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Need help with my first Datsun


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You can hard chrome a crank to save it.  The chrome is added, and if I remember right, pretty much no limit to how much can be added.  Then, it has to be ground to spec. As it can't be machined.


Never had been it done, but I was talking to a plating place about getting my gun coated and that was one of the services they offered.

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Good morning everyone.


Still can't get the engine to budge. Thinking about doing a swap. Found a 1994 KA24 SOHC engine & tranny out of a HardBody. Leaning towards doing that. 


My nephew has a four cylinder Nissan diesel from a swather (farm equipment) in his inventory. Curious to see if that could be used . . . . . although I really don't need a serious make work project. 


Thinking the KA24 is going to be easier. Am I correct that this is relatively easier? Just need to draw on your expertise. 


Thanks guys!!!


And hi to Stoffregen (fellow Cruiser guy). What do you have? 

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The ownder came to me and said he wanted a 4x4 that James Bond would have driven and the idea was to retain the Japanese character but upgrade the powertrain and add subtle touches to the appearance, like we used FJ40 "Toyota" and "4wd" badges on the back. The paint is 2018 Lexus Atomic silver, which is a modern interpretation of the Aston Martin DB5 silver. The body has been fully restored with the snake blinder holes welded and the chrome window trim deleted. Minimal rust repair was needed, but in the most difficult spots. I had to hand form new patch panels for the rear wheel arches, which were rotted out by years of accumulation caused by add-on running boards.


It has a full custom interior using the material that comes factory in a Tesla. Electronically speaking, there is a 6 speaker sound system with a touch screen double din head unit and a 100 watt amp in the back. I welded custom plates into the doors to fit large speakers, but also clear the windows as they roll down. In the rear seating area, there are cupholders and USB ports for the kids, plus back of seat "map pockets" upholstered into the front seats, and the middle of the lower portion of the bench seat has been cutout to give it a bucket seat appearance and provide a spot for the kids to put their tablets. The rear cargo area has been outfitted with a full size spare tire (with custom upholstered cover to match) and hidey-holes in the quarter panels and tailgate, which are also upholstered. A custom center console and tunnel cover hides a fair amount of added electronics, but is still easily removable for repairs and maintenance. I have over 100 hours into the console, tunnel cover and custom dash switch panel, and it's paint ready, TIG welded steel with no body filler. 


The customer wanted to use a full FJ80 chassis, but I said no. Too much fab for not much gain. Instead, I cut the donor pieces off the front of the FJ80 frame so we could weld them onto the FJ62 frame, but have it look like a factory radius arm setup. Axles are FJ80 with factory rear disc. The radius arms are 4" lift from Delta, but the front coils are stock FJ80. The rear suspension is OME leaf springs,shocks, etc, but I added a custom through-the-frame Currie sway bar in front of the fuel tank, as the FJ80 sway bar wouldn't fit the FJ62 frame, and the FJ62 sway bar wouldn't fit the FJ80 axle. If you look closely, you can see a stub of tubing poking out of the frame behind the front wheel well. The customer wanted sliders and I did not, so we compromised by having me build the bolt on slider attachment points until we can come up with a suitable design for sliders.


A custom 38 gallon fuel tank has been modified to fit an EFI pump, which feeds the smog legal LS3 EROD GM crate motor. It runs a 4L85E trans and a rebuilt split case, but I machined a custom spacer to go between the trans and t-case adapter to lengthen the drivetrain and allow more room for the front driveshaft against the trans case and the catalytic converters. It is shifted by a modified stock FJ62 automatic trans floor shifter. Cooling is done by a custom aluminum radiator and dual SPAL electric fans mounted on a custom fabbed bracket that acts as a fan shroud. The air intake is custom and I build the air box to keep engine heat away from the inlet. Accessory drive is 2009 Corvette and uses a TC style pump. Braking is handled by an FJ80 master and booster, which give much needed leverage and a tip toe braking effort.


Exhaust system is all 304 stainless and fit perfectly into the truck with the use of rubber isolated hangers, the kind that come stock. The y-pipe is 2.5", has four catalytic converters and runs through a merge collector into a single 3" tailpipe. The muffler is a direct replacement muffler for a large commercial truck, so it sounds good without being too loud.


The engine bay was sprayed race car grey and the body was undercoated with SEM chip guard. Axles and frame, along with a ton of other parts were powder coated in a 10% gloss. All the fab is done in house, but the interior and paint were done by friends in the industry. Brian Rebello does a fair amount of the wiring on these jobs where there are a ton of added electronics. He is quicker at it than I am...


Wheels are FJ Cruiser 17x7 steel custom powder coated in gunmetal grey. Old school amber Hella fog lights have been cut into the bumper for a Euro look.


Other than that, it's basically stock. 😁

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  • 1 month later...

Hey folks. Just wanted to give y'all an update.


My Z22 is completely grenaded. Looks like it had a serious overheating issue. So after contemplating various engine choices, I decided to stick with another Z22. Now finding one was a little difficult but I came across a deal I just couldn't pass up. 


A guy was selling his 1982 720 4x4 that he bought brand new. Over the past 38 years he also accumulated two other 1982 720s and has been collecting boxes of parts. So I bought it all. My son & I drove approximately 2,400 miles (4,000 kms) each way to pick it up. Helluva road trip! 


I didn't tell my son about the second 720 - all he knew is that we were picking up a Z22 motor. As we drove there, he asked me whether we will ever see another 720 on the road. He figures that he will never see another running 720 on the road - ever. I told him that I think he'll see one within two years. So we made a bet. 


I won. 



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Got sidetracked on Saturday & Sunday. My daily driver (a 2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI) is on it's final legs as a DD as the electrical & air bag suspension is really starting to get funky. Final straw is a lack of turbo pressure build up. The turbos are fine however there is a hole in one of the lines. The engine will literally have to be removed to get access to it. I have plans to do something cool with the engine . . . . 


Here's some more pictures. 



And the parts truck I dragged back. Drift truck possibility? LOL


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His thought process is by reducing the weight of the box and built in toolbox on the springs, they won't lose their arch as fast. He did have some of the parts he accumulated over the years in boxes in the back (power steering pumps, alternators etc) stored in the box and that concerned him. He was quite happy to see me take the boxes out of the back and stuff them into the red truck. 


Not a fan of a king cab drift truck? With a V10 twin turbo diesel? LOL. 

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On 11/23/2020 at 8:49 AM, dieseldude said:

His thought process is by reducing the weight of the box and built in toolbox on the springs, they won't lose their arch as fast.


It's one of those "sounds plausible" ideas, but sitting or driving, leaf springs just don't sag over time. If they did everyone would be talking about it or have a story about it.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello everyone!! 


Got the engine into my regular cab truck (Tommy) and it purrs like a kitten. It will be good to go once the snow melts other than I have to somehow obtain the California ownership from the previous owner (who is deceased) for the truck. I might have to borrow my friends dealer plate for awhile. 


The KC (Vinny) will be good to go but I do have a couple of questions. 

1) The center link has a little bit of play (not a lot) but since it will be driven by an 18 year old, I thought I might as well replace it. I went to Rock Auto and their inventory has a Delphi TL2020, a Mevotech MS30906 and a Qualis DS1056 (which looks like a Moog part number). The Mevotech & Qualis specifically state their part is for 2WD while the Delphi doesn't disclose anything. Are the center links different for 2WD / 4WD? 

2) I'm putting power steering on Vinny (again to make it a little easier for Junior) - is there anything to watch out for? It looks pretty straight forward but any info would be greatly appreciated. 


On a lighter note - I told Junior that when he's in Tommy that he has a choice to make - either he can drive it OR have the A/C on. But not both at the same time. He looked confused. 


This is so much fun!!!

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I have had problems with Rock Auto front end parts being the correct box and the wrong part.  When  I contacted them for return I was told to ship it back (on my dime) and they would refund me 50% of what I paid them for the part.    This works out to me paying shipping both ways and  and the only getting a refund for half the original parts price.  I have over a hundred dollars worth of Rock Auto correct boxes and wrong parts.  I do not buy from Rock Auto any more.


Mevotec parts are about %0% that fit.  Ball joints in particular, ihave received the ball joints for a D21 Hardbody which press in when ordering for th 720s.


Here is a link to Moog if you are interested.

MOOG Parts

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Thanks Charlie!


The link didn't work but I went to moogparts.com. Looks like they don't have any center links listed for my truck(s). I sent them an email to see what they say. I'll update once I hear from them. 


I too have incorrect parts from Rock Auto & the thought of sending them back isn't worth the effort. Guess I'm slowly going build some sort of a Frankenstein buggy with parts from my Land Cruisers / VW / Datsun spare inventory. It'll still be better than anything from Fiat Chrysler or Land Rover though. LOL. 



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3 minutes ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

I use Rock Auto for their part numbers, and then I buy the parts at other places.

Kinda sleazy, I know...

Haha. I kinda do the same thing but I'm a little more limited as some of the vendors won't ship to Canada (looking at you PartsGeek). Luckily I have a good friend who owns a trucking company that operates 20 trucks on a dedicated route from Baltimore to Hamilton. So I get parts delivered to his US office and his drivers bring them up. 


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4 hours ago, dieseldude said:


1) The center link has a little bit of play (not a lot) but since it will be driven by an 18 year old, I thought I might as well replace it. I went to Rock Auto and their inventory has a Delphi TL2020, a Mevotech MS30906 and a Qualis DS1056 (which looks like a Moog part number). The Mevotech & Qualis specifically state their part is for 2WD while the Delphi doesn't disclose anything. Are the center links different for 2WD / 4WD? 





The cross rod connecting the idler and pitman arms? Don't the ball joints on the ends just press out of the cross rod? If not replacable then the entire cross rod has to be replaced.


2wd are different from 4wd, perhaps the ball joints in them? After Nov. '82 the 4wd is massively different from the 2wd.

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