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Opting for a 2000-2004 Gen 1 Taco Instead of Gen 2

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by kiteboarder, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Jan 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM
    #1
    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've spent most of my time in the gen 2 taco forums. I've been doing the research to buy a gen 2. However, I'm adamant on a V6 manual and of course we know all the problems with those.

    For that reason... I'm starting to look into an older 2000-2003 V6. I don't know as much about these as I do about the newer ones, but I hear they are better built. I have a couple of questions...

    1. Does the gen 1 V6 manual tranny have the same issues as the gen 2 6-speed?
    2. Is the gearing ratios in the manual gen 1's better thought-through than the gearing in the gen 2 manuals?
    3. Did Toyota make a 4x4, Double Cab Manual?
    4. Is the Gen 1 as safe (crash ratings) as the Gen 2?

    I'm specifically looking for that, a 4x4, Double Cab, Manual.

    Anything else I need to watch out for?
     
  2. Jan 3, 2012 at 1:59 PM
    #2
    NegroTundra

    NegroTundra Well-Known Member

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    They did not offer a Manual double cab for the 1st gens.
     
  3. Jan 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM
    #3
    The Driver

    The Driver Trail Runner/Barefoot Beach Runner/Snow Skier

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    I don't think that double cabs came with manuals...


    On thing I can advice is that generally a 4X4 with manual will sell for more in a place like this forum than in say Autotrader.

    When I got mine five weeks ago, I would have saved roughly $2K had I be willing to go manual instead of auto.


    My Miata is manual, and I do prefer manual, but I'm accident prone and driving a manual with a cast on a limb is bitch. So I had to get an auto.


    Good luck! 4WD 1st gens are HARD to find, but not impossible! ;)
     
  4. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM
    #4
    Phuket

    Phuket Well-Known Member

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    can tell you that the gen 1's are tough trucks and although they are smaller it kinda makes them more capable. they did not offer a manual dcab 4x4, but do you NEED the dcab?

    crash ratings... probably not as good as the gen 2's but close.

    hope you find something.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM
    #5
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I understand that they didn't come with a manual in a DC, but you *could* get one via special order. I've never heard of anyone going thru that trouble though.

    Get an auto DC, and make a swap. It's really not all that bad. My brother and I did a swap like that in my old 4Runner ('86). We used the tranny off a 92 p/u, and got most of the parts from a pick-n-pull. There's some thread in here on how to do it I believe. IMO, worth it if you really want the 5 speed.

    I've always preferred the 1st gens anyway. Smaller body style, and pre "we're going to take over as the world's largest car manufacturer" that Toyota started in the mid to later 2000's. That made Toyota's quality suffer, IMO.

    I found my '04 at a dealer, by shear luck. I remember going to Carmax, and asking if they had any '01-'04 TRD 4x4 Tacoma Doublecabs. The guy asked "does it have to be a Toyota?" Um, yeah, it does, dummy, otherwise I would have asked if you had any "trucks"...
     
  6. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM
    #6
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    first gen manual V6's have none of the problems the new ones have.

    And yes the gear ratios are pretty good. I would like a granny first gear but other than that all is good.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM
    #7
    Tbones taco

    Tbones taco Well-Known Member

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    If you want a dc with a stick you will have no choice to go Gen.2. I love the manual but i drive all day in the city so i went auto. I love my 6 speed auto trans. the 4.0 V6 runs strong. if i were only driving to and from work i would have got the stick. Good luck!
     
  8. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    you have a 5 speed
     
  9. Jan 3, 2012 at 3:58 PM
    #9
    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ha! Looks like I'm going to either lose a pair of doors with full seats, or the manual transmission.

    The reason I'm avoiding the Gen 2 is just that, the lousy manual tranny. I don't want to pay $30,000 for something I don't like 100% (which includes the automatic).

    The other thing is I'm considering a 2012 Mitsubishi Evo X for fun and for the track. With a car like that, I'll still need a truck for hauling stuff, desert driving and snow. I can't afford both a new Evo and a new Taco. Rather then, buy the Evo (or a different track car - MX-5, Corvette, etc, etc) and a more affordable Gen 1 Tacoma. Plus, I will be more inclined to have offroad fun in a used Taco while I might treat a new one too much like a garage queen.

    I think I need the 4-doors more than I need the manual tranny. The Evo would have a manual anyway. I have 2 kids and I'll likely be using the truck for camping trips, snowboarding and beach trips.
     
  10. Jan 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM
    #10
    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys, I'm busy looking around. I've also seen a few 4x4 early gen 2 Tacos for around the $15,000 price range I'm aiming at.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2012 at 9:48 AM
    #11
    roadking1

    roadking1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2009 6-speed manual. the only issue was a sqeeking clutch pedal 3 years ago.I had a 2003 v-6 5- speed manual. they both shifted well.
     
  12. Jan 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM
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    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Like I said, swapping out the auto for a manual tranny isn't out of the question, but, for what it's worth, the auto tranny in my '04 DC is top notch, and I don't have any complaints about it. I wheel with mine (mild/moderate trails since this is also my daily driver) and it does just fine.

    When I was looking for my truck, I wanted a 5 speed too, but I would *rather* have the TRD 4x4 package and a doublecab....
     
  13. Jan 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM
    #13
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket Well-Known Member

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    I know what I would do if I were you. I would buy the Evo and an older Tacoma no question about it, even if it was a 1st gen DC with the automatic.

    I've had an Evo and sold it just before I got my truck. The Evo is Soooooo much fun and will be all the car you need. Then having an older truck that you can play hard in and haul stuff without worrying about it would be perfect. To me that is the best of both worlds. New Evo and older Tacoma. I'd love to be able to have another Evo sharing the garage with my Tacoma.
     
  14. Jan 5, 2012 at 1:25 PM
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    canyonchaser

    canyonchaser Duae Rotarum per Sempre

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    My buddy is a Gen1 guy and he said the big problems with the Gen1's to look for is frame rot. I too love manuals, but their is something nice about an Auto. It's actually easier for me to drive mellow with a slush box - and if people would drive the auto correctly it's a lot more enjoyable. You really should only ever put the transmission in D once you are going about 55-60mph. D/5 is an overdrive gear and not good for much more than freeway cruising.

    dp
     
  15. Jan 5, 2012 at 6:59 PM
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    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I guess that's an option. I'll keep the tranny swap thing in mind. If I end up buying the Evo or Vette I might not be so adamant about the Taco being manual, as the sports car will be. But we shall see. I was at the dealer today looking at the Evo X's and test drove a 2010 GSR. Now trying to track down a 2000-2008 Corvette. It's surprising the number of posers that buy Corvettes. It's alarming how many automatics are available.
     
  16. Jan 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM
    #16
    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like we are on the same page. :D I also have an interest in rally. But it worries me if I'm buying a brand new Evo. Rally takes a toll on cars much more than the asphalt track.
     
  17. Jan 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM
    #17
    shampoop

    shampoop Well-Known Member

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    answers
     
  18. Jan 5, 2012 at 11:46 PM
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    kiteboarder

    kiteboarder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks... good info.

    Also...

    "...because the dummys head wouldn't have been bouncing off of the other vehicles bumper."

    OUCH! :eek:
     
  19. Jan 6, 2012 at 2:19 AM
    #19
    shampoop

    shampoop Well-Known Member

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    FYI, don't discount buying a second gen just because you "need" a manual.
    A manual trans was an absolute necessity for me with my 1st gen, but if I bought a 2nd gen, I'd get an auto. Newer auto trannies work much better and have much smarter shift logic (are in the gear they are supposed to be in). The extra power from the 4.0 also helps with the automatic. Plus 2nd gen extended cabs have the access doors.

    I bought a 1st gen mostly because

    1- I couldn't afford a similarly equipped 2nd gen
    2- I prefer the styling, visibility, narrower width, and metal bed
    3- They have an exhaustively long track record of lasting forever and taking abuse.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM
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    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket Well-Known Member

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    I had an Evo 8. If you are willing to take your time and find a used Evo that hasn't been modded/abused you could pick up an Evo 9 for less than an EvoX and not be as concerned as much about the wear and tear from rally if you decide to go that route.

    Without question the Evo has been the most fun car I've ever owned and I've never driven anything that handles like an Evo. Not a vette, not an M3, not a Porsche. Sure there are cars with more power if you just want to go fast in a straight line, but build a drag car if that's all you want.

    Shameless couple-o-pics of my mildly built Evo.

    Winter setup
    [​IMG]

    Summer setup
    [​IMG]
     
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