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New little rust bucket

1066 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  GT_80

Picked up this little gem from work the other day. It is ugly as anything but is pretty well maintained mechanically. It was the maintenance truck for a good many years but finally got too ugly for the job. It has the 21R-U engine which should be a pig by all accounts but is probably one of the peppiest little 4-bangers I've ever had. It has a strangely low-geared rear end- even in 5th gear it cruises comfortably at 45mph and 65 is pretty much top end. Cab isn't too bad, frame is solid, but the box is swiss cheese, which is pretty odd for our climate. I'm thinking of adapting an old stepside box to it so that it doesn't lose stuff through the bottom. That and a new muffler so it doesn't sound like a WWI fighter warming up are probably all the work I'll do to it. Now I can finally get to some of the repairs on my '49 Dodge that I couldn't get done while I was driving it each day. Its tempting though, to do some more work on this little rust bucket- it is pretty fun to drive and seems to be economical so far, but heaven knows I really don't need another project...
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Wood flatbed? I have southern yellow pine 6x6's, white oak 1&1/4"x6", or 1"x4" cedar in my shed right now if your interested.

Time to build: 9 months. (2 day build, 2 day finish, 266 day testing/QA)

Maybe an S-10 or Ford Ranger bed would fit it ?...

Too bad your not near where I live,I know someone who has a 2000 something Ford Ranger with a fiberglass stepside bed thats mint--the truck turned out to be junk--its frame is rotted beyond repair in several places--the nose,cab and bed are absolutely perfect though!..its a extended cab,he bought it for a winter beater,but it'll be too costly and labor intensive to bother fixing..sad,because it runs great too..
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That wood sounds awfully nice to waste on a truck like this! I've got my eye on a box from a 1958 Willys which is destined for the scrapyard. The box is really pretty straight, has only light surface rust, and I could get it for probably little more than scrap value. It is a 78" box, which is a little shorter than the 84" box I have now, so it would require a little bit of adaptation.
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Personally I think this truck looks awesome. I love a natural rust patina. I'd clean the rust holes in the bed up, patch them, paint them, and clearcoat over all the rust to keep the vintage look. Really neat little truck, not many of them left that old.
Pick up a piece of sheet steel. make a cardboard template and caulk it in.
You are not Jay Leno, I think.
I had a 77 and beat it almost to death. The 2.2 liter engines are easy to live with. I remodeled my first house with that truck and it still brings me smiles.
the beds for those trucks were made in the USA due to the chicken tax.
We didn't do so good and they all rusted.
No, I am not Jay Leno, that's for sure! I've toyed with just putting in sheet steel, but almost all of the meat at the back where the tailgate attaches is gone. Honestly, I think if I gave it a good tug I could peel it right off. The sides are pretty flexible too- I have to pick up one side of the box a bit to make the tailgate latch work.

There are still a fair number of these Toyotas on the road in this area. The climate here is relatively dry and we use no salt in the winter, so they tend to survive very well. I think mine must have come from the coast before being donated to the facility I work for. One of my other projects is the restoration of a 1971 Toyota Hilux which was converted to 4wd in 1975 by my dad. That era of Toyota is near-impossible to find, either trucks or parts.
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thats a cool little putt putt truck! I think a flatbed wouldn't do it justice unless it had a nice steel headache rack painted black, and steel frame with wood floor boards. I really dislike the 100% wood flatbeds. BUT it's not my truck
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