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First tacoma with many issues need help !!!

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Edoubble, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Aug 3, 2022 at 9:47 PM
    #1
    Edoubble

    Edoubble [OP] Member

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    So I purchased a 1997 2.4 automatic taco regular cab with clean title 150k clean interior and bad paint couple dents for $1700 . Thought it was a great deal but having nothing but problems. First I find out one of my headers cracked literally a massive split down the middle.Next brake booster went out and distributer was leaking oil ok fix that . The steering wheel Shakes a bit thought possibly air in the line nope . Rack and pinion out and needs new steering colum as well .Super bouncey ride definitely needs shocks to . This is my first toyota and I’m spending more than have on my 06 sts Cadillac with more miles. I know these are great cars but seems like I got a lemon . I know cars but don’t wrench on them . I just want to know if you guys think it’s stupid to keep dumping money in this thing ? It’s a California car no rust frame damage. Are these normal issues with this mileage? I like the car but no ac front bumper and grill needs replacing . Knowing all this is it better if I search for one with less miles or just one that has had more care . Very frustrating I understand it’s an old car and needs things but I’ve only drove it 10 times and most of those were to the mechanic thanks .
     
  2. Aug 3, 2022 at 10:27 PM
    #2
    Av180r

    Av180r Active Member

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    For $1,700. It sounds like the seller knew about, and priced in many of these problems. A 150k miles taco would normally go for many times more than what you paid. It sounds like it was sold as a project?
     
  3. Aug 3, 2022 at 10:31 PM
    #3
    Mully

    Mully Well-Known Member

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    Lifted, King Shocks, TC UCA, Full set of Skids, Pirrelli's, Air-bags, ARB locker, BAMF hangers and more +++.
    You got a fair deal, fix everything, paint it and you will have a great truck.
    I wish that I had never sold my first gen.
    Welcome to TW.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2022 at 10:35 PM
    #4
    Riskytrails

    Riskytrails Member

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    Ome lifts w Bilstein.
    Not normal for that many problems at 150k miles. Fix stuff and you'll catch up with it pretty soon and have a nice rig. $1700 is cheap price for one of those, makes me wonder if it had been wrecked. I'd recommend a pretty good service on it, gear oil, hoses, belts maybe check brakes etc. That might tell you if you should keep it. Personally I prefer the longer ones. Short one I had, an 02, was scary on icy roads. Don't know why the longer one aren't, but they aren't. If you know someone that have had Tacomas a while they could look at it and give better advice than on here. Too many variables.
     
    docbrown and Edoubble [OP] like this.
  5. Aug 4, 2022 at 9:10 AM
    #5
    Bivouac

    Bivouac Well-Known Member

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    Remains to be seen I bought the tires and wheels the rest came along
    Welcome to the Forum!!

    Your pre purchase inspection and road test failed to find any of these issues .

    You did not compare prices in your region and wonder why this price was much lower?

    These are good trucks for some one that does at least 95% of there own labor paying list price and labor gets expensive very fast.

    Every new to me vehicle takes at least $1000.00 in parts if not more.

    Only you can make the call Good luck.
     
  6. Aug 4, 2022 at 10:34 AM
    #6
    Kevin Jones

    Kevin Jones Well-Known Member

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    At what you paid you should still be ahead of the game, after making the repairs.
    These trucks bring good $. I was offered $20k for my '96, however it's in excellent condition.
     
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.
  7. Aug 4, 2022 at 2:55 PM
    #7
    Edoubble

    Edoubble [OP] Member

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    8E487FCF-0064-4085-8757-10CCD13518D5.jpg Here’s a couple pics still learning how to reply on here so I apologize in advance for doing this wrong.This truck was definitely not sold to me as a project and I test drove it but haven’t drove one of these before so I assumed air in the steering line , brakes needed pads ,and I know the hood vibrates on most of these and I couldn’t see the cracked headers so it was my bad I was wrong on all accounts. The interior looks like 150 but the paint doesn’t so I’m confused on where this truck is really at as far as usage.It came with a matching camper shell as well thanks for the advice everyone I really appreciate it !!!

    18FB6148-C3DA-4BD4-BC89-5454B14A8024.jpg
    6F69E37C-99CF-45AA-AF89-477897560FC0.jpg
    7B6C3716-B638-4298-BA77-4DEB8E2B68A7.jpg

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  8. Aug 4, 2022 at 4:03 PM
    #8
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    I'll give you $1700 for it.....no problem there....
    and yeah parts are small forture, and never ending....
    If u go snag a new kia or hyndui.....its like free...dont have to touch em for 100K....

    Seriously if u want something that runs forever with little cost, u need a civic, accord, or a corolla....
    this truck aint it......and yours is 5 lugger.....most here wouldnt give it a second look.....but its at least its not a 4 X $, some those parts are getting rarer and expensive.....like the rear ends.......

    And theirs wont last 600K or 700K like yours will .....taken care of......no way....
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  9. Aug 4, 2022 at 4:48 PM
    #9
    vern650

    vern650 Well-Known Member

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    HBS leveling kit, 31x10.50 mudders, header/imco exhaust, rear billies, LR ucas, home brewed onboard air, cb radio
    Exhaust manifold cracking on these is very common, so that’s normal. steering wheel shaking when driving I’d be looking at tires/balance before steering rack. Brake pads are wear items. Shocks are also a wear item and by 150k any of those could be bad. No matter how you slice it, if this is to much maintenance for you then you are the only one to blame for not doing a thorough inspection or paying someone to do so. No one made you buy it. That being said, even with the issues you mentioned, you got a screaming deal. If that truck was mint it would easily go for $5k+ or even a few grand more depending on location. That camper shell alone is probably worth $500+
     
    Ozark_RegCab likes this.
  10. Aug 4, 2022 at 5:17 PM
    #10
    Edoubble

    Edoubble [OP] Member

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    O silver I have an accord but it can’t carry 700lbs of concrete in it so I thought this seemed like the smartest decision as far as trucks from talking with a couple people who have owned these with different mileage I was under the impression these were low maintenance trucks what I'm doing at 150k is not what I think of as low maintenance Im very aware I was going to dump a couple bucks in here but steering column and rack replacement is close to what I paid for the vehicle so I'm checking with people who know more about these cars than myself to see if that sounds like a reasonable thing to do . Vern 650 of course no one made me buy it and if you read my caption I stated what I thought was wrong and Also stated it was my bad so that’s hearsay. I’ve owned many cars over the years with well over 200k from Benz to mustangs I’ve replaced brake boosters but never had a cracked headers or a broken steering column and rack a pinion . I’m asking this because I don’t want to drop 4K into this particular truck so Im checking here to see what else I might be in for and if it seems like a worthwhile thing to invest in generally speaking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  11. Aug 4, 2022 at 5:31 PM
    #11
    Mastiffsrule

    Mastiffsrule Well-known member, but no one cares.

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    Try and find a decent mechanic who can source used and reman’d parts. A steering column used should be about $150, reman rack $250, tie rods $ 300, etc. You could save a bunch of money then flip the truck if you want.
     
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.
  12. Aug 4, 2022 at 7:16 PM
    #12
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Yeah with trucks your either making payments......or buying parts.
    Although expensive, oem toyota parts usually last a long time.
    With that being said after 150K there's a lot of things needing tended to.
    The list is longer than a page.....

    If your paying someone else to do simple to moderate maintenance, that could get expensive.
    And if the fluids weren't changed regularly, that will be showing up now.....the steering rack needing replacement already, is not a good sign.....
    What if they did the 10K+ oil changes......because they were told synthetic is magic.....
    ....Recently there's a video of a camry at 180K needing a new engine because of this....
    Hopefully you've driven it enough to know whether it burns oil.......and watched the oil for bad signs......like mikeshake.......

    They're very susceptible to head gasket leaks if you over heat em, even a little....
    So no free pass on the cooling system maintenance either....this decay is hidden inside......never know anything is wrong until one day........its always something....really never ends......

    All your hydraulic and fluid hoses should be replaced every 4 to 5 years, otherwise they delaminate, micro chunks of rubber floating inside, eventually destroying whatever device they supply......all hidden from view.....

    Brake fluid older than 4 years is systematically corroding everything metal inside system.......and old power steering fluid turns into cutting fluid after years of contamination and interior rotting hose....

    Fixed up and running right it should be worth 3 or more times original price, but its gonna cost you in time and money.....

    A fairly low maintenance truck would be an old 90's to mid 2000's push rod truck.....either chevy or F150.......
    you know the ones that get 11 miles a gallon......but parts are cheap, and even free if you have the right friends.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.
  13. Aug 4, 2022 at 7:38 PM
    #13
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    And this is all before the lower ball joint nitemare......the taco ticking time bomb......
    that many here found out.....too late........
    might want to check those......soooner than later.....
     
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.
  14. Aug 4, 2022 at 8:12 PM
    #14
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    3rz to 2Rz bebuilt block and new heads
    If you keep the truck.....hang out here couple months....
    you'll learn a lot from these guys.....

    I know a lot about the 2rz/3rz,, 2.4 / 2.7 .... 5 lug rwd auto......
    most all it came from here and u-tube over the years....
    These guys here have save my ass time and time again by them sharing solutions...
    especially when it comes to finding a hard to find part....these guys are the best......
    they go nuts when u throw em a head scratcher......some very smart seniors here.....

    Latest save....is get myself a back up for the 'kick down tranny cable' since it most likely will have to come from japan, none in US...below $150....
    and probably the most likely one to go out.....mine got stuck about a month ago on reassembly when replacing the egr valve......not good....

    ...Its always something.......

    I could easily spend 4k on parts for yours, and thats nothing major like rack , steer pump, booster, master, calipers, ect.....set of power steer hoses is $300. New suspension, bushings, and tires will make it feel/ride like a new truck.....

    One of first things I got rid of was oem cast iron exhaust header, nothin but trouble, destine to fail ....eventually...toyota phased them out in the 2001 taco's.....
    Bunch of companies make stainless steel aftermarket ones....

    Exhaust Manifold Performance Header for Toyota Tacoma 95-01 2.4L 2.7L L4 US | eBay

    I would also order a custom seat cover made for it.....put on and stop any further deterioration.....there's a blue camo that goes good with these blue/gray interiors..

    There are a few denso parts not worth bringing home, but that's like the red devil asian coolant I wouldnt touch with a ten foot pecker...... a bridge too far...not worth my time debating......
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  15. Aug 4, 2022 at 10:19 PM
    #15
    Edoubble

    Edoubble [OP] Member

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    O silver taco really appreciate all of your tips and advice big time . And appreciate everyone’s thoughts on my car !! you all have helped me make the decision to definitely keep and fix it . I love the damn thing even tho it’s a bit of a beater I had to switch professions and go back to construction due to covid . And was carrying 16ft lumber and all types of tools in my Honda Accord until I found this truck and am thankful for it . Was just frustrated with all the repairs because I’m not a mechanic and not in the best financial position at the moment so I can’t afford to make anymore wrong decisions. Thanks all !!!
     
  16. Aug 4, 2022 at 10:38 PM
    #16
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Okay, $1800 and that's my final offer.....
     
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.
  17. Aug 4, 2022 at 10:39 PM
    #17
    TACORIDER

    TACORIDER Just another statistic

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    25 year old truck will have problems, low miles but rarely do you know the idle time.

    That truck was a steal at that price. Ill buy it and trailer back to Texas.

    Cracked exhaust manifold is normal and could possibly hear it, leaking distributor o ring isn't a big deal, steering you were aware of when purchased most was evident at purchase it seems like.
     
  18. Aug 4, 2022 at 10:44 PM
    #18
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    As far as the steering rack, I've got the rebuild kit waiting for mine to fail....
    but would have to catch it early when it just starts to leak......

    CIMG4884.jpg
     
  19. Aug 4, 2022 at 11:14 PM
    #19
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    3rz to 2Rz bebuilt block and new heads
    May not be the cheapest, but my rwd taco is one the easiest vehicles I've ever worked on.
    These's half a dozen videos out there to do anything you think of.......even some crazy mods.....
    So I watch the videos and take pics of everything before I take apart.......so I know how humpty goes back together...

    CIMG4900.jpg
     
  20. Aug 5, 2022 at 4:47 AM
    #20
    Jakuku Pahwheenis

    Jakuku Pahwheenis Normalize No-Wipe November

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    If you replace your rack and pinion, I believe you should look for one that has this allen key'd bit in it.

    rack and pinion.jpg
    And not one with this external hex head piece.

    rack and pinion2.jpg

    The former one is the newer model less prone to failure according to an R&P rebuild thread on here. The latter one there with the external head is the older type more prone to wear and failure. Both are available on rockauto for a few hundred $$$.

    Others more experienced may correct me here if I'm wrong.
     
    Edoubble [OP] likes this.

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