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Keep or sell?

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by Jaywoody, Jun 8, 2024.

  1. Jun 8, 2024 at 2:13 PM
    #1
    Jaywoody

    Jaywoody [OP] New Member

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    This will be longwinded, so let me preface. I am at a loss for what to do. After 20000 miles with a bad head and what seems to be recurring problems with the egr valve, would you sell or try to maintain the vehicle, if you had fairly limited resources and knowledge?

    I have a 1999 4cyl 2wd with 136000 miles on it. I am not very mechanically inclined so i dont work on it myself but have a very trusted and talented mechanic who works on it for me. I purchased it at 120k, and it ran fine for a few months but got to sputtering at acceleration and even, occasionally, stalling. About three weeks ago it blew the head gasket.

    After fixing it, my mechanic informed me that somebody had replaced it before. He said the gasket they used was subpar and that they even reused and neglected to properly torque the bolts. He put a great gasket in, replaced the coils, spark plugs and camshaft sensor.

    Initially he suggested I sell it after fixing it, however, he put 60 miles on it and felt good enough about the rest of the engine that he told me to keep it.

    Well, now its been three days of smooth riding and i get a light. Bad EGR valve. I got a rough start and some shaking leaving the store i got it tested at, which was the first noticeable symptom besides the light.

    The vehicle is in beautiful condition and i truly love it, but i can not focus on perpetual maintenance at this point in my life. Would you foresee further issues, to the point of cutting my losses? Or would you trust in it to hold out another 50k?
     
  2. Jun 8, 2024 at 3:11 PM
    #2
    Trail Runnah

    Trail Runnah New Member

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    It's 25 years old, at this point if it's not one thing it'll be another. Not saying it won't be reliable, but it's old, things wear out and need to be replaced.

    If you're not into DIY, and don't want to worry about repairs, I'd probably look towards replacing it. I think another 50k is probably easily achievable, but there will be maintenance involved in that. Of course, depending on what you get you may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire as far as maintenance and repairs go. Your current 4R is a pretty robust and simple platform, especially being 2wd.
     
    Jaywoody[OP], negusm and AuSeeker like this.
  3. Jun 8, 2024 at 3:16 PM
    #3
    AuSeeker

    AuSeeker Old As Dirt

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    Take it back to your mechanic, the EGR valve is inexpensive to buy and replace, you'll have to do this anyway if you plan on getting rid of it and buying another vehicle.

    Have your mechanic advise you on if to keep it or not, IMHO putting a little money into a good used vehicle from time to time is much cheaper than car payments and most Toyotas are very good used vehicles unless they've been badly abused and neglected!!
     
    Jaywoody[OP] likes this.
  4. Jun 8, 2024 at 3:37 PM
    #4
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    I agree with both of these. EGR isn't a big fix, and maybe there are some trouble-free miles coming up. However, if you don't like working on it yourself or paying for professional help, it's going to be an uphill battle.

    When I was young, I kept decrepit cars going out of financial necessity and then just general thriftiness. Now I'll only put time and money into something that seems worthwhile.
     
  5. Jun 8, 2024 at 3:55 PM
    #5
    that'smy4runner

    that'smy4runner New Member

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    Depends on what you mean by not having many resources. Do you have money for a newer vehicle? If so, and you have no intention of learning how to repair this one yourself, by all means buy a better one.

    Personally the only thing that would cause me concern about a 4runner with only 136,000 miles on it, is why the head gasket went bad twice and whether your mechanic meant "Toyota OEM" by "great new head gasket." If he did, and if its otherwise in good shape it should be very reliable with regular standard maintenance. I bought mine in 2009 with 180,000 miles on it and until the clutch failed recently at 310,000 I have done nothing except grease and change fluids and plugs and shocks and tires as needed. It now needs a lot of other work from the wear and tear of all those years but I plan on doing it all myself and hope to get another 5 years out of it, maybe even 10 if I can keep the rust at bay.

    I don't like mechanical work but I can't afford a newer vehicle and hate them anyway lol. So keep and repair is really my only choice.
     
    Jaywoody[OP] and AuSeeker like this.
  6. Jun 8, 2024 at 4:01 PM
    #6
    Borracho Loco

    Borracho Loco My 4Runner identifies as a Prius!

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    Oooh look, another mod.....


    I feel bad for ya', so here's what I'm gonna do....

    I just bought the winning PowerBall lotto' ticket for tonight's drawing. When I win, I'll buy you a brand spankin' new 4Runner. But you can't put any dumbass raptor lights on it. Deal?
     
  7. Jun 8, 2024 at 4:34 PM
    #7
    Lc200

    Lc200 Member

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    Sell it. No point flogging a dead horse.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2024 at 7:12 AM
    #8
    that'smy4runner

    that'smy4runner New Member

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    Does a bad EGR render it horsemeat?
     
    Jaywoody[OP] likes this.
  9. Jun 9, 2024 at 7:42 AM
    #9
    LCJ77

    LCJ77 New Member

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    Dump it, 25 yrs old & hi mileage.
     
  10. Jun 9, 2024 at 8:00 AM
    #10
    that'smy4runner

    that'smy4runner New Member

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    Ahh, I see you have a 2023 so you think a 3rd gen with 136,000 miles is "high mileage" lol. It's not.


    This is the 3rd gen forum.
     
    Trail Runnah likes this.
  11. Jun 9, 2024 at 8:05 AM
    #11
    Lc200

    Lc200 Member

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    Once you start touching the engine on a 25 year old car, Toyota or not, you open a can of worms.
     
    Trail Runnah, backpacker and LCJ77 like this.
  12. Jun 9, 2024 at 8:37 AM
    #12
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    Plastics turn brittle, hoses are plagued with a thousand tiny cracks, wires break when you touch them, bolts everywhere are seized or turned entirely to rust. Every vehicle I've owned, I kept running until there was no practical way to continue. Those last few years are not for the faint of heart.
     
    Lc200[QUOTED], LCJ77 and Trail Runnah like this.
  13. Jun 9, 2024 at 9:56 AM
    #13
    LCJ77

    LCJ77 New Member

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    I hit 70k & start shopping for replacement vehicle.
     
  14. Jun 9, 2024 at 10:01 AM
    #14
    that'smy4runner

    that'smy4runner New Member

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    So why are you posting on a forum for 25 year old vehicles then? Are you trolling?
     
  15. Jun 9, 2024 at 10:01 AM
    #15
    that'smy4runner

    that'smy4runner New Member

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    So why are you posting on a forum for 25 year old vehicles then? Are you trolling?
     
    Trail Runnah likes this.
  16. Jun 9, 2024 at 10:23 AM
    #16
    LCJ77

    LCJ77 New Member

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    Nope. Because it showed up on Home page. Didn't realize it was from old 3rd gen page. Besides the OP ASKED for opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2024
  17. Jun 9, 2024 at 10:37 AM
    #17
    T in Texas

    T in Texas New Member

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    What would you buy?
    How do you know what you're buying, is in better condition than what you've driven for 20,000 miles?

    I have a 2000 SR5 4X4 I bought from first owner in 2004, its got 240K+ miles on it now, and I love it...

    Has the 25 year old plastic radiator been replaced? That would be an expected upcoming expense...
    timing belt?

    I would fix the EGR valve, but plan on having future repairs too...
     
  18. Jun 9, 2024 at 10:38 AM
    #18
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    Nope, just pointing out the challenges. Before my 4R, I owned only four other vehicles in 41 years on which I put over 900k miles (one of them is still going at 14 years and 243k miles). I've done it and I know what it's like. The worst ones I've had to keep going were my wife's '68 Beetle and my '76 Nova. On the Beetle, I replaced everything in the brake system downstream from the master cylinder and all the suspension components. I could only keep the Nova going for 176k miles, but it got hard to find usable parts in the junkyard.
     
  19. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:39 PM
    #19
    Jaywoody

    Jaywoody [OP] New Member

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    The radiator has been replaced. He mentioned the whole coolant system was. I am looking at Pilots, Tacoma's and CRVs.

    I make 2900 a month, have no credit, and only about 2000 in savings. My uncle has been generous with money and advice (the mechanic is his mechanic of 30 years) but if i make the wrong decision here and he tires of helping me I'm in a big pile of shite.
     
  20. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:46 PM
    #20
    Jaywoody

    Jaywoody [OP] New Member

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    My uncle and our mechanic said the same thing. I bought it in great cosmetic shape at 120,000 for 6000, shoulda known it was too good to be true. I believe it was OEM, but ill ask again.


    After reading through this thread and all the responses, good and bad, Im feeling inclined to keep it. I think it may simply be time to invest in the proper tools and learning about vehicles, or dealing with any vehicle will be the same uphill battle you suggested. May as well fight for one im in love with, right?
     
    Acesandeights likes this.
  21. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:57 PM
    #21
    Acesandeights

    Acesandeights #34

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    @Jaywoody how about filling in your profile to include your location. There may be some folks close to you that can offer help.

    Generally, I would buy the tool to do the job before I paid someone to do the job. That's worked out pretty well for me.

    Usually you're paying a lot for labor, upwards of $100 hour. My time, especially when I was younger, was worth a lot less than that, so I could do the work and come out ahead by quite a bit. If you're the kind of person that can't get time off work, has family commitments, etc., I understand paying someone else to do work for you. But, I still think you'd be better off buying the tools to do the job and learning how to do it, than paying someone else.

    A (relatively) inexpensive scan tool will tell you a lot. A "Haynes" manual will give you the information you need to do a simple fix like an EGR valve. You'll gain knowledge and confidence. Call a shop and ask how much it would cost next time something comes up, then head over to the hardware store and buy the tool(s) you need to do the job. You can get a pretty good (basic) mechanics tool set for a couple hundred bucks. That should give you most of the tools you need to do just about anything. Specialized tools, you can buy as the job(s) come up.
     
    Jaywoody[OP] likes this.
  22. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:12 PM
    #22
    Acesandeights

    Acesandeights #34

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    I also see the factory service manual is available online, free, through some sites. That is probably your best bet for a manual.
     
    Jaywoody[OP] likes this.
  23. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:17 PM
    #23
    Dillusion

    Dillusion Resident A**h***

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    Did said friend replace head bolts? Just asking since it wasn't listed.
     
    Jaywoody[OP] likes this.
  24. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:22 PM
    #24
    Acesandeights

    Acesandeights #34

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    Should go without saying. You can't re-use them.
     
    Jaywoody[OP] and 2Toys like this.
  25. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:14 PM
    #25
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    It can as rewarding as it is frustrating to do your own work. The knowledge you accumulate is useful even when paying for others to make repairs, since you develop a greater understanding of what's involved in a repair and learn what questions to ask in trying to understand whether proposed work is necessary or beneficial.
     

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