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Towing and payload?

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I've heard alot of mixed numbers about both payload and towing. Some say 700 pound payload and 1000 pound towing others say 1500 payload and 4000 towing. I installed a tow hitch on my 84 4x4 and was hoping to find out how much it can tow and move around as it's gonna my work truck for Abit

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12 minutes ago, wayno said:

There are likely laws about this subject in your state, you should look into them.

I live in Nevada the only law is obey street laws 

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My Datsun 521 work truck is purpose built to tow a trailer and haul weight, the trailer likely weighs close to a ton(2000lbs) with my equipment in it and it has trailer brakes, I have 2 extra leafs in my 521 leaf pack and I had overload type air bags in the rear, at one time I rolled over the scales at the dump at 7200lbs and at the time my truck weighed 3400lbs(no trailer), so I had 3800lbs in my flatbed, I had good brakes that day, I have hauled much heavier loads in the past and the brakes were not so great.

You have to determine what you are willing to do as it is your ass on the line, at the time I had 1990 Nissan V6 hardbody dual piston disc brakes on my front end and a Nissan C200 dually axle in the rear, I drive defensively, when I am driving I am not watching the vehicle in front of me but at least 3 vehicles ahead of the one in front of me unless the one in front of me is driving erratically, I leave room in front of me, sometimes too much room which invites others to squeeze in which makes me shake my head as I am leaving that much room for a reason.

What are you going to be hauling/towing?

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2 hours ago, wayno said:

My Datsun 521 work truck is purpose built to tow a trailer and haul weight, the trailer likely weighs close to a ton(2000lbs) with my equipment in it and it has trailer brakes, I have 2 extra leafs in my 521 leaf pack and I had overload type air bags in the rear, at one time I rolled over the scales at the dump at 7200lbs and at the time my truck weighed 3400lbs(no trailer), so I had 3800lbs in my flatbed, I had good brakes that day, I have hauled much heavier loads in the past and the brakes were not so great.

You have to determine what you are willing to do as it is your ass on the line, at the time I had 1990 Nissan V6 hardbody dual piston disc brakes on my front end and a Nissan C200 dually axle in the rear, I drive defensively, when I am driving I am not watching the vehicle in front of me but at least 3 vehicles ahead of the one in front of me unless the one in front of me is driving erratically, I leave room in front of me, sometimes too much room which invites others to squeeze in which makes me shake my head as I am leaving that much room for a reason.

What are you going to be hauling/towing?

Mostly wood trailers and heavy tool boxes in the bed but in a few days I might be towing a 240 z I've towed a few times in the past not with my truck and definitely had 1000 pounds in my truck before but I am gonna be taking over the care of the family property and need to be able to pull at most 2 tons I have trailer brake controls and good brakes on my truck

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2 tons is a lot of weight, I hauled 2 tons once on a 300 mile round trip(ton on the flatbed and a ton on the trailer), I was alright on level and slight uphill grades as I have an LZ23 engine in my truck, but going down hill for an extended period of time even with the hardbody V6 dual piston disc brakes was a bitch, they got hot and started fading, I had to slow way down.

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I have hauled massive loads in the past without issues.

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I have towed 720 diesel trucks behind my work truck.

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What I have learned from all this hauling and towing is that a dually axle truck is preferred, especially when towing another vehicle with a tow bar, the vehicle is predictable when it has a dually axle, when using a truck that is not a dually whatever your towing tends to move the front end of your truck around causing you to make steering corrections all the time, it is really bad when the road has ruts, I will never tow another vehicle behind a non-dually truck ever again unless it is just around town, no freeway vehicle towing without a dually, and I have towed a lot of vehicles with a tow bar, likely more than a 100 of them over the last 20 years.

If your just going to use your 1983 Nissan 4wd truck as a light duty work truck around town your likely going to be alright, but if your going to do the kind of stuff I posted in the photos above your going to have to be very careful, I have purposely drove off the road up onto the sidewalk or into some businesses lawn to avoid rear ending someone because the vehicle in front of me stopped unexpectedly after the light turned green, it was usually because someone was in the crosswalk and a car ahead of the vehicle/vehicles I was following wanted to make a right turn and stopped to let the people cross the road in the cross walk which I totally understand, I reacted by leaving the road rather than hitting someones vehicle, this has happened to me several times over the last 25 years but I have only left the road twice, and I actually barely touched/rear ended a Kaiser van, it did no damage to the van but it sure screwed up my 1947 Chevy work truck I had at the time, I needed a new grill and radiator as the truck was too low in the front and my bumper went under the vans bumper, this is the only photo I have of that truck way back in the 90s when I had a hangglider strapped to the side of it.

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Edited by wayno
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I don't think they hold a lot 1000 would be more than enough unless in the same neighborhood to make that run. any hills forget it.

maybe a 4x4 is abit more steardy

Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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I once took a load to the dump in my 320, and the scale showed I was carrying 2000 lbs. It was crazy. The brakes were ok, and the power was adequate, but there were literally zero hills between my house and the dump. I did go over some train tracks and the front wheels nearly lifted off the ground. I know Datsun lore states that the old 320 can carry a solid ton, but I would never do that again.

 

My vehicle fleet now consists of domestic trucks. The heavier, the better. My favorite trucks have been the Chevy duallies I have owned.

 

Having owned and driven about a dozen American made trucks, my advice to you, if you plan on hauling and towing - buy a cheap Chevy, Ford or Dodge truck. Something in the 2000 year range in a half ton truck, even 4 wheel drive, can be bought for $3000. They are cheap to repair as everyone speaks that language.

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It is only a "full" load when the step bumper hitch ball scrapes the pavement.  That is when I stop loading my trucks.

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Heya old friends! I have been planning a move to central america after living in the NW for most of my adult life. I am obsessively enamored with Datsuns during my tenure with automotive mechanics. I have brought dozens if not more datsuns back to life, including: several pl510's, 620's and if not a dozen 720's. I am by no means a master mechanic. That being said I specialize in re-wiring 720's to bypass the shit ECU and get them back on the road with little modifications and solid, lasting performance after. Also a solid welder/electrician/fabber.

       My question to the deep guru's here is: If you were going to tow a small travel trailer (13-16 feet, with electric brakes) a Ka24de swapped 720, would you use a 2wd model or a 4wd model? The obvious mechanical thought is: more things that move , the more that can break/fail.

       As for the terrain and unknowns of central america (yes I have traveled before) I would love the 4x4. However on that same note, I am not a rich man nor will I be so I am going to eliminate as much unknowns as possible for mechanical failure during prep for the journey. I only plan to tow my trailer to the destination and then park it and use my truck as a daily. 

Thank you for your thoughts!

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Well you won't need 4x4 just for driving and towing long distances on paved roads, plus the mileage is shitty. Two wheel drive is more than enough unless you plan to be off road on donkey cart roads when you get there. That said I had a raised 521 with 225 mud n' snow tires that would go through just about anything.

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The added utility of 4 wheel drive may be something you will realize that you need, especially if you are driving on those donkey cart roads. Towing on anything but paved surfaces is sometimes aided by low range, ie - up a steep slope. When towing heavy loads, I myself will put it into 4wd even on choppy dirt roads. This helps keep the traction on the surface during the weight transfer of the bumps.

 

Another thing to consider is gearing. Lower gearing for heavy duty use will be easier on things like the clutch and u-joints.

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Take lots of spare tires. I spent several weeks with a buddy driving around Costa Rica. Once we established our role in the tire change routine, you could put us up against and NASCAR pit crew. Trailer tires are notoriously bad. Many folks who tow long distances switch to light truck tires on their trailers.

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Most people considering using a truck for towing think engine, engine, engine.  The engine is important, but so the the rear axle ratio.   A Datsun 521/L-16 combo can tow a decent amount in the USA, because the 4.375 rear axle ratio puts the L-16 engine very close to it's torque peak of 3600 RPM, at around 55 or 60 MPH.

So the question is 2 wheel drive, or 4 wheel drive?   What are the axle ratios?  Are desirable axle ratios available?

 

Sometimes 4 wheel drive trucks actually had a lower numerically axle ratios (higher speed, less torque at driven wheels) than 2 wheel drive trucks in an effort to improve gas mileage, and the thought was if needed, you can put a four wheel drive truck in low range.  Low range may or may not also be useable only in four wheel drive.

 

I would think if possible, you would be best suited with a 4 wheel drive, but with a fairly high numerically axle ratios (lower speed, more torque).  You may compromise a little on speed and economy travelling to Central America, but once there, the four wheel drive may be more suited to your needs and roads (off roads) there.

 

I also have a Ford Aerostar, I bought new.  I knew I was going to use it for towing my waterski boat and I specifically ordered an Aerostar with a numerically high limited slip rear axle.  The Aerostar has served me well, even though it is a 1996 model, and as I write this, it is January 2020.

Edited by DanielC
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Generally the '80-'82 720 4x4 was 4.375 and the '83-'86 were 4.11 but larger displacement engine.

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