Recommended 4wd

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2602 Views:3122 Replies:16 FollowUps:7
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Hi,
I am soon (about 1 yr) to become a teacher, and intend moving to outback/rural Australia to teach (lots of benefits), and was wondering what is the best ($10,000-$20,000) 4wd (new or 2nd hand) for Western Australias conditions. I have not been far from Perth, but as far as I know, the real problems will be more on the line of corrugated roads and sand than rocky terrain.

Can someone please recommend me a cheapish 4wd for use in outback western australia.

Thanks,
James
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Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Toyota Landcruiser Standard Diesel around 1992 with around 200 kms should set you back anything up to $20000... This is what i have and would not wish for better ... it is not the only unit that will do the job , but I reckon its the best 'all round' holds it s value, easy repairs if required, basic tech machine, and can be fixed any where in Aus !! No fancy wheels and tyres just the standard split rims and 750 x 16 6, 8 10 or 12 ply tyres depending on the roughness of the roads and terrain....This machine is a pure pleasure to drive on dirt and outback roads , but as i use it 10 months of the year on bitumen I trade off the size of unit compared to my previous WRX !!! Want to know more ?....
AnswerID: 9697

Reply By: Janset - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Hi James.

4WD really come down to personal preferences, what do you want to do with it and how much you intend to carry in it.

The only real advice that can be given hear is, Go diesel!

I have had both and that is why I recommend it. It may be a few cents costlier at the pump per litre, but that more than adequately is made up for with the extra mile per gallon and (usually) a longer range between refuelling.

As to which vehicle, personal choice, but if I really had to say which, it would have to come down to only 2. Toyota or Nissan.

In toyota there are again only 2 choices in my opinion, the series 60/80/ or 100, depending how deep your pockets are, and then there is the work horse, the tried and tested Troopie with "cavernous" storage capabilities.

I love my troopie and wouldn't change it for quids :)

The other alternative is the Nissan. Very robust and reliable, has a very good track record. This vehicle I think compares very favourably from all accounts with the series 60/80/100 Toyota.

Regards
AnswerID: 9701

Reply By: Lux - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
G'day James, yeah Steve got some good advice there, stick to a toyota cruiser or hilux as anyone can work on them and parts are everywhere, most used 4x4 in outback WA no worries about that..just get it checked over by a mechanic or better still the RAC WA...and make sure it's diesel..good luck.....
AnswerID: 9702

Reply By: James - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for the replies, I'll try to be a little more specific.

I don't forsee the need to carry huge amounts of equipment, as there will be only me (no family of anyone coming with), and I'd like to get something with good fuel consumption. I have been looking at things like the Toyota Hilux Surf, although I have heard some bad stories about obtaining Japanese parts, I have also looked at some short wheelbase options to minimize fuel, but the ride seems to be compromised on rough roads. This vehicle would be mostly for travelling corrugated roads, or tracks, not for major 4wd trekking.

I have seriously looked at the Landcruisers and Patrols, and Pajeros, but am not sure I need anything quite so BIG!

Would a medium/short wheelbase be good enough for these roads? Does a Hilux 4wd have low range? Are 10-15yr old landcruisers still reliable?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
--James
AnswerID: 9703

Reply By: Truckster - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
You sound like you have your mind made up, go with it.
AnswerID: 9704

Reply By: Goodsy - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Think the hilux is your best option James. Have owned one for 6 years now 165000km's no problems yet. Will buy another one. Looked at Patrol and Landcruiser, could not justify the extra cost of purchase and maintance for a single guy. Ride is a little harsher than the bigger 4X4's but you will get a newer hilux with less km's on it compaired to the bigger 4X4's. And yes they do have low range, a very good one actually.
AnswerID: 9706

Reply By: colin - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
with the weights you talk about carrying, a leaf sprung vehicle is not the go, better off getting a coil sprung 4x4. A short GQ is a good vehicle, get diesal and if you like a bit of oomph get one with a turbo. Col
AnswerID: 9708

Reply By: Paul - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
I myself own a 1997 Hilux. It have been a very good vehicle. Being a 4 cylinder diesel it is a little gutless, but at the end of the day it still does everything I want from it and more. Make you choice over your type of engine carefully. I have found that diesels maybe cheaper when it comes to economy, but when it comes to repairs they can be very expensive when compared to petrols. For example it was looking for a new alternator, but as soon as I said it was for a diesel the price trippled, this was because of the brake booster unit attached on the rear of the unit. On the good side though diesesl have a longer life.
Also I think you need to work out what you want from your vehicle, ie do you need a trayback, dualcab, will you be doing a lot of towing etc.

Good luck with you search.
AnswerID: 9709

Reply By: Chris- Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
I have a 1990 Dual Cab SR5 hilux which I have recently purchased through a car dealer in Sydney. (I do not recommend dealers. Private sale will get you a better vehicle at a cheaper price and generally without all the salesman BS.) Anyway, it is a great vehicle, and when I have repaired all the issues it has, it will be even greater, and I'm sure will go for years. It had 292000K on it when I bought it, and I was rather naive about what to look for. Whoever you buy through, insist on a full NRMA (or relevant authority) inspection on the vehicle, and check the blow-by on the engine: while the engine is running disconnect the rubber hose that runs from the rocker cover to the inlet manifold from the inlet manifold, and observe the force and volume of smoke/air blowing out of the engine- if there is a lot, the engine at least needs to be partially rebuilt so RUN AWAY unless you have the cash!!!). It is a good idea to get something with low kms, and check it out thoroughly. Whatever you buy I'm sure you'll make a good decision if you check it out thoroughly before purchase.

CHeers,

Chris.
AnswerID: 9710

Reply By: OziExplorer - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
A brand new Suzuki Jimny, a Daihats Terios at $18,999 with air and all the fruit, and more capable than most give them credit for.
Both of these use so little fuel and are so economical and well built, you cannot go wrong, and a 3 year 100,000km warranty.
AnswerID: 9718

Follow Up By: Goodsy - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
I spent years doing trips with a mate who owned a little suzzi. Spent years trying to talk him into buying a bigger 4X4. He did, bought a Jimny 2 months ago 200mm longer,he says. But still tiny.
Don't buy a Jimny (please) you will be laughed at.
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FollowupID: 5048

Follow Up By: James - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
I have read that small 4wds or short wheelbase 4wds don't handle well on corrugated roads (this is my main concern, not sheer off road capability), and does the Jimny handle on poor roads?
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FollowupID: 5050

Reply By: Hedonist - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
James,

If you are in Perth at the moment, consider buying at auction. WA Auto auctions in Bently have a reasonable turnover of late model ex govt and fleet 4x4s with low k's. You need to have a close look at the pre-aution inspections and keep well clear of anything that is even slightly suspect. If you buy something that is still under warranty it minimises the risk of unexpected problems.

I have bought two cars this way over the last 6 years (and sold one as well) and would never buy second-hand from a dealer again...

Check out http://www.autogroup.com.au for online catalogs.

Cheers,
Pete
AnswerID: 9726

Reply By: Brett - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
Hi James,
Ive got a 90 4 runner for sale with, Duel tanks, diff locks, upgraded springs shocks and torsions. Everything you need for the outback and more! She's been a great 4x4 but I'm not living in OZ for the next couple of year so she's waisting away in the carport!
If your interested let me know and I can arrange so you can take it for a spin! It's in Perth!

Cheers
Brett
AnswerID: 9737

Follow Up By: James - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
I'm not looking to buy just at this moment, I'm only doing research, I may not be able to buy in perth as travel will be provided to whichever school I get assigned to (probably aeroplane) so I may have to buy in the area I go to. This may not be the case, but I won't buy until I find that out sometime during my dip ed in the next year.

Thanks for the offer tho.

--James
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FollowupID: 5065

Reply By: Member - Cruiser1 - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
Mate, all the best advice has already been given but I'll add my tuppence anyway.
If a Patrol or Landcruiser is too big, there are a couple of good choices within your budget: Hilux, Jackaroo or Pajero will all do the job.
With your requirements, forget about Suzukis or anything short wheel base. You'll regret the hell out of it once you start pitching over corrugations!
As someone mentioned, coils are more comfortable but if you buy something that's had a proper suspension upgrade, you won't go too far wrong with leaf suspension.
A diesel engine will last much longer than a petrol so if you buy something that's in good condition now, you'll get years of enjoyment and good fuel consumption.
Rather than NRMA/RAC, find yourself a reputable 4WD specialist. to look it over. They'll find the bits often missed by others.
Best of luck...... Cruiser
AnswerID: 9738

Follow Up By: James - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
Short, sweet, and succinct, that pretty much covers it, thanks :)
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Reply By: johnsy - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
hi james if you are going to teach in a community school its advisable to go diesel as petrol is banned at some locations due petrol sniffing problems .
AnswerID: 9770

Follow Up By: James - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
Wow thanks! I was going to try for diesel anyway, it seems a lot better from what I've heard, although there is still a lot of argument :)
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Reply By: Wayne - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
James

Dont worry about where you purchase your vehicle. The Department of Education will arrange for it to be moved to your posting in the country. They also move all of your household goods and effects as well, and you can still fly. Everything just arrives for you.

Have a good time in the bush... I'm NEVER going back to the city.
AnswerID: 9790

Follow Up By: James - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
That sounds too good to be true :) Thanks for the info!
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Reply By: Nordave - Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002 at 01:00
James, I have lived in the northwest for nealy thirty years and have owned and used many types of 4wd's up here. Personaly I would go for one of the larger types ie Patrol or landcrusier. What type would depend on what year you were looking at. early eighty series land crusiers are great in the type of areas you may go to. Patrols are renown for strong drive trains etc and last well. I have owned 80 series standard type and found they handle the roads well. I have just sold a 91 troop carrier and that was also good. The patrol I owned was alittle more up market being a ST. That was also great. Smaller types of 4wd's don't seem to last as well. One thing is for certain, buy the vehical in Perth before you go. As someone said the Ed dept will transport it for you I belive. Most 4wd's you find in the northwest have been well used on the rough stuff and may have all sorts of hidden problems wereas there are many older models are stiil in good nick. I travel to Perth to buy most of my 4wd's. The auction advice is good but take someone with you who is in the know about 4wd,s. If you have a bit of adventure in your make up you will find you end up traveling all over because there are a lot of great places to visit in the North west. I drive a new hilux 4wd as a work ute and that handles the conditions well. Personally I would not go any smaller than the Hilux. Good luck.
AnswerID: 9871

Follow Up By: James - Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002 at 01:00
Hmm, ok, thanks for the advice. Of the patrol vs landcruiser, (assume both turbodiesel) which gets better fuel consumption? Also, would a mwb 73/74 series landcruiser be too small?

Thanks
--James
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