Starting Recommendations; Tips; Suggestions

Discussion in '1989-1995 Pickup Discussion' started by FreshmanAttempt, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. FreshmanAttempt

    FreshmanAttempt Newbie

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    In September 1993, I bought a new, base model Toyota Pickup truck with 4 miles on it in Miami. It was my very first car, and I didn't even know how to drive a stick. 17 years later, I sold it to a young driver and his dad for not a lot, with 245,000 miles on it. It was a regular cab, and my tall frame just couldn't take it anymore. Yes, I cried to see it drive away.

    I understand if that story makes you laugh or you do not relate, but it's true. I'm 41 years old now, and having lived a pretty frugal lifestyle all these years, I'm considering a project car. My friends are mostly doing the Rat Rod thing with old Chevy's, but I would really like to get an extra cab Toyota like the one I had, and do a modest renovation on it. My dilemma is as I scan through these amazing threads of all the things you guys are doing, I'm overwhelmed. I have no idea how to do these things, but I feel like they are all do-able. So, I'm gonna try it. I've done minor repairs on my Lexus LS400 and my old 1998 Jaguar XK8 by watching YouTube videos. Is my wife going to leave me??

    Main Question:
    I'm looking for a good starter car that some old man owned or his wife drove. It will be low mileage for the year and cosmetically in decent shape. Can you guys help me out on Key Concepts of basic starting principles (as I know specifics will depend on lots of variables) for:

    1) Lowering the Car.
    2) Sprucing up the Interior.
    3) Sprucing up the Exterior

    Regarding Lowing the Car: I'm not interested in getting super fancy, so I don't plan to attempt the air bag setups I've seen. What I would like is Rim and Tire recommendations along with 2 inches of lowering. I want the truck to still be able to carry a load of firewood if possible. (Is that possible?) Also, what are all the kinds of things I need to buy or replace if I make these changes. What are key Concepts I should think about in making these kinds of selections? How will these selections affect whatever they affect?

    Regarding Interior: I'm not interested in neon lights and sound systems or any gadgets. I'd prefer a clean, simple layout like new dash, steering wheel, seats, carpet, sound dampening, etc. I'm tall so I'm hoping to find some comfortable leather seats that recline. I will be looking for an xtra cab btw.

    Regarding Exterior: I'm clueless with all this stuff. I mean I don't even know what the options are other than Maaco. I'd be up for any recommendations of trying something myself. What I anticipate is that I'll get some brown or green Toyota that some old man bought back then, so it will likely have that frosted check mark stripe down the whole side of the truck. He will also have very likely scratched up the side of one of the bed-liners as he backed down his driveway. I'll need to fix dents and scratches and then repaint in the same color family of whatever I get. Also, I'll definitely want Front Grill and other Cosmetic Recommendations like mud skirt removals. So, how do you fix stuff like that...

    I have thousands of curiosities about what all I have seen guys do on this Forum... Mind-blowing. I thought I would just start with these 3 things and try to get decent on them before I ever try some of the other stuff.

    I'm limited for garage space (ie carport), but I've got some tools and jack stands. I'd need to buy a good jack and probably need to buy lots of things I don't know about. Can you guys who remember being a beginner give me some directions starting out? Maybe recommend some other threads that already addressed this? I'm lost on the site. Overwhelming information.
     
  2. jetas

    jetas Grand Toyotaholic

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    Start off with a good running truck with a clean cab and bed. Fenders lights bumpers and all that are easily found.

    Lowering is extremely easy and nothing to really worry about at the moment.

    Just find a good starter truck for now
     
  3. BatryOpratedBoy

    BatryOpratedBoy Member

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    Boy oh boy where to start... There is a huge wealth of information here, I know that! I think when I got my first Toyota back in 05, I just INCESSANTLY scoured the Projects and Builds thread...Started all the way back and sifted through till my brain was numb. Read, read, read... Especially because you get a genuine taste for how many different angles you can take on a build.

    After that get on Youtube and look at peoples luck with dent pulling, paintless dent repair... anything upholstery, CarAudioFabrication is awesome, too.

    Lastly, any curiosity that strikes you, if you can't find it... Search string <whatever you want to find> site:toyotaminis.com in Google is indispensable. A fun one is "IRS site:toyotaminis.com" =)

    Good luck man!!!!
     
  4. FreshmanAttempt

    FreshmanAttempt Newbie

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    Thanks for the tips so far. The one truck I'm gonna look at tomorrow looks real clean and the engine has been rebuilt, but it has some rough spots on the bed of the truck. I plan to look at several before I buy, but if I have to make a choice between one that is super clean interior with a few body problems vs. a super nice body with no dings but poor interior and sketchy engine, which would you lean towards selecting.

    Also any other tips on selecting a starter car would be appreciated.
     
  5. jetas

    jetas Grand Toyotaholic

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    Runs healthy and a decent interior. Exterior can be worked on
     
  6. White Trash

    White Trash Toyotaholic

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    A solid base will be better in the long run. Interior is easy since there is some major crossover over the years between cars and trucks when it cones to door handles, window knobs, power switches etc. Other than that a good cleaning and finding seats you like will set you up there.

    I'd suggest a 4x4 set of fenders, grill and bumper from a similar body style truck since they will allow clearance for tire clearance while turning.

    My truck is pretty low and I have no problem hauling 1000 lbs of scrap from time to time. This load wasn't all that heavy but it was a good 500 lbs or so and it wasn't on the bumpstops.

    [​IMG]

    2" lower isn't much at all. I'd do spindles and steel blocks nothing fancy needed at all if that's all you're looking for.
     
  7. FreshmanAttempt

    FreshmanAttempt Newbie

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    This photo is awesome! "Spindles and steel blocks"; Is there a wide variety of these? And I'm guessing all different types of tires and rims will still fit, I just have to pick what I like? Are there some tips for making these selections?

    When you say "a solid base is better in long run", do you mean that it tows a load better or that its easier to change rims and tire selections over time if I get tired of the look..?

    Great tips. Thanks for your guys time.
     
  8. jetas

    jetas Grand Toyotaholic

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    A solid starter truck is better. Less that needs fixing.

    The bolt pattern in these truck was used by many many vehicles over decades. So yes you have many wheel choices.
     

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