Toyota 79 Series and GU Tray Back Specs

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:02
ThreadID: 54638 Views:20577 Replies:8 FollowUps:18
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I'm doing some research as part of decision making for a replacement 4WD for the Hilux. We love the Hilux, but it just does not have the load and tow capacity we need for our travels. Vehicle will be used mainly for touring. We need a big payload as we carry the tinnie, motor, elec motor and lots of 'stuff'. We will also upgrade the CT to a caravan in a year or two. Van could weigh up to 3,000 KG loaded if we go for an 18 Ft Bushtracker or similar.

We will almost certainly move to a Tray Back ute. Options are:
A new 70 Series V8 TD
A Second Hand 79 Series (2003 or later) 4.2TD
A Second Han GU Nissan 4.2TD Tray Back

We will fit the ute out with a full sized aluminium canopy like this one:
Roscos canopy
and add boat racks and other accessories.

My original plan was to get a new 70 Series V8 TD, but I am considering other options. I am thinking the investment is just too much for a vehicle with differnet front and rear wheel tracks and limited modern safety features and creature comforts. Might look at them again in a few years when they bring out a 'real' new model, rather than a new engine in an old model. Having said that, it is still an option.

Of the remaining options, I lean towards the 79 Series over the Patrol, but I think either would probably do the job.

Neither the GU or 79 Series I'm considering are current models and I'm having trouble getting specs. Can anyone point me to a site that wil give me the info, or provide it to me direct. The info I'm after is:
Kerb Weight
Tow Capacity
Fuel Tank capacity

Finally anyone got any usefull advice for me on which vehicle is best for my purpose and anything to look out for when I start looking.

Norm C
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Reply By: furph - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:23

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:23
Land Rover Defender.
Look at and compare the specs.
Doesnt suffer overheating problems (Nissan gu)
Doesnt cost nearly $70000 (Toyota 70)
Better payload then both previous.
A vehicle much better than most of this forum subscrbers would have you believe.

AnswerID: 287813

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:56

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:56
Furph, can you point me to some specs for the Cab Chassis model. From what I can find, it looks like a 2.4litre TD with 90 KW of power and a 75 litre fuel tank. If that is right, I don't think it is what I'm after.

But I wouldn't be surprised if I'm looking at the wrong thing.
FollowupID: 553106

Reply By: Member - Big Al. Gold Coast - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:31

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:31
2006 79 series
power 122/1400
torque 380/1400
kerb mass 1970-2050
gvm 3300
tow 3300
fuel 90l x 2

AnswerID: 287816

Follow Up By: Member - Big Al. Gold Coast - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:41

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:41
power should read 122/3400

tow 3500kg

(need new glasses)
FollowupID: 553102

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:46

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 19:46
Thanks Big Al. I see you have Firestone airbags on your rear leaf springs (as I have on the Hilux). Does this mean the 79 suffers from a 'saggy bum' under load? I guess all vehicles do with enough weight on board.

On big trips, even with the 1300KG (approx) payload, we will run close to the limit. Guess I might need to add air bags to this one as well.
FollowupID: 553103

Follow Up By: Member - Big Al. Gold Coast - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:09

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:09
Air bags only installed for a slide on camper but never installed.
We only run the air at the lowest when fully loaded.

We are waiting delivery of new van 1300kg but even that would not effect the springs .
FollowupID: 553107

Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:26

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:26
My parents have the 06 TD RV 79 series with a canopy similar to Big Al's, the difference is the stronger G/box in the Turbo model, I wouldn't give you $1 for the non turbo G/box as I'm about to rebuild one out of a 78 series troopy for the 5th time in 3 years, they are the same G/box as the 79 series non turbo ute.

When the optus server comes back on line I will post a photo as its on the other computer.

Cheers Steve
FollowupID: 553109

Follow Up By: Member -Steve.NT - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:13

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:13
Here is the photo.

Image Could Not Be Found

The canopy has 3 doors with central locking, It now has a boat on it as well.

Cheers Steve.
FollowupID: 553132

Reply By: FreeWheeler(Qld) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:45

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:45
Norm you could also consider F250 single cab or the super cab.The single cab has a payload of 1398kg & the super cab is 1207kg.GVM for the single is4219 as is the Super & both have Gcm including a braked trailer of 9071kg these are both the XL model.Problem being no new one's around.
AnswerID: 287830

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:59

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:59
The big difference between the GU and 79series is the strength of the chassis. The GU - both leaf and coil versions continue to have problems with cracked chassis and coil towers. The 79series does not.

And the 6 cyl factory TD (1HD-FTE) is a sweet motor, with max torque at 1400rpm, and better fuel consumption than the GU, and oil changes can be done at 10,000k intervals. You can also upgrade the power very simply by plugging in a Dtronic +/- exhaust +/- intercooler. This will give you specs that are equal to or greater than the V8. This motor has the much stronger H150F gearbox.

Also you can increase the GVM of the 79series by an extra 400kg to 3,700kg, with a simple spring upgrade and some paperwork at your Dept of Transport. Many of the ex-govt vehicles here in SA have had this done. That works out to a legal payload of 1700kg! And the towing capacity is 3,500kg.

Simple decision really. Hardest thing is trying to find one secondhand.Mine is 5 years old and sells in the dealers for best part of $40,000. They were released in 2001.

The websites have spec sheets. and
AnswerID: 287833

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 02:23

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 02:23
could be wrong and it could vary between states but i think the GVM upgrade can only be one from brand new
FollowupID: 553160

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:18

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:18
G'day Norm

You are exactly where we were in mid November last year....uncanny how similar.....we have had had 5 or it might be 6 dual cab hilux's over the years...always towing an off camper trailer...cannot fault them at all consider where have taken them

time for us to upgrade...need more room for a decent load...extended off road trips planned....maybe an off road Bushtraker or Kedron in a few years...... and the kids now dont come with there is no need for the back seat as much (although my wife has some issues with losing it.... but not for the reasons it may have been before we married to the subject!).........(in fact we are keeping the Hilux)

The positives of the Nissan were as you mentioned......the interior lay out of the dash and cab.....the safety air bags.....coil springs = better ride and the toughness of the drive train.........BUT that STUPID (to me ) decision to only offer the CC with the unproven 3L was a significant negative

Add to that the many, many unfortunate Nissan owners who have had trouble with the old 3L ...(Yes I know it is not the same motor in this new one)...Reading all the posts here and elsewhere over the years what struck me more than anything was the Nissan ATTITUDE over it all. Some struck it lucky, with Nissan meeting some costs.....others didnt have a hope in seems Nissan ranged from denial to some assistance... depending how lucky you got getting through to the right decision how much of a fuss you kicked up.

back to the current 3L on offer with the new cc. I am convinced that it will only be a matter of time before they do away with this motor and revamp the 4.2 or go the Toyota way with a bigger / new motor all together...either way I dont think it has a long life (no pun intended) before it is history...if this happens dont hold you breath for spare parts in years to come

The Toyota TDV8......yes a bit of a bone shaker in comparison I guess.......certainly no frills in the cab ( in fact old fashioned)....a BIG negative without safety air uncertainity re the difference in wheel base......and a new motor....BUT what a motor.... 4.5L ....tow anything... anywhere.... all day and backed by Toyotas ATTITUDE....significantly different to Nissans

had the Nissan still offered the proven 4.2L then I would have given it serious consideration........BUT with their track record of ATTITUDE over the old 3L and a new motor yet to be proven I simply could not rest easy heading bush and waiting for the bang...yes it may never happen.......part of the fun outback is to be able to relax not be aprehensive their past history towards their customers......and me not relaxing over the possibilities (yes it may be very unfair....but its my money)......Toyota won very comfortably......Put simply I am backing Toyotas judgement on the wheel base thing and the new motor...Toyota has always got me home so gets delivered next week !

I am fitting BOSS air bags this time (had Firestone leaks)...some reasons for the change...half the price....lifetime guarantee...can be run on no pressure when unloaded...leaving the springs to do the need a minium pressure at all times = harder ride when empty

I never considered the 2nd hand models simply because as farmers the taxation benefits for new are there for me.....

Now watch some Nissan owners crank up!


Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
VKS 1341

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AnswerID: 287839

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:26

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:26
Hi Bungarra,

I reckon you are spot on with your assessment. Nissan's problem is not their vehicles but their attitude. No matter what brand you get, there is always going to be that 1 in 1000 that has some mechanical issue. So its how the manufacturer deals with it that counts.

While I am very happy with my GU 3.0TD itself, Nissan Australia's attitude to the problems I have had has been the undoing for me of getting another Nissan. Why would I spend ~$60K on a new vehicle only to be treated with disdain by the manufacturer.

And the old adage applies, do something good and you may tell a few people but do something bad and you tell everyone!!!


FollowupID: 553145

Follow Up By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 11:15

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 11:15
And the other old adage,

"You can shear a sheep all its life, but you'll only skin it once."
FollowupID: 553374

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:29

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:29
Regarding the aluminium canopy - we had the shell custom made from 3mm aluminium by a motor body builder in Adelaide. Its bolted to the rails of the tray. I have an aluminium tray to keep the weight down; I shaved 50mm off each side of the tray so it kept the narrow profile of the vehicle for bush tracks, and improved rearward vision down each side, so mine is 1750wide. A friend did the same and his is 1770.

We have lift up side doors that provide good shelter - they lift up high, so we don't hit our heads.
No windows, so prying eyes can't see in, and sun reflects out.
We have no back door, so no dust can get in. It also allows spare wheels and HF to mount on the back with just a bolt type arrangement.
We fitted out the inside - made up our own drawers on hettich slides both sides. Our fridges sit side by side and are simply strapped to the floor - no need for a slide IMO.
I have space for at least 10 extra jerries inside, and up forward. We have a 75litre Goughs undertray water tank, that simply pipes to a tap behind the cab.
The roof is a 100mm mesh roofrack - can strap anything anywhere.

No matter what, you'll want to upgrade the standard springs if you want the vehicle to sit level with extra clearance. Given the rampover angle is big, a little lift is good if you want to do the harder trips.
AnswerID: 287842

Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:32

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:32
Got to say Phil your tray is one of the best setups I've seen, a place for everything & everything in it's place. By keeping it simple yet practical the weight is minimal unlike many who take every accessory known to man putting additional & unnecessary stress on the vehicle. A nice Job :-)
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 553212

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:44

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:44
Thanks for the nice words.
When planning the canopy, I had to change the way I thought about storage. In a wagon, you use every bit of space. In the canopy you have heaps more space, heaps more options and two 6' wide doors gives you huge access and shelter. And you can just custom build the storage to fit the good camping gear. And one side is a kitchen, and the other is a bedroom.

But you and Kristen have a few years before the kids are off your hands, so I guess a traytop is a little way off yet!

FollowupID: 553519

Reply By: lizard - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 10:54

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 10:54
I have a 2005 G.U ST 4.2 Patrol ... in hindsight I should have got the DX with leaf springs and fully floating rear axle -these are a superior load carrying vehicle (over the coil springs)... I have added aftermarket springs and Polyair bags to mine (we are quite heavy when we go away - with 6.0 metre off rd van in tow ).
The only Patrols that I know that have cracked chassis were grossly overloaded - the only leaf spring model I know that cracked in half had done 340K with 4.3 tonnes on its back (most of its life).
I think the Tojo is a better tow vehicle (have to dodge the gearbox and front diff problems ) - am not sure it is worth the extras dollars though .... cheers
AnswerID: 287904

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:18

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:18
Have a read of this under the heading "chassis Problems"
Westprint newsletter last friday

All the 4wd forums have had reports with the odd photo like this:

FollowupID: 553208

Follow Up By: lizard - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:35

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:35
Thanks for photo Phil (read the article too) , my 2005 (1st registered 2006) chassis looks slightly different (coils) also has the two supports for Tray closer together - and seems to have a few steel plates welded about (anyone know if this is an úpgrade'?) .....I would have put a photo in but my Canon is still being repaired . Where do the coil chassis crack (I think it is immediately above coil mount)
FollowupID: 553248

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:26

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:26
I haven't got a broken tower photo, but heres a couple of photos of reinforced coil spring towers, and they come adrift at the weld to the chassis and bend up:

FollowupID: 553261

Follow Up By: trolute - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 18:29

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 18:29
Broken spring tower.

FollowupID: 553272

Follow Up By: trolute - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 18:31

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 18:31
just try that again...
FollowupID: 553273

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:18

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:18
Thanks for the replys and info guys. Very helpful.
Looks like it is a 79 Series TD with 1HD - FTE motor and H150F gearbox. I think that just means make sure I get a 79 Series with a factory turbo.

Looking around on the web, they are VERY expensive. Clearly hold their value well.

Heading off on a fishing trip to the Gulf soon with the Hilux (if the floods ever abate) and will start some serious looking when we return. Just hope I can find a good one at the right price.

Norm C
AnswerID: 288025

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:28

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:28
Looks like you've decided but in case you have any doubts consider this-If you intend to tow which is why you seem to be upgrading-forget the Patrol. 2500kg towing capacity and a motor that has a reputation for over heating towing big loads on warm days (talking about the 4.2 here), mean no matter how much cheaper the Nissan is, not a great option. Unbelievably, bought new there was little difference in the price.

There was a bit of a story in the latest 4x4 trader or just 4x4's not sure which one, regarding the very high value of 79 series at the moment. Huge demand is keeping prices of second hand units high. For this reason I'd go the new V8, though I hate the idea of handing over that much money for a vehicle with so little in the way of safety, different front and rear tracks, development etc. If you want one now though what can you do....Toyota will surely come out with a PROPER new model in the near future but who knows when.

Good luck,
FollowupID: 553322

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 11:09

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 11:09
Thanks for that Matt. Yes, I have ruled out the the Nissan for my needs.

It is a bit frustrating. 79 Series at the moment seems on the expensive side for a second hand vehicle, but I'm hopefull of finding one at the right price in a few months when we return from our fishing trip.

My initial thought was to get a 79 Series and Roscos canopy. Then in a couple of years, when Toyota bring out a 'real' new model, I have the option to upgrade and move the canopy over to the new vehicle if we see enough benefit. I was reluctant to pay the full price for a new vehicle and wear all the early depreciation, only to have a new model come out a year or two later with the features I really want. The new and better model would probably also reduce the resale value of the previous model once it is available in reasonable numbers. Plus, that different front and rear wheel track worries me a bit for towing in soft sand.

I'll have to do some serious number crunching on the current new model with necessary options and assessories, compared with a late model 79 Series. If the difference is less than about $15 or $18K, I might as well get the new vehicle and take advantage of the warranty and making the vehicle 'mine' from the start.

Other alternative is to keep the Hilux another couple of years. But that dictates when we can upgrade to a caravan. Also, we are planning a trip to the Cape for next year, and I'm not comfortable doing that trip in the Hilux with the load we carry. I'd have to postpone that trip or leave the boat behind - not happy with either of those options.

Bit of a quandry, but as our former PM who lost his pants said ' life wasn't meant to be easy'. I'll eventually work my way through it.

Thanks for your input.
FollowupID: 553372

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