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Old 06-10-2021, 10:12 PM #1
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Post Considering buying this 2002 Limited with Lockers

I've been looking for a rig for a little bit and have decided to move my purchase date up a couple of months. I found one in town at a dealer and drove it today.












Has a lot of good things going for it including:
  • Locking diff
  • Power everything all works
  • Paint in good condition
  • No leaks visible
  • Good fluids
  • Reasonable mileage
  • Clean Carfax + 2 owners + west coast car
  • Seats in OK shape
  • New tires + modern wheels (although I'd swap)
  • No sag
  • Smooth shifts, brakes, 4WD transfer

The negatives that I could see are:
  • Cruise control not working
  • A/C needs recharge
  • Transfer case light flashing after shift, couldn't get it to stop
  • Slight pulse in steering wheel above 60mph, could be wheel balance, or something more serious
  • Either needs an alignment or there's something relating to the wobble as it pulls slightly to the left
  • Steering wheel needs refinished/cover
  • Battery needs replacing, it was dead when I got in
  • The switch that I believe controls the lumbar support is broken #84922-50010-E1

It's at the top of the price range that I think is reasonable, $11,900. I'm more concerned on the bones of the thing, little creature comforts aren't that big a deal (although cruise control and A/C have to be fixed ASAP).

Taking it to my mechanic tomorrow for a full runthrough. Photos make it look pretty nice though.

Thoughts?

Last edited by raincoyote; 06-11-2021 at 11:07 AM. Reason: I'm dumb and I don't know what lockers are
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:25 PM #2
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I'd offer him $5000 and that's pushing it greatly for an 02 Limited, especially one with an original rad at 200k which has turned brown god knows how long ago (good indication it will fail shortly.)
01-02 has the weakest trans, proprietary parts (master cylinder, throttle, IAC/TB, LBJs, driveline, etc.), finickiest transfer case, 02 had an LBJ recall, addition of VSC/Trac, seems like gremlins are common with the digital climate control, so forth. To me it seems like the whole shift to electronic parts caused much more problems than good for most people, as they very typically do.
On that note, I could've sworn the master cylinder and brake booster were on the passenger side starting in 01, and it almost looks like they've relocated it to the drivers side? Wonder what that's about.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:27 PM #3
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Quote:
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I'd offer him $5000 and that's pushing it greatly for an 02 Limited, especially one with an original rad at 200k which has turned brown god knows how long ago (good indication it will fail shortly.)
01-02 has the weakest trans, proprietary parts (master cylinder, throttle, IAC/TB, LBJs, driveline, etc.), finickiest transfer case, 02 had an LBJ recall, addition of VSC/Trac, seems like gremlins are common with the digital climate control, so forth. To me it seems like the whole shift to electronic parts caused much more problems than good for most people, as they very typically do.
On that note, I could've sworn the master cylinder and brake booster were on the passenger side starting in 01, and it almost looks like they've relocated it to the drivers side? Wonder what that's about.

This is good info, although Iím not sure about the master cylinder / brake booster.

Should I be looking at 99-00 instead wrt all these things youíre listing? These are the years that aesthetically I enjoy the most.


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Old 06-11-2021, 12:15 AM #4
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Unless things are different between 98 and 02 that one does not have power steering unit and looks like throttle body wonít support it.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:20 AM #5
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Brake master is located where itís supposed to be.
I daily drive an 02 SR5 Sport Edition with 190K miles and love it, no issues.
Price seems to be dependent on your individual area.
That radiator does look a bit scary to me as well but easy and cheap enough to replace.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:35 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
I'd offer him $5000 and that's pushing it greatly for an 02 Limited, especially one with an original rad at 200k which has turned brown god knows how long ago (good indication it will fail shortly.)
01-02 has the weakest trans, proprietary parts (master cylinder, throttle, IAC/TB, LBJs, driveline, etc.), finickiest transfer case, 02 had an LBJ recall, addition of VSC/Trac, seems like gremlins are common with the digital climate control, so forth. To me it seems like the whole shift to electronic parts caused much more problems than good for most people, as they very typically do.
On that note, I could've sworn the master cylinder and brake booster were on the passenger side starting in 01, and it almost looks like they've relocated it to the drivers side? Wonder what that's about.
I think this is a little harsh but not really wrong. It looks super clean at least. Radiator is easy but you did say top of your price range. I've heard the weak transmission stuff/abs, etc. for 01-02s. I don't think there's evidence of a large portion of them failing but they do seem to fail more frequently than the earlier models. I had an 01 years back and hated the VSC/Trac system. It's useless and a total PITA that adds electronics where they are not helpful. It's integrated into the braking system and is expensive to replace should it go bad. The VSC/Trac is not worth having but I think ABS goes with it. Double check me here, but I'm pretty sure that's true and it's like $3k for the stupid special braking system.

99-00's are the sweet spot. All limited climate controls break unfortunately. mine currently is and I really need to either fix it or buy a fixed version on ebay. I like the look of it if it works right. My AC also doesn't work anyways. On that note, AC needing to be recharged is usually a short term fix. They do not "use up" the refrigerant as far as I know. If it's gone, it's because it leaked out.

Does it have aftermarket lockers? 01-02s did not come from the factory with any lockers. The button on the left of the steering column locks the center differential for 4WD. Front and rear diffs remain open diffs and spin the easiest wheel. 4WD button on the transfer case is for AWD, AKA all 4 wheels with an open center diff.

I'm in rust country so I look longingly at one with that clean of an engine bay/body/undercarriage. However, if it's at the top of your budget and you don't NEED to buy one now, 99-00 are preferred. I'd rather a clean, rust free 01-02 than a rusty 99-00. You'll also need to budget in maintenance items. These things are robust and durable but they're old.

Last edited by Jubsz; 06-11-2021 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:12 AM #7
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Quote:
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I think this is a little harsh but not really wrong. It looks super clean at least. Radiator is easy but you did say top of your price range. I've heard the weak transmission stuff/abs, etc. for 01-02s. I don't think there's evidence of a large portion of them failing but they do seem to fail more frequently than the earlier models. I had an 01 years back and hated the VSC/Trac system. It's useless and a total PITA that adds electronics where they are not helpful. It's integrated into the braking system and is expensive to replace should it go bad. The VSC/Trac is not worth having but I think ABS goes with it. Double check me here, but I'm pretty sure that's true and it's like $3k for the stupid special braking system...
I'm in rust country so I look longingly at one with that clean of an engine bay/body/undercarriage. However, if it's at the top of your budget and you don't NEED to buy one now, 99-00 are preferred. I'd rather a clean, rust free 01-02 than a rusty 99-00. You'll also need to budget in maintenance items. These things are robust and durable but they're old.
Yeah I realized that came off a little harsh, I'm just tired of seeing people trying to charge $10k and more for these things purely for the fact they're lacking rust and are on the cleaner side. It would mean a little more if it was somewhere in like PA or RI where they use ungodly amounts of salt, but it's outright asinine doing it in PNW where it rusts soooo so much less. Seeing them to that degree is not uncommon here at all, even with those living on the coast it's not nearly as bad. The paint has been well kept though, I'll give them that. But I also wouldn't be too shocked if they just threw on some new clear coat as some do.
I also greatly despise nearly every last electronic application in cars so I'm partial to hate on them and see them as unnecessary. If I could have my way we'd all have mechanical fuel injection
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Unless things are different between 98 and 02 that one does not have power steering unit and looks like throttle body wonít support it.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:23 AM #8
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I'd try to talk them down as much as you can. I'm not seeing any rust in the pictures and that's huge because almost anything else, other than a bent frame, you can work with. Change the radiator and LBJs immediately. Also, I find it hard to believe that someone installed lockers on that rig so you might want to double check. If so are they selectable or automatic? That might be a deal breaker.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:36 AM #9
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I think the $5,000 comment is quite a lowball, especially given it's on the west coast. They aren't cheap out there! That being said, I do think it's priced a little high being that it's not quite turn key.

Original radiator is not an issue for west coast cars, especially if the coolant has been flushed once or twice in its life. It only happens when the coolant/rad gets rusty so no worries there.

These tires are very hard to balance and almost always vibrate. Get a good road force balance at the dealer and I can almost guarantee you it's gone.

The AC could be cheap or it could need a compressor or condenser which is medium cost.

If it were me, I would probably start around $8,500 and if you could get it for $10k or less I think you did fine. They aren't easy to find out west in this sort of condition and when they are, they're PRICY.

Good luck!
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:42 AM #10
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damn I wish the undercarriage on mine looked this clean! Looks like a great truck but the price is too high.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:49 AM #11
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I'm just tired of seeing people trying to charge $10k and more for these things purely for the fact they're lacking rust and are on the cleaner side.
Yeah. These are completely insane prices. I'm so glad I'm not in the market for another 3rd gen. I think the reality is that 3rd gen 4runners are trending as super cool in the social media world and that's what's driving the price up.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:55 AM #12
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Lots of good information here, thanks all. I think as most have pointed out, it's priced too high but that was my opinion all along. Particularly with some of the comforts that need to be sorted to make it driveable in the immediate future/through summer. However, it's not too far off for what the market here in Oregon is. Prices round here are just high, that is what it is. The good news is the car I'm selling has, for some reason, doubled in KBB value over the past 3 years so the comparative price for me is negligible. Also I realized that I didn't understand the megathread and I messed up my nomenclature a little bit, it indeed doesn't have lockers I was referring to the locking center differential.

We'll see what the mechanic says about it after he runs through it this afternoon. Guy already said he would replace the battery in it, so it seems like he's willing to negotiate either in price or in replacing items. I think $9K would be a reasonable starting place if there's nothing major. But if the flashing 4WD light is some big thing, or there's electrical beyond the battery, leaks I didn't see, etc then I might just walk away. Like anyone, I'm guess he'll only bargain down so much. I'm not dying for a rig right now, I just saw this one and thought it had a lot going right for it so I'm checking it out.

I'll keep you guys updated with what all ends up being good/bad about it and if I decide to pull the trigger.
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:16 AM #13
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Dang, 11k.... If it's in the PNW it seems to double the price of a 4Runner! At 11k I'd walk away just based on the price. OR step up to a 4th Gen.

But just to throw it back to you @raincoyote : What would be the reason for getting the 4Runner? Example: daily driver to/from work? Build it into an overland rig, crawler, etc?

Are you a DIY repair on everything sort of person?

I see you're in Portland area: there are so many 4Runners on Offerup and craigslist that have similar spec. OKAY Fine they might not be as pretty and cleaned up as the one from the dealer, but that's superficial.

Good luck either way!
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:31 AM #14
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Not bad for a 19-year-old car.
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:50 AM #15
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99-00 IMO is the most sought after years. Doesn’t have the super expensive brake booster. Also the limiteds can have center diff lock and rear diff lock, the rear diff lock was discontinued after 00. Yes the price is high but you need to think about supply/demand. There is a Toyota craze/overland craze right now and Toyota’s at that price are going pretty fast especially on the west coast. Mix that with the microchip shortage and here we are.. I bought my 00 limited with rear diff lock 4-5 years ago w/ 170k miles for a little over $7k. If you shop around for a long time I’m sure you could find a better price although that one is definitely pretty nice.
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