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1981 Pick-up Build

Discussion in 'GA- Georgia Cruisers' started by tgreco, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. tgreco

    tgreco

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    I've reached the point of this project where I am going to be in need of some help, advise, criticism, and tech support. I'll start with a abbreviated back story:

    I picked up this somewhat straight 1981 SR5 pickup in 2008 looking for a project and means of honing my mechanic skills. Plus, I needed a stay at home hobby given my apparently proficient skill of creating offspring. Specs: pretty much stock, original 22r with 249,000 mi on the not working odometer, and ifs rearend. I'm the third owner and all of the original maintenance records came with the truck.

    [​IMG]

    After fighting with the carb and rust, I put a Weber 32/36 and desmogged it to get rid of the miles of vacuum hoses. After hours under the hood, I think the only problem with the stock carb was faulty wiring with the fuel cut solenoid - oh well. Although, I really wanted to keep the stock graphics, I couldn't stand the rust so:

    [​IMG]

    and the finished product (and as it sits today):

    [​IMG]

    After getting it more reliable (I'm still waiting for the motor to blow up), I met you guys and started having more fun with the truck. As is typical with this hobby, I didn't like not being able to follow or keep up with the other rigs in the group or the stock gearing offroad.

    So, I ponied up and put a set up of 4.7 gears in the transfer case and a zip locker in the rear. This satisfied my intermittent, at best, wheeling habits and made the rig much more capable offroad. Of course this only made me want to continue the upgrades - the reason for this thread.
     
  2. tgreco

    tgreco

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    Enough of dwelling on the past and time to look forward to my upcoming upgrades. After AOP in January, I got the bug real bad to get rid of the stock suspension - if you can call it that. So, I ordered up a bunch of brackets to complete a RUF swap. I toyed around with doing some junkyard springs in the rear, but ended up going with some new 3" lift 57" long rear springs from Low Range. They were not a huge price difference and I didn't have to worry about cobbling a bunch of misc. parts together.

    So, I've reached the limit of my fabrication knowledge (I've read alot but no hands-on experience) and I am now in need of your help.

    My questions in anticipation of the suspension work:

    1) Caster - I've read that the RUF swap can result in poor caster angle in the front and associated death wobble. I do street drive the truck, so I have to address this issue. It seems the proper way is to cut and turn the knuckles and perches. From your experience is this necessary? Will shims prevent the cut and turn?

    2) Rear pinion angle - it seems like most cut and turn the rear pinion so it is facing directly at the t-case and swapping to a CV style driveshaft. Is this recommended and what are the ramifications if I leave the axle in it's current orientation?

    3) Shocks - Bilsteins are expensive - any luck with any cheapo white shocks?

    Needs:

    1) power steering and hi-steer - the truck is non-power steering so I need all of the parts
    2) shocks
    3) driveshaft (hopefully only front but we'll see)
    4) beer

    The next updates will hopefully come in a week or so once I get my boxes of metal.
     
  3. TeddyBoy

    TeddyBoy Knighted by the King of MUD himself

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    Very cool, anxious to see where this goes.

    Happy to assist in any way but you have a pretty good handle on it and you're asking most of the right questions. Research and then research some more. I found that the mini truck section in mud is mostly a waste of time, instead the Bible/FAQ2 on Pirate will be extremely helpful for you now and in the future.

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyota-truck-4runner/775780-toyota-bible-faq-2-0-a.html


    So to try to answer your questions:
    1) Caster will be a concern and how much depends on the amount of lift you actually get out of the springs. Cut and turn is the proper fix but can be intimidating and you'll likely need a 2nd pair of hands. You can run shims, I've run both 4* and 6* degree shims without issue, steel over aluminum is recommended. They can be had cheap (<$20) at most decent off road stores or I assume Amazon has them as well.

    2) Rear pinion angle is of much less concern than the front. Ideally you have it correct but I don't believe it to be a problem. After my SAS I drove my rig all over the place for 3 years including GSMTR 2X at Golden Mountain without ever touching it. In fact it was just last year that i actually did anything with it and that was more to raise the pinion angle and DS so they didn't drag on rocks as much. I did this by cutting the front of the spring perch and pushing it down as far as it would go and then weld in place, got about 8-10* out of it.

    3) Yes cheap white shocks for the win.

    4) Hi-steer - Always recommended and likely required especially as the rig bets bigger. You're gonna need an IFS steering box and pitman arm to make this happen. They can be sourced at either Pull a Part, Craigslist or in various Toyota classified sections. FYI-- I just picked up one off a 93 4x4 4Runner for $42 last week.

    5) Drive shaft - The options include lengthening your DS or building a square one. If you need it balanced I'd recommend Ron's Drivelines in Gainesville, they're fast, relatively cheap and have always done a great job. Your other option is to build a square drive shaft. They're great if you're looking for indestructible and cheap, not so great if you plan on doing 45MPH in 4WD.
    About the only thing not asked was gearing. With the lift those 33s may end up looking a little funny so that brings up the discussion on tire size and the need to re-gear. Do yourself a favor, if you go this route go directly 5.29s and don't look back.

    By the way - you're supposed to start this crap in November, not as wheeling season is about to get cranked up. :flipoff2:
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. tgreco

    tgreco

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    Thanks for the response and input Ted. I've read and re-read the Pirate FAQ. I am hoping to avoid the cut and turn because knowing me, I'd probably screw that up. I already re-geared to 4.88 and I am hoping to keep my max tire size at 35 - shooting for a 3" max lift so I might have to get creative with the RUF.

    My wheeling season never gets cranked up, and this will probably take through next winter anyway to finish.
     
  5. kletzenklueffer

    kletzenklueffer

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    Tony- if you need a second pair of hands, give me a shout.

    I stopped by an Offroad shop in Gainesville yesterday called SBC Offroad. It's on the southest side of Gainesville. I don't have experience with them, but had received an e-mail in my spam frolder from them sometime back. I stopped by to see what they are about. They have some items for sale, with most towards heeps, but they work on a number of trucks. The owner took me for a quick shop tour and inside, they had a Dodge Dakota that they were putting a Dana 60 front a Corporate 14 botl under. He said they focus on building/fabbing things that aren't commonly available. He did say that they had a several week back log, but I'm sure a cut and turn is in his scope if it's more than you want to tackle. On the positive side, there were two Toyotas there- a pick up and a 4Runner on at least 35's. so they're not Toyotaphobic.
     
  6. tgreco

    tgreco

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    Bill - that is good to know. There is a really good shop here in Athens (Classic City Offroad) who I had due my diff work. They've been really good to work with, but a second option is always good to have.

    At some point I may take you up on the 2nd set of hands - I could offer some welding/slider fabrication in trade (if this is still on your list of things to do).
     
  7. tgreco

    tgreco

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    Order shipped today. I'm sorry for the excitement but the anticipation of the build is killing me. This may sound a bit snobbish but time is more valuable than money right now so I ordered a new power steering setup from trail gear and high steer from Sky Manf. with rebuilt pump today.

    I think this should take care of everything I need to complete the build. I still need shocks but that's minor at this point.

    [​IMG]


    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-UST Toyota Universal Shock Mount Towers, Pair (ASSEMBLY)
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TAX-KBG-MARLIN Heavy Duty Toyota Knuckle Ball Gusset Kit by Marlin Crawler
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-LPFSH Low Range Off Road Front Spring Hanger with Bolts and Bushings (ASSEMBLY)
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-BSEP Toyota Bumpstop and Extensions Package Kit
    Ordered: 2 Filled: 2 TSP-UBF79-83 U-Bolt Flip Kit Front 79-83, Rear 80-95 (4 Round Ubolts, Plates)
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TAR-AGH Toyota 3 Hole Style Axle Truss
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-RS3 Toyota 3" Rear Springs w/ Bushings
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-SMLR Toyota Lower Shock Mount. 2.5" tall with 1/2" shock mount holes. 3/16" Plate Steel.
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-RUSM Toyota Rear Upper Shock Mount Kit (ASSEMBLY)
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-SM Toyota Rear Leaf Spring Shackle Mounts (110027-1-KIT)
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TSP-SLH Toyota Rear Sloped Spring Hangers
    Ordered: 1 Filled: 1 TB-LK3 Toyota Brake Line Kit (2 front 1 rear)
     
  8. TeddyBoy

    TeddyBoy Knighted by the King of MUD himself

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    uh oh, better beat your wife to the mailbox when that cc statement comes in. Lookin' like a great start, congrats!!!
     
  9. robustbambi

    robustbambi

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    Awesome! Parts in the mail is one really good feeling :)
     
  10. tgreco

    tgreco

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    I got an unexpected bonus at work which will cover all the parts so she can't gripe too much. She's still going to give me hell though.
     
  11. FJCRAWLER

    FJCRAWLER

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    That's why we got married . Life is not complete unless you have a woman griping at you .
     
  12. jynx

    jynx Turd Herder SILVER Star

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    True story! Lucky for me mine sanctions most all of my expenditures and sometimes adds to the list.

    @tgreco I am digging the build. Love the truck and can't wait to see how it evolves. I know where there is an old blue longbed that threads like this make hard to not stop and ask about.
     
  13. tgreco

    tgreco

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    Thanks for following along.

    Rocky - I have you to thank for getting the purse strings loosened up by getting me interested in your old tires.

    Jynx - I like the long beds a lot especially with the bed bobbed.

    Here is a little offroad related tech. I built my sliders out of some 2x2x3/16 square tube. The brackets are all 1/4 plate. We'll see how only two attachment points hold up.

    I'm still running flux and I hate the mess it makes. It really shows in the pictures.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     
  14. jynx

    jynx Turd Herder SILVER Star

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    Yeah, I know how you feel on the Flux wire. I did some welding Friday night and the spatter mess is a real pain.
     
  15. TeddyBoy

    TeddyBoy Knighted by the King of MUD himself

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    This helps, home depot for around $6

    [​IMG]



    Haven't tried this but I can see it.

     
  16. jynx

    jynx Turd Herder SILVER Star

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    I have a can of tip dip and it seems to cause the tips to jam. I used it for the first time on Friday and while it could be operator error, I was not impressed. You just dip the warm nozzle in it to get a coating on it correct? Not sure what I was doing wrong.

    I also got a can of the spray and while it seems to help some it evaporated and fogged up the glass on my helmet and if you spray it on hot metal it evaporates off. It is also highly likely that I was not waiting long enough before welding thru it.

    Not trying to poo-poo on the suggestions, just passing on my recent experiences. I'm gonna keep working with them to see if I can find a good combo. I also know that I still need ALOT of practice with my machine. from what I read if you get the machine dialed in then that is supposed to minimize the spatter. For now my spatter reduction technique is finding a good flap disc for my small grinder :hillbilly:
     
  17. tgreco

    tgreco

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    i don't know you guys that well but the thing I love about this group is that we are all rednecks at heart and by trade. I'm glad we all run, complain, and try to find ways around running flux.

    The forums are too full of fancy tech.
     
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  18. robustbambi

    robustbambi

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    Using gas is a pretty good way around running flux :flipoff2:
     
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  19. jynx

    jynx Turd Herder SILVER Star

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    :moon:

    Hahahaha, I agree but haven't got there yet, besides I got a big roll of .30 flux wire I need to burn up. Plus I figure if I get good with flux when I switch to gas I will be that much better.
     
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  20. HENDOG

    HENDOG Don't Follow me , I'm Lost Too!!!

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    Go, gas you'll never look back
     
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