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Old 10-27-2017, 08:02 PM
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Default Mini Truck Questions- Need Advice Please

Good Evening,

Not much of contributor but as you can see I've lurked this site for quite some time. I used to own a 1980 fj40 that was by all accounts a rust bucket. I sold it to a member approximately 4 years ago and now I would like to get back to owning a vintage Toyota. FJ40 pricing being what it is today has me looking in other directions.

I have an opportunity to buy a 1980 Mini Truck short bed virtually rust free (small bubbles on the tailgate)with 140k miles. 20R, 4spd basic that is a two owner truck. The vehicle is in California. All original. Asking around 10,000.

I believe the price is high but I would like to find a clean example. This would be a grocery getter. So, my questions for those who have an opinion. What am I getting into to? Are parts available? The smog items appear to be there is there something I should be looking for? Any words of wisdom including don't do it is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Randy Zepp
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:46 PM
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Probably not as clean as the one you're looking at, and a long bed...but...


https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/...340176668.html


a little elbow grease, and this could be sugar.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtnkegger View Post
Probably not as clean as the one you're looking at, and a long bed...but...


https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/...340176668.html


a little elbow grease, and this could be sugar.
It likely shows 32,000 but I very highly doubt it actually has 32,000 miles. They only have 5 digit odometers in 1980, they went to 6 digits in either 1981 or 1982 (I forget). The bed sides look to me to have a lot of Bondo. But the snakeskin door panels. Sweet.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:08 AM
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To the original question. I don't know if $10K is really high anymore. It is to me but they are becoming collectible so a nice example, good documentation of miles, etc., I dunno, maybe.

But parts-wise, it's like the FJ40 in that there's no factory support and NAPA isn't going to be a lot of help. It's a labor of love to keep them going. For a daily driver I'd be thinking swapping in newer mini truck parts, probably a 22R-E engine and drivetrain. At least be prepared to modify existing systems with workarounds for impossible to find stuff like ignition and emissions.

The guy who will know is L43Dean. He's got a 1980 that he has kept mostly stock. He also has a 1985 mini truck and FJ40, so he's a glutton.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
To the original question. I don't know if $10K is really high anymore. It is to me but they are becoming collectible so a nice example, good documentation of miles, etc., I dunno, maybe.

But parts-wise, it's like the FJ40 in that there's no factory support and NAPA isn't going to be a lot of help. It's a labor of love to keep them going. For a daily driver I'd be thinking swapping in newer mini truck parts, probably a 22R-E engine and drivetrain. At least be prepared to modify existing systems with workarounds for impossible to find stuff like ignition and emissions.

The guy who will know is L43Dean. He's got a 1980 that he has kept mostly stock. He also has a 1985 mini truck and FJ40, so he's a glutton.
Thanks for the information. If I had a crystal ball and this truck became mine I would highly consider the 22R-E as I become easily frustrated with carb's and a 5th gear would be nice. This is the only photo I have and with the exception of having a A/M sunroof it is what I'm looking for. The example here in Denver is too rough for my tastes. BTW Dave I had admired your 91.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:52 AM
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Yeah, selling the 1991 was a mistake, I know that now in retrospect. You live and learn.

But OTOH, the reasons for moving to something newer are still valid and actually having something newer (that I don't have to work on and can get anything for from Toyota without drama) means I have the time to be retrospective. I literally go months just turning the key and getting where I need to be, only interrupted by an oil change.

Personally, I think a 1st gen mini truck would be super cool but not as my everyday driver. That's why I bought the 1991 in the first place. Trying to use an FJ40 as a daily wasn't practical for me, just as trying to keep a 1980 on the road wouldn't be either. And to me, if you're just gonna rip the 20R/L43 out for a 22R-E/W56 then just get a 3rd gen that isn't going to be as prone to rust. I really groove on people who keep the dwindling number of stockers going for any model.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:33 PM
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A ending to my thread. The truck now resides in Littleton.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:52 PM
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A thing of beauty. Also getting serious garage envy!
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:56 PM
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She's a beauty.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:57 PM
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Thank you for the kind words. I'm in love.
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