Full of heart, warning: you WILL get attached!
Frame rotted, several holes especially around the back of the truck.
Driver rear shock broke off the frame due to the rot.
Rockers and body had several holes.
Catalytic converter was clogged.
Minor exhaust leak.
Oil cooler seal blew.
Vent valve on rear differential rusted shut and had to be replaced.
First off, I'd like to state that the only major problem this truck has had is rust. If you are looking to buy one of these trucks, I cannot stress enough to CHECK THE FRAME!!! These trucks lack drainage holes in the frame, causing water to build up inside and rot it out from the inside. If you've found a 4Runner that's been oil sprayed its whole life, you're good to go. I had to sandblast the frame of my truck and weld several patches in, and if I had the chance to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't have bought the truck. I also repaired the rockers with fibreglass and sprayfoam, not a difficult job. There were also several holes in the doors and rear quarter panels, which I simply slapped some fibreglass over to pass safety.
A clogged catalytic converter isn't a very common problem and a very easy fix; I simply removed it. The exhaust leaks were also easy to fix. The vent valve for the rear differential is a 16 dollar part at the dealer, and the oil cooler seal is even cheaper and very easy to replace. A ten minute job.
It's true what they say about old Toyotas, they'll rust to pieces before they die. And that's the perfect description for my old truck. The 4 cylinder engine doesn't pack the most power, but it's reliable, sturdy and hardy. (Besides I've heard the V6 engines are notorious for blowing head gaskets) All 4Runner owners I've talked to say they prefer the 4 cylinder engine for off-roading and driving in general, and I'm very happy with mine. It's easy to work on, there's lots of room under the hood, and everything is easily accessible.
The interior has a nice look and is very comfortable. There's TONS of room inside the truck, I could easily fold the rear seats forward and sleep inside the truck. It heats up quickly. The stereo was a pain to install because the dash surrounding it is just a tad narrower than the deck, therefore the dash has to be unscrewed and pulled back to install a deck.
The transmission seems to have a bit of an issue with third gear, but I'm blaming that on negligence. I flushed the old transmission fluid and it improved greatly. The 4x4 works perfectly, goes in and out of 4 wheel drive with no issues, and the 4 low could tow a house. It's a very torquey little truck; I've almost rolled it into a ditch, and I simply put it in 4WD and backed out like it was nothing.
My only warning towards these trucks is (and I've learned this from experience) if you're just looking for a winter beater or a junker to drive for a short while and then scrap, buy a domestic truck. If you're looking for a solid, reliable truck that you're willing to put some money into and keep for years to come, I would strongly suggest looking for a 4Runner (a rust-free one, of course) ;) You WILL get attached.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th December, 2010