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HOw are the Tacoma 4cly as a truck ?

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Old 11-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
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HOw are the Tacoma 4cly as a truck ?

Hi 1st time post here ,I am in the market for a new truck as my current truck a ranger , has a bad frame and won't pass provincial safety with out a couple grand in welding work , the truck runs good but this is the 2nd ranger i have thrown away because of a rotted frame , with 285k kms on the truck it is not worth investing that kind of money in an old truck . I was thinking that if the truck was a Toyota with 285k kms on it i would probably spend the money and fix it figuring I could still get another 200k kms out of the truck . This started me looking at toyotas , they are hard to find used around my area for less than $10k , so before I spend that kind of cash i want to find out what kind of a truck they are and if they will suit my needs . With that in mind , I have a couple questions for those of you that own the 2wd 4cyl tacomas .
1 : are they a good truck ? I lug stuff around in my ranger all the time , it gets used as a truck , every couple weeks i pick up a load of hay (16 bails ) for a friends horses , and it gets lugged up a pretty steep hill to get to their place . I am a book dealer , and i routinely lug collections of books around which can be heavy . the v6 ranger seems to make out ok with this but i have broken both leaf springs in the last few years . ( a know problem with the rangers )

2 : how easy/hard are they to work on ? I like to do as much work on the truck as i can but some vehicles are harder to work on than others .

3: spare parts , how is the availability and the cost ? you always hear the comment that parts are hard to come by and expensive for the import vehicles , is this the case ? on the parts theme , are they available at napa and other after marked suppliers , or do you need to go to Toyota ( which is a 45 min drive away ) .

4 : how are they in the snow ( assuming it is not a 4x4 ) , I find the ranger to be useless in the snow , and dangerous on ice .

5 : do the 4cyl engine and trans live up to the legendary long life of a Toyota ,will they do 450k to 500k kms with regular servicing and oil changes? I am the kind of person that will buy it and run it forever , which is why I am looking at the Toyotas even though they are up to double the price of an equivalent used ranger , I am looking for that legendary Toyota reliability .

I don't personally want a truck ,at $1.44L for gas I would love to own anything but a truck , however as a small business person , I need a truck for the business, and it will get used as a truck . How do they stack up against the rangers as a truck for doing and hauling stuff with ?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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If your lugging that much hay at once, you might be better off with a V6. The heaviest thing ive towed was an old ass land rover and it did it quite nicely. It was still lighter than 16 bails though. on how easy they are to work on, unless you buy an old ass taco in poor condition, you probably wont be fixing it much unless your fixing it up. & as for how many kilometers it will get in its life... I dunno, im Amrrican and we think differently down here
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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I have an 09 2.7 2wd. I love it, I think providing you don't way over do it You should be able to do anything you could do with your ranger. Might look at upgrading the rear springs. I have had no issues even with some deep snow, but I have 235's and the auto lsd. I came from a nissan 2.4 2wd truck and its much nicer to drive the Toyota. I also once had a 2.9 2wd ranger. the Tacoma is the best by far, and I have had nothing go wrong yet (only at 40k miles). A coworker is on his 2nd Tacoma 2wd access cab and loves them. He lost one to frame rot but it had 350k on it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SicKnd View Post
If your lugging that much hay at once, you might be better off with a V6. The heaviest thing ive towed was an old ass land rover and it did it quite nicely. It was still lighter than 16 bails though. on how easy they are to work on, unless you buy an old ass taco in poor condition, you probably wont be fixing it much unless your fixing it up. & as for how many kilometers it will get in its life... I dunno, im Amrrican and we think differently down here
I've picked up 27 bails of hay before in my 4 cyl, its a 96.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Mine is 4x4 Access cab 4cyl 5 spd, so I can't speak specifically to a 4x2 reg cab.

I will say that working on the Tacoma as compared to my wife's Ford Escape is night and day, with the Tacoma sitting in the bright sunlight of day whilst the Ford has taken me to the darkest hell of night on several occasions. FWIW

EDIT: Forgot to mention - rear leaf springs are weak and I bought it after time limit for TSB springs. Solved the issue with a set of Firestone Ride Rite air bags. They have performed well and held up for over 2 years now.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MQQSE View Post
Mine is 4x4 Access cab 4cyl 5 spd, so I can't speak specifically to a 4x2 reg cab.

I will say that working on the Tacoma as compared to my wife's Ford Escape is night and day, with the Tacoma sitting in the bright sunlight of day whilst the Ford has taken me to the darkest hell of night on several occasions. FWIW

EDIT: Forgot to mention - rear leaf springs are weak and I bought it after time limit for TSB springs. Solved the issue with a set of Firestone Ride Rite air bags. They have performed well and held up for over 2 years now.
I wonder if you could use those style of air bags with a 3" lift... Would be nice to have
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3RZ Taco View Post
I wonder if you could use those style of air bags with a 3" lift... Would be nice to have
I think it would still work. But I'm no expert on lifts, so .
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:39 AM   #8
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thanks for the replys , this is the info that I was hoping to get .
on the rear spring issue , is it possible to add an additional leaf to the spring pack for extra strength ?
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSTruck View Post
thanks for the replys , this is the info that I was hoping to get .
on the rear spring issue , is it possible to add an additional leaf to the spring pack for extra strength ?
I'm certain that it can be done. I never went that far. The bags did the trick for the infrequent hauling/towing jobs I do. With your requirements, it would probably be a good route to take; and I wouldn't think it'd be too expensive.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3RZ Taco View Post
I wonder if you could use those style of air bags with a 3" lift... Would be nice to have
Here's a picture of mine taken a while ago; maybe you can tell if it would work with your lift?

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Old 11-08-2013, 05:20 AM   #11
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I say get the four cylinder. Great trucks and economical.

I have the base with the 2.4 and automatic and regularly get over 30 mpg driving conservatively...mainly 70 percent on the highway

My friend's 96 2.4 has over 400k miles on it and has been extremely reliable. he has no plans to get rid of it.

so if you want the utility of a truck, and economy, go for it.

Also, the four cylinders have a long life timing chain, which i prefer

the six cylinders are great though, for those who need the extra power.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:24 AM   #12
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as far a parts, order online from "rock auto" or some other source. it will be cheaper...but you don't have to change parts as often on a toyota

my friend that has 400k miles on it with basically all original stuff. very little has been replaced. he is completely amazed that he has done so little maintenance on it. Personally I would change the fluids regularly and according to the book or even more often...and use synthetic oil, etc if possible.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:46 AM   #13
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I have owned BOTH the 6cyl and 4cyl--Prefer the 6cyl.
4 banger will do the job-6cyl is much better-power is there when you need it.
difference in MPG? depends on how much hauling and loads-MPG will DECREASE much more on the 4cyl. with heavy loads.
My two cents--GET THE 6!
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:00 AM   #14
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yup i am talking myself into one . I missed out on a crazy deal yesterday . there was one priced at about 1/3 of what i figure it was worth on kijiji. I emailed right away but it had sold . the add was only 19 hours old when i saw it .
I have to start watching the adds more regularly .
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by NSTruck View Post
yup i am talking myself into one . I missed out on a crazy deal yesterday . there was one priced at about 1/3 of what i figure it was worth on kijiji. I emailed right away but it had sold . the add was only 19 hours old when i saw it .
I have to start watching the adds more regularly .
The good ones will be grabbed quickly (from my experience when I was looking for mine). Watch often and be ready to call/go ASAP. In the small/midsize truck market the Tacoma is the best choice. IMHO FWIW

Good Luck and let us know when you find it!
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:07 AM   #16
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I just traded in an 09 I4 manual 4x4. I bought it new for 24,000 USD and traded it in for 13,000 USD with 100,000 miles on it. In that time I loaded it up over the limit and towed over the limit several times. In 100,000 miles the only repairs I made were new front brakes, new back shocks, and a new leaf for one of the leaf packs. If I kept it, it would have needed new leafs as the stock ones were sagging. That truck was awesome and I would have never traded it if I didn't have a baby.
BTW are the hay bales you are talking about the regular rectangular ~60lb bales? If so, 16 of them is under 1,000 lbs and no issue for the 4 banger.
I would recommend getting the 4x4 if you are dealing with snow and ice, mine was a tank! (with good tires of coarse)
Good luck and let us know what you end up with (pics!)
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoDaTugBoat View Post
BTW are the hay bales you are talking about the regular rectangular ~60lb bales? If so, 16 of them is under 1,000 lbs and no issue for the 4 banger.
yes just regular square horse hay bails .
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoDaTugBoat View Post
BTW are the hay bales you are talking about the regular rectangular ~60lb bales? If so, 16 of them is under 1,000 lbs and no issue for the 4 banger.
I would recommend getting the 4x4 if you are dealing with snow and ice, mine was a tank! (with good tires of coarse)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSTruck View Post
yes just regular square horse hay bails .
My 2007 Access Cab I4 5spd 4x4, even with the weak springs compensated for by the air bags, would have no problem with that weight. I've hauled that much in wood and on other occasions about 600 to 800 lbs in the bed while towing a single axle 6x10 foot enclosed trailer loaded to about 3200lbs total. It worked a little thru the mountains, but nothing that concerned me. MPG with that load (towing) drops to about 14.5. My normal MPG unloaded is 20 to 21 MPG. With the 5spd, the trick to hauling or towing is to stay out of 5th and use 3rd and 4th the way you use 4th and 5th unloaded. On my truck the "power band" is in the 2500 to 3500 rpm range.

I second the 4x4 recommendation for dealing with snow and ice.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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Any 2wd truck will have a hard time on steep hill with snow, before buying this truck I did test 2003 2wd TRD (has the rear locker) but it still doesn't help that much from acceleration up the hill with snow. Depending on how steep your hill and deep of snow of course. From your description its very so...this part only you know we can't really advise you on it. But if you really want the 2wd get the TRD so you can lock both the rear tires from one of them slipping.
Around the city no problem, just put abit of weight in the bed you're good to go but if every year you're going to encounter steep hill & snow get the 4wd.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSTruck View Post
yes just regular square horse hay bails .
Yeah, you can stack it tall and wide before you really have an issue with weight.
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