By on August 11, 2010

Schadenfreude recently brought the elder Niedermeyer out of his summer semi-retirement, and for the most part, it’s a consistent inspiration for much of our content here at TTAC. But as natural and healthy as it is to laugh and learn from the mistakes of others, for some reason I’m just not feeling it today. Blame it, if you must, on a certain mellowness that settles in over the glorious course of an Oregon Summer. One Robert Farago always said that hate must come from a place of love, so in the interests of getting TTAC back in lean, mean fighting form, I’m going to indulge in the worst kind of of auto-writing love-fest: I’m going to tell you about how much I love my car. Except that it’s not a car, and it’s not actually mine…

Regular readers of TTAC will be aware of the embarrassing fact that their humble editor is not, in fact, a car owner. Truly regular readers might look to the amount of content I write at TTAC (and estimate the amount of behind-the-scenes work that’s done to keep things humming here) and correctly conclude that I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend behind a steering wheel. But the real reason there’s no sharp set of wheels gracing the Niedermeyer driveway is that a good friend recently moved to Korea to teach English for a year, and left her 1992 Toyota Pickup in my care.

This friend had sold or given away nearly every other belonging in preparation for her overseas adventure, but her attachment to the truck was (and is) so passionate that I would have gladly cared for it under any circumstances. As it so happened, this particular truck is a highly intriguing machine: a 4×4 Xtracab model, with four-wheel drive, the 22R-E four-cylinder, and a five-speed manual transmission. On paper it’s exactly the kind of truck the US market largely doesn’t offer anymore, and it’s just the kind of truck I would buy if I were in the market.

Within the first several local errand trips, I felt a strange and sudden connection to the battered red Toyota that at first I couldn’t properly explain. Then, somewhere between second and third gear, I realized that I was driving a hybrid of some of the most influential vehicles in my life. The rumbly grumble of the long-stroke four-banger, and long-throw, small-knobbed gearswitch were straight out of my first car, a 1980 Mazda 626. The squeaky bounce of the suspension, the wind noise, the spartan interior aesthetic and the lazy pace all reminded me of an early-nineties update of my father’s old Ford work truck. Would it be possible to write about this melding of these two most personally evocative vehicles without writing an entire Auto-biography of my own?

Instead of following my father’s example, I decided to retrace my own first automotive steps and head out to the wild sagebrush country of Eastern Oregon, where as an unlicensed middle-schooler, I first learned to drive. Though much has changed since dad and I took off for week-long “field trips” (I was homeschooled at the time) across the state’s empty half, the experience of bouncing across dusty roads, stopping in sleepy towns and camping in desolate spots remains the same. I now head east from Portland rather than Eugene, I no longer have to let dad drive when we get to a town, and my traveling companion is a beautiful architectural historian (and part-time automotive photographer) instead of, well, my dad. But the experience of exploring Eastern Oregon in an underpowered four-wheel-dirver still turns me into a carefree, curious kid.

Around town, the 22RE’s 142 lb-ft of torque pull the red Toyota away from traffic lights with gruff diesel-like rumble. But with only 112 horsepower on tap, things slow to considerably as we assault the Government Camp pass heading east over Mount Hood. Dropping out of the long fifth gear helps, but with so little power being generated at the top of the RPM band, downshifting to 3rd makes more noise than additional power. As long as the long-stroke engine isn’t bogging down though, it will slowly pull diesel-like up the rev-band until some high-end thrash signals that the torque party is over. It happily grumbles along at the speed limit, but starts feeling forced around 70. No worries. With the city behind us, the Toyota propels us into the pace of rural life.

Between the towns of Antelope and Fossil runs a winding bit of tarmac that may be one of the best driving roads in Oregon, and the perfect spot to test the Toyota’s handling. I push into the first several corners, braking hard, leaning into the turn, and applying power early in order to keep the pickup’s momentum up. With the 4WD shut off, there’s a light, crudely engaging quality to the chassis that just screams for a loose road surface, but the road surface here is too good for the Toyota’s soft suspension and lifted chassis. A few corners later, we’re stuck behind an improbably slow caravan of Harley riders, and once again, we uncomplainingly settle into a sedate pace.

After checking out Fossil’s timewarp Cruise-In, we head into the hills before winding South through a creek draw that eventually widened to meet the John Day River. Our destination for the evening was a quiet BLM boat launch on the John Day, and getting there involved about ten miles of narrow gravel road clinging to the side of the river valley, followed by a short, steep, bumpy drop down to the riverbed. The Toyota’s tall stance provide good poise and excellent visibility over the gravel, without ever making it feel clumsy the way a full-sizer would have on the narrow track. On the highway, the 22R-E’s lack of top-end pull is the major limiting factor. On these rough gravel roads, however, the Toyota wants to keep playing even after you’ve thoroughly scared yourself… but then it would probably survive the two-mile-tumble better than you too.

We pull up right at the river’s edge, make a bed in the truck’s bed, and watch the sun set over the Cascades. We giggle at the thought of two heterosexuals huddling for warmth under a “Keep Portland Queer” bumper sticker, and fall asleep under the stars. We sleep like babies, and are awakened by the trilling of red-wing blackbirds.

The rest of this particular trip is encased in the same gauzy fog that swaddles our fondest childhood memories. Crawling effortlessly up steep, rutted, rock-strewn roads in low-range, stopping for gas and a soda in small towns with names like Monument, and sliding around gravel Forest Service roads all run together into a happy blur. None of which reveals much truth about the red Toyota, besides the fact that it’s a simple, rugged, capable machine that keeps up with on-road traffic and comes alive in the dirt, gravel, mud and rocks of the Oregon outback.

If we’d wanted to tow 3,500 pounds along on our trip, our owner’s manual claims it would have been possible… but instead we only took what could fit in the tiny rear jumpseats, and were no worse off for it. Over 600-ish miles of varied speeds, terrain and driving styles, we averaged 20 MPG on the nose from the (recently-rebuilt) 22R-E… not bad considering the EPA rated the thing at 17/20 back in the day. And when you find out that the spiritual descendent of this truck, the four-cylinder, manual transmission, 4×4 Tacoma gets only 17/22 from the EPAs new test, it’s clear that this portion of the compact truck market really hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Well, at least not for the better.

Though these pre-Tacoma Toyotas are not exactly cheap on the used market, my time with this one has made it hard to see why anyone would drop $20k on a similarly-equipped (though much bigger and more plush) new Tacoma. Sure, the old truck will whistle on the freeway, lean in the bends, and have no idea how to interface with an iPod, but it also has more of the mechanical approachability of an old-school American pickup (and more reliability). It’s plastic interior may have no pretense of “styling” but it will shrug off even a freak window-down rainshower without leaving a trace.

In short, this old Toyota pickup proves that when relentless progress starts to feel a bit pointless, sometimes the best thing to do is regress. It’s certainly worked for me, as I’ve found that regular weekend trips to the driving grounds of my youth leave me refreshed and ready for the grueling TTAC work week. And if it works for me, why can’t it work for the automakers? At this point, Toyota should look back to the almost dour, spartan quality of its not-so-distant past, and remember what it feels like to be young and hungry again.To build something that impresses not with a bloated spec-sheet, but with an undeniable sense of simplicity, purpose and tangible quality. Something that offers real freedom instead of just more of everything for the sake of keeping up with the next guy. Something like the red pickup truck that I wish I didn’t have to give up at the end of the year.

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42 Comments on “Capsule Review: 1992 Toyota Pickup 4×4...”


  • avatar
    obbop

    For even more retro-feel try a 1974-1978 Toyota pick-em-up.

    So basic it feels akin to boot camp.

    (Oh, trying to be a bit mo’ politically correct so as to not upset the apparently brainwashed mob who detect “racism” in a loaf of white bread) :)

    Sadly, those early Toy P/Us rusted out so quickly.

    In California they last for lengthy periods except where the oceany salt-laden air can cause rust.

    Away from the ocean the 70s Toys are still fairly common.

    A few years within the rust belt (Nebraska) led to the attack of the “rust people.”

    Sniff.

    Those 20R engines did have carburetors that were touchy when the frigid weather hit.

    Fuel injection was such a boon for frigid weather starting.

    But, if basic is your desire….. the ’77 and ’78 I roamed in were objects of unadulterated delight.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Just got in and this little gem is up. Made my late afternoon!
    If I had to spend the rest of my life in just one state, I could be very happy here.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Fuel injection was also a boon when driving from near sea level to high mountain passes @ 10,000 feet.

    That’s an excellent example of the pre-Tacoma 4×4. This one doesn’t seem to have rusted through the wheel wells on the rear bed.

    Not an Interstate cruiser for sure – but just fine on rural two lane highways, BLM and Forest Service roads.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    I owned an 87 just like the one shown 22R xtracab 5 speed. The bed rotted out and I threw on a bed from a dodge ram 50, and drove it to 220,000 before it bent a valve and I sold it. I actually really miss it, some day I think I might want another, but it isn’t really practical now with two kids. I hauled boats with mine (not the greatest idea) loaded engine blocks in the bed and even drove across a river once absoloutly fabulous truck.

  • avatar
    SwingAxle

    Thanks for the very nice review… great scenery…. exceedingly durable ride. How many miles on the odometer(I might guess at around 200K)? If it weren’t for your admission of the engine overhaul I’d say much less, since going over any Oregon/Washington pass at that mileage would probably have anything but a VW beetle passing it. However, my ’91 version of that exact truck has been virtully trouble free. I see your friend’s has the wonderful and rare vent wing windows (when was the last time you saw those on anything?) that I wish I had. Also glad to see it has the badge of honor of a work truck (i.e, bent rear bumper), although mine is on the left; I guess I just lean that way.

  • avatar
    Doug in IL

    I learned to drive in essentially the same truck (mine didn’t have 4WD.) This truck wasn’t shy about working, and I’m sure many of the things it accomplished weren’t supposed to happen (towing a broken-down Nova on a flatbed, for instance.) I hope that the Tacoma is returned to this formula. I’ll be happy with decontented trucks.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Honestly, I hated the three years I spent in Or-a-gun, but this did make me miss Portland, Government Camp, and the eastern sage just a little bit.

  • avatar
    mistrernee

    I hunt for these things on craigslist off and on, they are rare with the 4 cylinder and the much more common V6 has serious issues (though they are much cheaper as a result).

    I want to buy an early 90’s Toyota 4×4 with the 4 cylinder and stick shift just to have around since it is the perfect truck.

    Up until 05 they didn’t change much despite being called a Tacoma, the interior seemed to get more cramped as they got more plush though and the styling got really odd imo. The 4 cylinder engines with the stick got even harder to find and I am sure that despite staying roughly the same size they got much heavier over the years.

    The 2005 is massive.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    This could have been written about my friend’s ’87 4Runner SR-5. The interior on the 4Runner was no doubt nicer, but the description of the engine, trans, handling (or lack thereof) and body noises was spot on. These babies were tough. We went cruising through shallow streams, off road driving, and even a late night Lloyd Harbor cornfield attack when visiting. Reliable, too until a fan clutch caused overheating which took out the head gasket. At least it was a relatively easy repair. Only the Connecticut roadsalt did it in, with rust eating out most of the body. Sold it after the rear window jammed halfway down into the tailgate. Is there a demand for simplicity like this again? The last “simple” pickup I was in was a Colorado, who’s interior seemed more cheap than simple…

  • avatar
    Brian P

    I had a 1984 Toyota pickup once upon a time; 22R (carbureted), 5-speed, 2 wheel drive. No power steering, no A/C, no nothing, no nonsense. First vehicle that I ever bought with my own money, and it was a good one.

    I think the 22R might have been a better match in the 2 wheel drive models – pulling a few hundred pounds less, and pushing a bit less air. Mine did decently on the highway, and I recall normal fuel consumption being around 9 L/100 km (26 mpg US).

    That was a great truck, except for the rust …

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      An ’84 shortbed was my first 4×4. The 90ish hp carbed 22R was pretty weak at high altitude, 6-10,000ft, where it spent much of its time. It was a crude machine, with a solid front axle and leaf springs, no power steering, manual hubs, etc., that could go almost anywhere.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    Even though it’s a full decade newer, my ’02 Wrangler has a similarly honest feel to it. The 5-speed manual has nice trucky longish throws (which I prefer) and all the interior materials are basic and simple without looking overly cheap. It has perhaps the perfect blend of modern conveniences (A/C, 7-speaker radio with a subwoofer, fuel injection), yet it still exudes a “vintage” feel akin to a ’60s truck or utility vehicle.

  • avatar
    69 stang

    Reminds me of my ’87 Mazda longbed with 200k on it- no PS, no AC anymore, lots of rust but I never seem to have a bad day when I am driving it. It has hauled 1800 lbs. of rock but the front end got kind of light.

  • avatar
    RobertFaragoluvchild

    My father had two of these trucks in the 2wd/5spd guise. Both went over 400k, needing only brakes and oil changes. The 22R motor put food on our table and a roof over our heads, and some college. Sad to see how big the Tacoma has become.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    I used to have the same truck, but it was black with the V6 auto. The write-up is spot-on and one of the best vehicles I ever owned. It was solid and utilitarian, but not unpleasant, a great example of the reason that Toyota was eventually able to overtake GM as the world’s largest auto manufacturer.

    My biggest gripes were that it was the first vehicle I owned that had the Audi UA-inspired automatic brake-interlock. I’d never had a vehicle before where I had to step on the brake to shift out of Park so I hated it. I did my best to disable it but, occasionally, I had to press the override button to get it out of Park.

    The other thing I didn’t like was that it seemed like Toyota was starting their decontenting about this time. Even though my truck was a mid-level offering, it didn’t have halogen headlamps. That’s right, even though every other manufacturer was offering halogens as standard by then (composites were in full swing), my ’92 Extended Cab had grungy, old-school, sealed-beam headlamp units.

    But it did have a locking fuel-filler door (something that the new Tacomas no longer have).

  • avatar
    KGrGunMan

    this was my first vehicle a red 1991 toyota 4×4 with the 5 speed manual and the 22r-e in it, the only difference is mine was regular cab, other then that this is it.

    what an amazing truck, took this off road through the deserts of southern california , this truck is where i learned how to really drive, drifting this truck around the desert at 50mph sideways. it still makes me wonder if i could not roll this truck how so many people roll their cars on the street. me and this truck went through some crazy stuff at the time a 16 year old with a love of manual transmission and thrill, slow as snot but with no speed limiter on it it’ll hit 130mph down hill and 130mph in a brick with 31in tires is an experince. this truck was one of the great loves of my life and part of why i’m a toyota fan today, i’ll be it mostly an old toyota fan.

    this is me in said truck after about a year of my care, a little banged up and a little improved: http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/113/l_9072a02a12f1463785eea184bd06a205.jpg

    that truck made me laugh at “built ford tough”

  • avatar

    I had an earlier version of a Japanese truck-a 1970 Datsun 1600…worst truck ever.It would take pages to describe the idiosyncratic mechanical problems with that one-let alone the flimsy body.

    But I still own a real truck from the same year-a 1970 Dodge slant 6 farmer 4 speed. You can’t kill that brute and with a factory manual choke it’s never failed to start in a Canadian winter up to and including -40.

    It’s not surprising that the Toyota truck still runs like a trooper-I had a 20 R 1980 Celica and you couldn’t kill it.

    Mechanically.

    But a Caprice taxi finished off what the perils of winter had already started-the Chevy rear ended the Toyota at a crosswalk and turned the Celica into a pile of crumpled, rusty metal.

    That 20 R would probably still be running if it wasn’t for two things- the laws of physics and the oxidation process.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    You and your friend are lucky it doesn’t have a head gasket eating V-6 :). The Toyota V-6 of that era is not one of the world’s great motors.

    • 0 avatar
      KGrGunMan

      a lot of people say that and it’s true for the most part, but not always. my dad had a 1990 2wd 5 speed manual extra cab with the 3.0ltr v6 that went to 320,000 miles on it’s original head gasket. so they’re not all that way.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      My friend’s 1992 V6 4-Runner is on its second head gasket replacement. The dealership service people tried to talk him out of fixing that “boat anchor” engine, so he had an independent shop do it the second time.

      Sure there may be a few lucky ones out there, but for the most part that engine eats head gaskets and suffers from valve problems due to it being a marginal design.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Nice write-up, EN. My brother-in-law also waxes poetic about his Toyota 4×4 pickups. His favorite was a 93, but he’s had a couple after that which were nice. And rugged, with the 4 cyl manual.

    I think your nostalgic sentiments about “simple” were once realized in the Scion brand, but then abandoned by them with the new xB. My Gen-1 xB is a great ride for this reason.

  • avatar
    findude

    I learned stick shift on a mid 1970s Datsun pick up. It was a great vehicle though for some reason it kept blowing the master cylinder for the clutch–it was a good way to learn the importance of matching revs when shifting–always important when the clutch pedal simply lay on the floor and I had to shift gears anyway.

    I really miss the simple vehicle with a simple 4-banger mated to a manual transmission. I suspect that a true light pickup between the size of this Toyota and the Datsun I had, would be a seller if configured simply and priced accordingly.

    Of course, the manufacturers might not make any money, but I’d probably buy one.

  • avatar

    The 80s and early 90s Japanese trucks; simply haiku in their wonderfulness. If I were Jay Leno rich I’d likely have a barnful of them.

  • avatar
    NN

    Great review, great writing, great truck. I’m a bit jealous. I’ve got a 98′ ZR2 4×4 Blazer with a 5-speed stick. I do wish I had the open-back S-10 pickup version instead, but the Blazer has been good to me for the past 7 years. 155k on the odometer, although I don’t have hallucinations of it overall being as durable as the 90’s Toyota pickups, the 4.3 V6 is stout and torquey, and it runs great. I have the same pseudo love fest going on for it, as the long-throw stick, the simplicity of the interior and features, the loose, yet connected driving feeling. I just spent this past weekend on the Outer Banks in NC. Saturday night I slept in the back of the truck at a campground, Sunday drove out on the beach for 3 hours of uncrowded, beautiful summer surfing. An old truck is a beautiful thing to have.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    I had this same exact truck but it was black with gray interior. Yes, this truck did and still does encapsulate exactly what a compact truck should do, no less and no more. I put an insane amount of miles on mine doing pretty basic stuff to it including brakes, radiator, alternator, and rebuilding the front end of the venerable 22RE with aftermarket steel timing chain guides, which I highly recommend doing if you want to get another 200k of of it. When I sold mine *sniff* it was well into 200k territory and still ran great despite the abuse it suffered relentlessly.

    An easy way to improve the handling on these rigs is to put larger tires and wheels with more offset on them, which greatly enhances stability and it looks cool to boot. I towed and hauled with mine quite a bit without any problems, in fact I towed well beyond the recommended tow rating for a cross country trip. With the engine at full boil in 4th gear it did fine, but I can’t say the same for the somewhat overwhelmed brakes.

    I replaced it with an even more utilitarian ’85 4Runner with proper solid axles up front and out back. I like it even more than the ’92 pickup it replaced.

  • avatar
    crc

    Nice article Ed. It did remind me though that I’m pissed off that no manufacturer can/will give us something that spartan and honest again. My wife hates my Cherokee but I’m keeping it forever.

  • avatar

    I owned a ’89 Hilux SURF (like a ’90 4Runner) with the same 22RE engine and 5spd in it. Took it off road a few times and it never failed. Brilliant if not fast vehicle. The truck would have been even better with less rear overhang.

  • avatar
    PickupMan

    Nice review and change of pace from the normal performance/sport cars that always seem to get the ink. Sometimes you just need a truck, and today was the day. Thanks, Ed.

  • avatar
    jrlombard

    “In short, this old Toyota pickup proves that when relentless progress starts to feel a bit pointless, sometimes the best thing to do is regress”

    Great quote. I picked up an ’89 Land Cruiser FJ62 not too long ago, after years of driving modern cars. I’ve truly enjoyed the step backward into a vehicle with simple character. Yes, a little more maintenance has been required to keep it running well, but that’s what forms the bond, right? :-)

    Thanks Ed, I enjoyed the read.

  • avatar
    tim850csi

    I was JUST thinking about this truck the other night while trying to fall asleep. This truck represents the first time I had ever driven a vehicle, and the first time I had ever driven a standard transmission.
    On a rainy saturday Dad brought the truck to the back yard, put it in 4 wheel low and let me practice clutching and de-clutching until I got tired of it, a few hours later.

    It was then and there I was hooked on Manual transmission cars, at age 14.

    Thanks for the memories!

  • avatar
    JMII

    “And when you find out that the spiritual descendent of this truck, the four-cylinder, manual transmission, 4×4 Tacoma gets only 17/22 from the EPAs new test, it’s clear that this portion of the compact truck market really hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Well, at least not for the better.”

    I think this is one of the biggest problems in the (non existent) compact truck market. By now we have V6s in the Mustang and Camaro making 300HP and getting in the mid 20s mileage wise. I’d love a smaller truck that could pull 3,500lbs with numbers like that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Ecoboosted V6 4 door Ranger, or even better a diesel version with 400lbs of torque ;)

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Had a friend with one. The worst seating position of any vehicle I’ve ever experienced– sitting on the floor. For some reason(cost?) Toyota decided to bolt the seat directly to the floor instead of giving it a proper frame and some under-seat storage.

    The. Most. Uncomfortable. Seat. Ever.

    It forces the rider to succumb to what I like to call “Car Noodle Syndrome” or, “CNS:” A terrible condition in which there are too many vehicular body-movements, and too-little support for one’s human container. You can’t hold yourself steady, because the suspension is throwing you around, and your feet are wayyyyy out front– bobbling around and not offering any stability. The only vehicle in which I’ve held the assist handle from beginning to end.

    Nori sheets covered with vinyl for door panels, too. An obvious holdover from the Edo Period.

    This particular example needed a top-end rebuild at around 150,000, then a bottom-end about 2k miles later. Money pit. If I never experience another vehicle as poorly-designed as this, it will be too soon.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      I agree, the seating in those things is horrible. You are practically sitting on the floor. The 4Runner of that era is just the same.

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      Almost every Toyota truck I’ve ridden in or drove, has had the same silly seating position, of being on the floor with my legs straight out. That and the shifters for the automatics were dorky as they could be.

    • 0 avatar
      mopar4wd

      I actually loved sitting on the floor. Not sure why but it made the thing feel sportier some how. The other advantage came offroad, way more clearance with out a higher center of balance. I had a 2″ lift on mine with 33″ tires , which actually gave me more clearance then my friends fullsize trucks sitting on 35″ tires. I used to drive mine from central CT to Northern Maine about once a month, and actually found it to be reasonably comfortable on the 8 hour trip.

    • 0 avatar

      I prefer the seating position in my Toyota pickups to the seating position in any other vehicle I owned… My 3 old Buicks have power seats and I usually adjust them to their lowest position which is closer to the floor than the seats in my Toyotas. 
       And I like the bucket seats in my Toyota pickups too, they offer plenty of adjustment and they are very supportive (unusual in a truck). And the door panels in my 1990 4cyl are covered with cloth/carpet and those in my 1993 SR5 are fancier than those in my cars!

      [URL=http://img683.imageshack.us/i/dscf6603.jpg/][IMG]http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/6128/dscf6603.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

      As for the engines, I replaced the tired 4cyl in my 1990 because I had a better one with less mileage in my garage but the old one was still running and the V6 in my 1993 has more than 150,000 miles and still runs great. And all accessories still work, including the A/C and the original power antenna! I think it’s not bad for a 17 years old vehicle!

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t agree with you on these things. These seats (at least the bucket seats in my SR5 trucks with the “Sport” package) are my favourites.

      They offer many adjustments and they are very supportive. Few cars have seats like that and even less trucks.

      The seats might be close to the floor but I don’t get what’s wrong with that. In my cars, I adjust the seats to their lowest position which is lower than that!

      Door panels are covered with cloth and their lower part is carpeted, they even have courtesy/warning lights integrated to them which wasn’t usual in compact pickup trucks 17 years ago…

      http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/4732/dscf6603y.jpg

      Uploaded with ImageShack.us
      As for reliability, considering the age of my trucks (currently 17 and 20 years old). I can’t complain much about that. All accessories still work, even the original power antenna! A/C blows cold, and the V6 in my 1993 has now more than 150,000 miles and it runs great! I can’t say I like the 4cyl as much as I replaced the tired 22R-E in my 1990 with a lower mileage 1993 22R-E from my previous Toyota truck last year and this one runs fine but it once needed a head gasket replacement.

  • avatar
    ktm

    A number of years ago my old roommate had a Maroon 1991 regular cab 4×4 version and I a 1995 Tacoma LX 4×4 with the 4-cylinder and 5-speed (manually locking hubs as well!). The 22RE was a bit agricultural compared to the later Tacoma, but it was a great truck.

    I loved my Tacoma and to this day wish I had not sold it. But, like Ed’s friend, a stint out of the country forced the sale (that and my Ducati). It was the mechanical incarnation of a billy goat. I used it on construction sites in the mountains and would climb hills without breaking a sweat.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Too bad the 89-94 SR5 model with the 8 way adjustable driver’s seat , factory sunroof , and basically overall great interior didn’t come with the four banger . I had a 94 SR5 and that 3 liter V6 was one of the worst engines Toyota ever made !

    • 0 avatar

      I have a ’90 Xtracab with the 22R-E (and 8 way seat) and a loaded ’93 Xtracab SR5 V6, both with manual transmissions and I have to say I prefer the V6. I also had more problems with 22R-E engines than I had with the 3VZE V6. And the V6, even with slower gearing a/c and all power options is just as fuel efficient than the 4cyl is!  My current 22R-E had it’s head gasket replaced and it has less mileage on it than my V6, my other 22R-E was very tired (it was knocking and had no oil pressure) when I replaced it and it had about the same mileage as my current V6 which still runs great.

       I constantly get between 300-340 miles with a tankful of gas on my V6. Usually do less mileage on a tank with my 1990.

      http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1145/5161539636_aa6926985e_b.jpg

  • avatar
    icyroadwarrior

    i just bought this exact model, except mine is blue with a cap. I’ve owned two previous Toyota trucks, an ’89 and a ’90, both 3vze 6 cylinder, great trucks for life here in Alaska! But my ’92 22re 4 banger beats them both hands down, perfect for snow driving, which around here is for 5 1/2 months out of the year, put about 300 lbs of sandbags in the rear with metal studded tires, and I’m sliding perfectly around the corners and stopping on a dime even when ‘newer’ cars and behemoths are hitting easch other or going off the road. I got it for 4K with 118,000 miles and had been kept up perfectly by a previous owner. My last one I drove to California, and while I was going through British Columbia, a Toyota truck fan told me I could get 8 to 9K Candian for this kind of ride. I’ll never get rid of my blue wolverine!


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