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Old 11-19-2011, 06:34 PM
JaysinSpaceman's Avatar
JaysinSpaceman JaysinSpaceman is offline
Master Fabricator
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Skull County, Ca
Posts: 1,637
83 Toyota/VW TDI Expo Rig Build

So the title says it all. I am going to be building, for myself, a 1983 Toyota 4x4 pickup converted to diesel power via the install of a VW 1.9 TDI diesel engine. It will also get some upgrades along the way, such as (but not limited to), rear springs up front w/ slider boxes instead of shackles, 63" Chevy rear springs, crossover steering, larger fuel tank, flatbed, winch, 33" tires on 16" wheels, e-locked rear, etc... Most of your inexpensive upgrades for a better wheeling and long distance driving expo style rig. Just so you know this will be a fairly long term build, I hope to have it at least back to road status by this time next year, but that will be dictated by money and spare (not working) time in the shop.

Without further ado...

The starting point. 83 Yota sans bed and engine. (sorry about the pallet in the way, but you get the point)

And the other side. (for those without much imagination)

You'll notice here the lack of any paint on the back cab corner, thanx to someone at some point side swiping something and some really shoddy body work this corner will need to be replaced.

Lucky for me, I'm just the guy to do so. I have already pulled a skin from the junkyard and am just waiting for a bit of free time to change it out.

As you may have read in one of my other threads I will be building some spring sliders for the front end in order to keep it low and still get the travel of a long shackle. This is the start. Still waiting on UHMW coming from MSC to make the slider pads then I will add the guides.

And last is the new spring hangers for the Chevies in the rear. Pretty straight forward here. I am hoping to use the stock Chevy shackles in the rear so that is what the rear mounts are built for but if I need a longer shackle to match front/rear ride heights I my build something else.

That's the gist of where it sits right now.

For those that don't know about the TDI engines. They have almost identical power numbers as the stock 22r engines but down low where it is useful in a truck. It is easy to get 120-140 hp and 200-250 ft.lbs. out of the little 1.9 liter diesels while still knocking down about 30-35 mpg (this is the average mpg reported in other such swaps). One other nice thing about the TDI is that it weighs in at just a pinch more the the stock 22r, so there aren't a bunch of front end weight issues to deal with like other diesel swaps.

Once it is back on the road I will start to add things to round out the expo portion, on-board-air, welder, removable camping box (something like this), etc...

So that's the plan and it is a rather open plan at this time, so any constructive input would be very welcome.

I can't wait to bring you more installments,
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