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The SVO-620

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Hey all, some of you will recognize this from the 620 forum. I decided to move it here and start over fresh for several reasons. 1 - I didn't feel like i was documenting the process as well as I'd like over there and 2) It looks like this forum is seeing more traffic and I like attention (no shame) and feedback. 

That being said, a quick overview of my project: Take the best of two 620's and combine them together, insert 2.3T motor from an SVO Mustang / T-bird turbo coupe, add some jams and make it fun to drive...

Since all anyone around here really cares about are oics... here's what I'm starting with.


This one I picked up a couple years ago from a guy that had it in storage for about 10 years supposedly - l20, 5spd, mikuni 44s, ratcheting locker in the rear





This one I've had a little longer... 5 years or so and it has been a driver on/off through that time: l20, 5spd, nothing special, lots of wind noise and burns oil 😄 









Edited by Idaho Hillbilly
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I really didn't know where to start. This will be my first project of this type.


The primered truck is more solid in that there is little to no rust anywhere. The downside is that the more you look the more you see little dings, dents, holes drilled etc all over the place. The red truck has rotted floor pans, window channels are showing signs of rust intrusion, bed has some rust showing as well as some attempted repair spots by a previous owner.


I figured the best plan of attach was to strip them both down and see what I really had to work with. The primered truck was already in the shop, so it was the first to go under the knife.

I started by pulling the L20/5sp






Before I started pulling anything else, I wanted to do a quick test fit of the 2.3T. I had taken quite a few measurements beforehand and was pretty certain it would fit. After dropping it in, I found that it is just a little tall to fit without any mods. I'll either be raising the tunnel slightly or making small changes to the crossmember and steering link. I'd like to leave the cab alone, so I'll likely be modifying the other components. Everything else fit surprisingly well. Routing of the exhaust may take a little work due to where the turbo exits but it was exciting to see!










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At this point, I pulled the 2.3T back out. I'll be going through the engine before it's permanently installed in the red chassis. 

Not much to elaborate on through some of the next steps so I'll just let the pictures do the talking. Cleaned up the inside, stripped body pieces off and got her down to the frame.




























That's the end of the primered truck for now. I'll be pulling the rear diff from that one yet and moving it under the red trucks chassis at some point. Next, on to the red truck...

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Started taking the red truck down next. Like I mentioned before, there is more rust in this one... phone camera stopped working soon after getting these pictures. Engine/trans are both out now. Should get the body off this weekend (if it stays warm enough... calling for low around 6° Saturday). Next up will be swapping the rear diffs, installing a bunch of new brake parts and some clean-up of the chassis. Should have a new phone by then to get some more pics!
















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5 hours ago, 4perrev said:

Looks good.  Have fun with the project.  Power wash the chassis and coat it so she'll never rust again.  You'll be happy you did.  Nice large shop too!

Thank you. I'll be either hitting the chassis with some POR15 or KBS product. I've mainly seen POR15 used but saw the KBS product in another forum and thought it may be worth looking in to. 

Anyone have experience with them? 





Edited by Idaho Hillbilly
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26 minutes ago, Farmer said:

Your using the chassis from red truck because  it has disc brakes?


For both the disc brakes and the ball joint front end. Also, simply because i've driven on it and know that everything is functional as is. I've not done anything with the other chassis. Although, from what I've seen, I have  no reason to believe there are any issues with it.

Edited by Idaho Hillbilly
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I used Chassis Saver for my 521 and it works great.  buy it off line by the gallon for $90. a gallon.  just don't leave it exposed to the air as it will dry and you can't get the lid off.  I put it in small glass jars to keep it sealed when not using it.  You can see the results in my signature for both my cars.

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A little more progress over the weekend. Grateful I'm still working, but wouldn't mind the week or two of time off that some of you are getting 😄 


Doors off and glass out


Engine bay stripped


And the cab is off! 


Pretty excited about getting to this point. From here on out its mostly time to start going back together or replacing parts with new stuff. I'll probably pull the bed to clean up the frame and treat it yet, but I'm still pretty pumped! 

If anyone in the PNW is in need, I do have two L20s and two 5spds for sale... 










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11 minutes ago, pipefitter said:

The one I need is roughly 26 1/2” from face of bell housing to end of case at tailshaft

Those are not the short ones....

The short 5spd is either a dogleg which I am told is kind of weak....

Or is has to be made by installing a front L series case to a stumpy 5spd from the 84/85 720 pickup which had the z a series front case.. and the speedometer drive would be on the left side on the short ones....

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13 minutes ago, pipefitter said:

I thought there were two a long and a short , but I definitely need the 26 1/2 one as I have a divorced Dana 20 transfer case and I don’t feel like moving everything I will just stick with my 4 speed  

I didn't know there were two different lengths until now... 

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3 hours ago, Idaho Hillbilly said:

I didn't know there were two different lengths until now... 

The 720 4x4 have a short tail because of the transfer case... but the speedo drive is in the transfer case not the transmission.... and the 85/86 2 wheel drive also has a short tail but has the speedometer drive, the are still a 71b.... with a bellhousing swap they are a nice upgrade for the 521s and 510 with an L series and the 63 series 4 spd.....


Edited the years ... I'm sure wayno is correct.... 

Edited by Crashtd420
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OK, as far as I can tell you for sure the 1985/1986 Nissan 720 regular cab/short box have the short shaft 5 speeds you are asking about pipefitter, you also need a L case off of a 71B 4spd or 5spd, the short 4 speed transmissions in the earlier trucks will not work, it has to be a 71B.


You likely can make a long shaft 5spd work, but you will need a custom drive line and the tunnel will need the shift lever hole 5 inches farther back, plus likely a custom transmission mount, but you would need that for the short shaft 5spd or dogleg 5spd also.

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1 hour ago, Crashtd420 said:

The 720 4x4 have a short tail because of the transfer case... but the speedo drive is in the transfer case not the transmission.... and the 84/85 2 wheel drive also has a short tail but has the speedometer drive, the are still a 71b.... with a bellhousing swap they are a nice upgrade for the 521s and 510 with an L series and the 63 series 4 spd.....

Makes more sense. I thought we were talking 620's only. Thanks for the clarification.

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