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The daily Datsun Commute


Eomund

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So about a month ago, I was in a car accident. My daily driver versa is no more. So I fell back on my Datsun for my work commute, and well, everything else. With this both being tax season and my last check being technically open game, I've been sinking some money into her as I'm commuting and starting real work on her again. The more I do and drive, the better the ol girl feels.

 

I have a 60 mile commute to work. And I don't intend to do this permenantly in my truck. But she's doing it well. And aside from a few things on the list, the driveline is solid and pretty much all new so at least there's that. And now that I don't have a car payment (the accident paid it off) I'm putting that monthly payment into my truck for now.

 

Anyone else doing a substantial commute in their Datsun?

 

P.S. Next 2 items are a top to bottom rebuild on my breaks, and sound deadening the interior.

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I have daily driven my 1971 Datsun 521 work truck, and drive the 1969 Datsun 521 kingcab turbodiesel the rest of the time, basically I make/build my trucks to suit my needs and comfort, if you drive them all the time they generally get more reliable the more you drive them, but again with me you have to keep in mind that my trucks are not stock by any stretch of the imagination, these trucks do not have the stock engines either, I like a vehicle that can get out of it's own way.

The brakes on these early trucks are good brakes for normal driving, but you have to keep them properly adjusted, I used my work truck like a big work truck even though it is a small truck so I upgraded my brakes, but I haul weight and tow a trailer, so I need good brakes, but my motivation is more about seeing if I can do it myself rather than buying something already made.

 

Don't lose interest if something breaks, just fix it and keep on trucking, you will get to a point where it quits breaking, when they sit for a long time shit happens when you start driving them again.

Edited by wayno
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To a point we 'nestle' into our Datsuns and a little discomfort or lack of refinement is shrugged off. I mean so what if it's a stiff ride? We adapt. Lack of creature comforts? Well there is the fun of driving one the way out parents did it 40 years ago. By all means if there is a squeak... fix it, loud annoying exhaust... upgrade it, something broken? replace it, and so on. I have electrically heated, electrically adjustable leather front seats. Face it stock Datsun seats are shit. I didn't plan this I just found them comfortable so I got them. Every time I get in I think 'What a great idea!'. On long trips it's no longer hard to get in a position that's comfortable and I make a few adjustments and I think 'What a great idea!" If you are going to spend a lot of time in your Datsun make it yours.

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19 hours ago, Eomund said:

 

Anyone else doing a substantial commute in their Datsun?

 

 

I've been daily driving my 72 521 more and more each year... I'm in new England so it doesnt come out during the salt and snow season, but hopefully in a few months I'll be back to driving it everyday.... I just installed a/c at the end of last year because July/August was unbearable, so nothing should stop me this year. 

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I daily drive my 521 95% of the time unless snow or its broke. Since 2000

 motor from had 105K before I pulled it.

L16 rebuilt 40k on motor till front cover cavitated from bad antifreeze

installed BapGeon rebuilt Japan L18 motor 50k till front oil seal bad on trans pulled motor

Put the 40k L16 motor back in after oil trans seal fix and  motor has now 198K mile on it.

 

However since all this time the number of fixes have been great and if your truck is very nice I would not drive it as much. Me however  drive the shit out of it an its rusting slowly away and once its totally worn out it goes to someone on here  or fast 1000$ sale or to the dump

 

just of off my head 3-5 alternators and maybe just as many starters and 2 to 3 sets battery cables, 2 clutches(not that they were bad but once open might as well put a new one in).

maybe 2 headgaskets

2 fuel pumps or hoses going bad

worn out weber carb

swap out 1 bad core plug

axle side seals

driveline bolts almost fell out.

2 sets of kingpins which is kinda of a nightmare.

2 sets of rear drums. brakes

replace trans one cause it ran out of oil cause of worn seal.

 

fuse box corrosion issues that might make the novice tthrow the truck away. example lights brake lights or alternator not charging correctly.

2 to 3 worn out distributors, condensors going bad.

 

but otherwise its been great but 60miles is pretty far.

I do 22miles each way so 44miles a day on average everyday.

 

if me find a late model car that is cheap. keep the Datsun as a local odds and ends spare vehicle is a nice one

 

Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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I'm happy to see Datsuns driven daily. The one thing said that I found so interesting is:

Quote

if you drive them all the time they generally get more reliable the more you drive them

This so should not be true but it really is. The more I drive my truck the better she gets

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When one buys a Datsun you have to deal with what others have done before you, not everyone should own a classic, so once you start daily driving your Datsun and get all the quirks and shit others have done to it before you fixed it can be a fairly dependable vehicle.

The difference between my 1971 Datsun 521 and a modern truck is that I can fix my Datsun 99 percent of the time when it quits out on the road and get it home, I was towed(flatbed) once in all the time I have owned this truck(25 years) because of a POS dogleg transmission, I even had a police officer say he was calling a tow truck, I said I would get it off the road and I did by using the starter to move it and my trailer 50 feet, I had it running/driving in 5 minutes once people left me alone to figure it out, if it had been a modern truck I would had to call a tow truck.

 

Yes you have to put new parts in them every once in a while, but most the time your Datsun will tell you something is up by making noise, vibrating, or acting weird, if you ignore it you will end up getting towed, if you fix it all is well.

Edited by wayno
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Electricity is invisible, you can't tell if it's there or not by looking.

 

Datsun alternators charge or they don't, you can drive them while the alternator is not working, or the lighting not working, you can push start a standard if there is some charge left in the battery. There's not much to go wrong in the ignition system if you spend a half hour reading up on it and you can make simple checks to fix it or at least know what's not working. Only a horse and buggy is easier.

 

I can't think on one thing on newer cars that do not use electricity or sensors or some kind or black box that monitors everything. They are beyond imagining complicated and un-fixable by their owners. Hell you can't even guess what might be wrong with them. 

 

When aliens attack with massive EMP weapons the only cars on the road will be Datsuns.

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19 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

Electricity is invisible, you can't tell if it's there or not by looking.

 

Datsun alternators charge or they don't, you can drive them while the alternator is not working, or the lighting not working, you can push start a standard if there is some charge left in the battery. There's not much to go wrong in the ignition system if you spend a half hour reading up on it and you can make simple checks to fix it or at least know what's not working. Only a horse and buggy is easier.

 

I can't think on one thing on newer cars that do not use electricity or sensors or some kind or black box that monitors everything. They are beyond imagining complicated and un-fixable by their owners. Hell you can't even guess what might be wrong with them. 

 

When aliens attack with massive EMP weapons the only cars on the road will be Datsuns.

I would say doors but even that's a lie now adays. It's crazy how much crap is electric now.

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Well when I am around it I daily drive my datsun 720. I have had it 31 years and know when something is amiss. That being said it is ka now, obd1 after a ka swap and the fact you have built in trouble codes make life a lot easier when trouble shooting. My other shitboxes are obd 2. A cheap simple plug In device tells you what the problem is without lifting your finger. So if you are going to daily the datsun keep your ears, butt tuned for anything abnormal and do proper maintenance. Most importantly keep it stock  You will have a reliable albeit unsafe ride ( no airbags, doorbeam, abs, ect). But that's how I roll so enjoy the ride and good luck.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2020 at 2:59 PM, datzenmike said:

Electricity is invisible, you can't tell if it's there or not by looking.

 

Datsun alternators charge or they don't, you can drive them while the alternator is not working, or the lighting not working, you can push start a standard if there is some charge left in the battery. There's not much to go wrong in the ignition system if you spend a half hour reading up on it and you can make simple checks to fix it or at least know what's not working. Only a horse and buggy is easier.

 

I can't think on one thing on newer cars that do not use electricity or sensors or some kind or black box that monitors everything. They are beyond imagining complicated and un-fixable by their owners. Hell you can't even guess what might be wrong with them. 

 

When aliens attack with massive EMP weapons the only cars on the road will be Datsuns.

 

Old saying.  After WW3 the only things left moving will be cockroaches and DATSUN B210s.

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  • 5 months later...

The SD22 is slightly under powered for the 720, that is likely why they only made them with diesel engines for a few years.

70mph is around 3000rpms with the stock 3.9 gears in the rear, it does better at 60mph at around 2500/2600rpms, it does even better at 50/55mph, they get really good mileage below 2400rpms, but they will run all day long at 3000rpms on level ground as they are not strong enough to tear themselves apart as long as the engine has oil and coolant.

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  • 11 months later...
On 2/8/2020 at 5:56 AM, banzai510(hainz) said:

It gets better cause of all the new parts installed.

However most parts now are made in China all the Jap made ones are drying up.. Example Hydralic parts only last about 5 years now.  I must have been thru 3 Brake masters as well as clutch masters clyinders.

 

Get the old one resleeved with stainless steel = will last forever. 

 

Then you only need to swap seals. I did this with my master cyl.

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