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D21 in my Driveway?

DIY 1985

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I'm a current owner of a 2wd 720.  I love the analog-ness of the the truck.  Roll-up crank windows, carburetor, decent engine bay space, and I can hack up what needs to be made to work with minimal tools and some bailing wire if necessary.


When I see a D21 for sale in Craigslist, should I make the move?  How vulnerable is the 4wd version of the later pickup?  How difficult would it be to running a carburetor in a D21?  Are new parts something of the past?  Little things like window weatherstrip are no fun with older vehicles, and I'm kinda spoiled with my Land Cruiser and all it's availability of parts.  It would be nice to have a D21 or Pathfinder if it is realistic to maintain in a somewhat factory configuration without too much hacking. 


Is a D21 2wd or 4wd something for me, or should I just keep with a 2wd 720?  The 720s are getting rare in Craigslist and wrecking yards, or at least as I can see.  What is your opinion?  Is it a truck that needs more attention to keep running? I've been kinda lazy with my 720, and my passion is the Land Cruiser.  However, a 4wd D21 could do everything that both of those trucks can do, but, I don't know anything about the D21, aside from what is already in my Hayne's or Chilton manual.

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The '90 and up D21 4 cylinder are throttle body EFI and can be converted to carburetor by unbolting this from the manifold, making a flat adapter plate for a 32/36 Weber. However the distributor is a CAS (crank angle sensor) and needs the EFI electronics to generate a spark and correct timing advance. This can be gotten around by it's removal and replacement with a 4 plug wire distributor and drive spindle from an earlier L series engine. Points or EI matchbox will work but the EI is better. I think in a pinch the 8 plug Z series distributor would work  by only using 4 of the 8 plug wires. Might look a little goofy but it would work fine and be EI.


KA24E. KA24DE similar throttle body injection.



Nissan Hardbody D21 intake manifold which bolts? - YouTube


Off it looks like a 4bbl would fit right on. Flat aluminum plate with holes and bolts for the 2bbl carb of your choice. Even the Z24 carburetor would work.

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After the 720 in '86.5 the Z24i engine continued in the new D21 Hardbody through '89. They both use the same transmission but the KA make more power.


The Z24i is a throttle body injection while the KA are multi port sequential fuel injection

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