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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought this old thing a couple of years back, and for the most part its just sat around.


I pulled the bullbar off it, put a standard bumper on it and washed it once. Then it sat around again. A couple of weeks ago I finally cleared some room in the shed so I could start working on it.

It's a 1980 MQ van, N/A SD33 with a 4 speed and absolutely no options or features to speak of. Vinyl floors, vinyl bench seats front and rear, no floor covering in the rear, just bare painted steel, not even a clock or a radio.
I bought it as a non runner with rust in the doors and bonnet, the previous owner said the shell itself was rust free, but it's from the 80's and had Datsun badges on it so it was obviously gonna have rust. Which it does.

So why did I buy a nearly 40 year old, non running poverty pack, rusty old Datsun that no one cares about?
Because its the most bloody original MQ I've found for sale in Vic and it only has 116,000km. Aside from a Redarc 24-12v converter for the trailer wiring, holes cut in the door and rear trims for speakers and the original headlights being replaced with Hella units it's bog stock. Even has the original spare tyre.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Rust, plans for it, engine and whatnot...

So far, the plan is to keep it as it is. But with less rust and more cylinders that fire correctly.
It'll just be a weekender that won't do anything as well as my shorty except carry large objects, which i probably won't do because I don't want to scratch the floors up any more.

I have ran the engine, so non runner isn't entirely correct, but it only fires on 5 cylinders. Cylinder 1 is the bad one. More on the engine later.

The engine is currently out and sitting on a stand, some beer was ingested and now the entire engine bay is stripped

That silver undercoating crap is on everything underneath the car from bumper to bumper. It looks crap, it's chipped and its flaking in places due to age so I'll rub back what i can and give everything a hit with some chassis black paint.
That same crap has been brushed on parts of the engine bay too and some black paint on bits of rust that had started, so I'll end up respraying the engine bay back to body colour.
Anyway, this is the rust that I have to fix.
Radiator support

Firewall

Top corners of rad support


Theres other bits of surface rust scattered around the bottoms of the inner fenders, firewall seam, battery trays, cabin air intake etc. Pretty standard as these bits don't really get a whole lot of paint from the factory.
All of the doors have rust too, 3 will be easy enough to fix, but the drivers door might be too far gone. I'll see what I have to work with once the rust is removed, thats today's job.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
·
10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Your going to be really busy for a while mate, lololol.
I'm a glutton for punishment. The space I cleared in the shed was a shorty that I was working on, and once the wagon is ready to move out, I'll be moving my white in which will also need some rust work.

The wagon will certainly keep me busy for a while though.
 
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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The rear two doors will be salvagable.
Right hand rear - I don't want to cut this hole any bigger, so I'll try and get some rust converter inside the door for that little patch of surface rust.


Left hand rear - a bit worse since both the inner frame and outer skin have rust damage. Still salvagable.


Left hand front - getting pretty bad. The rust was fairly advanced where the outer door skin was folded and bonded around the lower lip of the frame. Someone has attempted a 'fix' before with bog, but the door continued to rust.



Right hand front - this is the worst by far. Both lower corners rusted through on the inside and outside, there was just rust holding the lower seam together and the lower lip on the frame is gone so there is nothing holding the door skin rigid at the bottom.


Ideally I'd replace the front doors, but finding straight, rust free 35-40 year old doors is easier said then done, plus I'd have to get them colour matched to 40 year old paint. Any blending in the paint will be a lot less noticable in small sections at the bottom of the door rather than two whole doors.
I've wondered if I could clean the existing rust up, convert it, fold the seams back over and bond the skin and frame back together with a panel adhesive. Adhesive strength won't be an issue, it's common for newer vehicles to have bonded panels, but given I'll likely only have a small surface area to work with, I do wonder about structural integrity. It'll be better than rust though...
 
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Every dog has his day
2005 TD42 GUIV
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18,417 Posts
After seeing the title of this thread I was emphatically obliged to immerse myself in this tale of luxury and refinement.

Then I saw the thread author and sighed audibly (I meant that in the nicest possible way :)).

Well done James, I’m sure you needed another one.

Rightly or wrongly I was under the impression that GQ doors would fit the MQ, thus widening the field when searching for a replacement, is that not the case?

And while it’s stripped, and you’re painting the engine bay anyway, I’m sure it wouldn’t be beyond the scope of a man with your talents to give the whole thing a lick, avoiding the colour blending issue :)
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
·
10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
After seeing the title of this thread I was emphatically obliged to immerse myself in this tale of luxury and refinement.

Then I saw the thread author and sighed audibly (I meant that in the nicest possible way :)).

Well done James, I’m sure you needed another one.

Rightly or wrongly I was under the impression that GQ doors would fit the MQ, thus widening the field when searching for a replacement, is that not the case?

And while it’s stripped, and you’re painting the engine bay anyway, I’m sure it wouldn’t be beyond the scope of a man with your talents to give the whole thing a lick, avoiding the colour blending issue :)
I aimed to drag a sucker or two into this thread, build their hopes up, then crush them just as quickly with a rusty old Datsun that no ones cares about. :)

To be fair, I have had this one for a couple of years, its just taken a little while to get some attention.

GQ doors will indeed fit an MQ, I believe the bolt holes for the MQ window frames with the 1/4 glass are still there as well. But I've decided to run with what I've got for now, most other doors, MQ, MK and GQ have holes for the lower door trim, whereas these doors don't, because it never came with any. It sounds hideously pedantic but the unused holes will annoy me. If these doors don't work out... Well I'll be out a few dollars and a couple days of work. No big deal.

I sorta hope they do though, as nice as it would look with a repspray, the paint is actually pretty good in most places and painting stuff sucks. :)
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Look what I found for you James, for sale sign but no price.
View attachment 512385
Half the front end is missing, so hopefully it's cheap.
I did come pretty close to enquiring about another one, but I have so far managed to hold off since it would just become yet another project. Aside from being wrapped around a pole, it was super clean though...
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
There's been little bits and pieces happening to the wagon slowly. I decided to run with the doors I had, removed and converted the rust, bonded everything back together, then lots of filling and sanding because ripping seams apart at the bottoms of doors and bending them back left the sheet metal pretty wavy.
Turns out a hammer, vice grips and a grinder don't give a perfect finish when operated by a man with little patience for body work.

At least the other doors required less than this.

I got sick of body work then so I stared tearing the engine down.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I was hoping that cylinder 1 was not firing due to something like a bent rod.
I was wrong.


That was a rod bearing once.
The crank journal is pretty ugly, the rod looks pretty average but it still retains a good bearing alright. I will likely still replace it because it seems like good practice and I have one sitting on the bench.


The other rods and the mains are junk too, none of the rod bearings have any tension left, they just fall out of place.



Oil pump gears were pretty scored up too. I'll replace the pump.


The other crank journals are still kinda shiny but there is damage there, I can feel marks in the surface

I'm not sure what the browny yellow crap is. Some kind of heat damage?


The camshaft looks fine surprisingly, the top end of the engine did too when I took the valve cover off.

I would like to keep the original engine with the car, but it'll be a lot of work.
I had a perfectly good crank too but I put it in another bloody engine, at this stage the only spare crank I have has a flogged out keyway... not sure if I'm better off getting the keyway repaired on that crank (or the old 2 part glue trick if I feel sufficiently dodgey) or getting this crank machined.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Given my natural talent of destroying everything I touch, the wagon is still in pieces in the shed.
A persistent bout of indecisiveness regarding paint and engine choices, and other priorities getting in the way has seen virtually nothing happen.

Anyway, I bought 4L of Valspar TB543 low gloss black to recoat underneath the car, and possibly the bumpers, mirrors etc if I'm happy with the gloss level.
40 years of baked on grease, road grime and 2 previous layers of undercoating have made it a turd of job, the adhesion of the old stuff is crap, so it has to go. Where it has stuck, it worked pretty good though, the factory black paint and the cadmium coating on the bolts is still intact.
515309


515310
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
·
10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So aside from the 4 rusty doors and the rusty radiator support, which i found more fkn rust in btw, the LH rear wheel arch is also rusty.
Looked like a little patch. Easy fix, grind it back, little bit of filler to smooth it out then paint it.
Nah, this is an MQ so that little patch became a gaping hole.
515908


And this was supposed to be one of the good ones for rust...
 
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Registered
2018 Mazda BT50 Dual cab
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10,472 Posts
Get rid of them all, go buy a Toyota and spend more time with your girl friend


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Get rid of them all, go buy a Toyota and spend more time with your girl friend


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Maybe thats the reason i have 5 Nissans haha!

And no Mazdas... I don't want to burn more oil than fuel, or replace rotor seals every second service ;)

Noooooooo!!!! o_Oo_O
Owning a Mazda is a very boring hobby... Unless if it's a rotary... Is yours a rotary...?

Anyway, enough with the hijacking now! ;) Keep going @james008. I want to see where you're going with this!
Updates will slowly roll in.... very slowly

The 'quick tidy up' I initially planned has quickly gone south. Underneath the car currently looks like this.
515909

Just the transmission, fuel lines, rear brake line and rear wiring loom left, they're in the way of paint stripping, so they'll probably go tonight.
 
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