Alrighty, three is enough for me to copy & paste! Don't expect this to be a fast build, I am poor this time of year and am neck deep in another project for a client.
So I bought this thing on a whim 10yrs ago in New Zealand. There is an Ebay for NZ, it is called TradeMe.com. That is where I found it, some farmer had it and I paid around $350. Like I say it was a compulsive buy and I had never imported a truck before this. I basically imported it myself, with the help of a broker. Cost me around $2500 to get it to my house here in Wyoming. I picked it up myself in the port down in Long Beach.
The thing has sat around for years. I didn't have a title on it for at least 7yrs of the last 10, probably more like 8 or 9yrs. Finally got a title though so got a bit more motivated. Never really wanted to restore this thing since it never had a factory bed and has some deep rooted rot in the cab.
I sold the stock engine, trans, t-case and rear axle out of it about a year ago. I recently got it in my shop and started work on it. Like my post above some things are up in the air but the whole point of building this truck is/was to get rid of a bunch of gear I can't sell separately. So I am not sure I will build this truck for myself or get it 100% completed before I pass it on. The more I play with it though the more I think about keeping it.
I am a little on the fence about the engine and gear boxes. Mostly because the diesel needs at the least the turbo rebuilt and the I/P gone through. Otherwise it is pretty solid but is also on 24v which I don't like much. The 5spd trans is fully rebuilt, even has new Nissan synchro rings and it is pretty stout. The t-case is also fully rebuilt and is fairly stout but it doesn't have any gearing options to go lower. It is gear driven not chain. The axles I am using for sure because they are real nice. I could gear down the axles a bit, iirc 5.2's may be as low as I could go (or it may be 5.8's) and that would certainly kill the pavement speed of this thing. The motor isn't anything to get excited about power wise but is a diesel and in that sense cool. But this is all why I am thinking about a 4.8, ect ect. Any ways I am using the axles and definitely going SoA. I feel like converting it to LHD so I am going to do that. I have an 83 LHD Patrol power steering box and related gear. I also have a LHD firewall/dash which is all I need to do the conversion. if I go with the diesel and 5spd I have a front and a rear PTO box as well as Nissan made PTO winches so kind of planning to set it up with front and rear winches.
The cab has some rot and it is bad. I can get some body parts but the roof I can't get and will need the most work. I have thought about stretching the cab into an x-tra cab, it would be pretty easy since it is flat and interior stuff is box tube. But really I am not thinking much about body or bed at this point.
Plenty of blah'ing on....here are pictures.
The Ute in stock form...110" WB but that will change some.
with some 35's tossed on it, next to other trucks for comparison
One of the donar trucks is an 84 Patrol from Australia. Mostly I am just using the axle housing from this thing but here it is getting stripped.
And then I got the Ute in the shop to start on it...
room to play!