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Old 10-11-2020, 10:50 PM   #1
Project510
 
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Default 1997 Nissan D21 *Rebuild Dad's old truck*

I drove my dads truck the other day to grab some lumber from the local home center and noticed it needed a ton of work. I think he overheard me talking to my wife about buying a used truck since I have been without one for quite a few years. He said I could have it, that he was planning on just giving it to me anyways. Pretty cool. Lets rebuild it and keep it on the road as long as possible.

What I know right now:

1997 Nissan Pickup (D21)
296XXX miles
2wd 5 spd manual xtra cab

He is the original owner. Most of the miles were commuting to/from work or to the airport to sit in storage while they traveled. Its been outside its entire life, hardly washed, and is in desperate need of regular maintenance now that pops is over 70 years old.



It needs some serious rust repair on the exterior but nothing that is going to be a major concern.







The interior is in great shape. With just some faded broken plastic bits that need to be replaced.

Areas of concern:

Steering. Power steering feels terrible.
Bushings. THey are bad, probably all of them.
Suspension is like a bounce house.
Tires are from 2012 and all have slow leaks
front brakes are squeaking
rear xtra cab window latches broke

That's the list so far.

Ill be asking a ton of questions along the way, there is so much wrong with this pickup. See yall around!
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:06 AM   #2
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:12 AM   #3
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He'll probably sell it and buy a used bmw.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:05 PM   #4
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Welcome!! Nice ride!
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardbody92 View Post
He'll probably sell it and buy a used bmw.
He actually had a bad experience with BMW so he switched to Lexus. He loves his GS350.

Thought I would give the truck a quick wash/wax to see what the paint looked like under all the dirt. Its a bad photo cuz it was real overcast this morning, but looks 10 times better in person. I did this by hand real quick, so a more detailed job would maybe make it look even better. Want to paint the hood and roof along with repairing the rust spots.

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Old 10-13-2020, 07:09 PM   #6
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The truck has this annoying clunking sound coming from the steering wheel. I dida quick Youtube/Google search for known causes and the first video that popped up mentioned this rubber damper piece that comes off and can clunk around and cause the horn to honk at random. That was my exact problem so once I remvoed the wheels thas exactly what i found.



Is it ok to drive without this piece? I have not been able to find it so Ill have to visit the dealership.

The non pressurized hose for the PS pump was leaking from both ends as well so I replaced that. I noticed it sits right under the coolant hose and gets really warm/hot. I cant imagine thats good. Ill have to get a better photo.

Here was the leak


There is oil all over the place, so I need to clean it all up so I can see fi the actual pump is leaking. So that update will come later.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:55 PM   #7
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Was bringing the truck back over to my parents place the other night and my goodness it was dangerous. The lights are so dim I couldn't see that well. I remember seeing a post about replacing them sealed headlights with H$ units so I grabbed a set of those and some OSRAM Nightbreaker bulbs.

They came in the mail this morning.


Hopefully I can pop these in after the kid is asleep and get them aligned. Not the best option, obviously but for the money, and its literally plug and play. Ill be fine with them. I can invest in something long term later on. Just don't have the luxury of fiddling with a projector retro while not being able to see at night haha

I do have a set of brand new BMW E38 projectors.. maybe I can retro those into something down the road.
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:16 AM   #8
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looking good, P !
it seems like you have a good start on things.

be careful with high pressure on the side stripes, i barely hit mine and it wanted to flake, so it's a garden hose for me now.


this might help you a little.....your hood isn't quite as bad as mine was....

my hood had peeled down to the primer in spots, so i was lucky to find a KH3 black hood at the pick n pull.

i picked up a black 1990 mail slot hood in great shape, and was going to swap that out.

2 weeks later, i found and pulled a black 97 hood in great shape and ended up using that one.

i swapped it by myself. i jammed my channellock handles under the hinges so they would stay up a bit, but not all the way up, while i put the bolts back in.

that kept the angle lower so i wouldn't have to fight the weight. i used the prop bar to help me hold it.
and i put one bolt in on each side, hand snugged em, then put in the other two in and reconnected the ground strap.

so now i have a sharp looking truck from head on or from the cab,
an extra, very nice 90 hood, and my old 97, just in case i ever want to change the look, or need a replacement.
i am holding on to both of them because nissan doesn't make them anymore, and i plan on keeping my truck forever.

i still have to paint my roof (it is like yours), but the hood looks like new. i admit my paint skills are more roof grade than hood grade, for now....

see my "i need to paint my rusty roof" thread for lot of good info from the guys. http://www.infamousnissan.com/forum/...ad.php?t=44759

the only spot my stripes flaked is the LF fender, as you can see in my signature photo.
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amdilligaf1 View Post
looking good, P
Thanks! Appreciate the tips. Ill check out that link.

Today was replace the headlights day. I cant believe the original sealed beam lights lasted this long. Anyways, thanks to this forum, and Google I knew to come prepared to tackle some rusted screws.

I started with a bit of WD40 and I don't know why i thought that would work. It didn't. I grabbed the wifes creme brulee torch and gave each one a 5-7 second scorch and they spun right off. Thank you Ca!



Everything went real smooth, but my goodness the grill was A PAIN to get back in. Didnt get any warning about that...



So here are the links to the parts I used.
Headlamps
Bulbs

2 small gripes. Besides those it all works wonderful. WHAT A MAJOR DIFFERENCE!

Gripe 1. The bulbs are much brighter but I was hoping to they would be a bit on the whiter side of the scale.

Gripe 2. There's a tiny amount of play that the OEM lights didn't have. On the new headlamp there's a two small tabs that look like they are supposed to meet up with the truck bracket to keep it tight but they don't reach. I went for a drive and there is no rattle and visible vibration so I guess well see how it goes.

I think next on the list is the valve cover and oil pan gaskets. They are both leaking.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:29 AM   #10
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So now that I am driving the truck on a regular basis I am finding more issues.

1. High Idle. At best I get it to around 1000 rpms which is normally after a a drive.



2. I dont think the temp sensor is working properly.. Although I have never driven one of these before so .. Temp gauge never really gets much higher than this... and takes a full 15 - 20 minutes just to get to this point.. and this was in 90 degree weather here in the bay area.



Ill be searching for tips on these issues this weekend.. but if anyone has pointers, Ill gladly accept the help!
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