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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so long story short, i have a nearly stock tacoma prerunner non TRD, i should have gotten a 4x4 trd, but at the time i never thought i would be wanting/needed the 4x4, and i was clueless about TRD option. so my options that i am considering now are the following. the main issue is money, im in college which means what little i have goes towards the necessities... but still wanting some feedback.

1. selectable (non full time) locker for rear $500 plus

2. 4x4 conversion (no lockers) $1.5k area

3. trade in on another truck that is 4x4 and trd (doubt it would be even, or that i could find one in as good of shape as mine) $0-$3k

4. buy an older beater 80 model 4wd $1k max

5. drive it like it is and hope to get a great job outa college and get a nice truck and continue to carry the cell phone and tow rope of shame

btw my wheeling consist of muddy hunting trails, fields, back roads, the beach.
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i found this about the powertrax locker.

"The Powertrax No-Slip Traction System is the latest design in locking differential technology. It combines the smooth operation of a limited-slip differential, with the traction performance of a locking differential. A precise synchronization mechanism eliminates the ratcheting sounds typical of other locking differentials. Special gear and spring design reduce the backlash and therefore driveline windup."

ive heard of bad things from mechanical lockers paired with automatic transmissions. does the above mean its functions like a LSD on the street, but with enough throttle it locks itself completely? does this mean it would be safe for automatic transmissions??
 

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You should be able to find a trd rear end somewhere. Just be patient and wait for the right price here or practice up on your talking skills and try and find one at a junkyard.

As for the prerunner to 4wd conversion, from what I have heard it will take a while to find all of the parts, and it isn't the easiest thing to do. There are a couple of people that have done it, not easily though.

Maybe thinking about trading it in on a newer one wouldnt be such a bad idea. After all, you do get a new truck, and who doesn't like that. That would be the easiest way to go for you.

As for getting an older truck, like I said for the TRD rearend, be patient and wait for the right thing to come up.

My opinion would be to either get a newer truck, or to get a trail truck. Even though it might cost more money, you will be happier in the end, because they will perform alot better than your prerunner
 

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it wouldnt hurt just to go to a dealer and see what they would give you for a trade in that could help with the decision making, i would trade it in rather than do a conversion, it would just be a pain and may take a while and your truck might not be driveable just my input good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
since im paying for college the trade would need 2 be even, so im thinking i would end up with a 4x4 but with more miles or in worse shape... :confused:
 

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sell it and buy a 4x4

Dont trade it in, unless you like losing money. Dealerships will never, ever, ever give you what the car is worth on a private sale...they wouldnt make money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i think ill swing by the dealer and just see what the options are. i do have a part time job and a summer job, but with paying my own way through college is kinda thought when its 17k a year plus gas food etc. and im only making 10k before taxes :eek: if i cant come out even on my truck then i think i will just drive it and maintain it like i have been doing, come graduation in 2 years ill get a nice 4x4.
 

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I guess I'm in the minority when it comes to throwing my 2 cents on what you should do. Frankly, I'm surprised to see so many "just trade it in" suggestions. It's ALOT cheaper to keep it and do the conversion. And no, it's not that big a hassle. It's a complete BOLT-ON affair! Sheesh, we've got folders and numerous threads on this forum about solid axle swaps - requiring massive amounts of measuring, design, geometry calculations, cutting and welding. A Taco prerunner to 4x4 conversion is a piece of cake compared to that! (And much cheaper, too.) The hardest part of the whole affair is swapping trannies. Heck, I've done 3 tranny swaps in my driveway by myself, and these were the huge Ford fullsize AOD and E4OD trannies. If I can do 'em, anyone can.

Now let's talk REAL facts about trade-in and/or selling and buying used. Like the other post said, dealer trade-in is usually less than what you would get if you were to sell it privately. Yes, you'll most likely get more if you sell it yourself outright, but the benefit of trading it in at the dealer, though, is the ease and convenience of it all. How many of us have tried to sell our cars outright? In my 40-plus years of living, I've only sold one within a week after putting it on the market. The rest have taken at least a month to over half a year to sell. And if it's your only means of transportation, then you're practically forced to trade it in at the dealer cuz you won't be able to drive to work or to the dealer once you sell it, unless you don't mind asking friends to drive you around in their cars til you finally find something you're willing to buy - and that can take a long time, too, if you're looking to buy used.

Now, if you trade it in for a used 4x4, you're looking at getting a model that will most likely be older AND have more miles than your current prerunner, and you'll still probably have to pay an additional $3-$5K. How do I know this? Because I was looking at the same option myself when I used to have a 99 Prerunner. In fact, I'd still be driving it today had I not wrecked it. More importantly, you'll probably be looking at buying a used model with an UNKNOWN HISTORY, an important factor often overlooked and seldom considered with the "just-trade-it-in" option. And I'm not talking carfax history, I'm talking maintenance history (you'd be surprised how many folks think changing the engine oil is all you need to do and completely forget all the other fluids, spark plugs, zerk grease fittings, etc.) and driving-style history. Did the previous owner(s) ever redline it? Submerge it? Mostly highway or city miles? Etc.

Now let's talk cost of the conversion. If you do a search, you'll find that Snutty and a few others got all their parts for about $1000. One guy over on 4x4wire.com bought a whole wrecked 4x4 Taco at a salvage yard for $1500. Now, I know you can get 4x4 beaters for less than $2000 (heck, I once scored two for less than $2000 total!), but some of 'em usually need much more money to fix up and keep running. So you have to keep that in mind. Meanwhile, you know the maintenance and repair history of your own Prerunner, and if you invest $1000-$2000 more in 4x4 parts and do the swap yourself with a buddy or two over the weekend, you'll stick with the known (and away from those with unknown maintenance histories) and probably still save some money.

Just my humble .02 cents....
 
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