Hello gang! Having finally gotten all the work done on our other 2 vehicles, I'm back to having the opportunity to spend some time on my Taco... here is my situation.
This is a 1996 Tacoma 4x4 standard transmission with only 30k miles. It was my father's truck before he passed away, and obviously he only drove it during winter weather and when he needed to haul cargo. When he passed away last year, my mother had no need for the truck and so she signed it over to me.
The truck still runs great, and when I needed to fix the clutch last summer I found this forum and learned of the frame-rot fix/buyback issue. I have until September of this year before my 15 years is up. Looking at the frame, it is VERY rusted and I'm doubting it is going to pass the test. I know my first step is to actually take it in to have it tested, but I'm assuming it is going to fail and they are going to want to buy it back from me.
This truck has infinite sentimental value to me and I am not interested in selling it for any price when in my mind they can put a good frame on there for much less than they want to buy it for... it is simply out of the question for me if I have another feasible option. I want this truck to last another 20+ years. Lets say that hypothetically the frame fails the test, and I refuse to sell it back to them (and sign their waiver). What are my options? I'd imagine even if I can find a frame in good shape that it would be a major pain in the a$$ to swap out, and it seems to be an expensive job that I can't really afford. But if I refuse to sell, and the frame rots away, the truck is going to be worthless anyway. I just can't willingly sell my dad's truck unless I have no other option, but I feel like keeping it and having the frame fall apart in a few years ends in the same result anyway. Given it only has 30k miles I feel like the engine has decades of life left in it being driven a few thousand miles per year! And the $4500 or so that I would get is not going to buy me another 4x4 with 30k miles, period.
My ideal situation would be to tell Toyota to take the 1.5X book value ($4500) they want to offer me and put on a good frame (pretty sure that would be less than the $4500), but I don't see them doing that.
What do you guys think I should do? Perhaps I'll get lucky and it will pass the frame test, but I want to be prepared when I go in. If it fails, do I have to sign the waiver before they will let me leave with the truck? And if I sign the waiver do I also waive my right to sell it to them at a later time (fear of this is why I have waited so long)?
Any of your time and sincere advice is appreciated.