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Discussion Starter #1
Here is my list of trucks since ohhhh, 1982

1975 GMC Sierra Classic - My first truck. 350 Automatic, 4bbl carbs, full
load - my early contribution to global warming
1977 Toyota Long Box - put about a 300k kms on that one
1983 Toyota SR5 Mojave (Damn I loved that truck - best truck till now - put
260k kms on that bad boy). It had awesome seats and cruise control. It was
just a great truck.
1990 Toyota Long Box - Very utilitarian - I tried to soup it up with a
sunroof, cool stereo and bucket seats, but it never really changed it into
the chick-magnet I lusted after.
1998 Ford Ranger 4WD Long Box. See, here I took a sabbatical from Toyota.
They priced themselves badly out of the market with the underpowered POS
1995-2004 Taco. I really loved the Ranger styling in '98.
Man what a piece of crap that truck was. Thank God I realized it after
owning it for a year and traded it off for a nice...
1998 Mazda 2WD ext cab. Oddly, the same chassis and components as the Ford,
but a world away in reliability. Too bad that no matter how much I tried to
deny it, it was still a Mazda.
1998 Nissan 4WD ext cab. Very nice fancy truck (Leather seats! My dog
loved those!). Too bad it burned oil and went through fuel like a 747.
2005 Taco. There is the truck that a thinking-man dreamed up. Wide cab,
comfy seats, biiiig rear seating area, 4 doors, reasonably priced, awesome
fuel economy, gads of power, great fold-down passenger seat that doubles as
a desk, cool 110V power outlet in the box (I've never
used it, wish they put it in the cab - but man its cool to know its there)
all around an awesome truck. The downsides? The turning radius of the
Exxon Valdez, crappy hard-to-upgrade stereo and gearing that gets confused
at times.

Take it from a humble expert who has been around trucks a while. Go get
yourself a post 2004 Taco. I bought my 05 Tacoma in Feb of 2005. It is the
SR5 Taco Extended cab 2.7l 2WD. Without a doubt, this is by far the best
pickup truck I have owned - ever - no sh*t. btw, I also have been
involved in purchasing / leasing and renting of small trucks for 25 years -
I am in engineering and that's all we use.

Bob
 
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Discussion Starter #2
"Bob S," <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

> Here is my list of trucks since ohhhh, 1982



> ...1983 Toyota SR5 Mojave (Damn I loved that truck - best truck till now
> - put 260k kms on that bad boy). It had awesome seats and cruise
> control. It was just a great truck.
> 1990 Toyota Long Box - Very utilitarian - I tried to soup it up with a
> sunroof, cool stereo and bucket seats, but it never really changed it
> into the chick-magnet I lusted after.
> 1998 Ford Ranger 4WD Long Box. See, here I took a sabbatical from
> Toyota. They priced themselves badly out of the market with the
> underpowered POS 1995-2004 Taco...


Interesting that you give such high praise to an '83 while calling the
'95-'04 underpowered. The 2.7 and 3.4 engines were a strong improvement
over the old 2.4 series.

I think the '05 chassis is a little too big and heavy. They should have
refined the smaller body and just added the VVT engines. When I see the new
Tacomas I keep mistaking them for Tundras at a distance. I also think the
'05 4x4s are too busy in the fenders with that creased look. I'm sure
they're fine trucks but there was nothing wrong with the true compact size.

A.R.

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Discussion Starter #3
On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 18:27:03 -0600, "A.R." <[email protected]> wrote:

>I think the '05 chassis is a little too big and heavy.


Having owned both sizes, I'd never go back. <G> The current size
reminds me of a slightly shrunken T100. Remember, part of the tow
capacity (and handling under load) is the weight of the tow vehicle.

I think what gave the 22R such a great following was the extreme
simplicity, ease of maintenance access, and the light vehicle it was
installed in. I loved my example of that little 4 banger! Toyota
seems to have out some extra effort into making the 4.0 very
serviceable, especially with the top mounted oil filter.

>'05 4x4s are too busy in the fenders with that creased look.


I agree, and had to get by them, but I'm getting used to 'em. The
over fenders are simply clipped on, so I wouldn't be surprised if
aftermarket replacements start to show up. Older Tacomas have enjoyed
good aftermarket support, so I don't think this truck will be any
different.

> I'm sure
>they're fine trucks but there was nothing wrong with the true compact size.


Too bad they can't offer both. If the '05 was the same size as the
'04, I still would have purchased my '05, but I really like the new
size. That extra few inches of width really makes a difference
inside.

What _I_ really would like is an Access Cab with 7 1/2'+ bed
(this_should_ fit on the "long bed" double cab chassis <G>), with a 3
or 4 liter diesel.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Liked your comments. Auto transmission hunting seems to remain an issue, or
an area to redesign. My 90 3.0 was always shifting in and out of OD, but
never seems to bother it in terms of maintenance. My 04 3.4 shifts nearly
identical. I hear the 3.4 is more powerful, but not much in my opinion. As
for the 04 vs 05, let's compare in 5 and 10 years. Good truck for my needs,
so it really dont matter much.

"Bob S," <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Here is my list of trucks since ohhhh, 1982
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Bonehenge <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 18:27:03 -0600, "A.R." <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>I think the '05 chassis is a little too big and heavy.

>
> Having owned both sizes, I'd never go back. <G> The current size
> reminds me of a slightly shrunken T100. Remember, part of the tow
> capacity (and handling under load) is the weight of the tow vehicle.
>
> I think what gave the 22R such a great following was the extreme
> simplicity, ease of maintenance access, and the light vehicle it was
> installed in. I loved my example of that little 4 banger! Toyota
> seems to have out some extra effort into making the 4.0 very
> serviceable, especially with the top mounted oil filter.


True, but the '95 to '04 Tacomas don't seem that much heavier than the old
22R/22RE powered trucks. I don't understand why the original poster called
them "underpowered" or "POS." He never even owned one. There were some
problems with3.4 head gaskets but my 2.7 has been solid.

>> I'm sure
>>they're fine trucks but there was nothing wrong with the true compact
>>size.

>
> Too bad they can't offer both. If the '05 was the same size as the
> '04, I still would have purchased my '05, but I really like the new
> size. That extra few inches of width really makes a difference
> inside.


As someone who buys trucks mostly for 4WD, I want something fairly narrow.
Even on city streets I have squeaked through gauntlets where the new Tacoma
wouldn't fit. If I was going to replace my current '98 4x4 I'd probably get
the new fat version just because it's a Toyota. The 2.7 seems barely big
enough for it, though. They only boosted its torque by 6 ft/lbs but weight
seems up by 200 or 300 lbs. and tires are heavier. Has anyone struggled in
the mountains with a '05 2.7 4x4?

A.R.

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Discussion Starter #6
Has anyone struggled in
> the mountains with a '05 2.7 4x4?


I have an '05 2.7 VVT regular cab 4wd 5speed manual and have no problem with
power anywhere. The fit and finish is excellent and I expect to keep this
for many, many years. I fitted it with an ARE cap and it went on like a
glove ( I have my mulch delivered). It is 13+ months old with no problems. I
owned a 2002 Tacoma and the quality on this model surpasses the previous
ones.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
"Bob Palmer" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

>> Has anyone struggled in the mountains with a '05 2.7
>> 4x4?

>
> I have an '05 2.7 VVT regular cab 4wd 5speed manual and
> have no problem with power anywhere. The fit and finish
> is excellent and I expect to keep this for many, many
> years. I fitted it with an ARE cap and it went on like a
> glove ( I have my mulch delivered). It is 13+ months old
> with no problems. I owned a 2002 Tacoma and the quality
> on this model surpasses the previous ones.


On long, straight highway grades my current 2.7 with
150hp/177ft-lb needs a fair amount of downshifting to 4th
and sometimes 3rd. I have a 70 lb shell installed. On a
grade of roughly 7% I'm have to use full throttle in 4th to
hold 60 or 65 MPH (depending on fuel quality). 3rd is
required for anything faster and it's churning like a
blender. I can't see how a heavier truck with bigger tires
and not much more power can pull that off easily. VVT
torque curve is different?

A.R.

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not into the technology, just stating how the vehicle drives. I am never
lacking for power, but I do not tow anything either. I am not wanting for a
larger more powerful gas-eating engine. The Toyota 4-cylinder has proven
itself in the past and I always go with what works.
"A.R." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> "Bob Palmer" <[email protected]> wrote in
> news:[email protected]:
>
>>> Has anyone struggled in the mountains with a '05 2.7
>>> 4x4?

>>
>> I have an '05 2.7 VVT regular cab 4wd 5speed manual and
>> have no problem with power anywhere. The fit and finish
>> is excellent and I expect to keep this for many, many
>> years. I fitted it with an ARE cap and it went on like a
>> glove ( I have my mulch delivered). It is 13+ months old
>> with no problems. I owned a 2002 Tacoma and the quality
>> on this model surpasses the previous ones.

>
> On long, straight highway grades my current 2.7 with
> 150hp/177ft-lb needs a fair amount of downshifting to 4th
> and sometimes 3rd. I have a 70 lb shell installed. On a
> grade of roughly 7% I'm have to use full throttle in 4th to
> hold 60 or 65 MPH (depending on fuel quality). 3rd is
> required for anything faster and it's churning like a
> blender. I can't see how a heavier truck with bigger tires
> and not much more power can pull that off easily. VVT
> torque curve is different?
>
> A.R.
>
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Discussion Starter #9
"Bob Palmer" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> I'm not into the technology, just stating how the vehicle drives. I am
> never lacking for power, but I do not tow anything either. I am not
> wanting for a larger more powerful gas-eating engine. The Toyota
> 4-cylinder has proven itself in the past and I always go with what
> works.


I hear you - I also have no use for a V6 - but I am seeking info that can't
be learned on a standard test drive. I drove a dealer's '05 4x4 regular cab
but only took small hills and it wasn't broken in. I just couldn't get a
feel for the power vs. my current Tacoma. It felt slower, subjectively.

The 4's are tough engines but they often work at their limits. The math of
a heavier truck without much more torque doesn't quite add up unless VVT
has a special torque curve. If you live in mostly flat country you may not
have dealt with certain extremes (yet).

A.R.

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Discussion Starter #10
I live in south-central PA about 20 miles NE of Gettysburg. There are many
curves and steep hills on our country roads. There are many vehicle crashes
involving head ons and driving into ditches, hitting trees, poles etc. A
manual transmission is defintely worth having here. I don't have any
problems with power or handling as far as a pickup goes.

> I hear you - I also have no use for a V6 - but I am seeking info that
> can't
> be learned on a standard test drive. I drove a dealer's '05 4x4 regular
> cab
> but only took small hills and it wasn't broken in. I just couldn't get a
> feel for the power vs. my current Tacoma. It felt slower, subjectively.
>
> The 4's are tough engines but they often work at their limits. The math of
> a heavier truck without much more torque doesn't quite add up unless VVT
> has a special torque curve. If you live in mostly flat country you may not
> have dealt with certain extremes (yet).
>
> A.R.
>
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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for not responding earlier.

You are correct, I did not own one, I tried in vain to like the '98 and test
drove several from '96 to '99 while I waffled.

They always seemed underpowered and very small. I think the most
outstanding trial was last year testing an '03 then an '05. The difference
was dramatic. The engines were all 4 cyl 2wd.

It's interesting that you find the chassis heavy. Other than the turning
radius, I find it quite light - especially in the rear-end with the
composite box.

I think all light truck manufacturers dropped the ball badly in 1990 or so
when they tried to pretend they were making large trucks. I like light
trucks for specific reasons. The small box is easy to access for my work
stuff - I rarely need to carry large loads, fuel economy, their nimbleness
and most important - your friends don't bother to ask you to help them move!
Indeed, when a manufacturer (hopefully Toyota) makes a smaller version than
the Taco, I'd consider it.

I still miss the 22R in my '83.

"A.R." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Bonehenge <[email protected]> wrote in
> news:[email protected]:
>
>> On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 18:27:03 -0600, "A.R." <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>I think the '05 chassis is a little too big and heavy.

>>
>> Having owned both sizes, I'd never go back. <G> The current size
>> reminds me of a slightly shrunken T100. Remember, part of the tow
>> capacity (and handling under load) is the weight of the tow vehicle.
>>
>> I think what gave the 22R such a great following was the extreme
>> simplicity, ease of maintenance access, and the light vehicle it was
>> installed in. I loved my example of that little 4 banger! Toyota
>> seems to have out some extra effort into making the 4.0 very
>> serviceable, especially with the top mounted oil filter.

>
> True, but the '95 to '04 Tacomas don't seem that much heavier than the old
> 22R/22RE powered trucks. I don't understand why the original poster called
> them "underpowered" or "POS." He never even owned one. There were some
> problems with3.4 head gaskets but my 2.7 has been solid.
>
>>> I'm sure
>>>they're fine trucks but there was nothing wrong with the true compact
>>>size.

>>
>> Too bad they can't offer both. If the '05 was the same size as the
>> '04, I still would have purchased my '05, but I really like the new
>> size. That extra few inches of width really makes a difference
>> inside.

>
> As someone who buys trucks mostly for 4WD, I want something fairly narrow.
> Even on city streets I have squeaked through gauntlets where the new
> Tacoma
> wouldn't fit. If I was going to replace my current '98 4x4 I'd probably
> get
> the new fat version just because it's a Toyota. The 2.7 seems barely big
> enough for it, though. They only boosted its torque by 6 ft/lbs but weight
> seems up by 200 or 300 lbs. and tires are heavier. Has anyone struggled in
> the mountains with a '05 2.7 4x4?
>
> A.R.
>
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Discussion Starter #12
"Bob S," <[email protected]> wrote in news:5kTIf.14819$H%[email protected]:

> You are correct, I did not own one, I tried in vain to like the '98
> and test drove several from '96 to '99 while I waffled.
>
> They always seemed underpowered and very small. I think the most
> outstanding trial was last year testing an '03 then an '05. The
> difference was dramatic. The engines were all 4 cyl 2wd.


To my knowledge, Toyota pickups from the early 80s to 2004 were basically
the same size, just restyled. Correct me if that's wrong. The first Tacomas
had a new chassis/spring design but didn't seem larger because of it. The
22R only managed 108 HP and 138 ft/lbs in its final incarnation. The 22RE
(EFI) did better but was still eclipsed by the Tacoma 2.7 (3RZFE) at 150HP
and 177 ft/lbs. I've never seen complaints about the 3.4 V6 (190HP) lacking
power in older Tacomas. It was considered a monster by some reviewers.

> It's interesting that you find the chassis heavy. Other than the
> turning radius, I find it quite light - especially in the rear-end
> with the composite box.


The handling isn't bad, just the added width and bulk. I agree with your
following statement, except that Tacomas seemed plenty small until 2005.

> I think all light truck manufacturers dropped the ball badly in 1990
> or so when they tried to pretend they were making large trucks. I
> like light trucks for specific reasons. The small box is easy to
> access for my work stuff - I rarely need to carry large loads, fuel
> economy, their nimbleness and most important - your friends don't
> bother to ask you to help them move! Indeed, when a manufacturer
> (hopefully Toyota) makes a smaller version than the Taco, I'd consider
> it.


Not to sound like a broken record, but the older Tacomas were indeed "light
trucks," with more power than the pre-Tacoma nameless models. I had an '85
4x4 (22R) before my Tacoma and it didn't seem any smaller, just a lot less
powerful. The 22R was surely quicker in the lighter 2WDs but still a
lightweight compared to todays 4 bangers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_R_engine

A.R.

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