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230K maintenance before cross country road trip

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by desertred, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Jun 14, 2019 at 9:02 AM
    #1
    desertred

    desertred [OP] Member

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    Headed out on a 6,000+ mile road trip next week in my 2002 Tacoma (2.7L manual 4x4). I'm pretty much a newbie to doing this stuff myself. I do want to learn but this might not be the best time.

    I'm curious if I should take my truck in and have a service before I head out...

    What sorts of things are recommended to check out at this mileage? Are there fluids I should have changed?

    I've had the truck since 52K and been careful about routine maintenance. Haven't had much of anything extra done. It still has the original clutch. Does have a transfer case leak that I try to keep topped off.

    Also, the battery is 9 and a half years old and still starts up great. This is a summer trip... should I replace it to be safe even with no signs of failing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  2. Jun 14, 2019 at 9:10 AM
    #2
    AKsavanaman

    AKsavanaman Well-Known Member

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    Ball joints... if those have not been looked at and are original, bust one of those going down the highway at 75mph and you're trip is done for. If nothing else is giving you trouble I'd just make sure your coolant is good, maybe do an oil change to freshen it up. Other then that... I wouldn't worry to much about the trip.
     
  3. Jun 14, 2019 at 9:48 AM
    #3
    Glamisman

    Glamisman Well-Known Member

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    spare belts, hoses and a jug of pre mixed anti freeze is a good idea.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2019 at 11:11 AM
    #4
    desertred

    desertred [OP] Member

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    Ball joints.... thanks, good to know! From what I can tell from my searching on here I should get my lower ball joints replaced since I'm riding on the originals. Is it okay to just to the LBJs since they're at risk for catastrophic failure?

    I'm going to have to go with a shop, since I don't have the skills to get this figured out in a week, so want to keep expenses minimal while still being safe.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2019 at 12:04 PM
    #5
    AKsavanaman

    AKsavanaman Well-Known Member

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    Do both upper and lower and have them replaced with Toyota OME ones anything else is prone to premature failure. Go to your local Toyota dealer or check Amazon, that's where I got mine...then take it to a trusted shop and have them install, should take no more than 2hrs of labor.. The parts will run you about $200
     
  6. Jun 14, 2019 at 12:09 PM
    #6
    BlackGT99

    BlackGT99 Well-Known Member

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    I bet if you load tested that battery it would fail... :eek:
     
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  7. Jun 14, 2019 at 12:11 PM
    #7
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    Don’t drive for extended periods of time in 5th gear or it will overheat the gear and you’ll be doing a tranny job. Slow down and use 4th for a while. Maybe switch over to synthetic before you go and grease the driveshaft u-joints. Good luck, Man!
     
  8. Jun 14, 2019 at 1:56 PM
    #8
    DrZ

    DrZ Well-Known Member

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    That's the first I've ever heard of not driving in 5th for a long time. It's pretty much bathed in oil, so it seems it would stay cool enough.

    Do you have AAA? Good to have it just in case and you need a tow or something. If you don't do a lot of your own work on the truck then definitely get AAA or maybe you have road service through your insurance?

    How are your tires? Make sure they're properly inflated. Underinflated and they will flex more, get hotter and possibly blow out. A couple psi over recommended will cause less flexing, less heat and better mileage, but too much and it might make the handling feel a little worse.

    Make sure you have the spare inflated to proper pressure too, and that you know how to change it, have the jack, wrench, etc.

    I like to carry spare bulbs for taillight/brake light, headlight, etc. A burned out bulb gives police a reason to pull you over. You don't want to be hassled by the man.

    A small set of metric sockets would be good just in case you need it, to tighten battery clamp or things like that. And a few screwdrivers and pliers.

    I carry a cheap (under $20) bluetooth OBD2 scanner that I can use with my phone. If the check engine light comes on you can check if it's something important or reset the codes.

    A multimeter in case you need to test electrical stuff.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2019 at 2:28 PM
    #9
    desertred

    desertred [OP] Member

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    Thanks for all the tips!

    Just got a new battery. Looking into options for getting ball joints replaced next week. I've always carried the basic tools and will definitely revamp my supply of extra lights/fluids/etc before I go. I don't have AAA or a smartphone, but I'm ok living a bit on the wild side.
     
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  10. Jun 14, 2019 at 2:35 PM
    #10
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 NYY 83-46

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    spare air filter and gallon of fuel
     
  11. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:18 PM
    #11
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I would hesitate to have any major servicing done right before a trip like that. As long as you are generally up to date on your service records, I'd just run what you brung. Oil change, tire rotation, clean the air filter, that type of stuff would be good, but I wouldn't start replacing a whole bunch stuff that is otherwise currently functioning. Unless you're driving for 6000 miles in the Austrailian Outback, there are auto parts stores and repair shops pretty much everywhere to fix anything that happens.

    AAA is cheap man, I'd look into that...


    As others have said, if your ball joints are original, or just very old, I'd go ahead and throw a new set on. Honestly it's just the lower BJs that are the problem child... There is the OEM or nothing crowd, but honestly that is kind of over blown, IMO. Get the nicest ones you can afford, sure, but your truck won't explode because you put $50 moogs or $65 555's on it instead of $150 OEMs. You should be inspecting your BJs at regular intervals anyway, OEM or not.

    anyhoo...

    Buy a pitman arm puller ($15) and you can replace them yourself. It takes me like 20 minutes a side. Just be very aware of the bolt lengths (there are different lengths on each BJ), and also torque them properly. You can rent all the tools you need, including a torque wrench from most auto parts stores. The torque setting on these things is deceivingly low (59 ft. lbs) so it's easy to over tighten them. Use blue locktight, too.
     
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  12. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:23 PM
    #12
    AKsavanaman

    AKsavanaman Well-Known Member

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    If you're just doing the lower ball joints, you don't even need a puller, hammer against the knuckle will work as well (after removing the castle nut of course). Then it's literally just 4 bolts and it's out/in.
     
  13. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:31 PM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the hammer trick never worked for me. The puller is clean and simple.

    I always feel like a caveman if I'm "fixing" something with a hammer, lol

    I HATE doing upper balljoints, though. So much so that was (part of) the reason I went to uniball UCAs, now I just have to loosen a 7/8" bolt. :D
     
  14. Jun 14, 2019 at 4:11 PM
    #14
    DrZ

    DrZ Well-Known Member

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    Oil change with extended synthetic should last across the country and back.

    Are you on the original alternator? Seems like the brushes would have worn out before 230k miles.
     
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  15. Jun 14, 2019 at 4:14 PM
    #15
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t wanna say anything
     
  16. Jun 14, 2019 at 6:54 PM
    #16
    desertred

    desertred [OP] Member

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    Yup, original alternator. Does it show signs before it goes?

    You guys might be convincing me to rethink AAA...

    I want to make sure I'm well set up for this trip, but ultimately I just really like this truck and want it to last me for as long as possible.
     
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  17. Jun 14, 2019 at 7:08 PM
    #17
    DrZ

    DrZ Well-Known Member

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    You can check the voltage at the battery at idle. It should be above 13 volts, closer to 14 with all accessories off. But the brushes usually don't affect voltage. They will just suddenly be worn down enough and the alternator stops putting out power.

    Another thing I'd recommend to everyone and not just for long trips is one of those (cheap <$20) USB chargers with a digital voltage readout. Leave it plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet. It should read about 14 volts when driving. If it drops to 13 or below 12.6 volts then you know the alternator isn't working well enough. If you notice it drop below 12.6 you'll at least have enough time running on battery power to pull off at an exit before the truck dies (battery goes dead).
     
  18. Jun 14, 2019 at 7:21 PM
    #18
    Marshall R

    Marshall R Well-Known Member

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    My alternator died at about 170,000 with no advance warning.
     
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  19. Jun 15, 2019 at 7:56 AM
    #19
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 NYY 83-46

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    is the 2nd gen and 1st gen alternator the same or fairly the same?
     
  20. Jun 15, 2019 at 8:12 AM
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    Wulf

    Wulf head like a hole

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    [CITATION NEEDED]
     
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