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Toyota 4Runner



  • I updated my 4runner page w/ more reviews and road tests. enjoy! btw, great message board!

  • The Space Booster type sounds like a really practical idea, but I think all I need are the racks. Thanks for the suggestion!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you may need to have your brake rotors resurfaced - does the brake pedal pulse when you hit the brakes coming off the freeway?

    On the Runner, once the rotor warpage is bad enough, it sends a little vibration through the whole vehicle when you are at freeway speed.

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

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    btw, great message board!

    Thanks! Nice page you have there!

    tidester, host
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Chris, that's a very common problem with 3rd gen 4Runners, and one I experienced myself on our '98.

    Your wheels are lugcentric, i.e., depend on the wheel lugs for centering. Most wheels are hubcentric and get centered by the wheel hubs. Tire balancing equipment typically uses a cone adapter to mount the wheel to the balancer via its center hole. This can't precisely center or properly balance your wheels.

    What you need is a gadget called a Haweka lugcentric adapter. Toyota dealers are required to have one, but I believe not all actually do. They're expensive (>$500), so can be hard to find. Ask your dealer's service writer if they have the adapter. If so, let them rebalance your wheels. If not, keep looking, as you'll never get a good balance job without one.

    I went through what you've gone through several years ago, and the relief at finally having properly balanced wheels is hard to describe! Don't just put up with it - bad wheel balance will cause tire cupping and will beat up steering components such as your rack and pinion, ball joints and tie rod ends.

    Good luck. It could still be something else, but I'd bet this is the same issue I (and many, many others)had.

    -Karl (Now with an '03 4Runner Limited, with hubcentric wheels)
  • SR5's with the Appearance Package are now on dealers' lots.

    The cladding appears to be smooth. Identical to the Limiteds.
  • An interesting note on a dealer web site mentioned, the V8 can tow up to 7000 lbs. with a class IV weight distribution type hitch.
  • Hi here.

    What are the known problems/issues with the new 03 V8 4 Runner? Are there any significant ones that we know of yet? I saw the shock "chirp" and the blurry mirror, any thing else please. My eyes are going cross-eyed trying to read all these messages. Can someone break it down for me. I'm totally new to the Toyota scene so don't know a thing about them. I'm interested in buying one, but am hesitant because of the "first year" problems that they might have...any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Also, does anyone know a DIRECT email or some way of getting hold of Toyota to offer some suggestions as to what we would like to see in the future 4 Runners? I tried their website, but was unlucky. Maybe I just missed it. Where are 4 Runners built? Sorry for all the stupid questions...thanks!

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    That dealer's web site is wrong. Towing capacity is 5000, no matter what you do to it.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The only "problem" I know of is the moonroof wind baffle. It is intended to reduce wind noise and varies its height by speed. I find that it creates a VERY loud thumping sound unless you also open a window.

    They are built in Japan.

    I know of no direct suggestion box. Even dealers have to go through dealer council meetings to offer suggestions and those are usually ignored.
  • Cliffy and others,

    Actually, talking to the regional rep, Toyota will be offering a DH option from PPO or the dealer can install the same hitch. It replaces the one in the rear bumper and increases tow capability to 7,000 lbs. I mentioned the possibility a couple of months ago, but it appears that they're finaly getting it available. The hitch in the bumper was limited in its capacity to tow anything over 5,000 lbs because the receiver needed to be made shallower than standard to accomidate the full-sized spare.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Cool! Very cool. I didn't know that.
  • Cliffy, no fishing today?
  • Cliffy1, thanks for the info!

    Any others with more info. would be greatly appreciated.

    Dawgpack...very cool website!

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Fishing days are Thursday and every other Sunday... once the ice melts off the Potomac. Thanks for asking though.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I just remembered something else on the suggestion box question. Read back in this topic about 2 months. Somebody found an e-mail address where they complained about the gray molding. They got an actual response by e-mail. I had forgotten about that.
  • Here's the Toyota number:

    Toyota Customer Assistance
    6am - 6pm Pacific Time
    800.331.4331 Option #3.

    They actually answer the line in person.
  • I have a question for those of you who have done special orders for the 2003 4Runners. Are the options that you can order wide open or are you confined to options packages? For instance I am interested in a SR5 V6 without the sunroof but that has the JBL stereo and side airbags. All of the trucks on the lot that had these options had the sunroof. Do you think I would have any problem getting this configuration or do I have to get the sunroof to get the JBL and side airbags?
  • You would have to be out of your mind to try to tow 7,000 pounds with a 4Runner, especially if it is anything that catches wind (such as a travel trailer). You need a 3/4 ton pickup for that. Folks, towing isn't about whether you can pull something. It's about whether you can CONTROL it and STOP it. Be careful out there. And make sure your life insurance is paid up before you hook onto a 7,000 pound load with your 4Runner.
  • Time to turn in my leased (48 mth) 1998 4Runner Ltd soon (04/24/03) and I need to replace a fog lamp unit.

    The lens was cracked by a small flying rock 5 minutes after I leased it (as I was driving home from the dealer!) UMPH. Oh well. Then I found out you can't just replace the small lens cover, you have to replace the WHOLE unit! $358. dbl UMPH. Talk about a bad design!!

    I have ignored this problem up until now and it's time to play catch up. I remember reading about a HUGE Toyota recycle auto parts store (in NJ I think) several years ago. Of course, I don't recall the name or info. Searched google, no can find. Can anyone point me in the right direction??? If not, guess I'll just scout out some local yards (central/SE FL). I really don't want to pay full price for such a 'minor' repair.

    My 4 Runner has been the most trouble free vehicle I have ever owned,( read NO problems!) and frankly, I am sorry to see it go. But being newly retired, I can't justify the insurance/expense of having a second vehicle...we are going to TRY to get by w/one in the household and the 4Runner lost to the other one. Wah!

    Any help or advice concerning the fog lamp replacement would be appreciated.

  • jere39jere39 Posts: 20
    About two weeks ago I posted a question about life expectency of Catalytic converter. My 97 4Runner with 96k miles was diagnosed dysfunctional by PA Emissions testing. As you might imagine the parts are extremely expensive (list to customer about $1200), and the labor is standard rate about 2 hours. Toyota dealer quoted an 8 year/80000 mile warranty though I never actually saw that in writing. Cut to the good news, my dealer and the Toyota District agreed to cover the parts, I covered the labor. At 96k miles it is the first failure, so I can't complain. Still haven't heard from any other source that this was a typical end of life failure.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Your memory was of a 8/80K warranty on the converter yet you talked Toyota into covering it when you had 96K miles? Good trick.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Allen53fl, did you look around eBay? Worth a shot....

    Steve, Host
  • I have 2 KY dealers from different dealerships who have told me that the appearance package option for the SR5 will soon (month or so) be available on the sport. Is this true?
  • I test drove the 2003 4Runner yesterday. I drove two models, the V8 Sport and the SR5 with a V6. The Sport was first. Two things I noticed pretty quickly was the ride seemed kind of stiff for my liking and the wind noise was pretty noticeable. I don't think it's something you couldn't live with but I was surprised how noticeable the wind was for all the reviews I've read that talked about how quiet the 4Runner is. The ride kind of reminded me of riding in a pickup truck. It didn't beat you to death but it was nice and firm. The V8 power was really nice. Smooth and quiet.

    Then I took the SR5 V6 out. I definitely like the ride of the SR5 better. It was a little more car like, more giving over the bumps. Body roll didn't seem that bad. Of course the only test I did was to zig zag while driving down the street and go around a few sharp corners on some back roads. I didn't do any kind of high speed cornering test so maybe the roll would be more evident in that situation. The wind noise was also noticeably less in the SR5. An earlier post I read speculated that maybe it was the hood scoop generating the extra noise. This seems like a reasonable theory to me because that is the only aerodynamic difference between the two that I'm aware of. The V6 power was nice although you could tell it had to work a little harder to get you up to speed under heavy acceleration. I don't see power being a problem with either engine.

    The JBL stereo sounded good and is something I would definetly want. I am a music lover though, so maybe a lot of people would be satisfied with the standard stereo.

    Overall I really like the SR5 V6 better and am looking a trading my 2000 Honda CRV for one. I visited a dealership in Denver and the Internet Manager quoted me a price of $500 over invoice. How does that sound for this area? I do notice several of them on dealership lots so I wonder how well they're selling right now.

    I also have what may be a dumb question to some, but what is the advantage of 17" wheels over the 16"? Also I'm looking at doing a special order because I want to get one without the sunroof but that has the JBL stereo. Will I be able to order one like this or will I have to get the sunroof to get the upgraded stereo?
  • Cliffy1, I'll check just to see what info it may have. Thanks again!

    MrWhipple...thanks! :o)
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Hi Rick. We've had our '03 V8 Limited since Thanksgiving and now have 4K miles on it. Some comments:

    -The ride will soften up considerably within the first thousand miles. I'd guess this will be true for both the standard and X-REAS suspension. If a car-like ride is a major item for you and you're going for the V6 anyway, you might want to drive a Highlander before ordering a 4Runner

    -I'm guessing that when you drove the SR5, you managed to avoid headwinds, and encountered them while driving the Sport. Headwinds, even moderate ones, make a colossal difference in cabin noise, much moreso than any other vehicle I've ever experienced. Headwinds also dramatically increase fuel consumption at Interstate speeds. Wind is your enemy in this truck!

    -The 17" wheel comes with slightly bigger brake rotors, always a good thing IMHO. Otherwise, the only difference is cosmetic.

    Good luck.

  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    $500 or so over invoice at the dealers here in Denver seems fairly standard. You might be able to do a bit better, it certainly wouldn't hurt to price one out with the options that are on the vehicle you're specifically interested in on The prices on there seem to be slightly lower than what some dealers may do up front, and it will at least give you a bargaining point.

    Doc fees may vary, too, so check those out.
  • 67gp67gp Posts: 5
    While checking a dealer for Sports today I saw 2 SR5's w/ painted cladding. One was done by the dealer-colors didn't match exactly(galactic grey)and the price was about $1900!-the other was done by toyota, had the smooth cladding-the colors matched exactly-and cost a little over $300. I finally located a V6 Sport to drive-it was the only Sport on the lot & this dealer has a large inventory(salesman claims that sports only last a day or three). The power was nice and would be more than adequate for me(not as impressive as the V8).No JBL however(also had 6 disc CD changer-cassette type- stuck in storage area between seats) Color green looked OK to me-but not as nice as silver or grey. So I am still waffling between V6 & V8-I would love to see some more actual V6 MPG's. Also does anyone know 0-60 or 1/4 mile times for V6-or maybe Torque vs. HP curve like the one linked previously for the V8? thanks to all for the info.
  • 67gp, in your last post you mentioned "smooth cladding" on a couple of SR5's. Was it the sam shape as the Limited cladding or still different? What city are you in as Atl dealers cannot find vehicles with this option? Thanks. FWIW there is no way I would buy a dealer painted option, esp for $1900. I can see that stuff looking nasty once a few rocks hit it and chip off the paint.
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