1986 Nissan 720D

Regular Cab/Longbed Z24/2.4L I4

I acquired this clean '86 Nissan on June 6th 2011 as a freebie from a family member. They purchased it in 2003 with 65,000 miles on it. It had just 71,300 miles on it as it rolled into my driveway. The dealership service manual, original owner's manual, and warranty booklet were all included in the paperwork. Also in the books were the original sale papers. The truck was originally bought here in Titusville at Titus Datsun on November 13th 1985 (my 1-year birthday) for $7450. The original owners traded in their 1971 Mercedes for it. From the camper-top on the back and the 4-pin wiring on the front (along with the towbar), I'm presuming it spent much of its life following an RV.

Plans are to get it back to its 1985 glory and add some miles to it. I'm hoping to have it be a reliable commuter, as it's a 5-speed, 4-cylinder, carburated, small-tired, simple vehicle.

Helpful Pages/Forums

Fuel Economy

For what it's worth, FuelEconomy.gov states for the 2011 year that the best MPG small-pickup is the Ford Ranger 4-Cylinder 2.3L 5-speed regular cab short-bed with 22city/27highway. Up until 06/15/11, FuelEconomy.gov was reporting the Toyota Tacoma 4-cylinder 2.7L automatic regular cab short-bed with 19city/25highway as the best. Back 25 years ago in 1986, my 2.4L 5-speed Nissan 720D was rated for 19city/24highway. Some progress we've made in 25 years, huh? Heck, if you got the 2.0 in your 1986 Nissan, you could bet on having 23city/29highway!. Now, I know that these new trucks blow away my 106HP, lack of airbags, and a lot of other things, but it just goes to show that the 4-cylinder 5-speed small pickup truck hasn't changed too much over the years.



2014/11/25115,105Replaced 3 different areas of vacuum hose. Must have bumped them whilst doing the oil change and they were dry-rotted enough to crack. This caused the truck to not idle at all and drop RPMs and stall during gear-shifts. One was on the vacuum booster behind the driverside headlight (about 3" of hose), the other two were each coming from the air intake to the carburetor.
2014/11/23115,075Oil change AMSoil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (4,946 since last).
Cross-rotated tires (diagonal to front and straight back) (4,209 miles since last. Tires have 4,209 miles now)
Added some Preson 50/50 to overflow tank.
Added washer fluid
Greased all greasable joints
Re-packed front wheel bearing grease (28,153 since last).
Replaced air filter (40,971 since last).
Added some 85w130 to transmission (about a half-finger-tip low @ inspection hole (like 5-6 pumps).
Inspected rear differential fluid.
Swapped (sponge-style) some fluid from both brake reservoir & clutch-reservoir for cleaner fluid.
2014/05/25111,571Replaced original starter with a DuraLast Lifetime Warranty starter from Autozone (111,571 miles since last)
Replaced windshield wipers.
2014/04/18110,866Replaced tires with Kumho Solus KR21-95T P205/75r14 (38,566 miles since last)
2014/02/22110,129Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,854 since last).
Added some Preston 50/50 to overflow tank.
Cross-rotated tires (diagonal to front and straight back).
Added washer fluid.
2014/01/28109,xxxReplaced rearmost u-joint @ axle with another Moog 391. Inspected rear differential fluid.
2013/09/21Replaced center/carrier bearing. AFAIK was original. Bearing was still good but nylon surrounding it had dry-rotted.
2013/08/22104,275Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,113 since last).
Flushed radiator coolant and refilled with Prestone 50/50 (unknown mileage since last).
Greased ball joints, u-joints, and all other greasable zerks.
Cross-rotated tires (diagonal to front & diagonal to rear).
Replaced air-filter (still showed very little wear) (30,131 miles since last).
2013/04/2899,162Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,472 since last).
Added coolant, wiper fluid, greased ball joints, greased u-joints, and rotated tires. Replaced radiator cap (inspection showed rubber going bad).
2013/01/1493,690Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,330 since last).
Replaced front brake pads (Raybestos) and rotors (Lucas).
2012/09/2989,990Replaced bad (terrible) catalytic converter with a straight pipe. Had to add another exhaust hanger to handle the change.
2012/09/2689,850Another new alternator (also did the alternator belt with a 3-yr warranty unit)... This'll be the vehicle's 4th in my ownership time. Half glad to have the lifetime warranty alternators - but half wondering if them being remanufactured is the source of the constant failures with them.
2012/08/1688,500New Pioneer DEH-14UB head unit wired in since the dash was apart anyways to fix the AC. New antenna. Replaced (and spliced) new connections where AC-blower-motor-ground had burned up the harness. New blower motor. New AC/blower resistor.
2012/08/0788,360Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,095 since last).
Inspected air filter, but no need to replace at this time.
Topped off windshield wiper fluid.
Topped off coolant overflow reservoir.
Inspected power steering, clutch, and brake fluid - all OK.
2012/07/1086,922Front-end alignment for bad camber (been bad since I got the truck).
Tires rotated front/back (3,657 miles since last).
Front wheel bearings re-greased.
- By Jobe's Auto Air
2012/05/3085,000Replaced rear ujoint (which was bad, despite only having 8,640 miles on it).
Inspected rear drum brake pads.
Bled brake system.
2012/05/2984,980Replaced front two ujoints during unsuccessful attempt to remove new drivetrain noise. Both replaced with Moog 391's. Note: My truck has a manufacture date of 10/85 and is titled as an '86; Thus, I needed the 391 ujoints, not the newer/larger 393's that are on the "true" '86 720s.
Replaced rear differential fluid during inspection (8,650 miles since last)
2012/05/07Re-crimped and sliced the white-with-black-stripe wire that goes from the battery's fusible link to the batt-cable on the ignition switch pin-and-socket connector. Of the X# of strands inside the wire, only about 75% (or less) were still properly crimped inside the connector. Only have maybe 50 miles on it so far, but hope this may clear up the problem.
2012/05/06Replaced Auto-Choke Relay in hunting electrical gremlin (since I can hear it clicking - still not sure if it is the cause or that is an effect).
2012/05/04Replaced ignition switch with two switches (one for accessory power, one for ignition) and a button (for starter) in trying to hunt down this electrical gremlin.
2012/04/2583,265Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51452 (5,045 miles since last).
Rotated tires front/back (5,045 miles since last).
Inspected air filter, but no need to replace at this time.
Replaced transmission fluid with AMSOil Manual Transmission Synthetic GL-4 70-90 (6,935 miles since last changed). Magnet on drain plug had probably one-third of a dime's worth of metal flakes and typical gray sludge.
Topped off windshield wiper fluid.
Topped off coolant overflow reservoir.
Inspected power steering, clutch, and brake fluid - all OK.
2012/03/2081,711Installed new Optima Red Top battery.
2012/02/0280,200Installed new Stant 180* thermostat & Raybestos strut rod bushings.
2012/01/1079,110Installed new Gabriel #G63902 front & Gabriel #G63491 rear shocks.
2011/12/2078,220Oil change AMSOil 10w30 & WIX Filter #51521 (4,995 miles since last).
Rotated tires front/back (7,000 miles since last).
Put some PB B'laster on a face in the steering wheel assembly where I was getting a light squeak.
Washed (first time)
Inspected air filter, but no need to replace at this time.
2011/12/1978,196Replaced speedometer cable finally. Based off of my average fuel-economy that I've been tracking on Fuelly.com of 25MPG, I kept track of my fuel consumption and can closely figure that while my speedometer was broken I traveled about 1,080 miles. This will have bumped my "true" mileage to 79,276; however, for the sake of ease, I'll continue tracking by the odometer's display (and naturally noting if it breaks ever again). Noticed my front tires have inner wear on them while replacing this cable, so ordered up new strut rod bushings (Raybestos part #5781001), idler arm (Beck/Arnley part #1013920) as they were both showing wear and need to be corrected before I can get a proper alignment. Also, ordered a new thermostat as mine reads incorrectly (Stant part #13858).
2011/12/0678,196 (indicated)New speedometer cable showed up today, BECK/ARNLEY Part #0911706 along with new shocks: Gabriel #G63902 (front) & Gabriel #G63491 (rear). All ordered from RockAuto.com
2011/11/2978,196Greased front ball-joints to cure annoying creaking. Speedometer cable broke, so no tracking mileage/odometer for now. Will have to "start again" with a fresh fuel-up once I'm able to track again. Currently telling speed by tachometer, 4th gear @ 2K is 40MPH, 5th gear @ 2K is 50MPH, 5th gear @ 2.5K is 60MPH, etc. Ordered new speedometer cable (& 4 new shocks) from RockAuto.com
2011/10/1876,360Rear u-joint (391) replaced (was extremely noisy). Drum brakes adjusted & parking brake cable/slack corrected. Front lower ball joints greased. In process broke front stud, so replaced that & nut for it.
2011/10/0876,330Rear differential & transmission fluids drained and refilled with 85W-130
2011/08/2274,305Oil change with Valvoline 10w30 & STP S8A filter
2011/08/2074,104Replaced air filter with STP SA352.
2011/08/1573,750Added 1-7/8" ball to the bumper for my little 4x6 trailer. Also wired in a 4-pin harness to the rear brake lights by stripping the brake light harness wire and tying in there. Replaced the busted passengerside taillight with a new one. Replaced one of the leads from my new home-made fusible link with a larger 40amp fuse since I'd popped the 30 amp (max the in-line fuse holder I'd put in could take) a few times. Taillight $15 new, wiring $5, ball $8.
2011/07/1272,400Replaced clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder - both were leaking (reservoir was empty). Adjusted clutch play. Added antifreeze (was near MIN mark but not too low). Added washer fluid. Both cylinders are lifetime warranty items from Bennet. Cost $43 total. Rocky noted lower radiator hose is too long and touches battery tray. Need to replace that and flush through the radiator.
2011/07/0972,300Replaced all 4 tires. Re-wired fusible links from +battery link because they'd melted and were causing tons of electrical problems. $327.98 for 4 new 40K PrimeWell tires. Since the last used tire I bought was also a 205/75r14 Prime Well it's now my spare, so I have 5 matching tires.
2011/07/05Front passenger tire blew. This one was originally the driverside rear when I got the truck. Presuming that being an old semi-dry-rotted tire + being cross-rotated led to its demise.
2011/07/02Replaced rear stud and a new lug (old broken stud broke off in lug). - $3.75 No auto store had parts in stock that matched my vehicle - had to rummage to find the right ones.
2011/07/01Had spare tire re-mounted since it was off the bead. Found out all 5 tires have matching wheels. Driverside front tire is a 195/70 while all other 4 are 205/75. Mechanic snapped stud. Put on used tire onto driver rear and placed the 195/70 as the spare so that I am driving on 4 205/75s. - $30 Dave Spencer did the first swap (snapped my stud). Long's Tire did the new tire (Dave didn't have my size in stock).
2011/06/2271,690Oiled all bushings and hinges on entire vehicle, removed sunroof and oiled surface rusted areas.
2011/06/2171,680Replaced all spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and distributor rotor.
2011/06/2171,670A/C repaired, bad fuses corrected, and freon added. - $275 By Jobe's Auto Air
2011/06/1471,430Rotated Tires: Front passenger tire had bad inside wear from incorrect camber. Tire was rotated with the driverside rear tire to elongate the life of the tires. Scheduled truck for alignment to correct for bad wear.
2011/06/1071,345Replaced Alternator $74.99 - Done after charging system test done on 06/08/11 at Advanced Auto Parts on Garden St. in Titusville, FL. Charging system dummy light was on pre-test and test indicated bad alternator. Clock would turn off when vehicle was off, radio would lose presets, and cabin lights did not work. After replacement, clock keeps time, radio does not lose presets, cabin lights work, and charging system dummy light remains unlit. Limited Lifetime warranty