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A layman's guide to a beater (85' 4x4)


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#41 captain720

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:38 PM

Unless you really want one I would try wheeling without one and then see what you need to fix. I have done some pretty serious stuff in mine with open diffs. Good tires and a buddy will get you a long ways. Just my two cents though.

1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#42 ClumsyBird

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:59 PM

noted @captain720



#43 Lockleaf

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:21 PM

Captain is correct. Wheel until you prove your equipment is inadequate. Just go with buddies and go prepared. If all you're doing is mountain roads, you can do tons with the factory equipment

Half Pint ('71 510 Goon) http://community.rat...agon/p?=1269361

 

Audrey ('69 Roadster 1600) http://community.rat...rey-the-ratster

 

Tiny Havok ('85 720 DIY built Crewcab 4x4) http://community.rat...ache/?p=1395455

 

720 Shenanigans http://community.rat...20-shenanigans/


#44 captain720

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:29 PM



Captain is correct. Wheel until you prove your equipment is inadequate. Just go with buddies and go prepared. If all you're doing is mountain roads, you can do tons with the factory equipment

You can do so much more than mountain roads with factory equipment, with a little driving skill these trucks are AMAZING. I can run circles around bigger trucks, if you can't go through a lot of times you can float right over the top or simple squeak around and through the trees. Absolutely would recommend locking hubs though. When you search for those make sure and get the right spline count.

 

 

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Still can't believe I made it out of there, thick clay mud. It was a 40 foot long mud hole, buddy dragged me the last 10 feet or so.

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Went up on two wheels here, but it rocked back.  :thumbup:

IMG_20170530_211858.jpg

 IMG_20170528_134047669.jpg

Definitely will be taking the GoPro next time as it seems like I always miss the good shots.  :yawn:


1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#45 ClumsyBird

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

Fortunately mine came with manual locking hubs : ), Although to be completely honest, I had no clue what they were and I thought it came standard on 4x4's which is why I didn't mention it. I think maybe I've been too caught up on swaps and lifts and whatnot. You guys probably see this all the time, this is my first car I bought with my own money (I have a rear wheel drive Toyota that I use as a daily driver that mommy and daddy bought me (awww)) and the thought of planning a build is just so exciting, it seems I'm getting ahead of myself. And it doesn't help with all the build porn floating around here haha. Perhaps I need to focus on fixing body damage and hunting down battery gremlins (not my term, I forgot who coined that on here). I really am new to this kind of thing, which is hilarious considering I'm pursuing a degree in heavy equipment repair degree in a hick town. Most of my classmates are farm kids who grew up on this kind of thing, I grew up in a suburb of portland, I spent almost all of my academic career thinking I was going to be an accountant, once I figured out accounting sucks and alot of accountants are horribly, horribly depressed (see - Las Vegas shooting), I thought maybe I needed a career more tangible and manly (I mean whats more manly than a diesel truck? C'mon), so I picked a random program and moved. If you guys saw me you'd laugh, I have the glasses and the social anxiety, the whole nine yards. Not to mention I'm terribly uncoordinated, I have a degree in dropping things, henceforth the username. I stick out like a sore thumb haha, however I'm a fairly nice guy and most people take pity on me and decide to help me out once they see me struggle with a locknut for 15 minutes or put my tires on backwards. Once my newfound friends from school heard that I've never been "four wheelin" (something I would have never thought about doing back in Portland) they decided to give me a formal introduction. And although I did hit my head on both the roof and the dash several times, it was the most fun I've had in years. I had to get one. So after some research, I figured an 80's or 90's japanese truck would be my best bet in terms of reliability and cost of maintenance and aftermarket support. I saw how grossly overvalued most 22re's were as ones with over 200k would be listed for 6000+ dollars. However I had heard of Datsuns and early Nissans being praised for their similar build quality, and seeing that they were significantly less, I bought my truck. Which doesn't seem to be a bad little offroad/working rig for $700. Not to get personal on you guys, I just thought anybody who is reading would like some background on me and might serve as an explanation for me and some of my seemingly odd choices. For anybody who cares haha. 



#46 ClumsyBird

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:09 AM

Those are some awesome pictures @captain720! And thanks for the advice guys, I really do take what you guys say to heart. Which will come apparent as my build comes together. I'll try and include as many photos as I can, knowing as you guys like photos. Hopefully I can provide you guys some sort of satisfaction seeing the build come together with inclusion of your ideas, or more likely entertain you guys with photos of my torched cab or snapped axle or something of the like. Maybe some good stories too (Mr. Dum Dum anybody? -720inolywa) 



#47 Lockleaf

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:15 AM

Nothing wrong with a little build excitement. Every single one of of us has been there. We are trying to help you avoid the project trap that many new enthusiasts fall into. You just got started, you take on a massive project, and get in over your head. Then you end up with a dead project you're not able to finish due to money or skill and it lies dead.

One important thing to know. Motivation stays exponentially higher on a driveable project. Keep it that way until you develop the familiarity and skill to make big changes.

Half Pint ('71 510 Goon) http://community.rat...agon/p?=1269361

 

Audrey ('69 Roadster 1600) http://community.rat...rey-the-ratster

 

Tiny Havok ('85 720 DIY built Crewcab 4x4) http://community.rat...ache/?p=1395455

 

720 Shenanigans http://community.rat...20-shenanigans/


#48 datzenmike

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:54 AM

Datsun trucks are light too. Big 4x4s can have about the same tire so imagine if they were almost half their weight, how much less weight to lift up a slippery climb and how much less it bogs onto a muddy hole. The 720s will fit narrower places too. I've had a 4x4 jeep try 5 times to get up beside me in my 521 open diff 2wd. He was all wtf? I loved that truck


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#49 ClumsyBird

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 03:43 PM

Yeah If I had to guess, the curb weight of my truck is a tad below 3000 lbs, I've pushed it many times



#50 datzenmike

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:43 PM

It's heavier than the 620 and it's about 2,750. A 4x4 would be a lot more.

 

My 620 had a KC '82 2wd frame with transfer case and a Toyota solid front axle and big tires. The torsion bar and front suspension I cut away. It weighed 3,400 without me in it.


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#51 captain720

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:30 PM

It's heavier than the 620 and it's about 2,750. A 4x4 would be a lot more.

 

My 620 had a KC '82 2wd frame with transfer case and a Toyota solid front axle and big tires. The torsion bar and front suspension I cut away. It weighed 3,400 without me in it.

I need to weigh mine, but I always have stuff with me that needs to be delivered here or there or something so I can't get an accurate weight lol. But I think 3,300-3,500 sounds right for a 4wd. Lockleaf have you weighed any of yours?


1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#52 Lockleaf

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 09:39 PM

Nah never thought about my truck weight. Its probably been weighed and i just never paid attention. I've taken many loads in for recycling so I'm sure I've seen my real weight a few times.

Half Pint ('71 510 Goon) http://community.rat...agon/p?=1269361

 

Audrey ('69 Roadster 1600) http://community.rat...rey-the-ratster

 

Tiny Havok ('85 720 DIY built Crewcab 4x4) http://community.rat...ache/?p=1395455

 

720 Shenanigans http://community.rat...20-shenanigans/


#53 ClumsyBird

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:30 AM

I'm looking at buying a 85' 2wd standard cab 85xxx miles, I know I can steal the engine out of it, but can I take the transmission because it is a 2wd? I know it has different suspension components. But same cab, same year. That's really the dear breaker, because the windshield, floor boards, and engine don't constitute buying a whole new truck, but add in the transmission and we have a deal

#54 captain720

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:11 AM

The first gear is higher in the 2wd, you won't notice too much unless you drive like a banshee, run bigger tires, and off road. I do all of the above so I looked extra hard to find a 4wd, bought one from Ted at Canby and I have been extremely pleased with it.

 

85xxx miles? Dude might want to replace your little car with it, these little things don't die easy and a lot of times the engines can be brought back from the depths of well real nastiness.


1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#55 ClumsyBird

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

The 2wd has some front end damage, isn't a 4x4 obviously, and does have as cool as a grill. You can't imagine how difficult a swap would be for the 4x4

#56 captain720

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:46 AM

The 2wd has some front end damage, isn't a 4x4 obviously, and does have as cool as a grill. You can't imagine how difficult a swap would be for the 4x4


What swap is unimaginably difficult? Transmission swaps in 4wds are not enjoyable at all if that is what you are talking about? Converting a 2wd to 4wd would also be really hard.

1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#57 ClumsyBird

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 12:15 PM

The frame and body on the 4x4, despite having 300xxx miles on it, it's almost entirely rust free, besides the floor pans and some surface body rust, it also has working 4x4, but a tired engine and transmission and caruburetor. The 2wd has body damage, yet has a strong drivetrain as well as a good bed, floor pans, and windshield. So Im trying to find the best combination of parts and decide which truck to fit things on, The 2wd parts truck will probably run me as much as my original truck, around 600ish?



#58 bottomwatcher

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:07 PM

Your getting a lot of parts. The question is do you have the room to store them? If so a whole parts truck is a good deal. There are lots of little bits and already having some in a stash you can access at night on a Sunday comes in handy. Since that is always when you will need something like an alternator or idler pull wiper motor ect, to make it somewhere for monday morning. Old vehicles like to have issues at the most inconvenient time.

#59 captain720

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:17 PM

Your getting a lot of parts. The question is do you have the room to store them? If so a whole parts truck is a good deal. There are lots of little bits and already having some in a stash you can access at night on a Sunday comes in handy. Since that is always when you will need something like an alternator or idler pull wiper motor ect, to make it somewhere for monday morning. Old vehicles like to have issues at the most inconvenient time.


I second this.

1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc with a 1984 Z24 (third engines the charm?) http://community.rat...y-first-pickup/
1986 and 0 Nissan 720 kc 2wd http://community.ratsun.net/topic/71766-one-wasnt-enough/

 

 

Datsun=Project


#60 Lockleaf

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:42 PM

Transmission will fit in theory but not likely in actuality without one modification.

4X4 transmissions are all 26.5 inches long by 1984. Basically all the 2wd transmissions by that time are 31 inches long. Almost guaranteed your intermediate shaft from trans to transfer case will need to be shortened.

Yes there are long tail transmissions in 4x4s from the factory. Yes there are short tail transmissions in 2wd from the factory.

Both of these exceptions aren't common, so likely you will have the length mismatch to deal with. But a modified intermediate shaft will do that.

Half Pint ('71 510 Goon) http://community.rat...agon/p?=1269361

 

Audrey ('69 Roadster 1600) http://community.rat...rey-the-ratster

 

Tiny Havok ('85 720 DIY built Crewcab 4x4) http://community.rat...ache/?p=1395455

 

720 Shenanigans http://community.rat...20-shenanigans/