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Old 02-09-2020, 03:30 AM   #1
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Default 1986 D21 2WD 4 cyl, 5 spd, King Cab; U joint source and engine problems.

Sorry for the long title but; I've had my Hardbody for going on two years now and, the rear U joint's bad, truck built in Japan and, it has those tiny U joints; I'm NOT looking forward to dropping $400+ for a conversion driveshaft. And it's a 2 piece assembly.

Engine; the (probably) original 4 banger with 8 sparkplugs; oil pressure light's staying on for several seconds after starting it up. Note the head's been off and machined so, I have good compression on all 4 barrels.

Basically; since I 'may' be looking at major work/$$, any thoughts? I'm coming to the conclusion I'd may be better off replacing the whole drivetrain and, calling it good.
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:48 PM   #2
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About 30 years ago I removed the driveshaft on my 1979 Toyota truck, and took that to a machine shop and had new U-joints installed. Then re-installed the driveshaft.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:19 PM   #3
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A couple of months a go I replaced ALL my U joints, 13$ each and the carrier bearing about 35$, took a vice, angle grinder, brass drift, a chisel and a little cussing. I would suggest you try it. It won't change the fact that your truck was made in Japan, you mentioned THAT was a problem for you. As far as the oil pressure light, does you engine rattle or knock when you first start it? Have you cleaned the electrical connection to your oil sending unit? have you changed the oil sending unit? How about running some rislone through it 100 miles prior to changing oil, getting a filter with a check valve in it. If any of these things fix your oil light, will you still want a new drive train? Your truck STILL will have come from Japa.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:45 PM   #4
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For the record; replacing the U joints doesn't scare me but, availability does. Meaning that the cup diameter is ca .875" and outer diameter is ca 2.4". Apparently, the USA built D21s used the very common 369 joint.

I'll change the oil and filter one day this week, at where I work.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just a thought here...why not hit up the junkyard and get a driveshaft from a similar US production truck? Then you could put new joints in it and swap it in at your convenience. The 1986-89 u joints are different from the 90-94 ones but everything else should bolt up.

Also, do you get timing chain rattle on startup? That's more of a KA problem but if the tensioner is maxed out it will bleed off oil pressure and take longer for the light to go out. Especially if it's been sitting for awhile.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHD D21 View Post
For the record; replacing the U joints doesn't scare me but, availability does. Meaning that the cup diameter is ca .875" and outer diameter is ca 2.4". Apparently, the USA built D21s used the very common 369 joint.

I'll change the oil and filter one day this week, at where I work.
My apologies, removing foot from mouth presently.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunya View Post
My apologies, removing foot from mouth presently.
No worries My post could've been written a bit btter
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBJ View Post
Just a thought here...why not hit up the junkyard and get a driveshaft from a similar US production truck? Then you could put new joints in it and swap it in at your convenience. The 1986-89 u joints are different from the 90-94 ones but everything else should bolt up.

Also, do you get timing chain rattle on startup? That's more of a KA problem but if the tensioner is maxed out it will bleed off oil pressure and take longer for the light to go out. Especially if it's been sitting for awhile.
I live in Bullhead City so, the chances of my finding any Hardbody at a wrecking yard is slim, at best.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:51 PM   #9
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Fair enough. I have the old junk driveshaft out of my 1990 but I don't think it would be of any use to you. It's too short (single cab) and I'm pretty sure I bent one of the yokes trying to put u-joints in it. FWIW, the joints I bought were for a 300ZX and were a correct fit.

Last edited by SBJ; 02-09-2020 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 11:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBJ View Post
Fair enough. I have the old junk driveshaft out of my 1990 but I don't think it would be of any use to you. It's too short (single cab) and I'm pretty sure I bent one of the yokes trying to put u-joints in it. FWIW, the joints I bought were for a 300ZX and were a correct fit.
That may be the key. ^^^
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