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1983.5 4x4 - retirement truck


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Hey guys new to the forum but not new to Datsuns. I saw this former Nevada owned truck for sale locally here in Indiana and fell in love with the looks.  The truck did not run it’s barely rolled rolled but I bought it anyway. The body is really solid except for some rust in the bed.
I call it my retirement truck because soon I plan to retire and don’t want to make payments on my new truck. My intention is just to have a good working truck for when I need it. Once I get this truck running then I will get rid of my Z 71 and it’s payments. I have a lot of work to do
I was told that the clutch was bad but when I drained the gear oil metal came out. Either way the transmission has to come off. The seller told me the engine ran but it sounds like on one cylinder. I did do a compression check and the cylinders were anywhere from 150 to 170 psi .
My plan is to try and get the engine running before appointment transmission. Hopefully I will not need an engine rebuild. I have read it it’s easier to pull the engine and transmission in one piece but that won’t work for me. I don’t have a hoist to pull the engine that high. Besides I have to go through every part underneath his truck. The CV axles boots are torn so they have to come out. I also plan on going through all the suspension pieces. Since I have to disassemble so much of the truck ,pulling the transmission separately won’t be that bad.
I have ordered a truck load of parts from rock auto to get this thing back in running order. Wish me luck

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Welcome!  Sounds like it is a 4x4 and the transmissions seam to be a weak link. 


If you want to post pictures here you will need to up load them to a picture hosting site.  I am currently using Post Image.  If you use Post Image create a gallery for your truck photos.  Use the "Hot LInk for Forums" to copy and paste into the forum.


Be aware of the Rock Auto "Closeout" Items.  I have over a $100 dollars in correct parts boxes with the incorrect part in them.  Not worth paying the shipping back to get a 50% refund.

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Thanks for the heads up on the photos . I thought maybe a newbie couldn’t post pics yet. I will see about a hosting site .

So far I’ve had some pretty decent luck with the Rick Auto stuff. Not being familiar with these trucks and having a transition year has made it tougher to oic out parts. Example being the rear singe brake line . Rock auto shows left and right.

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Body panels interchange on all years and rsions of the 720 from the doors forward.

This is true, but if you have an 83+ grill you have to have 83+ front sheet metal for the grill to fit, the only year that will not except a 1983+ grill is the 1980, that year doesn't have the holes to lower the headlight buckets an inch lower for the 83+ grill to fit properly.

Doors, fenders, hood are all the same except for badge holes and cosmetic things like the plastic accessories and louvers like in the 1980 hood, a 1980 hood will fit any year as will a 1986 hood.

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If it is straight piece of hose take it to your local NAPA they have it in Carlyle brand of hose.

It actually looked like it had a little zig zag offset to it- much like the ones they sell for the hard bodies . Probably a straight piece might work. Maybe this one is so worn out it looks like it has more shape than it should.

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Be aware that as soon as original replacement fenders [and maybe some other parts] were exhausted, Nissan went out on bids for more universal replacement parts.  One result was fenders with NO HOLES for badges or model unique add-ons..  Probably applies to "Off Shore" reproduction parts.

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Since we are talking replacement body stuff, the front bumper ‘bar’ facia , whatever you want to call it , I see it everywhere on Ebay and Rock auto. They show it as a 2WD bumper - is there a difference?

Also , the valence panel that hangs off the radiator support I see everywhere too for like 30$ , any good?

I don’t mind doing bodywork, but I’m not doing a restoration, just making it look decent and functional. If the aftermarket fenders need a massage I will do that , but these would take a lot of work. Thankfully the doors are very straight and rust free as well as the cab corners and rockers .

The only major rust is the front bed wall, which I will replace . The floor had rust but should be a sand and paint .

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I figured the roll bar was most of the value on this truck - ha! It does kind of make the look for the 4WD. Interesting that it was a dealer option.

Spent this afternoon trying to give the engine a tune up to see if it will run. Everything was in such dis repair that I’m just starting over . Retorqued the head bolts , valve lash adj, new wires, plugs, coils, cap, rotor, etc...

The cam looked pretty good, no damage visible. Looks like someone has messed with the valve train before, weird marking on the cam sprocket.

Bought a Chinese carb and will give it a go. It eliminates most of the stock vacuum spaghetti like the Weber does. It actually looks pretty good .

Exhaust manifold is removed and all the plumbing will be welded shut.

Intake will be minimized for charcoal canister and thermo switch for carb, booster vacuum and any other necessary items.

Found someone that is selling a motor for few hundred and he says it only has 66k miles, so I think I’m goin to snag it.

Still hunting trans

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Making slow progress , but still moving forward. Trying to come up with a plan to simplify the induction system by deleting some of the spaghetti of vacuum hoses. I don’t emissions issues to worry about in Indiana, and not looking to do this for so called performance gains, but just wanting to fix less and simplify the operation . I believe this was originally a CA vehicle and had addditional vacuum accessories for higher altitude timing adjustments. I’m hoping to eliminate just enough to get the dizzy to regulate timing properly which it seems should be mostly the thermistor . I bought a manual and started thru the LARGE chapter of emissions which is directly tied to ignition. Though I think the two plug operation is cool, much rather have a standard dizzy with mechanical advance and one plug.

The carb I have I am guessing is similar to the Weber, probably a direct copy from China. It has many of the vacuum ports plugged accept for two ports which I believe are ignition advance thru the thermistor and one to the breather . Still studying this.

All I know is the spark plugs I pulled were completely carbon fouled.



Exhaust manifold welded up nicely - good old cast steel! EGR eliminated and no turning back. Made a plug for intake manifold port part of the EGR. Now I can mount back the manifold and concentrate on down pipe and modifications I have to make there for it to fit the 4WD model. Kept the old pipe to duplicate .









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I do not advise single plug running. It's simply a dual system, both plugs fire at the same time in a single distributor.... that's it. Nothing magical about it. You run much less advance too. Ripping something out that works this well is going backwards. I wish I had dual plugs in my L series

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