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Nervous buyer....help requested!

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by Chief57, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Apr 11, 2016 at 4:54 PM
    #1
    Chief57

    Chief57 [OP] New Member

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    Hi. I just joined your forum this evening, but I confess that I do not YET have a 4Runner. A local Dover DE Toyota dealer has been keeping an eye out for me for an "older" 4Runner. I got the call today that he just received a clean 2002 SR5 Sport Edition on trade. Color is thundercloud. It has 165K miles and is fairly clean -- no dings or tears. Fairly new tires. I got him down to $6850. I asked for permission to speak with previous owners...so far, no word on whether that will happen.

    But then I took a look underneath and was alarmed by the amount of rust I saw. Perhaps it's all just surface rust -- I don't know -- but I can tell you it was concerning to me. BTW, the vehicle spent its entire life in Pennsylvania. My buddy told me rust is a known Toyota issue....if so, I never knew it. I didn't see another post here on this subject, so would some of you 4Runner wizards please post up with your experiences with rust. What specific things should I look for?

    I look forward to joining your community, but I want to make sure I do it right. I'm really not looking for a big project vehicle.....at least not right away. Much thanks.

    BTW, your buying guide links seem to be disabled.
     
  2. Apr 11, 2016 at 7:59 PM
    #2
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New 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
    I'll look into that ASAP.

    As for rust issues. This has been a topic that had beat into the ground. Bottom line is simple. It's how it was cared for. I have two 4runner. One is a 99 and the other is an 01. Both frames have zero rust issues at all and are rock solid. The north east is really hard on cars and the frames etc.

    With that milage that is not a bad price at all really from a dealer. They are not leaving much room for them selfs to make a little bit. He'll my 99 had 20k on it and I was going to ask 8k for it before the engine decided to have its little issue. In process of engine swap etc now.

    So back to the thing at hand. Take pics and have there shop really look at the frame and see if it needs any major work. It might just need a really good cleaning and rust treatment and coated to stop that issue. Would just have to see it.

    Blue

    PS Welcome

    Update: I just looked at the links. Not sure what the issue is. All the info is on the buyer's guide if you scroll down. The links just get you there faster as I'm sure you know anyhow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  3. Apr 12, 2016 at 4:15 AM
    #3
    RonT4R

    RonT4R New Member

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    Virginia Beach
    Vehicle:
    2007 4runner SR5 4WD
    Pics would really help, PA is brutal for road salt.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2016 at 4:52 PM
    #4
    lj4runner

    lj4runner New Member

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    if the rust isn't bad undercoat it, or if it is have someone weld steel plates in the weak spots
     
  5. Apr 15, 2016 at 6:34 AM
    #5
    Chief57

    Chief57 [OP] New Member

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    Update.... after some wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, I decided to pass on this opportunity. I just felt a little too pressured, and I was not permitted to speak with the previous owners -- which gave me a bad feeling. Will keep my eyes open for another Gen 3 opportunity at a good price. Thanks for your input.
     
  6. Apr 15, 2016 at 6:39 AM
    #6
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New 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

    How fast are you looking for one? I rebuilding my 99 and them going to sell it. I'm completely going through the engine and some other stuff. Having the heads machined etc etc them going to sell it. I have to many 4Runners so I need to make room in the garage. Apparently my girl say three 3rd Gens are to many. It has every record done to it and I mean every record! How fast are you looking for one?

    Blue
     
  7. Apr 15, 2016 at 7:10 AM
    #7
    Chief57

    Chief57 [OP] New Member

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    Blue, without getting too long-winded (I hope), I'll respond by saying that I can pick one up pretty much any time. One consideration is that, like yourself, there's "no room at the inn" in terms of my 3-bay garage.

    A little background: I have a love/hate relationship with my built '98 Jeep TJ. There's a lot of wrench time and money invested in her, and I tend to get attached to my vehicles (a bad thing), so selling her is not an easy decision. I was going to pass her down to my 17-year-old son, but now I'm a little nervous about reliability. AFTER buying my stock TJ years ago, I discovered that there's this other very capable offroad vehicle with a somewhat cult following called the 4Runner. Until then, I did not know about it. My perception now is that an older 4Runner, being Japanese, is better engineered and less of a maintenance headache than an older 1998 Wrangler. I'm no longer interested in extreme rock crawling -- I've already got that merit badge. Now I'm thinking more in terms of an "expedition" vehicle -- one that has some offroad moxie, gets reasonable gas mileage, and is comfortable for that long-distance trip we all hope to take one day. Maybe even some rooftop camping? Maybe pulling a small camper? And I think the power rear window is cool as hell. I like the look of the Gen 3...seems a little more lean and less of a "soccer mom" version than the more recent 4Runners.

    For a good price, I'm willing to fly to purchase one. I'm in Delaware, and I think it's wise to buy an older vehicle that's lived a gentler life than what we have in the Northeast.

    Jeep TJ.jpg
     
    BestGen likes this.
  8. Apr 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM
    #8
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New 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
    Well here is the deal. My 99 limited lived it's life in So-Cal as a mall crawler between two women that owned it in my local area before coming back home in MO (And they did ever service they could on it like clock work-my binder is 6in think of paper work). There is no rust in it at all. I work in a shop all day long so you know who's car is the last fixed. Well at 270,000 miles the head gasket started to leak and all the coolant got into the oil pan and washed the bearings out. That's about twice as many miles as most people get out of that gasket because I'm a maint hound. It's a nice truck. It has a few ding's from being 17 years old but it is strait. I'm jerking the engine and sending my next engine off this next weekend to have the heads done etc etc. I'm getting a new head gasket from japan and not using the OE one. Going KP's next time and all new gaskets etc etc. I think I can get it done in a week but we will see how fast I can get parts and my heads back. It is the 99 Multi Mode 4x4 set up with AWD and 4x4 had has the rear locker also, 3in lift, tires are at about 80%. It's clean.I also have extra cross bars on it for a RTT. So that is the skinny.

    I have another truck but getting my asking price is going to be hard. I have way over 20k into that rig so it will not be easy to sell quick.

    So someone is going to get a screaming deal on my 99 Limited when its all done and cleaned up.

    Blue
     
  9. Apr 15, 2016 at 10:55 AM
    #9
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New Member

    Joined:
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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
    I'll post up some more when I get home.

    IMG955800.jpg
    IMG952660.jpg
     
  10. Nov 3, 2016 at 5:03 AM
    #10
    Keith Curtiss

    Keith Curtiss New Member

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    Keith
    Vehicle:
    2002 Toyota 4RUNNER SR5 CREAMPUFF
    Loaded SR5 perfect condition 2nd owner. Barn find..
    Rule of thumb try and stay away from east coast vehicles in general because of all the salt on the roads in areas with snow. If you do decide to buy a local 4runner have a 3rd party mechanic check it out thoroughly. Unfortunately these 4runner do rust out so its important to make sure its just surface rust which can be blasted off. I've had 3 3rd gens and was fortunate, but then again 2 of them were newish, my last one (my current one) I crawled underneath and check it out myself seeing if the metal integrity was gone which it wasn't. They really are phenomenal trucks as long as its a good one. Good luck...
     

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