Hard headed Hardbody

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Taterhead
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Hard headed Hardbody

#1

Post by Taterhead » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:09 am

This isn’t going to be a build thread per se, but probably just a spot to dump a chronicle of what I end up doing with this thing.

The story on it is that I first came into contact with it about 2012ish. It was bought by one of the installers at my work from someone who had cobbled it together from a few different trucks. The truck cab was originally blue with blue interior and the bed was red. It was then sold to a different coworker and that is who I got it from. The second coworker retired from here a couple of years ago, although we keep in touch, as I’ve known him for roughly 20 years. He has been battling cancer for the past six or seven years, and now it is pretty much the terminal. He called me up right before Thanksgiving and told me he wanted to work out a deal for me to get this truck. He absolutely would not take any money for it, and said that I have helped him way too much for him to charge me for it. He said if I would take it he wanted me to have it and for me to come pick it up as he knows my affinity for Datsuns & Nissans. It has needed work on the transmission and he has gotten to the point where he did not want to work on it and didn’t feel like he would ever get to it. After it sitting on jackstands for two years at his house I went down there one day right before Christmas and talk to him for a little while, then we threw a fresh battery in it, and it fired up. I drove it home and on the way it rattled fiercely and when I’d shift into fifth gear It rattled even worse, sounding like it was going to come apart. What I’m thinking is the throwout bearing is bad. It’s possible that it’s something else I guess, but I’m gonna start with that when I start looking into it. The only thing I’ve done at this point is hit it with the pressure washer. He had lost the title somewhere at his house so we have a replacement title applied for, and I don’t really want to do anything to it until I get the title back & I can get it switched over into my name.


While I was trying to tell him that I wanted to pay him for it he also told me he wanted to give me the 720 that his son has. It’s an ‘83 & has the same engine and transmission in it but the body is pretty much shot. So, me and another friend went and picked up the 720 and hauled it back to my friends house about a week after we went and picked up the hardbody. Which you can see in the pictures below. The plan now is for me to keep the hardbody and just use it as a knock around truck, firewood hauler, mulch from Lowe’s grabber, scrap metal hauler, and more than likely a daily driver. Basically just a truck. The 720 will stay with my buddy that helped me get both of them, (which coincidentally I’ve known for 17 or so years and is the guy that took the place at work of the guy I got the truck from). I’ll be taking the engine, trans, and rear end out of the 720 and storing them at my house and he’s going to take the body and put it on a K5 Blazer frame, that’s the plan anyway. At any rate, I need to figure out how to get the mice out of the truck as of now. Obviously something hauled the mouse trap off to somewhere other than where I left it in the truck. After I get the title back I plan on sliding the transmission back to check out the throwout bearing. If that’s not the problem then I have the transmission from the 720. While I’m in there I may just go ahead and change the clutch and all, even though Dave told me he did that right before he quit driving it. I couldn’t imagine them changing the clutch and not the throwout bearing but we will see. Anyways, Some of y’all may remember this truck from the thread on here of “jobs you do for free” or something like that, where I put bucket seats in this truck for him a handful of years ago. I’ve also tinkered with some of the wiring for him to get the lights working again and stuff like that, which probably means I’ll have to redo my work eventually. It’s sort of new territory for me as I’ve never had a vehicle with a NAPS-Z engine before.


TL:DR,

Free truck, needs work, repair and drive, doing minor upgrades as I go.

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Taterhead
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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#2

Post by Taterhead » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:13 am

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And the 720

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#3

Post by Taterhead » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:16 am

I would keep the 720 also but I don’t really have the room for it. I already have six vehicles at my house now although the two 510’s are hidden from view. And in my neighborhood I don’t want anyone saying anything about it.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#4

Post by wayno » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:44 pm

The only time the throw out bear would normally make noise if it is bad is when you push the clutch pedal in, then it would scream.
It sounds like a bearing in the transmission has went bad, maybe the middle bearing or possibly the front bearing, and you still have 5th/rev so it has not broken the cluster gear shaft yet.
Do not even run it anymore unless it is in gear with the clutch pushed in, you certainly do not want to drive it as a bearing could get spit out of the race and go thru gears which will destroy the transmission.
First thing I would do is drain the transmission and look at the color and see if it has any metal chunks on the magnet, I suspect the oil will be black/silver and you will find metal on the magnet, if yellow/amber color then the issue is likely something else.
Did it make noise when idling in neutral?
I really do not know what transmission this hardbody truck has, it might not be what the 720 has, it might be the next model transmission that is supposed to be even stronger than the 720 transmission.
Don't drive it, and if you start it have it in gear with the clutch pushed in, no parts are moving it the transmission if it is in gear while running and not moving, if it quits making noise in this situation it is not the throw out bearing either, if it does make noise then it likely is the throw out bearing.
What year is this Hardbody?
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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#5

Post by Taterhead » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:24 pm

Duly noted.

It’s an 86.5. I was just going off what the previous owner said as far as them being the same, assuming he had checked it out. Yeah, I know, don’t assume.

I had already planned on draining it and dropping it out but only after I get the title back. And I don’t plan on running it until I get something done. I’m pretty sure that the 720 came with 2 different 5 speeds, one being longer than the other. I figured if they were both the same length (720 & d21) it’d work. I also have a 4 speed from a 510, a dogleg, a 280z 5 speed (too long), and a trans for a KA, if I need any.

If I remember correctly the clattering seemed to diminish some (not completely) when I pressed the clutch.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#6

Post by wayno » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:31 pm

OK, so this is how it works, if you start the engine while in any gear while the clutch pedal is pushed in and it does not make noise it is likely the transmission as nothing is turning/moving in the transmission unless the truck is moving.
If it does make noise while in gear while the engine is running and the clutch is pushed in, then it likely has something to do with the rotating stuff inside the bell housing or the engine or anything connected to the engine that moves/turns.
Now if it doesn't make noise at all till the truck is moving, then I would look at the carrier, U joints and rear end assembly/pumpkin, the pumpkin generally howls when it is going bad, and it usually gets worse the faster you go.
If it makes noise when in neutral while idling that means there is likely a bearing that has gone out and you should quit running the engine as if it spits a bearing out of the race it could go thru the gears or punch a hole thru the front cover and oil will start pouring out the small hole just under where the flywheel is on the bottom of the center of the front of the transmission case.
The 720 had 4 different 71b transmissions, two 31.5" long shafts(2wd/4wd), and two 26" short shafts(2wd/4wd), at some point they changed over to a "C" type transmission, I do not know if they did that when the Hardbody appeared or if it was done during the Hardbody run, as I recall the "C" type has a top loader type shift lever connection.
The 4 speed from a 510 is likely a short shaft, the dogleg 5spd is also likely a short shaft but some longshafts came to the US on used engines from Japan, the 280Z 5 speed is likely 31.5 inches long just like the 720 longshaft(same transmission but possibly different gearing) and that one would likely need the napZ front case put on it, that one will likely bolt right onto an L block as the Zcars had L blocks, and the KA transmission is likely the "C" type and maybe that is when the Hardbody switched over to the "C" type transmission, and if that is the case your 86.5 would likely be the same as the one in the 720.
Throw out bearings normally only make noise when you press on the clutch pedal, but if the rod going from the clutch arm to the clutch slave has no play in it then it will likely make noise all the time when going bad as it is always turning, the rod is supposed to have a 1/16th inch of play in it so the throw out bearing does not contact the clutch cover diaphragm fingers/levers so it can stop turning and not wear out fast.
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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#7

Post by flatcat19 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:06 pm

Shorty 720 transmission? Did I read that right?

:shock:

Is it going to be being used?

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#8

Post by wayno » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:13 pm

Yes the 1985/86 regular cab/short box Nissan 720 2wd trucks had short shaft 5spd transmissions in them with speedo gear drives, you can remove the front napZ case and put an L block case on it and put it in a 521 with a transmission mount mod.
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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#9

Post by flatcat19 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:20 pm

wayno wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:13 pm
Yes the 1985/86 regular cab/short box Nissan 720 2wd trucks had short shaft 5spd transmissions in them with speedo gear drives, you can remove the front napZ case and put an L block case on it and put it in a 521 with a transmission mount mod.
We know.

I actually have a Wayno mount in my stash of stuff in the garage.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#10

Post by Taterhead » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:40 pm

I know that the noise is there when sitting still. And I’m 95% sure that the noise is coming from the transmission, and not the engine. I just can’t remember from the one time I drove it if it stopped when I pressed the clutch or not. I already have a new carrier bearing for it, so that will be replaced also. It was in the parts stash I got from the previous owner. The plan is to use one of the transmissions from either truck, regardless of what I have to do to either one to get them to work correctly. The next expendable transmission would be the 280 Z one as the KA trans will stay in 1 of the 510’s and the dogleg is going in the other 510.

I’ll get it figured out, I just don’t wanna do anything to it until I know I can get it on the road legally.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#11

Post by flatcat19 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:51 pm

Constant noise while rotating...internal or pressure plate is my guess.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#12

Post by Taterhead » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:51 am

Yeah I’ll check out the pressure plate too. Basically I’ll start with the easiest and go from there.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#13

Post by DRIVEN » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:28 pm

I remember when the hardbody came out. I wanted a black one like that really bad.
When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a hippy.

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Re: Hard headed Hardbody

#14

Post by wayno » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:32 pm

The guy I was renting a room from back in around 1990/91 was buying the Nissan D21 new for $5000/$6000 from somewhere, he had a red one and a white one, this was before I owned a Datsun, I owned a couple new Moyes Hanggliders back then, they were more important to me than cars/trucks back then.
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