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Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/10/14 8:04 p.m.

My nephew is thinking about a used Tundra in the $5-8k range. What does he need to know?

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
3/10/14 8:09 p.m.

early 2000s Tundras had major frame rust problems (not positive on the years), bad enough that Toyota replaced thousands of them under a recall. Make sure if it's in the year range, it has had the frame replaced, especially if it's from up north. They got BAD.

In that price range you'll be looking at pretty old ones, so service history is good - and timing belt is a must if there's no service history (every 90k for the 4.7). I can't think of other major problems offhand (after having done a lot of research on the 4.7 Sequoias, which are largely the same vehicle mechanically other than the rear axle). I'm sure people here know more things, but in my research FRAME RUST was the #1 concern for early Tundras and Sequoias.

EDIT: It was for 2000-2003 Tundras nationwide. The free frame replacement program ended in 2012, so definitely check the frame...

SkinnyG
SkinnyG Dork
3/10/14 8:46 p.m.

My pop's '01 Tundra had the recall, but they just sealed up the rusty frame with some sort of spray. Not sure how that will last.

Early Tundras also had weak front brakes (replace them with 2005+ calipers and pads). Rear e-brake pivot seizes up as soon as you work them, which negates the self-adjusting feature.

Nice truck otherwise. handles heavy and slothful, but the V8 is a nice motor.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UberDork
3/10/14 9:05 p.m.

Did we mention frame rust? Because it was awful and the recall "fix" sucked, as others have mentioned. The bed and cab can look great and underneath can just be a disaster waiting to happen.

LainfordExpress
LainfordExpress HalfDork
3/10/14 9:09 p.m.

I looked at these and found a '94 F-150 XL instead. $3400, rust free, 94k, 2WD, and a 351W.

I'm starting to not hate the south.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
3/10/14 9:23 p.m.
SkinnyG wrote: My pop's '01 Tundra had the recall, but they just sealed up the rusty frame with some sort of spray. Not sure how that will last. Early Tundras also had weak front brakes (replace them with 2005+ calipers and pads). Rear e-brake pivot seizes up as soon as you work them, which negates the self-adjusting feature. Nice truck otherwise. handles heavy and slothful, but the V8 is a nice motor.

I think for the recall the frame had to have at least dime-sized hole(s) in certain areas. "the fix" depended on that. Toyota definitely did full replacement on a ton of frames

As to brakes, concur. Even the later brakes are nothing to write home about, honestly. Some Hawk HPS pads improve things substantially. I'm looking into retrofitting some 4th gen Sport Edition 4Runner brakes (13.3" rotors vs. 12.6) on the Sequoia....

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
3/10/14 9:25 p.m.

I remember C&D really loving the first gen Tundra with the optional TRD suspension. Their only complaint was that it was small compared to the competition.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
3/11/14 5:48 a.m.

Toyota truck frames have always rusted out, and probably always will. It's a closed box, it holds stuff inside. A few years got lucky and Toyota covered them with a semi-warranty. Don't read more into it than is there.

Squashy suspension, prone to exhaust manifold fractures, delicate bed (really delicate). Squirrely throttle response, particularly off idle. Generic Toyota appliance like reliability.

For less money, he can likely find the aforementioned Ford F150. Which might be more truck than a Tundra is. Though plagued with their own rust issues.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 SuperDork
3/11/14 6:08 a.m.

The frame recall cannot be over as I see stacks and stacks of new frames at our Toyota dealer. There are two techs that replace two every weekend. I was just there last week, and they still had a bunch of frames left outside.

On a side note. Yesterday I walked out of the building I was working in, and as I was heading towards my van I noticed a tire and wheel sitting in the driveway. I also made not of another employee just driving around said tire instead of moving it out of thee way. I went over, and noticed it was a 6 lug with the spare tire hanger still attached (yet the middle of the hanger was rotted out). I knew it didn't belong to any of the company vehicles as none of them are allowed to have spares (fleet removes them), and none of these heavy vehicles has a six lug pattern.

I got on the phone, and called one of my co-workers who left about 10 minutes prior in his Tundra. I asked him if he had a spare under his truck still. He wondered why I was asking, and then to his astonishment realized why when it wasn't there. He is picking it up this morning from the parking lot.

Now we live in the rustiest part of the country so this is normal for us, but I now the Tundra frame rot was an issue in other parts of the country as well. Other than that issue I haven't heard much bad about them. The co-worker with the missing spare has well over 250k on his, and little to no problems.

FYI the first two pics are of Tacoma's which were not repaired, but rather bought back and crushed due to frame rust.

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
3/11/14 8:21 a.m.

Where's he located, Woody? I would probably suggest something other than a Tundra if he's in the North East because of the rust issues. My father-in-law had a Nissan Hardbody truck with the 2.4L KA24/5sp and it was a great work-truck for him.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/11/14 8:31 a.m.

He's in New Hampshire, so yeah, rust...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/11/14 8:46 a.m.

I had a 2000 Tundra. No rust problems, but that's not surprising around here. Toyota trucks command a premium in this town, people love 'em. And I'm one of them, it was a good truck. I towed an enclosed one-car trailer across the country and back and never had concerns about the brakes even in the mountains. The engine was bombproof, the only failure was a bad starter right when I went to sell the thing.

The most common question when I was selling it was about the timing belt. It was the only question, really.

It was working hard when towing that trailer, especially with a Kansas headwind. They're definitely smaller than a lot of other trucks, but it's a useful size. The engine was good, willing to rev to climb a hill and returning 18 mpg or so empty around town. Towing was more like 9-10 mpg - welcome to the world of gas trucks.

I sold it because it had 130k and I tend to tow for long distances across desolate areas, so I wanted something that wasn't working quite so hard and was lower mileage. It was replaced with a Dodge 2500 turbo diesel, totally different creature. One thing about Tundras is that they're more like cars than work trucks to drive.

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
3/11/14 9:04 a.m.

I picked up a 2005 Double Cab with the V8 and 4WD last fall. Mine was a low mile truck out of Texas. I drove all the new trucks but bought this one because it was $20k less than a new one and I liked the way it drove as well or better than the new ones.

I can confirm the fragile bed issue. Mine is dented all over the place but the paint is in good shape so I doubt it was used as a real work truck. I think I added a dent or two helping my friend haul trash bags of plaster...

Mileage will be somewhere between bad and aweful. I get 13-15 with it. Sometimes it hits 17 or 18 highway but I'm not sure why. They regularly hit 300k miles without issues.

With your nephew's budget, I think he'll be stuck with a 2WD V6 or a very high mileage 4WD truck.

Good luck either way. I like mine.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
3/11/14 9:13 a.m.

Also, stay far away from the V6 Tundra's. The 2wd transmissions were more fragile than a first gen 700R4 behind a bigblock. They also got worse fuel economy than the V8 (if that was even possible) at 15-16mpg unloaded at 70mph. loaded or faster and you were down in the 12-13mpg range.

Unfortunately I spent many an hour sitting the the uncomfortable torture chamber that passed for a cabin. The bench seat was horrible, the seating position sucked, the steering wheel and pedals never seemed to be lined up, had 0 power available at any rpm. Making it rev didn't really affect acceleration, just buzzed and vibrated more.

But other than that and the aforementioned frame rust they are great trucklets.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 SuperDork
3/11/14 5:12 p.m.
stumpmj wrote: With your nephew's budget, I think he'll be stuck with a 2WD V6 or a very high mileage 4WD truck.

There is no such thing as a 2wd truck in NH. They don't allow them. Seriously he will be hard pressed to find anything 2wd in NH. Toyota will not even sell a 2wd double cab in New England new.Not even an option when you go to build a truck on their website.

carbon
carbon HalfDork
3/11/14 5:27 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I remember C&D really loving the first gen Tundra with the optional TRD suspension. Their only complaint was that it was small compared to the competition.

I'm of the opinion that small compared to the competition is an asset in most situations, my buddy's has 300k (not gentle or well maintained) miles on it, going strong.

Also worth considering is the later t100, with a 3.4 and a stick they are great trucks

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/11/14 8:14 p.m.

We had a 3.4 T100 for a shop truck for a while. Bill welded a turbo flange on to one of the exhaust manifolds, stuck on a T3, a baby intercooler and a rising rate FPR. We ran that thing for years that way, towing far more than we should have over big mountain passes. Never even changed the clutch. I've been a big believer in that 3.4 ever since.

evildky
evildky Dork
3/12/14 11:21 a.m.

I have a 2010 Tundra, it's got about 65k of trouble free miles and counting.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
3/12/14 11:27 a.m.
carbon wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: I remember C&D really loving the first gen Tundra with the optional TRD suspension. Their only complaint was that it was small compared to the competition.
I'm of the opinion that small compared to the competition is an asset in most situations, my buddy's has 300k (not gentle or well maintained) miles on it, going strong. Also worth considering is the later t100, with a 3.4 and a stick they are great trucks

T100 was twice the truck the first Gen Tundra was. Maybe even 3 times. I can't remember the last time I saw a T100 that wasn't close to 500k miles (not those wimpy km). They're just that good. Sadly, they're also just a hair bigger than the Taco.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
3/12/14 5:35 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: T100 was twice the truck the first Gen Tundra was. Maybe even 3 times. I can't remember the last time I saw a T100 that wasn't close to 500k miles (not those wimpy km). They're just that good. Sadly, they're also just a hair bigger than the Taco.

I have a late model t100, father in law has an early Tundra. Both are 4x4 models. In no way, shape, or form would I consider my T100 superior to his tundra.

I've pulled 3 tons with the tundra, and it wasn't working very hard. The T100 is working pulling an empty trailer. Tundra gets about 2-4 mpg better than the T100 does.

Both hold a full sheet of plywood in the bed between the fenders. In fact, I think you can switch tailgates.

Both trucks get run through filth regularly, the tundra interior is staying marginally cleaner and wearing better. The tundra has less rust than the t100.

Both trucks ride comparably. Both trucks can carry 3 adults across the seats equally. They are within 2 inches regarding width as I recall

Both have been typical toyota a, with tremendous reliability, but it has been the T100 that has blown a head gasket and a radiator. The tundra wore out an ignition switch.

The T100 bed has held up with less denting, but it also has a plastic bed liner, the tundra does not. The T100 bed has much more rust than the tundra has.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/12/14 8:19 p.m.

And...........

............he bought a Chevy.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/12/14 8:52 p.m.

Yup.. Domestic trucks never rust.

The difference between toyota and GM/Ford is that they own up to their problems and fix them. They value customer loyalty and brand perception. Even with their slide in quality lately, you'll barely have toyota people buy something different. Customer service wins customer loyalty every time.

I'd love a tundra or tacoma crew cab.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UltraDork
3/13/14 2:34 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine wrote: Yup.. Domestic trucks never rust.

First off:

Yes, lets compare a new millenium pickup to one that is over two decades old.

Second:

Nobody said the domestics don't rust. However, just as my problem with VW's, I take issue with manufacturing/design problems that keep me from USING the vehicle. GM frames never broke apart, the bodies rusted (again, after two decades if you didn't take care of them). Whoopdee doo, I still have a truck that works. The rust of the body is purely cosmetic.

evildky
evildky Dork
3/13/14 2:51 p.m.

The bed of my 04 chevy didn't rust, it just dented every time you looked at it. I have a problem with an automaker that would use metal so thin in the bed of a truck? I didn't have that problem with any of my US built "foreign" trucks. Then there were all the mechanical issues that plagued the chevy. I prefer my trouble free, merkin made, jap trucks.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
3/13/14 2:56 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine wrote: Yup.. Domestic trucks never rust. The difference between toyota and GM/Ford is that they own up to their problems and fix them. They value customer loyalty and brand perception. Even with their slide in quality lately, you'll barely have toyota people buy something different. Customer service wins customer loyalty every time. I'd love a tundra or tacoma crew cab.

Let's do a reality check for the fanbois..... That truck, while it looks like hell, is still running/driving/working. It's also over 20 years old (1994 was the last year that dash was used).

This, on the other hand, isn't and it's less than 10 years old.

If you needed something that is going to get you from A to B and haul stuff while doing it, which would you pick?

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