Toyota Nation Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just bought an 03 PreRunner - thanks for the advice.

As a former truck guy (and former 85 SR5 Xtra cab 4x4 owner - it died in a wreck 15 years ago), I kick myself when I have need for a truck and I have been looking for a used Tacoma PreRunner (Xtra/Double cab) to fill my needs. I also am looking at 4x4 models as a former offroad junky as well, but don't think I'll actually need the 4 wheel drive.
  • Aside from the normal used car guidelines like how to read a Carfax report (clean doesn't always mean clean), are there any Tacoma/PreRunner specific issues I should look for? Most that I am seeing are in the 90-130k mileage range and 1 owner/2 owner trucks.
  • I'm also looking to see what the actual gas mileage seems to be for the engine options and having a hard time finding info. I see claims of 25mpg, but can't see that as possible. What kind of mileage can I expect with city/highway driving?
Thanks in advance:thumbsup:,

Benjamin (possible new truck guy)
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Going to check out an 03 Doublecab PreRunner v6 TRD tonight. 110k miles, 1 owner non-smoker truck that looks clean in the pics. Had the 90k service (timing belt, water pump, etc.) 2k ago. $9999 asking price.

If it is in good shape, drives well, I'll have it looked at by a mechanic tomorrow. Any other suggestions above and beyond my checklist below?

My normal pre-test drive is to climb under and look for obvious signs of leakage or new work (indicating a problem was worked on/repaired/replaced). Check out tire wear and pressure. Pop the hood and inspect for leaks/maintenance. Check the oil (color/fill level) and start the truck and give it a listen under the hood. Check the tranny fluid (smell/color/fill level). Then get in an go for a ride.

On the ride, find a nice straight, flat road and let go of the wheel - check for pull. When traffic allows (I like empty roads), quickly shift from right and brake hard to left to check for suspension and brake issues. I enter a freeway and at 35mph, fully accelerate to 70, then cruise at 65 for 20 seconds or so to feel for anomolies. Find a hill - do hill starts/stops/accelleration tests.

Test all electronics, open all doors/windows and observe the condition of the interior.
 

·
This Space For Rent
Joined
·
14,150 Posts
Has the truck been in Cali all its life? If not, then check for frame rust. I would bring something like a ball peen hammer and just start hitting the frame. If your hammer makes a hole then don't buy it. Other than that, just make sure the truck has been properly serviced. And the timing belt (v6) should have been done at 90K miles, that would be the major concern along with the frame rust issue. As for MPG for a v6, you'd be lucky to get 22 MPG, I got about 20 before I sold my truck a few months ago. 25 MPG maybe for a 4 banger. Let us know how it goes!
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It inspected great and drove better. The inside was like new. Very minor surface imperfections in 3 or 4 places on the paint (possibly able to buff them out if they bug me). I did a 25 MPH panic stop with my hands off the wheel, but still there if it pulled and it stopped straight.

Left a deposit on it tonight:

Craigslist ad: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/ctd/1074194589.html
Insane maintenance on Carfax:
http://www.carfax.com/viewEmailRepo...nX31GrTqwMg1OBox/uRsiB9bDgDaCTSi3&language=EN

I'm meeting her at a bank branch by her house in the morning. As long as she brings the maintenance paperwork showing the timing belt and waterpump, I feel it's a great deal.
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just got a copy of the last work done on the truck from the AAA shop she took it to - 90k Service (2 months [email protected]):
Timing belt, water pump, plugs, belts, new brakes, diff and tranny service using all toyota parts. She just spent nearly $2.5k including new tires.

Either I'm getting a hell of a deal, or this thing will be the biggest lemon on the planet :p

The 2 owner thing is because the current owner received the truck in lieu of rent payment as the owner lost his job and decided to move back to the Philipines - 3 months rent (she won't tell me how much). Either way, at $10k minus the 2.5 she put into it, she'll still be making a profit.

I'll be a truck guy again in 2 hours.
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm a truck owner again :D It rides nice and is pretty damn quiet inside at highway speeds.

Thanks for the advice and checking back.:thumbsup:

It was sold and only serviced in California - in the town I bought it at. No rust, clean and only minor paint imperfections.

She got a sight unseen offer for $10000 after she told him she had accepted a deposit he raised it to $11500. She is a good person and held to our agreement. It only reinforced that I got a good deal.

First up - new headunit as the stock one blows and I need iPod/iPhone connectivity ;) - any reasonable headunit should make the stock speakers sound better. Gotta start that research now.

2nd - Tailgate extender and bed mounted bike rack.

3rd - Optima Battery.

Monday will be wash and detail time - it's gonna rain this weekend, so gotta wait.

... anyone want to buy a 2000 Civic EX - great for commuting, I don't need it as I drive a truck again :lol:
 

·
This Space For Rent
Joined
·
14,150 Posts
After you're done detailing the old girl be sure to post pics in the thread stickied at the top of this forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
DAMN! That was one hell of a steal! I bought a '99 in VA for 7K and that was because I was the first one with the cash, there were plenty of others that were trying to get it. I would definitely have paid 10K for yours. Congrats on that very nice and well maintained ride!
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. After driving it all weekend, I like it! ... need iPod connection. Ugh - radio - that's still around?

Gonna get the Civic ready for sale tomorrow so it gets head of the line for detailing, it may be a few days before the truck gets the bath it deserves. It's pretty clean as it is, so it's not gonna kill me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Thanks guys. After driving it all weekend, I like it! ... need iPod connection. Ugh - radio - that's still around?
If you're a complete cheapskate like me, here was my solution to get my iPod connected to my '04 Tacoma PreRunner:

It's the cheap 1st gen (not second) Harmon/Kardon Drive & Play. Works great and you can get them for about $40 online or eBay. It's basically three parts, 1. Display, 2. Controller, 3. Brain, 4. Power.

Install took me about an hour and a half.
30GB iPod is safely tucked away in the glove box. Charges it while you drive, never need to access it.

You can mount the display and control knob anywhere you wish.
Here are some pics of my setup:

Main:


Control Knob:


You can hardwire the power in, but the better fix to me was just using the simple supplied cig lighter power feed. It's off when the Tacoma is off, so there's never a drain on the battery. I also have two cig lighters and don't smoke so I may as well get some use out of them. ;)


Some people use the FM tuner to play the tunes, but I hate that. Sounds like crap. Full of static and never consistent. So since my 04 Tacoma comes with a stock tape deck I will NEVER use, I just had one of those fake tape deck to audio input things lying around and I use that. (You can get em for about $5-15 bucks.) It connects directly to the audio (headphones) out on the iPod itself in the glove box and the music is PERFECTLY CLEAR. Never any static via a FM tuner, etc. Most people will never even see how it's hooked up because you just see a small section of the cable (about 1") from the tape deck area to below the stereo. Here's a pic:



Again, I'm sure there are much fancier ways to get the job done, but I'm a cheapskate, and this was a fun little install to do with the end result having crystal clear sound and 30Gb of music and playlists. Anyone can do it themselves.

Total cost for me: $40. I love it.

Cheers.
(This is my first post...hope the pic links work) :D
 

·
Tech Dork for hire
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That works pretty well and cheap too :D I agree that the FM transmitters suck, so I'd say that was a job well done.

I'm no audio snob... but I used to be;), so the muddy sound of the stock unit already has me at my wits end. I turned it off on the way to work today and listened to nothing instead.

I'll probably swap the head unit out for a Pioneer FH-P800BT (if I can find one locally) as it is a double DIN unit and fits without an install kit (I can't bring myself to use a big blank plate). I like the P800BT as I can get direct iPod control of my old Nano and Bluetooth for the iPhone so I don't have to use my goofy headset. I am still looking though, so it may be a different choice, but if I find one, it'll get installed tonight :cool:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top