Datsun 620 Reviews

1973 Datsun 620 L16 from North America

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission L16 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10

Summary:

Excellent except for the usual complaints: body rust, brake drums and Hitachi carburetor

Faults:

I bought this truck in 1990 in Victoria, BC for $110 CDN. After a rebuild, it had given me good service. In 2001 I drove the truck from Vancouver Island to Edmonton, Alberta (800 miles) at a fairly high and constant speed. I was using a lower grade fuel and I believe this caused an exhaust valve to burn out. I was given an inspection order in Nanaimo and the truck has been off the road since then.

I took the head off and had a machine shop in Nanaimo replace the burnt valve and supply a head gasket and kit. It is now 2010 and I need to get it back on the road

General Comments:

This is a truck that has served me well, is simple and easy to maintain and service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2010

2nd Jan 2011, 15:39

I own a 1973 620 pickup, bone stock. It's the third Datsun I've had. First was a 510 wagon sometime in the early 1980's, second was a 620 pickup a few years later. I think it was a 1976, and I had forgotten how much fun these little trucks are. The more I drive it, the better I like it. It has no rust and I am replacing all the door seals. It is geared high, but I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere at this point. It's what made mini trucks as popular as they are today. I don't regret buying it at all. You want "old school"; this is it!!

1977 Datsun 620 King Cab L20 from North America

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission L20 Manual
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.3 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 miles
Most recent distance335000 miles

Summary:

Ever faithful, and will always get you there!

Faults:

Brakes had to be done a couple times. Blew heater hose that runs under the oil dip stick and almost over heated. Throttle cable came undone once.

Another time ground wire on distributor fell off on free way. On third set of seats. first set broke down. Gear box: Kicks out of 2nd gear when cold, and kicks out of 5th when letting off the gas.

General Comments:

This car is seriously slow, and handling is rather pointless to discuss.

The point of a Datsun is all about just always getting there! My 77 has after market side-draft carbs with a four in to one header. Didn't really make a difference for top end, but gave fantastic torque on the bottom end. Being in a hurry in a Datsun is pointless, because the truck has one speed, slow and mellow. I just kick back, listen to AM talk radio and just cruise. It's as simple as any car could hope to be, and if you have a Leatherman on you, odds are you can make any repair that might be needed. I've drove this truck for over 17 years, it got me through school. With a lumber rack and tool box it helped put me through school contracting. It's hauled my fire wood, helped move me several times, and most recently hauled my new mattress home. Last week I hauled 22ft beams on the lumber rack and an oil change takes 5 minutes. The brakes are terrible, and it rides like a truck. But every person I've ever met who owned one always says, "I always regretted selling that truck".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2007

14th Nov 2007, 23:52

Mine already has 665000 miles... Still runs.

1973 Datsun 620 1.6 from North America

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carDatsun cadillac

Summary:

Nice

Faults:

Replaced distributor and starter.

General Comments:

I like the little gas saving truck, plenty of truck for what I need. could use better suspension.. swapped my cadillac for it, when the price of gas went up in 2004.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2006

1973 Datsun 620 Pickup 2.0L from North America

Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0L Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired180000 miles
Most recent distance218000 miles

Summary:

STRONG truck, handles much load, underpowered in its stock form. Very well made for 1973 mini-truck

Faults:

Brakes are under-powered, head gasket blew at 200,000 miles.

The original transmission whined in 4th gear.

The shifter was very very loose, and the original engine above 200,000 miles loses much of its efficiency.

General Comments:

Originally, this truck came with a way underpowered L16 engine, which shares the same design as the 240, 260, 280, 280ZX engines (internally). Despite being the same design as a fast 240Z, it was very slow. The rear end gear is a 4.88 and it came with no overdrive, which means freeway driving is in the 4,000 RPM range. This truck has given me few problems for being so old, and is pretty good on gas.

I got tired of the slow engine, and built up a L20b engine from a newer 620 pickup, and swapped in a 5-speed from a '81 280ZX, which drops freeway RPM down about 1000 RPM on the freeway.

Overall, I like the styling of the truck. Mine is pretty straight, and most people that see it like it.

If you're considering buying one, I'd suggest getting involved in any online forums or chatrooms that you can, to find out how to get the most performance out of it, because it is so slow (i.e. nwde.org).

Overall, I like my truck. With the bigger engine swapped in, it goes pretty well, and spins 7,000 RPM and makes power up there. I'd suggest getting a newer 620, 76-78 model years came with the larger engine that I swapped in, and some came with a 5-speed. The newer models came with a more streetable 4.375 rear gear.

My truck has drum brakes all around, which can leave high speed braking scary - the newer trucks have front disc brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2003

5th Oct 2004, 21:07

I would have to agree, I am 14 and just bought a 75 620. I have only driven it once on the freeway and was going 52mph at about 4000 rpm. I plan to put in a five speed, which I know will help a lot. I also plan to build the L20b motor, I am aiming for the 350hp range. Any advise on the 5 speed swap would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

14th Jul 2008, 15:08

I just bought a 1973 620 and the engine is shot, so I'm planning on putting a Toyota Supra engine in it, but I'm not sure if it will fit. All I know is that the Supra engine is 184 cubic inches. Can anyone help me with some info?

1978 Datsun 620 King Cab Pickup L20B from North America

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission L20B Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired124000 miles
Most recent distance299750 miles
Previous carSubaru DL Hatchback

Summary:

Datsuns! Enjoy the ride!

Faults:

Electrical had to be redone around 200,000 miles. Many old parts have been replaced.. i.e. exhaust system/muffler, starter, ignition switch, alternator, heater core, general maintenance and tune up.

Throttle cable broke and had to be rewired. Found a rubbing spot and went through 3 cables before finding the problem.

I have been having difficulty getting an alternator that works because I need one with an internal regulator.

Something drains the electrical and I must jump the truck in order to get it started.

General Comments:

Overall, this 620 series body style pickup truck has paid for itself ten times over. When it runs, it purrs with the original engine.

The truck gets great gas mileage and doesn't use much oil. It is easy to maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2003

31st Dec 2012, 06:54

What state are you located in? I could probably fix it all for you.

If you can't fix a Datsun, no matter what you drive, you'll need a reliable and honest (is there such a thing?) mechanic. If anybody charges you to work on your Datsun, they are ripping you off. My opinion not fact I guess.

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 5 reviews