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Toyota Tacoma Prerunner (owner experiences)



  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Bleh......Maxima about a Lexus V8 instead? There's a guy on ttora boards (check the other message thread) that bought a V8 for $600, almost new, I think, and dropped it into his Taco, with few drilling and modifications required.
    Maxima motor wont do you any good, it's too small for a truck. You could, however, get a 3.4L and drop it in your Prerunner, which would of course void 99% of the warranties :)
  • How about some real life suggestions in here! I am not dropping V6's or V8's in the thing (although it would be nice!).

    How about engine chips or exhaust? How much hp can I expect to get?
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Don't bother with chips. If they do even make one for the Taco, I have heard that they don't work well at all for this application. You can modify your airox with what is called a deckplate mod - this will give increased airflow. Couple that $5 mod with a high flow filter and you could gain up to 10hp if you're lucky. Exhausts are good - you could go with a complete catback or just replace the muffler. You can get a header which would also help alot. Im still thinkin, but there are some ideas.
  • saddaddy - I hear you have to be careful with that because it could void the warranty. Is this true? I would LOVE to get an exhaust put on it to make it sound better and give it more power. Forget the chip.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    The rule is:
    Warranty is voided if there is a direct connection between your mods and the failed part. So if you put a lift on the truck, it voids the U-joint warranty automatically because of the high wear-and-tear they'll experience.
    Deckplate is harmless in that just have to watch out not to go through 2 feet of mud with it open, cause then you may splash some inside which will restrict airflow. And even if you do that, clean it up and its ok. For more protection, paint the deckplate (if you didnt get a black one) black and it will look the same as the airbox. For extremely paranoid: either buy a spare airbox, or join TTORA and you could ask one of the guys for the airbox. The good thing about deckplate is that it gives you a little extra hp and a cool hissing sound at 3K rpms on a V6, the bad thing is that, people say, it takes off about 40 miles off each gas tank, which I am about to verify (gonna open mine again).
  • dcabman1dcabman1 Posts: 19
    On a scale of 1 to 10 (with a 10 meaning that you need to be a competent auto mechanic), how difficult is changing the oil on a new 2002 Double Cab? Are there any tips from those who have tried this job before? What about special tools? I'm trying to decide whether it's worth paying the extra money to have the dealership do the job or if I should venture out on my own.

  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Hmm....the filter is in rather uncomfortable spot. I actually went to a mechanic for this the first time around. Factory tightens the filter up pretty good. As for special tricks: it's easier to go though the inner fender wall, just turn the front tires to the left, and you'll get to the filter. No special tools required, and I think there's also an oil filter relocation kit that you could get...
    It's not that you need a mechanic to take the engine apart, it's just you need to get into a somewhat uncomfortable spot. Those Japanese engineers designed it to fit their hands, I bet :)
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I tried to change my oil for the first time the other day. It had been changed prolly 5 times by shops, but I need to save some money. Anyways, I have tiny arms, I could get to it great thru the fender wall (by moving aside that rubber stuff), but Ill be danged if I could turn it. I even went out and bought a $7 wrench that would bent and contort all sorts of ways. Those hoses below the filter just wouldn't let me grip it well with the wrench, much less torque on it at all. What do you suggest? I really need to learn how to do this on my own. Thanx
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I havent changed it on my own yet, I only got 5.8K miles on it, and wont be changing probably until 8-9K.
    Another way to try and change it is drive it up on a rock/curb so you have a little more ground clearance, get underneath, take off the skidplates (have to take both off, the rear one is holding front one), and go from underneath.
  • Just took delivery of an '02 V6 XCAB TRD Prerunner about one month ago. Have about 385 miles on it now and am only getting 13MPG around town. Haven't had the chance to try the freeway as yet.

    I drive fairly slowly with few fast starts or stops (it's difficult, however!)and am wondering if this mileage will improve with break-in?

    It seems to stay in 2nd gear until about 32 MPH and I think this is where the economy is suffering.

    Any thoughts?
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
    All you have to do is get something to stand on and reach in from the driver's side (over the fender). YOu can get an oil filter wrench on and unscrew the old filter. I do it this way and it takes me 5 minutes to get the old one off and the new one on. DO NOT take the skid plates off, it will take you 2 hours to change your oil.

    Quad: Give it time and it the mileage will improve, especially once the weather warms up. You will end up average around 15-17 in town, just be patient and start saving your money!
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Do you have lots of hoses and stuff under your filter? Ya know how you gotta twist down on the wrench to tighten it, then twist some more to actually loosen the filter -- well I can't even twist far enough to tighten the metal strip on the wrench. All those hoses and then that metal crossmember, or whatever it is, get all in the way. Maybe if I go in from the top, I'll be able to stay away from the hoses. Thanx man

    Guadeloupe, YES your mileage will improve. Mine was very similar early in my baby's life, but now it is closer to 20, consistently. Just give it time. Might wanna try a high flow air filter as well.
  • Hi, i was just wondering if the xtra cab on the prerunners have more space than the Chevy S10? I have an S10 and am looking into the prerunners because of the problems with my chevy. I was wondering if there is more space for passengers because of the front facing seats, or if it is the about the same as the S10. Thanks
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    but I would be willing to bet that the Prerunner won't have as many problems. These trucks are, as far as i can tell, built to last. I do like the way the seats face frontwards, though. Sorry I can't help with the room issues.
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
    you will bypass all hoses from coming from the top. You can get a filter wrench on with no problems and just loosen it, then you can spin it off by hand. When putting the new filter back on just coat the seal with oil and spin it on with your hand as tight as you can, then take it 1/2-3/4 turn with the filter wrench. Works like a charm.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    sounds like a plan. Thanx alot man.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Xtracabs on Tacoma all have the same space. It depends on the driver, however.....there are some people who are literally glued to the steering wheel with eyes against the windshield....then with the seat moved up an Xtracab would become a Double-Cab-like leg-space wise. Then there's me, I sit back, actually have to extend the left foot completely to push the clutch in, and the steering wheel is full arm-length away from my shoulder. So that leaves probably enough space in the back for a 1-yo without the baby seat. Honestly, I doubt anyone could ride in the back comfortably, unless the front seats were moved up all the way. You just gotta check it out and try, see where your seat stands, and how much space is left.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    TRD makes a supercharger for just about all their truck engines. 2.4, 2.7, 3.4, soon the 4.7 will get it also. i think the pre-4.7 landcruiser engine has a supercharger also.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    I have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab PreRunner 3.4L V-6 SR5 TRD.

    I have some questions for fellow Taco truckers out there...

    1. What are the part numbers for Toyota OEM oil/air filters?

    I *think* they are...

      PN-02011 - Oil Filter (all 6-cyl engines?)

      PN-07020 - Air Filter ('95-'01 V-6 engines?)

    2. What are some good online vendors for OEM Toyota filters?

    I found this place while surfing...

      $3.29 PN-02011 Oil Filter

      10.99 PN-07020 Air Filter

       4.95 Shipping

    3. What's a good source for 'side steps'? I am looking for some good non-slip metal steps for each door (i'll need 4).

    I considered the tubular steps, but I think I like the individual steps better, just me.


    Oil changes on a Tacoma are a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], the engine skidplate blocks the oil filter and I have to go in from the front wheel well.

    It takes alot more contorting than an oil change on say a Honda Civic, but you don't burn yourself on any nearby catalytic converters (OUCH!)

    Gas Mileage; I get about 16-17 MPG in a mix of city/highway, sometimes 19-20 with lots of highway driving. Yep, Tacomas have crappy gas mileage. My Taco has 10,000 miles.

    Thanks all for your help, happy trucking.

  • bryanembryanem Posts: 3
    Has anyone out there have experience towing
    with a Toyota V6 ? Specs say 5000 lbs capacity, I am trying to evaluate if this truck will hold
    up towing a 2500lb boat/motor/trailer.
    (Understood that this truck would not be a good choice to tow
    a yacht with)
    Especially interested if anyone has towed
    with a Tacoma and has 100K plus miles on it
    without the transmission being replaced, etc.
    From all I have read, this vehicle looks very reliable,
    but will it hold up if I periodically tow
    a load at 1/2 the rated tow capacity ? Thanks.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I am almost certain, that the truck would pull it without any problem. I have not pulled that much, personally, with my 3.4 but I have heard of people that have. Of course, you won't be able to race any sprots cars or anything, but the truck should have no trouble. Holding up will be no problem either. These trucks are as close to bullet proof as you can get, IMO. Go to the message board at, for some first hand stories. Plent of guys there have towed upwards of 4000# for very long trips. They would be more than happy to tell how the truck held up.
  • ifangifang Posts: 1
    I purchased a Tacoma double cab with the 3.4 V6 at the end of February. I've put 1850 miles on it as of 4/12. This past weekend was the first time I hit 80 mph. I noticed a couple of times when I accelerated to pass on the highway, there was low rhythmic clicking noise coming from the engine. It seemed similar to a putt putt noise I've heard on an older engine. I've never owned a V6 or Toyota so I don't know if this is something I should be concerned with. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    >>Low clicking when accelerating at high speeds<<

    Hmm.. does it sound like Pinging? or slight detonation? I know our engines are rated for Reg Unleaded, but I've had vehicles that would ping when going uphill or accelerating hard when I put in cheap gas.
    Use up the gas in your tank, then try some higher octane, 89-91 and do the same pass at 80.

    1,850 miles? That baby's not even broken in yet. I forget what the manual says for break-in period, but you might try that too :o)

    I've pegged the speedo at 100mph in my DoubleCab, and my 3.4L purrs like a cat.
  • shakyshaky Posts: 9
    I seen the posting here about gas mileage and such. I have a 99 Pre-Runner with 40k miles. Have installed a K&N air filter and just recently added a 50 series Flowmaster muffler. Noticed increase in HP and slight increase in mileage. Slight increase probably because I now enjoy the extra power to use. It sounds cool too. The only issue I have had is slight front end vibration between 60-65. Have any others experienced this?
    I have the original Goodyear CSA Wrangler tires I have been running. Do other owners out there with these tires experience this?
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    is coming from the tires.
  • flybertflybert Posts: 6
    I am ordering a PreRunner and want to know if anyone has any experience with the ABS option. My dealer is saying that I don't need to have it, but I want to find out what anyone else thinks. This is a PreRunner Xtracab V6 without TRD and I will never take it off road, I will be using it for towing a small tent trailer.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    be a good idea. It really all depends on your driving skills. ABS is bad offroad, but that's about it.
    Dealer is probably saying that because ABS on Tacoma is hard to find (when I was buyiung my truck 6m ago, my dealer told me that I'd have to wait for 2-3 month) and he just wants to make a sale.
  • I just picked up my '02 XCAB Prerunner on 1/29. It had been on order since October 22, 01. Three months and one week.

    Yes, it was the ABS that held it up. Got all options + TRD.

    I drove both the standard and TRD versions and I liked the TRD version as I think the ride and handling are superior, Not harsh (until you get off road).

    Can't answer if ABS is worth it or not, but for the additional $300 I think it was worth the wait even if just to bolster the resale value.

    You'll love the truck, can't find one thing wrong with it, it was everything and more than I expected.
  • flybertflybert Posts: 6
    I wonder why Toyota makes ABS a stand alone option on almost all of their vehicles. I do applaud them for giving the consumer the final choice, but I wonder why most of the trucks on the lots are without it, when Chevy, Ford, and Dodge all offer it as standard equipment?
This discussion has been closed.