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Keep or sell?

Old 05-20-2019, 07:59 AM
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Default Keep or sell?

The young mentee of mine who purchased a 2003 4Runner 2 years ago needs help with a difficult question.

2003 4Runner has 216,000 miles on her. But needs the following repaires:

Both front bearings need replacement
Rear axle hub leaks.
Valve cover leaks
Needs new rear brakes.
shocks need replacing.
catalytic converter needs replacing.

Grand total from my mechanic...$2475.00


He purchased the truck for $1500 2-3 years ago so he got a good deal. He really loves the truck but wants to make the smart move.

Keep and repair and hope nothing else fails.

OR

Sell for what he paid for and buy something else.


What say the braintrust?
Old 05-20-2019, 08:01 AM
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keep it and fix it you will still be in it for around 4k.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:06 AM
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What can he buy for the replair money + current value of 4-runner. I would be inclined to fix the front bearings only, and sell. May be able to get more than what he has in it back out.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:29 AM
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My rule of thumb is, if the cost to repair is greater than ½ the value, it is time to get rid of it.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:31 AM
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If your son off roads "any", then fix it because what's available newer will suck shit and he'll always kick his own ass for selling it!

I used to LOVE going off road with my 88 Nissan King Cab V6 4x4 3/4 ton baja suspension package truck. That truck could climb mountains and everything else in between....the 03 Toyota 4 Runners are somewhat in the same class (IMHO the older 87 - 89's were better). The day I sold my Nissan ( I didn't have the space to keep it) was the day my four wheeling days were over, period! There is absolutely no fun in getting stuck everywhere when you used to be able to do the same thing with ease. I'll wager to say the only time your son gets stuck is when he's bottomed out or high centered? I know for my Nissan that was the only thing that stopped that truck. My Nissan ate Jeeps, Chevy's, Ford and Dodges all for breakfast and was hungry for more. To this day close to 20 years later I still regret selling that Nissan and I feel strongly enough your boy will also regret selling his 4 runner.

Just my .04 cents Doug.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bobeast View Post
My rule of thumb is, if the cost to repair is greater than ½ the value, it is time to get rid of it.

Good rule, and I follow that as well, but there's the rub. Lots of folks on the Toyota forum are saying that even with these problems she's worth north of 3500 easy. Because the right buyer could fix these themselves for less than a grand.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bobeast View Post
My rule of thumb is, if the cost to repair is greater than ½ the value, it is time to get rid of it.
That's a good ratio, but if you can't find what will do the same thing as what you currently have for a reasonable amount of money then your ratio means nothing.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:33 AM
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none of those repairs are all that expensive and the parts should be no more than $500. Does he have any mechanical aptitude and access to tools?he certainly could save a boatload of money with a shop manual and some basic aptitude. Good luck to him!
Old 05-20-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
Good rule, and I follow that as well, but there's the rub. Lots of folks on the Toyota forum are saying that even with these problems she's worth north of 3500 easy. Because the right buyer could fix these themselves for less than a grand.
And they'll pay the 3,500 number and fix it because they know what the truck is capable of and what they'll have to spend to have something comparable.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by garett View Post
and they'll pay the 3,500 number and fix it because they know what the truck is capable of and what they'll have to spend to have something comparable.
this!
Old 05-20-2019, 08:37 AM
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IMO he would be better off in the long run to take that money and use it as a down payment on a new base model vehicle. Everything he doesn't fix on that one still has 216K miles of wear.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:40 AM
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The from wheel bearing on our 05 is starting to hum, what was the approximate cost to replace. My quotes seem high in the $500 range.
Old 05-20-2019, 08:47 AM
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what can he afford? if he is going to take that money and turn around and buy a sub $5k vehicle, he may be better off keeping and fixing what he has. at least you know the vehicle. if he can afford better, fix the bearings and sell, put that money towards the upgrade!
Old 05-20-2019, 09:53 AM
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Default Update:

He's made his decision based on the responses I've sent from here, as well as the others he's received. We've come to a compromise which works rather well for both of us.

Since he has no spot to even attempt these repairs and no tools, I've let him utilize my garage and tools for the summer. He works full-time and goes to school full-time so he can only put in about 6 - 8 hours per week. I told him he has until Sept 1st. If it's not out of my garage at that point, it becomes mine and I sell it and keep the proceeds. He was 100% OK with that. Now of course I wouldn't do that, but I would sell it and give the $$$ back to him in a bond or something that he can't blow within 24 hours.

In turn for letting him keep the truck in my garage his great grandmother who is 99 years old and can kick most of our asses has agreed to supply me with her famous fried chicken which is "Off the Hook" good!!! Biscuits as well!!! I negotiated those in there...once per week, + he has to take care of my lawn for the entire summer. Cut, edge, weed whack, and blow. using all my equipment of course.

He will bring along some of his buddies to help him along the way. I will most likely wind up feeding everyone, so in the end my pocketbook will take a hit, but he will learn some lifelong skills he can use along the way. I told him when I have the time I would help as well. I'll most likely be doing the brakes with him because those are something he cant get wrong!! Everything else he can screw up, the truck just goes boom and sits on the side of the road. He screws up the brakes somebody could die!


Thanks everyone!!!

Old 05-20-2019, 09:56 AM
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Almost forgot......I will most likely ask for your help with the bearings.....never attempted those before and have no clue what he's getting into, but with perseverance, a good attitude, and a little knowledge and help anything's possible!!!

Bearings........That even sounds like a compression tool is needed. ;?
Old 05-20-2019, 10:02 AM
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I was going to say for the most part these sound like easy enough repairs. I would pay somebody to do
the front bearings, otherwise sounds like the rest could either be ignored (is the valve cover leak so bad it has to be fixed?) or knocked out over a weekend.

Hit up junkyards, Craigslist, eBay for a used cat.
Old 05-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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The front wheel bearings should be a unit. Easy to replace.

I would think the valve cover would be the most difficult thing on that list. How bad is it leaking? If minor I would ignore it until it gets bad enough.

Rear axle seal is easy, bleeding the brakes is the hardest part.

Brakes, easy.

Shocks, easy.

What makes him say it needs a new cat? Depending on where you live and if it has a downstream O2 sensor you might be abale to eliminate it. Can also get a lower milage used one.
Old 05-20-2019, 10:21 AM
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You can buy the front wheel bearings already pressed into a new hub. Makes it a very easy DIY job.
I did one side in less than an hour.
Old 05-20-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
You can buy the front wheel bearings already pressed into a new hub. Makes it a very easy DIY job.
I did one side in less than an hour.
This. It's super easy. All those repairs are quite simple - youtube if you have any questions.
Old 05-20-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
You can buy the front wheel bearings already pressed into a new hub. Makes it a very easy DIY job.
I did one side in less than an hour.
i dont think there is an option, they are either old school bearings and hubs that you have to assemble ( like your boat trailer hubs ) or a sealed bearing assembly. the one you speak of is a sealed bearing hub assembly which is pretty much what any modern vehicle has!

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