1981 Datsun 720 Z22S


The little truck, that could pull a diesel truck from spite


I work on engines, cars, etc. I never really considered working on this, until I took a closer look at it, because it had an automatic transmission, which had a lot of problems.

But when I took a closer look at it, I saw it is very easy to convert to a manual transmission; it had the mountings for the clutch pedal and the master clutch cylinder. In fact I already have put those on, and the floor plate is switchable, so I don't have to do one fabrication to covert it from automatic to manual.

These can be rust buckets, because I have two other junk Datsun 720's, and both are rusted quite bad, but only one has frame rot.

General Comments:

It's not the greatest looking truck, but it is simple, and from what I hear, as tough as nails.

However, the seats are uncomfortable and the cabin is pretty plain.

But these have been known to get 30+ MPG, which for a truck is nothing short of amazing.

If it's a 2wd, it has to be slammed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2012

1982 Datsun 720 Z24


Tiny truck with the big ego


Replaced starter & solenoid 2 months ago. Not unusual for a vehicle of this age. It was easy; lots of room in the engine box to get my fat hands into the mix.

Replaced shocks with NAPA gas shocks last week. Wow, what a difference in the way it drives & handles. I was toying with the idea of a total front end rebuild, because it drove so poorly prior to new shocks. I think my approach will be to replace the bushings only now; nice & cheap.

The new shocks have given the truck a nicer stance and look as well.

Next, pull the leaf springs & have them re-arched, new rubber & clips, and add a couple of leafs to allow for an old canopy.

General Comments:

Did not care for the truck much after buying it. Buyer's remorse possibly. It drove & handled so poorly I almost did not make the purchase. The motor & power the old rag had pushed me into the purchase 2 years ago for my dog.

Yes, rust is an issue... what do you want for a 28 year old ride??? Found a new way to patch an 8" hole in the fender well caused originally from battery acid, then went into rust. Just used heavy tar paper, 1 layer on the inside of the fender and another in the engine box. Then sprayed heavily with under coat. It's really cool, you can't tell the hole was ever there. The undercoat dried to a nice hard cover.

My dog & I now love this old truck, and the more work done to bring it back to original, strengthens that love. This was a cool truck when it was new, I am sure. I stepped down from a 2001 Tundra to this old rag.

At first I was bummed out, now that has all changed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2010

1982 Datsun 720 2.2


The best truck ever made


Have had this truck since 1982, and it has tripped three times and now has 306435 on its fourth time around, and has never had any engine work. I'll never find a truck to ever get this mileage without engine problems.

General Comments:

Best truck I've ever had, and still driving it everyday.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2009

1983 Datsun 720 king cad 2.2 liter gas




Head gasket blew. I was going to fix it, but have decided to sell the truck. it's an 83 model, so its not perfect. it was running good till the head gasket blew. email me at.


I am in north carolina.

General Comments:

Just would like to sell the truck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th July, 2007

1983 Datsun 720 Pick-up 2.0L Gas


Possibly the best, most useful vehicle all around that I've ever owned


Rust starting in front of wheel-wells and both sides of the bed (between where the top and bottom panels of the bed meet), and surface rust spots on the front of the hood and tailgate. Surface rust mostly from previous dings/scratches in the paint.

When I bought it, both ignition coils were bad, and battery was charged backwards, but that was easily fixed.

Leaks oil from the rear main seal - something I'll be fixing in the next year or so.

Blows blue smoke on rare occasions.

In cold weather the doors wouldn't close properly - fixed with WD-40 on the mechanism.

Also in cold weather, the parking brake cable sticks, won't release properly. I just reach under the truck and pull on it :-).

It idles wierd, racing sometimes then slowing down.

The low and medium fan settings stopped working - fixed by pulling out the old resistor by the fan, and re-soldering the "fuse" connection. Also replaced the fan when it started making terrible squealing noises.

Timing was off when I bought the truck. Mostly fixed by changing spark plugs and replacing the cap and rotor, then adjusting the distributor cap again.

Doesn't get as good of gas mileage as it should: somewhere around 19-20 in the city, 24-26 on the freeway. I think there's a vacuum or gas/air mixture issue.

Rubber floors are starting to wear through to the metal. Thinking about buying/making carpeted flooring.

During one of the coldest days of the year the handle for the tailgate busted off. I'm still trying to fix it so I don't have to find a new one.

Toppers to fit this truck without drilling holes in the bed are HARD/impossible to find.

Struts, tie rods and various joints on front end are weak. Wind or turning sharply will rock the truck from side to side easily.

Occasional starting issues in extremely hot weather. Also, running out of gas is bad. Requires pouring gas directly down the carburetor to get gas back into the lines again.

General Comments:

The heat is great in the winter time, and the original A/C actually WORKS, and it's COLD!

With regular maintenance, this truck never stops running. It'll make it to 300,000 miles easy.

Pretty comfortable ride, though it's a little noisy on the highway. Very little sound-proofing in these old trucks.

Installing a new radio was a bit of a pain - standard DIN radios are a tad too deep, even with an adapter, so I had to custom install mine in the glove-box. It works great, and makes for good thief-deterrent. Speakers on the walls below the dash were an odd size, and I had to custom-build a sub box for behind the seat, but the sound is good. Makes up for the extra road noise.

Despite the many quirks of this truck, It's been one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. More than a year now, including several loooong trips (1000 miles or more), and I've had to do very little to it.

The rust is going to be an issue in Minnesota, more than in Washington where I got it from.

It's a little truck that wants to be big. It's light (I use 4 or 5 sandbags for driving in snow), but it'll carry/pull a lot for its size. I've towed several large cars/vans, as well as pulled a boat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2006

26th Oct 2006, 18:56

Thank you for your information. It was very useful.

28th Nov 2006, 15:58

This is way too funny. I just bought the same truck and everything that you said, mine did. I was like this is too weird.

The problem I am having right now though is that my alternator won't stop breaking, but all in all I agree it's a wicked truck.