Builds an as-yet unnamed gulf spec diesel 1991 HZJ pickup

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Dec 4, 2015
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Dubai, UAE
This obsession of mine is getting out of hand. Today I bought a 1991 diesel left hand drive pickup with 560K km on the clock. For all that mileage it looks pretty good:
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(The leaf springs need attention.)
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Looks like the head has never been off it.

And it still has the original owners manual:
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...which I will scan and offer up to the forum.

And perhaps most amusingly, it came from the factory without a heater:
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This truck has definitely seen 560K km, but the PO(s) seem to have maintained the truck, and the seller spent some effort to pretty the truck up--the paint looks new under the dust and so on. Those decals on the sides are typical here. I don't like them, but I probably will keep them as they are indicative of this region and the history of the truck. My initial thought is to keep the truck stock--I love the OEM split steel wheels--and only add factory options if I can find any.

Circumstances did not allow me to start the truck before I bought it. Tomorrow or the next day will tell me if I bought a pig in a poke or not. (I should add the explanation that a pig in a poke is a thing that is bought without first being properly inspected, and thus of unknown authenticity or quality. The idiom is attested in 1555: I wyll neuer bye the pyg in the poke[.] Thers many a foule pyg in a feyre cloke[.] A "poke" is a bag, so the image is of a concealed item being sold.)

I jumped at this truck because it is the very first left hand drive diesel 70 series I've seen here in the Middle East, and after driving Biscuit, our 1992 Model 77 across America with it's rather tired 22R 4-banger, I really, really wanted to try a 70 series with a diesel under the hood. Not to mention that my younger boy is over the moon with the idea of a diesel 70 series for all those post apocalypse scenarios. ;) But mostly, I just wanted it.
 
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Just a little update: I picked up the pickup with a flatbed this morning, and saw it start and heard it run (youtube video) for the first time.
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It sounded really, really good to me. There was a bit of belt squeal (youtube video) but the truck rolled under its own power and the clutch and transmission showed no apparent issues. Couldn't be happier!

I did notice that two wheels have broken studs:
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I need to research what's involved in replacing the studs. But I will say that the repaint looks pretty good.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Part of the mystery as to how and why this truck came to be purchased in diesel form I may have been answered. In the glove box were several of these:
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(Google translate is getting pretty darned good...)

And then inside there are certain details like 'number of sheep' and so forth. I bet the first owner took the unusual, for here, step of buying a diesel because he was hauling around feed and perhaps trailering livestock and got sold on the greater towing capacity of the diesel.

Somehow it is really nice to see a little history of these old trucks.
 
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Honger

Joel, TLCA #21509
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Just a little update: I picked up the pickup with a flatbed this morning, and saw it start and heard it run (youtube video) for the first time.
View attachment 2069726
It sounded really, really good to me. There was a bit of belt squeal (youtube video) but the truck rolled under its own power and the clutch and transmission showed no apparent issues. Couldn't be happier!

I did notice that two wheels have broken studs:
View attachment 2069727
I need to research what's involved in replacing the studs. But I will say that the repaint looks pretty good.
Broken studs AND mismatched lug nuts. She's been well used.

I'm jealous.
 
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Dec 7, 2017
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Bottom of the Sea
Just a little update: I picked up the pickup with a flatbed this morning, and saw it start and heard it run (youtube video) for the first time.
View attachment 2069726
It sounded really, really good to me. There was a bit of belt squeal (youtube video) but the truck rolled under its own power and the clutch and transmission showed no apparent issues. Couldn't be happier!

I did notice that two wheels have broken studs:
View attachment 2069727
I need to research what's involved in replacing the studs. But I will say that the repaint looks pretty good.
I have a broken stud too. Bought new studs from Toyota dealer locally. Shouldn’t be too tough to hammer out the broken one and hammer in the new one.
 
Joined
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I will know more in a few days as my mechanic goes through it to see what needs attention for the pre-registration safety test, but so far the broken studs are the only obvious flaw. I'm pretty sure that would bounce the safety inspection--but I'd want that rectified immediately regardless, of course. They are pretty good about using OEM toyota parts when they can get them.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
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Dubai, UAE
You know that no one can top the 80's hair metal covers gems that you so carelessly discarded...
Interestingly, it has what -looks- like the OEM seats on it:
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The inserts are not fabric but some kind of vinyl. The edge of the drivers seat shows a little wear and look like they have been there a while. Honestly I don't know if they are original. Be nice if they were. I am thinking more and more of keeping this truck stock except for a few little upgrades like adding a tach and oil pressure and temp gauges. The binnacle is kind of crappy and I could redo it by adding some digital gauges and keep the Land Cruiser logo, I think.
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Basically take the guts out of gauges similar to what I did with Biscuit and cut out space in the stock card and mount behind. The guts of the gauges are pretty small.
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(This is the way our 1992 RJ77 ended up looking.)

I'd really like to have android auto in the pickup too. But it has the stock toyota radio in it that would be nice to preserve. The sanyo unit below it obviously is not meant to be there. Maybe one of those flip screen units could go in place of the lower unit.
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Early days yet.
 
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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
578
Location
Dubai, UAE
How hard is it importing a vehicle from the emirates?
I have not found it hard, really, but partly because I am here and I have resident worker status with an Emirates ID. I've done it 3 times now where I am the registered owner here in Dubai, licensed and drivable on the street. I then send it to myself at my US address where again, I am the person applying for a Virginia title. I don't have a sense how hard it is if you are not resident here or if you are shipping to a buyer. I suspect you have to resort to an export company but I have not researched it. I plan to send two or three trucks stateside in a few months, and this is the answer I got back from my shipping company earlier today:
Sometime, probably about 4-6 months from now I would like to ship two more Toyota Land Cruisers to my home in Virginia. Same details as before when I shipped two vehicles via Leader Relocations.​
When we spoke you mentioned that pricing was seasonal. Could you give me an idea of when it is least expensive to ship cars to the US?​
Nowadays sea freight all depends on shipping line market condition. Based on our experienced low freight are in the months of Feb-Apr. / Sept-Nov. But again it depends with shipping line.
Also, is there a price break for shipping 3 cars? The last pricing I had from you was, roughly 13K AED for 1 car, 23K AED for two, just from memory.​
I will check for 3 cars in 40ft container. And so far this can be economical.

I should add that buying in Oman and getting it to Dubai was almost 2K USD in cost in and of itself. This was the 1995/95 troopy I plan to kit out as a minimalist camper for the desert and currently is being worked on. Speaking of Oman, I had this offered to me today from my Omani friend who sold me the troopy:

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Now you may think I'm crazy, but I can buy a 'new' sheet metal body or cab here in Dubai. Not sure how hard or easy it would be to get it on there. This is a petrol engine tho. Just something a bit dumb to drink a beer over. I asked him how much. He also offered a nicer gas pickup but the price was way too high.

Those side mounts are pretty cool, aren't they?
 
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Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
578
Location
Dubai, UAE
Definitely fresh paint on the wheels. Hopefully all that new paint is not covering up Original Sin. :)
CD, you have a point. But in person the paint job looks really good. OTOH, there are at least four studs broken off so they've seen hard life for sure. But they looked professionally done. Honestly, someone did look after this old diesel. I'm pretty happy so far.
 
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