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Looking at a Tacoma - a few questions...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by GT5050, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Mar 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM
    #1
    GT5050

    GT5050 [OP] Active Member

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    Hi there! Looking at a 2002 Tacoma Pre-Runner Double Cab for 11.5k. I've looked through the buyers guide on this forum, very helpful but I have a few questions. The truck has low miles at only 74k. For its age its suspiciously low, but it is clean inside and out with typical dings and scratches of a truck of this age and the carfax looks clean so its plausible.

    It drove well with nothing out of the ordinary in terms of steering, brakes, or overall feel. Truck felt solid. Looked underneath, no rust on frame, body didn't look repaired or painted, and fluids were clean.

    One thing stood out though, when driving it the automatic transmission selector tended to move while braking or on power - does this indicate a bad motor or transmission mount or is this normal to have some movement?

    Also, can someone look at this carfax for me? Looks good to me, but I wouldn't mind a second opinion. It's here: 2002 Tacoma Carfax
     
  2. Mar 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM
    #2
    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    My wife's 2003 RAV4 has 76k on the ODO and about 45K of that was in the last 3 years so the mileage isn't too circumspect.
     
  3. Mar 13, 2012 at 4:53 PM
    #3
    hossmaster

    hossmaster Well-Known Member

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    Was a PreRunner, now it isn't
    the shifter movement is normal, especially if you look to see how the linkage is connected to the trans and shifter arm.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM
    #4
    Texoma

    Texoma Well-Known Member

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    When I bought an 04' brand new, the shifter moved like that.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM
    #5
    SCSPerformance

    SCSPerformance Stealth Custom Series™ Vendor

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    As mentioned the shifter movement is normal. The carfax info looks good to me. It looks to be well maintained from the list of services performed at the Toyota dealership which is a plus. The mileage seems legit as well from the carfax report.
     
  6. Mar 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM
    #6
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    Like others have said, that shifter movement is normal. I bought my 02 this past summer with 47,000 miles on it. So while it is extremely rare to find such low miles on a first gen, it is not impossible. If the carfax checks out and it drives good with no rust, I'd say go for it.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2012 at 8:20 PM
    #7
    tacoma04

    tacoma04 Laissez les bons temps rouler

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    Did anyone else notice the front brake replacements? According to the carfax,the front brakes/rotors were replaced at
    34,844
    44,817
    57,363
    68,515

    Maybe it was bad driving habits, but my front brakes last a lot longer than that. Just kinda weird.

    And the timing belt was done at 50,824. I wonder if there was a problem or what since that isn't called for by Toyota til 90,000.
     
  8. Mar 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM
    #8
    TacomaJPP

    TacomaJPP To secure peace, is to prepare for war

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    The Carfax indicated a "personal lease," this may explain why the mileage is a bit low.

    I think the large amount of brake changes could indicate someone who lived in an area of high traffic (stop and go) as well.

    Are you set on a Pre-runner over a 4WD?
     
  9. Mar 13, 2012 at 9:36 PM
    #9
    GT5050

    GT5050 [OP] Active Member

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    Wow thanks for all of the replies! I should have figured the shifter movement to be normal, if I look at it logically it makes sense. Anyhow, went to look at it in the afternoon, but didn't pull the trigger and when I went back with my wife to take another look it was sold...

    Another one I'm looking at is an 04 with 70k miles. Looked at it once at night and it was pretty clean, selling for 13900. Not sure what mileage ranges I should be looking at, but these are definitely on the low end of what I'd seen.

    And TacomaJPP, not set on a Pre-Runner, but a double cab is a must. Just so happens that here in FL the four wheel drives are less prevalent...
     
  10. Mar 14, 2012 at 8:39 AM
    #10
    lucky73

    lucky73 Limited

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    assume none of the services that the seller says were done actually were done right...make sure it has correct plugs.
     
  11. Mar 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    #11
    jeepdude

    jeepdude Regular Member

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    jump on it, if it's still available! As someone who was looking at these trucks for months (4wd, tho) it looks good. Regular service, and sheesh, even a timing belt. 2 consecutive leases is strange, but maybe just something that dealer was into. Make sure the a/c works in Florida!
     
  12. Mar 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM
    #12
    Yamaha Dave

    Yamaha Dave Well-Known Member

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    Well you don't really need a 4WD in Florida unless you HAVE to have it, but be prepared to dish out more money. As far as the truck itself, I bought my 2003 Double Cab used a little over a year ago and it had 67K miles on it so there's nothing strange about a low mileage older truck, they're out there you just have to look for them.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
    #13
    brny67

    brny67 Well-Known Member

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    sounds good to me:D
     
  14. Mar 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM
    #14
    lucky73

    lucky73 Limited

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    i agree, with a locking rear dif you 100% DO NOT NEED 4x4
     
  15. Mar 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM
    #15
    ALawrence

    ALawrence Well-Known Member

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    yeah i bought my 03 6 months ago with 70k miles.... low milege trucks are around...

    and as far as the vibration goes... mine has alittle shake too it... that and my high low selector "wiggle" seems normal to me.
     
  16. Mar 19, 2012 at 6:31 AM
    #16
    GT5050

    GT5050 [OP] Active Member

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    Alright, well as I had mentioned the Tacoma that I looked at on the first day was sold immediately. I've been looking at other ones, and there's one I keep coming back to.

    It's a 2004 Double Cab PreRunner, 70600 miles. I can get it down to about 14200 out the door. Carfax and Autocheck is clean, it's a 2 owner vehicle. I first drove it and looked at it about 2 weeks ago, but it was night time, so yesterday I took another in-depth look at it. The only concern I have is that this was a northeast vehicle.

    So here's the condition -
    On the plus side:
    Drives excellent. Interior is immaculate. Mechanically all seems sound.

    Negatives:
    Minor damage on the front bumper, normal dings on body, and a few dents in the roof. None of these are a big concern, what concerns me more is the potential for rust.

    The skid plate on the front of the vehicle was very rusty. I'd like to know if this is normal or a sign of other things? The frame appeared to have minor surface rust, but no actual rotting and was clean for the most part. The exhaust was clean, except from the muffler back to the tailpipe which both seemed to have the effects of salty roads.

    So my question - should these be deal breakers? And is this a fair price, or try to negotiate further, or keep looking?
     
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