[May 13, 2018]
Here's what else is keeping me busy (other than 5 kids and a big yard)
Back in March, I hit a patch of black ice which sent me sliding sideways off the highway and into a power pole. I am thankful that I kept the shiny side up and walked away without a scratch. The pole didn't really slow me down much, I'm glad it was an older one and not a fresh one. It sheared off pretty readily, stopping me no faster than I could have with the brakes on dry pavement. The airbag did not deploy. There are no forward crash sensors on this generation, only an internal one to the SRS module under the dash.
Here's a closer view of the damage. I only have liability on this one so I'm fixing it myself. The truck is a 1995 with 320K on the clock. Still runs strong. It's still not worth scrapping - it's a Toyota, there's lots of life left! Replacing it would be $6K or more in this local market. I wouldn't mind finding a younger example of the same generation but those fetch a nice premium.
After removing some more parts. Needs a new radiator, fan, condenser, fuse box, driver fender apron, bumper, and front clip metal.
Damaged apron removed.
Salvage yard apron and aftermarket radiator support test-fit. Notice the alignment vs the frame rails. I thought at first the frame was straight up until this point. Clearly I was wrong, so I took it to a body shop to have them take care of that part as my only frame tool is BFH
. The driver frame horn was 15mm out of alignment in the front, pushed inward. The cab was tweaked on the mounts as well, making the frame look seem worse than it actually was. The body shop owner was commenting on how tough Toyota frames are compared to any other trucks that he works on. Now if only they could make them so they don't rust through.
Back from the frame rack. Grinding off what was left of the core support mount.
New mount tacked. Thankfully you can buy them separately from the frame from Toyota
New toy in action. I haven't tried any thin-gauge sheet metal yet, which is where my cheapo welder really struggled. I will say I really
like the adjustability, it sure beats the "4 settings and always wrong" of the DUAL-MIG 151.
Today I pulled the drivetrain. Figured I might as well since I have the access right now with the radiator support off. Here's the front end after some pressure washing and touch-up of the frame horns with Rust Reformer. Still have more touch-up to do. It was pretty nasty - but now I know what the rack and diff look like, they're no longer one single amorphous blob of black nastyness.
I pulled the drivetrain. Yikes. Looks like a number of years with a leaky shifter housing. They seem to be a pain point on these - but nothing some FIPG can't fix. I ran out of time today, but this will be the next victim of the pressure washer.
The engine is a little
bit better than the trans, but I will be doing VCG's, timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, re-seal the oil pan as well as a general "external" overhaul - not going to dig into the internals. It still runs like a top other than some smoke on cold start but for now will just leave well-enough alone internally.
I am contemplating painting it Sunfire Red Pearl, which I prefer (random pic from the web below for example), but that's more work of course. I could get away with just painting the front clip and blending to the doors if I keep the Sierra Beige Metallic color. But then again I do have severe oxidation on the roof, a deep scratch behind the driver door, and wheel-arch rust on the bed so there's certainly the "since I was painting anyway..." temptation to just do a full respray. I don't think the tan color is bad
per se, but I do so drool over the red.