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New owner 83 sunrader


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Hello! Man I am excited to hang out with you all. Just got a 83 2wd sunrader. I have been wanting a toyota RV my whole life. Went and looked and my girlfriend loved it. The key component. 
 

The bad. It needs one of everything. This is my 8th 80’s toyota. I am a part time garage mechanic for hire. I also flip cars. Head gaskets. Etc. 
 

4 speed manual feels great. Engine running at 40 psi oil pressure with no smoke. Will compression test. 
 

Inside is gutted. It has the bad axle. Thinking about going single rear wheel. Gonna build it light and its a short truck. Researching if its a 1 ton or 3/4. 
 

look forward to hanging out with you all 

 

-Lucas

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5 hours ago, Lucas602 said:

Hello! Man I am excited to hang out with you all. Just got a 83 2wd sunrader. I have been wanting a toyota RV my whole life. Went and looked and my girlfriend loved it. The key component. 
 

The bad. It needs one of everything. This is my 8th 80’s toyota. I am a part time garage mechanic for hire. I also flip cars. Head gaskets. Etc. 
 

4 speed manual feels great. Engine running at 40 psi oil pressure with no smoke. Will compression test. 
 

Inside is gutted. It has the bad axle. Thinking about going single rear wheel. Gonna build it light and its a short truck. Researching if its a 1 ton or 3/4. 
 

look forward to hanging out with you all 

 

-Lucas

Weight capacity is determined by the rear axle. Most Toyota motorhomes have the 3/4 ton (GO82) rear axle. Some may have the 1/2 ton (F292) axle. Check your metal ID plate under the hood. It will tell you which rear axle you have.

You’ve basically got a clean slate to work with. Good luck, and welcome. Fred

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, fred heath said:

Weight capacity is determined by the rear axle. Most Toyota motorhomes have the 3/4 ton (GO82) rear axle. Some may have the 1/2 ton (F292) axle. Check your metal ID plate under the hood. It will tell you which rear axle you have.

You’ve basically got a clean slate to work with. Good luck, and welcome. Fred

Thank you! 

This is the bad axle. Some weird marking on the pumkin. Doesnt really matter I guess. Speedo is off, so wondering if gearing is changed. Says 65 when going 55. 
 

I did locate my doner. It was suggested to stick with the dually for safety. The local junkyard has an 89
 

I priced out a rock auto list (don’t judge me) for $800

 

I will go back through it and post it here once I the wheels off and verify I have the right parts on my list. 
 

I just ordered a cheap in line fuel pump. I have to bang on it to start now. I want to go check in with my smog guy and show him the good news. Lol. 
 

I am curious about bracing the roof. Someone tried to reglue wood to it. It seems to sag. A metal or aluminum support would be nice. We are both 5’10” 

 

The floor has been done 

 

Hard to do my day job today. 

 

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Edited by Lucas602
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Posted (edited)

Went for smog, as I am in california. Its been off the road since 2014 so I was just gonna do a tailpipe test and get their opinion. It was through the roof. We raised the RPM’s way up and it was over the limit. We noticed the choke was stuck and we pushed it down. Passing all the sudden so we went for it. 
 

unfortunately it gross polluted on its last test so when we entered the info it said that it needs to go to a star station or our referee. 
 

Star is more expensive. But the ref looks over everything. I dont know if I have a california approved cat 

 

He advised me to check timing, figure out the automatic choke, and to get it warmed up, pinch the fuel line, and when it starts to die let go of the fuel line and it will blast itself out a little. 
 

He noticed the cat was really far back. It looked like a stock position. But unusual in his opinion. 
 

I am pretty busy with work so going to park it in its new home on the side of the house. 
 

I did score a bunch of vinyl flooring from the hotel next door. Way more than I need. If you are near morro bay, ca. I have extra 

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Edited by Lucas602
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Check your smog test history. If it passed before the cat must be right.

Vehicle Test History - Bureau of Automotive Repair (ca.gov)

They have to verify timing to test it? Why would he say check the timing

Well make sure it's right but also I always adjusted my valves before a smog test. 

Adjusting valve's makes the biggest difference in how my rig runs

Then drive it to get the gunk out. 

Linda S

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7 hours ago, linda s said:

Check your smog test history. If it passed before the cat must be right.

Vehicle Test History - Bureau of Automotive Repair (ca.gov)

They have to verify timing to test it? Why would he say check the timing

Well make sure it's right but also I always adjusted my valves before a smog test. 

Adjusting valve's makes the biggest difference in how my rig runs

Then drive it to get the gunk out. 

Linda S

Thanks. I am glad to have this so I dont buy another gross polluter. I have been wondering if the federal cats will pass if no one looks. Lol. Our prius threw a 420 code after we left the smog shop last time. We may be in trouble in 2 years. 
 

I think timing because my idle is a touch high. They want it at 900 but I can be below 1100. 
 

He also said changing the oil. If a bunch of gas passed through it may put out more hydrocarbons. 
 

All stuff related to it sitting so long I guess. 
 

So I should mention I paid $2k for this thing. Lol. It needs a lot but if I don’t have something to do I will just fix unbroken things. My 2014 nissan has a rebuilt engine, transmission etc. 

 

We decided on a layout but for now, we are getting things at thrift stores and using the bed from the guest room. It fold into a couch. Goal is to be in oregon aug 1st. Doing all mechanical repairs. Getting a fridge. Solar shower. Collapsable sink. And doing a trial run. 

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on something that old there is no difference between fed and ca. cat. you can check for cat operation by drilling a hole in front of the cat and using the gas analyzer in non test mode- check hc's in front and in back of the cat. should be a significant difference . a lso run the engine at high r's for a bit first to warm it up. cat needs to be up to 600 before it works

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57 minutes ago, extech said:

on something that old there is no difference between fed and ca. cat. you can check for cat operation by drilling a hole in front of the cat and using the gas analyzer in non test mode- check hc's in front and in back of the cat. should be a significant difference . a lso run the engine at high r's for a bit first to warm it up. cat needs to be up to 600 before it works

Thank you! We are getting really good numbers when the butterfly fully opens on the carb. 
 

It appears the automatic choke isnt working. Stuck fully open 

 

on the other barre that isnt directly hooked to the automatic choke its partially closed. I can manually open it 

 

trying to address that, then run it hard to town and go in for smog. 

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the plate on the secondary isn't a choke.  it opens as needed to maintain a constant velocety in the bore. the big tube there is the fuel discharge, and how much comes out is controlled by the spring pressure trying to close it.  this is the same system as a gm quadrajet

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Thank you! I just got the service manual so I can learn. Its been awhile. 
 

Got some more stuff working. Accelerator pump free. 
 

I got a bunch of flooring from the hotel next door and started doing that to have some nice visual progress

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Busy with family and events. Really wish I could work on my floor. 
 

I do get time for research. I have been reading the service manual on the carburetor. I just need to know it inside and out. 
 

I talked to a family member that works in solar, has a van, and just a really smart guy. While it seems appealing to get lithium batteries, solar, etc. In my situation, I may be better starting with a normal deep cycle battery and utilizing my stock system that I already have. We drive more than we camp. We will stop at the beach on the way to see family. Etc. 
 

We can just charge off the alternator and if we run out of power, grab a bag of ice. 
 

It really shifted my perspective on our setup really is effective. 
 

I also saw someone peeking in the windows the other day so I went to go check in and it was a young man that also had a sunrader. I went and checked out his build and was impressed. 
 

Next decision is toilet. I have the toilet and flange. I need a black tank. And grey. Someone suggested composting. I have done both methods and really prefer a tank. I think. 

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Since you're starting from scratch waste tanks depend on where you are going to put your toilet and sink. This place has been around for ages and still makes the black tank for the Sunrader. 59H

Water Tanks, Holding Tanks & GMC Tanks For RV – Ronco Plastics (ronco-plastics.com)

They are not cheap. Since you have more freedom to pick the shape and size I think you can find cheaper. 

Linda S

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18 hours ago, linda s said:

Since you're starting from scratch waste tanks depend on where you are going to put your toilet and sink. This place has been around for ages and still makes the black tank for the Sunrader. 59H

Water Tanks, Holding Tanks & GMC Tanks For RV – Ronco Plastics (ronco-plastics.com)

They are not cheap. Since you have more freedom to pick the shape and size I think you can find cheaper. 

Linda S

Thank you! 
 

I have the original holes and the shower insert, but I also want to hook shower to grey water anyways. I found some stuff for $60 online. I have been looking for those original tanks though. Thank you! 

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Battery updates. Got this renogy gel battery from a local couple. Hardly used. A couple years old. Has been maintained. $150. Not bad. Not great. But I am happy. I think I will have move the tray or possibly remove this bracket to make it fit

 

I have been on facebook marketplace looking for fridges. Getting this one on wed when we go to the city. $350 new, still in the box. Unused for $200. 
 

I like it better than a cooler as you don’t have to dig. And food is a big item for us. 

Realistically we are trying to save money on food over camping. 
 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Finally got some other projects done and have some time for the sunrader 

 

While changing a radiator in another car I took advantage of my half filled bucket of coolant and drained the sunrader. I flushed it out and a couple times and collected it. Honestly I didnt notice any antifreeze anyways, but I will take it to hazardous waste. 
 

I am going to hook up my homemade flushing device they no longer sell in california. I bipass the heater core and hook up a hose. Take out the thermostat, and open the radiator drain and run it with the hose on. 
 

There was one funny bolt in the thermostat housing and it broke right off. Gonna try the easy out and if not welding a nut on should do. 
 

Looking at all these temp senders, and I have two electric and two vacuum. The temp gauge kinda works so going to try cleaning them. I may end up pouring some CLR in and getting some rust out. 
 

The actual one for the gauge appears to be going into the intake. There are two more electric units on the thermostat housing, and two vacuum. 
 

 

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Edited by Lucas602
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well that was satisfying. 9 tries to get that stuck bolt out. I got some stainless bolts to replace them but unsure if its the right choice. Definitely using anti-seize. 
 

Lots of rust came out. Today I am flushing the heater core out backwards, hooking everything back up and running it with CLR in the radiator. Probably high idle for 20 min. Then flush. Refill with new coolant, thermostat and gasket and done. 
 

Next is cleaning the carb. New fuel filter first but I believe the accelerator pump is clogged. The choke also doesnt turn on its own. The electric choke looks new so wondering if it was done wrong. 
 

I have been looking at axle options and taking it out with Linda a lot. I looked at some custom full floating for $5000. I looked at shortening a full size full floating. Seems like the trick is to find one that is offset, and shortening the long side to match the short side. 
 

I met a guy that sells dually parts locally. He is motivated, and expensive, so its gonna be hard to beat him to anything around me. And he drives up to 8 hours. 
 

I am liking T100 axles. The first generation 4x4 had some that were 4.80 gears. This will require new spring perches but most axles will if I want to set the right pinion angle and not wear out U-joints. 
 

I also have been looking at T100 front spindles. I may grab just one from the pick a part and see how it looks next to mine. 
 

 

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Well, I got covid, but today I can sit in the garage and solder. 
 

The charging wire was missing right at the battery. Ill put all new cables on eventually and attach this with a ring terminal, I hacked it together. 

It was strange how hard it was to stick the solder to the old wire. Maybe because it is dirty? 
 

I can’t remember how to clean it. Vinegar?

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Why bother with all that work. Grab a universal 2pin connector and bypass that green connector completely. Plenty on eBay and Amazon. Those old factory connectors have marginal contact even when cleaned up.

 

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13 hours ago, fred heath said:

Why bother with all that work. Grab a universal 2pin connector and bypass that green connector completely. Plenty on eBay and Amazon. Those old factory connectors have marginal contact even when cleaned up.

 

Thanks Fred. 
 

I have covid and am not going out. And it was nice to finally be able to sit at my work bench for 10 min. 
 

I am wondering about the harness as a whole. I def plan to do away with the battery terminals and cut this weird blade connection off. 

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Well we now have a goal to head up the coast to Oregon in a few weeks. Ive been going through doing all the standard maintenance stuff. I flushed the cooling system and got a small leak I need to find. Need to change all the fluid. And address the wiring from the cab backwards. 
 

Todays question is tires. I have some small passenger car tires I got an auction for $20 but they are only rated for 1100 lbs. My helper always has a flat tire and I noticed these will fit so I think they found a home. 
 

Looking at some light truck tires with whees locally. One is a 215 and wondering if it will rub. Research shows you can go up to 205? 
 

Here are my two options. One is a tacoma. The other I have no idea but I like them for some reason. Probably too wide for the front though. 
 

 

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I think you're ok if the diameter stays under 27, but I can't be 100% sure.  Of course, with a 98 load range your rear must weigh no more that 3000lbs. 

The real issue here is how old are they. More than 6 years and they are history. California actually has laws that prevent tire shops from installing tires older than that. The stress of a motorhome makes it even more important.

Look up reading tire date code

Linda S

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Diameter is everything. The 27” is just a general ‘max’ diameter. It all depends on the clear opening of your wheel wells. Measure front to back in two different areas. Using the smallest measurement subtract 1” from that. This is the maximum tire diameter you can use without rubbing. The 225/60-16’s have a 26.7” diameter. It will be close if not too big.

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Awesome info.

 

I have a honda element with 215/70R16

 

way too big on the front. 
 

I greased and checked everything while in here. Someone really took care of it. 
 

 

 

 

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It appears I have a bad axle seal. I also noticed the pinion seal is leaking. 
 

I have my donor axle picked out. I think I may just see how in fluid I am, and add fluid as needed. 
 

We are staying with friends where I can work. A lot of them will have full shops but I am taking tools and a small aluminum floor jack/stands with me. 
 

I found some nice wheels on a ford ranger that just came into the junkyard. Aluminum 15”. 
 

I am thinking about running a much wider wheel in the rear, with more backspacing or spacers. Like a 285 or something. 
 

I did find a Dana 44 here locally for the front end. 
 

 

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Well, went to the junkyard for wheels, came home with an axle 

 

Right on the main row was a dually utility truck. I scored the axle for $600 with 4 wheels 

 

i am converting to 4x4 so I dont want the hubs. And there are 5 more wheels available. 
 

anyone need any? Going back to pickup tomorrow or monday 

 

 

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i would like the front setup.  what part of cali?

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Successfully drilled and tapped the thermostat housing to M10. My hobo freight tap set wasnt seeming right. So I just went and bought an Irwin tap and handle from ace. M10 1.5 pitch and stainless. 
 

All the corrosion, welding and such left that hole tapped out. The M8 threads went on the last time I was putting the bolt in. Glad it happened at home. 
 

just enough meat there to go to M10. I was wondering if things went bad, it I could all the way through. 
 

If I ever pull the intake off for a head gasket or something, I will go grab another intake from the junkyard 

 

I also had to explain to my partner why I spend $600 out of budget on an axle. 

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Thread pitch is 1.25 for Toyota, not 1.5.

Bottom cut tap will give you a little more meat to grab onto. Whenever possible I substitute studs with nuts for bolts when going into aluminum. Stud allows for more torque with less chance of stripping aluminum threads.

Toyota FSM recommends leaving intake and exhaust manifolds attached when removing cylinder head. Makes head gasket install pretty simple.

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Posted (edited)

Good to know. Thank you. I think when I get time I will drill out the other side, and put two studs in with nuts. 
 

I can’t go to 1.25 now. But will in the future. 

Edited by Lucas602
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Just drinking coffee this fine sunday morning and scanning the internet. Found a disc brake conversion for the rear. 
 

I can’t tell if it will work. I think the spindles have to be removed. 
 

probably more than I desire to do. But here you go 

 

https://frontrangeoffroadfab.com/drotor-backing-plate-kit/

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Posted (edited)

Ok axle put together with all new seals. New rotor, spark plugs, waterpump, belts, hoses. 
 

One question, I set my float hights to 9.8 mm and 48 mm. My fuel level was too hight and its been running ritch. 
 

Do these measurements look correct? 
 

they measured originally at 3.4 mm and 54 mm 

 

Edit:

 

I found this info online and think I got it right. Its amazing how stretched out it gets over time.

 

The accelerator pump was clogged and the electric choke element was installed wrong. Its running a lot better. Its interesting working on something this old. Its a little crusty and so much evidence of previous work. 
 

I can spot 3 different peoples work. One guy lost a lot of bolts and odd numbered stuff to replace what ever he lost. IE, 13 mm bolt on the top of the alternator and 14 on the bottom. 
 

The 13 was old. Sharp edges. Super hard. I have never really seen anthing like it.

 

This truck has a soul.  
 

I admire whoever worked on this rear end. They use whiteout like I do. 
 

Tomorrow dropping the tranny and rear end out. My muscle friend is coming to help with the lifting. 
 

1 Float at rest, settled position. measure from float bowl to bottom of float to 9.5- 10.5mm

#2 Float at full raised level should be 48mm from float bowl casting to highest part of float.”

 

 

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Edited by Lucas602
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the float drop has to be measured with the carb inverted, weight of float setting drop. not all that important. need to have the needle not fall out. too little float drop and it may starve for fuel.

 for float level, cut a piece of beer box to the level needed, then lay it on the body and it should just touch the float. 

 the way you show is highly inaccurate.  float level affects all circuits in the carb

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29 minutes ago, extech said:

the float drop has to be measured with the carb inverted, weight of float setting drop. not all that important. need to have the needle not fall out. too little float drop and it may starve for fuel.

 for float level, cut a piece of beer box to the level needed, then lay it on the body and it should just touch the float. 

 the way you show is highly inaccurate.  float level affects all circuits in the carb

Thank you! 

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