Builds 1983 Toyota Pickup 4x4 Restoration

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*excuse my gramer and punctuation and also this is my first build thread, so i appologize in advance*

Well I am finally getting to a restoration/build ive always wanted to do since i was a kid and my dad took me 4 wheeling in his 1982 SR5 pickup. I have a soft spot for these first gen pickups. So my plan is to attempt a full frame off restoration and upgrade what i can without compromising that oem factory look, i want her to be as close to stock as she was when she was new in the 80's.
So i bought this 83 pickup from a guy in bakersfield ca for $3000 in 2016, he was only the second owner and this pickup is 98% rust free and no dents or damage anywhere. Which is pretty amazing since he used it as a work truck for 15+ years, so i was amazed at how perfect it was and offered to buy it on the spot and of course he said no but i left my number and 4 years later he called and i drove from Nashville to Bakersfield to buy it from him.

So this is the truck I am working with, i also have plans to make her a true SR5 eventually. That was the only thing missing that i really wanted, the SR5 looks the best in my opinion. And i do not want a "clone" so when i get a solid frame and vin numbers she will be a true.
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So this i basically what i want her to look like in the end for the most part, give or take a few things.

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The engine bay was perfect except the owner did not put the battery tie down back and the battery slid into a belt and slung acid all over and pitted the metal underneath the battery and on the various parts, thats why i said 98% rust free. She drove perfect and ran great, everything worked except the factory AC, which i will keep and fix as well.
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The interior was in excellent shape and all of the parts are there except the tilt steering colum covers. So i really want to ditch the bench seat and get some buckets 100%, and the carpet and headliner will not be factory, im going to go my own direction when that time comes. I do not have a first interior picture when i just bought her, this is after i already removed a few pieces and such.
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I wish i had all of the pictures i had originally took but that phone took a dump and i lost most of my pictures. So once i decided to do a full frame off resto it was time to strip her down and asses all the damage and rust and see what i had to work with. So i wanted to get the interior stripped and organized before winter set in so i could use that down time to just locate and purchase what needed to be replaced or changed. So throughout winter and still currently i am buying as many new oem interior and exterior parts as i can. I only want quality toyota parts on this build, NO TAIWAN parts only JAPAN! So that being said it is pretty difficult since almost everything is discontinued, but i have got a few parts, atleast the main trim and interior parts.
 
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So i was lucky and so excited that i was able to buy a brand new dash pad in the right color that well i could not help myself and i bought both that they had in stock. I figured that i plan on keeping the truck my whole life so i would probably need that second new dash pad eventually.
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Man this part is priceless in my opinion and is a must no matter the cost. I only paid $200 a piece and a $100 in shipping so not to bad in my opinion.
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So i was also able to aquire quite a bit more as far as new parts go. My biggest concern was all of the taillight, corner, side lenses and housings, since most of the ones on the truck are junk and faded so bad. So i was SUPER excited when i was able to buy basically every lense new still the i bought alot of duplicates, atleast enough to replace them on this 83 and also enough for when i restore my 82 SR5 pickup down the line. So what i dont use now i will stock pile as much as i can for now. So over the course of this build i will be buying as many new parts that are in stock still and duplicates for any futre builds. Because soon none of these parts will be available and i REFUSE to desecrate my trucks with taiwan crap. lol.
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So as far as progress goes, i have the entire pickup disassembled and in pieces, every single nut and bolt. So far all of the body parts are in great shape and do not need replaced. Even the paint on the frame is in amazing shape considering its age.
Im also just alittle all over the place when it comes to this build, i will be working on this resto in between all of my other projects i have on my 2016 Tacoma, 70 FJ40 and my other 1982 SR5 pickup. This resto is definatlly going to take a couple years since im not a millionare and retired lol. But so far ive made pretty good progress i think, but it is always easier tearing it apart vs getting back together.
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So im at the point where she has been stripped completly and once i got down to the bare body i needed to address any imediate rust or damages on the cab and bed. I noticed that under all the factory sound deading that some water had gotten under it and thankfully didnt damage anything, so i had once choice i had to strip all of the sound deading. Since i had to remove it all i really want to spray the entire cab on the inside with lizard skin and coat it the best i can, so thats my plan for the inside the cab.
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Now the bed is in such great shape that im just shocked! There is not one dent on or in this bed or any rust anywhere, so i will only really be removing the seam sealer all around and blasting and redoing the seam seal, then primer and paint eventually.
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So there is some rust on the tailgate at the drain holes on the bottom, so i will have to cut and weld at the bottom to fix that problem, but all in all this tail gate is in great shape! I wish i could buy a brand new one still.
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I will have to do something about that crappy homemade rear bumper aswell. Either go back to stock or see if i can build something nice for this truck, because theres really no options out there for full rear bumpers. This truck just has some weird body lines that make it pretty tough to build a bumper like whats on my 16 tacoma. So i will figure out something at a later date on that.
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So i started investigating all of the seam sealer around the entire cab and it was cracking so bad and getting light rust under it that i decided to strip ALL of the seam sealer outside the cab and inside aswell as the engine bay. I figured if i am going to go this far then i better do it right. Now ive never really tried replacing seam sealer let alone making it look factory, so i think this will be a challenge for me. I still have to strip more on the bed but other then that i need to purchase a few tools to be able to apply all of the seam sealer that needs replaced, so im just doing as much research as i can right now on what all is involved. but heres a few pictures of what i have to work with here. I just couldnt live with what rust was already setting in under all of that sealer.
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Digging the build - that truck was really clean to begin with too!

Any ideas on how you're going to get the cab off? :)
Well I appreciate it bud, yeah this truck was very well taken care, crazy that it was used as a gardening work truck for 15 years. Well it will either be by muscle, I got 2 older brothers at my disposal or by a chain block. I have a pretty strong steel beam I can also use in my shop.
 

yotadude520

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Well I appreciate it bud, yeah this truck was very well taken care, crazy that it was used as a gardening work truck for 15 years. Well it will either be by muscle, I got 2 older brothers at my disposal or by a chain block. I have a pretty strong steel beam I can also use in my shop.
Two brothers can definitely help! I used the beams of my buddy’s patio and some ratchet straps to get the cab off of my 85 F250.

I’ve also seen people get cabs off using 2x4s and cherry pickers too!
 

Box Rocket

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Man, I wish the 1980 that we got for my son was that clean. It quickly went from a "resto" project to a "just make it reliable and have fun with it" project. We went through the dilemma of finding bumpers with no luck finding anything we liked. Ended up building both and used it as an opportunity to teach my son some fabrication skills. I helped do more of the front bumper but he was able to do nearly all of the rear bumper.
SFSP0598 by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Rear bumper by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Rear bumper by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Will definitely be following along to see what you do with this. Looks like a great start!
 

yotadude520

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Reading through this again I wanted to add something -

Make sure that you catalog every single nut and bolt you take off this thing into little ziploc baggies. You can get a bunch of multi separation containers at the dollar store on the low. Throw all the small interior screws/bolts in one, RS fender screws/bolts in another etc etc.

This was lifesaving when it came to putting back my 1985 F-250.
 

KLF

Frame waxer
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I used old egg cartons. At one point I had about a dozen of them on my workbench, all labeled and stacked. As I would pull off a fastener, I would drop it into a cell of the egg carton then write on the lid with Sharpie where it belongs. As I started putting things back together, I would swap out the bolts for stainless if I could. If it was an odd fastener or something else, I did a lot of bead blasting then I sent them out for cad re-plating.

I also have some old yard sale muffin trays that I use occasionally.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Man, I wish the 1980 that we got for my son was that clean. It quickly went from a "resto" project to a "just make it reliable and have fun with it" project. We went through the dilemma of finding bumpers with no luck finding anything we liked. Ended up building both and used it as an opportunity to teach my son some fabrication skills. I helped do more of the front bumper but he was able to do nearly all of the rear bumper.
SFSP0598 by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Rear bumper by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Rear bumper by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Will definitely be following along to see what you do with this. Looks like a great start!
Hey those bumpers turned out really really well! Ive spent a good amount of time thinking and drawing a design for a front and rear bumper for these (and im still not happy with it) haha, the rear just has some weird body lines that makes it hard to do anything with. You mind if i keep your images? Not alot of decent looking bumpers out there for this generation, and dont worry i wont copy them, its just for inspiration.

Reading through this again I wanted to add something -

Make sure that you catalog every single nut and bolt you take off this thing into little ziploc baggies. You can get a bunch of multi separation containers at the dollar store on the low. Throw all the small interior screws/bolts in one, RS fender screws/bolts in another etc etc.

This was lifesaving when it came to putting back my 1985 F-250.
Appreciate the advice, i definitely have quite a few of ziploc baggies in quite a few boxes. That will hopefully pay off later down the road i hope. haha


I used old egg cartons. At one point I had about a dozen of them on my workbench, all labeled and stacked. As I would pull off a fastener, I would drop it into a cell of the egg carton then write on the lid with Sharpie where it belongs. As I started putting things back together, I would swap out the bolts for stainless if I could. If it was an odd fastener or something else, I did a lot of bead blasting then I sent them out for cad re-plating.

I also have some old yard sale muffin trays that I use occasionally.
Yeah i will go with as much stainless as i can, which is going to be fun since the most respectable bolt shop i have around is about 45 mins away and what they dont have i can hopefully get online. One of the few things i miss about Bakersfield CA, i could get anything i wanted in that town, Nashville's a different story, strangely more expensive on alot of stuff.
 

KLF

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There's an Aubuchon down the street from me that has a great SS hardware selection, but omfg is it expensive. I needed a few 1/4" carraige bolts the other day, $1.65 each. So now I just over-buy on Amazon in bulk. Fastenal is also good but you have to buy in packages of usually at least 25 or 50.

It's almost impossible to get SS in JIS spec, so everything in M8 will have a 13 mm head, not 12 like the OEM hardware.

Avoid using SS in high load applications, they are not very strong.
 
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