Which surf would be better?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 09:15
ThreadID: 110903 Views:2083 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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So I trying to decide between these two cars and basically the first one has low k's and is a lot cheaper but is older and has a worse engine the other one is a newer model with the newer engine but it cost more and has more k's. Any opinions? Is it worth paying that much extra for the newer car?


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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 09:52

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 09:52
Rayni - Well, both are overpriced for 22 yr old and 19 yr old vehicles. The '96 model with 283,000 is effectively near the end of its life, and it's only worth about $3000.
Vehicles with exceptionally high kms bring virtually nothing at auctions, they're a dime a dozen.
You're looking at major repairs soon to all major components, that will exceed the value of the vehicle - unless the owner can prove they have already largely been done.
The '93 model is only worth about $2500 - even less if other components need repair, besides the CV joints mentioned.

The one with "low" kms needs checking carefully. It's all to easy to change analog odometers to read much lower.
Over a third of used 4WD's are reported to have incorrect odometer readings as owners alter them to try and get better resale value.

Try and check any service history and see if there's discrepancies in kms between services, and get a qualified friend to check the vehicle over thoroughly to see if he agrees the speedo reading is correct. Look for screws that have been unscrewed and then screwed up again, in the instrument area. Look for wear on floor mats and pedals that indicates much higher kms.

Idle the engine for 10 mins once it's at operating temperature, then rev it up and look for blue exhaust smoke, that indicates high km engine wear in valve guides and rings.

A leak on an engine may be minor or it could be major in the form of a rear engine seal needing replacing.
You can get oil leak additives that soften and swell seals to help fix leaks.

Remember also, that both these vehicles are "grey" imports with no equivalent model sold in Australia, and you will have trouble getting parts (and insurance) for both of them.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 545014

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:21

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:21

Give the old grey imports a miss.
Ron is completely right in what he has stated.
Service history is the key to any 4x4.
Stay with the Jap brands.
They are not perfect but are far superior to the others

FollowupID: 832506

Follow Up By: rayni M - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:37

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:37
The way I see it is Toyota are the best 4×4's and the only decent Toyota I can afford is a surf. I need a Wagon and 4runners seem to be quiet rare but by the looks of it I'll just have to wait till a decent one comes up.
FollowupID: 832507

Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:29

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:29
If thats all you can afford then I'd steer clear of diesel's.
FollowupID: 832510

Reply By: wizzer73 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:10

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:10
Yes i agree that both are way overpriced. I had a 93 surf and while it was a great car and 4wd you had to keep the maint up. Oil and filter every 5000km. I got mine at 70000km and sold it at 200000km. Found out the kms had been wound back when the timing belt light came on at the wrong kms. Been wound back about 30000kms.

What about something like this. Seem better value


AnswerID: 545015

Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 14:58

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 14:58
I would just like to add that my surf was the 2.4 td model. All filters were readily available from supercheap. I bought a spare electronic injection pump from toyota for $400. had the suspension upgraded by a local suspension mob with all parts available off the shelf. i had the turbo reconded at a local turbo specialist. I had the injectors replaced by a local guy with off the shelf injectors. Mine was a manual and I had the dual mass flywheel replaced with a standard hilux one as well as the clutch.
When people say parts are hard to get its not true.

The saying "grey import" is funny because all 4wds are imported into oz.


FollowupID: 832512

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 15:35

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 15:35
Wizzer - Yes, that's right, all 4WD's are imported, but the manufacturers often build models specific to the country.
That's why the parts blokes always want to know your model number or VIN.

When you produce a model number that is not an Australian model, or a VIN that their books or computer doesn't recognise, they just up and tell you that they "can't help you".

Many times there are subtle differences in panels, differences in lights, mirrors, bumpers, and other accessories, and differences in trim as well.
I picked up a set of genuine Toyota disc brake pads in an auction bulk parts deal - but the pads part number is only for overseas models, they fit nothing sold in Australia.

There are aftermarket people and vehicle importers who will import panels and some parts for "grey imports" - but overall, a lot of people have got into trouble when they want to repair a grey import.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 832513

Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 19:33

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 19:33
Tell you what a grey import does do...
teaches you how to do your own mechanical work and how to to source parts because no one wants to help you lol

FollowupID: 832521

Reply By: Louwai - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:32

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:32
I agree with the comment about staying away from the grey imports.
Many years ago I bought a 2nd hand (Australian model) Hilux. Granted is was in poor condition, but that's all I needed for the purpose at the time.
It was 8yrs old & I paid $1500 for it.

When I went to do some engine work I found that the engine had been replaced with a 2nd hand import engine. All parts I needed had to come from Japan & would have cost me 3 times what I paid for the vehicle.

Definately the low cost vehicle was a waste of money. Ended up selling it to the wreckers 1yr after I bought it for $100
AnswerID: 545017

Reply By: steamfire01 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 20:40

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 20:40
Rayni M
Grey imports are second hand vehicles from Japan, imported into Aust.
A Surf is not a Hilux, it is a vehicle designed and built for Japan, it doesn't have the same suspension and other mods built into the Australian model, yes they are both built in Japan but they are very different. There are probably some surf owners in Aust who are happy with their purchase, but I would be very careful, you could be buying major problems.

Stay safe out there!
AnswerID: 545037

Follow Up By: APP55Y - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 14:43

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 14:43
I don't mean to be pedantic steamfire01, but a Surf is actually a Hilux. Next time you get a chance, check out the badges on the back of a Surf above the number plate light and you'll see it is actually badged a Hilux Surf from the Toyota factory :-P I'm not disputing your later points, just clearing up this small point that a Surf IS a Hilux, just not an Aust factory delivered Hilux.
Names aside, I suspect you're simply trying to make the point that the Hilux Surf doesn't have the same components of the Aust factory delivered Hilux, that I agree with.
Most people agree the Aust delivered Hilux is a bit more reliable and parts availability is better than a grey import, which is definitely something rayni M needs to consider in 4WDs of this age and mileage.

rayni M, the '96 model you've linked to is not as common as the '93 model. With parts supply already less common on Surfs compared to an Aussie Hilux, the '96 model parts supply may be slightly harder yet again.

Compare an Aussie Hilux, 4Runner and Surf of the same age and the Surf will have a more refined interior and more advanced features/gadgets. The base model Surf interior is probably equal in finish to the same age top model Aussie Hilux (even slightly later model Hilux's) if that is important to you. The Surf offers auto-hubs (vacuum controlled) which are handy, no getting out to lock/unlock hubs. Surf will have electric windows and air controls, some have separate rear fan/heater controls and seat are more comfortable in a Surf. Surf seats are a common budget upgrade for a similar aged Hilux. The Surf had lots of little thing like this years before they were available in an Aussie Hilux, but as age gets to them, it also means more things can go wrong. Nobody can dispute that the gradual failure of these components with time, will add fuel to the argument that an Aust delivered Hilux is more reliable. These greater comforts in a side by side comparison between Surf and Aussie Hilux make the Surf appear better value up front, but that is for you to decide as a nicer interior or greater parts availability/reliability will vary in priority for all buyers.

Good luck with your purchase
FollowupID: 832762

Reply By: madfisher - Friday, Jan 30, 2015 at 15:42

Friday, Jan 30, 2015 at 15:42
With either one, you could end up spending thousands on repairs IF you can finds the required parts.
Far better value are Isuzu built Holden Jackaroos, the 3.1 Diesel is ultra reliable as are both v6 petrols. Stay away from the troublesome late model 3l diesel.
I brought my son a 99 v6 Petrol jack, with 155000 for $6000 three years ago, paint was a little sad,but it has been ultra reliable, only required a new timing belt and front shocks in that time.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 545075

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