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View Full Version : Dark Side Info: school me, cheap 4 runners...


FJBen
11-24-2008, 11:54 AM
Ok, my rig has sold...(will be gone sunday :() so I"m looking for a VERY cheap x-cab or 4-runner. As in $1000 and under. I was going to drive the MIL spare Dodge/mitsu/Ram but it only has 2 seat and head gasket blew so I don't feel like sinking anything into that pos.

I've seen a few on CL, but apparently just by posting an ad doesn't mean you actually have to respond when people are interested.

Any good deals? Gotcha's? things I should look for?

In research sounds like I want a 22RE vs. the 3.slow. The only upside is that if they didn't re-do the head per toyota's recall, I could have that fixed.

I don't care too much about the year/shape etc. Have found mid 90's for cheap and late 80's.

What say you dark side of the force?

MDH33
11-24-2008, 12:17 PM
After searching for quite some time, I just picked up an '82 first gen pickup with a 22R for around $1000. I love this thing! The 22R has been better on gas and a lot quicker than my 2F's. The truck feels solid and handles great. Best $1000 I've ever spent on a rig.

I've heard a lot of grumbling about how slow and rough-riding these trucks can be, but coming from driving a lifted 40 on swampers and a 60 running on 5 cylinders, this truck drives great.

I saw a few early 4runners and extended cabs when I was searching, but nothing in the $1000 range that ran and wasn't totally rusted out but I'm sure they are out there if you're patient.

good luck. :beer:

Bikeman
11-24-2008, 12:43 PM
I think it will be hard to find anything drivable that I would put kids in for a grand. I have tried for years to find the ultimate Toy 4x4 that didn't need a lot of $$$ fixin up to baseline and be safe for a grand. Now for 2-3K, you should be able to find something worth the effort, as I had in the past. In fact by buddy who also owns a bike shop, has an '89 'ruuner prolly in the 2-3K range for sale. Just watch out for those timing chains on those 22R's!

CardinalFJ60
11-24-2008, 12:54 PM
I'll pm you the info. It's a friend of mine's 86? xtra cab...needs brake work. Like master or booster. no PS, small lift, pretty decent shape. Hasn't been used in like a year, though.

Red_Chili
11-24-2008, 01:56 PM
I would think a $1K mini would definitely be a project... you might find one with no rust, and say, a blown hg or very rattly timing chain etc. But beware, too much neglect in those areas can cost you an overhaul from secondary damage. DAMHIK. Driving one now, but the fresh motor runs pretty darn well!

I spent more than a grand on it though...:rant: :rolleyes: :bawl:

FJBen
11-24-2008, 02:35 PM
Yeah, I figure it's gonna take work, which is fine. Just kinda lookin' for the gotcha's. We've really only got around a grand which is pretty tight at that. I'll check out that one you sent shawn, thanks!

I did stumble on this but it looks like a whole disaster and WAAAY more money than I can dump into it.
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/ctd/928770622.html

Red_Chili
11-24-2008, 02:46 PM
Hmmm...
This vehicle is operable and drivable, however it will require work! It needs a windshield, a new timing belt, a timing belt cover, a #1 shift solenoid, new rear axle seals, new alternator bearing and a right rear window regulator. The differential is making noise on this truck. ... 303K miles...
windshield, meh.
new timing belt, straightforward
timing belt cover, meh. Junkyard.
#1 shift solenoid, dunno. Not an AT guy.
new rear axle seals, yah sure, but plan on bearings too, and the rear diff is a concern.
new alternator bearing, more like boneyard alternator. If it really is just the bearing and the slip rings are still good (doubtful at 300K), this is a meh.
right rear window regulator, meh.

303K, that would be a concern, probably 300K miles of abuse. Go for an older but lower mileage truck.

AxleIke
11-24-2008, 02:55 PM
Assuming stock gears on the diff, I have a complete set of 4.10 Diffs out of an IFS 4runner, as well as a set of rear axles with bearings and whatnot. The seals weren't leaking when the axle came off the truck, as well as the bearings were good. They ARE used, and have mileage. If you need a cheap fix, they'll work. If you've got money, and a press, new bearings are the way to go. You can have whatever one you need. Buy me a beer sometime.

leiniesred
11-24-2008, 03:35 PM
I'd go 4runner for the safety factor of the real back seats vs. jump seats.
Even the first gens (1984-1989) readily adapt to shoulder belts in the back too.

I'd try to stay under 200,000 miles. That is when mine started to really wear out. (crank seals, cam seals, power steering box seals, valve cover seals. Every thing seemed to go at once.)

I would avoid, but not rule out, the automatic transmissions for reliablilty and performance reasons.

I would try to get a desert states car with no rust. No rust means easier to work on (you will be workin' on a $1000 'runner!) and you will still LOOK good even with a blown head gasket or broken timing chain!

3VZE head gaskets: Mine have 267,000 miles on them. If this is the WEAK part of my engine, it is a pretty darn good engine.
I'm not alone in having a high milage 3vze. I think a lot of the stuff you read is internet rhetoric.
http://www.yotatech.com/f116/how-far-can-3-0-go-105135/


I think the 22re is a great little motor, but too small for a 4 door 4Runner's weight. Add in an automatic transmission and you are over my patience level on the mountian passes.

If you won't accept the 3vze engine because the head gaskets might only last a couple hundred thousand miles then I highly recommend the much lighter first gen 4runners with the 22R/RE. (22R only in 1984) The first gens, being older, are probably going to be cheaper to buy and the junkyard parts are easy to find these days which might reduce future repair costs. Besides, the top comes off the 1st gens which makes them the most fun in the summer!

The darkside rigs are seriously tough, long lasting trucks right out of the box. They are adapable to the widest range of driver needs for the least amount of money. Those kids in the back seat might wind up using the $1000 4runner as their first car!

FJBen
11-24-2008, 04:39 PM
good info guys! thanks!

I'll just keep on searching the CL and around to find something on the cheap. I don't mind working on stuff at all...but I don't want to spend 3K in costs trying to fix something if ya know what I mean.

J Kimmel
11-24-2008, 08:58 PM
when I was shopping around, I found lots of first gen junk for a grand...if you can possibly move up to 3K, there are a lot of nice runners out there(no pun intended)

Found a few recently in the 3K range that were both nice looking and ran great. 1st gen 22re would be my choice. I had a 3.0 and it was a great truck, I just didn't like the fact that all the parts were 3 times as much as the 22re.

FJBen
11-25-2008, 09:52 AM
here's one I found...don't really know what the "needs some work" means...

but...

This 1990 4Runner is in good shape. The body is in decent shape, the interior is in pretty good shape. There is a brand new catalytic converter, brand new brake booster, four almost new tires. This is a great mechanics special, because it needs a bit of work. A trip to the junk yard for a couple of parts and a Saturday's worth of work, and you could sell this baby for more than twice what you have into it. The body is White, the interior is blue. I don't have a picture posted, but I could get one. Just come and check it out instead. I've owned it for 9 years, an I am driving something else now $1,000

can't move up to $3000....:( litereally at the $1,000 under range which sucks...but if I can't find anything decent or usuable (which is funny for $1000) then I'll try to fix the the little crappy dodge.

Man Jerk
11-25-2008, 10:23 AM
1k is going to be tough, but not impossible.

You will need to be patient and look high and low.

I looked for 3 months to find exactly what I wanted. I paid 1k, but it was with a garbage motor.

MDH33
11-25-2008, 10:47 AM
If you don't mind some rust, I think you can find a 1st gen runner for a grand. I found my 1st gen pickup for a grand and it only has 174K on it, runs great and the rust isn't that bad.

I'll keep my eyes open for you. I have a sickness where I have to check Craigslist for Toyotas at least 6x/day. :o

Man Jerk
11-25-2008, 03:13 PM
http://cosprings.craigslist.org/cto/915164145.html

http://cosprings.craigslist.org/cto/925552834.html

Red_Chili
11-26-2008, 07:29 AM
3VZE head gaskets: Mine have 267,000 miles on them. If this is the WEAK part of my engine, it is a pretty darn good engine.
I'm not alone in having a high milage 3vze. I think a lot of the stuff you read is internet rhetoric.
http://www.yotatech.com/f116/how-far-can-3-0-go-105135/

I had three cases of internet rhetoric.

Red_Chili
11-26-2008, 07:31 AM
This 1990 4Runner is in good shape. The body is in decent shape, the interior is in pretty good shape. There is a brand new catalytic converter, brand new brake booster, four almost new tires. This is a great mechanics special, because it needs a bit of work. A trip to the junk yard for a couple of parts and a Saturday's worth of work, and you could sell this baby for more than twice what you have into it. The body is White, the interior is blue. I don't have a picture posted, but I could get one. Just come and check it out instead. I've owned it for 9 years, an I am driving something else now $1,000

Definitely worth pursuing.

Red_Chili
11-26-2008, 07:32 AM
If you don't mind some rust, I think you can find a 1st gen runner for a grand. I found my 1st gen pickup for a grand and it only has 174K on it, runs great and the rust isn't that bad.

I'll keep my eyes open for you. I have a sickness where I have to check Craigslist for Toyotas at least 6x/day. :o
Martin, your find borders on a once in a decade find. You dog. :lmao:

FJBen
11-26-2008, 08:08 AM
Definitely worth pursuing.


cool, I'll check with this guy....he can't send pics for some reason...which I don't like as I've been really burned going to see rigs without pics. I'll try again.

Man Jerk
11-26-2008, 09:14 AM
cool, I'll check with this guy....he can't send pics for some reason...which I don't like as I've been really burned going to see rigs without pics. I'll try again.

I hear that!

I drove from Co Spgs to Golden one afternoon in traffic to look at a 4runner described as one of the nicest in Colorado.

Famous last words.

If you are selling a 20+ y/o vehicle and expect top dollar, don't you think you would vacuum out the massive amounts of dog hair imbedded in the carpet??

Oh and those Warn Hubs, they don't add $300 to the value of the vehicle over "those crappy aisians"...

FJBen
11-26-2008, 09:46 AM
I hear that!

I drove from Co Spgs to Golden one afternoon in traffic to look at a 4runner described as one of the nicest in Colorado.

Famous last words.

If you are selling a 20+ y/o vehicle and expect top dollar, don't you think you would vacuum out the massive amounts of dog hair imbedded in the carpet??

Oh and those Warn Hubs, they don't add $300 to the value of the vehicle over "those crappy aisians"...

ugh...I know...we drove from Greeley to Bailey 1 time with the kids to look at a cruiser. really low mileage super clean early 93. Ok, let go. drove up to BFE in the middle of nowhere and the rear hatch had rust all over. :rant: Like put your finger through the rust :eek: The rest of the vehicle was clean and solid...but

I even asked the guy if there was any rust on it :rant: he said no...

SteveH
11-26-2008, 11:25 AM
If you want a around-town car, $1000 might get you that....

I've seen 3rd gen 4Runners in the $4000 range. By the time you get an early one for 1000-1500 and dump piles of money into it, you might find a 3rd gen that was within that range of total expense.

After my '89 4Runner, I wouldn't buy one of those with more than 180K, which is when the tranny got noisy, clutch fried again, the timing chain failed, the heater core (18 billion hours to replace it), etc. failed. I put a pile of money and time into that 1st gen and it was still slow as a dog. 2nd gen 4Runners do nothing for me, personally. My '98 is at least competitive and will go 75 in a headwind on the highway.