Box Rocket 1985 Hilux

Box Rocket

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Many of you may be aware of this already since I mentioned it in another thread but yesterday I picked up a 1985 pickup that I actually used to own almost 20 years ago. I sold it in 2002 and it has sat for most of the time since then until last year. It popped up for sale locally and I bought it back for a project to work on with my second son who turned 16 this past summer.

This is what it looked like when I originally bought it in 2000.
minitruck1985.jpg


Just before selling it it looked like this. I built a custom flatbed for it, added highsteer and IFS steeringbox, all new suspension (5.5" Alcan springs and bilstein shocks).
flatbed_e by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

The truck was originally a 22R. The guy that bought it from me had an SDS fuel injection system from LC Engineering installed so it's now a 22RE with many OEM parts as part of the system but a standalone ECU created by LC Engineering.

Here's the truck after I got it home yesterday.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr
 

Box Rocket

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Saw that. Looks like Flickr is having server issues. The images/links should come back up as soon as it’s resolved.
 

yotadude520

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Looks good - especially with those brand new Wildpeaks on it.

I know you're going to have your other son work on it, but what's the plan? It looks like it's already pretty well built. :)
 

Box Rocket

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Looks good - especially with those brand new Wildpeaks on it.

I know you're going to have your other son work on it, but what's the plan? It looks like it's already pretty well built. :)
Still needs some sliders, and a real front bumper. The winch mount is completely useless. I'm certain it would tear off with a very minor tug. Needs some serious attention on the interior. Need to ditch the bench seat for some decent buckets and redo most of the rest inside. Some people have recommended leaving the paint as is and go for the "patina" look, but my son isn't gonna go for that so it'll likely get repainted in the garage. But first we'll remove the homebrew snorkel and patch the hole. Eventually we'll add a second tcase and lockers and it should be a sweet little crawler at that point.

Awesome! Was it stored for all those years in a drum of paint thinner?:flipoff2:
Haha, sure looks like it.
 

Box Rocket

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Onto a bit more news that isn't quite as exciting. It was about a 40 mile drive home yesterday after buying it. It needs an alignment to straighten out the steering wheel but otherwise it drove beautifully and purred along smoothly. Got it home and my oldest son that has the 1980 pickup was home and we went for a short drive, which was also nice and smooth. My wife was working and when she was done working she wanted to go for a ride too so we hopped in and were going to drop my youngest son off at a friends. Started it up and it was suddenly making all kinds of noise. I'm still confused because of how sudden the change was, but I've started digging into it. Obviously I didn't drive it when it started making noise. Just got it into the garage and shut it down.

Here's a vid of the sound.

Pulled the valve cover to take a look, still need to check the timing chain guide and get a set of feeler gauges to check the valve lash, but nothing obvious was visible with the valve cover off.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Dropped the oil pan and checked the oil. It was a little dirty but not bad and no metal whatsoever in it. Started checking the rods, and didn't notice any vertical play, but a small amount of fore and aft movement that seemed equal on all 4 rods. Here's another vid.

I ran out of time last night so tonight I'll remove the rod caps and try to get a look at the bearings. Also need to pull the plugs and check the plug wires. This truck has coil packs instead of a distributor as part of the LCE EFI system. But I'm gutted by the thought that this motor is shot right after I get it home.
 

BlueCruiser84

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My newly resealed 22re was running perfect and then one day I started it up and it was making a similar noise. I was skerred.

Checked it out as well as I could and didn’t see anything wrong. On the recommendation of a buddy I drained out a quart of oil and put in a quart of ATF and ran it around real easy. Nothing exploded, but it was still clattering. Ran it harder and it made a little “pop” and was quiet as a mouse after that. 🤷‍♂️
 

Box Rocket

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My newly resealed 22re was running perfect and then one day I started it up and it was making a similar noise. I was skerred.

Checked it out as well as I could and didn’t see anything wrong. On the recommendation of a buddy I drained out a quart of oil and put in a quart of ATF and ran it around real easy. Nothing exploded, but it was still clattering. Ran it harder and it made a little “pop” and was quiet as a mouse after that. 🤷‍♂️
How strange
 
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That’s awesome Adam! Should be an awesome project for you guys.

I found a 1970 MGB that I owned in highschool (one of the two non 4wd vehicles I’ve owned in 50 years) in a backyard down the street from where I bought a house a few years ago. I didn’t end up buying it again, but it was discussed. I’d love to have either one of the ‘81 or ‘82 Toy 4x4s I had back then.
 

1Fine40

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If you have a stethoscope, maybe you can narrow down where the rattle is coming from a bit better?? I'd start by removing the belts from any accessories and see if that makes a difference...well that and a clean sump of oil and as previously mentioned, some ATF or Rislone... HTH..
 

Box Rocket

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Well, not much success tonight. Changed the plugs, the new plug wires were too short so I left the old ones on for now until I can replace the others.
Had a few loose rocker arms so did a valve adjustment and the the valve cover back on. Bottom end looked fine from everything I could see. No play in the connecting rods. No visible wear on the cam lobes.

Got it back together and fired it up and it was still clattering. Pulled one of the plug wires to see if I could isolate to a single cylinder. But shut it down after pulling the first plug wire.

After looking again for anything that might be loose or disconnected I went to start it again and now it will crank but not start.
 

BlueCruiser84

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When you had the VC off did you look down the timing chain to make sure everything was where it should be?

Still tirns over? just doesn't start?
 

yotadude520

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Interesting setup. So they took the intake manifold off of a 22RE and slapped it onto the 22R? Does it use a standard 22RE computer or is it one designed for the system? It would have to be modified since it's running coil packs right?

Do they still make the kit or is it discontinued?
 

Box Rocket

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Interesting setup. So they took the intake manifold off of a 22RE and slapped it onto the 22R? Does it use a standard 22RE computer or is it one designed for the system? It would have to be modified since it's running coil packs right?

Do they still make the kit or is it discontinued?
It's a standalone ECU, it's a system created by SDS (Simple Digital System) for all the components other than the Toyota intake and the coil packs which are GM units. It is still available. Been talking with LCE a bit as I troubleshoot it. The more I learn about it, it's a pretty cool system.

Spent some more time on it again last night with a buddy that's an electrical wizard since that is not my forte`.

The system uses a crank position sensor to handle timing and that was the first thing we checked and verified it was working correctly. Using a timing light to just check for proper spark to all cylinders we found that cylinders 2 and 3 were not firing. Went and picked up a new coil pack and it continued to not fire on cyl 2 and 3. (new plug wires were used). We swapped positions of the 1-4 coil pack with the 2-3 coil pack since we had verified that the 1-4 was working. The new Coilpack worked fine when used in the 1-4 position and the other one didn't work in the 2-3 position which pointed us to an issue inside the ignition module. We found one of the transistors on the ignition board wasn't functioning properly. The ignition module could all be replaced but it's sold as a replacement unit with both new coil packs and runs a few hundred bucks. Instead of going that route I'm going to try just replacing the transistor. It's a $4 part and will just need to be connected to the board. Crossing my fingers that this solves the issue, but at the least, was confirmed that this was at least part of the problem and would explain why it stopped starting and could also explain the clattering and shaking of the motor if only cylinders 1 and 4 were firing.

Here's the ignition board. One of the transistors on the top edge of the board is what we found to be bad.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr
 
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