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Just bought 03 V8 4WD: questions on towing, 4WD, and warranties

Discussion in 'Towing' started by hbs29, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Jan 29, 2016 at 10:14 AM
    #1
    hbs29

    hbs29 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Member:
    #1469
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    2
    So we just bought ourselves a 2003 Sport Edition V8 with 4WD (112k Miles) and I have a few questions for you experienced 4Runner Folks.

    1.) We traded up from a 2002 Sequoia 2WD, which we used for towing a 1500LB a-frame pop up trailer. About 6 months ago the transmission went on on the Sequoia, which we think is because we had been towing in OD (the car didn't have quite 80K miles on it). We were just dumb and didn't know any better. Do any of you know if this is the same risk in the 4Runner- we still have our trailer and plan to tow it. I don't see an OD button, so I am guessing turning off OD would be putting it into 4th out of the D gear? Is that correct? And is it necessary?

    2.) Can anyone tell me the difference between 4Lo and turning off the Center Differential, and when each would be warranted? We actually bought this car specifically to use as a 4WD. Most of the 4WD driving we plan will be on rough desert roads, so washed out, sandy, muddy, rocky etc... The point is to gain access to beautiful spots and camp with our kids, (so not crazy rock crawling 4WD kind of stuff-just family adventuring).

    3.) They sold us a powertrain warranty (100,000 or 60 mos) for $800. It also covers the 4WD. Does anyone have any experience with those and whether or not they are worth it. Having had a transmission go out it was tempting, and also the 4WD coverage. However I know these things have exclusions, and wondering if it was worth getting. We can return it if we want.

    Thank you everyone. We are very excited for our new car, and would love to get your ideas on some of those questions!
     
  2. Jan 29, 2016 at 11:06 AM
    #2
    drunner

    drunner New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Member:
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    Gender:
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    First Name:
    Danny
    Anaheim
    Vehicle:
    07 SR5
    5100s, 885s, Toytec 2" rear, Camburg UCAs, 255/75/17 Duratracs
    Welcome.

    1. Tow in 4, that keeps the transmission from hunting.

    2. V8 is full time AWD. Center Diff on = 4WD. 4Lo can be engaged with either the center diff on or off. For the most part if you're playing in the desert I wouldn't worry about 4lo too much. Even mud, you want momentum, not torque. Make sure you engage both on a regular basis though to keep the actuator working correctly. You don't have to actually drive when them turned on, just make sure they engage. 90% of the time I'm off road I don't need to lock the center diff, but I do tend to turn it on to disable VSC.

    3. I had the warranty on my Tacoma when I initially bought and it didn't use it, but I bought my Tacoma brand new and should have known it would make it to 100k without a problem. On a 4runner w/ 122k, can't hurt to have that added support. The biggest problem with the 4wd system is going to be the actuator. If it's not used regularly (see the end of point #2) it can jam up and stop working. This can cost around 2k to do. As long as you maintain the transmission, I wouldn't worry too much about it failing, it's a rare thing to see.
     
  3. Jan 29, 2016 at 12:36 PM
    #3
    hbs29

    hbs29 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks so much for that info. So you are saying, the first thing you would do in rough conditions would be to lock the center diff? And 4LO would be for what then? Finally this may be kind of a dumb question, but if you switch into 4LO and/or Center Diff, how do you know whether or not the actuator is working correctly without driving?
     
  4. Jan 29, 2016 at 12:40 PM
    #4
    drunner

    drunner New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Member:
    #1086
    Messages:
    246
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Danny
    Anaheim
    Vehicle:
    07 SR5
    5100s, 885s, Toytec 2" rear, Camburg UCAs, 255/75/17 Duratracs
    Depends on your definition of "rough" since the 4runner is more than capable in AWD mode. Usually on dirt I'm just AWD, but snow/mud/hill climbs I'll lock the center diff. I've only used 4lo once and that was on a crazy steep and loose/rocky hill climb. Honestly I probably didn't even need it. The lights flash and/or you'll hear a beeping if the actuator doesn't engage, it's very obvious.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2016 at 1:24 PM
    #5
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
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    Ethan
    CT
    Vehicle:
    2004 SR5 4X4 Galactic Gray
    Danny is right, youll find that 4x4 as is will make the 4runner very capable
     
  6. Feb 1, 2016 at 4:07 AM
    #6
    RonT4R

    RonT4R New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Member:
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    First Name:
    Ron
    Virginia Beach
    Vehicle:
    2007 4runner SR5 4WD
    A 2003 with warranty, nice!

    Remember the 4.7 liter V8 has a timing belt hopefully it was changed prior to your purchase.:thumbsup:
     

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