Roadster?

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Roadster build thread:




Not very exciting. I was a victim of the photobucket disaster like most people. A few good pics on page 3. Basically, I bough the car in 2012 around 4th of July weekend. I knew it wasn't running right, so I rented a Uhaul trailer and towed it to my parents house up in Maine. I was getting thumbs up from both old guys and teenagers the entire drive there. The car barely had enough nut to get onto the trailer under its own power, and the PO figured it had blown rings. (I later found out that two pistons had broken ring lands.)


Over the next year I pulled the engine and rebuilt it, brought the transmission back to Mass and rebuilt that, ran all new brake lines, rebuilt the rear diff and axle shafts, and molded new urethane leaf bushings and pad. New shocks, lower ball joints and bushings up front.


Later I did Mike's Volvo brake conversion with vented rotors from a mid 90's Altima.


Interior wise, I installed a correct driver's side seat (it had two passenger seats), cleaned it up, installed a rollbar, new steering wheel, fixed a ton of electrical and customized the center console into a gauge cluster.

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I also have access to a Fortis 3D printer and have designed some parts. ABS plastic can be melted together once printed using acetone, sanded, and then painted. Here's the roadster center console:






My roadster has the one wire GM alternator swap, so I installed a voltmeter in place of the stock ammeter, and a more accurate water temp gauge.


I moved the ignition to the center console and deleted the steering column lock, since it is known for failing. The bottom parts are a replacement steering column trim clamshell design.

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And since I find peoples' other hobbies particularly interesting, I also do the following:


-High end furniture woodworking and speaker building. I've also dabbled in building amplifiers and finished my first one a couple years ago.

-I'm an avid target shooter (used to hunt in my younger years) and pass the time in the winter doing precision reloading. I also build and customize firearms.

-I build scale model cars and airplanes, which is another good way to pass the winter.

-I'm a cycling enthusiast. I have 7 bikes, anywhere from road riding to downhill.


I basically cannot stop doing stuff. I always have to have some sort of project going on.

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Well, I drove this thing all over town yesterday, and now I'm longing for disc brakes. I took it for a state inspection and it passed no problem. I noticed that the brakes got progressively more "jerky" as the day went on. The new drum that I put on in the rear was getting HOT, so I backed it off a little bit.

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Japanese car day at Larz? I'm not sure yet. Would be fun to take the truck, but I need to get these brakes sorted and the bench seat is killing my back. Whoever did the reupholstery did a crap ass job and the bench is super squishy. That coconut hair crap is awful. I can't believe they put that stuff back in.


This winter I'll be doing a disc conversion. Crash, what M/C did you decide to go with?

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This is what I bought... you can find new for the same price as remanufactured so look around....

And the pushrod is up to you.. if you got the longer one you could probably grind the end down to shorten it... but the recommended one did work....

dont know if you know his web sight...



Also has brake upgrades and bearing mod stuff...

An fyi The front inner wheel bearing is wrong where ever you buy it...

He makes a spacer so we can use an available inner wheel bearing,

# 32kb02-11b


The stock part for the 521...

Nachi 32kb02S1... these can be found on ebay.... there are some full kits that are being sold that are correct...

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Depending on what your plans are for rims.. beebani's kits are also out there... that's what I used...

I believe you need atleast 15" rims for his to work....

Mike's are nice because they allow a different hub to be used also.... not sure what's needed or what that gives you...

I only found out about him only I joined ratsun, but he does make nice stuff...

I only bought his pushrod and bearing spacer...

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