I feel my faithful little toyota deserves some recognition and hopefully I can help ease the decision of someone looking to purchase a cheap, economical, and ultra reliable truck to do... pretty much anything. No you won't be winning drag races against newer full size trucks with V8's nor will you be towing your 45' luxury motor home however what you can do is way more than anyone would imagine. Those in auto mechanic scene know how amazing the little 22R 4 cylinder motor is and thats why these trucks are so sought after now. I purchased my truck 8 years ago and consistently haul over 1000lbs of cargo, and have run it hard since I bought it with 87,000 miles, it now has 178k running strong.
Handles like a car and is very quick under 50mph with a manual transmission. It is extremely fun to drive and super tough, motor performs pretty much the same with 1000lbs in it or empty. People really underate what the truck can do because of its size but I haul 2 motorcycles in it at once all the time, launch a jetski trailer with 2 large jetskis, and have even towed a 20' boat!!! And this is all with the 22R carbureted, 4 speed manual trans, base model.
In close to 100000 miles of hard use I have only had to replace a wheel bearing, rear axle seals, clutch, exhaust, and I upgraded the carb because the first one started having idle issues. No major problems, with regular oil changes, and gearbox oil change. Truck is comfy for me at 5'5" however anyone over 5'10" is going to feel cramped I think, it is a tiny cab but that is part of what makes the truck handle so well and fit anywhere a compact car will.
My father bought this very basic truck new for $6988 as a loss leader in late 1989. We are talking a vinyl bench seat, no AC, no power steering, and no radio. He put a lot of really tough short trips on it and didn't do much for maintenance except change the oil. I inherited it in 1997 with less than 100K miles and though it hadn't had any problems, it already needed a new clutch. Despite that, it remained reliable- a clutch master cylinder in 2000 and new radiator in 2001 at 133K. It started leaking out of the front seal a little at about 180K. Finally, at 196K, it's tough life caught up to it and it blew the head gasket Not bad, all things considering. Now it has 230K on it and
I just got done painting it- the red paint had faded to a pinkish hue but it never rusted. I had to put a new clutch in it again at 217K along with a new transmission. I have seen it in other basic trucks- the 4 speed manuals just weren't built nearly as well as the 5 speeds for some reason. They never actually fail, they just wear out and get really loud! So I got a used 5 speed from a wrecking yard for $99 and it has been great and makes the truck even quicker. Despite the 230K miles, the engine seems strong, it just passed the CA. smog test, and ironically I'm the only guy I know with a truck that can get 30 MPG on the highway. It looks great with the fresh paint and one of the things
did when the head gasket blew was change the timing chain- I saw one of those snap in a similar truck with 264K miles on it, so I figured it was a good idea. Everything seems squared away now, I honestly don't see why I wouldn't hit 300K. I adjust the valves every so often as well. Review? 116 HP moving only 2650 pounds, the most basic truck with a manual is actually pretty quick, has a fat torque curve, and as I mentioned, gets pretty good mileage. 4WD models are 600 pounds heavier, hurting mileage and acceleration. The bench is obviously horrible for spirited driving as you slide around while turning. Probably the best heater ever. There's nothing to this truck, therefore, nothing breaks!
I purchased this truck new in August 1990. Its been nothing short of spectacular. Ive owned five fords three Chevys and none of them began to match the performance of this vehicle. The original cost was reasonable. The overall performance has been exceptional. It ahs been absolutely reliable., and the cost of operation is very manageable. Currently it has 160,000 flawless miles to its credit. This is an ultra simple vehicle without any of the bells and whistles that make so many of todays trucks a nightmare. I honestly expect it to run for another twenty years without little more then routine maintenance.
I have to agree with everyone this truck is amazing. It was my fathers truck and it was passed down to me about 8 years ago. I've put this truck through everything, haven't really gotten stuck anywhere when i go four wheeling. the truck has over 200,000 on it and wont die. I recently did a cross country trip with the truck it was 6,000 miles none stop round trip, didn't have one problem. I love this truck it is part of the family. Oh did i mention the engine was and is blown, and it still did it.
My Toyota is the best truck I have ever had. I hardly ever get stuck in mud and snow. Its quiet. The only thing about it I don't like is the power. When I go up a steep hill it bogs down. Its a great truck for first time drivers. I think I will always drive Toyota.