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Opinion: 1999 Tacoma ease of mechanical work

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by RDenn15, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Jun 14, 2019 at 10:19 AM
    #1
    RDenn15

    RDenn15 [OP] Member

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    I have a 1999 SR5 4x4 v6 Tacoma that my mother let sit for about 4 years. I live out of state and didn’t realize she wasn’t driving it.

    I could get it running until recently and my mechanic just diagnosed the issue as a bad fuel pump. The gas gauge is also not working and he quoted $700 for the sender assembly alone. (Different topic but does that sound right?)

    Besides changing oil I have never worked on vehicles but I would like to change that. I’m considering taking the next year to go through the vehicle and replace a lot of parts myself. I have a garage and plenty of time and space.

    My logic is that I can hopefully put a couple thousand into the truck, learn some wrench turning, and have a solid vehicle.

    Do you think this is a good idea? Are these trucks relatively easy to work on? I see them selling for $7k+ still so I had a hard time selling it as is but next to nothing.



    Thank you for your opinions.
     
  2. Jun 14, 2019 at 10:25 AM
    #2
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    Can it otherwise pass state inspection? Just a fuel pump go for it. You don’t “need” a fuel gauge, its a first world problem.
     
  3. Jun 14, 2019 at 10:32 AM
    #3
    RDenn15

    RDenn15 [OP] Member

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    I track my mileage every fill up anyways.

    You agree that the truck is simple enough for a beginner mechanic to work on?

    I teach AP physics and AP chemistry. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. I have just never worked on vehicles.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2019 at 11:31 AM
    #4
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    Its not rocket science. A lot of wrenching is planning and persistence.

    So, this truck is not your only mode of transport? So there is no, “got to get this running by Monday so I can get to work”, pressure? If no, you got time.

    Do you have some place to work without the neighbors or homeowners association complaining? I don’t think you can do this in an apartment complex parking lot. The truck may be on jack stands for awhile.

    How is the rust? Is the frame good? If the frame is good then continue.

    The mechanic says the problem is the fuel pump. The fuel pump on this truck is probably in the gas tank. You need to confirm this. You will have to drop the gas tank. Empty any old gas, and dispose. A 20 year old vehicle may have rust issues. This depends on where the truck spent its life. Soak rusted fasteners in WD40 or equivalent. You may end up cutting parts off and replacing. Before you cut stuff off be sure you can replace them with new or refurbished.

    A truck that was sitting for 4 years may have gummed up parts. Modern gas is good for about 3-4 months before the ethanol starts to turn. Oil(s) and fluids needs to be changed but I would concentrate on getting the engine running.

    Take pictures and start a build thread. There is a wealth of knowledge on TW. Half the advice is very good.
     
    doublethebass likes this.
  5. Jun 14, 2019 at 2:45 PM
    #5
    RDenn15

    RDenn15 [OP] Member

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    The truck has always been TX, near Dallas. Rust is not an issue.

    I’m moving to CO and was contemplating towing it up there. I’ll have a shop where it can stay on jacks as long as I need.

    I also have a 4runner as my primary mode of transportation.

    In my mind it’s a great way to teach myself a few things I should already know. I’m just wondering if it’s naive of me to tackle this project. But I’m leaning towards doing it anyways.
     
  6. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:57 PM
    #6
    3roguen

    3roguen Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what your doing. I just put new ucas, u joints, struts and shocks, wheelers bumps and u bolt flip kit, added a leaf and new bushings all in my driveway recently and by watching videos on youtube and researching/surfing tw. Knew how to change the oil and a tire before but that was it. Only two stands, a jack, a breaker bar, sockets and a torque wrench, mostly. I wouldn't touch the engine not now. Need new brake lines, diff fluid, and a blower motor or resistor idk which so working on that. Recently Ive realized that once you have found a good local shop specify exactly what you want on everything like alignment specs more caster!! Be a cautious buyer. Use the tw vendors. Proper torque is not always required but heres the fsm. I'd link the thread but I can't find it now, so sorry. Thanks to whoever made this. Laminated and bound.
     

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  7. Jun 14, 2019 at 4:25 PM
    #7
    ToolPac

    ToolPac Well-Known Member

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    First gen Tacoma's are very easy to work on. There are only a couple jobs that I'd avoid doing myself. Rear axle oil seals and anything internal on the engine itself. That last one is more of a matter of principle. I just refuse to work on anything under the valve covers or above the oil pan.
    If you need a fuel pump the easiest way to replace it is to lift the bed off of the frame with a chain hoist. If you don't have one you can also use an engine hoist.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2019 at 4:38 PM
    #8
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    Can you look up YouTube vids? If yes. You have all the answers you will ever need.

    You don't mention if it is an extended cab or what. X cabs it's quite easy to lift the box to change fuel pumps. Much easier than dropping tank.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019 at 5:13 PM
    #9
    RDenn15

    RDenn15 [OP] Member

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    It is extended cab. Thanks for the tip.
     
  10. Jun 15, 2019 at 5:16 PM
    #10
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    Was hoping you would check in.

    Please take on this project.

    New battery and top off with fresh fuel and I bet you have a reliable truck.
     

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