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Nissan D21/hardbody engine swaps, suspension, brakes, etc...

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  • Nissan D21/hardbody engine swaps, suspension, brakes, etc...

    Kind of funny, but, a friend of mine has got one... just wondering if anyone knows anything about them.

    I had him raving about V8s after i showed him some LS swapped S cars... how similar are D21 cars lol.. i know KAs are in there, and there's been v6 swaps and SR swaps... not sure if they are direct but if they are direct then chances are the subframe may be the same and suspension too? If so then off the shelf sikky ls swap kit could be used right... but are they?

    Likewise for suspension how is it? If it is then off the shelf arms and such could be utilized.. and shock absorbers too but im not sure...

    If they are let me know.. if not how is it, what is out there? Are some konis available?

    Basically I'd like this kid to do what i did with my car to his truck hahaha itd be pretty nice. He is restoring it and making it mint... all he needs is reworked suspension, brakes, and motor... he wanted to go with a 2jz, but i was like nah, go v8 and got him hooked on some videos
    "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def

  • #2
    The front suspension is a torsion arm design. Completely different than an S-chassis.
    Doesn't mean you can't swap anything, but don't exepct the front suspension to be the same to work with.
    Any engine mounts and crossmember mods are probably going to be custom- not an off the shelf swap kit like the sikky stuff.
    Originally posted by SoSideways
    I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
    '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
    '96 240SX- The Track Toy


    • #3
      None of it is the same. All of the suspension is different, and the rear is a live axle with leaf springs. I only know of one VH V8 swap around. You can find videos of it on youtube.

      The majority have a VG30E in it already, so you don't have to do a V6's factory.

      I DD a WD21 VG30E.
      Between rides...unless you count a WD21...


      • #4
        crap so that sucks... the guy was all excited haha... hmm im guessing there arent many options then for the suspension...

        How about brakes and wheels? Is it 114.3 pattern like our cars?

        I guess he could still fab up everything for the engine, just sucks on the suspension part...
        "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


        • #5
          Bolt pattern is 6 x 136.9 or something like that. 136 or 139mm. But NOTHING from a Z/G/S chassis will cross over to the truck other than the engine (with custom mounts).

          The good news is that the lowrider crowd makes lowering blocks and shackles and stuff for it. The front suspension has adjustable ride height from the factory, but by the time you lower it enough to lose the top heavy COG, you FUBAR the steering geometry and you're just about riding on the bumpstops. gotta buy race shocks at that point and custom build mounts to keep them from bottoming/binding.

          Lots of wheel options too, but you have to pay attention to the weight. You're not going to find a lot of lightweight wheels for a truck (nor would most people want them, since that's almost directly related to strength and cargo/towing capacity).

          It's out there though- you just have to do your research and look around.
          (We're building a KA24DE Hardbody for 24 hrs of Lemons..... Pics to follow when we actually start work on it.. )
          Originally posted by SoSideways
          I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
          '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
          '96 240SX- The Track Toy


          • #6

            Well then richard how about a D21/hardbody section on the forum
            "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


            • #7
              There has been a lot of cool stuff done with the Nissan/Datsun trucks.

              It usually involves cutting off the front suspension and ditching the rear axle and fabbing in coilover shocks up front and welding in a IRS subframe out back.

              It is pretty simple to cut out the torsion bars and weld in a shock tower to convert to coilover shocks in the front.

              For inspiration I offer these examples

              Project MX520 - A Datsun 520 with miata suspension and engine done by a Spec Miata guy.

     (See for tons of Datsun truck info)

              Example 2 - 720 RB26DETT hotness and hardbody from Garage Miniz.


              720 Build :
              Hardbody Build :

              More 720 pics:

              And finally - A 240sx IRS swap with KA-T on a hardbody.

              Last edited by Umai Kakudo; 03-24-2009, 02:22 PM.
              The Nerd shall inherit the podium for knowledge is power.


              • #8
                reviving an old thread...great info here along with pics. Infamous Nissan forums has alot of good info too...however they were hacked by some overseas pos...should be back up soon hopefully...never understood those retards...seriously whats the point.


                • #9
                  Bumping the thread another 2 years later.

                  Mines a work in progress, have 350z brembo rotors with wilwood 4 pot calipers, whole truck is 5 lug. Drop spindles help with the lowering and still driving half way decent. Sway away torsion bars and a good set of shocks also help with driving it around and not slamming the front end on every dip in the road. Coilovers would help in the front but you are also stuck with the short/long ****ty a arm geometry that goes to complete **** once the truck is lowered.

                  Plan on mine is to use a short/long a arms off something else and make mounts for the truck. I have been looking at miata and s2000 and am leaning twords the s2k due to it already being 5 lug.

                  I also have an s14 subframe for the rear but am still in the process of getting a modular mount designed so it can be unbolted from the rear frame and not just weld it in.


                  • #10
                    NICOclub has a big PRO-it truck thread going with lots of performance information contained within. These trucks make great road race vehicles and are raced at Road Atlanta. They do pretty well against Spec-Miatas if prepped right. I currently AutoX a 1995 and rallycross both a 1986.5 and 1991 in the SCCA. Peppy for what they are but they are no vette killer though I did beat a 72 Chevelle with a 502 last week on the autoX track.