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disillusionedpatriot
09-06-2013, 10:42 AM
Thought some of you might be interested in a project that is getting close to being completed.

I've spent the past year-and-a-half rebuilding an old Datsun truck as a hobby. Here's my link to my "build thread" at Ratsun forums.

http://community.ratsun.net/topic/43665-dp320s-project-status/

Kmassaro
09-06-2013, 10:54 AM
That's looking pretty cool. Good for you.

sab
09-06-2013, 12:15 PM
DP:

That little red truck looks very nice! You've made a lot of progress since I saw it in pieces last fall. How much do you have left to do?

Regards,
Scott

disillusionedpatriot
09-06-2013, 01:24 PM
Hard to say for sure since any little thing can become a showstopper. I need to wire the dash, install the doors (currently held up for window seals), and bolt in the seat. The engine is running strong, well strong for 60 hp.

Apple
09-06-2013, 04:00 PM
Be sure to post up finished pics!

Exploriment
09-07-2013, 08:57 AM
Nice work. Looks like a satisfying project.

I am likely the most car ignorant person on this forum, so forgive me if this sounds stupid. What's the appeal of Datsun? Were they particularly good, they have a fond memory of your youth because it was your first vehicle, you like the look of them, they're a fun challenge, they're manageable for a DIYer? I have no idea. Genuinely curious.

disillusionedpatriot
09-09-2013, 09:11 AM
Nice work. Looks like a satisfying project.

I am likely the most car ignorant person on this forum, so forgive me if this sounds stupid. What's the appeal of Datsun? Were they particularly good, they have a fond memory of your youth because it was your first vehicle, you like the look of them, they're a fun challenge, they're manageable for a DIYer? I have no idea. Genuinely curious.


Datsun trucks are small, light and fairly cheap and I like the look which some compare to Morris Minors. The engine design was purchased from MG and parts are sometimes interchangeable with an MGA engine. There were exactly two elbow fittings that used the British pipe thread, and that alone stumped me for about a week (and surprised other Datsun experts also). Fortunately there is an excellent place in Seattle that had exactly two of the elbows I needed (Fittings, Inc. on 4th Ave S). So far I've found only four bolts that are metric (rear tailights), everything else SAE.

A US truck would be much easier with parts for that vintage much more available. I've purchased parts from NY, PA, MI, CA, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. A lot of things are unavailable, particularly rubber parts for non-Engine gaskets, grommets, etc. Suspension rubber was from a very helpful small company in PA, who got me to bushing sizes I could grind to fit. I could (just barely) lift the engine, the transmission is easy to pick up, I could flip the cab myself; I don't think any of this could be done with a US truck, so it was manageable from that standpoint.

I was very fortunate to have purchased (unknowingly at the time) a truck that traced back to a Datsun truck fanatic in Oregon. I went down to buy it in Vancouver, loaded it on the tow trailer, and filled my pickup with extra parts. Then I was given the number of the previous owner and eventually drove down to Portland for another truckload of extra parts, including the original serial engine, which I rebuilt. Two of the pistons were pierced and an internet search led to the inventory sheet of a MG vintage parts dealer in NY who at first didn't believe he had the parts but went out to his shelves and there they were, just like Google had found. Four over-sized pistons and a complete engine gasket and bearing set later and I was on my way.

Late 50's Chevs and Fords are way, way overdone IMO and hold no appeal to me. Same with 60's muscle cars. Prices for even '60's economy cars are going up (Darts, Falcons, etc.). Prices for vintage cars in general have risen from what I can tell. Not surprising really, we're experiencing our own "Cuban Effect" on vehicles due to all the usual reasons (nanny state regulation and crony capitalism).

There will be virtually no labor hours recouped, this was just a hobby. I believe I will do better than cost when it's all done.

Echo63
09-09-2013, 10:56 AM
Nice looking little truck, and it sounds like a challenging restoration, digging up parts from around the world.

Around here it would have probably been dropped as low as it would go and had a SR20DET wedged under the hood.

disillusionedpatriot
09-09-2013, 11:21 AM
Yep, there's a definite Australian Datsun fan base that keeps parts availability up there. Lots of reasons to stuff a different engine in--the originals are hard to find parts for, they were low hp, the original 4.88 rear ends limit speed to about 50 mph, etc. One was on ebay that had a built V8 in it and very wide rear tires, what I guess used to be "pro street" modification. I've never been a fan of the lowered truck look. So far, knock on wood and all that, mine is going to be original restored which means original engine, positive ground generator, Buck Rodgeresque voltage regulator. I'm going to go with some Thailand split bumpers that are "close" but not quite the shape of the originals. Nissan threw all sorts of variations of parts at these so "original" is sometimes hard to determine.

Echo63
09-10-2013, 10:58 AM
Yep, there's a definite Australian Datsun fan base that keeps parts availability up there. Lots of reasons to stuff a different engine in--the originals are hard to find parts for, they were low hp, the original 4.88 rear ends limit speed to about 50 mph, etc. One was on ebay that had a built V8 in it and very wide rear tires, what I guess used to be "pro street" modification. I've never been a fan of the lowered truck look. So far, knock on wood and all that, mine is going to be original restored which means original engine, positive ground generator, Buck Rodgeresque voltage regulator. I'm going to go with some Thailand split bumpers that are "close" but not quite the shape of the originals. Nissan threw all sorts of variations of parts at these so "original" is sometimes hard to determine.
There's two sorts of original.

The "exactly as it came out of the factory" type of original, with all the bits and pieces that came on that specific vehicle, matching engine numbers etc.

Or the "original, but with variations" using different bits and pieces that are OEM, from the correct model and shape, but from a different market, or slightly different model. (like dropping an STI impreza drivetrain into a Subaru legacy, or using forester springs to lift one - just an example from the cars I am around)

(there is a third option, which is of course the classic looking surprise)

Personally I don't think it matters which way you go, I have friends that love old Volkswagen Kombis, they have a really nice restored one, with the original engine, proper coloured paint, correct interior etc, it's slow, but they take it to car shows, and enjoy taking it out on nice days.
But the daily drive is still very nice Kombi, nice paint, has old looking (but brand new) recaro seats, nice looking wheels, with surprisingly wide tyres, and a 220odd HP Turbo Subaru engine tucked away in the back.
From the outside it looks like a tastefully upgraded, but still reasonably original Kombi, but will leap off the line quick enough to surprise most cars.

disillusionedpatriot
09-10-2013, 04:38 PM
There's two sorts of original.

The "exactly as it came out of the factory" type of original, with all the bits and pieces that came on that specific vehicle, matching engine numbers etc.

Or the "original, but with variations" using different bits and pieces that are OEM, from the correct model and shape, but from a different market, or slightly different model. (like dropping an STI impreza drivetrain into a Subaru legacy, or using forester springs to lift one - just an example from the cars I am around)

(there is a third option, which is of course the classic looking surprise)

Personally I don't think it matters which way you go, I have friends that love old Volkswagen Kombis, they have a really nice restored one, with the original engine, proper coloured paint, correct interior etc, it's slow, but they take it to car shows, and enjoy taking it out on nice days.
But the daily drive is still very nice Kombi, nice paint, has old looking (but brand new) recaro seats, nice looking wheels, with surprisingly wide tyres, and a 220odd HP Turbo Subaru engine tucked away in the back.
From the outside it looks like a tastefully upgraded, but still reasonably original Kombi, but will leap off the line quick enough to surprise most cars.

Have you seen the "fauxtina" look yet? Where the paint job is made to look like rusting edges with color in the middle? Sort of like those Italian restaurants where they use brick veneer "exposed" by fakely crumbling stucco? I saw a rebuild in Seattle once where they removed all the paint, let it sit in the rain until it rusted (very uniformly) then clear-coated it. It was actually nicely done.

chippewawarrior
09-11-2013, 01:38 AM
It looks much different from when I saw it last! Very awesome... Now go get a moose my friend!!!

Echo63
09-11-2013, 10:47 AM
Have you seen the "fauxtina" look yet? Where the paint job is made to look like rusting edges with color in the middle? Sort of like those Italian restaurants where they use brick veneer "exposed" by fakely crumbling stucco? I saw a rebuild in Seattle once where they removed all the paint, let it sit in the rain until it rusted (very uniformly) then clear-coated it. It was actually nicely done.

Yea, Mightycarmods did that to a VW golf - except they weren't too gentle removing the paint (wire brushes, paint stripper and sandpaper) then rusted it with a combination of Beer, Salt and Urine.
I will see if I can dig up the link, there was a massive difference from the car they started with, to the car they finished with, and it looked very cool too.

disillusionedpatriot
01-29-2014, 04:10 PM
Be sure to post up finished pics!

With vintage cars there is no finished ever really. But this is fairly finished now:

14413

I've driven it around town and now have vintage insurance on it.

sab
01-29-2014, 04:18 PM
DP - excellent work! That is one fine ride you have there! I think you need to drive it to Colorado next fall for an elk hunt with us ;)

Regards,
Scott

snakey2
01-30-2014, 09:41 AM
Nice job DP!!

chippewawarrior
02-03-2014, 06:35 PM
I love it! Time to retire and start another one...