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Thread: Slowly but Shirlee the Pickup

  1. #1
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    Slowly but Shirlee the Pickup

    Hey guys!

    I just moved to Reno a couple of months ago from Austin.

    I'm looking forward to having access to some great places to wheel, as well as mountain-bike, hike, camp, ski, fish, etc etc etc.

    Now on to the truck!


    This is Shirlee. She's a 91 Toyota Pickup. Pretty much stock except for a sub and head unit the PO installed.





    Single cab short bed DLX
    4 wheel drive
    22re
    5 speed
    locking hubs
    125000 miles at time of purchase, 128, 5xx now (3/1/18)

    And now a couple more pictures.









    The crispy clean interior on this truck was a huge reason I bought it.



    All these were taken just a few days after I bought it and brought it home on the fourth of July.

    My goal for this truck is to eventually build a capable rig that can handle trails, some crawling, and some desert bombing that's built for limited or lightweight overland/expo outings. I also want it to have enough road manners, power, reliability, comfort, economy, and novel modularity to to be a potential daily when needed.

    I want to use this project to gain new skills (in the garage and behind the wheel) and test out engineering and product ideas and concepts.


    This will take some real time to get through and build it like I want. I don't cut corners and I do my best things right the first time.

    I have a rough outline of how i want it to go, in phases.

    Phase 1: Road worthy
    - reinstall smog stuff
    - NV plates and whatnot
    - new battery, big 3 or 4 upgrade
    - finish fluids replacement, all redline stuff
    - basic tune up stuff
    - shocks
    - pads and rotors, shoes and drums if needed
    - brake and clutch bleeds
    - new 22re sticker
    - wheels and tires
    - diff and t-case breathers
    - pait bed/clear bedliner
    - lots of odds and ends

    Phase 1.5: comfy/less slowly but still Shirlee
    - sound system upgrade from "just a little bump" to delicious sound quality
    - bed storage and organization system
    - in cab organization
    - soft topper or something similar or custom
    - new seats
    - bearings, bushings, engine and cab mounts
    - any retroactive replacement/upgrade opportunities
    - performance upgrades for the motor
    - new side graphics and tailgate logo
    - headlights, side markers, etc.

    Phase 2: trail rated
    - i'll have to flesh this out later
    - includes rtt, suspension upgrades, rear discs and upgrades all around, lockers, bumpers, winch, armor, etc.
    - lots of fun ideas for this one

    Phase 3: go faster
    - diesel swap (edit: no diesel swaps in reno or vegas apparently )
    - looks like a 3.4, or a 7mgte swap instead - that's ok. i'll get fun spool-y sounds either way



    ----Slowly but surely it will get there and get me there----
    Last edited by genera_lee; March 2nd, 2018 at 01:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    clean
    Reno4x4Garage.com - CNC plasma cutting, welding, tube bending and custom 4x4 fabrication - (775) 771-2734

  3. #3
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    '91? Screw the smog stuff. Get some Classic Vehicle tags for it.

  4. #4
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    Doesn't it need to try and pass smog first ? Not sure how that classic vehicle tag stuff works.
    1 ) vin inspection
    2 ) smog test
    3 ) failed test
    4) qualifies for classic as long as all the original engine equipment is present but can't pass smog

    Where am I wrong ? I need my 85 runner that I've stuffed a Mercedes motor into to be tagged and plated.
    It's not the problem, it's the solution, that counts.

  5. #5
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    Slightly off topic: did they pass the thing about needing classic vehicle insurance to get the classic plates?

  6. #6
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    I want to agree about the smog stuff, but I think i'm still gonna reinstall it.

    It seems to be a mixed bag of opinions on this, but I think it ran a little bit better with all the smog stuff.
    I hate the way it looks with all the hoses, but I'm gonna try to tuck it all so I keep the engine bay clean.

    I thought about doing the classic tags. From how the law reads, it sounds pretty easy to get, but it's a big fine if you go over the mileage.
    And I'm not sure about classic vehicle insurance for the plates. I'll have to look into that.

    I moved to Reno in November, but I've only been physically in reno a total of like 10 days since then; I've been out of the country for work training otherwise.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtydonky View Post
    Where am I wrong ? I need my 85 runner that I've stuffed a Mercedes motor into to be tagged and plated.
    I want to pick your brain on the merc motor when it comes time. I've looked into the om617 as the diesel swap option, but I've never seen one in person.

  8. #8
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    repair conglomerate:


    Pretty much the first thing I did was use the truck to move, in the middle of a Texas summer. In the process, it overheated. The coolant was a nasty rust brown with some goop in it, so I flushed the radiator and block. I feared either headgasket or timing cover. Naturally I also did an oil change. Filled her back up with the good stuff from toyota for the coolant, replaced the stuck-closed radiator cap, and all was well with the world. I've since kept an eye on the coolant and oil, and after a few thousand miles, it looks as though neither have mixed and the engine doesn't white smoke, smell like burned coolant, or use coolant. so I think I'm good there.



    A few weeks later I went about trying to track down the oil leak I had as well as adjust valve lash cause the valves were loud.
    I also suspected a timing chain replacement was in my future.



    A little deeper inspection confirmed my suspicions.





    New timing chain. oh boy.


    I also undid the "blackout" that the PO did to the truck, and repainted the 4x4 on the mudflaps.

    Before:




    After:




    Installed a new valve cover gasket and half moons. That seemed to slow the oil leak, but I don't think thats the only place it's leaking from.

    Drove Shirlee around a bit over the next few weeks and now that the valve noise wasn't as loud, I could really hear the timing chain against the cover. After maybe 400 miles I decided to just replace it.
    I thought about going dual row, but it meant parts would be really difficult to get if i ever had an issue.
    I called ENGNBLDR and picked his brain on the damage to my TC cover. he said any groove less that 1/16" deep was fine. I ended up just replacing the chain, gears, guides (with metal backed ones of course. why waste the opportunity?) and gaskets.
    i was able to do the whole repair without removing the head or damaging the head gasket, and without pulling the engine. I dropped the diff a few inches and was able to pull the oil pan without incident.
    Starter-bumped the crank pully fixing bolt off with a breaker bar and big steel pipe. the hardest part of the whole repair was getting the lower chain gear off without a proper puller. Turns out the lower chain get was cracked anyway.

    Now it drives nice and quiet.

    I need to do another little photo session now that it's clean and the engine bay is much cleaner. And of course as I continue to do stuff, I'll include pictures.
    Last edited by genera_lee; March 3rd, 2018 at 01:30 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchjunkie View Post
    Slightly off topic: did they pass the thing about needing classic vehicle insurance to get the classic plates?
    After looking into it, there seems to be no regulations on the type of insurance you have, to be able to get classic plates. You just have to have proof of insurance the title or note on the vehicle, and original or oe replacement equipment.
    You don't have to fail a smog test to to be able to get classic plates. Just drive less than 5000 miles a year and fill out a form with odometer readings and classic plates are yours.
    If you do pass 5000 miles a year, then it will need to be smogged, but as long as it passes you get to keep the classic plates.
    If you fudge the numbers on the odometer reading form and are somehow found out, you have, in effect, perjured yourself, and are subject to a $2500 fine.

    Ergo, I won't risk perjuring myself just to possibly get out of reinstalling my smog equipment (that is intact, in perfect working order, and still a complete set). Plus, I don't even really like the way the classic plates look. I like the blue ones the best, I'll be getting those.

  10. #10
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    Here are a couple pics from the timing chain replacement.

    Pics:


    A crappy picture of money well spent


    new stuff and a clean cover installed


    all lined up


    The bottom end - yes the gasket got screwed up and now I have a healthy oil leak because of it and because i decided to use an oil pan gasket. Oh well, it jut means i have continually fresh oil!
    Last edited by genera_lee; April 11th, 2018 at 11:05 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by genera_lee View Post
    I want to pick your brain on the merc motor when it comes time. I've looked into the om617 as the diesel swap option, but I've never seen one in person.
    I have an OM617 in my 85 4runner, awesome swap.
    It's not the problem, it's the solution, that counts.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by genera_lee View Post
    After looking into it, there seems to be no regulations on the type of insurance you have, to be able to get classic plates. You just have to have proof of insurance the title or note on the vehicle, and original or oe replacement equipment.
    You don't have to fail a smog test to to be able to get classic plates. Just drive less than 5000 miles a year and fill out a form with odometer readings and classic plates are yours.
    If you do pass 5000 miles a year, then it will need to be smogged, but as long as it passes you get to keep the classic plates.
    If you fudge the numbers on the odometer reading form and are somehow found out, you have, in effect, perjured yourself, and are subject to a $2500 fine.

    Ergo, I won't risk perjuring myself just to possibly get out of reinstalling my smog equipment (that is intact, in perfect working order, and still a complete set). Plus, I don't even really like the way the classic plates look. I like the blue ones the best, I'll be getting those.
    So with the diesel motor, I'm not gonna make it I guess.
    It's not the problem, it's the solution, that counts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtydonky View Post
    So with the diesel motor, I'm not gonna make it I guess.
    were you able to renew registration and pass smog since you've done a diesel swap?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by genera_lee View Post
    were you able to renew registration and pass smog since you've done a diesel swap?
    When I tried, I failed vin inspection due to my frame being different than my cab, so I haven't re tried. They told me I needed to get the title that matches the frame.
    It's not the problem, it's the solution, that counts.

  15. #15
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    Back in Reno finally.

    Shirlee gets delivered by car carrier from Austin mid-week this week.

    I got back Saturday night. First stop Sunday morning was to Summit. Picked up some t-case and transmission fluid and some new shocks. I've got add-a-leafs on the way from Low Range and all kinds of goodies that got delivered while i was gone.

    Its gonna be a good week of installs and working on the truck.

    More to come with install pics and whatnot.

  16. #16
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    [left]Japan was cool and all, but I'm glad to be back in the states. I missed Mexican food and speaking English more than I'm comfortable admitting. And I missed working on and driving my truck. Which I have since remedied.

    While I was gone, I ordered a bunch of stuff from summit and low range. I am sad to hear ENGNBLDR has closed shop, hopefully, for the community, it's just temporary.

    Got some new shocks, brake pads, shifter seats and bushings, a little bit of jdm flair, shift knobs, some lights, horns, and some paint. Oh, and also my Overland Bound Emblem!



    First thing I did was install my new Core Shifters shift knobs. These things are awesome! And they match my truck color scheme perfectly. They are the exact same color gray that I'll be using on everything on the truck!

    Old:


    New:



    Ditched the old oil top cap from autozone for one I found on eBay that has the TEQ logo on it. It will go perfect with my custom plates.


    Installed the led dome light upgrade from low range. Holy crap what a difference. Buy it. It's perfect.



    New hella horns. Grills painted to match. Wiring seems to be pretty straightforward; I just need the right sized spade connectors to go in the stock plug. I'll try to do a quick write up on it when I'm done. Installed the horns between the front clip and radiator supports using an existing bolt. No more wimpy horn when someone tries to cut me off. plus more tuner/jdm subtle touches.


  17. #17
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    Installed new heavy duty shifter seats and a shifter bushing for both the transmission and transfer case shifters. That was a pretty interesting install. It took some ingenuity to be able to turn the ring that holds the shifter in place without the right tools, or any tool well suited to the job. The old rubber shift seat just crumbled into 1000 pieces when I tried to remove the shifter too. Luckily the bushing was still in Ok shape. But overall it took the transmission from feeling just a bit sloppy to tight and impressive for the age of the truck. The transfer case shifters seat was still in decent shape but had cracked in half. So I replaced it too. *One other note important to that install is that the marlin crawlers HD shifter seat does not require the metal ring to go underneath the seat itself. Doing so will prevent you from reinstalling the spring retainer piece*. I'm also in the middle of replacing whatever fluid was in the transmission and transfer case with some Redline MT90.






    Busted t-case shifter seat:


    I'm also installing new shocks all the way around, and i have an add-a-leaf kit to put on, and new u-bolts. KYBs for now. eventually i'll do a couple inch lift (spacers up front and a 63 swap rear), put on some 33's, lockers, new gears, and go with some 5100s.

    New rears installed. It was way easier to remove the old ones than i expected. also the old ones were straight from Toyota. so i would imagine they are stock. from 1991. whoa.



    Old shock with no gas pressure justt sitting compressed.



    Next on the list: finish horn wiring
    install emission equipment and Tuck the whole system
    finish the rest of the engine bay cleanup
    reinstall grill
    Shocks in front
    pads in front if needed,
    paint calipers and rotors
    Transfer case and transmission fluid refill
    See what I can do about getting the u-bolts loosened to do the rear add a leaf set.
    track down all the little exhaust leaks I have
    figure out if injector 4 is leaking gas[/left]

  18. #18
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    What brand did you use for the timing gear set?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEKCAH38 View Post
    What brand did you use for the timing gear set?
    I went with ENGNBLDR stuff. the kit i got was like $65 maybe. gaskets, chain, guides, tensioner, gears. done.

    if you have this work coming up, i would go LCE or 22re perfomance. ENGNBLDR is closed for the moment.

  20. #20
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    spent a little time near Donner Lake and in Humboldt-Toiyabe Nat'l Forest a couple weekends ago. it's like 10 minutes from my front door!









    Snow hiking in Chacos is fun! said no one ever

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