Advice on Buying

Submitted: Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 13:24
ThreadID: 12900 Views:2012 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

I'm looking at buying a four wheel drive, with a budget of around $15 000, and have come up with a few options, and thought I would try to research these as best I can before parting with my hard earned dollars. Firstly, I am looking for a vehicle that will mostly sit in my driveway. I public transport it to work, and most of my driving will still be done in my other car. The 4WD will mainly be used for a bit of towing, limited off roading and carrying a great dane....

My only prerequisite is that I am a manual transmission driver, and of course, I like a few of the finer things in life, ie air con and power steering.
Thus far I am weighing up a V8 Land Rover Discovery and Mitsubishi Pajero V6 - 1992 - 1995 models of each. Both seem to be well featured, but both have pros and cons.
I found that a couple of Disco's out there are 2 door, albeit orphans on a used market - as a lot of people will want a 4WD for the "family" advantage they offer, so a 2 door may very well be a better car for the price, and 2 doors for me is no problem. So far I have found many more manual Disco's out there opposed to Pajero's. That being said - I live in Melbourne and feel I have a greater chance of finding a Pajero that has seen zilch off road work than a Disco.

I will be happy with either vehicle, but I think I will be happier with a dsicovery, but am concerned about overall bad faults / traits of each - though figuring a disco will be more expensive to repair than a Pajero.

I am not limited to either vehicle however, so please feel free to mention other vehicles, but I am trying to keep within a 10 year age bracket.

All in all, the price of purchase cannot be the main issue - vehicle ownership extends far and wide to maintenance, insurance, accessorising etc, and like all people I am trying to get the most bang for my buck.


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Reply By: mijochka - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:17

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:17
Have you considered an imported HJ 61 Landcruiser? Admittedly these are a little older than your stated parameters and most, but not all are autos.
Mileages have to be treated with suspicion, but some that I have seen (in Brisbane) seem to be in very good condition and very well equipped. To the best of my knowledge they are mechanically identical to the locally delivered version except for being 24 volt.
AnswerID: 58714

Reply By: DJ1979 - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:29

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:29
I had considered 60 series Cruisers, my brother owns one and appears to be problem free - but i feel that something that is heading onto 15 years old is getting a little long in the tooth, and is therefore more prone to niggly problems taht come with age - and of course higher km's, it is one thing to get a decent car with a reco engine, but the shell, seats, dash, etc etc etc will still have done the last 15 years of driving. Initially i thought about a cruiser or patrol, but figured whilst the size would be handy - I'd rather get a newer mid size 4wd, and *hopefully* avoid some age issues.
AnswerID: 58716

Reply By: Jon - '88 TD42 GQ - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 18:00

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 18:00
The Pajero V6 doesn't have the longest life based on research I did when I was looking. The older 3L has been known to need a rebuild as early as 100K but 200K is pretty average. Seems they rarely get past 250. The newer 3.8Ls seem to be similar, I know my mum's one is starting to drop it's guts. I'm willing to stand corrected by those more experienced with the vehicle.

A lot of people seem to think the discos are full of issues but I'm yet to see anything to convince me. Only thing is the alluminum body is very exepensive to fix if you bust anything and as a result I understand they are expensive to insure, any Disco owners want to confirm or deny?

Looked at GQ Patrols at all? For 15 you couls get a decent diesel will air and power steer. Actually a much more comfy vehicle than it looks. I ened up with one when searching with a $13 000 budget, mind you we don't necessarily want the same theing in a vehicle! Steer clear of the petrols and the 2.8 diesel though.

AnswerID: 58727

Reply By: Member Eric - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 19:02

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 19:02
I Disugree with Jon about steerring away from Petrol . The legend of a diesel is a mith in my eyes , Yes they are econimical , yes they have great torque if you want to tow a large van or boat , and yes I know some remote places only sell diesel . The cons are , hefty repair bills , a pump reco will cost you almost the same as a petrol rebuild , so i dont see a saving there . The extra kms you get out of a tank of diesel will not cover $600 to $1000 injector replacement ext . If you were in the market for a new car , i would recoment the diesel since you wont have to worry about these maintance costs . I personaly don't like the mechanics in Dico , they do seem to cost a arm and a leg when something goes wrong . I am a fan of Pajero's i think there a go anywere 4x4 , most of them get 250,000 kms with few problems . At the end of the day you need to make sure the vehicle you purchase has been maintained well and dosn;t show sighnes of been mistreated . Jon's recomendation of a GQ in the mid ish 90's is a good one , I think there are a very good vehicle for the money you need to spend on one . I have seen afew around the 1995 mod at work for around the $15,00 mark with resnable kms .

happy hunting Also , if you let as know what area of Melbourne your from , we can recoment mechanics to inspect your vehicle for you .

AnswerID: 58730

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:42

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:42
I'm a diesel owner and will probally be one for a while, however I agree with you Eric, petrols are not all that bad. The 4.2EFI GQ of uppys does pretty bloody well fuel wise, considering it's size and wieght.
However in saying that , I love my diesel! ;-)
FollowupID: 320573

Reply By: Patroleum - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 21:59

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 21:59

The GQ petrol could be the go, my parents own one now done 383000km, Original engine (Has had new cyl head). Has had a very hard life, is ultra reliable and just keeps on going. I don't mind saying so, it is a great old wagon, as i own an 80 series l-c petrol. If you can stretch your budget to maybe 19000 you would secure a good 80 series petrol too.

Good luck

AnswerID: 58751

Reply By: lazylcd - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 00:33

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 00:33
if you are considering a GQ patrol, you might even look at the rebadged ford maverick, same car, also both marques also came in 2 door swb versins, same engines as the long wheel base, plenty of room in the back for a dog, easier to park than the lwb too, all this comming from a lwb gq onwer :oD, i went for the larger for the ability to carry more cargo inside but for just a dog, or even a weekend away etc, then the shorty is worth a look. spend about $12,000 or so and have some $$$$ to spare, for a pretty reliable car
AnswerID: 58760

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 07:07

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 07:07
how about a Jeep...

we bought our (2nd car) 97 Cherokee, TD 5sp for 18 (paid less than that) so they are out there!
AnswerID: 58765

Reply By: Member - Des - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 09:46

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 09:46
How about a Jackaroo? You seem to get more for your money than with Pajero, without the "truck" quality of a Patrol, and without the reliability/maintenance issues of Discovery (particularly early ones). Downside seems to be torsion bar IFS and mediocre ground clearance, but there wouldn't be much between Jackaroo and Pajero off-road.
AnswerID: 58776

Follow Up By: Sparkie - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 18:28

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 18:28
I have a jackaroo 92 and it is a good clean driving vehicle.It is my first 4wd but I am more than happy with it and would recommend it to anyone. Mine cost 10k but with the change I can do things to it like extra lights, decent stereo, and gps gear for navigation.
I would say from all the stories I have heard and read they are not prone to lots of inherent problems as some 4wd's


Sparkie(IE not Y);-)
FollowupID: 320493

Reply By: DJ1979 - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 11:14

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 11:14
Thanks for the responses!

As far as Patrols go, I have considered it, and its stablemate the maverick, but I was hoping to get something in the early 90's, and the decent patrols out there are still pulling some decent money - but I will monitor these prices for the moment, if someone is desperate to sell or the buy of the century turns up - I will be pretty happy with one.
As far as Cherokee's go, I used to drive one as a company car a few years ago - I'm 6'3, and found my head was remakably close to the roof lining, meaning i was looking through the top of the windscreen as opposed to looking trhough the middle of it, so I feel a cherokee is a tad too small to fit me!
Jackaroo. Hmmm.. like all vehicles I have heard the good th bad and the ugly about them, but after a little research ita ppears you do get a lot of car for the money - and as the vehilce will only do limited off roading (assisted my dad's "accessorised beyond belief" Cruiser), the 4WD limitations it possesses shouldnt be too much of a stress for me.
As far as the Jackaroo goes, 3.2 or 3.5 V6?
And just to throw a spanner in the works, how many people know anythign about Musso's? I come from the auto industry, so I am very famililar with Benz's silky smooth 3.2 V6, but apart from that I know very little about the vehicle, but the do offer a LOT of car for not much money.
AnswerID: 58782

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:46

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:46
The only limitation of the jackeroo is a slightly lower over angle as the gearbox and cross member hang down a little, easily fixed for less than a grand at a good suspension placewith a 2" lift. IFS, nothin wrong with it, don't listern to all these stuborn people still stuck in the dark ages who've never owned a 4by with IFS.
Doesn't stop me goin anywhere.
FollowupID: 320574

Reply By: crowie - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:33

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:33

I traded in a 92 TI Patrol with 4.2 duel fuel on a demo GU Patrol 3 years ago and was originally offered only $13000. To get a sale they eventually gave me $19000. What I'm saying is that there should be similar vehicles retailing for around the price your lookng at now. Mine was a great vehicle and got rid of it reluctantly. I had spent a fair bit of money too, adding Koni's, King springs, a new gas convertor and five A/T tyres about 3 months before I traded it. The only thing I didn't like was the range, particularly in low range 4wd. Hence the change to a diesel. Wish I could have kept it.

For what you want I suggest you stick to petrol and do consider the various makes. One thing about the GQ with the petrol 4.2 - they wont let you down if their looked after. Just make sure you check that the vehicle has been looked after, particularl that wheel bearings etc have been repacked regularly, something that city slickers neglect.

AnswerID: 58972

Reply By: pathfinder - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:17

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:17
200tdi Disco manual 2-door - great vehicle, economical, excellent off-road, comfortable, reliable (with regard to all major components) and cheaper to fix than a Toyota.

Of course, you can't go wrong with a diesel GQ either...
AnswerID: 59067

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