Featured Which Toyota 4x4 Do You Drive for Skiing?

Discussion in 'The Garage and Car Talk' started by nay, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    The recommended timing belt interval is really conservative. The Toyota ones I’ve pulled off at 120K might might as well have been new, although it’s smart to change the tensioner pulley.

    The 4.7 is pretty easy to work on, though, in those big engine bays. The cams have a nice little “T” marker to line up for belt changes so you don’t try to do it at TDC (top dead center) like I did. :nono:

    YouTube is a beautiful thing. A nice step by step video and a $900 job is $160 in OEM (Aisin) parts off Amazon. If the seller hasn’t done it you can work down the price and use your savings for the suspension upgrade.

    I won’t say this is necessarily fun, but it’s just nuts and bolts and having the right tool to hold the crank pulley for torque to spec. And that motor is awesome - it goes forever and is super refined.

    93E4ADA6-91C2-410C-A6BF-73B44AC2AC0C.jpeg

    This is the cool thing about owning a vehicle that people maintain not just to shoot for 500K miles but also to make sure is done right - it’s all out there for you to follow with basic hand tools.

    Toyota = 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 19mm and a smattering here and there of other sockets mostly for larger suspension parts.

    I’m just a shade tree mechanic who dug in - it’s a fun hobby just like any other maintenance-for-purpose, but it disconnects you from maintenance labor costs.

    Skiers tend to be gearheads, and that lends itself naturally to truck work. Modern vehicles are pretty much computers, but then what’s why they suck.
     
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  2. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    Agree with @nay, ^^^^, 100%. I have zero need to do the wrenching on our LC's, but I really enjoy it. Having as much experience with them, and as many miles as we do, I also feel like I really know these vehicles, well. Rarely do I get a noise, for example that I can't source and figure out very quickly.

    What is so evident, to any "car people" when they start to look at these is that the build quality is just off the charts. Incredible. They are built to last, and no, they are not a rolling box of electronics and computerized "stuff." My last company car was a BMW 750il. I can't imagine owning one with 150K miles on it.

    It bothers me that cars are not built to last, for the most part. In my town, it seems like every single car is a high end car, on a 2-3 year lease. People just roll them over. Not us.

    I also wanted to mention that dollar for dollar, that 03-07 Sequioa, if well maintained, is, IMO impossible to beat. Agree there with @nay. No surprise! We may have one joining our family. One of our adult kids.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  3. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Thanks, @nay and @Muleski. It's nice to have the option to wrench a vehicle.

    I'm at a point in my life where time doesn't really allow, and it really doesn't make economic sense from a comparative advantage perspective either. At some point during my next vehicle's lifetime, this should change, and I can very much see myself getting greasy again as a hobby

    5.7 is tempting with the timing chain (and HP), but the million-mile Tundra had a 4.7 and sounds like it only had the timing belt replaced a couple times:



    I'm getting due for belt number 3 based on years, but nowhere close on miles.
     
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  4. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Yeah, @Core2, but I need the room and want a v8. The old 4runners with a V8 are tempting, but for pretty much the same gas mileage I'll take a Sequoia, LC or Tundra.

    I'll start a Toyota 4x4 thread at some point. Not sure what I want. In the meantime, my Tundra is still plugging away.

    I noticed at the Rockies game the other night that the LC owners are in a box behind home plate:

    IMG_20180609_185018.jpg

    But us lowly Tundra owners are out in left field:

    IMG_20180609_185036.jpg
     
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  5. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    Don’t touch it based on years, total waste of money. I had to make sure I put the belt I took out at 130K somewhere away from the new one so I didn’t mix them up.

    Prior to the ‘05 variable valve option the 4.7L wasn’t an interference engine so blowing a belt wasn’t likely to damage anything (same for turning the cams manually when you tried to do the belt on TDC and they rolled on you, ahem).

    I wouldn’t even think about it until 120K and even then just for peace of mind. Timing chains don’t necessarily last forever noise free, so there’s a balance.

    The problem with the 4.7 is that it’s underpowered for a loaded 3 ton vehicle at our elevation up steep grades, but just a little bit.

    Still. The ‘03-07 Sequoia is a real 4x4 with a Land Cruiser drivetrain. My ‘04 can select 2wd, AWD, AWD low range, 4wd hi and 4wd low. You can get mint ones even here for under $8K. And they are perfect sized at just under the too big mark for city use.

    The parts bin stuff like door actuators that fail are annoying, but if everything was like the Cruiser it would be a Cruiser.

    Mines about to clock 300K and it runs like its new. Cost me all of $6K at 253K miles with a fully integrated double din Pioneer Head unit with backup camera ($1,600 shop job) and a bank of maintenance.

    I slapped on 34” tires and a 2.5” lift and the thing is a creature comfort monster for less total investment than a 3/4 beat Subaru. Unbelievable.
     
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  6. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    I own a ‘99 Runner and ‘00 Taco.

    Paid $5K for the Runner at 227K with a Toytec lift with SPC upper caster adjustment arms and a bank of expensive maintenance (about $3K worth total with shop labor) and great 33” tires (Cooper ST Maxx). Only thing that hadn’t been done as a baseline was the timing belt so I’ve done one of those, too.

    The Taco was $3,750 lifted with bumpers, sliders, camper top and rooftop tent mount with low mile 33” BFG ko2, factory rear locker. Had to fixed a rusted frame a spot and we did the valve cover gaskets, which is another $900 shop job for $160 in parts. Bought it at 286K and it’s running like a champ and has pretty damn good load bearing with the heavy duty OME leafs out back.

    Those are for my oldest sons, but I might pick up a first gen Taco for myself for hauling and errands at some point.

    It’s fun having fully depreciated vehicles that are still going to last longer than most new stuff with tons of parts available in local yards.

    Lose a transmission? Pick up a replacement with 150K less miles for $400, drop the old one and back and running in a day or two.

    Don’t that beat car payments for inferior vehicles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  7. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    Ha. During most of these years, I was in a "C level" job for a couple of Fortune 100 companies, flying on a company plane around the country, and was "pretty busy." My wife drove the LC's, and among other things loved that they were so reliable. She loves the platform. I've been a gearhead since I was a kid, and I like messing with cars. I have plenty of time these days. However, I understand where @tball is coming from. We were skiing 60-70 days a winter, on the road to see kids away at school or at college many other weekends, etc. Busy with other things in the summer. A lot of my LC projects took place in the summer, but there were not very many onerous ones. The LC is not needy. And I wasn't rolling up the sleeves on a frequent basis to do a ton of work, on the spot. Couple of long days a year, for the most part, all planned out.

    You'd be amazed at how long rotors, pads, calipers, brake lines all last on these cars, just as one example. So, I actually like doing that work, and knowing that it's done right. It's not frequent when pads last about 80K miles.

    The 4.7L in the UZ100 LC is bulletproof. It's not the exact same engine as is in the Sequioa and Tundra. Those are both great powerplants, but are not the same {among other things to save on weight and cost.} The LC engine was made in the Araco plant in Japan, until about 2005 and the main difference is in the engine internals. All forged in the LC. Most anybody selling cars at a dealership would say "Yeah, same engine"......without having a clue. My son and I were talking about this the other day. Some of the other 4.7's have aluminum heads. It's degrees of crazy durability, though. Seriously. I think the "other" 4.7's will run pretty much forever.

    I can't comment on the 5.7L, as I don't know anybody who has driven one for lots of miles {100K plus}. I know a number on 24 month, 30K mile leases. Run through businesses, and used for 100% non business use! Roll them over every two years. Though I seem to see more of that group in Range Rovers at home these days. Nicer leather, I think. And no need to think about durability. I just think there is a LOT to fail and go wrong on the latest generation LC's. And the prices are very, very steep.

    I would NEVER make this sort of decision based on timing chain versus timing belt. Agree with @nay's comments. Spot on. Ask me about our Audi S4 Avant experience. B5 versus B7. Timing chains tend to have other wear items, like chain guides. When they fail {or need to be replaced}, it costs about as much as a half dozen timing belt jobs {or more} at full retail. Engine pulled out of the car, new chain, new guides and hopefully no other internal damage. Those were the fourth and fifth S-car avants that we owned. I've replaced the timing belts and pulleys, etc. at about 100K on the LC's{easier to remember that interval} and as @nay says, they have looked almost new, every single time. I think I'll go to 120K!

    Last comment. I have never had any of our LC's serviced at a dealer, once their CPO warranties expired {for the two that we bought CPO}. I find that a solid indie tech, familiar with the platform, is a better solution and a heck of a lot more cost effective. I also like to select and use my own fluids, filters, belts, etc., if I can't get it done at home. Buy it online and have it shipped to him, sometimes. And I like the tech to know me, and know the vehicle. My guy knows me, well. Does not happen at a dealership. My neighbor is one of the biggest Toyota dealers in the country.....and he agrees, in confidence. He wishes it was not the case, but it is. The "book rates" are another issue.......

    He actually thinks it's pretty neat that we have this fleet of older Toyota products.

    I guess my point is that these are not vehicles just for those who do their own work. Far from it. But going into your friendly dealer and opening your checkbook can get very expensive, IME. I had a headlight blow under CPO. The whole thing was covered. I noticed that the total bill was about $900, including over two hours of labor by the book. I replaced a headlight that was broken by a rock about two years later. Took me about 15 minutes, and the OEM light was sourced at a nice discount in a similar time. I didn't need to take the time to drive to the dealer and back, etc.,blah-blah. Total cost to me was under $300. An OEM brand new light. Easy-peasy.

    I say that still sticking to my guns that very little fails on these. Now on a S4, I would replace control arms, bushings, brake components, coils, steering racks, shocks.......and on and on, on a frequent basis. I'm not a chronic record keeper, but those were needy. And our experiences with a two Suburbans in the mid 1990's was that they were back then not a car to won out of warranty. I know they are better now.

    My only issue, living right on the Atlantic Ocean is keeping them rust free. Involves a couple of treatments a year, and a very infrequent POR-15 touch up. I sadly learned my lesson on the first one. Big rust issues on one that ran like a top. I sold it, with 225K miles {I think} to a body shop owner, for parts. For $7K. I could have sold it 50 times over.......

    Cost of operation? These things are amazing. People get hung up on mpg. Even the gas cost on these is a fraction of my daughter's soon to be gone Outback XT. The LC gets better mileage around town, and you have to drive the XT at about 70 mph on the highway to do better. The XT won't run without good premium gas. The LC will run on anything. And mileage improves, I swear with a mid-grade.

    Can't recommend them enough. Thought the 2002 Tacoma in the family is making a strong pitch at being "all world." My son bought it in 2008, with 85K miles on it. Came with a Leer cap on it. He's done a lot to make it his, and set it up the right way. It now has 285K on it, and it runs perfectly. He has no plans to make a change. It may become an extra vehicle at some point. V6, five speed, and a few unique things.....like leather Recarro seats, updated head unit for music and Nav, etc. Great vehicle.

    I'm really on the fence about the newer generation vehicles, such as the Tacomas and 4Runners, in terms of how they will hold up, and retain their value. The going in price is steep. I'd have a very hard time justifying a new Toyota truck, and passing by a couple of American trucks.....I think.

    But the used market has plenty of options if you can search and take your time. Keep in mind, mileage on the odometer means very, very little with these particular vehicles.

    Fun discussion.
     
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  8. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    [EDITOR Note: This is the post that started this whole thread, there are now earlier posts that were merged in here]

    After another "which car" thread turned into a "which Toyota 4x4" thread, it's pretty clear we need a thread for all things about Toyota 4x4's.

    What? You don't drive a Toyota 4x4, yet? Just ask here and you'll get friendly suggestions to help you rectify your predicament.

    Are you trying to decide which Toyota 4x4 is the best ski vehicle for you? Looking to add to your quiver of Toyota 4x4's? Ask here for sage advice from a group of skiers who own Toyota 4x4 and love sharing their knowledge.

    I'm still on my first Toyota four-wheel drive. @nay, @Muleski, @Core2, and I believe others have owned one or more, so hopefully, they will help guide this thread.

    I'm asking that a handful of posts from this thread get moved over here so the great Toyota 4x4 knowledge isn't buried. Let's continue to add to it!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2018
  9. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    There is a complete thread drift. I will split the thread later.
     
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  10. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    Another multiple Toyota 4x4 (4Runner) owner here: 98 (purchased in 03, traded in for next one), and a 08 (purchased in 11). Couldn't be happier. Low maintenance, highly capable.

    Can't stand the current generation (FJ frame). Hoping for a return to Tacoma frame, but probably holding my breath for nothing.
     
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  11. princo

    princo Booting up Skier

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    I have a 2013 4Runner Limited. One of the main reasons I got the Limited trim was because it is the only trim that comes with a Torsen center differential transfer case, allowing it to run in full time 4wd. So it runs in 4wd at any speed on any conditions. Works very well. I believe the 4Runner and LandCruisers are the only ones that have full time 4wd. For those mechanically inclined, this is the best video I've seen comparing the inner works of a part time 4wd (from a 2013 Tundra) to center diff full time 4wd (2004 4Runner).

     
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  12. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    The Sequoia also has full-time 4wd starting in 2005.

    For a ski vehicle, I think the full-time 4wd is very desirable. I push a button to switch my Tundra into 4wd. On a ski trip, I'll often go in and out of 4wd a bunch of times. I"m very much used to it being as a normal part of driving. I wouldn't want my wife to have to remember (and she doesn't want to), though, so there is a good chance my Tundra replacement will have full-time Fwd.

    Inadvertently driving in rear wheel drive in winter conditions dangerous. Forgetting to take it out of 4wd on dry roads is bad for the drivetrain. Full-time Fwd seems ideal for typical ski trips.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  13. Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    I just did. At least the ones suggested to be moved in reports. Cheers!
     
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  14. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Thanks. We had a late night. I was just going to get it.
     
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  15. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Thanks nay, you just saved me a grand at the dealer. My Tundra only has ~140K on it and I had the timing belt replaced at 95K around 7 years ago.

    I'd love to keep it forever, but really room to fit four passengers and a dog in the cab, so a DoubleCab/CrewMax, LC or Sequoia is in my future and the lucky next owner of my truck can worry about the timing belt replacement.
     
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  16. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    The Sequoia has full time 4WD as a selectable option in 03-04 and I believe ‘01-02. I don’t know if this was in the Limited version only, though. This is the most flexible system available because it allows 2WD (rear wheel drive) as an option as well as AWD in low range.

    AWD low range is a great feature for places like Colorodo due to the vast mining road system that often has very tight switchbacks where 4WD has to scrub the outside tire since the diff is locked, but you need low range for the altitude and steepness of the trail.

    This was referred to as “multi-mode” when Toyota debuted this transfer case design in the 1999 4Runner Limited. The base configuration is 2WD, AWD is engaged through a button on the shifter, and then 4WD high and 4wd low (both locked center diff) are engaged the the traditional shifter. This is “J shift” to the Toyota crowd named for the shifting pattern on the t-case shifter.

    In the earlier model first gen Sequoia, AWD is engaged by pushing a dash button labeled 4WD, and the the center diff is locked with a second button using Toyota’s traditional symbol of four wheels with an x in the center. AWD has to be engaged before the diff will lock - it will just blink a light at you if you try. Low range is then engaged with a traditional transfer case shifter.

    In ‘05 to ‘07, the shifter is gone and replaced by a button. More room for cup holders. Personally, I want a manual shifter engagement because that’s how it’s supposed to be, but then most poeple don’t take Sequoias offroad and the buttons work.

    For those looking for a lowest price why-is-everything-so-big Toyota value, the 1999-00 4Runner Limited with the multi-mode t-case can be found in rare cases with the factory rear electric diff locker. This is a seriously capable vehicle that still lacks the horrid electronic traction controls that were introduced in 2001 and have plagued every model since, and the build quality is exceptional - probably the one model Toyota built that is closest to the Land Cruiser. That’s why there are still so many of them on the road.

    My ‘04 Sequoia has the electronic traction crap, but fortunately pulling a plug at the brake master cylinder disables it at the cost of 2 yellow lights dash lights, which are not bright and your brain will learn to ignore, which means they don’t exist.

    From there you have a surprisingly capable family wheeler for up to moderately technical terrain. It fits in surprisingly tight places, like up to the top of Peak 10 where it might well be the biggest rig that’s ever been up there.

    4E50BEC3-D362-4869-86CF-0A605AEBAA08.jpeg
    F4C31E7D-CC9C-4FAD-9D60-CAE8719181FD.jpeg 5D369736-B4D2-4BA8-A5F6-382C616A9623.jpeg

    You might even draw a crowd.

    9232B5F6-DC57-411E-93E9-230B36373531.jpeg
     
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  17. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    When you sell it, you just say “Timing belt and water pump done at 95K”. Good to go ogwink.

    A 100 series Cruiser would be a great truck for a family of 4, but the 1st gen Sequoia will fit your skis and gear without need for a rooftop box with the third row pulled. Unless I was going to wheel it, the Sequoia is a no brainer, especially at their price points.

    Plus the first gen are sexy with a little bit of suspension and tire upgrade.

    D724B0E9-6EA2-40DA-84EC-79BA265361FF.jpeg
     
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  18. tball

    tball Unzipped Skier

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    Where to put our skis on our next Toyota 4x4 is a huge quandry.

    We've got a lopro box on our MDX that just barely allows it to fit in the garage. The box not going to fit in the garage with a Toyota 4x4.

    @Muleski got me thinking about the Lexus LX with the Adjustable Height Control when he mentioned it in the other thread. I looked into it an sounds like that system regularly fails and the cost to fix or remove is outrageous.

    Any other options for carrying skis on a Toyota 4x4 and fitting in the garage?

    @nay how well do skis fit inside the Sequoia? That's sounding like a good option, but we also carry an enormous amount of other crap for our weekend trips.
     
  19. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    The center diff “over” the t-case was introduced in the 80 series Land Cruiser (FZJ80) in 1993, along with a viscous coupler. The part time 4wd in high range was removed as Toyota believed that this AWD config was sufficient, and it was a system well ahead of its time, but the wiring for the 4WD switch remained.

    Most 80 series owners who wheel their rigs will do the “7 Pin Mod”, which is pulling pin #7 on the t-case actuator relay I believe (mine had been done when I bought it). This allows installation of the diff lock switch for high range part time 4WD and there a blank switch spot for it on the dash.

    The 80 series has a gear driven transfer case (as opposed to the more common chain driven) that isn’t particularly sensitive to using 4WD (locked center diff) on pavement - it’s fine for anything except really tight turns - and so there are advantages to 4WD over AWD in certain conditions when there is no electronic traction control.

    A good example is lane changes at speed in the snow where snow is collecting between the lanes. Locking the center diff is much more stable as it won’t pull as it hits the deeper part, much like what modern traction control provides in an AWD system.

    That’s a legacy in the world of electronic traction systems, but it’s worth understanding the various options for anybody looking at older models. Toyota did some pretty cool stuff early on that is really still the pinnacle of mechanical traction in terms of the AWD center diff transfer case and selectable diff lockers.
     
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  20. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    [​IMG]
     
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