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FishyLemons

New 620 owner - Best place to start for a daily driver build?

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Hello Ratsun! I just purchased a 620 project lot that includes a bunch of awesome stuff. I live in the Sacramento CA area and I'm looking to work with everything I purchased here and find the best path towards a reliable daily driver build. The following pictures will show in more detail what I'm working with, but here's a summary. I paid $1200 for both a '74 regular cab that runs and drives and a '77 king cab body with a transmission (4 speed manual, not sure if it's shot). Because I live in California, it'll be much easier to drive the '74 with our smog regulations, so I'm planning to pull parts from the '77 where possible and put my focus on the '74. My hunch is that the brakes will be a good place to start so it's safe to drive, but I'm not sure yet if I should go with the disc brake conversion (if anyone is still manufacturing the brackets) or just get new drums. Anyway, I'll post more pics of the tires, brakes, shocks, badges, extra grills, mirrors, engine, etc. tomorrow, but here are some pictures of the body to start.

 

'74

4Wz4imn.jpg

 

'74

lHXJqzt.jpg

 

'74

8ktQeMU.jpg

 

'77

QcsMPB4.jpg

 

'77

dpw51Ni.jpg

 

'77

mqFDoeE.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome aboard. The '77 and '74 are about the same but a larger engine.

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Welcome. Pic links are not functioning. 

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Currently editing original post to try pics again. I'm using Imgur at the moment. Update coming shortly. Thanks for the warm welcome!

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12 minutes ago, ]2eDeYe said:

Welcome. Pic links are not functioning. 

Thanks for letting me know, I think I got it sorted out now.

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I see... them.

 

620 or Project Datto are good places for a build thread.

 

The '74 is an automatic I see also. Thinking of a 4 speed swap? Well you have everything needed on the other truck... unless the engine is missing. Then you'll need a flywheel and clutch. The '74 has a later '78-'79 grill (which I don't care for) keep an eye out for an earlier one and see if you agree.

 

 

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The '77 has no engine, but it does have a flywheel sitting in the camper shell. I don't mind the auto trans, although I do prefer manual so a swap sometime in the future is pretty likely. I'll likely stick with the auto at least for a while and go from "get it reliably driveable"->electronics->cosmetics->nice to haves (upgrades).

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Here's a look at the engine. The previous owner got the truck from someone who used it as a ranch truck in Idaho. Supposedly, the odometer hasn't rolled over yet, and it reads 82,000 right now. I know that the truck didn't run when the previous owner purchased it, and he pulled the engine out, replaced a head gasket, went through it front to back, and got it up and running (he has some Facebook videos of himself working on it too, which is nice).

 

Engine:

1YWd9r4.jpg

 

Not sure what the carb on there is, but it's definitely newer. I do have the air filter housing from both trucks (may or may not fit on top of this carb)

zZuHjuG.jpg

 

Bed of the truck had this spare carb with a different filter style:

wmw6Z10.jpg

 

Pedals don't look worn, although I have no frame of reference. What do you think, is it really 82k or more likely 182, 282, or more?

HAOiZOx.jpg

 

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37 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

I see... them.

 

620 or Project Datto are good places for a build thread.

 

The '74 is an automatic I see also. Thinking of a 4 speed swap? Well you have everything needed on the other truck... unless the engine is missing. Then you'll need a flywheel and clutch. The '74 has a later '78-'79 grill (which I don't care for) keep an eye out for an earlier one and see if you agree.

 

 

I got lucky; it came with two spare grilles:

vPWqvJ5.jpg

 

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The red grille is missing a small piece of plastic in the dead center, the black one has some minor plastic chipping:

ozbnRCA.jpg

 

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The carburetor looks like a Chinese knock off (which is ok but...) the other looks like a Weber 32/36 which being well used and older is an unknown. The carburetor, fuel pump and rad hoses have been replaced as likely the rad was too having an after market cooler on it. Maybe 82K with lots of hard use?? 

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Not sure what this is zip-tied in front of the radiator, but I really don't like where those hoses are. Seems like they'd be easy to damage.

eu7yfNz.jpg

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That's the auto transmission cooler. Normally they go to the bottom tank on the rad. This is why I say the rad was probably changed. Maybe all they could find was a standard rad that won't have the internal cooler so they added one. The add on cooler is way better than the one in the rad anyway. I cut one open once and all there was inside was a copper tube connecting the two fittings. 

 

You could zip tie them up or shorten them.

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The area that seems like it'll be the biggest bang for my buck to start is figuring out what to do with brakes, wheels, and tires. 

 

When I drove it home it drifted all over the place while braking. Check out these mangled backing plates:

X9oztNI.jpg

5F3Rc9u.jpg

 

Is a conversion to disk brakes worth the effort if I'm planning to drive this truck a few days per week? I'm very interested in doing it, although I guess it'll all depend if there are still brackets available for purchase through this community, as I have know knowledge of/access to welding.

 

And if I've read correctly, wheel compatibility will depend on if you're on the stock drum brakes or on a disc brake conversion. I do have some wheel options, although I haven't measured then yet. I'm drawn towards the ones with the shaft and washer lugs over the white ones with the cone lugs.

 

I have 4 of these in varying color and condition. I think these are my favorite:

VmNdxPT.jpg

 

4 of these, rusty in places:

JEfcTX7.jpg

 

And 2 of these. The spares I'm guessing?

FS54S4f.jpg

 

Does the community have any favorite rims/tires or recommendations on brakes? Thanks for all of the comments so far! Having an active Datsun community is making it for less daunting to tackle this project.

 

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Disk brake brackets are available....

Beebani 1028 on ebay, hes a member here too....

Or Mike klotz....

Bluehandsinc.com I believe....

 

On my 521 I rebuild the rear drums so I didnt have to mess with the ebrake and then did a disk conversion on the front....

Best thing I ever did.....

 

 

 

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That vintage Cali plate is awesome. 

 

Disc brakes are the best upgrade you can do to these trucks. 

 

There is a 620 wheel thread around here somewhere. 

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Yep, brake conversion still available, Doing one now

 

p_054.jpg

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1 hour ago, Farmer said:

Yep, brake conversion still available, Doing one now

 

p_054.jpg

Beautiful! Are those Mike Klotz's front brake conversion brackets?

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Yes. They are a little more than bee's, but they work for 14 inch wheel.. 

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The drum brakes will work as well as the disc brakes BUT... drums need constant adjusting to keep them optimum, like every 2-3 months. They are more complex, more parts. Harder to change than two pads in a caliper. Will not take constant and repeated braking without over heating like a disc brake which can actually get better when hot. Brake fade is more pronounced on a drum brake after being submerged in water.

 

Disc brakes are practically fit and forget. Disc brakes I find are a little harder to lock up than drum brakes, which is good for the steering when panic stopping.

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2 hours ago, datzenmike said:

The drum brakes will work as well as the disc brakes BUT... drums need constant adjusting to keep them optimum, like every 2-3 months. They are more complex, more parts. Harder to change than two pads in a caliper. Will not take constant and repeated braking without over heating like a disc brake which can actually get better when hot. Brake fade is more pronounced on a drum brake after being submerged in water.

 

Disc brakes are practically fit and forget. Disc brakes I find are a little harder to lock up than drum brakes, which is good for the steering when panic stopping.

I'm thinking about rebuilding the drums for now and putting the disc brake money elsewhere, then revisiting later if I feel strongly about it. I have a picture of my drums further up the thread where the backing plate is all torn to hell. Any idea what causes this? Hopefully they can be rebuilt/swapped with the ones from the '77.

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23 minutes ago, banzai510(hainz) said:

That valve cover vent hose should NOT go to the PVC on intake manifold

 

where the crank case vent going to?????????????

I'll have to snap more pics when I get home. The valve cover vent hose may just be floppin and not connected to anything.

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3 hours ago, FishyLemons said:

I'm thinking about rebuilding the drums for now and putting the disc brake money elsewhere, then revisiting later if I feel strongly about it. I have a picture of my drums further up the thread where the backing plate is all torn to hell. Any idea what causes this? Hopefully they can be rebuilt/swapped with the ones from the '77.

Probably from trying to remove the drums.... looks like they tried prying them off....

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