SOLD 1981 HJ47 Ute customizable for utility truck or recreation adventures (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
358
Location
Oceanside, CA, USA
Year
1981
Vehicle Model
  1. 40 Series
Location
California, United States
If you're looking for a reliable, young in spirit, traveling buddy (rig) that you can customize for any kind of camping and recreation, this might be your thing. Or, if you want to use it more as it is and make it into a utility truck (plumbing, electrical, welding, etc.), that would be easy, too.

This is a RHD 1981 Ute for sale for $32k USD that was an emergency service vehicle in Australia (read: bush ambulance/service unit). I can pretty much guarantee this is the only one in the U.S. and probably anywhere outside of Oz if uniqueness is your thing. I bought it about a year ago (imported it) with the idea of converting it to a camping traveling truck. For 1-2 people, it's got all the foundation necessary for that. It would just need to be customized to your taste. If you didn't want to use it for that purpose, you could always remove the entire rear unit (about 16 bolts connecting it to the frame) and put a bed in the rear. I would be setting it up for camping myself for ski, paragliding, backpacking and surfing trips but I have another HJ47 trophy and my wife finally laid down the law: can't keep both. I've been restoring the troops for 3 years and am on the reassembling finishing stage so have become too attached. It's not as good for multistage things like the ute, for sure, but it'll still work for what I want.

It's a 4-speed and with 58k miles (nice and tight on the shifts--like a 4 year old rig). Natural AC (wind) but no mechanical AC (guess the government couldn't spring for it).

Here's what the PO wrote about the Ute when I bought it. He had it for a couple of years, hardly drove it, and is the one that bought it at the auction from the Aussie government:

Ex Government Power Station emergency response vehicle well looked after in great condition for age. Limited work site speed 10 - 30 km and as such is ORIGINAL low 91336 km vehicle. Solidly built fully aluminium back storage compartments with double (inner rubber seal and outer foam seal) sealed. Each large side compartment has individually activated internal lighting. Some compartments have adjustable storage trays others are fixed. Large space inside rear doors with fold down seat, internal lighting and overhead storage compartments. Old internal fluro lights for storage compartments and 2 x external work lights replaced recently with LED. Wiring still in place for rear work lights removed by Power Station. Cab very neat and in great condition. Age has taken toll on the roof which has just been replaced with new fibreglass. No other rust in vehicle. Seats in very good condition. Floor has original vinyl coverings in very good condition. Original jack and tools still behind seat. Original am radio (not working. Power not connected by looking under dash) Overhead control consul for all ancillary equipment. Some items removed by Power Station including revolving light, spotlights, winch, siren and radios. Fuse box and relays for rear compartment behind drivers seat. Phone on dash is intercom system for communication to the rear compartment. Engine bay is very neat. Very large alternator. Many relays and wiring for ancillary equipment on firewall. Radiator reconditioned 2010 due to age and lack of use. Dual battery with isolation switch beside driver seat. 2 x new heavy duty 730 cca 100 ah marine batteries. Items replaced recently due to age and lack of use are: New windshield, brake master cylinder, water bottle reservoir , tie rod bushings, and I replaced rear shocks with Emu shocks, replaced some other bushings and installed a new Donaldson air filter. Otherwise untouched other than mods installed by power station. Items not in A1 condition are; Paint is fading with some chipping in places. Rear left storage compartment door has been dinged up on bottom corner but closes and opens perfectly. Some of the latches have faded from sun and weather. 2 x rotating air vents on top of rear compartment deteriorated from time in sun and have been removed. Interior cab light cover missing. Very minor items listed for buyers to get complete condition report. Genuine low km vehicle with lots of life left.

(me, now). Not much has changed since that description 9 months ago. It's got another thousand kms or so (see pics for exact mileage but about 61k MILES is all, and I would emphasize that even though the exterior paint looks in great condition in the photos, if you don't want to be holding back the little rust spots that will creep up here and there, it's time to get the exterior cab painted. The interior, both cab and engine bay paint look new.

Cab
Phone for intercom (don't know how it works), reading light on a flexible stem, original Toyota tools and tool bag behind passenger seat, overhead switch console for all the electric things that run off the secondary battery (spot lights, panel door lights, etc.). Also volt meters for both batteries and temperature gauge. All gauges work! Cab in excellent condition all around.

Exterior panel storage areas:
Most of the shelving is movable (or removable) to suit your needs. I was going to install a gas cooking unit with gas canisters held in place and a water tank for drinking and other use. Backpacks, etc. are storable. All measurements of the different areas are given in the photos. It would be really easy to modify the storage areas. All panel doors are lockable and swing open with the hydraulic type arms. I've taken pics so you can see what was in each panel door before. You could put back axes, shoves, crowbars--whatever you would need for camping or digging your rig out. and latch them with the given leather (very good condition) "belts" as seen in the photos.

Middle unit:
The main middle unit has two comfortable seats that go up and down (see pics). Could be used to sit on with a table mounted on the other side that swings up and is stabilized by hinges and legs. An alternative, which is what I was going to do, would be to possibly take the seats out and install a fairly permanent bed that would be big enough for two kids, one roaming adult or two adults that don't move around (or, could stack two beds. The support on each side of the interior (one pic shows it) is already there for a mattress frame and it's solid. You will see hanging from the interior ceiling of the middle unit two white canvas pieces. These snap into place to form a "compartment" that could be used for fishing poles, canoe paddles, etc. Gets them up out of the way. There are two ceiling vents for air movement. Apparently they had exterior pieces before to keep rain out. The floor is wood but covered by some kind of waterproof flooring vinyl or something. It's an ugly pink color. I was going to roll it with new paint--would do wonders for the coloring and spirit. A LED light runner goes down the middle on the ceiling. there is also the intercom but I'm not sure how it works with the phone in the cab. There's also a reading light that is visible in one or more of the pics. There are two really nice storage areas above that go all the way through. The PO must have cut a section out of the bulkhead inside the front storage area to get access to the wiring that goes to the intercom, switches (used for ??) and night light. Cut out doesn't affect anything on the storage side. The dimensions of the middle unit are 86" long x 45" wide and 58" high.

Roof of the rear unit
It's not visible in the photos but there are 2-3 long dents that someone previous put in the rounded part of the ceiling (probably a gov guy hitting tough tree branches or something). The dents don't affect anything except the aesthetics. It's all aluminum, as the PO's description mentions, so no rust anywhere on the rear unit (except the door handles). The rear unit needs a paint job bad except for the two right doors and half of the rear section (one thing I learned is that you need to lock the doors; otherwise, if they're not locked and latched completely, they swing open without your knowing and clip whatever is in their path but also get ripped off--yep, happened to me; heard a big noise and looked in my side view mirror to see the two doors sitting in the road. Not fun. I hit a new "construction" van that dropped the first door and the second door took out the window and side of a cab over the truck bed of another. Good thing for insurance. So the doors were rebuilt and painted along with anything that suffered collateral damage. Now those things look really nice. :). Roof needs painting for sure. It's down to the aluminum in places from the Aussie sun.

Undercarriage
The undercarriage is overall in great condition. The government must have had some thick application of a rust-preventative because a lot of it is still there and has really protected the underside (wheel wells, etc.). You'll see a little brown in one of the wheel well pics but it's just residual dirt traces or something; definitely not rust. I've gone through and with a wire brush (hand and drill) removed most of any rust that was there and sprayed it with Eastwood black matte rust preventative. If I were to keep it, I'd spray another coat or two on it, though, to make sure it lasts for many years to come. I've got extra spray cans and quart brush on if you're interested. The springs look fairly new in the pics; some of that is just the black spray paint I put on them that's glistening, but with 61k miles and not a lot of use, they have to be in great condition still also.

As the PO said, all the wiring is there if you wanted to put back some of the things that were there before (rear spot lights, winch, etc.)

Sorry for the long description but there's nothing I hate more than having to go back and forth between a buyer and seller a million times because the info is so bare in the original sale ad. That said, feel free to ask questions the aren't answered by the pics and my long essay.

Here is a link to the pics: (pics of the whole rig are toward the end. Sorry about the order. The ones with the tape measure are lengths, widths and depths of the storage areas behind the big panel doors mostly. The middle unit is about 87 inches long (shows in one of the pics; can't remember the width but a pic shows it)

I am in north county San Diego, CA. This rig is cross-listed on eBay motors on auction style.

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Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
358
Location
Oceanside, CA, USA
If you're looking for a reliable, young in spirit, traveling buddy (rig) that you can customize for any kind of camping and recreation, this might be your thing.

I've got a RHD 1981 Ute for sale for $38k USD that was an emergency service vehicle in Australia (read: bush ambulance/service unit). I can pretty much guarantee this is the only one in the U.S. and probably anywhere outside of Oz if uniqueness is your thing. I bought it about a year ago (imported it) with the idea of converting it to a camping traveling truck. For 1-2 people, it's got all the foundation necessary for that. It would just need to be customized to your taste. If you didn't want to use it for that purpose, you could always remove the entire rear unit (about 16 bolts connecting it to the frame) and put a bed in the rear. I would be setting it up for camping myself for ski, paragliding, backpacking and surfing trips but I have another HJ47 trophy and my wife finally laid down the law: can't keep both. I've been restoring the troops for 3 years and am on the reassembling finishing stage so have become too attached. It's not as good for multistage things like the ute, for sure, but it'll still work for what I want.

It's a 4-speed and with 61k miles (nice and tight on the shifts). Natural AC (wind) but no mechanical AC (guess the government couldn't spring for it).

Here's what the PO wrote about the Ute when I bought it. He had it for a couple of years, hardly drove it, and is the one that bought it at the auction from the Aussie government:

Ex Government Power Station emergency response vehicle well looked after in great condition for age. Limited work site speed 10 - 30 km and as such is ORIGINAL low 91336 km vehicle. Solidly built fully aluminium back storage compartments with double (inner rubber seal and outer foam seal) sealed. Each large side compartment has individually activated internal lighting. Some compartments have adjustable storage trays others are fixed. Large space inside rear doors with fold down seat, internal lighting and overhead storage compartments. Old internal fluro lights for storage compartments and 2 x external work lights replaced recently with LED. Wiring still in place for rear work lights removed by Power Station. Cab very neat and in great condition. Age has taken toll on the roof which has just been replaced with new fibreglass. No other rust in vehicle. Seats in very good condition. Floor has original vinyl coverings in very good condition. Original jack and tools still behind seat. Original am radio (not working. Power not connected by looking under dash) Overhead control consul for all ancillary equipment. Some items removed by Power Station including revolving light, spotlights, winch, siren and radios. Fuse box and relays for rear compartment behind drivers seat. Phone on dash is intercom system for communication to the rear compartment. Engine bay is very neat. Very large alternator. Many relays and wiring for ancillary equipment on firewall. Radiator reconditioned 2010 due to age and lack of use. Dual battery with isolation switch beside driver seat. 2 x new heavy duty 730 cca 100 ah marine batteries. Items replaced recently due to age and lack of use are: New brake master cylinder Water bottle reservoir Tie rod rubbers for road worthy. Age hardened and split rubbers. New windscreen for road worthy. Had some old stone chips in vision area. Otherwise untouched other than mods installed by Power Station. Items not in A1 condition are; Paint is fading with some chipping in places. Rear left storage compartment door has been dinged up on bottom corner but closes and opens perfectly. Some of the latches have faded from sun and weather. 2 x rotating air vents on top of rear compartment deteriorated from time in sun and have been removed. Interior cab light cover missing. Very minor items listed for buyers to get complete condition report. None of these items effect the running or road worthy of vehicle. Genuine low km vehicle with lots of life left. Comes with road worthy but not registered. Serious buyers only please.

(me, now). Not much has changed since that description 9 months ago. It's got another thousand kms or so (see pics for exact mileage but about 61k MILES is all, and I would emphasize that even though the exterior paint looks in great condition in the photos, if you don't want to be holding back the little rust spots that will creep up here and there, it's time to get the cab painted. The only real way to get the back of the cab painted would be to remove the rear unit. However, because it hardly ever gets sun, it's just dirty but in great condition. The interior, both cab and engine bay are still in excellent condition.

Cab
Phone for intercom (don't know how it works), reading light on a flexible stem, original Toyota tools and tool bag behind passenger seat, overhead switch console for all the electric things that run off the secondary battery (spot lights, panel door lights, etc.). Also volt meters for both batteries and temperature gauge. All gauges work! Cab in excellent condition all around.

Exterior panel storage areas:
Most of the shelving is movable (or removable) to suit your needs. I was going to install a gas cooking unit with gas canisters held in place and a water tank for drinking and other use. Backpacks, etc. are storable. All measurements of the different areas are given in the photos. It would be really easy to modify the storage areas. All panel doors are lockable and swing open with the hydraulic type arms. I've taken pics so you can see what was in each panel door before. You could put back axes, shoves, crowbars--whatever you would need for camping or digging your rig out. and latch them with the given leather (very good condition) "belts" as seen in the photos.

Middle unit:
The main middle unit has two comfortable seats that go up and down (see pics). Could be used to sit on with a table mounted on the other side that swings up and is stabilized by hinges and legs. An alternative, which is what I was going to do, would be to possibly take the seats out and install a fairly permanent bed that would be big enough for two kids, one roaming adult or two adults that don't move around (or, could stack two beds. The support on each side of the interior (one pic shows it) is already there for a mattress frame and it's solid. You will see hanging from the interior ceiling of the middle unit two white canvas pieces. These snap into place to form a "compartment" that could be used for fishing poles, canoe paddles, etc. Gets them up out of the way. There are two ceiling vents for air movement. Apparently they had exterior pieces before to keep rain out. The floor is wood but covered by some kind of waterproof flooring vinyl or something. It's an ugly pink color. I was going to roll it with new paint--would do wonders for the coloring and spirit. A LED light runner goes down the middle on the ceiling. there is also the intercom but I'm not sure how it works with the phone in the cab. There's also a reading light that is visible in one or more of the pics. There are two really nice storage areas above that go all the way through. The PO must have cut a section out of the bulkhead inside the front storage area to get access to the wiring that goes to the intercom, switches (used for ??) and night light. Cut out doesn't affect anything on the storage side.

Roof of the rear unit
It's not visible in the photos but there are 2-3 long dents that someone previous put in the rounded part of the ceiling (probably a gov guy hitting tough tree branches or something). The dents don't affect anything except the aesthetics. It's all aluminum, as the PO's description mentions, so no rust anywhere on the rear unit (except the door handles). The rear unit needs a paint job bad except for the two right doors and half of the rear section (one thing I learned is that you need to lock the doors; otherwise, if they're not locked and latched completely, they swing open without your knowing and clip whatever is in their path but also get ripped off--yep, happened to me; heard a big noise and looked in my side view mirror to see the two doors sitting in the road. Not fun. I hit a new "construction" van that dropped the first door and the second door took out the window and side of a cab over the truck bed of another. Good thing for insurance. So the doors were rebuilt and painted along with anything that suffered collateral damage. Now those things look really nice. :). Roof needs painting for sure. It's down to the aluminum in places from the Aussie sun.

Undercarriage
The undercarriage is overall in great condition. The government must have had some thick application of a rust-preventative because a lot of it is still there and has really protected the underside (wheel wells, etc.). You'll see a little brown in one of the wheel well pics but it's just residual dirt traces or something; definitely not rust. I've gone through and with a wire brush (hand and drill) removed most of any rust that was there and sprayed it with Eastwood black matte rust preventative. If I were to keep it, I'd spray another coat or two on it, though, to make sure it lasts for many years to come. I've got extra spray cans and quart brush on if you're interested. The springs look fairly new in the pics; some of that is just the black spray paint I put on them that's glistening, but with 61k miles and not a lot of use, they have to be in great condition still also.

As the PO said, all the wiring is there if you wanted to put back some of the things that were there before (rear spot lights, winch, etc.)

Sorry for the long description but there's nothing I hate more than having to go back and forth between a buyer and seller a million times because the info is so bare in the original sale ad. That said, feel free to ask questions the aren't answered by the pics and my long essay.

Here is a link to the pics: (pics of the whole rig are toward the end. Sorry about the order. The ones with the tape measure are lengths, widths and depths of the storage areas behind the big panel doors mostly. The middle unit is about 87 inches long (shows in one of the pics; can't remember the width but a pic shows it)
(until I am sure the link is working, I'll add a few photos here so you can get the basic idea of what it looks like.)

I am in north county San Diego, CA.

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Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
358
Location
Oceanside, CA, USA
The cab. Electric console in third pic that controls outside spots in front (and back if reinstalled) and panel door lights. Also shows volts on each battery (12 volt system, though; second battery runs ancillary equipment)

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Joined
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Messages
358
Location
Oceanside, CA, USA
Some of storage areas below. The dimensions of each of the four major storage areas are 43" wide, 16" deep and 51" high. All shelving can be reconfigured by removing two bolts and changing the placement of the shelving.
Then there are two other storage areas, one on each side that are 34" wide by 12" deep (lower part of the storage and 16" in the upper part of the storage area) and 16" high (This is visible in the picture immediately below but has the compartment door shut.). The other two smallest storage compartments are for the second battery (the pic below) or for whatever you want, again, one on each side.

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Joined
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Messages
358
Location
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Some of windscreen/hood area. (The section below the windscreen that looks dirty is a combination of cat paws and degrading paint (almost all the latter).

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Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
358
Location
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The areas that have paint chipping or where it was starting to chip and I helped it along. (The Donaldson air filter on the fender had more rust than I liked to see on one of my trucks, so I eliminated the rust and then painted it with an Edgewood black matte rust encapsulator (even though there was no more rust to encapsulate; it still protects the metal from outside humidity. After the black matte rust encapsulator, I spray painted some silver rust encapsulator for good measure and because I still had some leftover in a can.) It needs to be painted for final color--either white or black probably. The filter inside is brand new.

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Joined
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Messages
358
Location
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Thanks, jellyroll. I'll get those done tomorrow and add them.
Here are some pics of the middle section. It was originally where any patients would be put. There are two very comfortable seats that sit down into heavy-duty metal sockets on the ground with the metal legs (will try to find a pic of them in sitting position). The two seats together, though, would fit 2 adults. The two cargo containers at the top right (aluminum doors that are well secured) can be separated but inside, they go through to the other one (as can be seen in the pic) Off the ceiling are two nice canvas supports that could hold anything from fishing poles, to oars, to a stretcher (original use probably). Floor is heavy duty vinyl. In the third photo, can also see the LED lighting strip that runs down the middle as well as the intercom (black thing, upper right) and the night light that is on a flexible arm coming down from the far storage unit. Can also see one of the two air vents well, which can be closed off. Best solution, though would be to put a cover on the roof that allows air to flow under it. The medal step in the second photo secures in an upright position when not in use. Very heavy duty electric hook-up can be seen in the first pic. It must be bronze to have weathered like that. Dimensions of this middle space are given in the main description at the end.

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Joined
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Location
Oceanside, CA, USA
Be out of the country for over a year in June so taking it off the market. Maybe someone who appreciates quality rigs with so much potential will come along later. :)
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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I missed this post when you originally launched it.
Very cool truck with lots of potential.
Thanks. Glad you like it, too. If you know of someone who's interested, it's got another couple weeks of life before I leave. :). I think it would be so much fun to outfit it for camping tours. If I didn't already have my troopy that I'm on the very, very end of a 3.5+ year restoration project, I would most certainly keep it and do it myself, but my wife thinks one is enough.
 

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