2002 Prado 3.4ltr - any problems?

Submitted: Friday, May 07, 2010 at 19:40
ThreadID: 78287 Views:19264 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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My son is looking to upgrade from his 4 Runner to the above.
He has found one he likes the look of with a bit over 100,000kms. It's a GXL Advantage Limited Edition model.
Just wondering whether this model (VJZ95R) has any known issues? Anything to look out for?
Anyone here own one? If so any comments most appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 19:58

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 19:58
Hi. There was a recall on one series but I can't remember the year. The heads were replaced as they had a cracking problem. Toyota should be able to tell you if it has been done. Otherwise they are pretty reliable if maintained correctly. Regards,Bob.

AnswerID: 415767

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 20:46

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 20:46
Think it was the 96 models that had this problem.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 685852

Reply By: PradOz - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 21:02

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 21:02
Have a look on pradopoint.com

plenty of info there on each model plus friendly folk to ask just like on here
AnswerID: 415782

Reply By: john&thejayco - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 21:49

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 21:49
g'day Moose,
We have the vjz95r in a 2001 50th anniversary model, we have only had it 8 months ,but have not had any problems , i just had the timing belt replaced which comes due at 150,000 km's and it came in just under $1000 including labour, that included replacing the valve tensioner at the same time.
We tow an old Jaydove camper with it and you don't even know it is behind you, I also towed a 16ft millard for my father and it towed it with ease.
With long range tanks , it means more time between filling up but it hurts more in the hip pocket if both tanks get low.
The only thing that bugs me is that on corrugations the dash seems to shake a bit, i have read others talk about it on other forums so it must be a bit of a fault but i think with an upgrade to the suspension it would lessen,i replaced the sway bar bushes and that seemed to even help a bit.Also there are plenty of after market spares for these models and add on extras.
Hope this helps .
Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 415790

Follow Up By: George_M - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 22:08

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 22:08
They are good solid vehicles - better IMHO than then 2003-2009 model.

I had a 1996 model and a 2001 (the face lift) model.

The vibration of the dash over corrugations on the 1996-build vehicle had to be seen to be believed. After one trip across the Simpson you could stick both hands in the gap between the dash and the firewall. The 2001-build vehicle had the same problem, though not to the same extent.

Both vehicles had OME after market suspension kits fitted.

Suggest you run the vehicle over a few corrugations to check.


Come any closer and I'll rip your throat out!

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Follow Up By: john&thejayco - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 14:35

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 14:35
G'day George,
Did the ome suspension fix the shuddering dash or at least lessen it.
Cheers John
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Follow Up By: George_M - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:20

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:20
Hi john

The suspension kit didn't make any difference to the rattle in the dash, as far as I could see (or hear!).

Come any closer and I'll rip your throat out!

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Reply By: ctaplin - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 22:44

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 22:44
I had the last of the old shape Prado (95 series) bought new in Sept 2002 and it was probably the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned considering the places that we took it. Mine was the 3 litre turbo Diesel, but I'm just indicating that the basic vehicle is strong especially when fitted with decent suspension and regular maintenance. The standard tanks took us over 1000km many times and she never let us down.
AnswerID: 415798

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 23:04

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 23:04
2002 is the last of the series, so most problems (which were largely minor)were sorted before then. The recalls involved stuff on the earlier years, like front ball joints and rear axle shafts. To my knowledge, cylinder head problems were confined to the earlier v6's. Sometimes you get a clunk on the auto trans models and a "vibration" at about 2700rpm - not a major issue.

The dashes of all 90series Prados move around - never bothered me. I know quite a few people who have taken the V6 well over the 200,000k mark without any major issues.
AnswerID: 415804

Reply By: philip t jones - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 07:24

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 07:24
Mine has 180000 on it and hasn't missed a beat (yet) towing a supreme getaway through all sorts of country, great vehicle if looked after

AnswerID: 415816

Reply By: Rangiephil - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 11:23

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 11:23
I met a guy at King Edward River ( off GRR) with a Prado petrol 3.4 1996-1997 AFAIR who told me it was his second attempt as his first attempt had ended just shy of the crossing when the engine had mysteriously quit and it had to be flat bedded back to Kununurra.

After a week of searching the workshop found that the injection loom had rubbed on a sharp corner of one of the heads and eventually short circuitted.
He was told it was a 'common" problem.

Being a bit anal and not wanting to be stuck again he bought another second hand loom as a spare as well as the new loom that was installed.

He told me that he found the spare loom to have the same type of problem as his original had.

So my advice to owners would be to check the loom if they intend extensive travel on corrugations in a high mileage car. Unfortunately this apparently is under the intake manifold and the manifold needs to be removed to find the problem.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 415839

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 14:57

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 14:57
Hi Phillip, the guy you met was right, they did have the issue with the wiring loom rubbing on the passengers side of the head write at the back of the motor, not sure as having to pull the intake manifold off ?? I could get to mine (maybe some were harder then others) and I modified it and pulled it away from the motor and held it in place with some good sturdy cable ties, they hardly have any flex in them at all so does require some patience and I had to remove a couple of things to get at it but certainly not the inlet manifold.
Moose I had mine and sold it with just under 180k on it, apart from the recall on the rear axle seals (which Toyota fixed no issues) mine was a great vehicle. bit heavy on the fuel I had 75 profile tyres A/T's instead of 70's, bullbar, 2 inch OME lift, cargo barrier etc and around town would use on average 17.2L per 100, best on road freeway no towing was 12.2.

The dash rattle is in all of the 95 series prados 96 to 02, easy fix (check out pradopoint.com.au) I currently have the 01 but T/D this time. I think they are a great vehicle, flex well off road (if he wants to a bit of that stuff) obviously not like a patrol or 80 series cruiser with solid front ends this is where the IFS lets the prados down a bit but the rear flex's nicely.

(if thinking of coverting to gas this my opinion on it)...I converted to gas to sell it as at the time was when petrol jumped to 1.75 a litre and it sold no probs to first buyer (was an 1997 VX Grande) I would never convert one to LPG biggest mistake I made except for to sell it, I know of three people (good friends ) who have had it done and we all had/have the same issues which is fuel smell/vapour on hot days 30c or more and cant fill the reserve tank more then 3/4 or it will literally drip on the ground outside, you lose the main tank (90L) for the gas tank which if you intend to use for outback use can really restrict your touring range, around town I got about 280 k out of the gas tank which was 59L usable I think the biggest you can get is around 63 ?? usable but if using on the sand forget it, you can see the fuel gauge move and you lose allot of power when you need the grunt for towing of punching through the sand (just my thoughts on LPG for this model if your son was thinking about it) if fuel usage is something he is also thinking about.

Except for the gas conversion I personally think they are a great all rounder, Now I'll wait for Robin to comment on their stability as he always does with the 95 series prado !!!!!! Havent rolled either of mine (yet anyway) no worse then your earlier pajero's, jackaroo's, hilux's (which I also owned), or any of the narrower wheel based 4wd's, obviously they are not like thier wider track cousin the landcruiser, or the patrol's but driver imput (brains) plays a major part on wether you stay upright........Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 685919

Reply By: Member - Des - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:43

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:43
We bought a 2000 VX model in 2005 with about 92,000km on the clock. Have done about 70k since. It has been an excellent car. I think a vehicle with less than 100k, well looked after, should be a safe buy.

Yes we have the dash rattle too, but not as bad as my dear old Vitara or b-in-l's Pajero.

I really like the 159L fuel capacity, although it does like a drink. We average 14.5L/100km overall, but expect well north of 20L for extended low range travel.

Pradopoint mentioned above is a mine of info. Some small mods suggested there are well worthwhile, like electric window fix and diff breathers.

Engine braking in the auto is not great (only 4 speed), but otherwise very capable off road. Narrower track than vehicles like LC100 or Patrol is good for overgrown/tight tracks.

We replaced the suspension with Tough Dog (with adjustable shocks) - a big improvement.

AnswerID: 416250

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