1980 Longbed Pickup Build - Epically Slow Style (1 Viewer)

Joined
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OK here we go. I'm officially starting a build thread for my unofficial (non-sponsored aka my personal vehicle) build. I picked up this 1980 long bed pickup for $450 (Craigslist find) a couple months ago. I wanted to get something that would be fun but that I could fun with and not break the bank.

Stats:
1980 long bed
20R
4WD
4-speed (will be swapped eventually)
Sweet
home-made camo paint job
Wiring nightmare
Front axle leaking horribly
Trans leak
Diffs leak
Water pump leaking badly
Will not stay running (bad gas, carb)
Minor rust
Frame in good shape (surface rust)
Body in good shape
Driver's side window broken
Power steering rigged up on the wrong side
A/C Removed
Dash cracked
Bucket seats

Some pictures:

Just got the truck home
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So while messing around with the truck (fixing the carb, replacing the water pump, determining that the fuel was bad, countless times with the electrical) I got a little bored.

So I mounted up a GPS in the dash. It's an old model Garmin.

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My electrical assistant:
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I don't have a garage currently so I took the truck to a friend's house. We took the bed off to make sure the frame was OK. Also pulled the tank (there's a radiator shop in town that said they'll do my tank for $100, still need to get it over there) and the interior out. I wanted to pull the interior because I suspected the driver's side floor had some rust...

I was right:
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That will need to get fixed...

The bed looks good though:
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Joined
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Got a good deal on some wheels and a friend let me have his old tires. The wheels are from an FJ Cruiser, I don't know what year, and the tires are ProComp 305/65/17. We measured and the tires are almost exactly 33x12.

Wheels and tires:

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Drove the truck around to the garage, notice the redneck gas tank we rigged up. It's a removable tank from a boat.

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Wheels look great!!

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Wah.. wah.. wah.. They don't fit! The back spacing on the wheels that are on the truck is about 3.25 inches. The wheels I'm trying to mount up? about 5 inches... Not gonna work. Before they were even all the way on they were hitting the springs in the back and wouldn't even go on in the front. Back to the drawing board on the wheels...

So, since we couldn't do the wheels we decided to do some work on the frame. The frame is in good shape but it has some surface rust. Jim had some left over Por15 Rust from a Chevy II he's building, so we decided to coat the rear part of the frame. (We're going to pull the cab and do the rest of the frame later.)

Por15 Rust Inhibitor:
POR-15NewQrtGallon.jpg


Step 1: Hit the frame with a wire wheel.

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Basically just knocking the crust off.

Step 2: Pressure wash the frame with a little degreaser.

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Some pieces removed that were no longer needed.

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Found a couple spots that were not just surface... we'll deal with that later.

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Paint on the Por15 with a normal paint brush. You will never be able to use this brush again. It will be coated, sealed, and hard as a brick.

Some shots after we finished painting the Por15 on:

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I'm sure you will notice that we did not do the spring hangers, bump stops, and a few other parts. Depending on which suspension I decide on, they may be removed. I decided to leave them for now and we can always go back and coat them later or if they are removed, we can coat the new pieces.

That's all for now!
 
Joined
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Cambridge, VT
Looks good man.. Wish i had por'd my 84's frame while i had the bed off, and reinforced the inner frame by the front hangers where it was "soft but ehhh...." three years ago... Go slow n do it right. Good luck with the build!!
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Tapage

Club 4X4 Panamá
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which it's your goal .. ? gonna keep the 20R engine ?

looking forward on your build ..
 
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Any luck with the idle?
It's usually either a carb, or fuel delivery problem. The trick is to isolate which one.

On the passenger's side of the carb, there's a 1/4" diameter Phillips head screw about 3/4" down from the air cleaner, and that's your idle speed screw. That's where I'd start.
If the idle is sporadic every time you start it (some days it's slow, some days it's fast, sometimes it diesels, sometimes it can't hold an idle in a bucket) it's time for a rebuild, the wonky idle is the first sign of the beginning of the end.
Chat with Trollhole here, he's the 'Mud carb ninja closest to you.

If it's a constant slow idle no matter what, it may be fuel delivery, but to truly test this you need to put it under load, and if it starts bucking, running stupid lean, or stallin while accelerating, then it may be crap in the pump, a restricted line, plugged filter or even something like this: https://forum.ih8mud.com/79-95-toyota-truck-tech/471808-i-think-its-fuel-filter.html.
I would also check dizzy timing, spark plugs, and your ignition coil out.
Good luck!

Edit:
Once you get her running, you'll find that, even with stock exhaust, the 20/22R's best defence against tailgaters is about 3500 RPM's.
It'll rattle the guy behind you's ear drums out!
 
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Joined
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which it's your goal .. ? gonna keep the 20R engine ?

looking forward on your build ..

I plan to keep the 20R for now. I plan to get everything up to speed, driveable, and then start doing some serious mods from that point.

Any luck with the idle?
It's usually either a carb, or fuel delivery problem. The trick is to isolate which one.

On the passenger's side of the carb, there's a 1/4" diameter Phillips head screw about 3/4" down from the air cleaner, and that's your idle speed screw. That's where I'd start.
If the idle is sporadic every time you start it (some days it's slow, some days it's fast, sometimes it diesels, sometimes it can't hold an idle in a bucket) it's time for a rebuild, the wonky idle is the first sign of the beginning of the end.
Chat with Trollhole here, he's the 'Mud carb ninja closest to you.

If it's a constant slow idle no matter what, it may be fuel delivery, but to truly test this you need to put it under load, and if it starts bucking, running stupid lean, or stallin while accelerating, then it may be **** in the pump, a restricted line, plugged filter or even something like this: https://forum.ih8mud.com/79-95-toyota-truck-tech/471808-i-think-its-fuel-filter.html.
I would also check dizzy timing, spark plugs, and your ignition coil out.
Good luck!

Edit:
Once you get her running, you'll find that, even with stock exhaust, the 20/22R's best defence against tailgaters is about 3500 RPM's.
It'll rattle the guy behind you's ear drums out!

I've already sorted out the running problems. One of the reasons I bought this particular truck is that someone had just done a fresh rebuild on the 20R. The carb was jacked, but I've already been through it. Someone had put and aftermarket inline fuel pump on the truck so I thought that might have been bad. I changed it and the fuel filters. I used a clear plastic style fuel filter before the pump and after replacing everything my fuel was only a trickle... So basically the only other thing it could be at that point was a restriction in the tank.

If you look at the pictures above, you can see we rigged up a temporary tank, and with it installed the truck ran perfect! I'm going to get the tank cleaned and coated sometime in the next week or two. I just have to find time to get it to the shop.
 
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I plan to order a clutch soon and shouldn't be long before this beast can actually drive around under its own power. In the mean time I was a little bored still waiting to get the tank done and pull the body to finish PORing the frame. So I pulled the shifter off (it's the crappy 4 speed so the shifter is the janky one on the side of the trans) and rebuild it. You could move the thing about 4 feet each direction and still be in gear, and you really didn't know what gear you were in anyway. Just kinda shove it in and see if the beast will move or not. So I took some before and after (almost completed) pictures. I will take a couple of final ones before I re-install so you guys can see what it looks like.

Just removed the shifter: rusty, dirty, boots are missing, bushings are nowhere to be found...

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Dissasembled: You can see where the shifter grooves are deflected from loose pins and no bushings and generally just getting beat up.

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The housing: Notice the pins are straight right now but one looks a little flat on the sides?

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:doh: Left one is a little loose... Now its up.

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Now it's down...

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And rebuilt! :clap: I knocked out the pins and tapped the holes for some 6mm thread bolts to help tighten it up since the pins were loose. You can't get a shifter anymore so I'll have to live with the deflection in the grooves. I also bought a new spring and rubber boots. Also filled it up with strawberry jelly (red grease).

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If you look that the above picture where the large holes are in the side of the housing there are supposed to be some shouldered bolts with specific washers and bushings... of course there were in fact just some random bolts with no washers at all.

This is what is supposed to be there:

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So I will get the shifter final assembled and reinstalled this weekend. I'll make sure to snap a couple of final pics with the bushings and upper boot installed.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
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Highwood, MT
I have an '80 longbed... Best Toyota I've ever had! Picked it up with only 104K on it from a local rancher for $250. He used it for about 15 years to fix fence and push cows. The 20r if running and tuned up smokes any 22r or 22re I've ever had. I did have to rebuild the carb. That 20r carb gets a bad rap but it will run on it's side and nearly vertical. The 4.37 gears are great and adequate for 31" tires onthe highway. I ran my 4 speed till it broke and swapped in a 5 speed. I'm keeing it as sleeper/stock looking as possible while trying to cram as much good stuff in there as I can pick it up cheap over time. So far I have lockers front and rear, 31s on some '85 SR5 wheels, reworked stock springs with rears up front and much longer shocks to net bout 1.5" lift and alot more travel. I have old style cross over steering and dual t-cases to put in this winter. I have probably $1500 in it at this point. Outwheels other much more modified rigs and gets 20 mpg on the highway. I mainly use it for an overland/work truck for my appraisal business where I spend alot of time on dirt farm roads.
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Joined
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I have an '80 longbed... Best Toyota I've ever had! Picked it up with only 104K on it from a local rancher for $250. He used it for about 15 years to fix fence and push cows. The 20r if running and tuned up smokes any 22r or 22re I've ever had. I did have to rebuild the carb. That 20r carb gets a bad rap but it will run on it's side and nearly vertical. The 4.37 gears are great and adequate for 31" tires onthe highway. I ran my 4 speed till it broke and swapped in a 5 speed. I'm keeing it as sleeper/stock looking as possible while trying to cram as much good stuff in there as I can pick it up cheap over time. So far I have lockers front and rear, 31s on some '85 SR5 wheels, reworked stock springs with rears up front and much longer shocks to net bout 1.5" lift and alot more travel. I have old style cross over steering and dual t-cases to put in this winter. I have probably $1500 in it at this point. Outwheels other much more modified rigs and gets 20 mpg on the highway. I mainly use it for an overland/work truck for my appraisal business where I spend alot of time on dirt farm roads.

Nice truck! What lockers do you have? I'm still a ways away from getting gears/lockers/lift but I'm starting my research early.
 
Joined
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the Dek GA
Nice score gotta love the 1st gen minis!

That pick and pull off peachtree
industrail usually has a few trucks for small parts and their cheap too.

I think I have a 20r factory manual and a leftover carb pm if you need it.
I may also have small interior parts, plastic dash pieces etc you are welcome to.
 
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I am running a welded rear and an aussie up front. Some people are leary of welded rears but I drive a ton of road miles and lots of ice and I have no problems. I like to run mud tires with spooled rears though, they make alot less chirp than all terrains. If you did a ton of around town with low speed pavement/parking lot corners the welded rear would be annoying to most people.

The aussie lockers are the best I've had by far of the lunch box variety. I've ran ez lockers and lock rites and full detroits over the years and the aussie is way smoother. My buddy had a spartan and it broke after like 2 runs. You can't go wrong with a full detroit locker but for a 4 cyl pickup a lunch box locker is plenty strong enough. I shy away from selectable lockers partly due to the price and also because I've seen every variety of them fail on a trail ride. The rule is if it can go unlocked it eventually will and probably at the worst possible time. I know alot of guys love the ARB air lockers, but I can't justify the expense when an aussie works and drives so well. Iv'e even seen an OX locker which is cable actuated not work.

I know alot of guys also like the selectable TRD locker if you can find a deal on one out of a wreck.
 
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Joined
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Nice score gotta love the 1st gen minis!

That pick and pull off peachtree
industrail usually has a few trucks for small parts and their cheap too.

I think I have a 20r factory manual and a leftover carb pm if you need it.
I may also have small interior parts, plastic dash pieces etc you are welcome to.

I might hit you up on some of that. I have an FSM already and I have 2 carbs now (I used 2 crappy ones to make one good one.) I may see about some of the interior pieces because there is a LOT of stuff missing from the interior of this truck. By no means is it going to be a show truck nor a DD but I may need a few pieces here or there.

Thanks!
 
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I am running a welded rear and an aussie up front. Some people are leary of welded rears but I drive a ton of road miles and lots of ice and I have no problems. I like to run mud tires with spooled rears though, they make alot less chirp than all terrains. If you did a ton of around town with low speed pavement/parking lot corners the welded rear would be annoying to most people.

The aussie lockers are the best I've had by far of the lunch box variety. I've ran ez lockers and lock rites and full detroits over the years and the aussie is way smoother. My buddy had a spartan and it broke after like 2 runs. You can't go wrong with a full detroit locker but for a 4 cyl pickup a lunch box locker is plenty strong enough. I shy away from selectable lockers partly due to the price and also because I've seen every variety of them fail on a trail ride. The rule is if it can go unlocked it eventually will and probably at the worst possible time. I know alot of guys love the ARB air lockers, but I can't justify the expense when an aussie works and drives so well. Iv'e even seen an OX locker which is cable actuated not work.

I know alot of guys also like the selectable TRD locker if you can find a deal on one out of a wreck.

Yeah from what I've been reading it seems like the Aussies are a good bet. I don't want to spend the money for a selectable locker because I really feel like it's overkill. I'm trying to stay as frugal as possible and the gears/lockers/etc is going to be a big expense so any I can save in that department will be helpful.
 

jynx

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Subscribed.

That is definitely a Project.... but a good one. Is that GPS holder from a Heep? If so, That is a pretty good idea.
 
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Subscribed.

That is definitely a Project.... but a good one. Is that GPS holder from a Heep? If so, That is a pretty good idea.

It's from an FJ Cruiser. It's supposed to go in the dash right behind the steering wheel. It worked out pretty well.
 
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I lucked out on the aussie... I did some gear setup and a locker install for a buddy and in return he ordered me the locker, so it was pretty much free as far as I was concerned. I have an aussie in a bigger truck with 35s and have had no issues with that on either.

On the cheap/frugal build theorey: I had been really tempted to go ahead and regear and make the truck as big and capable as my other one, but I decided to go small with 31s and work my build around the small tires. By staing smaller in the tire size you eliminate the need to regear as well as the need for better birfs, axles etc. which is a whole lot of money. I've been shocked at the wheeling I can do with just 31s and lockers and moderately improved suspension. Tires cost less as well leaving you more money for the locker and whtever used goodies you can find on the forums or CL. I'm trying to stuff every goody you would normally see on a large build under it, exclusive of the really high buck mods as long as I can find it cheap. I'm even thinking of doing a flat belly crossmember when I install my dual t-cases.

Other than the clearance for 3 foot boulders, my '80 is nearly as capable as my SASed 4Runner with 35s. It's also been really fun having a stock old man looking pickup that can spank jeeps with 37s. It really hurts their feelings :). Amazingly it even works really well in the deep snow as long as you air down enough.
 
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TRD shifter means it gets OVER 9000 RPMs!
Sweet shifter rebuild, I like how you're runnign what you have in the truck instead of ditching it for whatever the interwebs says is cool.
 
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TRD shifter means it gets OVER 9000 RPMs!
Sweet shifter rebuild, I like how you're runnign what you have in the truck instead of ditching it for whatever the interwebs says is cool.

My philosophy on this truck is to run what I have and when it breaks, upgrade. Like the 4-speed trans. We all know it's a piece of junk, but why swap it now? I'll just run it until in explodes and then I'll throw a 5 speed in there. :cool:
 

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