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Chughes 1983 Patina/Retro/Restoration

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Old 05-12-2017, 02:47 PM   #1
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Chughes 1983 Retro Restoration

So, I picked up this 1983 4x4 Pickup Deluxe last November. It is amazingly original (the tires, battery, and head unit were the only non-OEM things I could find on the truck), and that was the main reason I bought it. I had fixed peoples backyard hackery too many times on past projects, so this was a nice change. The original paint is pretty ratty, but at least there aren't any secrets. My original plan was to keep the paint as is, but completely restore the chassis, drivetrain and interior to factory fresh, as well as add some cool retro accessories. Things have changed a little and I figured I should go ahead and paint the body since I'll have the truck completely torn down.

Here is what it looked like when I bought it.










The interior had seen better days, The seats were trashed and had broken frames, and as with so many other old cars and trucks, the dash was cracked.






After a lot of cleaning and a little polishing, I got to see the Terra Cotta red as it was intended.






What's left of the factory graphics led me to discover that this was the "Extra Value Package" from my understanding this was basically a Delux model with black trim and the earlier style SR5 graphics.

Last edited by chughes96; 10-11-2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
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Nice find and welcome to Yotatech!

The ratty paint does carry a certain appeal, but wouldn't hold up very long here in Ohio. Looks like you're somewhere nice and dry out west. If the PO had just waxed it more, the paint would still be intact minus some sun fading, which I also think looks good on trucks.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:25 PM   #3
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Good to see another first gen on here
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:06 PM   #4
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Nice find and welcome to Yotatech!

The ratty paint does carry a certain appeal, but wouldn't hold up very long here in Ohio. Looks like you're somewhere nice and dry out west. If the PO had just waxed it more, the paint would still be intact minus some sun fading, which I also think looks good on trucks.
Thanks! I do wish it had a little more paint left. I did find a couple cool tricks for the paint. First I did a light CLR scrub to take care of some of the heavier rust. I also found online that a lot of people use Linseed oil to preserve old cars. I gave it a shot and the results were fantastic. It gave everything an awesome look. We'll see how long it lasts. I may scotch-brite everything and do a clear coat, but idk if I want to do that.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
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Welcome to Yotatech. Nice looking first gen, I like the patina. If you do decide to do a clear coat I've heard good things about Squeegs Epoxy clear, from what I've read you can shoot it over bare metal. A guy on another forum I'm on used it on his old ford over the top of surface rust with good results. Look forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:14 AM   #6
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Welcome to Yotatech. Nice looking first gen, I like the patina. If you do decide to do a clear coat I've heard good things about Squeegs Epoxy clear, from what I've read you can shoot it over bare metal. A guy on another forum I'm on used it on his old ford over the top of surface rust with good results. Look forward to seeing your progress!
Awesome. Thanks for the tip. That sounds like just what I would need.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:42 AM   #7
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I found this little 2wd 83 on craigslist for super cheep with a broken timing chain. It had near perfect original seats and a few other small goodies that I needed for the 4wd, so I bought it, fixed the engine, swapped out the seats, steering wheel and guages, stole the console, and a few other small bits, and sold the truck to recoup my money.

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At the same time I bit the bullet and ordered a new dash pad from Toyota to replace the cracked one that was on it, as well as painted all of the dash bezels. I also did a leather steering wheel wrap.

Heres the interior as of now. Still needs door panels and carpet, but its way better than it was.

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It took me a while to swap all the pins to convert from the Deluxe gauge cluster with no tach to the SR5 with a tack, but I got everything working.

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I also spent some time in the engine bay cleaning and painting some parts. Ill be pulling the engine and rebuilding next year, but I wanted to have a clean start.

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Next I went down to Arkansas to pick up some goodies from @Jrheingans. He is a super nice guy and gave me a good deal on a roll bar, brush guard, floor pan, OEM radio, the little intake silencer I was missing as well as a few other odds and ends.

I picked up some sweet lights for the roll bar with the old school KC smile face covers.

I also ordered some 79 style SR5 stripes, because my truck had the Extra value package with the earlier style graphics.

Here it is with all the goodies installed.

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Im thinking about cutting the second set of supports off of the roll bar for a cleaner look, but I haven't decided.

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Old 05-13-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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That rig looks great. What did you give for the dash pad from Toyota. I wasnt aware they still had any in stock.. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:12 PM   #9
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That rig looks great. What did you give for the dash pad from Toyota. I wasnt aware they still had any in stock.. Thanks in advance
Thanks! I got it from Toyota Parts Deal for $350 shipped (ouch.) The part number for the brown is 55401-89107-06
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:17 PM   #10
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Thats a pretty good price for new. Everyone that has a used one, seems to have a gold plated one. Thanks for the info
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Thats a pretty good price for new. Everyone that has a used one, seems to have a gold plated one. Thanks for the info
Yeah, I think its well worth it, I hate the plastic dash caps that seem to be the only alternative.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:29 PM   #12
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You've been making alot of progress, your truck is looking great, makes me want another first gen bad!!!
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:22 AM   #13
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You've been making alot of progress, your truck is looking great, makes me want another first gen bad!!!
Not sure why anyone would want to sell their first gen Toyota
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:45 PM   #14
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Those seats are clean!!! Great work so far. I like the way the double row roll bar looks
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:10 PM   #15
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Not sure why anyone would want to sell their first gen Toyota
Right? Haha. Although if somebody does want to sell one, I wouldn't mind another...
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:11 PM   #16
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Those seats are clean!!! Great work so far. I like the way the double row roll bar looks
Thanks, I was pretty stoked to find them. Even if I did have to buy a whole truck.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:52 PM   #17
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Not sure why anyone would want to sell their first gen Toyota
I've had and sold three of them, wish I had kept the last one the most as it was in the best shape, but they are a little cramped if you want to haul the wife and kids around too, first Gen 4runner fits the bill a little better for me. Still, I'd like to get another one someday maybe as a father/son project when my boy gets a little older.

Chughes, those seats really look great!
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:31 PM   #18
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I see Missouri tags on that 2wd where you located? That 1st gen is sweet!
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:52 PM   #19
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Got back to school and started the tear down for the restoration. I'm planning on blowing the whole truck completely apart, and having both the chassis and body media blasted so I can paint both, as well as completely rebuilding the engine and any other mechanical components that need attention. Emphasis will be given towards organization, so everything can go back together just the same as it came apart, thus keeping everything nice and correct on the truck.


Getting ready to pull the bed off. I got everything taken off the bed and labeled on shelves.


Bed removed.



I made a cart for it so I can roll it around and to make life easier for the people blasting it. I will do the same for the cab.



Front body components were removed so they weren't damaged during the removal of the engine/trans/transfer case.






Engine hooked up to the gantry crane. This is the way to remove an engine!!!












Labeling all wiring before removal.



Removed the dash.






I'll post more about the engine rebuild shortly.

Last edited by chughes96; 10-06-2017 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:44 PM   #20
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This semester I am taking an Engine Rebuilding class, so my project was the 22r out of the pickup. It ran fine before the rebuild, but the rings were pretty worn and it needed a valve job. The plan was to completely rebuild the engine will new parts from LCE Engineering. At the same time, I would perform a de-smog and ad a weber carb and LCE header.

Engine transmission and transfer case removed.


Removed intake and exhaust and all front drives accessories.






All emissions components and the factory Aisin carb were removed and boxed up incase they ever need to be re-installed.


Block completely stripped down ready to be cleaned. Everything came apart very easily with no issues.


While the block was out being machined, I went through the head. I pulled it all apart and did some quick porting and polishing in the exhaust ports, mainly to clean up the castings and smooth out the flow. I left the intake with a little bit of the casting texture to help atomize the fuel. All valves were faced, any pitting was cleaned off the seats, and valves were fit to their corresponding seats. After that, I checked all the valve springs as well as their installed height, and re-assembled.


Got the block back from machining. They bored it .030 over. I wire wheeled and painted the block, then installed the freeze plugs.


Block Thoroughly cleaned out and crank installed. Bearings tolerances were measured with plasti-guage. All were perfectly within spec.





New Wrist pin bearings were installed and piston rings measured. Pistons were installed and rod bearing clearances checked. I also bought a crank scraper from LCE, and went with the dual row timing chain with steel guides.


Installed timing chain cover with new water and oil pumps and installed head.



Finally, installed intake manifold with new weber 32/36 carb with the LCE spiral adapter and the adapter for the factory air cleaner.


And The LCE header.



Took it back to the house and installed the distributer (after a good cleaning)/ plugs and wires, fan, and air cleaner.

Last edited by chughes96; 10-07-2017 at 04:49 PM.
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