Do I revive my ailing '94 4Runner?

My '94 4Runner is in need of a few minor repairs and one big one. The big one is the water pump. The mechanic just quoted my $1,040 to include the timing belt and a few other tweaks they can do in the front of the engine. I figure all the other minor repairs total around $800- some I can do myself, so maybe even cheaper. Forest, yes, I named it, has more than 190,000 miles, runs very strong, great frame, great tranny/transfer case, $700 in tires have less than 10,000, I’ve only had a couple of very minor repairs in my 40,000 miles, and I’m obviously attached to Forest… Errr, my 4Runner.

I was hoping to get some opinions of whether I should fix it up or sell it. I have a hard time dropping $1,000 on a vehicle that would likely sell for $2,000.

Any takers? Thanks in advance.

I’d go ahead and fix it. It sounds like it’s in good shape, and with continued maintenance you should be able to get 250k+ miles out of Forest.

The alternative to dropping $1800 on Forest is ponying up much bigger $$ for a replacement vehicle.I’d stick with Forest for a few more years.

The water pump is leaking? Or, is it overdue for a new timing belt, water pump job based on time and mileage?

Generally these 4 Runners have a following and it shouldn’t be hard to sell. If you like it I’d go for the repairs.

You can always elect to run it into the ground and take your chances on how long the timing belt will last by just letting break on you someday.

From your description of the truck it has a lot of life left in it. You are going to face the question, repair it or dump it, more often. You have an old trans, old transfer case, differentials, etc.

Keeping it will be worth it but you need to be prepared for $1,000 to 2,000 repair bills every couple of years. I’d suggest budgeting about $150 to 200 a month for repairs. That may seem like a lot, but consider the alternative a $400+ payment on a car loan.

These are normal maintenance items, if the rest of the truck’s as solid as you describe I’d do these repairs without a second thought. This assumes you have a mechanic you trust.

Run Forest, RUN!

Sorry, I had to do it.

Anyway, why are you concerned about the resale value of your truck?
Are you planning on selling it sometime soon?

If you enjoy your truck as much as you say you do, then put the $1k in it to get it to last even longer.

If you don’t love your truck, then just sell it, and tell the next person they need to do the timing belt.


Id fix it. Its a Toyota. You could do the work yourself and save 1000 or more. Get a manual and do it. Dont be intimidated. Forest is calling you…

Wow, thanks for the replies. The mechanic’s a friend of mine. He’s pretty up front. I’m mechanically-inclined, which means I can change the oil, spark plugs, alternator, etc. The stuff you learn in auto shop 101, but a water pump and the timing belt- included on the original quote- are beyond me.

The quote was for the water pump and timing belt and a few other tweaks and five hours of labor.

Saving $150-200 a month for future repair bills sounds like a good idea. I don’t know If I’d go another major repair or use that money for a down payment on a truck.

I’m leaning toward getting it done. Also, in the past 12 years and three vehicles, I’ve spent a grand total of $1,000 on miscellaneous maintenance issues. I’ve had a MAJOR streak of luck. A $1,000 on one repair after all these years doesn’t make it seem so bad.

Thanks for the info- I greatly appreciate it.