Towing capacities!

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 17:27
ThreadID: 135928 Views:5573 Replies:10 FollowUps:27
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We have a dilemma with our beloved 80 series Landcruiser. We originally purchased it for it's off road capabilities. This year we traded the camper trailer for a 20ft van, all the time assuming our old girl had a towing capacity of 3500kg, as we had heard this around the traps and believed it as she is so tough and capable. This week we discovered 80 series made from 1990 to 8/96 are only rated to tow 2500kg by Toyota. We can get a GVM upgrade easy enough but this won't allow us to tow the new 2900kg van. Has anyone else had this problem and is there a solution as we don't want to part with her!!!
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 17:55

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 17:55
You haven't stated build date on the compliance plate. This will have a bearing on the answers you get as there was a chasis upgrade incorporated in 1995.
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 18:05

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 18:05
Ours is a '92 model
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:17

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:17
In which case I'm pretty sure you are stuck with the current 2500kg max towing mass.
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:21

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:21
Must be a damn heavy 20 foot van, for it to be above 2500kg

I was only just having convo with old man about their camper/small caravan and wondering what its actual GTM really is once its loaded up with food etc.

As i am sure its overweight for my Prado but within specs of this 80 series

smaller van perhaps in order ?

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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:49

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 19:49
Hi. Our 2015 Olympic Kingfisher is 2400kg empty with a payload of 550kg brings it up to 2950kg fully loaded. We just purchased it this year for our venture of working around that big island north of us!
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 20:11

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 20:11
I feel your pain as I am probably about to part company with my trusty old 1991 Landcruiser too ... a normally aspirated diesel. I only tow a Tvan but the hills seem steeper and longer now ... :(

Still goes well once we get over the Gt Dividing Range provided there are no headwinds ,,,

Good luck.
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 23:01

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 23:01
Looks like you'll have to save up for an F-truck something big that can tow it safely and within it's limits or get a lighter van. Sounds like you didn't do your homework and may have made an expensive mistake your not the first.
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Follow Up By: William P - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 11:29

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 11:29
Or buy a Landrover :-)
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Dec 03, 2017 at 18:10

Sunday, Dec 03, 2017 at 18:10
Yes a rover would be a lot safer than using a ute.
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Reply By: Jim-Bob1 - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 23:05

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 23:05
Hi Tas-tourers,
Hop onto LCOOL.org and ask them. You may have to join but it is free to join.

I'm not 100% sure but if your 80 series has 4 wheel disc brakes and manual you can tow 3000 kg.

regards Jim-Bob
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 05:30

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 05:30
Thanks for the useful info, will give it a try.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 17:43

Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 17:43
Pretty sure thats not correct unfortunately
If the manufacturer has specified a limit, unfortunately you cannot just ignore it legally just because it has a manual gearbox etc.
LCOOL is a magnificent site but noone can re-engineer a vehicle for a greater tow capacity as it is a combination of the whole package including chassis strength, drive train, stability, axle loading etc.
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Reply By: Theo D - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 11:30

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 11:30
Don't think theres alot you can do here... bit of a bugger really!

Hopped in a twin turbo v8 Sahara a few weeks ago. I am sure that would tow it without you even knowing. Probably has a towing capacity to pull Tasmania back into the bight!
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 13:11

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 13:11
Funny one mate! The factory turbo pulls the van no prob it's the low rating put on it by Toyota that has stuffed us.
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Reply By: splits - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 17:29

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 17:29
Putting a 2500 kg or heavier van 20 feet long behind an 80 series is not a real good idea. The car will pull it but it is the engine that is doing that. If the van starts yawing at highway speeds, it is the weight and dimensions of the tow car that is going to have to control it. A car the size and weight of an 80 will really have its hands full and would be in with a very good chance of ending up upside down along with the van. You need something with a longer wheelbase, a lot more weight and the shortest possible distance between the rear axle and the tow ball. A GVM upgrade will not change any of those things.

These two links may help.Towing Weights.
Car/Van Dynamics

Big long and heavy caravans are about the most unstable things that you can tow on the road when speeds get up a bit. There are plenty of things that can weigh 2500 kg that are nowhere near the height and length of a 2500 kg caravan. An 80 will safely and reliably tow many of them. That is all they have to do to comply with Toyota's claims. Car manufactures do not claim their products are capable of towing every type of trailer anywhere in any conditions.



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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 20:15

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 20:15
Splits
Not long ago I had a gander at quite a few possible towing vehicle specs. If I recall correctly, almost without exception the so called "3500kg" utes had a similar gvm cf a later model 80 series, about the same wheelbase and a very similar distance from the rear axle to the towball. Indeed the dimensional specs for an 80 series are also close to the popular 100 series favoured by many as a safe caravan towing vehicle.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: splits - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 20:50

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 20:50
"Indeed the dimensional specs for an 80 series are also close to the popular 100 series favoured by many as a safe caravan towing vehicle."

Yes the utes as well as the 100 and 200 series are popular tow vehicles but that does not make them immune to the laws of physics. Have a look at the endless number of caravan crashes on the net either in still photos or on Utube. I am still waiting to see a crashed ute or Landcruiser with a van of around 15 feet long behind it They are always up around the 18 to 25 foot size. You can also bet those vans are up near the weight of the tow cars or over it. They may be legal but there will always be a question mark hanging over their ability to keep the van in line if something like wind or the driver taking sudden evasive action causes it to change course suddenly at highway speeds. The combination can and occasionally does go from feeling very stable to disaster in less than ten seconds.

It is only the stable combinations that crash. The unstable feeling ones get taken carefully to somebody who can fix the problem. They are then ready to go out onto the roads and take their chances. .
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 14:20

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 14:20
.
Yes Splits, yet another van put its wheels in the air at Forest Glen on the Bruce Hwy this week. A regular occurrence at this location. It's the first (gentle) downhill grade after leaving Brisbane. I figure that the van gently pushes the car, gets to yaw a bit, a bit of driver reaction, then it all goes out of control.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: mountainman - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 23:16

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 23:16
Hi.
Depending on what year on what your 80series is.
Whether it has the upgraded brakes as the later model carries.
It is possible to have the towing capacity upped to 3500kg.
As far as toyota is concerned...
As some of the earlier models carried the upgraded brakes but toyota never bothered with upping the towing capacity.
As far as towbars concerned, some manufacturers made the exact same towbar to save costs and just used the 2500kg limit when in fact it is the EXACT SAME towbar as a 3500kg model.
Only difference is that the compliance plate states 2500kg not the 3500kg.
It is possible going to the manufacturer of said towbar and getting the higher rating compiance plate...IF its the exact same towbar that 3500 rating is made.
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 23:39

Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 23:39
This is an example of the exact thing you need to do


None of these armchair experts who know it all need to keyboard smash you with you cant do it replies...........
And never finding out the facts......




Just noticed there are some folks interested in this thread.

I'll provide a run down of how the process went for me. I would expect it may be different for others attempting to follow a similar process.
Firstly, I raised an enquiry using the online "Contact Us" section of the Toyota Australia website. I explained my enquiry in the "Your Message" section of the online form where I provided the VIN of my vehicle and the VIN of a 1997 model HDJ80 (JT711TJ8208102229) which I found on carsales. I explained that it was my understanding that my VIN had 2500kg max towing and the 1997 VIN had 3500kg max towing (although I could never officially verify 3500kg for the 1997). I was trying to establish if there was any difference between the 2 vehicles and could the 1995 VIN be rated to 3500kg towing.

This submission created an enquiry with the "Toyota Guest Centre" and I was contacted by phone shortly after to speak with the "Guest Advisor" I had been allocated. I was unsure how much time/effort would be allocated to a query relating to a vehicle the company made over 20 years ago but Alicia was fantastic. The phone conversation was to verify the understanding of my query and Alicia was going to call back in a few days with more information.
A couple of days later I was called and told their database of vehicle specifications (which had an acronym I can't recall) indicated both the 1995 and 1997 had the same entry and would therefore have the same towing capacity. I asked for something in writing which was initially met with some reluctance but then agreed to after I explained that the roads authority (Vicroads) had record of 2500kg towing for my VIN which I was requesting them to update. Alicia sent me an email with Toyota Australia header etc detailing a 3500kg towing capacity for my VIN.

Vicroads accepted the email and altered their database. I contacted my insurer who didn't really care but added a comment to the policy that 3500kg towing capacity was recorded for the vehicle.

If I was going through it again I'd probably start the enquiry with Toyota Australia a bit differently. I think I'd provide just my VIN and ask for verification of the towing capacity. This would likely yield the same result without the confusion of the 1997 VIN.

The towbar also needed to reflect the 3500kg rating - spoke to the local Toyota spare parts man who could provide a new towbar with 3500kg rating (claims that was the only option for my VIN), cost was around $310. I didn't go any further with this as I was fitting a Kaymar rear bar which was rated to




Do note....
From oct 92 the 80series came with upgraded brakes.
Earlier models can be retrofitted with the later model brakes.
Good luck and best of luck with the certification
The 80 is a superb model
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 07:57

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 07:57
Mountainman
My 1995 Series 80 has also been recertiified 3500kg. The only modification, which had already been done by a previous owner, was heavier rear coils.
The process was straightforward.
The GCM was amended accordingly, from memory something like 6350kg
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 10:38

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 10:38
I agree with Mountainmans and Andrews comments above, son had a 1995, 80 series that could be re certified to higher a GVM and GCM with a suitable towbar.

In your situation if in SA I would find out the differences between the 95 80 series and your 92 vehicle and get a quote on the vehicle changes/upgrades required, then bring the details to a certified engineer to get his approval for a go ahead to make the changes and he later to inspect and approve after the changes and submit the details to the Transport Department.

I have found that not all Certified Engineers have the same background, so you may have to look around.

Would also definitely join and research the Lcool Forum.

Peter
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Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 11:00

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 11:00
All of this information points to how to make it all legal but that does not change the fact that the car is too small to control a big van in an emergency situation. World wide research for the last twenty years or more has proven that. This goes back a few years but a lot more has been done since then.RESEACH.

A maximum weight figure is just a number. It can cover an endless number of trailer designs. This is one example.TRAILER A 2500 kg to 3500 kg version of this type is not going to worry an 80 series. It can't swing its ends from side to side and lever the back of the car around like a same weight caravan can. It would also put about 30 kg maximum on the tow ball.

The time to hook up caravans that weigh the car's maximum towing capacity is when the car manufacturer says it can do it in the specification sheet and the owners handbook. I can't see that ever happening. The book for my Toyota starts the towing information section with the words,

" Your vehicle is designed primarily as a passenger and load carrying vehicle. Towing a trailer will have an adverse effect on handling, performance, braking, durability and driving economy. "

I would imagine a van that is swinging around and is about to throw the car out of the way would come under the heading of having an adverse effect on handling. There is no shortage of owners who have discovered that the hard way.
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 13:59

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 13:59
Splits...
A vehiclesweights has got nothing to do with how much a trailer can legally at max weight be towed.
As being said, a properly balanced towing load, with a proper trailer setup suspension you can tow it safely, at max weight.
It doesn't matter what the vehicle weight is.
A 3.500t towing load that isnt well balanced or not the right suspension when swaying has the potential to take any vehicle off the road or even break the chassis or towbar off via sheering the bolts.
All these vehicle comments of being too light for a 3500kg trailer, has only come to your attention only recently. ..
Because sooooo many people are buying big massive vans and think towing at max road speed is safe or has no risk.
Sadly you will always see trailers pulling the vehicle off the road from trailer sway as its not just the owners fault but comes back to a poorly designed caravan or tandem trailer.
These suspension setups with a lazy rear leaf should be made illegal.
And only the centre pivot system / setup should be used.
It allows for a unevenly loaded trailer to be towed at highway speed.
I have had trailer sway happen to me.
In the rain !.
Lucky i got onto it early and didn't try to accelerate it out of swaying.
It doesn't matter what size vehicle you have , if youve got a 3500kg van on the back.
It starts to sway your going to be lucky to not have it pull you off the road if you dont see it in time.
Also how do you explain all these 5th wheelers not getting trailer sway on these dual cabs..rodeo, ford, and others.
Also think of the ratio of how many people are towing at 3500kg with these dual cabs.
The comments your making sound like Armageddon trailer accidents.
Fact is..
No matter what you drive , the amount of vehicles on the road there will always be a trailer involved in accidents.
Jumping to conclusions and making an assumption on a guess is silly.
There would have to be at least half a million vans on the road every year.
I dont see a 100,000 vans in accidents because of the vehicle is too light.
Also the lack of drivers knowledge and skill and somewhat or even just bit of common sense.

Facts are there are 120,000 vans on the road every year.
I dont even see 12000 vans in accidents.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 15:07

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 15:07
Splits!! You need 10% ball weight minimum. 30 kg ball weight is deadly with any sized van. Michael
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Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 19:45

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 19:45
" Also how do you explain all these 5th wheelers not getting trailer sway on these dual cabs..rodeo, ford, and others."

That is easy to explain. A fifth wheeler has the coupling sitting directly on top of the rear axle of the tow vehicle, not on the end of a lever well back behind the axle. A fifth wheeler can not lever the rear end of those utes sideways. It is the distance between the rear axle and the tow ball that enables big vans to lever from side to side the rear end of a car that is not heavy enough and does not have a long enough wheelbase to resist the forces being applied to the tow coupling. This is a completely different situation to the car's ability to pull the van along the road.

Were it not for the fifth wheeler design, we would not have semi trailers and road trains in their present form.

This is the problem with caravans. They are a pig trailer design. The truck industry turned away from that design in the early years of motoring due to its stability problems. Could you imagine what would happen if you took the trailer from a semi then fitted it with a draw bar, moved the axles further forward like a caravan and put a conventional tow bar on the rear end of the prime mover's chassis?

I am not questioning the ability of an 80 series to pull a van of the same weight or higher. All I am saying is it is not big enough to sit there like an immovable object if the van ever starts swaying. Toyota is not claiming it will do that either. There are bigger vehicles available that would have a much better chance of doing that.

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Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 20:15

Saturday, Dec 02, 2017 at 20:15
Splits!! You need 10% ball weight minimum. 30 kg ball weight is deadly with any sized van.

Michael.
Have another look at that link that I posted to that old Leynald Bros, video. The trailer behind one of their Land Rovers is a "dog" trailer design, not a " pig " trailer design like a caravan.

It has wheels at each end of its chassis, not just back from the centre like a caravan. The draw bar pivots on pins at the front of the chassis. If you lifted it off the car's tow ball and let it go, it would swing down to the ground.
The only weight.on the tow ball is half the weight of the draw bar while the other half of it sits on the attachment pins.

That is why the Leylands chose that type of trailer. It was most likely carrying a load that was above the maximum for the car but it was putting next to nothing on the tow ball. There is also the increased stability that comes with that design.

Look about four or five rows down on this page of photos and you will see both of their Land Rovers coupled together to pull it over a sand hill.LEYLAND TRAILER

That trailer is just one example of a trailer that an 80 series could easily handle even if it weighed whatever the car's maximum towing capacity was. A pig trailer design would also be easy if it was about half the length and height of a same weight caravan. It is the sheer size of the van and the distance much of the material in it is located in front of and behind the axle that is the problem. They have long heavy ends to swing around and a huge side surface area that is far too easily affected by wind.

There is a lot more to towing than just being legal with weight.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 17:50

Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 17:50
Certainly the tow bar fitted to both the 2500 and 3500 versions are usually identical.
However this is due to it being illegal for a tow bar installer to put a 3.5 sticker on a bar fitted to a vehicle that is only rated to 2.5, for obvious reasons.
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 18:27

Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 18:27
Thanks mountainman! Our 11/92 does have the bigger brakes as we just fitted new rotors. Will be trying the email to Toyota asap. Fingers crossed.
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Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 11:39

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 11:39
Re (Will be trying the email to Toyota asap.)

Will be very surprised if Toyota is helpfull, find the facts from Lcool and see an experienced Engineer.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 12:45

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 12:45
Thanks Peter. Have just joined Lcool and have a local engineer loking into it for me:)
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Dec 05, 2017 at 11:43

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2017 at 11:43
Like always bear in mind that it's the maker that determines the towing capacity. Toyota have always been conservative in this area. For example the towing capacity could have been specified because they felt the automatic gearbox was only rated to that load etc? Off course none of this effects the legalities. Another example was the Nissan Navara D22 had a 700KG higher towing capacity than the equivalent Hilux of that year, what a joke, the Hilux towed so much better than the D22.
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Reply By: Member - Lloyd M - Friday, Dec 22, 2017 at 07:11

Friday, Dec 22, 2017 at 07:11
I too emailed Toyota with my 80's build date (11/95) and VIN #, two days later had an email back stating that it was now had a towing capacity of 3500Kg , uplifted from 2500Kg..

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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Friday, Dec 22, 2017 at 22:00

Friday, Dec 22, 2017 at 22:00
I ad no reply from my email so hubby rang the Toyota Australia number and was told it's only 2500kg so we're pretty much buggered. Transport Tasmania will not accept an engineered version??
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:17

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:17
Follow the email (written advice) and someone at the other end of a telephone. You never really know who is on the other end.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 17:06

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 17:06
Re (Transport Tasmania will not accept an engineered version??)

Have you asked an Experienced Tas Engineer ( who has been involved in upgrades) that question? ( Not a front office person at Transport Tas.)

To me its a question of cost: Engineer/Springs?/Bearings?/Diff?/wheels?/Tyres?/ Towbar?/Testing.

I know of an engineer in SA who hires a regional Aerodrome to carry out Lo/high speed Braking and swerving with XX 20kg bags of sand on board with his test equipment to ensure the vehicle meets the required level of safety after the upgrade.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 19:44

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 19:44
Hi Peter. Yes we have 3 Tasmanian vehicle engineers on the case. One rang Transport Tas and the only upgrade they could agree on was a full chassis replacement from a 1997, with that much effort we may as well buy a 1997 model and swap our accessories over and part with old faithful. So if anyone knows where there's a good 1997 factory Turbo Diesel, manual 80 series let us know. We will most likely be buying it from the mainland so location is not important.
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