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Looking to buy a 97 Tacoma

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by rusticle, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Jan 22, 2011 at 8:02 PM
    #1
    rusticle

    rusticle [OP] Member

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    I'm looking for my first taco, and there are a few questions. I am a jeeper, so I know what those are like to work on and what to expect from them. I am looking at a 97 taco xtra cab, SR5, v6 auto, rear locker at a dealer. It has 170k on it, it is in decent physical shape, hardly any scratches, and the interior is perfect. My two concerns are that it was in a fender bender that cost enough to total it in my state. The work was well done, and I couldnt even notice, and I have been looking at cars for a long time. It is a texas truck, and the frame is in good shape, it has new shocks, and it looks like u-joints. My concerns are that it has Treadwight re-tread tires, and it concerns me that the previous owner might had been a cheapie. Truck is beautiful, but I am concerned about the auto. I love manuals, I have always trusted them. Truck doesnt have a receiver on it, but I afraid that the auto could be cooked, I havent driven it, but I dont know what to look for in a Toyota auto when they are dieing. I didnt know what is a standard failure time for Toyota trannys, but I would be excited if it lasted atleast 20k more so I could do a manual swap later. So long winded but I didnt know what you guys thought. I would do a timing belt and water pump as soon as I bought it, I am not taking chances.
    Thanks
    Russ
     
  2. Jan 22, 2011 at 8:08 PM
    #2
    NegroTundra

    NegroTundra Well-Known Member

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    All depends on what they are asking......Your best bet is a private seller with that many miles; at least you could (in ideal situation) buy one with all maintenance recorded. I have a manual, can't comment on the automatic transmission inquiry. I will say that 95.5-2000 was toyota's best years for the Tacoma....IMHO. Best of luck...post a pic!
     
  3. Jan 22, 2011 at 8:14 PM
    #3
    BoostingMS6

    BoostingMS6 Well-Known Member

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    One thing to keep in mind is that there are options available for non-totaled trucks. And for the price difference between a totaled truck and a non-totaled, I'd say try to find one non-totaled. One of the issues with rebuilt trucks from dealers is that you have no real proof its a great vehicle. If you buy salvaged from a private dealer that's been driving it 3 years, you know its legit. Otherwise, who knows.

    Keep an open eye on Craigslist. I live in El Paso and drove all the way to Edinburg for mine. But I got a '95.5 Xtracab V6 manual with clean title, 180k miles, rhino-lined, and a whole host of other goodies for $5,600.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2011 at 8:14 PM
    #4
    gusotto

    gusotto gusotto

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    Not a fan of re-tread tires. That's going real cheap considering you can get good tires.
    18-wheeler re-treads are different.

    Expensive to rebuild the truck after an accident?
    What does the title say?
    Salvage?
    I'd stay clear just to eliminate the future resale issues.
    People don't want salvage titles.
     
  5. Jan 22, 2011 at 8:23 PM
    #5
    rusticle

    rusticle [OP] Member

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    Well I would ditch the re treads instantly. I want 255/85s anyway. Since I live in IA there arent many options. The only things I can find have about 100 on them but they want 13-15k for them. This they want 7800, and with all that fodder against them, I would get it down. The air bags didnt go off, and the frame is good. I believe the title say rebuilt. I would be riding this truck to the ground any way. I wouldnt be ditching it any time soon.
    Dont get me wrong I want the 02's I find, and I'm financially ready for one that is more expensive, but if i could use this one for a while I would.
    The only other taco I can find in my area that is cheap is a 4 cylinder reg cab manual. I like everything about it, I just kind of wanted a xtra cab.
    In case you hadnt noticed I am good at typing too much

    taco.jpg
     
  6. Jan 23, 2011 at 8:36 AM
    #6
    Cvd2312

    Cvd2312 Well-Known Member

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    I just paid 7,650 for my '97 xtra cab manual with 140k with a clear title. I say you should keep looking and be patient.
     
  7. Jan 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    #7
    BoostingMS6

    BoostingMS6 Well-Known Member

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    Patience is really the key. I STILL check Craigslist every 3 days in the surrounding areas just for deals on used Tacoma parts. Picked up my sweet ARE camper for $200 like that :)
     
  8. Jul 26, 2011 at 10:48 PM
    #8
    Tacoma mud

    Tacoma mud Well-Known Member

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    soon to come
    I have the exact truck your looking for!!! Like exact even the 170k miles lol but its not for sale, ive seen a couple here in san antonio that fit your description so just keep looking i know youll find one
     
  9. Jul 28, 2011 at 5:43 AM
    #9
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Just sold my "97" 4cyl. 5 spd. it had 248K on it if my 2011 is only half as dependable I'll be happy. Dealer probably put the tires on.
     
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