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Rust on 03 Tacoma

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by PatSea, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Oct 28, 2007 at 4:00 PM
    #1
    PatSea

    PatSea [OP] New Member

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    I'm looking to buy a Tacoma and today I looked at a 2003 Tacoma crew cab at a dealer. The truck looked to be in very good shape. The interior was clean and very little wear. I would make an offer on the truck but the one thing I noticed that concerns me was the amount of rust I saw. There was a 2" by 2" spot of surface rust on the bottom of the bed at the end of the bed liner (near the tailgate). The tie down loops had surface rust. In the engine compartment many of the metal parts showed some surface rust. Is this normal for this vehicle? I looked in the engine compartment of my '99 Lexus and I couldn't see any rust anywhere. Am I being paranoid about this or is this normal?
     
  2. Oct 28, 2007 at 5:12 PM
    #2
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    well i would think a lot of it would depend on where the truck has "lived" or been driven the most....near the coast or where it snows a lot and salt is on the roads, i wouldnt doubt it.
     
  3. Oct 28, 2007 at 5:45 PM
    #3
    PatSea

    PatSea [OP] New Member

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    This truck has lived in the Cleveland Ohio area, so it has seen lots of salted roads.
     
  4. Oct 28, 2007 at 6:16 PM
    #4
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    it happens...the salt will eat up the metal. if u do get it, clean it up as much as possible and u can spray underneath the truck to seal it from rust. if u have any big spots like the 2"x2" one, go to the automotive store and look for this rust remover that actually takes away the rust properties and turns the rust back into zinc or some other sort of metal. its pretty cool actually.
     
  5. Oct 28, 2007 at 6:41 PM
    #5
    Toy4Life

    Toy4Life 668: The Neighbor of the Beast

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it. My 02 has all the same surface rust you mentioned. Mine came from western PA.
     
  6. Oct 29, 2007 at 4:59 AM
    #6
    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    I would steer clear. Look for another truck. Go with your gut feeling. The rust you mention is unusual by our standards since we use A LOT of salt and yet dont see so much progress on a 5 year old vehicle. You can fix anything but rust. It will keep coming back.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2007 at 7:38 AM
    #7
    thenrie

    thenrie Well-Known Member

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    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    If you like the truck and think it is a good buy, check the area of the frame just forward of the front spring perches on the rear springs. Take an ice pick, awl, or even a philips screwdriver and poke the frame to check for rust-out. I wouldn't expect any in such young truck, but I almost got stuck with a '97 that I actually crushed the inside wall of the frame with my bare hand. There is a thread on this forum where I talked about it a couple months ago.

    By the way, Toyota has a five-year warranty against body rust on the Tacomas. You can read it in the manual. So it is an unusual condition in such a young truck. For the money you are going to lay out, I think I would look at another.
     
  8. Oct 29, 2007 at 1:02 PM
    #8
    PatSea

    PatSea [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for all of your input. I did more research on the net and I find that Toyota had a major problem with rust on the Tacomas in the late 90's. Most of the comments were related to severe rust out of the frame. rails. It was supposedly fixed sometime in 200X. I'm wandering if the surface rust I'm seeing is all part of an overall rust issue that continued into the 2003 models. Does anybody know. I may go back and take a closer look at the frame.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2007 at 2:34 PM
    #9
    Toy4Life

    Toy4Life 668: The Neighbor of the Beast

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    I you look into consumer reviews on Edmunds or Kelly Blue Book for the 1st gen Tacomas, you'll notice alot of complaints about the paint chipping or flaking off the trucks too easily. I'm no professional, but i don't care if you're talking about a 1 year old vehicle, if bare metal gets exposed it's gonna rust. I have a 2" spot on my tailgate where paint chipped and resulted in surface rust. The tie down loops are bare metal to begin with, so you almost have to expect a little there. I do wonder about the engine compartment rust and if there's any significant rust underneath, those may be signs of neglect.

    How many miles are on the truck?
     
  10. Oct 29, 2007 at 4:48 PM
    #10
    PatSea

    PatSea [OP] New Member

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    The truck only has 48K miles on it. And the truck overall is in very good condition. Interior is clean and no signs of wear. The exterior paint looks good except for rough paint on the front bumper. If it wasn't for the rust I would probably be making an offer to buy. The rust has me spooked.
     
  11. Oct 29, 2007 at 5:02 PM
    #11
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    if u dont feel comfortable booting the money for it, then i wouldnt.
     
  12. Oct 29, 2007 at 5:13 PM
    #12
    Toy4Life

    Toy4Life 668: The Neighbor of the Beast

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    You'll be paying top dollar, so if it spooks you, look elsewhere. I bought my truck with 103k on it, so I expected and accepted some minor defects. In my case, Beggers can't be Choosers.
     
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