Considering 3rd Gen 4Runner...Advice?

Wanderlusty

Explorer
What are you referring to as multi-mode transmission? I may know what it means by calling it something different, but not sure.

I have already narrowed my search down to 99-00, but the locker is something I would let slide if the price was right, because I could add an ARB. I prefer the SR5 to the tricked and loaded limiteds, too, so all but resigned to having to add a locker later.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
What are you referring to as multi-mode transmission? I may know what it means by calling it something different, but not sure.

I have already narrowed my search down to 99-00, but the locker is something I would let slide if the price was right, because I could add an ARB. I prefer the SR5 to the tricked and loaded limiteds, too, so all but resigned to having to add a locker later.
I'm pretty sure he means multi-mode Transfer case. There was no "multi mode transmission" on the 3rd gen, unless you mean the ECT switch on the dashboard that lets you switch between "power" and "economy" settings.

Also, SR5 means you get the standard part-time T-case. I have a 99 SR5 and I love it, but it's not as good on ice or intermittently slippery surfaces as my wife's Grand Vitara which has true full time 4wd.

Keep in mind, though, that even the part-time 4wd system has the ADD (automatic disconnecting differential) which gives you shift-on-the-fly capability up to 60mph, IIRC. I use this feature a lot when we get snow and ice here. If I'm driving along the road and it looks icy or partially snowpacked, I'll reach down and shift into 4wd. When I get back to dry road I shift back to 2wd. Since I'm driving an automatic it's easy, no clutching or engine revving.

SR5s are a lot easier to find and less expensive than Limiteds. Also consider that Limiteds have the electronic HVAC controls which sometimes fail and then you're SOL unless you can find one in a junkyard. Toyota wants >$1000 for a replacement. :Wow1:

SR5s, OTOH, have the simple mechanical HVAC controls.
 

Wanderlusty

Explorer
I'm pretty sure he means multi-mode Transfer case. There was no "multi mode transmission" on the 3rd gen, unless you mean the ECT switch on the dashboard that lets you switch between "power" and "economy" settings.

Also, SR5 means you get the standard part-time T-case. I have a 99 SR5 and I love it, but it's not as good on ice or intermittently slippery surfaces as my wife's Grand Vitara which has true full time 4wd.

Keep in mind, though, that even the part-time 4wd system has the ADD (automatic disconnecting differential) which gives you shift-on-the-fly capability up to 60mph, IIRC. I use this feature a lot when we get snow and ice here. If I'm driving along the road and it looks icy or partially snowpacked, I'll reach down and shift into 4wd. When I get back to dry road I shift back to 2wd. Since I'm driving an automatic it's easy, no clutching or engine revving.

SR5s are a lot easier to find and less expensive than Limiteds. Also consider that Limiteds have the electronic HVAC controls which sometimes fail and then you're SOL unless you can find one in a junkyard. Toyota wants >$1000 for a replacement. :Wow1:

SR5s, OTOH, have the simple mechanical HVAC controls.
Cool, thanks. That just solidifies my decision of a 99-00 SR5. I want to keep it on the simpler side.

Regarding the axle, since it is less common to find the locker in the SR5, as mentioned above, I fully expect to have to add an ARB. I seem to remember hearing that the non e-locker axles are actually slightly stronger axles? Any truth to this? Aside from the cost of the ARB, it seems like buying a non-locked SR5 would really be the ticket.

And I like the part-time 4wd, call me crazy.

Edit: Oh, and my Taco had the ECT button. I really never noticed a difference in either mode.
 

Applejack

Explorer
I previously had a '99 SR5 and now currently have a '99 Limited.
The rear locker was the main reason for finding a limited, the leather was also a nice addition because I have a dog and a child. The multi-mode t-case and having the benefit of an AWD type feature is nice which I do use a lot, but it's not something that I would ever find myself saying "how did I live with out this.".

If you look around and are willing to travel a little way to get it you can find good deals even on Limiteds. I got mine for the same price as I could find SR5's in the same condition with the same mileage.
 

Gerdo

Observer
I have a 2000, 4runner, 3.4L, 5 speed manual, 4x4, Sport, 4:10, 32" tires, Normally Aspired.

The 3.4L is a good strong engine. It may not be the most powerful. You can either get one with a supercharger or add one. The Colorado altitude takes power away too. Lower altitudes will have more power. Going over the continental divide I have to down shift and sometimes can only go 50-55 mph depending on load. On less mountainous areas I can still go 80mph. Do I wish it had more power? Yes. Can I live with the power it has? Yes.

I did notice a little power loss when I went to 32" tires (I did not regear nor do I plan too. If you plan on 33" tires you will probably want to regear.

My transfer case is the old standard manual mechanical lever "J shift". I can, and do shift in and out on the fly up to 60mph. (little known fact: You can shift out of 4Lo and into 4Hi on the fly too) The multi-mode does give you AWD so wheels can slip (center diff lock) when driving on surfaces that don't require a more locked 4wd. This center diff lock needs to be locked for maximum traction. It can also take a little time to lock/un-lock.

It did not come with a rear locker, I added an ARB. It'll climb some amazing obstacles. I can have the nose up at ~40 degrees and one wheel 3' off the ground and keep going. Personally I believe that the ARB performs better than the e-locker. It'll lock and un-lock instantly (wheels not spinning). I can try an obstacle open and then lock without any roll in. The e-lockers that I have used usually require some roll in distance to lock and then to un-lock.

2001-2002 have traction control. This is the first years for this and it is not a great system. It adjusts engine throttle/power to control traction. This can cause the engine to almost shut down to an idle when it detects loss of traction. This has happened when people are stopped at an intersection and turning left, then they try to accelerate to cross traffic, the engine looses power and you end up crawling thru the intersection. There is a "andy mod" that turns off the traction control by a switch.

There is enough space in the back to build a low profile storage box/sleeping platform that two can sleep.

I have owned mine since new and I now have ~220,000 miles on it. It is running as good as new. I have had no major failures, just normal wear and maintenance.

Gas mileage? I regularly get 18+mpg in combined driving. On highway trips I usually see 20+mpg and have seen over 24mpg.

If I had to replace it what would I replace with? Probably another 3rd gen.
 

Wanderlusty

Explorer
Regarding the 3.4, altitude sure does make a difference. My '04 Taco was two different trucks from Arkansas to Arizona. It could barely keep it's breath when we were over 5,000 feet. With the 255's I was running, it was kind of gutless. But back down in Arkansas, it did fine.

Another question...what are the standard gear ratios for 3rd gen, and if there is year to year differences, then specifically the 99-00's?
 

slus

Adventurer
Another question...what are the standard gear ratios for 3rd gen, and if there is year to year differences, then specifically the 99-00's?
For 4x4s, I've never seen one that wasn't 4.10 or 4.30. Apparently they exist, but I'd say the vast majority is 4:10, and an elocker usually accompanies 4.30s.
 

Wanderlusty

Explorer
For 4x4s, I've never seen one that wasn't 4.10 or 4.30. Apparently they exist, but I'd say the vast majority is 4:10, and an elocker usually accompanies 4.30s.
I can live with that. Was hoping that would be the case. I don't want to re-gear, and 4:10's are a lot better than what could be under there.

Again referring back to my Taco, it was locked, but I think it was a 4:10 if I recall, but it's been a few years. Even with 33's, I was ok with the gearing until I was in high altitude.

For the 4Runner, I don't plan on going bigger than 265-75's, so that will be just fine.
 

slus

Adventurer
I can live with that. Was hoping that would be the case. I don't want to re-gear, and 4:10's are a lot better than what could be under there.

Again referring back to my Taco, it was locked, but I think it was a 4:10 if I recall, but it's been a few years. Even with 33's, I was ok with the gearing until I was in high altitude.

For the 4Runner, I don't plan on going bigger than 265-75's, so that will be just fine.
True, my first tacoma was a 2.7 with 3.58 gearing. That thing was a serious turd with 265/75/16s at any altitude.

The difference between 4:10 and 4:30 was negligible on my not-so-finely tuned butt dyno and MPG figures. I swapped my 96 after a year and a half with 265/75s and 4:10s to an elocker and matching 4:30s and drove that for another year. If I didn't actually count the teeth myself, I'd never know. This was an an automatic, I'd probably notice on my 99 5speed as it already hums along the freeway at higher RPMs than I am used to.
 

Wanderlusty

Explorer
Well, despite having a general preference for a SR5, I found a price competitive 2000 Limited with E-Locker, and if it is as advertised, I will be coming home with it this weekend (it is in Texas).

I think my wife will like the Limited more, and that is a plus because I want her to travel with me in it. She was less fond of my SR5 Taco, but a lot of that had to do with the lift and the 255's. Getting in it was a task for her.

So, this time, probably going a bit milder lift and tire wise.

The only thing I don't really care for in regards to the Limited is that side cladding at the bottom and the gargantuan fender flares. Wish that it was held on by double sided tape and not 20 square holes. :mad: but I have a few ideas... ;)

So school me some more on the transfer case in these limiteds. I see a shifter, but also a button. Best as I can see, the button is for 4hi (or is it awd?) and then the shifter into 4lo...or what is the story there?
 

Pikeman

Adventurer
Multi mode operation-
Pulled back= 2wd
Back + 4wd button= AWD
" " + center diff lock (button next to steering wheel) = 4HI
all this can be done while moving.

To shift into 4 Lo under 5mph or usually stopped shift to Neutral on Tranny then push the t-case selector lever forward to 4 Lo position.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Multi mode operation-
Pulled back= 2wd
Back + 4wd button= AWD
" " + center diff lock (button next to steering wheel) = 4HI
all this can be done while moving.

To shift into 4 Lo under 5mph or usually stopped shift to Neutral on Tranny then push the t-case selector lever forward to 4 Lo position.
Pikeman: I believe you are describing the 01-02 setup. His new vehicle is a 2000 with an E-locker so it will be somewhat different.

Wanderlusty: I don't have a Limited but I believe the setup on the 99-00 Limited is a modified J-shifter. IIRC it goes like this:

Lever forward, button not pushed = 2wd
Lever forward, button pushed = 4wd with center diff lock (a/k/a AWD or full time 4wd for highway use)
Lever back = 4wd, center diff locked, A/K/A conventional 4wd for wet/icy/off-road use only
Lever back, over, and up = 4wd Low

Also FYI from the factory the rear diff lock will only work in 4lo. You can modify this fairly easily (though I haven't felt the need to do so on my SR5 yet.)

Hope that helps. Maybe someone with a 99-00 Limited can chime in as to whether I got that right.
 
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