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Just Picked up my 73 Project


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I finally towed this 73 out of the north Georgia woods light night - I was told by my father in-law it was rusting away and needed a good home. I expected a shell of a 620 for my son / wife and I to begin the restoration ( expecting the worst ) What we found was IMO a virtually perfect project vehicle. Zero Dings, minimal rust, 100% complete. I have had many a project car but this is by far the best starting point I have ever had. Check it out!







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Thanks All for the comments !! This afternoon I " attempted " to remove a stuck front brake drum - Holy hell its on there good.. once off I plan on ordering the following kit unless anyone has any better recommendations - https://www.silverminemotors.com/featured/240z-260z-280z-rear-wilwood-brake-upgrade-kit-large-calipers



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Does the drum have the two bolt holes to push the drum off?  And you backed the shoes off?


http://www.bluehandsinc.com/    This guy is tits for Datsun stuff.  I have not upgraded my fronts to disk yes but I personally plan on using his products.


edit: I think you have to run bigger wheels to use the silvermine kit as well.

Edited by bilzbobaggins
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I would rather have off the shelf parts than custom parts, but that brake kit does look nice.


One question I always ask is - what do I do when I need to replace the rotors? Will they still be around in 5 or 10 years?

Edited by Stoffregen Motorsports
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2 hours ago, bilzbobaggins said:

Thanks for the for the info.. I plan on upgrading wheels and tires as well so clearance is not an issue for bigger brakes. Im learning alot on this site! As far as that blasted drum.. here were no screw holes to back it off that I could see. Would they be on the back? 


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The threaded holes are in the face of the drum, at the wheel mount surface. You put two bolts in to help draw the drum away from the axle flange.


Backing off the brakes means physically loosening the shoe to drum adjuster. This helps if there is a lip from wear on the drum braking surface. Loosening it helps the drum slide past the shoes. This is usually done with through a slot in the back of the brake backing plate. There's a cog wheel that you can loosen with a long flat screwdriver, or better yet, a drum brake adjusting tool.


Some vehicles have an adjuster on the backing plate itself.

Edited by Stoffregen Motorsports
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Todays Update!! Finally Literally had to BEAT the front drums off the truck.. 4 hours of everything but a torch. The Air Hammer finally got us on the move and drums are off.. Truck can now be rolled off the trailer and into our garage at home and out of the big shop. Also found this cool oil fill cap ( anyone know what the Japanese writing says on the cap? ) Also found a receipt for an engine rebuild dating back to the 90's ( total rebuild was 400 bucks! ) We will attempt to turn motor over next week after some prep ( pull plugs - oil in cylanders- turn crank by hand etc... ) Cheers! 








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I lost my stock oil filler cap like that, and in all these years never found another one at the junk yards.


A word or advice: Grease your three U-Joints on the propeller shaft. The front one sometimes gets "oiled" by the transmission, but grease it too. Grease all the upper and lower control control arm bushings, king pins and inner upper shaft too. A lot of times some of the Zirk fittings were capped from the factory. Can't remember why, but it is explained in Coling Messer's book; How To Keep Your Nissan Datsun Alive. There was a Zirk missing from steering components too. Having just spent a couple grand on king pins, all the bushings and steering replaced, wheels aligned... sorting out where all the grease fittings are is worth doing.


Same with trans and read end oil do it now. Also check your steering box. Mine has always leaked and finally wore it out. Everything else got replaced. I'm going to get another steering column and box, send it off to be rebuilt, then replace mine. What a lot of work. But many years ago, I really didn't keep up on my maintenance, stuff is finally used up.


Something that I wonder about now, is could I have figured out how to loose the kingpin setup... and end up with coil-overs with Hitachi Calipers. I love my Hitachi front discs that BlueHands did for me on 720 hubs. Good luck, your truck is a cream puff...


Oh yeah, if this thing is going to sit in the rain at all, make sure you pull the windshield wipers... good time to grease each wiper stalk/bushing and make sure the neoprene booties are keeping water out. Take the front cowl off with 4 screws on the firewall. Then you can reach into the plenum and clean it out. There are drain scupper on each side. Pop the four little clips off the face off you heater, so you can get at the heater core and fan. It could be clean, could be a nightmare. 


Somewhere I did a How-To for making screens on the under side of the cowling, to keep leaves and crap out. Only took me 40 years to figure that out. Typically there is a pin hole leak on each side of the plenum where the firewall, inner fender and cab come together. The seams have goop from the factory, but not into this corner. I couldn't figure out how water was getting into the cab... only when I hit big puddles or splashed right. Two cents worth of RTV fixed the leak!!! I had to scarf the seam sealer off from inside the cab to see the cab was starting to rust behind it!


I decided that it was too much trouble to take the cowl a wipers off to keep the plenum clean. I took two big rubber grommets, the size of the drain holes in the floor of the cab. Then drilled holes in the corners of the firewall, just next to the hood hinge, with a hole saw.  I could get wire brushes and scrapers into the bottom of the plenum by the scupper drains. The seam at the edge of the scupper and cab was covered with crap. I realized that water was running back inside the cab right there. I bent the metal down into the fender well like a spout. I cleaned and painted it, then sprayed that plastic Rustoleum goop that foams and penetrates then cures. It sealed up all the seams. I could see it from the cab side under the dash. Covered the holes with Noeprene plugs, looks like they are supposed to be there. Easy now to stick an air or garden hose in the plenum to keep it clean. My truck lives outside in the rain and around trees, I'm OCD about this.


Good luck... I hope you realize how much tedious nasty work you are spared with a cream puff truck like this. haha

Edited by Figbuck
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30 minutes ago, Figbuck said:

I lost my stock oil filler cap like that, and in all these years never found another one at the junk yards.

DAmn dude.. I guess they are rare? Its a cool looking piece. Wonder if I could scan it and get it 3d printed? 

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On 8/10/2022 at 6:12 PM, TeamMMP73 said:

DAmn dude.. I guess they are rare? Its a cool looking piece. Wonder if I could scan it and get it 3d printed? 

Not that rare actually, they've been going for about $50 for 10+ years now. All over Ebay. 


PETG is probably the best "reasonably" easy to print and obtain filament that is oil resistant, no idea if it is suitable long term though.



Edit. You'd only need to scan the top. Models already exist for the threaded bit.


Edited by Dguy210
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Cap says "Elephant Oil" on the top as the graphic of the pachyderm suggests.  I'll have to study the lower some more, but it say something and then "de kudasai", which is like "please".  


I recently bought a 77 620, and look forward to getting it running.  Nice looking truck. 

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19 hours ago, Figbuck said:

So I just got a chance to read your reply in its entirety - Wow, just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write all that up for us! I am 100% new to any Japanese project - let alone one from 73. I can tell right off the bat that the quality of many of the materials I am seeing are fantastic compared to what was going on domestically in 1973. The absence of pitting in the aluminum hubcaps, bumper chrome and heck even the shifter says alot for a 50 year old vehicle.  Ill continue posting updates and ... lots of questions I'm sure. Cheers!


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Finally got her home.. Filthy and full of bugs and Georgia clay - Spend the weekend sucking out pine needles from everywhere, washing and purple powering just about every spot of grease and mildew - followed up by some silicone spray to freshen things a bit. Removed the Farm Bumper ( that thing was literally 1/4 inch steel!! )  Prepping the hubs for disks is next and teaching my son how to use the tap and tie kit on the wheel stud we knocked loose! Also stopped by a local speed shop that works with imports and discussed the future with them. They offered a solution using a Nissan frontier 4cly - just talking for now. 











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