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2nd Generation Toyota 4Runners (90-95)

nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
having separate threads for each generation. But the second gen was from '90-'95............oh wait, I see it is correct in the thread title, just not in the title of your post. :-)

So did everybody have their steering linkage replaced on Toyota's dime per the recall last summer? I had it done on mine just before I wound up selling it - it seemed weird to have free repairs performed on a truck with 220K miles on it. Especially since I never had a problem with the original linkage. And I beat on that truck a fair bit.

2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)



  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 52,573
    lol, I can fix my original welcome post - I'll delete it and we'll just make your post the first one. :-)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator - Buying questions? Please include city or zip code and trim you are shopping, FWD or AWD, etc.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    well thanks! :-)

    I had my '90 V-6 4x4 for a number of years, so even though I finally traded it for a '00 last fall, I am going to be visiting in here from time to time too. Both generations are tough durable trucks that will go forever with a little care. Each has their pluses and minuses - one "plus" I will miss on my old truck is the drop-down tailgate (sort of like a carpeted pick-up, instead of a minivan-style rear door that opens upwards, which the newer Runner has).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jammer6jammer6 Posts: 1
    I have a '95 4Runner that has 178K and two weeks ago I pulled my boat in from the lake and when I came up to a red light and stopped my Check Engine light came on. It had a code 25 - mixture too lean. I took it in for a diagnostic and the mechanic told me he checked for intake leaks, none, checked for blown head gasket, all cylinders were carrying 150 to 180 lbs. He wouldn't do anything else without charging me $250 to pull the intake and check the injectors because he said the #6 plug looked black and I have just replaced the rotor, distributor cap, ignition wires, and plugs before taking it in. I also have replaced the fuel filter and the O2 Sensor but still no luck.
    The code 25 has been reset and not come back on but the engine is still very rough like a solid miss most of the time. Sometimes it seems like it is running much smoother so I have run 3 bottles of injector cleaner through it in an effort to help.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how to check the injectors without pulling the intake? Or, have any of you experienced this problem with your 4Runners. I am pretty sure it is some kind of fuel delivery problem with probably the #6 cylinder.

    Thanks for any help.

  • goltgogoltgo Posts: 54
    jammer - I had to have the injectors serviced soon after buying my '95 used back in 2000. Service light came on, was running really rough. I didn't have/don't have the mechanical proficiency to deal with it myself, so I don't have any insight for you on how to deal with it. Just wanted you let you know that it has been experienced by at least one other. I can look up the invoice if you want to know what type of service they performed on it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    I don't mean to jinx you, but that is exactly the same symtpoms I had with mine when one of the exhaust valves burned out at almost the exact same mileage. And if the plug is black, doesn't that mean it is getting fuel but having some other type of problem?

    Needless to say, mine needed a new set of exhaust valves to the tune of a pretty penny. It was worth it though - it ran like a top once again after that, and for several years after before I finally sold it.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • tylerh1tylerh1 Posts: 3
    I was thinking about buying a 94' 4Runner with a 116,000 miles. The guy who owns it said it has audible ticking noise coming from the engine which someone told him is just the valves and that the valves on that engine (v6) need to be adjusted every 25k miles, and the exhaust has a few leaks from where it has rusted through, but there is no rust on the body. Are these common problems/b.s.? And I heard that these trucks are extremely reliable, is there anything else that goes wrong at about that mileage? Thanks
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    Well, I never adjusted the valves on mine - the manual didn't specify periodic adjustment, or if it did I missed that page! They do make a bit of noise, but if you have an especially loud tick that could be a big problem- get a compression test done and check that all the cylinders are firing properly.

    The exhaust pipe does rust notoriously - I finally replaced mine after it became super wormy. It wasn't too expensive - like $200 P&L, and that was at the dealer. Needless to say, that was just the pipe behind the cat, not including the cat itself.

    And yes, these trucks ARE extremely reliable. Mine was at 220K when I sold it, and I still see it running around the streets.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • carpusuvcarpusuv Posts: 5
    I'm interested in a 95 4runner with 137,000, owner says they bought a new one. Researching the vehicle showed several posts where blown or otherwise faulty head gaskets are not uncommon, and I'm interested in knowing if indeed you think this is a common problem with the 95s.... There was some indication that Toyota had a recall on them, but so far I've not confirmed.

    If I buy, will this truck take me 3 more years or to 195,000 without much hassle?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    of Runners, the V-6 had a TSB and extended warranty on the head gaskets, which were prone to early failure. However, if the '95 you are looking at is one of the affected ones, chances are good it has already been done. Also, many of the '95s were not included because they had already fixed the problem by then.

    You can call or contact Toyota through the website with the specific VIN of this truck to determine if it is included in the TSB. If it has gotten to 137K without any problem, then you are probably OK, but it would be good to check anyway.

    Everything else is rock-solid on these trucks, and if the head gasket recall has been done, or this '95 is not one of the affected group, 195K should be no sweat, I would think.

    BTW, if it is in the group and has NOT been done, I am pretty sure Toyota will still spring for the new head gasket even now - check with Toyota national or with the service advisor at your nearest dealer.

    Oh yeah, one last thing - there was recently a recall for this series of 4Runners for replacement of the steering tie rods - I had mine replaced for free even though my truck had more than 215K miles on it at the time! You might check that it has been done on this '95 as well, or if not, make a mental note to get the recall done if you buy this truck.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jrranksjrranks Posts: 1
    I just bought an after market right power mirror for my 1995 4runner, I try to install it but the color or the wires are different. On the new mirror the colors are brown,white and yellow. On the door the colors are green, brown and black. Can you tell me which wire goes with which?
  • rouseyrousey Posts: 2
    my 95' 4 runner started making a really bad knocking sound the other night. no check engine lights have come on. the oil was changed a little over 4k ago. i have heard multiple things to about the matter. i have heard that i blew a head gasket, i heard i blew my engine , etc. does anyone know what could be wrong with it? has anyone experienced the same problem? :mad:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    What did the gauges say? Did it ever overheat? Are you getting good oil pressure? Does it make the knocking sound all the time?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • rouseyrousey Posts: 2
    judging by the gauges , everything seems to be okay. i have had a few mechanics say i threw a rod. the engine only has 119,000 on it though. that sounds very odd for a toyota.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    you can still drive it around? Then you didn't throw a rod. However, you could have rod knock. Drive it around for 15 minutes, go up on the highway, get it nice and hot, then stop and let it idle for a while - you will likely see the oil pressure fall to zero.

    It will also run hot. If you really, truly, have totally normal gauges after that type of driving, you could have something else - perhaps a bent or broken crankshaft? Perhaps an accessory that is mis-installed and is banging on something as it turns?

    It's hard to know what's up without hearing it. Did you do anything under the hood right before this noise started?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kenikeni Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 4Runner with a Toyota L4200 3 disk CD player. When I put CD's in it I see the following message displayed; E-02. Is this an error message? I can not get it to play any CD's.

    Thanks for assistance with this problem.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    If it won't play and is displaying something that begins with 'E', I would say that is an error message, yes! Your manual probably tells you what that code means, if you still have it. If not, since it is a Toyota unit, your dealer service department will be able to tell you what it means.

    HOWEVER, unless it is a simple fix, I wouldn't pay to have to it repaired, as a new aftermarket unit would be cheap to buy and install and probably work better than the original ever did.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kenikeni Posts: 2
    Thanks, You are right I do not have a manual for this Type CD player.
  • Keni, did you have any luck? I have a 97 4Runner with the same problem.
  • tomr3tomr3 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 4runner with the same problem. It used to work fine, but then started spitting out the changer and posting the E-02 message. Toyota gave me the universal code to change it, and the radio took the code and works fine (SEC shows up and the little red key flashes) but the L4200 still won't work. They must not be connected. Alpine made the cd changer, I believe, and Panasonic made the radio/cassette. I'm switching to a Sony CPA-9C cassette adapter and using my iPod and forgetting the CD changer. The cassette adaptor is usually 19.95, but I found it at Amazon this week for under $13.
  • My power antenna on my 94' 4runner hasn't been going all the way down for awhile, no big deal, but the other night some [non-permissible content removed] bag broke it off. Anyone know anywhere online to get replacements? Thanks
  • I have a 95 White 4runner with 102k on it...absolutely love it but was wondering if anyone else has these thread like markings on their wheels. Not quite scratches...these are like thin white markings. Anyone know how to get it off/what to use to get it off with? Thanks ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    Mine was 16 years old when I finally sold it, and the alloys never had any thread-like markings on them. Do you have the steel rims?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I have a 95' 4 Runner with 138,000 miles, it runs like a tank! Very solid, but also very slow. My daughter has a 94 identical 4 Runner with 40,000 more miles than mine, but her truck is "zippy" while mine takes it's time getting up to 65 miles an hour. She has the stock p225/75 R 15 tires while I have the big 31X10.50 R15 size tires on my truck. Will I get more torque by switching to a smaller stock size tire? I also have noticed that the bigger tires are giving me an incorrect speedometer reading. I'm always going a little faster than it reads!
  • My 95' had a broken antenna when I got it in August this year, I bought a replacement from a seller on ebay, cost $25 with shipping, it took about an hour to fix, it was a little involved because you have to remove the unit inside the fender, take it apart to remove the old piece inside, but after that you just thread the new antenna and you're done. Piece of Cake! The replacement I got on ebay was a brand new OEM part, everywhere else I asked about this part wanted $100 even the salvage places!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    Yes, the much larger tire size in effect makes your gearing taller (running at a lower RPM at any given speed) - that reduces the zippiness of the off-the-line performance.

    Just guessing here - if your daughter's truck has the smaller tires and you have the large ones, is it possible that she has a 2WD and you have a 4WD? That adds about 300 pounds and would slow down your truck as well.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • We both have 2WD, I have owned this 4 Runner for about 3 months, and the other day while mine was getting a leaky steering box fixed, I had a chance to drive hers, and was blown away by the quickness of her truck. I should also disclose that her truck was one of the recalls for the bad head Gasket, so she's had a rebuilt engine at some point, whereas mine is a true 138,000 miles! I want to downsize my tires anyway to get the extra power no matter how small! My work is 120 miles (round trip) with some long steep inclines, and even with the ECT on I lose speed and have to move to the right too much for my taste!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    there's also a lot less rolling resistance with the much narrower base tire for that gen of 4Runners, which I believe was a 225/75/15, or something like that? Mine had those when I bought it, but at the first opportunity I upgraded to the 265/70s. I immediately witnessed a 3 mpg plummet in fuel economy, and a reduction in off-the-line zippiness (which was fine, as I used it mostly for offroading and snow trips, where speed was not a priority, and was sometimes a liability! :-))

    BTW, if you are looking for tires, it was my experience that there is a much bigger selection in 235/75/15s, which is the stock size for the Ford Explorer, than there is in 225/75/15s.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Thanks nippononly, I had heard from a tire guy that a 235/75/15 (instead of the 225/75/15) would be a better size tire to buy because of the vehicle's propensity to roll over, and the little bit of extra width would be to my benefit.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,723
    Ah, tire guys! While what he said is sorta true (but not much), it is certainly true that if you go with a 235/75, he is much more likely to stock a bargain-of-the-day he can sell you at maximum profit to himself! :-P

    And 4Runners do not have a "propensity to roll over". :-/

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I put smaller tires on my tank and am delighted to report a substantial increase in horsepower in all ranges, I get nice off the line acceleration, I get up to 65 real quick, I also get a little better gas mileage, as well as a pretty close to accurate speedometer reading! All this just by changing from 31X10.50 R15 to 235/75/R15's.....The only thing is, "I now have a nagging tire noise comming from the right rear tire" (chi, chi, chi, chi sound when its coasting) I don't think the guys who put the new rubber on did any re-balancing! They just switched the big tires with the small ones. Should I have these wheels re-balanced after putting new rubber. The tire guy says its normal for these tires to make this noise.
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