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Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Fordidipower, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Jun 5, 2016 at 5:49 PM
    #1
    Fordidipower

    Fordidipower [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Me: I'm a tech for a luxury car manufacturer. So tools and know how are not going to be an issue. I'm 26 and married. Very frugal (no debt) make good money and my wife makes good money. Before I got married I bought a 2011 tacoma dcsb sport outright. Sold it because I didn't need a truck and wanted to pay off the rest of my and my wife's student loans. Figured being debt free was a better rout to take. Fast forward a couple years and here we are now. I have 2 bmw's that I don't owe on and use as daily drivers but want to get back to the mountains. My wife and i all we do is work work work and want to enjoy life a little more by getting back to our roots and what we think is fun. So I need a truck.

    Truck uses: not a dd but has to be dead nuts reliable. Has to be dc and probably a trd offroad. I will tow however infrequently it will be in the 4-5k range. ( wife's g-pa's 53 gmc to be restored it's in wy and I'm going to get a donzi in a couple years- it's a life long dream to own one) truck will sit during the week but on the weekends it will be a camp/exploring rig for moab, Death Valley and other worth while places to explore. Plus has to fit kids at some point.


    I only want to do this once and do it right. It will see some modification but only as I see fit and when it will no longer go where I need it to go. Probably in the way of smallish lift,bed rack for goodies needed to recover/offroad in general. Bumpers front and back plus sliders.

    I don't really want a 2nd gen again even though I loved mine but I don't think that they are worth the premium. I can get a low mileage 1st gen for 10-15 range or a 2nd gen for 25 and up. I don't think I'm getting 10k more truck for the 10k more money if that makes sense.

    So the question is will this truck fit the bill or am I going to spend ass loads of money trying to make this truck a second gen or even a 3rd gen?
     
  2. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:03 PM
    #2
    ekul310

    ekul310 Well-Known Member

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    Luke
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    2003 Black Double Cab 4x4 TRD OR
    Skinny 33 S/T Maxxs 3" Bastard Lift ARB Bullbar
    I'm 22, just graduated college and have been at a "real job" for almost a year. I just bought a black 2003 double cab, TRD off road that's in near perfect condition with 110k miles on it. I went for the first gen because I have had other toyota "mini" trucks and like the size. While there may be slightly more aftermarket support for the second gens, building one can get expensive quick. The first gen dc has the 3.4 which is super reliable with a transmission that has been put into many vehicles in some form or another (toyota/lexus cars, tacos, jeep cherokee) and is also very reliable and cheap to fix/replace. Towing 4-5k may get interesting but with the right setup and a good driver can be done without a problem. I would recommend at the very least a weight distributing hitch and an aux cooler for the transmission.

    I say find a good condition first gen and go with it. Like you said a second gen gets pricey and if you can wait like I did, you will find a first gen with all the options for a good price. It may not be as comfortable as a second gen for dd'ing but I dd mine and don't have a problem. Plus I love the lines a first gen taco has.

    My $.02, hopefully helps. Good luck with whatever you choose. Toyota makes great trucks 0 just try to stay away from some of the more problem prone years (05-06). Also read this thread https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/1st-gen-tacoma-buyers-guide.156943/ if you haven't already. Lots of good info there. :cheers:
     
    johnny3 and s99brandi like this.
  3. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:17 PM
    #3
    Nighthawk

    Nighthawk 'streme spoats

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    Casper Wyoming
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    2008 Red TRD OR AC V6
    Bilstein 5100's w/ Eibach coil overs in front (set at 3" of lift). Front diff drop kit. Extended Bilstein 5100's in the rear. Deaver 2" AAL in rear w/ axle shims. 285 x 75 r 16 Goodyear Duratracks. Wheelers steelies type B, AFE cold air intake. Sway bar delete. All Pro Apex front bumper (rattle canned Rustoleum primer + flat black). Plasti-dipped emblems. Mud flaps removed.
    Both are a win in my opinion. They hold their value so well that even if you bought a first gen and later decided you wanted to upgrade, you would suffer minimal losses. I bought my 2008 second gen in 2013 right out of college, have never had any regrets about that decision. If I would have found a nice 1st gen before I found mine, I would be equally content.

    Good luck and I hope you find the Tacoma thats right for you!
     
  4. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:32 PM
    #4
    cc350

    cc350 Retired Member

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    You can find 2nd gens for less than 25k. Donzi's are heavy boats you'd be better off to shop the 2nd gens.
     
  5. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:35 PM
    #5
    Nighthawk

    Nighthawk 'streme spoats

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    Casper Wyoming
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    Bilstein 5100's w/ Eibach coil overs in front (set at 3" of lift). Front diff drop kit. Extended Bilstein 5100's in the rear. Deaver 2" AAL in rear w/ axle shims. 285 x 75 r 16 Goodyear Duratracks. Wheelers steelies type B, AFE cold air intake. Sway bar delete. All Pro Apex front bumper (rattle canned Rustoleum primer + flat black). Plasti-dipped emblems. Mud flaps removed.
    Good point, I got mine for $16800 with 114K miles on it. They are out there.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:44 PM
    #6
    cc350

    cc350 Retired Member

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    FYI 2009 was the problem year not 05-06 ;)
     
  7. Jun 5, 2016 at 6:57 PM
    #7
    Fordidipower

    Fordidipower [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation gents. I'm not apposed to getting any generation of tacoma but if I could just pay cash for a nice first gen vs finance a second of third I'd rather do that. Oh and I want a donzi 22 classic. Very light and very fast. They are fresh water boats not the big twin screw bad boys so it will be light enough for a tacoma. Just something to go blast around lake mead and others close by.

    What about the rear seat in a 1st gen? How are they compared to a second? Way less room or similar?
     
  8. Jun 5, 2016 at 7:01 PM
    #8
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    Kirk
    Central Michigan
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    Reserected from the dead.
    Just get a Tundra. I love mine for towing. I use the Tacoma for every thing else. The Tacoma sucks for towing anything over 3k.
     
  9. Jun 5, 2016 at 7:08 PM
    #9
    Fordidipower

    Fordidipower [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I thought about getting a full size but for how little ill tow vs how much I'll offroad it doesn't make sense. Plus if I got a full size I'd get a ram. I only need to overload tow a couple times and the rest of my towing will be within the limits of the truck ie under 5k.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2016 at 7:14 PM
    #10
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    Reserected from the dead.
    Sounds good. To be honest, the tundra sucks in the trails. I wheeled 1 time with it. Its just too wide for the trails. Tacoma wins in the trails.
     
  11. Jun 5, 2016 at 8:19 PM
    #11
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Nemesis Prime

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    Tacoma is stock and staying that way, Pickup is TBA as of now.
    Towing that kinda weight I'd go for a half ton myself. 5k is going to be a chore for any Tacoma, especially a first gen. 2k is about the max I'd personally tow with these things. I have a diesel for the real loads though so I am a bit spoiled with that. You can find a nice used Tundra for less than a comparable Taco, the the 5.7 is a beast of an engine for towing, 5k would be no problem for it. The 4.7 in the older Tundras was pretty strong as well. Those trucks are closer in size to 2nd gen Tacos, but the 2007 and newer Tundras are massive brutes!
     
  12. Jun 5, 2016 at 8:32 PM
    #12
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 BBC 2020

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    The first gen can tow the boat, it's just not gonna like it especially in the hills. I say get the best truck you get that's in good condition. If you find a badass first gen, get it. If you find a very affordable second gen that looks okay, get it.

    Good luck finding a 4door 4WD first gen. They're usually high mileage or beaten to death. The nice ones are never let go by their owners.
     
  13. Jun 6, 2016 at 7:36 AM
    #13
    ekul310

    ekul310 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the correction. I thought I read somewhere about 05-06 but may be mistaken!

    This is also very true. I waited FOREVER to find my 2003 dc 4wd. And being that it's in excellent condition I paid up for it. I will try to post up some pics of it on the forum somewhere soon!
     
  14. Jun 6, 2016 at 8:09 AM
    #14
    Fordidipower

    Fordidipower [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice and comments. This forum is awesome. How do the transmissions hold up to high mileage? I've seen that a lot of these older higher mile rigs have original trans clear into the 250k range but is that getting to the end of life? Still reliable at 150-250k?
     
  15. Jun 6, 2016 at 8:11 AM
    #15
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 BBC 2020

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    I know from personal experience that the engine and transmissions are still super reliable and efficient even around 150k miles. Haven't gotten to 200k yet but I'm sure it'll be just as reliable, but when it gets close to 200k, I'll be saving up for rebuilds/replacements just in case.
     
  16. Jun 6, 2016 at 9:08 AM
    #16
    ekul310

    ekul310 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said before the A340 transmission is basically the same as the jeep AW4. Slight differences including bell housing and input/output shafts. Other than that the internals are very similar. Both are made by aisin. The jeep Cherokee always had the aw4 automatic and many of those go 200k+ just like the tacos on the original trans. Plus they're relatively cheap to rebuild or buy used.
     
  17. Jun 6, 2016 at 9:32 AM
    #17
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    Good for you. Nice to see!

    That's bleeding edge for a Tacoma IMHO. Living in the boat capital of America, I see people do stupid stuff all the time, rarely ends well.

    This is a bigger deal. 1st gens may not fit car seats well at all. 2nd gens have lots of complaints on this if the front occupants are large enough to have seats pushed back.

    There 'may' not be a truck that fits your goals. Love the looks/size (for trails) of Gen 1, but towing and babies might rule it out. Gen 2 is ok on looks, fair on size (for trails) but again, towing and babies may be marginal.

    Gen 3 may be baby friendly, but don't see towing being better, and it's big. Think Tundra of just a few years ago. Not to mention nutty prices.

    Good luck in your shopping.
     
  18. Jun 6, 2016 at 9:51 AM
    #18
    Fordidipower

    Fordidipower [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I see some very good points being brought up. In the end it's all a compromise, just like everything else in life. Above all I'm cheap. Not in the sense that I spend no money but more in the way I typically get 1.20$ worth of shit for my 1.00$. I've never had a car payment (been very fortunate) and really don't want one. If I can sacrifice some leg room for kids I don't have yet and lack of towing power for a boat I don't have yet and not have a payment I see that as a win. Plus the less money I spend now the more I can spend later on base lining the truck and ultimately for the few mods I'll do.

    Remember this isn't a dd nor do I want it to be. I want a cheap (relatively speaking) fun, reliable truck to get out in and enjoy this area and others in.
     
    DustStorm4x4 likes this.
  19. Jun 6, 2016 at 10:05 AM
    #19
    techride

    techride Weekend Warrior

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    Why is it that "getting out into the mountains" requires a truck? It would seem to me that an older 4runner would better satisfy you needs in every regard. Towing would be he same as a taco, more space, same aftermarket support, tons out there to choose from and easily as offroad capable.
     
    DustStorm4x4 likes this.
  20. Jun 6, 2016 at 10:18 AM
    #20
    brochacho

    brochacho Well-Known Member

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    FWIW I have a 2009 V6 DCSB OR 4x4 and tow a small 2,000lb tent trailer and have 2 (4yrs and 1yr) kids with a 3rd on the way. Towing: even only towing 2,000lbs (fully loaded) you can definitely tell its there. I know my 285/70/17 tires aren't helping anything but I would say even on stock tires I would not feel comfortable towing much more than say 3,000lbs comfortably any long distances. Kids: I can fit my 2 children somewhat comfortably in the back of the double cab, my son is in a booster seat behind me and I have plenty of leg room. My daughters rear facing seat is behind my wife and in order for it to fit we have to slide the passenger front seat halfway forward but my wife doesn't mind. We to are very frugal as well and the Tacoma is almost paid off so for the time being we are going to try and make the Tacoma work even with the 3 kids (researching narrow car seats currently). But if I were to do it all over again knowing what I need a truck for currently I'd have bought a Tundra or some other half-ton truck. For off road remote camping the Tacoma is clear winner but you will just need to weight what the top priorities of the truck are going to be now and in the future; kids, towing, or off road? Good luck!
     

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