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Nephi Bahr

78 620 build

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My wife's grandfather bought the truck in 81 and he just recently moved into a care facility and could not take the truck with him. So to keep the truck in the family, I bought it and am now working on making her look good again. I do not have a garage so this winter has been working on the interior. 

  I originally considered having an upholstery shop do the work but figured sewing really cannot be that hard and most of the lines are straight anyways. So found a heavier duty home sewing machine on Craigslist for $60.

  I removed the stock seat covers and separated all the seams to create patterns. I decided I wanted a 2 color interior and found the faux leather at the local fabric store. I glued the fabric to headliner material to create some definition for the diamond stitching. 

  The original seat padding was terrible shape and not very comfortable from the factory anyways. So I went to pick and pull and removed the padding from a newer VW Beetle. With some modifications they actually are pretty close to the same size. As the patterns were from the original seat shape and the new foam was slightly different, the covers are not perfect but for my first project I'm pretty happy. I installed a heated seat kit because they are less than $40 on ebay and a must have for every car. 

  I removed the dash, door panels and rear panels and removed them with the same materials. These were all glued on. I painted, self tapping screws orange to attach all the panels. The original dash was cracked so I recovered that section with the faux leather and repainted the metal section. 

  I repainted most of the plastic pieces. And am almost done with the interior. And replaced the carpet and installed sound deadening under all the carpet and panels. Still need to make a steering wheel cover and sm probably going to upgrade the stereo. 

  The project took a lot of time, probably at least 100 hours but I found it was the perfect winter project. I know a professional would have made it look a lot better but I can only imagine the total cost for all new custom interior. Plus most of the work was done in the evenings and I do not sew sober. Here is a breakdown of costs if anyone else is considering doing similar:

10 yards of faux leather at $18/yard: $180. I know you can get the material cheaper online but I really wanted to see and feel the material. 

4 yards of headliner material for backing: $36

Seat foam: $4 per seat: $8. I originally was going to take the whole seats and cut out the foam at my house but it was faster to just cut out the foam there. Pick and pull charges $40 per seat but does not have a cost for seat foam.

Heated seat kit from Ebay: $36.

Sound deadening material: $42

2 yards unbacked carpet off Ebay: $40

Glue/paint/misc: $60

Material cost: $402

Sewing machine/accessories: $140

Total cost: $542 + beer.

Plus I can always sell the sewing machine or use it for future projects. XBwjUCY.jpgOSZG3DT.jpgiQx1plU.jpgM940ebq.jpgcun5Zj2.jpglJWY1Yr.jpgKJJ04dH.jpg 

 

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Not bad! I just couldn't even start something like that.

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I live in Portland Oregon. If anyone's in the area I wouldn't mind trading some upholstery work for other work on the truck. 

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Very nicely done.  I'm a huge fan of tackling projects headfirst like that.

 

I would guess (correct me if I'm wrong) that there are no points where the upholstery is hog-ringed to the middle area of the seat?  If not, then crafting those connections could tighten your fit significantly, without having to rebuild the whole thing.

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They are not because the heated seat pads are a solid sheet. I made the patterns from the original seats and did sew in the additional attachments but then removed after the heated seat pads were installed. Also some of the issue is related to the difference in seat foam. The original foam was not as wide and probably 1" thinner. Finally, the faux leather stretched easily. I used a walking foot but still found that as I sewed tight corners one side of the fabric would stretch more than the other. Professional upholsterers have machines and the skill to control the speed and feed of the materials around the corners to prevent this from happening. The old seats were the original white vinyl with sheep skin covers. The driver seat foam was so worn my wife's grandfather had put a floor mat under the seat cover to prevent feeling the springs. I'm sure they sell replacement foam but I'm trying to do this build on a budget as im now back up to 5 cars and I have a work truck that I drive most of the time because they pay for maintenance and gas. I know lots of people do their own mechanical work just wanted everyone to know that upholstery really is something they can tackle and overall pretty inexpensive as a DIY project. 

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Spent 6 hours polishing the car today. The paint looks amazing now. I set out with thr intent of making it look better but I'm almost sure it looks almost as good as when it was brand new. I still cant believe that the paint is over 40 years old! WVVKkMx.jpgcwBjVdF.jpg

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The paint used back then will shine beautifully but always needs care to keep it that way

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So I'm going to do a spray on bedliner. Should I do black or they sell a tintable version so I could also do orange. 

 

The truck runs great but when driving and you hit a bump the car kind of jumps around. My wife's grandfather said this only started after he replaced the tires with larger tires because Costco could not get the original tire size. He had a shop replace most of the front end suspension parts chasing down the problem but never fixing it. 

I am considering re placing all of the shocks and it probably needs an alignment but did not know if anyone else had experienced a similar problem when going to larger tires. 

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It's a truck with heavy load carrying capability which would include stiff springs and stiff 6 ply side wall tires. Replacing the tires with larger? Larger diameter will roll smoother but not noticeable in small amounts. Wider? shouldn't matter. A thinner sidewall rating like for a light truck or car will flex and soften the ride at the expanse of load carrying. You could try running the tires closer to the minimum pressure rating if not carrying loads and see if that helps.

 

Shock absorbers get soft in as little as a year or so and they are what absorb and tame any sudden suspension movement, both compression and rebound. Most definitely replace all four corners.      

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The paint on this truck is rad! Love it!

 

As for the moving around when you hit a bump... its an old vehicle with a live rear axle.... if you are used to driving a newer fully independent suspension car this is going to drive very differently... the solid rear axle transfers bumps very differently and can make it feel like the back end is shifting around--- especially when there is no weight in the back. Heavier duty tires will make this even more noticeable.

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Yeah try some Good shocks

i got some KYB GasAJust

there is also a MonoMax version also

 

key is when installing them is they come with a plastic strap put the bushings on bolt the lower bolt then cut the strap and poin the top of the shock and guide it they the upper hole. As it’s a MoFo trying to squeeze down trying to get thru the hole.

 

really if your doing 50mph and hit a bridge or bump and it starts floating then yes the shocks are shot. Sometimes it just owners used to newer cars and think the shocks are bad and not used to 70s torsion bars suspensions

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My wife's grandfather owned the car for almost 40 years and he is the one that noticed the difference after the tire change. I noticed it a little movement but have only driven the truck about 30 miles since we got it as I tore out the interior right when we got it. The best part is that there is almost zero rust, just a little surface rust where the paint is chipping in a couple of spots. Crazy enough the only accident the truck was ever in was when he forgot to set the parking brake and it rolled into a tree. x6MYZ8F.jpg

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This was the paint before I spent 6 hours buffing the car. Still need to wax it to protect the paint. GNwyw7y.jpg

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I remember the first time I drove it around a tight corner and forgot how much body roll these older cars have. But then again my 2 daily drivers are an audi tt and BMW X5 so maybe I'm a little spoiled in the corners. 

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It's an option. My '78 didn't have one but I got one and put it on.

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I thought they all did but they stopped with the '78 and up when they changed the front steering, suspension and brakes. But... my information clearly shows 54611-B2000 as the only stabilizer on the 620 and it was an option.

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Does anyone know if the datsun door latch mechanism was universal. The ones in the truck are worn but there is a 78 b210 at a local pick and pull. They sell replacement ones on ebay but they are like 40 dollars each. 

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For $40 I would want the door!!!!!

 

The door striker mechanism for the 620 is also used on the Nissan Patrol, Roadster, 521, and 510. Sorry the B-210 is not remotely close.

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