Last post on Jul 06, 2013 at 3:20 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Toyota 4Runner, SUV
#6680 of 11429 Sport Edition cladding
Jul 08, 2003 (11:17 pm)
I just noticed on the toyota.com site -- all those photos of the Sport Edition with the color-keyed cladding appear to have been edited with an image editor, and not actually reshot. The credits still say that the photos were taken in 2002. Makes sense, as I'm sure Toyota wasn't going to drive those 4Runners back up the mountain just to retake the photos.
As for the 2004 change back to grey cladding on the Sport Edition-- I hope Toyota reconsiders. I saw photos of the 2003 color-keyed Sport Edition in various colors on a dealer's site and it's much better looking than the grey-cladded models, IMHO. The code was "YU" for the Sport Appearance Package. The Toyota site says that this is standard, not an option.
RE: the overall way Toyota handled the cladding issue -- reverting back to grey-cladding notwithstanding, I'm impressed with the way they handled it. To not only lower the price, but to make the appearance package standard and throw in the running boards and fog lamps means either of two things (or both): Toyota was feeling really generous; or sales of the redesigned 4Runner were running below expectations.
#6681 of 11429 dogwing
Jul 09, 2003 (4:27 am)
1) Toyota recommends premium for increased performance for both the V-6 and V-8, but regular (87 octane) is allowed. I use regular, as it seems most people do. In the mountains I used the regular grade sold there, which I think was 85 octane, which also seemed to work fine, although it worried me a little using a lower octane than recommended in the manual. I think there was a thread about this (lower octane for regular gas in the mountains) a while back, but I can't remember what the consensus was. Haven't got time to check right now as I need to get to work.
2) I posted the mileage figures I get a few weeks ago. See message 6508. Khaug posted about the same time and gets about the same mileage I do. I drive conservatively, but relatively fast. If you search for mileage in the "search this discussion" box you will find many messages with mileage figures. Just be sure the poster is computing the mileage--the figures given by the vehicle's trip computer are higher than what you are actually getting.
#6682 of 11429 Now I am totally confused...
Jul 09, 2003 (6:16 am)
mrwhipple said: "The 16" rims would be better suited for off road [than 17 inch]. There is more rubber (between rim & road) allowing the tire to flex better over terrain."
-------> Then why do off-roaders want bigger tires? Why don't they get like 13-inch tires, and want to get them as big as possible?
I would think the X-REAS might hamper suspension articulation off road.
-------> Or, it can prevent serious vehicle damage by not allowing the vehicle to lean on the side and strike obstacles
We should have some off-road experts here, what's your opinion?
Jul 09, 2003 (7:05 am)
Just bought a 03 SE V6-black/grey cloth. Love it! Noticed the chirping/squeak on cold startup, will give it a few miles to see if it works out, else take to the dealer (TSB #??) otherwise, tight as a drum.
Very smooth vehicle, good handling for a truck.
V6 plenty of power.
Jul 09, 2003 (7:09 am)
Any intel as to improvements coming in the V6 coming that will correct the belt squeals and the more catastrophic noises reported here? I'm debating over an end of model year '03 or waiting until September/October. Your thoughts, owners?
Jul 09, 2003 (7:21 am)
As a slip owner near a boat ramp, some of my best summer entertainment has been to watch folks try to haul their boats out at the end of a weekend. Let me suggest that a 4WD is far superior, for even a smaller runabout than RWD. On most ramps the rear wheels will be in or under water on a ramps where moss and algae grow (regardless of the frequent traffic). Powered (and dry) front wheels avoid all the problems that have given me chuckles over the years. Can you get them in and out with RWD? Sure. But if you don't want the attention of nearby slip owners, go with 4WD.
#6686 of 11429 Confused - bcmalibu99ls
Jul 09, 2003 (7:23 am)
mrwhipple is essentially correct. I am an off-road enthusiast here in CO. Let's be clear on the difference between larger wheels/rims and larger tires. Larger rims, 17", 18", 19" mean mounting a lower profile tire to maintain the same overall tire diameter. A low profile tire in an off-road situation is very susceptible to rock and other obstacle damage. Also, in off-road situations it is easier to "pop" the bead on a low profile tire, less sidewall to work with. So, if you are unwilling to "lift" the truck to accommodate extra large wheels/tires, then a 16" wheel with a higher aspect ratio tire is better suited to off-road use. Of course, if you are willing to "lift" the truck, the sky is the limit, 17-18" rims with extremely high aspect ratio tires. That will give you a lot of extra ground clearance, etc. This does not take into account the change in speedometer readings with oversized wheels/tires, and change in performance for the transmission. Oversized wheels and tires are very much a purpose driven off-road customization.
This is the same issue many of the Land Rover Discovery folks are having. With the '03 Discovery SE, Land Rover mounted 18" wheels with high speed low profile tires. Folks that have taken those vehicles off-road have posted on that board about experiencing flats. They have since looked to purchase 16" wheels and higher aspect ratio tires to maintain the same overall diameter for off-road use.
I'm on the fence with regard to X-REAS. It will limit vehicle articulation in off-road situations which is bad. Articulation is not so much allowing the body to lean over and strike obstacles as it is trying to keep all four tires planted on the ground when crawling over rocks, logs, etc. Good suspension articulation is a must have in those conditions. Also, I should think the system would make it more difficult or expensive to "lift" the truck or modify the suspension package for heavy duty off-road use. A simple upgrade to Old Man EMU springs for instance, might be impossible with X-REAS.
I am under the impression X-REAS is more meant for limiting body roll in cornering on-road. It tightens the truck up, makes it feel more like a sports sedan than a SUV. Like I said, I'm on the fence on X-REAS.
#6688 of 11429 my opinions on XREAS and body cladding on sport
Jul 09, 2003 (9:01 am)
It seems that people are making the assumption that no one likes the body cladding. I know for myself, I love the body cladding on my SE, and I've talked to others who have taken it offroad, and they loved it too. So as far as 'SPORT' is concerned, I think it should be left on, or left as an option. Taking it totally away like some have suggested, doesn't make much sense when there are two other trims to choose from or when it can be an option.
X-REAS and offroad, here's my take. I know you want articulation, and I'm not arguing that, but I am arguing that X-REAS really interferes with the benefits of articulation. In my opinion (and with my experience in this vehicle off-road) X-REAS helps keep all 4 wheels on the ground more than without. Since the shocks are cross linked, and most off-road techniques teach to go over high-centering objects at an angle, the cross linked shocks actually help. When the front-right tire for instance is going over the high object (being a rock or steep whoop-di-woo) then the back left is pushing against the lower ground, which is keeping the vehicle nice and stable (rockcrawler has a good section on the X-REAS in their review of the 4runner). I loved the X-REAS for medium rated terrain offroad. I'm sure if you are doing harcore rockcrawling where you need tons of articulation, you wouldn't be using a new '03 4runner anyway, but rather a '92 or something like a rubicon heavily jacked up, so that point is moot.
#6689 of 11429 Several topics, nice answer grizbear1!
Jul 09, 2003 (9:15 am)
Ah, that's one of the best things about these discussions. grizbear1's answer is impressively clear and concise, and very well balanced, IMHO. I think a little of the confusion about the purpose of the Sport edition is due to Toyota's marketing efforts, where they'd like to have it both ways. In terms of actual hardware (rather than perception) the Sport seems to me to be slightly tilted toward on-road use. Toyota is probably conflicted about the fact that most folks never really take these vehicles (even the 4Runner) seriously off-road, and only a tiny minority do it often. Nonetheless if you like the other features of the Sport, you can easily rectify the tire situation, though it wouldn't be very cheap unless you could sell off the factory tires/wheels at a good price. It should be said, though, that the profile difference between the factory 16" and 17" wheels/tires is small, and so there's not really much of a situation to rectify anyway.
As for towing and whether to choose the V6 or V8, I'd suggest considering how much load and how often you expect to tow. If the trailer is substantially less than the max rating for the V6 (say 3000 lbs or so) and you don't expect to be towing for the majority of the time, the V6 should do very well. A proven transmission is a plus when towing, as towing seems to kill transmissions more often than engines. However if you expect to be towing much of the time and/or you want to tow heavy loads, it seems like the V8 (especially with the new upgraded hitch, whatever that is) is the ticket. I'd be comfortable assuming that Toyota has done a good job with the new 5-speed transmission. Also, heed the recommendations of others here previously in terms of towing and shifting practice. I've towed and pulled and driven heavy trucks a bunch in a previous life, and it can be a whole different form of driving if you're very heavy overall or near vehicle limits.
As far as towing boats, I've also seen big problems at concrete boat ramps with 2WD vehicles. As a poster stated, having rear wheels on wet and on mossy concrete is a recipe for slippage and onlooker (but not driver!) entertainment. The limited-slip functionality provided by the traction control feature through braking of the lower-traction wheel will help, but having two front wheels pulling on dry pavement (even if they're not very heavily loaded) has got to be a plus. In addition, 4WD lo-range might be helpful in terms of a slow, easily-controlled start and pull. I haven't tried this myself, though, and the more-abrupt shifts in 4-lo (discussed previously here) might be a problem as you pick up speed on a slick ramp.
Fuel grade and mileage: Please do some searches on this thread and you will find lots of good information. As a summary, though, I'd say that premium gets you the full rated horsepower of these high-compression engines (especially the higher-compression V6), but costs you $ and a little mileage. The engine is spec'd to adapt well to octanes as low as 87, so you should be fine there, if max HP is not a requirement. As far as mileage goes, I'm getting around 20 on a V6 in mixed driving, with a slight bias toward highway.