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Trying to Finish a Half-Finished 1963 320 Project


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These are the NAPA hoses that have been running on ours for eight years. A little minor trimming on one or both ends might be needed.

This isn't the 'Voice of Experience' as I wasn't around where these early Nissan vehicles were being built and sold but, My guess is that the majority of these pickups came out of the factory without most of the optional accessories such as heaters, radios, fog lights, back-up lights, and others. In many instances, the dealer would add these on to satisfy the customer's taste and pocketbook. The fitting was added to the lower radiator hose when a heater was installed by the dealer or owner. Economics and marketing and many more facets of daily life were much different sixty years ago. One didn't just take the old hose off and acquire a custom hose made for adding the heater fitting. Existing items were modified or refurbished back then as hardware came at a premium and labor was cheap; now neither one is. When is the last time you know of a dealership completely rebuilding an engine or transmission ?? A little individual mechanic in a dealer bay is much more expensive when utilized to do a complete labor/time intensive rebuild than a robot or union assembler back at the factory.



Edited by difrangia
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11 minutes ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

@whiteaverson- seems like the simplest way would be to use the plugged hole in the water pump. I don't love the tee'd hoses. They tend to come apart at the tee.


Right, Matt. Only justification for the fitting in the lower hose that I could fathom is someone wanting to retain complete originality. Imagine driving to a car show a hundred miles away and walking back up to your little pickup with a green puddle under the engine; on a Sunday evening. The water pump port for for the heater hose most likely came with the J-Series engine in the 520 & 411 sedans.

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Thank you all for the suggestions and hose part numbers. I'll have to locate a fitting for the water pump but I think I will do that. The original tee'd hose looks like the one @wayno has pictured and its disintegrating. The brass tee I have has me concerned about leaks.


I saved the fuel filter fitting. I already feel wrong throwing away factory parts on any car but especially on something that is lacking part availability like these trucks.


I did cut and flare the remaining fuel line on the tank in order to hopefully prevent any leaks.

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Alright, so a little progress the last few days. Ordered the lower radiator hose. On the fitting in the water pump. Can anyone confirm the thread for that port? I did some research and only found 3/8 NPT mentioned but I thought the fuel filter fitting was NPT and it turned out to be BSP.

Next, on the continued fuel system work. I bolted on the fuel sender and flared the remaining fuel tube for the soft line.


Then, loosely hung the tank and connected the fuel hose.


Need to connect the fuel filler and vent line and replace the gasket and element in the fuel filter and the fuel system should be done?

Another random question, the tube for the vacuum advance, I believe, isn't connected. It looks like the little bracket should have been on the stud near it.


Is that a head stud? Can I remove the nut and put the bracket on safely?

And I also installed all the cab mounts just so I could cross something off my large checklist.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright, a small amount of progress again. Lower radiator hose is now done and I added a fitting to the water pump for the heater hose.


And I have the fuel system basically wrapped up besides confirming the fuel pump and carb are good to go. That will probably have to wait until its time for start up. Got the fuel tank and fuel filler in.


And the fuel lines are all in place. I got a new cork gasket for the fuel filter but the only element I know will fit the bowl is the OEM part and I haven't ordered that.


So I think the clutch slave and lines is next on my checklist.

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Matt, there is a universal filter available currently, at 'Tractor Supply and probably other places. I have the P.N. archived if someone needs it and can't find it. Might even have a pic of the modern filter.

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Rebuilt the clutch slave cylinder this week. Used my very precise cylinder hone.


And assembled the slave cylinder.


Installed with the new hose.


And installed the clutch hard line.


I tried to bleed the system but my little mityvac vacuum bleeder doesn't seem to be capable of bleeding a system on its own. Or its like the brakes and the master cylinder has a leak somewhere. I'll have to find someone to help me bleed it.

One more system off the list anyway. I'm moving to rebuilding the heater box. Any advice or help is appreciated.


Once that is done and the cooling system is tied together it should just be wiring to get it started (hopefully).

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Take the core into a radiator shop. They may be able to fix it.


On the bleeding - A clutch system can bleed itself by leaving the bleeder open and letting gravity take over, but yes, you need to get the fluid moving first. Since the fluid first has to rise above the master to get across the engine bay, you need to push the fluid (instead of pulling it)to get it moving. You can do it by yourself by cracking the bleeder (at the slave) and slowly pressing the pedal to the floor and then slowly back up. If that doesn't work, try a more firm and quicker push. Do this a few times, with the bleeder open, and the fluid will start moving.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, getting the frustrating little things that have historically caused me to give up on projects. Heater core is cracked in several places and needs to be rebuilt or replaced. I ended up just looping the heater hose for now.


I just want to get what's needed to start it at this point. Knowing it runs will be motivating. Of course, bleeding the clutch revealed that the bleeder valve is leaking for some reason. I added some teflon tape to the threads but I'm not convinced it will help and now I can't seem to get it to bleed again.

In reality, it should just need wiring to run but of course the battery isn't taking a charge so I probably need to replace that.

So, I ended up just doing some easy things to feel like progress was being made. A couple parts weren't installed in the crazy shift linkage.


Got those installed.


I also installed the speedo cable. My list of tasks is a bit shorter anyway.


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 If looping the heater hoses be sure to stuff something in the hose to prevent circulation. This water is not cooled by the heater and is not going through the radiator, it's hot water bypassing the radiator altogether and this puts a strain on the cooling system. Definitely avoid during warmer weather.

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Some guys plug the heater hose ports, and I have it this way on my street Sprite, but it is best to loop them in a way to help the coolant flow. I've seen a couple different methods, but this pic below shows a typical A series race setup.




The B series engine, which is basically identical to the Datsun J motor has the port in a different spot on the cylinder head, but the routing is mostly the same.



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