The 620 is running!

So after a few weeks of tinkering and repairing and replacing things the 620 drove tonight without issue… Was so cool!

It went from this:

To this with a proper wash:

My mountain bike even fits perfectly into the load bay! Score!

The interior of this bakkie is absolutely immaculate bar the carpeting, especially if you take into consideration the fact that this vehicle is from 1973! The dashboard has no cracks in it, the seat and door panels are immaculate, all the gauges are working and undamaged and even the original Datsun radio still works! Haha amazing! It even has a brand new windscreen… Not easy to find nowadays so that is a big plus point.

The cylinder head had to be taken off the J15 motor so that a new head gasket could be installed. To be honest, it was a total bitch to get the head off the block thanks to one of the studs right in the middle on the side of the head having rusted into place and not wanting to budge. After three hours, yes THREE hours, we eventually got the head off the block. I decided to have the head refreshed with new valve stem seals, to have the valves lapped and the head skimmed. Worked a treat and within a few days I had the head back ready to be installed.

Once the head was on we buttoned everything up and proceeded to try to start the motor. It turned over but the oil pressure light did not switch off. So I drained the oil out of the sump and discovered to my surprise that there was petrol mixed in with the oil. Seriously weird no? Refilled the motor with new SAE 40 oil and turned it over and within second the oil light went off.

Took the bakkie for its maiden drive which was really awesome and scary at the same time (steering box was seriously sloppy and the suspension and tires questionable) but I was driving my 620 for the first time, so none of that seemed to matter. The car cut out a few times and upon returning home we discovered that the original mechanical fuel pump had given up the ghost. Upon closer inspection we also realised that was how the fuel was getting mixed in with the motor oil. So it was goodbye old fuel pump and hello new electric fuel pump in its place. Because of this I had to fabricate a blank off plate for the old fuel pump’s mounting point on the motor. I got a nice thick piece of aluminium plate from a friend and made up a rather nice looking piece for the job.

Once that was done the radiator had to be taken in to be cleaned up as it was so blocked up the motor would start overheating by just idling. The water pump had to be replaced twice as the first one would fowl on the back of the fan pulley due to it not being properly reproduced like the second one I got. During that time we also removed the steering box and rebuilt that so that the steering would be more direct and way less sloppy. Worked a treat as the bakkie turns much better now!

Considering that I only paid R13 000 for the bakkie (roughly $1 660) these have been minor issues to sort out as the rest of the bakkie is a-ok… (such a relief!)

All that is left to do now is to fit some 15×8 steel wheels with 195/50R15 tyres and lower her about 100mm’s and she will be good to go! (As soon as I get the car registered that is…)

Loving my 620 though!


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