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ClumsyBird

'85 4x4

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I have always loved old Japanese iron, especially squarebodies. However, anyone who knows anything about these trucks (or any old cars for that matter) knows they fall into two categories, beautiful showroom quality "Grandpa rebuilds" a phrase coined by 720inoly, prime examples of these are anything wayno has, these are usually rebuilt by retired folks and more times than not, cost an obscene amount of time and money assuming they are for sale, (they're not). The other category is a beater car (see- Nissan 720 "the intellectuals choice"), usually driven by people who resemble Mad Max tribesmen, who presumably, just find these cars and decide to drive them in whatever shape they are in, they are indifferent to the condition of their car and are even hostile to maintenance. Being a college student (bachelors in heavy equipment and diesel) who also works part time at a tool store, my car buying experience was limited to the second category. After months of looking, I found one, oddly enough I had the best craigslist deal of my life, the guy had a huge country house, was super helpful (previous owner of like 7 other 720s), wrote me a real deal bill of sale and title transfer, the whole nine yards. He was even getting at offering me and a friend stay the night in his guest house if we were tired. He told me to text him when I was home to make sure I made it okay. Who does that anymore?? Anyways it has 305k, runs and drives great, 4x4 works I think, and its mostly original as far as I can tell, although like most of you guys, some of the smaller systems are shot. I bought it for $700. Did I overpay? You tell me. I already have a daily driver, so I'm meaning this to be more of a working and offroad truck. The reason I decided to make my own thread instead of hoping on 720inoly's restoration thread (excellent thread besides all the creepy bits, worth every single of the 26 pages), or even his 4x4 thread, is that we have differences in the objective of the build. I do not want a "grandpa rebuild", I do not need stock parts (in fact I'd rather not have them, drivetrain sparing, some of the smaller components on these trucks were not well thought out). I feel when doing some of these restorations, you lose some of the spirit of the truck. Thats just how I feel, and I don't want to argue about it.  I want to make this a budget working mans truck again, as it was supposed to be. Hopefully this will help others in a similar situation. This thread will not be try to be anything horribly original, I don't plan for this entire build to take longer than 5 pages,  I'll be posting pictures frequently, and i give credit where it is due. I just didn't want to thread-jack other peoples threads, because some of my issues and concerns are unique to me and my truck. Any help from anyone is welcome.

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The only work I've done so far is; Rip out the worst carpet and vinyl I've ever seen in my life, replace the starter motor's brushes (hard starter), sandblast the nose cone, and buy a new battery and wiper blades. Now for the issues.

 

-Some of the floor boards have rusted through and the cab bushings have pushed their way through the floor, causing it to dip down the the front (among other things). Not quite sure what course of action I should take on that yet.

 

-She has issues with her throttle (See- New 720 owner in Need of help with high idle), (very common from what I hear)

 

-Has vacuum leaks (common)

 

-Seats are shot (see- Yet another 720 seat swap thread)(see- Definitive comments on a seat swap) (also common issue)

 

-She leaks (obviously)

 

-Her fuel pump is always on whenever the car is on and sometimes floods the engine

 

-Blower motor and presumably heater core don't work (air vents don't line up?)(see- Blower not pushing air through vents)

 

-And the key snapped off in the ignition when she was a hard starter and needed to be cranked numerous times to turn over.

 

Also, Does anybody know anything or have any links about the packages offered on these trucks? Mine has the optional sunroof, yet doesn't have power steering? 

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There were 4 packages offered. Standard, ST, mileage, and heavy duty cab/chassis.

 

Only two came in 4x4. Standard and ST.

 

All ST seems to guarantee is the ST steering wheel and power steering. Being 4x4 guaranteed oil and volt meters. Everything else were options.

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ST had option 'packages'  usually grouping options together. They could have power windows, sun roof, tach and clock, variable delay wipers, PS, gauges, air. cruise control and alloy rims and lager tires. Some of these could be ordered on base models, some you couldn't. . 

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Funny thing is I got my 720 at 17 and in high school and still daily drive her at 46. There has been lots of restoration, paint jobs, and engine swaps along the way. This will be ongoing for you at this point forward. The nonstock options always cost more in cash and reliability. I jacked mine up and paid the price and still do with frequent balljoint, tie rod ends and tires. The trans are the weak link on these and I finally swapped to a c series after 4 b's shit the bed. Off-road it much expect more. Not to discourage you but keep it as close to stock as possible for now so you can enjoy it and save the big plans for when life gets more comfortable. Damn I sounds old, but almost 30 years of owning the same 720 no mechanic touches my 720. I will take my walker and leave the soapbox.

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I have more time into my builds than money, it takes time to fabricate stuff, my 520 is so modified that I can say I modified the modified, I have massive hours into that truck, and that truck attracts the most attention at stores/gas stations/in my driveway than anything else I own, I always have someone asking if I will sell it, I put a car cover over it to hide it.

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Also please use another host. Photobucket can't be seen by any of us. Unless you pay them their ransom.

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G21cKjQ.jpg

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this works? I had the toughest time trying to share these. It seems you guys like to use post image so I thought I would try that. And no disrespect meant to wayno, his builds are all top quality, they cant simply be "bought". Also thanks to mike and lockleaf for the clarification on the packages and options, and bottomwatcher for the advice

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Trying using the hotlink for forum button when you post a pic.... it will post a full size pic....

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'85 saw the new 4x4 grill, best ever. Also the new box without the rust prone horizontal seam. It also had an inner liner to stop cargo causing bumps on the outside and the outward facing lip with tie downs was also removed. All 4x4s have the blacked out bumpers and front side marker lamp bezels. ALL 4x4s, Cab/Chassis and diesels were standard transmission and all transmissions after Oct '83 were 5 speed unless automatic. All 4x4s came with a C-200 rear and R-180 front differential. Hub locking was automatic.

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Nice man! It looks ok for 350k :-). Most of us are driving the "intellectuals choice" here, originally I was only because I couldn't afford anything "better", now I wouldn't give up my little rolling piles of parts for anything.

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'85 saw the new 4x4 grill, best ever. Also the new box without the rust prone horizontal seam. It also had an inner liner to stop cargo causing bumps on the outside and the outward facing lip with tie downs was also removed. All 4x4s have the blacked out bumpers and front side marker lamp bezels. ALL 4x4s, Cab/Chassis and diesels were standard transmission and all transmissions after Oct '83 were 5 speed unless automatic. All 4x4s came with a C-200 rear and R-180 front differential. Hub locking was automatic.

 

I think the grill was 83, and the rest 85.

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That's an '85 grill with the big NISSAN on it. Might fit the earlier model.

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I've paid more for worse and less for better, so you fine on the price.

 

No one that i have found currently makes replacement floor boards for these. About 3/4 of the 720s I've owned are drooping on the frame from rust damage to the body mount section like yours.

 

You will have to get creative or buy an intact parts truck to cut up

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Too bad, I was trying to give away an 86 regular cab with virtually perfect floor boards and no one was calling, I finally gave up and cut it into small pieces, it was white also.

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Looks like I'm going to weld in some 16ga sheet metal when i lift the cab. I'll tear out those ratty seats too while I'm at it (I'll save the rails though). Probably go looking around for some rodeo seats seeing as they are the only seats I've heard of that are a straight swap

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Certain year Neon seats bolt in also, but you sit slightly higher(more legroom), but it feels weird after driving with stock 720 seats.

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Beater?!? Budget working mans truck?!? Hell, son, that there is already a grandpa truck begging for a little TLC!!! Bravo on the score!

 

And what creepy bits? Whatchyoutawkin‘bout? ‘Creepy grandpa‘ is an entirely different category- and I aint in it!

 

I paid $450 for a good 4x4 transmission. You got the whole truck for 250 more? Nice! Very nice! Enjoy it, she is surely a diamond in the rough.

 

By the way, I am not actually a grandpa, I just admire their ‘Do it once, do it right‘ aesthetic.

 

 

......

 

 

Additionally it looks to me like it has had some wet carpets, over time. A task to place near the top of your chore list is to figure out how it gets wet inside. Does the sunroof leak? Is there a leak around the air intake tube, under the cowling? The windshield rubber? Unless it was out in a field with the windows rolled down for a season or five, stopping the cab leak will pay big dividends. It may take a while to track down and figure out, so my as well start thinking about that now.

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The sunroof used to leak, and so did the windshield seal, I think I fixed both of those. But because of the gaping holes in the floor condensation can still collect. But it does also seem that some water drips down the steering column. I will have to find the cause of that as well as patch the holes in the floor before I can find out whether or not my previous repairs were sufficient. 

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It took me a long time to track down and eliminate my cab leak. I think I finally got it, however. My mpg model 720 has a tight cab, and it has always been tight and man, what a difference that makes! It really motivated me to go after the leak in my daily.

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The cowling leaks are difficult to fix since it is nearly impossible to see or attack the rust. The drain doesn't seem to be at the lowest point. I do lots of boat repairs so I used epoxy resin thickened with cabosil, jacked the truck up slightly on one side and poured it on the rust. Hard to explain but you just want to fill the low spot so the water will continue on the the proper drain hole. This may take a couple of tries and lay some plastic inside to catch drips to avoid an unclean able mess. Epoxy is very expensive and you will need only a few tablespoonfuls. I think the cheapest way to get a small amount is harbor freight has some in syringes and I have used flour before as a thickener where strength was not an issue. Some of that stuff sets so fast you probably don't need to thicken just keep pouring in microbatches until the leak is clogged up. Think what happens when you pour hot bacon grease down the sink. You may get away with it a couple of times but then you will have a problem. 720inOlywa he may be referring to eying young nubile camel toe.

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720inOlywa he may be referring to eying young nubile camel toe.

 

Guilty as charged...

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Wear reflective sunglasses just like Boss Godfrey. You young'uns will have to do a movie search to get that one.

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