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Sam's D21 Daily


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The ute clocked 300000km under auspicious circumstances today!


I got a green arrow to turn left on the way to work, pulled out and slammed straight into the side of a red light runner. He carried on through the intersection and I pulled in behind him waiting for him to stop, but he didn't. When we got on the motorway I called 111 and commenced pursuit of the fugitive! The cops caught us up just as we got off the motorway and slotted in behind him with the lights on and he continued driving while the ute clocked 300 as I tailed the police. The guy eventually stopped when he got to work at New World Albany and immediately admitted to police that he'd run the light, which was a relief as a 15km pursuit tends to mean there aren't witnesses. 




Pretty light damage really, given that the entire side of his car folded up. Steel bumpers vs. Daihatsu tin can.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 5 months later...

So this is going up for sale shortly. Getting a work truck, and I'll use the money from this to finish my AE85 and buy underfloor insulation :doubt:


Send me a PM for an obligation free yarn. For anyone concerned about the collisions above, there was zero structural damage. I pissed the panel beater off by making him triple check both times, the car is better than it's been in probably two decades.

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  • 10 months later...

So yeah, I never ended up selling it, cause I didn't want to. This is now proving to be the right decision (never sell cars!) as I've been made redundant and have to give the work car back. 

The supposedly good new engine has a blown headgasket though. I've ordered a new top end gasket set, and will be replacing the Z24 head with a Z20 head that I picked up a while ago for an EFI conversion. I still want to do the EFI swap, but can't(/shouldn't?) do it right now. Tossing up whether to do rings and bearings at the same time.

I also still have the other kingcab, which now has no rust in the roof, but I didn't bother updating the thread for that. Unfortunately I'm also waiting on an oil pump gasket for it.


Until the gaskets arrive I'm going to be riding my bicycle to job interviews.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been working on the flatdeck kingcab. So the issue with this was that I couldn't advance the timing past 0* no matter how much I fucked with it, and unsurprisingly it didn't really run very well. The distributor on these can only go in one position, so I spent ages trying to prove to myself that the camchain must be a tooth off, even though that didn't feel right. Then I found out that the distributor is run off the oil pump which runs off the crank, and can be in the wrong position. So all it took was pulling the oil pump off and putting it in the right place, I got it right first go, but I think that was luck more than anything. Here's some pictures of nothing.




It was still struggling to idle, even with the timing sitting at 10-12*. Pulled the dizzy cap off and the contacts were basically worn down to nubbins, it's a Nissan branded cap, so it may have done 200+kms. Ordered new leads, plugs, cap and rotor from rock auto, hopefully they come soon. Then found a spare dizzy in all my shit so I took the cap and rotor from there, already a big improvement. After a quick test drive it still struggles to climb hills in 3rd, and I think the vacuum operated secondary isn't opening on the carb. A wee while back I designed a part to manually operate the secondary, so I might get that cut out and test it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Beaver Yeah, I've found that to be about right. I also noticed a huge difference swapping to the electronic dizzy, there's one on TM at the moment for $180. Mine was pretty flogged out though, so it was probably the new body etc more than anything. 


Just converted the flatdeck ute to a Weber 32/26 yesterday. I was going to get the manual secondary actuator I designed made up, but then I remembered I had all the parts for the swap. When I went to start it the battery didn't have much juice after sitting a couple of weeks, charged it last night and about to go and see if the carb works.


Also, both utes had their rear passenger tyres go down, one with a puncture and one with a loss of sealing on the bead. That looked a bit shit with them both sitting out on the road.

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That was anticlimactic.  I went out and put the battery back in but it was still cranking slowly, then I noticed steam coming off one of the grounding points close to the battery. It was pretty corroded and when I went to give it a clean up the bolt sheared off. I started drilling the bolt out, then realised it went right through to the wheel well, so I wound the end out with vice grips, sanded everything, put it back together, aaand.. engine wouldn't start. Didn't even get a cough out of it. 

Maybe someone can help. The pressed in fitting in the carb for the fuel return is very loose, and I was expecting it to just piss fuel out. Is it more likely that this is actually allowing the carb to draw air in instead of fuel?


Also, I live down a long driveway, but the car is currently living on the road. Walking up and down the driveway is a massive ball ache whenever I need a tool, especially when it means that I have to pack up all my shit so that my tools aren't out on the footpath for 5-10 minutes while I find stuff. Luckily there's storage space in the engine bay.


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  • 8 months later...

Long time no update. I wasn't really planning to post, so the pictures are a bit lacking.




I sold the flatdeck Navara yesterday.


Also been getting busy on finally fixing the blown headgasket on FEG. I got the Z20E head cleaned up, though I ended up wishing that I'd just got the one listed on kiwi cylinder heads' website. Cost the same and I still have to put up with a few flaws on mine. I've spent the last few days sorting out making the Z24 carb and associated gubbins fit onto the Z20S intake manifold. 



I also bought a D21 Terrano for parts. It was one of those rare deals that went really well. Paid $400 for the car plus $150 to have it delivered. Sold $300 of parts off it in a couple of days, took all the stuff I wanted (AC conversion, power windows, mirrors, wiring, wheels etc), then sold the remainder for $500. Unfortunately it was parked on the road, while the neighbour was having open homes. It got reported as abandoned. My other two D21s got a collective $600 in tickets. 




I also nipped out to pickapart to pickapart a double cab Navara there (acutally just wanted the factory intake hose). While I was there I noticed that the rear end was an LSD model. Choice! Whipped that out while battling a few wasps and got it home on Sunday. Old mate came to pick up the Navara yesterday and asked if it had an LSD by any chance, I was all "nah, doubt it", he was all "I'll just check anyway", and fuck me sideways there was a LSD sticker on the back. Fuck it. Coulda swapped that over easy as and saved $100.

What's a good, black paint to stop the diff looking so shit? I don't actually care about the finish, just want it durable and not rusting anymore.





Aaaanyway, head should be going back on the good Navara next time I get home from work at a decent hour. Hopefully I can fish out the cam sprocket washer I dropped down the front of the engine, then set the tappets and we're away.



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Some of the mangling I did to make the Z20 manifold work. The most stressful bit was finding that the bolt spacing for the carb was slightly different, I ended up using a drill to slot two of the mounting holes by 4mm each. Overall the manifold looked the same, enough so that I didn't actually start finding differences until I started trying to put things together. Mostly different bolt spacings and a few more of the cast bosses are actually used on whatever car it came from.



There's the obvious cut in the throttle cable bracket around the base of the carb, but the bolt spacing was also different, so I cut it further down to slot the hole. There's also a cut to clear the linkage on the left.


Made this sweet blanking plate for a coolant thing that my ute doesn't have, I've got no idea what it is. The gasket for it came in the head set though, so that was nice.


One of the last jobs is sorting out a new temp sender. The Z24 one is a much, much smaller body size than the Z20 item, but the Z20 one is broken. The Z20 also has a port for another temp probe on top (pictured) that had two vacuum hoses on it. I'd like to use this [port] to run an electric fan, I think this type of sensor is a thermostatic switch?

If I take my multimeter to pickapart, would I be able to tell which type I'm looking at? I'm assuming that the switch wouldn't have continuity, while the gauge sender would? On a single terminal sensor does it earth to the body of the sensor?





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  • 2 weeks later...

I got everything together on Saturday, then had to charge the battery, so I got it started on Sunday.


It was idling nicely, had a couple of fairly loose tappets:


Tightened those up and then attempted to take it for a drive. It was missing really badly under load, really badly. I started losing my shit about putting the timing chain back wrong, then remembered that it was also missing really badly before I took it apart. I'd just assumed that it was a symptom of the BHG. So after checking the plugs etc I decided that the coil must be bad.


I borrowed the coil off the ute I just sold and went for a drive, much better. So I've ordered a new coil, hopefully picking it up today. 

I also had a yarn with the guy who bought the other one. I was bang on diagnosing the issue it had. The vacuum advance diaphragm on the side of the dizzy was toast (like I told him). He swapped a new diaphragm on and it drove perfectly. Double edge sword there, happy I was right, sad that I got half of the value of the car. Oh well.

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  • 2 months later...

This has been on the back burner a bit recently, I'm a bit pissed off at it.


The new head makes a loud knocking noise, very audible over the rest of the engine. North Shore Engine Reconditioners basically shrugged and said "unluggy". It's a once per revolution type noise, definitely top end, coming from the back of the engine. It also failed it's WOF on a leaky waterpump, getting the right replacement from Partmaster was a 3 week saga, but it's back together and running now albeit without a WOF yet.


I went halves with a mate on an auction for a Z18ET and FS5W71b gearbox. He's taking the box for his 910 bluebird, and I'm flogging the engine/turbo gear. The bottom end is a bit useless to me, but I'm looking at the head and asking myself some questions. It's very clean inside, and the backs of the valves have very little carbon etc. Unfortunately 7 out of 8 exhaust mani bolts are stripped, so if I was to use it I'd need to get them fixed (I tried to do it myself on engine mk2 and wasn't thrilled with the results). It's also twinspark, which I'm lead to believe is good for turbo applications. 






Anyone want a Z18 shortblock (or longblock)?

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