Started working on the front air bags today. Last week I removed the torsion bars while working on the frame as they are not needed when bagged.
First step was to remove everything on one side. I tend to only work on one side at a time when possible incase I need something as a reference.
I am using some Chad Chris control arms and are supposed to lay frame without the use of drop spindles. I’m typically a big fan of drop spindles but Ben Osborn parts supply suggested these. They are very similar to the stock lowers.
Made some progress over the last few day. I’m happy to say this is going way better then I expected.
I decided to cut this side of the frame in two parts. Thus leaving the rear cross member in place. I don’t think it was really necessary but it made me feel better. For this cut I used a grinder to cut a small slit in each side of the frame rails allowing a sawzall blade to fit through. After that I simply cut with a sawsall blade. Only one blade. It cut way easier then expected.
Spent a couple hours making a plan and working on the frame today. Before I cut anything I took a couple measurements that will allow me to put the body mounts back in the same place. Center eyelet to center eyelet. Remember, I am not a professional and I am in no way saying how you should or should not approach body dropping a Hardbody. Im just tell you all how I did it.
My plan is to leave the body mounts on the left side until the right side is done. Only then will I start cutting the left side. This gives me a safe fixed point to measure from.
I have been into mini’s since high school. Like a lot of minitruckers I graduated in the 90s when these minis were the coolest things around. MiniTrucks got into my blood and became part of my life a long with a few issues. The fist issue was I was in high school and these trucks are not cheap. Well, they are not cheap when done correctly. Second issue was my skill set back then. I didn’t grow up welding or fabricating. It took me about 20 years of life to get the point that I could afford to build a proper mini truck and to develop the skills to build one to the level I wanted.
Sure, I have had and built or customized many cars… each one of those improved my skills getting me closer to where I wanted to be. I learn simply by doing thus I did. The B2200 was built primarily to show myself I could do a dependable V8 swap and set up a solid suspension to handle it. That truck was a great success regarding those goals.
At this time I am not ready to do an LS swap in a Datsun 620. I have a lot of research to do before starting that project. Plus, I need to finish the 89 Mazda B2200. My goal is to get this truck drivable so I can play with it from time to time. Unfortunately, every seal on the carb was leaking. Not fixing or replacing the carb would result in this Datsun going up in flames. I am by no means a carb mechanic and certainly don’t want to learn how to rebuild that stock thing. Only option was a new one. Might as well go bigger.
I feel pretty much all two wheel drives vehicles need lowered. I just don’t care for stock height. This logic certainly applies to my Datsun 620, it is a minitruck after all.
I had not even heard of a king pin style suspension before I started on this truck. I was rather surprised to see there are drum brakes and no ball joints on the front of 620’s. Combine that with the fact that no one makes after market parts for these and we have a project on our hands.
Are you wondering why a Datsun 620?
My love for the Datsun goes back to when I was a teenager and knew very little about cars. I needed something to drive because I had blown up two engines. My dad found me a Datsun 620 for $50. It actually ran and drove. Truck ran like crap and was rusted out but it was a 4 speed and was fun to drive.
Stop for a minute and forget everything you know about a cars performance and reliability. Now… its 1994 and mini trucks are about to take the US by storm. Look at the lines of a Datsun. Look how the bed sides swoop into the doors. Look at the rounded headlights and the way they are inset behind the fenders.
I have been running into issues with my tail lights, head lights and blinkers. For a couple weeks I would hit the column with a heavy screwdriver and get whatever I need to work for a short period of time.
Yes, the multi-switch was bad. That was not hard to figure out. No, it was not a fuse. Fuses don’t magically work when hit hard.
My problem was in finding a new multi-switch. I ended up buying one on eBay for $39 plus $11 shipping. The listing clearly said 85, 86 to 96 B2200 combination switch. Well, they lied.
Saturday, the Mazda made it to his first show. The truck really isn’t show ready but I felt he should get some practice at a small, local show before heading 503 miles to Shawnee for the Severed Ties 25th reunion at Slamboree.
He did not win anything, but didn’t expect to. His paint is still rough and interior was in even worse shape. He did get some respect on the engine swap. Lots of people looking under his hood.
I know you can make plenty of horsepower with a small block. I have done it several times. Bolt on some AFR heads, add a Voodoo cam and yes, you will have more horsepower then a stock big block. But… you can do those same mods to a big block like a 454 and have even more power. The small blocks just don’t have the same low end power or sound.