Tuesday, September 1, 2009

After months of searching, I found my truck!

You know how it is. You want to find the right vehicle to start your project with.

After watching more than one Toyota climb up torturous, rocky hills with all 4 tires spinning like crazy while I was stuck at the bottom with a broken axleshaft (well, 3wd), I've wanted a Toyota. And I always wanted one with a removable top too.

So I started hunting for them several months ago. My friends were also on the lookout for me, generally sending me good hits.

While it would have been more economical to start with a fully built truck, I wanted something that the kids and I could work on together. While money is certainly tight thanks to learning the hard way about Alt-A loans and refi'ing into a fixed rate, losing our the options that come with "first money down", I'm looking at this as part of my kid's education. We're fortunate, the rest of our vehicles are in pretty good shape.

I'd been watching several trucks which were having a hard time selling, while using http://crazedlist.org/ to keep looking for new postings.

The one at Pirate4x4 had been posted for many months, had a blown exhaust gasket, and was gradually coming down in price, but was still too much. It turned out to be like my motorhome. Watch them long enough, eventually the price becomes right. Or someone snaps it up before you do!

I'd about given up on it when my buddy Brendan re-sent this one to me. And this time, it was within striking range of my budget for a foundation. Even better, it had the cleanest interior of just about any sub-$5000  4Runner I'd seen so far.

So I called the owner up, asked the relevant questions (do you have a clear title in hand? Really? Does the rear window work?), and made arrangements to fly to Sacramento to get it.

Here are the pictures from his ad. Why is it so many people cut off parts of the truck? Is there something wrong with the front end? How about the rear end?

Sweet looking ride!

As sometimes happens when you get on a plane to buy something, I was in for a bit of a surprise. AKA, more questions I learned I need to ask.

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