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D21 Project
Old 21-05-2013, 10:11 AM
Poska Poska is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: tasmania
Posts: 5
Default D21 Project

Hi everyone I'm new to the forum I'm looking to buy a D21 at the moment and wanted to ask some advice on what to look out for and what to avoid, also when major issues come up at certain Km's.

Here's my check list

Under $5k for now
Dual Cab
Best handling I can manage before custom link/independent rear
Best performance while still reliable as a daily driver

Ok so I have 5k, D21's are in this price bracket, with Holden Rodeos and Mitsubishi Tritons as the only competitors, I think Nissan has the best rep (maybe after Toyota but Hilux's look like jelly beans or cost too much) so I'm keen.

I think a 4 cylinder is the go I want to be able to get around with some ease but I can't afford to fill up twice a week being a student.
V6 would be nice and I might go that route if the 4 cylinders aren't enough or hard to come by, I live in Tassie and we only have 1/4 the amount of cars to choose from.

I think the Ka24 is the best choice between the 4 cylinder models, about 100kw compared to 77kw of the twin spark engine?

I would really like DOHC at least and maybe a turbo engine down the line, has anyone heard much about maybe swapping the KA24DE head onto the Navara KA24?

Other engine swaps might be an SR20de or det I used to hear a lot about FJ20Dets too but not so much now.

I would rather have a reliable rebuilt Ka24 with an exhaust and filter rather than a high km engine swap though :)

Most of the cars I see at the low price point (2-3k) are above 300k kms what sort of issues will I be looking out for? I would have thought a rebuild was pretty certain but I have heard these engines running into the 400k km range.
Other cars in the 3-5k range are between 200k km and 300k km or are rebuilt engines, what should I look out for with these?

I assume that all cars have big birthday services every 100k kms?
I'm keen to find out what clutchs, rotors and any other common repairs cost so I can avoid cars that have big work on the cards straight up.

If I did go with the V6 what options are there? Is the VG30DE run in Navaras?

I'm pretty competent with cars I've swapped engines, gearboxes diffs/shafts and done plenty of bodywork before, I'm not a great welder but could get help from a mate. Main problem is I haven't got a garage so I would have to keep work quick in borrowed space or be cold in the car port :)

So yeh any info or input greatly appreciated :)
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Old 21-05-2013, 11:21 AM
cwolf's Avatar
cwolf cwolf is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: bunbury wa
Posts: 249

G'day mate.
I've got a ka24e powered dual cab with 330,000 odd k's on it and still going
Only issues I've had was a fuel pump died, most likely because of dirt in the fuel tank.
Later down the track an injector blocked up possibly same cause.
It needs a new timing chain at the moment which isn't terribly expensive to fix.
I'd definitely go for the ka24 motor, mine still goes harder than my friends king cab
with a rebuilt and mildly worked z24.
4x4 d21 navara's never came out with the v6.
Only the 2wd utes and pathfinders had the vg30.
I considered buying a v6 pathy donar to convert the ute but I just didn't have the time.
I bought a terrano instead and gettin rid of the ute.
Hope that helps for starters.
Cheers Craig
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Old 21-05-2013, 11:45 AM
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Pinelli Pinelli is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Prosvegas
Posts: 683
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As above. Go for the KA24E if you can. KA24DE head won't fit on the KA24E block as far as I know, but nothing wrong with a KA24E. Check which gearbox. Not sure when they changed over, but the earlier manuals were a bit weak (the 71C), later manuals were better and the autos were the strongest of the lot.

Can't think of any specific complaints the KA24E had, pretty solid engine really.

If you're really keen, the RB30 has the same bell house bolt pattern as the KA24E. It's too long for the engine bay, but a few people have managed to squeeze one in, and it did come turboed in the patrol and Commodore (I think). KA24E was never turboed from factory, but do a search on KA24T if you think you'll be keen down the track.
Duos habet et bene pendentes
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Old 21-05-2013, 12:06 PM
qqc d22 qqc d22 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: se qld
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go the rodeo hands down, not even taking the piss best old utes ever
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:07 PM
Poska Poska is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: tasmania
Posts: 5

Thanks very much guys I guess its the ka24 then, I would like a manual I'll try to get the later one if possible, budget and time allowing I'll try to get a late model I would like power steering but tbh I'd be happy to have manual windows and everything I can fix them when they break.
I test drove a rodeo last weekend and didn't mind it. Isuzu motors handle turbos well and seem good but I would like OHC at least and Nissan have a few twin cams and overhead cams and a good rep...
Thanks again guys still keen to hear more though if any one has any usefull info :)
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:12 PM
Poska Poska is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: tasmania
Posts: 5

Oh and hows the handling and performance of the 4WD? I would like 4wd we have some rough roads down here but I like to enjoy on road driving too.
Is changing the suspension much more hassle with the 4wd?
Solid diff front and back yes much drop in power from the 2wd?
Thanks :)
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buying, d21, dual cab, modding, performance

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