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1980 Toyota Pickup Build 2wd to 4wd


Red Skull Member
Jul 14, 2020
Member Number
Northern California
Greetings everyone. I'm building my friends Toyota for him so i figured I would make thread to document it all. It's a 1980 Toyota Pickup 2wd with s stock 20r. He's had the truck for around 13 years or so now and always talked about building it into a crawler. He was able to buy a majority of the parts used as a package deal about a year and a half ago. After that all that was left to get was spring hangers, gears and lockers (axles came with welded 4.10s), axle rebuild kit, shocks, shock hoops, and shackles. This build isn't going to be anything super crazy. The goal is a clean, simple, classic Toyota crawler. The parts list is:

Toyota front axle, 5.29s w/ Detroit, 30 spline chromoly birfs, 6 shooters, trunnion bearing eliminator, ifs hub swap.
Front springs are Trail Gear 3.5" i think? They say Toyota 3500 on them
Toyota ifs width rear axle, 5.29s w/ spool, Trail Gear Longfield chromoly shafts, disc brake swap.
Chevy 63" rear leaf springs
Ruffstuff Chevy 63" spring swap kit
37" Maxxis Creepy Crawlers on 15" allied steel beadlocks

I got the truck pressure washed and into the shop a couple of weeks ago and last week i was able to get the rear suspension all tacked into place.




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I think I'm going to adjust the shackle angle in the rear and drop it down a touch. it's hard to tell exactly how it sits right now with the front end not done yet.This past weekend I got the IFS cut out of the front and most of the brackets cut flush with the frame. I'm plan to have the front frame rails ground clean by this weekend.


And this is how it is as of Sunday night. I'll post updates as i slowly knock stuff off the list.

I was able to get a couple things done last night. Both driver and passenger side frame rails are ground clean, cut the ugly push bar bumper off, and removed the radiator.




This week i need to finish getting the front axle put together. It's mostly together as of now. It has the third member in, knuckles shimmed and on, 6 shooter arms are on, axle shafts in, and the spindles on. The IFS hubs still need to be turned down so the Tacoma brake rotors fit over them. Once the IFS hub swap part is all figured out it will go together pretty easy.
Been awhile since I've posted an update. Over the past month i started working on it again more and more. The front axle is finished being built / put together, front and rear suspension is all wrapped up minus shocks, and the steering box is mounted in place. Right now I'm getting the front shocks mounted, once thats done it will be the rear shocks, the onto installing the PSC power steering kit and hydro assist. Heres some pictures with some explanations of whats going on.



Getting the Marlin knuckle ball gussets welded on.







While making the front spring packs I realized the springs are old All Pro springs, I thought they were Trail Gears. Probably isn't much different 😂
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I think he got the steering box pates from Marlin, it had to be cut quite a bit to get the steering box far enough forward. I have just a standard drop pitman arm on it right now but I'm going to have him buy a Sky's off road flat one.







Adjusted the rear shackle angle to drop it down a little, played with the front spring packs and came up with this ride height. It's not a super low rider by any means but it's not a monster truck either 😂


I've been working on this thing more lately. Since my last post I've gotten the front and rear shocks done, power steering all installed, hydro assist ram mounted and lines hooked up. My friend who I'm building the truck for finally got a Toyota transfer case. I'm going to hold off on installing the t-case for now, or at least until he buys 4.7 gears or decides to build a set of duals cases. As usual i tried to take a pics along the way.





For the power steering reservoir bracket, I designed a copy to a Trail Gear bracket I've seen before and had a friend cut it on his plasma table. I tried to make a make shift press break but it didn't work too good so I just cut it and welded it lol. I thought I had a picture of it mounted in the engine bay but i guess I don't. I'll take one later this week.









Thanks. First gen Toyotas will always be special to me lol

PSC steering pump with a Trail Gear 22r steering pump bracket.
That’s what I wasn’t sure if the TG bracket worked on the psc pump is it the car pump
After collecting transfer case parts all summer, Ian (owner of the truck) got all the parts he needed to make this thing 4wd. He got an L52 trans, two Toyota t cases, Marlin adapter, marlin 21 spline 4.7 gears, RAD triple stick set up, and a Front Range Off road x-member.

I got the t cases put together last and pulled the 2wd trans last weekend. This week I’m gonna roll it back outside to pressure wash the back of the engine. It’s pretty caked in grease / grime. Then put a new rear main seal and new clutch in and work on getting the transmission and t cases in place.







Whats with the TG front housing? Is that going to be an upgrade before the truck is complete?
Not for this one. It's for my 92 4Runner that I'm going to 3 link once I'm done with this truck.
I look forward to seeing that project. I plan to do the same on my 86 4runner this winter.
Trucks looking good, but I was wondering the reason for running the front calipers backwards.
Trucks looking good, but I was wondering the reason for running the front calipers backwards.

Thank you!

The reason the front calipers are backwards is because of the IFS hub swap. He got all the IFS hub swap parts from a friend who had it all sitting around. The calipers uses a washer (used as a spacer) between the mounting ears on the knuckle and the caliper. The bolt holes on the calipers were drilled out to use a 1/2" bolt instead of the M12 bolt. Since 6 shooters have the caliper mounting ears on both sides for left to right interchangeability, I drilled out the front holes and ran the calipers backwards in case he ever wants to bolt the stock calipers back on, the option is still there. The whole IFS hub swap is kinda goofy to me with all the different parts and modifying you have to do to them. I still don't know how i feel about the calipers. It should be fine but it looks weird staring at it lol.
Aww got it, I'm running ifs hubs but I'm using this kit with 4wd tacoma rotors and calipers. You have to cut the actual knuckle ears off for it to clear but still can use a 15" wheel. I also use the same kit on my buggy with tundra rotor/caliper but you have to run 17s. I really dig these kits cause it makes it like a toyota "unit bearing" and quick birf changes without having to pull the steering arm.
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