1997 4Runner, 204,000 Miles: What repairs to expect (1 Viewer)

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Apologies if this question has been answered somewhere already! I've searched and searched for something like "A guide to expected repairs on your aging truck" somewhere on the web, but have had no luck.

My 4Runner LTD, with 4wheel drive and rear differential lock, has 326,000K on it. It runs beautifully and regularly pulls a 3000 lb travel trailer. I'm hoping someone here could help me predict WHAT I should expect to be replacing --- and how often --- as I continue to drive it. I'd also like to know whether the amount I've spent on annual maintenance over the past 170,000K (taking into account Toyota is doing the work at $US service prices) is reasonable given the high mileage: I've spent just under US$2000 per year on it since early 2005, when it had 173,000K on it.

I'm the original owner and have always changed the oil every 5,000K, done all scheduled maintenance, replaced fluids whenever recommended, "done" the brakes, replaced the rack and pinion assembly, the valve covers, the axles and axle seals (and the contaminated brake shoes) and replaced an A/C hose. I think that at one point, a timing belt was also replaced. I've never broken down or had any trouble at all on the road.

We get most of our miles from hwy driving. I LOVE this truck and would like to continue driving it until it's no longer safe --- quite apart from the capital cost of a new one.

Thank you for any insight you could provide.
 
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My wife drives a 2000 with 207k on it now. In the last 15k I've changed both front axleshafts, both front wheel bearings, and one rear wheel bearing. Other than that it's never required anything but regular maintenance. I work with a few guys who have 3rd gen 4 Runners with well over 300k on them still going strong with no major issues.
 
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Timing belt is due again, waterpump, thermostat, seals, tensioner, idler etc.
Front O2 sensor
Balljoints (maybe)
Springs and struts and shocks (at some point)
Fluids, sparks, wires.
 
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Stay on top of the maintenance and you can drive this thing forever! THings like steering linkages, balljoints, brakes, etc, (things that affect handling of the vehicle) Make sure those parts are good and the vehicle will be safe. Of course if your timing belt decides to go while you are in a bad neighborhood, well, that might not be safe.

You can run a toyota forever if you stay on top of the maintenance, which it sounds like you are doing. It sure beats car payments!:steer:
 

Duane

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specifically I don't have that many miles on mine to know......
shocks at some point, the seat foam and cover may need replacing, antenna if power, drivers door weatherstripping,
We drove an old landcruiser to 450,000 miles ish and door linkages/ghardware...solid axles though of course... brake master cylinder wore out, bushings....

on any of my high miler chevy's it was things like headlight switches, electric window motor, door hinges/pin, fan blower motor, seat foam, door weather stripping,

At any rate all I ever did was to replace all fluids when needed, (certainly coolant, brake and power steering fluid) address any leaks , keep everthing working and keep it running smooth and quiet... suspension components.
At some point keeping leaks and fluid levels proper may come a challenge as shafts and surfaces were to the point where a seal will not function properly anymore. Then likely bes to replace shafts/whole assemblies or as I had done on an old K2 blazer of mine a ready sleeve I think it was called.

I figure when the rust or paints gets to a point where it is too bad then fixing mechanical is pointless after that..time for a new set of wheels.
 

G-Cat

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1998 with 240K plus miles...no major issues, knock on wood...
 
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I have a 1997 Toyota Tacoma. Both the V6 Tacomas and 4Runners had a manufacturer service recall for the head gasket. Run your VIN against service records to see if your head gasket has already been addressed. I'm confused by your message a bit. You say in the header you have a 4Runner with 204k but then you mention having over 300k. Are you talking about two different trucks? If you already have 200 grand on the truck, chances are good that you or a PO already had it done (2nd truck?). But it certainly doesn't hurt to check.

Enjoy!
270k on my original V6 and still going strong.
 
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Hi, StevenS,
Thank you for your reply! I bought my 4Runner in Vancouver, Canada --- hence the different numbers: 204,000 MILES but over 325,000 KILOMETERS.

I'll check on the head gasket. Thank you for telling me.

Do you think that $2000 US in maintenance, including 4/year fluid/filters/tire rotation is too much?

E.
 
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Hi, StevenS,
Thank you for your reply! I bought my 4Runner in Vancouver, Canada --- hence the different numbers: 204,000 MILES but over 325,000 KILOMETERS.

I'll check on the head gasket. Thank you for telling me.

Do you think that $2000 US in maintenance, including 4/year fluid/filters/tire rotation is too much?

E.
Ah. you were mixing units on me and it threw me.

Price for all of what you've mentioned is roadside robbery. However, that being said, you haven't defined what is included in "maintenance" - or is it just what you've typed? If nothing more - go somewhere else. That's obscene.
 
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No, it's not just the oil-and-lube!

My annual maintenance cost --- INCLUDING oil-lube-fluids-tire rotation-wiper blades --- has averaged $2000 per year since the truck had 185,000 KILOMETERS (mid-2005).
What I've had done in that time is:
- replaced air conditioning low side pipe/hose; re-charge
- 60,000 mile service
- new battery
- replaced both inner tie rod endsand both sway bar bushings
- cleaned/adjusted brakes; replaced front brake pads; resurfaced front rotors
- 90,000 mile service
- replaced timing belt; replaced drive belt
- replaced antenna mast
- replaced both rear axle seals, bearings, brake shoes; resurfaced drums
- replaced spark plug wires and spark plugs
- replaced both rear axles
- replaced both read wheel cylinders (May '09)
- replaced rack and pinion assembly
- replaced rear wheel cylinders AGAIN (March '11)

Since we moved to San Francisco in 2005, I've taken the car to a Toyota service place for all service. Frankly, while I believe their prices are higher than those I would pay at a private shop, I don't KNOW a reliable, reputable private shop.

The service manager at Toyota hasn't been able (or willing?) to tell me what to expect in repairs as time goes on, or when it would be better to bite the bullet on a new 4Runner (or Highlander; we need to be able to tow 5000 lbs). Hence my posting on this forum.

So, back the question: given that I'm paying top price for service, does it seem to you that I'm investing too much money in keeping my 4Runner

Really appreciate your help!
 

Duane

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Sonia...I misunderstood the mileage..thought you had 326,000 miles not km's.
Well you should be good till 400,000 without hopefully much more than what you have done already.
My 96 has 328,000 km's on it. Just changed the front door switches this past week as the interior light wouldn't come on.
I have a 2.7 inline 4 cylinder in mine but unless yours is really rusty underneath as in it came from out east you should be good to go for another 50,000 with anything big. Surprised with the rear wheel cylinders repalced twice:confused:
Enjoy the Limited!
 
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Duane,

Thanks very much for your response. I bought the car in Vancouver, British Columbia, and it has not yet been exposed to the road salt that destroys cars in the eastern provinces and states. The body and undercarriages are almost unblemished.

50,000 Kms is about 1.5 years of driving for us (mainly highway) so I look forward to a year in which my operational expenses are a bit lower than they've been in the past few years.

Cheers,
Sonia
 

Duane

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Sonia
You are welcome. I get all my driveline fluids changed every 50,000 km ( front and rear diff, transfer case and transmission) engine oil change every 5 or 6000 km I forget..depends on amount of highway miles as compared to running short trips around the city.
I think it's a good idea to change power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant at least every 100,000 km's as well.
Has your brake fluid been changed during or both times those back wheel cylinders were changed out? A humid climate such as Vancouver would be at a higher risk of the brake fluid absorbing moisture which could lead to earlier failure of brake parts..still replacing them twice seems unbelievable to me... wonder if they used a jobber part rather than a Toyota brake cylinder. :hmm:
 
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I was just looking at a '97 2.7 5speed, but the tailgate is shot :frown:

Does anyone make a rear skin or patch around the wiper? I called for a new one...$1300 or something like that...
 

Duane

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yes wreckers or I search Kijiji as the odd one is being parted out... I suppose you would need to look west to find one in good shape maybe though
 
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I see a few things on that list that are probably a mechanic selling you something you may not need.

The rack and pinion. Most of them get a bit loose over time. The bushing is adjustable to take up slack and I've adjusted mine once. Worked great. Still going on the original with no intention of replacing. A Toyota mechanic should know this and how to do it. It's common on these vehicles. Replacing the rubber mounts is common.

Rear wheel bearings are common failure at around 200k miles. If they go, it requires new seals, bearing, and usually new brakes because the fluid will leak into the breaks and absorb into the pads. Usually you buy new ABS rings too because they are really hard to remove without damaging.


Replacing both rear axles is odd. That would be VERY unusual to ever have to replace a rear axle unless you are using it very hard. I've broken axles offroad and I can't imagine every even damaging one during normal use in a 4runner with stock suspension and tires.
 

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