81 Datsun Diesel pickup - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:38 AM   #1
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81 Datsun Diesel pickup

Found it local, alot easier and cheaper to get to than the VW in Washington. It's got 270k on it, but it seems to run decent.

Claimed mpg is 35!

Will be taking it home friday... wish me luck!
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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More info...

2.2L NA diesel, apparently made by Chrysler... It's built like an industrial engine, even came in a marine version. It's a king cab longbed, rated to carry 1000lbs (?!?!?!)

It makes a little tiny bit of white smoke when warming up at idle, and always makes black smoke at heavy throttles... injector pump seems to be tuned rich, but of course that's where it makes the best power, for it's puny 60hp rating anyways. I saw on a forum somewhere "The 2.2L nissan diesel sounds, shakes, and smokes like a freight train", which seems accurate...

Proposed mods:

) EGT to monitor exhaust temps, to preserve the engines and to load the engine near it's ideal point. I hear that's 700F...

) Tach, for obvious reasons.

) Veg Oil two tank conversion. I have a source

) Bigger intake piping. It looks anemic, poor thing. More air = leaner AFR at a given power level... May help keep it at 700F

) Aero?
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:24 AM   #3
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Most of those old diesels had mechanical injectors. I would test the break off pressure of the injectors.

In the old Mercedes that was 1800 PSI. Typically the heavy smokers were breaking about 1500 PSI.

Replace the springs in the injectors and the pressure would come up to new specs.

I would not mess with the pump until I knew the injector break pressure was in specs. If you lean out the pump it will not work properly, because the higher injector break pressure gives you better atomization as well as leaning out the mixture.

If you can't get new springs, it may be possible to shim the old springs to get the pressure up.

Every time I see an old diesel smoking heavily, it reminds me of this simple fix, and you are actually fixing the real problem.

Nissan made Sentra's than had a diesel, as well as supplied diesels for International Harvester Scout's back then.

There was also a Lincoln Continental Mark 7 with a BMW diesel in the same time frame.

regards
gary
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:35 AM   #4
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1000 pounds sounds right. It was probably a little more than average back then, and it's a little lame compared to modern compact pickups. Any lighter and it gets pointless having a bed, by the time you have two fat guys in the cab.

I'd love to hear about the veggie conversion.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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Got it home, it CAN actually hit 80mph on flat ground, but it takes awhile, and it's on the verge of smoking just maintaining that speed... prolly not good for it. Not to mention it's revving WAY to fast at that speed, it seems happiest at (guess) 55-60mph.

This thing has a throttle. For real. It seems to automatically throttle the air at under ~15-20% 'go pedal'. Efficiency reasons I assume... gotta keep the AFR within a certain range for good economy, too lean isnt much better than too rich...
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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I was always under the impression that diesel speed is controlled by the amount of fuel input- so they naturally run lean.

The only exception being in the even that the injection pump is putting in more fuel than they can burn, in which case they blow the black smoke (heavy acceleration or pump flow turned up too high for that rpm).

I have also read that since they are constantly gulping the max amount of air possible, the air filter will clog more quickly than a similar gasoline vehicle.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Yes, I am VERY aware of how a diesel functions normally. That's why I note this one is odd in that it has a throttle on it. I'm sure it controls power by metering the fuel, but at light loads it also throttles the air.


I'm considering using this truck to go get the 79' VW diesel dasher I mention in my other thread in this forum... but this is a 2000lb truck, and that's a 2500lb car, and it's a 2000 mile trip. I thought about using a dolly, but even then it's prolly too heavy for this lil truck... any opinions from a Datsun truck owner on towing a huge load across a mountain range?

Maybe I should just go get the drivetrain from the dasher and drop it in a cheap old VW Golf shell when I can afford it... 1000+lbs lighter than the dasher anyways...
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
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Well, I can't comment on going to go get the Dasher...but I've been looking at cash cars lately, and the older NA diesels have been getting my attention, the Nissan P/U, the VW's, the Sentra Diesel, etc. It'd make my Harley moot though

I say, good buy. For folks as patient as hypermilers have to be, I think what you got is pretty darn good!
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #9
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Although I wouldn't recommend it for others I personally would probably take the chance dragging the heavy car home with a dolly or four-down, as long as the dolly has good brakes or I have a brake actuator in the car (if four-down).
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:20 PM   #10
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I'm having difficulty locating a dolly other than uHaul... according to Uhaul's website, they wont agree to letting me put a dolly on my little truck, it's not rated near large enough by them. I doubt theirs have brakes either =\
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