'01 Toyota 4Runner 5VZ-FE V6, 250,000 miles-(Kirkland 5W30/5,000 miles UOA)

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25
Location
WA
Evenin' everyone, this is my recently acquired 2001 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 with 250,000 miles. The original owner was a Toyota mechanic and owned it until 220,000 miles until he sold it to a couple that put another 25,000 miles. The vehicle had 245,000 miles when bought it and as a third owner, I was skeptical on the overall life/status of the engine in particular. By far this is the highest mileage vehicle I ever owned, so I did an oil change as soon as I got it with Kirkland 5w30 and FRAM Ultra Synthetic oil filter.

During the 5,000 miles and 5 months of usage, the 4Runner have been to several mountain passes here in the PNW, and about 200 miles of mild to moderate off-roading(over the summer). I'm hoping to get another 150k out of these vehicle as it is rust free, runs fine and literally takes you anywhere!
 

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8,647
Location
Virginia
Well.... That report looks extremely good. I'd bet you are totally right... 150,000 miles is very possible. And certainly more is possible too.

No rust is a huge deal as you well know.

Check and see if there is a date code on that battery.,..

Check the coolant level and if or when it was changed last... The Toyota coolant is not too bad a price at the dealership at my local Toyota. If you want to try a all makes all models coolant... Peak X10 is a option or Peak Global if you can find it...


Power steering fluid.... CHECK this.... And change if fluids looks burnt... I wish I had done this in my lady's 99 Camry. $1,000+ power steering work needed on it 3 years after we got it... It likely takes Dexron III... Easy and cheap and use a syringe or a battery bulb tester to pull out fluid in the reservoir.

ATF do the same thing ^^^^ check and see if it is dark or burnt looking... Again I'd bet it is Dexron III... Do a couple of drain and refills if it needs it.
 
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927
Location
Penske Truck Rental
Impressive but that's nothing on a 5VZ-FE since they can run forever. Excellent engine to work on. Fixed one where the water pump seized up and snapped the timing belt. New parts later it still runs strong without a hiccup.

Check if the radiator has been replaced recently or any recent coolant service performed since these generations are notorious for the "ATF milkshake" issue.
 

Ambo87

Thread starter
Messages
25
Location
WA
Well.... That report looks extremely good. I'd bet you are totally right... 150,000 miles is very possible. And certainly more is possible too.

No rust is a huge deal as you well know.

Check and see if there is a date code on that battery.,..

Check the coolant level and if or when it was changed last... The Toyota coolant is not too bad a price at the dealership at my local Toyota. If you want to try a all makes all models coolant... Peak X10 is a option or Peak Global if you can find it...


Power steering fluid.... CHECK this.... And change if fluids looks burnt... I wish I had done this in my lady's 99 Camry. $1,000+ power steering work needed on it 3 years after we got it... It likely takes Dexron III... Easy and cheap and use a syringe or a battery bulb tester to pull out fluid in the reservoir.

ATF do the same thing ^^^^ check and see if it is dark or burnt looking... Again I'd bet it is Dexron III... Do a couple of drain and refills if it needs it.
I totally agree with your suggestions! I was proactive enough to do the things you mentioned. I changed the PS fluid with Valvoline Maxlife(hope this is fine?), drained and filled the transmission three times with Valvoline Maxlife Multi Vehicle(it was black and smelled burnt, but shifts waay better now) installed a Magnefine inline filter, too. Also, I properly replaced/flushed the gunky green coolant with Valvoline Zerex Asian(Red type).
 

Ambo87

Thread starter
Messages
25
Location
WA
Impressive but that's nothing on a 5VZ-FE since they can run forever. Excellent engine to work on. Fixed one where the water pump seized up and snapped the timing belt. New parts later it still runs strong without a hiccup.

Check if the radiator has been replaced recently or any recent coolant service performed since these generations are notorious for the "ATF milkshake" issue.
Thanx! Yes, that’s what I was concerned about prior to the purchase(Pink milkshake), but they provided documentation that the timing belt and WP was replaced at 190k miles together with an OEM radiator. However, its due for a valve cover gasket replacement now, and I think this is a very common issue with these engines too as the valve cover bolts loosen overtime and end up messing up the gaskets. Other than that, it runs really good!
 
Messages
8,647
Location
Virginia
I totally agree with your suggestions! I was proactive enough to do the things you mentioned. I changed the PS fluid with Valvoline Maxlife(hope this is fine?), drained and filled the transmission three times with Valvoline Maxlife Multi Vehicle(it was black and smelled burnt, but shifts waay better now) installed a Magnefine inline filter, too. Also, I properly replaced/flushed the gunky green coolant with Valvoline Zerex Asian(Red type).

Yeah I believe the Maxlife is just fine for the power steering system... Heck I am just about sure I could have put that Maxlife in my power steering system. My car a 08 Nissan Altima specs a Dexron VI or Nissan power steering fluid... I have changed that out starting two years ago.

I should have done that with the Camry. I just changed that fluid again recently after 3 years. It was Warren oil Dex Merc.

Sounds like you have this four runner all set to go...
 
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5,132
Location
the canyons
The Achilles Heel of the 3rd gen 4Runner is the lower ball joints. If they haven't been replaced in the last 100k miles, I would suggest you do so. And use the OEM lower ball joints only. None of the aftermarket LBJ's are made as well.

I owned a 3rd gen from new for 22 years, and was a Toyota (and various independent shops) master tech.

Regarding the valve cover gaskets: Just GENTLY snugging down the bolts is usually sufficient to stop any seepage. The torque spec is IIRC 53 in lbs or 4.42 ft lbs

Maintain it, and you could own a reliable SUV until you eventually get tired of looking at it.
 
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Ambo87

Thread starter
Messages
25
Location
WA
The Achilles Heel of the 3rd gen 4Runner is the lower ball joints. If they haven't been replaced in the last 100k miles, I would suggest you do so. And use the OEM lower ball joints only. None of the aftermarket LBJ's are made as well.

I owned a 3rd gen from new for 22 years, and was a Toyota (and various independent shops) master tech.

Regarding the valve cover gaskets: Just GENTLY snugging down the bolts is usually sufficient to stop any seepage. The torque spec is IIRC 53 in lbs or 4.42 ft lbs

Maintain it, and you could own a reliable SUV until you eventually get tired of looking at it.
Good to know a fellow 3rd gen owner here! Yes, I replaced the LBJ and basically changed the whole suspension/bushings as it was still all OEM! The rear was sagging(Tokico shocks) so I put taller springs from a 99 4R(Highlander edition I believe), KYB Monomax shocks and a pair of Gabriel Ready Mounts for the fronts and so far so good. I also changed the differential and t-case fluids!

I recently tightened the valve covers to spec last month and boy it was really loose! It wasn’t dripping or anything, but the seepage/residue is pretty evident around the bolts and edges. I’ll wait till spring to change it.

I’m planning on making this vehicle as an overland rig in the near future.
 
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Messages
1,959
Location
South Carolina
I purchased a 2000 Gen 3 3 years ago for my wife with 245k miles and have gone through it from bumper-to-bumper. The advice here is spot on. Planning to make this my last vehicle purchase (I'm old!).

Look into replacing all 4 suspension springs (I used Moog) they have a tendency to sag over time (well known the rears do).

I ran into trouble using universal ATF in the power steering and transmission since Dex III is no longer licensed. Power steering became "twitchy" and I experienced torque convertor shudder at highway speeds. After doing a lot of research I did 4 drain and fills of SuperTech ATF made by Warren Distribution. On their site this ATF is only recommended for the old DexIII/Mercon applications. After completing the change everything is right with the world now.

If you would like any help or advice feel free to contact me but it sounds like you have things well in hand.
 
Messages
512
Location
FL
Nice very low wear numbers.
I don't think you could get any lower #'s with any oil.
I'm going with kirkland oil next again. I used it when it first came out but when Mobil had rebates I couldn't pass up the price. Even with the rebate it end up the same price as costco kirklan oil
 

SR5

Messages
5,522
Location
Down Under
Nice low iron wear numbers.

The oils looks good too, a slug of moly, zinc near the ILSAC maximum, a good LSPI friendly Ca & Mg detergent package, and the oil viscosity is still in grade after 5000 miles.
 
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