Meet the new rig, a Toyota T100


This update was a long time coming. I bought the T100 as a project last February, but it’s only now reached a point where it can be used off-pavement. To start from the beginning, the truck is a 1996 Toyota T100 extended cab. I bought it cheap with a bad headgasket and only 142k miles. For a Toyota pickup in Colorado, mileage that low is unheard of. Also I’m a sucker for column shift automatics and bench seats.

In addition to the headgasket, the truck arrived with more than a handful of problems. Along with the bent bumper, bald tires, non-existent brakes, and flaky electrics, the interior was absolutely filthy from an entire lifetime without having seen a vacuum. It was a claimed one owner vehicle, but it would have been nice if that owner had shown any appreciation for maintenance.

From the Craigslist Ad

The bumper was first up to get fixed. Can’t put long hours into fixing a truck if it’s too ugly to look at. Then came the headgasket.

Sad and leaky gaskets

Based on the dried crud covering the engine bay, the prior owner didn’t let something as trivial as a blown radiator stop him from driving the truck. The heads were thoroughly warped and the head gasket had been blown long enough ago that the leak between the coolant channel and cylinder was starting to corrode the block. Everything was salvageable though and I got it back together after about a month’s worth of weekends. I’d like to think it would have been faster if I had had luxuries such as a roof or electricity.

All cleaned up

It wasn’t on the road long before I found my next project, a beat up 1981 FWC camper. More on that in a later post.

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