Radiator Removal, part 1

Today I had some time during my off day from work and spent it trying to remove the radiator.  I didn’t get all the way there but made some progress.  I plan to have the radiator re-cored if necessary. I started with an aluminum pan under radiator. Coolant apparently is sweet but toxic (including to dogs) and definitely something to dispose of properly.

Here is a shot of the radiator, fan, and thermostat housing from above.

And here are two of the radiator mounting bolts on each side.

I shot some PB Blaster on all four bolts and gave it some time to soak in.

Here is the replacement upper radiator hose. It is Goodyear part #60998.

The hose has the correct diameter and elbow, but will clearly need to be trimmed to length to fit. I marked the length while the radiator was still in place.

That looks about right.

Then I used a slotted screwdriver to loosen and removed the old hose clamp holding the original-style, braided upper radiator hose from the radiator outlet.

The original hose was stubborn, but after turning it to break the seal I was able to back it off.

Then I removed the radiator cap. Definitely getting a new one of those.

Underneath the truck at the bottom of the radiator rather than just a petcock or drain plug there was a hose fitting with a length of rubber hose and a petcock attached to it. I don’t know if this is stock but I bet it was added later to make draining the radiator easier.

I loosened the petcock but only a few drops of coolant dripped out. Hopefully the cooling system hasn’t been dry all this time.

So I moved on to removing the lower radiator hose, loosening the hose clamps from the bottom radiator outlet as well as from the water pump outlet.

Here is the new replacement lower radiator hose, also from Goodyear, part #60794.

Once again the new hose has the right diameter and bends but will need to be trimmed to length. I marked the hose on each end for length but will hold onto the old hoses to double-check against the new hoses before I cut them.

I used a 5/8″ socket to start removing the nuts from the radiator mounting bolts.

The bolt was spinning so I had to take a wrench and slip it behind the grille and engage the head of the bolt on the outside of the front cross-member. Then I could hold that wrench with my fingers and turn another on from inside the engine bay.

Fortunately I have small, ladylike hands and was able to get the nut loose.

I switched to a ratcheting wrench behind the grille but in front of the cross-member to hold the head of the lower radiator mounting bolt.

And I was able to get the lower nut and bolt removed by turning a socket wrench on the engine bay side.

And I repeated the same technique to remove the radiator mounting bolts on the other side of the radiator.

Enough for one day!

Sent off the Carburetor

This morning I sent off the carburetor to be rebuilt.  The 320 trucks came with a Nikki 2D-30C two barrel down draft carburetor.  I searched high and low for rebuild kits, calling several vendors who claim to have kits for 90+% of the carburetors ever known to man, but was unable to find one.

I also did a bit of searching around and found a firm called Chicago Carburetor that lists the Nikki on their website as one they rebuild.  They list it as 2D-30 for a Datsun 410, but for the E1 series engine, which is what is in the 320s.  So I called Chicago Carburetor and asked them if they had the parts and could rebuilt my carb.  The guy I spoke to did some research and said they could, although they would need to custom fabricate some of the gaskets for my application, which must be different from the 410.  He said they could do it for $205, which sounded good to me.

He gave me an return authorization (RA) number and gave me the address to ship to.  He said I would actually be sending it to J&J Carburetors, located on the west coast, who is their partner who handles “exotic” requests, which he said mine was.  Either way, I’m happy to have found someone with the expertise in voodoo necessary to rebuild this rare old carburetor.  And for a pretty reasonable price.

So this morning I packed up and mailed off the carburetor to California.  Hopefully all goes well and it comes back soon.


The last few days we’ve had rain and I noticed some condensation visible on inside of the truck’s windshield.  I have known that the door seals are shot and that the passenger side window doesn’t roll all the way up.

I checked inside the cab and found some small pools of water. Not great.

There is definitely rust on the floor pans which indicates this may have been ongoing for some time. Thankfully the floors are very solid so it is just surface rust.

Here are some shots of the door weatherstripping, which is pretty trashed. I will definitely need to replace those to get a tight seal.

In the meantime I’m thinking car cover.


Today I went to get a Maryland title for the truck. I went to my local AAA office, as they offer tag an title services and to me it is worth their fee and more to avoid a trip to the MVA.

I basically took in the signed Iowa title I had received for the truck and the signed and notarized bill of sale.  I signed the bill of sale in front of a notary there at AAA, and then they filed the paperwork to send off for my title.  I didn’t file for a registration or tags, because for those you need proof of insurance.  I haven’t insured the truck yet and won’t until I get it running again.  I do plan to get a historic vehicle registration, which is around $50 for two years (about 1/3 the cost for my daily driver) and includes nifty MD Historic Vehicle tags.

Anyway, it went smoothly and I should get my new MD title in a week or so.  The VIN of the truck is 4-L320-03195.

New Cooling System Parts

This morning I ordered some new radiator hoses and other cooling system parts for the truck.  I got a new radiator cap while I was at it.  I ordered some thermostats and gaskets.  All of those parts were listed for a Datsun 520 but should fit the 320.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a water pump and fan drive explicitly listed for the 320 at RockAuto and ordered those also.

Here are the part numbers, including the model of Datsun truck that those parts were listed under.  I ordered most of it from rockauto but did get a couple of parts from Amazon where the total cost including shipping (which was free from Amazon) was lower.

Part Name Part Number Price (each)
Upper Radiator Hose Goodyear 60998 (520) $4.68 Wholesaler Closeout from Rockauto
Lower Radiator Hose Goodyear 60794 (520) $16.06 from Amazon
Radiator Cap Gates 31527 (520) $8.12 from Amazon
Thermostat Beck/Arnley 143-0685 (520) $6.66 from Rockauto
Thermostat Housing Gasket Beck/Arnley 039-0036 (520) $.22 Wholesaler Closeout from Rockauto
Water Pump Gates 42324 (320) $20.79 from Rockauto
Fan Belt Goodyear 15356 (320) $3.38 from Rockauto

Carburetor Removal

Today I left the office a little early on a Friday to get home and spend some time pulling the carburetor.  First I had to remove the air cleaner.

The 1964 Datsun 320 E1 Mark 3 engine has a Nikki 2D-30C dual down-draft carburetor. Rebuild kits are available but rare, but I found a firm that says they can rebuilt the Nikki and I plan to let them handle it. Carburetors are like black magic to me.

Here’s a shot of my air cleaner, which is in rough condition and also had the “horn” removed from the intake, maybe to increase airflow?

I started by loosening the base of the air cleaner from the carburetor by turning the adjustment rod counter-clockwise.

There is a wing nut on top that holds the lid onto the base, which I just twisted off. Then I lifted the lid

Inside was the old air filter, which I removed.

Then I just turned the adjustment rod counterclockwise some more to fully loosen the air cleaner base from the carburetor and lifted it off.  Here’s a shot of the bottom of the air cleaner.

And here’s a close-up shot of the area where the air cleaner was modified. I think I am officially in the market for an unmolested air cleaner to replace this one.

Before getting started I took pictures of the carburetor from four different angles for posterity (and reassembly).

The carburetor mounts to four studs on the combination intake/exhaust manifold assembly via four nuts.

I used a 1/2″ box-end wrench to start loosening those nuts. Then I switched to a 1/2″ ratcheting wrench to try to spin them off.

Eventually the nut and a lock washer underneath it came off the stud. I removed the similar nut from the stud just behind the first one (firewall side).

The two nuts on the opposite (valve cover) side of the carburetor weren’t easy to access. I decided to remove the valve cover to get back there. It is attached with six Phillips head bolts.

With those unscrewed the valve cover popped right off. This was my first look inside.

With the valve cover gone, access to the nuts that hold the carburetor was improved. But a small hard line that acts as a breather from the carburetor around the back of the valve cover and into the block was in the way. Since I needed to removed this line from the carb to remove he carb, no time like the present.

I used a 3/8″ box end wrench to loosen the fitting holding the breather line to the base of the carb.

Then I pulled the hard line free.

I also had to remove the throttle arm that actuates butterfly valve in order to get access to those nuts. I used a slotted screwdriver to remove the pin attaching it to the butterfly shaft.

Then I pried off the spring.

And popped off the arm.

Now the nuts were barely reachable. I used my 1/2″ box wrench to loosen the front one.

And was able to get it off.

It took some time and patience, and I had to hold my box wrench at an angle to get purchase on the final valve cover/firewall corner nut, but I was able to get it loose and spin it with my finger…

…and off!

The next thing I had to do was disconnect the hard fuel line attached to the carburetor.
Below are pics of where the fuel line connects to the fuel pump, and then to the banjo bolt on the carb.

The fuel line wasn’t threaded into the banjo bolt but seemed to be flared instead, so I couldn’t detach it there. I resolved to remove the fuel line fitting from the fuel pump and pull the line out with the carburetor, and then go from there.

I used a 1/2″ box end wrench to loosen the fitting holding the fuel line to the fuel pump.

Then I removed the throttle and choke cable linkages from the carburetor. I used a 3/8″ wrench and a slotted screwdriver to loosen the bolt that clamps the accelerator cable to the arm on the carb. Then I used the screwdriver to loosen the bolt that clamps the cable to the arm further upstream.

I was able to pull the accelerator cable back toward the firewall and free from the carburetor.

Similarly I used the screwdriver to release the choke cable from its linkage the valve cover side of the carburetor. Unfortunately it was also bolted into the valve cover side of the carb where I couldn’t access it with the carburetor still in place.

Finally I was able to pull the carburetor off the manifold. Success!

With the carburetor liberated from the manifold but still attached to the choke cable, I was able to turn it onto its side and use a 3/8″ socket to loosen the choke linkage arm and remove the choke cable. Sweet.

Here are a couple of pics I took of the engine bay after the carburetor was removed for reference.

Here are a couple of the fuel pump and intake/exhaust manifolds from above, visible without the air cleaner and carburetor.

And here are some of the dirty old carburetor, in need of a rebuild, from a few different angles.

Wheel Chocks

I bought these wheel chocks at harbor freight.  They are solid rubber, pretty heavy, and have a nice tread on them.  The online reviews were pretty good and they were on sale for $8 apiece.  Since I will probably be jacking up the truck and the parking brake is totally unproven, I figured they were a good investment.  The ones I got are item #639326.

Clutch Hydraulics parts

Today I also ordered the parts to replace the clutch master and slave cylinders.

Here’s a summary of the parts I ordered along with what model Datsun truck they were listed for.

Part Name Part Number Price (each)
Master Cylinder Beck/Arnley 072-1084 (521) $39.06 from Amazon
Slave Cylinder B/A 072-1241 (521) $23.42 from Amazon

Brake Parts

Today I ordered a bunch of parts to replace the hydraulics and do a full brake job on all four corners.  The 320 trucks have drum brakes, front and rear.  I didn’t try Nissan, other than for the brake adjusters, which are NLA (no longer available), and couldn’t find the 320 listed in many parts books.  However, the parts for a 1965 Datsun 520 truck and/or a 1969 521 truck fit.  It is my understanding that the 1960s trucks shared a lot of parts and the fittings are all SAE until the 620 trucks, which are metric.

I actually bought a Haynes manual for a 1968-1973 Datsun 510 and PL521 truck and confirmed that the specs and dimensions of the 521 brake components are identical to those of the 320. The drums are the same size as are the shoes and the master cylinder seems to have the same bore.

Here’s a summary of the parts I ordered along with what model Datsun truck they were listed for.

Part Name Part Number Price (each)
Master Cylinder Beck/Arnley 072-2660 (521) $28.95 from Amazon
Front Wheel Cylinders (2) B/A 072-1936 (521) $21.66 from Amazon
Rear Wheel Cylinders (2) B/A 072-2561 (521) $22.25 from Amazon
Brake Drums (4) B/A 080-0307 (520) $8.40 from Amazon on Closeout
Front Brake Shoes B/A 081-0150 (520) $25.64 from Amazon
Rear Brake Shoes B/A 081-0168 (520) $6.63 from Amazon on Closeout
Brake Adjusters LEFT side (2) B/A 085-0024 (520) $3.41 from RockAuto on Closeout
Brake Adjusters RIGHT side (2) B/A 085-0032 (520) $8.73 from RockAuto on Closeout
Front Brake Hoses (2) B/A 073-1188 (520) $15.04 from Amazon
Rear Brake Hose B/A 073-0259 (520) $16.63 from Amazon
Front Brake Hardware Kit B/A 084-1121 (521) $9.64 from Amazon
Rear Brake Hardware Kit Centric 118.42002 (320) $8.70 from RockAuto

I looked up the parts on both RockAuto.com and Amazon.com to get the best price, including shipping, which can be pretty expensive on heavier parts like these. Amazon offers free shipping on orders over $25 which is why I ended up buying many parts from them.

In addition to the Beck Arnley drums I ordered, I verified from the Centric catalog that Centric part #122.42005 is a fit for the 1964-65 320 trucks and also is listed for the 521 trucks, and even for the 720 trucks produced through mid-year 1981.

Battery Tray Clean-Up

Having removed the old battery and finding minimal damage underneath, today I cleaned up the sheet metal to neutralize any further corrosive material.

I used a toothbrush, a spray bottle, and some baking soda, which I’ve used in the past to clean up corroded battery terminals.

I scooped the baking soda into the spray bottle and then filled it with hot tap water. I shook the sprayer to mix it.

Then I sprayed down the battery tray area thoroughly.

The baking soda definitely reacted with some residual battery acid and bubbled pretty vigorously.

I went to work with my wife’s toothbrush scrubbing away at the reactive areas.

It was a mess so I put some shop towels down to protect the distributor and just repeated spraying to neutralize and wash away the mess and scrubbing to try to clean the metal.

Eventually I switched over to water in my sprayer to flush the area clean.

I made sure to clean off the inner fender area in addition to the battery tray area. The tray itself definitely has enough structural integrity to hold a battery and with the corrosion hopefully neutralized, the area should be stable from this point forward.

Although the inner fender was rusted through, the metal surrounding the hole is actually in pretty good condition. I may want to do some work to repair or at least tidy up this area of the engine bay, which wasn’t on my original list of jobs for the truck.

Here’s a shot of the red battery cable going down to the starter.

The black cable was grounded to the engine block. Since the black cable was connected to the positive terminal on the battery, it appears that this truck maintained the original positive-ground configuration that these early trucks had from the factory. More modern vehicles are all negative ground. My understanding from a limited amount of research is that you can easily convert a 320 to negative ground by reversing the cables and everything except maybe the radio (which was a rare optional item that my truck lacks) will function properly.