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    Thread: I want a new (used) mini truck

    1. 05-19-2020 05:21 PM #76
      I've always wondered if I'd be a decent mechanic, and after purchasing this truck, I know for a fact that I am not. The 22RE is supposed to be one of the easiest engines to work on, and my particular example has no A/C or P/S to clutter up the engine bay either. I've been struggling with the head gasket job for the past two weeks (although admittedly, I've only been working on it here and there while not working my real job and waiting due to slower parts shipping). I tried to fill the truck up two days ago, only to find water pouring out of the intake manifold. Silly me figured that the intake manifold didn't need to be sealed crazy tight since it just let in air and fuel, right?

      I ended up removing the intake manifold again (not a big job, to be honest), cleaned off both the head and manifold surfaces, RTV'd the gasket in there and torqued the bolts to the correct spec in the right sequence. Filled it up today and no leaks! Started it up though and .... same problem. Temp gauge still creeps past halfway and upper radiator hose/thermostat housing doesn't get that hot (thermostat is 190F, housing only got to around 135F).

      Either I screwed up the HG install, have an air pocket of doom in the cooling system, or the problem wasn't the HG to start with.

      Big respect to the good mechanics out there who can do this stuff for a living day in and day out, because I can't.

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    3. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      05-22-2020 10:54 AM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I've always wondered if I'd be a decent mechanic, and after purchasing this truck, I know for a fact that I am not. The 22RE is supposed to be one of the easiest engines to work on, and my particular example has no A/C or P/S to clutter up the engine bay either. I've been struggling with the head gasket job for the past two weeks (although admittedly, I've only been working on it here and there while not working my real job and waiting due to slower parts shipping). I tried to fill the truck up two days ago, only to find water pouring out of the intake manifold. Silly me figured that the intake manifold didn't need to be sealed crazy tight since it just let in air and fuel, right?

      I ended up removing the intake manifold again (not a big job, to be honest), cleaned off both the head and manifold surfaces, RTV'd the gasket in there and torqued the bolts to the correct spec in the right sequence. Filled it up today and no leaks! Started it up though and .... same problem. Temp gauge still creeps past halfway and upper radiator hose/thermostat housing doesn't get that hot (thermostat is 190F, housing only got to around 135F).

      Either I screwed up the HG install, have an air pocket of doom in the cooling system, or the problem wasn't the HG to start with.

      Big respect to the good mechanics out there who can do this stuff for a living day in and day out, because I can't.
      Don't be so hard on yourself. Being a mechanic is a skill just like anything else. Most people aren't naturally good at it and only become good at it by experience. Anybody that you consider to be a good mechanic, ask them what they've screwed up in the past. You'll get some great stories. I know I've done TONS of dumb crap in the past and immediately looked at it and thought "wow I'm dumb."

      Searched and found a couple threads.
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...ng-on-your-car
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...e-fixing-a-car

    4. 05-22-2020 08:16 PM #78
      So, I gave up and had a friend come over and look at the truck. I put the gutted thermostat in and showed him that the upper radiator hose was getting hot and that the truck wasn't overheating. We also boiled the thermostat and saw that it was working, but when I put it back in the truck, the gauge showed it was overheating again.

      He ended up saying the engine bay and engine didn't seem hot at all and that it didn't seem like it was overheating and started suspecting the temperature sender. I told him it was a new Toyota OEM sender. Then I remembered I bought it on eBay and went to go to the eBay listing, only to find that the seller's store had been closed by eBay, and a few negative reviews saying that the seller was selling counterfeit items marked as OEM parts. We immediately went to Autozone and bought another (non OEM branded) sender, put that in and started the truck back up. Sure enough, the thermostat popped open when the temp gauge showed about halfway, and everything seems to be running great. Upper radiator hose gets hot, gauge reads a little less than halfway.

      I suppose I deserve it because I tried to save $20 on a sender by buying it on ebay and ended up spending $350 replacing a head gasket. I guess I learned my lesson the hard way.

      TL;DR: I got scammed on eBay and ended up replacing a headgasket because of it.

    5. 05-22-2020 08:19 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
      Don't be so hard on yourself. Being a mechanic is a skill just like anything else. Most people aren't naturally good at it and only become good at it by experience. Anybody that you consider to be a good mechanic, ask them what they've screwed up in the past. You'll get some great stories. I know I've done TONS of dumb crap in the past and immediately looked at it and thought "wow I'm dumb."

      Searched and found a couple threads.
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...ng-on-your-car
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...e-fixing-a-car
      Apparently getting scammed trying to save a buck is going to be the story of this truck...

    6. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      05-22-2020 09:50 PM #80
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      So, I gave up and had a friend come over and look at the truck. I put the gutted thermostat in and showed him that the upper radiator hose was getting hot and that the truck wasn't overheating. We also boiled the thermostat and saw that it was working, but when I put it back in the truck, the gauge showed it was overheating again.

      He ended up saying the engine bay and engine didn't seem hot at all and that it didn't seem like it was overheating and started suspecting the temperature sender. I told him it was a new Toyota OEM sender. Then I remembered I bought it on eBay and went to go to the eBay listing, only to find that the seller's store had been closed by eBay, and a few negative reviews saying that the seller was selling counterfeit items marked as OEM parts. We immediately went to Autozone and bought another (non OEM branded) sender, put that in and started the truck back up. Sure enough, the thermostat popped open when the temp gauge showed about halfway, and everything seems to be running great. Upper radiator hose gets hot, gauge reads a little less than halfway.

      I suppose I deserve it because I tried to save $20 on a sender by buying it on ebay and ended up spending $350 replacing a head gasket. I guess I learned my lesson the hard way.

      TL;DR: I got scammed on eBay and ended up replacing a headgasket because of it.
      Isht happens. It's only time and money. You can always make more money, but time is limited. Spend both wisely.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: 1955 Customline 351C | 1970 TR6 262Olds | 1977 Capri Cologne | 1980 Rabbit AAZ | 1984 C30 350 | 1988 Scirocco 9A | 1988 Scirocco LP7Y | 1992 Pickup 22RE | 1997 D21 KA24E | 2000 Grand Marquis Modular
      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
      You're always better off with a Citroën.™

    7. 05-24-2020 04:07 PM #81
      It lives (at least for now)!





      It's running on straight water right now. If it doesn't give me any problems this week, I'll put the OEM coolant sensors I ordered in and fill it up with actual coolant.

    8. 05-25-2020 06:10 PM #82
      I've been driving the truck around between yesterday and today, and even in 90+ degree weather, the temperature has been fine so far. I've been melting inside the truck, but as long as it runs fine, I'm happy.

      Next weekend I'll hopefully be able to switch to real coolant and also grease up all the steering components. The steering box still has a little bit of play on center but it's not enough to bother me. It is a 30 year old truck, after all.

      PS, this truck is seriously tiny, especially now that it's been lowered. It's about the same height as the G35 coupe next to it.


    9. 05-27-2020 04:21 PM #83
      I still find it hilarious how small this truck is every time I park it next to something else.



      The parts guy at the Toyota dealership was saying he wanted one too.

    10. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      05-28-2020 09:04 AM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I still find it hilarious how small this truck is every time I park it next to something else.
      As a rabbit truck owner, I can completely understand.

    11. Member
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      05-28-2020 02:31 PM #85
      Nice job!!!! That gem is screaming for some period correct aftermarket minitruckin' wheels.

    12. 05-29-2020 05:49 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
      As a rabbit truck owner, I can completely understand.
      How do you like the Rabbit truck? There's a diesel '81 Caddy that is honestly kind of tempting...

      Quote Originally Posted by modular View Post
      Nice job!!!! That gem is screaming for some period correct aftermarket minitruckin' wheels.
      Thanks!! I have been looking for some nice vintage wheels, but I can't find any 15-16" wheels with 5x114.3 bolt pattern. Most are either 4x100 or 4x114.3 (or some BMW bolt pattern).

      Next up are brakes. I'm looking at new pads, rotors, drums and shoes. The front pads were in terrible shape and I felt kind of bad putting it back onto the truck. I'm also looking at some seats that my friend will help weld up some new brackets for so I can get rid of the bench seat and hopefully put a real center console in. The tires are still new so I don't need to worry about wheels for a while.

      Oh, I'm also probably going to get some 4WD Pickup/4Runner front fenders and lights as they're slightly wider as well.

    13. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      05-31-2020 09:41 AM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      How do you like the Rabbit truck? There's a diesel '81 Caddy that is honestly kind of tempting...
      I love it. It's been a long project. I'm currently just ignoring it, while doing other projects.

      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...0-Rabbit-Truck

    14. 06-01-2020 08:36 PM #88
      I'm tired of the poverty 3 gauge life and decided to get a 4Runner cluster. I picked this one up for a decent price (if it works). The OPG will be especially nice to have. My truck is just over 151k miles right now, and this cluster is at almost 157k. I might just sit on it for a while till the truck's odo matches this one and then swap it in so I don't have to mess with rolling back the odo.


    15. Member bificus99's Avatar
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      06-02-2020 10:13 AM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I'm tired of the poverty 3 gauge life and decided to get a 4Runner cluster. I picked this one up for a decent price (if it works). The OPG will be especially nice to have. My truck is just over 151k miles right now, and this cluster is at almost 157k. I might just sit on it for a while till the truck's odo matches this one and then swap it in so I don't have to mess with rolling back the odo.

      I agree, I would not mess with it until the mileage is close.

    16. 06-06-2020 11:27 PM #90
      So last week, while the weather was in the 90s, I got in the truck and was instantly burned by the scorching vinyl. On top of that I hated how flat and uncomfortable and slidey the seat was, so this morning I went to the junkyard, scored some Prelude seats and after some slight modifications to the seat rails and $40 in spacers, bolts and washers, I have new seats!





      Now I need to figure out what to do for a center console. Hopefully something that has cupholders.

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      06-07-2020 07:13 AM #91
      Keep on keepin' on!!!!!



    18. 06-13-2020 03:13 PM #92
      Thanks!

      I decided to get a 4Runner map light mirror instead of the crappy single dome light that the Pickups came with. Unfortunately I didn't realize that there were multiple versions, with the nicer ones having a door switch. The one I bought didn't, so the lights wouldn't come on when the door was opened. I decided to grab another one at the junkyard today. I also wired up my dash cam, which was surprisingly incredibly tedious because the truck has no a pillar plastic. Instead, the a pillars are attached to the headliner, so I had to drop the headliner down a little to sneak the wire through from the fuse box down in the driver's footwell over to the rear view mirror.

      I think it came out pretty nicely but I don't want to do that again...



      I also picked up a 4Runner instrument cluster surround with cupholders, thinking it would just swap straight in. It turns out, the upper dash is completely different, so the surrounds aren't interchangeable. Toyota went through a lot of work to make sure you don't get any options...

    19. 06-27-2020 08:33 PM #93
      Brakes are done!







      First time doing drum brakes, but it all went together fairly easily after watching a Youtube video. The brake fluid looked like crusty chocolate milk, so I should have probably gotten a new master cylinder as well, but I just flushed it out for now. The pedal is still fairly soft, but it's a 30 year old truck so I'm not too worried. I was trying to bed in the brakes and kept locking up the tires so at least I know the brakes work.

      Adjusted the hand brake cable and also tightened up the steering box. Tightening the steering box took about 2 minutes to do and made a huge difference. Wish I had done it earlier but glad I got around to doing it today.

    20. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      06-28-2020 08:40 AM #94
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      Brakes are done!







      First time doing drum brakes, but it all went together fairly easily after watching a Youtube video. The brake fluid looked like crusty chocolate milk, so I should have probably gotten a new master cylinder as well, but I just flushed it out for now. The pedal is still fairly soft, but it's a 30 year old truck so I'm not too worried. I was trying to bed in the brakes and kept locking up the tires so at least I know the brakes work.

      Adjusted the hand brake cable and also tightened up the steering box. Tightening the steering box took about 2 minutes to do and made a huge difference. Wish I had done it earlier but glad I got around to doing it today.
      New brakes are always good!

    21. 06-29-2020 07:45 PM #95
      Quote Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
      New brakes are always good!
      Especially for $155 shipped for everything! My dad was pretty amazed at the amount of material you get for $155. The rear shoes were pretty thin as well.

      Honestly after the latest maintenance and upgrades (especially the seats), the truck feels so nice to drive. I haven't even driven my Golf in a while.

    22. Member CaleDeRoo's Avatar
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      06-29-2020 08:27 PM #96
      Those are the shiniest drums I've seen. Ready for the downhill canyon runs?
      Instagram: calederoo

      #FREEPATRIKMAN

    23. 06-29-2020 09:01 PM #97
      Quote Originally Posted by CaleDeRoo View Post
      Those are the shiniest drums I've seen. Ready for the downhill canyon runs?
      Yeah if I get some nicer wheels, I might just paint the drums black or dark grey so they don't stick out so much.

      If the truck doesn't kill me this week I might chance it and take it on some of the twisty roads nearby this long weekend.


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