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

What Years Have Rust Problems?

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by Toyota Lover, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Jun 22, 2020 at 5:02 AM
    #1
    Toyota Lover

    Toyota Lover [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Member:
    #15051
    Messages:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Vehicle:
    2003 4Runner with Towing
    We purchased a 2003 4Runner about 5 years ago with 140,000K. It has been a great and faithful friend with no repairs until now at 225,000K. We use it to tow a small trailer, haul cargo, people, and sometimes a small boat, and often to carry kayaks. Currently it has an intermittent no start situation, we are working to solve. We are seniors, and really need dependability.
    If we were to buy a used 4Runner, 4th Gen., what years should we avoid to avoid the frame rust problems experienced by so many? Or do we have to go to a 2010 or newer? o_O
    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Jun 22, 2020 at 6:39 AM
    #2
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Paid cash for it

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Member:
    #7224
    Messages:
    1,596
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 Toyota 4 Runner Offroad
    My advice when considering replacing a vehicle is buy the newest and lowest mileage that you can afford. Maybe even that you can’t afford, haha, because in the long run that extra longevity and history can’t be purchased. So in your case, Toyota Lover, my choice would be either fix the one I already own and love, or, tighten the belt and buy the best 5th gen I can find for my budget. You don’t say where you live, but I live in a snow belt where rust is a major consideration and I’ve never heard of any premature rusting on either 4th or 5th gen 4 Runners. A lot comes down to how they are individually cared for, so if looking at a new one, don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees, or if it’s a dealer, ask him to put it up on a hoist for you.
     
  3. Jun 23, 2020 at 3:36 PM
    #3
    doc4216

    doc4216 New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Member:
    #6112
    Messages:
    332
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Shannon
    The Land of Cle
    Vehicle:
    2015 SR5 Premium
    Dasaíta HU, Bilstein 5100s, Toyo AT II, Coveted grill lights
    As far as I understand it, all the 4th gens had the potential of frame rust issues. Depending on where you live and whether you chose to take preemptive corrosion actions (spraying the frame every year) held a lot of weight to whether or not the frame was an issue. I have not heard of any rust issues on the 5th gens.

    Also, welcome!
     
  4. Jun 24, 2020 at 3:36 AM
    #4
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2019
    Member:
    #10131
    Messages:
    365
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    nassau bahamas
    Vehicle:
    2005 SR5
    I have a 4th generation 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles. There is little frame rust. The upper body and paint are completely free of rust and she runs great on original tranny and V6.

    Stay away from cars from the north as their frames can rust to unfixable - with major frame rust.

    My 4runner was built in Japan and never entered the US. Car and I are in Nassau Bahamas.

    Always check for HG issue. Check coolant with tester https://www.amazon.com/Block-Tester...cint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583932699360629

    If HG is bad move on/forgetaboutit!

    Call in a good mechanic that has one of those $5,000 professional testing code tools. Let him check everything. They charge about $100 - but it is worth it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    PJAC likes this.
  5. Oct 31, 2020 at 6:27 AM
    #5
    tooltimegrunt

    tooltimegrunt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2020
    Member:
    #17638
    Messages:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Just noticed my 14 has some serious rust, much more than our 03. My wife's 14 had only surface rust. Does Toyota offer any support with this?
     
  6. Oct 31, 2020 at 4:47 PM
    #6
    patriotgrunt

    patriotgrunt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2020
    Member:
    #17522
    Messages:
    19
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Vehicle:
    2021 Toyota 4R ORP
    All years can have rust issues depending on it’s use. Maybe you can find an older rig down south and not have a lot of concerns.
     
    Trekker likes this.
  7. Oct 31, 2020 at 8:26 PM
    #7
    4Runner170V

    4Runner170V New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2020
    Member:
    #16853
    Messages:
    361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tony
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2014 4Runner Trail
    SSO Slimline Bumper w/Smittybilt X2O 10K Winch FOX 2.5 Front, 2.0 Rear/ICON UCA/OME Rear Spring 33X12.50R17 DRIFTA Drawer System ARB Awning APS Side Steps ICS Fab. Center Console Mount LFD Roof Rack Cross Bar Dual Battery System HAM/GMRS Mobile Radio
    I used to work with rust prevention chemical company. Salt (road salt if you are in those states), Steel, Oxygen (air). Three combination for rust. all years, all makes, all models with frame will have rust...
     
  8. Nov 1, 2020 at 3:27 AM
    #8
    importman

    importman The mountains are calling and I must go...

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2020
    Member:
    #16870
    Messages:
    226
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Danny
    Carolinas
    Vehicle:
    05 Silver SR5 V6 4X4
    Blacked out, Ironman 3" Nitro Gas Suspension lift, JBA High Caster upper control arms, Differential drop and sway bar relocate, Upgraded to Sport Front Cardone Calipers with Brembo Rotors and Akebono Pads, Added Spoiler, Sony XAV-AX100 with Apple Carplay, USB Jack, Backup Camera, Black TRD Pro Wheels with General Grabber ATX 265/70/17, Rear differential vent extension, Auto Dimming Mirror with Compass and Homelink, Map Light Mod, Tekonsha 90160 Trailer Brake Controller, Recoil SL1708 Sub, Sealight LED Headlamps, K&N drop in air filter, Weathertech floor mats, Homemade rear storage compartment with built in pull out table.
    This^^^^^^^ I was going to say about the same thing. I don't know how people who live in the snow belt do it. I'm in eastern SC and we get very little snow. But when we do, it drives me crazy until I can get out and wash my vehicle and spray underneath. It's like I can almost feel it rusting. If I lived in an area with lots of snow/salt I'd probably go overboard with the preemptive protection. Or, more likely I'd park my better vehicle whenever there's salt, and I'd have what we call a "beater" car to drive in those situations.
    You would think with all the advances in science and metal over the years, someone would have come up with a solution for this. Either something that could be done to the metal when it's created to prevent rust, or something else that can used on the roads that wouldn't cause rust.
     
  9. Nov 1, 2020 at 3:40 AM
    #9
    Trekker

    Trekker Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Member:
    #15732
    Messages:
    547
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1997 5 speed
    All years have rust issues. Its up to the owner to make sure there aren't any.
     
  10. Nov 1, 2020 at 9:13 AM
    #10
    81runner

    81runner New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Member:
    #17655
    Messages:
    19
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal, Ventura County
    Vehicle:
    2007 4runner, modified...
    As far as I know from research on the topic of the 4th gen, the issue had more to do with the country of manufacture than age, and of course whether you live where roads are salted. The vehicles with japanese VIN numbers tend to fare better than the American made vehicles, the issue being the application of the chassis paint to the frame was sub-par coming from the states sadly. Looked this up a few years back, seeing if I can find a link
     
    PJAC likes this.
  11. Apr 9, 2021 at 4:46 PM
    #11
    Lyninsky

    Lyninsky New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2021
    Member:
    #20835
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    How do tell which are from japan
     
  12. Apr 9, 2021 at 5:13 PM
    #12
    81runner

    81runner New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Member:
    #17655
    Messages:
    19
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal, Ventura County
    Vehicle:
    2007 4runner, modified...
    Look at the VIN on the truck. You can search it online to verify the country of manufacture
     
    Hiluxforever and PJAC like this.
  13. Apr 11, 2021 at 2:34 PM
    #13
    jonzn4suse

    jonzn4suse New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2021
    Member:
    #20874
    Messages:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    2003 Sports Edition V8
  14. Apr 11, 2021 at 9:04 PM
    #14
    mousemeat

    mousemeat New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2020
    Member:
    #17209
    Messages:
    1,010
    Gender:
    Male
    Memphis, TN.
    Vehicle:
    1997 4 runner limited
    upgraded suspension, large all terrain tires
    3rd gens have been known to be prone to serious frame rust....especially from up north. my '97 spent it's whole life..in the south...hence, little or no rust....
     

Products Discussed in

To Top