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Toyota 4Runner



  • I believe the cladding change has been addressed on earlier emails, and will actually take the form of an Appearance Package option(AP) for the SR5 model. I believe the earlier email mentioned a cost 370.00, I have obtained some additional info from dealers:

    The Appearance Package(AP):

    This package begins with January production, meaning Feb/early March arrivals. It will include the following:

    · Color-Keyed overfenders
    · Color-Keyed Front and rear bumpers
    · Color-keyed cladding
    · Color-keyed REAR License plate garnish
    · Fog Lamps

    Should be available on both the V6 and V8 models.

    I have also tried to find a LTD without a sunroof, to no avail, I have been quoted lead times of 3-4 months on a custom order LTD, so I am looking at the SR5 with the appearance package as an option.
  • Currently, I'm driving an 01' Highlander which I like a lot. But admittedly, the Runner is a bit more masculine.

    1) Is the back seat in the Runner any wider or more accommodating of 3 child seats? A larger vehicle doesn't appeal to me and I do not perceive the 3rd row seats in SUVs comparable to the Runner as being very safe. And don't say mini-van.

    2) Does the XREAS help reduce brake dive?

    3) How much adjustment is there in the rear air suspension?

    4) Is there merit to equipping the I-Force V8 with VVT-I technology?

    5) What are the 3 buttons between the seater heater buttons are the center console for?

    6) What are the 3 buttons on the dash to the left of the steering wheel for?

    7) Whenever the wheel/tires are balanced the weights are invariably repositioned, which typically leaves marks on my beautiful alloy wheels. Can this be avoided? I've seen other cars utilize an adhesive tape?? that is positioned on the ID of the wheel itself, is this do-able?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The cladding package will be a port package. Why is this important? Because it means dealers will eventually be able to add the same package to existing vehicles. Don't expect them to be able to do it for $370 but anything the port can do, the dealers also can.
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    To all who have helped me in the past week.. thank you! I took the advice of Cliffy and SteveB and gave Carson Toyota and Dianne Whitmire in particular a call. Well, I ordered my special order 4Runner from Japan yesterday. She seems to be the most knowledgeable Internet manager that I had spoken to, and she was confident without a doubt that my order would go through, and it will be delivered in roughly 4 months (yes I'm willing to wait).
    According to her, she thinks I will be the ONLY owner of a '03 4Runner Sport Edition V-6 4x4 with NO options added. Haha, I'm such a cheap skate! Again, thanks for the suggestion cliffy, I told her you suggested her, and she seemed happy about it.

    Here was my only concern with ordering (of which she had a reply of 'you are being REALLY paranoid'): I have read about every article on edmunds about buying, and the 4-square sheet, and to keep your guard up during financing, blah blah. So I thought to myself, if the financing people knew that I did a build order when I came to pick up my truck, they would know that I couldn't walk away from the deal without loosing my down payment ($1000), they would have a mighty big bargaining chip on their side, so they could heavily inflate the APR without me walking away from the deal. Dianne told me: "Well they won't know you did a build order so don't worry about it, but that is a very interesting point!" Anyway, if they did that, I could just finance somewhere else, but yeah, that was my paranoid thought.

    4 months to go!

  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    Just in case someone cares. I got the truck for $1000 over invoice, which I was told was the minimum for a build order (from all the places in California that I checked). So I figure, I saved $3000 on options, of which I could've gotten a truck on a lot for probably $500 over invoice... so I'm still up $2500. I reached my goal, new, 4wd suv, for under $30k!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Easy solution... have alternative financing available. I get this all the time. I offer a rate to a customer and he informs me his bank or credit union can do better. No big deal. More often than not, I can beat the banks and most credit unions.

    Get a pre-approval from your bank and see what they offer.
  • carjimcarjim Posts: 155
    Thank you bear64 and tl586 for suggestions. I will follow up with Texas Toyota in Grapevine and FowlerToyota. My wife has a 97 Explorer and our independent mechanic told us to avoid Fords of any kind until they improve the quality. He said that the most recent problem his Ford customers are having is that the 4.6 engines are coming apart at the seams around 90,000.
  • I've read hundreds of posts here and on usenet and I think I understand the various Toyota 4 wheel drive systems. However, I have not found any information regarding a limited slip rear on a '97 SR5 4x4. I know a rear locker was available, but ours does not have that option.

    We have a '97 SR5 4x4, manual, v6. My wife bought it used before we were married and it does not have an owners manual or window sticker, so I don't know exactly what options it has. It does have the under the rear bumper towing hitch from the factory, (at least it looks like all the other 4Runner hitches I've seen), so I don't know if that implies it has some "towing" package or not.

    Question, was a limited slip rear differential available on '97s? If so, how can I tell if I have it? If there is no LSD and we don't have the rear locker, does that "limit" the 4Runner's off road ability? Thanks!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The 97 did not have an available LSD. In fact, from the late 80's until the 2002 Tundra, there was not a LSD in any Toyota truck. It could be had by special order on a RAV4 and Highlander but those don't count as trucks.

    Also, there is no "tow package" other than a hitch. They came standard with a transmission oil cooler and a 5000# tow capacity.
  • sween77sween77 Posts: 31
    Sorry to have your name and cladding in the same title Cliffy. In post 4713 you said the cladding option would happen at port. Does this mean that all dealerships will be able to order the mono-clading and have it delivered to the dealership in order to convert Sport models etc.? Also if it is 370.00 at port what would the cost be at a dealer site? I guess it would vary based on the dealership.? Would all dealers be wiling to do this or would you have to shop around? From your experience Cliffy how will this play out?~Thanks
  • sween77sween77 Posts: 31
    One other thought if you changed the cladding at a dealer sight instead of the factory would all the trim match? The sport has other appearace trim (front end etc.) that I fear is made for the current cladding and might not look good if you changed it. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Yes the dealer should be able to get the parts, but the labor involved along with the fact that the parts department doesn't get re-imbursed for the parts coming off of a truck already in stock may make it price prohibitive to purchase the cladding at the dealership. You'll have to check to see pricing to be sure.

    As for the earlier post about 3-accross child-seats in the 4-runner, it will really depend on the type of child seat you're using. The only real way of telling is to bring them into a dealership and try it. Some child-seats are much larger than others so it may not work for some while it may for others.

    Also the buttons on the dash left of the steering wheel are as follows from left to right. The furthest left is a button to turn on the 115volt outlet for Limited models. The second is the center differential lock. The last two are place-holders for other accessories.

    For those buttons on the center console: The far left is the DAC(downhill assist control) button. The other two are also place-holders for additional accessories.

    Hope this helps.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    If history is any indicator, here is how it will work. The dealerships will not be able to get the parts for a few months. When they do, the cost of the parts alone will be about the same as the MSRP of the option. The dealership will charge the labor fee based on Toyota's guidelines. My guess it they will get 2 to 3 hours labor rates so add that into the equation. Many dealers may never figure out that they even have the ability to do this.

    As to the Sport... I have no idea. I heard it will only be for the SR5 but the cladding is the same.
  • brestlebrestle Posts: 22
    I love my 3 week old 2003 Limited. Today I went shopping for a simple hitch mounted bike rack. First tried the Yakima hitch mounts. Their insert was far too long and hit the tire. I couldn't even begin to see the holes on the hitch insert through the hitch holes. Then they brought out an extension for small hitches. That one also rubbed up against the tire. This one was much closer but I would have have to shaved about 1/8th of an inch off the extension to get the holes to line up correctly. Even if this worked, the rack would hang out ridiculously far.

    Then we tried a Thule hitch mount. Same thing as the extension. I would have to shave about 1/8th of an inch off the hitch post to get the holes to line up correctly. The two people that were helping me couldn't believe the tire was so close and the hitch was so short.

    If I want a hitch mount rack it would seem my only options would be to buy the Yakima and shave off about an inch, buy the Yakima with the extension and shave off 1/8th of an inch off the extension (and have the rack out way far), or buy the Thule and shave the 1/8th of an inch off. Part of my dillema is that I really prefer the Yakima racks.

    Any ideas? Why did Toyota mess with the tow hitch so much that NONE of the hitch mount racks on the market fit it??? Should I consider a new hitch (is that even possible)?

  • sovangsovang Posts: 56

    I will double check again tomorrow morning, but I have a two year old Yakima ROC-4 and I think it fits.
  • brestlebrestle Posts: 22
    I tried the SuperRoc today. It has the same hitch as the ROC-4 (I believe). The incredibly short hitch along with the spare tire makes the fit not even close...

    Do you have the factory hitch on your 2003? Is there a difference between the hitch on the V6/V8 or SR5/Sport/Limited??? Hmmm....
  • brestle,

    As you have discovered, not all hitch inserts are created equal - the length of the insert and placement of the holes of any given insert is entirely dependant upon the manufacturer of the insert.

    For all practical purposes, however, insert tubing material forward of the point the insert exits the receiver is unnecessary and could be cut off if it conflicts with something such as the tire you mentioned.

    I would suggest you take the insert to a local metal shop and ask that they cut off the offending material plus a little extra so that the insert has no chance of conflicting with the spare tire (keeping in mind that the tire's current placement may change somewhat if it is dropped and remounted). This is a simple fix that should cost no more than a couple of bucks and will allow you to utilize your preferred rack.

    As an alternative, you could always deflate the spare tire or remove it entirely since we all know spare tires are unnecessary, especially on a Toyota...;)
  • sovangsovang Posts: 56

    I took my Gary Fisher Paragon out for a spin today and the Yakima ROC-4 fits just fine on my factory 2003 4runner hitch. What kind of problems are you having? Is it hitting the spare tire or does it not go into the hitch at all.

    BTW..I measure the distance from the placement of the pin hole to the end of the ROC-4 and it is less than 1 inch.

  • I have the 03 sport with the JBL system. I haven't tried the MP3 but the book says no use only standard CD's
  • lpaplpap Posts: 9
    I'm hoping that the 2003 Limited will have a mid season color addition of white or pearl white, or that the 2004 will come with this option. Does anyone know if this color will be available this spring? One dealer casually mentioned that the 04's were coming out this May in pearl white, but I wanted to double check before I put off buying this great SUV for 4 months. I was pretty shocked when I starting pricing out these cars because I assumed that some type of white was standard, especially in So. Cal. Thanks for any input you may have.
  • May for the 04's? Isn't that kinda early?
  • lpaplpap Posts: 9
    I know it does seem early, hence my post. I never pay any attention to cars except when I'm buying, but I have heard that new models of some cars are coming out earlier and earlier. Still, I don't trust anything a salesman says until I can confirm it from independent sources. Two other people shopping with me that day heard the salesman volunteer the same comment : "There should be a pearl white in the '04 which comes out in May--they want to differentiate the Limited from the others which come in the natural white." I was thinking perhaps he meant a mid season color addition, nevertheless, I do want white, so I was really checking the veracity of both parts of that statement. Thanks, in advance, for any insight.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Unless it is a re-designed model such as the Matrix or Corolla this past year, Toyota typically has their new model year vehicles come out sometime around September. For some domestic units, they VERY occasionally come in late August. For Japan built units, sometimes they don't come in until October or later. So May for '04 models for the 4Runner seems like a VERY optomistic guess which it is this early in the year.

  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    I have a question about the '03 runner. Can anyone with a tech manual (or owners manual, if it has it) tell me the speaker sizes of the stock 6-speaker cd system? And tell me the location, for instance 6 1/2's on the doors, 4x2's on the dash, etc..

  • Can someone please try out some CD-R's in their 2003 4Runners and tell us if the stock player and/or the JBL system will play CD-R ok? In this day and age when everyone has a CD burner on their computer, it's hard to believe the manufacturers would still peddle players that won't at least handle a CD-R. Sheesh.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    The JBL unit in my '01 Sequoia handles CD-Rs with no problem. However it DOES NOT play MP3 files. Hopefully the JBL unit in the '03 4Runner is more friendly with MP3s.
  • brestlebrestle Posts: 22
    Thanks for letting me know. That is really strange! Maybe the SuperRoc is different than the Roc4. I tried the SuperRoc and it wasn't even close (the post would hit the spare and I couldn't even see the holes beginning to line up). That's when I tried an adapter for shorter hitches (hit the tire and was about 1/8th of an inch too long) and the Thule (same as the adapter).

    BTW, is that less than 1 inch from the edge of the pin hole or the middle of the pin hole?

  • Currently Toyota does not offer any head units that are MP3 compatible. However the newest units are CD-R/RW compatible.
  • lpaplpap Posts: 9
    Thanks, Ken, for the info about the new models. Does Totoya add mid season colors? Any suggestions for getting a White LTD short of getting it painted myself?
  • sovangsovang Posts: 56

    It is less than 1 inch from the edge of the pin hole to the end of the ROC 4 carrier. I am not sure how much space is left between the carrier and the spare, but I can put my fingers in between the two. Also, I don't know if this makes any difference, but my ROC 4 is about 2 years old.

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