Builds "The Cucumber" build. Ultimate 80-series. 1HD-FT, H152F, PTO and just about every other cool option

TurboDennis

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A lot of you have been asking me to post some details on my build, so here i go.
I also wanted to start this thread to keep track of all the things im doing to the truck and help motivate me to see the project through. And i will try to provide write ups of the unique mods for future reference of this community.

01/02/2020 - I trimmed this post quite a bit to remove some details on my history with LC's and the details on how i came across this particular truck, because it was a long read and probably boring to most people .

The build:
I'll start off by saying that everyone's idea of an "ultimate build" is different. Instead of taking the standard approach, as i did with my first 80 - a couple of thousands pounds of extra weight, big heavy tires, questionable suspension mods, I've decided to do something different this time.

80-series had all sorts of cool options in various markets depending on the target demographic, but none of the versions they sold "had it all". So I will put together an 80-series that Toyota should've built, using all these factory options from different markets in one truck.

The idea with this truck is to make it into an ultra light, ultra reliable adventure/overlanding rig. There will be NO aftermarket parts on this truck of questionable quality, and all major systems will be either overhauled completely or replaced with new OEM parts to bring it to basically "new" condition, mechanically. Any modifications that add weight will be:
A) Non permanent
B) Made from aerospace grade materials (such as titanium alloy and carbon fiber) to reduce the weight gain to absolute minimum possible.

As a starting point i will be using a 1996 US-spec 80 series that i imported from west coast that has absolutely zero rust. The truck will NEVER be driven in the winter, so it will remain completely rust free.

Here's the outline of the major things i have planned:

Stage one (planning to complete this in the next couple of months):
- 1HD-FT swap with FTE Turbo, Starter and Alternator - DONE
- H152F swap, which i believe will be the very first such swap in North America (possibly the world) - DONE
- Factory e-lockers retrofitted using 100% OEM parts. - DONE
- Factory console fridge/icemaker retrofitted. I believe this will also be the first time it was done successfully into a North American truck. Not 100% sure on this - I've seen some posts suggesting otherwise, but im yet to see any proof. - DONE
- Custom 3" stainless turbo-back exhaust. - DONE
- Set of 255/85r16 shoes. - DONE
- Some base-lining/maintenance that is too boring to mention here. - DONE

Stage two (most of this work is 90%+ complete as of Dec 2021)
- Factory sub fuel tank
- Factory PTO winch using the HF2AV t-case. (most factory PTO-equipped 80's used the HF1 part time case and the 1HZ engine, but i REALLY wanted the HF2AV. These are extremely rare to find with the PTO access plate). I originally planned this as a stage 1 mod, but i decided to rebuild the entire T-Case with under-drive low range gearing, and this would delay the stage one pretty significantly which i didn't want to do), so it got bumped to stage 2. Again, this will be the first such swap into a North American 80, to the best of my knowledge.
- "baselining" on steroids. Which basically includes rebuilding or replacing every single major system in the truck with OEM parts to bring it to "new" spec.
- New leather upholstery with cooled and heated seats. - DONE

Stage three

- Custom bumpers and sliders made from Gr5 titanium (Yes, you read that right). As i said earlier - my main philosophy for the build is ultimate dependability and utility. Adding 1000# of steel doesn't go together well with that philosophy, so i want armor that will offer protection without increasing weight significantly.
- Sleeping platform/drawer system made from a combination of titanium and carbon fiber.
- Added sound/heat insulation, quality speakers. - DONE
- Modified or retrofitted from another Toyota steering wheel with integrated volume and bluetooth controls.
- Intercooler
- Will update this list as time goes on



Huge thanks goes to @Rock40 for his amazing build thread with lots of info that has been very helpful to me. As well as @CycloSteve , @gnarlynick2072 , @mtntoys and many others for their numerous informative posts.

Unfortunately i dont have many "before" pictures of the truck. Here's my father helping me load it when i picked it up. I bought it from a lady that was moving from Washington state to Georgia and the truck overheated and seized half way (in Minnesota)
20171208_095643.jpg


Here's the cucumber back home at the company of an LX450 parts truck, my "built" HDJ81 (now sold) and my daily driver 3rd gen 4runner.
20180228_150624.jpg





Out comes the old drivetrain
20190421_172358.jpg



My daughter Kate sizing up the 1HD-FT
20190705_153910.jpg


And the brand new H152F
20190303_221038.jpg
 
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If it helps, 360 Degree gearboxs (here in Aus) can also supply an overdrive 5th for an H151F to lower RPM in 5th only. H151F as you'd know was the factory fit behind 1HDFT's. Not sure what bellhousing config you have on the box above but it sure looks purty :) With the starter in the middle of the V yeah it looks like a VDJ config for sure.
 

Grumpy Troll

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This really doesn't need to be said, but wow! that's an awesome story, and a real gem you've got there. Truly appreciate the time you've put into detailing the work done and planned. I'd really like to be able to put a diesel into my cruiser but I don't think just following build threads I'd have the nads to do it. giddy up!
 

TurboDennis

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If it helps, 360 Degree gearboxs (here in Aus) can also supply an overdrive 5th for an H151F to lower RPM in 5th only. H151F as you'd know was the factory fit behind 1HDFT's. Not sure what bellhousing config you have on the box above but it sure looks purty :) With the starter in the middle of the V yeah it looks like a VDJ config for sure.

There is also a 5th gear kit sold by Terrain Tamer, i believe. I knew about those kits, but there were a few problems with them for me:
1) Replacing the counter shaft (which is part of those kits) would mean that i would have brand new gears on the counter shaft meshing with worn gears in 1-3rd gears. This could (and probably would) lead to less than ideal gear contact between those gears.
2) Didnt want to go with aftermarket parts when original Toyota is available.
3) H152 also has the shorter first gear (compared to H151), which was an extra reason to go with H152 over modified H151.

A regular H150/H151 bellhousing (with starter on the left side) bolts up to H152. The bellhousing on the picture is the original one for 1VD that the tranny came with (it's for sale BTW, if someone needs it)
 
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TurboDennis

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Lol at titanium bumper

C'mon now. Seriously? That's a horrible idea

And why is that a horrible idea? Other than the obvious (cost). Aluminum bumpers are popular on 4x4's in many parts of the world. Aluminum's strength to weight ratio is superior to steel... Meaning you can make the same strength bumper that weights A LOT less. Or a much stronger bumper at the same weight as steel. Titanium's strength to weight ratio is even better than aluminum (the weldable varieties). I see no reason not to try it (if i have the ability and motivation).
 

nukegoat

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And why is that a horrible idea? Other than the obvious (cost). Aluminum bumpers are popular on 4x4's in many parts of the world. Aluminum's strength to weight ratio is superior to steel... Meaning you can make the same strength bumper that weights A LOT less. Or a much stronger bumper at the same weight as steel. Titanium's strength to weight ratio is even better than aluminum (the weldable varieties). I see no reason not to try it (if i have the ability and motivation).

Strength to weight, sure. That's an efficiency tradeoff between competing parameters. What about another tradeoff? Cost vs benefit?
 

TurboDennis

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Sorry, I do t have time to read all that right now.

Are you putting in rear A/C?

Do you have the correct dash and lever for the PTO?

Cheers

Not putting in the rear A/C. I thought about it, and could get all the parts needed to put it in, but i dont plan to ever have more than 1 passenger in the truck's back seat, so there's no use for it. The console fridge lines that i have do have the tee for the rear A/C, and if i change my mind i can always add it later.


And yes, i do have ALL the factory PTO parts including the lever. All US-spec LC's came with the "PTO dash", i believe. At least i know mine did. Thats what the weird shape opening is for in the lower dash, on the bottom under the hand throttle hole.
 
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Excited for this, love a good restomod. Curious what you do to the suspension to make it ultimate travel companion, not that it isnt already in factory spec but the world has had some advancements since then.
 
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Cool build for sure, have fun with it! 👍
 
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I think if you really want to use titanium for bumpers go for it. Just be aware that Grade 2 doesn't really benefit you over 6061 aluminum and Grade 5 is tougher to find in sheet. I would want 3/16" and a 48"x50" plate is about $3500. If your hookup could get you something that size for 1/2 the cost it would be an interesting project.
 

jomelo

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Following along. I bought some interior trim pieces from you off the LX. They are going in my 80 series which is also on a similar timeframe for a HDFT swap. We are in the middle of tearing the engine down, cleaning everything up and going back with new bearings and gaskets.
 

TurboDennis

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Excited for this, love a good restomod. Curious what you do to the suspension to make it ultimate travel companion, not that it isnt already in factory spec but the world has had some advancements since then.
Not 100% decided on suspension yet. Sometime during the "stage 2" i will get brand new OEM shocks and springs.
Then later i will think real hard about what i want to do with suspension. My main concern is that i personally have had bad experiences with most of the "top" aftermarket shock brands. I've had billsteins, OME's, ranchos develop leaks after a few years. All aftermarket shocks and springs rust FAST when exposed to road salt. Much faster than OEM. (Not really a concern for me, since the truck won't ever be driven in the winter, but i think it's a testament to the overall low quality of the aftermarket parts). This truck still has the original, 23 year old shocks that are 100% leak free and work GREAT. Im perfectly happy with how the 80 series rides on brand new OEM shocks, springs and bushings. Again, my main goal for the truck is ultimate dependability and reliability and OEM can not be beat in this department. At the same time, i do want some lift (2" at most), so i will need to revisit this later.

I think if you really want to use titanium for bumpers go for it. Just be aware that Grade 2 doesn't really benefit you over 6061 aluminum and Grade 5 is tougher to find in sheet. I would want 3/16" and a 48"x50" plate is about $3500. If your hookup could get you something that size for 1/2 the cost it would be an interesting project.
I have a friend that works at a plant where they do a lot of titanium work. I would not be able to get 48"x50" plates, but i can get various size off cuts for basically free (just shipping cost from EU), so cost is not a factor. I believe most of it is grade 2 though. I am leaning towards aluminum just because its much easier to work with. But having a titanium bumper would certainly add some "cool factor" to the truck. I won't be starting on the bumpers for at least a year and a half from now, so i have plenty of time to think it over.

Following along. I bought some interior trim pieces from you off the LX. They are going in my 80 series which is also on a similar timeframe for a HDFT swap. We are in the middle of tearing the engine down, cleaning everything up and going back with new bearings and gaskets.

I've been following your thread as well! This week i will also be doing a partial teardown of the engine to replace most of the gaskets as well. The engine i'm using has 169K km and is in remarkable shape, so i won't be pulling the head at this point. I might do it at a later time though. Any chance you have a part number for a LHD, NON-EGR, 1HD-FT main engine wiring harness? The parts catalogs i use dont say whether the harness is EGR or Non-EGR.
 
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Not 100% decided on suspension yet. Sometime during the "stage 2" i will get brand new OEM shocks and springs.
Then later i will think real hard about what i want to do with suspension. My main concern is that i personally have had bad experiences with most of the "top" aftermarket shock brands. I've had billsteins, OME's, ranchos develop leaks after a few years. All aftermarket shocks and springs rust FAST when exposed to road salt. Much faster than OEM. (Not really a concern for me, since the truck won't ever be driven in the winter, but i think it's a testament to the overall low quality of the aftermarket parts). This truck still has the original, 23 year old shocks that are 100% leak free and work GREAT. Im perfectly happy with how the 80 series rides on brand new OEM shocks, springs and bushings. Again, my main goal for the truck is ultimate dependability and reliability and OEM can not be beat in this department. At the same time, i do want some lift (2" at most), so i will need to revisit this later.


I have a friend that works at a plant where they do a lot of titanium work. I would not be able to get 48"x50" plates, but i can get various size off cuts for basically free (just shipping cost from EU), so cost is not a factor. I believe most of it is grade 2 though. I am leaning towards aluminum just because its much easier to work with. But having a titanium bumper would certainly add some "cool factor" to the truck. I won't be starting on the bumpers for at least a year and a half from now, so i have plenty of time to think it over.



I've been following your thread as well! This week i will also be doing a partial teardown of the engine to replace most of the gaskets as well. The engine i'm using has 169K km and is in remarkable shape, so i won't be pulling the head at this point. I will do it at a later time though, during the "stage 2" of the build. Any chance you have a part number for a LHD, NON-EGR, 1HD-FT main engine wiring harness? The parts catalogs i use dont say whether the harness is EGR or Non-EGR.
I had this problem, as in I lacked the LHD harness altogether. As far as I know, it's NLA but you might be able to find a used one somewhere. I had to mate my hacked RHD engine harness into the factory gasser harness. Not fun, the worst part of the swap quite frankly
 
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An inspiring read about some cool ideas. I can't touch that sort of stuff, but I do enjoy reading about it. Manual trans and PTO winches go together in my book. Too bad there's not been much support for that in a few decades to say the least in NA...I at least thought it could've been done on my old 55 but never could find enough info in one spot back in the days before the internet to install a PTO. So this will be especially entertaining.
 

AussieHJCruza

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Damn, this is my dream truck (but with the steering wheel on the right side) - subscribed for an interesting build!
@Indestructible 47 check this!
 

TurboDennis

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I had this problem, as in I lacked the LHD harness altogether. As far as I know, it's NLA but you might be able to find a used one somewhere. I had to mate my hacked RHD engine harness into the factory gasser harness. Not fun, the worst part of the swap quite frankly

I actually started planning the wiring stage of the motor yesterday (the last question mark in "stage 1" of the build, at this point) and ran into a dilemma.
My FT is a JDM NON-EGR motor from a truck originally equipped with A/T.

There are 3 routes i see, and i don't particularly love any of them.

1) Ideally i would prefer to buy a brand new, 1HD-FT, LHD, MTM, NON-EGR harness. The problem is that i don't think they ever made them this way. I spent a couple of hours digging through parts diagrams, and i believe FT's only came without the factory EGR in RHD markets. There are significant differences between the EGR and non-EGR harnesses. LOTS of extra wires and connectors on EGR models, different connectors on dash side, and locations of some connectors on the engine side are different (the glow screen for example, which i intend to use in 100% factory config). The EGR harness is discontinued, but there are still a few kicking around in some warehouses in Japan which i can get. However if i need to trim down, re-pin and lengthen some wires on it, i might as well go with option #2
2) Use the existing RHD JDM non-EGR wiring harness (which is complete, uncut) and extend it for LHD truck (and trim the extra A/T wires)
3) Get a brand new 1HD-T harness for LHD, MTM. This would require less modifications to use on 1HD-FT than option #1. Mainly the glow plug/screen "conversion". But again, i dont want to spend a ton of money on a harness that is not correct just to hack it up.

At this point im leaning towards option #2

Damn, this is my dream truck (but with the steering wheel on the right side) - subscribed for an interesting build!
@Indestructible 47 check this!
Steering wheel on the RIGHT (as in CORRECT) side is what will make this truck great, compared to all the HDJ81's that are flooding the local markets these days. :D
 
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AussieHJCruza

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Steering wheel on the RIGHT (as in CORRECT) side is what will make this truck great, compared to all the HDJ81's that are flooding the local markets these days. :D

:D Sorry, I couldn't resist! On another note, if you need any diesel-specific stuff and are having trouble getting it, let me know - glad to help.
 

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