BluezClues Build '79 RN37 Pickup (1 Viewer)

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Oct 26, 2017
Alpharetta GA
BluezClues build. Name hit me as it was the favorite tv show of my cousin who passed away right before the end of 2019. Having been in a wheelchair all his life, he would have enjoyed riding in some larger wheels the same color as his favorite tv show character.

I didn’t do a build thread on my 80 series LC because it was basically just in need of a good cleaning and baseline with some mods. It wasn’t in really bad shape (leather and carpet an exception to that), but my 79 Pickup (RN37) is definitely a build. Purchased in November 2020 in North GA from someone who had planned to make a rock crawler out of it who had purchased it 8-10 years previously from someone else who had the same idea. The individual from which I purchased it had it in his garage taking up space for the better part of a decade and had decided to focus on his 40 and 60 series projects.

I went to go look at it just to see if I would be interested in it and found that the truck was completely disassembled with the interior (including all glass, instruments, seats etc all removed) as well as the engine had 3 spun bearings and no oil pan or exhaust. Some rust in the usual spots on the front fenders, a spot in the bed and a rear bed skirt was rusted through.

The tires were soaked from the axle leaking out, the front seat (bench) wreaked of mold and all the brake and fuel lines were removed completely. The emergency brake was also found in the bed of the truck.

Well after a couple of days I ended up deciding I should take the project on knowing “some assembly required”, and it wasn’t going to be on the road for a while.

Build will take a while and have slow updates. Here are some pictures of it was I bought it including the day I took it home using my previous project vehicle.





Spun bearings on the 20r and a single panel in the bed that needs replacing. Searching for bed panels and bedskirts is not easy on these old trucks. Fortunately parts for 20r and 22r engines are still pretty available.


Wow that's definitely assembly required! How do you spin 3 bearings on a 4-cylinder?
How do you keep one from spinning once you get the other ones spinning? I sourced a rebuilt 22r, and a block and accessories from another 22r, both from an 85, so I will be figuring out how to get those all connected up once i get the FSM for both a 79 and an 85. the Rebuilt came sans oil pan and valve cover, sourced an oil pane, and now have a choice between a tall valve cover and the original low profile that came on the 20r. Slowly working to rebuild each of the accessories before i bolt them on the engine. Starting with rebuilding the alternator that came with the 22r block.



Are you going to put the 20r head on the 22r block?
Are you going to put the 20r head on the 22r block?

I can't in this instance. both the rebuilt 22r and the 22r block i also acquired are too new and have the wrong deck height. I could have done a hybrid if i had a pre 85 22r I believe and that might still be an option if I get my hands on a pre 85 22r block.
Front axle has added a few items list. Destroyed one locking hub that was rusted to the end of the axle spline which lead to having to order new cv joints. Everything needs cleaning up...




Front axle has added a few items list. Destroyed one locking hub that was rusted to the end of the axle spline which lead to having to order new cv joints. Everything needs cleaning up...
That is just plain ugly. I think a sand blaster is going to be your friend ... that and a few rattle-cans of of Rust-Oleum.
That is just plain ugly. I think a sand blaster is going to be your friend ... that and a few rattle cans of of Rust-Oleum.
Blasted these and got them painted up. I am avoiding colors that hide leaks. Had over an inch of gunk covering them before i even found the rust.

Got the whole axle out since i need to clean it up and paint it anyway and got to thinking....Just how much of bow is supposed to be there?


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I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to fix/replace the rear passenger bed skirt. Not sure if i should remove it and try to made a mold to make one out of fibreglass, carbon fiber or just keep looking for a clean one from a part out. I am in the same boat for the rear driver's side bed panel. All of these sections have been ordered form the various places i could find listing them as still in stock.all those orders got canceled and the websites updated.


Been busy lately but tonight I pulled some things off the 20r that might end up on the 22r. Not sure where things went wrong on this engine......haha


Low progress with life's distractions but the engine is out...and surprise the rear main seal must have been bad...ha

Cleaning up items on the interior while i wait in parts. Seems i need to source some Toyota wire and see if i can get some matching color coded so that this thing doesn't look like a hack job.

Picked up some axles from a 83. Going to clean them up, paint and rebuild them. The axle hubs i believe are different so i was thinking about using the ones i already pulled off the 79 which have been blasted and painted, not to mention i already have the 80 fj40 rotors for the brake upgrade. I also already blasted the 79 knuckle housings and painted them and those i believe are listed as having the same substitution partnumbers. There are two additional parts that dont need to be blasted and painted.

Seems these will have 4.10 gears which i need to verify.

The 20R would have had 4.37 gears. The '83 with a 22R would have had 4.10 gears. Going with the 22R as your engine, keep the 4.10s. Axle hubs are the same. Lockout hub dials are different but of no real issue, '79s would be ASCO and '83 would be AISIN. Same stuff just labeled differently. Being as you are swapping out the axle housings there is no point in being period correct.
Oh i am changing the dials to say ASCO though haha. Because i like those better. I tore down the axle and pressure washed it. Need to blast and paint it before i put it all back with new seals. I ran out of steam. I am doing the 22r and planned on going with the 4.10s mostly because they are in better shape than the diffs on the 79. I have to say this thing was very easy to pull apart compared to the original with the bent axle housing. I wish i had the ability to fix the old one, hate tossing it.

BIRF soup and the grease had washed back in to the diff housing as when i drained it, grease was coming out in clumps through the drain hole.

Going to get on rebuilding the rear axle as well, hopefully this week, get it back on the ground for mobility sake.
Well It has been slow going but making some progress. Got the axles all cleaned up and ordered new bushings for the leafs. Rear leafs are too pitted to trust so found some good condition stock ones from a guy locally and some front fenders that don't have cancer. I really only went to buy a 5speed off the guy, but never hurts to mention the other things you are working to get. The body is now floating over the frame, I built a caddy for it on wheels so will be rolling it out to get it prepped for sealer/primer..






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Looking at my 1983 Japanese tires and realize one of my wheels has been enlarged for a larger hub maybe at some point? I thought this might be original wheels but not sure now. Too bad cause i like them and they are in good shape otherwise. They have the tabs for a center cap but those seem to have been broken off, I wonder if there is anyway to fix them with new tabs if i get my hands on some hubcaps.


Looks like these are actually late 70s chevy ten slot wheels so I will likely be getting rid of these and getting something Toyota specific.
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I wonder how old this box is and if i just installed shoes that are no longer legal.


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