Verify that the timing belt has been changed. It's a 90,000 mile maintenance item, and the engine is an interference engine, so it it fails, you have a nice 4.7l boat anchor.
Should be around $600-$800 to do the belt and water pump.
There was also a recall on the lower ball joint, front brakes, and I think the 2002 may have been included in the rear taillight socket recall.
Input the VIN into the Toyota Owner's web site and that will tell if the recalls have been done... MIGHT tell if the timing belt was done if he had it serviced at the dealer.
After I posted, I thought about taking the truck to the dealership for an oil/lube and have them do the state inspection. That was the last thing I did two something years ago just before Stephen got mad it got parked.
After seeing the mileage, the timing chain was the first thing I thought about for maintenance. Did some looking around for parts and it's like you said... it's not cheap! I'm also one that's hates to remove old parts and then put those same parts right back on the vehicle. It just doesn't make sense to pay for the labor twice. You know, fix it right the first time.
I truly hope the lower ball joints are not a constant problem for the Toyota because that one of reason I'm getting rid of my Dodge Ram. On the Ram the joint is pressed into an aluminum A-arm and cannot be replaced without replacing the whole assembly. For a 4x4, it's a costly job and one that was done two years ago by the dealership. Long story short, they did a longblock, the whole front end, replaced the whole brake system, and all the fluids plus some more stuff. Last month the dealership did the oil/lube and state inspection for the Ram and said one of the ball joints is bad as well as the front brakes. In the last two years, I have only put 5400-miles on the Ram and it needs a ball joint and brakes?!?!? Nope, not going to happen. So please tell me the front ball joints on the Toyota are not a problem as well.
When he was still driving the truck, he keep saying something was wrong with front-end and/or steering but I haven't heard or felt anything. There is a very small leak somewhere on the truck but, again, I haven't been able to touch it. It runs while setting in the garage and I drive it once in a Blue Moon to fill the tank and around the block in middle of night. The way the maintenance and checks are sounding, the Toyota could cost me about the same as repairs on my Ram. With the Toyota having the TRD Package on it, I should be able to do all of this and not be upside-down with truck. I'll still need to decide how to cover the cost of everything but it's still doable... so long as I don't get any new surprises.