What did Toyota get right with the 80 series frame? (1 Viewer)

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Oct 6, 2018
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Sounds similar to the first gen Tacoma frames. The c-channel area from the rear leaf springs back is usually where the rot starts; usually from the inside out. Although I don't know for sure, Toyota really seems to have been more diligent about rust-proofing on the 80 series, perhaps due to customer complaints on how fast the older trucks rusted, both on the frames and especially the sheet metal as well. Maybe they also used thicker steel to make them more corrosion-resistant.

Ironically the 100 series undercarriage appears to rust more aggressively than its predecessor, at least from what I've seen. I'm not sure on the 200 series.
I couldn’t agree with you more on all fronts. I was with Toyota when they signed the multi-billion dollar frame recall on the tacomas. It was a weird time and Dana was made very aware that they were under investigation for their “galvanization” methods. That’s a whole campfire story in itself.

I have seen so many 60’s around the Midwest and almost all of them have a good scale of rust at the minimum. I am not sure exactly how Toyota managed to increase the corrosion resistance of the 80 so well, but I’d put my money down in saying it’s the most rust resistant Toyota truck frame ever made. The 100 loves to rust right above the rear axle where water pools at the crossmember. The 200 seems to hold up much better as far as a rail rotting, but the damn KDSS valve assembly and all of the bolts that go into the frame love to snap off no matter how careful you are. The 80 is far superior to work on and how well it holds up.
 

Ozark Bushwalker

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I couldn’t agree with you more on all fronts. I was with Toyota when they signed the multi-billion dollar frame recall on the tacomas. It was a weird time and Dana was made very aware that they were under investigation for their “galvanization” methods. That’s a whole campfire story in itself.

I have seen so many 60’s around the Midwest and almost all of them have a good scale of rust at the minimum. I am not sure exactly how Toyota managed to increase the corrosion resistance of the 80 so well, but I’d put my money down in saying it’s the most rust resistant Toyota truck frame ever made. The 100 loves to rust right above the rear axle where water pools at the crossmember. The 200 seems to hold up much better as far as a rail rotting, but the damn KDSS valve assembly and all of the bolts that go into the frame love to snap off no matter how careful you are. The 80 is far superior to work on and how well it holds up.
Yeah the 80 series has its quirks but in many ways it's the pinnacle of Toyota's engineering and design IMO, at least when it comes to off-road oriented models.

The 1G Tacoma frame fiasco always puzzled me, since the sheet metal on those trucks was greatly improved compared to the older Hiluxes/Pickups when it came to rust resistance, but the frames seemed to be a downgrade in quality compared to the Pre-Taco chassis. Those still rusted out, but AFAIK were still less likely to start delaminating inside the frame rails, and were at least a bit thicker and overbuilt.

I'm not sure what exactly was the cause of the poor corrosion-resistance on the J60 and early Tacoma frame; poor finishing practices perhaps, or impurities in the steel?
 
Joined
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Nova Scotia
I'll add my anecdotal experience to this thread, as I live in Atlantic Canada and the mix of salty air, humid climate, and road salt (and that nasty brine solution) destroy our cars in short order.

The only 80 series sold here were LX450's in 1996/97, and not many people bough them, so there's not many around. There are still a few original Nova Scotia LX450's kicking around that I've seen, they appear to be in good shape overall but may be winter stored (who knows).

Any Toyota truck from before 2008 that's still on the road here is bound to be in sad shape. The Tacoma rust issue persists well into the 2nd generation. The 90's Toyota trucks and 4runners (2nd and 3rd gen) are all but gone now. The few that remain have been significantly undercoated and are still on their 2nd or 3rd body/frame patch job. My roommate has one that's been undercoated its whole life and had a mid-life rust refit/POR15 job, and he's still fighting rotten doglegs and the frame is a year or two from needing a patch.

I have now had 3 parts 80's.

One that spent its life travelling between Halifax NS and New Jersey (300k miles). No rust preventative or undercoating that I can see. Body was pretty rough, but the frame, except the rear bumper crossmember, was surprisingly decent. A bit of fur, but no holes and no rot.

One had 190k miles and came over from California early in its life and lived out the rest of its days in NS (until 2014 or so). Looked like it had used motor oil sprayed under it at one point. Again, body was rough, but frame (again except rear crossmember) was decent with no holes or rot.

Last one was from Alberta, 330k km, wheeled hard, no undercoating. Doors on that one were toast (holes from side mouldings spread) but body was otherwise good except the upper hatch. Frame on that one was really good, just needed a sandblast and prime/paint.

Finally a friend of mine saved an 80 that had lived 15 years in NS with no undercoating from being scrapped - needed a couple patches in the rear quarters, but the frame was fine. He wired wheeled a couple areas and painted them, look underneath now and you'd never know.

Those four examples have convinced me that the 80 series frame is much better at resisting rust than the other Toyota 4x4 models we got here.
 

Ozark Bushwalker

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I'll add my anecdotal experience to this thread, as I live in Atlantic Canada and the mix of salty air, humid climate, and road salt (and that nasty brine solution) destroy our cars in short order.

The only 80 series sold here were LX450's in 1996/97, and not many people bough them, so there's not many around. There are still a few original Nova Scotia LX450's kicking around that I've seen, they appear to be in good shape overall but may be winter stored (who knows).

Any Toyota truck from before 2008 that's still on the road here is bound to be in sad shape. The Tacoma rust issue persists well into the 2nd generation. The 90's Toyota trucks and 4runners (2nd and 3rd gen) are all but gone now. The few that remain have been significantly undercoated and are still on their 2nd or 3rd body/frame patch job. My roommate has one that's been undercoated its whole life and had a mid-life rust refit/POR15 job, and he's still fighting rotten doglegs and the frame is a year or two from needing a patch.

I have now had 3 parts 80's.

One that spent its life travelling between Halifax NS and New Jersey (300k miles). No rust preventative or undercoating that I can see. Body was pretty rough, but the frame, except the rear bumper crossmember, was surprisingly decent. A bit of fur, but no holes and no rot.

One had 190k miles and came over from California early in its life and lived out the rest of its days in NS (until 2014 or so). Looked like it had used motor oil sprayed under it at one point. Again, body was rough, but frame (again except rear crossmember) was decent with no holes or rot.

Last one was from Alberta, 330k km, wheeled hard, no undercoating. Doors on that one were toast (holes from side mouldings spread) but body was otherwise good except the upper hatch. Frame on that one was really good, just needed a sandblast and prime/paint.

Finally a friend of mine saved an 80 that had lived 15 years in NS with no undercoating from being scrapped - needed a couple patches in the rear quarters, but the frame was fine. He wired wheeled a couple areas and painted them, look underneath now and you'd never know.

Those four examples have convinced me that the 80 series frame is much better at resisting rust than the other Toyota 4x4 models we got here.
Do you see any 40 or 60 series there in NS? I bet in that environment they would completely dissolve unless religiously undercoated and stored in the winter.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
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234
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Nova Scotia
Do you see any 40 or 60 series there in NS? I bet in that environment they would completely dissolve unless religiously undercoated and stored in the winter.
The only place I’ve personally seen any that didn’t obviously come from away, they were in stages of severe rot in a backyard.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
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Nova Scotia
As well, I should add - my rust-free 80 series has been undercoated in Rust Check and stored the 3 winters it’s been here.

But, I’m trying a new (to me) type of Cosmoline undercoating and going to try running it this winter. It’s a risk, but this cosmoline stuff resists wash-off like crazy and I laid it on thick. If it shows signs of deterioration in the spring, I’ll discontinue winter use.

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