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In search of a ride for my son

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by bigmule, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:08 AM
    #1
    bigmule

    bigmule [OP] New Member

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    mike
    westerville ohio
    Hi all and Merry Christmas
    I’m a newbie in search of some information and a truck for my son’s first ride.
    I’d like to spend between 5,000 and 10,000. It must be a 4 x 4 and ext. cab. I’m good at most mechanical, fair on electrical and the bodywork I’ll farm out.
    Now for the questions;
    1. Are there any specific years we should stay away from?
    2. I’m leaning towards a 4 cylinder but plan to do some towing. No more than 1500 lbs. Should I look for a 6 cylinder?
    3. Is gas mileage much different between the 4 and 6?
    4. Automatic or standard?
    5. Is rust a major issue?
    6. Parts readily available
    7. Anything I’m missing
    Thanks a bunch
    Mike
     
  2. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:17 AM
    #2
    VirginiaBound

    VirginiaBound Whyareyoureadingthis?

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    Sam I am, green eggs and ham
    North of Maine, South of Spain
    My daily driver and play around truck is a 99 Tacoma. Its a 4cyl 4x4 with a 5 speed manual. I get around 23 mpg and its a great first truck for me. Its not anywhere near the nicest truck on here and Im not trying to say it is, but I think for your sons first truck that would be the perfect set up. Any of the 98-2004 trucks are pure tanks.

    The gas mileage is different, my friend has a 6 in his 99 and hes getting around 14 mpg.
    Personally standard especially with the 4cyl because it brings back some of the power lost from not having a 3.4.
    Parts are readily available for these trucks and your only concern with rust is on the frame, some of these trucks have bad problems with frame rust. As long as you inspect the frame and make sure its solid your fine.

    All in all a first gen 4x4 would be in your price range and I think your son would really enjoy it, I know Ive loved every second of mine so far.
     
  3. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:19 AM
    #3
    Will Prerunner

    Will Prerunner Well-Known Member

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    1. I don't think there are really any years to stay away from. anything about 1995-2004 is in your price range. I really like the 01-04 trucks but you might be hard pressed to find a 4x4 for under 10k.
    2. You will have no problem pulling 1500lb with the 4cyl. I have the 6 and am very glad I do though.
    3.Not to sure I get about avg about18-20mpg with the 6 somedbody with a 4 can chime in with what they get.
    4.Both seem fine. I have the automatic kind of wish I got a standard.
    5.It can be if you live in a place that uses alot of salt. All the trucks here in southern Arizona are fine, mine is rust free.
    6. No problem finding parts.
    7. Youre gonna like the tacoma
     
  4. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:20 AM
    #4
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    The 95.5 - 00s have a frame issue with regards to rust. There is a buyback program going on for those vehicles affected.

    The 01 - 04s also had the same issue, but the frames were replaced. Something to consider, this sub-generation was when the Double Cab was introduced into the Tacoma line. DCs will have the 5VZ and a smaller bed.

    Both of those sub-generation 4x4s came with a 2.7L (4 cyl 3RZ) or the 3.4L (6cyl 5VZ). Both engines are mechanically sound. There are very little issues with either if them. The 5VZ has a timing belt which is suggested to be changed at 90k miles. The 3RZ has a timing chain.

    The 3RZ will tow the 1500 pounds but will be kind of doggy on hills.

    Your main concern is going to be the frame. If you find a truck you are interested in, take some pictures of the frame and post them up here. We will gladly tell you whether it is worth it or not.


    Welcome to TW!
     
  5. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM
    #5
    Mark C.

    Mark C. If you want it bad, you usually get it bad!

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    I recently "exchanged" by 2000 reg cab 4X4 Tacoma for a new one. I loved the 00! It had the 2.7L 4-banger, manual xmission. Had 170K when Toyota bought it back from me for frame rust (I live on the coast in CT).
    I had put a hitch on it and towed about 2500lbs on occasion...not very far.
    You may want to consider one a little newer (than 2000) if you are considering having the convenience of shifting to 4WD on the fly. Mine were manually locking hubs, which was fine for me, but can be a minor pain.
    Gas mileage I got was typically about 21.5-22 mixed driving. You have to try real hard to kill that engine! When I got my new 2010, I got it with the 4-banger, because all I tow anymore is a little 13 ft Boston Whaler........and I'm a little old for needing the speed.......but I know the engine will be the last thing to die on that truck!
    Good luck with your purchase!
     
  6. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:38 AM
    #6
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    5100's all on fours
    Actually the ADD was available in 98. It was part of an option.
     
  7. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:45 AM
    #7
    Mark C.

    Mark C. If you want it bad, you usually get it bad!

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    Thanks for clarifying that.I wouldn't want to give anyone false/bad information.

    ......my truck prior to the 2000 was an 89 extended cab with V6. Both of those trucks were basic with A/C options and buckets on the 2000 reg cab.
     
  8. Dec 23, 2009 at 5:46 AM
    #8
    hillbillynwv

    hillbillynwv Well-Known Member

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    Rear Leaf Spring TSB, Front Bilstein 5100's set to 1.75, Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac 265/75/R16 tires, Black WeatherTech Floor Liners, aFe Pro Dry S air filter, lighted 4x4 switch......
    If you buy a 1st generation Tacoma, take a hammer with you to inspect the frame. It could look ok but they rust from the inside out. I thought my frame was ok on my 95 untill I hit it with a hammer and it crumpled like peanut brittle. Buy a 4 banger if you want the mileage. Good Luck!
     
  9. Dec 23, 2009 at 6:02 AM
    #9
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    lots of good info on here. Glad to see people willing to help out this morning! :)
     
  10. Dec 23, 2009 at 6:20 AM
    #10
    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    Antoher 1st gen. thing to look at are the rear leaf springs, they tend to wear out, sag, and/or crack. That's definitely not a deal breaker, you can replace them for about $400-$500. If you go with the 2.7, if it's got over about 60-70,000 miles on it I'd ask about and maybe plan on replacing the water pump. Those were the only 2 issues I had on mine at least.
     
  11. Dec 23, 2009 at 8:54 AM
    #11
    4WD

    4WD cRaZy oLdmAn

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    Hi, & welcome to TW. Like mentioned above, look for the infamous frame rot & the usual signs of neglect/abuse i.e.; leaks,shimmies & shakes etc;. With a 10K cap you can find some excellent deals out there. I would definintly look for a 6 cyl. , especially if your looking to get an ext. cab & do a little towing. The mileage is almost the same with the 3.4 6 cyl. NOTE: I would avoid the 3.0 6 cyl. if getting an older 1st gen. Also I think an auto would be better than the manual because of youthful enthusiasm (popping the clutch, burnouts etc: & with 10K , definintly look for one w/ TRD package (comes with towing package)......Good luck ......:headbang:

    Web DSC00177.jpg
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  12. Dec 23, 2009 at 8:58 AM
    #12
    Chad

    Chad Rand Paul 2016

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    My dad has an 00 Tacoma, and he has really done nothing for that truck except change the oil every once in a while, it has 200000 miles on it, and it still rides great.
     
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