Would first generation 4Runners be a good choice for a vehicle to learn to wrench on?


New Member
I've been wanting an 80s 4Runner forever, and have been thinking more seriously about it lately. Considering they're almost 30 years old, I'm guessing that I'd need to buy a parts vehicle as well and learn to work on them myself. I studied engineering and am pretty handy, but have very little actual experience under the hood. Would these 4Runners be a good choice to get into this hobby? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Well-Known Member
A mate of mine bought a 4 Runner a couple of years back, long story short after rebuilding 3/4 of the car it was still an unreliable bucket of bolts that continually gave issues and cost heaps and he did all the work himself as he is mechanically minded and has worked in the trade, it also caused major "issues" with the better half because after all the work and $$ it was still rooted, he sold it for half what it owed him.
Not all Toyota's are good


Well-Known Member
A 4 Runner from those days is simply the short wheelbase version of the Hilux with a 'roof on the back'. Same same.


Well-Known Member
Go for a Hilux if you are thinking light toyota vehicles.. 4runners are similar , but not the same. no body panels are interchangeable, front hubs & brakes are different, I think all the glass is different too. 4runners are getting a little scarce now, where as Hiluxes are plentiful. mine is a 1998 model, with 3rzfe motor, its still kicking along with over 450K on the clock. You could probably get one similar with less kays for around $5k. in Aus. They are not perfect tho, I did a brake upgrade on mine, ( bigger rotors) and cooling system upgrade ( electric fans) but even after 12 or more years of ownership, I still love it enough to keep it rather than go something else newer. They are basic enough for mechanically minded people to fix and keep running, . . . . but that's just my 2 bobs worth.