Which older BT-50 for slide on?

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 13:41
ThreadID: 104235 Views:1698 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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I'm an older member, joined ages ago and then had to shelve any camping plans for some time, we'd like to finally give it a go and so we're looking to buy one of two older BT-50s. One a 2007 3.0l 4x4 & the other a 2008 2.5l 4x2. Both single cab chassis

I'll be using this as my day to day vehicle but the primary reason for a ute is to carry a slide on camper, fairly old and battered but free! & so i'll spend a bit of time renovating it for summer. Due to family restrictions & special requirements we'll be visiting established campsites only i.e. no offroading other than gravel track.

This is our first real foray into utes/camping etc. since coming to Australia so i've very little knowledge or experience (or much in depth knowledge of motors in general!)

Both vehicles are in similar condition, similar KMs, $$$ etc.

Are either of these vehicles significantly better than the other? Better suited to the task? Any particular reasons why?

Thanks for any help

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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 19:29

Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 19:29
G'day Charlie & Helen
The 4x4 3L would be my preference, while the 2.5 is a sweet engine the 3L will have more torque to haul the load/wind resistance.

The availability of 4wd may very handy when in some rougher areas or slippery conditions ie wet gravel and greasy roads.

Is the 3L an auto? I think the 2.5 came out in manual only, where the 3L has more options. Not sure of all options available though.
AnswerID: 517833

Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 20:35

Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 20:35
I have a 2010 ranger 4x4 which is the cousin of the BT50. Is the same specs as the 2007 model just different body shape. As Ross has said the 4x4 is better suited to your use over the 2x4, the 4x4 has a bigger motor and the GVM is 3044kg which is 200kg more than the 2x4. The fuel ecconomy of the 3lt isn't bad as I have just done 11000 KM trip and averaged 13lt / 100km with my camper on and was weighing in at 3000kg GVM. Unloaded its 10.5lt/100KM which is ok. The 2007 model in 4x4 did have clutch problems as some people found that 1st & reverse were to high a ratio and had to slip the clutch. I think this was sorted out on later models. Iv'e had no problems with mine at all in 90000km. Just make sure its had a good service history and if its 4x4 have a look underneath for battle scars.

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AnswerID: 517842

Reply By: Charlie & Helen - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 11:05

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 11:05
Thanks Guys,
Kinda guessed that may be the case but great to have confirmation. The 4x4 has a full service history & hopefully i'll get a mate to come with me to give it the once over.
Cheers again
AnswerID: 517864

Reply By: Member - Geoff M (VIC) - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 12:42

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 12:42
Hi Charlie,

I had a Mazda BT50 2007 model (freestyle) which I was using to carry a slideon camper. Even though the slideon was one of the lightest on the market, and I keep the weight down to a minimum (and well below the GVM), the chassis cracked on a trip along the Canning Stock Route in 2011. This also was not the only failure on this vehicle.

In my opinion the BT50 (and other meduim duty utilities) are not suitable for long term load carrying in rough conditions. Unfortunately I found this out the hard way. Now since you plan on not heading offroad then perhaps the BT50 you are considering will be OK, otherwise look at one of the heavy duty utilities such as the Patrol, Landcruiser or Defender.

Good luck with your decision, and happy travels!

Cheers, Geoff
AnswerID: 517867

Follow Up By: Charlie & Helen - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 14:22

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 14:22
Thanks Geoff,
We really are going to take it easy to begin with, roadwise and length of trip/weight of load.
I'll make good use of a bt-50 day to day & don't really want to (and can't!) lay out bigger bucks on more substantial equipment just yet.
If the bug bites us hard then we'll look at upgrading in the future.
Thanks for the advice though and i'll keep it in mind as far as treatment of the rig goes.
FollowupID: 797615

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