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

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Old 09-24-2004, 03:50 PM   #1
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Tacoma common problems

Looking to buy a used Tacoma. What are the common problems associated with these trucks? What to look out for when looking at used rigs? I did a search and was unable to find what I was looking for.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:54 PM   #2
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The common problem for someone in your situation is that they have a high resale value. Better have those pennies saved up.

Other than that...there are so many variables, what kinda Tacoma are you looking for???
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:57 PM   #3
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For example- 97 chevy 1/2 ton pickups notoriously have week transmissions and rear ends also on the 5.7L V8 the intake manifold gaskets need to be replace every
60,000-80,000 miles......Things like this.....just general problems that show up on tacomas.
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:00 PM   #4
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I'm looking for around a 2001 x-cab V6 5 speed 4x4 TRD.
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
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There was a good thread on www.ttora.com about common Tacoma problems, but searched and can't find it now. It wasn't posted too long ago either.
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:01 AM   #6
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I've had my Tacoma over two years now and I haven't had any real issues with it. I have only done routine maintenance on it like replacing the fuel filter, diff/trans oil, spark plugs and stuff like that.

I had to buy a new set of tires because the ones on it were vibrating badly even though they were relatively new. That is not the trucks fault though.

One thing that many have had issues with is the manual transmissions can sometimes have "notchy" shifting-especially when cold. Mine was kinda like that, but I think I have almost cured it by replacing the shift lever bushing and using the Red Line MT-90 gear oil (recommended on this forum) in the transmission.

By the way, my truck has 125,000 miles on it and runs like new. Typical for a Toyota though.
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj454
Looking to buy a used Tacoma. What are the common problems associated with these trucks? What to look out for when looking at used rigs? I did a search and was unable to find what I was looking for.
The CV boots leak easily. Best fix is replacing boots with the new Downey boots or the 2004 boots, which are better. This is easy to do and doesn't cost much. More common with lifted trucks.

The drivetrain is very solid, both engines and transmissions are great.

Rear leaf springs are not good. They sag easily if you load them up often or beat on them. This is easily remedied by aftermarket replacements such as OME, Deaver, or Alcan.

There are several lift options including drop bracket type lifts 4"-6" or adjustable coilovers 0"-3".

The TuRD suspension is nothing special, but get the TuRD package for the rear, selectable e-locker alone. It will be worth it.

You should have no problem finding a good truck with around 50,000-60,000 miles on it. They are just getting broken in at this mileage.

I will be happy to recommend aftermarket suppliers and products if you are interested. BTW, what area are you from?
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
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The TuRD suspension is nothing special, but get the TuRD package for the rear, selectable e-locker alone. It will be worth it.
The TRD suspision is far supieror as far as ride quality goes, of course its at the expense of load rating.....but you are right about it being nothing really special, just nicer shocks I believe....

I wasnt trying to flame but I want to state the facts instead of an opinion with no explanation.....
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Old 09-25-2004, 08:46 AM   #9
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I'm located in Sacramento, CA. It sounds like the Tacoma is a very solid truck with no major problems. As far as aftermarket parts, the truck is going to stay completely stock. Thanks for all the replies guys and please keep the comments coming. The more opinions and experiences the better.
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Old 09-25-2004, 11:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CynicX
The TRD suspision is far supieror as far as ride quality goes, of course its at the expense of load rating.....but you are right about it being nothing really special, just nicer shocks I believe....

I wasnt trying to flame but I want to state the facts instead of an opinion with no explanation.....
I don't think it's a flame, it's a discussion. You exchange opinions, I exchange opinions. The poster gets some 411

The TuRD truck is rated the same or almost the same for load and tow rating. The front coil suspension features a progressive rate coil.

Ride quality is a debate in and of itself. I prefered the stiffer ride of the regular truck over the softer ride of my stock TuRD equipped truck. I got the package solely for the e-locker and upgraded the suspension to fit my needs.

The "nicer" Bilstein shocks are nothing special, more of a marketing joke, than anything. I'd replace them with some real 5100 Bilsteins or another quality shock, regardless of additional suspension work.

You can find a complete TuRD suspension for sale for less than $200 if you want one.

Bottom line, if you want a nice truck, the Tacoma is it. If you want to beat on it off the pavement, there are tons of excellent aftermarket products to enhance the performance of the truck.
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Old 09-26-2004, 12:51 PM   #11
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I've got a '98 Taco 4WD, non-TRD. Had it for 2 1/2 years. I've had no serious problems with it whatsoever, just routine maintenance. Very dependable truck.

One minor problem I have is the infamous Tacoma dash rattle. Some plastic part behind the dash that rattles when you go over bumps. I've chosen to ignore it, but it drives some people crazy. There are tips on fixing it though, just do a search.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:03 PM   #12
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If you plan on keepin' it stock, no real issues. The biggest or most common failure when Tacomas get modified/lifted is the rack and pinion steering wears out and needs to be maintained a little more than it should IMO. Both rod ends and racks tend to wear out quickly with larger tires and trail abuse. IMO, it's the Tacomas weakest link.

Only other reoccuring problems I've had are AC idler pully bearings wear out due to mud gettin' in em, (an easy fix though) and when body lifted, some evaporators tend to leak on the tight bend in the aluminium tube going in to the expansion valve.

All these issues are a mute point if kept stock and not seriously mudded.

It's a solid truck!
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:45 PM   #13
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Greetings,
I have a 2001 Ex Cab and the biggest problem I read about with them and the same gen 4runners are wheel balancing. Something to do with the large opening in the rims. Check Gadets webwite (URD RACING) for more information.
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Old 09-27-2004, 06:03 PM   #14
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The water pump is prone to leakage. Be sure to check that.

I had a 98 Taco LTD TRD and they replaced the pump at 31K because the seal was leaking.

Other than that, it was perfect.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:29 PM   #15
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I had a 2000 tacoma 4x4 trd with 117k on it that ran beautifully. Only had one problem with the o2 sensor because I was driving off road a lot in dusty conditions. When looking at used ones just look over everything that you normally would with any other car and you should be alright. Just beware of the gas mileage if you're planning on using it as a daily, I never got over 21 mpg even when I was driving highway.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:04 AM   #16
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9.5 year resurrection. I think that's a record.


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Old 06-30-2014, 04:08 AM   #17
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I have a 99 w/205k miles, and the rear leaf springs sag and the steering rack leaks. Other than that I have only had to do normal wear and maintenance.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:27 PM   #18
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Red face

Wow no mention of the buy back program.

Have I changed reality again and Dana Corp is still in business and it never happened??

Why would someone bring this back not like it has lots of good information.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:39 PM   #19
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I have a 2000 yota prerunner. Its got 173k and runs and drives as good as the day i bought it. And i bought it new. So that makes it 14 yrs old and 174k miles and other then basic maintenace no problems other then the fan motor/fan for the ac and heat is giving me some fits but this is minor compared to alot of problems. If i had a chevy or a ford i would be replaceing the truck by now not the fan motor and fan. Haha. No i didnt just say that. Sorry..... hahaha
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:28 AM   #20
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9.5 year resurrection. I think that's a record.


Lol, I was wondering why no one mentioned the frame rust issue. They were too new back then!
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:28 AM
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03, 1996, 2001, 2004, common, dash, manual, noise, notchy, problems, shifting, tacoma, tacomas, transmission, vibration

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