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Old 01-08-2020, 07:27 PM #1
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This is what it cost me to daily 96 4Runner for 29 months

Whenever I buy a vehicle I like to look into actual maintenance costs in order to get an accurate picture of what I will be spending on maintenance. Sometimes this information is difficult to find, sometimes not, but I thought I would share with this community exactly what I spent keeping my 1996 4Runner maintained for daily driving over the 29 months that I owned it.

Keep in mind the vehicle value is based on the market in Phoenix AZ, and I'm not considering licensing or insurance costs. Most of the work was done by me, with the exception of a couple items I wasn't comfortable doing. I've also included suspension lift and related modifications.

225,209 $unknown: Ball Joints, radiator, thermostat, trans fluid, oil changed
225,500 $5,400: Vehicle Purchased
225,741 $72.39: Wheels balanced
226,583 $1,819.71 (shop): Timing belt, water pump, heater hoses, oil cooler hoses, power steering hoses, pressure/return hoses, heater control valve, clamps, coolant changed
227,200 $198.58: Starter replaced with OEM
230,958 $150: Ignition coil on C1 replaced, plugs and wires replaced
231,840 $93.25: Brake lines replaced with extended steel core
232,649 $311.98: Front control arm bushings upper/lower replaced
235,000 $40: Oil and filter changed
237,000 $87.75: Valve cover gaskets, spark plug seals, pcv valve replaced
237,100 $877.48: Suspension installed (OME 2881 Front coils, OME 90004 Nitro charger sport struts, 13mm poly spacers, OME 60073 Nitro Charger Shocks, 80 Series Land Cruiser front coils (for rear lift), Toytec diff drop kit,)
237,100 $1,053.51: Pro Comp Series 52 rock crawler wheels (PCW52-6783) Pro comp lugs & center caps, Flaken wildpeak 285/75/16
237,100 $164: CV axles replaced, front diff fluid changed
237,100 $105.56: Intake hose
237,100 $182.91: Firestone lifetime alignment service
237,200 $75: Inner & outer tie rods
239,990 $65.99: Steering rack bushings, front & rear sway bar bushings, end link bushings, battery power wire to fuse box replaced, battery ground to body replaced.
239,990 $40: Oil and filter changed
241,170 $315.04: Both rear axle seals replaced, both rear wheel bearings replaced, extended diff breather, changed rear diff oil, changed rear brake shoes
245,669 $40: Oil and filter changed
246,731 $21: Tire rotation and alignment check
248,300 $250: Front pads and rotors
250,000 $29.99: Front O2 sensor replaced
250,300 $40: Oil and filter changed
250,494 $757.69 (shop): Throttle detent cable replaced, trans fluid changed, cleaned trans filter screen
250,800 $130: Alternator replaced

251,200 Vehicle sold for $6,100


Total cost: 6220.83
Cost per month: 214.51

Thanks for all the help everyone, this is an awesome community. I may be back someday with a newer 4Runner.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:21 PM #2
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Yikes! Those shop costs are insane! I'm so thankful I decided to do my own work and there is a great community here of support for any job I want to tackle. My car only sees the shop for yearly inspections, and the lifetime Firestone alignments.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:45 PM #3
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This is interesting. I try to do something similar with my cars, but admittedly haven't with my 4runner because it's supposed to be the "cheap one" so I don't worry about it too much.

I'm a big proponent of no car payments, have never had one, and don't have interest in having one, but it is always interesting to me when you start comparing the costs of maintaining an older vehicle with the cost of payments on a newer vehicle with a warranty.

There aren't a lot of new cars you can get for less than $300/m under typical financing situations, especially when you think of the things you can do with a 4runner.

I'm a data guy so if you wanted to take it even further and math out things like the timing belt job over the course of the periods you do the miles it should last for. Call it over the course of 5 years and divide the cost by that to break out a true monthly usable cost. There is no perfect way to do that though since not everything lasts as long as "it should."

cool data set, thanks for posting it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:05 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryance39 View Post

I'm a big proponent of no car payments, have never had one, and don't have interest in having one, but it is always interesting to me when you start comparing the costs of maintaining an older vehicle with the cost of payments on a newer vehicle with a warranty.

There aren't a lot of new cars you can get for less than $300/m under typical financing situations, especially when you think of the things you can do with a 4runner.


cool data set, thanks for posting it.
Everytime I run numbers and see how much I put into(and still plan to) a 24 year old car it scares me for just a moment. Then I think about a car payment. Never. Then about how new cars need maintenance and repairs as well. A lot of us are driving almost new mechanically cars on old frames with all the maintenance and love they are shown. When I see that shit eating grin on my ladies face as she drives away it validates how I feel about the whip already.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:09 PM #5
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Very interesting. So much replaced in just 25k miles. I suspect the next person won't need to replace a fraction of the parts done in these last 25k so the average cost of ownership would go down significantly unless the engine or trans blew.

On the other hand the result would be a new engine or trans. If it's the engine it would likely last hundreds of thousands of miles. Of course in the meantime other parts will wear out needing to be replaced.

Friday88: May I ask what you bought to replace this with?
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:42 PM #6
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Nice, Friday! I've kept all my recipts for all things 4R, I just never listed it down to see my trend of repairs/maintenance over the course of time. Thanks for posting that.
Question, the repairs your did were just to baseline the truck, or because it needed repairs?
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:17 PM #7
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I Purchased my 01 with 185,000 back in August 2014 for $3,500 and started keeping records about a year later. I suppose $11,000+/- (purchase price + maintenance) for 5.5 years is pretty decent.

2001 4Runner
Total Miles 292,800
Total Expenses $6,997.14

Date of Service Mileage Work Performed Cost
8/5/15 196,000 Timing belt/water pump/thermostat 300
6/23/16 217,000 Replaced rear wiper 13.94
7/13/16 218,000 Replaced front sway bar bushings 23.63
7/28/16 220,000 Installed Biltstein shocks front/rear 369.41
7/28/16 220,000 Installed OME 890 springs rear 194.77
7/28/16 220,000 Installed Tundra springs front 290.86
8/4/16 225,000 Installed wheel lugs/locks 45.95
8/4/16 225,000 Replaced tires 747.92
8/4/16 225,000 Replaced wheels 630
11/15/16 230,000 Replaced PVC valve 10.43
11/15/16 230,000 Installed transmission cooler 79.81
11/15/16 230,000 Flushed transmission N/A
12/22/16 235,000 Installed LED ditch lights 42.99
2/28/17 240,000 Installed hubcentric wheel spacers 119.98
3/27/17 241,500 Installed Toytec/Eibach springs FR 196.96
7/2/17 250,000 Replaced wheel bearings 184.04
7/6/17 250,250 Installed transmission cooler fan 36.94
7/19/17 251,000 Replaced LBJ 198.98
7/28/17 251,750 Installed CB radio 101.19
12/10/17 262,000 Replaced horns 33.5
12/23/17 263,000 Replaced front control arm upper balljoint 22.25
1/8/18 264,000 Relaced oxygen and air fuel ratio sensor 155.98
2/21/18 265,000 Replaced front upper control arm 512.58
5/9/18 270,000 Replaced brake rotors 44.17
5/9/18 270,000 Replaced rear control arm bushings 54.33
6/4/18 274,741 Replaced steering rack, inner/outer tie rods, lower control arm bushings 223.62
6/4/18 274,741 Replaced tires 679.44
6/5/18 274,741 Aligned/balanced 146.98
6/6/18 274,753 Replaced muffler 311.32
6/6/18 274,753 Replaced spark plugs 18.1
6/8/18 274,741 Replaced fuel filter 21.25
6/8/18 274,741 Oil change 40
6/17/18 274,999 Additional key 11.65
6/17/18 274,999 Installed LED reverse light 7.2
6/29/18 275,603 Replaced FR strut 38
7/14/18 276,100 Frame rot repair 10
8/1/18 278,000 Oil change 30
9/19/18 278,500 Replaced brake pads 18
10/31/18 279,000 Replaced charcoal canister 30
11/10/18 280,400 Rebuilt calipers 20
11/10/18 280,400 Rotated tires N/A
11/10/18 280,400 Installed sway bar endlinks 20
11/21/18 281,000 Installed sway bar endlinks 36.96
11/25/18 281,000 Installed SS brake lines FR/FL 66.52
12/9/18 282,300 Tack welded steering column N/A
2/5/19 282,775 Oil change 30
5/27/19 285,000 Installed Winch 290
6/25/19 287,775 Oil change 30
10/12/19 290,000 Rear differential oil change 20
10/12/19 290,000 Rotated tires
12/8/19 292,000 Install remote start/alarm 160
1/4/20 292,800 Balance wheels 140
1/12/20 292,800 Replace fuel pump/valve 157.49
1/12/20 292,800 Oil change 30
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:13 AM #8
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I've got about 20000 into mine including purchase price and maintenance/use for 8 years and ~100k kms. Still runs like a top but needs rust work and an actuator for the rear diff lock.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:52 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerBob View Post
Very interesting. So much replaced in just 25k miles. I suspect the next person won't need to replace a fraction of the parts done in these last 25k so the average cost of ownership would go down significantly unless the engine or trans blew.

Friday88: May I ask what you bought to replace this with?
the truck currently has a rear main seal leak and a minor steering rack leak. So in the next 12 to 24 months the new owner will need to address the rear seal and possibly a new steering rack. At $800 for a shop to do the seal, and $600 for an oem rack, it doesn't seem like maintenance will be getting too much cheaper.

I haven't bought anything yet, just been commuting by motorcycle. I'm looking for something under 10 years old, under $6k, that wont require such invasive repairs. I'm looking at a 2013 Civic with 140k miles today after work. It seems like a boring "appliance" car compared to the 4runner, but right now I need to cut my expenses. For me the 4runner is an ideal second car, where I can take my time repairing it and not actually have to rely on it every day. Granted, it never left me stranded, but when it did need work it was a bit stressful rushing to get it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryance39 View Post
I'm a big proponent of no car payments, have never had one, and don't have interest in having one, but it is always interesting to me when you start comparing the costs of maintaining an older vehicle with the cost of payments on a newer vehicle with a warranty.

There aren't a lot of new cars you can get for less than $300/m under typical financing situations, especially when you think of the things you can do with a 4runner.


cool data set, thanks for posting it.
I'm also a proponent of no car payments. I once spent $12k on a ford focus and sold it for $2,500 lol. I'll never do that again. This experience has got me wondering what sort of vehicle would actually cost the least to own and maintain over 5 year span.

Its interesting looking at the monthly cost result because my wifes 2016 Subaru is costing $250 a month. Crazy that owning a 24 year old truck cost me very close to that in the end.

Quote:
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Nice, Friday! I've kept all my recipts for all things 4R, I just never listed it down to see my trend of repairs/maintenance over the course of time. Thanks for posting that.
Question, the repairs your did were just to baseline the truck, or because it needed repairs?
The repairs were done because it needed them, however most of it wasn't stuff that would render the truck un-driveable. You can drive on rotted bushings, but your wheels cant be aligned, so your tires will wear poorly and the vehicle wont handle well. The CV axle baffles tore because the rubber was rotted, and I could have left them that way until dirt got inside and caused real damage, but I didn't want grease flinging everywhere. The valve cover leaks could have been lived with, but the oil was burning on the headers and would have eventually caused header damage, or worse, a fire.

The rear axle seals were probably the most significant issue. They failed because mud clogged the rear differential breather. This caused the pressure to relieve itself through the seals at the rear wheel hubs, and cause gear oil to enter the rear brake drums. It ruined the bearings, the seals and the brakes, and required me to remove the axles/hubs and take them to a shop to have the bearings pressed in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardizzy View Post
I Purchased my 01 with 185,000 back in August 2014 for $3,500 and started keeping records about a year later. I suppose $11,000+/- (purchase price + maintenance) for 5.5 years is pretty decent.

2001 4Runner
Total Miles 292,800
Total Expenses $6,997.14

Date of Service Mileage Work Performed Cost
8/5/15 196,000 Timing belt/water pump/thermostat 300
6/23/16 217,000 Replaced rear wiper 13.94
7/13/16 218,000 Replaced front sway bar bushings 23.63
7/28/16 220,000 Installed Biltstein shocks front/rear 369.41
7/28/16 220,000 Installed OME 890 springs rear 194.77
7/28/16 220,000 Installed Tundra springs front 290.86
8/4/16 225,000 Installed wheel lugs/locks 45.95
8/4/16 225,000 Replaced tires 747.92
8/4/16 225,000 Replaced wheels 630
11/15/16 230,000 Replaced PVC valve 10.43
11/15/16 230,000 Installed transmission cooler 79.81
11/15/16 230,000 Flushed transmission N/A
12/22/16 235,000 Installed LED ditch lights 42.99
2/28/17 240,000 Installed hubcentric wheel spacers 119.98
3/27/17 241,500 Installed Toytec/Eibach springs FR 196.96
7/2/17 250,000 Replaced wheel bearings 184.04
7/6/17 250,250 Installed transmission cooler fan 36.94
7/19/17 251,000 Replaced LBJ 198.98
7/28/17 251,750 Installed CB radio 101.19
12/10/17 262,000 Replaced horns 33.5
12/23/17 263,000 Replaced front control arm upper balljoint 22.25
1/8/18 264,000 Relaced oxygen and air fuel ratio sensor 155.98
2/21/18 265,000 Replaced front upper control arm 512.58
5/9/18 270,000 Replaced brake rotors 44.17
5/9/18 270,000 Replaced rear control arm bushings 54.33
6/4/18 274,741 Replaced steering rack, inner/outer tie rods, lower control arm bushings 223.62
6/4/18 274,741 Replaced tires 679.44
6/5/18 274,741 Aligned/balanced 146.98
6/6/18 274,753 Replaced muffler 311.32
6/6/18 274,753 Replaced spark plugs 18.1
6/8/18 274,741 Replaced fuel filter 21.25
6/8/18 274,741 Oil change 40
6/17/18 274,999 Additional key 11.65
6/17/18 274,999 Installed LED reverse light 7.2
6/29/18 275,603 Replaced FR strut 38
7/14/18 276,100 Frame rot repair 10
8/1/18 278,000 Oil change 30
9/19/18 278,500 Replaced brake pads 18
10/31/18 279,000 Replaced charcoal canister 30
11/10/18 280,400 Rebuilt calipers 20
11/10/18 280,400 Rotated tires N/A
11/10/18 280,400 Installed sway bar endlinks 20
11/21/18 281,000 Installed sway bar endlinks 36.96
11/25/18 281,000 Installed SS brake lines FR/FL 66.52
12/9/18 282,300 Tack welded steering column N/A
2/5/19 282,775 Oil change 30
5/27/19 285,000 Installed Winch 290
6/25/19 287,775 Oil change 30
10/12/19 290,000 Rear differential oil change 20
10/12/19 290,000 Rotated tires
12/8/19 292,000 Install remote start/alarm 160
1/4/20 292,800 Balance wheels 140
1/12/20 292,800 Replace fuel pump/valve 157.49
1/12/20 292,800 Oil change 30
looks like your a lot better off than me, but I don't see much shop costs in there haha. Your about $116 per month

Last edited by Friday88; 01-09-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:49 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday88 View Post


I'm also a proponent of no car payments. I once spent $12k on a ford focus and sold it for $2,500 lol. I'll never do that again. This experience has got me wondering what sort of vehicle would actually cost the least to own and maintain over 5 year span.

Its interesting looking at the monthly cost result because my wifes 2016 Subaru is costing $250 a month. Crazy that owning a 24 year old truck cost me very close to that in the end.
Not a far comparison because you spent money on wheels and a lift. Also the firestone lifetime alignment was a bit of a waste as well.

Also you need to factor in the cost of oil changes and etc for her Subaru. Likewise that 4Runner would take you places offroad that Subaru could only dream about. Not sure how many miles are on the Subaru but at some point you'll hit maintenance costs there and it won't be such a low dollar figure.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:42 PM #11
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Only had mine for 11 months, but I'm pretty happy so far. Costs would be far less if I hadn't been an idiot and gouged the sidewall of one of my tires on my fence. The tires I had on at the time would have lasted at least a few more years. Most of the rest of the money was spent on preventative maintenance or mods. The total for the "must do" work (not counting the tires) would be $225 (shocks, headlight blubs, oil change).

191065 Bought (2.9.19)
191130 $30 Air filter, PCV Valve
191326 $25 TRAC button, relay for Andy Mod 2.0, wires etc.
191551 $30 Headlight bulbs, Deckplate mod
191570 $63 New Liftgate struts (Strong Arm 6815)
191766 $250 OEM LBJs
191780 $300 99 Talls for the rear + Bilstein 5100s
192811 $23 OEM Gas cap
193990 $611 New Cooper Discoverer ATPs
197417 $200 New battery, ATF flush, oil change, new key fob
199126 $27 Honda Odyssey nozzle mod, door panel clips
199135 Today (1.9.20)

$1559 total, $141 per month
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:52 PM #12
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Yes, these are what I'd expect for shop numbers. I do think that the tires and wheels should be excluded since that's a wear item and was your choice to go that route (could have gone with 300 bucks in Kuhmos on the stockers, for instance).

Also, the susp. lift shouldn't count since that was a modification and not a maintenance. I also replaced my starter contacts for 19.66, vs. the whole starter so that would have saved a few bucks too. When I did the TB and related parts, it came out to 667 in parts, but it was DIY:

Timing Belt, Coolant Flush, Semi Trans flush, Drive Belts (PM), Radiator (PM):
Timing Belt Belt was lightly glazed (shiny) and had minute cracks. Belt was most likely original 4/1/2016 185800 13568-69095 47
Crankshaft Pulley Bolt replaced per SOP 4/2/2016 185800 90119-16006 5
Idler Roller replaced per SOP, seemed OK though 4/3/2016 185800 13505-62070 76.97
Tensioner Roller replaced per SOP, seemed OK though 4/4/2016 185800 13503-62040 51
Water-Pump (w/gasket) 4/5/2016 185800 16100-69398-83 105
Thermostat replace per SOP 4/6/2016 185800 90916-03075 16.37
Thermostat Gasket included in water pump 4/7/2016 185800 16325-62010 0
AC Compressor Belt PM 4/8/2016 185800 99364-20870-78 19.97
Alternator Belt PM 4/9/2016 185800 90080-91090-83 21.82
Power Steering Belt PM 4/10/2016 185800 90080-91126-83 21.82
Radiator Hose Upper PM, old saved, looked ok 4/11/2016 185800 16571-62070 13.24
Radiator Hose Lower PM, old saved, looked ok 4/12/2016 185800 16572-62090 17.3
Toyota Red Coolant toyota cerritos, diluted with 50% water. 4/13/2016 185800 00272-1LLAC-01 30
Dipstick Tube O-ring toyotapartsdeal 4/14/2016 185800 96721-19010 1.65
Radiator 4/15/2016 185800 16410-yzzaj 240

However, my local Toy. dealership quoted me 1800 and that's w/o the radiator and new hoses.

I have my list broken into Maint., Repairs and Modifications. Maint in 10 years of ownership has been about 1600 and Repairs (not including damage like windshield rock chips) has been about 2k. That's adding 50k miles in 10 years, or about 30/mo.

I think the issue is any old car that requires shop labor is going to be expensive, even for basic maint.

I can tell you that having an older paid for car, with cheaper insurance and DIY work, can be very inexpensive and the 4runner is definitely on the cheaper end. HOWEVER, gas can be another issue entirely, LOL.

PS-if I did include mods, that would be an additional 10k in 10 years, so that would def. inflate the cost per month. But those mods were my choice. Also, even with all that, this truck new was almost 40k. I now spent half that for a very heavily modified truck, exactly how I want it, by buying it used. So that's another way to look at it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:56 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APhelps View Post
Not a far comparison because you spent money on wheels and a lift. Also the firestone lifetime alignment was a bit of a waste as well.

Also you need to factor in the cost of oil changes and etc for her Subaru. Likewise that 4Runner would take you places offroad that Subaru could only dream about. Not sure how many miles are on the Subaru but at some point you'll hit maintenance costs there and it won't be such a low dollar figure.
I agree. A lot there was 'unnecessary'. Lift and wheels and overpriced front brakes (didn't need to spend $250), etc. Plus having a shop do the TB and WP, etc. That should have been $3-400, not $1800.
Also, you got expensive offroad tires, vs standard commuter value.
If you like the offroad wheels/mods/tires, then fine, but those aren't DD comparable to any other vehicle.

I think that insurance costs do need to play a part in the overall cost of the vehicle, especially when comparing new(er) to older used. It's almost always required to have full coverage when buying a new car, which can easily be an extra $200+ on top of the $250+ car note. That compared to like $40 for liability on the 4Runner. That's an extreme example, but still.


Also, one of the major pros in having an SUV/Truck (especially an older one) is the working space, specifically under the hood. A car or CUV is way more cramped. That just gets worse the newer the cars get (removing the front bumper to reach a headlight bulb on a bunch of newer GMs, for example)
Saying that to say this:
In my experience, a cramped workspace leads to one or both of 2 things:
1: It being a whole lot harder to reach things, so your DIY repairs take a lot longer (and possibly require specialty tools) and piss you off a lot more and cut your hands up more.
2: You say **** it and take it to a shop because it's not worth the headache and then the shop charges more billable hours because the techs can't fit easily either.


And lastly, and this is really a 4Runner specific statement, but the amount of advice/help on the forum is second to none. I defy you to find another vehicle with this much forum activity and actual useful advise on really *anything* you can think of. Which means easier DIY = more money saved.
The Tundra/Sequoia forums are a close second and a major player in my deciding to get a Sequoia for a second vehicle.

Last edited by AntleredRuin; 01-09-2020 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:59 PM #14
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Originally Posted by lockedlex View Post

Also, even with all that, this truck new was almost 40k. I now spent half that for a very heavily modified truck, exactly how I want it, by buying it used. So that's another way to look at it.
This truck brand new is roughly 53k (limited / lockered) in today's dollars. 4Runners really haven't increased or decreased in price.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:02 PM #15
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Also the real savings are owning the vehicle for longer. I'm probably up to ~13k with mods and purchase price. Doing the work yourself is pretty key as well.

Last edited by APhelps; 01-09-2020 at 04:22 PM.
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