1. Welcome to 4Runners.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all 4Runner discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other 4Runner owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Looking at buying 3rd gen. 2x4 better than 4x4? advice, suggestions?

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by The.Giff, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Jan 20, 2016 at 5:31 PM
    #1
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Looking at buying a 3rd Gen with less than 150k miles, I found a couple on craigslist but I don't know if i should buy 2x4 or 4x4.

    I want to use it for camping primarily, nothing to outrageous, beach campground etc. I was looking for 4x4 but it seems 4x2 is alot more common and cheaper. my budget is $8k and i don't know if i would use the 4x4 other than to get out of the sand at the beach. I live in Houston and so snow isnt a problem.

    Should I pull the bullet on a 4x2 or hold out for a 4x4?

    Does the 4x4 have transfer case issues?

    I read the "3rd Gen Buyers Guide" and that is what helped me come this far.
     
  2. Jan 20, 2016 at 5:58 PM
    #2
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Member:
    #12
    Messages:
    2,579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ethan
    CT
    Vehicle:
    2004 SR5 4X4 Galactic Gray
    heres my rule of thumb in life. its better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. while 2x4 and 4x4 aren't exactly life and death, if you can have it, why not!
     
    RogueYota and The.Giff [OP] like this.
  3. Jan 20, 2016 at 6:13 PM
    #3
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
  4. Jan 20, 2016 at 8:12 PM
    #4
    runxchubchubxrun

    runxchubchubxrun New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    Member:
    #1327
    Messages:
    70
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Lakin
    Vehicle:
    3rd Gen for the win.
    Go for it! Except id offer about 4K. I got mine in Austin, I'm in Houston but I found the ones here were either worn out or too high.
     
    The.Giff [OP] likes this.
  5. Jan 21, 2016 at 9:38 AM
    #5
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Member:
    #12
    Messages:
    2,579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ethan
    CT
    Vehicle:
    2004 SR5 4X4 Galactic Gray
    radiator replacement is super easy, theres a guide on how to do it on a 4th gen thats largely similar to a 3rd gen in the mods and tutorials drop down
     
  6. Jan 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM
    #6
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    I would jump all over that Multi Mode 4Runner. It has the AWD in it too and the ELocker. That is a really nice option. I know I have one....

    Blue
     
  7. Jan 21, 2016 at 3:30 PM
    #7
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    What is multimode? I have seen that a lot I just don't know what it is
     
  8. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:26 AM
    #8
    4runner-yoda

    4runner-yoda Mud, anyone?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Member:
    #1395
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    West Texas
    Vehicle:
    2005 Black 4Runner Sport V8 4X4
    FjSprings. 5100 bilsteins, lots more
    I didn't know limited 4runners had sport hood scoops. And that 4runner does not have AWD or multimode. Look again at the pics. Too me seems kinda rough, you can do better. Although if it is a 3rd gen you want, you want a 1999-2001 4 runner. If you can get for less than 4k and have the money to fix it up, go for it. Look under vehicle for frame rust. It should be rust free here in Texas. If lots of rust, run!!!! In my opinion be patient and find a better, cleaner example. This one has been rode hard and put up wet. I personaly don't like sunroofs, they leak.
     
    Molina4*4 likes this.
  9. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:42 AM
    #9
    4runner-yoda

    4runner-yoda Mud, anyone?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Member:
    #1395
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    West Texas
    Vehicle:
    2005 Black 4Runner Sport V8 4X4
    FjSprings. 5100 bilsteins, lots more
    they changed out the back hatch door to an SR5 door. So hood not original, door not original. Or its not a true limited!
     
  10. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:43 AM
    #10
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    It's a sr5 sport the ad says limited but the VIN pulled up sport
     
  11. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:49 AM
    #11
    4runner-yoda

    4runner-yoda Mud, anyone?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Member:
    #1395
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    West Texas
    Vehicle:
    2005 Black 4Runner Sport V8 4X4
    FjSprings. 5100 bilsteins, lots more
    OK, that makes sense now. Leather seats are kinda hot in texas summers. The cloth seats hold up better, usually. You thinkin about buying it?
    4X4 and 2 wheel drive is a preference unless you need 4wheel drive. 4x4 are a little heavier.
     
  12. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:51 AM
    #12
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Yea I'm wanting a 3rd gen for daily driving. Something that will last years to come
     
  13. Jan 22, 2016 at 6:55 AM
    #13
    4runner-yoda

    4runner-yoda Mud, anyone?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Member:
    #1395
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    West Texas
    Vehicle:
    2005 Black 4Runner Sport V8 4X4
    FjSprings. 5100 bilsteins, lots more
    The limited is top of the line on 3rd gens. they also are more expensive. Don't pay Limited price on an SR5.
     
  14. Jan 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM
    #14
    4runner-yoda

    4runner-yoda Mud, anyone?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Member:
    #1395
    Messages:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    West Texas
    Vehicle:
    2005 Black 4Runner Sport V8 4X4
    FjSprings. 5100 bilsteins, lots more
    well the avatar pic i have is a 97 4runner SR5 and it has 287,000 miles and still goes strong. Toyota trucks are tough. Please read about the strawberry milk radiator problem that factory radiators had on the automatic transmission on 3rd gens. That 4runner had an original looking radiator. Just something to look into before buying.
     
  15. Jan 22, 2016 at 7:04 AM
    #15
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Yeah I read the buyers guide and I have a mini checklist what to look for and I'm bringing obdII scanner, borescope, and a multimeter and showing up in my AutoZone uniform. I will only buy it if everything checks out. I told the guy I'll be here at 3 on Saturday and I'm showing up at 1 so that I can get a cold start out of it to check for head gasket. The bore scope is only to check behind the timing cover to see how new the timing belt and components are. I have kinda thought through the buying process
     
  16. Jan 22, 2016 at 10:14 AM
    #16
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff

    Ok not much gets past me with 3rd gen 4Runners but this did for a second. This is a SR5 that has had a lot of work done to it. The transfure case is wrong for a true limited. It would have the multi mode 4x4 case AKA AWD one. Next- Look at the heater controls. In a limited it is all digital and not the 3 knob set up. It has a climate control in a limited.

    There is just allot going on with that 4Runner that is off. If all that time was taken to put on all the fender flairs etc what are they hiding is what I want to know.

    Blue

    Find another 4Runner and stay away from that one.
     
  17. Jan 22, 2016 at 10:31 AM
    #17
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris

    I ran the vin and it's actually a sport. The seller is an idiot and put limited on the title. Knowing that it is a sport does it look like it's still a bad deal?

    Thank you for your opinions I truly appreciate them.

    I'll post the car fax later today when I get off work
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  18. Jan 22, 2016 at 10:54 AM
    #18
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    Ok even if it is a sport if would not have had all the limited stuff on it unless I'm smoking some really good stuff.... That would explain a lot though.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2016 at 11:11 AM
    #19
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    What parts are from a limited?
     
  20. Jan 22, 2016 at 11:23 AM
    #20
    RonT4R

    RonT4R New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Member:
    #526
    Messages:
    510
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ron
    Virginia Beach
    Vehicle:
    2007 4runner SR5 4WD
    Usually the limited has leather interior and sunroof maybe a few other things.
     
  21. Jan 22, 2016 at 12:15 PM
    #21
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Update! I determined that the one from before isn't a good option for me. I have found this one and is a real eye catcher for me unfortunately The ad has been taken off of the Dallas craigslist but I managed to grab his phone number and he says it has 143,000 mile

    Good catch or is it a dud as well?

    e2bf5953c931eb45ff50214ae342c853_b56f61708ea8b105c02d172e35d1efcfb783f69f.jpg0b99c90a55abe257a90b126f36d99dbe_9dd0274aee4fc5fd8ed85105e5047166260e197c.jpg76f12a73c05806208dc0aa062db34e44_14990b838330f7c5056b168b365996ab5847d2fa.jpgfa029013abd3dcbec3a5933a8c88d7e5_46c98d2c32b6b9633e4214656e293049b6cd3f27.jpg3d045acca9ce717197a7de43953bbf62_cc34d784298be6fd50974f9b13169ea4d30bc8a6.jpg
     
  22. Jan 22, 2016 at 2:39 PM
    #22
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
  23. Jan 22, 2016 at 3:52 PM
    #23
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    2002 did not have a factory E-Locker..... Its a center diff lock. Big difference!
     
    UssMoGn likes this.
  24. Jan 22, 2016 at 7:52 PM
    #24
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    But If Im only planning to use it to get out of sand or dirt, Not really Extreme off-road, The center locker should prove okay correct?
     
  25. Jan 23, 2016 at 6:49 AM
    #25
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    I don't know. None of my 4runners have a center diff lock. One has a rear locker and the other one has front and rear lockers.

    My honest opinion man. Buy the one from the dude up on Maine. He found a really nice clean limited from so cal. Had it shipped to Maine. Did a fair amount of upgrading to it and it done right. It has allot of life left in it too. He wants to sell it to someone here or on t4r what will take care of it and not some punk kid who can't afford maint. On his truck. His words not mine. Only reason he is selling it is because they have another baby on the way I think is what he said.

    I'll look around today for you and see what I can find. They are out there if you look and take your time. I found mine that needed a little work but had all records from being shipped from japan.

    Blue
     
  26. Jan 23, 2016 at 6:52 AM
    #26
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    That 02 is really clean though. Have you read thought the 3rd Gen buyers guide? That thing is money!!!!!!
     
  27. Jan 23, 2016 at 6:53 AM
    #27
    The.Giff

    The.Giff [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Member:
    #1423
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Yes I have that is the bible I'm going to refer to today when I look at the ones here in my area. I'm not buying today just looking
     
  28. Jan 23, 2016 at 7:00 AM
    #28
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    Keep looking. You will know when you find a good one. I promise you that. Try and buy it private party if you can. You will know Alot more about what you are buying. Also keep this in mind too. Plan on at least 1500 in good maint right off the bat. It's easy to do in a 3rd Gen if it's done correct. At this age axle seals will leak. That's about a grand in most shops. A timing belt and water pump job is about 750-900 on the avg. If done with the crank seal and cam seals too. Trust me I write service estimates all day long at work. I can pretty much spit them out off the top of my head.

    Make sure you take it on a long teat drive also. Play with the 4x4 system too. The shift sensor in the 4x4 case are not really that cheap to replace bit not hard fix really if that is an issue.

    God what else. The valve covers will almost all be seeping oil at this age but that's not hard to fix.

    Other than that they are rock solid truck that will last a very long time with just the above maint. Also a Radiator change out too. That's important. Don't want the pink milk shake issue.

    If you have more question fire away or pm me.

    Brian
     
    The.Giff [OP] likes this.
  29. Jan 23, 2016 at 7:16 AM
    #29
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
  30. Jan 23, 2016 at 7:20 AM
    #30
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Member:
    #55
    Messages:
    1,376
    Gender:
    Male
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    This is has the Multi Mode and a E-Locker in it. Clean truck too. No rust if its a Calie Rig.

    Blue
     
    UssMoGn likes this.

Products Discussed in

To Top