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1977 620 KC - Father Son Project


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Hello Ratsun Community!


I've been lurking for a lonnnng time.  Time to start a thread. 


I grew up driving a 78 620 KC, that my dad bought new, on the rough roads of rural Montana.  I learned one thing: you cant kill these trucks!  See a bunch if 4x4s stuck in a snow drift?   Back up and hit it hard, and smile as you go over the top.   Great memories in that truck until I left for the military in 1991.    Sold it to a friend who scrapped it in 1994. 


Fast forward to 2017.  I had moved back to MT and found a 77 KC in Washington and had to have it. 


When the shipper dropped it off, I knew I shouldve looked at the photos more carefully. 


The first thing I noticed: the sunroof wasnt square to the cab (cocked).  Tje PO had tried to seal the sunroof with caulk.  It was leaking badly.   The roof had thick body filler on it and somebody had tried sanding it.  it had more waves than the Pacific Ocean. 


I knew the engine was seized, and the truck did have a lot of new parts, so I went to the local junkyard and found two 620s that were on deaths doorstep. 


I pulled the engine, cowl panel, front valance, center console, 4 OEM rims, instrument panel, bucket seats (my KC had a bench in it) & a handful of Datsun clips and fasteners, all for about $300. 

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I pulled the old engine and decided I'd need to repaint the engine bay.  Since Montana was in full Winter Effect, I decided to wait on that and work on the interior. 


Carpet: OUT

Bench seat: OUT

2003 Celica Seats: IN 

Center Console: IN

New Instrument panel: IN

Center Vent and fan assy: IN

"New" grille: painted & IN

King Can interior panels: cleaned/properly installed. 


Bought "new" tail light assembly and lightly smoked it, as well as the exterior turn signal lenses. 


Painted the tail light housing & license plate brackets black. 


Annnnd STOP. 


At that point, I got a new job, bought a new house and moved.  The honey-do list got bigger and bigger. 


My son was 6, now he's 11 and wants to wrench on "his" truck. 





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The engine bay. 


Previous owner apparently did a lot of work to the truck and engine. 


He mentioned he replaced had oiling issues and replaced the pump, yet the engine siezed up anyways.  I havent investigated the cause of the siezed engine, but will do once I get the current junkyard L20B in and running.  3ieELjn.jpgtqbaCdC.jpgCKZOBV8.jpg5riPobt.jpg

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So, my OCD got the better of me.  the fenders werent secure nor gapped.  the windshield cowl was smashed and flopping around.   I got a replacement at the junkyard and repainted it and the front valance.  I pulled the engine and this is where things stopped.  3Wb08Jv.jpg


I moved and bought a new house, which always takes a while to get settled in & make "yours".


My son is now 11 and realllllly wants to wrench on the Datsun.  He said that since I learned to drive a Datsun, he would as well.  Awesome!

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On 2/15/2020 at 11:06 AM, Gluteus Maximus said:

Truck looks good...keep the photos coming.

Thanks, it's a lot rougher than it looks. 


Im overseas working, but my son & I are working on a plan of attack   


Phase 1:

Repair rusty floor pans, seal/paint floors, install carpet & Celica seats


The (leaky) sunroof was installed...unsquare...to the cab.  It's cocked badly & drives me nuts when I look at it.  might just order a (much) larger sunroof and see if I cant fix that issue. 


Install new tail light assembly and exterior lighting. 


Repaint/install 77 grille


Clean/Paint (currently empty) engine compartment.


Phase 2:

Clean junkyard-obtained L20B (compression tests were done in 2017, she'll start)


Install new freeze plugs, rear main seal, transmission seals & repaint engine


I have 2x valve covers, the rougher cover will get painted, the other polished.   not sure which I want to run yet. 


Phase 3:

After that, I'll get rid of the emissions garbage, clean up/ replace the fuel system, cooling/heating system and install the engine/trans *after installing new clutch cylinder hose, which is leaking badly. 


Phase 4:


Painy over that nasty teal along the bottom of the truck and get it all white. 


After it's runnig and driving, we'll go through the suspension and steering and ensure it's safe. 


My kid is only 11, so we have time.  LOL

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On 2/19/2020 at 12:02 AM, banzai510(hainz) said:

Id roll that truck


fuel pump doesn't look like it has a spacer inbetween the pump and the head.  Check on that.

I would get NGK wire set NE64

clean up the valve cover but otherwise looks clean


why you take the fender off?  bet all the bolts busted

The truck isn't too shabby, jist a lot of things done by inexperienced "mechanics".  


The fender was pulled to facilitate repaining.  


The engine in the photo is seized and no longer in the truck.  I've just found a service manual and plant on ensuring everything is correctly done before  turning the key.  Lord knows how many PO's this truck has had. 


Thanks for the info on the wire set.   i plan on running NGK plugs also. 

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23 hours ago, datzenmike said:

Rims wrong off set... tires will rub body on speed bumps. 


Spacer is there I think just painted blue with the head. 

Yeah, Im no fan of the wheels.   I've got OEM 14's Im going to clean and put on.  


I live in rural Montana, so LOWriders dont fare so well.  Hell, it (oil pan) probably wont fare well in my 1/4 mile long gravel driveway.  LOL

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I install the engine with the trans in the vehicle.

one might have to jack up the trans to get a up angle and maybe loosen the mounts on the engine

i also leave the exhaust manifold on the exhaust and just pull it off to the side if you have a non sandwich intake and exhaust that is bolted together. Hopefully you don’t have that type. 

as for Hack jobs is a common entry level Datsun trait

Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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Thank you, sir!


I havent installed an engine in a long time.  i tried to (hurriedly) install the current L20B before I moved the truck to our new house.


I flat-out couldnt get the input shaft to go into place.  Any tips?   I tried using long-handle screwdrivers as guides, didnt work. 


Maybe I was just rushing it.  More to follow.   i have a LONG way to go before installing the engine!

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