Smashed 1988 Toyota Pickup Gets a New Lease on Life

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Wrecked 1988 Toyota Pickup Front

The restoration of this ’88 Toyota pickup is proof that there might be hope for your wrecked truck.

In many cases, a 1988 Toyota 4×4 pickup with significant body damage and a bent frame would be a part-out, but forum member 86 SR5 4×4 has turned a badly-wrecked truck back into a great daily driver and off-road today. While the OP plans to eventually make this an Ivan Stewart race truck tribute, his first project was to get it back on the road and he chronicled that process in the Build-Up section.

The Introduction

When the OP first introduced us to his 1988 Toyota 4×4 pickup project, he pointed out that the truck probably needed more work than it would be worth when done. He also included a list of the items that needed to be replaced along with including some “before” pictures.

I bought this 88 base 4×4 pickup after it was wrecked and would of been for parts had anyone else got it. I tear down a ton of worn out and tired 4runners and pickups that need way more work than they are worth but I try to save them as much as possible. Even tho this truck reads 367k and the body is only decent I’ve decided to revive it and make it my shop truck and eventually an Ivan Stewart replica.

Here is a list of damaged parts:
Bumper
Hood
Fenders
Core support
Inner fenders
A/C lines
A/C Condenser
Radiator
Fan shroud
Fan
Water pump
Steering lines
Power Steering pump pulley
Fuse box
Crossmember

When the truck rear ended another truck it mashed the front so hard it pushed the radiator into the fan and pressed the water pump in to where it couldn’t spin. The ps pump pulley was crinkled and fuse box was broke off all 3 mounts.

To make part replacement easier ive decided to convert most the accessories to 4runner style including the a/c condenser, compressor, lines, core support, ps lines, etc.

Wrecked 1988 Toyota Driver Side

Fixing the Body and Engine

The OP began the restoration of this 1988 Toyota 4×4 pickup by tearing off the mangled front end.

Once the sheet metal and the core support were out of the way, he was able to remove the damaged engine components before mocking up the new inner fender wells and the core support.

1988 Toyota Front Metal Removed

He removed those “new” components to install the cross member, then he sent the truck off to the frame shop. Once it was seemingly straightened out, the OP re-installed the inner fenders, the core support, the various engine components and the headlights – meaning that he could drive his partially-restored 1988 Toyota pickup around a bit.

1988 Toyota Pickup Frame Fixed 1

When putting the final touches on the body, the OP found that there was still some frame work needed, so headed back there for some final adjustments. When completed, the truck drove nice straight and looked great.

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