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Questions regarding parts for a Datsun 521


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Hi guys, Just got back from looking at a 1972 Datsun 521 and have some questions for you. There's a few things not working on the truck, and the things that are vehicle specific worried me since parts for these things are hard to find. The emergency brake didn't work but the owner thinks it is just the cable. I'm not positive this is the case, maybe you guys know if that is a usual issue or not, but I was able to find the cable on eBay so not too big of a deal.  The next big thing is the drivers side door doesn't lock. I can't find any parts that go behind the door panel for the door locks. Do you guys know anywhere that'll have parts like that? I would say these are the two biggest things as I can't have a truck that doesn't lock or a truck that'll roll away. Also, is the ignition light supposed to be on? because it was. Any help is really appreciated. I'd like to get the truck but don't want to risk it getting broken into.

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The ebrake is pretty simple , either the cables or the adjustment....

 

The door depends on what's missing.... the lock rods are hard to find, but the door lock and latch assembly's seem to be available....

Becarefull if replacing the actual lock, sometimes the replacement isnt correct, they sell one with a flat plate on the back, I believe the correct one has a stepped bracket..... always good to look at the part you have to compare....

 

And the ignition light means the alternator isn't charging....

 

Cheapest and best fix is to bypass the voltage regulator on the fender and replace the alternator with one that is internally regulated.... cheaper in the end.....

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1 hour ago, Crashtd420 said:

The ebrake is pretty simple , either the cables or the adjustment....

 

The door depends on what's missing.... the lock rods are hard to find, but the door lock and latch assembly's seem to be available....

Becarefull if replacing the actual lock, sometimes the replacement isnt correct, they sell one with a flat plate on the back, I believe the correct one has a stepped bracket..... always good to look at the part you have to compare....

 

And the ignition light means the alternator isn't charging....

 

Cheapest and best fix is to bypass the voltage regulator on the fender and replace the alternator with one that is internally regulated.... cheaper in the end.....

Yea, I didn't get the chance to take off the door panel and look behind to see what exactly was wrong but we think it has to do with the rods or one of those parts on the lower left of this diagram. That is kind of deal breaker if I can't get the part I need to lock her up https://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun/pickup-1965-1972/body/doors-locks-window-regulator/4#3

 

And in regards to the ignition light, the owner said it was a brand new alternator so that's strange. The wiring is kind of a mess in the cab so its possible that he doesn't have it wired up correctly I guess.

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8 hours ago, njp.18 said:

Yea, I didn't get the chance to take off the door panel and look behind to see what exactly was wrong but we think it has to do with the rods or one of those parts on the lower left of this diagram. That is kind of deal breaker if I can't get the part I need to lock her up https://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun/pickup-1965-1972/body/doors-locks-window-regulator/4#3

 

And in regards to the ignition light, the owner said it was a brand new alternator so that's strange. The wiring is kind of a mess in the cab so its possible that he doesn't have it wired up correctly I guess.

I wouldn't call it a deal breaker because of the locks....

Fyi they are not that good anyhow....

Easily unlocked with a coat hanger..

 

A brick will temporarily stop it rolling away....

 

And that's pretty normal for the wiring,  the harnesses is probably good but most likely hacked up by years of different owners... 

 

 

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whelp, your on the right Datsun form if your looking for help to get the 521 back on the road, that's if you purchase it. The issues that the 521 has is minor.

 

Also lots of Datsun "521" truck owners will have the parts laying around waiting to get another Datsun back on the road. Just place a classified add >  https://ratsun.net/classifieds/  .... so it's easier to assist you. 

 

Is it safe to ask, what is the previous owner asking ?  Also, did you get pic's cause some of us are pic/s whores. guilty - lol 

 

Welcome to the form, may you enjoy the endless project if you accept to purchase the 521. 🙂 

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8 hours ago, 420n620 said:

whelp, your on the right Datsun form if your looking for help to get the 521 back on the road, that's if you purchase it. The issues that the 521 has is minor.

 

Also lots of Datsun "521" truck owners will have the parts laying around waiting to get another Datsun back on the road. Just place a classified add >  https://ratsun.net/classifieds/  .... so it's easier to assist you. 

 

Is it safe to ask, what is the previous owner asking ?  Also, did you get pic's cause some of us are pic/s whores. guilty - lol 

 

Welcome to the form, may you enjoy the endless project if you accept to purchase the 521. 🙂 

 

10 hours ago, Crashtd420 said:

I wouldn't call it a deal breaker because of the locks....

Fyi they are not that good anyhow....

Easily unlocked with a coat hanger..

 

A brick will temporarily stop it rolling away....

 

And that's pretty normal for the wiring,  the harnesses is probably good but most likely hacked up by years of different owners... 

 

 

 

9 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Don't let $400 worth of details separate you from your dream truck. If you want it, buy it and deal with those small details over time.

 

Offer him $400 less and see what he says. Worst he can say is no.

Thanks for the insight guys. Yea, my dad was thinking that the door lock rods could probably just be fabricated if that is what's wrong with it. The owner is asking $5,500 for it. here's a photo. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F7vzfCsH_4m_FxB9IHU0pdx_zNWSSIbOqiZDPEtDdZU/edit?usp=sharing

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45 minutes ago, njp.18 said:

 

 

Thanks for the insight guys. Yea, my dad was thinking that the door lock rods could probably just be fabricated if that is what's wrong with it. The owner is asking $5,500 for it. here's a photo. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F7vzfCsH_4m_FxB9IHU0pdx_zNWSSIbOqiZDPEtDdZU/edit?usp=sharing

Not a bad price depending on where you live.... 

if it's a driver and if those couple concerns are all that's wrong I'd go for it,  it looks pretty good from the pic... always better to start with a running and driving datsun.... 

 

Those lock rods pop up now and then and I might even know someone with 2 door sitting around.... I think they still had the locking stuff....

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33 minutes ago, Crashtd420 said:

Not a bad price depending on where you live.... 

if it's a driver and if those couple concerns are all that's wrong I'd go for it,  it looks pretty good from the pic... always better to start with a running and driving datsun.... 

 

Those lock rods pop up now and then and I might even know someone with 2 door sitting around.... I think they still had the locking stuff....

Yea, I was about to buy it but the owner didn't have the title. He was getting it shipped to his house but the post office lost it so he's trying to get another one. Hopefully hell able to get it soon and ill be able to buy it. If I do, Ill see what's up with the door and let you know. thanks again. Also, do you happen to know if the 510 fender emblems fit on the 521? same pins?

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They are not the same. 521 is vertical lettering, 510 is leaning back. They might fit but if you like them enough grind the pins off and glue them on with two sided tape like they do on today's cars

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1 hour ago, njp.18 said:

Yea, I was about to buy it but the owner didn't have the title. He was getting it shipped to his house but the post office lost it so he's trying to get another one. Hopefully hell able to get it soon and ill be able to buy it. If I do, Ill see what's up with the door and let you know. thanks again. Also, do you happen to know if the 510 fender emblems fit on the 521? same pins?

You could always buy it with a "pending title" bill of sale, meaning you give him the money, or a deposit, or whatever and he agrees to complete the title process before the sale is consummated. I draft bills of sale all the time, and the wording is important, especially if the deal is awkward.

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1 hour ago, thisismatt said:

$5500 is getting up towards nice, original stock condition, or nice, motor swapped resto-mod condition.  What other details?  Looks like a respray with blacked out grill parts...

original motor with 98k miles supposedly. he said it sat for a while. new weber carb. new headers. new alternator. besides the things I already listed above that don't work, the heater doesn't work, the steering wheel doesn't have horn or turn signal cancel, when turn signal wires are plugged in, they stay on, radio only works when headlights are on, going to have to sort out the subwoofer and amp wiring, and no heat. body is fairly straight w a few bondo repairs that aren't too bad. has been repainted. here are more photos. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F7vzfCsH_4m_FxB9IHU0pdx_zNWSSIbOqiZDPEtDdZU/edit?usp=sharing

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59 minutes ago, thisismatt said:

$5500 is getting up towards nice, original stock condition, or nice, motor swapped resto-mod condition.  What other details?  Looks like a respray with blacked out grill parts...

Owner said he won't go lower than $5500 but I def don't want to overpay so let me know your guys thoughts

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3 hours ago, njp.18 said:

Yea, I was about to buy it but the owner didn't have the title. He was getting it shipped to his house but the post office lost it so he's trying to get another one. 

 

Did you drive it and see these problem areas? or just the seller's say so? Without a good drive how can you evaluate the brakes, the suspension, drive line?  

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15 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

 

Did you drive it and see these problem areas? or just the seller's say so? Without a good drive how can you evaluate the brakes, the suspension, drive line?  

yes, I went to look at it in person. It drove fine. took it on the freeway as well. Oh yea, the speedometer also doesn't work above 35mph but is prob just the cable.

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To me that is a $2500 truck.  How many times has the odometer turned over?  Painted grill and bumpers warn me of rust.  Non working heater, bad wiring, missing parts, no carpet.  Cheap paint job.

 

Add your location as this helps to determine price.

Edited by Charlie69
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Prices have gone up, they are getting harder to come by in good shape, but I feel that's more like a $3000 truck than $5500.  It's your money, spend what you want.  I sometimes think I would have been a lot better off waiting, saving, and buying a nicer example to start with, but the project is part of the fun...

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19 minutes ago, Charlie69 said:

To me that is a $2500 truck.  How many times has the odometer turned over?  Painted grill and bumpers warn me of rust.  Non working heater, bad wiring, missing parts, no carpet.  Cheap paint job.

 

Add your location as this helps to determine price.

 

18 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

Won't be the cable. The needle is just sticking @ 35. Lots of annoying things wrong for $5,500.

 

18 minutes ago, thisismatt said:

Prices have gone up, they are getting harder to come by in good shape, but I feel that's more like a $3000 truck than $5500.  It's your money, spend what you want.  I sometimes think I would have been a lot better off waiting, saving, and buying a nicer example to start with, but the project is part of the fun...

 

14 minutes ago, Charlie69 said:

Too much broken, missing, & unfinished.  We all know of the "98,000 original miles"  trucks are almost as rare as unicorns.

Ok. Im from Los Angeles. supposed to be original 98k. thanks for all the opinions, I really appreciate it. Yea, I really like the truck but I initially felt like I should be getting a little more out of $5,500.

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6 hours ago, njp.18 said:

 

 

 

Ok. Im from Los Angeles. supposed to be original 98k. thanks for all the opinions, I really appreciate it. Yea, I really like the truck but I initially felt like I should be getting a little more out of $5,500.

I retract my initial comment on the price, that seems a bit high with the extra issues you listed....

 

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Do what Hainz usually suggests. List all the things you want fixed for $5,500 and offer him $5,000 (or w/e) and give him your phone number. In a month call him if he hasn't phoned you and remind him of your offer.

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