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My 720 Resto


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#1 720inOlyWa

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 07:32 PM

A word to the reader of this blog: my intention was to present the story of rehabbing a 1985 720 King Cab by a person with no real experience in doing such a thing. I continued the thread until I finished the truck, twenty some odd pages from here. I intended it to be a little inspiration and a little information, encouraging others to do the same because these trucks are great little beasts and because darn it, people like them. To those readers who are following in my footsteps, I hope your experience is as positive and successful as mine was. I make mistakes here, but Ratsun forum contributors helped me out all along the way.  They will help you, too.

 

 

.....

 

 

 

I decided that If I am going to post about the slow renovation of my 1985 720, I might as well be in the right section. (I had been posting in the astories section while I figured out how to upload photos.

 

Anyway, here is my truck as she sits tonight.

 

LEFTFRONTAL_zps0d346a12.jpg

 

 

I have finished up the head gasket replacement and she runs great, but I plan to get another engine and transmission to rebuilt to zero time.  She is unbelievably common, it turns out, because I have run into four of them still operating in the Olympia area. All the same metalic cinnamon brown, with the same oversized mirrors.

 

When I bought it, the motor was a mess but the body was relatively straight and rust free. And the odometer reading was just over 60,000 miles. That was about 2,000 trouble free miles ago.

 

ODOMETERANDDASH_zpscb214a8c.jpg

 

So things are generally just not too worn out with this vehicle. In some ways, it is almost a barn find. I Weberized her over the winter, as I put the engine back together. I replace the entire exhaust, traded out a bunch of cheap tune up parts for good OEM ones and have begun moving into the cab.  This last week, I added a rehabbed console out of an 89 Hardbody, replaced the sun visors, rehabbed the speedo and lubed everything underneath. The next chore is to loosen the rear bumper to level it back up.

 

CONSOLEINSTALLED_zpsd660512c.jpg

 

Tomorrow, after I get done with some business in Seattle, I will stop by the Tacoma yard for replacement kick panels.

 

The body isn’t perfect, however. There is a good sized dent on the side of the bed, near the back on both sides. Somebody said I could pop them out with a plunger, but I doubt it. I haven’t figured out how to get inside there just yet. Any thoughts?

 

BedDent_zps8716da37.jpg



#2 wayno

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:04 PM

If you look around, you will find a 720 with this type of mirror, it was a common 720 mirror that can actually be bought on ebay.

DSCN0054.JPG

This auction would be the early Datsun 720 size.

http://www.ebay.com/...64b6f62&vxp=mtr

I think this is the later larger Nissan size.

http://www.ebay.com/...56a9009&vxp=mtr

I think this one is also the later size.

http://www.ebay.com/...825cc84&vxp=mtr


 

 


#3 Justin Berni

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:24 PM

Rock auto actually sells brand new mirrors too, same stock ones, I just checked earlier, but they only had drivers side haha.
I Love your tuck tho! I use to only like single cabs but now I want to find a king cab so bad, and I love that color.
Goodluck with the rest of it.

#4 720inOlyWa

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 07:41 AM

Thanks for the mirror advice. I think I will order a set today. I just like the look of the diminutive stock mirrors so much more than the elephant ear ones that I have now. Funny, back when I had my pumpkin 620- years ago- I went way out of my way to put huge fucking ‘big rig’ type mirrors on it. Really ridiculous. Maybe I am atoning for that this time around but it seems to me that the way I drive, stock mirrors should be plenty safe. They would look way better, too.

 

When I bought my truck, my handyman brother in law exclaimed “Wow- a King Cab. you are lucky!” At that time, I was with you in thinking that maybe the regular cab looked a bit “charper”. Now that I have experienced the convenience of having behind the seat space, I am a total convert. King Cabs, man. That’s the one you want.



#5 wayno

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 02:28 PM

Yea, you want kingcabs, they are the way to go as far as I am concerned, but I like legroom, that is my number one priority. :)


 

 


#6 720inOlyWa

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:02 PM

With the added padded console, it is really getting pretty comfortable to drive, too. If only I could do something about the drivers side widow wind. It hits tyhe side of my knee at just the wrong window opening settings.

 

I need to sit in a 620 again, and then maybe a 521 to get a feel for the roominess of this 720. Right now, even though I drove a 620 for well over a decade, this feels quite similar to it, to me. It isn’t- in so many ways- it just retains that  snappy little truck feel that I liked so much. Obviously, the Japanese finally got swayed by focus group feedback and opted to take style cues from Chevy, et al, so it really has the ‘rancho’ look, but somehow, it retains its samurai heart.

 

Mirrors are on the way. Thanks again- that is going to clean things up nicely!



#7 720inOlyWa

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 09:56 AM

Kick panels got the attention yesterday.  Mine came with a paper composite kick panel set, which had degraded considerable since 1985.

 

PAPERKICKPANELINPLACE_zps1456e1b0.jpg

 

In fact, the passenger side panel was pretty much toast- or sogged out soda cracker- either way, not so good.

 

PAPERKICKPANELREMOVED_zps01e3cb23.jpg

 

But who knew they switched to durable plastic during the year?!? I found one- a passengers side kick panel, removed from a yard find marked 1985 Nissan. Of course I grabbed it, straightened it out a little, then went straight home and mounted it up.

 

PLASTICKICKPANEL_zpsedcabf5c.jpg

 

Now I can’t rest until I find the left side companion.



#8 720inOlyWa

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:04 AM

This morning, I installed a new coil / canister mounting plate. My original was getting pretty rusty- only two parts under the hood that suffered much from rust. I found a perfect one up at the Lakewood Pull A Part, cleaned it up, and installed it this morning after cleaning and rubbing out the paint beneath.

 

COILBRACKETREPLACEMENT_zps02d6d37c.jpg



#9 Jeremiah720

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:39 PM

Haha yeah I had to get a lot of my interior from the salvage yard my rearview mirror visors and right kick panel were all missings. Later I cut out the center of the circle for more depth to mount my speakers. Awesome find. I think my rear panels are still made of some type of cardboard not sure.


:thumbup: CARS ARE SIMPLE EVERYTHING ELSE IS BEYOND ME  :rofl:

My 720 Build thread HERE


#10 Nissan_Boy85

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

How's the battery tray? Mine is rusted out pretty bad and I don't wanna drill spot welds to replace it, much less find one in half way decent shape.


BY ORDER OF RATSUN LAW ALL 720'S MUST BE LOWERED

 

http://community.rat...0-build-thread/ My Ratsun Build Thread

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3298132 My 720 CarDomain Page

 


#11 720inOlyWa

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 04:16 AM

Surprisingly, the battery tray is in decent shape. I think that I can Por 15 it, then repaint. I reckon that a little barrier of thin foam plastic under the battery wouldn’t hurt either. I found it to be pretty odd that the coil mounting tray and the vacuum delay valve mounting tray on the other side of the engine were the only two pieces that had turned to rusty garbage. The truck originally lived in the Aberdeen area, (major bonus points)  so the salt air must have attacked those pieces that were not completely shielded.



#12 720inOlyWa

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 04:20 AM

I guess that in 1985, they still thought that it was a good idea to aim the speakers at your lower legs, in the door pillars where we know it is always nice and dry...

 

When I get around to addressing the ‘tunes’ question, I am sure it will include something very small, perhaps un-noticable, mounted in the upper rear corners of the cab. You know, near my ears.



#13 720inOlyWa

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 08:58 AM

Battery Tray Rehab

After replacing the coil mounting bracket on the left hand side of the engine compartment, I dove into rehabbing the battery tray on the right hand side. It is tack welded onto the fender well, so there is no option to replace it with junk yard parts.  In these cases, I turn to my old friend Por 15 for help. I don’t need to tell most of you how invaluable the Por 15 system is in treating problems like rusty battery trays. First, the rust neutralizing really does a number on the rust itself. second, the sealing paint is like ceramic when it dries, locking out future weathering. I have used their gas tank rebuilding kit before with unbelievable results, so this somewhat pocky battery tray shouldn’t be much of a problem- and it wasn’t.

 

BATTERYTRAY_zps46d17c8b.jpg

 

As a apart of my rehab policy, I only rub out the paint on the fender well as I get to that area for rehab attention, so it was nice to bring back the paint around the tray as well. Since I was in the area, I removed the washer reservoir, rubbed out that area too, and gave the mounting bracket the same anti rust treatment as the tray. In the process, I cracked the top of the reservoir, so I will need to keep an eye out for a better one.

 

Speaking of keeping an eye out, I have been looking high and low for a center cap like this one.

 

CENTERCAP_zpsf9d18761.jpg

 

I have three good ones, and this dud. Have any ideas where I can find a replacement? I would have thought this to be an easy find, but no. It seems like everyone jettisons their stock “grandpa truck” rims right away in favor of something weird and inappropriate. So why aren’t there piles of these things laying around?

 

All of the hubcap / center cap places online don’t have any. I can’t find one anywhere. I even went to the dealer parts department, just for a laugh. They told me it would be $69.95 for one... but they don’t have them anymore. It is about 25 cents worth of plastic, I reckon. Seems like I ought to find one, somehow. Any ideas?



#14 Guam671

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 11:07 AM

Are those the stock center caps just chromed?



#15 720inOlyWa

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 11:08 AM

Chromed... plastic. heavy duty plastic, but plastic.



#16 Guam671

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 01:35 PM

yeah but are they the stock center caps?



#17 720inOlyWa

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 02:12 PM

I am sure they are, for 1985. I have seen others, and they are exactly the same.



#18 Guam671

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 02:54 PM

Oh, cause I've never seen them chrome. 

 

Boom!

 

http://www.ebay.com/...f8bc955&vxp=mtr



#19 81SVN20

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 04:37 PM

Battery Tray Rehab

After replacing the coil mounting bracket on the left hand side of the engine compartment, I dove into rehabbing the battery tray on the right hand side. It is tack welded onto the fender well, so there is no option to replace it with junk yard parts.  In these cases, I turn to my old friend Por 15 for help. I don’t need to tell most of you how invaluable the Por 15 system is in treating problems like rusty battery trays. First, the rust neutralizing really does a number on the rust itself. second, the sealing paint is like ceramic when it dries, locking out future weathering. I have used their gas tank rebuilding kit before with unbelievable results, so this somewhat pocky battery tray shouldn’t be much of a problem- and it wasn’t.

 

BATTERYTRAY_zps46d17c8b.jpg

 

As a apart of my rehab policy, I only rub out the paint on the fender well as I get to that area for rehab attention, so it was nice to bring back the paint around the tray as well. Since I was in the area, I removed the washer reservoir, rubbed out that area too, and gave the mounting bracket the same anti rust treatment as the tray. In the process, I cracked the top of the reservoir, so I will need to keep an eye out for a better one.

 

Speaking of keeping an eye out, I have been looking high and low for a center cap like this one.

 

CENTERCAP_zpsf9d18761.jpg

 

I have three good ones, and this dud. Have any ideas where I can find a replacement? I would have thought this to be an easy find, but no. It seems like everyone jettisons their stock “grandpa truck” rims right away in favor of something weird and inappropriate. So why aren’t there piles of these things laying around?

 

All of the hubcap / center cap places online don’t have any. I can’t find one anywhere. I even went to the dealer parts department, just for a laugh. They told me it would be $69.95 for one... but they don’t have them anymore. It is about 25 cents worth of plastic, I reckon. Seems like I ought to find one, somehow. Any ideas?

 

If you dont like the ebay listing try ordering them from nissanpartszone.com your nissan dealer is just lazy to have them ordered for you... Click the link  http://www.nissanpar...0343-03w16.html

 

That should help you... by the way keep up the resto!!



#20 wayno

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 06:58 PM

I have what you need, I have an extra with the same clip arrangement, it might not be as nice as the rest of yours though.

DSCN3497.JPG

 

DSCN3504.JPG

 

DSCN3501.JPG