One Owner 1991 Toyota 4Runner

Older model 4Runners are near and dear to the hearts of many Toyota buffs largely because they were built on the same platform as the Hilux/Pick-up and, of course, because of the legendary reliability of the 22R motor.  In 1988 Toyota offered the option of a new 3.0 liter V6 but unfortunately, this motor failed to live up to its 4-cylinder cousin’s rock solid reputation.  Head gasket failure was a problem from the get-go and in 1996, Toyota began recalling and replacing the faulty gaskets.  This 1991 4Runner, available here on Craigslist near Orlando, Florida, is reported by its seller to have had its “heads replaced” and with only 140,000 miles, is being offered at $5,995.  Special thanks to Barnfinds reader Jack M. for the tip!

Yours truly was a victim of one of Toyota’s failed head gaskets when, after owning a ’95 4Runner for less than three months, I suddenly noticed a massive puddle of fluid underneath my truck while at a gas pump one day.  I’ve owned more than a few Toyota’s over the years and I consider myself a ‘Yota guy through and through, but since that experience, I made a vow to only purchase trucks with 22R motors!  Those who live in the Northeast like I do know it’s just about impossible to find a vintage Toyota truck or 4Runner that doesn’t look like the remains of an old shipwreck.  It’s tough to be choosy when shopping for one of these old rigs around here.  This Sunshine State 4Runner is certainly tempting to someone used to seeing these vehicles in an advanced state of deterioration in spite of the fact that it’s got the V6 instead of the 22R.  The original black paint looks super glossy and extraordinarily well preserved despite a few stone chips and a ding or two.  I’m not too crazy about the lighted running boards and it’s evident they could use a good dose of Mother’s Back to Black.  The other complaint I have is with the choice of wheels.  Yes, they show some pitting but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the fact that they don’t appear to be the original Toyota-designed slotted rims that helped enhance the signature look of these trucks.

The interior looks equally pristine.  The only blemishes I can see are a small tear on the lower portion of the driver seat and some light stains on the front passenger seat cloth and the rear passenger seat belt.  The rubber molding around all of the doors looks to be in great shape and I wish I could keep the door jams on my vehicles so spotlessly clean!  I usually don’t like the look of a wrapped steering wheel but the thick, textured wrap on this truck’s yoke looks comfortable and very functional.  The rugged floor liners (front and rear) are a nice complement to the interior as well.

The seller provides a nice picture of the aforementioned 3.0 liter EFI V6 and the cleanliness of the engine bay matches nicely with the pristine condition of the rest of the truck.  It’s very evident this truck has been well taken care of and with only 140,000 miles since new, Toyota aficionados will refer to this 4Runner as being in a stage of late infancy.  A timing chain and water pump job were done at 134K miles and the seller insists the truck needs nothing.  The presence of a 5-speed manual transmission and 4WD top out this truck’s list of desired features.  At $5,995 this clean 4Runner is priced to sell fairly quickly.  If the seller can provide documented proof of the manufacturer’s recall and repair of the original head gasket, do you think it might be worth pulling the trigger on this beauty?

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  1. sparkster

    Jay B you mentioned “timing chain” being replaced at 134,000 miles, I thought these were timing belts ? I do have to wonder if why they wouldn’t replace the timing belt while replacing the heads ? A few years ago I found someone that had a kit to replace this engine with the early model Lexus LS 400 V-8 engines. Someone here let me know if anyone here has heard of this swap

    • DANIEL Ring

      That swap is very expensive and requires a lot of technical knowledge. That said, it would be wonderful to drive.

    • Jay B Jay B Staff

      Sparkster, I believe you are correct. Looks like the V6 is belt, 4 cylinder is chain. I can’t say I was aware there was a difference between the two. Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. Zach

    From what I understand, those Enkei wheels were a factory option on the 4Runners and T100s. I think they look rather nice. I may be wrong though, someone else can feel free to correct me.

  3. Sthurlow

    There are many of these in New Zealand, I own a 1994. Most here came with the 1KZ-TE Diesel engine.

    The 1UZ-FE 4L V8 engine swap is somewhat popular, as the diesel pumps are $2k+ to recondition, and a complete 1UZ is less than that here.

    • Daniel

      The Australians have some suppliers of parts and good information for doing this swap also. In light of what you said, I would be interested in any information from New Zealand on what is needed and how to do it. It seems you guys have had great success in this area and I would love to know more about it.

  4. Daniel

    Do you have a source of complete information concerning this particular swap including manual and automatic versions? I would be most thankful if you could share it. I have a very nice 1995 4runner with auto trans and would love to have a 1UZ or later version swapped into it. Some Australian information and insight is most welcome as I believe you people have thought things out better and also have more experience with swapping the UZ engines than here in the states.

  5. Capriest

    This would be gone in 5 minutes here in Maine

    • glen

      I’ve become a fan of North Woods Law. I’m not one to travel, but I’d like to visit Maine.

  6. Saylor

    Not bad looking body style but man were these gutless wonders

    • DAN

      they have plenty of power
      my 92 has a 3.0 and 33×10.5 tires
      4:56 gears stock 5 speed r150f
      has plenty of power, an auto,not so much
      compared to 22re,it’s a rocket!
      3.4l v6 from 96+ is likely the easiest swap ever done if I need a new motor, but LS1 just cause AMERICA!

  7. BMW4RunninTundra

    I’ve got one of these! Unfortunately the head job was on me! Turned out no one will do heads on these, due understandable potential ramifications. so my head job turned into a complete engine job! The numbers ($) heads versus engine, IF you could find one who would do it, turned out to not be too far off. Plus I now have a 3yr full warranty!!! As for the autos being a “gutless wonder”, I beg to differ. I too thought that…until I drove mine. It has the ECT trans. when you engage the “power mode” it completely changes the shift pattern and that thing will move along perfectly fine. Even not engaged, it still holds its own just fine. LOVE my Yota’s!!!!! As for this one, the seller is giving it away and if I were not so late to the game, I would own two 95 Runners. (thankfully, for my marriage, I AM late to the game)

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