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What to look for when buying used?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by FuriousGeorge, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Sep 8, 2009 at 1:02 PM
    #1
    FuriousGeorge

    FuriousGeorge [OP] Member

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    Hello all! I'm just beginning my research into buying my first Taco. I've always wanted a first gen TRD Tacoma (pref 04'), and I was curious to know if there should be anything to look for when buying a first gen tacoma.
    Are there any problems with specific years, etc.?

    Please excuse my newb questions. I don't know much about Tacomas other than I've always wanted one.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sep 8, 2009 at 1:12 PM
    #2
    2toys

    2toys Well-Known Member

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    First off, welcome aboard.

    I love the 1st Gen myself, particularly the 01-04 years.

    From my research; rear leafs sag and frame rust seem to be the achillies heal of these models. Frame rust would be a deal killer for me. Rear sag is fixable for most DIY'rs.

    Other then that, look for something that wasn't abused and do your normal used car Due Dillegance.

    When doing my reading on these years, I kept coming across 'clock is in bad spot' remarks from owners. Frankly, if that's the worst an owner can say about a vehicle, it's a great ride.

    PS, clock IS in a bad spot...
     
  3. Sep 8, 2009 at 1:26 PM
    #3
    FuriousGeorge

    FuriousGeorge [OP] Member

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    Any particular part of the frame that tends to rust? The clock won't bother me. I have a wrist watch.
     
  4. Sep 8, 2009 at 7:14 PM
    #4
    takern

    takern Well-Known Member

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    good call on 01-04. like said earlier, check the frame, the whole frame for rust. with these trucks, mileage is not really an issue. take it for a drive and make sure it shifts good, not too much play in the steering and there are not noticable weird noises. rear leafs may squeak, but that doesnt mean anything is wrong really. check the entire underside and look for any damage down there. also, check fluids. thats a good indication of how well it was taken care of

    also, if looking for 4wd, find a dirt or gravel area and make sure that that works. to check, put it in 4wd and gas it. you should have spray come from front and back.
     
  5. Sep 13, 2009 at 3:57 AM
    #5
    dustinuhls

    dustinuhls Well-Known Member

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    The '01-'04s are awesome trucks. If you're buying from a dealer, they will have already checked on the "frame rust" issue. If you're buying from a private seller, take it to a Toyota dealer and they'll check it out for free. I was buying spark plugs at the dealership one day and asked about the rust problem and they sent someone out to the parking lot to check my truck. It took 5 minutes and everything checked out ok. If it wouldn't have, they would have replaced the frame for free. The good thing about buying a Toytota truck is that they stand by their products and will fix anything that is wrong with them for free. I bought a used '92 in 2000 that I owned for 4 years before they finally sent me a letter that the head gaskets had a factory fault and replaced them for free when the truck had over 170K miles on it.
    Don't be scared about buying a Toyota with high mileage if you can get a good deal on it. These trucks last forever. Just don't overpay for one with too many miles. High mileage can be a good bargaining position for you. I've seen several with high mileage priced too high just because they are Toyota trucks.
    I got really lucky when I bought my '01 DoubleCab 4x4 Limited in '05 with 44K miles and paid $16,000. If you can find a deal like that then jump on it!
    Oh yeah, the clock position sucks!
     
  6. Sep 13, 2009 at 10:46 AM
    #6
    MowTaco

    MowTaco Well-Known Member

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    Cupholders suck too
    I just wedge stuff between the split bench seat in the front and it works pretty well
     
  7. Sep 13, 2009 at 11:38 AM
    #7
    Ry1984

    Ry1984 Well-Known Member

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    x2! esp in a 5 speed. 4 gears sucks with anything bigger than a soda can. :( my only complaint though :D
     
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