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New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...

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Old 11-02-2011, 11:04 AM   #1
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New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...

Hi Toyota Forum! I just bought a '98 Toyota Tacoma on Halloween, and I'm wondering if I just got a killer deal or a huge headache. The original owner took two Tacoma's (a '98 with a blown engine and an '03 that had been rolled) and merged them together Frankenstein-style. I've never owned a vehicle this new before, and this is my first Toyota (I have lots of friends and family who love their Yotas!). Here's the specs on the mobile:

-5-speed manual transmission and Xtra cab body from the '98 Tacoma, about 101k miles

-Ever other component, including the front end, all V6 engine parts, 4x4, TRD, and interior from the '03 Tacoma, about 52k miles

-Aftermarket exhaust, K&N air filter, aftermarket amp wired-in to the stock cd player, power locks (w/alarm) and windows, clutch changed 2k miles ago, 2" taller tires at 90% tread, 2.5" lift, a so-so paint job, A/C and catalytic converter removed

The original owner was a sort of backyard mechanic who assured me that all of the parts on the two trucks were identical, and so far I've only found one hose that strangely goes to nowhere (included in pics). He also said there are aftermarket TRD headers on the truck? I don't know the value on those, but I included a picture. He's driven the truck about 23k miles since he made the engine switch 4 years ago. The truck was originally from Maui, so there is some slight electrolysis on some of the parts, but it doesn't seem too bad.

All the 4x4 gears work without a single problem and the truck drives like a dream (one belt is a little squeaky). Exhaust burns no oil and all the fluids look pristine. My big questions are:

#1. Did I get a good deal? He posted it for 9k, had about 50 emails instantly, and I bought it at full price early the next day (he wouldn't budge on the price, and neither would I with that kind of response!).

#2. What should I be worried about with this truck?

I am only slightly mechanically inclined and would love to own this truck for 20 years (assuming we still use fossil fuels by then...), but should I sell it at the first sign of trouble? The engine's only got 52k miles! These things aren't even broken in until 150k right!? Thanks for reading and posting.
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New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...-102_0236.jpg   New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...-102_0237.jpg   New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...-102_0238.jpg   New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...-102_0239.jpg   New Tacoma owner--bought a Frankenmobile on Halloween...-102_0240.jpg  

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:31 PM   #2
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where is that hose coming from and ill try to find it on my tacoma. Just did a engine swap from a 00 tacoma to a 97 4runner. The 4runner lasted 323k miles even then the only thing that killed it was overheating cracked a head other than that the motor was in surprisingly amazing shape.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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1. That's not a bad deal. The thing about our trucks is that they hold their value SUPER well. I mean, compared to a similar Ranger or S10, these things sell for 1.5-2x the price.
Does it have a salvage title though (I'm assuming yes?), because if it does then you will not qualify for the frame recall (for more info read the sticky thread or search).
My current Tacoma was 8k and it had 150k on the clock. It also is an 01 V6 TRD (similar to yours) and came with King coilovers, rock sliders, and mud tires on steel crawler rims.

2. Check the frame for rust. Check all fluids and probably change them. Not sure what else others can chime in.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input! My buddy said the hose is some sort of ventilation for something, but he wasn't sure what it was...also, the "check engine" light doesn't come on when you first turn the key on--something to be concerned about? I'm sure there is a forum for fixing such a thing...
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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Oh, and the title is clear! The engine's old vehicle has a salvage title, but apparently a blown engine doesn't make your title salvaged? I heard you are supposed to take your vehicle down for inspection if you replace the engine, but I don't know anybody who has actually done such a thing.
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