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Old 02-23-2015, 05:25 AM #1
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How patient were you when you were tying to find your 4Runner?

I have been looking for the right 3rd Gen 4Runner to buy, and have nothing to show for it, yet... I suppose I am not in a rush. I mean, I have a fairly solid 1994 V6 extended cab, but I have really been wanting to pick up a 4Runner. It just seems that all the ones at the dealerships are way overpriced, and the ones on CL are posted and spoken for within the hour.

How long did you wait to find the one? Did you wait for the perfect one that you wanted to show up, or did you compromise in some way? What was the sweet spot balance of $$$ to miles?

I have read How much did you pay for your 3rd gen?

and 3rd Gen 4Runner Buyer's Guide to keep me busy.

So what was it for you?

Seems like I need to be sitting around with my cash in my back pocket ready to hit the door. LOL.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:46 AM #2
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I didn't wait for the perfect one, I found one that was mechanically solid with some problems, and then made it what I really wanted, the really good ones go fast or for a lot of $$$ in the PNW.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:00 AM #3
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I pick up mine 2 mounts after i was decided and had the cash to do it....and it was decent (price and option) not all the option that i wanted but (no rear locker) but the rest was there......Good luck on youre purchase.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:36 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Bull View Post
I have been looking for the right 3rd Gen 4Runner to buy, and have nothing to show for it, yet... I suppose I am not in a rush. I mean, I have a fairly solid 1994 V6 extended cab, but I have really been wanting to pick up a 4Runner. It just seems that all the ones at the dealerships are way overpriced, and the ones on CL are posted and spoken for within the hour.

How long did you wait to find the one? Did you wait for the perfect one that you wanted to show up, or did you compromise in some way? What was the sweet spot balance of $$$ to miles?

I have read How much did you pay for your 3rd gen?

and 3rd Gen 4Runner Buyer's Guide to keep me busy.

So what was it for you?

Seems like I need to be sitting around with my cash in my back pocket ready to hit the door. LOL.
If you want a really good one for less than market value, you absolutely do. Maybe consider taking some vacation from work too so that doesn't get in the way if one pops up!

I actually bought mine on very short notice. My car broke, and it was going to cost a pile to fix it. At the time I was travelling constantly for work and only had a narrow window to find and buy before my next trip. To complicate the issue, I needed to be able to do about 2k miles in the vehicle immediately for the trip. There are a lot of solid 4Runners for sale in S. FL, but not a lot of 4WDs, which was a requirement for me. I really wanted something with less than 150k on it, but ended up with one at almost 180k. Turns out it wasn't a big deal. It will hit 200k this week with no major issues. I've done a lot of work to it over the last year that needed to be done, but didn't HAVE to be done, like shocks and O2 sensors and such. It would still be running right now without me ever turning a wrench on it.

My biggest compromise was the color. I wanted a dark green one, or a white one, and ended up with red. It's grown on me though.





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Old 02-23-2015, 09:23 AM #5
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I looked for 6 months before I finally found mine but I was more worried about what I wanted than the price.

3rz-fe 4wd 5spd. Not very easy to find but the stars aligned and I found her. I probably paid a little too much at 6k for 250k miles but she was clean and the po was a snowboard instructor so the 4wd got used often.

Wait till you find what you want and work on the price after that.

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Old 02-23-2015, 09:28 AM #6
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I wasn't even looking for one. I actually had a plan to buy myself a Ford Ranger in about a year. I had certain criteria and although I'm not a Ford guy, the Ranger actually me most of those criteria.

Naturally, I would have preferred a Taco, but budget-wise, I would have gotten a newer Ranger with much less mileage for the same pricetag. I wasn't ready to hunt for a great Toyota, I was planning to settle for a Ranger.

Anyway, about a month ago, a local guy was putting up his '97 4Runner Limited for sale. It already had an OME lift and 33" BFG M/T. This thing looked in great shape so it definitely peaked my interest. I did a quick search (found this place) and also asked advice from some of my car guy friends and I was blown away by all of the positive aspects of the 3rd Gen T4R. I had no idea they were such tanks.

Anywho, after a quick discussion with the keeper of the vault (my wife), we agreed that it was viable to spend the funds earlier than planned and jump on this deal.

All things considered, I'm very happy with my purchase and I feel lucky that I didn't have to "hunt" for one. The only sacrifice I really did was give up having a truck with a traditional Box. I definitely wasn't planning on getting an SUV, but what the hell.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:34 AM #7
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With cash in hand, I spent 4 months looking for a clean/well maintained 4x4 3rd gen. During that time, a few solid rigs sold incredibly quickly, often spoken for within an hour of the ad hitting the net. Last week, using Craigslist Pro like some kind of junky, searching Houston/San Antonio/Dallas/Austin, I ran across this 2000 SR5 4x4 w/ 172k. After thorough research into the vehicle history, I drove it home for $4500, not too bad considering I had a budget cap of $7000. I did want an E-locker, so you could say I "settled" for this rig. Clean 4x4's with less than 200K are incredible hard to find in Texas.

Last edited by Jetcycles; 02-23-2015 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:09 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetcycles View Post
With cash in hand, I spent 4 months looking for a clean/well maintained 4x4 3rd gen. During that time, a few solid rigs sold incredibly quickly, often spoken for within an hour of the ad hitting the net. Last week, using Craigslist Pro like some kind of junky, searching Houston/San Antonio/Dallas/Austin, I ran across this 2000 SR5 4x4 w/ 172k. After thorough research into the vehicle history, I drove it home for $4500, not too bad considering I had a budget cap of $7000. I did want an E-locker, so you could say I "settled" for this rig. Clean 4x4's with less than 200K are incredible hard to find in Texas.
]
Nice looking 4Runner. If you paint those centercaps you'll be shocked at what a difference it will make. I used Rustoleum High Heat semi-gloss silver that I had purchase to paint some engine parts on my car and it was a perfect match.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:27 AM #9
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Mine was a total impulse purchase.

I was actually repairing some collision damage on it, the owner mentioned possibly selling it after repairs were complete. My wife and I were trying to have a baby, we found out a few days after Superbowl Sunday, so I offered the guy 3200 bucks plus I would pay for the body repairs we were doing. We finished the repairs, then our detailer backed into the brand new bumper, so it went back in the shop for a few more days to have a new bumper put on.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:32 AM #10
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I spent about 6months looking for one with under 100,000 miles. I looked at at least 15-18 all over the place before settling on the one I bought. The guy was asking a fair price so I paid him what he was asking
82000 miles when I bought it paid $6500 cash individual purchase
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:43 AM #11
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from out of the country i searched about 2 months online, then had it shipped from arkansas to my dads house in texas, then drove it from texas to california
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:51 AM #12
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I was pretty impatient actually. My time table was short and had to get something quickly. I purchased one with slightly more miles then my previous rig. BUT what made it easier to purchase was the fact the owner had it maintained regularly. Not at a Toyota dealer but a shop that uses ONLY factory OEM parts.

Got a nice binder full of receipts after the purchase. Was very pleased.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:30 AM #13
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Searched every dealer in the DFW area as well as the major used car lots and could never find exactly what I was looking for.


Ended up buying one from PA and having it shipped down to TX.


Only took a few months to find it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:12 PM #14
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I looked for 2 months. It was sort of like having a second part-time job. I used the search engine "Auto Tempest" because it searches multiple Craigslist areas at one time. When I started my search, I learned very quickly most people were asking above Kelly Blue Book value. The dealers were the worst sometimes asking $5,000 over blue book. I could see paying high blue book for a nice 3rd Gen but couldn't see paying over blue book for the reasoning that if I got in an accident, the insurance company probably isn't going to reimburse me over high KBB.

I knew I was possibly setting myself up for failure not wanting to spend over KBB but I was seeing low-mileage ones that were priced fairly. The only problem is they were being scooped up sometimes within a couple of hours of them being posted. Patience and determination finally paid off and I found a 2000 SR5 4x4 with 111,000 last year for $6300.

I avoided buying from a dealer because they tend to steam clean everything and make it look pretty so you might not see a major oil leak. Also, dealers usually don't have all the service records unless the previous owner left them in the glove box. It was important for me to buy from a private party and preferably from an original owner because there was a good chance they'd have all the service records so I can see how well they maintained it.

There's a lot of competition out there to buy one of these 3rd Gens, but if you're not in a hurry, and you have the time to put into it, you will finally be in the right place at the right time to find a good one that is priced reasonably.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:31 PM #15
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I always new I had wanted an older Toyota. I love my Runner but my dream Toyota has always been an 84 Pickup 4x4 with the rolled lip bed. But I had a kiddo on the way and knew that wasn't going to be feasible. So I started doing research and found out about the 3rd gen runners. I fell in love, my wife said "Do it!".

I started my search and very quickly found the truck I wanted. 97, 4x4, 3rz-fe 5spd. A friend of a friend owned it, they were the original owners, took pretty good care of it, but their son was driving it at the time so they were not wanting to sell. I waited 6 months for them to finally be ready to sell, their son was going off to college and they wanted to get him a newer car. When they were ready to sell I finally got to go check her out, for a 13 year old car she was in great condition. I got it for a steal, $2200 with 216k on the odo.
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