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So I went mudding for the first time this past week and have decided that I need a rig. A friend of mine is selling a 1978 4x4 5 speed toyota truck with a recently rebuild engine. The reason why he is selling is because he had some smog issues with some thermostat reading to hot. Anyway he is asking 700 for it. For those who think that I have no experience in a forum environment, I have searched past posts and the internet extensively and have found very little information on this vehicle. As I understand the first year that toyota imported these trucks is 1979, so this truck must be gray market or something. So what I want to know is can I hook parts, specifically lift kits, designed for a 1979 up to this truck or am I going to have to custom make everything? Thanks for your input.
David
 

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I will let someone else answer the 78 vs 79 question... but if you want that rig for the mud... either don't bother, or put a 4.3L Vortec in it.
 

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79 is the first year for a FACTORY toyota 4x4 in the pickups that use the drivetrain that people typicall refer to with the 20R/22R series stuff with toyota 8" Diffs.

From my understanding the 78 was a conversion that uses a D30 front end and some type of Jeep transfercase. I THINK....

DON'T BUY IT..... Unless you like being a oddball.
 

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700 isn't a bad deal. the pre-79(i believe '75-78) were conversions made by wolverine and downey. rick's right, it uses a dana 30 front and dana 20 transfer case. i don't think it would be that bad of a deal though...you can always swap the front axle out for something better, and do a tranny/transfer case swap if you ever need to.

personally, i'd buy it. i've been thinking of buying a '78ish truck and converting it to 4wd myself, albeit with toyota parts
 

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Does that make the 79 and up more desireable or better suited to handle a beating? An engine swap is in the future either way... I would like to go diesel but havent done alot of research on that topic yet. Either way anything I buy is going to take a beating...hence why I am buying a truck so should I be looking for a 79+ instead?
David
 

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the only part i'd really be concerned about is that the '78 would have a dana 30 axle on it, albeit a better one than a modern dana 30. that would be the only drivetrain part that's weaker than one on a '79. you could probably put a toyota axle underneath without too much trouble. who knows, the dana 30 might hold up for mudding with the 20R in that truck though. just don't put a locker in the front ;)

the dana 20's only real weakness compared to a toyota case is it's crummy low range
 

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I'd buy it. I already have a 78 wolverine and so far i have liked it. Oh and i got it for $150 :flipoff2: The only thing that sucks is the dana 30 front axle. And if you are into serious mud you are definitly gonna want a bigger engine. But i seem to like mine just fine
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So apparently this is all for nothing because I took the VIN and ran it and it came up with a 79 toyota truck. Shows what the owner knows. I still have some questions though. I want to get out on the trails soon and welding right now is outside my abilities. Soon I will learn I just dont feel comfortable welding a suspension system into place yet. I have done alot of searching and found that Old Man Emu is a time tested brand. Before anyone goes off on me about searching, heres a link to the search button...etc, I would like to propose a question. How would you search for a company like Old Man Emu or OME when the limit on search words is at least 4 characters?
Anyway onto the question, would I be happy with the lift to hold me over untill I get my skills to a level of an AOR system. Also with a OME lift do I need to change drive shafts? I will be beating my truck hard as any true owner should but it sounds like with the quality of an OME system I have nothing to worry about. BUT IS THE LIFT ENOUGH? Thanks alot.
David
 

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if you're not going to crossover steering right away, OME is the best bolt-on solution there is...it's built to work with the stock configuration as well as possible. i think it'll give you a 2.5" lift, but everything is high quality. a bit on the expensive side though, but it ain't no rancho

easy way to tell between a '78 and '79 -- 79 will have 2 headlights, a '78 will have 4
 

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Have you checked out All Pro? 1 stop shopping for everything you'l need.

Did you check the rear frame rails as they'l rust out on these trucks right as the frame arcs up to go over the rear axle. You should do very well with this truck as i have 1 basically stock w/ 33 boggers and it will go like hell in the mud. :)
 

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Crossover steering install does not scare me. But what is daunting is the relocation of spring hangers on the front and rear springs which require me to weld on new spring hangers. Unfortunately I dont know anyone who I trust to weld on a major suspension components. Also I do want to learn and do a suspension of this magnitude I just dont have the welding skills yet. I am just trying to see if there is a bolt on kit that will curb the hunger of offroad untill I build those welding skills.

I have checked out All Pro and they do have everything I need for a more complex system. They also have stock length front springs for more lift, but that still leads the rear to be fabricated. Also thanks mtbrjon for the insight on the frame arcs I will definately check that out.

Also as I understand it when I go to 5" lift then I need the crossover steering and all new driveshafts and it is suggested a new rear axle. This seems alot more pricey than if I go with the OME system which sounds like it would be able to be used with stock springs and driveshaft. Can anyone confirm or deny that with the OME system you can use your stock driveshafts?

Thanks alot.
David
 

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Man the first thing you need to do is find a local with fab skills and buy him a beer!

I think it's easier to spend a little more dough and time and only build your truck once. Having said that you won't have any trouble getting rid of the OME stuff (as it is very nice) if you decide to go bigger or fancier in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Finding a local is good idea and I wish I knew some experienced welders but there is part of me that really wants to weld my own suspension, so it is hard for me just to bring in someone to do the work for me. What I need is for someone to watch over the project with me to make sure I am not screwing anything up.
David
 
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