1982 Toyota Pickup


New member
My new to me 1982 Toyota Pickup SR5. It is all stock with a 22r and currently is sitting on little 235/75R15's. Future plans are a complete engine rebuild (currently it has 280,000 miles and really bad compression). After that going to put some 235/85R16's on it and eventually some new paint on the old truck. Plans for it are to use it as a daily drive and some times to use it to hit lite trails, also this little truck will make a great camping rig for me. Tell me what you guys think of the mini truck from 82. And it you have any ideas for the truck let me know, others input on builds is always great.
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Owyhee H

Love it! I really wany an 81 to rebuild, they have the best body ever. Great Start, and dont modd it too much.

Owyhee H


That's beautiful! It looks a lot like the one a wheeling buddy of mine drove--only nicer. I agree--I would change as little as possible on it and just focus on the mechanical aspects. It'd even be a shame to swap out those SR5 wheels. They reflect the time period so well and they clean up really nicely with some balled-up aluminum foil and water. I have those same wheels on my '85 with 31x10.50R15's on them. I'm going to go with smaller 30x9.50R15 or 235/75R15 if I have to replace them though to get closer to the original final drive ratio. I love how the straight-axle Toyotas drive on smaller tires, myself. The steering and tracking feel much more precise on narrow, 28" tires and it brings the transmission gear spacing a little closer together. If you really want taller tires though, those SR5 wheels look great with 33x9.50's on them!

I'd even have a hard time re-painting it. It has such a nice, original patina. I'd just treat it to some wax.

If it were mine, I'd consider doing a round-headlight swap from a '79-'81 truck...just because you can! Here's someone on Yotatech who did the swap. I love the round headlight look. http://www.yotatech.com/f114/anybody-actually-done-square-round-headlight-conversion-168542/ That's a matter of personal taste though.

Although they are pretty capable off-road in stock form, if you feel you want some more crawlability, the two things that have made the most difference for me are a differential locker and a lower low-range gearset in the transfer case. I went with a Lock-right locker from Powertrax for the rear axle due to the low cost and ability to self-install without having to reset the ring & pinion contact patch. They take a little getting used to but make a big difference in traction. I've had it in there about 10 years with no regrets. There are also selectable locker options that act as stock differentials when disengaged, such as the air-locker from ARB. A Toyota electrically-actuated locker from later 4runners and Tacomas can also be installed with a little fabrication. For low-range gearing, I went with a 4:1 gearset from Advanced Adapters. It was also a self-install and it adds considerable low-speed control and torque in low-range. Adding a second transfer case is also a popular option but I didn't want to do the extra fabrication or replace/modify the drive shafts.

For extra suspension articulation, the front sway-bar disconnect modification works well. I think they drive nicely with the sway bar removed completely but in order to maintain the most on-road control for emergency maneuvers, it's easy to build some quick-disconnects out of hardware store items so the bar can be disengaged for the trail. I used this design: http://toyota.off-road.com/trucks-4x4/tech/swaybar-disconnects-toyota-cheap-tricks-18343.html

If you feel the leaf springs are beating up your kidneys, these trucks ride very nicely on a set of OME (Old Man Emu from ARB) leaf springs and shocks. They completely transform the ride without adding too much lift and are available in different spring rates. They increase the ability to absorb bumps as well as the amount of wheel travel and articulation. I went with the OME front leaf springs in the "light" variety but skimped on the back with just some add-a-leaves to save cost. Just the front springs made a big difference in comfort and capability.

Enjoy--those trucks are getting even more unique and desirable each day!

Here's a video you might enjoy--how to four-wheel early-80's Toyota 4wds from Toyota Australia (mostly Land Cruisers but some trucks as well).
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz0hN05GyLQ
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D2rWt9M1q8

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New member
Thanks for the input guys. And thank you tanglefoot for all the info. I'm also debating painting the truck but unfortunately there are a few rust spots, not bad cancer thought, just surface rust and I have to address those spots so they don't get worse. As for the rims I love them too, but 235/85 tires only come in a 16in rime size. 31x10.50r15 are a nice size but I didn't want to run anything over 9.50in wide. Thought about the 33x9.50R15 but will see on those, maybe just 30x9.50R15 will get the look and performance that I want. Hopefully this weekend all be able to get some interior pictures to post up for everyone. The inside is really nice other than the p.o. cutting holes in the door panels for speakers, so I'm planning of fixing all the holes and hopefully finding a place to get replacement door panels otherwise all be hitting the old junk yards in my area for some good used ones.

Rot Box

Nice looking 1st gen you've got there! :coffeedrink:

Power steering is the #1 on my list of upgrades but it looks like you already have that. Stock springs are brutal imo I have to agree with tanglefoot that a set of OME springs and matching shocks is going to be a huge upgrade and well worth the money.

I added a 4.7 gear set to my t-case and have used it for years. If I were to do it again though I would definitely spend a little extra and go for the dual transfer cases instead. The reason being more gears and having the stock low range is the best for driving off road in snow imo.

I know you aren't after a rock crawler, but there are some cheap mods you can do to your carb that make a HUGE improvement in off road driving. In stock form they flood out pretty easy even on washboards in some cases :Wow1: However with a little work you can get it to rarely (if ever) flood even on the most difficult trails without any negative impacts on street driving. This is second on my must do list. Also the stock carbs are incredible when tuned right I wouldn't bother with a Weber or any other aftermarket carb in an attempt to get more performance. Same goes for headers and cams too...

Anyway I can't wait to see what you do with it :bike_rider:

matt marquardt

Beautiful truck! I have and '82 also.
tanglefoot hit it on the head. Stock is great. I put in an Aussie in the rear and like it.


Adventure Time!
I had an 1983 PU. The carb sucks! I replaced my engine with a built 22re and it got 23mpg on the hwy with 36" TSL Swampers.

I'd highly recommend EFI conversion. It's much more reliable and much better off road. Maybe high steer w/ IFS gear box swap. My personal favorite tire size is 33x10.5" for anything off road in the PNW 31" tires are small. 32" tires are alright for trail driving. 33" tires clear obstacles much better. You won't notice much if any difference in performance between 31 to 33" tire. BTW: on the BFG KM2 33x10.5" tires the tread width is actually 7.7".

Looks like a great project! Hope to see you on the trails. :)


Seeing pix of your 82 reminds me of how much I missed my 84. It was red too.

I put a single lockrite locker in the FRONT axle and it works wonders. It's 100% transparent on the street (because it's RWD on the street) and very effective when out wheeling on rocks or anywhere else. When you do the locker install, be sure to buy Marlin's front axle seals. I cannot describe the awesomeness of these seals. The previous owner had the front axle resealed yearly. Since I put those seals in, I did nothing for three years of 'wheeling. Never had birf grease in the front axle oil. Never had goopy mess of oil and grease in the birfs.

My truck was kept low slung. No lift, but we shoehorned some 33x10.5 BFG KM2s into the wheel wells. Minor (38mm) relocation of the front axle, and some trimming of the front bumper allowed them to fit. No regearing, nothing. I always wanted a Marlin Crawler box, but never found the time or money back in the day.

Eventually the bed was bobbed 9" to allow for better departure angle. Fun on the rocks. Fun (but slow) on the street.

If you want to see a pic of my red crawler click here


New member
Wow, seems like the general consensus is to keep the rims on the truck now. Didn't realize that those were the stock rims for that year truck. So I guess it will be worth while to just clean them up and find a good tire size to fit the 15in rim. What does everyone think? All never run anything like 33x12.50 or huge tires. I want to keep the truck as close to stock as possible but do want a tire a little bit taller. Ideally I want something like 32x9.50R15 but they don't make a tire that size, so I guess it comes down to 33x9.50R15 or 30x9.50R15. I'm trying to stay towards the pizza cutter style, kinda like the camel trophy guys. 10.50 wide tires might work I just prefer to stay in the 9.50 range. Again any input would be great.

Rot Box

be sure to buy Marlin's front axle seals. I cannot describe the awesomeness of these seals. The previous owner had the front axle resealed yearly. Since I put those seals in, I did nothing for three years of 'wheeling. Never had birf grease in the front axle oil.

This ^ worth absolutely every penny and then some :bike_rider:

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