1982 Toyota Longbed Two-Phase Project

By -

1982 Toyota Longbed Pickup

The owner of this yellow Toyota pickup built it for fun and then restored it to a factory finish.

Our newest featured build from the forum is a unique one in the fact that this 1982 Toyota Longbed was kind of rebuilt twice. Owner and forum member 82YOTA14 originally set out to build a fun driver on- and off-road, but after a few years, the same truck underwent a second build as the OP restored it to like-new condition inside and out.

The result of the first step of the project was a cool classic off-road toy and the result of the second phase is a stunning show truck that can handle the roughest off-road conditions.

The Introduction

When the OP first introduced us to his 1982 Toyota Longbed project, he shared some pictures in its original state while providing us with some basic details:

I recently bought a 1982 Toyota Longbed as a project. This is a picture of it the day I got it. The entire bed was rusted through and the tailgate wouldn’t even open. The guy I bought it from sprayed black spray paint everywhere he saw rust. The interior of the truck is in pretty good shape and it came with stuff already done to it. It has Detroit Lockers front and rear with an auxiliary gas tank. It also has 4.88’s.

1981 Toyota Rusty

The Beginning of the Build

At first, the OP worked to clean up his 1982 Toyota, acquiring a new bed and painting it yellow to match the rest of the truck, along with shining up the cab and painting some of the black trim pieces such as the grille and the headlight bezels.

1981 Toyota New Bed

Once he had the truck looking good enough, the OP took to beefing up the ’82 Toyota for improving off-roading abilities. This included a front and rear suspension swap, and while he had the front axle out, he rebuilt the gears and painted it up to look a little nicer under the front bumper. He also added some interesting racing-style seats, at which point, the truck was ready for some fun in the snow – a good first test for the upgraded suspension.

1981 Toyota in Mud

The next step of the off-road build was to cut the fenders to make room for the new off-road bumpers, complete with a front-mounted winch. At that point, it was time for some off-road testing with some friends and after flexing the suspension in the mud a bit, the OP also bought new, more aggressive tires.

A New Engine

After spending some time enjoying the 1982 Toyota Longbed in that state, the OP decided that he wants more power, so he removed the 22R in favor of a 3RZ out of a 2002 model. Before putting the newer engine in, he removed the emission components and added a header, increasing the output and the exhaust note of the new mill.

1981 Toyota 3RZ Engine

The new engine went in and while rewiring the engine bay for the new powerplant, the OP pulled the dash out and did some wiring work in the cab as well. Once the wiring issues were all squared away, the ’82 was back on the road and the trails with all-new levels of power.

1981 Toyota 3RZ Show off

Unfortunately, while storming through the woods and enjoying the 1982 Toyota Longbed without with the late-model engine, the OP broke the frame. That set off a chain of events that led to a full frame-off restoration of the truck.

1981 Toyota Cracked Frame

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Comments ()