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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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First maintenance experience

Hey guys,

This is about our 2000 4Runner SR5 4WD that we own since new and still love it. I never personally worked on it until now although it was pretty trouble free all these years so it was pretty much just oil change for years...

Around New Year the truck got to about 115k miles and especially since this is mostly my wife's car I decided not to wait any longer and replaced the timing belt, the tensioner, water pump, thermostat, pulleys, all belts, most all liquids, which went well for the most part. The only exception was the discovery that the threads on the transmission drain plug are partially stripped (thank you, Jiffy Lube). I wasn't prepared to pull the pan to fix it properly and just cleaned the threads on the plug and put the plug back. I couldn't torque to spec, but so far no leaks. One of these days I plan to weld a nut to the other side of the pan.

One observation about the timing belt is that it was still in good shape, what I noticed is that the bearings in most pulleys had some wear/slack in them which I think caused the belt to shift forward and rub against the edge of the cam/crank pulleys. The rubbing caused some wear on the edge of the timing belt.

The next on the TODO list were the brakes. For a few months now we had the e-brake light come on and off and I thought it was the faulty e-brake switch, but as it turns out, the same light indicates low brake fluid level (RTFM), which in turn may indicate brake pad wear, which it did in our case. Couple of weeks back I did the front brakes and today did the rears. In both cases I had a shop resurface the rotors/drums and in both cases rotors and drums were out of shape. The driver's side rotor had uneven surface wear. But all cleaned up fine, and still are well within the spec. BTW, I thought it was pretty amazing that our original brake pads/shoes lasted for 115k miles! But maybe it's common with these cars?

And the last thing, for a couple of months we started noticing noise coming from somewhere under the car. Mostly when turning or going over something rough. It wasn't just the sound, I could actually feel it going through the car. I tried shaking the rear wheel and it was pretty obvious that it's coming from somewhere in that area. Today while working on the rear brakes, I went over the suspension and turns out one of the nuts holding the lateral control rod was slightly loose. Tightened it up, the noise went away and the rear feels solid again.

Just wanted to share my first maintenance experience.
Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:52 AM   #2
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Now that you have this under your belt you can keep tabs on it and make sure it is trouble free for many more years.

You will also want to grease the driveshaft as well if you didn't already.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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Now that you have this under your belt you can keep tabs on it and make sure it is trouble free for many more years.

You will also want to grease the driveshaft as well if you didn't already.
Thanks! I'll look into it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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Did your fluid change include diffs and transfer case oil?
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Did your fluid change include diffs and transfer case oil?
No, haven't done that yet, more things to do, thanks for the pointers!

Found a nice article about lubing the driveshaft.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:00 AM
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