1. Welcome to Tundras.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tundra discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other Tundra owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

What year DC to buy? 2004 - 2006

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by BmBlB, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Jun 27, 2020 at 2:50 PM
    #1
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    I know I'm probably opening up a can of worms, but here I go...

    I want to buy 1st gen double cab. I like the more compact dimensions of the first generation and they are a better fit with my budget. So, which year or years is best?

    Considerations so far:

    Availability - Where I am (southern California) there seems to be at least 50% more 2004s for sale than 2005s & 2006s combined.

    Engine - Supposedly the 2004s have a bit more torque down low and are a bit easier to fix because of the cam seals (or something like that). 2005s & 2006s supposedly have a bit more power spread out over the entire rev range because of the variable valve timing, but are "harder" to repair. I asked my mechanic and he just shrugged and said "with the 4.7, regular oil changes, replace the timing belt and water pump every 90k miles and they will all last just about forever".

    Transmission - 2004: 4 speed, non-sealed so a little easier to check and change tranny fluid. Well developed from earlier versions of same. 2005 & 2006: 5 speed, sealed, so a bit harder to check and replace tranny fluid. More gears is always better, right? 5 speed supposedly matches very well with the variable valve timing engines. My mechanic says "As far as I can remember, I have never had to repair a Tundra transmission. I can't say that about any other truck".

    My "newer is better" brain is thinking that the 2005 & 2006 are the years to buy because they have the most developed version of the 4.7 and a 5 speed tranny. But keeping the 2004s in the mix really increases the pool of candidates.

    So, what am I missing? All feedback and advice will be appreciated.
     
    Oneshot442 likes this.
  2. Jun 27, 2020 at 3:28 PM
    #2
    04DCTundraMan

    04DCTundraMan Crimedog McGriff

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Member:
    #47489
    Messages:
    213
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Vehicle:
    2004 Salsa Red Tundra Limited DC
    Sony Head Unit, Pioneer Speakers, Back up camera, Blacked out Emblems, SPC Control Arms, OME 2.5" front lift, 1.5" rear spacer, Flowmaster Super 44 muffler, LineX bedliner
    Bought my 2004 double cab 6 years ago with 96k on it. Just passed 177.5k. Greatest vehicle I’ve ever owned. Easy as anything to work on as well. I can’t comment on the comparisons of engines to 05/06, never driven one. But I love my 04 DC!

    75DC32E8-F3F3-4231-80AB-C65687D3353E.jpg
     
    YardBird, abcinv, Hooptytrix and 4 others like this.
  3. Jun 27, 2020 at 4:13 PM
    #3
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol Allergic to Darkness....

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Member:
    #22934
    Messages:
    5,258
    First Name:
    Erik
    TN
    Vehicle:
    2002 SR5 4x4 AC
    Too many
    You already did a good job laying out the pros and cons. It really boils down to whether or not you want the 5 speed auto and VVTI. Many feel the 05-06 are the best years of the 1st gen Tundra while others don't want to mess with some of those features. We have a few people that swear there is a noticeable difference in power with VVTI.

    One thing to consider is that the 05-06 seem to frequently suffer from the secondary air pump failure. Being in California, you can't pass inspection with a check engine light right?Maybe try to find one that's already had that repair done. They make a bypass for that issue but I'm not sure that would be sufficient to get rid of the check engine light.

    The 05-06 also have the super expensive master cylinder but they don't seem to fail very often. I think we've only had 1-2 members have to replace theirs.
     
    YardBird, Hooptytrix and Darkness like this.
  4. Jun 27, 2020 at 4:59 PM
    #4
    jcrob33

    jcrob33 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #46991
    Messages:
    119
    First Name:
    JR
    Vehicle:
    2004 Toyota Tundra DC // 280k+
    I would say it’s more about what is available and at what price.
    There are differences, but they are so slight I can’t imagine they matter enough.

    that being said, I recently bought a 04 DC with 280k for $5,000.

    I spent about 4 months looking all over the country for something under 7k. DC’s are hard to find and expensive.
     
    speedtre, abcinv and YardBird like this.
  5. Jun 27, 2020 at 5:52 PM
    #5
    MEWaters

    MEWaters New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48052
    Messages:
    101
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    02 2xDC 296k and climbing
    If you can find what you want, and maintenance records UTD then you should be gtg
    just picked up an '02 with 291k from cali for 3500, no rust, and put 1k flawless miles on it over the last week camping on some old logging roads in ME
    my first truck and couldn't be happier
     
    YardBird and Darkness like this.
  6. Jun 27, 2020 at 9:35 PM
    #6
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    My mechanic mentioned something about the air pump being under the intake manifold and that it was a pain to fix. That was on an 05 that I took to him to inspect and FOOLISHLY didn't agree to the seller's offer. Oh, well...

    So, how much are these master cylinders and what are they made of, unicorn horns?
     
    YardBird and Darkness like this.
  7. Jun 27, 2020 at 9:40 PM
    #7
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    And while I'm at it, what exactly is the off-road package other than 2 stickers, a limited slip diff and Bilstein shocks?

    I see lots of DCs with the LSD and at the mileage levels of the trucks in my price range the shocks have probably been replaced or need replacing.

    Is it really worth seeking out a truck with the off-road package?
     
  8. Jun 27, 2020 at 9:47 PM
    #8
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    That is a good looking truck!! I love that red.

    I can't buy a white truck, the wifey wont abide by that and I HATE the sand/mica/gold/beige (just my personal opinion, I'm sure there are lots of very nice folks with very nice trucks in those colors).

    My color preferences from best to worst:
    Black, Red, Green, Dark Blue, Dark Grey, Light Blue, Silver, White and Sand/Mica/Gold/Beige
     
    YardBird likes this.
  9. Jun 27, 2020 at 10:05 PM
    #9
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    I stupidly walked away from a 2005 equipped exactly the way I want. It had 207k miles and we were only $500 apart. Ughhhh. Oh, well I guess that truck wasn't meant to be mine. He wouldn't go below $7950. There is an 05 with 214k miles for only $6000. It looked decent on a drive by. There was no place to park and the dealer was closed. I really need to get a closer look at that one.
     
    YardBird likes this.
  10. Jun 28, 2020 at 12:31 AM
    #10
    bassman417

    bassman417 "Tundra Time". My favorite time of day...

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48066
    Messages:
    66
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Paul
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    2004 DC 2wd Imperial Jade
    just got my 04 Dc - jade, in las vegas for $7500 with 141k miles. clean inside and just some rough paint spots from sun fade and a few scratches. drives like a dream. I love this truck.
     
    YardBird likes this.
  11. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:01 AM
    #11
    04DCTundraMan

    04DCTundraMan Crimedog McGriff

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Member:
    #47489
    Messages:
    213
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Vehicle:
    2004 Salsa Red Tundra Limited DC
    Sony Head Unit, Pioneer Speakers, Back up camera, Blacked out Emblems, SPC Control Arms, OME 2.5" front lift, 1.5" rear spacer, Flowmaster Super 44 muffler, LineX bedliner
    Thanks!! It’s Salsa Red haha! I’ve always owned black cars. This was my first red one and I was nervous but I actually have come to love it. I think my next truck will be a dark grey. I like the blacked out look on dark grey car look. Good luck finding your truck!
     
    YardBird likes this.
  12. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:44 AM
    #12
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14878
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Fred
    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra SR5 4WD 4.7L AC Silver Metallica
    Hand Protectors
    OR Package has the beefier Front Coils and the Billy Shocks Plus:

    upload_2020-6-28_8-44-31.jpg
     
    MS22, NUDRAT and YardBird like this.
  13. Jun 28, 2020 at 5:51 AM
    #13
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Member:
    #17315
    Messages:
    4,909
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Luis
    All over SoCal
    Vehicle:
    The darkest
    It's really dark
    Off road package includes stickers, HD Bilstein shocks, slightly heavier springs on the front. LSD isn't part of the package, it was a separate add on. Keep an eye out for mechanical LSD, some of the late years have traction control and people call it LSD, it's really just a nanny that applies brakes and can be annoying.

    TRD model isn't worth sweating over, best part on it is the springs. Shocks by now have probably been replaced or really need to be. I suppose the stickers are cool too.

    I might go for the oddball 04 model if I were in your shoes. No nannies, no air injection, more available trucks to buy. Don't compare a lot of prices you'll see here, being in Southern California puts you in the higher range of cost, but without rust.

    Fixed it for ya.
     
    speedtre, bmf4069, YardBird and 2 others like this.
  14. Jun 28, 2020 at 9:51 AM
    #14
    lsaami

    lsaami Let ‘er buck

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Member:
    #20129
    Messages:
    1,144
    Gender:
    Male
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tundra Limited 4x4 "$1100 Build"
    3/2" lift, visor, 285/75/16, eibach pro-truck, Cvj axles custom lighting
    About the only thing that draws me to an 05/06 is an extra gear. That would come in handy when towing. Either way, they both will be reliable, powerful, solid vehicles as long as they're cared for.
     
  15. Jun 28, 2020 at 2:51 PM
    #15
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14878
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Fred
    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra SR5 4WD 4.7L AC Silver Metallica
    Hand Protectors
    I’d love to drag race an 05/06 with my 02 and put this crap to rest. :yes:
     
    MS22, bmf4069, YardBird and 3 others like this.
  16. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:42 PM
    #16
    Hooptytrix

    Hooptytrix Squeaky Chicken

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Member:
    #5179
    Messages:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2001 Tundra 4x4 Sold. 2005 Tundra SR5
    Watch your tongue
     
  17. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:48 PM
    #17
    Hooptytrix

    Hooptytrix Squeaky Chicken

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Member:
    #5179
    Messages:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2001 Tundra 4x4 Sold. 2005 Tundra SR5
    California? I say go 03-04, it's a solid truck. Avoid the hassle of secondary air pump. Any other state I say 05-06 and install bypass. There is a bit more power available across the rev range but how often do you really use it? Not enough to deal with the emissions in California. The 03-04 has plenty of power, just take your time and read a lot of threads here and take careful calculated steps bringing her up to date
     
    YardBird likes this.
  18. Jun 28, 2020 at 4:36 PM
    #18
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol Allergic to Darkness....

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2018
    Member:
    #22934
    Messages:
    5,258
    First Name:
    Erik
    TN
    Vehicle:
    2002 SR5 4x4 AC
    Too many
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jun 28, 2020 at 6:18 PM
    #19
    Hooptytrix

    Hooptytrix Squeaky Chicken

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Member:
    #5179
    Messages:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2001 Tundra 4x4 Sold. 2005 Tundra SR5
    I think it's a wash. The added power is wiped out by weight. I think I have said on a few occasions, my 01 with 35" tires had more down low and held it's own.

    2002 Tundra AC
    Screenshot_20200628-211231.jpg

    2005 Tundra DC
    Screenshot_20200628-211315.jpg
     
  20. Jun 29, 2020 at 4:40 AM
    #20
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14878
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Fred
    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra SR5 4WD 4.7L AC Silver Metallica
    Hand Protectors
    Yeah, but I need to prove it on the track! :rofl:
     
  21. Jun 29, 2020 at 5:34 AM
    #21
    speedtre

    speedtre New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Member:
    #24808
    Messages:
    1,143
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2006 BSM Toyota Tundra DC TRD 4x4
    I've owned an 02 AC, 05 DC and 06 DC...to me it would be about the price/maintenance history/overall condition first before I worried about the year. If it was between an 04 and an 05/06 and the price/maintenance history/overall condition was the exact same (which will never happen), then yea, I'd go with an 05/06. In my opinion the 05/06 have a couple nice upgrades, but none of them are must haves (to me). I guess my point is don't get hung up on the year/specs for a DC...focus on the value of any particular truck you are looking at. :thumbsup:
     
    NUDRAT, FirstGenVol and Festerw like this.
  22. Jun 29, 2020 at 5:38 AM
    #22
    Hooptytrix

    Hooptytrix Squeaky Chicken

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Member:
    #5179
    Messages:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2001 Tundra 4x4 Sold. 2005 Tundra SR5
    The 00-02 transmission is suspect but I am going to believe your truck is running top notch. I would say off the line you will pull out ahead but given enough track the vvti will catch up and pass you. Enough track is the key for the vvti truck.
    02 AC vs 05 AC would be whole nother race, you will get smoked.
    I have $50 on the 05-06 AC
    :spending:
     
  23. Jun 29, 2020 at 5:52 AM
    #23
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14878
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Fred
    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra SR5 4WD 4.7L AC Silver Metallica
    Hand Protectors
    I keep waiting for the planets to explode that I’ve been reading about for years in my rears. I believe people have had the problem, but so far so good on my end even with towing a regular bit.

    I take it the 05/06 has the extra horses without the weight of the DC in your presumption? 282 vs 245 it looks.
     
    bmf4069 likes this.
  24. Jun 29, 2020 at 6:19 AM
    #24
    Hooptytrix

    Hooptytrix Squeaky Chicken

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Member:
    #5179
    Messages:
    1,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Dirty South
    Vehicle:
    2001 Tundra 4x4 Sold. 2005 Tundra SR5
    And better gearing in the transmission.
    $100 on the 05-06 AC :fistbump:
     
  25. Jun 29, 2020 at 7:30 AM
    #25
    Fishindude

    Fishindude New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    Member:
    #40770
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    California
    Vehicle:
    2016 Tundra Platinum
    I sold my Limited 04 last year for $7,000 with 380,000 miles on it last year.
     
  26. Jun 29, 2020 at 10:39 AM
    #26
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2018
    Member:
    #18880
    Messages:
    2,446
    Gender:
    Male
    TX
    Vehicle:
    02 AC sr5 4wd v8
    I've got tons of miles and towing on mine. Still on the factory planetary. I haven't heard of anyone's on here going bad.
     
  27. Jun 29, 2020 at 11:12 AM
    #27
    MEWaters

    MEWaters New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48052
    Messages:
    101
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    02 2xDC 296k and climbing
    my 02 has 292k picked it up 2 weeks ago
    fluid is red, runs and shifts like new
    should i absolutely flush and change trans fluid now?
     
  28. Jun 29, 2020 at 11:59 AM
    #28
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14878
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Fred
    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra SR5 4WD 4.7L AC Silver Metallica
    Hand Protectors
    Nope. Sounds like you are good to go!
     
  29. Jun 29, 2020 at 6:22 PM
    #29
    BmBlB

    BmBlB [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Member:
    #48057
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2006 White DC Limited
    I always look at toyota.com/owners and put in the VIN to see the build specs. So far I haven't seen one with the off-road package that doesn't have the LSD. Most of the Tundras I'm seeing have an LSD listed on the build sheet.

    Our truck plans include quite a bit of desert time, so LSD is desirable.
     
  30. Jun 29, 2020 at 9:28 PM
    #30
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Member:
    #17315
    Messages:
    4,909
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Luis
    All over SoCal
    Vehicle:
    The darkest
    It's really dark
    It's not part of the off road package. Off road package is suspension, stickers, tires, fog lights. LSD could be had without off road and off road could be had without LSD.

    There was a TRD "Sport" package for 2wd that included LSD but that's not the off road package.
     
    speedtre and FirstGenVol like this.

Products Discussed in

To Top