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New Guy Here With an Old 320


Kev250R

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Hi!

 

My name is Kev, I'm a newbie to this forum and to 320's however I recently bought a '63 320 from a guy in Kansas and should be receiving it in the next day or so!

 

This will be my first Datsun project, thankfully this one has reportedly been gone through mechanically which should allow me to drive it as I make some of the other repairs it needs and others that I want to do.

 

I do have a history of modding and building other vehicles, mostly older VW's.  I have a Manx Type Dune Buggy built on a Type III Pan which I've been playing with for the past 20 years and a '73 VW Thing which last summer my friends and I swapped a modern Subaru 2.5 Boxer Motor into.

 

I'm not sure yet how to post pics on this forum, but considering my 'new' truck is still en-route to me that probably isn't a bad thing!  I'm sure I'll have lots of newbie questions and thank you all in advance for your patience!

 

Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun!

 

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320 Datsun trucks are the best. Classic styling but with character unmatched by other contemporaries. I drove my L320 daily for about ten years and loved every minute of it, except when it was 100 plus degrees out. I mounted an old school bus style fan on the trans tunnel to keep the air moving on those days.

 

Welcome! And can't wait to see pics.

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Thank you for the warm welcome guys!  I'm really looking-forward to this project!  Here are a couple of pics I have ready at hand.  This truck was on eBay a month or so ago, however the high=bidder flaked which is how I was able to get it.  It *should* be to me by tomorrow.  I can't wait to see it in-person!

 

kQuYkaZ.jpg

 

xenGySH.jpg

 

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Welcome to the Ratsun !! I'm thinkin' you got that truck from Andy in KS. He's a guru on these and you've probably got a good solid driver while you learn these creatures and personalize it to your liking. Lots of good experienced info here and great possible source for parts needed. Read through the threads in the 320 forum here and you can pick up mucho knowledge on these little critters. Get acquainted with the site and utilize the classifieds for parts needed. Do you have access to dealer shop and parts manual ?? If not they are available online :

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2FDatsun+320+Factory+Service+Manual.pdf

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2Fdatsun+320+parts+catalog.pdf

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2Fdatsun+320+service+manual.pdf

 

Sounds like you're a hands-on guy and these should help. You've got good tastes; I've got a few AC VW's and FIAT's around the place.

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25 minutes ago, difrangia said:

 

Welcome to the Ratsun !! I'm thinkin' you got that truck from Andy in KS. He's a guru on these and you've probably got a good solid driver while you learn these creatures and personalize it to your liking. Lots of good experienced info here and great possible source for parts needed. Read through the threads in the 320 forum here and you can pick up mucho knowledge on these little critters. Get acquainted with the site and utilize the classifieds for parts needed. Do you have access to dealer shop and parts manual ?? If not they are available online :

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2FDatsun+320+Factory+Service+Manual.pdf

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2Fdatsun+320+parts+catalog.pdf

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=320%2Fdatsun+320+service+manual.pdf

 

Sounds like you're a hands-on guy and these should help. You've got good tastes; I've got a few AC VW's and FIAT's around the place.

 

Thank you!  You're correct, I did buy it from Andy in KS.  I've read some of his threads on the other site and he seems like he knows these little trucks backwards and forwards!  Bonus that he sent me ~200 pictures of the truck and a handful of videos, so despite the fact that I've never actually seen the truck in-person, I felt pretty confident buying it from him.

 

Thank you for the links to the manuals; I'm sure those will be more than helpful as I work to finish what Andy started!

 

Hopefully only one more sleepless-night until I get to see, in-person what I got myself into!

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10 hours ago, rkldesign said:

If you need a head gasket set I have one for sale. Made in Japan nos brand name is Lazorli+e

 

you can contact me at (707) 260-5327 

Thanks!  There's a good chance I may be hitting you up for that, I'll let you know!

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So today was delivery day!  The Truck Driver didn't think my street would be wide enough for his truck and trailer so I met him on a larger road maybe a 1/2 mile from my house.  He'd already un-loaded my 320 when I got there.  He said pretty much the whole way he had people pulling alongside taking pictures of my new little truck LOL!

 

Learning to drive a column shift was, well tricky but thankfully my 320's PO had drawn a diagram and taped it to the dash so that made things easier.

 

I drove it home, took a quick look around it then took it on a ~10 mile drive to get the Title and tags.  Within 5 miles I'd figured-out the trans and didn't hate it!  The title transfer and Tags went well (just pricey) however driving home things took a turn.  My 320 boiled-over.  I let it cool but it kept blowing steam for the next five miles (with me stopping every couple of minutes to let it cool) until I got home so there is an issue with the cooling system.  I'm hoping it's not a bad HG 😐

 

I also can't seem to get Reverse to work, which is annoying but also crucial as my plans were to park this truck in a spot next to my house which will require, well driving backwards.  For now it's nosed in my Silverado's spot in the driveway.

 

I'll create two new threads for these new problems.  Here's a pic of it in my garage:

 

6VNqOf5.jpg

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Hi guys,

 

So as I mentioned in another thread, I'm a 320 newbie.  However my new-to-me 320 seems to run hot and is boiling-over pretty much whenever I drive it for more than a minute or two.

 

My two suspects are a blown HG or a clogged Radiator.  I'm open to any ideas on checking either.  If it's a radiator I have an old-school Radiator shop here in-town which can likely repair it.  HG will be a bit trickier as due to another automotive project (I'm in the middle of rebuilding the front suspension on my VW Thing) I have no place to tear the top-end of an engine down at right now.

 

Over the weekend I'll pull the spark plugs and see how they look.

 

Thanks in advance for any pointers!

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So my column-shifted 320 won't stay in Reverse.  I can get it into Reverse but as soon as I start to let the clutch out it pops out of gear and grinds.  Even if I hold it into gear it pops-out.  If I try to back-up a small incline (like a driveway) it'll pop-out of gear immediately.

 

My question is, is there a way to adjust the linkage for Reverse on these transmissions or am I likely dealing with a more serious transmission issue?

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Look at this newbie loading this board up with questions...sorry!

 

So the IGN light is on in my 320, it's using a Positive-ground system with a Generator which reportedly recently got rebuilt with a rebuilt Voltage Regulator.  I put a meter on the battery while the engine is running and got 12.3VDC.  On my Alternator-equipped vehicles I'm used to seeing closer to 14VDC when the engine is running, so the relative low voltage coupled with the IGN light on makes me think the Generator isn't charging.

 

Is there anything I can check on the truck or should I plan on pulling the Generator and VR and having them bench-checked at a local electric shop?

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Check out a compression tester from your local auto parts place. That will tell you if it's the head gasket. You can also take off your radiator cap and start it up. If it sprays coolant out the top it's a head gasket.

 

Have you taken off your thermostat housing to check your thermostat? Maybe it's frozen?

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Great looking truck. 

 

Pro-tip: instead of starting new threads just keep this as your build thread and post all your questions in here. That way you're not pushing other threads off the 320 page. 

 

Congrats on the truck! I'm happy to help with parts and knowledge. 

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54 minutes ago, 320 Newb said:

Great looking truck. 

 

Pro-tip: instead of starting new threads just keep this as your build thread and post all your questions in here. That way you're not pushing other threads off the 320 page. 

 

Congrats on the truck! I'm happy to help with parts and knowledge. 

Thank you for the kind words!  The Truck Driver who hauled my 320 to me said the truck gathered a crowd the couple of times he had to stop and unload it to load other stuff on his trailer!  I should have asked before starting new threads.  I'll update and add to this one.  If the Mods want to delete my other three threads please do so.  Sorry about that!

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48 minutes ago, wayno said:

By the way I would remove the front license plate, it is right in front of the radiator, that cannot possibly help with cooling.

I thought about that, and agree that could be a contributing factor, especially since it ran nice and cool on the way to the DMV but stated running hot on the drive home.  Regardless the front plate is now bolted to the bumper, well clear of the radiator, though it still seems to be running hot.  I'm going to let it sit for a day and see how it does with a short drive on Saturday.

 

I didn't check the coolant before I left for the DMV (I was in a hurry but I still should have) however when I got back I let the truck sit of 30 mins or so, removed the radiator cap and added a gallon of coolant.  I then drove it about a half mile through my neighborhood to a friends house and it was blowing steam out the over-flow when I got there so I'm concerned to say the least.

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1 hour ago, wayno said:

OK, you know it is a 4spd on the column, reverse is push the lever towards the dash, then pull out on the shift lever and the lever should move even closer to the dash and then push it down and you will be in reverse.

 

Is there coolant in the oil?

Yes, thankfully the PO drew a diagram for the shifter and taped it to the dash and I'm following it (I may actually have it made into a decal and stick it on the glove compartment door LOL) so I'm sure it's going into Reverse, in fact when it's in Reverse it will drive backwards a short ways, but then pops-out.  That worries me as on my air-cooled VW's popping-out of gear is generally when I know it's time to have the Trans rebuilt.  I'm hopeful that since this truck uses linkages that it's more an issue with something being out of adjustment and not allowing it to go 'all the way' into Reverse but I'm also a realist and know that I may have a bum trans.

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