New Prado

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 17:08
ThreadID: 5418 Views:3598 Replies:5 FollowUps:23
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I have been looking at the new Prado, and from what i have seen they don't appear to be worthy offroader. Could anyone comment on this, as we are looking at replacing our current Pajero with either a new Pajero or Prado. I know the Pajero doesn't exactly look a worthy offroader, but from past experience with them i would be more inclined to go for the paj.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 19:28

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 19:28
" I know the Pajero doesn't exactly look a worthy offroader"
The prado doesnt exactly look a worthy offroader" either. But as you yourself state, looks can be decieving.

New Prados are plenty capable as a 4wder...
Few went up Mitchells Flat and up Mt Skene on weekend, showed up lots of 80 series and 100s that were there!

Playin in the snow with Prados

Personally, plastic chrome on Pajs makes them look like crap compared to the older model, which I quite like the look of.
AnswerID: 22365

Reply By: abmh - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 19:49

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 19:49
Here are a few comments on the Prado through research, not from experience.

Caveat - Depending on the model, as the Grande (additional 18k) has a heap of techno features (and other bits) where as the GXL does not. Therefore the comments below are of the GXL not the Grande to compare apples to apples

+ Pros
- cons

+ Long range fuel tank size 180ltrs
- Low ground clearance in the middle due to the side step 220mm is less than the older model 235mm (But it was the best on the market on the previous model now it is back to the pack)
+ More powerful engine and power specs
- Approach and departure angle is a little shy apparently
- 17” wheels (short term issue – until more tyres become available)

These were the only performance issues that the critics have come up with, that I could find. All of them can be fixed with additional work and not too expensive.

I is a little disappointed that there was not a version / model that has the added DAT features that could be optioned onto the GXL without getting all the unnecessary / expensive things that the Grande has ie Sat Nav, Sunroof, roof rails, centre fridge, leather, etc.

I think the GXL looks like a package though. Proof will be in the pudding.....
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Follow Up By: Rodney - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:11

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:11
But would this DAT system be beneficial or a pain in the arse, as most tration control systems have proven to be offroad.
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Follow Up By: abmh - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:23

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:23
There are two trains of thought here:

1. More to go wrong, and if you know what you are doing then you dont need a great deal of what it offers

2. Use all the help you can get.

The DAT features that are on the Grande are:
Downhill Assist Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, Generation II Traction Control (Toyotas way of saying better than others) and Vehicle Stability Control

I must admit that there are some things in that list that I see more useful on road than off.

Just my opinion though.
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Follow Up By: abmh - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:27

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:27
Oh.. I forgot to add.

If you order one now you will be lucky to get it by August, unless you don't want the colour you want. There is a growing waiting list.
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Follow Up By: Mick - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:29

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:29
No proof in the pudding!! The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you want to use grandad's sayings at least get them right!!
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Reply By: desert - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:39

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 20:39
Where do you get replacement tyres in 17" once you leave the black top?
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Follow Up By: Fred - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:31

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:31
At a tyre retailer!!
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 23:00

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 23:00
Fred, there arent too many offroad tires in a 17inch unless you go to 35+inch........

But you can fit GXL rims off an 80 series on it they are 16inch. May need a slight trim of the caliper
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Follow Up By: srowlandson - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 13:30

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 13:30
A heap make tyres, and can be purchased now if you can wait 5-6 weeks for delivery.

Interco Trxus MT come in 285/17 Goodyear make a range in 17", plus others like cooper / bfg

Once 2 -3 people order them, they will soon start carrying some stock.

I prefered to trim the caliper (perfectly LEGAL) instead

Steve
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Follow Up By: tristjo - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 15:26

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 15:26
Fred,

The answer is NO WHERE!!!!!

Saftest tyre sizes in the scrub are 7.5 r16's, 31x10.5 r15's, and a few of the wider 16 inch sizes.

So it is legal to hack away at the very devices that will save you in case of an emergency, but it is illegal to install some longer, thicker springs to make you truck safe to drive when fully loaded??

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH!!!!!!

Tristjo.
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Follow Up By: srowlandson - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 15:36

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 15:36
TristJo,

Modifying a 4wd is a very frustrating excerise when done correctly.

the 2-3 mm 'lump' of steel frm the mould that is removed on the KZJ120 doesn't alter the action or capacity of the braking system.

Adding thicker Taller springs is also Quite Legal, Providing you stick to the ADR and State Regulations. Which most allow for a 50mm lift.

Also, increasing Tyre sizes are also quiet Legal up to 35" is you use the correct tyres, and modify all aspects of the vehicle to suit.

The secret to all this. The Peice of Paper from the Automotive Engineer that states the car is safe, and can be registered.

I will have that peice of paper soon, once the final touches are done to my syspension etc. I also strongly recommend talking to an Automotive Engineer of you plans the whole way through the modification process, and get work done by a qualified, and reputable workshop.

You can't just whack in a set of of 6" springs and shocks. To be legal, you need all the little things done.

Steve
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Follow Up By: desert - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:03

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:03
Correct! And the tyre retailers are where? Capitol cities and major centres! Once you leave civilisation the only tyres you will buy, in remote central desert areas(where all good 4x4's need to go) is a 750x16, a 10.5/31x15 or a 265/75x16. Nothing in 17". baby, I assure you!
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Follow Up By: srowlandson - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:08

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:08
A 265/75/16 will it on the rear of a 120Series Prado with NO modifications.

Also, the 16x7 GXL rim will fit with no mods.. (i just prefer the 16x8 Rim for a 285/75/16 tyre)

I can get a tyre frieghted from Melbourne -> Birdsville , or up the tip in 2-3 days... not a bad timeframe considering the unluck you have shredding 2 tyres (Because we all carry 2 spares in a long trip, well, at least i do...)

With Modern Tyres being a lot stronger and puncture resistant, and the modern tyre repair methods, you'd be hard pushed to get into too much bother.

Steve

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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 19:38

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 19:38
Steve... If I want tires, I usually need em now!

Not going to do me any good to wait 5-6 weeks!

think the 16inch rim thing is the go, gives yuou more options.

question though, are 17s much dearer than 16's - like 16 are over 15s?
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Follow Up By: Fred - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 00:17

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 00:17
Well Tristjo use 750X16 if you want punctures. I had them many years ago on a cruiser and have never had so many punctures ... only good thing is on split rims they're easy to fix in the bush. I now use 265.70.16 and have not had a tyre failure in 8 years of off road driving - high country, Simpson Desert, Oodnadatta Track, Lake Eyre etc. Mate who often travels with us on split rims and the old 7.50 16 has had 7 punctures in our travels.
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Reply By: srowlandson - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:55

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 21:55
I own a 2003 KZJ120 GX Prado Tdi Manual

I moved from a 3.0 GU -> this.

The Prado is a far superior vehicle than the GU was. It wins hands down.

The slight 'lack' offroad compared to the Patrol is long forgotten after you drive it the 3-400 kms after you had trouble for just the few meters of driving you needed the Live axle setup of a patrol.

Suspension options are endless inthe prado, mine getting lifted in the next couple of weekes with adjustable Bilstein struts and King springs, should give me 3 inches of adjustable height in the front end.(this setup is going on my vehicle over the next 3 weeks in stages.)

The New Prado is a lot stronger than the old model, from the chassis, front end, front diff and CV's , and body. The Front diff uses the same rear carrier as the 80 series but with beefed up bearings etc.

I have loved mine so far and couldn't see the reasoning for a gxl or grande (i had the cash, but bought the GX as it had no chrome crap, no plastic flares to tear off (I have rubber flares now on mine) i was not interested in alloy wheels and did not want ABS.

The GX is by far the pick of the bunch for offroading, and still have electric windows and al the 'features' you could desire.

I have fitted 16x8 ROH Trak II's to mine, with 285/75/16 Interco TRrxus, only a slight grind to the brakes (2 - 3mm of moulding needs to be trimmed, which isn't structural to the braking) and a little cut to the bumper (until i pickup my bullbar.

I fitted the Dual batterys last night, flares go on saturday, and snorkel next week with Springs :)

AnswerID: 22382

Follow Up By: tristjo - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 01:17

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 01:17
Just my oppinion, but it sounds like you are going to have to spend a hell of alot of money to get the Prado to be half as good a tourer and off road rig as a GU is!!

Is grinding bits of the calipers legal??

I hear so many people trying to compare things like Pajero's and Prado's to Landcruisers and Patrols, and I just can't understand it. Of course an IFS or fully independent vehicle will out handle, and ride smoother than a fully rigid setup, but you really can't compare apples with potatoes.

In my mind, you will never beat a fully rigid vehicle for reliability, tourerbility (?), and offroad abilty, no matter how many tracion control systems, and other devices you try to stick on them.

It seems to me that makers like Toyota and Mitsubishi are fitting all these devices to try and mask the vehicles lack of off road ability, and I think it'll all end in tears. I don't doubt that lot of people will find these vehicles to be "just right" for them, but why try comparing them to things that are so different???

Tristjo.

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Follow Up By: srowlandson - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:04

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:04
It will cost the same to set either a 3.0 GU and a KZJ120 Prado up for Touring.

After owning both, the Prado only looses a little in its offroad ability (you will be surprised how much the driver influences a cars capability) against a Patrol.

Considering, my Current trip i am aboutto do, Cape York. From Melbourne, i have quiet a hefty drive. I would prefer the comfort and safety features of the Prado and winch twice, due to the car being unable to complete an obstacle safely, than to do it in the Patrol.

IFS gets a bad name from Early Hilux's etc, with torsion bar. The Setup in the Prado is the same as the Tacoma in the US, they have some serious rock crawlers with 21" of travel, from the same setup.

The Australian Market is both too small, too restricted with Government ADR's and Registration requirements, and its customers are mostly penny pinching people who want things Cheap, and are not prepared to pay for something that works.

Steve

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Follow Up By: Rodney - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:17

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:17
Here's a thought worth considering. If people are doubting the ability of inderpendent suspension offroad, then tell me why HUMMERS are running on fourwheel inderpendent suspension, and are qranteed to last for 15 years. This suspension set up is on the H1 and H2.
Obviously inderpendent suspension is new for both toyota and mitsubishi, they don't have the right market to spend big bucks developing inderpendent suspension to match a hummer, but give them a few years and they will have it down to a fine art, most likely matching a live axel set up.
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Follow Up By: tristjo - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:33

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 16:33
I think you would be surprised as to the ammount of off road capeability the Hummer has. It is made out to be an offroad demon, but really, it aint that startling. It makes up for it by running 38inch tyres, and twin diff locks, and it also has a hell of alot of bash pates, and underbody protection.

Tristjo.
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Follow Up By: wappinghigh - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 22:54

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 22:54
Steve I have just got a 2003 GXL V6. Also live in Melb. Who did/ is doing your modifications: in partic the calipres and shocks. Got a set of 16 inch "Kimberley" ? old prado wheels thrown in buy the dealer cause I kicked up such a fuss about the 17 inchers when I bought the car, but I am not real game )or able for that matter to tackle something like brakes and shocks myself! Are U the same guy as member of Yahoo groups 90series..if so could communicate over there. Cheers Alex.

PS I confesss I have done lots offroading including all over Fraser Is in a Merc ML with 17 inch tyers and effectively NO spare at all just the space saver! (and got away with it) though I'm not proud of this at all!!!!..also felt a little anxious to say the least, so very keen on the 16 inch wheel option for the 120 Prado .which I have to say I am extremely happy with.

BTW am extremely P'd off with the tyre distributors attitude to getting 17 inch tyres onto the market and readidly available..spent 2 years trying with the Merc and gave up..perhaps now the Prado and 100 Sahara has come onto the market they will finally get the message and get there act into gear..
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Follow Up By: srowlandson - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 15:18

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 15:18
G'day Alex,

Yes, I am on the 90scool Yahoogroups list.

When I get the car back later in the week, I'll take some pics and detail the 'mod' required for the Brake Calipers.

Its a 'do at your own risk' thing,

The Amount of steel removed is so small, and is only just 'excess' in the casting method, and doesn't afftect the brake caliper at all.

If you pull your wheel off, you will see a small lump about 2-3 mm high, and about 5 mm wide by 25-30mm long on the top and bottom of the caliper. I simply groudn these flat. Without knowing i had modified them, you wouldn't tell by looking at them.

Steve

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Reply By: Eric - Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 22:11

Thursday, Jun 12, 2003 at 22:11
Rodney.
You dont say if you are considering petrol or diesel, the tests that have been done indicate the prado is the better petrol car, and the pajero is much better as a diesel car, the research on accidents are showing a higher rate of rollovers with the prado compared to the pajero, same as the older models. Eric.
AnswerID: 22387

Follow Up By: Phil G - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 19:35

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 19:35
Eric,

Can you quote a source for the rollover info. My recollection was that the new Pajero was in trouble soon after its release because of susceptibility to rollovers, but I can't remember the details.
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Follow Up By: brett - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:18

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:18
Couldn't imagine the pajero easier to roll than a prado. Lower ride hight due to no chassis also stiffer springs makes for less body roll, fully independent suspension may also help. Take the two for a drive back to back, more body roll in a prado.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 10:36

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 10:36
I'm not arguing Pajero vs Prado. I'm just interested in the source of Eric's rollover info as I'd like to look at it first hand. I recall some rollover stuff in the newspaper soon after the pajero was released, and from memory it necessitated some change in the suspension, but I am very hazy on the detail.

Strikes me the Troopie must beat all the other hands down for rollovers. Especially in the hands of so many tourists.
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Follow Up By: Eric - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 21:49

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 21:49
Phil g.

The Pajero did fail the moose test when it first came out, so do most off road vehicles, the test consists of winding on full lock at some specified speed to represent a driver trying to mis an animal. The source of the roll over data is a senior person in a large car rental firm, sorry he does not want his name on this forum, but the original data comes from police reports. Your correct about the troopie. The hilux is up there to. Eric.
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