Time for a change?


Hi. I have a 1995 4runner with 225k miles. It's getting really sluggish, tired on hills and I live in the mountains. Last year replaced head gasket and radiator. A few years before I had to get replacement tranny....
What do you think? New engine, 3.6? Or just move on? I have say a 4k budget for repairs or get financing on something newer. 20190124_081733.jpg

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You've fixed the big ticket items so no point in dumping money into an engine swap. Sounds like you're tired of it and it's time to just move into something else.
I don't have a problem with slow and would keep it.


Yes, to all the above. I think I'm done but wondered if I'd get a resounding call to keep it.


New member
I’m in the keep it camp! A newer rig will have more power and comfort, but you can’t replace the character! I had a ‘91 and kick myself for getting rid of it. It was slow and a little squeaky, but it was awesome.

gringo m

With that many miles it's going to nickle and dime you death. Even with a new motor, everything else is wore out. There comes a point when you're throwing good $ after bad. Just my 2 cents.


I tend to lean towards avoiding financing anything... so if you have money to repair but not to buy "new," that's probably how i'd go.


What kind of work would help on the hills? I like the old beast so if I knew the engine was solid, just needed a more detailed tune up.


Active member
If you are considering moving up, consider a first gen Sequoia. It’s the best bang for buck Toyota 4x4 out there.


What kind of work would help on the hills? I like the old beast so if I knew the engine was solid, just needed a more detailed tune up.
Do a compression test - should give you a decent, though not exhaustive, idea of engine health.

Is it an automatic? Factory 31” tire/4.88 gear package? What’s the status of the catalytic converter?

The reality is that it’s a 150hp v6 trying to push a 4500# vehicle... it’ll never be fast.

I put ported heads on my old 94 (5-speed, 4.88’s, 33’s,4” lift) and was honestly quite happy. That dang thing loooooved to rev. Headers and exhaust would have added even more. But... it still sucked gas and wasn’t powerful... but it was smooth.

Edit: years ago - back in the ORC days - I saw a 3.0 with a turbo. Dude claimed it ran well... was a damned tight fit, though.


Expedition Leader
I heard the Siren call for newer, faster, sexier and sold my 1991 XtraCab (you think a V6 is slow, try a 2.4L 4 cylinder at 11,500 feet) for a 4.0L Tacoma. I wish I hadn't personally. I won't lie, the power is nice. But I miss the old girl. It's been over 3 years, so it's a nagging feeling that I wish I hadn't done it. But then again I don't really drive that fast as it turns out anyway, so the power is mostly wasted on me.

Watt maker

Active member
I would swap in a 3.4 and matching transmission if you can do the work yourself.

If not, I would try to find a nice 3rd or 4th gen 4runner and sell that 2nd gen. My 4th gen has been great to us over the years and miles, I'd definitely buy another!

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@Sleam is this a toy or something you drive everyday? If you are sentimental and love your 4Runner I wouldn’t lean towards keeping it. But... if you can afford something newer to you it’s not a bad thing to move forward and on to the next 4Runner.

I go back and forth all the time about my 2005 Jeep vs. my 2015 Toyota. I love being a Jeep guy with a Tacoma for my daily driver. But, we had an awesome kid this past year and other than ************ gas mileage the truck is so practical for my dad life.

I know if I sell the Jeep to pay off the truck I will have sellers remorse. Guess I need to make more money or start selling some stuff LOL.