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Old 03-05-2008, 12:00 AM   #1
plunk10
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Question School me on the Nissan Hardbody pickup truck.

Here's a thought that popped into my head tonight.

Trade my beater Nissan 200SX for a Nissan Hardbody pickup, via selling the 200SX, then using the cash to buy a hardbody. The 200SX has about 250,000 miles on the odometer, so I probably won't get much for it. The only real selling point is the 37-42 miles per gallon. That said, if regular gas hits $4.00/gallon this summer, it might be a great time to sell the 200.

Questions.

What years did they make the hardbody?
What years should I avoid?
Easy to fix?
Common problems?
What to look out for?
4 cylinder or 6 cylinder?
gas mileage?
how many miles on the odometer is too many?
forums for the hardbody?
how cheap can I get one? (if over $2,000 I'll probably scrap the whole idea)
reliable as old toyotas?
is the old Datsun 720 as reliable?
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:10 AM   #2
MikeCee
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:32 AM   #3
thinkledge
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I don't remember what year they started making them but the last year for hardbodies was 97.
I had a 97 se 4x2 automatic...that thing was slow as hell.
Gas mileage wasn't great. Usually around 24mpg.
I don't know what years you should avoid.
I didn't really have any issues with mine but I got rid of it when I got the rex. It only had around 65k on it. I do remember having an issue with the power locks but I got that fixed.
My quick search of autotrader leads me to believe that you'll get a fairly used and abused hardbody for 2k.
check the nissan forums, they usually have a section on the trucks http://forums.nicoclub.com/zeroforum/36
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:00 AM   #4
rice h8r
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Almost no one knows that its name is Hardbody.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:09 AM   #5
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I had an 86 hardbody with well over 100k miles on it. I sold it to a friend when I joined the military and he drove the piss out of it too. I had a 2x4 frontier and I currently have a frontier "desert runner". The can take a serious beating and if you treat them to regular maintenance, they will last forever. All of my nissan trucks had suspension kit on them so the majority of my mechaincal issues evolved from me beating them up in the dirt. If you're interested in some kick ass suspension for it you should check out chaosfab.com
The black frontier is my old truck.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plunk10 View Post
Here's a thought that popped into my head tonight.

Trade my beater Nissan 200SX for a Nissan Hardbody pickup, via selling the 200SX, then using the cash to buy a hardbody. The 200SX has about 250,000 miles on the odometer, so I probably won't get much for it. The only real selling point is the 37-42 miles per gallon. That said, if regular gas hits $4.00/gallon this summer, it might be a great time to sell the 200.

Questions.

What years did they make the hardbody?
What years should I avoid?
Easy to fix?
Common problems?
What to look out for?
4 cylinder or 6 cylinder?
gas mileage?
how many miles on the odometer is too many?
forums for the hardbody?
how cheap can I get one? (if over $2,000 I'll probably scrap the whole idea)
reliable as old toyotas?
is the old Datsun 720 as reliable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer98 View Post








600hp .
.....................................
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:14 AM   #7
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1986.5 was the first year. I had a '87 V6 extended cab 4x4, beat the **** out of it. I loved it, the only problem was driveline balance problems when it was 4x'd hard. It runs a rear split driveline with a bearing in a supporter in the middle, wears out quick.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:36 AM   #8
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It's a pickup truck with a tight, hard body waiting to be caressed by your manly, yet sensual hands.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
plunk10
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day crew bump.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:22 AM   #10
24
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It's better than the Softbody pickup.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:40 AM   #11
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I have a nissan 720, 1984.

say herro to jard




I don't know what you want to know about it. Its from 84 and still runs on original drivetrain (including clutch), thats pretty good I guess.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:44 AM   #12
plunk10
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another question. what year did they add fuel injection? I'm not sure I want to get a carbureted (sp?) motor.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:45 AM   #13
24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdrift View Post
I have a nissan 720, 1984.

say herro to jard




I don't know what you want to know about it. Its from 84 and still runs on original drivetrain (including clutch), thats pretty good I guess.
Have you guys seen that video called, "Three Dudes, One Bench Seat"?
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plunk10 View Post
another question. what year did they add fuel injection? I'm not sure I want to get a carbureted (sp?) motor.
86 was the last year you could have a carburetor in any car I believe.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24 View Post
Have you guys seen that video called, "Tres Vatos, Uno Bencho Seato"?
I love that one!
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24 View Post
Have you guys seen that video called, "Three Dudes, One Bench Seat"?
nope, but how about three dudes, three shockers, and one bench seat (and some sea foam smoke for that oontz effect)?

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Old 03-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plunk10 View Post
Questions.

What years did they make the hardbody? 86-97 I believe
What years should I avoid? None, I think all of them are pretty decent
Easy to fix? pretty much. I did all my own maintenance etc.
Common problems? Common problems for the later KA24's in the trucks were ****ty timing chain tensioners . They would wear out and chain would rattle for the first few seconds of a cold start. Not a huge issue obviously, mine did it for 100k (140k on it when I got rid of it)
What to look out for? On older models, look for rust on the frame, undercarriage and body panels
4 cylinder or 6 cylinder? I had the KA24 (Obviously). Decent torque, not alot of power. Decent mileage. The six'er has more power and torque, but you trade off in gas mileage
gas mileage? I generally got around 22 in the city, 25ish on the highway because of gearing
how many miles on the odometer is too many? Assuming regular maintenance: n/a. I know someone still driving their 88 with 350k on the original motor.
forums for the hardbody? Not sure
how cheap can I get one? (if over $2,000 I'll probably scrap the whole idea)
reliable as old toyotas? Older ones can probably be had for around that kind of coin pretty easily, but be picky (especially on the rust issue)
is the old Datsun 720 as reliable?No idea
The only other thing I would look for is one with the LSD in the rear (if shopping for 2WD). Mine had it, and it saved my rear end in the snow a few times. Also, ABS isnt the greatest thing in the world on the standard cab models, especially with the rear drum brakes, so keep that in mind as well.

I replaced normal wear and tear items on mine (belts, hoses, tires, clutch etc), none of which were overly expensive. I changed the oil every 3500 miles until I started running M-1, and then every 7500 miles, according to my Blackstone analysis. Overall, it ran like a sewing machine for the years that I had it.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:26 PM   #18
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i have had 2 hard body trucks
one was an 86.5
the other a 90

the 86.5 had the Z24 motor in it, although a great motor was completely gutless.
i would go with the newer KA motor if you choose a 4 cyl.

the 90 was a fully loaded SE truck
I really miss it and it had 300k on the original motor.
as said keep an eye on the rear frame rail just above the rear tire for rust. that is why i got rid of this one.

deff look for the LSD option the V6 is also a very reliable motor and can run much longer than the KA, a timing chain is pretty costly to repair and that is a common problem in the KA's the V6 has a belt and is just as simple to change as any subie is.

as far as reliability these trucks are rediciliously reliable. i was a service manager at nissan for 2 years and these trucks had very few problems outside of normal maintance.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #19
Qcanfixit
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GIS for japanese hardbodies... returned this result... i dont know if it helps...

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Old 03-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #20
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My friend's family got one of these a few years back when his sister bought a house. It was sitting in the driveway with the title on the front seat and the keys in the ignition!!! It was an early one, (maybe an 87?) with the Z24, and it was really rusty. Like others have said, rust is an issue with these. It ran like a champ for about 4 years, and it had well over 200K on the odo when they got it. It had the 4-speed manual and no options. My friend used to beat the bag out of it too. It finally did one day, with upwards of 300K on the original drivetrain. These trucks are super durable.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:33 PM   #21
C on my B
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i owned a 1990 hardbody that was passed down from my Mom. She bought it with 13 origanal miles on it to haul photography film back and forth from Phoenix to Tucson 2 times a week. i got it with about 180k miles on it, drove the sh** out it, took it offroading and hit jumps as much as i could..... the damn thing never died!!! i sold it for 800 bucks with 325k miles on it.... no front bump or grill....... the doors wouldnt open or lock..... and the tailgate was held on with a piece or electrical wire. The motor ran just fine though hahaha never had problems with that.... i say get one, i am looking my self to buy one again.... they come with a KA24 motor, i want to do a SR20DET swap on it and just have a fun toy
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:40 PM   #22
mhoward1
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Get the special Offroad version..

Was it the Desert Runner?
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #23
Josh909
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The desert runner is actually the frontier. After 1997 the hardbody monicer was converted to the frontier. The desert runner is basically the same suspension as the 4x4 truck without the front diff.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:05 PM   #24
o0Syn
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I know this thread is ancient but I own a hardbody and have gained a TON of knowledge about them so here it goes.

What years did they make the hardbody: 86-97
What years should I avoid: 96+ Because they are ODBII
Easy to fix: Very
Common problems: T Chain, Rust, Seized Lifters, blown rods & bent valves (if someone beat it) (dont be mislead the T-chain is easy and cheap 200 bucks DIY)
What to look out for: timing chain & excessive rust (comes from inside out, appears as small bubbles near fenders and doors under the paint, FIX ASAP or holes will be there in no time)
4 cylinder or 6 cylinder: My opinion both are great but I love the KA(4)
gas mileage? 28-30 (My 96 4cyl 5-spd Rwd)
how many miles on the odometer is too many: 200+
forums for the hardbody:
http://forums.nicoclub.com/nissan-trucks-forum.html
http://www.nissanforums.com/hb-truck/
http://www.ka-t.org/forums/index.php
http://www.infamousnissan.com/forum/...splay.php?f=21

how cheap can I get one? -1000 to 5,000 depending on miles, work, & condition

reliable as old toyotas: Yes but not an old Hilux
is the old Datsun 720 as reliable: depends how good of shape they are in but the old motors are a bit more work, solid lifters and carbs

Bit more info:
They share the same motor as the 1989 S-13 or 240sx here in the states so the intake can be swapped on the -96's with relative ease. All the Ka24e performance goodies for the 240sx bolt right up to the D21 hardbody as long as it is before 1996 and the KA24 engine. The v6 is a VG30 which is almost the same as the 80's 300zx's. Some people have swapped the 80's 300zx Turbo motors in as well they bolt right up to the V6 equipped Hardbodies. All sorts of swaps have been accomplised with this truck, KA24DE, SR20's, RB20's, RB26's, u name it it has probably lived inside it.

They are becoming more and more rare so if you like em, snap one up and restore it before they all end up as iron dust in the wind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Hardbody_Truck

Last edited by o0Syn; 06-27-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o0Syn View Post
I know this thread is ancient but I own a hardbody and have gained a TON of knowledge about them so here it goes:

Every Toyota compact ever made kicks the snot out of any Nissan compact ever made.
Here, I went ahead and fixed your post to save you some time.
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