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Are first gen V6 Tacomas underpowered?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by PumpinIron, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Feb 13, 2020 at 10:25 PM
    #21
    BroncoBilli

    BroncoBilli Active Member

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    Absolutely underpowered. I test drove about 10 manual gen1 V6's, trying to find one that wasn't a turd. I have 3 other V6's in my house: My 2012 Ford Expedition w/ a V6, my V6 outback, and my 2011 RAV4 V6. All of them smoke the Taco for torque and acceleration. I think it's the ECU, since if I STOMP on the V6, it will eventually give up some torque. Could be it's the best running out of 10 and even this one isn't up to par. I don't want to hear anybody spout off about adding a supercharger. The base 3.4L is simply "sluggish" as far as I am concerned. Way, way slower than the outback. And I know this because the one I'm talking about is a stick shift and I can feel the transfer right to the wheels and not lose any to the TQ.

    Even so, it's better than that I4, which I think is barely better than my riding mower. The strange thing is I got on here and bashed the sluggishness of the I4 and a TON of people got on the thread and just went bananas defending it while also putting down my driving skills. Uh-stonishing. I think the real trick is the way it's timed. The camshaft/whatever is timed so the real power band is higher in the range than lower. So getting going from stopped feels longer than other cars?
     
    PumpinIron [OP] likes this.
  2. Feb 13, 2020 at 10:33 PM
    #22
    RyanL

    RyanL Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had both 3.4L auto and manual 1st gens and they’re fine, both do the trick going 80mph up the canyon to Park City on I-80. And would easily pass on the freeway like you asked.

    If you want to put on big tired and a bunch of weight and/or be thrown back in your seat, get a supercharged 4.0L. But then you have to deal with a chunky size truck instead of that perfect sized 1st gen.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 at 11:08 PM
    #23
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Was Golden State, now Poland EU
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    DD Deck+backup camera, LED DRL, All LED except H4 Hella
    I'd love to see that mower.
     
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  4. Feb 14, 2020 at 1:39 AM
    #24
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    It comes down to what you want to compare it with .

    Compared to my Big Block Chevy Nova yes the Tacoma would be a few hundred horsepower lacking

    Mine has far to much power I find all to often on 4 lane highways to be going way to fast 70mph that if I got a ticket I would be fired at the end of the day.

    As it is seldom that I drive with less then 500 pounds .

    Then I did not buy a 4x4 Pick up to use as a Drag Vehicle those days are long over.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2020 at 3:23 AM
    #25
    thenodnarb

    thenodnarb Well-Known Member

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    I've had my truck since new in 2000. I've never once thought of it as underpowered. but i also haven't burdened it with bigger tires and a lot of gear.

    i also have a 2000 landcruiser with the v8 to compare it to. that feels kinda sluggish by comparison at the lower end but has lots more power at the top, for say, passing or climbing.

    in short, it is not the pig that the jeep is.

    btw the landcruiser is everything i love about my first gen but with a better build quality bigger engine and more comfort and safety. they sell for around the same price after market as well.only downside is about 30% worse gas mileage.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2020 at 3:32 AM
    #26
    ontarioyota

    ontarioyota Well-Known Member

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    SW Ontario, Canada
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    01 reg cab 4x4
    Blacked out badges-rims OME lift with 881's & dakar pacs, summer tires=BFG 31x10.5x15 on 93 4runner rims,winter= 265 75 16 DURATRACS on stock steelies,Flowmaster exhaust, deck plate mod, ARB front bumper
    It certainley is absolutely underpowered compared to your V6 RAV4 which may be overpowered if you are teaching your kids to drive or lending it to them!
     
  7. Feb 14, 2020 at 3:46 AM
    #27
    QMEDJoe

    QMEDJoe Proverbs 3:5-6

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    Fleetwood NC
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    Fox 2.0 Coilovers in the front and Fox 2.0’s in the rear, Total Chaos UCA’s, Allpro expo leafs, K&N cold air intake, TRD headers,Magnaflow catback exhaust,URD short throw shifter, switched out my 60/40 bench seat for some Tacoma Limited seats, Replaced the vinyl shift boot for a leather one, completely soundproofed the cab w/ Frost King. Replaced stock radio with a Pioneer AVH series head unit. Focal component system w/a 10" sub powered by 2 Alpine amps. Weathertech floor mats. Line-X'd the bed. SCS Ray 10’s, Installed an A.R.E MX series camper shell.
    I love my 3.4 and one of the must haves when looking to buy my 1st gen was a manual. But yes, it feels seriously underpowered. I live in Western North Carolina, the hills really pronounce it’s underperformance but the manual helps. Oh, how long for the day to install the Magnuson supercharger!
     
  8. Feb 14, 2020 at 4:02 AM
    #28
    thenodnarb

    thenodnarb Well-Known Member

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    y'all must be driving broken down tacomas. i lived in the mountains and climbed over 5000 ft elevation everyday. the tacoma performed great. sure it downshifts when it needs to but it always kept me going the speed limit up the hill.
    the only time it struggled was over the Rockies at 11000 ft. i couldn't maintain even 60mph near the top on those step climbs but i had more gear than usual.
     
    TacomaJunkie8691, GQ7227 and cubs16 like this.
  9. Feb 14, 2020 at 4:29 AM
    #29
    QMEDJoe

    QMEDJoe Proverbs 3:5-6

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    Fox 2.0 Coilovers in the front and Fox 2.0’s in the rear, Total Chaos UCA’s, Allpro expo leafs, K&N cold air intake, TRD headers,Magnaflow catback exhaust,URD short throw shifter, switched out my 60/40 bench seat for some Tacoma Limited seats, Replaced the vinyl shift boot for a leather one, completely soundproofed the cab w/ Frost King. Replaced stock radio with a Pioneer AVH series head unit. Focal component system w/a 10" sub powered by 2 Alpine amps. Weathertech floor mats. Line-X'd the bed. SCS Ray 10’s, Installed an A.R.E MX series camper shell.
    I installed a “cold air” intake when I first got my truck which is anything but. I also installed a set of TRD headers in preparation for the s/c. The 5vz loves its back pressure. Both the cai and the headers take away from the back pressure. I’m most likely going to re-install the stock air box. When my bank account allows, I’ll install the s/c. Looking forward to that day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    GQ7227 likes this.
  10. Feb 14, 2020 at 5:46 AM
    #30
    Running Board Man

    Running Board Man Well-Known Member

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    I mean i can cruise at 110 with 33s and an auto... slows down up hills
     
    Wyoming09 likes this.
  11. Feb 14, 2020 at 6:01 AM
    #31
    taco57

    taco57 Well-Known Member

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    Under-powered, over-powered?

    All depends on what you need the vehicle to do. I drive my 2.7 5 speed 50 miles everyday to and from work, have loaded mulch, rocks, wood, furniture, towed small campers, boats and whatever else you can and should do with a small truck like ours. Yes, I need to plan my entrances on the freeway but then I set the cruise at 65 and let the idiots go by.
    By contrast, I for many years I owned a Porsche 964 that I could not do any of the above, but when it came to entering a freeway I could easily make the spot I wanted to be in. Downshift to 3rd and off we went!

    Use and drive the specific vehicle you are driving for how it was designed, understand that is what is should be used for and carry on.
     
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  12. Feb 14, 2020 at 6:02 AM
    #32
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 mw survivor

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    309km east of Hazard ...
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    borla catBack custom Line-X PC drums, skid, nuts, hooks, 1/4 silver frame...
    i made it up them 11k rockies to Vail from the Denver side a couple weeks ago, traffic was minuscule but kept it in 5th gear the whole way up 100 miles pretty much and stayed above 2k RPMs and 60+ mph, i had not had this truck up there since mid 1998
    also i had very little to no extra weight though which made a difference, was traveling light!
    lean & mean taco machine
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    Ridgerunner likes this.
  13. Feb 14, 2020 at 6:22 AM
    #33
    otis24

    otis24 Hard Shell Taco

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    Stuff
    I've driven an '03 outback V6 quite a bit. That thing definitely moved faster than my 3.4L Taco. The two aren't much different in weight either. That Outback was nice to drive. I've driven a V6 RAV4 too. Those things are sweet.

    I came from a Honda Civic before my Tacoma. When I got the Tacoma I thought it was pretty quick compared to the honda. Now I know better. The Honda had a lawnmower engine.

    Now my truck has a camper, 300 pounds of armor, a winch and 33" mud terrain tires. It's crazy slow. But, I don't care because I have 2 daily drivers. One is a Scion IM...also pretty slow but gets 34 mpg and corners nicely and a Suzuki Vstrom 650 which is slow for a motorcycle. It'll still do 0-60 in around 4-4.5 seconds if I get on it but it's slow for a bike. If I want fast I take the bike.
     
  14. Feb 14, 2020 at 6:35 AM
    #34
    joemauma

    joemauma Well-Known Member

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    I can barely keep the tires on the pavement


     
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  15. Feb 14, 2020 at 6:57 AM
    #35
    Xtremsiege2

    Xtremsiege2 Well-Known Member

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    265/70/17 Wildpeaks on gen3 sport rims.
    My vote is the Tacoma is a little sluggish but i have zero complaints with the power. If i want to drive faster i'll take my accord 6spd or ride my motorcycle. Its pretty simple, if this was something that bothered you when you were considering vehicles, you bought the wrong one.
    Is that you, Toretto?
     
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  16. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:14 AM
    #36
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Well-Known Member

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    2001 with; cat-back side-swept twin exhaust, elbow mod, Westin bullbar with Hella 450 driving lights, Snugtop XTR camper shell, TRD off-road 2x4-black beauty.
    Same with the automatic here. At 65-70mph, I keep the throttle fed, take overdrive off and when the lockout torque converter kicks in I tip deeper into the throttle and it'll go like hell.
     
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  17. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:21 AM
    #37
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 mw survivor

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    borla catBack custom Line-X PC drums, skid, nuts, hooks, 1/4 silver frame...
    i am curious if you think your topper shell helps at all with possible less wind drag, more aerodynamic at higher speeds?
     
  18. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:21 AM
    #38
    Running Board Man

    Running Board Man Well-Known Member

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    You should try replacing the rack and pinion guide

    Check tie rods and ball joints while at it to be thorough

    My bet would be torn control arm bushings
     
  19. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:22 AM
    #39
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.
    Mine does just fine Supercharged, 7th injector, 2.2 pully, 5.29 gears and 37's
     
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  20. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:44 AM
    #40
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Well-Known Member

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    2001 with; cat-back side-swept twin exhaust, elbow mod, Westin bullbar with Hella 450 driving lights, Snugtop XTR camper shell, TRD off-road 2x4-black beauty.
    I suppose it does, if you look at its design it has that "wind hump" at the forward end which may direct wind over the rest of the shell but I doubt it really makes a difference. I do know that the shell did get rid of some wind buffering I felt with the open bed.
    But the added weight of the shell I figure cancels out any mileage gain that would be gained by aerodynamics. It's a give/take in order to have a covered bed.
     
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