This photo is not my truck, mine was red and had a matching Snugtop. The only photo I could find of my truck was of a portion of the left front fender 🙁 There are several photo’s of red Toyota Deluxe Xtra cab trucks on line but they’re all 4×4’s and mine was a 4×2 like the truck in this photo.
Fittingly this photo looks like it was taken in the hills east of Los Angeles and I was supporting a testing program at a facility out by Riverside, Ca when I got my truck.
As I said in my previous post this truck was much nicer then the newer Nissan that I was driving when my brother decided to buy a 1991 Eagle Talon TSI in January.
My Deluxe Xtra Cab was a gray market import. The original owner was a family friend who was working in Saudi Arabia and shipped it to home to the US when he came back to the states. My brother bought it from him in 1988 (or 1989) when he got stationed at NAS Alameda. Despite our dad being an Army Air Corp Veteran we both ended up in the Navy. The Air Force would have offered comparable technical training but the Navy was more generous with rank (therefore they paid more).
When I bought it in January 1991 the original window sticker and owners manual (both in Japanese) were in the glove box. I believe that I still have the original window sticker but couldn’t lay my hands on it when I went looking for a photo.
Despite being a “Deluxe” truck it was sparingly equipped. It was a 2WD model with the 22R engine, a manual transmission, cloth seats and crank windows. Surprisingly for a vehicle originally delivered in Saudi Arabia it lacked Air Conditioning. When I moved to Texas the following spring I had air conditioning installed before driving across the southwest deserts.
The NHSTSA vin decoder says that it was a 1/2 ton DLX, 4×2 with the extra long wheel base built by Toyota Motor Corporation at its Tahara Plant in TAHARA, AICHI, JAPAN with a 4 cylinder 22R/22R-EC/22R-TEC engine. CarFAX returned a hit on the VIN (jt4rn70d2g0001679) so it might still exist.
I’ve got a scan of the California Title and it doesn’t have an odometer reading listed. It had just over 178,000 miles when the engine thrust washer dropped out in 1996 and allowed the crankshaft to damage the block. Having been purchased overseas the engine wasn’t US Spec and needed to be replaced with an engine from Japan. The estimate for getting an engine out of Japan was 8 – 10 weeks. I had just started a Commercial Pilot training course and needed reliable transportation so I sold the truck to my mechanic. He ended up waiting 3 months for an engine. When I moved out of Houston 4 years later he was still using it as his shop truck.
The various configurations of this truck were common enough that they were a target for theft for parts. The first week that I was supporting the testing program of Poly Alpha Olefin (think R-134) replacements for Freon I was meeting a colleague and leaving my truck at a hotel near his house so that we could take advantage of the car pool lanes. One day when he dropped me off the vent window on the passenger side had been smashed. I’m not sure if the thief was after the aftermarket stereo or the plastic trim piece around it. I suspect it was the trim piece as 3 of the 4 screw holding it in place had been removed. If he’d been after the radio he could have torn the trim piece and removed the radio without removing the screws. He also left undisturbed the roll of quarters and the music CD’s that were sitting in plain view. IIRC the vent window was secured to the vehicle by one screw and cost all of $15 for a new one. The radio trim piece on the other hand was not available for purchase (from Toyota). Aside from that window and adding air conditioning I spent no money on the truck that wasn’t scheduled maintenance until the thrust washer failure.
About a year after I moved to Houston I bought a 30′ Sailboat and moved aboard. I started hanging out at a local sandwich shop / beer joint (aka a Boater Bar) a few blocks from the marina where I was living that had live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The owner (also a University of Arizona Alum) had a red 1985 Standard Cab Toyota. His locks (door and ignition) were a little sloppy. One night around closing time my phone rang. His truck was missing and mine was still at the bar… I’d accidentally taken his back to the marina. I’m not saying that I was probably inebriated, but like I said his was a Standard Cab (and didn’t have a cap).
At the time this truck died I’d owned it for 5 ½ years and believed that the only vehicle I’d owned longer was my first motorcycle. (I didn’t know at the time that I still owned the 1944 Willys Army Jeep.). I replaced it with a 1996 Eagle Talon (chapter 12) that went to the scrapper in September of 2014.
Until fairly recently a Toyota pickup of this generation was parked at a small office building near where I live. It was in pretty nice shape, and I thought multiple times about stopping to photograph it. However, I have never had any contact with these, even incidentally, and had nothing to say about it so I never did. I do find some appeal in these old Japanese pickups when they are sparsely optioned as yours was.
I bought a ’86 Toyota PU new in ’86. Long wheel base 22RE engine 5sp standard trans. Single rear wheel 1 ton truck. I used it as a work truck and a race car hauler up until about 2020. Other than “routine” maintenance, it got 2 clutches, and rebuilt trans, and 3 timing sets. Never had the head off the engine. Retired the truck with 412,000 miles on it. It would get 18-19 miles per gallon towing my race car trailer at a total gross weight (truck and trailer) of over 9,000 lbs. I bought it as a “stripper” truck, and added AC, radio, cruise control, topper, and trailer towing items, myself. Only reason I didn’t rebuild the engine, is the body had gotten too rusty. Best vehicle I ever owned. Whish I could find a new one, today
CC Effect? I think I saw a beige one of these in Columbus, Ohio while out and about Easter weekend. If you had asked me the make before I saw this article. I wouldn’t have been sure. After seeing the pictures, the shape of that window behind the door sure looks familiar. We were in my wife’s ‘18 CR-V and it made the truck look tiny. (Must admit that I was a little jealous of the truck’s owner, though.)
A bit surprised about needing an engine from Japan; presumably different emission systems that wouldn’t work with the existing wiring/electronics.
My nephew Eric, who has contributed here, still has his red xtra cab 4×4 of this vintage, but he had a 3.4 V6 swapped in; made a big difference. I suspect he’s going to keep it indefinitely.
Paul wrote “presumably different emission systems that wouldn’t work with the existing wiring/electronics.”
That’s what I was told. The VIN decoder doesn’t indicate that the engine wasn’t US Spec. The truck had a current California registration when I bought it and I moved to Texas before it was due for a smog check / inspection. If I could have acquired other transportation and kept it I would have.
These are still very common where I live, two within a few blocks of my house in the base configuration with regular cab. Actually far more 2wd than 4wd; I think the latter have mostly been bought up and converted to exoskeleton rock buggies, so are off the streets. Though there is one 4wd of the previous generation around the corner from me. Quite a few of the 2wd trucks are still in daily use with landscapers or handymen.
These never last long in the junkyard. The engine gets pulled almost immediately, no matter the usually intergalactic mileage, often the bed if low in rust goes with the same person, then the interior and within days there’s usually barely anything left. Very little left for the crusher, it’s probably one of the most efficient vehicles from a re-used standpoint.
The picture below was taken two days after it hit the yard on the same day I saw the Road Runner, it was pretty complete before it got there as I saw it in the holding lot before, and this yard doesn’t advertise online, so the following is fairly universal. The doors will likely be gone the next time I stop by, and probably the fenders as well…
That sounds like quite a global-village truck! You don’t mention it being a right-hand drive unit, so I’m guessing it was left-hand drive, but the window sticker and owner’s manual were in Japanese and the engine was a Japanese-spec item…cool. I imagine there might’ve been some fun dances with the State of California trying to get an ’86-model from the still-leaded middle east to pass the yearly Smog Check with not even a shadow of a US-spec emissions system, let alone a California-spec one.
You lost me on that curve. Polyalphaolefin is a synthetic oil chemistry, and there have (recently) been some PAO-based oils for use in some R134a refrigeration systems, but the more common ones, especially when R134a came in as a replacement for R12 in the early-mid ’90s, are PAG (polyalkyl glycol) and POE (polyol ester). I guess you must’ve been working on some kind of an advanced-advanced project!
I’m not sure on the chemistry. We were looking at a replacement for the FREON (HCFC-21) used on the space shuttle in the cooling loops. The shuttle ended up continuing to use HCFC-21. I believe that by the time we retired the shuttles NASA owned all of the remaining stock of HCFC-21.