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Old 02-07-2008, 10:30 AM   #1
proepro [OP] proepro is offline
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buying guide or FAQ

I came to this site looking a buying guide or FAQ to know what to look for when buying a Tacoma. What are the typical issues and how are they spotted?


What are some of the things that are worth looking for or paying more for?
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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I posted to the first gen forum because i am looking at a used first gen. I saw it in a yard on the way to work this morning. So I don't know year or anything yet.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #4
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When I was looking for my Tacoma, I read time and time again that there may be a frame rust issue. I made certain to check that before I bought. Other than that, they seem to be rock solid.

My transmission guy told me that he cannot remember the last time he cracked a Toyota tranny, so we have that going for us.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:29 PM   #5
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Check for rust, especially on the frame rails around the rear axle. You goota do more than just look. Get under there and poke around with fingers or screw driver. Other than that, look at the same things you would check on any used car/truck. The Tacomas really hold there value and for good reason. Don't go into sticker shock if you see a higher than expected price. Do your homework, though, on the price tag. For example, I paid 13k for a x-cab v6 trd 4x4 with 103,000 miles on it. That price was very reasonable for the truck I got. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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The one on the road sold before I could get home but I've found a 92 that I'm going to go look at.

Come on there have to be other things besides rust to look for.

What are some of the common expensive repairs? For example on my car master cylinders tend to leak and they cost $1700 a piece. So you always look for a car with a good one.

How long do clutches last?
Do they have timing belts?
Where are the common leaks?
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
668: The Neighbor of the Beast
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What is your current car? This is a Toyota. The best truck in the Universe. Toyotas have a reputation for rusting apart before they quit running. The timing belt should be replaced at around 90k miles. It's not uncommon to have to replace the water pump around 100k. Major repairs are not common on these trucks. That's why we like them so much.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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T4L is right on... once again The 3.4 engine is a great engine, it does have a timing belt issue around 90,000 miles, but if it's the I-4, timing chain, so no issue. These are really great trucks that last a really long time, and they're tough. Find a truck you can grow into, no kids now but in the future, double cab... live in an area where there is snow, 4wd... tight budget... regular cab 2 wd, it all what you need and what you can afford, it's a buyers market so take your time and get the best deal.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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I wouldn't call the timing belt an issue. It's high mileage maintenance. If it runs good, and appears to have been reasonably maintained, chances are it's a winner. period.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:23 AM   #10
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I hate to say it again, but the reasons you are looking for are just not out there. The only other thing that could be mentioned is the axle wrap phenomenon. That is discussed all over this forum and the issue can be a real pain.

I agree with Toy4life. You may pay a bit more that the 'blue book', but dealers know they are going to sell it to someone, so they may not deal as much with a Taco.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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DC Transmission Option?

Figured I'd add my first forum post to this thread.

Currently I've got a 98 Jeep XJ as a daily driver. I enjoy it - it's stock, occasionally sees some trails or fire roads, and is excellent in the snow. I'm debating replacing it with a pickup truck to make Home Depot runs easier, and a Tacoma is high on the short list (2nd gen Frontier other option) - though I have not gone out to test drive anything yet. Kids are in the future so double cab is a must.

Question: Are the double cabs available with a manual transmission? It's not a deal breaker, but would ideal for a cpl extra mpg since the 4cyl is not available in double cab config...correct me if I'm wrong there. Thanks
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:47 AM   #12
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it is available in as a 6 speed in the 4.0L V6, BUT the automatic transmissions seem to get just as good if not better fuel economy. This is because the 6 speed is geared so low (it is a definite hauler).

Bad news - the 6 speed with the double cab is NOT available with the long bed (which is why I have an access cab).

Cheers!
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:52 AM   #13
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Thanks 007Tacoma, fast response.

What about with the 3.4L? The 2nd Gen DC Tacomas with 4.0L seem to be, for the most part, above my budget.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:09 AM   #14
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The 3.4L is a great engine, but they can be pricey. The 1st generation Tacomas are the last of the true compact pickups that Toyota made. It is driving their resale price up! I tried to find a 2001 Tacoma Double Cab manual only to find that I could get a 2007 Access Cab manual for the same price...

Also, the 1st generation DC's only come with a short bed.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Take into account if the 90k maintenance has been done because from what I have seen a lot of people end up paying up to $2k for this service at the dealer.

Seems expensive but I think it's typical for a 4WD.

Also, check the front axle CV boots for tears if your looking at 4WD. Mine split open at 130k. Again this is a wear and tear item, not a design defect.

In fact I would look up the maintenance schedule on Toyota.com and check out what's been done so you don't have any surprises
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:20 PM   #16
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$2000! I just got another coupon from the dealer to replace the timing belt in my Taco for $329. Four Cyl. go for $299. I was going to save my money and just have them do the water pump too. I can probably get it out the door for under $500.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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Yeah, 2g's sounds a tad steep to me as well. 300-350 sounds about right, but I think alexh may be talking about more than just the belt.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:36 PM   #18
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Yes if you just tell them to change belt, it's about 300 but the list of items, some in the schedule, some not, could go to $2k easy. Admittedly some of things they push are questionable like the fuel system flush.

I usually do my own maintenance but I brought mine in just before 60k miles to try to get some warranty work done and they found leaky seals and a few other things.

Even a lube job on Tacoma is expensive. I do it myself but I wouldn't take a Tacoma to quicky lube that's for sure. On a manual 4x4 there are 5 oil changes and I think there are almost 10 or so grease fittings.
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