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Just bought a 521


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#41 Charlie69

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:57 AM

Uh, thanks for the advice, but I'm not some boneheaded high schooler who's broke and doesn't have any tools. Do you guys always treat new people like they're completely inept?

I am not "treating you any way at all.

 

Now that I looked at your profile you state you are a mechanical engineer.  I will watch this thread now with great hopes that you can bring your mechanical engineer skills into your 521 and create a unique and beautiful truck.

 

If you would have entered your age it might have avoided some of the comments and suggestions.  With age usually come experience and wisdom.

 

I mean no demeaning hurtfull statements in my posts I am a dry old fart that hates to see these trucks and cars end up hacked up and discarded like yesterdays newspaper.

 

You have what looks to be a beautiful truck and a good starting point to make it your own creation.  I beleive if you own and want to mod it that is your choice.

 

If you look through my 66 520 thread you will see I have many mods on this truck and still have a few more planned before it is finished.

 

I also have threads on my 86 720 king cab dailey driver and my 85 720 king cab ST that turned out to have a bent frame so it is a parts truck now.

 

I also have a 67 520 parts truck.  One can not have too many Datsuns!  LOL



#42 mainer311

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:11 AM

Yeah, I jumped on the truck because I NEVER see them around here. Either on the road or for sale.

The brakes have been pretty neglected. The adjusters are all seized, so I'm thinking they never bothered to adjust the brakes. (The PO had a lot of work done at a garage.) The drive home was scary. Took a couple pumps of the brakes to get any stopping power.

The oil pan is leaking pretty good. No drips, so it's slowly weeping. I think I spotted a drop on the bottom of the drain plug last night, but nothing on the floor so far. Common Datsun problem there. The rear main on my roadster leaks, just like everyone else's.

The PO had a new clutch master installed and the pushrod was too long. They had the clevis positioned such that the top of the threaded rod was jammed behind the clutch pedal. I took it all apart and cut the rod back, moved the clevis all the way to the bottom and reassembled. It's better now, but the clutch pedal hits the floor, so I need to move the clevis back out a couple turns.

The rockers are pretty gone, and the areas behind the front bumper are full of holes. There's a lot of gray stuff flaking off from the wheel wells. I think it's actually old POR-15, but I'm not sure.

The suspension isn't half bad, although the shocks were/are so rusty that they're falling apart.

The interior is nice. No cracks or tears. The PO installed a 12V fan and CB radio. I didn't care for crap hanging from the dash so I removed it all. The AM/FM tape deck wiring is all over the place. I really don't want to install a modern looking radio, but I want something I can plug my phone into for charging/tunes. Still figuring out what to do. The doors already have nice Alpines installed.

The seat was reupholstered within the last year, but it feels like there's no foam in it. It feels like you're sitting directly on the springs and my lower back sinks in. It's really uncomfortable, actually. I was reading through Angela's thread and it seems she's having similar issues. I already scoped out those tabs on the side to see if I could get the seat to recline more. I think a quick fix would be one of those lumbar pillows.

The truck runs and idles really well, but I've only put 6 miles on it, and have no idea how reliable it is in its current state. The log book has dozens of fuel filter changes on it, so I may restore the gas tank. (I just did my roadster tank this past winter.) I need to learn this Hitachi carb first, and I'll most likely install a Pertronix module into it, run a 3 ohm coil and bypass the ballast.

Sat at the DMV for a couple hours and got a new title and registered.

#43 Charlie69

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:24 AM

 I had a couple sets of used rockers here I will have to see if I still have them.  If I do I will take some pictures of them and PM you.  If I have them and you like what you see you can have them for the cost of shipping.  They were given to me by a good friend.

 

By the way welcome and it looks like you are putting your garage to good use.



#44 Charlie69

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:29 AM

I put a set of these on my 520 before I did the 720 chassis swap.  Sold them to Gene Knight after the chassis swap.

 

http://www.bluehands...-brake-kit.html

 

The 520, 521, & the 620 drum brakes are they're weak link.  Another is the solid steering column. 

 

Do you access to any machinists tools?  Such as a lathe or a mill?



#45 DanielC

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:56 AM

The wheel cylinders on Datsun 521 trucks only have one port for fluid to go in and out of them.  If you use a pressure bleeder the air never gets pushed out of the wheel cylinder.

To bleed the brakes, you have to pump up the system, open the bleeder valve, and allow the brake shoe springs to collapse the wheel cylinder piston, and push any air back out to the bleeder valve.



#46 Angela

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:29 AM

Damn how you find that?

 

I just bought a heater core for my 521 from a guy in New Hampshire & he told me about it...link was still up & I compared pics (back window stickers were the same) & I.D'd it :thumbup:

 

Beautiful truck.


D-a-t-C-h-i-c-k-sU-n-i-t-e!

#47 wayno

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:19 AM

I put a set of these on my 520 before I did the 720 chassis swap.  Sold them to Gene Knight after the chassis swap.

 

http://www.bluehands...-brake-kit.html

 

The 520, 521, & the 620 drum brakes are they're weak link.  Another is the solid steering column. 

 

Do you any Machinists tools?  Such as a lathe or a mill?

 

Mike sells some great stuff! :)

 

I never really considered the drum brakes on a early Datsun truck a weak spot, they just have quirks, I drove my first 521(work truck now) for around 4/5 years with drums all around, what I didn't like about them was every time I did a emergency stop I ended up in a counter clockwise spin and ended up backwards on the road and would have to get turned back around, when it does that one is basically just along for the ride, since putting front disc brakes on the truck that has not happened and I am able to let off the brakes and turn away from the object I am heading at and miss it altogether(has happened twice), I didn't have that option spinning down the road.

The other thing I didn't like was after it became the work truck and I started loading it up with firewood was the brakes got hot fast and started fading, especially going down hill for long periods of time in traffic, that is when I fabricated a combination of 620/720 front disc brakes, at first I used the late 620/early 720 non-vented type disc brakes with ball joints, they also faded after going down hill in traffic, they actually didn't last a lot longer than the drum brakes, but they worked a little better after hot, then I upgraded to 1990 V6 Hardbody dual piston vented rotor disc brakes and have had them since, they work pretty good, but there is only so much weight one can stop with the brakes that come on these small trucks, no matter what brakes you have.


 

 


#48 mainer311

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:45 AM

Charlie, I have access to a Trak DPM2. We'll most likely have a Hardinge lathe in the close future.

#49 mainer311

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:46 AM

I have Mike's kit on my roadster. The Volvo girlings are a two fitting design, so I cross drilled the pots and capped the upper fitting port.

#50 mainer311

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:12 PM

Well, today turned into a shit storm. Successfully got the driver's side of the truck all back together. Started on passenger rear and after 2 hours of PB Blaster and heat, the drum wouldn't come off. I ended up cutting on both sides and that was enough to get it free. Ordered a new one. 3rd seized adjuster fixed. Rear cylinder was seized on one side, so I removed that and broke the rusty brake line in the process. Made a new ni-copp brake line and ordered a new cylinder while I was at it. This is all stuff I've come to expect with cars this old.

#51 wayno

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:45 PM

Sometimes they get stuck on there, you should have asked how to get it off.

What you do is find a 6/7 foot piece of metal tubing(round/square) with a thick wall, I use a weight lifting bar(very heavy) and I place it on top of the leaf springs from the driverside to the passenger side and I place it against the edge of the back side of the drum, then I go to the other side and slam the end of the piece of metal/bar and pop it off, sometimes I have to turn the drum a quarter turn and repeat until it pops off, but it eventually comes off.


 

 


#52 mainer311

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:54 PM

How do you get around the metal backing plates using that method?

#53 wayno

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:13 PM

How do you get around the metal backing plates using that method?

 

Early stuff has the edge/lip of the drum sticking out past the dust cover, your only getting an eighth inch of drum to work with, but that is enough to knock it off.

That is the type of drums my 521s had, I have upgraded to 720 stuff now except for my 320 rear axles, and I have been thinking about trying to use 85/86 Nissan 720 stuff on my 320 rear axles, just have not got around to seeing if it is possible yet.


 

 


#54 Crashtd420

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:31 PM

Well, today turned into a shit storm. Successfully got the driver's side of the truck all back together. Started on passenger rear and after 2 hours of PB Blaster and heat, the drum wouldn't come off. I ended up cutting on both sides and that was enough to get it free. Ordered a new one. 3rd seized adjuster fixed. Rear cylinder was seized on one side, so I removed that and broke the rusty brake line in the process. Made a new ni-copp brake line and ordered a new cylinder while I was at it. This is all stuff I've come to expect with cars this old.


Must be the glorious rust we make up here in mass.... while Waynos idea should work I was not successful either .... I had to do the same as you mainer311 to get my rear drums off.... whatever it takes...

#55 Angela

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:04 PM

Quote: "The seat was reupholstered within the last year, but it feels like there's no foam in it. It feels like you're sitting directly on the springs and my lower back sinks in. It's really uncomfortable, actually. I was reading through Angela's thread and it seems she's having similar issues. I already scoped out those tabs on the side to see if I could get the seat to recline more. I think a quick fix would be one of those lumbar pillows."

 

Hey there Mainer,

 

I'm real interested in your build & wish you the best at whatever you decide to do with it. I have not tackled my seat issues yet but am thinking about digging into it tomorrow. I will post whatever I come up with. I'm curious as to what you might do to your seat to make it more pleasurable to drive. A lumbar pillow is a great short-term fix. My seat has saggy or broken springs on the bottom & it's just completely wonky. I gotta figure something out soon cos it's totally uncomfortable as is.

 

Best of luck...you have a great starting point  :thumbup: 

 

Angela


D-a-t-C-h-i-c-k-sU-n-i-t-e!

#56 gene knight

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:48 AM

nice 521 and welcome to ratsun



#57 Charlie69

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:09 PM

Charlie, I have access to a Trak DPM2. We'll most likely have a Hardinge lathe in the close future.

You could do some precise whittling with the Trak DPM2.  The Hardinge lathe will be a nice addition.  Now my expectations are even higher for your 521.

 

It is good to know you have Mikes kit on your Roadster.

 

Is there a thread on your Roadster?



#58 mainer311

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

Roadster build thread:

http://www.311s.org/...hp?f=27&t=16846

Not very exciting. I was a victim of the photobucket disaster like most people. A few good pics on page 3. Basically, I bough the car in 2012 around 4th of July weekend. I knew it wasn't running right, so I rented a Uhaul trailer and towed it to my parents house up in Maine. I was getting thumbs up from both old guys and teenagers the entire drive there. The car barely had enough nut to get onto the trailer under its own power, and the PO figured it had blown rings. (I later found out that two pistons had broken ring lands.)

Over the next year I pulled the engine and rebuilt it, brought the transmission back to Mass and rebuilt that, ran all new brake lines, rebuilt the rear diff and axle shafts, and molded new urethane leaf bushings and pad. New shocks, lower ball joints and bushings up front.

Later I did Mike's Volvo brake conversion with vented rotors from a mid 90's Altima.

Interior wise, I installed a correct driver's side seat (it had two passenger seats), cleaned it up, installed a rollbar, new steering wheel, fixed a ton of electrical and customized the center console into a gauge cluster.

#59 mainer311

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:49 PM

I also have access to a Fortis 3D printer and have designed some parts. ABS plastic can be melted together once printed using acetone, sanded, and then painted. Here's the roadster center console:

qB7D7LW.jpg

J8OXoCt.jpg

My roadster has the one wire GM alternator swap, so I installed a voltmeter in place of the stock ammeter, and a more accurate water temp gauge.

I moved the ignition to the center console and deleted the steering column lock, since it is known for failing. The bottom parts are a replacement steering column trim clamshell design.

#60 mainer311

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:57 PM

And since I find peoples' other hobbies particularly interesting, I also do the following:

-High end furniture woodworking and speaker building. I've also dabbled in building amplifiers and finished my first one a couple years ago.
-I'm an avid target shooter (used to hunt in my younger years) and pass the time in the winter doing precision reloading. I also build and customize firearms.
-I build scale model cars and airplanes, which is another good way to pass the winter.
-I'm a cycling enthusiast. I have 7 bikes, anywhere from road riding to downhill.

I basically cannot stop doing stuff. I always have to have some sort of project going on.