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Old 07-04-2021, 08:13 PM #1
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Opinions on this rust

Hi,

Iíve been looking really hard for a 3rd gen 4Runner. There donít seem to be very many options out there right now even if Iím willing to spend a little bit more (up to $10,000 CAD). All of the decent shaped high mileage ones (200,000+ miles) are too expensive for what they are ($8000-$9000 CAD) while the lower mileage ones (155k-180k miles) seem to all have bad rust issues on the frame. Today I found this one that is low mileage (234k kms or 145k miles) but Iím uncertain about the rust. Specifically on the cross member. Any thoughts? For a little more context, this vehicle would be a 3-4 hour drive away.

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 07-04-2021, 08:32 PM #2
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I wouldn't pay over 5000 CAD even for that mileage because it will take a few thousand to right the frame. The first two images seem like wide spread surface rust, the last image seems to have more serious rust on the crossmember.

The frame doesn't have laminations separating or crumbling, it might be salvageable but it wont be cheap. I would pass that vehicle, look further away to get one with less rust, and then do everything in my power too keep it rust free (no point in getting a rust free 4runner if you are going to let it rot away while you own it)
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:04 PM #3
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The only way to know is to go look at it. You need to actually crawl under it and see if it is just cosmetically rusted or rusted through, particularly around the rear lower control arm mounts and around where all crossmembers are welded to the frame. Surface rust is okay, a hole or two is fixable. A frame that has holes and thin spots from end to end is not repairable.
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:19 PM #4
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Thanks for your input. Ya I want to have my future 4runner for many many years to come so I do plan on protecting that frame with my life when I eventually find my baby.
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:23 PM #5
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I get that it takes more than a few pictures to determine how severe the rust is. I was more wondering if it was even worth making the drive to go see it considering the way that the crossmember looks. Looks like I’ll probably move on to the next one.
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Old 07-04-2021, 10:59 PM #6
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Take the dive and go further south. Idk where you are but it seems to have seen some salt


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Old 07-04-2021, 11:56 PM #7
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pictures are too small. Can't judge. Can'T even be sure what is rust and what is dust.
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Old 07-05-2021, 01:25 AM #8
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Hmmm, I've been thinking I need to sell the third third gen, it is a 97 Limited. It has a few issues that I was going to address before selling but if you are interested maybe you'd like it.

We've had it since 1998 but I can't justify having a third one, when we need a pickup.

Issues:

- Needs new windshield. Some minor rust around windshield frame to address, from previous botch job by bad technician.
- Electrical short from an aftermarket alarm and trailer wiring that was put in.
- Rusty bumpers -- I have replacements but need to adjust the mounts so they align properly.
- Frame is in great shape, only some minor surface rust.
- Rear axle was in worse shape, the issue is we drove it in November once with salt on the road and I then went overseas all winter so when I came back it was rusty in places where the salt was, which luckily didn't include the frame. But the axle was in bad shape -- it still works fine but the diff cover was rusted badly (they have bad metallurgy and that one part rusts badly and I poked through it -- JB welded up now), however, I picked up a pristine one from another 97 with e-locker to swap in, just haven't done it yet.
- There is surface rust that needs to be addressed underneath but no rot. Just one part of the body, the lower wheel well lip that catches dirt, has rusted away.
- rust around the rear hatch windshield wiper mount..
- Needs new shocks.
- Usual stuff for a 24 year old rig -- bushings etc.
- I replaced LBJ's with OEM.

It's been in the family for 23 years and I'm sad to see it go but you sound like you'd give it a good home. Never been in an accident. Like I said, it has some issues but with some work you could turn it into a nice truck. It is the dark green one in my Snow and Sand build below.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:55 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
Hmmm, I've been thinking I need to sell the third third gen, it is a 97 Limited. It has a few issues that I was going to address before selling but if you are interested maybe you'd like it.

We've had it since 1998 but I can't justify having a third one, when we need a pickup.

Issues:

- Needs new windshield. Some minor rust around windshield frame to address, from previous botch job by bad technician.
- Electrical short from an aftermarket alarm and trailer wiring that was put in.
- Rusty bumpers -- I have replacements but need to adjust the mounts so they align properly.
- Frame is in great shape, only some minor surface rust.
- Rear axle was in worse shape, the issue is we drove it in November once with salt on the road and I then went overseas all winter so when I came back it was rusty in places where the salt was, which luckily didn't include the frame. But the axle was in bad shape -- it still works fine but the diff cover was rusted badly (they have bad metallurgy and that one part rusts badly and I poked through it -- JB welded up now), however, I picked up a pristine one from another 97 with e-locker to swap in, just haven't done it yet.
- There is surface rust that needs to be addressed underneath but no rot. Just one part of the body, the lower wheel well lip that catches dirt, has rusted away.
- rust around the rear hatch windshield wiper mount..
- Needs new shocks.
- Usual stuff for a 24 year old rig -- bushings etc.
- I replaced LBJ's with OEM.

It's been in the family for 23 years and I'm sad to see it go but you sound like you'd give it a good home. Never been in an accident. Like I said, it has some issues but with some work you could turn it into a nice truck. It is the dark green one in my Snow and Sand build below.
Hi Mark! I sent you a PM. Not sure if it worked. Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2021, 03:18 PM #10
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I would pass.
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Old 07-08-2021, 10:33 PM #11
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Would be a pass from me,

There was a green 3rd gen for sale in Vancouver recently with around 400,000 Km's, however it seemed like the owner took great care of it. May be worth considering if it's still for sale! Appears rust free, but hard to tell from the pics. Also an original owner vehicle...

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Old 07-09-2021, 01:13 PM #12
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pass on that for sure, the oil dripping on the skid plate from oil changes done without removing the lower plate is a sure sign the original bushings on the steering rack are gone as well. Also check for rust in the circular cross section joining the chassis in the rear, the opening is visible from the rear wheel well on both sides most Canadian 4runners have that section collecting salt and rocks that corrodes in the middle. hard to see but this one would have that corrosion as well.
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Old 07-10-2021, 05:00 AM #13
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Not an expert on British Columbia, although I did once drive up and down nearly the full length of it to get to Alaska. I do believe that some of the nicest used vehicles in America are found in Eastern Washington and Oregon.
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Old 07-11-2021, 12:10 AM #14
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Go look at it. That looks like it could be fluid film with dirt stuck to it. Doing an oil change without removing the skid won't kill your rack bushings. A leaking rear main seal is what you are confusing that with.
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:33 PM #15
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Rusty Opinion

I was curious if I could get some of your guys opinion on my rust as well. I have beaten on it and it seems pretty solid to me, the only real worry I have is the area behind the rear end where the spare tire hangs and what not. It looks to be a lot worse than everywhere else. My question is what do you think I should do, the 4Runner just got to 161,000 miles and everything else works perfectly (except for the previous owner putting a screwdriver size hole in the rear diff cover). Should I get a grinder and remove as much of the scaling/rust as I can and get like a rust kit from POR 15 and some Eastwood inner frame encapsulaor, take it to a body shop and get it sand blasted and coated professionally or just sell it. I do plan on moving to Michigan from Kansas at the end of August of 2021 to finish up my masters and I plan on hopefully towing a Uhaul trailer if possible. I will try to provide some photos of what i'm talking about
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