Personal prejudices? Irrational ....?

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 14:53
ThreadID: 138489 Views:5322 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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Given the wide range of quality control issues relating to a great many Chinese made products ranging from straight out fakes to poor quality metals and toxic medications I find it hard to imagine that it is possible to travel remote areas with confidence using Great Wall vehicles. I imagine there may be problems with spares or even knowledge of Great Wall mechanics at far flung motor workshops. I wonder if there are Forum readers who can respond with their experiences?

Another prejudice is to do with combined petrol/ lpg fuelled vehicles. I have no personal experience of these systems but see quite a few used vehicles with combined systems but am inclined to be wary. Again are their personal experiences out there?

Thanks in anticipation of responses.
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Reply By: David I1 - Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 15:45

Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 15:45
Well all I can say is you have not read my exploits with my x240 GW. It did the Canning twice, Simpson desert both ways, Cape york via OTT and the hardest crossings possible, Gibb river road and all over Tasmania including the Balfour track. Never let me down and did all that i asked of it. People are quick to rubbish product without any 1st hand experience. Yes it was not stock but the make up of the vehicle, mitsiubishi, holden rodeo and Feroza, Toyota diff, etc meant it had all the good bits from different vehicle albeit 10years old technology. NEVER let me down, More economical than a Pajero diesel, and went everywhere I pointed it. Have a look at an old 4wd mag and see what I did.

Continuing on there was a GW web site but it was closed down about 10 month ago. There are forums on FB. Parts are easy to source. Just dont say great wall but rather I want rodeo brake pads, I want a Mitsubishi oil filer. etc. Lots of people will help who own one. I did over 200Ks in mine and mostly 4wd trips. Only got rid of it as it could not tow anything, and I/we have now moved to an off road van for more comfort in our grey nomad years.
AnswerID: 626082

Reply By: OzzieCruiser - Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 16:49

Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 16:49
I cannot comment on Chinese vehicles but I do have a dual (petrol/LPG) vehicle.

Certainly in the metropolitan areas there is an advantage in LPG. For sure fuel consumption is about 8% more but the cost of the fuel is far less (80c vs $1.40).

Heading outback you need to be more considered. Certainly the further you head out from metro areas the price of fuel goes up but the price of LPG goes up a lot more - to the point that LPG where available may be close to the same price as petrol.

Heading NW from Sydney the last LPG will be in Bourke - fanning out from there nothing. What I do is run on LPG where I know when I can get it.

When I hit the last LPG I fill with it but switch over to petrol and when I am within 300km of somewhere I know I can get LPG I then switch over to LPG.

I do this as a safety measure as not much can kill the engine on LPG but with petrol there is always the issue of bad fuel etc.

So if a vehicle is on dual fuel that is fully operational there is nothing to be concerned about. If LPG is not around you just run on petrol but where it is available it is better to use LPG - cleans the inside of the engine as well.
AnswerID: 626085

Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 18:01

Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 18:01
I had 4 dual fuel vehicles through the 70's, 80's, 90's and early 2000's and never had an issue. It saved me a lot of money and seemed to run a lot cleaner. I only changed to diesel because the relative price of lpg to petrol rose significantly, and the fuel economy and performance of crd's against old diesels rose significantly. I too noticed that using lpg out in remote places was uneconomical when I drove a dual fuel car from Sydney to Perth in 1984. Lpg was available all the way and was a 1/4 of the price of petrol in the city and 3/4 of the price in places like Eucla.
AnswerID: 626088

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 20:31

Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 at 20:31
I have had similar experience to Michael - I owned a dual-fuel ute and a dual-fuel V8 in a 4 tonne Bedford truck, which were economic when LPG was cheap. I can recall buying LPG for 16c a litre in Adelaide in 1998.

But then LPG went up astronomically, and petrol prices came down, and the advantage was lost.
Many people got a $3000 subsidy in W.A., from around 2006, when the W.A. Govt and the Federal Govt were intent on supporting LPG-fuelled vehicles, and petrol prices were rocketing.

Carpenter Govt offers $3000 LPG subsidy

I missed out on the subsidy unfortunately, because my vehicle had been converted before the subsidy was initiated, and the Govts would only pay the subsidy on new conversions.
Then the Govts withdrew the subsidy a few years later, and it then became a borderline equation to convert to LPG.

The other factors are -

1. My ute and truck were fitted with carburettors, which makes conversion easier. LPG conversions on fuel-injected vehicles are more costly.

2. LPG Fuel economy is about 2/3rds the level of petrol - but the cheaper LPG made it cost-effective.

3. Engines run much cleaner on LPG, because there is virtually no carbon in LPG. Rings, pistons and cylinder bores hardly show any wear after high mileages, and oil change periods can be doubled.

However, engines run on LPG are harder on valves, and valve seat recession can be a problem, particularly at high speeds.
99% of todays engines have hardened valve seat inserts, so the valve seat problem is no longer a problem, if you change to LPG.

4. The LPG tank is only good for 10 years, after which period it must be inspected and re-certified. It's often cheaper to buy a new tank.

The pricing of LPG in country areas was certainly a major rip-off, it didn't cost a great deal to transport the LPG to country areas, it was just a fuel retailer rort.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: axle - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 07:52

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 07:52
4t Bedsted eh Ron!...must of been a real power house lol.

I had a J6 8t tipper with the 300 motor 2speed diff and 5speed crash gearbox plus all the rattles you could think of.

Talk about use fuel!!!!

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 10:37

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 10:37
Axle - Yeah, the old Bedsteads are much-maligned, but they were the mainstay of trucking for many years, from the late-1930's to the 1970's.
But you're right, they were always regarded as slow and gutless.
However, my little Beddy was the last of the Bedford line, a 1980 E series with the factory 253 Holden V8 - and it was actually quite fast.
It did over 120kmh with the high speed diff. But the 253 was hampered with early emission controls, retarded timing, and a crap emissions cam, so it was gutless when it came to pull when fully loaded. LPG only made the power problem worse.

Fortunately, I rarely pulled full loads, and I live in pretty flat country, so it was passable to drive.
One thing I must say, it was an exceptionally comfortable truck to drive, and handled very well - and it was cheap to buy!

But Bedford were behind the 8-ball with truck design by the mid-1970's, the Japanese trucks walked all over GMH with their beaut little diesels and 5 & 6 speed gearboxes, and tilt cabs, which Bedford couldn't compete with in any form.

It makes you wonder what kind of leadership vacuum there was in GM/GMH, to be unable to counter the Japanese onslaught of superior vehicle design in the '70's, with improved GM/GMH designs to match.
There must have been a lot of inbreeding in GM/GMH management - kind of like the current crop of British politicians! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 18:56

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 18:56
Here you go, Axle. A couple of old timers..........both J6's.


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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: axle - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:30

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:30
Thanks Bob ,brings back a few memories,

They were quite reliable if used sensibly but as a young bloke i'm not sure I fitted that category...LOL.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:41

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:41
Ha ha, I’d have been in a similar age bracket back then too.


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 21:05

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 21:05
Great photos, Bob - I have fond memories of driving a J6 Beddy exactly the same as that, in the late 1960's. It had the "powerhouse" 300 motor! LOL

It belonged to my brothers FIL, and we used to give him a hand with harvest and seeding, and also use the Beddy for hauling our clearing chain around occasionally.

She was a good old truck, but one day, after a spell in the shed, she refused to turn over!
The brothers FIL was puzzled, and pulled the starter motor off, to see if it was faulty.
There was nothing wrong with the starter - but he found a big rat, and its nest, wound around the starter pinion!! LOL

The anchor chain weighed about 7 tons, it was a pretty good load for the Bedford!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 21:20

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 21:20
Bob & Axle - Oh, I forgot - I used to own one of these, too! [:-)

J3 Bedford

I paid $300 for it, off some builders in a nearby country town - and all that was wrong with it, was they had run the diff out of oil, because they let all the banjo bolts come loose, and all the oil leaked out!

I sourced a replacement diff from some wreckers in Bunbury and she went like a train! - well, she was good for 80kmh, anyway!! LOL
She was just my little run-around truck for years, hauling anything that was too heavy for my utes, and which wasn't heavy enough to be carried on the float!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: swampy - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 17:06

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 17:06
Chinese vehicles
Being that many car makers are sourcing parts from allover the world Chinese parts are making big inroads into traditionally non Chinese vehicles .
Eg a Jap car at 130,00 totally eaten out cooling system ,water pump ,pipes hoses . Not uncommon . Very very thin cooling pipes etc etc

Paint thickness/quality not exclusive to China cars but fare percentage .

Poor quality design ,same items fail time and time again on same model
Poor metallurgy re random/ regular part failure
Poorly designed air-conditioners
Poor resale value best kept till the wheels fall off
What to do when importer stops because of a dispute with factory . RE Cherry cars
Part failures are not usually random it comes from quality of design and manufacture . The car makers no about 99% issues.

although not difficult to service etc people/workshops with experience are drying up . Around my place Lpg is around 20-40cents cheaper . No locals use it .

AnswerID: 626094

Follow Up By: harryopal - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 17:26

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 17:26
Thanks for the most interesting replies. On balance, if buying a used 4x4 I would look for a Holden Rodeo or Toyota. With present LPG prices and used vehicles I doubt I would look for a combined fuel vehicle.

By the way, with regard to LPG. What a scandalous and pathetic mismanagement we have made with LPG resources. With some foresight this ought have been seen as the fuel for decades for local industries instead of sending vast quantities for export and then being unable to control price availability in Australia. I guess the short term periods of government make it difficult for Australian policy makers to think long term. It also says a lot about the lobbying power and muscle of multi nationals.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 18:32

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 18:32
Our natural resources belong to all Australians, the Government of the day only manage them for us, that is why it annoyed me when they were selling LPG to Japan for 1.5c a litre whilst we were being charged about 60c at that time.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:09

Sunday, Jun 09, 2019 at 19:09
Cheap Chinese stuff is rubbish.

Cheap Australian stuff is rubbish.

Quality Chinese stuff can be excellent. Mercedes make C class, E class and GLC's in China, BMW make 3 series, 5 series and X3 in Apple, Luois Vuitton, the list goes on.

If you pay $25K for a Ute instead of $60K then you shouldn't expect it to have the Australian wide support and remote touring qualities.On the other hand, it might be better value for a tradie starting off - provided it is safe.

Good chinese stuff is as good as anywhere.

AnswerID: 626098

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jun 10, 2019 at 09:44

Monday, Jun 10, 2019 at 09:44
Lets look at it realistically , was not all that long ago 'Made in Japan' was rubbish , was not that long ago 'Made in Korea ' was rubbish , was not all that long ago 'Isuzu' your joking ,pure bloody rubbish ! What ? Buy a 'German' made car ? Your a bloody traitor to the Australian working man at the Holden factories ....Now its China's turn , except for 1 major aspect ,that being that China can and does produce the exact same item without the R&D costs ...Politics aside ,it won't be too long that even Toyota build in China ....
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 10:24

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 10:24
There is minimal R&D in China, I see they even have their own Chinese made Rolls Royce knockoff for there own market. Michael
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