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My son is almost ready to buy his first truck and has his heart set on a Tacoma 4x4. He'd eventually like to put a mild lift on with 33's for some wheeling, but nothing too severe (he can't afford the repairs). He has been saving, but budget is still a little limited. It seems that we can find a few extra cabs with reasonable mileage with the 2.7 and manual transmission that are within his price range (under 10K) but its very hard to find similar trucks with the 3.4. While I've read great things about the reliability of the 2.7, would it be OK for 33's down the road?
Any other advice would be appreciated as well.
Thanks for the help.
 

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it would work great with the truck as long as you plan to regear but you would have to do the same with the 3.4 so that shouldnt be your deciding factor. you could look for one that has 4.30 or 4.56 gears by checking the door code and doing some searching on here but they can be hard to find and i wouldnt let that hold me back from buying a good truck because they can be regeared. do some searching around and you will find what u looking for. hope that helps.
 

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you could actually get him the truck and put 33's on stock. my tacoma had 33x10.50 bfg all-terrains on it at stock height, and never once rubbed even going through trails. they arent as wide and dont look as mean, but gas mileage doesnt go down as much, and i really diddnt feel the power loss was very noticeable at all. its a great combo in my opinion, and a taco is a great first truck. its easy to drive, not to tipsy, and seems will go anywhere.
 

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Yeah the 2.7 is a nice one, i have 1 in my taco, you can pretty much shoot one with bird shot that that thing will still go! its also a pretty torquie engine, for how tiny it is! :) :2cents:
 

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I just got a 2002 2.7, 5 speed extended cab from my brother and it is a nice truck. My 13 year old son thinks it will be his first truck.

I think it would be a great choice. I wouldn't be afraid of mileage if the truck was well maintained. I would encourage him to minimize the modifications and focus on driving skills and maintenance. A stock Tacoma is capable off-road and incremental gains get expensive.

Playing the mod game is rough on a young kid's budget. Would he rather be working to pay off goodies or be driving his truck? You never get your money back on mods and a stock, well maintained 4wd tacoma will always have a lot of value when he is ready to trade up. Think about it - you are looking for a stock truck. Besides - the rich kid down the street will always have a bigger and better truck.

Of course, I'm 50, so no amount of mods will impress the high school girls if I'm driving. Good Luck!
 

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an extra cab 2.7 would make a great first (or second, or third) truck. consensus seems to be that it's a strong, reliable motor, and i totally agree. i currently have 32's on my 5 speed 2.7 with stock 4.30 gearing and have no complaints.
 

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I've got a 98 4x4 with 6" of lift and 33x12.5's...and the power loss isnt that bad...i've got 4:10 gears though...and i would def check the door code and find out what gears it has in it before you purchase one. But my 2.7 pushes my 33's just fine, im quite happy with it. On the highway you will need to shift into 4th sometimes to make it up some inclines, but its not a dog. I would definitley recommend the 2.7 for him.
 

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yeah i have a 2000 with the 2.7 and love it. never a problem and i like the gas mileage alot better than the 3.4
 

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Personally I think most new drivers no matter the vehicle are better suited will 4 bangers. They are reliable plenty of useable power and simple to work on. This is not toyota specific IMO. Toyotas pick ups are very light in the rear and albeit the 6 cyl isnt a brute it does make a taco break loose in the rear on even dry pavement that much easier.

The 2.7 is a great choice imo.
 

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X2 on everything said so far.

The 2.7 is a bulletproof engine that will produce plenty of power for wheeling, yet won't get him in too much trouble on pavement.

The 2.7L with manual transmission, would be a GREAT 1st truck for your kid.

As said before you could probably run the 33 x 10.50's and not need to regear, although I would suggest a mild lift (www.toyteclifts.com).
 

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2.7 taco would be a great first truck. If I had my truck for a first car instead of a 280whp MR2 turbo, I would have MUCH better driving record and insurance rates!

It is slow, especially if you get one with 3.58s like mine, but it's bulletproof and will get you there. Eventually:D
 

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i went from a Auto 4 banger Jeep on 32s to a 5spd 4 banger taco now on 33s...

my taco is a Muscle car compared to the Jeep...:D
 

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2.7>3.4 even for an adult.
Uh, i'm gonna have to disagree with this post. The 3.4 not only has more power but if serviced normally will give you a long life just like the 2.7. The only downfall might be the lower mileage but you can't have everything.
 

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Uh, i'm gonna have to disagree with this post. The 3.4 not only has more power but if serviced normally will give you a long life just like the 2.7. The only downfall might be the lower mileage but you can't have everything.
Nope, wrong. I've had both and the 2.7 is much nicer, more longer lasting, and fits the older tacomas perfectly. If your penis is small then by all means get the 3.4
 

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Nope, wrong. I've had both and the 2.7 is much nicer, more longer lasting, and fits the older tacomas perfectly. If your penis is small then by all means get the 3.4
If your penis is small a 3.4L engine is not the thing to make up for it. My 3.4L has 129k miles on it and I've had no problems w/ it so far. And try getting a 2.7L in a 4x4 double cab and see if it still fits perfectly powerwise.
 

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A 2.7L 4x4 ext. cab was the truck I got for my first and I ahve had it about 2 years. I run 33's and it is alright as far as power but it gets around anywhere. Also, something to consider is, I have never taken my truck to any mechanic to do work because I have used the forum and read up on stuff and the 2.7L is easy to work with and gain a lot of knowledge that I bet you and your son would be very greatful for. I don't think there is a better first truck out there.
 

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I drive my 2.7 (check my signiture) everyday to school and work and mileage is good, i try not to speed though. I bought my taco with in 2003 with~75,000 miles on it and currently have about 137,000, still rins like the day i got it. These miles are mostly freeways and street but i have taken my truck through its share of offroading.
So conclusion, my tacoma has had good gas mileage, easily serviceable (everything done my self... oil changes to llifting and regear), really relieable and fun. If i had another chance, i would do it all over again. GET THE 2.7!!
 
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