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64' Datsun 320 Field Find


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#1 jacobbell69

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 02:12 PM

Once the snow is gone and I can go get it, this baby will be mine.

 

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Originally I bought a 620 earlier in 2017 and I absolutely fell in love with Datsun trucks.

Here is my build for my 620, community.ratsun.net/topic/71790-72-620-barn-find

I then bought 2 620 parts trucks, followed by 2 520's that I could Frankenstein together to make one when I got the time this summer.

However I found this 320 and I'm going to focus on it in the up coming months.

With this being said I need to sell/part out my 520's to make room and free up some cash to fix up this 320.

So if you're in the market for 2x 68' 520's let me know, I'm located in KY.

Here is my link to my thread on the 520's if you'd like some pics: http://community.rat...-need-some-tlc/

 

Back to the 320.

Titled as a 65 but I've been informed it is indeed a 64.

Drive train is gone and I still have not decided what engine/tranny I will go with just yet.

Going to go for a stock look with minimal exterior mods, may slightly lower it but would love to find some original hub caps and run the stock rims and rock it as is.

Any advice or tips would be much appreciated!



#2 Draker

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 02:37 PM

I've seen a V6 stuffed in one of these.. Original would be cool.. but given your location it might be tough. 


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#3 jacobbell69

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 03:13 PM

I've seen a V6 stuffed in one of these.. Original would be cool.. but given your location it might be tough. 

yeah not going to be able to source an e1 anywhere near me. I'm surprised I've collected now 6 Datsun trucks within a year, I looked for a long time before my first one and never saw any around here. Of course I've been having to travel 2-3 hours to get any of these trucks. I hear J series fit well from 520's. I do have a spare engine from a 68' 520. I also have a spare l18 and l20b however I hear you must chop up the firewall to fit them. Also hear A series fits well.



#4 wayno

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 04:40 PM

The J series would likely be the easiest to put in there, it appears you have the floor shift tunnel so it might almost bolt in, I have never done it so I don't know for sure .

You will also need all the engine mount hardware from the 520 with the J13 as it looks like you are missing some if not all the engine mount hardware.

It also looks like some liberties were taken on the steering center link, I don't know what is going on, but something is not right, you are also missing the cross member between the lower control arm mounts.

 

If you are going to go with the A14/15 series engine you will have to make engine mounts, a transmission mount, and you will need to use a 521 idler arm, I put an A15/dual SUs/5spd in my 1965 Datsun 320, it was fun to drive, but was scary above 65mph as the front end was loose, it was a great truck till a kid came around a corner and hit me head on, I put a lot of time into that truck.


 

 


#5 jacobbell69

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:51 PM

The J series would likely be the easiest to put in there, it appears you have the floor shift tunnel so it might almost bolt in, I have never done it so I don't know for sure .

You will also need all the engine mount hardware from the 520 with the J13 as it looks like you are missing some if not all the engine mount hardware.

It also looks like some liberties were taken on the steering center link, I don't know what is going on, but something is not right, you are also missing the cross member between the lower control arm mounts.

 

If you are going to go with the A14/15 series engine you will have to make engine mounts, a transmission mount, and you will need to use a 521 idler arm, I put an A15/dual SUs/5spd in my 1965 Datsun 320, it was fun to drive, but was scary above 65mph as the front end was loose, it was a great truck till a kid came around a corner and hit me head on, I put a lot of time into that truck.

i've read most of the steering components are the same between the 520's and 320's, hopefully this is true as rockauto seems to have nothing available for 320's at all. i've been blessed with my 620 and have been able to find literally anything dirt cheap new off the shelf. Wondering if I could use the cross member off the 520's, I'd imagine something like that would be hard to find. Looks like I will likely have to part out those 520's, if so I will jack everything off them prior to them hitting the scrap yard. Hopefully that will save my ass some when it comes time to dump money into this 320.



#6 wayno

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:58 PM

I believe the 520 has a larger cross member, the 320 frame/chassis is narrower than everything after it, yes a lot of the parts are interchangeable, but I do not believe that the cross member is one of them, maybe it is in the cab or box somewhere, I would ask the guy about that part for sure, otherwise your likely going to have to make one and they are a heavy duty part.

I wonder what Stoffregen Motorsports did when he narrowed that 720 front end when he grafted it onto the 320 he had, maybe he used the 320 cross member on that 720 clip, maybe he will read this and chime in.


 

 


#7 66Fairlady

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 01:12 AM

I have extra 320 cross members if you need one.

 

Wayno, This is a 64 truck and came with a column shift.

You can see the cut off shift column in the engine room picture!

The trans cover in the picture is for the column shift trans.

A PO has cut a hole in it for a floor shift trans.

 

Jacob, you said in your first post that advise was appreciated.

Do not be offended but this truck has really been abused and is best considered a parts 320

There are 100's more hours of work than you anticipate.
Start on a more complete one.

You will get discouraged trying to get this one back to life.

 

Ted.



#8 jacobbell69

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 07:30 AM

I have extra 320 cross members if you need one.

 

Wayno, This is a 64 truck and came with a column shift.

You can see the cut off shift column in the engine room picture!

The trans cover in the picture is for the column shift trans.

A PO has cut a hole in it for a floor shift trans.

 

Jacob, you said in your first post that advise was appreciated.

Do not be offended but this truck has really been abused and is best considered a parts 320

There are 100's more hours of work than you anticipate.
Start on a more complete one.

You will get discouraged trying to get this one back to life.

 

Ted.

thank you for the insight, i do know it will need a lot. i was weary as well of the floor shifter as I read that was only available in late 65. i will get with you for a cross member. slim pickings for datsun's here, with that being said on this project I will not attempt to keep everything period correct like i did with my 620 project. i am leaning towards fuel injection and rocking the current patina till it rots away. more than likely running new harnesses for all the electronics as well to play it safe.



#9 wayno

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 06:53 PM

Your right Ted, that is a column shift tunnel, I didn't look close enough at the photo, it had a hole in it so I quit looking.


 

 


#10 datsunrides

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 08:53 PM

Don't let Ted discourage you. Anything that does not have the gas cap oriented correctly is an automatic demerit to him. 😀

#11 Stoffregen Motorsports

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 09:07 AM

The J series would likely be the easiest to put in there, it appears you have the floor shift tunnel so it might almost bolt in, I have never done it so I don't know for sure .

You will also need all the engine mount hardware from the 520 with the J13 as it looks like you are missing some if not all the engine mount hardware.

It also looks like some liberties were taken on the steering center link, I don't know what is going on, but something is not right, you are also missing the cross member between the lower control arm mounts.

 

If you are going to go with the A14/15 series engine you will have to make engine mounts, a transmission mount, and you will need to use a 521 idler arm, I put an A15/dual SUs/5spd in my 1965 Datsun 320, it was fun to drive, but was scary above 65mph as the front end was loose, it was a great truck till a kid came around a corner and hit me head on, I put a lot of time into that truck.

You don't need the 521 idler arm. A smaller oil filter will work.

 

If you decide to use an A series engine, stay away from the early A12. The driver side mounted alternator and front mounted distributor make the A12 a more difficult swap. The later A series engines have the distributor moved back and the alternator mounted high on the passenger side, allowing more room for things like the lower radiator hose.

 

Which brings up another point. Both of my A series swaps did not allow use of a mechanical fan because of the lower radiator hose inlet location on the radiator. And there's not much room between the water pump pulley and the radiator core so finding an electric puller fan that will fit is going to be difficult. A small electric pusher fan will work, but a puller is best. If you wanted to, you could find a radiator shop to relocate the lower hose nipple on the radiator which might allow the use of a mechanical fan.

 

You could push the engine further back towards the firewall, but then you run into shifter location problems. If you don't want to cut the horsecollar out of the floor and want to retain the bench seat, it can only go back so far.



#12 jacobbell69

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:27 PM

You don't need the 521 idler arm. A smaller oil filter will work.

 

If you decide to use an A series engine, stay away from the early A12. The driver side mounted alternator and front mounted distributor make the A12 a more difficult swap. The later A series engines have the distributor moved back and the alternator mounted high on the passenger side, allowing more room for things like the lower radiator hose.

 

Which brings up another point. Both of my A series swaps did not allow use of a mechanical fan because of the lower radiator hose inlet location on the radiator. And there's not much room between the water pump pulley and the radiator core so finding an electric puller fan that will fit is going to be difficult. A small electric pusher fan will work, but a puller is best. If you wanted to, you could find a radiator shop to relocate the lower hose nipple on the radiator which might allow the use of a mechanical fan.

 

You could push the engine further back towards the firewall, but then you run into shifter location problems. If you don't want to cut the horsecollar out of the floor and want to retain the bench seat, it can only go back so far.

think im going to go with the j series from my 520. as long as the engine runs, if it doesn't then i'll prob go with fuel injected of some sort.



#13 Stoffregen Motorsports

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 09:02 AM

Unless you're going to use this as a commuter, keep it simple. Nothing ruins the character of a vehicle more than a bad engine swap. No American engines (unless it's an LS). You don't have many options for this small of an engine bay.

 

The J series is a simple engine, but the A series is much more modern, even though it doesn't look it. And there's a ton more parts available too.



#14 jacobbell69

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

Unless you're going to use this as a commuter, keep it simple. Nothing ruins the character of a vehicle more than a bad engine swap. No American engines (unless it's an LS). You don't have many options for this small of an engine bay.

 

The J series is a simple engine, but the A series is much more modern, even though it doesn't look it. And there's a ton more parts available too.

i would of course put a nissan fuel injected engine in, reason i say J series is because I have one handy. and i dont see any A series available near me at all.



#15 KFunk740

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:45 PM

I've got a J13 in my L320, and I'm not terribly far from you (Southeast Ohio).  I didn't do the swap, was like it when I got it.  The truck came with a whole box of various engine mounts/brackets, which I've never determined the reason for them.

I've never driven one with another engine, so I can't compare.  The J13 is close enough to stock that most people can't tell the difference.  The alternator sits a bit too close to the battery, and the air cleaner rubs the hood prop.  Both things that could be easily resolved, but I just don't care that much.

It still looks basically like an MG engine, still get the cool viewing window into the float bowl on my Nikki carb, and I can still use the hand crank starter (had to source a crank bolt from a Datsun roadster for that).  I've put around 25K miles on mine since I got it over 6 years ago.  Quite slow, but hauls damn near anything I can fit into the bed.  



#16 wayno

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 05:37 PM

The MG guys have performance parts for the E and J engines when it comes to the carbs, I have a dual SU setup for my L320 but have lost interest in it since starting the bodywork, I believe dual SUs will fit if the right parts are used, a mixture of British and Japanese parts will need to be used to clear the column I believe. 


 

 


#17 Stoffregen Motorsports

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 11:05 AM

I found an A14 in NC on car-part.com. Only $150. Shipping would probably cost about that.

 

I like the thought of using MGB parts to soup up the J motor, but I've always thought that the MG B series engine is clunky and heavy, which is why I lean towards the lighter A series.

 

Not trying to force it down your throat.



#18 datsunrides

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 12:47 PM

I have a DCOE, header, and 2" mandrel exhaust on the J13 in my 520 and you know what..........it runs about the same as the stock stuff. Just as with most things, unless you put a hotter cam and invest in some headwork the gains are just not there. If you plan to keep it, the A series is probably the way to go just from a future parts availability perspective.

#19 jacobbell69

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 03:44 PM

picking it up this sunday, will post more pics. it's going to my dads for storage until i can get the other 7 nissan vehicles in my driveway stripped down/rebuilt.



#20 320 Newb

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 03:49 PM

I've got a J15 in my '62 320 and its been great. Parts are easy to get and cheap through forklift parts places online and some MG stuff fits too. I bought a rebuilt MG distributor that bolted right up with MG clamp and all. The timing and firing order was even the same.

 

Bring this puppy back to life!