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Old 02-22-2021, 03:55 PM #1
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Buying 300k+ 4Runners

Hello everyone,

Wanted to speak in generality about a 3rd gen that's for sale, hoping to get some further insight from you all!

Here's the scenario:

3rd gen 4Runner (pre-2000). E-locked, 4wd, auto, single owner, original engine/trans, impeccable routine maintenance records, good amount of upgrades over the years and preventative maintenance, comes with some extra parts, couple inches lift, newer tires, etc etc etc. Looks nice, the owner definitely has taken care of it. Almost 320k miles and asking just under $10k.

Is this still around the going rate for 4Runner like this with this high of mileage? I've learned a lot from this forum and my own research, I'm just having a little of a hard time justifying the cost/mileage ratio here in my own mind.

Curious to know what you think of this scenario to further inform my upcoming purchase of a 3rd gen and of the T4R world in general!

Thanks a lot.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:06 PM #2
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If it had a supercharger I could understand, but 10k for a 300k mile single owner truck is still too much. If it had 100k that would be a good deal. At 300k the engine or trans could go tomorrow without any notice.

Babying a truck to that mileage is cool when you are the original owner. Taking it over from the previous owner is a different story. I'd set aside a solid 2k in case the engine or trans goes. When either one does you'd might as well replace both. Diffs will be worn at the mileage no matter how much you believe in Amsoil.

If it really is pristine, 4.5k at best.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:14 PM #3
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Buying 300k+ 4Runners

I must be in the minority. No way that would be my daily driver and I also wouldnít take it on any trail.

I would literally have to swap the engine for a peace of mind. For that price I might as well get something else.


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Old 02-22-2021, 11:24 PM #4
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I will take a well maintained truck, one owner with 300k + miles over a 200k poorly maintained 4 owner truck. Negotiate the price but if it drives good sounds good and has no rust. I wouldn't worry about the miles too much. Get prť buy inspection done by a good shop.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:55 PM #5
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Offer $2500


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Old 02-22-2021, 11:58 PM #6
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Price/cost is different than value. So yeah, the price may seem a bit high overall, but the value to me justifies it. 320k? So what. If itís documented well maintained it could be as good as day one. Set aside a little emergency money and roll with it. The 3.4 is in my opinion a historic engine. And the 3rd gen is in my opinion the best all around 4Runner. Youíll have the ideal platform. ANY used cars engine or transmission could blow at any time. Higher mileage does mean itís more likely, but given the info you described, seems right to me. If itís what you want, then the value will outweigh the price every day of the week to me.

My 1995 has a junkyard 3.4 with a total of like 150K on the engine as of now, entire truck is at 255K and I would get in right now and drive coast to coast without question. Everything can break down. But some stuff is just least likely. Rust free, documented maintenance, one honest owner, options you want, a vehicle getting rarer and rarer everyday... pull the trigger and have fun.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:40 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R2014 View Post
If it had a supercharger I could understand, but 10k for a 300k mile single owner truck is still too much. If it had 100k that would be a good deal. At 300k the engine or trans could go tomorrow without any notice.

Babying a truck to that mileage is cool when you are the original owner. Taking it over from the previous owner is a different story. I'd set aside a solid 2k in case the engine or trans goes. When either one does you'd might as well replace both. Diffs will be worn at the mileage no matter how much you believe in Amsoil.

If it really is pristine, 4.5k at best.
Yeah I hear you, setting aside the 2k seems like it would be a smart move. I wish $4.5k would get me one of these nowadays but it seems like any 4x4 3rd gen out there in good condition is going between 7-10k unless you get some lucky break on one.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:48 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
I will take a well maintained truck, one owner with 300k + miles over a 200k poorly maintained 4 owner truck. Negotiate the price but if it drives good sounds good and has no rust. I wouldn't worry about the miles too much. Get prť buy inspection done by a good shop.
I would still have to offer some amount less than what they're asking because of my own finance situation, but I think I'm with you on this one. Thanks for the insight!
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:54 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Reak Show View Post
Price/cost is different than value. So yeah, the price may seem a bit high overall, but the value to me justifies it. 320k? So what. If itís documented well maintained it could be as good as day one. Set aside a little emergency money and roll with it. The 3.4 is in my opinion a historic engine. And the 3rd gen is in my opinion the best all around 4Runner. Youíll have the ideal platform. ANY used cars engine or transmission could blow at any time. Higher mileage does mean itís more likely, but given the info you described, seems right to me. If itís what you want, then the value will outweigh the price every day of the week to me.

My 1995 has a junkyard 3.4 with a total of like 150K on the engine as of now, entire truck is at 255K and I would get in right now and drive coast to coast without question. Everything can break down. But some stuff is just least likely. Rust free, documented maintenance, one honest owner, options you want, a vehicle getting rarer and rarer everyday... pull the trigger and have fun.
Yeah I understand where you're comin from. I guess one of my other concerns is how am I ever going to resell this one day if it has 400k miles on it, right? I mean who would ever buy a used car with 400k for even $5k or am I wrong on that in the 4Runner world? I guess if it has the rear lock and 3.4L I could prob always get it sold to someone who wants an off-road project maybe?
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:04 AM #10
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IN my opinion a well maintained 1 owner 3rd gen is like a bar of gold. The decrease in value of the dollar recently, keeps these trucks in seemingly high value. Toyota's can almost be considered a hedge. We saw this same type of scenario back in the recession of 89', the value of classic muscle cars went through roof. Not quite the same with a 4Runner, but similar.

Do the diligence, compression check, smell the oil and tranny fluid, drop some coolant out of the bottom of the rad and look for residue under cap. Check everything twice. How recent was the T-belt changed, look for residue of coolant around the pump and timing cover, valve cover leaks, etc. Is the hvac working well or just OK. Crawl underneath it with a screw driver and poke the frame for rust as well.

Don't just drive it around the block, DRIVE it. Get it warmed up for 20 minutes, rev it up in park and hold the revs up and fluctuate between 2k and 2.5k rpms for several seconds. Then put your foot on the brake, put it in drive and give it some gas and hold the revs at 1500 this time, see how it responds to this. Keep an eye on the temps through all of these tests. The engine will talk to you if there is a problem. You'll hear odd noises if there is any internal problems. If the owner has an issue with any of this? Move on.

Used car dealers hate me......that excuse they use about gas being almost empty? That's cool, let's go put a couple gallons in. I'm gonna TEST DRIVE this thing.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:44 AM #11
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If it's a keeper then maybe...

These 3rd gens are becoming rarer than ever in good condition, especially in the rust-free department! With everything going on in the world today it seems; escape, would be nice... However breaking down is the middle of nowhere is probably the reason for the rise in asking price for one of the most reliable vehicles ever built. That too is dependent on care and maintenance! If your planning on just using for trend sake, save your money and buy something else. However, if you plan on keeping this 10k valued 3rd gen, then that's entirely up to you. Where are you located? Maintenance may be one of the biggest expenses with 3rd gens, if your in the rustbelt parts of the country. If it had a 5speed along with everything else... I would buy it!
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:46 AM #12
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Buying 300k+ 4Runners

Quote:
Originally Posted by akaye View Post
Yeah I understand where you're comin from. I guess one of my other concerns is how am I ever going to resell this one day if it has 400k miles on it, right? I mean who would ever buy a used car with 400k for even $5k or am I wrong on that in the 4Runner world? I guess if it has the rear lock and 3.4L I could prob always get it sold to someone who wants an off-road project maybe?

So this is where you lose me. I keep things forever once Iím invested, either emotionally or financially. So the whole ďwhat about reselling it somedayĒ never crosses my mind. If you want it as an investment, then it probably isnít gonna work out. But if you want a highly reliable, fun, capable, easily repaired/maintained vehicle with parts still available, this isnít a terrible choice. (Of course it needs a thorough inspection as stated above. Donít just take oneís word for it).

That all being said, you could get your money back to the right buyer. Using my 1995 as an example, I recently added up all the money Iíve spent on it over the last 17 years, and itís a stupid amount, like $14,000 in add ons or something. Iíll never get that back. BUT, to the right person, knowing what it is and what went into it, would probably be willing to pay around 7-9K Iíd guess. Again, gotta be the just right person. Of course Iíll never sell it but you get the idea. Cost vs value.
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Last edited by 4Reak Show; 02-23-2021 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:18 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4RunnerAquasport View Post
IN my opinion a well maintained 1 owner 3rd gen is like a bar of gold. The decrease in value of the dollar recently, keeps these trucks in seemingly high value. Toyota's can almost be considered a hedge. We saw this same type of scenario back in the recession of 89', the value of classic muscle cars went through roof. Not quite the same with a 4Runner, but similar.

Do the diligence, compression check, smell the oil and tranny fluid, drop some coolant out of the bottom of the rad and look for residue under cap. Check everything twice. How recent was the T-belt changed, look for residue of coolant around the pump and timing cover, valve cover leaks, etc. Is the hvac working well or just OK. Crawl underneath it with a screw driver and poke the frame for rust as well.

Don't just drive it around the block, DRIVE it. Get it warmed up for 20 minutes, rev it up in park and hold the revs up and fluctuate between 2k and 2.5k rpms for several seconds. Then put your foot on the brake, put it in drive and give it some gas and hold the revs at 1500 this time, see how it responds to this. Keep an eye on the temps through all of these tests. The engine will talk to you if there is a problem. You'll hear odd noises if there is any internal problems. If the owner has an issue with any of this? Move on.

Used car dealers hate me......that excuse they use about gas being almost empty? That's cool, let's go put a couple gallons in. I'm gonna TEST DRIVE this thing.
This is all great info, thanks a lot. I don't understand this tip though "drop some coolant out of the bottom of the rad and look for residue under cap" - are those two separate things are part of the same test? Sorry for the ignorance!
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:23 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubarookie View Post
These 3rd gens are becoming rarer than ever in good condition, especially in the rust-free department! With everything going on in the world today it seems; escape, would be nice... However breaking down is the middle of nowhere is probably the reason for the rise in asking price for one of the most reliable vehicles ever built. That too is dependent on care and maintenance! If your planning on just using for trend sake, save your money and buy something else. However, if you plan on keeping this 10k valued 3rd gen, then that's entirely up to you. Where are you located? Maintenance may be one of the biggest expenses with 3rd gens, if your in the rustbelt parts of the country. If it had a 5speed along with everything else... I would buy it!
I'll be driving it mostly in southern california, occasional trips to the northern snowy states, but hopefully very rare trips to the east of the country.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:28 PM #15
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Originally Posted by 4Reak Show View Post
So this is where you lose me. I keep things forever once Iím invested, either emotionally or financially. So the whole ďwhat about reselling it somedayĒ never crosses my mind. If you want it as an investment, then it probably isnít gonna work out. But if you want a highly reliable, fun, capable, easily repaired/maintained vehicle with parts still available, this isnít a terrible choice. (Of course it needs a thorough inspection as stated above. Donít just take oneís word for it).

That all being said, you could get your money back to the right buyer. Using my 1995 as an example, I recently added up all the money Iíve spent on it over the last 17 years, and itís a stupid amount, like $14,000 in add ons or something. Iíll never get that back. BUT, to the right person, knowing what it is and what went into it, would probably be willing to pay around 7-9K Iíd guess. Again, gotta be the just right person. Of course Iíll never sell it but you get the idea. Cost vs value.
Oh, I'm definitely the same way. I like to buy quality things ONCE, and maintain them while enjoying having the best of the best along the way. However I am a freelance sound artist and engineer, so moving out of the country temporarily or permanently is never *too* far out of the realm of possibility. I don't see a reason I would ever sell the 4runner I get if I am in the US. I'm just trying to weight how much I would lose my hat If I bought this and *had* to sell it in a few years. Just don't want to lose like 6 grand on that move or something insane. Also being a freelance artist my margins are unbelievably small so every single move I make that is a financial choice has to be made pretty carefully and without much room for error.
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