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1981 Short Bed Build

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Old 06-20-2017, 08:29 AM   #1
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Jblack91's 1981 Short Bed Build

Edit: I am following this video series to guide me through the axle rebuild. I'm putting it up front so others might reference it easily.



Hello everyone, first post! I have been lurking the forum for a little while now, I finally moved on a truck to start messing around with and figured I would post a build thread for anyone interested but mostly just so I can track my own progress as it goes along.

A little bit about the truck:

1981 SR5 Short bed, 22r, 5 speed. Truck seems to be almost 100% stock and original but very rough. I got it for 800 bucks so it's kind of par for the course. Typical rust in all the usual spots, the frame rust is particularly bad where the cab meets the bed, that will have to be addressed before I do any wheeling or use it heavily.

The goal for this project is primarily to make it a solid wheeling/hunting kind of rig but also somewhat restore it to a functional level of niceness. Not going for a show vehicle by any means. I am planning to keep mostly the original engine and drive train, probably going to lift it for 35's and run detroits front and rear when the money gets there. For now just kind of tuning it up and making it somewhat reliable.

The truck supposedly sat for at least 3 years. The original Aisin carb seems to work good enough for now, going to do a smog delete and Weber carb in the future as well. Trying to make it as simple and clean under the hood as possible for easy trail repair and diagnosis. Pics to come and more to come later, that's all for now. Looking forward to meeting some folks in the Yota world, this is my first toyota pickup. My wife and I drive Toyotas as dailies but I usually wheeled Jeeps.

Last edited by Jblack91; 06-26-2017 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:39 AM   #3
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Looks like a good start for a project! I love seeing people bring 1st gens back to life.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:49 AM   #4
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Couple more boring pics
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:55 AM   #5
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Started the tear down for a Marlin front axle rebuild kit. New seals/bearings etc.
Going to clean up and paint what I can while I have it off, may pull the whole axle to paint as well since it's mostly detached anyway. Birfs seem to be in good shape.
The oil seal was leaking and mixed in with the grease creating some interesting sludge in there. There was also some small amounts of water that got in.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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Famous last words "The goal for this project is primarily to make it a solid wheeling/hunting kind of rig but also somewhat restore it to a functional level of niceness. Not going for a show vehicle by any means. I am planning to keep mostly the original engine and drive train, probably going to lift it for 35's and run detroits front and rear when the money gets there. For now just kind of tuning it up and making it somewhat reliable"

This is how mine started out for $700. Key take away is take the number you have in your head as a "budget" and double it. Because thats about what mine came out to. Also they are never "done". Good Luck with your build! These are great projects and lots of available information out there.

My Build https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f197...-build-299490/
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:37 PM   #7
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Checked out the thread, sweet rig! I am thinking about doing a flat bed, I like the utility and modularity of it. I still just really like the look of the original bed though so I don't know if I will be able to let it go. The body is pretty far in the future though right now, I have to fix up the frame big time and do all the mechanical stuff I want to do before that becomes a priority.

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Old 06-21-2017, 05:34 AM   #8
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I agree on the original bed however mine was too far gone and trying to find one that is in good condition it very hard to do unless you spend 3k on a fiberglass bed.
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:46 PM   #9
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sweet little truck! and for the fiber glass bed its at least a two year wait if you can get over the price.... I am patching mine back together I hope to order some stuff from toy fiberglass but man I didn't know he had that long of a wait.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:22 PM   #10
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I love the yellow trucks. I have a perfect short bed for ya. Too bad your 18000 miles away. Good luck with the build. Im glad to see more first gens. 6 or 7 years ago we had several builds going, and now its dwindling. I know the trucks are becoming extinct but im not ready to give up on them yet.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:30 PM   #11
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sweet little truck! and for the fiber glass bed its at least a two year wait if you can get over the price.... I am patching mine back together I hope to order some stuff from toy fiberglass but man I didn't know he had that long of a wait.
Holy crap! That is a long wait! Maybe I can try my hand at body work and see what happens haha


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I love the yellow trucks. I have a perfect short bed for ya. Too bad your 18000 miles away. Good luck with the build. Im glad to see more first gens. 6 or 7 years ago we had several builds going, and now its dwindling. I know the trucks are becoming extinct but im not ready to give up on them yet.

Yeah, that's one thing that kinda sucks about living up here. Even most of the stuff I find is down in anchorage which is like 7 hours away. I love the first gens, especially the round eye ones. I don't plan on sparing really any expense with this one, it's just going to take a long time lol.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:36 PM   #12
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Not much to update but I got the axle out and degreased everything else. Sandblasting the knuckles and spindles and what not tomorrow. Going to clean up the axle the best I can and paint it.

Still waiting on parts from marlin, takes a while to get stuff up here.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:14 PM   #13
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Just a couple before and after pics from sandblasting.



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Old 06-25-2017, 09:47 PM   #14
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Looks like you are off to a good start already on your project. Sandblasting made the parts look new again. Welcome to Yotatech.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:47 AM   #15
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Looks like you are off to a good start already on your project. Sandblasting made the parts look new again. Welcome to Yotatech.
Yeah I couldn't believe how big of a difference it made, now I am going to paint everything and it should be all ready to put back together when the parts get here.

I am sure this has been shared but if anyone stumbles upon this build thread it might help them out: I found this awesome video series from Low Range Off Road on rebuilding the axles. I put it up in my first post so people might find it easier.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:38 AM   #16
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yep gonna have to get a sandblaster! Yes the LR vids are great Also AutoZone's web site has microfiche that I use a lot I don't buy parts from them but the online tools are good.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:39 AM   #17
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The desmog on the aisin carb is easy. Before you do it, order a pack of caps. Parts stores never have enough.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/OPK12-VACUUM-CAP-ASSORTMENT-RUBBER-90-PCS-OPk-12-/161662287283?epid=1691193563&hash=item25a3d2bdb3%3 Ag%3AFPoAAOSwv0tVc~26&_trkparms=pageci%253Ad0ed4a5 a-5a8d-11e7-b49f-74dbd180912f%257Cparentrq%253Ae544561415c0a7f23443 5be7fffc4ace%257Ciid%253A13
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:53 PM   #18
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So long story short, frame rails were way rustier than I even thought when I got the bed off so I bought some square tube and cut off the old frame.
Here's where it sits currently. I was able to leave the four front bed mount tabs in place so I only have to do any work to figure out the back two to get the bed back on and it *should* fit on the new frame if the math worked out as i hope it did.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:55 AM   #19
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looks good, are you going to fish plate the joints?

so whats the story with the smashed dryer?
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:21 PM   #20
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Hahaha well the story with the dryer is that the military seems to go with the lowest bidder when hiring movers, they loaded my air compressor on top of it and shipped it 4000 miles

As for the fish plates, I will be plating everything up next. I just wanted to get the rails mounted up first for whatever reason. I got some 3/16 plate to make the fish plates, hoping to do so today if time permits.
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