Is this 4Runner for me?

I have a chance to buy a low mileage 1991 Toyota 4Runner with manual trany but a mechanic friend says avoid this one. He says Toyota had a factory defect on the 3.0 V6 and the head gasket goes, warps the head and much money flows. In the early years Toyota Motors would repair this on their dollar but not any more. This one has never shown this problem, will it come eventually or was this a spotty problem? Should I buy it anyway and do a head gasket change right away to avoid further problems

Your mechanic seems to be right, the owner reviews I found all mention head gasket replacement under warranty, once done they liked it. You might find out how much $$ to replace.

Supposedly this was actually the subject of a recall, so there’s a chance Toyota might fix it still. Here’s a link:

But how good of a deal is it? Changing the head gaskets shouldn’t be too terribly costly and if the truck is a good deal otherwise, you might just budget it in.

I’m personally a big fan of this vintage of 4-runners. They were some of the last of the good old fashioned utilitarian small SUV’s and finding one with a manual transmission is starting to become somewhat rare. Now, if you could find one with a manual transmission and the bullet-proof 22R 4-cylinder…

My father has a 1990 4runner with manual tranny and loves it. It had the head gasket replaced twice under warranty and a third time on his dime(they no longer fix it). Other than then that serious repair it is has no issues. Everything works done to the loaded to the hilt power equipment, AC, and even power antenna.

Do you truly need this type of vehicle? If you don’t, it won’t be much of a bargain at any price.

Thanks so much for the information and especially the documentation. I’m going to chase this with local dealers and see where it goes. My wife, kids and I all drive Toyotas of the 1989 to 1994 vintage, all with mileage >200,000 and still going, they just don’t die. This 4Runner would be used to tow a Coleman tent trailer that now rests forlornly in the driveway. Great feedback - thanks again.