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Old 09-07-2022, 09:40 AM #1
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Repair questions 2004 Limited (exhaust, brakes, AC)

Hi all,

Original owner 2004 Limited v8 with approx 180k miles. After about 19 years, I finally leased a new vehicle for myself but we have a 15 year old with little to no savings so wondering if this makes sense to hang onto 6 months until he starts to drive (as it doesn't look like he's going to be contributing $$ significantly to a new vehicle like his older brother did)

A couple issues on the truck:

1. Exhaust is loud and leaking somewhere. Dealer said repair is around $6k as there is a leak right at the manafold. This one bothers me the least as it actually sounds pretty good.

2. ABS - for the past year or so, we have the ABS light on in the dash and a very loud and annoying high pitched alarm in the truck. Sometimes its on constantly and you just have to deal with the noise, sometimes it stops for a day or two. Dealer quoted $7k for this repaid, I assume it was the master cylinder and whatnot.

3. AC - for the past 6-7 years or more, the AC will get warm and I can recharge it and it will get cold again for 6+ months. The last time I tried to recharge, it did not seem to get cold. The air now blows semi-cool. If the truck is in the sun, it will never cool off the interior. If you have been in the shade or garage and it isn't 90 degrees out, you might have a chance to get some cool air.

4. Brakes - I've had the brakes done several times, including new calipers and rotors but they have been pulling to the right quickly if you stomp on the brake pedal suddenly. As long as you are aware that its going to pull, its not bad, but giving this to my son in this condition concerns me. I mentioned this sudden pulling last time I got the brakes done and they said they didn't see any issues.

So just trying to think about putting money into this truck of this age versus just putting the money into a cheaper used car. Truck still drives relatively fine considering its almost 20 years old. Just unsure about some of these repairs and was curious if you guys had any thoughts.

Last edited by amheck; 09-07-2022 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 09-07-2022, 10:13 AM #2
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1. Exhaust is loud and leaking somewhere. Dealer said repair is around $6k as there is a leak right at the manifold. This one bothers me the least as it actually sounds pretty good.

My son's 2006 V8 has this problem and it seems to be pretty much a standard issue on the gen4 models. I told him to ignore it and now it's been 2 years. I would say to let this go until it gets really bad.


2. ABS - for the past year or so, we have the ABS light on in the dash and a very loud and annoying high pitched alarm in the truck. Sometimes its on constantly and you just have to deal with the noise, sometimes it stops for a day or two. Dealer quoted $7k for this repaid, I assume it was the master cylinder and whatnot.

I think this is where your money should go, but I would go to an independent garage and get a second opinion and estimate. I think you should get a detailed explanation of what they will do for this much money.


3. AC - for the past 6-7 years or more, the AC will get warm and I can recharge it and it will get cold again for 6+ months. The last time I tried to recharge, it did not seem to get cold. The air now blows semi-cool. If the truck is in the sun, it will never cool off the interior. If you have been in the shade or garage and it isn't 90 degrees out, you might have a chance to get some cool air.

Unless he will be taking long trips, I would not invest the money here. If he's uncomfortable he can earn money for the repair.

4. Brakes - I've had the brakes done several times, including new calipers and rotors but they have been pulling to the right quickly if you stomp on the brake pedal suddenly. As long as you are aware that its going to pull, its not bad, but giving this to my son in this condition concerns me. I mentioned this sudden pulling last time I got the brakes done and they said they didn't see any issues.

Try swapping the front tires, see if it pulls the other way. I had a tire break a belt and it did this. If the dealer says the brakes are okay then I would swap the tires or maybe even swap front to back and see what that does.
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Old 09-07-2022, 11:44 AM #3
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Do you like your kid? LOL or better said, do you like your lifestyle? Address all the safety issues first before you put your kid behind the wheel with his friends.

Dont fix the AC. It will give them an appreciation for AC into the future after driving around sweating like a hog for a few years.

Fix the exhaust pipe, screw the manifold leak. Its just an annoying ticking sound. But a loud exhaust could get the attention of cops and harassment of your child. This matters because your auto insurance will increase if he gets tickets.

With any used car you buy, it will need some repairs. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. If its a solid runner, fix it. Its got a true truck frame vs unibody construction. It may just save your kids life some day. After my youngest daughter was hit by a pickup truck broadside on the front left fender and totaled the honda civic, I bought her a 99 4runner. Had it hit her 1/2 second later, it could have severely injured her.

Help your kid turn a wrench and teach him some life skills. As it sits, the truck isnt worth much to sell or trade.
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Old 09-07-2022, 04:09 PM #4
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thanks for the thoughts....

I'm not much of a car wrencher so not sure how much of this we'd be able to do together.

I think I do agree about the brakes being the most important part. I haven't noticed any ill effects when the ABS alarm is on, but yeah, that's not something I'd want to chance with my son and his friends in the truck.

Agree about the AC, nice to have and maybe we'll get lucky and the recharge will work again. Unfortunately, we're in FL so it hot and humid much of the year which can make it a bit uncomfortable and sweaty at times.

I do wonder why Toyota gave such high estimates for each of the big repairs. When they handed me an estimate for almost $13k for the ABS and exhaust, I almost thought it was a joke. I'm curious what an independent shop comes in at.

As far as the truck pulling to the right when braking hard, I am pretty good about rotating tires, so it doesn't seem to be related so that, but I'll have to pay better attention when rotating around the tires.

About the exhaust, to be honest, I don't know exactly where the leak is or how bad it is....I do remember they said it was right up by the engine which added to the cost, so I think I may be introducing the "leak at the manafold" idea without actually knowing for sure.
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Old 09-07-2022, 05:53 PM #5
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I also have a 2004 V8 with about the same mileage, I will be driving until it won't drive any more, I love this vehicle, I also do all my own mechanical work so that makes it better to drive it forever.

I agree with what been suggested so far.

The ABS issue cost, a new "complete" master cylinder is going to cost around $2500 if you buy it outright and don't pay full dealer price, normally it would be around $3200 (You can buy OEM parts online from dealers much cheaper than buying them in person and having them do the work, they're going to charge full price for the parts), then there's the labor, so they're quoting you around $4500 or maybe $3800 labor if they charge full price on parts, that's outrageous, but that a dealership for you.

One thing you haven't mentioned, on the V8 it has a timing belt that needs to be replaced every 90,000 miles, which means unless you've replaced it fairly recently it's due now, this is something that can't be ignored, if the timing belt break it will destroy the engine, also it's highly recommended to replace the timing belt idler pulleys, the belt hydraulic tensioner, and also the water pump, all of the other items if they fail before it due for another timing belt you will have to take everything apart as if you were doing the belt again, all of these parts in a kit run about $200 to $275, depending on where to buy them, the labor should run about $500 to $750.

If you need to do the timing belt I would order the kit from RockAuto, and get the Aisin TKT-021 kit it has all I mentioned above in the kit, also all of the parts are made by OE suppliers to Toyota, so you'll be getting OEM parts but without Toyota stamped on them, it's $183.99 + shipping, you won't find it any cheaper anywhere, just don't confuse this kit with Aisin's other kit (TKT-001) that has everything listed above but not the hydraulic tensioner, here's a link to the TKT-021 kit, it's the 5th one down in the "blue" section and the second one with a red heart by it.

2004 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4.7L V8 Timing Belt, Water Pump & Component Kit | RockAuto
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Old 09-07-2022, 08:11 PM #6
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Did they happen to give you the codes thrown from the ABS system? Could be just a wheel sensor is bad, those prices seem crazy high like they want to replace the whole system. As for the manifold, it seems the metal against the block on these gets weak after awhile and then no longer seals well. The OEM manifold is pricey and labor can be intensive for this item.

If the child is not that interested in driving then he may not be interested in taking care of the car. These things are also pricey to insure so having a new driver on it may be expensive. Personally I would sell it and get something like an older Accord or Camry that is super cheap to keep on the road. All of my kids learned on a 20 year old Civic with well over 200k on it. It was still going when they all decided to move on to something nicer with their own money.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:08 AM #7
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Thanks for the note on the timing belt. I honestly wasn't even considering "regular" maintenance like that and yeah, that's not a cheap item.

I am pretty sure I had the pump replaced at the same time at the belt the last time around but it was off my radar for now.

The Rock Auto kit you link below I assume if you were doing this as a DIY repair? I'll have to check some videos but am guessing digging down into an engine like that is probably well above my ability, but I guess you never know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
I also have a 2004 V8 with about the same mileage, I will be driving until it won't drive any more, I love this vehicle, I also do all my own mechanical work so that makes it better to drive it forever.

I agree with what been suggested so far.

The ABS issue cost, a new "complete" master cylinder is going to cost around $2500 if you buy it outright and don't pay full dealer price, normally it would be around $3200 (You can buy OEM parts online from dealers much cheaper than buying them in person and having them do the work, they're going to charge full price for the parts), then there's the labor, so they're quoting you around $4500 or maybe $3800 labor if they charge full price on parts, that's outrageous, but that a dealership for you.

One thing you haven't mentioned, on the V8 it has a timing belt that needs to be replaced every 90,000 miles, which means unless you've replaced it fairly recently it's due now, this is something that can't be ignored, if the timing belt break it will destroy the engine, also it's highly recommended to replace the timing belt idler pulleys, the belt hydraulic tensioner, and also the water pump, all of the other items if they fail before it due for another timing belt you will have to take everything apart as if you were doing the belt again, all of these parts in a kit run about $200 to $275, depending on where to buy them, the labor should run about $500 to $750.

If you need to do the timing belt I would order the kit from RockAuto, and get the Aisin TKT-021 kit it has all I mentioned above in the kit, also all of the parts are made by OE suppliers to Toyota, so you'll be getting OEM parts but without Toyota stamped on them, it's $183.99 + shipping, you won't find it any cheaper anywhere, just don't confuse this kit with Aisin's other kit (TKT-001) that has everything listed above but not the hydraulic tensioner, here's a link to the TKT-021 kit, it's the 5th one down in the "blue" section and the second one with a red heart by it.

2004 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4.7L V8 Timing Belt, Water Pump & Component Kit | RockAuto
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:10 AM #8
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No, I didn't get any codes for the ABS. Are those codes pretty telling to help pinpoint the actual issue?

When the problem first arose on the ABS, I did search here and did see mention of the wheel sensors. I think they are less than $50 so maybe I should start with that and see what happens?

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Did they happen to give you the codes thrown from the ABS system? Could be just a wheel sensor is bad, those prices seem crazy high like they want to replace the whole system. As for the manifold, it seems the metal against the block on these gets weak after awhile and then no longer seals well. The OEM manifold is pricey and labor can be intensive for this item.

If the child is not that interested in driving then he may not be interested in taking care of the car. These things are also pricey to insure so having a new driver on it may be expensive. Personally I would sell it and get something like an older Accord or Camry that is super cheap to keep on the road. All of my kids learned on a 20 year old Civic with well over 200k on it. It was still going when they all decided to move on to something nicer with their own money.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:25 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amheck View Post
No, I didn't get any codes for the ABS. Are those codes pretty telling to help pinpoint the actual issue?

When the problem first arose on the ABS, I did search here and did see mention of the wheel sensors. I think they are less than $50 so maybe I should start with that and see what happens?
i would not give a new driver a v8 4runner. too big, too powerful. 4 door sedan is fine.

ABS: most likely the brake booster. did mine at 100k. have to do it agin at 230k. at 100k, bought a used unit for about $300, install was about $250. used units are now about $400-$600.

btw, new unit, if it is available, can be dealer found for about $1200 discounted.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:32 AM #10
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When the ABS alarm is on (or maybe even if it's not) there is a problem. It means the ABS is most likely not going to work when you need it. ABS is the automatic pumping of the brakes to prevent skidding in an emergency stop or on slippery surfaces, like rain and snow.

The exhaust manifold is tubular steel and not cast iron, like on most cars. Toyota put the Catalytic Converter very close to the engine on the right side to meet the pollution standard when the engine is cold. Eventually the steel cracks at the manifold and you have the noise problem. It will get worse but you can get by with a little noise for a few years, maybe longer. It is an expensive repair and I'm not looking forward to it. So far mine is quiet. My son has put off the repair for 2 years so far and it hasn't become any worse. After he drives a bit the manifold gets hot, expands and seals itself.

If you've rotated tires and the dealership says the brakes are good, then I don't know what the problem is. When a car pulls to one side when braking, the problem is with the opposite side. Maybe there's a pinched brake line. When mechanics work on brakes they pinch the rubber brake line to prevent loss of brake fluid. There is a rubber hose behind the tire, above the brake. Check and make sure there's nothing clamped on the line. Have you tried pumping the brake pedal a few times before a normal press? If there is air in the brake line then a few quick pumps will increase the pressure and possibly stop or reduce the pull to one side. Then you need to return to the dealership and have the brakes bled properly.

I think Toyota's labor rate is around $120 an hour and all repair shops use something called a flat rate manual. It gives the hour(s) it take to do a repair for a part. For example, if a brake job is 2 hours the cost is $240 at that shop. An independent shop might have a lower hourly rate. I would check around after you do some checking at BBB or local review board, like Nextdoor site. I had a local shop replace the exhaust pipe on my old Camry for a fraction of the dealership estimate. The dealership even sent me there.

I've lived in Florida a few times and the cars didn't have A/C. I survived as did my wife and kids. I did 3 years in the Army in hot climates. Those vehicles didn't have heaters. They'll toughen up :-)
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:45 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amheck View Post
Thanks for the note on the timing belt. I honestly wasn't even considering "regular" maintenance like that and yeah, that's not a cheap item.
I had mine done at 76,000, 7 years ago. The cost then, at the dealership, was $912.07 and included all the mentioned parts. You want it done right. If you are not the original owner you can go to the Toyota site, create an account, enter you VIN and see what service has been done at an authorized dealership. Log in to your account

The V8 is an interference engine. That means the valves are in the cylinders when the pistons aren't. If the timing belt brakes the pistons will hammer the valves into the cylinder walls and header; not pretty.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:48 AM #12
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thanks, I am the orig owner but I wasn't aware of that link - thanks. I have had most of the big service done at dealerships, so I'm curious to go back in time and see what exactly what was done.

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I had mine done at 76,000, 7 years ago. The cost then, at the dealership, was $912.07 and included all the mentioned parts. You want it done right. If you are not the original owner you can go to the Toyota site, create an account, enter you VIN and see what service has been done at an authorized dealership. Log in to your account

The V8 is an interference engine. That means the valves are in the cylinders when the pistons aren't. If the timing belt brakes the pistons will hammer the valves into the cylinder walls and header; not pretty.
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Old 09-08-2022, 03:57 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amheck View Post
No, I didn't get any codes for the ABS. Are those codes pretty telling to help pinpoint the actual issue?

When the problem first arose on the ABS, I did search here and did see mention of the wheel sensors. I think they are less than $50 so maybe I should start with that and see what happens?
They can be, I bought a Foxwell scanner so I could diagnose my ABS issue which shows as a failed front driver's side wheel sensor. I would try to get that info so you know what you are dealing with. I'm not a fan of shot-gunning a part, you can add extra issues by replacing something that may be good with an inferior part.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:24 PM #14
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Thanks for the note on the timing belt. I honestly wasn't even considering "regular" maintenance like that and yeah, that's not a cheap item.

I am pretty sure I had the pump replaced at the same time at the belt the last time around but it was off my radar for now.

The Rock Auto kit you link below I assume if you were doing this as a DIY repair? I'll have to check some videos but am guessing digging down into an engine like that is probably well above my ability, but I guess you never know.
Like I said at 180,000 miles on the T4R now it's due for the timing belt...unless you replaced it within the last 60,000 or so.

On the timing belt kit from RockAuto, if you get it replaced at an independent garage and they will let you supply the parts then you will save some money, if they won't allow you to provide the parts at least insist that they quote and use that Aisin kit so you will have OE parts installed, and if so don't take their word that they're using that kit ask to see the parts before they start so you can confirm that it's the Aisin TKT-021 kit, you won't save much if any money using lesser aftermarket parts/kits.

If you don't have any mechanical abilities and the proper tools I would avoid trying to do the belt yourself....unless you have a friend that has those abilities and tools that will help you along with the replacement, I would say on a scale from 1 to 10 it's around a 7 mainly because you have to do it correctly because if you have the timing incorrect when you put it back together the engine could be toast when you try and start it because the valves will most likely hit the pistons and do major damage.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:34 PM #15
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i would not give a new driver a v8 4runner. too big, too powerful. 4 door sedan is fine.

ABS: most likely the brake booster. did mine at 100k. have to do it agin at 230k. at 100k, bought a used unit for about $300, install was about $250. used units are now about $400-$600.

btw, new unit, if it is available, can be dealer found for about $1200 discounted.
Just an FYI, you can get JUST the brake booster part of the assembly for around $1200, but you won't get the entire assembly for that price, it would be about twice that much.
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