To ute or not to ute...

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:29
ThreadID: 11358 Views:3320 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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G'day all,

Its time to upgrade my 60 series diesel (which is a great vehicle by the way) to a newer, better model Landcruiser. I am looking to spend between $20000 - $35000, and I want a diesel to a put a turbo on, or one with a factory turbo. I am trying to choose between an 80 series GXL, a 75/79 series Ute or scrapping together just enough for a cheap 100 series standard diesel.

I would like a Ute, but I don't know if they are practical if you are not a tradesman, loading them up every day. I would just be using my fourby for commuting to work and playing in the mud/sand on weekends. Also, I'm not sure whether the leaf springs would become a pain in the butt.

Should I go ute or wagon? I'm a young, single(ish) guy so I don't need alot of seats, though I have really enjoyed my 60 series so I don't mind driving a wagon at all.

Any advice or opinions or any kind of help at all with this desicion would really be appreciated.
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Reply By: biscuits - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:40

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:40
Gday Cruza,

Don't know where you are in Aus, but I was around the auctions in Perth last night and saw a bunch of ex-mining 100 series landcruiser 4 door utes getting ready for auction. I dont know if they are a factory toyota job or an aftermarket conversion - but there were a few of them going for auction. Maybe this would be an ideal compromise between ute and full cab that your looking for?

If you havent seen them before, they are basically a 4 door 100 series with the cab ending after the rear doors with an aluminium tray fitted after that. Tray isnt huge but I reckon you could *just* manage to fit a dirtbike in the back (diagonally) tied down (if that gives you a rough idea).

Pretty basic inside and out - its the heavy duty vinyl interior, no fruit, not constant 4WD like the regular 100 series either i dont think - old school part time 4WD with manual locking hubs - but then thats not far off a 70 series ute in spec that you said you were looking at. But for a newish car you should be able to pick one up for under 35k hopefully (i think?? not sure what they would go for?)

Anyway, hope this helps,
AnswerID: 50855

Follow Up By: Cruza - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:58

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:58
Cheers Dave,

I'm in QLD so that knocks that idea on the head. I have seen these dual cab Cruisers, they are an aftermarket conversion I believe. They look very practical but I'm not sure how good they would be off road on narrow tracks etc, as they are quite long with the tray.
FollowupID: 312608

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 22:49

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 22:49
IMHO dont touch ex-mining vehicles with a barge pole!
FollowupID: 312749

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Friday, Mar 19, 2004 at 09:28

Friday, Mar 19, 2004 at 09:28
I am about to update to a new turbo 100 Series so my 2000 GXL 100 Series diesel is for sale. 0402 329 372 for details if you are interested.
Cheers Rob
FollowupID: 312783

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:45

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:45
Where do we start.....
lack of weight over back wheels...
lack of security for things you would normally leave in the back....
crappy leg room and arm rests....
brown interior.....
I went through your thoughts whilst i was looking for a 4bee....
AnswerID: 50858

Reply By: Davoe - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:53

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:53
My next vehicle will be a ute with canopy set up with bed in back. With that budget you could get a 79 series ute with coil springs front and more room behind the seats. Be very wary of ex mine vehicles do not buy them and assume a ute you are looking at is and leave it up to the seller to prove it isnt and never has been DO NOT BUY ONE NO MATTER WHAT CONDITION IT APPEARS TO BE IN. same goes for std deisal 100 series. 80 series would be a better bet as they are a bit smaller and lighter if you are after a wagon. I would be a bit hesitant to strap a turbo onto a 1hz as apparantly they dont like them and led to toyota dropping the td from the 80 series which is why the current td has had significant changes
AnswerID: 50861

Follow Up By: Cruza - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:01

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:01

I haven't had a close up look at a 79 series ute. How much room do they have behind the seats?

Cheers for the response!
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Follow Up By: biscuits - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:07

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:07
I could be way off here but I think there was a recent (maybe current) edition of 4WD monthly with an article that compares a factory 1HD-FTE 100 series vs a 1HZ 100 Series with a aftermarket (DTS?) turbo kit producing very similar figures to the 1HD-FTE ... dont quote me on that one tho as im still waiting to get my latest magazines back off a mate so i can read them!! :)

Oh and about the mine vehicles - yeah a lot of them are very dodgy - I couldnt believe how smashed up a few 100 series ex-miners were at the auctions last night - amazing how hammered some of them get. Still, doesnt mean there isnt the odd decent one out there.

FollowupID: 312612

Follow Up By: Davoe - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:08

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:08
only a bit more, lets you put the seat back a bit if you have long legs and store a bit of stuff camera 1st aid box hf radio hard hat etc dont get it confused with space cab conversions you see with the window behind the seats and smaller trays
FollowupID: 312613

Follow Up By: Davoe - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:16

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:16
oh! and my coments on ex miners were directed at w.a mine vehicles which are coated 24/7 underneath with mud made from water many more times salty than the sea which is used to wet the roads down and flows into the bottom of pits and down declines vehicles can also be washed in the same water. most minesites are short of fresh water so washing of the vehicles are infrequent dont know about other states mines but still wouldnt buy an ex miner
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Follow Up By: biscuits - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 16:31

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 16:31
easy tiger, point taken. i wasnt having a go.

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Follow Up By: Davoe - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 17:25

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 17:25
???? I wasnt actually firing up - just a bit of info for those who may consider a mine vehicle, you are right could still be some good ones around but you would be best to pass them by unless they are very cheap and you know what you may be getting into. beware the mines often ofload them with relitively low ks and they are picked up at auction by shrewd car yards who give them a damn good clean and a dulux rebuild then get good money from ususpecting buyers - miner na mate. I have caught a few out trying this but there is a way to tell which i cant divulge or they will be onto me!!
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Follow Up By: biscuits - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 17:35

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 17:35
My bad, sorry mate. Text messages on the internet aren't the best media to judge whether someones having a go or not :)

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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:57

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 13:57
HI Cruza, we have just been through this, sort of. We have a plastic 100s (the cheaest) and have been doing lots of camping in it etc. but are now going to buy a Ute. One, we need to upgrade our old work ute but have decided to buy the Ute for camping as well. (I had a 60s which I loved to death - until I got the 100s). We are a couple (at the moment!) but have found that we have more options with the Ute set out the way we want it - and that goes for 2 labradors who camp as well (they might not like the idea of not having airconditioning in the back of the ute). Good luck with it.
AnswerID: 50862

Follow Up By: Cruza - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:05

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:05
Hi Ruth,

Sounds like we are thinking along the same lines, I only need two seats and have a dog as well. How would you be setting yours up? I wouldn't get a canopy if I got a ute, but I was thinking I would put atleast one large lockable tool box on the tray, so I would have a 'boot' sized compartment to safely store stuff. I guess what I am thinking about is where to put all the weekley shopping bags and everyday things like that, that it would seem wouldn't fit in the cabin.

Thanks again for the feedback.
FollowupID: 312611

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:21

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 14:21
Cruza, we use our old ute when we are holidaying east and just put the shopping on the tray or locked in the front and the dogs are tied in the back. With the new Ute we are probably going 79 Turbo - there is extra room behind the front seats and standard smoko things in there - but can put the shopping etc there. We are going to put two bows, front and back of tray so we can put a canopy on for camping. I have existing chuck wagon with Engel which will fit behind the passenger side on front of tray (am going to undo hinges on table on front of chuck wagon, make legs for it so can use it on the ground), have cage for dogs along back. Other gear on drivers side. We don't sleep in the vehicle because we prefer our Freedom tent. Would like roll-out awnings on side of canopy also. This is our theory. Very good reports on fuel economy on 79 Turbo also.
FollowupID: 312616

Reply By: Member - Raymond - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 18:04

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 18:04
Hi Cruza
If you are after a Ute, upgrade to a GU ute, more room that the Toyota, choice of all coils or rear leaf. Join us happy Nissan people on the Forum, you can alkways use the money to join as a member of Exploroz and the balance will give you your first good holiday
Like Truckster, I'm not biased
AnswerID: 50913

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 22:53

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 22:53
Utes, amazing how many mates are MOVING or need bleep picked up etc...

Had a rodeo ute for just under 10 years, wouldnt have another ute.. As others have said, even with canopy, no security.. None. No room inside, if things change and you have kids, or woman with kids or want to take friends away our out with you, your FUBAR...

any 100 series you get for $30k will be crap.

Also check rego and insurance, I think you will find they are more on utes, they used to be..

AnswerID: 50987

Reply By: Justin - Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 23:04

Thursday, Mar 18, 2004 at 23:04

I have a 80 series diesel 1997 dual cab, ex hire (probably ex mine). I too was very concerned about the rust/treatment of them but I paid $23000 for it two years ago with 130k on the clock. The going price back then was about $34k for a butchered cruiser, so I thought that gives me 10k I can spend on it. The 1HZs are bloody slow but will always get you there. I now have 180k on it and have had no major dramas, but the gearbox whines, and always has. Every mechanic says thats just how they are. As for off road performance they are great. The spare wheel is tucked up higher than the wagon, the tray doesn't hit and they have heavy duty coils on the rear (about a 50mm lift front and rear). As for all the hang over the back it's true but you can fold the back seat up and put heavy stuff in the cab. 1 day after I bought it I loaded it up with 42 cartons of XXXX, heaps of gear and towed a 4.5m challenger tinny loaded up and drove 3000k to Borroloola from Bne and back again. It went great, but I had minimal steering, this year I am putting airbags in the rear coils before I go again. They are a poverty pack but I quite like the 6 seats, and the air con is great. The one I bought had its lifes service history, average 6k services and max was 13k. I got it from Four Wheel Drive hire service at Newmarket Brisbane, they sell them every few months.

The mining worried me as I have also been told that the water and soil can contain salt and other corrosive materials. The one I got had a Body Guard rust system on it. about 2 months after I bought it I was cleaning it and found the chassis full of red soil, it took about 4hrs to flush it all out.
AnswerID: 50988

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