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1978 Toyota Truck - Restore?

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #1
lardbeetle [OP] lardbeetle is offline
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1978 Toyota Truck - Restore?

I bought a 1978 Toyota Truck (20r 5spd RWD) for $500 as I was looking for something safer than a motorcycle during the winter. In this case, the safety factors are a working heater, four wheels, seatbelts, and an enclosed cabin!!!

Needless to say, the truck has some issues - and I fell in love with it immediately upon driving it. The engine and tranny are rock solid and go right into gear, but the old girl has some issues resulting from lack of maintenance by the previous owner that I would like some advice on:

1) Rust, rust everywhere! There are smaller rust holes in the truck bed, plus rust spots on practically every other surface. As someone who actually loves his truck, I want the rust to go away. How best to do this without immersion? It would be very difficult to immerse a truck bed!

2) Bad carb. The engine is running very, very rich. Weber carburetors have been suggested to me - where is the best place to get them? Do I just need the one carburetor or do I need two?

3) Bad gas tank. Not only does the fuel gauge not work, but every time I top the tank off, 2-4 quarts leaks out in a slow drip. Toyota of Kirkland says that it is due to rust spots on the top of the tank, so I need a new one. Where best to get it? Failing a new tank, is there a temporary fix I might try?

4) Bum-ugly yellow color. The truck was originally a gorgeous blue, but it was badly redone in a yellow what looks like a decade or two back, and the yellow is now chipping off to expose the blue underneath. Is there a way to remove the yellow paint without losing the factory blue?

Is this truck worth restoring? It starts every morning and runs without a complaint. Not much power - but I don't ask for much from it. Right now it is my commuter to work and back.

Pictures are forthcoming and I will post in the Introductions thread as soon as I get them on the interwebs!
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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Honestly I would drive it and restore it at the same time, but I wouldn't get overly spendy on it though... as far as the rust, I'd say your best bet would be to sand away as much as possible and patch holes, spray with a primer asap to keep it from getting worse, even if you don't plan on painting it right away.
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