Originally Posted by Tremek
nakman actually raises a good point re: the 98-99s.
Would I be nuts for having my wife (occasionally) drive around a 5500 lb truck around without traction/stability control in this day & age? We have two kids under 2, too, so I'm slightly concerned about the safety of the truck without ATRAC etc. when it's available on the '00+ trucks. I also hear you re: side airbags on the '03+ but side airbags can actually be dangerous for young kids in car seats in the rear... So conflicted!
Because the kids will sometimes be in the vehicle, I recommend a 01 or newer. The LATCH anchor system wasn't installed until middle production for 2000 model years.
That may not be a big deal for you and this is a huge and safe vehicle either way. IMO, the LATCH makes for a much more secure car seat than a standard belt.
Also, the turbo system is about $7500 and the supercharger is +/- $4000 plus the instal. Obviously the supercharger is more of a DIY, but sourcing everything together is extremely difficult. You could be $10k all in for the turbo, plus the $10-15k you paid for the vehicle.
If you plan on doing some mods/upgrades you may not like the 4spd without regearing. Especially if one of those mods is bigger tires. I had a 20% change in gearing by going to 35s. That's pretty significant and I have the 5spd. I could still pull away from the guys in 4spds going up Floyd Hill. The bad part is I'm to the floor going 40 and they're to the floor going 30. I also wouldn't shy away from a NAV equipped vehicle. There is very little data that shows this is a problem area in any year LC or LX.
OTOH, regardless of what year you buy....... A front locker from TJM or ARB should be at the top of your mod list. It's a proven weak point of the 100 series. I don't think the 2 pinion vs 4 pinion is a valid argument either. The ring gear is known to break on all years. That's $1500-2000+ that should be added to the cost of the vehicle.
Just my .02