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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,
I`m about ready to get rid of my Xterra and get myself a 4runner which in my case will be much more affordable. I`m quite aware of most of the major changes in the 1st three generations. (suspensions , engines body style, etc.)
I`m just curious what all you guys think about them as far as your favorite years. The 3.0 is quite scary for me and one thing I don`t know much about is which years had the strongest trannys. I like the 85`s for the axles and I hear they have good trannys but still kinda find myself wanting a 2nd gen with the four linked rear. Mainly I want a reliable truck that will be comfy for long drives to the mountains for snowboarding in the winter as well a good all around off road vehicle. I am not gonna do much rock crawling nor prerunning but I still will find myself at the dunes as well in the mountains wheeling trail and would like to make one truck work for all. I work for a major suspension manufacturer and have the fab skills to do so and belive it is possible but I do need a little advice since you guys know a lot more about the specifics of the variations in the different years than I do. Sorry about the novel here but I will apprecciate any help you guys can give.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Thanks,
By chance do you know what four cylinder the 3rd gen has.....my searches have not really yielded many answers. I heard it has a timing chain vs. the 3.4`s belt which I don`t like. The only reason I was shying away from the 3rd gen was price since those are getting to be a little more than I want to spend.
Off subject but kinda funny this got moved to the NEWBIE section....I`m not really a newbie I just have not been a toyota head......I know trucks quite well....used to run the welding dept for Sway Away and currently work for Fabtech Motorsports. Oh Well! :shaking:
 

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Don't be offended by the mods moving the thread, it's just not a real hard-core question, so it really belongs over here.

I don't remember the actual designation for that 4 cyl engine, but yes it is a chain engine. It's a good engine, but IMO too weak to push around a 4Runner, especially once it's loaded up with trail armor and gear. The timing chain is not a big deal.

If you don't want to spend the $$$ on the 3rd gen, then I would look for a nice 2nd gen, but make plans now to cut BOTH ends of the suspension off. That 4-link setup is not that great, it doesn't have much travel and the coils sag after awhile. The upper control arms are weak, and the towers tear off the axle housing if you work them too hard.

The other thing to consider is the tailgate design (if you care). 1st & 2nd gens have the dropdown tailgate, but the 3rd gens are a liftgate. Both have a power window, the earlier design tends to rust out frequently, and the bad news with the drop-down is that if the motor or electrics for the window stop working, you can't open the tailgate. Can be a real PITA to fix.
 

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the 22re is the most reliable of the two ( the v6 had some problems with the timing belt during its earlier years...do an internet search). The rust isn't a problem on the west coast but if you're anywhere else it will be a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool thanks for the input.....now as far as the trannys/rear ends....anyone have any preference on the different variations offered throughout the years. Just looking for real world experience before I sink money into one of them.
Once again thanks.
 

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I drove an 86 w/ a 2.4L 22re for years and i loved it but it was anything but fast. The 1st gen trucks are great if you can find one in deacent condition which is hard since thay havent made them for 16 years.

The 2nd gen 4-runners are ok but Im not a fan. The 2.7L 4 cyl in the 2nd gens simply isnt enough engine for a truck that size. The 3.0 V6 is ok but far from my favorite Toyota engine and they blow head gaskets for breakfast.

The 3rd Gen trucks however are great trucks. I have a 98 w/ a 3.4 and a 5 speed and i couldnt ask for a better truck. More than enough power for moderate towing and you can always get the TRD supercharger if you want more. I have nothing but good things to say about it.
 

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my vote is an 85 sr5. its efi and solid axle. leaf springs can flex damn close to coils. my buddy almost maxed out a rti ramp with his leafs. plus you can't beat the 22re. that thing runs forever
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey thanks guys.....yup those 3.0`s scare me....I definitly think I`m gonna have to decide between an 85 and a 96+ or get a 2nd gen and swap in a better motor.....fun fun fun.
 
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