1980 Toyota Pickup Long Bed 20R from North America
My 1980 Toyota Pickup that could..
Before I begin, this truck has brought great memories and was bought third hand in 1983 with about 15000 miles. It just past SMOG (yeah, the NEW one with the running DYNO) a few months ago with flying colors. I'm on my way to wind the odometer for the third time! Note that the odometer is only 5 major digits long so upon 99,999.9 miles, it'll reset to zeroes.
We've encountered a few problems during its (almost) two and a half decades of daily use.
15+ years of use, the very first problem was a leaking valve guide in late 1990's. Had to constantly change the number four spark plug; it kept getting fouled with oil from the leak. Had the head sent out, machined, and reinstalled. In the process, the mechanic found and replaced a broken valve spring! Yikes! No more problems with the valve train to this day.
15+ years of use, the clutch slave piston/cylinder failed once; every time you depressed the clutch, it pumped out the clutch fluid. Scary! Fortunate, I ran out of fluid just as I was pulling into the driveway. Could have been dangerous: this made it so I couldn't disengage from my current gear! It was a very simple replace and flush. No more clutch slave piston/cylinder problems to this day.
15+ years of use, the clutch started to slip and then completely gave way a few years back. Went to mechanic for a new replacement. No more clutch problems to this day.
15+ years of use, the transmission failed completely. Tried to find a replacement, but can't find exact match. OEM for this truck was 4 speed, old-style side "L" shift. Went all the way to Sacramento to pick up a 5 speed in stock. I've always wanted a 5-speed to improve the truck's mileage anyway. Thank goodness I bought the 2" body lift! This made it JUST possible to barely fit the 5 speed transmission onto the truck. So now it has an extra gear; first through fourth feel like the same ratios. No more problems with transmission to this day.
A few years ago I caused the death blow: while on a 400 mile trek home on the 5 freeway, the rubber water hoses under the air filter broke, sprung a slow leak and released all the water out of the radiator and engine. Note that this part most likely has been the original part since the factory in 1980 so, it's real old. Simply said, I wasn't looking at the temp gage and the engine overheated, blowing the head gasket. This made it so the engine couldn't hold its compression, and so to function properly. My dad and I decided to rebuild the engine, even though the cost of the rebuild would be more than the value of the truck. Could have been prevented with a $3 rubber hose replacement, if I had caught it in time. It still occasionally runs a little warmer than normal, but other than that, no more engine problems to this day!
Sorry to make is so long, I hope this helps someone. It runs fine as you read this.
I love this truck! Still remember my dad driving it up the street the very day he'd bought it in 1983! The old 20/22R iron blocks are built like tanks! Wish autos were made to last like this today, meaning 20+ years with proper/preventative maintenance.
This truck belongs to my dad in the Bay Area and he drives about 20-30 city miles a day, minimum. He often takes it up Mendocino National Park to go hunting (which means he comes home empty handed, so it's really hiking! hehe). There are times when we go through rugged roads, sometimes with ice and muddy slush, and the truck keeps on trucking. Don't get me wrong, the more harsh terrain exclusive to 4x4's we don't dare, but, for the "regular" roads up there, the truck manages very well.
Had a paint job a few years back and it still looks like a new truck; shines like a bright blue M&M after a wax! Got a few offers to buy, nothing ridiculous. Still daily driven. Gets appreciative looks from older gentlemen who'd seen these trucks run in other countries.
I average about 18-22mpg combined.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th April, 2004