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Old 01-16-2020, 08:09 PM #16
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Back in the day I would walk the local u-pull and they would have several Gen1 4Runners. Now, not so much, if at all. Shoot, it's getting hard to find anything with a 22RE under the hood, where before they were a dime a dozen. They have attrition out.

But, back on topic … my local u-pull has no Gen1 4Runners (they just scrapped two), two Gen2's (both V6), five Gen3, and Gen4 4Runners are starting to appear (currently one). Right now, if you were looking for a donor 5VZFE they are always available for the pickin's. Want a donor 3RZ? Good luck. In the last 3-4 years I've only seen two at the u-pull, and both were in the last two months.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:58 PM #17
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My 2000 LTD has just about 160k miles and I recently started putting it through a refurbish after owning it for many years. A very well cared for rig, but it had a number of things piling up including a stuck moonroof, non-working back window and the suspension had sagged down into that 4runner station wagon look of shame.

Did a complete overhaul of the suspension including LBJ and UBJ, springs, the works. Nothing off-road crazy, just a mild 3" lift. Just the parts alone were $1200 and I did the labor myself. I can see how a typical used "car" owner would just not be able to justify the cost of having a shop fix just the items I've listed here, and so begins the spiral down towards a wrecking yard.

Glad so many of us on here are invested in these terrific trucks.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:14 PM #18
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I have to agree with Tim. Here in Southern California 3rd gens are everywhere. Mostly 2wd but still has a strong ownership. I think average people know how well made these trucks are and don’t care how much gas these guzzle. Most of the trucks are non-modded. Used as a grocery, Home Depot or kid hauler. But there are a bunch.

As for Classic?? I would use the term “Neo Classic” The oldest 3rd gen is already 24 years old!!!
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:15 PM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekendclimber View Post
Here's to hoping this ushers in a new era of 2JZ swaps!! Can't wait for the Timmy the Toolman video on how to do that!!
I've seen a pretty detailed thread about 2JZ swap into a 1st-gen Tacoma 4WD, and a manual trans too! Unlike a 2UZ swap there's no need for a body lift, but like the 2UZ you'll need custom mounts/move the trans crossmember back/shorten rear driveshaft/lengthen front driveshaft.

Update - found the thread 2JZGTE Swap in 1998 4x4 V6 5 Speed Tacoma | Supra Forums

Last edited by Ed_C; 01-16-2020 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:21 PM #20
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It’s the natural progression of things…

On the plus side… More junk yard parts means lower costs (hopefully), more availability, and opportunity for the 3rd gen enthusiasts to keep their rigs running.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:36 PM #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypoint_1 View Post
Here in Southern California 3rd gens are everywhere. Mostly 2wd but still has a strong ownership.
I noticed that when I was looking at 4Runners on CL - it seemed like half of em in LA were 2WD. Back east it's like 1 in 10. Anyone have any idea why? Seems like there's way more off road opportunities out west. And it's not like snow is a major issue over here.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:06 PM #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyBobandy View Post
Ive been looking for a junk 5 speed for a swap for a while now and even with a totally destroyed frame anything under $2000 is gone within a day or 2, however the ones I look at usually still run even with 300k+ miles.

I see maybe one 3rd gen every two weeks on the road, 4th and 5th gens however are everywhere, and tons of tacomas of all gens.
I can't go 2 blocks without seeing another one. I was turning into Riebes two weekends ago and saw a 1st gen in the parking lot. Before I could park next to it another 3rd gen did.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:09 PM #23
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Having had a 1st gen as a DD for 10 years what I see different about this is that, even at 20 years old and more, the 3rd gen is still a modern car. Four doors, R&P steering, adequate power, airbags, etc. But even 10 years ago my 88 struggled to keep up with traffic and felt like an old vehicle. Folks think my 3rd gen looks sharp and a little vintage, but it doesn’t strike them as an “old truck” like the 88.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:19 PM #24
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I think that we're starting to see them getting to the point where normal owners are no longer willing to put money into them to fix them. Perceived value of a standard, stock 3rd gen is 3-5k for a 200k-ish mile example. That is about where a standard, daily driven 3rd gen should be at this point. There are many 20 yr old trucks at 200k that have never had a major issue/service. I think they're starting to die by attrition from those that drive them until they have a major issue. Whether that be the pink milkshake, the occasional head gasket, catalytic converter, run low on oil, etc. When a normal person sees that their vehicle is worth 4k, give or take, and they get an estimate of 1k+ to repair, they start to question whether or not they should even repair it, and whether or not they can trust it again. Generally, I think up until recently, most of them that just had regular oil changes, tires, and brakes have been able to survive with the occasional "repair". At 20 years old, 200k miles, normal people stop repairing them.

I like old vehicles that have a community around them like the 3rd gen. I trust that if rust is staved off, timing belt done, LBJ's done, transmission cooler handled, axle seals looked after, I should have a good chance of survival well beyond my 225k miles. That being said, I watch what I spend on the truck. It could have a critical failure tomorrow and I don't have a garage to do an engine/transmission swap on my own. Short of that, I'm willing to take the gamble on the truck because I like it and most of the critical failure points can be prevented since they've been well documented over the last 20 years. It could die tomorrow but I don't think it will. Most people will say "it's been a good run" once they've had it for some time, it's value is minimal, and it needs a costly repair. I think that is the attrition we're starting to see. Things are starting to reach a point of failure for a normal person's maintenance schedule or costing more to repair than what they deem worth.

The good news is that a lot of these people had a good enough run that they'll buy a 5th gen new and sell it down the line. I still love my 3rd gen and have a soft spot for them. It will likely become too much of a hassle to daily and road trip at some point. I'm not there yet, but if a nice 5th gen was 10k right now, I may have walked away after the repairs over the last 2 years.

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Old 01-16-2020, 10:23 PM #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZiggy View Post
Having had a 1st gen as a DD for 10 years what I see different about this is that, even at 20 years old and more, the 3rd gen is still a modern car. Four doors, R&P steering, adequate power, airbags, etc. But even 10 years ago my 88 struggled to keep up with traffic and felt like an old vehicle. Folks think my 3rd gen looks sharp and a little vintage, but it doesn’t strike them as an “old truck” like the 88.
It would if they drove it. They're starting to show their age, especially the average 4Runner with beat down seats, torn up carpet and worn in panels. Compared to the brand new vehicles I work on every day, a 90s Toyota is a dinosaur.

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Old 01-16-2020, 10:42 PM #26
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I look at it this way. I paid 3500 bucks 7 years ago for my 4runner with 341k miles. I've spent around 1000 in repairs in that time. I don't include regular oil changes or air filters etc, as oil changes are newer cars can be even more expensive. I would drop 10k into this rig, even with 386k now, before I would think about dumping it for another one. I'm just slowly replacing all the parts as they show wear, and eventually I'll have a basically brand new truck again. My frame looks practically new thanks to it being a highway only vehicle for the first 13 years of it's life, so there's no reason to not just spend 1k or so on average a year for repairs. Heck I haven't even spent that in 45k miles of ownership at this point.

As long as you keep an eye on everything, there's no reason these trucks will leave you stranded. Head Gaskets don't just blow, radiators rarely fail within the first 5-8 years of replacement, and hoses should all be changed out at this point anyway. When I do Valve Cover gaskets, I'll be putting all new vacuum hoses. When I do the Steering Rack, it will get new lines. After 5 years, I'll have a brand new truck again, and I'll look way cooler than any of my buddies in their 5th Gens. Plus I"ll have extra money for a Dirtbike!
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:33 PM #27
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The areas you live in really determined what you see. Vehicles over 20 years old become rarities on my location. Like other stated the average person will get rid of them once they need anything that costs $$$ to fix.

I saved 5 from the junk yards so I did my part.

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Old 01-16-2020, 11:39 PM #28
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They are still fairly popular here in Colorado and on Craigslist the ones that people are parting out are gone within a week or so.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:58 PM #29
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Here in Washington they are everywhere. I see many of them every day.

I was thinking now is the golden age.
They are great rigs for general use. They can be had and in good shape or made to be for about 7-8k.
Any comparable new rig would be 30k.
If you can afford a $500 car payment, you can afford to maintain a 3rd gen 4runner and put the leftover in your savings account.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:59 PM #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jidaran View Post
I noticed that when I was looking at 4Runners on CL - it seemed like half of em in LA were 2WD. Back east it's like 1 in 10. Anyone have any idea why? Seems like there's way more off road opportunities out west. And it's not like snow is a major issue over here.
Well Los Angeles is a huge city. About 12 million in the county. Most Angelinos don’t care about off roading. I believe Houston Tx has a bunch of 2wd’s. Back when these were new they were pimp status. A 2wd’s price back in 96 or 98 was $30k for a V6 SR5 to the upper 30’s for a Limited...all 2wd. So if you had a T4R you were big pimpin!!! LOL I remember when Dad bought the truck there was 1 4wd compared to dozens of 2wd at the dealership. Toyota definitely knows their market and what truck to put there.
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