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Thread: Any 4runner owners?

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Old 09-07-2017, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Any 4runner owners?

I just picked up a 2001 SR5 last saturday. The WJ's were just getting beyond annoying to me, these 'runners have as much aftermarket support that anyone could hope for, plus OEM parts are readily available along with no shortage of knowledgeable help on a few dedicated forums.



177K, 3.4 V6, automatic with the multi-mode 4wd system. Cloth interior. No major rust anywhere, a few minor dings and scratches. Not bad overall for being 17 model years old.

Biggest headache to deal with- blown rear axle seal wiped out the right side, it needs seals/bearings/brakes. CEL came on during the drive home from NoVa, had it scanned and found 15 stored codes. 12 of them were emission related, the other 3 were ABS related. I didn't have any ABS/ VSC lights on the dash glowing, so I removed the cluster and found those 3 bulbs missing. Once I get a new ABS speed sensor installed tomorrow I'm hoping that at least the brake codes can be erased and not come back. Ironically, this vehicle just passed the VA safety inspection and was said to be in "safe condition"
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

Tired of those pesky dash lights, just remove them...

Looks in good shape otherwise.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

some tube and a sawzall----lets do this
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

I have one, 3RZ, 5 speed. Great truck, it's the official RC transport truck when the friends and i are going to the dunes:

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Old 09-10-2017, 08:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

Thanks for the feedback. As I drive this (cautiously) around the neighborhood, I'm really starting to like it. It's not as roomy inside as the WJ's that I've owned, but it feels like a much more solid vehicle thanks to the BOF construction. Front brakes were tackled on Saturday, at least it has some braking ability now. I was shocked when I found 4 pistons in the caliper, I hope that they're all working !

Still shopping around for the best way to fix the axle shaft bearing/seal. I can get the parts from Toyota through a buddy at employee pricing, it's still going to be over $300 in parts for both sides, then the brakes on top of it. I'm looking at fleabay motors where some recyclers are selling complete axle shaft assemblies for around $300 shipped. I'm not sure which way to go. The budget is tight as there's other repairs to make before I even take it in for the state inspection. I can basically fix the one side for about $300 or throw about $500-ish at it and know that it has fresh bearings/seals/brakes.

My biggest complaint is the seats, they aren't comfy for my small ape-like size. 6', 235 lbs. Has anyone used different seats in theirs with success?
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

Have you checked a local u-pull it part yard for an axle? These should be readily available and I bet swapable
With the Tacoma models as well.

By the way, I'm in Baltimore a couple days for work, staying at the Four Seasons. Any must do's?
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

pick and pulls have these rigs literally piucked to the bare shell and even a few of those shells were missimg 1/4 panels "regular" recyclers want $800-1200 for an axle that has more miles than mine. The answer is right in front of me, I just don't want to accept it. More budget that is quickly disappearing.

Must do's in Baltimore.. hmmm. Don't wander outside of the inner harbor area after dark. There's the science center, no idea what the main exhibit is these days. B&O railroad museum has incredible historic railroad equipment to look at. Little Italy is a great safe place to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere and food. Fort McHenery is open to the public, an iconic landmark for the birth of this country. There's a museum of Industry close to the inner harbor off of Key highway. Gotta eat some steamed crabs and post a pic for everyone to get grossed out !

You should be able to tour the stadiums, pretty incredible structures. There's lots of history around Baltimore, some neat old architecture to be seen if that's your thing. A side trip to Annapolis is nice if you have the ability to get there.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

Sorry to hear about your 4runner problems. Hope you figure it all out.
My wife's had a '98 2wd auto for many years, zero problems. We're getting ready to put her into a newer car soon. Hate to get rid of it but it's time for an upgrade.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks Chino. I'll get it going good again, it just needs a bit of love. I just got to figure out what items that I need to use OE parts to fix and what items aftermarket parts will be good enough. Pretty well built vehicle overall.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:44 PM   #10
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These are the brakes that just passed a VA safety inspection 1 day prior to me buying this.



Not only are they completely saturated from blown axle seals and a blown wheel cylinder, someone removed the self adjusting mechanism as well.

No worries, it's completely within my abilities to fix. I just got pissed about the fraudulent VA inspection that was exactly one day old.
I contacted the VA State Police and spoke with the trooper that's in charge of this inspection station. Hopefully someone will lose their inspector license over it. Unfortunately, there's no liability for the inspection station that "passed" this.

Better news- almost new tires for $400.


General Grabber A/T 's. Average tread depth was 15/32, so practically new. Good enough for this thing.

Friday was a busy day, I picked up about $800 ( at wholesale cost) worth of new Toyota parts and headed to my buddies body shop where he has generously given me a parking spot to work out of. His shop has tire equipment and a nice hydraulic press which he has given me access to. Friday got me the drivers side axle shaft rebooted with a factory reboot kit and a lower ball joint installed.

I had a brand new axle made from the finest chinesium alloys known to western civilization, but after comparing the fit/condition of the 178K joints and the brand new joints, the old ones were far tighter and looked to be of a much better quality construction. The torn boot was my dumb fault, so there was no contamination to be concerned about. I feel that I made the best choice.

Monday I'll do the right side LBJ then start the rear axle repairs. Once I knock out those jobs I'll take it in for a state inspection to see if I get nit-picked to death over it. The only thing that I can see that might get called out are the UBJ. The seals are old and crusty, but no grease has leaked out yet. They do seem to be a bit worn but nothing like the lowers.

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Old 09-22-2017, 01:12 AM   #11
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:25 PM   #12
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^ Must have missed something?

Well, it finally passed a legitimate state inspection. The inspection station called out 2 minor exhaust leaks and a burned out license plate bulb. I reminded them that they were the ones that did the exhaust repairs 3 weeks ago and assured me that everything was ok.

2 shop guys scramble under the truck and do a quick patch to their repair and called it good. The inspector told me to fix the light bulb ASAP but he was going to sign off on the inspection report right then and there.

I wasn't sure if they would call out the upper ball joints, so I held off on getting a good alignment done until I knew if I was going to be replacing more suspension pieces. The UBJ's felt solid to me, the dust boots are old and nasty but they aren't cracked and not leaking any grease. So today I went to a stealership and got an alignment done. No print out when I was paying, claiming that the printer isn't working. Well, the truck handles worse now than it did with the old bad tires. I get to go another round with the stealership tomorrow for an alignment and I'll be looking at the screen. No way did they set the camber/caster as they claim. I'd bet your paycheck that I got the good old 'set-the-toe-and-let-it-go' BS.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Any 4runner owners?

As a Toyota guy, buying this one recently was a pretty easy move. Fantastic condition for a '99 with 238,000 on the odometer. I'd never buy a vehicle with this many miles but for the sheer fact that it's a Toyota and that it's in GREAT shape, I just had to! Did some minor brake-work and replaced battery, starter, headlights, and grill clips but that's about it aside from a good detail. Need to also replace drivers side window motor but no biggie. Love the old Tacos and SR5's!







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