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Tacoma to 4runner converts

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Grandmasteryoda, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:03 PM
    #1
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    Hey guys. First post and have been searching both Tacoma and 4Runner forums and couldn’t really find an answer.

    A little background on me. Just sold my 2000 Jeep Cherokee. Full build with axle swap on 37” tires. Extremely capable off road but on road manors sucked and reliability... well you see I’m on a Toyota forum. Wife hated the ride and it didn’t take long to have me looking at 4runner / Tacoma. Intended use would be a couple trips per year to Joshua Tree in California, Zion national park, Death Valley, Big Bear. No rock crawling, overlanding and trips to Home Depot etc. no kids

    I know there are a handful of now 4Runner guys that sold there Tacomas because the “gear searching issues” plagued by the 3rd gen Tacoma. Drivers were fed up and are now driving a 4Runner. My question is would you still be driving a Tacoma if it came from the factory with say 4:88 gears?

    It seems that the guys who did the Nitro gear change love their Tacos. I’m on the fence about the 2 vehicles, but it almost seems as if a simple gear change is the only thing that would make the Taco not suck. Your advice is appreciated.
     
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  2. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:14 PM
    #2
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    If you don’t need a truck, the 4runner is the superior vehicle regardless of the gearing issues in the 3rd gen. If you need a truck, the Tacoma is great. I switched because I didn’t need a truck, and while yes the 4runner drives better, now that it’s lifted on 33’s it drives a lot like my Tacoma did which wasn’t an issue. You can just feel and tell how much better built the 4Runners are, and they also have the legendary 4.0L
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  3. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:22 PM
    #3
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    Welcome to the forum, @Grandmasteryoda !

    I know plenty of guys who have had their 3rd gen Tacos tuned (OVTune) and are totally satisfied with them. I wouldn't let the drivetrain make your decision, unless you'll be towing a lot.

    Drive both and get whichever you prefer.:)
     
  4. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:30 PM
    #4
    Antman

    Antman New Member

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    I came from a Tacoma. No regrets. Minus the shitty paint quality and the dealership fucking my shit up and being lazy POS’s. Like I said for, no regrets.
     
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  5. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:38 PM
    #5
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    Thank you for your reply.I technically don’t need a truck. I’ve always loved SUVs. Thought about switching to one. I’ve even heard of the 4Runner plus utility trailer and you have the best of both worlds.
     
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  6. Jun 28, 2020 at 1:41 PM
    #6
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!! Good to be here.
     
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  7. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:42 PM
    #7
    zw470

    zw470 New Member

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    Does it count as being a convert if you tried to buy a Tacoma but didn't like it after test-driving it?
     
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  8. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:52 PM
    #8
    wallygator24

    wallygator24 New Member

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    I traded my Tacoma TRD PRO for a 4RUNNER. The TACO was a great truck. The only reason I traded it was due to family needing more space in the back since my kid is now 5'11" and has a hard time in the back seat of the taco. I had issues with the acceleration in the taco, especially from a dead stop it would stall when floored. I went in and had the TSB for the acceleration done and it took care of that issue. I did not mind the transmission in the taco since I don't drive fast like I used. It was nice getting 25 mpgs on the highway when going 60 mph. I can tell you that the 4RUNNER does drive better and has more low end grunt to it. 4RUNNER does not get the gas mileage like my taco used to, but I love my 4RUNNER. My old TACO.IMG_2905.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  9. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:01 PM
    #9
    Starr

    Starr Life Off the Road, off the Grid

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    I don't get the 4Runner vs Tacoma argument.
    I drive a 2017 Tacoma TRD OR, and my wife a 2020 4Runner ORP with the wonderful KDSS system. Our farm utility truck is a 2000 Tundra SR5 4WD and I still have my '94 lifted Wrangler. My daughter drives my previous '12 Tacoma OR.
    I've been driving a legion of off-road ready trucks, bikes, jeeps and tractors for 55 years on 6 continents, and have loved most of them on roads and fields, sand, rock & mud.
    My favorite is the Tacoma, and I have not discovered any gear or other powertrain issues with it.
    We spend most of our time off the pavement out here, and find that operator ignorance & bad maintenance are the major issues folks seem to have, and try to cover up with complaints about great hardware.
     
  10. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:03 PM
    #10
    Jynarik

    Jynarik I like fat booty

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    I think it simply comes down to if you want a bed or not
     
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  11. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:24 PM
    #11
    Starr

    Starr Life Off the Road, off the Grid

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    Yes. Use & preference drives the decision!
     
  12. Jun 28, 2020 at 6:27 PM
    #12
    Blorenz28

    Blorenz28 New Member

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    Recent convert here from an 18 Trd off road Tacoma. Not to hate too much, but the little things that nagged me just added up. Ride quality, transmission shifting, and lousy stereo were the main gripes. Yes, all those things can be changed, but it just didnt seem worth what it cost in terms of the features it had. Loved the looks, the reputation, and the resale value. It wasn't too bad on gas (at least in the summer) but decided it was time to move on. If you need a truck just to be a truck, it's not a bad option. If you value creature comforts more than having a bed for occasional use, might be best to avoid it.
     
  13. Jun 28, 2020 at 6:49 PM
    #13
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    Very true. I did test drive a Tacoma and didn’t care one way or another on the ride quality. Whatever direction I go, I will be doing the same type of lift: 2.5 Icon coilovers with 285 KO2S. I’m going to try a back to back test drive. I’ll be renting a 4Runner next month for a few days. I hope to stop by a dealership while I have it and test out a Taco. Just in case the 5 minute test drive isn’t long enough lol.

    Thanks for the input
     
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  14. Jun 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM
    #14
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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  15. Jun 28, 2020 at 6:52 PM
    #15
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    That’s what I’m going to do, I rarely move stuff around but when the time comes there’s always cheap trailers under $1,000 on Craigslist so I’ll get something like that. The 4runner can tow 5,000lbs so it’s not worlds apart from the Tacoma’s 6,500lbs is rating.
     
  16. Jun 28, 2020 at 7:50 PM
    #16
    Blorenz28

    Blorenz28 New Member

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    I haven't towed with the 4runner yet, but I did with the Taco. Pulled our 1500lb pop up pretty well, but struggled on hills with a weekends worth of gear in the bed. 2 adults, 2 small kids, and it hit the bump stops quite a bit. Towed a moving trailer (2,000lbs) loaded with probably another 1,500 lbs of belongings. It was uncomfortable to say the least. I'm not sure who's towing 6,500lbs with a tacoma, but most full size 1500 trucks will struggle with that.
     
  17. Jun 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM
    #17
    J A C O

    J A C O New Member

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    I would rather have a 5th gen 4Runner than a 3rd gen Tacoma but I'd never trade my 2nd gen Tacoma for any year of 4Runner. Just my 2 cents.
     
  18. Jun 29, 2020 at 7:20 AM
    #18
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

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    Same - found the 4 door Taco just too cramped inside. Came from a cramped Nissan Frontier King Cab. Wanted to be able to transport adult passengers in the back seat off road.

    Kept my Frontier pickup for muddy and bloody things.

    I suppose I'll eventually replace the Frontier with a utility trailer though.
     
  19. Jun 29, 2020 at 7:45 AM
    #19
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    This was one of my reasons for coming back to a 4runner.

    The 2015 Tacoma was a bit of a downgrade from my '03 4runner in comfort and unfortunately quality as well. It was a great little truck otherwise. I always wanted a pickup, so I sort of jumped into the purchase.

    I think the 3rd gen Tacos are nicer.
     
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  20. Jun 29, 2020 at 7:45 AM
    #20
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    Sold a 2004 Wrangler Rubicon & 2013 TRD Off Road Tacoma to get my 2019 T4R. As OP stated, the Jeep was great off road, but its road manners sucked. I really liked my 2nd gen Tacoma, but it was an access cab, with no room for passengers besides my wife. I'd never had an SUV, just Jeeps and trucks, and wanted something with interior room, great highway manners, and the legendary build quality of the T4R.

    I also have a 4x8 utility trailor which, while a bit more trouble to hook up and use than a truck, serves quite well for the 2-3 times a year I might need to haul anything.

    In a perfect world I'd own my 4R & a 2nd gen Tacoma.
     
  21. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:03 AM
    #21
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

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    I test drove a 2019 Taco after driving the below, 5 speed manual 2014 4x4 diesel Hilux overseas. The Hilux was way more comfortable for my 6'4 frame and easily carried co-workers comfortably in the back seat.

    My company bought 12 of these used from another contractor. Got em cheap - $10k to $12k each for 12 of them.

    2014 Hilux.jpg
     
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  22. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:05 AM
    #22
    toy33

    toy33 New Member

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    ..or a Tundra :militarypress:
     
  23. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:19 AM
    #23
    J A C O

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    2nd Gen Tacomas > 3rd Gen Tacomas. Manual 3rd Gens are great tho, but those automatic trans on 3rd Gens are pure garbage.
     
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  24. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:22 AM
    #24
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I have heard that OVTune helps a lot. But, many still seem to prefer the 4.0.

    The drivetrain on my '15 was excellent. I got irritated by little things, like the truck turning into a kazoo in a crosswind.
     
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  25. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:27 AM
    #25
    J A C O

    J A C O New Member

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    "A kazoo" :D. They do make alot of noise, I just made mine as noisy as possible, now I can't tell which noise is intentional or not. My Tacoma rarely has passengers, so no one complains.
     
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  26. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:32 AM
    #26
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    I thought it was just gearing? My thought was go into the purchase knowing you’ll do a gear swap. Kinda like knowing you’ll lift it with bigger tires.

    I guess I thought there there may have been a former Taco owner on here who hated their 3rd gen because of gearing (Or transmission in their mind). They went out and bought a 4Runner (basically threw the baby out with the bath water) only to learn a gear change would have solved there actually gripe.

    Seems like there were a few things that made owners come to the 4Runner side, not just gearing: comfort, more back seat room, Japanese made, bulletproof 4.0
     
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  27. Jun 29, 2020 at 8:54 AM
    #27
    packetcollision

    packetcollision New Member

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    I am recent 4Runner convert, but for family reasons. (needed 2nd row space) I did experience the gear issues owners complain about with my Tacoma. Living in CO my Tacoma played the gear selection lottery often. OVTune helped with this a *bit*, but was far from solving the problem. (As others note it's not likely something that can be solved with a tune) I ended up mitigating the issue in the mountains by leveraging S mode and controlling shifts myself.

    Regardless of the gearing problem, I like the 4Runner more all around. The interior feels more comfortable in multiple ways (seating position, adjustability, overall comfort, soft touch surfaces, etc) I realize the 4Runner isn't a pickup so this may be unfair, but the daily driving experience is better to me. For someone who didn't need a pickup nearly as much as I anticipated, I wish I had just bought the 4Runner from the start.

    The Tacoma is a very capable and great truck, even right off the lot. I do believe they are under geared which diminishes the driving experience. As with most things, a selection between the Tacoma and 4Runner has to be driven by your use case.
     
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  28. Jun 29, 2020 at 9:47 AM
    #28
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    Gearing was a part of it. They're geared for fuel economy. I believe the downshifting is intentional, due to the lack of low RPM torque. OVTune frees up a lot more usable torque, from what I've heard.

    In Drive, the transmission will always be in the highest gear possible. Using S mode allows you to control the shifting (to an extent) which helps. Even the 4runner with the 5 speed auto will downshift anytime you hit an incline with the cruise set, especially at higher speeds.
     
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  29. Jun 29, 2020 at 12:50 PM
    #29
    Starr

    Starr Life Off the Road, off the Grid

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    I do care a lot about fuel economy, and the Tacoma is considerably more efficient. This is the one area where I don't feel great about the T4R. I do not like to waste fuel, or anything else, for that matter. I could live with a small, efficient diesel if it gave great economy.
    I use the ECT on the Tacoma much of the time, and manually limit gear selection on both vehicles over 50% of the time. I would have bought both with manual gearboxes if they were available here non-auto. Distributor brings them into Hawaii with very few package choices.
    I hardly ever see a divided highway or exceed 60mph on this island. Almost everywhere I drive is curvy and up or down. I'm mostly on unpaved or rough roads and tracks.
    The T4R seating and pedal positions are marginally more comfortable for me. The Tacoma has a number of useful storage areas for tools and recovery gear and small items and drink holders that I miss on the 4Runner. I like the power driver's seat on the T4R, but hate the window button location. The T4R KDSS makes for a more planted feel on rough terrain, and better handling on curvy roads. The stock suspension is better on the T4R. I've always despised 4wd & low range selected by a switch or knob. The lever transfer case on the T4R brings me back to better days. I wish the 4Runners had more and better color choices, like the Tacos. I refuse to pay for a PRO and not have KDSS to get a color I like.
    All in all, they are both excellent, and I wouldn't trade either one for anything out there.
     
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  30. Jun 29, 2020 at 3:46 PM
    #30
    Grandmasteryoda

    Grandmasteryoda [OP] New Member

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    So much good info. I agree the color choices on the non Pro Runner are pretty minimal. I like the 4wd lever on the TRD OR 4R as well.

    Thank you
     
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