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Trade down to old 4runner?

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Old 07-31-2010, 06:30 AM   #1
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Trade down to old 4runner?

I have been considering selling my 08dc to dump the monthly payment in preperation to pay for child care for triplets that are due in October. (The expense of that still makes my head and balls ache, but thats a whole other topic)
I have about 10,000 in equity after the loan payoff, so Im thinking if I have to trade for an old high mile p.o.s., I would like it to be a 4runner. Anyone have or had experience with late 90's/early2000's 4 runners with high mileage, and would a 130,000 mile 4 runner be any more dependable or the same as any other brand vehicle with the same mileage? I know there are lots of things that factor on the trucks longevity, but any input would be great - Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:44 AM   #2
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the 4runners of that time with the 3.4l engine are monsters. they will last in the 3xx,xxx range easy if you take care of it. my dad had one that never quit until the day he had to sell it and it had about 2xx,xxx something and ZERO problems ever. my girlfriend's honda passport had many issues by the time it had 160,000.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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Triplets?

Not a late 90's but for what it's worth I traded my 92 4Runner with 140,000 in for my 08 Tacoma, if I had to do it over I'd still be driving the 4Runner.
My personal observations
The tranny even with 140,000 on it and the clutch shifted far smoother then my 08 6 spd has from day one.
The transfer case lever never failed to engage 4wd unlike that piece of shit knob has so many times on my Tacoma.
The fit and finish was far superior and my Tacoma has a bunch of rattles and squeaks that I never heard from the 4 Runner.
The visibility as far as being able to see all 4 corners and directly in front of the truck when picking a line wins hands down too the 4 Runner.
With my Tacoma if I try and pull a hard turn into a snow covered parking spot it will bind up the transfer case and I either have to disengage or take a really wide turn, something I never felt on the 4 Runner

The downside
The 4Runner was recalled for the steering arm and headgasket.
Had a timing belt that needed replacing every 60,000
the 3.0 was lacking power
The rear window motor gear was starting to bind just before I traded it
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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97 4Runner

I bought a new 4Runner in 1997 and I loved it. Two months ago with 225,000 miles on it I decided to trade up to a 2010 Tacoma. I absolutely wish I could have kept it and gotten the new Tacoma. The issue was not the trade in value which was not very much, my issue had to do with storage, insurance, and a wife who wouldn't have seen my logic no matter how I tried.

Anyway, my 4Runner was rock solid and still looked great. Both vehicles were 5sp manual. I like my Tacoma, I loved my 4Runner.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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Just make sure you don't have one of the V6s affected by the head gasket issue. Toyota will do the job for free once, but most have already been done. I think there's a sticker on the door jamb to indicate if it's already been changed.

Keep in mind a 4Runner isn't a truck, so if you ever need a "truck" your SOL.

RZ Rob
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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I owned a low mileage '98 3.4 manual. I agree with all the comments above. But, I had two major complaints. The first was an intermittent ABS failure that Toyota never identified or fixed. The brakes lost about 95% of their power the three times it occurred. It seemed that if there was the wrong combination of road surface conditions under braking, the system would go into cardiac arrest. With FULL pressure maintained on the brake pedal the system would chatter away WITHOUT applying brake power -ON DRY CLEAN Pavement. This was terrifying. Again, it only happened 3 times and I know that most people never had this happen. Under ordinary circumstances, ABS worked as it should.

The second complaint was highway speed stability in crosswinds. The vehicle would blow around on the road far too much. The only vehicle I've driven that was as bad was a 2005 Xterra. The Tacoma is much more stable.

Other than these problems, the old 4Runner was a gem.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:14 AM   #7
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I love my '97. 174,000 miles and still running strong. Very little problems. Make sure you check on when the timing belt was replaced before you buy.

I think this generation of 4Runners is one of the best. Simple, durable, and IMO good looking. At the time this was the only decent midsized SUV that was built on a ladder frame. I felt it was more suited for off road then other models and it for sure hasn't disappointed. This thing gets me to all my favorite fishing spot way off the beaten path.

You won't regret it.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:18 AM   #8
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My wife drives an 02 4Runner. no problems ever, still going strong at 185,000 miles. 3.4 V6, auto.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:24 AM   #9
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One thing to keep in mind, the people here who have high mileage 4-Runners that are still running strong properly maintained them. Not saying you can't find a used, reliable high mileage vehicle but when you buy something used, you could be inheriting someone else's problems. Do your homework on the vehicle you're buying and best of luck. Congrats on the kids also!
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtacomaguy View Post
My wife drives an 02 4Runner. no problems ever, still going strong at 185,000 miles. 3.4 V6, auto.
was that picture taken in maine by any chance?
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:04 PM   #11
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Just get ready for a slug if you switch to a 4runner. I've had a 95 and 02. Both with the 3.4 and it's very underpowered. Especially if you decide to go with bigger tires. The Tacoma 4.0 is leaps and bounds over the 3.4. Just keep that in mind.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:32 PM   #12
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I had an 86 4Runner that I sold to buy my 2010 Tacoma. Some days I regret that decision too, even though it was a 4-cylinder that demanded 3rd gear heading up passes. Slooooowwww. But she was bombproof. If you can find an owner who has kept all the maintenance records, then 150k is no big deal. I have a friend who bought a 99 3.4L 5-speed manual with 100K+ two years ago, and wouldn't trade it for the world.

BTW in some ways I found my 4Runner to be more "truck" than my truck. My Tacoma has a shell on it which makes hauling lumber a pain, and sometimes the 6' bed isn't long enough. My 4Runner had the roll down back window and because there was no divider between the cab and the bed, it made hauling 8' lumber a breeze.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:42 PM   #13
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We have a 2000 4Runner SR5 2WD, bought it new, 224,000 miles on it and have had ZERO problems out of it! Just changed the oil, new timing belt and water pump, thats it.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:06 PM   #14
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Congrats on being a Dad, 3 huh ? Damn I've got 3 daughters but 1 at a time haha

Not sure your really trading down maybe in age of vehicle but 1st gen 4 runners (1st gen.?) Are alot like 1st gen. Tacomas, yeah they had a couple minor issues but nothing like the punch list of TSB's & issues like the 2nd gens. have (ok I know I'm gonna get flamed by you 2nd gen. guys).

But you seem like a smart guy & are thinking ahead for the sake of your family to come, & it may not be as flashy & "new" as your current ride but if you get one with the 3.4 I think you'll be surprised at how well suited your choice was... good luck & once again congrats ...
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmflyfisher View Post
Just get ready for a slug if you switch to a 4runner. I've had a 95 and 02. Both with the 3.4 and it's very underpowered. Especially if you decide to go with bigger tires. The Tacoma 4.0 is leaps and bounds over the 3.4. Just keep that in mind.

Dude, he's looking for a family rig thats not going to break his wallet , not a hotrod & although the 4 runner is indeed heavier than the truck to say the 4.0 is leaps & bounds better than the 3.4 is just smack, but you have your opinion & I have mine

As far as being a slug my 2000 can & does hit( & holds) the century mark going up the I-8 in SoCal which is one of the longest continuous "uphill" grades in the U.S. just sayin'.....
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe View Post
Triplets?

Not a late 90's but for what it's worth I traded my 92 4Runner with 140,000 in for my 08 Tacoma, if I had to do it over I'd still be driving the 4Runner.
My personal observations
The tranny even with 140,000 on it and the clutch shifted far smoother then my 08 6 spd has from day one.
The transfer case lever never failed to engage 4wd unlike that piece of shit knob has so many times on my Tacoma.
The fit and finish was far superior and my Tacoma has a bunch of rattles and squeaks that I never heard from the 4 Runner.
The visibility as far as being able to see all 4 corners and directly in front of the truck when picking a line wins hands down too the 4 Runner.
With my Tacoma if I try and pull a hard turn into a snow covered parking spot it will bind up the transfer case and I either have to disengage or take a really wide turn, something I never felt on the 4 Runner

The downside
The 4Runner was recalled for the steering arm and headgasket.
Had a timing belt that needed replacing every 60,000
the 3.0 was lacking power
The rear window motor gear was starting to bind just before I traded it
I broke the steering rod relay one time. Glad I was getting ready to turn into a driveway. Pretty scary. Went to a junk yard and got one off of a earlier toyota 4x4. I just keep an eye on it tell I take it to the stealership or I just do it myself! Besides the headgasket issue I love my '91 Toy!
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmflyfisher View Post
Just get ready for a slug if you switch to a 4runner. I've had a 95 and 02. Both with the 3.4 and it's very underpowered. Especially if you decide to go with bigger tires. The Tacoma 4.0 is leaps and bounds over the 3.4. Just keep that in mind.

I have the 3.0 thats been re geared. That would solve that issue. lol. Im also running 33's
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:26 PM   #18
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had a 2000 4runner, best vehicle i ever owned. tough as nails, 0 problems, 3.4 was awesome with intake and headers and the overall construction was better than our new trucks. like another said, i like my tacoma but loved my 4runner

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Old 07-31-2010, 04:09 PM   #19
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Just plain dependable

1997 4Runner SR5, 5-sp manual, 225,000.
Averaged 20.9 mpg and $.12/mile for all those miles.
No rust, couple door dings, several sets of tires, three timing belt changes. Will probably never own another vehicle that more perfectly matches my needs.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:32 PM   #20
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I had '90 and '94 4Runners. Both were dependable as you could ask for- just change oil, tires, and brakes - never any mechanical issues. As noted above, they're not trucks, but you're gonna need the whole back end for diapers and groceries.
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