1993 Toyota Pickup Undergoes Amazing Transformation

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Toyota Pickup

A giant hole in the engine block and loads of rust aren’t enough to scare off this Yota Tech member!

When you’re talking about Toyota trucks, 100,000+ miles is nothing. In most cases, these trucks runs for many hundreds of thousands of miles before any sort of major mechanical work is needed. But when wrenchtech got his hands on a 1993 Toyota Pickup sporting just over 100k, that wasn’t exactly the case. In fact, it sounds like someone abused the poor Xtra Cab. But on the bright side, that probably means the OP got a pretty good deal!

“1993 Toyota Xtra Cab 4×4 DLX, 3.0 V6, five speed, with only 113,000 miles on the clock. This truck sat around for 10 years with a blown engine. It passed through the hands of at least one other owner who hoped that it would be an easy fix. After some half-hearted attempts to get it running, he gave up and sold it to me. I looked at it and noticed that just behind the air conditioning compressor there was a gaping hole in the cylinder block where a connecting rod had exited the engine.”

It takes a special kind of person to throw a rod on an engine like this, but we digress. On the bright side, we’re happy that a Yota Tech member got their hands on it, and work began in haste! Unfortunately, once the OP tore into things he discovered even more problems.

“A couple of weeks ago I pulled the engine out of the truck and a week ago I began to tear it down. I found not one broken rod, but three! I don’t know what caused all this mayhem, but it is what it is. My hope for this engine is that I can salvage the low mileage cylinder heads off of it to go on to my ailing 1989 4Runner.

I have another engine, out of a 1994 4Runner, with 170,000 miles and a bad head gasket. Next week, I will begin to tear that down with the hope that some new bearings, a cylinder hone job, new rings and new heads will get me a reliable engine to give this truck a long new life.

As far as the body and frame go there is rust. You have to expect that kind of thing from a truck that has spent its entire life here in the heart of the rust belt. Right now I think I can get it under control without too much trouble and get it looking good again.”

Toyota Pickup

The first order of business involved yanking the old, nearly destroyed drivetrain.

“I was skeptical about pulling out engine, transmission and transfer case as one unit. I had visions of having trouble getting it out over the radiator core support. But just as others on this forum had told me, I attached a come-along from the center of the hoist to the tale of the transfer case and was able to control the angle of the combination perfectly. I can say with confidence that I did not put a scratch on that vehicle during this process.”

Teardown on both engines soon followed, and so did some good news. The heads on the blown engine were somehow undamaged, making them usable for the OP’s 4Runner. But as you can see, the same can’t be said for the block.

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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