Picked up a chinook project

Thebrassnuckles

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Founding Member
#1
image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg So there I was, perusing craigslist for the usual weekly keywords. I came across a Chinook for a pretty good price, and decided I had to have it. After clearing it with the CFO, I rounded up the troops (my old man) and we went up the hills to glock up this gem.

The sellers were unsure of the year, bill of sale only, needs work, etc. the vin shows up as a 1981, so it might be one of the later chinooks, or it could have had a swap at one point in its life. I'm not quite sure. Still researching these things, as they were always a dream, now it's a reality.

Plans are to swap in the front axle I just pulled out of my 4Runner, swap the rear axle with the axle out of my runner again, I have an r150f and chain drive Tcase in my garage, and a 1uz in my shitbox sc400.

Should be quite the adventure.
 

bob91yj

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Founding Member
#2
Can't wait to see the build. Does the camper have a pop top?

I've always liked that size. A co-worker had a late '70's model. It was nice, one of the bigger campers, it was nice, but dead slow with the carb'ed 4 banger. Rear end was a little odd to me, it had essentially a super single for a back tire, rather than the more common dually.
 

Thebrassnuckles

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Founding Member
#3
Can't wait to see the build. Does the camper have a pop top?

I've always liked that size. A co-worker had a late '70's model. It was nice, one of the bigger campers, it was nice, but dead slow with the carb'ed 4 banger. Rear end was a little odd to me, it had essentially a super single for a back tire, rather than the more common dually.
Yes, it has a pop up. The fabric has a couple of holes, and the pop top is separating from the wood frame, so it will need a renovation for sure. This thing is tiny, to cabin portion is not even as wide as my dads pickup!
 

Thebrassnuckles

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#6
Ok quick opinion.

I bought this as a flip project. So, my initial plan was to swap in 4x4, but after going over the parts I will need to complete the swap and the price my front axle is worth, the swap would have to increase the value of the yoterhome by $1000 to justify the swap. I'm not 100% if it's worth it. I mean, I would love a 4x4 motorhome, but in all reality, it's very impractical to keep for my family right now.

What do you guys think?

Worth it to swap in 4x4? I have the skills to do it all my self, I have done quite a number on my 4Runner, but is it worth it?
 

Trump

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Founding Member
#7
This is sweet! Love that you're planning on putting that 1UZ in there. I'm not sure about your end weight, but I would recommend using a full-floating rear axle from an 80 series cruiser if it is narrow enough.
 
#8
Ok quick opinion.

I bought this as a flip project. So, my initial plan was to swap in 4x4, but after going over the parts I will need to complete the swap and the price my front axle is worth, the swap would have to increase the value of the yoterhome by $1000 to justify the swap. I'm not 100% if it's worth it. I mean, I would love a 4x4 motorhome, but in all reality, it's very impractical to keep for my family right now.

What do you guys think?

Worth it to swap in 4x4? I have the skills to do it all my self, I have done quite a number on my 4Runner, but is it worth it?
So cool. I think the value of the 4x4 swap relies on 2 things. 1 - Location - If you are out west, it will get snatched up quick and 2 - Are you going to do the restoration of the camper yourself? If you are going to do the full restoration, so that someone can buy a working, "campable" 4x4 chinook, I would think you could sell it in no time.

Cute kiddos - would be to many pairs of feet in that little camper for sure.
 

Thebrassnuckles

Adventurist
Founding Member
#9
Got the yoterhome started up today. Someone had poorly replaced the 3 fusible links on the battery so o replaced them and it fired right up. I drained the old gas and saw that there is s large slice in the short fuel filler hose. Good thing I spotted that before dumping gas all over my backyard. Ha!

Also, I conferred with the CFO and she thinks the best option is to do it up right, and make it real nice inside, and do the 4x4.
 
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#11
There are a lot of younger people getting into full-time RV travel now. It's gaining in popularity more so. I am probably answering questions from other people who are planning to go at least 3-4 times a week. And run a group wanderslack.com for other fulltimers.

There may actually be some resale value in the 4WD conversion, and you should be able to flip it, if you market it to younger fulltimers or someone looking for a sweet adventure mobile. There is a big growing community. Get on instagram and you'll find them. Folks are buying up old RV's looking for ones already done, or just needing work. Old buses, old trailers, etc. There might be a solid niche.

This looks like such a great project. My grandfather briefly had one of these back in 92 or so if I recall.
 

Dave

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#12
Agreed. From a "Toyotahead" perspective, the fact that it's based on an 81 truck makes it SUPER cool. Damn near Unobtainium these days.

Done right, this could gain value like nobody's business - I'd have a hard time selling one of these if it was 4WD!!!
 
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