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Old 01-19-2020, 11:43 PM #1
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Should I Buy a V6 or V8 for Off-roading?

Just as the title states should I buy a V6 or V8 for off-roading? Iím considering both options right now and looking to pick one up very soon.
I currently have a 2006 2wd with 185K and itís a V6 but itís been my daily driver for almost 14 years.

Buying a second one 4x4 to lift and just to take off-roading. What should I look out for on both options. Any downside to the V8 off road or maintenance wise? Should I stick with another V-6?

The V-8ís are 2003 and V-6ís 2006-2007. Similar mileage, wear and prices.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:07 AM #2
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I vote the V8. That's what I went with when I got my 03 Limited. Full time 4wd is nice. The V8 uses a timing belt instead of a timing chain, replacement is every 90k miles or so. More hp, more torque. The 2UZ motor is proven to go a million miles with proper maintenance. Gas mileage is pretty much the same between the 2 motors from what I have read. You'll appreciate the extra power of the V8 for sure.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:09 AM #3
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Drive the 8. I think you can decide easily after that.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:17 AM #4
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I've been wheeling my V8 for a few years now and love it. The torque is there to turn my 35s with zero issue, and its also nice to have that power on the highway without having the re-gear. You'll be even more pleased with an aftermarket exhaust I love having a roar.
The AWD is also groovy to have here in CO during the wintertime, always has my back!
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:24 AM #5
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V8 is always the answer.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:04 AM #6
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Awd

So the V8 is all time 4 wheel drive and the V6 is not? I see the same dial in both so do they work differently? Never had a 4x4 so new to this set up. As far as maintenance the timing belt is the only difference?
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:23 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipo6007 View Post
So the V8 is all time 4 wheel drive and the V6 is not? I see the same dial in both so do they work differently? Never had a 4x4 so new to this set up. As far as maintenance the timing belt is the only difference?
V8 are all full time 4wd. The selector stays in 4hi unless you need 4lo.

V6 are 2wd normally. From there you can select 4hi or 4lo.

They both use a similar selector knob.

Timing belt in the V8 is the main difference, yes. Overall maintenance will be the same otherwise. They both have a front differential and a transfer case so you will need to add those to your maintenance chores.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:01 AM #8
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Everyone loves more power, and of course everyone with a V8 thinks we all need one. I don’t rock crawl but my V6 goes everywhere I want to go. Watch a couple of videos on my YT channel (linked in my sig) - if that’s the off-roading you’re thinking about, the V6 will be more than fine.

IMO, the V8’s advantages are insignificant if you consider the relatively few times the engine may really make a difference, and from what I’ve read, you’ll be wishing for a V6 every time you change your oil and when you’re dropping big $ on a timing belt change every 100K miles.

Bottom line: either one is a great offroad truck.

Last edited by Bluesky 07; 01-20-2020 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:19 AM #9
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Quote:
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Everyone loves more power, and of course everyone with a V8 thinks we all need one. I donít rock crawl but my V6 goes everywhere I want to go. Watch a couple of videos on my YT channel (linked in my sig) - if thatís the off-roading youíre thinking about, the V6 will be more than fine.

IMO, the V8ís advantages are insignificant if you consider the relatively few times the engine may really make a difference, and from what Iíve read, youíll be wishing for a V6 every time you change your oil and when youíre dropping big $ on a timing belt change every 100K miles.

Bottom line: either one is a great offroad truck.
Wut?

Oil change on the V8 is simple. Timing belt every 100k is not that expensive (DIY for like $300 MAX) and easier than the timing chain on the V6 from what I have read.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:43 AM #10
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V6 for reduced weight offroad.

V8 for a bit more torque with larger offroad tires when driving onroad.

Both motors are fast enough, or both are slow depending on what vehicle you come from.

Read any of the other V6 vs V8 debate threads they will all echo this one.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:47 AM #11
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I second this! Plus, with the V8, when you want to pass someone on the highway, it's so much easier. Stepping on the gas peddle with the V8 lets people know know you're not in the MOOD for a Sunday drive. Upgrade that V8 with headers, y-pipe, muffler, and you'll have a BAD ASS 4runner!


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I vote the V8. That's what I went with when I got my 03 Limited. Full time 4wd is nice. The V8 uses a timing belt instead of a timing chain, replacement is every 90k miles or so. More hp, more torque. The 2UZ motor is proven to go a million miles with proper maintenance. Gas mileage is pretty much the same between the 2 motors from what I have read. You'll appreciate the extra power of the V8 for sure.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:48 AM #12
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Wut?

Oil change on the V8 is simple. Timing belt every 100k is not that expensive (DIY for like $300 MAX) and easier than the timing chain on the V6 from what I have read.

Arenít there numerous posts from people complaining about having to take off a skid & crawl under the truck to get to the oil filter on V8s? Granted, that may meet the definition of simple but I was speaking relatively & itís still harder than the V6.

Fair point on the timing belt but what percentage of owners have the skill, time, & confidence to do their own?

I meant no disrespect to the V8 or owners of them. My intent was simply to provide some counterpoints.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:12 PM #13
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Iím fine with the V6 but have never driven a V8 one.

The 4hi without the center diff locked is annoying, possibly the same in the all time 4 V8. Spin or slip on snow or ice and itís computer nannies galore which makes me feel not in control.

Probably get slightly better gas mileage with the V6 and and less drag/loss from constantly turning the front drive system


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Old 01-20-2020, 12:22 PM #14
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Arenít there numerous posts from people complaining about having to take off a skid & crawl under the truck to get to the oil filter on V8s? Granted, that may meet the definition of simple but I was speaking relatively & itís still harder than the V6.

Fair point on the timing belt but what percentage of owners have the skill, time, & confidence to do their own?

I meant no disrespect to the V8 or owners of them. My intent was simply to provide some counterpoints.
Dropping the front skid is only 4 bolts if you still have the factory skid. And it's not heavy at all. Filter is easy to access, easier than on my 1st gen Tacoma! It's right at the front, on the driver's side. I've read where some people have even modded the skid so they don't have to pull it to access the filter. You could even just lower the front of the skid only and get to the filter.

As for the timing belt, when you start getting into vehicles that are hitting this age, you either need to make sure you have the funds to pay someone to do the maintenance work or learn how to do it yourself, IMO. The V6 and V8 are probably going to be similar cost wise for the timing belt/chain to replace.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:36 PM #15
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Quote:
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So the V8 is all time 4 wheel drive and the V6 is not? I see the same dial in both so do they work differently? Never had a 4x4 so new to this set up. As far as maintenance the timing belt is the only difference?
The V6 and V8 can operate in the exact same manner, except that the V8 canít be switched into 2WD. All other AWD/ 4WD modes and capabilities between the two are identical.

I donít have a lot of counterpoints against a V8, I have always wanted one myself, but the V6 has served me VERY well as a dedicated off-road truck. I wouldnít let any of this hold you back if you find a good one at the right price. If my choice was between a very well taken care of V6 and a beat up V8 that needed a lot of work to make trail worthy, I would take the V6. I only say this because a good condition V8 can come with such a premium at times that you can get a lot done for the price delta.

Most all my serious off-road driving is done in low range. In low range I donít think you would even come close to missing the V8.
I like that there is a little extra room under the hood for things like air compressor and dual battery.
I like that itís a timing chain
I like that oil changes are overly simplified.
I like that I can be in 2WD.
Weight

The only thing that leaves me wanting a V8 these days is the fact that itís a V8. Iíve started to care a lot less about any of the disadvantages/advantage between the two because any limitations I thought I had were all mental. Driver skill tends to be the limiting factor off-road, not power.
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