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My '79 620 Build


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Hello!

I bought a 620 about a month ago, got it trailered all the way across the country, and now we're here! Please be kind as I have never really done any sort of build thread or anything of the sort. Redeye convinced me it would be a good idea.

 

Alright so now for the introduction! It's a white, '79 620 King Cab. I bought it because I enjoy tinkering, I'm in school for welding, and need a truck to put materials and things into. I landed on this 620. It was bought unseen and trailered to my house in NC. It was stolen at some point, so the wiring is completely destroyed. I'm missing most of the interior pieces, and one of the previous owners put in a sunroof, then removed it, and now it's rusted where the bondo on the roof has cracked. I'm only 21 and learning about cars and the skills associated, so I am up for the challenge. I have goals in mind, but at this point I have no idea how I want to accomplish them.

 

1.) KA Swap (N/A, have no want or need to turbo it.)

2.) Suspension. Either full custom or just refreshing. (Please give me advice.)

 

It currently has a L20B in it, with a blown head gasket. The coolant is just shooting back into the overflow tank. Not good. 🙁

So I decided to look and found a full KA24DE for sale local to me for $150, so that was a done deal. So I contacted Redeye, and got his mounts on the way.

If anyone has any pointers for me, please let me know.

 

Now for the pictures. Notice a couple things:

Interior is gone

Wiring is a mess

The tailgate latches and the hooks are gone. Very sad. 🙁

 

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Body looks great. Two wires hanging down is minor. They used to move the tailgate latches to the inside of the box.... (looks better without them)

 

 

I would get the L20B running and sort the truck out before swapping in the KA. It's good practice. As Hainz says if you can get an L20B running.... sell it.

 

Later 720 disc brakes are a nice upgrade even if you weren't going to a KA. Keep the stock suspension and steering and just replace the rubber bushings and stuff. (if needed)

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It’ll be a great project for you.

 

I suggest taking a weak magnet, cheap one you’d see on a refrigerator, and see if it’ll stick in the areas circled in green. If it won’t... that body shop might need to be a bit closer.  If it won’t you’ve got more body filler than you’d like. It’ll keep cracking, just something to be aware of.

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The fuck are them rims?

 

If redeye said it was a good idea you're on the right track. He seems to know what he's talking about whenever I talk to him. 

 

Good luck with the project, I'd suggest just refreshing the suspension for starters so you can get it on the road and then start looking into custom. Beeman makes a kit to swap to coilovers, since you're learning to weld it'll be a good one for you to install since it requires welding

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright so here's a small update. I got too involved and time was short so I forgot to take a lot of pictures, but here goes!

So first thing first I was trying to replace the head gasket on the L20B. I followed tips given by other members here on other threads, and unfortunately lost the tension so now I have to take off a lot to do the timing. Big L on that one.

 

As far as all of you who have noticed the bondo, there is lots of it. It's cracking all over the bed, and I intend on painting it after I strip it down and do it right. So no worries, I have to do the roof anyways because of the sunroof and it's issues so no worries. It helps that the body shop in the back is owned by my dad. I bought this car partially to have something to work with him on, and also learn the car and swaps. 

 

So I replaced the head gasket, I ripped out the old seats and what was left of the carpet, cleaned up the interior, put on a gas door I found, and I bought the CAN/AM boxes from the member of this site (I forgot his name, sorry about that.)


I hope to get the l20B running, get it registered and tagged so I can drive it, then sell the l20 and put the ka24 in it. Wish me luck. Here's some pictures for your entertainment.                                                                                                                                    IMG-20210322-220255.jpg20210327-172859.jpg20210327-173947.jpg20210327-195451.jpg

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE! Good news

Alright, so I left on a not so good note. Well, good news! I didn't take many pictures because I just wanted to get it done, but the head is on, torqued down, I did the tensioner and timing belt, replaced all the gaskets, cleaned off the pounds of gunk on the engine, and put it all back together. Napa came in clutch with having the gasket set on hand. Very very surprised. 

 

So I went to turn it over, and nothing. Kept trying, nothing. Decided to swap the plugs around on the distributor, and to my surprise, it fired right up! 🤘

Not quite in the clear, the carb decided to start "spitting". I don't have any experience with carbs, but my dad called it that and assumed that something with my timing was off. After all, this was my first time ever doing any of this. What a journey. Anyways, I decided to do a compression test and got 150 on all 4 cylinders. Pretty good if I say so. The issue was I had the 3 and 4 wires swapped. Makes sense. Anyways, next I get to tackle the sunroof issue, and I get to work on the interior. I just want to drive the dang thing!


Thanks to all who helped. Couldn't have done it without y'all.

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  • 8 months later...

Update: 1/22/2022

 

Hello all! It's been a while. Haven't forgot about y'all, just got busy. Anyways, lots has happened. 

 

I rebuilt the KA and it is completed and I have the L20B running good, but it has an oil leak from the timing chain cover/head area. Haven't solved that and honestly don't know what's causing it. I took off the front plate thingy that is in front of the timing chain seeing if that was the leak, and no dice. Guess I'll have to take the head off again or something. I kinda think I'll just sell the engine and inform the buyer of that issue. With the KA I have the CAN/AM box, wiring harness, ECU, the KA, and the motor mounts from Redeye. I think I have everything except for the Transmission/Driveshaft section and it'll be ready to go in. Super excited! I have a question though, if I get a transmission from a D21 or 720 to mate up to the KA, does the clutch and pressure plate go to the transmission? Like should buy a 720 clutch and pressure plate and a 240sx flywheel? Or can I buy a 240sx clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

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On top of that, I have put fiberglass on the roof and have sanded it and primed it. This makes it much more rigid and it shouldn't rust. Haven't dealt with the inside yet, still need to paint that. I put a tachometer in it and wired it up, and it works great. Have gauges put in for Temp, oil pressure, and voltage. I intend on relocating the battery to the bed at some point. I'm really excited to see where this goes.

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Spray de-grease the front with brake or carburetor cleaner and let dry. Start engine and watch where the oil appears. If nothing happens check later or tomorrow morning and every morning after.

 

Most likely cause.... is the new valve cover gasket. It probably needs to be snugged down a bit more after it compressed..

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Thanks for the insight! On l20's, is it common with a valve cover gasket leak to spot oil dripping around the head and by the alternator bracket? I was thinking it was probably a pinched head gasket around the timing cover/head. Would it be suitable to put some RTV around the outside of that mating spot and see if it clears up? Still confused about the whole transmission and clutch thing. Been doing lots of research but am still kinda lost.

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Find the leak and fix the leak. Try snugging the valve cover against the gasket first. And degrease so you can see if it works and where it does leak first if it doesn't.

 

 

Try snugging the valve cover against the gasket first. Try snugging the valve cover against the gasket first. Try snugging the valve cover against the gasket first.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can a KA24DE be sourced from 2.4L 2wd manual transmission frontier ?, 1998 through 2001 or has it got to be a 240sx? I'd like to install KA24DE  (DOHC)  into my 1979 620 king  cab..Thank you anyone 

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On 3/21/2021 at 9:38 PM, datzenmike said:

Body looks great. Two wires hanging down is minor. They used to move the tailgate latches to the inside of the box.... (looks better without them)

 

 

I would get the L20B running and sort the truck out before swapping in the KA. It's good practice. As Hainz says if you can get an L20B running.... sell it.

 

Later 720 disc brakes are a nice upgrade even if you weren't going to a KA. Keep the stock suspension and steering and just replace the rubber bushings and stuff. (if needed)

I have a L20B engine it runs like a champ and is clean as a whistle (you saw my valves). Why do people say that?

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