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Old 01-10-2020, 05:08 PM #1
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Newbie '99 Gen 3

Greetings all...happy new Gen3 owner. Glad to have this resource.

Unlike what I mostly seem to see here so far (which is fine), this new addition to my stable will be nothing but a boring, unmodified, never-off-road daily driver. What I hope will be a reliable, trouble free get-me-where-I gotta-go-hauler. I'm sure I will enjoy this site, given what I see so far, that seems certain. Hoping for insights and information and to be able to return the same.

My former DD was a '78 GMC 3/4 ton Van...rock solid and reliable...but after nearly being stranded on the freeway by a failing fuel pump I knew I should no longer press my luck with a 42 year old truck. Came across this beauty on Craigslist less than an hour after she was posted by the owner. I had not really started looking in earnest, had never even sat in a 4Runner before...but my used car "spider sense" has rarely failed me in 50 years, so I responded to the ad. Pictures looked great, description and price all seemed reasonable...but what grabbed my eye was the stated mileage...17,200. Hmmm...for a '99? Emailed the guy and inquired specifically about that. Lots of scams on CL but this just didn't seem to fit the typical scam mold...

While I waited for a response I started researching these vehicles...and was flat-out astonished at their resale values, especially with some of the mileage figures!! Amazing!! The guy finally responded and sure enough, he had left off one zero...the truck had 172,000 on the clock. He included his phone number so I called and after we hung up I thought "I gotta go check this out"...went to the bank next morning and headed out.

The truck just looked great...owned by the same family for its entire life (parents bought it new, gave it to their daughter, I got it from her). Everything about their story rang true...they basically just wanted a newer, larger vehicle as they had a new baby on the way. Interior was spotless, virtually everything but the power antenna worked, seemed like all it needed was new tires. 2WD, four cyl., plenty of cargo room...they even had a new power antenna still in package they had bought but never installed. Biggest thing for me was the fact that the truck had never left south Texas since new until June of this year when they moved to Ohio. ZERO body rust, only the lightest traces on the frame. Always kept in a garage, they said... and it showed. Didn't take much haggling to make a deal (a fist full of Benjamins always helps). So far I am delighted...no rattles or squeaks, super quiet cabin, drives like new save for a tiny bit of steering wheel wobble which I'm sure the new tires will eliminate. Couldn't be happier...and from what I see mileage-wise for its kind, at my age the truck might outlast me. Feeling very fortunate to have found this one!!
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:55 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tuitous View Post
Greetings all...happy new Gen3 owner. Glad to have this resource.

Nice truck and welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will find more than all the info you would ever need here!
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:00 PM #3
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Congrats! That looks like a nice one and can't beat single owner. I got a 2000 Limited that will also spend 99% of its time with me on the road.

Being an older car as you look it over and use it more you'll probably notice some "catch-up" maintenance items to take care of. A good start is the 4runner new buyer thread.

Common Problems

New Owners

I documented alot of my work in a thread as well. Mine is mostly a daily driver but has the extra stock 4x4 capabilities if I ever need them.

My New 2000 Limited 4x4 E-Locker

Last edited by Novashards; 01-10-2020 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:10 PM #4
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Thank you, much appreciated
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:13 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tuitous View Post
.....drives like new save for a tiny bit of steering wheel wobble which I'm sure the new tires will eliminate.
Welcome! I've had a '95, '99 and my current 2000 LTD. Finest vehicle I am likely to ever own. Right away, I would check or have checked your Lower Ball Joints. That could possibly be contributing to your wobble. It's easy to do if you have a floor jack. Get the front tires off the ground and see if you can get them to wobble North and South.

If they do, ground the vehicle immediately until you can get the LBJs replaced. Google 4runner lower ball joint if you want to know more. If you have a shop do the work, specify Toyota OEM LBJs only. While you are in there, you may find the bushings worn, CV boots torn, etc.

Last summer I spent about $1200 on new suspension front and rear including new coil springs. I'm not a big mod guy either, just raised it a few inches. Worth every last cent, she drives like a brand new truck.

PM me if you want to chat bone stock 4runners, LOL.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:20 PM #6
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Welcome to the club. Absolutely address the issues in the "common problems" thread, the lower ball joint can/will lead to the wheel falling off and the radiator failure will kill the transmission. That's $300 in parts (roughly) and less than a days labor if you do it yourself and have limited experience, or about 3~4 hours of professional work.

My 99 is like yours, nearly completely on-road and looking down the barrel of being a daily driver. I swapped all of the bushings (easily the biggest improvement ~ these degrade with TIME as well as miles, I only have 192k), ans the suspension. Found the OEM brake lines wee cracked so those were replaced and then just did all the fluids. My confidence in this rig going another 192k miles is now way up.

If you're a DIYer, make sure to check this thread:

3rd Gen T4R DIY Maintenance, Repair and Modification Videos

Timmy and Sean have put out a TON of great content.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:57 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSaturnV View Post
Welcome! I've had a '95, '99 and my current 2000 LTD. Finest vehicle I am likely to ever own. Right away, I would check or have checked your Lower Ball Joints. That could possibly be contributing to your wobble. It's easy to do if you have a floor jack. Get the front tires off the ground and see if you can get them to wobble North and South.

If they do, ground the vehicle immediately until you can get the LBJs replaced. Google 4runner lower ball joint if you want to know more. If you have a shop do the work, specify Toyota OEM LBJs only. While you are in there, you may find the bushings worn, CV boots torn, etc.

Last summer I spent about $1200 on new suspension front and rear including new coil springs. I'm not a big mod guy either, just raised it a few inches. Worth every last cent, she drives like a brand new truck.

PM me if you want to chat bone stock 4runners, LOL.
All great stuff...plan on a thorough check out underneath as soon as practical. I do believe the struts / shocks are original, already shopping on those. Looking forward to many many miles of smiles...Thanks!!
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:01 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian. View Post
Welcome to the club. Absolutely address the issues in the "common problems" thread, the lower ball joint can/will lead to the wheel falling off and the radiator failure will kill the transmission. That's $300 in parts (roughly) and less than a days labor if you do it yourself and have limited experience, or about 3~4 hours of professional work.

My 99 is like yours, nearly completely on-road and looking down the barrel of being a daily driver. I swapped all of the bushings (easily the biggest improvement ~ these degrade with TIME as well as miles, I only have 192k), ans the suspension. Found the OEM brake lines wee cracked so those were replaced and then just did all the fluids. My confidence in this rig going another 192k miles is now way up.

If you're a DIYer, make sure to check this thread:

3rd Gen T4R DIY Maintenance, Repair and Modification Videos

Timmy and Sean have put out a TON of great content.
Thanks Brian...what's the skinny on the radiator failure? I have seen that come up before a couple of times, and also on a For Sale ad...internal failure, something that can't be detected by outside examination?

Really appreciate the help...
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:45 PM #9
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Thanks Brian...what's the skinny on the radiator failure? I have seen that come up before a couple of times, and also on a For Sale ad...internal failure, something that can't be detected by outside examination?

Really appreciate the help...
Radiator cools both the coolant and the transmission, over time the metal separating those 2 fluids corrodes and fails. At that point the pressure from the coolant system forces the coolant into the transmission fluid and it emulsifies (oil and water). That's a guaranteed transmission failure if you don't catch it Immediately, best to just consider the radiator a consumable item. It's $100 (for the cheaper options) and is a very simple swap, no real reason not to do it. Do replace the upper and lower hoses at the same time.....
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:30 AM #10
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Quote:
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I do believe the struts / shocks are original, already shopping on those.
I went with Bilstein 5100 shocks and Moog 81088 springs and have been very happy. Not the cheapest stuff, but not the most expensive either. This restored the truck's original ride height plus maybe just an inch or two more. It had started to look like a dang station wagon, pitifully drooping in the rear. It now sits up proud, nice and level.

All at the same time, I did upper and lower ball joints, shocks/springs, every bushing, upper strut mounts and inner/outer tie rods. It just turned into one of those while-I'm-in-here scenarios.

Remember to post photos as you progress with your T4R.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:03 AM #11
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Biggest thing for me was the fact that the truck had never left south Texas since new until June of this year when they moved to Ohio...Feeling very fortunate to have found this one!!

Welcome to T4R & congrats on scoring a Texas truck! I know the feeling too-
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:31 AM #12
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OP - I bought mine about 12 years ago, with 106k on it, for either $9,000 or $9,900 (I don't recall which). I wasn't worried a bit about the mileage, because it literally had been "owned by a little old lady who only used it to get groceries". A huge saving grace is that it had never lived up north on salty, snowy roads, but rather in Florida. She had bought it new for $26k, and took it to a Toyota dealership once or twice a year (in addition to oil changes), and told them to "just take care of it". She gave it to her grandson, who decided he wanted something different, for some reason. He included a notebook full receipts from the dealership for everything that had ever been done to it. It had been very well taken care of.

Last week, I joined the 200k club. I truly love this vehicle. She and I have been through a lot together. She hauls my 5x10 utility trailer with 2,000 lb of gravel in it, with ease. She hauls my kayak and paddleboard. She hauls my mountain bike. She hauls my dogs. She hauls my camping gear. She utterly amazes me every time I take her 2WD "Wheeling" - very, very capable offroad, and I have yet to get stuck (but I do always carry a come-a-long and 300' of rope -can be doubled or tripled for strength, if needed), in back.

Oh, she has given me lots of grief over the years, but she is still running quite strong. I had the rear axle seal leak. I had the starter contact issue. I had the dash clock issue. I will always have the fuel gauge issue (which drives me up the freaking wall, at times!). I had the (apparent) head gasket failure, which was really just a failed fuel injector. I did a timing belt job, which would have just been a full day PITA bunch of wrenching, but which turned into a literal hundred hour nightmare, because I screwed up 2 things, which I didn't discover until after I had everything back together and running. I accidentally "rolled" a cam seal, and I accidentally cracked a valve cover (a dude on here saved my ass on that, by selling me a nice used one at a very fair price). I also preventatively replaced the radiator during that timing belt job, adding a few hours to the task. I preventatively replaced the LBJ's last year, only to ease my mind and paranoia.

A few months ago, I bought a daily driver car, and semi-retired my T4R to only utility usage, and I plan to keep her another 10 years. I need to come up with a name for her, but haven't yet thought of a fitting one.

I imagine yours will serve you quite well. They have their issues (nothing is perfect), but they are very solid machines - pretty well-designed and built. They are definitely a step above Mazdas, Nissans, Isuzus, etc., in quality (and similar to Hondas and Subarus in quality and design, IMO).
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:22 PM #13
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Thanks Outrider, enjoy your truck's history and obvious bond...they are just machines but...well don't get me started on that...

After I get the new tires on and deal with correcting the speedo (still researching that one) I intend to take it to a Toyo dealership I've had good experiences with in the past and have them do a comprehensive look-over from top down. I guess that clock issue must be quite common, mine is dead but the stereo has one so a moot point. I have done most of my own maintenance and repairs for the 50 years I've been driving, but at this point my time is more valuable to me than the money I save by doing it myself. And I just don't have all of the sophisticated diagnostic equipment necessary to service these modern vehicles. I still have my '78 GMC van for when I get the urge to do some wrenchin'... Really appreciate all the tips and help coming my way on this site...Cheers!
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