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Old 11-10-2020, 05:07 PM #1
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V6 or V8 for daily driver

Apologies for the double post- received a PM that members cannot access my previous thread, and I cannot either. I posted the thread in the Software section of the site to get it deleted. If a mod sees this, or if anyone has one that I can PM, I'd appreciate it!

Here's the gist- looking for my first 4runner, and going mad reading v6 vs. v8 threads here. My driving consists of 70/20/10 highway/city/offroad, around 15-20K miles a year. I tow a 3800 lb boat anywhere from 1K-2K miles of that each year, and launch on unmaintained dirt ramps sometimes. Gas mileage isn't a real concern for me, but the driving experience on road might be. Does the full time 4WD affect the highway or city driving manners on the V8s? Obviously the majority of my time is spent on the road, and it would be my only vehicle, so it is a consideration for me. I definitely lean towards the V8, because V8, but would be interested in hearing from those with experience with both. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:19 PM #2
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I don't have any experience living with the V6, as that I have the V8.

The '03 & '04 V6's had the older 4 speed transmissions (I think it's the A340F, same as the 3rd gen's autobox) which may leave some to be desired if you drive a lot of hills/mountains.

V6's can pop headgaskets. V8's generally don't, atleast I've never heard of anyone having internal/sealing problems with the 2UZ.

I don't think there's a remarkable difference in fuel economy between the V6 vs V8, nor does the parasitic losses of the permanent full time V8 drivetrain add up to significant fuel use. Yes, it does use more fuel, no doubt... but the point I'm making is that it's not a make-or-break for selecting a truck.

I'd posit that overall condition and frame rust are the most important considerations. Because you're asking the question of "should I get a V6 or V8?", my thinking is that you're not dead set on either, so consider the condition of the truck and sub-generation as more important:

Early V6's had the 4spd
Early V8's (03/04) did not have the variable length intake runners

Some people dig the early style front grille, others prefer the later style grille.

When I was shopping for a truck, I drove a V8 then a V6, and I did not even consider looking at a V6 after that. The V8 felt like driving a land-based cruise missile fuelled by anger and propelled by disdain for anything with less than 8 cylinders. The V6 just drove really nice.

Beware anything that has aftermarket wiring (stereos, etc) as that with few exceptions, every time I've seen anyone modify a wire in a motor vehicle, it's a hack job that creates all manner of problems.

Watch for leaks in the t-case, seen some people have those issues. If the truck has the pop on decel problem due to the lack of grease in the extension tube on the rear driveshaft, that's a strong indicator that other regular maintenance hasn't been done.

Best luck
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Last edited by Keros; 11-10-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:40 PM #3
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Id go with the V8 if you are towing a 3800lb payload. The extra torque of the V8 vs. the V6 will make a big difference when going up grades or slowly pulling the boat on trailer out of the water. The maintenance differences are minimal, timing belt intervals, exhaust manifold issues, but V6 has its own endemic faults . . . though both are still incredibly reliable nonetheless.
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:08 AM #4
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Appreciate both perspectives, and I think they probably help my decision when I frame it in terms of buyers remorse. If I buy a V6, will I find many situations where I'll wish I had sucked it up and gotten the V8? Probably. Vice versa? I can't imagine going with more displacement and wishing I hadn't.

Keros- can't agree more on aftermarket stereo gear. I've pulled nice head units, etc out of cars I've bought because I just can't live with someone else's install 9 times out of 10.
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:24 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triethylborane View Post
Id go with the V8 if you are towing a 3800lb payload. The extra torque of the V8 vs. the V6 will make a big difference when going up grades or slowly pulling the boat on trailer out of the water. The maintenance differences are minimal, timing belt intervals, exhaust manifold issues, but V6 has its own endemic faults . . . though both are still incredibly reliable nonetheless.
TBH I dont think 35lbs of extra torque with a v8 makes "a big difference", I would say its the torque curve that makes v8 fit better for towing.


OP, if you dont tow v6 is more than enough for this application IMO, but V8 def sounds better and gives the bragging rights, so I see why people buy them. At the end of the day, get the one that is better condition / deal.
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:49 AM #6
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For me it was 05 and up V8 or V6. Happy I found a clean V8. Hereís a spreadsheet I made that helped me during my search.

Iíd say for what you described get the V8 if you can. Look at the Lexus GX too.
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:19 AM #7
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I have a 05 V6 I had my engine rebuilt due to the blown head gasket. I have drove both the V6 & V8 off road and both perform about the same. But you add mods to a V6 and itís changes, for example re-gear to 4:56 might help in towing from what I read on other threads. For me personally I love my V6 but itís different from other V6ís running a V8 front diff with a twin stick t case, re-geared, magnaflow exhaust and other little mods.


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Old 11-11-2020, 09:52 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreylights View Post
TBH I dont think 35lbs of extra torque with a v8 makes "a big difference", I would say its the torque curve that makes v8 fit better for towing.


OP, if you dont tow v6 is more than enough for this application IMO, but V8 def sounds better and gives the bragging rights, so I see why people buy them. At the end of the day, get the one that is better condition / deal.
He tows a 3800lb boat from time to time.

35 additional ft-lbs at a lower point on the curve are going to make a difference when pulling the boat out of the water at a low speed. Big is a bit of a euphemistic weasel word, you got me.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:11 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tironeous View Post
For me it was 05 and up V8 or V6. Happy I found a clean V8. Hereís a spreadsheet I made that helped me during my search.

Iíd say for what you described get the V8 if you can. Look at the Lexus GX too.
You are a WAY more organized person than me. Lol I appreciate the spreadsheet.

The GX470 is a good callout as well. I'd be open to it for sure- but at least around me the price different between a GX and a 4runner with moderate mileage and in good shape is significant enough to push me toward a runner in most cases. Will definitely be more diligent about adding the GX to my searches though
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:39 AM #10
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The V6 is a great motor, as long as you avoid the bad headgasket years. Stock for stock I think it would be hard to tell a difference in motors if you couldn't hear the exhaust note.

That being said, when fully loaded down with armor, my V8 has a lot more power and gets better fuel mileage than my brother's V6 FJ.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:55 AM #11
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Surprised no one has mentioned oil changes. If you do your own maintenance, a V6 oil change really couldn't be any easier with the oil filter up top, especially if you add a Fumoto-type drain valve. @Macaninch35, both the V6 and V8 fit the conditions you specified, but for which best fits, IMO it's clearly the V6 (better mileage and will tow your boat). I only had two things on my must-have list: 4WD and a sunroof. The latter is personal preference but I would be way more focused on finding a 4WD 4Runner with minimal frame rust and solid service records than finding a particular engine size. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:56 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inv4drZm View Post
The V6 is a great motor, as long as you avoid the bad headgasket years.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the faulty HG years are 03-06, correct? The '07 and newer years have the redesign...?
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:07 AM #13
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Quote:
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the faulty HG years are 03-06, correct? The '07 and newer years have the redesign...?
06' and up have the redesigned headgasket.

I would recommend 05'+ V8 (vvti) or 06'+ V6 (headgasket plus the 5 speed trans. in 2005)
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:31 AM #14
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V6 is easier to work on, cheaper with the timing chain, gets better fuel mileage, lighter weight (aluminum vs steel), etc.

The V8 4th gen shouldn't exist. It cuts into the GX-470 sales and Toyota's other higher-end vehicles. Not even the Tacoma has a V8 option, and as far as I know the 4Runner has never had 2 motor options. The V8 4th gen has to be a fluke. For a reason unknown to me it exists and I love it.
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Old 11-11-2020, 12:00 PM #15
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I have a '08 V8 with 448,500 miles on it. Only basic maintenance and all original drivetrain. V6 motors cannot compete with longevity, period. I had the passenger exhaust manifold leak that is common. I pulled the manifold, welded the crack up, and reinstalled in less than 8 hours total at a cost of under $50 with the gasket and new exhaust nuts.

My friend has a new Tacoma and he is rather unimpressed stating it is slow in comparison to driving my 4Runner.

If you plan on upgrading your tire size at all then the V8 is the way to go. If you go V6 and bigger tires then you'll have to regear the differentials for sure.

The late model GX470 or a early model GX460 would be great contenders for a V8 driven Toyota and towing. $20k right now gets you a nice GX series. I would also not rule out well taken care of Sequoias if you have a large family or want the extra storage.
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