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3rd Generation Toyota 4Runners 1996 to 2002



  • My '98 4runner is in desperate need of new differential fluid but the last idiot who had the the truck stripped the drain plug and now it is truly a pest to try and get the drain plug out. Im afraid of stripping it more or possibly cracking the transfer case. Yike$$! so any advice on my situation??
  • I had a similar problem when i had my fluids changed out at some Jon-Smith shop vs. a dealership. The dealership was able to order a new screw as well as air-impact out the old one which solved the problem.
  • Hi there! I have just bought a 99 4runner, 2.7 liters, manual gear, at 50k miles. Great car! I have just made my first trip and took 110 miles of very cold weather. The engine runned "cold" all that mileage. Also "drunk" a lot of gas ... does s'o knows why? That happened?
    In time...there is another car been sold. It is 2.001 model, has a 3.4 liters engine and automatic transmition. Same mileage. In your opinion s it worthy to spend U$ 12k and trade in my 99?
    Thanks a lot. In time... I`m writing from Brazil, Sao Paulo.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Your '99 4Runner is a very low mileage car! Unless you're having serious mechanical problems with it, I don't see why you would want to trade it in for the additional expense.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I hit the button to engage the 4-wheel drive on my 99 4Runner Limited, but the dash indicator wouldn’t lock-in green. When I realized I had a problem I hit the button to turn it off, but dash indicator continued to flash and now it won’t stop with button in the ON or OFF position. The truck drives / feels like 4-wheel drive is engaged, but now I can’t turn it off. Fluid levels in the differential and transfer case are full. I’m afraid to drive it, don’t want to cause any damage. I’m equally afraid to take it to the shop without same idea of what the problem might be…….. Help…..Please.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I suspect one of the front differential sensors is bad. That seems to be a fairly common problem with the '99 4Runner. Anyone here have direct experience with this?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • g2a79g2a79 Posts: 2
    If anyone could give some advice with this situation, I would greatly appreciate it! I have a 1999 4Runner Limited 4 wheel drive with 147,xxx miles on it. My problem occurs either while accelerating to or while in park and revving engine to about the 4200 RPM mark. The best way that I can explain it is it just feels like the engine stutters or how it would feel if hitting rev limiter or some sort of misfire. I have had a lot of work done to it this year, but what I have tried in regards to this problem is swapping out the ignition coils (bought one and basically swapped out each one, one at a time to see if one was bad), replaced the mass air flow sensor, replaced pcv valve, replaced plug wires, and it does have newer (new in spring of 2007) spark plugs. There are only a couple other things that I can think of: one is a bad ECU, but I have heard these usually don't go bad and I don't know where it is exactly in this vehicle to be able to replace it. Another thought is bad oxygen sensor(s), but am not sure if it could cause my problem.

    Any advice, again, would be greatly appreciated.
  • Thanks for your opinion! I also heard that the V6, here in brazil, has a very expansive maintenance (IF, and WHEN needed) so I´ll keep my 99 for another 50k miles.
    Please about the engine "running cold" do you have any clue about that? Nice to talk to you!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Welcome back!

    It's possible that your engine is running cold because the thermostat is defective or its temperature rating is too high. I would check that out first.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have a 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5 with premium sound 3 in 1 combo system w/6 speakers (radio part# 56807).

    Can I pull this out and install into a 2002 4Runner with the lesser powered 3 in 1 system (part# AD6803)?

    Is the amp built in to this radio or is it separate and are the speakers the same type on both vehicles?
  • First, Thank you for the info. I greatly appreciate it. I called a local Toyota service center to order a replacement A.D.D. sensor. They said they showed a #1, #2, or a #3 for the 99 4runner. Parts man thought I need a #3. Took it to the shop to have it installed wouldn’t fit......wrong one. Shop said the dealer should have used trucks V.I.N. # to identify correct part. How many sensors on the 99. Any insight would be appreciated.
  • my 96 runner has 224,000, i'm getting about 12 mpg. where should i start? air filter? plugs? tune-up?

    v-6 sr5 4x4
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Sensors and thermostat! Is your check engine light on?

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

  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    Hello, I had the same Electrical wiring harness problem on my 98 4Runner SR5. It made me crazy trying to figure what was wrong. It turned out the harness was defective and Toyota replaced the Tow hitch harness with a new one at no charge. The car was 4 years old and out of warranty, but they they replaced it free. You might want to check the chance of a TSB in relation to your wiring harness for your model year. Hope this was of some help. Ben.
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    Can anyone please tell me the purpose of the ETC button on the right side of my console. Also when would I use it with the O/D in the off position. As it stands now I drive the car with the O/D on for better fuel economy. The car has 61,000 miles, and I had the Trans. fluid flushed and filled by Toyota at 47,000 miles. Am I doing damage to my Transmission driving in the city with O/D at all times? Any input would be of help, and better understanding for me. The car is perfect in all respects. And I'd like to keep it another 10 years. I also use synthetic engine oil. Ben.
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    224,000 miles is terrific.. Have you considerd having your injectors cleaned, or even checked for bad ones? With that kind of mileage I would also the consider the Fuel Filter and pump. Even having the Fuel lines blown out and clean. With 224,000 miles you make me proud and secure in owning a 4Runner V-6. I don't know how often you tune your car, but I would also consider a complete tune-up, wires, plugs. filter. If finances allow I think my first choice would be a Toyota Diagnotsic. It's through, and for sure you you'll know your problem{s} Sometimes going thru the car yourself replacing everything, and there are many things to consider, you may still not find your problem. And it could cost you alot of money, and needless to say much frustration.
    Good luck. Ben
  • myns390myns390 Posts: 1
    just disconnect the battery and wait 10 seconds put back
  • mwohlfordmwohlford Posts: 1
    Get engine lite with trouble code says 1st bank sensor issue. Will a Bosh before and after cat. work? When accellerator pushed in car falters. Suggestions!! I was going to replace both front and rear sensors. Mike
  • All I need to know is what bellhousing will fit on my 96 2.7 4cyl with the 5 speed. Is it the same as on the V6? The Toyota dealership cant seem to tell me... So maybe someone with some real world knowledge on here might know?
    Id be willing to swap the whole trans if it'll fit. Im just having trouble finding a trans from a 4cly and I dont wana buy one from a V6 and have it not work...
    Any help?
  • just happened yesterday: turned on the engine, then after 10-15 sec. hear click and RPM jumps from 750 to 1000 and back to 750 and it keeps repeating itself. what that could be? 96 4R 3.4L 6-cyl.sr5 with 90k
  • dorfer81dorfer81 Posts: 2
    Can the OEM 15" steel wheels on a '96 4Runner be easily replaced with the OEM 16" alloy/steel wheels, or would any other modifications need to be made before doing so?

  • The ETC button is the Electronic Transmission Control, when you push it, it changes the shift points for your truck so that they shift at a higher RPM point. I have found it helpful to use this button when i'm in need of more power to pass someone; when I pull a trailer and i'm going up a hill, sometimes the O/D is on and my truck feels sluggish and by turning it off it moves the RPM's higher so that i have more power to pass someone or keep the same speed without flooring it. Although yes running the ETC on or O/D off all the time it will use more gas in the long run, but then again it all depends on your driving style (highway/city or grandpa/speed racer). Hope this helps!

    Greg :)
  • rzkibiz,

    I had the same problem with my truck. It's what happens when someone takes it to a place that isn't Toyota certified cause somketimes they use tools that work on other cars/trucks but not on Toyota's; resulting in stripped nuts. A good toyota dealership can air impact the old one out and put a new one in. You may have to order the part as i had to, it was a few bucks at the time and then add labor. But it's worth it to not worry about losing your transfer case. Hope this helps!

    Greg :)
  • Hi all!
    Yesterday, after a 35 mile drive, I parked my 2000 4runner facing down on a steep hill and turned the engine off. About 15 minutes later I restarted the engine and backed up the hill (about 30 feet) and reparked on level ground.
    I noticed a significant spill of fresh transmission oil spill where the car had just been, and crawled under the car to see what was going on (the car was now turned off again, and parked on a flat surface).
    There was transmission oil literally pouring down both sides of the transmission - not leaking from the cooler lines or from seals at the end of the transmission, but apparently from the top of the transmission (I couldn't see back far enough under the firewall to see exactly where it was coming from - but it was pouring down BOTH sides, apparently from the top of the trans - I'm guessing maybe a quart or so.
    When the car cooled off, I started it again, and drove it to my home 1/4 mile away with no problems and no leaks. This morning I drove it a half mile, and again performance was normal and there were no leaks.
    Anyone know what's going on? Thanks!
  • point65point65 Posts: 5
    I have a 97 4Runner SR5 2WD Automatic. Loved it since day one (I'm the original owner), and it has over 144K miles on it. Here's my situation: I'm getting new tires. Can I replace the 15" tires it came with with 16" tires? What would I have to do to the car to make the speedometer work correctly, if I can change them?

    Also, about 6 or 7 years ago the CD decided not to work (it looks like a separate unit below the tape player). It takes in the disk, but doesn't play it, and sometimes doesn't spit it out. Is there a fuse I should be looking for to replace someplace?

    Let me know.
  • In case you didn't get an answer, here are my findings;

    2003 4Runner and 2005 Tacoma or later 16x7 wheels backspace at 135 mm is different and portrude inwards about half inch giving it a less robust stance, and that is not what the 4Runner is all about.

    The correct factory original 16" x 7" oem styled steel wheel for 1996-2002 Toyota 4runner is part# 42601 35740 at your local Toyota dealer, suggested dealer price is suposetly over $200 bucks but if you tell them that you can get the same wheel at an independent Toyota parts store at $130 ea. they'll probably reach an agreement with you. Said rims are exactly the same stock design as the 15 inchers and are rare.

    These “nice looking“ rims will lift the vehicle a little with out going to suspension mods and powder coated in black will give you a nice stealth factory look, i shod them with “expedition size” Dunlop 235/75 16 tires. Getting better gas mileage on the highway too.

    You could also opt for the standard steel wheel instead of the styled steel wheel.

    Cheers! JU alias WorldTour
  • Similar to answer above, going from a 225/75-15 to a 225/75-16 for example is adding 1 inch of additional wheel and tire diameter for a total difference of 3.5% in circumference, that means that when youre going 60 mph, you're actually going 62.1 mph which is insignificant, much less than the “5%“ police allowment for a ticket, ...the fix, just go a tad slower than what the speedo says.

    JU alias WorldTour
  • I went with just replacing with the same size I had already. The next tire purchase I'll go bigger.

    Any ideas on the CD player problem?
  • Hi all
    My CD Player looks like a separate unit from the tape player above it, although it occupies the same space. It takes in a CD, spins around a little, then nothing happens. Sometimes it ejects the CD, other times it won't. Is there a fuse I could be looking for to replace, or should I just replace the whole system?

    Also, I broke the the drink holder that slides out of the front console above the radio, and the kids broke the drink holder that flips down from the back of the center console. Are these easy replacements should I find a donor 4Runner, or should I just get them from the dealership parts department?

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  • From what I know of stock cd players and age, I would say that your problem lies within the head unit itself. There is only one fuse that connects to your radio and it would not turn on at all if that was compromised. Id say go find yourself an aftermarket head unit of your liking. is pretty decent. There are a few others just like this with similar pricing. Find one that is based close to you for quicker shipping. If youre looking for cheap and longevity, get one that has direct input for the cd, as opposed to a motorized face.
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