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View Full Version : 1977 Toyota Chinook 4x4



Beachboyy
12-09-2011, 06:10 PM
Well I hope this is the right place to post this. I know its a camper but the truck itself is what I seem to have a couple questions about. This is my first Toyota pickup (if you can call it that). I bought the truck back in September sight unseen in Utah. Being that I work in Alaska I wasnt able to go pick it up until last week. It seems to be in pretty darn good shape for a '77. No significant rust at all. The old owner was in his late 60's and used the truck a lot during the summers until his wife passed away about 5 years ago. I drove the truck about an hour back down to SLC (mind you on the same day they had the biggest wind storm they have had in 10 years!). The truck did great but had 3 different tires on it including 1 mud terrain. It like to pull pretty hard. I dropped it off at a local mechanic in SLC and did a simple tune up, 2 new rear tires, oil change, checked breaks, etc... I took off at 5:30am heading for the oregon coast 856 miles away. The truck did great. As long as there were no hills I could cruise at about 60-65mph. Throw in a hill and i was doing 40-50mph. I got 17.9 mpg and figure i have over a 600 mile range. I made it all of 839 miles when suddenly my headlights shut off. Our area where we live in oregon is pretty rural and I was coming out of the mountains, needless to say driving the beast at 60mph in the pitch dark was a little scary, even if it was only for 10 seconds. I was able to make it to a pull out and being as tired as I was I did little more than make sure it wasnt a blown fuse and then call a friend to come pick me up. I went back and got it the next morning and it is now officially sitting in my driveway! I few more tidbits about the truck. I was told it originally came with the 20r but has been upgraded to the 22r. My only toyota experience has been with an fj55 with a chevy 350 so I dont know how to tell the difference? I believe Wolverine did the 4x4 conversion. The front axle says "Low MFG" on the diff cover. I have never seen this kind of axle and tried looking it up but couldnt find much on it. I would really appreciate if anyone could give me some more info on it. Everything on the vehicle works that I have found so far (except the headlights now). It has aftermarket A/C. The biggest downfall to it was just that it was really dirty. It looked like there had been a dog living in it and had collected a good amount of leaves inside it. I know there are some guy on here that know toyota's better than they know themselves and I am sure I am going to have a million annoying questions. Here is a short list of what I need to do to it:

-Strip old carpet out of the cab and replace with new carpet kit. Any idea of were I can get a carpet kit for it?
-Strip old shag carpet out of living area and replace with some sort of vinyl flooring.
-Figure out headlight issue
-I would really like to do a power steering conversion on it. You forget how nice it is having power steering until its gone. I have no idea where to start with this though.
-Mostly I would like to figure out were to source parts for this rig. Being a '77 Im not sure were to find parts. I would like to redo the suspension (springs and shocks)

I am really happy with it so far and see my family and myself having a lot of good times in it. If I should post this in a different section please let me know. Here are a few pics of the outside after I got home. After I clean the inside I will shoot some shots of it also.
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Owyhee H
12-09-2011, 06:34 PM
Nice find. I have never seen a front axle like that either, weird they didnt use a toyota axle. I assume they did the conversion in 77 so maybe that was before toyota had brought in the 4X4.
If the engine was converted to the 22R, easy conversion, it will say 22R on the front dirvers side of the block about 1/3 the way down on a flat spot. This might take some cleaning to get to.
Depending on what 22R block they used the power stearing conversion should be easy. There are lots of 22R power stearing brackets to be had and depending on the front axles stearing setup you can either hav a push pull stearing or HI-stear options.
You look to need springs bad, the cheapo helpers on the back are junk.
Looks like you have a great project and lots of work ahead of you.
Good luck

BIGGUY
12-09-2011, 06:55 PM
Nice truck. Here is an address for a place that carries parts for the older Toyota trucks. Some people don't like them, but they have treated me good when I've bought stuff there a few years ago. http://www.northwestoffroad.com/

Dave Bennett
12-09-2011, 07:05 PM
Awesome find!

JeffRRC
12-09-2011, 07:13 PM
Cool ride!

austintaco
12-09-2011, 08:12 PM
Nice find. I dig the color scheme too. Keep us posted on what you end up doing to it.

randito
12-09-2011, 09:01 PM
That truck is awesome! I was wondering how they kept the suspension so low, then I saw that it was SUA in the front, interesting.

rxinhed
12-10-2011, 01:31 AM
This is the truck that was on Craigslist and thoroughly discussed on this board?

Beachboyy
12-10-2011, 02:11 AM
This vehicle was listed on KSL (kind of like Utah's craigslist) and was discussed in the classified's section yes.
Owyhee H - Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. I found the "22R" stamped on the block and will be looking into the power steering. The hi-steer conversion would be awesome.

So i started tearing into the cab today. It had "newer" carpet over the original vinyl over......rust! I was pretty disappointed when I found some rust in both the driver side and passenger side floor pans. Both have small spots that are rusted through. I will finish cleaning up the cab tomorrow and see how bad they really are. I will be putting some new steel in though.

When sourcing new springs where should I start? Not like I can look up '77 4x4 chinook. I measured the rears and they are 48" long and the fronts are 36". I weighed the vehicle at a closed weight station yesterday and it was 4600 lbs. This is all i have to go with on springs. Shocks should be easy once I take them off I will have a compressed and extended measurement with the weight of the vehicle.

Falkon
12-10-2011, 02:27 AM
That is all kinds of flavors of awesome! :thumbup:

-Chris
*Sent from my Droid.

BIGGUY
12-10-2011, 06:21 AM
I forgot when I posted before, but you can call this company and tell them what you have and what you need and they can make you a set of springs.

http://www.alcanspring.com/

Beachboyy
12-11-2011, 12:08 AM
Well ran into another hiccup (i'm sure there is going to be tons of these). The engine is sometimes cold blooded on the cold mornings. But has started every time and is great once warmed up. However, today there was no starting. Even with starting fluid still nothing. Not sure whats going on? Ran fine yesterday evening when I parked it. It is parked on a hill with the nose uphill (not sure if this would do anything). Any suggestions?

zolo
12-11-2011, 03:12 AM
Well ran into another hiccup (i'm sure there is going to be tons of these). The engine is sometimes cold blooded on the cold mornings. But has started every time and is great once warmed up. However, today there was no starting. Even with starting fluid still nothing. Not sure whats going on? Ran fine yesterday evening when I parked it. It is parked on a hill with the nose uphill (not sure if this would do anything). Any suggestions?

Start with the basics Fuel and Spark....Make sure the choke is working. Thats a simple set up.

TEJASYOTA
12-11-2011, 01:04 PM
So cool! Post up some interior & under the hood pics.

haddix
12-11-2011, 03:21 PM
That thing is awesome! Let's see some pics of the inside!

tanglefoot
12-11-2011, 05:01 PM
Wow--great find! It sounds like it really gets along with that 22R. My '85 4wd/22RE/pop-up camper combo does 55mph on the flats and 35 mph on the hills. I have a light foot though, and yours is probably more aerodynamic (your camper not your foot).

Are you sure you want to add power steering? The '85 has manual steering and I really like the feel, simplicity and workout. It's one of the reasons I don't want to replace it--it'd be tough to find something newer without power steering.

JC Whitney probably has a cab carpet kit that would work in there.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/jcwhitney/textsearch_result.jcw?sku=Auto+Custom+Carpets&shopid=100001

What kind of transfer case is in there? Does it have a pretty decent low-range ratio?

Nook
12-11-2011, 11:31 PM
Back prior to 79 before toyota built the 4x4 trucks, many outfits were doing 4x conversions on the minis, the Wolverine done by Tolsdorf were doing the Toyota, Low Manufacturing were mostly Datsuns, but they also sold the parts in kit form. Its been some years but I have seen the custom front diff covers before made by Low.
Can't see in the pictures well enough but it appears to have the Wolverine tag on the front fender? if so it would have had a 2 speed Dana 20 transfer case, with a custom adapter to mate it to the stock trans, a Dana 30 front axle with 4.11 ratio to match the rear.
As for your headlight issue, you might want to check the fusible links connected to the battery positive post, its a ring connector with 2 wires going to a square plug, 1 of the fuse wires is the fuse for the headlights. Happy Chinookin

Beachboyy
12-12-2011, 01:46 AM
Thanks so much for the input. Nook - thanks for the info. that is very informative and helps a ton. This morning I went out and was able to get the truck turned around (by manually pushing) so the nose was down hill. i let it sit until this evening and the thing fired right up! My grandfather is getting quite old and was forced to sell his big motorhome this year because of health issues. So his RV garage no longer gets used which is a pretty cool opportunity for me. I moved the chinook over there today. Its a huge garage attached to a good size shop. Great place to work on the little guy. I have to take off for the week for work but will resume work on it next weekend. Again thanks for all the help.

Nook
12-12-2011, 02:07 AM
Your more than welcome for what little I can offer, it might be that the accelerator pump is getting a bit weak and not squirting enough fuel at start up, carb bowl for some reason is siphoning back and not holding enough fuel, plus the fact that the stock fuel pump is an intank electric unit and is wired through the oil pressure switch, it doesn't turn on until the engine has oil pressure and the idiot light shuts off.
You can pull the oil sender wire off the sender on the side of the block just behind the oil filter and then when the key is turned on the pump will operate as if it had oil pressure.
Thats great to have a shop to work in. wish I could get mine in the garage :) just clears the carport as is darnit!!! the pitfalls of owning 4x4 Chinooks :)

xoblaim
03-07-2013, 07:29 PM
Are there any updates on your Chinook? I went and looked at it when it was just posted locally and then I posted it in the classifieds section here on ExPo. By the time I finally decided to buy it you snatched it up already :-)

77blazerchalet
03-07-2013, 08:37 PM
...Low Manufacturing were mostly Datsuns, but they also sold the parts in kit form. Its been some years but I have seen the custom front diff covers before made by Low...That triggered a memory of a photo in one of my old 1977 Petersen magazines, which led me to do a bit of google searching, which led me to a thread where some found a different magazine showing a '78 vintage article about the Low kits (http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php/103886-1975-Spencer-Low-4x4-rebuild-for-the-NORRA-1000?p=1488936&viewfull=1#post1488936). The thread in that link is about a guy rebuilding one of Spencer Low's Datsun 4x4 race trucks.

Henry_G
05-21-2013, 10:34 PM
Any updates on this project?