1981 Pickup Build - Old Yeller

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    1981 Pickup Build - Old Yeller

    Shitbox evolution.

    Jan 21, 2019 <-------This date is the date of the original post, it will be on all of the older post so I can reference it for later use if needed

    1981 Toyota Pickup, bought off of CL

    How I got it: 22r, Carb, Manual, Stock Gearing and TC, HUGE Body Lift, previous owner said new motor was dropped in and only has around 100,000 miles (not so sure on the accuracy of that since the OD doesn't work)

    To Do List: (This list is outdated and missing shit, just read the thread)
    - Running on Propane - DONE
    - IFS Power Steering Box w/ Marlin High Steer Kit - DONE
    - 4.88s all around - DONE
    - Spartan Locker for front - DONE
    - Yukon Spool for rear - DONE
    - Chevy 63s w/ Ruff Stuff mounting kit - DONE
    - U-Bolt flip kit from Sky Mfg - DONE
    - Trailgear 5" leafs for front- DONE
    - Dual cases 2.28 front and 4.7 rear w/ Advance Adapter kit - DONE
    - Triple stick set up by RADesigns - DONE
    - 37s - DONE
    - Rock Sliders - DONE
    - Rock bumpers & winch up front - DONE
    - Roll Cage - DONE
    - Bucket seats with 4 points - DONE
    - Probably more that I am forgetting

    When I bought it

    How it is today

    Last edited by Grronk; 10-19-2020, 08:13 PM.

    Feb 18, 2019

    Well, after a stupid long time in the shop for what was supposed to be a quick fix, turned into a rabbit hole of small problems. She is back in my garage now running better than ever so I am happy.


    Not the best, but not the worst

    Last edited by Grronk; 05-20-2020, 08:30 PM.


      Feb 18, 2019



        Feb 25, 2019

        Got some more progress done over the weekend.

        Started on the Rear Up Front swap, using the SKY Mfg boomerang shackles.
        Used the rears mixed with some leafs from the front packs, definitely added too many to start with, oops . Will be removing some this week after work.

        Also built a quick and dirty rear bumper with tubing I had laying around.

        Fronts taken apart

        Rears before adding leafs

        Conjoined packs, definitely a little excessive, will be removing the bottom 3.
        Read on here somewhere people add as many as they can initially, and then remove them to lower it to the right height, I may have went a bit far.

        Stopping point for the night.



          Feb 27, 2019

          Removed the bottom 3 leafs, was able to reuse the stock center pins. It is sitting pretty high up now compared to before. I will have to see how it sits after the winch bumper and that extra weight sags it down, may have to add one leaf back in but we will see



            Mar 8, 2019

            Got some progress done in the steering department. Removed the stock steering rods and steering box, got the new arms and Tie Rod mounted, going to do the Drag Link and IFS box this weekend. I felt dirty putting those nice and clean parts on my dirty as shit axle, I plan on cleaning the entire axle to repaint and weld a truss on, so don't worry too much

            Old Box

            "New" IFS Box from a junkyard pick, plus my second T-Case that is waiting on Advance Adapters to hurry up and send me the doubler

            Need to cut off the rest of the stock steering, beer got in the way of that last night



              Mar 11, 2019

              Got the IFS box mounted and the rest of the high steer put on. Have some frame stiffener plates coming in the mail, when I get those I plan on running more passed on the IFS box mount, but it is good for now.


              Old Pitman arm was stuck on there pretty damn good, had to cut into it and then try the puller tool again to get it off.

              Test fitting

              Didnt get too many pictures of actually mounting the plates, but here is the finished product

              Cut out a good portion of the body mount, plated it out further since I took out a lot of the original mount

              I also got the Power steering pump mounted and ready to go, but then realized that I was missing the belt pensioner, a quick search resulted in me finding them for sale for upwards of $200

              Found a cheap one for $20 somewhere and ordered it, not sure why most are crazy pricey..



                Got a 75 series landcruiser pitman arm that is lesser of a drop. Still debating on if I should mount the tierod on the top or bottom of the pitman arm. If I do the top I may need to french half a tube into the frame to make room for the drag link.

                Or, anyone know of a pitman arm that is almost flat, that will fit a Yota steering box? Or does anyone have a 2wd pickup arm that'll fit the ifs box?

                Mar 18, 2019

                Took the body lift off this weekend. Went down to a 1" body lift from SKY Mfg., pretty happy with how it sits. With the 63s and RUF it sits almost at the same height as it did when I got it, on stock leafs and 6" body lift.

                Also, I am going to be putting a new front leaf hanger that will lift it another inch, this will add more clearance for my pitman arm



                  Apr 23, 2019

                  Got a lot done over the weekend, wasn't able to take too many pictures, was under a time crunch for Easter.

                  Got the new front spring hanger burned in, don't think I got any pictures directly of that, and also mounted the winch.

                  The winch plate is lifted off the frame a good amount, I plan on tying the cage into it from the sides and rear when the cage is done. That will strengthen it some more, and keep it from bending under big loads.

                  I ended up putting some more supports behind the winch but never got a pic of them. I have faith it will hold up just fine. The winch bumper on my Tacoma was a piece of shit and held up just fine. This one compared to the other one is 10Xs better.

                  Winch mounted and the rest of the bumper & grill put on


                    July 2019

                    After I got it to pass smog and had the title put in my name, it started it have running issues, I knew it was the carb / shitty gas tank with shmeg in it. Since I already went through big headaches trying to get it to run properly enough to pass smog, I said fuck it and ordered a GotPropane kit. Night and day difference, glad I ditched that rats nest of vacuum lines. Stole a tank from work while my two 10 gal tanks come in. (Its been almost 2 months and I haven't heard when I am gonna get them, thanks Suburban Propane...:mad3

                    Also built some sliders, mounted new bucket seats off of tubing that comes up through the floor and connects each sides sliders for a secure platform for the seats. Going to make the rear hoop and rest of the cage next to finish the harness mounts.

                    Put 4:88s in the axles, as well as a spool in the rear and a spartan in the front.

                    Enough typing, here are some pictures

                    Welded the front axle truss and diff guard on this weekend, as well as finishing up the passenger seat mounts and sealing the floor pan where I cut though for the mounts.

                    Also got my 10 Gal tanks in the mail and mounted in the bed properly.


                      August 2019

                      Picked up about 100' of tubing this weekend for the cage. Bent and burned in the rear hoop with some supports. Cross bar has tabs going through the cab for the harness mounts, so my 4 points are finally completely in and ready to roll. Will finish up the rest of the exo when I get some more time.

                      Also got started on my dual cases. I was pretty much done, but when I was putting the triple sticks on the front case cracked. Not sure how, the bolt was no where near tight and had a good half inch until it bottomed out... I think the donor case had some gunk in the treads that I failed to clean out and it stressed it out too much?? I don't know. Anyways, I have a new case from Advance Adapters coming in this week, so I am hoping my duals will be mounted in the truck this weekend.

                      And yes, I know my case is filthy

                      This bearing was a bitch to get off, had to join two sets of pullers to reach it. No local shops had any long reach pullers, gonna order one for myself.

                      Crack Kills


                        August 2019

                        I didn't get any pictures of the new case off the truck, I am the worst at remembering to take pictures, oops

                        Anyways, I replaced the cracked case with a new case from Advance Adapters, they are literally just up the road from me and I have a few buddies that work there so they were the fastest way for me to get a new case and get the truck rolling. Definitely a heavy duty case, so I'm happy about that.

                        Cases are both stock 2.28 gearing, paired with the 4:88s it shoots out a 100:1 crawl ratio which I am pretty happy with.

                        I also picked up some steel yesterday for the new driveshafts. 2 1/2" Sch40 pipe for the rear, and square tubing for the front.

                        Square Tubing Dimensions: Big piece= 2.5" O.D./2" I.D. x .25" wall.
                        Little piece= 2" O.D./1.5" I.D. x .25" wall.

                        I only got to the rear yesterday, took it for a spin and surprisingly I couldn't get it to violently shake, I have no speedometer but I got up to 5th on a straight away and it was solid. I am expecting it to change once I start bashing it on rocks.

                        Cases mounted with triple sticks from RAD Designs, great kit, easy to put together.

                        Square Tubing

                        Stock shaft pulled out

                        Pipe vs stock driveshaft


                        Last edited by Grronk; 07-31-2020, 05:16 PM.


                          Aug 2019

                          37s came in today, going to be fun clearancing for these big things

                          Pro Comp Xtreme MT2


                          Beadlocks should be coming soon, waiting to hear back form Lowrange on when they are shipped.

                          Got the frond driveshaft measured up, cut, and welded together this weekend. Didn't get too many pictures of it in the truck since it was hot as balls here in CA over the weekend.

                          13" of slip total

                          Some month 2019

                          Finally got my rims and beadlock spacers in, got 3 of 5 tires mounted, gonna get the rest done tonight!


                            October 2019

                            Got the tires mounted, they fit nicely

                            Although they rub more than a dry hand job when I turn, so I will be cutting some body this weekend

                            Got some of the exo cage done this weekend, still need to do the roof V or whatever the bars over the roof are called. Also will be tying it in to the front bumper/winch plate eventually.

                            Got some spare doors and cut them in half, the pull handle bolt is just temporary, but honestly it will probably end up staying for a while


                              November 2019

                              Bobbed the bed this weekend, took about a foot and a half out. Pretty happy with the results. Didn't spend too much time sanding down the welds on the bedsides since its gonna get smashed in anyways

                              Cut off the rear end

                              Cut off even more, put in square tubing for rear bumper

                              Support for the bed

                              Set in place for before welding

                              All done up and painted