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Looking to buy 3rd Generation 1997 4runner

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by socaldad, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Aug 24, 2015 at 5:03 PM
    #1
    socaldad

    socaldad [OP] New Member

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    I am in need of a really reliable daily driver with 4x4 capability and have a limited budget unfortunately (< $6,500). I have narrowed my search to Toyota 4runners 1995-1997ish with anywhere from 170 - 200k+ miles. I am assuming that a Toyota with 170K miles still has a long life ahead of her, correct?

    Does anyone have any words of advice on what I should and should not be looking for, questions I should be asking etc.? I do know about the timing belts but is there any other pit falls I should avoid? Any estimate on tune up costs etc I should expect to pay after the purchase.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Aug 25, 2015 at 11:08 AM
    #2
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

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    "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
    YES,

    Get a 98-02 instead. You will be much happier and have a much better 4Runner in most cases. You have more than enough money to find a nice 4Runner for that price. I stole my 99 limited for $3200.00 They are deals out there if you look for them or have people helping you look at the same time.

    Blue
     
  3. Aug 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM
    #3
    Ripcord

    Ripcord New Member

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  4. Sep 4, 2015 at 6:02 AM
    #4
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    I agree. I paid 4275 for my T4R. They did have it posted for 1000 cheaper on CL but I offered $1000 over asking price to see it first.

    These 3ed gens are highly desirable where i live. I knew i had to get creative in seeing it first.

    Good luck friend
     
  5. Sep 6, 2015 at 5:38 AM
    #5
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    Would paying 6k for a 98 SR5 be way too much? It is a single owner and looks to be in great shape?
     
  6. Sep 6, 2015 at 5:57 AM
    #6
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    1999 4Runner 4x4
    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    Thats prob close to what its worth. Give us some details on the truck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  7. Sep 6, 2015 at 6:24 AM
    #7
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    Here is an email from the owner. As it sits its at 162k miles.

    The timing belt was replaced at 149,000 miles. Feb of 2013.
    We have been the only owners.
    The car was always serviced at Boulder Toyota.
    Feb 2013
    Timing belt
    Serviced front and rear differentials
    spark plugs
    water pumps and drive belts
    service transfer case
    $1600.00
    JUNE 2009
    Starter contacts

    Oct 2008
    Fuel injection service
    Replace sensor group
    The battery was replaced 12/12. It is from Costco and has a warranty.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There's a couple of pictures. What do y'all think?
     
  8. Sep 6, 2015 at 6:38 AM
    #8
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    Vehicle:
    1999 4Runner 4x4
    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    In my area that would sell within and hour of being on craigslist and for $5500 to $6000. Going to look at these 4runners with cash in hand is required or someone will swipe it up. Nada says $5500. It looks pretty clean!!! Give it a drive and try to work something out. Check the ATF dipstick for pink milkshake. When I bought mine I was prepared to buy something more expensive but when I drove it was mechanically sound so I went for it.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2015 at 6:41 AM
    #9
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    Thanks for the advice.. I live 3 hours from where it is at but the owners have agreed for me to come see it tomorrow. Hoping everything works out with it.. been looking for a 4Runner for about 5 months.
     
  10. Sep 6, 2015 at 7:09 AM
    #10
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    Jesse
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    Vehicle:
    1999 4Runner 4x4
    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    In that case I would very nicely interrogate them on the phone. Ive driven this drivetrain on new and used vehicles since 2003 so I knew how the tranny and engine should shift and what to look for. If there are any local 3ed gen 4runners for sale go drive them today so you have something to compare to. Read ripcords buyers guide and make a checklist to go over things when you go look at it.

    Good luck, make your offer over the phone if possible. Nothing is perfect and they are a little overpriced. But you have been looking for 5 months and slightly overpaying might be a good idea at this point. Personally, i would have overpaid for a truck if I had to.
     
  11. Sep 6, 2015 at 7:18 AM
    #11
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    I test drove a 2002 this past week that had more miles and was a 3 or 4 owner vehicle. Going over bumps in the road it would give you a good shake in the steering wheel, not sure what the cause of that was. I will take it for a good test drive and go over ripcords buyers guide. If everything checks out I won't mind paying a bit more for a solid truck. I will update on what happens. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  12. Sep 6, 2015 at 7:29 AM
    #12
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    Jesse
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    Vehicle:
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    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    Very Likely steering rack bushings??? Could be the steering rack though, only way of knowing is to crawl under and look. Most 3ed gens with this kind of mileage will need new bushings the the rack and swaybars/endlinks. $25 to fix rack bushings yourself with basic tools and cuss words. http://wheelersoffroad.com/product/...shing-kit-for-95-00-tacoma-and-96-02-4runner/

    Im not a fan of vehicles with lots of owners either, but treat these as practice for "the one"
     
  13. Sep 6, 2015 at 9:19 PM
    #13
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    Well got a message they sold it before I could look at it. Guess it's back to the search.
     
  14. Sep 7, 2015 at 8:24 AM
    #14
    RideFast

    RideFast New Member

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    Jesse
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    Vehicle:
    1999 4Runner 4x4
    B&M tranny cooler, 5'' deck plate, Airaid MIT
    They go fast. Sorry bro.
     
  15. Sep 10, 2015 at 4:29 PM
    #15
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue Moderator Staff Member

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    "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
    They go very fast bud. When I bought mine three other people were on the way to look at it. I had cash in hand. It was on Craigslist for less than 8 hours before it was in my drive way.... that should tell you something

    Good luck

    Blue
     
  16. Sep 17, 2015 at 10:27 AM
    #16
    UssMoGn

    UssMoGn That Vegas Dude

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    Extented Coil Lift. Custom bumpers
    Good luck man!
     
  17. Sep 21, 2015 at 5:59 PM
    #17
    srgray15

    srgray15 Routt County 4Runner

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    Hey came across a 98 SR5 that had addicted off road bumpers, rock sliders, a smittybuilt winch a cargo basket as well as a 2.5" lift sitting on GY DuraTracs. The guy is asking $7900, it has 215k on it.. My feeling is its a little high, but it also has close to 2k in upgrades with the extras .. Any thoughts? I plan on looking at it in the next day or so.
     

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