Purchasing a 1989 Terrano

Submitted: Friday, Aug 06, 2004 at 21:47
ThreadID: 15362 Views:3028 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,
I am presently looking to purchase a 1989 2.7 turbo deisel Terrano automatic and am looking for any info (good and bad) that may help my desision, such as reliability, parts, performance, off road and on road ability and ability with towing a camper trailer etc. What are these vehicles like ? Are they popular ? Are they a soft light off road vehicle like the RAV 4 etc.
Also what would be a reasonable price range for a tidy example with 129,000klm on the clock ?
good alloy wheels
Air and steer
Central locking
CD player
Sun roof etc
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers Mick
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Reply By: locallaw - Saturday, Aug 07, 2004 at 11:57

Saturday, Aug 07, 2004 at 11:57
Gidday,I bought a 1990 terrano 2.7 TD a few years ago.The only thing I changed was the breathing system.I ripped out the original air cleaner, headlight wiper system (if fitted) and fitted a Donaldson system and a home brew snorkle.The local exhaust shop bent it to my specs and I welded it.You also have to rip all the intake gear out from under the guard drill a large hole thru the outer and inner guards.If you take your time it will look good.I was astounded at the increased performance just by doing that.
I have travelled to the Cape,The kimberley (twice)Tannami,The Simpson etc and the TD performed brilliant.As for parts everything is the same as a Pathfinder(g/box diffs susp body{except upholstery}) The motor is the same as a Navara 2.7 except the Navara does not have a turbo.
One important thing you will have to do fit a set of polyair bags as the rear springs
are too soft.Once fitted the 4by handled very well.
I only sold it as I am retiring soon(1y4mths23days) and doing the big trip(not around but thru) otherwise I would still have it Alot of people put crap on the 2.7 Td but they a reliable 4by.
Just my bit
AnswerID: 71642

Reply By: ianmc - Saturday, Aug 07, 2004 at 22:26

Saturday, Aug 07, 2004 at 22:26
Drive it before you buy it!!
I test drove a 2nd hand auto a while back. Nicely fitted out interior etc but where
had the motor gone, probably got lost in the slush box.
My Triton would eat it in performance however any mods to intake as previously suggested which are similar to what I did to the Triton should help as would a
foam filter, corrected pump timing & free flow exhaust. and maybe adjust turbo boost, all fairly simple stuff.
AnswerID: 71690

Reply By: Member - Russell B (SA) - Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 11:31

Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 11:31
Had a 1990 TD27, auto electric windows, 2 years, got 10km/100 and cruised nicely, not taken off road much but felt quite confident on rough roads.

It was supposed to tow upto 1500kg, it didn't hence the Pajero, but it was quite nice with basic load.(last trip with 1500kg van averaged 66kph at 20l/100) . Paid to have the van towed home by a Navara which towed it easily at average 95kph.

Spare parts (as above) never a problem.

For the long hall I reckon TD Navara with 3tonne towing capacity is on the short list.

AnswerID: 71727

Reply By: Mickless - Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 18:43

Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 18:43
Thanks for your help guys. Can you tell me anything about the Isuzu MU ? Would they be a better option ?
Thanks Mick
AnswerID: 71768

Reply By: SantaAus - Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 19:16

Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 19:16
The MU is basically the same/ parts and set-up wise as the holden rodeo, they are very nice to drive, loads of power for the size of it. only downfall compared to teh Terrano is the size. I currently have a 91 TD27 Terrano, manual. I have no bad things to say about it. handles very well on road, due to it's lower centre of gravity. and off road, so far have no problems with it. parts are easy as stated above. if you want any info on the terrano the best web site i have found is the forum for the pre-95 pathfinder/Terrano is www.4x4parts.com, this site has helped me with everything. only downfall with the Terrano is the cost of obtaining the a workshop manual for it.
AnswerID: 71776

Reply By: Mickless - Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 20:54

Sunday, Aug 08, 2004 at 20:54
Hi again,
Can you tell me what would be a FAIR PRICE for a nice example of both the Terrano and the the MU. Also how does the manual in the Terrano compair with the auto version performance wise ? Also any suggestion on 2 or 4 door which are the better buy. Silly questions maybe but I am looking to buy soon and don't know much about either vehicle. I haven't seen many MU's for sale but have come across a fair few Terrano's, perhaps there was a lot more Terrano's imported. Thanks again Mick
AnswerID: 71797

Reply By: Rob! - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 09:55

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 09:55

I've had my terrano for about six months now and taken it offroad a couple of times. Mainly on the qld Beaches and sand tracks. So far I love it. It has taken me everywhere where I wanted to go.When I was buying I looked for about six months at everything from surf, swb patrol, to jeep cherokee, at price ranges between $7 to 17k.

I settled on my terrano 1992, 160km for $8200. It was the size I wanted. Doesn't feel like you're driving a truck and very capable off road. Drives nicely around the city too. I get about 10.5L/100KM around town and around 14L/100 on the sand.

Lookout for rust under the rear seat and take your time to find a good example for the price.

Have a look in the archives some info about them.

Good luck.


AnswerID: 71838

Reply By: Mickless - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:09

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 19:09
Thanks heaps for your help and advice. Is yours a 2 door or 4 door ? and is it a manual or an auto and turbo Diesel or petrol ?
I have looked at about 12 or 15 so far, mainly 4 doors. I have looked at a blue and grey 1989 fully loaded 2 door with 119,000 klm's for $10,000
and a burgundy 1991 4 door with all the gear and 133,000 klm's for $14,000 very negotiable
and another was a 1993 black fully loaded 4 door with 100,000 klm's and 3 year warranty and 12 months rego for $15000.00.
I probably prefer the 2 door I think. Thanks again for your help. Do you have any pic's of yours I could see ?
Cheers Mick
AnswerID: 71922

Follow Up By: Rob! - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 10:12

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 10:12

Mine's a 4 door (dark blue). I didn't mind a 4 or 2 door but that's just the one that came up. The two door one look pretty cool though.
It's turbo diesel, I don't hink there are any in petrol. The petrol version is the pathfinder. And mostly they are auto, which I think is great off road.

I mainly looked for turbo diesel because of their low fuel consumption and threfore their range is much greater.

I looked at many at the dealers and I think they were really overpriced. Mine would have cost about $2 to $3K more at dealer.

I wouldn't look too much at how many km's they've done as they have probably been wound back somewhat. Just gat a good 4wd mechanic to have a good look at it. Remember to spend the time looking to get a good one for your price and you'll have a great car that'll last you for years. I looked for about six months, different makes and models, and settled on this one.

A mate of mine bought a 93 terrano a few months back in immaculate condition (black) and paid $13 000, so I would not go any higher then that, in QLD anyway. Other states may be slightly different.

Other then the terrano I was pretty keen on the hilux surf, but I felt the terrano was juist as capable for me for a cheaoer price.

The terranos can be a little smokey, just make sure it's black and not blue, a little tough when cold and idling, and they are certainly not known for they're accerlaration. I had a sports car before this so I'm over that now.

I've head stories that they, (and surfs) have a tendency to run fairly high on the temp guage when worked hard off road or up hills so make sure the cooling system is serviced regularly and you should have no props. The terrano turbo is water cooled so you have a lesser chance of that overheating.

FollowupID: 332155

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