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Mileage- how much is too much when buying

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by macheff03, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Jan 29, 2020 at 5:46 PM
    #1
    macheff03

    macheff03 [OP] New Member

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    Hi all

    I’m in the market for a 4th gen 4runner and I’ve found one that is a pretty good deal however it has 200k miles. This is a lot of miles but I know these cars seem to last forever. Is 200k miles too many to buy a used 4Runner with? What should I look out for on the car with this many miles?
     
  2. Jan 29, 2020 at 6:38 PM
    #2
    NightOwl

    NightOwl 1985 Toyota 4 Runner DLX 22REC

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    LCE header, 2.5 inch exhaust, 31x 10.50 BF Goodrich, 15 X 8 aluminum wheels, Bilstein Shocks, 3 inch lift kit, 3M fender flares
    I am the second owner of a 1985 4Runner and it had 225,000 when I had it shipped in from Oregon (8 years ago)...it now has... I think it's 319,000 second engine, original transmission and transfer case, differentials...nope...200,000 is not excessive for a 4 Runner...and they are built like tanks. Snag it and you'll be the happiest guy ever!!! Once you get it, change all the fluids...ALL...maybe replace the U joints, ALL seals, listen for a rattle in the engine (timing chain) I did change my clutch and throw out bearing...later I changed the rear brakes and cylinders, front calipers and pads of course...and I did go through because I'm anal about stuff my birfield joints, seals and gaskets...but in all reality I would put my 4 Runner 22 REC up against any new vehicle...not for speed but for durability in a heart beat!!!GET IT!!!
    I replaced ALL of my fluids with Red Line all synthetic fluids...best decision ever!!!
     
    Thatbassguy, Toy4X4, DJD33 and 3 others like this.
  3. Jan 29, 2020 at 6:47 PM
    #3
    Tama1968

    Tama1968 New Member

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    ^^what NightOwl said. I lucked into a good deal on a new 4Runner last year but my next one will be an older model...I agree 200k sounds 'up there" but if the price is right, I'd do it.
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  4. Jan 29, 2020 at 7:48 PM
    #4
    Ajmogen

    Ajmogen Staying Stock

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    You'll have to look out for suspension wear, steering component wear, belts and fluids.

    Ask yourself:

    Am I mechanically inclined?

    Can I do routine maintenance and repairs on my own?

    Am I willing to spend time and money to maintain an older vehicle?

    If yes: mileage doesn't matter.
     
    K-Paul, Thatbassguy, Toy4X4 and 2 others like this.
  5. Jan 29, 2020 at 7:53 PM
    #5
    MattAK

    MattAK Headin' for the hills

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    I bought my 4th gen with 196,000 miles on it. I had to fix a few things but nothing incredibly major. Now has 223k miles and runs like a champ. If you have any more details on the one you're thinking of and/or some pics we could give you a better opinion.
     
    Toy4X4 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Jan 30, 2020 at 9:16 AM
    #6
    macheff03

    macheff03 [OP] New Member

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    Disregard the odd paint. Owner bought it that way and I’m gonna get it redone. I’m getting it for the cheap price of a 2006 bmw 3 series... a hot mess in my opinion... no issues but I havent driven it yet but obviously I will before making a decision.

    F0860506-4DD9-4ED6-ABC8-19F399F4BF07.jpg
    330A4FFB-DA9D-45C5-84E8-2F7EC205CA1E.jpg
    7B268536-47AD-48DC-B3C0-D494945DF046.jpg
     
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  7. Jan 30, 2020 at 10:15 AM
    #7
    JHawk

    JHawk New Member

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    I think that all depends on what the intent is for the vehicle's use. If you don't mind spending some $$$ on resurrecting something that won't be a daily driver, then mileage doesn't really matter. Not to me. If it is a daily driver and replacing something all the time is an issue, I never want to buy anything nearing 20K miles. Like I said, it depends on what you intend to do with the vehicle.
     
    Starr and Strandskov like this.
  8. Jan 30, 2020 at 10:20 AM
    #8
    MattAK

    MattAK Headin' for the hills

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    Looks like that one had a third row at one point but those seats are missing now. Definitely check for rust underneath. That's an '03-'05 and if it's a V6 you'll want to find out if the head gasket was replaced. I had a cousin that had to have the engine in his '03 replaced after the HG went and it effed up the whole thing, it's a notorious issue for the early 4th gens.
     
    Strandskov and macheff03 [OP] like this.
  9. Jan 30, 2020 at 10:34 AM
    #9
    macheff03

    macheff03 [OP] New Member

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    It’s a 2004. Should I worry about getting a mechanic to check it out first or just take a gamble... I’m prepared to spend a little money on it.
     
  10. Jan 30, 2020 at 11:15 AM
    #10
    Mohoman

    Mohoman New Member

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    I would certainly get any vehicle purchased from a. Private party looked over by a trusted mechanic. You can easily see if the power steering is leaking or if the cvs need replacement. I’d start there. Might also drive it hard to see if the torque converter is having any issues. Lastly, check the head gaskets, I have an 06 v8 and my bolts were a little loose when I purchased. 06 v8 with 183k in the Odom, drives like a champ!
     
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  11. Jan 30, 2020 at 1:43 PM
    #11
    MattAK

    MattAK Headin' for the hills

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    Definitely pull the #6 spark plug, that's the easiest way to tell if it's having that HG issue. I'd never buy a used vehicle from a private party without having a mechanic look it over first.
     
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  12. Feb 14, 2020 at 5:58 PM
    #12
    mr5vtps

    mr5vtps New Member

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    My 2008 Sport has 163K on it. Other than normal maintenance only problem I've encountered is a bad front wheel bearing. Even the original XREAS is still working. If your mechanic says ok I'd buy it.
     
  13. Feb 29, 2020 at 9:53 AM
    #13
    Georgia Native

    Georgia Native New Member

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    Have a good mechanic give it an inspection. Be ready to turn a wrench. Old cars are rarely "finished".
     
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  14. Mar 1, 2020 at 6:17 AM
    #14
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Paid cash for it

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    It’s cold hearted steel and plastic, so it will last as long as there are parts to fix it with and the skill and determination to do it. Cars have a lot of moving parts, though, and eventually as everything gets replaced a few times or more, everything ends up having a different planned obsolescence and there’s never any peace with it needing something no matter how small. All it takes is to have a break down or two in an inconvenient place for the timid to call uncle. Having said all that, a Toyota 4 Runner is probably the best vehicle to make run forever. Good luck!
     
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  15. Apr 3, 2020 at 5:04 PM
    #15
    Londonrain

    Londonrain Trigger

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    Demello Bumper Original Version Demello Rock Sliders (Not produced anymore) Baja Designs Fog lights Baja Designs Ditch lights KC lights turn signals Onboard ARB Compressor Rough Country-Black Series Cree 30" Light bar with DRL Rago Fabrication mounting hardware CB/Ham Radio with PA system Big Bad Max air horn Spec D headlights Runner lights on sides of bumper 3 light set up center grill JBA upper control arms Icon Stage 2 lift kit (with icon socks) front and back Body Mount Chop (BMC) Fender Liner
    Bought ours at 164,000 miles and it drives like a new car! I’d say as long as you go over the engine and don’t see anything bad, go for it. I’d base it off the condition of it everywhere else to see how well it was taken care of, more than likely if they took car of everything else they probably took care of the engine. Just my two cents! :) good luck!
     
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  16. May 7, 2020 at 11:01 AM
    #16
    mpickard

    mpickard New Member

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    I bought my ‘07 4Runner 18 months ago as a one owner vehicle with 212,xxx miles on it. Seller had been planning on keeping it to 400k miles, but got a new job with a vehicle so this was now just taking up space in his garage... Had some body work done to it when I first got it as it had clear-coat paint failure on parts of the vehicle and a deep gouge in the hood. Otherwise it has been a solid daily driver for me and doing some mods during this time now that I don’t have to worry about needing it to get into work while working from home...
     
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  17. May 16, 2020 at 12:25 PM
    #17
    Yachts On The Reg

    Yachts On The Reg New Member

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    Always, always, always get a used car inspected by a good mechanic no matter what. Even if it's a Toyota and even if it's got 20k or 200k miles. No exceptions.
     
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  18. May 16, 2020 at 12:58 PM
    #18
    Starr

    Starr Life Off the Road, off the Grid

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    My view has somewhat changed as I’ve gotten older. For vehicles that are going to get hard and constant use, I draw the limit at 100k miles. If you can manage ownership of a newer ride, it will generally cost you less per month or per mile.
    Even with our fantastic T4Rs & Tacomas, after 100k more stuff regularly becomes an issue. The cost of ownership includes parts, repair time, your own or shop labor, downtime, alternative transportation etc.
    I love the vintage and special machines I own/owned. They are an act of love and fun, but less efficient.
     
  19. May 16, 2020 at 4:50 PM
    #19
    trlhiker

    trlhiker New Member

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    I generally only buy with less than 50k on it but show me a well kept one with all maintenance records on it and I certainly would be will to go up to 100K or maybe even higher if the price is right.
     
    Starr likes this.
  20. May 16, 2020 at 7:37 PM
    #20
    NightOwl

    NightOwl 1985 Toyota 4 Runner DLX 22REC

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    LCE header, 2.5 inch exhaust, 31x 10.50 BF Goodrich, 15 X 8 aluminum wheels, Bilstein Shocks, 3 inch lift kit, 3M fender flares
    I think people that have not driven older 4 Runners for a while don't quite understand the durability of an incredibly well thought out, designed and built vehicle. I have a close friend that is Japanese in Monterey California and he and I always banter on American and Japanese mechanics and design...he said years ago the Japanese only gave you what you need...not what you want...he said Americans always want more...he is right. My 1985 Toyota 4 Runner is incredibly capable and has been proven time and time again...they are bullet proof, they are not the most comfortable, luxurious but they run...and run well when well maintained....mine had 225 when I bought it...it now has 319,000 and sings on and off road...the 22 REC or 22RE is the most dependable engine...I've frame up restored a 64 Chevelle, 67 Chevelle and a 70 Nova...Awesome cars with incredible engines...this little 4 cylinder is bullet proof as the Toyota 4 Runner!!!
     
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  21. Feb 1, 2022 at 2:25 AM
    #21
    NCJOE22

    NCJOE22 New Member

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    Sorry to jump on the forum late. Great info above!

    I am in the market for a new 4runner, well first 4runner. Every 4runner I see in my price range has about 200k+ miles.

    What would be a decent amount of cash to drop in order to avoid a disaster?

    Aside from the pink milkshake / radiator, under carriage rust, & rear suspension. What other issues should I be on the lookout for?

    Any info would be appreciated. THANKS!
     
  22. Feb 1, 2022 at 5:36 AM
    #22
    TRDLE

    TRDLE New Member

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    I would never buy a vehicle with 200k miles. Even one as reliable as a 4Runner. It's still a collection of moving parts. Reliable is relative, it doesn't mean it's immortal.

    We had an old Civic, which was also supposed to be super reliable. We had catastrophic engine failure at 199k miles. Yes, a 4Runner can make it to 300k easier than most vehicles, but that's not a guarantee. Especially with an unknown history.
     
    NCJOE22 likes this.
  23. Feb 1, 2022 at 7:13 AM
    #23
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water x-ing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    Pin this crap right here. Full-stop.

    Mileage is always subjective. A personal mechanically inclined who is willing to overhaul engines will be comfortable to buy whatever the heck is out there because they have no fear in doing the work themselves to keep it going.

    A person that is used to taking their car to the dealer and not willing to put in the time to work on it themselves will fare better with a low-mileage vehicle. Yes, the 4Runner is reliable, but just like any over vehicle in existence, it will have its issues.

    The only other metric that does not matter is if you have tons of disposable cash, then who gives a crap about A or B above.
     
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  24. Feb 1, 2022 at 7:20 AM
    #24
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water x-ing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    The answer to your question is: It depends.

    Every vehicle is to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. A 4Runner with 90,000 miles and a salvage title due to flood will not trump one with a clean title and 220K. Same there are others with features or modifications that might make you go for a higher mileage vehicle because you will have more cash left over for other mods or trips.

    I saw my 2013 4WD with 140K listed for $18,000 in Maryland. I used miles to fly to B-more for free and I used hotel points to get two hotels (slept in Roanoke and Little Rock on the way to Texas). So other than Gas and time I had no other expenses making it a great deal.
    My priorities were the following:

    • Confirm there is light rust on the frame. Frame rust will screw you in the end.
    • Verify the 4WD system engages/disengages seamlessly. (In the event an e-locker is there, verify that too)
    • Check the rear main seal. If its leaking you are in for the repair of your life.
    • Are there good service records? I will take a truck with 180K with immaculate service records over one with 130K and no evidence of maintenance.

    Hope this helps,
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2022
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  25. Feb 5, 2022 at 7:46 AM
    #25
    Yinzer

    Yinzer New Member

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    Torque Converter Shudder and transmission slippage. Get maintenance records ... if possible.
     
  26. Feb 7, 2022 at 7:32 PM
    #26
    Merlin84

    Merlin84 New Member

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    I have an ‘03 same gray’ish paint although mostly worn completely off on the hood and roof. My dad bought it brand new in 2003 then gave it to me in 2009, I gave it back to him in 2012 and now I have it again, haha. My brothers wanted to buy it for one of their teenagers and I basically said no. They would get it and destroy it.

    I have a 2020 TRD Pro with 20k miles. The 2003 is an SR5 with less than 140K miles.

    I need to have some work done on it:

    Replace the stereo head unit
    Replace all the window seals
    Get a new roof rack
    Replace the Headlights
    Have it painted… but I’m not sure what color… the original gray?
     
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  27. Feb 8, 2022 at 5:44 AM
    #27
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water x-ing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    Good call!! Teenagers of this generation, very fee can appreciate that beauty of a Runner!
     
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  28. Feb 8, 2022 at 11:07 AM
    #28
    DW_CT9A

    DW_CT9A New Member

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    I just went through this.

    You can definitely make your dollar go a little further or save money money with just a respray in the original color. A full color change on a vehicle is a whole different story, depending on your expectations and how much you are willing to spend.

    Last year I had my S2000 repainted due to failing clear coat and various other cosmetic defects that accumulated over 21 years. I opted for a full exterior color change, and also door jambs, rear decklid and jambs, fender jambs, and anywhere else that would stick out with a sore thumb going from gray to blue. Engine bay remains original color. Fortunately the bays were never high gloss from the factory and the car was gray, so not much contrast. Had it been a red car it would probably look terrible. Could have maintained same quality and saved some cash if I had just repainted original color, but this is my 3rd one, hoping to keep it long term, and I chose a color that was offered in overseas markets and not the US, and I always wanted.


    20210507_124810.jpg20210507_143700.jpg imagejpeg_1(6).jpg 20210517_053823.jpg 20210519_161335.jpg
     
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  29. Feb 8, 2022 at 1:03 PM
    #29
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water x-ing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    Stupid beautiful S2000!!!!

    BTW I KNOW you aint gonna tease an Evo in the background and not show?!?!?!?!?!?!
     
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  30. Feb 8, 2022 at 1:09 PM
    #30
    DW_CT9A

    DW_CT9A New Member

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    Thanks man! I always wanted a Monte Carlo Blue S2K....lucky guys in Japan and UK got em but not us!

    I've had this Evo about 8 years now. Just went back to 17" wheels after a few years on 18s.

    20211212_130035.jpg
     
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