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Old 05-10-2015, 06:07 AM   #1
Jarlaxle OP
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Contemplating a Tacoma...........

Well...unfortunately, I think I need to seriously consider replacing my Dak. It has 180,000 miles...and more critically, it is rusting away. frown (I'm also not enamored of the 3.90 gears and the resulting 17mpg.) Because I want a base-model (4 cyl/5-speed 2WD regular cab) truck, my options seem to basically be a Tacoma or a rare 5-speed Ranger.

Anyone know good Tacoma sites? I'm on tacomaworld.com-any others?
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:13 AM   #2
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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Nothing wrong with the Tacoma. I'm on my third Toyota pickup and they have been for the most part, excellent, and used values do tend to reflect that. My 1986 is still on the road with the second owner, must be near 400K miles by now.

Got me the 4x4 V6 extra-cab model now, bought it used, drive it all summer.

I don't treat them brutally however....
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:27 AM   #3
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Well...I want the other end of the spectrum: 2WD regular cab, with the 4-banger and 5-speed. The fewer options, the better: crank windows, rubber floor mats, bench seat, steel wheels.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:28 AM   #4
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I've got the last of them, a 14 reg cabby, 2wd 5 speed honey.

Ranger or the Nissin if buying used. I look at the Colorado now and see the rear disc brakes, the wider ratio 6 speed manual and the only thing I didn't want us the now mandatory extra cab on either one.

Gears are 3.31, which make it useless as a truck. Moving 1000 lbs trailer was smoking the clutch. It's got 4.88 now with 30" tires and a limited slip so it doesn't get stuck on flat ground in 5" of snow. A 1.75" lift I built from a 3" kit gets it off the ground a tiny bit too. It dragged the engine and frame in snow.

I'm still getting 23/24 mpg after I correct the odometer which is slightly more than 10% low. Speedo reads 5 mph low at highway speeds too. it doesn't seem to care how fast it cruises on highway either. Guys who complain about post gearing mpg don't usually check odo correction by my research. Mile markers do serve a function!

I also added a Magnaflow and LCE header. The gears were huge, the exhaust helped but much less.

The plastic clutch pedal arm groans and has slop since new. There is no fix. A replacement is just as bad.

Buying new I'd have gone to the Chevy. 4.10 gears, better trams, brakes, bla, bla, bla.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:52 AM   #5
Jarlaxle OP
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That's newer than I'm considering...I'm figuring 8-12-year-old trucks.

Honestly...2.7 and 3.31 gears (with the small OE tire size) sounds PERFECT for me. No lift, no big tires...though I will run snow tires (Winterforce or Glacier Grip) for the winter. I will never tow anything more than a small UHaul ramp trailer.

When did they go to the plastic (!) clutch arm?!
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:35 AM   #6
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
Well...I want the other end of the spectrum: 2WD regular cab, with the 4-banger and 5-speed. The fewer options, the better: crank windows, rubber floor mats, bench seat, steel wheels.
Unless you plan on a topper, the no door longer cab, not the crew cab is great for keeping your stuff out of the weather. I've gone both ways.

My first two were 4 bangers, and were just fine, I need 4x4 sometimes due to mud and snow, but there is no practical difference. A 100K used Taco is all but new, with reasonable care good for another easy 100.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:39 AM   #7
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What kind of mileage are you thinking you'll get? I think the reason this market is so small is because the efficiency of the truck as a package does not deliver.

A fullsize would have about the same MPG with a good bit more capability/capacity. Every time i try to get efficient and go with a smaller truck, I find it not enough, working it harder and losing the benefit. JMO

Example. Wife's xterra got 17mpg all day long. Wife tahoe gets 17 running local and 19-20 highway with more comfort, power and capacity. Best I ever got in my 97 dakota 4cyl stripper was 24. That's best. Less motor always working harder. I can pull 20 freeway in my 6.0 express van if I forget how much power it has and do the speed limit. I'm happy to get 12 in the van knowing I'm likely exceeding triple what the dakota would ever hold. It will do it when I need it to.

Realistically, there should be small trucks pulling close to thirty mpg like an economy car. Wider ratio and more gears! That's what we need! And we want to shift ourselves!

I understand the appeal, I just don't think the mfgs do.

Good luck on the hunt......or the build? A VW rabbit diesel pickup with some sort of synchro drivetrain comes to mind
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:12 AM   #8
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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Originally Posted by plumber mike View Post
What kind of mileage are you thinking you'll get? I think the reason this market is so small is because the efficiency of the truck as a package does not deliver.

A fullsize would have about the same MPG with a good bit more capability/capacity. Every time i try to get efficient and go with a smaller truck, I find it not enough, working it harder and losing the benefit. JMO

Example. Wife's xterra got 17mpg all day long. Wife tahoe gets 17 running local and 19-20 highway with more comfort, power and capacity. Best I ever got in my 97 dakota 4cyl stripper was 24. That's best. Less motor always working harder. I can pull 20 freeway in my 6.0 express van if I forget how much power it has and do the speed limit. I'm happy to get 12 in the van knowing I'm likely exceeding triple what the dakota would ever hold. It will do it when I need it to.

Realistically, there should be small trucks pulling close to thirty mpg like an economy car. Wider ratio and more gears! That's what we need! And we want to shift ourselves!

I understand the appeal, I just don't think the mfgs do.

Good luck on the hunt......or the build? A VW rabbit diesel pickup with some sort of synchro drivetrain comes to mind
I agree with you on the mileage question, but with a 4X4, my expectations are lower, and not quite met. I think it's because even a small truck still weighs a fair bit and is not very aerodynamic. To me, the benefits of a smaller truck are smaller and less costly tires, less oil at changes, and it's easier to park and get in and out of the tiny garages I have to use here.

PLUS, I don't use mine for 'work', it's a personal hauler - sometimes I fill the bed with stuff but it's not a daily load carrier.

Also don't have a towing need - I'm a lightweight truck ideal user I guess.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
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I had a 2002 and a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4x4 crew cabs. 1st had many issues, the second one had none in 38,000 miles I kept it. Both new when I bought them.

I now have a 2014 Tacoma TRD Sport, 4x4, crew cab. With only 6,000 miles on it I am getting 18 mpg. Topper, couple of 100 pounds of tools in back and 265/70/17 on it.

I think it rides great, quiet on highway, plenty of power. Resale on these things are crazy. Like any vehicle they have some small issues.

If you need to haul/tow a lot get a full size.

Probably did not answer any of your questions, but that's all I got.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:26 AM   #10
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The best feature of a Tacoma, the resale value.

So you are shopping for roughly a 2005 small truck. At this point condition will matter more than make. It will be hard to find a good one, people that have the good ones that long will just keep them. The ones for sale are the problem children that just keep getting passed from one sucker to the next. Unless you have some inside line on a known good one, they will all be a gamble.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:37 AM   #11
Jarlaxle OP
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Originally Posted by plumber mike View Post
What kind of mileage are you thinking you'll get? I think the reason this market is so small is because the efficiency of the truck as a package does not deliver.

A fullsize would have about the same MPG with a good bit more capability/capacity. Every time i try to get efficient and go with a smaller truck, I find it not enough, working it harder and losing the benefit. JMO

Example. Wife's xterra got 17mpg all day long. Wife tahoe gets 17 running local and 19-20 highway with more comfort, power and capacity. Best I ever got in my 97 dakota 4cyl stripper was 24. That's best. Less motor always working harder. I can pull 20 freeway in my 6.0 express van if I forget how much power it has and do the speed limit. I'm happy to get 12 in the van knowing I'm likely exceeding triple what the dakota would ever hold. It will do it when I need it to.

Realistically, there should be small trucks pulling close to thirty mpg like an economy car. Wider ratio and more gears! That's what we need! And we want to shift ourselves!

I understand the appeal, I just don't think the mfgs do.

Good luck on the hunt......or the build? A VW rabbit diesel pickup with some sort of synchro drivetrain comes to mind
My uncle manages mid-20's in mixed driving and 28 highway in his Ranger. (His has the old Lima engine, a Duratec will touch 30.) I would expect 26MPG with a 2.4/5-speed...probably 1MPG less with the 2.7 and 5-speed.

I would rather have a neon pink Pacer with orange polka dots than a VW Rabbit pickup.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:09 PM   #12
Navin
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My 2.7 takes 6 qts of oil, not any savings there!

I think the big changes were in 2005 so look for that plastic clutch arm around then.

Some things are ok, the plastic bed has both good n bad. If it has to be plastic I think the fenders should be too. The body is so thin it dents super easy, paint thin too.

I ran it with the stock tires and 4.10. That was about perfect. Mpg didn't change, the thing can't pull that crazy stock ratio. The difference is now it responds to throttle and can pull a steady speed uphill. Stock gearing anything over third gear was just about useless.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by broncobowsher View Post
The best feature of a Tacoma, the resale value.
I am sure I am not the only person who managed to sell a used Tacoma for more than I paid for it new.

It's one of the few vehicles where you can sometimes make a really clear financial argument for buying new. I do see clean used ones for sale sometimes, though -- it's not only lemons that people are selling.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:12 AM   #14
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I am sure I am not the only person who managed to sell a used Tacoma for more than I paid for it new.

It's one of the few vehicles where you can sometimes make a really clear financial argument for buying new. I do see clean used ones for sale sometimes, though -- it's not only lemons that people are selling.
That's probably why I've never bought a used one. "You want that for that!"

I did have an 83 fj60 cruiser that travelled over 300,000 before I parted with it for a profit. Everything still worked too!. That amazed me considering I usually drive GM
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:51 AM   #15
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T100?

I have a '97 T100. I got it used with 170K miles and have only had it a year and a half, problem free. 17 mpg or so around town, and 19+ (I'll say 20 ) on the highway. And mine's a V6 4x4 automatic. The 4 cylinder 2wd T100's have the same 2.7L engine as the Tacoma and is about the same size as a Gen2 Tacoma but very roomy inside and great load capacity. Resale prices are high, but not in Taco territory. Many consider this the best truck Toyota ever made: Japanese quality and a blend of older mini-truck suspension and steering (no coil-overs or rack and pinion) with the newer 2.7 or 3.4 power trains.

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