Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota 4Runner



  • reddfishreddfish Posts: 54
    Hey Tidester, Thanks for the link. I have a child with asthma. kb28, you may be better off waiting until 2005 to buy your 4runner. Rorr, I like Mexican food as much as you do, including the beans, but that doesn't mean I want the resulting gas smell in my new vehicle.
  • beercoll1beercoll1 Posts: 88
    You continual comments of a 'bad smell' are like a BAD SMELL. You have been heard, check the box and move on.
  • falcon74falcon74 Posts: 67
    With the cladding gone and the exterior of the SR5 essentially looking like the Limited, has anyone heard about any changes for the 2004 Limited model???

    I was hoping that they would bring back the two tone paint package and some of the old colors that were on the previous generation.
  • a14014la14014l Posts: 2
    I heard of 03 SR5 OTD for 22,500 at Keyes Toyota. Anyone know name of salesperson or another dealer that will match price?
  • suvowner1suvowner1 Posts: 33
    did you see anything about memory seats or hid headlights as a 2004 option ???

    I have towed many boats with 2wd vehicles and never had a problem, as long as you are using concrete boat ramps, not anything dirt, then 2wd should almost always be ok, remember the weight of the boat improves your rwd traction significantly, just don't floor when coming up the ramp, just start off nice and easy and you should have no problem. But I would def opt for the V8 for pulling any full size boat. Limited slip diff has been heavily debated on other edmunds sites, and one is not available on the 4runner in either the 4wd or 2wd, it only uses traction control to apply brakes to a spinning wheel.
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    We put some 25K tow miles on a 4,000 lb trailer with our '98 4Runner and traded it in at 75,000 miles on an '03 4Runner Limited V8. The '98 (essentially the same truck as yours) was almost perfectly reliable.

    In spite of having almost twice the torque as our '98, the '03 behaves much the same when towing. Even mild grades will cause the torque converter to unlock, and/or the tranny to downshift to 4th. Frankly, I've been a bit disappointed at how little difference is apparent between the two vehicles. I'd guess the same would be true with a supercharger bolted on to your 3.4.

    I found that with proper use of the gearbox, out '98 was capable of just about anything when towing, even in the mountains. Note that proper use of the gearbox includes 5,000 rpm in second gear for minutes at a time when towing up long hills on interstate highways in the mountains. The 3.4 V6 and 4-speed AT are very robust, and gave me no trouble at all in spite of this punishing behavior. The only limiting factor on towing in mountains is the brakes, which are VERY prone to fade if you don't use the gears to brake the truck (and will fade on long, steep downgrades even when using 2nd gear to descend).

    My suggestion would be to keep what you have and enjoy it. The 3rd gen 'Runners are a class act.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Anyone know name of salesperson or another dealer that will match price?

    Please, no posting of contact information on the boards including names of salespeople.

    tidester, host
  • highlander7highlander7 Posts: 177

    I am surprised that your ‘03 4Runner Limited V8 performed basically the same when towing that your ‘98 had. Last week I considered purchasing a ‘03 Sequoia because of its 4.7 V8, same engine as your new 4Runner. If I had made that purchase and found little difference in towing performance, I would have been very disappointed. The Sequoia is rated to pull 6200 lbs., my 4Runner 5000, not an appreciable difference considering the HP and torque increase in the larger truck.

    I’m probably under estimating the power and durability of my ’02. I have the option to buy the 7 year/100,000 mile warranty from my Toyota dealer for $950.00, something I would do if purchasing the supercharger. Probably will do this regardless of what I decide, if the towing causes a problem the repairs will be covered. I consider warranties something you must buy on most domestic cars, not on Honda’s or Toyota’s. My guess is I will never need to use it.

    Again thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. Spending $3500.00+ for the supercharger for towing may not give me the performance expected but buying the $950.00 warranty will give me piece of mind.

  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    When I was shopping I drove both the V6 and V8 versions (all SR5 4WD) and liked them both. I did notice differences, but I'm mindful of how difficult it is to be accurate in these things. Since I wasn't using instruments I don't want to claim too much. Other caveats: There may be unit-to-unit variations, there may be variations over time if the computer programming allows these engine/transmission combinations to "learn" how to work together (I've heard that it does), my test drives were not long or strenuous. I drove several V6s and V8s, and took care one time to drive the two engines over the same course (few miles of freeway, back roads, streets and stoplights), one right after the other. I drove the V6 in both 2WD and 4WD mode.

    The two versions performed very similarly, perhaps due to the fact that one has more torque and the other has more horsepower. If transmissions were perfect, more horsepower would always mean better performance, but the broader torque band of the V8 (and the fact that the difference in horsepower is small) probably makes the V8 faster in most situations. One useful test of power is 50-70 MPH acceleration, and both felt equally strong/fast and were impressive even though I wasn't using full throttle. They did the job differently, though. The V6 transmission kicked down immediately and smoothly, while the V8 just pulled hard for a while before kicking down. That may be due to different transmission programming, designed to take advantage of the V8 torque. Though they were both quite civilized, the V6 was a little noisier under heavy acceleration, and didn't sound quite as smooth--no surprise with two fewer cylinders.

    Though they felt equally powerful, the V6 seemed a little more responsive, if not "sporty," and the throttle response was smoother. Some of this is probably due to the extra torque (and transmission ratios?) the V8 has at low revs, making it easier to jerk the vehicle around with the throttle. I posted a while back that the V8 felt a little more "clunky" in throttle transitions, especially rolling on the throttle from a near stop. The V6 felt slightly smoother over bumps, especially while turning, and this could be due to the 130lb lighter engine.

    There are other reasons to choose between the two engines. The little "V8" badge in the grille is a fun thing to have. Others have written about the newness of this engine, but some have noted that the V8, while several years old, is paired here with a brand new transmission. In terms of long-term reliability, I think it's probably a toss-up. For example, my wife's '98 Camry needed a new transmission to fix a recurring problem, but the engine's been perfect. For me, I liked the availability of a 2WD mode, with its better mileage and potentially lower mechanical wear. A few have had problems with bad smells from the V8s, and the problem appears to be less or absent with the V6. The V8 is better for towing, and the May+ production units will have a beefier hitch (and a $300 bigger price difference)--see my previous post on the new tow ratings.

    By the way, that big plastic shield on the top of the V6 that says VVT-i is not just window dressing. It's a heavy thing, bolted at the front and hinged at the back and padded to provide sound damping/insulation. It covers what I believe are air plenums and I expect it softens intake drone under acceleration.

    As I said above, these are my opinions and experiences. My decision bounced back and forth several times and I would have been happy either way. You should test drive until you feel comfortable with your choice, and drive what you like. It's your money!
  • sween77sween77 Posts: 31
    Its people like Martin that make it difficult to take this sulphur issue seriously. Martin writes in incomplete sentences and it is obvious that his mind can only concentrate on one issue at a time.
    Im curious do you still have your cladded SR5 4Runner? As much as you hate the vehicle I would assume that you have traded it. Trading a vehicle that you hate and proclaim to be "junk" would be logical. Therefore I am betting that you still have the vehicle.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I saw an unusual 03 4 Runner over the weekend . It had SR5 on the back, had the body matching cladding, and the Sport Hood scoop. No V-8 sticker and it had the 16 inch tires. It almost looked like a new model.
  • sovangsovang Posts: 56
    I hooked up a trailer to my 03 4runner this weekend using a 7 to 4 harness converter from an auto part store. Everything works except the left and right signals. When I signal right, nothing happens and when signalling left, all the lights flash. What am I missing?

  • dust90dust90 Posts: 169
    I responded to your post about the supercharger, remember. Before you decide, go back and review some of the posts about how well the 03 4Runner tows. I never owned a previous version of the Runner, but I did have 2 Tacomas, both with the 3.4 V6. The 97 model was stock and the 99 model was the one that I had the supercharger installed on. There was a BIG difference in towing ability, especially on hills(and we have lots of them in WV). Now to the 03 4Runner, my supercharged Tacoma had almost as much torque as the 4Runner V8, but the big difference is the transmission!! With the Tacoma, I was having to downshift to 2nd gear on some of the steeper hills. The truck had no problems mechanically and was able to tow the trailer, but the 03 4Runner does it much more effortlessly and gets about 4 mpg better than the Tacoma(either one) ever did. The 5 speed transmission never downshifts lower than 3rd gear, so I'm never running 5000 RPMs. I don't know if you can do a search on towing, but I do recall seeing several posts from people who were extremely happy with the way their 03 4Runner towed.
  • kb28kb28 Posts: 25
    On a Special order 4Runner Sport model: A 2003 delivered in late August or early September with whatever incentives Toyota is offering at the time; or a 2004 delivered in December with surely no incentives and probably a price increase? Which choice fellows?????
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    I will continue to compare the two motors until I am ready to jump in. By the way, I am curious if I should take the extra load of V8 on the drive-line into consideration when comparing the two models. Common sense tells me a truck running on 2WD about 90% of the time is much less likely to encounter problems than a truck that is 4WD all the time. I understand Toyota has been making Full-Time 4WD LC for the last 12 years and there should not be any reliability issues but isn't a 4WD V6 inherently more reliable than the 4WD V8 model ?

    Also, what about the ride factor ? Isn't the V8 4WD going to ride stiffer when compared to V6 4WD ?
  • jagsdadjagsdad Posts: 56
    Has anybody test driven and noticed a significant difference with the upgraded X-REAS shock absorbers? Under what driving conditions does this work? It is really noticeable or do you have to drive like an idiot and take turns too fast to appreciate it?
  • barbarian71barbarian71 Posts: 11
    I know we've been here before, but I am still looking for that elusive answer: The manual recommends 91 octane or higher for "improved vehicle performance"

    Could anyone define the "improved performance?" I think I have noticed that my V8 limited seems to respond faster with less press on the accelerator with the 91 but am I just imagining this with the manual's "improved vehicle performance" in mind?...

    I would like to think that 87 is just fine, but does anyone know scientifically what Toyota is talking about with the "improved vehicle performance?"
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Coupedncal, I think your questions about reliability are good and reasonable but it would be hard to get reliable answers unless one of us could talk frankly with Toyota's engineers in Japan. Short of that, I'll speculate a little and invite others to do the same.

    The extra torque of the V8 could certainly put an extra load on the driveline, especially if one was towing a lot and/or near the rated limits. However the V8 has a different transmission and most have assumed that it was designed for the torque of the V8. The AWD of the V8 will be under load 100% of the time, but even with the multi-mode of the V6 in 2WD, many of the front drive parts are still spinning, even if not under load. In addition, the AWD mode (mandatory in the V8) would serve to spread out the load and consequent wear, and the V8 presumably lacks some of the 2WD/4WD switching parts that the multi-mode V6 needs. The real gain for 2WD seems to me to be in the 4Runners that are 2WD only, where the extra driveline parts don't even exist.

    All in all, I too suspect that the V6 is less likely to encounter problems if it's operated in 2WD most of the time, but I don't think the difference will be very great. My opinion is that these differences in reliability are small compared to the differences between brands, and that's why I like Toyota. They show great quality in their design and execution, and I've had very good experiences with them.

    As for the ride factor, my experiences with the two versions didn't match yours exactly. The V8 might have been a little stiffer, but what I noticed was a little more general "wiggle" after bumps or crossing road seams. That could have been AWD-related, but I couldn't tell. It was not a large difference and I've had a hard time expressing it except to say that the V6 felt a little smoother and less "clunky."

    BTW, others have commented on this a little in previous posts. Maybe they'll do so again.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Barbarian71, higher octane fuel is harder/slower to ignite, and the engine can therefore tolerate a greater ignition timing advance. The engine has a knock sensor and adapts to the fuel, backing off the advance when it detects knock. Backing off the timing advance reduces peak horsepower.

    This stuff is a factor for higher compression engines that are designed to take advantage of higher octane fuels. The V6 has a slightly higher compression ratio than the V8 and may see a slightly bigger benefit from the higher octane fuel, but both are apparently designed to make maximum horsepower on premium.

    Mileage on premium will be slightly lower, so your cost for having max horsepower on tap is more pennies/mile for fuel. I don't think there are any other tradeoffs, as neither of these engines require premium for normal operation.

    I think this is pretty consistent with previous postings on the matter, but perhaps I/we are managing to miss your fundamental question. Would you care to clarify?
  • goose17goose17 Posts: 4
    I have had my V6 2WD Sport for a few months now and love it. I have a few minor issues that I was hoping I could get clarified. 1) The V6 is a little noisy and seems to have the proverbial "deck of cards" sound when it is running. It is worse when cold but with the windows up I can typically hear it in the car. Is this typical for other V6 owners out there? The engine performance seems to be fine. 2) My height seat adjustment does not seem to stay in place. At first I thought I was hitting the lever when I was getting out of the car but I find I am having to crank it back up on a regular basis. Anybody else having this problem? I need to take it in anyway for the recent recall but I thought I would see if these issues were just mine. The engine might be working as designed but the noise seems wrong somehow. Thanks for any inputs.
  • barbarian71barbarian71 Posts: 11
    Your explanation makes sense...I wish you wrote the manual instead of Toyota...I wasn't sure if "improved vehicle performance" meant hp, gas milage or something else.

    So other than reduced peak horsepower/ a few more mpg, you are saying that otherwise the engine will operate basically the same on regular? I guess for some reason I interpret "improved vehicle performance" to mean "better for engine" so I just wanted to be sure the enigne will have the same longevity on the lower grade fuel.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    making the engine work a little harder by running the 91 octane, so the longevity might be slightly enhanced using 87 all the time. Either way, there is not much in it.

    As far as the 4wd/2WD discussion above, surely it would be less wearing on the rear drivetrain set (driveshaft, axles, diff) if the 4WD were engaged, thus causing the front set to take part of the load of pushing the truck along? In this context, your best bet would be to get the V-6 and drive in 4WD all the time.

    But Toyota has never had issues on the Runner with the durability of driveshafts and axles, which usually last the life of the truck, so it doesn't make much difference either way.

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

  • bcmalibu99lsbcmalibu99ls Posts: 625
    What is usually the reason? Engine, tranny, the car just falls apart?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    trucks, old Runners usually die because they are rolled in some wonderfully wild stunt that went awry!

    Seriously though, these trucks have an awesome amount of longevity. The 89-95 V-6s had an engine TSB that chased some off the road, but Toyota will fix the problem for free, and apart from that, the entire 2nd and 3rd gen had no systemic engine or transmission problems.

    It is the same story as many old 80s Toyotas...eventually the paint fades, the vehicle is not worth that much any more, the rust starts, the owner gets bored with the vehicle. But if you want to keep it, it will give you 15 years no sweat, and more if you are so inclined. There are so many of these still running around from the 80s, compared to other trucks, it is ridiculous.

    Offroad fans love the older ones, and an old Runner is a great way to pick up a bulletproof platform to build a great offroad truck on (suspension mods, lifts, oversize tires, etc).

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

  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Nippononly makes a good point, but it probably applies mostly when the engine is producing a lot of power, such as towing or steep hill climbs or hard acceleration. As I understand it, higher octane fuel withstands higher peak combustion chamber pressures before knocking or, worse, detonation. If the engine spends significant time at those higher pressures, it might fail sooner.

    I'm with nippononly when he says "Either way, there is not much in it." Engine longevity will probably be determined by other factors. If my past experience with Toyota engines is any guide, as long as you change the oil frequently and do regular maintenance and don't really abuse them, you'll wear out before they do.
  • ddw5ddw5 Posts: 23
    Goose17- there was an earlier post on a "fluttering noise" that turned out to be a leak in the exhaust manifiold. My v6 Sport has the same problem. You will notice it increase in frequency with rpm and also in volume with harder acceleration. I am taking mine in tomorrow. What recall are you talking about??
  • fsudavefsudave Posts: 2
    For those of you who take your new 4runners to the dealer regarding the dreaded fluttering - sputtering noise from the V6 engine, please keep us posted as to possible fixes. I see a lot of posts about the same V6 noises on other boards, but no real solutions. Mostly, the dealer usually says that's the way there supposed to sound.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Just a reminder that the 4.7L V8 drivetrain has been out since 1999 in Toyota Land Cruiser. Therefore, this drivetrain has ALREADY proven it's reliability (around the world!). So, not need to worry about wear-and-tear.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Intermed99, I thought I'd read in several places that the 5 speed auto transmission in the new V8 4Runners was new this year. Not just new to the 4Runners, but a new design.

    Can you or others shed any light on this?
Sign In or Register to comment.