Classic Toyota Pickup Saved by Some Expert Rust Repair

By -

1980 Toyota Pickup

Badly rusted floor pans threatened to end this Toyota truck’s days on the road. Now it’s looking as good as new!

No matter how inherently tough they may be, old Toyota trucks are often lost to the perils of time. Things like rust, a million miles, and endless hard work eventually get the best of any pickup, Toyota or not. And that’s exactly where the fine folks at Yota Tech come in. There you’ll find master craftsmen like nor_al_67, who recently did the dirty work necessary to keep his rusty 1980 Toyota pickup on the road.

“About to start fixing the rust in my 1980 4×4. Driver’s side is toast, I’ll patch the passenger side. Won’t look pretty, but hopefully it’ll be strong.”

Judging by the pictures of the damage, toast might be an understatement.

1980 Toyota Pickup

Despite the daunting odds, nothing was going to stop the OP from getting the job done.

“I’ve cut out sections of the passenger side floor pan. The rest is solid and will give a good foundation for the patches. The seat mounting point end was pretty rusted, so I cut out that piece. Will rebuild it and then weld back on.”

Things ran into a snag, however, when the OP couldn’t find a set of floor pans to fit his Toyota. So he did what any good fabricator would do – he bought a set for a Ford Bronco and modified them to fit!

“I used posterboard to make a rough pattern for the new pan. After a lot of cutting and tweaking here’s the driver’s side pan. Note the exhaust heat shield, attached with 4 bolts that weld to the bottom of the pan underneath the gas pedal.”

1980 Toyota Pickup

With that hard work out of the way, the rest seemed pretty easy.

“I’ve finished welding and grinding, sprayed a coat of self-etching primer, top coat, and started the seam sealer.” 

And while he was at it, the OP went ahead and made another welcome improvement.

“I did the gas pedal conversion that others on this site have performed. Used a 2000 Toyota Solara gas pedal. I fabricated my own bracket that bolts to the floor with 1/8″ metal. Cut the pivot shaft and switched sides. I took about 2″ off the end of the Solara pedal that holds the cable and reverse sides of the end. Lastly, I used a propane torch and bent the bottom towards the floor. I used the Solara spring and welded a little nipple for it to hook on the pedal. This is a nice conversion and makes the pedal work smoothly.”

1980 Toyota Pickup

The next step was to get a new vinyl floor mat to replace the tatty old one. With that and a freshly recovered seat, the interior of this old Toyota looked just like new again.

1980 Toyota Pickup

And that’s where this nice old project stands as of now. But you can bet that the OP isn’t finished just yet. So be sure and head over here to keep up with future progress!

Join the YotaTech forums now!

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.

Comments ()