Pros and cons of upgrading ?

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 01:21
ThreadID: 107170 Views:2004 Replies:9 FollowUps:23
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Hi everyone.A few months ago I was wrestling with the prospect of changing my 4wd. I currently own a 1999, 4.5 petrol/gas, supercharged Landcruiser, fully fitted out with all the off road modifications, lifted,air lockers,winch etc. it's very well maintained, done 375,000kms, it has rarely let me down, Last year, My big trip covered 17,500kms towing my off road caravan up as far as Kununurra via the mighty Tanami desert road, then down the WA coast and across the Nullabor back home to Vic. A very comfortable trip in my cruiser. Not a single issue with the vehicle. Really pleased with that ! But in my mind I kept Complaining about my fuel consumption ! I was constantly asking other travellers what their vehicles were getting ? I was doing my own head in ! When I got home I was going to upgrade to a factory Turbo diesel 100 series, I test drove one and a few other makes and models, and for me they all paled in comparison to my cruiser ! There were certain quirks in other vehicles that I didn't like ! None had the power of my cruiser ! And the cost to fit accessories and the loan repayments to bring an upgraded vehicle up to my current vehicles spec ? I just could not let go of my cruiser ! It does every thing I ask of it and more ! And my only complaint is fuel consumption ! It pulls like a freight train ! I can sit in it for days on end and not have a sore backside. Upgrade ? I don't think so !
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Reply By: Member - ken m4 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 06:28

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 06:28
Bob W5 you list a lot of pro's with only one con, and then answer your own question yourself at the end. Problem solved.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 06:55

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 06:55
And Kedi that was his point. Now ask yourself the same question and see if you get the same answer.

Personally I could disagree with him about his choice of cars. And for almost the same reasons we are not going to upgrade. Fuel consumption. But at around that GVM mark (sshhhh) we can't complain.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - ken m4 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 07:41

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 07:41
PJR.
Will be a long time before I could assess my the good and bad points of my vehicle based on the Kilometres attained by Bob W5 in his machine. So far happy with my choice, but time will tell
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 07:52

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 07:52
Me also Ken. We got it three years ago with 90K on it and we are still just up to the 230K mark. But one of us is still working so It is basically garaged for most of the year. Still heaps of K's in it. Happy with the choice as well.

It just got the rest of the front end checked and anything worn was changed. It's not worth waiting for something to break in the middle of say the CSR, so we do a lot of "preventative" repairs and maintenance.

Hopefully it will see us out.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:19

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:19
Jeez Phil, a TD Cruiser well looked after is good for 750,000 k's it would a ba****d if you worn it out and had to get a new one. Do the maths. 230 - 90 = 140 / 3yrs = 46 pa. 750 -230 = 420 to go / 46 = 9 years. So in 9 years time you can go for a ski and get a new Cruiser. Don't tell your doc though. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:44

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:44
Another yank. We don't "do the maths" here in Oz. We just work it out. That's yank stuff. Stop coppying Maccas. Next you will be going for a drive down the straightaway. From the "get go" to finish.

Gotchya!!

In 9 years time I don't think that I could drive it mate. This one will see us out.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 20:05

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 20:05
Spot on there Phil. We don't want any of that yanky foreign stuff.

Just clicked on yer pic and you look slimmer than I thought - reckon you'll crack another 9 years yet, mate.

;)
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Reply By: johno59 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 08:19

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 08:19
Bob, just my tuppence worth. I to am thinking of upgrading from an X Trail to a proper diesel 4x4 but it depends what u are trying to achieve. It will cost me $20,000 to,trade up to a secondhand vehicle.Thats a lot of cash and if you do the sums can buy a hell of a lot of Petrol with 20.000.. Given that car dealers give you nothing for your trade in its a hard one. Petrol consumption costs are insignificant when you way up the cost of interest on a loan, depreciation, loss of potential income ie 20,000 @ 6 pc say $1200 a yr, johno
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:55

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:55
spot on Johno - if you're happy with your current steed, then it comes down to a (fairly) simple equation - cost of upgrade verses fuel differential between old & new vehicles at the pump.

I've had a number of friends (and family) go through this equation - swap the Petrol GXL for a diesel (turbo) one - by the time you factor $15K + for the upgrade - you'll never get that back over the lifetime of the vehicle (especially if it's recreational use - not commercial) - similar numbers for LPG upgrades.

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 08:31

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 08:31
I just went through the same exercise. The disco has 200k on it but still is one of the most comfortable and capable vehicles going. To get similar qualities in a new car I considered the VJD76 workmate, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Defender. Then I'd have to fit it out with all the electronics, storage, and other mods.

While it would have been painless to change to a new car ie monthly repayments of $600 a month, I decided to invest in a half-life refit for the Disco. New suspension, new auto gearbox, some chassis strengthening, and a swag of minor repairs and $7k (same as 12 months payments on a new car) later its ready for a trip to the Pilbara (via Alice) at Easter.

Time will tell if I have made the right choice.

Bob
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:13

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:13
It is interesting how people usually focus on fuel consumption when in reality it is only a minor portion of cost of vehicle ownership
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:17

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:17
Very true. The one and only trip that we have ever taken fuel usage into account is our upcoming CSR drive. We added a long range tank to enable us to go.

Other than that we normally don't consider it. Didn't even worry for the Simpson. But I think that if I ever get a chance to drive the Madigan line it will be a major factor - I think.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:27

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:27
Agree with Phil (as usual). It is not unusual to think of the fuel cost but in reality it is nowhere near the biggest cost. I have a 100 series TD with a LRA tank giving me 250 litres all up. This has allowed me to do the CSR twice, Kiwirrkurra to Balgo through the Great Sandy Desert and this year the Madigan line. Carrying any fuel, especially petrol, inside the vehicle or on the roof is just to dangerous in these remote places. IMHO
I have done 180K's with my LRA tank and I reckon I have paid for it out of the fuel savings by being able to buy in the bigger towns a lot of the time. Having said that it hurts a bit when a fill up is over $400, but it is not so often.
Phil, I will have my Spot device working on this trip so you can download my track of our adventure along the Madigan line for future reference from EOTrackMe. We leave Melbourne on 3rd July. Enjoy the CSR and if your shocks are more than 50,000 k's old I suggest you get the missus to do a bit of overtime and get some new ones. (shockies that is)
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:52

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:52
What do you mean "as usual" Chris. We have our times.

We carry 255 ltrs. on board. 90 in the main tank, 125 in the fuel/water LR tank and 40 in jerry cans. The jerry cans are new after the rear bar was changed following an accident. Luckily insurance helped out there.

I don't like to carry fuel on the roof either. Never inside. Luckily it;s diesel so I don't mind it on the back.

What usage did you get on the CSR?

And for the Madigan I know a few of the first ones through there so I have a good source of info. One of them left one or two of the original "visitors" books. I don't use any tracking apart from the log in Ozi. When we go away who cares. We get back when we do.

Phil

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:05

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:05
15.9 L/100K from Kunawaritji to Willuna 100 series TD Auto IFS and weight never under 3 tonne, no trailer, no chip, no special exhaust.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:32

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:32
I am planning for 20 Lt/100. So we will see.

Thanks Chris

Phil
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 14:33

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 14:33
Idler Chris & PJR,

Re the fuel economy, here's my experiences:

In 2013 - Mazda BT 50 auto dual cab with 5 people, swags etc, at full GVM (3.2t). No trailer, no chip, just ARB suspension upgrade. Standard fuel tank = 80 L. Used 80 L in jerry cans - the $1500 fitted fee for a LR tank is too crazy for moi!

Major tracks: CSR, Gunbarrel H'way, SBJR to Balgo past L Mackay, APY Lands, Tanami Rd - approx 15 L/100 km. Down as low as 13 L/100 at times but speed on better sections & 'proper' roads sends the consumption north. Blacktop figures around 13 to 14 L/100.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:03

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:03
Its a safety issue Rick. LR tank is safer than carting cans. When you get to my age, 70 you won't want lift jerry cans either. Besides in the time I have had it I would go close to saving the cost in being able to fill up at the cheaper places and not have to be paying $3 plus a litre out in the middle of nowhere. Also bad fuel can cost you an engine, avoiding these back block places most of the time and being able to use truck stops greatly reduces my chance of getting bad fuel. I am very happy with my setup, you are happy with your setup, others can make up their own minds.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:26

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 15:26
Thats a great track to Balgo past L Mackay did it last year very muddy in place and the whole desert as green as.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 16:12

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 16:12
Thanks Rick for the figures.

However I have a 100 same as Chris and I was hoping for some more of the same type of car. A heavy 4.2 TD Auto.

There are heaps of parameters that make a difference. I am trying to minimise them by asking for 100 TD auto figures.

We used just under 20 lt/100 in the Simpson but the CSR is a different matter from what I have read. It was late in the season and the sand was terribly dry and soft.

Phil
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Reply By: Bob W5 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:34

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:34
Hi, I had come up with a list of 6 different vehicles that I wanted to test drive , all were turbo diesels. I tested them. Done my sums. I started out keen to upgrade, but when push came to shove I just couldn't go past my cruiser. Even my mechanic questioned why upgrade ? When I have a perfectly good vehicle. And he gave me his two bobs worth comparing the cost of repairing a diesel to a petrol etc. But the main thing he pointed out was why get rid of a good vehicle only to upgrade and have to throw a lot of money at to bring it up to the current vehicles spec ? That money will buy a lot of fuel. One day I'll have to upgrade. Just not yet. I guess we all have our reasons for upgrading our 4wds. What prompts you ?
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 08:56

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 08:56
"What prompts you ?"

Going from the responses here we all have different outlooks on the subject, but for me, I simply don't like driving old cars, no matter what brand or model! ;)

I'm not big on buying anything 2nd hand either.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:58

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 09:58
Bob,

This journey you took in your head, it sounds like you went around in a big circle and wound up back in the same place. Going by your post the only reason you set off on this mental trip was triggered by the amount of petrol you poured in over the last adventure. Other than the mods you have done to bring your Cruiser to the point where you seem pretty happy with it (apart from the fuel consumption) why were you unhappy with the other vehicles you drove?
Nothing else pulled like your vehicle with 4.5 lt of supercharged petrol engine???
I wonder why??? (;-))

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:17

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:17
Hi Pop2jocem. Spot on ! In my past I would usually end up doing the upgrade.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:53

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:53
Bob,

There's a mob in WA that do turbo upgrades, with some excellent results. Think it's GT Turbo???

Get a late model 100 series T/D and go from there. Imagine many of your pieces of "fruit" would fit the newer model?

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:09

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:09
Lets look at what we have here.

You have a 15 year old petrol / Gas Cruiser with a super charger on an well used engine, you have diff locks on well used diffs you have a lift kit on a well used chassis, this vehicle by your own admission has worked reasonable hard, so you have a trade in value at (my guess) less the $15 grand.

To fit out a newer car with all your " " off road mods that you have mentioned would cost between $6 to $8 grand depending on were you go, a newer 100 series cruiser turbo diesel between $30 to $40 grand age and mileage dependant.

I have owned a 100 series Turbo diesel and I was in a 100 series petrol V8 the other day and to me they look identical, they have the same suspension so one could assume the differences are minimal at best, you could chip a turbo diesel to get similar power out put to you petrol.

so to sum up what I am saying, you have a reasonable hard driven car with a lot of k ms on it with a stressed engine gearbox and diffs, one day one or more of these things will let go and then see how your economics come into play, or you could spend the money upgrade the vehicle and get a lot more travel time with a lot less chance of failure.

Looking at your pros and cons the only thing that stood out to me was money, the way I see it you can either spend money and up grade or you can hold onto your old car and spend good money after bad once it stops being reliable, and at that age with that much stress I can tell you from experience that wont be long.

I'm not having a go just saying it as I see it.

Phil



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Follow Up By: Peter F9 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:37

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:37
Very well said
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:28

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:28
Whilst I agree with your view in general, the OP is saying the vehicle is reliable and well set up and his mechanic is also questioning his idea of changing vehicle ( vested interest maybe?)

His bug bear is fuel economy which I don't think in itelf is reason enough to change vehicle but you make a fair point Phil just the same.
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Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:38

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 13:38
Hi Phil. Yes it did come down to money. To take out a loan ? Or not to. At some point mechanically something's going to stop working. I'm backing my regular servicing/ oil changes in motor,gearbox and diffs etc, also that I haven't driven it hard. To increase longevity. Only time will tell. :-) Thanks.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 16:49

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 16:49
Quote "But in my mind I kept Complaining about my fuel consumption ! I was constantly asking other travellers what their vehicles were getting ? I was doing my own head in"

Are you comparing your fuel consumption in the quantity you have used or the cost of that fuel. I used to travel with a bloke who had a petrol/gas cruiser towing a reasonably large van. He was a bit of a pain in the A when in convoy, he had to make more fuel stops along the way. He was an even bigger pain in the A when we got to our destination. He used to boast how much less his fuel cost. I think you may be using the wrong comparison to work out your fuel usage.

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 17:21

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 17:21
Bob, we go through the same question ourselves. 1997 model 80 Series GXL Landcruiser with a Denco Diesel turbo. The vehicle has 250,00 km, runs perfectly, is comfortable, reliable, and has so much additional gear and a enough mods to make a change over (to a 200) too expensive/too much hassle. The pros just aren't compelling enough to make the switch worthwhile. The ExplorOz vehicle is therefore just about to be put in for an upgrade with the signwriter. LOL
Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: Bob W5 - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 00:18

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 00:18
Thanks Michelle. I'm heading off on my next big adventure in early June. I've rented my house out, and intend to experience as much of our wonderful country as I can. I plan to have quite a few business stickers on my cruiser on my journey ! I love to talk and promote ! Are you interested ?
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