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Toyota Tacoma (2004 and earlier)



  • zoom17zoom17 Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about getting a '01 tacoma extended cab. Now the problem I have a 3 year old who needs a car seat. Has anyone put one in the extended cab version? Your opinions would be helpful.
    I would like the 4 door, but they are spendy. Once again, any help would be helpful.

  • my son borrowed my '00 Tacoma last week and got hit right behind the driver's door. dumped it over onto the passenger side. hood and tailgate were fine, but all other sheet metal was trashed. yup, totalled. but they crawled out the window, pushed it up on its wheels, and drove it home. driver not hurt and passenger had minor cuts from broken glass. yes, very lucky. i looked at new rangers and tacomas today. i've had both and loved them both. i'll probbly buy from the first dealer that finds me a comfortable bucket seat.
  • whatnow2whatnow2 Posts: 24
    While I haven't actually put a child car seat in the back of my 2001 ex cab Tacoma, it has what appears to be a very substantial anchor factory installed for just that purpose. Check the owners manual if possible.
  • rlafaverrlafaver Posts: 70
    You have got to be awful happy about your son. We all worry about that kind of thing, and he was very fortunate. If you are looking for a comfortable seat in a Tacoma, you will need another shot of good luck. There are, however, some great after-market seats out there.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My best friend just traded a 1986 Ford F-150 4WD in on a new 2003 Toyota Tacoma SR-5 4WD 5 speed Manual. He is surprised that the new Tacoma 3.4L V6 has much more power than the 5.0L V8 had in the Ford.
        Question: Why does the 3.4L V6 in the Tacoma have LESS power than the smaller 3.3L V6 in the 2004 Toyota Sienna? (The Sienna 3.3L V6 has 230 HP and 242 Lb-Ft Torque while the larger 3.4L V6 in the Tacoma has only 190 HP and 220 Lb-Ft Torque).
        Will the Tacoma 3.4L V6 last longer since it is not tweaked as much for power output?
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Sienna engine? Truck engines have a requirement to develop most of their torque in lower rpms, so they can tow. Sienna engine might simply be developing the torque much later, at a very high rpms.
  • Hello All!! I Just bought a '03 x-tracab 4x4,manual. it now has 1300 miles on it and i am going to get the oil changed to full synthetic. Here are my questions. I thank you in advance to ALL people who may answer my questions, and i apologize if they seem somewhat trivial. I just want to take care of "Gunner" the best way possible :-)

    1)If i am using FULL synthetic oil is it ok to change the oil every 5k miles(norm driving conditions)?

    2)I am looking at buying some good quality car seats and a tonneau cover--any recommendations or websites?

    3)I also am looking at having the bed lined with the spray on "Rhino" lining(approx $430.00)--any opinions?

    4)What should I keep the tire psi's inflated to? Some people say 32--but i believe the tires say 35 or 36 psi??

    5)Should i be driving 4Hi at least 10 miles monthly. And if so, can I drive in 4HI on dry pavement w/out ruining anything?

    Thx again. I really enjoy reading all the posts!

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I don't know the answer to all your questions, and the oil question can get more than one answer (my personal thoughts is that it should be fine, especially if you drive lots of miles).

    However, I do off-road and you can't drive in 4WD on dry pavement. Definite no-no - can cause problems because your front and rear tires are locked together and if you go around a curve, they won't travel the same path.

    If you have a 4x4 and want to take it out each month, find a nice dirt forest service road somewhere and enjoy some time alone. I've heard that it is best to use 4WD each month, though I don't know if it matters how far.
  • spleckspleck Posts: 114
    I'll agree that the Sienna gets its HP peak at a bit higher RPM than the Tacoma, but it beats the Tacoma's torque peak.

    Sienna 3.3L V6
    230 hp at 5600 rpm, 242 ft-lb at 3600 rpm

    Tacoma 3.4L V6
    190 hp at 4800 rpm, 220 ft-lb at 3600 rpm

    I would imagine there are two good reasons. One, a dyno would probably show that the Tacoma generates more torque at lower RPMs (3600 is just where it peaks). Two, the Tacoma needs an engine update. Although, engine intake/exhaust systems may have different requirements due to the operating environments that may affect performance.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Congrats on purchase.
    1. Change it at 5K first, see how good oil looks. I use Amsoil synth oil, and in general, I change oil filter every 5-6K miles, and keep oil running for twice that 10-12K with a filter change in between.
    2. Corbeau seats, I suppose. Then there's a number of seats from Celica, Volvo, Eclipse that fit into Tacomas but require tinkering.
    3. Sounds too expensive, I was quoted $300 for Rhino. You could do spray-in yourself for about $100 using Herculiner, but from what I hear, it's worth paying someone else to do it.
    4. Do a chalk test on your tires and find out where optimal pressure is for them. Some people ride at 28, some at 30, I inflate mine (BFG AT KO, not stock) to 35.
    5. You do not want to run 4WD on dry pavement....if you want to, do it in wet conditions, or just find a decent easy trail around town and go there everyonce in a while.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Good answer. Since another friend recently got a 2003 Tacoma and also has a 1998 Sienna, I'll have to write him to see which engine he has in the Tacoma.
        Ford will soon go the route of Packard, Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, DeSoto, Plymouth, Edsel, etc. if the buying decisions of my friends are any indicator of a trend in the general population.
        Americans will not continue to buy unreliable, shoddy merchandise when Toyota quality is an option.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    I installed a versacover (aka undercover) hard tonneau. Very happy with it. Weighs less than 50 lbs, is easily removable, installed in less than 45 minutes, is durable, and the cost was less than $600.

    I have a vortex spray in liner. It is OK. After having it installed I've seen some older Vortex liners that do not look like they handle weather well.

    Oil change? 5k with synthetic seems early to me. I would say 7500 miles with synthetic.

    Seats are a weak point in the Tacoma. Beard or Corbeau offer replacement seats that have good reviews from Tacoma owners.

    During the summer I drive in 4 Hi every once in a while on dry pavement. Only in a straight line, at low speeds and for a short distance (200 ft) to keep everything lubricated.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868 looks like a winner for a tonneau if you want a painted one. I have no personal experience with this one. I was going to get this one before I found out about the Versacover.
  • moparbad,

    I saw a truck last year that had a Vortex Liner and became interested because it seemed like it was harder than a rhino but less rough than a line-x.

    Could you elaborate for me what you like and don't like about it? Is yours colored? What are the weathering problems you saw?


    Cyberdad Steve
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Harder than a rino and less rough than a Line-X is an accurate description. I have no current problems with the product. There were two vehicles at the installer that were coated with Vortex material and they both had chalking and color loss on the areas exposed to sun and elements. The texture was much rougher and more sand paper like and if you rubbed it your hand would have black residue on it.
    I commented on this and asked if there was UV protectant in the product. Answer was no. Since my truck will have a tonneau that covers the sprayed surface on it for 95% of the time I went ahead and had the liner sprayed.
    I've seen Rhino and other brands chalk out after a year or two in the sun also, but this is with early spray in liners and I'm pretty sure that current Rhino and Line-X have UV protectant incorporated into the liner material.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Hi folks, I just started following the Tacoma forum as I am thinking of buying a 1998-2000 Tacoma Prerunner. I'd like your opinions on a few questions. The truck will replace a '98 V6 Mustang, which is primarily driven by my 18 yr. old son. He now primarily drives a Suzuki crotch rocket (vroom vroom) and has lost interest in the Mustang and has also expressed interest in trucks. I also have a 15 yr. old som who will be driving soon. I'm looking for a safe reliable vehicle for my kids that can easily be driven by anyone in my family (wife included), is easy to do basic maint. items. Actually I'm a Honda man, but they don't sell trucks and the local Toyota dealer is a royal pain. Would you recommend the 4 or 6 cyl. prerunner? Is the back seat big enough for one 6' teen ager?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Are you looking at the Xtra cab? If so, the back seat does not fit a 5' female for very long.

    I have a 4 banger 5 speed 2WD 2000 Tacoma (not a Prerunner) and find it adequate for most of my needs. I drive up steep freeway grades (the I-5 Grapevine is part of my daily commute) in 4th gear because it won't hold 70 mph in 5th. It doesn't have much grunt at lower RPMs but does fine higher up. I would not want to have the same engine in an automatic, so if that is a consideration, get the 6.

    It is easy to drive, and ours has been reasonably reliable. I can get 28-30 mpg with almost all freeway or mountain rural road driving. It won't turn on a dime, but isn't all that hard to park (nothing is as easy to park as my Wrangler).

    I would also recommend taking a longer than normal test drive. The 2000 has very uncomfortable seating for me (my husband isn't as uncomfortable) which I didn't realize until about a month after we bought it. I understand that they changed the seating in either 2001 or 2002, but the best thing to do is try it for yourself.
  • mikefm58,

    I have an extra cab, 1998. The seats in the back are rapidly becoming too small for my two 10 year olds, much less my 13 year old. Crack open the wallet and get the DC or a used Tundra with the rear opening doors. I have sat in them and they are reasonably comfortable. You will not be happy with only an extra cab. I do like the Pre-runner option, except for the automatic only transmission.
  • I am considering buying a Truck Tool Box for my boyfriend for Christmas. He has a 2000 Toyota Tacoma. I talked to his friend and got some ideas: Locking on the side, that diamond material that doesn't rust, and something that doesn't go all the way to the bed of the truck in case he's carrying something long and wants to put it under it. The problem - I have NO CLUE what to look for in a brand, where to shop for one, etc. So I thought I'd come here were people probably know alot more than I, to get some tips/ideas/help on where and what to get. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions. I can't find a site that rates them, lists them or that I can plug criteria into!

  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Who drives a Tacoma because they believe it's the most reliable vehicle on the planet?

    I believe if you research CRs and other periodicals you'll find out that Tacomas are the most reliable vehicle (especially the 4 cylinders). Of course several Toyota vehicles(Corolla & Camry) have reputations of being very reliable but being RWD Tacoma rules.

    BTW, I don't own a Tacoma ... but I will.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    But there is more to a good vehicle than just reliability. My 2000 Tacoma has been very reliable over it's 136,000 miles, but it isn't very comfortable, especially for trips more than about 45 minutes. If I had realized how uncomfortable they were, I wouldn't have bought mine. Of course, they changed the seating the year after I bought mine...
  • I learned to appreciate reliability after that fiasco I had with the ranger. 30k miles and in the shop twice every month. I've now got 18k on the Tacoma. By far the best vehicle I've ever had.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I think I got a first problem with my Taco....30K miles, I may have warped rotors slightly, so I got noisier brakes. Haven't been to a mechanic for any other repair (other than caused by myself) since the day I bought it.
    Just goes to show that not everything is "it's supposed to knock like that".
  • I've got a Better Built box on mine, and am very happy with it. I got it at Lowes, if they have those where you're living, and bought a mounting kit that doesn't require drilling to install it. The mounting kit keeps it from "walking off" while you are at the mall or somewhere. Overall, I have been very happy with it. I does fit over the rail, so a topper won't work with it installed, but it does have space underneath it, so you can cram some stuff up in there. Keep in mind that the bed is only six feet long anyway, so a sheet of plywood won't fit in it without the bed open anyhow. And this type mounting system (it is sold right next to the boxes) won't work with an over the rails bed liner. Host, if I can't say the name of the store I got it at, let me know and I'll tell her some other way.
  • You didn't miss much in the 2001 Tacoma seat changes. My 2001 seats are killers. I can't decide if replacement seats (for example, from Performance Products) or toughing it out till trade in is the right way to go.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Every time I get serious about getting new seats I get thinking I can stand them for another 6 months when I'll be able to trade it in. It seems like I've been thinking that for 2 years, and I still can't afford to get rid of it. Maybe in the spring we'll so something about it - it is still in good shape.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    who doesn't think that Tacoma seats are THAT bad?
    I did a number of 10-11 hr drives and a 17 hr drive in last 1.5 years, and did not have any problems with seats in my 2002 (same as 2001).
  • I never noticed a problem with the seats of my reg. cab tacoma (2002). I'm actually more comfortable in them than in my old reg. cab ranger. That's probably due to more knee room because I now have a tilt steering wheel.
This discussion has been closed.