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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I found a base 2007 manual FJ in Blue down the street from me that is for sale with 308,000 miles on the clock and I was wondering, what should I look for when I test it out?

I looked at it today while the dealer was closed because they left the doors unlocked, so I can tell it it has some light rust under the hood along the hood skeleton(not sure what else to call that). The paint is pretty shot along the A pillars because not only are they super rock chipped, but the guy fixed it with the wrong shade of blue, so it looks like it has blue freckles. There is some bubbling about the size of a silver dollar under the paint on the black part of the driver door/B pillar. And the gas strut that holds the back door open is toast and not even connected, but that said, it wasn't in terrible shape cosmetically, at least for having 308,000 miles that is. It has a clean car fax with a decent amount of history, some big gaps, but looks like they had regular maintenance done for the most part.

I have daily driven a 2015 Mustang GT for the past 4 years after having a Focus ST before that and a Mazda3 hatch before that, and let me tell you, the Mustang is not a practical car whatsoever! I have missed my little hatch back for years now because it was so useful and need to break down and buy a second car because the Mustang is not going anywhere as it is WAY too fun, but my hobbies are becoming things like kayaking and biking so something has to be done in the practicality department haha. I have always wanted an FJ and it would be a cool addition to the stable if I can get it for a good price. They are asking $7500, but with the current used car market being in the crapper, the fact it has been on the lot for over 30 days, and the super high miles, I am going to try for like $5-6000 assuming I don't find anything wrong with it. I have bought many cars over the years, so I know the normal things to look for on a car, I just need to know of any hot spots to keep an eye out for so it doesn't get overlooked. One good thing is this is at a Toyota dealer, and I do see this as being done by them on the carfax (- Steering/suspension checked) so hopefully they would have taken care of anything like that already.
 

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photos will help

rust on the frame, brakes, bumpers and suspension will tell you a lot about how hard it will be to work on (if very rusty expect very difficult, but if very clean expect it was well cared for)

when you get to drive it, listen for clutch squeak, it isn't a big problem but it is a common noise on MT FJs and may be a bargaining point

Also, look closely at the apron for a crack in either side of the engine bay, also not a problem (its cosmetic, only visible when the hood is open, and is common on '07s until about May of '08 when additional r/f was added), but could be a bargaining point.

Ask for service history (good history = well cared for, no history = great big mystery and likely surprises).

Has it been modded? If so, its all on you as to whether any of the mods were done well, or shoddy. Post lots of pictures of such, so that experienced folks can chime in with advice.
 

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If you are willing to just drive it for another 100K miles and not worry about how it looks as it rusts away, then may be an ok buy.

I would personally never spend 6-7K on a vehicle with visible body rust. I am betting the frame and whatnot is totally roached. Any and every bolt that would need turned is probably going to snap.

EDIT: Easy one to look up lol. It looks a bit cleaner than I thought. Plus a manual will always be worth a little extra.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, called the dealer today and they told me they found a crack in the frame and will be taking it off the market. Bummer, knew the price was too good to be true.
 

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I wonder if by 'cracked frame' they've really found an apron tear.
 

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good point!
It might be worth pushing the dealer for more detail because the Apron tear is a known, non-issue, but a dealer might not have realized.
 
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