Very reliable, rugged and simple truck
I purchased my '89 Toyota pickup in early spring of 1991. Very soon after I bought it the running lights, interior lights and dash lights shorted out. Luckily each headlight had its own circuit so I was able to drive home with headlights at night. It turned out to be bad wiring on the after-market bumper license lights. Not Toyota's fault, but the buffoon who wired the bumper lights.
Another wiring problem surfaced several years later which disabled the entire electrical system. After having it towed home I discovered a broken wire splice near the fuse block on the passenger side fender well. It looked as if someone had fooled around with the wiring for some reason and spliced it with tape. I fixed it with real wiring connectors. Good as new.
I started having carburetor problems after about 170,000 miles. My gas mileage fell off what I used to get and starting became more difficult as did cold weather dirveability. This also coincided with the introduction of oxygenated gasoline where I live. MBTE additives are death to a late model carb. I replaced the carb at $750.00 - ouch - with a rebuild which eased the driveability ills, but the fix didn't last. I should have popped for the new carb at $500 extra.
I had the radiator reconditioned twice and only because the outlet tube at the top would work itself loose after time. The shop tech said that Toyota truck radiators were very easy to recondition well designed.
My 1989 Toyota was a very basic truck which is the way I like them. It had non-power steering, a 4-speed manual transmission (rare for late 80's Toyota trucks), vinyl floor, vinyl seats, no other power options and a very good a/c which was the only option. It wasn't even wired for a cigarette lighter.
It drove like a dump truck, but had a very controlled ride with or without a load. The most rugged steering I ever experienced with a vehicle. In over 200,000 miles I think I had it aligned three times. It was the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned.
I sold to my best friend who still owns it almost 4 years ago after owning it for 11 years. It runs very rich and rough now and finding a mechanic who can actually tune a carb is near impossible. That is a shame because it was always a great engine and could take a lot of hard driving. It still has the original alternator, still on the second clutch. If it had been fuel injected I would have kept it and got it re-painted.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th October, 2005