My awesome dad bought me this 4Runner for my 25th birthday. I turn 30 in exactly one week and it’s actually in worse condition now.

Backing up, the truck was originally a Virginia vehicle with 117K original miles. Despite being more or less south of the mason Dixon, it could not escape the tinworm. We had the 22re rebuilt and some new tires put on and she was road ready. However it slowly developed small problems that I lacked the funds and tools to fix. It is not currently road worthy as the exhaust manifold overheats and there is some sort of fuel delivery issue. The rust varies from spot to spot on the vehicle from “eh that’s not too bad” to “you need a donor body and metal fab.”

My pops has offered to have it taken to a shop and pieced back together. However, I moved about 200 miles away from my family a few years back and I haven’t found anyone I would really trust to work on this down here. So if I’m taking it anywhere, I would probably trailer it.

“Why don’t you work on it yourself?” You might say. I’ve tinkered with it here and there. The biggest obstacle being lack of tools, and when I have the time, I don’t have the cash for parts, and when I have the cash for parts, I don’t have the time.   

I’ve considered selling it but I’m deeply emotionally attached. The 4Runner was my dad’s dream car when they debuted in 1984, but he couldn’t afford one then. To this point in time, as a family, we’ve owned a collective 12 or 13 4Runners in under 30 years. If we had a family crest, there would be a T4R on it.

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Speaking very much relatively, my financial situation has improved over the last 5 years. So I could probably knock out 1 problem per month for the foreseeable future. The restoration would probably take at least 10 years, working on it myself as much as possible.

I enjoy wrenching, but I also enjoy finished projects and not lying to myself that “I’ll get around to it.”

So what would Oppo do? Wrench on it here and there or farm it out?