Some people buy cars to look good, but sometimes, looking good doesn't get the job done. When you need a ride that's durable, capable, and practical, then only a heavy-duty truck will fit the bill. You probably share this sentiment and that's why you own a handy Nissan D21, otherwise known as the Hardbodya name that refers to the auto's double-wall bed and overall styling. This Japanese-made pickup was made available in the US from 1986-1997 and was sold as either a 2-door truck or a 2-door king cab truck. It also came in either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, making it an ideal off-road vehicle.
The Nissan D21 has always been an ideal and reliable workhorse, but through time, you're going to have to makes some auto repairs to ensure its performance. For rides that are constantly loaded with heavy cargo or that are used off road on a regular basis, the suspension parts are bound to take a beating and give in to wear and tear. When this happens, you must have such components replaced right away to preserve the smooth handling and driving comfort of your pickup. Other auto parts like the tires, brake pads, and lights are also prone to damage, which could leave your ride seriously impaired.
If you want to serve as your ride's physician, personal trainer, and plastic surgeon, then you're going to need some replacement Nissan D21 parts. Such components are sure to get your ride back in tip-top shape and keep it running like brand new. These items typically come with OEM specs, providing you with a smooth product fit and an easy installation job. You may also want to buy your Nissan some stylish truck add-ons to help boost its overall look and feel. The power to improve your ride is in your hands, so get started today.
Nissan D21: Suspension Maintenance
Underneath the vehicle, there are lots of joints, pivot points, and some bushings. These make up the vehicle's suspension, working along with the springs, struts, shocks, tires, and wheels. They work together not only to give you a smooth, comfortable ride. Your car suspension isn't just about dampening the effects of forces on the road. A sound suspension gives you better control of the vehicle as it corners, drives over bumps and potholes, stops, and speeds up. When these joints, bushings, and pivot points crack or when some of the suspension parts break down, the vehicle may behave badly. Handling will suffer, as steering becomes loose or somewhat unpredictable while losing good ride quality. To keep your Nissan D21 safe and convenient to drive, be it on the freeway or the city streets, the suspension system needs to be checked and properly maintained. Here are some suggestions:
- Heed the warning signs. Know when your suspension is in trouble.
You can tell if the vehicle suspension is out of whack. Some strange noises and unusual vehicle movements can give you a clue. Pay attention to any change in the driving experience. If the vehicle pulls to one side while driving, this could be blamed on tires that aren't correctly inflated or a misaligned suspension. Bad shocks may cause drifting during turns or nose dives when braking. Vibrations are also a sign of suspension trouble. When steering becomes a bit stiff or difficult, you have to check the power steering fluid level. In case of squeals when turning, the one at fault could be the broken power steering belt. It wouldn't be safe to drive your truck if the suspension has become loose that it's no longer making solid ground contact, especially on wet surfaces. Don't wait till you suffer from a bumpy ride or your tires have worn out unevenly. Have your suspension components checked.
- Get the best cure your for your ailing suspension system. Have it checked up.
You have to keep the tires properly inflated and well balanced. From time to time, they should also be rotated. Aside from tire checks, you should also have to make sure that the wheels are still aligned and the power steering fluid is still enough and doesn't need to be changed. Suspension maintenance should include CV joint inspection, shocks/struts and springs check. Catch power steering troubles before they ruin the suspension. Perform some tests and checkups to fix any brewing trouble early on.
- Stick to the schedule. Replace the faulty suspension parts as needed.
The vehicle manual can be your auto guide and bible. This will tell you when your shocks and other suspension parts would probably need replacement. The estimated life span should be a good indicator for when the parts should be checked for wear or damage. The manual can also tell you what kind of transmission fluid to use and some installation patterns to make sure that the suspension won't break apart when new parts are attached to the assembly. If you keep track of the prescribed service and maintenance schedules, your vehicle suspension can be in the pink of health. It can work well for a long time.
Nissan D21: America’s Reliable Workhorse
The Nissan D21 is one example of how to do things right. Nissan focused on making truck that could pull of heavy duty work, prioritizing strength and power over anything else, and ended up with exactly what it set out to build. However unglamorous the D21 might have looked like, owners could count on it to get the job done—whether it was hauling heavy loads or service equipment for small businesses. Officially discontinued and succeeded prior to the turn of the millennium, the D21 is still a common fixture on roads today.
1980-1996: Continuing a Tradition
The original D21 was actually a successor to the Datsun 720—so much so that the name was retained for several years until 1982 when the Nissan D21 acquired the name and designation. With a double-wall bed and overall solid styling, the D21 was unofficially called the “Hardbody” in the US. Its design did stand out with its two large, squared headlights and large, bulky appearance. There was amazing customizability at the back as customers had a choice between a standard 6-foot and long 7-foot cab.
Powering the D21 by 1990 was a 2.4-L, 4-cylinder SOHC KA24E. It was a very solid engine, considering its relatively smaller size and, when it was bumped up to a 3.0-L, 6-cylinder VG30E prior to 1997, there was little appreciable boost in power and torque. While the 5-speed manual transmissions were far more common, there was an automatic transmission available for those who preferred it. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variants were produced in equal number.
Standard features were air-conditioning, larger wheels, elevated suspension, stereo with tape deck, and a rear bumper—as funny as that last one might seem today. The last major refresh of the D21 would come in 1994—with a more modern, ergonomic dashboard; but little else. In 1996, however, owing to tightening safety regulations, a driver’s side airbag was added as a standard, rear-wheel anti-lock braking was standardized, and a central brake light up and center in the cab were all added.
1998-1999: The Giant Rests
In 1998, Full Bosch all-wheel anti-lock braking would become a standard on the D21. By this time, the Nissan was already famous within and without the United States because of its reputation of being extremely reliable. Applications ranged from use a fairly standard pickup truck to a full-blown refrigerated truck. One of the last engine upgrades it got was a slight bump up to a 2.7-L, Inline-4 TD23 diesel engine capable of a decent 84-horsepower. This output was sufficient enough to make it excel at its jobs yet remain economical with fuel consumption.
The “end” of the D21 can be said to be more of an evolution as the Nissan Frontier that succeeded it owed a lot if its design and innovations to those set forth by the D21. Even the appearance of the Frontier borrowed a lot from its predecessor. As a last hurrah of sorts before being put to rest, the D21 was the truck used by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear in crossing the English Channel with an outboard motor attached to it.