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Montana Datsun Revival


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This is my first project car and I am proud to say it is a 1970 Datsun 521. This truck was abandoned in Montana and hasn't been driven since 1989. I am going to be learning so much on this journey and I hope you guys would like to join in and see my progress as I continue. Luckily my roommate is amazing with Datsun's and he is going to help me and teach me everything I need to know. So far we washed the exterior, took off the side mirrors, took off a beat up old camper top, cleaned trash out of the cab, and degreased the engine a bit. I was able to find Nissan Titan 18" wheels and we are going to put new tires on them this week. With just a little bit of soap and water and a large trash can my truck already looks so much better can't wait to keep working on it!

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Hello DatsunGirl and welcome to Ratsun. We have a very large community of 520/521 owners here.

 

The 521 came with 6:00 x 14" rims and tires or 175/70R14 in today's tires. This would have a diameter of 23.65" tall and be just under 7" wide. If replacing the rims you want to find a tire the same or close to the same diameter and width anything you like. Running a taller tire will upset the effective gearing and make the truck sluggish to drive not to mention a speedometer that reads slow. Which is annoying.

 

For a 23.63" tall tire in 18" rim size try...

 

180/40R18 @ 23.68" tall and 7" wide

190/35R18 @ 23.4" tall and 7.5" wide

205/35R18 @ 23.65" tall and 8" wide

 

You may be able to go wider is the rim offset allows it. Check with the 521 guys.

 

Last of all you don't want the tire outside the fender. The body will come down on it on bumps and worst of all you can't lower the truck.

 

 

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Sorry about the pictures I am going to try to fix that. What do you guys use to post photos? I got low profile tires so they won’t be too big 215/35 R18. Thank you guys for all your advice and I really appreciate it!

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215/35R18 is perfect and won't alter the gearing or speedometer. I had a '71 back in the mid '70s and have a lot of respect for the 521. I had it for about 8 years in salty southern Ontario, drove the shit out of it, abused it and did very little maintenance on it. None actually, I just fixed things when they went wrong or broke. 

 

IMG-0469.jpg

 

Looks like it has '69 front fenders from an L521. Does the fender badge say DATSUN 1300 ?

 

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On 7/14/2021 at 6:58 AM, datzenmike said:

215/35R18 is perfect and won't alter the gearing or speedometer. I had a '71 back in the mid '70s and have a lot of respect for the 521. I had it for about 8 years in salty southern Ontario, drove the shit out of it, abused it and did very little maintenance on it. None actually, I just fixed things when they went wrong or broke. 

 

IMG-0469.jpg

 

Looks like it has '69 front fenders from an L521. Does the fender badge say DATSUN 1300 ?

 

No the front fender says Datsun 1600

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It's fine. The '69 521 had reflective round amber front fender side markers. The '70 and on had mandated amber rectangular front side markers that lit up. After 50 years many things get switched around to keep them on the road.

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On 7/14/2021 at 8:57 PM, DatsunGirl said:

Hopefully these pictures come through OK

Datsun-1.jpgDatsun-5.jpg

Datsun-2.jpgDatsun-3.jpgDatsun-6.jpgDatsun-7.jpg

IMG-0469.jpg

 

Man, this thing is ultra cool! Love the sun-bleached paint. Looks like someone has done you a favor and dropped an L series in there. The truck should go really nice with that, although I'd ditch the stock carb. They're not very fun.

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59 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

The '70 came with an L16 engine. L20B will fit right ijn, I had one in the '70s. I was surmising that the front fenders were '69.

 

Would be a lot more fun with another 400cc and a big carb, and an open exhaust... course, it's your truck. 🙂 

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I'm betting it's a stock '69.  '69 came with the L16 a bit later in the year. The '68 had the J13.  In the states back then, the title reflected the year it was sold, not the year it was manufactured like it does these days.  I can see it sitting at a dealer for awhile....especially in MT if it's original to that state.  

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  • 1 month later...

Waxing-truck.jpgOne-side-down.jpgNew-seats.jpg

Hey guys, sorry for the long wait on an update but it is finally here.

So we have done a lot to my 521 recently. I took your guys' advise and got a weber carburetor, it looks so much better. My boyfriend found some seats that would work good with me and the truck. We have done a few smaller things like replaced the shift knob, put in a wink mirror, and started waxing it with a high speed buffer. Also I have read your feedback and you can trust that I will not be doing a full body paint job on my truck. I love the patina and don't want to get rid of it.

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19 hours ago, mklotz70 said:

If you don't care for the carb noise or want the factory look with the performance of the weber, you can modify the stock air cleaner to fit.

 

 

 

That's interesting I did not know that was a thing. I will look into it more and see if I like that option. Thank you!

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http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k162/mklotz70/Projects/stock%20air%20cleaner%20mod/100_1145.jpg

 

The stock air filter is larger and quieter but most important is you get to keep the ATC. (air temperature control) This is a sensor and vacuum operated gate in the snorkel that mixes outside air with warmed air piped up from the hot exhaust manifold keeping it tightly controlled at about 100F. The engine runs more consistently when the air is like August all year round. Speeds the warm up time and eliminates carburetor icing on cold damp days around freezing. It's worth having. Gets cold in Montana I hear....

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  • 1 month later...

Some updates for this thread.

we removed old cracked foam from top of the dash and did a quick Bondo and spray paint clean up to it “ooo sparkly” 

 

we also grinder the rust off the floors, filled in a couple small holes with fiberglass and used a rust converter paint on it… 

 

seats are out of a Volvo and we really like the look and hope to be able to wire them in to use controls… 

 

Soon we plan to do a sound deadener all over interior and carpet it in the coming weeks. 

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On 7/15/2021 at 8:33 PM, datzenmike said:

It's fine. The '69 521 had reflective round amber front fender side markers. The '70 and on had mandated amber rectangular front side markers that lit up. After 50 years many things get switched around to keep them on the road.

We looked at badge in door jam, says 9/1969. Also we realized it is originally from Florida as it has a original dealer decal faded on the tailgate. 

756210B8-6364-425D-AC82-19D7751C962C.jpeg

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In the states, back then, the date on the title was the year it was sold.  If it was made 9/69, it would have taken a month or two to arrive in FL and probably sold after the first of the year....so it's a '69 titled as a '70.  Mike already pointed out some of the "tells" that let us know it's a '69. :)

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