'Abandoned' 1969 TLC Baja rig. (1 Viewer)

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Hey all, first post on the forums, but I've been running through threads here for as long as I've been running old Toyotas. Previously owned a built 87 pickup, 84 FJ60, 79 Scout ii, and have had a '12 4runner as my daily for the past 6 years. Been hunting for the right pig to buy for a LONG time and I finally found it deep in Baja.
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The guy who put it up for sale is an expat retiree who got it with a house he bought down there. The previous owner was from CA and spent $53K having this thing built up at TLC in 2005 to be his fishing / expo rig for when he was staying in baja (I have 12 pages of receipts). However, after getting it down to his beach house, he apparently didn't do anything to store it properly, so after a decade plus of sitting outside in 50% humidity year round, being driven on the beach, and not ever having any salt washed off, the body has started to rust out in the usual places. Thankfully the floor/frame/etc were sealed at TLC and only has some mild surface rust where the coating has worn away. Def going to need some body mounts and body panel repairs, as well as the drip rails redone.

MAIN DETAILS FROM TLC REBUILD:
  • DRIVETRAIN
    • RAMJET 350
      • MEFI 4 / O2 SENSOR UPGRADE
      • SANDERSON BLOCKHUGGER HEADERS
      • STARTER GEAR REDUCTION
      • ACCESSORY DRIVE
      • CARTER + BOSCH FUEL PUMPS
    • DODGE 29 SPLINE NV4500 4X4 MANUAL TRANSMISSION
      • NV4500 29SP TO TOYOTA 19SP TRANSFER CASE ADAPTER
    • FJ80 POWER STEERING
    • UPGRADED BRAKE BOOSTER
      • BRAIDED LINES
      • FRONT DISCS + TACOMA CALIPERS
      • REAR DRUMS
    • FJ78 AXLES (FULLY REBUILT)
      • 4.11 GEARS
    • REBUILT LEAVES
      • RANCHO 5100
      • 2" ANTI - REVERSE SHACKLES
    • DUAL BATTERY SETUP
    • FJ60 RADIATOR + UPGRADED PUMP
  • EXTERNAL
    • NEW GLASS + WEATHER STRIPPING ALL AROUND
    • FJ40 STYLE HINGED REAR WINDOW
    • WARN WINCH W/ REMOVABLE CRADLE
    • REAR HITCH INSTALL

  • CAMPING SUPPORT (DONE ELSEWHERE)
    • UNDERDASH AC/HEAT
    • RACK FOR ALUMICRAFT BOAT
    • 250 AMP DUAL BATT CONTROL
    • SOLAR PANELS
    • HAM RADIO W/ 8ft ANTENNA
    • ALUMINUM FRAMED REAR STORAGE/BED PLATFORM
    • SILLY BOAT HORN (TO SCARE LIVESTOCK OFF THE ROAD)
    • MACK TRUCK ORNAMENTS, CUZ... BAJA?

Literally every line, cable, wire, hose, pump, belt, bushing etc was replaced new at TLC. About 10k miles has been put on since 2006. Runs and drives perfectly, with the ramjet and NV it gets around 18mpg.

I'm going to probably keep this as a camping rig for now (no need for rear bench), but plan to spend a decent bit of effort improving the exterior and interior to match the level of attention the drivetrain received.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Pasadena, Ca
The interior is less than what I'd consider "classy" but I'm sure it worked out well for the other owner. TLC had a habit of finding late 90s early 2000s Honda seats and installing those into their builds during that time, so theres 2 CR-V buckets up front. Haven't gotten a chance to look under that wood dash yet so I dont know if it was protective or hiding a bunch of rot. I'll be heading down to baja in about a month to bring this back up so once its back in the states I will be pulling out the entire interior and refurbishing to a semi-stock / upgraded look. Ill probably keep the bed platform in place for a while and build some drawers for a camp kitchen and storage. Might need to upgrade the curtains and interior lights tho 🤪

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Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
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Location
Pasadena, Ca
Winch + tailgate. The previous owner blocked off the rear glass with aluminum angle and installed a shock supported clamshell upper window. I havent checked to see if the power window is still in the tailgate, but if it is, I will likely remove the clamshell and restore the stock setup.

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greenbeast

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Tulsa, Okla
Sad, love to have seen it after it was redone, congrats on the find!!
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
14
Location
Pasadena, Ca
Sad, love to have seen it after it was redone, congrats on the find!!
THANKS! I'll be making sure it gets the love it needs. Honestly im grateful because I picked this thing up for a steal and would not have been able to afford a TLC build otherwise. I have coachbuilder friends who can help with the sheetmetal and paint, and im solid on interior work, so I feel like I won the lottery a bit with this. I have a 67 sunbeam alpine project that Ill probably be offloading to pay for the work needed here.
 

PabloCruise

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The interior is less than what I'd consider "classy" but I'm sure it worked out well for the other owner. TLC had a habit of finding late 90s early 2000s Honda seats and installing those into their builds during that time, so theres 2 CR-V buckets up front. Haven't gotten a chance to look under that wood dash yet so I dont know if it was protective or hiding a bunch of rot. I'll be heading down to baja in about a month to bring this back up so once its back in the states I will be pulling out the entire interior and refurbishing to a semi-stock / upgraded look. Ill probably keep the bed platform in place for a while and build some drawers for a camp kitchen and storage. Might need to upgrade the curtains and interior lights tho 🤪

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That interior is pimp!!!
Love it...
Reminds me of the stories @Gordobe about his first Pig.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
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Location
Pasadena, Ca
Wow, what a find!
I love those great stories behind how we got our Pigs.
I really wish the owners before you had kept it away from the salt and humidity...
I thought so. Plus it's giving me a good reason to take my first vacation in 3 years to go down and pick it up rather than have the seller drive it up. Gonna be a fun loop, baja is great.
I cant understand it either, especially since dude was definitely not hurting for cash lol, could have at least built a shed for it. THAT BEING SAID, I wouldnt have gotten the deal I did if he hadn't so im grateful for it. Mechanicals are more important than looks for me so I can be patient with the lipstick on this pig while I take it on a few test trips between Socal and Santa Fe.

That interior is pimp!!!
Love it...
Reminds me of the stories @Gordobe about his first Pig.
Ill have to look his up. I desert camp frequently and had been debating about removing the rear seat in my 4runner to spend more time out but with this, I think I can possibly sell the 4runner in a bit and replace it with something more gas friendly, for city activities and keep the pig for backcountry stuff. Im stoked that It has the bed cuz then I dont have to have the conversation with myself about removing and storing the rear seat. I MIGHT throw a folding third bucket in though.

I definitely will be cleaning and swapping out some of the stuff in there tho. I work in clothing and we have a great prototyping space at our office where I can sew up vinyl/leather, etc. so I plan to make new door panels that can look nice but handle abuse. I like the idea of the curtains, will probably come up with something that is a little tighter than the loose cable, or maybe make some foam window panels that suction cup on? Im really interested in figuring out the back window deal. It makes sense to be able to open it from the inside and be able to open the tailgate from the inside, but you could easily add a switch to the interior to lower the window for the same purpose. not too stressed but I have a husky who loves riding in the cargo area of my 4runner with the window down so id like to have that same functionality in this at some point...

When you get a chance, can you get us some more pictures of how the 60 radiator fits in there?
Pig radiators aren't getting any easier to find...

Yeah when I see it next I will get some closer looks. I cant remember the radiator on my 84 being aluminum like this one, but the receipt says fj60, wonder if its a newer performance version made to fit 60s. Once I get down there I can def take some better photos of the mounting that was done.
 
Joined
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While I'm thinking about it, has anyone ever redone the headliner on a 55 where its not the rail suspended fabric? The purist in me says keep the stock one, but I almost prefer to line the roof with foam insulation, and have a smooth stretch fabric headliner.
 

PabloCruise

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Messages
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While I'm thinking about it, has anyone ever redone the headliner on a 55 where its not the rail suspended fabric? The purist in me says keep the stock one, but I almost prefer to line the roof with foam insulation, and have a smooth stretch fabric headliner.
If your stock headliner is still suspended from above, I would keep it!
For me it wasn't a question of "if" I should replace the headliner, but "when:...
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Pasadena, Ca
If your stock headliner is still suspended from above, I would keep it!
For me it wasn't a question of "if" I should replace the headliner, but "when:...
Its still there, has a tear/hole that could be repaired, but generally complete. Like I said, im all for nostalgia, but something about suspended headliners never looked great to me. Ill have to sit with it for a while.
 

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