1986 Nissan Hardbody Pickup 2.4L Z24i


One of the best vehicles I have owned.


Speedometer cable broke @ 146320.

Headlight switch went out @ 146460.

Head gasket went @ 146500.

Clutch master cylinder went @ 152500.

Doner engine (see below) timing chain tensioners were broken and wore holes in timing cover, and the engine overheats in sub-zero weather.

Dash has two cracks at fault points due to heat and cold.


I replaced all non-engine parts as they went bad (minus the dash, that will be later).

I put a doner engine in while the other is being re-built (currently waiting to be re-assembled in my garage).

I plan to replace more parts (distributor, fuel injectors, transmission, clutch kit, exhaust, etc.).

I also plan to put a blue fade to white paint job on this truck, and rust preventative (after frame off sand blast).

General Comments:

For a four cylinder in a long bed pickup it moves pretty fast.

It will be faster after the above listed changes, and the over bore, larger pistons, and tightened compression chamber.

The handling is as to be expected with a pickup.

New suspension parts and modifications will make it better.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2008

21st Jan 2009, 20:02

What can I swap the motor for in an 86 d21 4 Cyl 4wd, to put in a turbo motor? Any suggestions on what will work?

6th Nov 2009, 11:55

I love my 86 Nissan Hardbody! The odometer went out after about 120,000 miles and I've had a remanufactured ECU put in it after about 15 years that was rebuilt a few years later and works fine.

The rest of it is just what you would expect after so many miles and years - seals need to be replaced, the clutch was replaced after 130,000 miles, plastic trim crumbles after 20+ years in the Florida sun... but he's still a frisky truck, fun to drive, and great to haul whatever you need to haul. My next truck will be a Nissan, too. I hope they still build them as strong as this one!

26th Oct 2010, 21:54

I also have a 1986 Nissan Hardbody, and it has a lot of power for an 4-cylinder 2wd pickup.

One of the few problems I had with this truck was the throttle body went out on the truck, and I had to fight to try to find a re-manufactured one that someone had just laying around. The only other problems I had were I had to replace the ECU under the seat, and the odometer stopped working at 144,000 miles, so how many miles the engine really has... I don't know, but still runs like a champ after a tune up.

I would recommend this truck to anyone who wants a reliable and good running truck, that will outlast the test of time!

27th Dec 2010, 03:04

My father bought a 1986 Nissan Hardbody Truck wd D21 4cyl. brand new. It's still an everyday use truck. The clutch is about to be replaced a second time as it just turned past 420,000 miles. Water pump just replaced a 2nd time also.

1986 Nissan Hardbody Pickup Short Box 2wd 2.4L Z24 I4


Congratulations Nissan on building a solid truck


Frame Cracked; Unable to pass inspection.

C. Converter completely rotted out at 81000 miles.

Entire body starting to fall apart.

Radiator top seal is completely worn off, causing overheating.

Frame Split behind passenger door.

General Comments:

This truck can take a beating, it has been launched 3 feet in the air, buried in 3 feet of mud, has been in water 1/4 up the doors, and still runs like a champ.

The Vinyl seats are uncomfortable, and sit low, causing back discomfort.

The engine, Transmission, Axle, and Differential were built to withstand a direct missile hit, they can take a HUGE beating and still perform.

The Frame rots out if the truck sits for a while, causing it to crack.

The bed of the truck and wheel wells rot out easily and fast.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2007

6th May 2013, 01:09

I commend you for your very well put description of the motor tranny axle being solidly built. But the cracked frame is not a fault of the truck, for Nissan never designed this truck to launch 3 feet in the air. Had you not launched it, your frame would be perfect.

I got rear ended by a Dodge 3500 at 35 (I was stopped at a red light), and besides smashing the bumper tailgate (took 2 hours and cost 150 to replace), it didn't touch my truck. This truck made me a dedicated lifelong Nissan only owner. I'll never buy anything outside of Nissan/Datsun... ever.