Well I did it, a year ago I bought a pretty well used, 1992 Toyota pickup, 4×4. Its a single cab short box which seems rather small for an overland truck platform, but how much equipment do we need anyways? I like to keep things simple and tidy. It has a small 413000 kms on its 3.0 V6, some rust but it drove nice, and I knew it would be a great “back from the ashes”, vehicle project
The day I bought the truck, the previous owner described to me that he had driven through a deep puddle the week before and it hadn’t been running quite right ever since. Once I got it to my shop the following day, I diagnosed that the MAF was sticking because of some built up dirt, and it also had various vacuum leaks from a cracked intake boot. This caused a hilarious and erratic throttle surge. My first trip out to the bush to test it pissed me off so much I turned around and came home. Got it running almost perfect, I’ll do the brunt of the engine repairs once the cab has been taken off.
That leads to the next bit of fun I had with the truck. realizing the extensive rust issues the frame had, I knew that I’d have to work on it right away. I employed my friend to help me weld some fresh metal into it where it was required. Also while the box of the truck was removed, I sold it. The only rust free part of the truck was sold and with the money I purchased the steel to make a brand new flat deck for it. This was always my dream anyways. Single cab, short bed truck with a flat deck and an overland camper. I have since called it the “Minilander”. Seems appropriate given the size.
My whole goal with this truck has been to do a top quality job on a budget. The truck came with one of those Baja stinger bars on the front. Which to some, looks really cool, but its not for my taste. My goal was to sell the bumper and use the money to help purchase an ARB bumper for the truck. 1st Week with the truck and I was showing it to a good friend of mine and he said he had a bumper in his barn that might suit it. I asked what it was and he said “ABR, RBA, or something like that”. Of course it was too good to be true, but it did turn out to be the exact bumper I was looking for.
Next on the list was a set of factory steel wheels with the correct offset. It had a set of aftermarket offset wheels on it which I hate for various reasons. One being that they can make the front end of vehicles unreliable because of the added stress to the suspension and steering components. There is various arguments for this but I prefer a tall, narrow tire with factory offset because it works within the factory geometry of steering components. Another friend of mine had a set of stock 15″ steel wheels and they were free! Down the line I will update the rims to a 16″ steel wheel also with Factory offset and the tires Ive chosen for it are the Cooper Discoverer, STT Pro’s in a 235/85R16 size. Its basically just a little taller then the factory 31×10.5 but skinnier.
I finished the flat deck during summer after I came home from school. All I had left to do it was to put wood on the flat deck. I decided to enjoy it for the summer and I got some good fishing and offroading trips in. I worked out a few more bugs but an amazing thing happened. While I was away for apprenticeship school, I found a brand new frame for it that was entirely rust free..well…it has a little surface rust but thats it. Because I want the truck to be a truck that shows what I can build (I hope to start a business one day) a new frame was just needed to really to make it a complete build. While it will be tough work to get all the pieces together, long term it will be a much better truck and it will bring it into the future with a lot more mechanical grace.
Thats all for now, but here is some pictures in chronological order from day one till pretty much now.