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Old 01-01-2021, 02:18 AM   #1
Azoth
 
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Default New nissan d21 owner

Hi everyone.
So, I'm naive and just learned a $2,700 lesson.

Trying to find a cheap but reliable daily driver, I saw this slick looking old truck. 1992 Nissan Hardbody, King Cab, 2WD, 3.0 V6. The value of that recent paint job, rims, new looking tires was enough justification for me to pay over KBB. Plus the wealth of knowledge out there should I need to do some repairs.



AND it's a manual. I've had motorcycles, but I've never operated a manual car, so I thought now's the time to learn. Because of this, I only test drove it in the parking lot. Didn't stall it, ran in 1st, 2nd, and Reverse, but I had the parking brake on... explained why it wouldn't pull out on it's own like a bike does when you ease up on the clutch.
It seemed fine. Welded exhaust pipe and cracked windshield was unexpected, but not unacceptable.
Then, I got the guy to drive me around and take it through the gears. Seemed acceptable for a 28 year old vehicle, other than the weird sounding engine which I was told is normal.

Well, he dropped it off today and I went to the Tax Office apply for the Title/Registration, but I forgot you need an inspection. So, I got in and drove it to the nearest state inspection place. Nope, all the inspectors are closed.

On that little trip, however, I did find out that this truck drives like shit. It is most certainly not safe. Got back home and started noticing more things I had overlooked first time around.

So, I've gotta decide if I should take the loss and try to sell it for cheap or just dive in. If I keep it, I'm sure I'll make use of the collective experience on this forum. I mean, I was already thinking about upgrading the sound system. What's a complete overhaul of the steering and suspension and a rebuilt transmission on top?

Okay, feeling less queasy now. Apologies for venting.


Happy New Year's!

Last edited by Azoth; 02-21-2021 at 11:07 PM. Reason: numbers
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:50 PM   #2
cadillacdude1975
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What symptoms does it have that makes you say it drives like shit?

And welcome to IN.
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Old 01-01-2021, 09:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azoth View Post
Hi everyone.
So, I've gotta decide if I should take the loss and try to sell it for $500 or just dive in. If I keep it, I'm sure I'll make use of the collective experience on this forum. I mean, I was already thinking about upgrading the sound system. What's a complete overhaul of the steering and suspension and a rebuilt transmission on top?

Okay, feeling less queasy now. Apologies for venting.
See ya around, maybe


Happy New Year's!
Welcome...... and a HNY to you also.

Dive in, the water's fine and we can assist with the "swimming lessons". Once you get things sorted, you'll luv it..... I hope!




OH yea, what HE said!!! ^ ^ ^ ^
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:57 PM   #4
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Frankly, if it looks as nice and clean in real life as it does in those pictures I think you did ok.

You can buy EVERYTHING to rebuild the steering and front suspension for a few hundred bucks on rockauto. It’s a good solid day of work but it’ll be worth it.

Welcome to infamous Nissan!
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:02 AM   #5
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So the source of stress and regret is that I need a daily driver today not a busted project car, so I feel like I just lit $2000 on fire. I may be able to find a cheap bike to ride to work while I work on this. It's just that I don't have room to tear it down for a months-long rebuild living in the suburbs (drive-way is like a 20į incline and the garage is shared with 2 roommates).


I needed it for work, but I did also like it for a project car. I'm torn.
Symptoms:

  • Steering is sloppy. The guy said it has a pull so I may need an alignment. Nope. The tires are on 16" rims, all 215/70 except the front left is 205/70. There's a few inches backlash on the steering wheel so the car jerks left and right unpredictably, especially when braking/accelerating. I had difficulty keeping it in my lane.
  • Transmission whines above 2K rpm, worse if accelerating.
  • The engine dies at idle when it's warmed up.
Tires are dry rotted, it's got wooden blocks I'm assuming is a lift. I was going to look more closely at the belly when I pull the wheels off, but it looks like tire shops won't mount/balance on rims that aren't stock size.
I really don't want to take it to a shop. I've had bad experiences with them and don't want to pay for labor I could do myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
You can buy EVERYTHING to rebuild the steering and front suspension for a few hundred bucks on rockauto. Itís a good solid day of work but itíll be worth it.
Can this work be done with out shop lifts/hoists?
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Can this work be done with out shop lifts/hoists?
Absolutely. A jack and some jack stands is what I use and Iíve done multiple. Have a friend wiggle the steering wheel just enough for the slop to show. Inspect the steering while they wiggle the wheel. Itís pretty common for there to be play in the steering box, as long as itís not excessive you can let that slide. Some play can be adjusted out of the steering box with the screw and nut on top. Beyond that check the center link, tie rods, idler arm, and Pittman arm.

This certainly doesnít qualify as a ďprojectĒ in my book, this is just routine maintenance.
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:34 AM   #7
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Caveat Emptor
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:04 AM   #8
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It looks like a keeper for sure. Besides the repairs that may be needed. Welcome to the site.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:48 AM   #9
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I'll give you 500 for it.

Or take it to Firestone and have a front end alignment, brake job, and get new tires.

Once you get this truck running, it will be incredibly reliable.

I'll give you 500 for it.
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:08 AM   #10
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Alright, I got the factory service manual. I'm gonna look the truck over this weekend and see how involved it's gonna be. Maybe take a crash course on steering and suspension components so I know what I'm looking at. See how I feel about it and reassess.

Thanks, everybody
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