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Thinking of buying Tacoma, Advice please

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Old 05-01-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
TacomaDan [OP] TacomaDan is offline
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Thinking of buying Tacoma, Advice please

I'm thinking of buying this 1996 Tacoma V6 Ext. Cab, 4x4. It has 190k and a 3" spacer lift and BFG muds.

And i quote "
hello kat i have attached pictures of the truck here. my ad on craigslist covers the basics:

http://tucson.craigslist.org/cto/1147050580.html

as for the details i will try to be as thorough as possible: the truck has manual door locks and windows which are fine also has cruise control but it does not work. 2 dime-sized chips in windshield they are not cracks just stone chips, are not in the drivers line of sight and do not leak. mechanically the truck is sound, it runs and drives great, and i don't have any fears driving it to phoenix or anything. but realistically with 192k on the original engine, there are a few issues that may need addressed.

-firstly the valve cover gaskets leak, its a small leak and it doesnt leave spots on the ground but the oil does sometimes get onto the exhaust heat-shield so sometimes you can smell it burning off, but not always

-the engine makes a tapping sound, i'd thought it was a broken valve or something really bad, but i took it to Dan at TCR, who deals mostly with toyotas and scions. he eased my mind when he said the cams are just worn which is typical of the high-mileage toyota v6 engines. the cams get worn and when the lobe rolls over (and opens) the valve it makes noise. he said a valve clearance adjustment can help the sound but in reality it will eventually need new cams. he advised me that this does not mean the top end will go boom, or shatter a piston, or snap valves, or any of the other stuff i was really concerned might happen, and infact the engine will keep running for another 100k but will be noisy. he also said the bottom end sounds good and thought the engine all-together ran smoothly.

-the right rear brake wheel cylinder(or hose) is leaking, leaving a little fluid leak on the inside of the tire, it is a small leak, and easily fixed.

-the transfer case has a small leak. i do not know where it is coming from but i noticed slight wetness when i was changing the front 02 sensor today. again it does not leave spots so i dont think its a major leak.

-the radio/cd player is not wired into the dash so it does not work.

-the tailgate latch handle is broken but the tailgate still opens and locks shut.

-the body is good but there are various small dings, blemishes, small paint chips etc. bed is in good shape but has scratches on the bottom its a 13 year old truck so no surprise there.

-interior is very good, except for tear on drivers seat, see pics for that. otherwise very clean no cracks in dash.

-hella offroad spotlights are super bright but one is out, dont know if its my wiring or just a burnt bulb. its just a regular H7 bulb.

-suspension is good but its no cadillac, the 3" lift(see pic) is stiff but in all fairness i've ridden in worse 4x4 trucks, this one handles bumps pretty well.


thats all i can think of for the 'problems' although compared to other tacomas i've seen they dont amount to much. the truck runs really well, has lots of power, a/c is very cold, the clutch and transmission are very tight and show no signs of slop, steering is very good, brakes are a little spongy but with 3-ply sidewall tread mud-terrains what can you really expect?

well any questions please ask, and if are there any specific pictures you need let me know i will take them.

cheers,
martin

end quotes"

so what do you guys think. honestly. Have at it cause this is the first tacoma i'm going to buy. Should i look else where? and yes he has used it to wheel. oh yeah i forgot to say he wants $4500 for it.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:00 AM   #2
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$4500 for that?
Don't let the aggressive look fool you into buying it. That truck has some serious stuff that needs to be done. Most of it is small and not immediate, but it definitely shows some wear if the valve cover and transfer case are leaking.

Not sure on your budget, but there are a bunch of 4x4's on Autotrader right now under $7000 within a 300 mile radius.
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:55 AM   #3
TacomaDan [OP] TacomaDan is offline
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i know. i saw the value on kbb and its 4100 for fair condition and i honestly wouldnt call that fair with the valve train wear. so i would offer him 3500 maybe. the aggressive looks do not fool me. the next thing i would do after the repairs is take off that stupid spacer lift. i am not all for spacer lifts as for i think they are fake. so yea. we'll see.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:06 AM   #4
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Are you aware of the frame rust warrantee??

Toyota has been buying back trucks because the internal frame rust. The rust is rotting the frames from the inside out and you can't see it from teh outside.

Before you even THINK about buying this truck - I'd take it to a dealer and have them inspect it first. They will tell you whether or not it'll pass or fail.

And even so....how far off is it from failing?

That truck seems to have a lot of issues - and unless you can get it for a SONG & DANCE, I'd walk away.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:24 AM   #5
TacomaDan [OP] TacomaDan is offline
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ive heard of the frame rust warantee and that can be good or bad... i really like the look of the 95.5-97 tacomas. those are my fav. i'm not sure if they have that kind of issue down here in AZ. smart thing about the dealer inspecting it. hmm. i'm still pondering it in my head i'm still deployed in the Mid East so i have some time. i'm def going to talk him down. the work doesnt scare me at all. i am def mechanically inclined. so ya...
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