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2004 Tacoma Engine Wear?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by jktacoma, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Mar 14, 2012 at 7:32 AM
    #1
    jktacoma

    jktacoma [OP] Member

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    Hi all, long time browser, first time poster....I've been looking for the right tacoma to buy for a while and I'm finally ready to pull the trigger.

    I found the "perfect truck" but I'm a little concerned with the engine...

    It's an '04 TRD Extended Cab 4x4 with less than 90K. The exterior and interior are nearly flawless, but the engine bay looks beat to hell. Does this look like normal wear and tear or are my concerns legit? Thanks in advance.

    photo.jpg
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  2. Mar 14, 2012 at 7:56 AM
    #2
    tacoma guy

    tacoma guy Well-Known Member

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    No thats NOT normal wear in MY opinion!! If the inside and the outside are as nice as your saying and the engine bay looks like that somthing is not right. See if you can do a car fax on it .
     
  3. Mar 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM
    #3
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    I assume you are referring to the oxidation on the intake manifold and valve covers? It is hard to see in the pictures, but is it superficial, or is there actual pitting of the surfaces? And is that all you are concerned about?

    Did this truck live in a coastal area with lots of salt air? Is the frame in good shape, or do you see rust? Just trying to understand the conditions the truck may have been operated in. Ther carfax should have also offered some clues here.

    If it is only the intake man. and valve covers that concern you, and if their integrity is compromised, those could be replaced easily enough.

    Otherwise, I don't see anything of concern under there, at least in these pics.
     
  4. Mar 14, 2012 at 8:07 AM
    #4
    jktacoma

    jktacoma [OP] Member

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  5. Mar 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM
    #5
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    always get a carfax. cars and trucks can't swim.
    before you drive the truck. check oil and note color of oil. if auto, check it. and I would inspect all fluids.
    check out tail pipe, and run finger inside of the pipe lip,( and always take a handful of paper towels, or a rag with you....)
    and look under the truck.
    and now drive. the seller should let you drive the truck with the seller for 30 mins or so. and be nice and offer to put a few dollar of gas in just to be nice, of course the seller should decline offer...
    either way after drive recheck all fluids. usually if there has been poor maintenance (fluids never changed reg. ) if the oil had just been changed, the oil won't stay nice and clean on the dipstick for long. or the brake fluid ect..... and check the tailpipe again, look and even try to smell, if it is burning oil there should be some evidence there. a little soot is normal, OILY soot is something else. and when you start it up, watch tailpipe, that is when you can see if its burning oil, (blue smoke) or coolant, (white smoke) coolant, and if its white smoke, stay away.

    and if you don't have a lot of mechanical experience, don't be ashamed, everyone here started somewhere, this is where you need to either find a high rated private garage, or a good toyota dealership, pay some money up front for an inspection, this should not take longer than 1.5 hours, consider it an investment so you will know what you are getting into, AND IF THE SELLER HAS NOTHING TO HIDE, this should be fine.
    remember you could be buying someones headache, don't make it yours.

    and to be honest there are alot more $$$$$$$ things than whats on the surface of the motor that poor maintenance can mess up, esp. with the 4x4, but these trucks are well built, except for the frame issue, and thats why it might really pay you to have someone go over the truck for your piece of mind.
    opps, the motor did not look that bad, i took some ultra, ultra, fine steel wool and cleaned my intake up, and I am still cleaning off the Texas dust bowl, but I love her!
     
  6. Mar 14, 2012 at 8:57 AM
    #6
    jktacoma

    jktacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, I've got the full car fax and it looks normal; 2 owners, the first one in Maryland and the second in Virginia, where I am. 10 typical maintenance records show nothing out of the ordinary. It's being sold by a large dealership and they said their mechanics looked it over and cleared it. I'm going to test drive it and have it looked over by a Toyota dealership on Friday so I'll see for myself. My initial flag was just looking at the nuts and bolts, I've never seen any so rusted before.
     
  7. Mar 14, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    #7
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    i understand that, being from NC i was in shock to see what a couple of bad winters up here can do to all parts of a car no matter what you do.:mad:
     
  8. Mar 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    #8
    clarkie152

    clarkie152 Well-Known Member

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    Also understand that usually dealers who want to sell at truck max price will usually detail the engine bay. It doesn't mean that the truck is better....just that it had a nice wash.
     
  9. Mar 14, 2012 at 10:44 AM
    #9
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    My engine bay looks similar and I have seen pictures of others that look great, I hate to mess with it and start having trouble. The aluminum is oxidize on mine, it would be nice to clean it up.
     
  10. Mar 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    #10
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    Maybe not normal for there, but any 10~ year old vehicle around here looks like that. Unless it's strictly a summer vehicle.
    Didnt your mother ever tell you it's what's on the inside that counts?!! haha
     
  11. Mar 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM
    #11
    x2468

    x2468 Well-Known Member

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    That brake fluid looks like it needs a flushing, no?
     
  12. Mar 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM
    #12
    tacoma guy

    tacoma guy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I guess you have a point snowman. Here in Az. we are spoiled.We dont have the snow and salt to deal with, just the heat. Ower paint, trim ect. will look like hell befor the engine bay.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM
    #13
    TacomaJPP

    TacomaJPP To secure peace, is to prepare for war

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    Pull the trigger, get it.
     
  14. Mar 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM
    #14
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    You know the timing belt is due at 90k, right? Depending on your skill level, it is a biggish job for DIY or, if a shop does it, $500+ (roughly). Lots of labor, mainly. Also replace the water pump at same time (because it is all torn apart, cheap insurance).

    Just thought I'd mention this for your negotiations.

    This is the only significant required preventative maintenance on the schedule. Everything else is just typical consumables (plugs, fluids, etc.).
     
  15. Mar 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM
    #15
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    Yeah its a toss up. Okay paint and nasty underbody/engine bay or faded, peeling paint/clearcoat and a clean underbody/engine bay.
     
  16. Mar 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM
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    jktacoma

    jktacoma [OP] Member

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    Yep, I'm aware about the timing belt and water pump at 90k; what are the other big maintenance issues to think about for the next 30-40k miles?
     
  17. Mar 14, 2012 at 6:44 PM
    #17
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    for me, I got mine last nov. with 175,000.
    common sense stuff for me, I am going over everything so its all new, and I know that is all fresh, and I have a record.
    changing all lubes.
    tune up
    brake/clutch fluids ect. go by the book and replace with factory specs.
    and it will run like a top!
    and last owner did the chain at 171,000. have ticket.
     
  18. Mar 14, 2012 at 9:37 PM
    #18
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    Psh. Nothing. Plugs every 30k, similar for diff, tranny, and t-case oils, lube the driveshafts every, uh, 15k I think. Depends on how you use it. Maybe the fuel filter if you have issues, clean the throttle body and MAF sesnor when you do the plugs. It's all just PM.

    Really, you are likely to spend your money on new/upgraded shocks and possibly coil and leaf springs if they are in bad shape (they will be eventually), and also on tires.

    Oh, check that it has had the lower ball joint recall performed. This is a serious safety issue, and a dealer will do it free right away if your truck needs it.

    Register on toyotaownersonline.com, enter your VIN, and you can download all the maintenance schedules and see recalls/TSBs etc.
     
  19. Mar 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM
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    derekp

    derekp giddy up!

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    There is your answer. I have been in DC for 2.5 years (3 winters) and my engine almost looks like that now. All the salt/chemicals they use up here causes issues on certain metals. The motor is most likely fine inside but just looks rough on the surface. My concern would be the frame. Since it has been in this environment for this length of time, rust could be a serious issue. Remember, they rust from the inside out.

    Good looking truck though! Same as mine before I painted my wheels and put a camper on it. (I'd like to have a bed liner like that!)
     
  20. Mar 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM
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    jktacoma

    jktacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys, I ended up taking a look at it and from first glance I knew something wasn't quite right. Every screw on that truck, inside and out is rusted but just to be sure I took it to a toyota dealership mechanic. The guy who looked it over had owned 3+ Taco's with over 300,000 miles on each and he said he would not buy that truck, so I didn't....good thing too....about a week later I found an '09 TRD Sport Extended Cab 4x4 6-speed with 30,000 miles for $20,000; it was a deal I couldn't pass up. Pictures to come soon!
     
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