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Looking for Advice - Buying my first Tacoma

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by TexBC, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Jul 3, 2009 at 11:22 AM
    #1
    TexBC

    TexBC [OP] Wanting A Tacoma

    Joined:
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    Vancouver, B.C.
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    On the prowl
    Hey everyone!

    I'm sure this has been covered before, but I couldn't find anything in the "search" and am hoping you all can bear with me...

    As I mentioned in my "intro" post ( http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/new-members/43243-new-member-prowl-1st-gen-taco.html ), I'm a Honda Prelude driver who has realized he has finally outgrown junior sportscars and needs a pickup.

    I've spent my whole life fishing, and as I've gotten older (28 y.o. now), I've become less reckless about taking my poor little Prelude on roads she has no business being on to get to that remote river or secluded lake.

    It's finally time to change, and I want to buy a 1st Gen Tacoma!

    I'm hoping some of the vets out there can share some insight and knowledge as to buying my first truck... ie:

    - what should I be on the lookout for when buying a Tacoma? My research has shown there are some "rust in the frame" issues, for example...
    - at what point do kilometers (sorry, miles) become an issue with these trucks?
    - and anything else you can think of, etc. :)

    I'll be using it mainly for multi-day fishing trips, with some offroading (but nothing crazy), along with infrequent short in-city drives (I live in Vancouver, BC). An extended cab would be a bonus, and I'd love to have a big enough bed in the back to lay down a small foam mattress for sleeping in.

    Thanks very much to all of you in advance from a very excited but confused Canadian.

    Cheers.
    :D
    Tex
     
  2. Jul 3, 2009 at 12:12 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Jandy
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    I'd look for the newest truck you can find, like an 04.

    In terms of the rust warrantee - have it inspected by Toyota before buying any truck. You don't want to buy something that fails the inspection unless they (Toyota dealer) are willing to replace the frame for free.

    The 1st gen trucks are damn good trucks, but that doesn't mean you can't get a bastard case from some idiot who never took care of it. Inspect the truck entirely like you would for ANY used vehicle. Test drive it in 2wd, 4WD, and 4lo range. Do a really good inspection underneath and look for any leaks in & around the engine, transfer case, differentials, etc. Look at the fluids (radiator, engine oil, etc).

    Get on www.kbb.com and look up values for these trucks and know exactly what you should be paying for it - and you can bargain from there.

    If you know a mechanic friend, drag him with you for an inspection. I don't care where you go to look (private sale or dealer), inspect it completely!!
     
  3. Jul 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM
    #3
    saltbranch

    saltbranch Well-Known Member

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    Tx
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    Very good advice in previous post. Also use www.edmunds.com for pricing/value on trucks in your area.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2009 at 9:47 PM
    #4
    STLharry

    STLharry Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    '95-'97 camouflaged, ARB bull bar, RAT Products skid plate kit, sliders, Green Mountain Customs rear tube bumper and overland bed rack, King coilovers with Icon neoprene covers, defenestrated sway bar, OME Rear Suspension: CS046R leafs + AAL/5125 shocks/NWOR greasable hardware/U-bolt flip kit; S13WL Tundra calipers/pads/rotors, IPF H4 lenses and bulbs, IPF 968 DCG 100W lights, clapped out CB radio, Aussie-spec FJ60 inclinometer, ARB CKMA12 compressor, Superwinch S9000 with 12V Guy clock switch, 4' Hi-Lift, deckplate mod/grey wire mod/dif breather extensions, Duratrac tires, Sockmonkey bedside decals, boat cupholder, Dakine bike pad
    janster is right about all that.

    you should also go for the xtra cab. the bed on the double cab is too short (especially for fishing stuff and you will NOT be able to sleep in it either) and the regular cab is too small (you will be kicking yourself for the lack of space).

    2.7 I4 is fine, but can be a bit sluggish on hills. add a deckplate and aftermarket exhaust (i have flowmaster) and it gets a little more kick.
    if you are towing though, or just want a little more umph (sp?) then go with the 6cyl.

    then by extension, if you get a 6cyl, TRD package isnt a bad choice (diff lock, anyone?), although it isnt necessary.

    if money isnt a big issue, then look for one with under 100k miles. otherwise, it is a toyota, so barring the rust issue (see janster's post), you should be alright. If you find one with everything you want and in good condition, but with 150+k miles, dont worry.

    And lastly, make it a manual. definately a perference thing, but driving a standard is sooo (100000x) better. I immediatly give out more respect to those of us driving a standard taco (although i am not hating on those autos...you guys are still my tacoma brothers). Manuals shouldnt be hard to find.

    that may have been too much, but hope it helps.
     
  5. Jul 4, 2009 at 5:36 AM
    #5
    Werloc

    Werloc Large Member

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    If you get a Tacoma "for a great Price" and it fails the frame test, you may be able to make some extra money on it. Then get a newer truck. I don't know, just a thought.
     
  6. Jul 4, 2009 at 8:01 AM
    #6
    TexBC

    TexBC [OP] Wanting A Tacoma

    Joined:
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    Excellent advice so far folks - very much appreciated! I can use all the advice I can get.

    I'm working on getting the Prelude put up for sale this week, so that I'll know exactly how much I have to work with for a new purchase.

    Cheers,
    Tex
     
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