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2005 4Runner with Frame Damage... worth buying if the price is right??


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Opportunity to purchase a 2005 Toyota 4Runner Limited V8 4WD with 147,000 miles on it, but it has frame rust badly from what I understand. Guy is selling it for $4,500, but if I can squeeze it down to $2,000 or $2,500 or maybe even lower... would it be feasible to purchase and get a used frame put into it or even a new one? I don't know if it is a stupid move because I am thinking I can get it for a deal. Maybe someone can affirm this or knock some sense into me. Deal or no deal??

2 Answers

Replacing the frame a big complex job, and big $$$$ if you can't do it yourself. I'd run away from that deal.

Posted by: @greekcpa

would it be feasible to purchase and get a used frame put into it or even a new one?

He wasn't willing to do it. Are you? Did you try calling around to price out the job?

My guess is that it will be many times the price he's selling it for.

He claims he can't afford it, I could but def not going to if it isn't cost feasible. My think was if a frame replacement is say, $6,000, and I can buy it for $2,000... and the vehicle is worth $10,000, I'd be getting a deal. I'm guessing though it won't be, but I figured it didn't hurt to ask people who knew what they were talking about...

Of course ask away, but I don't think you'll get an accurate figure here. It's an uncommon service. I think you're better off going straight to the source.

I don't think frame swapping is something the average person does. The cost is too prohibitive.
I think it's more "specialty" territory. In other words, people either pay large sums of money to have it done for projects, special requests, hobbies etc., or skilled mechanics and metal fabricators might take it up as a personal project.

Yes, there are customers who do require this kind work. Typically commercial/industrial customers. I have a couple of friends who are in this business. They are replacing frames, axles ... you name it, on a regular basis. Ordering stripped down vehicles from the factory, customizing them to customer specification, and reconditioning them when they break. They have large warehouses full of parts, several hydraulic lifts, plasma torches, CNC machines, a staff of mechanics, professional metal welders & fabricators, electrical engineers, designers, sales & marketing agents, etc. Running that kind of outfit isn't cheap, and it's a very risky business. Customers are either large corps or sometimes passionate individuals with specific and expensive tastes, and deep pockets.

Technically a small auto shop should be able to do it, provided they have the talent to do it properly and efficiently, and willing to work for cheap.