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Toyota 4Runner



  • Working in Western/Upstate NY, I think that I can give you an informed response to that question. You won't really see advertising on vehicles that aren't distressed or that the dealer isn't having difficulty moving. There aren't many 4Runner on the dealer's lots and they aren't having too much trouble selling them relatively close to MSRP, so there really isn't too much reason to spend money on advertising space for them when they can spend the money on vehicles that are more competitive, such as the Camry or Tacoma.
  • Cliffy has a good idea for you. The operator will typically have a good idea of who is or is not a slimeball at the dealership and who probably is the best person to talk to. Another source for that information would be to ask to speak with a service advisor for the same reason. As for what to do to start contacting them, you can certainly e-mail them, but I find that I get a much better feel for how the person I will be working with will be like via phone.

    hope this helps.
  • Looking to get something that I can really put some miles on... didn't want to pay new car prices.

    Any suggestions for how much mileage I can belive a 4 runner will usually last?

    Any particular milestones I should be looking out for?


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I have seen the 80s Runners go to 300K, with the 4-cyl engine, and I am almost at 200K on my '90, which is a V-6.

    The 80s trucks tend to succumb to rollovers and accidents and rust before their powertrain gives up, so look for those things!

    As far as the 3rd gen with the 3.4L V-6, I haven't personally seen any with really high mileage yet, but they are still a little too new for that (since '96). There is no reason to think these will not go just as long as the older ones, in fact there is good reason to think these are the best series yet.

    Make sure if it is a V-6 that the timing belt was changed at around 90K. Make sure to have the brakes checked - they tend to go thru front brakes, and warping rotors is a problem that several people I know have experienced.

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

  • nipponly has some good advice. I have personally known a few owners of the 3rd gen (with the 3.4L) who have well over 150,000 miles on their trucks and from what I've seen living in an area notorious for their use of salt on the roads, the bodies hold up VERY well and the engines and transmissions seem as reliable if not moreso than the older trucks. Just look for one that you can confirm the maintanence has been kept up to date and you should be fine. The only drawback is that many of them were leased and some (I stress some, not all) lease "owners" don't keep up on their maintance as well as they should. So check on the maintance and you should be fine.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Here is a good story of someone who bought a 4Runner with 329,000 miles off of E-Bay, last month. He flew up North and drove it back down to Florida. If you go on the E-Bay link, it doesn't look bad.;f=13;t=014087

    Having driven some good cars till they die, I would say it cost about 2 1/2 more in maintenance for the second 100,000 miles, than the first 100,000. After 200,000 miles it gets to the point on how much the SUV is worth versus the repairs.

  • pwitzpwitz Posts: 51
    I have seen one dealer in Rochester,NY with a lot of 2003 4 Runners on the lot. They are now running $2k off ads in some of the papers around here...looks like SR5 ones, not Limiteds, but I think discounts can be had on those as well.
    The economy in WNY is crappy, so there was no way MSRP would hold for long. I've even seen Honda Pilots at 1k off sticker...that's when you know its bad!
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Had a chance to hook up my Coleman pop-up to my '03 4Runner over the weekend. Unfortunately, the standard hitch that works with my trailer doesn't fit the new 4Runner because it is too long and the spare tire is in the way. The short hitch that came with the Runner puts the ball too high so that the trailer isn't level. Does anyone know if Toyota can furnish a hitch to fit the Runner with the ball lower than the one that came with the vehicle? I'll probably call the dealer tomorrow to enquire. If not, I'll have to find someone build a custom hitch to fit.

    Other than the hitch height problem, the Runner did an excellent job pulling the trailer. You really notice the V8 torque when pulling a 3,000 lb. trailer! The standard 7 pin trailer connector is great. So is the furnished brake controller plug. However, I do wish there was a good place provided for the controller itself. Mine is mounted under the dash above the gas pedal and is almost in the way.

    I pulled this trailer around with an '01 Highlander last summer. It did the job, but the Runner is clearly much better suited for towing this size trailer--especially with the self-leveling air suspension. It took me a while to find a Runner with this option, but it was worth it.

    One other question. My Limited has the LED spots of light on the end of the speed and tach needles. The photo of the gauges in the Toyota Powerpoint program I saw also shows these "points of light" indicators on the ends of the gas and temp pointers. Mine does not have this. Is that a change in specs, or perhaps are my indicators not working correctly?
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Tfuzz, welcome to trailer hitch problems. My factory-supplied drawbar was too big (square tubing is .05" too big in the vertical dimension) to fit the receiver! I tried purchasing a drawbar and ran into the length problem you did. I think the best solution is to either make with a hacksaw (lotsa work!)or go to a machine shop and remove a couple of inches from the end of the drawbar. This excess length doesn't serve any function anyway.

    I'll be towing 4,000 lbs 5,000 or so miles next season, and I'm glad to hear your maiden voyage with the '03 went well. I've towed with a '98 4Runner Limited for the past five years, and it needed more torque.

    Our '03 has the "points of light" only on the tach and speedo needles.

    Did you get the traction control "off" switch the owner's manual says is supposed to be there, next to the diff lock switch? I didn't.

    -Karl, '03 Limited 4WD V8, Titanium, all options except nav.
  • Has anyone else noticed the hood on their 4Runner moves quite a bit at higher speeds (70+mph). I have a 2000 SR5 with the hood scoop and bug deflector. I can actually see about 1/8 inch up and down movement while driving on the freeway. Comments or suggestions?
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    khaug, my hitch didn't quite fit into the receiver either. I finally got it in, but had to get a hammer to get it back out. I greased it and tapped it in and out a few times and it works fine now. The size is OK--probably just a burr. I'm not sure I can just cut off the end of my old draw bar--the hole may be in the way. Don't have time to check right now. There was a message earlier that Toyota was redesigning the hitch and that the new one should work on current models. I believe you will still have to have a short draw bar, though. Supposedly the strenghtned hitch will be rated for a higher load. I can get by with a 5,000 lb capacity, but it sounds as if you might need the new one.

    Apparently they changed the design on the gauge needle "spots of light" from when they did the Powerpoint show. Not a big loss, but I do like that feature on the speed and tach pointers.

    No, I don't have a "traction control off" switch either. I have an AC power switch, diff lock, and two blanks there.
  • The spot of light versions for the speedo and tach are only on the Limited models. As for the hitch issue, I posted some information earlier on this board about it.
  • Received this today!

    We wanted you, a 4Runner enthusiast, to be one of the first to know that the 2003 4Runner
    with all-new V6 engine is available now (check with a dealer nearest you for availability).

    The all-new 4.0-liter V6 aluminum engine gives the larger, roomier 2003 4Runner the power
    it needs to scale the peaks. The new V6 delivers 245 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and generates
    282 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,800 rpm, one of the highest six-cylinder torque capabilities in its segment.
    This lightweight V6 has Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and features a new
    linkless Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) that improves performance
    and increases fuel economy. All V6 models will feature a 4-speed automatic transmission.
    So, even when you're heading to a remote mountain peak, the 4Runner has what it takes to
    get you to the top.

    See the all-new 2003 4Runner with all-new V6 engine at your local Toyota dealer.

    Sent by:
    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Prices now start at $27,715. $800 less on the SR5 2WD as compared to the V8.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Its only $800 less, gets one MPG better but requires mid-grade fuel. It has more HP but less torque. This seems like a no-brainer to me. Gimme the V8 any day.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The manual should be more clear on that. I believe that only comes on the 2WD model.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Now that the prices are out, we see a $800 difference between a V6 with 4 speed automatic or a V8 with a 5 speed. I guess the biggest question would be why so little difference between the two in price.

    1.) I guess we have to consider the V6 is a all aluminium engine, which cost more than a V6 with a cast iron block. Both a cast iron or aluminium block have the their pros and cons.

    2.) The V6 has a variable valve timing. All the bells and whistles that go with it cost money. Don't forget the V6 has more horse power and this is the main reason for it. You have to rev more, but you do get more, horse power at least.

    3.) A all new design, more start up cost.

    I know the market will decide on the real price difference, but if it were me, I would favor the V8 with the 5 speed automatic for another $800. Biggest reason for me is the V8 is a known design and is well respected. It is smooth and well designed engine. More power and torque in the lower end of the power band. More torque overall. As far as reliability who knows about the V6, maybe it won't be re-called like the 3.0 V6 and 3.4 V6 in the last generations of 4Runners. But then maybe it will.

    Now if we can only work on that cladding on the side of the thing.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    The head gasket was recalled in 1997...i think that was the only one.
  • Can anyone tell me where to find RPM levels for specific MPH on speedo? e.g.: At 70mph, what is engine rpm on V-8 and on V-6 (for comparison).

    Thanks, dmw
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Yes, that is what I am talking about. The 96 and some 97's were re-called. They fixed the problem after that. I was trying to bring up the point that the new V6 engine is a bit of a unknown. Still with Toyota it should be a good engine, even if there is a re-call in the future.

    I also think of the new 3.0 V6 found in the Highlander, RX300, Camry, etc. There is a concern over a sludge build up and Toyota has issued a 8 year warranty for sludge on those engines made before 2002. If I was planning to keep the 4Runner for a long time, I would say the best bet is with the V8, especially for $800.
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Buckeyedon, the V8 'Runner's gearing yields 34 mph per thousand rpm in top gear, giving an engine speed of about 2060 rpm at 70 mph.

    The V6's gearing gives 32.7 mph/thousand rpm in top, so 70 mph needs 2140 rpm.

    These are calculated figures, so may be a smidgin off, but the V8 figures tally very closely with what our '03 Limited V8 actually shows on the tach at an indicated 70 mph.

    Scarcely a nickle's worth of difference, I'd say.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    a very few of the first 3rd gens in '96 were recalled for the head gasket, like the first month's production or something. I never heard of 97s being recalled, and the problem was related to the one in the previous 3.0 V-6, similar but not identical.

    mitchinpa: yes it is normal for the edges of the hood on the 3rd gen to flap a bit at highway speeds - JUST A TAD. You will see it move, but if it is moving more than a little, you should make sure that the latches up there are OK.

    the flip side of V-6 vs V-8: with the V-6 you can still switch to 2WD if you want to, and does the V-8 have the electronic throttle linkage, as opposed to a mechanical one? You might call that e-throttle-linkage an advantage of the V-6.

    I am assuming that 4WD V-6 and V-8 SR5s are also about $800 apart?

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

  • Both the V6 and V8 engines feature the DRIVE-BY-WIRE throttle control as well as ACITVE WHEEL SPEED SENSORS! .......However, I agree with you on the part-time 4WD setup of the V6, resulting in EVEN BETTER fuel economy for people who will not use the 4WD 80-90% of the time (those that live in Southern Climes)
  • I know the V8 is full time four wheel drive but I prefer the V6 and part-time. However, anyone know if a limited slipp diff is an option on the V6??
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    There is NO need for LSD on 4wd 4Runners because they have 4-wheel traction control. On 2wd models, you have 2-wheel traction control on the rear axle.
  • Cliffy is right, the traction control off switch is only on the 2WD models.

    It is actually the Diff-Lock switch on the 4WD models. When switched on it essentially shuts off the traction control.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Center diff Lock button turns off VSC, NOT traction.
  • Oops, you're right. Thanks for the correction.

    There are so many acronyms associated with all the technology these days it's easy to get them mixed up.
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