Need some help deciding on a first 4wd

Hi All , my first post here :)

I'm looking into buying our first 4x4 to learn the trade - but I have some price and size limitations.
Basically what I want is as much 4wd-ability for as little car/fuel consumption as possible. Price around 10K, can go a bit higher for the right vehicle.

after much reading then searching then reading again I have still not come to any conclusions but have managed to narrow it down a bit.

The equation says Suz Jimny all over it - but its just too small and uncomfortable for us.

Pajero IO - perfect size, decent consumption, great looking,proper low range gear - but impossible to modify, if we will want a bit more out of it (bull bar? suspension lift? snorkel?). But then again - will we?

Toyota 4Runner - not as big or as thirsty as LCs or Patrols, high ground clearance , easy to mod (Its basically a Hilux) - but still too big and too thirsty.

Pajero Dual Fuel - a "real" pajero, I suppose the most capable car on the list - but with the addition that while near civilization (and we will be 99% of the time) we have the economical and env friendly gas. For those 3% we have fuel. Is there a catch? :)

Suzuki GV (approx 1998-2004 models) - small and comfy, but are these any good offroad, or do they fall way behind the previous ones on the list? Can they be modded at all? (from what I understand they are all independent suspension, and dont have a proper low gear)

I know you've all been asked such question a 100 times before, but any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
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Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:27

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:27
Fuel economy will rule out some good vehicles, but the gas powered pajero will give you a decent and economical vehicle.
Before we could afford a new vehicle we had a gas powered 80 series and still look back on that vehicle as our favourite offroad vehicle. Great on the beach and took us to the Cape in fine comfort.

Regards
Geoff
AnswerID: 513402

Follow Up By: fisherPete - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:51

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:51
Just beaware that early Pajs did not take kindly to gas, but anything after 97 I think was gas compatible.
IO are a under rated little vehiche. Also a lot of olders 4 wheel drives are money pits. I like Jackaroos and find them very reliable and comfy with good off road ability. In Auto they are thirsty, wifes 03 Nullarbor barely gets 300ks to 60l around town, where as my manual easily does 400ks to the same amount around town and about 500 on a trip. But manuals with low ks are hard to find.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Lea V - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:34

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:34
Thanks both of you! :)
Pete - which way would you go? Can an un-modded IO still be a reasonable 4x4?
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:01

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:01
Lea V. There is a fellow on here,I think he calls himself Fab72, that has one. He recently went out to the Simpson and drove up Big red. Maybe search his name and have a read of his escapades in it. Bob
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Follow Up By: fisherPete - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 22:47

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 22:47
Lea , I have heard good things about IOs, put a good set of ATs on it and I think it will go most places. Not real hard core rock climbing, but I think its ability will exceed your needs.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Lea V - Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 00:00

Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 00:00
Hey Pete, thanks!
this is "sound stupid" moment - what does ATs stand for? :)

I think we're definitely gonna check out the IO, but some LPG Pajeros as well, since you never know and eventually it will be down to the individual car (we already saw one very promising IO from a dealer - low kms, manual, 2L engine - only to find out when we got there that it was emitting very nasty blue smoke :( )
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 06:31

Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 06:31
AT's stands for All Terrain tyres. Bridgestone or BF Goodridge seem to be the most popular but there are plenty of other brands as well. Just don't ask "what is the best" on here or also ask "what is the best fridge" cause your computor will fall through the desk from the weight of answers.lol. Bob
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:35

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:35
HI Lea,

My first 4x4 was a 60 series Landcruiser which served us well for many years. I still believe these are a good starting point today. Good ones are getting hard to find...many with rust (especially along roof gutters) and high Kms (some up to 600,000km). While they may use a little more diesel than you want they tick all boxes for a first 4X4 IMO. We used about 12litres/100km. Plenty of assessories available. A very robust vehicle.

Look for a 1987-1989 model diesel with manual transmission and Kms under 300K. The 12HT turbo motor was one of the best ever built.. But the 2H motor is still good.
Here is on as an example:

http://ninemsn.carsales.com.au/dealer/details/Toyota-Landcruiser-1989/AGC-AD-13490561/?Cr=3

Cheers


AnswerID: 513405

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:53

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:53
60 series are a great vehicle, probably the vehicle that really started the 4x4 phenomenon ! Michael .
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: bluefella - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 08:16

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 08:16
very tidy looking vehicle and low K's if genuine. A good starting point to begin 4x4 driving.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 16:04

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 16:04
That '89 looks cleaner and less (ab)used than my 2010 Nissan, LOL!
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Reply By: Lea V - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:48

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:48
Yeah the dual-fuel -pajero sounds like a good option.

The land cruiser is a bit too much for now - maybe in a couple of years, when we will have more $ to spend, and at least some experience with 4wdriving, i'll get a newer LC and mod it to my liking :).

Also the pajeros I can get are 1997-2000, and a 10 year difference will be noticeable I think.
AnswerID: 513407

Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 19:36
A dual fuel anything is relatively cheap to run. I've had a Patrol and a Pathfinder on gas, had no trouble with either and the cost to run was ok by me. The Pajero on paper would be fine and so would a Prado. I also had a Suzuki GV for a few years and it would cost me the same in petrol for it as in gas for the Pathfinder to go the same distance. The price ratio of lpg to petrol has changed since then though.
AnswerID: 513413

Reply By: howesy - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:04

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:04
Are you kidding? Suzuki etc,,,, both my sons have LPG big mutha's (1 patrol and one 80 series) Both have the big gas tanks and petrol reserve and have never run out of gas. The one with the 80 has it tuned for economy and gets fantastic miles out of a gas tank.
Using his for an example because its in your price range ( and I'm sure there are others out there near you)

Is on 35's with 5 inch lift, xrox front bar, heavy duty sidesteps, spotties, winch, UHF, DVD player with amp and sub with alpine 6x9 in rear and $400 4" in the front which kick as hard as the 6x9's.

Engine just rebuilt approx 10000 km ago with 20 thou overbore pistons. Dual fuel getting approx 500 km from 90 l of LPG ($70).

Has part time kit, manual locking hubs just redone rear studs. In the last year has also had power steering recod. Brakes redone including reservoir. New radiator. New rear shoes. New front rotors and pads. New wheel bearing all round
AnswerID: 513414

Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:28

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 20:28
"getting approx 500 km from 90 l of LPG " Best mine ever got was 450 on a trip and 350 around town.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 08:22

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 08:22
And, the valve seats don't like LPG on an 80 series.
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:04

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:04
I ran a Flashlube kit on mine and the valve clearances never changed in 90 odd thousand K's. The next owner did have the head crack though at about 160000.
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FollowupID: 792188

Reply By: Penchy - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 13:09

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 13:09
I would think that if you are looking for a 4wd to "learn the trade", then some of the things you are after are not critical. Firstly, forget anything without a low range. Comfort (air con, power window, pwr steer ect) should also not be a priority. Look for reliability as a priority, because you are learning, you are going to break things. Best to do it in a cheap easy to fix vehicle. Something with a solid front diff would be what I would look at. Deisel Hilux would be what I would suggest. Parts are easy (and cheap), plenty of room to modify, and dead simple to work on, if your handy that is. And there is loads of them around in your price bracket.
AnswerID: 513449

Reply By: Lea V - Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 13:55

Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 13:55
Hey everyone!
thanks again for the great replies - certainly shed some light. I think i've made a decision -
since some people were recommending the heavier and more reliable vehicles I think ill go with the dual-fuel Pajero. (the bigger and older stuff is a bit too much for now)

But now I have a preblem - I saw a good looking pajero from dealers in Melbourne, but it said somewhere on their website that it had rear independent suspension! Not an axle! i'm gonna have a look at it anyway - I thought all Pajeros come with live axles.

Is this something I should be worried about? Is it necessarily inferior? Can lift kits/ diff locks be installed on such things?

Thanks!

AnswerID: 513523

Reply By: Lyn W3 - Saturday, Jun 22, 2013 at 09:24

Saturday, Jun 22, 2013 at 09:24
Hi Lea

Here is one that might tick most of the boxes:

1985 toyota Sahara $7500
AnswerID: 513577

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