Why are there so many Hilux Surfs for sale?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 08:20
ThreadID: 12177 Views:5948 Replies:12 FollowUps:13
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It seems that there are a lot of people getting rid of Surfs. Why is that, I am looking for a 4wd and would like to know why I should avoid Surfs. I know they are imported but Are parts hard to source? I have finally got about $ 20k together for a decent 4wd but every time I see something I like I look on the Net for advice I always find something to make me steer clear of a particular 4wd.
Is there a Particular 4wd I should aim for?
My situation is, family of four( two very young childeren) looking to go camping, towing camper trailer both coast and inland But I am not into rockhopping or serious off road stunts. Probably spend most of my time in caravan parks but that shouldnt concern what 4wd I should have. Also I will be pulling a 5.25 m half cabin alum boat on braked trailer when not camping and I get time.
Fuel is a major concern as I thought of buying a 60 series landcruiser and doing it up but 20/25 litres per hundred is to heavy on the backpocket and I dont want to go camping and spend all the money on fuel!
Anyhow that's my ongoing dillema and any help will be GREATLY APPRECIATED
I live in Bundy and I am still looking for my first 4wd.
Thanks for any replys

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Reply By: Davoe - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:41

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:41
60 series tojo would be alright they were largly responsible for toyotas popularity and are smaller and lighter than the current crop of huge overweight offerings. They are getting a bit long in the tooth now so a thorough pre purchase inspection would be advised. As for fuel try the sahara with the diesal 12ht turbo as it is a great motor. A sahara would fit into your budget and would have the advantage of making it easy to find a good low k vehicle that hasnt been offroad as these were the first of the "toorak tractors"
AnswerID: 54923

Reply By: tour boy - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:49

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:49
Most surfs (and other grey imports) have had between 200 and 300k wound off the speedo and virtually all of them crack the head between the valves in every cylinder. My mechanic gets all of the surfs sent to him from the local Toyota dealer who won't fix them, and he now won't work on them either.
My father in law has one he had to put a new head, turbo, pump, injectors and the bastard still overheats on along run without towing and the speedo still only says 90k. He has had it 2 years and hates it but can't afford to get rid of it . He paid 20 k for it but to trade it is worth 5k.
I will be in Bundy in a few weeks if you want to look at a good landcruiser 62 series sahara. 100lt LPG, 90 lt petrol 1 oil leak but thats all all sahara extras (fridge/icemaker, dual air, electric windows, sunroof etc) only 357000k bullbar towbar, lights, new susp near new tyres, excellent cond. on lpg I get 500km approx to the tank and only cost $35 to fill in Blue mts Nsw.Time to trade up to an 80series. let me know if your'e interested.
AnswerID: 54924

Follow Up By: Phil G - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:23

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:23
The cracked heads and overheating was with the pre '93 2.4 turbo-diesel surfs. The 3 litre had the 1KZ motor, and was a better proposition.

Also add that many insurance companies won't insure surfs.

FollowupID: 316611

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:34

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:34
"most insurance companies won't insure surfs"? What a load of crap.
Heads crack because people overheat the engines, people overheat the engines because they don't service the cooling systems.
Who would get a toyota dealer to service any car?, they charge like wounded bulls! My local mechanic services my surf and charges me stuff all.
The 1kz-te motor in my surf is the same motor as the 3.0td Hilux and Prado.
If your car overheats it's because the cooling system is not working. Fix it.
I don't know where ALL these surfs for sale are, I had a hard time finding my 3.0l 1995, there weren't many for sale.
I have a family and we go 4wding and camping all the time. Our surf is fantastic on road and off road and gives as no trouble.
FollowupID: 316640

Follow Up By: Phil G - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:19

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:19
Hi Jeff,

You've misquoted what I said about insurance. "Many" and "most" mean different things.

The 1KZ-TE is a great motor - thats why I own one. I wouldn't buy a 2.4.

I have followed the surf lists for a long time - the following is a quote from a thread on the Yahoo list from June 2003 - thread called "insurance sagas":

Hello all, just a brief on my insurance sagas, I've owned my 3ltr
ssrxltd for four years and been ins by nrma that was until I
received my new premium...Sum ins $22000..premium $1600 and thats
for a cat 1 , 47 year old driver. Did the call around to nearly
every ins co I could find and the answer was always no we dont ins
imports but thanks to this group and all the valuable posts I email
Aust 4wd ins and with no problems at all ins went down to
$720...still dear but at least the surf is covered..
FollowupID: 316706

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:34

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:34
Phil G, I suppose it depends when these people have had insurance quotes, when I bought my surf in November I rang up what was my current insurance company (SGIO) and asked to change my insurance over to a new (second hand) car. A 1995 Surf. I asked if there would be any problems and he said "No, surfs and terranos are so popular now and parts aren't a problem so there is no drama insuring them". He also said that the only reason imports have a bad name in the insurance game is because of high performance cars like 300zx's and supras. You're not exactly going to be draging people off in and automatic diesel 4wd...
26yrs old, one point left. Insured with all the crap for $640 per year (paying by the month) insured for $22k. I was paying about $600 for my last 4wd and it was only isured for $17k, so I think that's more than reasonable. If I'm wrong, cool, but I think it's alright.
FollowupID: 316794

Reply By: chubbs - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:57

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 09:57
G'day Mate

If you have your heart set on a surf i would be doing some seroius research cause even though surfs are a grey import there are spare parts dealers that specialize in grey imports cars and 4wd and just see how hard parts are to get for a surf.
i would stay away from they
But every car has its bad points

If you are doing alot of towing maybe look at a 80 series landcruiser or 3.0 hilux they will tow a camper trailer very comfortably cause if you buy some under powered it will cost you more in fuel

All The Best


AnswerID: 54926

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:00

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:00
AnswerID: 54928

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 11:53

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 11:53
Bit thirsty though.

FollowupID: 316625

Reply By: REXY - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:27

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:27
I currently own a 93 2.4 t/d smurf mobile. i have done a fair bit of work to it (just the usual suspects) to get it ready for offroad use. A s you mnight or might not have noticed the standard surf suspension is serioulsy not up to the drill. i had a 40mm sag in the ass end. a quick tirp to ARB in darwin and a new set of OME's all round fixed that. another problem is fuel ecconomy. out of the standard tank i was only getting aprox 430km out of 70 ltrs (oook that might have somthing to do with i went from owning a v6 ute yo the surf) so another trip to ARB and now i got 200 ltrs.
OOOOOOOkkkkkkkk...........now mecanical stuff: (problems i have had)

Cracked pedal assembly
Master cyclinder / slave cylinder and clutch
Fly wheel destroying itself and in the process taking out my new clutch ( more on that to follow)
new radiator
And now ive got at least 2 oil leaks comming from around my turbo
oh yeah and how could i for get my idler and pitman arm

Ok back to the fly wheel. the fly wheel on most (?) surf has spring in the guts of it. when these let go its pretty spectacular to see what is left in the bottom of the bell housing (read a handful of crap) that little lesson cost my $1900 in parts and labour

On the possitve side
ive kept up with 80's/100's St/Dx pajeros and the like on just about everything around the nowra area where i live. the only thing that has sotpped me usually are the lack of a locker. the indi front end dosnt lend itself to wheel travel but after scaring the hell out of myself once or twice i have learnt the point at wich the wheels will come off the ground .

The 2.4 is an Ok engine provided you dont want to go tear assing up any hills bigger than a speed bump and i have no dramas towing my dads ski boat (1200 kg on the trailer). speaking from experience i would stay away from them but it is my first truck and if nothing else i have learnt a hell of a lot about working on diesls from it . But i have to be totally honest with you mate, as soon as i get the money im jumping the fence for either a 100's or a patrol

If you want anymore info mate e-mail me at lee.hunt2@defence.gov.au

Have agood one

AnswerID: 54934

Follow Up By: REXY - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:31

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:31
for got to add. NRMA will insure them but only for MARKET VALUE no agreed. and most of the parts i have had to replace are never surf stuff its either rolux or 4 runner

FollowupID: 316614

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:37

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:37
There was a problem with the clutch and bell housing on 5 spd manual surfs, however there are not alot of manuals around, specially in the 3.0 as most were autos. the auto box is unreal.
FollowupID: 316642

Follow Up By: klast - Saturday, Apr 24, 2004 at 11:34

Saturday, Apr 24, 2004 at 11:34
Jeff M, what exactly is the problem with the surf clutches?
I have '94 1kzte 5spd, and its clutch seems a bit iffy with 1st gear clutchwork, needs revs

FollowupID: 317589

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2004 at 10:53

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2004 at 10:53
To be perfectly honest klast, I am not sure on the exact details as I have an auto and just wiped my brow and thought, cool I don't have to worry about that! ;-)
There was some discussion about it on the yahoo surf site, but you could probally find some info here as well: Surf Owners Association"
FollowupID: 317962

Reply By: uppy - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:32

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 10:32
Hi Sparkie,Ive had a surf in NZ for a few years it was a import,It went ok,But i traded up to a gq patrol(the family got bigger) The man you want to talk to is Jeff WA he has a 3lt surf ,which goes like a cut cat. We went for a drive in the hills around Perth.it seems to have plenty of power and is will appointed inside,Compared to my school bus (4.2 efi gq patrol) I think if you find one get it checked out and go for it.
regards uppy
AnswerID: 54936

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 12:54

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 12:54
$20K - have a look at jackaroos , heaps in your price range, many well looked after. Fantastic all rounder. (yes i am biased :-) )
AnswerID: 54952

Follow Up By: Member - Des - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 12:14

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 12:14
Jacks look good value against Prado/Pajero.

But what about the transfer case sticking out? Seems to reduce ground clearance a lot.

And the torsion bar IFS - like Pajero. Can it be upgraded for greater articulation?

How thirsty are they?
FollowupID: 317063

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 09:33

Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 09:33
Hi Des, Jacks are great value, trans case not a big problem, on the petrol the rh exhaust collector hangs lower anyway, they have ok bash plates..like any mid size unit you end up straddling the big ruts anyway.

ifs - same as any other ifs (paj etc) travell is limited by the bumpstops, you can lift the front about 30 - 40 mm without sacrificing too much down travell, this will match most of the aftermarket rear coils (efs etc.) which have around 40 mm lift. The rear can have taller coils and longer travell shocks for better artic at the rear, but the front will never be close. But all jacks have great lsd rear..

Thirsty ? yeah the v6 autos are, the manual is not bad, check my post after easter for some figures. the v6 can be easily improved.
The td is great on juice, but you will pay more in servicing with top quality oils etc.

Take one for a spin, you will be impressed. Cheers Brad
FollowupID: 317290

Follow Up By: Member - Des - Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 10:12

Thursday, Apr 22, 2004 at 10:12
Thanks Bradley. Will do.
FollowupID: 317302

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:46

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:46
This is my second Surf - I had a 95 model and it was great but I decided to upgrade just as the import market was closing with the Surfs. It is funny though I am presently deciding to sell the Surf as I will be renovating the house - but looking around at what other vehicles are out there with equivalent specs I am having second thoughts. My thing has all the bells and whistles and has the same motor and chassis/suspension as the Prado. If I am to replace it I would have to purchase a Prado Grande and I would be looking at around $45+K I believe - the Surfs are good value for money.
Parts I have had no problems with parts - I have had no reliability problems except for a leaking rear axle seal - it was a hilux part. There are a number of web sites that focus and Surfs and these forums are great as they can provide the correct part numbers etc for these vehicles - Toyota dealers quite often don't want to know about them and cannot look up the parts as they do not have the correct part CD's (some do though).
Insurance is an issue !
But the 3L diesel Surf - you should be able to buy privately a good 95 model for $17K with around 100 000 on the clock.
When I was in the Kimberley a mechanic offerred to buy my vehicle at Derby - he said the locals up here love them as they are cheap and can hack the roads - he also said sourcing the parts were not problem as long as you knew the part numbers (he had the correct CD's).
AnswerID: 54958

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:47

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:47
For $20k there are a lot of options. Surf is one. I had 20k to spend, and I wanted a low Km Diesel. Jackeroo's that were around that price were in very bad shape and still a little high on the k's. Tojo's, bloody hell they were all 200,000 or more on the k's.
Got my 3.0l Surf (it's the way to go if you got that kind of money, don't stuff around with the tired old 2.4's) and it's awsome. Very easy to work on, goes excellent. These people who have never owned a surf who insist on bagging them out were the reason I didn't by one 4 years ago, instead I went for a different 4by and then ended up having to loose money and trade up to a surf anyway as I needed a bigger car for the family. So yes I'm a little bitter about these people who go "ARRRGH IMPORT, STAY AWAY, DON'T TOUCH IT, BLAH BLAH BLAH". go row your own boats guys, comment on fact not "I had a mate, uncle, aunty' ex roomates second son's brother in law who had one and all the prolems blah blah blah."
If you want a surf, go to this site: Toyota Surf Owners Association and talk to them, they will actually give you information you can use. Like any 4by, get it checked out. Don't belive what the person to you is saying without it on paper.
Good luck in your purchase!
AnswerID: 54959

Follow Up By: Sparkie - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:11

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:11
Thanks Jeff M

I will heed your advice and check out the site. My friend just bought a 4runner rv6 1993 model and I sat in the back and have come to realize that the back seats are a bit "Cosy" so I think for My kids sake and my Sanity I may have to look at a Jackaroo or Pajero 1995 v6 petrol model perhaps. I think the surf may be to "Cosy" in the back as well as a 4runner(no surfs for sale in Bundy at the moment) so good luck with your surf it sounds like you are happy with it but my needs "Sanity" have made me think I might go for something slightly larger:-)
FollowupID: 316653

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:17

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 14:17
For sure sparkie, Surf's generally have a lot better seats in them than the oz models, I'm 6'3" and 105kg and am more than comfertable in the front, however you are correct my wife has sat in the back on a few trips when Big Benny (a mate of mine) has come along (his name says it all, hey uppy!) ;-) and she is cosy. I've got a 6 year old and another on the way, so the ol' surf will be fine for another 7 years or so as the little bloke doesn't even touch his feet on the floor yet! ;-) But yeah, in the back it's almost just a glorifed dual cab lux as far as leg room goes. Plenty of space in the cargo area though, and I've got a roof rack basket on mine too.
AnswerID: 54966

Reply By: GrantWA - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:35

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:35
Sparkie, I've recenty been in your situation and am pleased to be out of it. I had a similar budget, similar kid situation and also have a camper trailer. I had a look around at the market and decided that either the surf, forerunner, paj or jack would have been just the right size. I however wanted a diesel (preferably turbo) which pretty much ruled out the forerunner. I had a look at some surfs but like you, was worried by negative comments about parts etc. I also wondered whether the fact that surfs are no longer imported would soon start to have a negative effect on price. In terms of driveability (and probably reliability) though, I'd have a surf.

So we decided to stick with paj or jack in a td. Pretty rare over here in WA, not sure about over there. Anyway, one popped up all of a sudden so grabbed it. 94 NJ Paj Turbo Diesel GLS, 170km for $16k. Got all the extras we wanted and is spotless, never been off the bitumen etc. (well it has now!) And I saved some $$$ - we were prepared to go to around $25k.

By the way, I was told that the imported vehicles (surfs) have a lower back seat than the aussie models. Not sure if it's true, and not sure whether it bothers you, but the kids may appreciate the better visibility of the aussie models?

I guess patience is the key. Good luck...rather you than me!

AnswerID: 55057

Reply By: Member - Allan - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 02:09

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 02:09
Sparkie, is this going to be a 'second' vehicle? If so and it is not going to be used to get the groceries, I would go for the larger vehicle & preferably diesel. Yes they are a bit heavier & not as nimble but after a period of time with a smaller 4x4 you will probably end up 'trading -up' anyway (especially if towing a boat). There are still some nice 80's around even if they are getting a bit old. They will be in your price range and most will already have a few extras.
AnswerID: 55079

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