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85 Xtra Cab Build/ Restoration 25k

Old 04-23-2019, 05:39 AM
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85 Xtra Cab Build/ Restoration 25k

Long time reader, First time posting.
Since moving out of the city and back to Maine about a year ago I've been looking for a first or second generation Pickup to make my daily driver. Here in New England older Toyotas are hard to find for sale period and if you do they have rotten frames and 300k. This week I finally found and bought a solid axle 1985 Xtra Cab DLX. The bed is almost totally rotted out and fiberglassed over but the frame and cab are solid and the truck has its original 22r with only 25,866 original miles on the clock. I almost couldn't believe it but I was provided with all of the proper documentation to prove it. Im going to try to document as much of this journey as I can. Thanks for reading!


How I bought it








One owner. Came with all of the documentation and registration papers back to 1985


First thing I did was take off the plow. Suspension is a lot happier


Second thing I did was get a flat

Wheels and tires coming soon.
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hydrabyte (04-23-2019)
Old 04-23-2019, 03:12 PM
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Welcome!

I thought my 95,000 mile truck had low mileage.

I hope you don't find too much rust!

That bed and tailgate has seen better days!

What are your plans for the truck? Are you keeping it stock or doing a "resto-mod"?

I will be following along.

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SomedayJ (04-24-2019)
Old 04-24-2019, 02:03 AM
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A lot of people really did those original steel wheels, you might consider having them blasted and powder coated.

Interior looks great, an uncracked dash is pretty rare. Looks like a nice truck.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:04 AM
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I L O V E T H E S E C O N D G E N X T R A CAB ! ! !

I got our 4Runner because I couldn't find a xtra cab in a reasonable good shape after years of searching for one.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:02 AM
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Thanks for your comments everyone. My plan so far is to keep it relatively stock (no flatbed or giant lift) and get it back to being a really reliable daily driver with a few mods for handling and drivability. It might get a small lift at some point but I have several other things I want to adress first such as rust. As for wheels and tires I just picked up a set of American racing steel wheels with essentially new 265/70/r15s and some marlin crawler spacers as a package deal for next to nothing. Does anyone know anything about these being hub centric or lug centric? This will at least get me rolling until I can figure out what Im doing in the long run. Someday I would love to get the original steel wheels powder coated but Im trying not to blow my budget all at once.

Last edited by noahbrossman; 04-24-2019 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:10 PM
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New wheels and tires. Not ideal but they're reliable
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:24 PM
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Great score! Will be following your progress.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:58 AM
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Truck died in traffic and wouldn't hold a charge. The 10+ year old battery and corroded terminals just weren't making a solid connection. Bought a new battery and some cheap terminals and replaced them in the pouring rain.


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Old 05-01-2019, 06:01 AM
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Next I changed the air filter and cleaned the squirrels out.




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Old 05-01-2019, 08:53 AM
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That thing is sweet! Like you I'm in the north east and yeah they are hard to come by without a rotted out frame!
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:53 PM
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Good call on the old battery and corroded battery terminals. They were not looking too good.

That air filter looks like it has seen some action..... yuck!

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Old 05-01-2019, 03:37 PM
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one reason i left the east coast was the rust. When I moved back to the PNW I had a 3 year old Tacoma and a 4 year old pontiac van. I dumped them both.

I admire you tackling a project like this..I saw 25k on your odometer and thought it was broken until i saw the plates..

Good luck
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:03 PM
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Today I got to work on derusting the frame rails. When I bought the truck I went around the entire frame with a ball pean hammer and an ice pick trying to find any holes or soft spots and found none. That being said pretty much everything was covered in a good deal of surface rust. I started by wire wheeling all of the scale away and then brushed on a heavy coat of Naval Jelly (its what i had). Next I plan on coating the entire frame with some kind of rust reformer and then a top coat. Any suggestions? Once I get the bed off Im also going to clean the inside of the frame and treat it with some Eastwoods internal frame coating.









The front quarter of the frame is in much better shape than the rest. It seems to either have original paint or have been recoated at some point.


Yes I have new shocks on the way

Last edited by noahbrossman; 05-08-2019 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:09 PM
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On to the bed.... Its toast. This is why bedliner's and New England winters don't mix!





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Old 05-07-2019, 02:04 PM
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Ive been driving this truck daily for about a month and it runs and drives really well. The biggest issue is obviously rust. As there isn't any major structural rust except for the bed Ive been concentrating on sourcing a new one. I really don't want to do a flat bed and a new fiberglass bed costs more than I paid for the truck. After searching high and low Ive found 3 other options within 500 miles of me.
1. Rust free bed from Arizona currently located in Vermont. Guy is asking $2500
2. Mostly rust free bed with slight body damage located in Connecticut $500
3. (probably my best option) Solid 2wd/Canadian style bed with only minor surface rust located an hour from me in Maine. $250
Let me know what you think and if you have experience putting a 2wd/ early model/ Import bed on a second gen 4wd Pickup. Thanks

Only minor surface rust. No rot


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Old 05-07-2019, 02:12 PM
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Also dropped the spare tire just to get it out of the way. Doesn't look like its been touched since 85 by anything other than squirrels.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:18 PM
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looks great! I have an 85 extra cab too, love the thing to death. No rust coming from here in Arizona
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:52 AM
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Today I replaced the rear shocks. They were doing literally nothing. Im still waiting on the front shocks to arrive in the mail.




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Old 05-14-2019, 06:07 AM
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Spent about 8 hours under the truck and made significant progress on treating the surface rust on the frame. The process so far has been wire wheel the scale off, treat with naval jelly, rinse with water, treat with degreaser, rinse again, dry with compressed air and then treat with aerosol rust reformer. Ill be giving it a top coat at some point. Its not perfect but significantly better than it was. I also treated the rear axle housing and diff cover while I was at it. Not going to bother doing anything to the bed as Im hopefully replacing the whole thing.







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Old 05-14-2019, 06:11 AM
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Watching the progress . I love my 85 too but its a utilitarian rig for offroad and hunting now so I mainly concentrate on function over form these days . Might I suggest triple double checking the wiring and look into making better grounds . Especially for the head light stuff . Mine shorted out and screwed up my harness . Im shopping around for a used one now . Its really a bummer .
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