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I am looking at buying a used toyota 4x4 pick up for my son. I am looking at early to mid 90's. I have seen alot of them with 3.0 V6's in them and some automatic tranny's. I been told to stay awhay from the 3.0 from one guy. I would like feed back from you folks on the subject. Also what about the tranny is it any good? Thank You For your time.
 

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I am looking at buying a used toyota 4x4 pick up for my son. I am looking at early to mid 90's. I have seen alot of them with 3.0 V6's in them and some automatic tranny's. I been told to stay awhay from the 3.0 from one guy. I would like feed back from you folks on the subject. Also what about the tranny is it any good? Thank You For your time.
every single person i've talked with that has owned one themselves, says to avoid the 3.0 v6, accept ONE person. he beats on his rock crawler unmercifully. he swears there is nothing wrong with the 3.0

everyone else says it will blow head gaskets and / or pistons for no apparent reason. 9 guys @ work have all said avoid it. the general concensus on the intarweb seems to be the same. it's much more expensive to fix/rebuild/repair than the 22r/22re also. the bell housings/transmissions are not interchangable between the 22r/22re and the v6 either.

i have seen so many early 90s 4runners for sale here in alabama it's just sad. finding a 22re 4 runner (which I would love to have) is nearly impossible, and the standard transmissions are even more rare.

even shade trees can rebuild the 22r/22re in a couple of weekends, i did my timing chain myself, and it only cost around $300 total. this is one very important thing you need to check if/when you buy a 22r/22re truck or runner. if the timing chain eats through the timing cover, the engine will eat bearings and destroy itself.

there are plenty of threaads about what to look for... "frame rot" "timing chain" "head gasket" searches should do you some good.

this is my first toyota (a 1989 model with almost 190,000 miles) and i am a believer now. it runs on the interstate just as smoothly as a 'new' truck, with the exception of not having all the power... this may be a bonus as you're buying for your son ;-)

before you drive, crawl under and look for leaks, rust, and home-made works of welders. THEN drive, and push the pedals all the way down. let it idle for 20 minutes, check for gases (headgasket) in the water, water in the oil, and oil in the water.

no documented proof of a timing chain replacement ? do it yourself the first week.
high milage ? no big deal
low milage ? odd, suspicious, these things are made to be driven
300,000 miles ? no big deal, just make sure the front end isn't about to fall out

there is one thread on here about a 1,000,000 mile toyota and it's race with it's owner to retirement. i'd link, but i don't have it. :)

good luck, and don't pay what kelly blue book says. they lie ! ;-)
 

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If you look at the 4 cylinder model, don't forget to ask if the valve clearance has been checked when it should
 

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the v6 isn't terrible, and it certainly does have far more power to get up and go compared to the 22re.. but I'd personally rather have a 22re any day of the week for the sheer fact they're so easy to find, and replace, and work on..

If I was buying a truck for my kid (which doesn't exist yet..) I'd look for a 22re, 5 speed, 4wd.. Take a look at the frame rails and you should swap the timing chain if it's around 150,000 miles or so.. If it's higher, do it anyways - it's cheap insurance..
 

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This post has some advice I gave to a friend looking for an older 2wd truck, but much of the advice applies to 4wd also: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3031364#post3031364

A few V6 owners have little to no trouble with the motor, most do have to replace the head gaskets, and a few have absolutely terrible luck with the motor, including multiple head gasket failures.

The motor on its best days has not much power nor good gas mileage (19 highway is about the best you can hope for, maybe about 15 around town). It has some design flaws that make it prone to head gasket failure, and valves must be adjusted every 70k-80k miles or so, else you're apt to wind up with burned exhaust valves. But even with all that, it can be a very reliable motor. My 89 required head gaskets at 218k miles; now it's at 285k and still runs very well and has good compression. So it's kind of hard to complain about it THAT much.

However, it seems the earlier motors, which were made in Japan, do better than the later US-made ones. The later models seem more prone to multiple head gasket failures. 91 was the last year that all of the trucks were made in Japan, after that a few odd configurations were still made overseas but most were made in the U.S.

I've read a lot of not very complimentary things about the auto trans, but have no experience with it myself.

The most important thing to check is for frame rust - they tend to rust from the inside out. A badly rusted frame will kill the truck - there is no practical repair. Check the joints of the rails with the cross-members in the rear.

Running a compression test before buying is always a good precaution, but really clean trucks will go quick so you may have to make a decision without one.
 
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