Builds Live in Texas, drive a pickup: HDJ79 single cab build

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A few months ago, I was innocuously texting @joekatana and telling him much I was enjoying driving the HZJ80 poverty pack I had bought from him. He asked me what my plans for my next Cruiser project were, and I told him that I was pretty happy with the 80, sprucing it up while driving it daily. I did mention that I really dug @Spallet ‘s HDJ79 and @Mr Cimarron ’s Cummins/75/80 build, and that @c2dfj45 ‘s 79 builds were awesome.

I think my exact words were, “if you ever found a 79 pickup body, I’d love to build one.

And Joe texts me this:

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I mean, it didn’t even take him 10 seconds.

And then this:

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followed by:

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And I had just bought a 1HDFT and H151 transmission from him, with intentions to upgrade the 80...well, that got derailed in about two seconds.

I immediately called Joe and we hashed out a plan. Joe volunteered to do the heavy lifting, i.e. all of the frame and body fabrication, and then turn everything over to me like a big pile of adult Legos. He had enough parts to make a complete wide nose 79 body, brand new, an old-style dash (which I prefer), and column, and brand new seats. Add to that a clean, Texas-titled, rust free 80 frame with factory locked axles... now we were getting somewhere.

For the past couple of months, Joe has been working on all of the fabrication, and he delivered her as a rolling chassis today.

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Time to get to work.
 

bottombracket

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And BOOM it actually looks like a truck.
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Found a little damage from being shipped all over the place in its previous lives.
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Expensive, but available new. One bonus of building a 79 is that Toyota is STILL MAKING THEM. 99% of what I need is out there somewhere, which is really nice. I’m gonna be buying so many parts...
 

bottombracket

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And that brings us up to today. Joe had to run down to San Antonio to pick up another vehicle, so he was kind enough to drop the 79 off at my barn this afternoon.

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@Mr Cimarron and @Unoman came over to help. Despite having no steering linkage, and no parking brake, it was surprisingly easy for the four of us to roll the 79 off of the trailer and into a new home just outside the barn.

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A cab full of cab parts.

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bottombracket

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The plan from here, roughly, looks like this:

As soon as my H151 arrives, I will mount it up to the motor, and drop the drivetrain in. Per @c2dfj45 (whose builds I have been studying like a college final), I’ll need to move the frame to motor mounts back 3” and modify the transmission crossmember. I’ll verify transmission placement in the cab, make sure the motor and rad shroud line up as they should, and weld in the frame mounts.

Once I have all the frame modifications situated, I’ll take it to be sandblasted and then probably POR it instead of powder coat. Then, it’s time to pick out suspension, paint and refresh the axles, and put the body back on top of it.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

That’s the start of my plan. Now I’ve got a find out what it’s going to be that’s gonna punch me in the mouth first. I’m hoping there are no terrible surprises until I get to the wiring stage.

All in all, I’m pretty excited to get to work on this truck. I’m finally in the 70 section...and I know I’m going to have a million questions.

Can’t wait to dig in.
 

c2dfj45

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The plan from here, roughly, looks like this:

As soon as my H151 arrives, I will mount it up to the motor, and drop the drivetrain in. Per @c2dfj45 (whose builds I have been studying like a college final), I’ll need to move the frame to motor mounts back 3” and modify the transmission crossmember. I’ll verify transmission placement in the cab, make sure the motor and rad shroud line up as they should, and weld in the frame mounts.

Once I have all the frame modifications situated, I’ll take it to be sandblasted and then probably POR it instead of powder coat. Then, it’s time to pick out suspension, paint and refresh the axles, and put the body back on top of it.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

That’s the start of my plan. Now I’ve got a find out what it’s going to be that’s gonna punch me in the mouth first. I’m hoping there are no terrible surprises until I get to the wiring stage.

All in all, I’m pretty excited to get to work on this truck. I’m finally in the 70 section...and I know I’m going to have a million questions.

Can’t wait to dig in.
So cool to see another one of these being done. Can't wait to watch the progress.

1.5" is what we ended up moving the motor back.....the middle hole is what we added to the passenger side mount. The driver's side was way more involved since you have to extend the mount. I'll confirm that 1.5" measurement but I think that's the number.

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