View Full Version : Advice for buying a mid to late 90's 4 Runner or Tacoma

08-09-2010, 09:17 AM
I currently own a convertible and Need a Toyota! I am looking for a mid to late 90's 4 Runner or Tacoma and perhaps a Land Cruiser. What are some key questions to ask, things to look for when looking at the 4 Runner or Tacoma? If you have any other advice, please let me know. :cheers:
(nemo has me covered on what to ask/look for re: Land Cruisers)

08-09-2010, 09:44 AM
You'll find that the 3.4 V6 is the common power plant in those trucks. The timing belt is a maintenance item at around 100k miles, so look to see if that work has been done (along with the water pump).

Both trucks came with an optional rear locker (more common in the Tacoma), and it would be nice to have that if you can find one. The 5 speed manual tranny is out there if you would prefer that over auto, but both transmissions are well built and reliable.

There are tons of minor differences in the model years; too many to list out. If you find one you are interested in, post it up in this thread and ask for feedback.

08-09-2010, 09:58 AM
try to avoid the 3.0l motor's
there in the older runners and taco's 89-95 defenttly get the 3.4l motor.
people that dont have the 3.4 usually want to swap to it (like my self)

08-09-2010, 10:01 AM
Thanks Matt for covering. I am not to familiar with these vehicles since I haven't owned one myself. What mileage should one start staying away from? Anything over a certain amount?

Ron Helmuth
08-20-2010, 12:30 AM
the 3rd gen Runners are from 96-02 model years. Rear axle seals and radiator failures in the auto tranny versions can be significant if ignored. Some owners suggest the 99-02 versions are a bit more comfortable- but the manual tranny 5 speed disappears after the 2000 model year, as does the 4 cylinder powered option.

As Jacket mentions a rear locker is a highly desirable option. The Limited versions have a few more creature comforts and center diff locking. However, Limiteds are always auto trannys and V6s. Power leather seats upgrade to heated in the 01-02 versions.

The axle seals are a cheap part but need addressed before they fail to prevent soiling the rear drum brakes. The auto tranny radiators should be replaced at approximately 8 years old to prevent the dreaded "strawberry milkshake" condition that contaminates the automatic tranny. Some owners favor an external tranny cooler and bypassing the factory cooler lines leading to and from the radiator.

Properly maintained- I would suggest an older 3rd gen Runner under 200K miles can be had for less than $5K. At miles higher than that-overdue care is almost a certainty for the ball joints and other front end suspension components.

T4R.org is Runner specific and Yota Tech is also helpful.

09-08-2010, 09:31 AM
2000 Toyota Tacoma SR5 TRD, Extended Cab 4x4, 3.4L 6 Cylinder, Automatic. This truck has all the options AC, Cruise, CD Player, Bed Liner, Power Windows and Locks, Rear Locking Differential and more. It has brand new tires on custom wheels as well. The truck has 100K miles on it.

09-08-2010, 09:40 AM
I appreciate any and all feed back on both Tacomas. Here is another one I found this morning.


I was hoping to post about a 2003 4 runner limited but the link doesn't work. Its a 4.7V8 w/ 105K

Thank you for any feedback & advice.