Any words of wisdom…buying a 3 yr old Patrol, Cruiser or Prado

Submitted: Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 12:45
ThreadID: 57448 Views:4308 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Any words of wisdom…buying a 3 yr old Patrol, Cruiser or Prado
Hi, It’s time to update my 1990 Patrol ST (LPG/Petrol 4.2L, with bigger tyres and springs for greater clearance). The Patrol has been fantastic. It’s only averaged about 15000Kms per year and this trend is likely to continue. Driving mix is about 50% city (Melbourne) and touring (includes off road) kms.
The new 4WD will likely be kept for 10 years or more and will do all types off camping/touring so reliability and serviceability are important. What features I know want? Automatic, wagon, good tyres and clearance for all surfaces, tow bar, and bull bar. Towing, if anything an off road trailer with tinny (not common though).

My dilemma; Patrol, Prado or Cruiser, what to buy next that’s about 3 years old? I really don’t know anything about the qualities of these vehicles expect what you read on the marketing spiel. Is re-sale a factor with any of these 4WD’s? Price is always important but I am not sure what I would be trading off in relation to a Patrol, Prado or Cruiser.
Not sure what fuel combination to get and engine size, have liked the LPG/Petrol combo. I have heard you can combine Diesel and LPG, I am not sure if this is true. Fuel costs etc are obviously important these days.

Anyone know approximately how much extra to these options individually supplied and fitted (good quality)? Cruise Control, Cargo Barrier, Lift Kit or raised suspension, LPG Conversion
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Reply By: Gazal Champion - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:03

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:03
Hi Sam39,
what you need or want is dependant upon use for example, off road, tow 2 tonne caravan or city driving.

A friend has a V8 petrol 100 series cruiser and an 80 series 4.5 petrol also and they said that the power of the V8 is great and was more economical on the highway than the 6 which was slightly better around town.

Being down in Vic. puts you in the box seat because there are more LPG vehicles available in Vic than anywhere else in the country.

I recently travelled 6000k on a holiday trip through NSW, SA and back through Vic and found, by talking to other travellers that I was getting more kilometres per dollar on LPG than the others were getting on diesel. My trip cost me about $1275 for fuel and a quick calculation of the figures that the others gave me indicates that if I had been on diesel it would have cost over $2500.

I have no idea how well the V8 petrol cruisers go on gas but I believe that the bigger the motor the better they go on gas, but then I am no expert. Has anyone else got experience in thet direction

Stay with gas/petrol. Even if they put the excise on gas it will still be cheaper than straight petrol and who nows where diesel prices are going.

At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 303041

Follow Up By: Gazal Champion - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:06

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:06
Sorry folks that should have been $1500 on diesel and not 2500

Getting carried away there.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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FollowupID: 569180

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:03

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:03
Hi Sam, diesel gas check out eco shot, or d-gas...cheers..silverback
AnswerID: 303042

Reply By: Sam39 - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:33

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:33
Thanks Bruce and David,

I do like the sound of the LPG if those calculations are anywhere near accurate.

RE: Towing. Most times we get away we don't need a trailor at all. Long trips (month or more) we would have an off road trailer with a tent on top and maybe a tinny on top of this also. Not sure what this would weigh but with the current Patrol it seems very light and my enginer is nearly 20 years old.
AnswerID: 303044

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:03

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:03
My advice is this....only milk comes in 3 litres....stay away from anything with 3 litres and nissan on thesame car...other than that, the 95 or later 6 cylinder cruiser is the pick of the lpg friendly motors, nissan 4.8 is also a good contender, but you run into petrol tank issues, with the sub only 35 litres in size, lpg is great around highway 1 but outback, you have no filling facilities.
LPG also fluctuates in price once you get out of the big smoke...the 80 series has a 95 litre fuel tank and you can fit up to 120 litres of lpg under the back with a wheel carrier or roof rack fitted.
100 series petrols are even cheaper to convert if you put belly tanks on, no wheel carrier required, but you have 145 litres of fuel and 75 litres of gas, which means you stop sooner and fill more often with that system.....depends what you want....
AnswerID: 303049

Follow Up By: Dave Thomson - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:37

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:37
Dozer, whilst most would totally agree with you not all 3 Lts are bombs mate in fact theres only the one, thats the N-I-S-S-A-N , no other 3Lt is in that class mate its track record is chronic and the only one to stay away from , I know it bit me, the Landy ,paj, toyo, all have 3Ltrs and none have gave as much grieve as the Patrol, I now drive a 3Ltr Prado and so far {175.000Ks} BRILLIANT, and thats pulling a 1,5 ton van it averages 9K's per Ltr and 7Ks pulling the van couldn't be happier,
FollowupID: 569192

Follow Up By: Member - Richard K (NSW) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 15:27

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 15:27
Yep, the 3l Prado motor (old one, not the D4D) is a ripper...not exactly gonna impress you with sheer power but bags of torque, very relaxing to drive and good on fuel.

Resale - we paid $45K for our 2002 mode in 2003l, its probably only worth 25K now...but thats only $4K per year depreciation - I can live with that..

FollowupID: 569209

Follow Up By: Dave Thomson - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 16:03

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 16:03
Thats exactly how I view it too Richard, I already think I've had a great run from her and I'm more than confident theres a lot more to go, Exmouth here we come in July and then some LOL,
FollowupID: 569218

Follow Up By: Member - Richard K (NSW) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 16:59

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 16:59
Thats the thing - these motors seem to go forever - I've only got 130000kms on mine so far, mechanics are all saying to expect 400000kms without major drama (assuming oil and filter changes are done)
FollowupID: 569226

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 11:23

Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 11:23
I agree with all of you, as-long as you dont have a Nissan badge on your Prado that is (read original post)
The author seemed to be looking for a LPG motor, the only gas i would run aftermarket is injected gas, which is roughly 4000 installed minus rebate....but it is comparable to EFI as far as self tuning goes, whereas the other systems can go out of tune from fill to fill (different mixes of butane and propane in LP gas)
FollowupID: 569335

Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:04

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:04
Hi Sam,
While not specific to answering your question on the Patrol/Cruiser/Prado, I hope the following helps with your selection.

Petrol/gas Vs Diesel. Some consider the premium that you pay for a diesel powered vehicle is more than offset by better around town power and reduced service costs of the petrol version. With the Government rebate for a gas conversion still in place at the moment, and with the lower cost per litre, for around town driving petrol/gas may be the way to go. However, diesel would be the choice of many for long outback touring with, availability of fuel and safer cartage of extra fuel, being the main safety concerns. You can fit gas injection onto a diesel for increased performance and a slight reduction in diesel consumption.
The aftermarket gear you are considering shouldn’t be too much of a factor in your choice, all additions ie Bull bar, tow bar, cargo barrier long-range fuel tank, gas conversion etc, etc………… will be similar in cost from the main suppliers.
On resale value, I’ve bought my vehicle to “enjoyably depreciate it” not to sell it to the next person :-}
As to which vehicle……. have a look at each one, drive each type and choose the one you like the look of , not very technical I know, but if you don’t like the look of it in the driveway, you aren’t going to enjoy it IMHO.
Get in contact with your local 4WD Clubs and talk with the owners of these vehicles.
Go into the vehicle specific forums,
Landcruiser Owners On Line
Australia 4WD forum
and read as much as you can on each vehicle.

Can’t help you at all with the cost of accessories, you may be fortunate and source a touring vehicle already kitted out, for a small premium over a standard vehicle.

Hope some of this helps and we look forward to hearing about your choice.

AnswerID: 303050

Reply By: Sam39 - Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 19:01

Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 19:01
Thanks everyone so far. I have done a fair bit more research following the links provided and other sources and surprisingly to me, this is where I am at. It looks a 2004 or 2005 Prado will most suit my requirements and budget either a 3.0 GXL Turbo Diesel Auto or 4.0 GXL Auto. I better go and have a drive of one to see what they are like. I have read a few reviews and they seem to suit my needs. Are there any differences I should look out for between the 2004 and 2005 Prado’s?

Using a Motormouth fuel calculator it seems the GXL Diesel will do about 16% better fuel pricing over a year then the GXL ULP, does this seem right? I have never had a Diesel before are they any more expensive to service or other overheads I should be aware of.

I had a look at Ecoshot and D-Gas sites, EcoShot sounds impressive, has anyone done this on a Prado or similar that has any results or costs to share?

If I was to stick to a Nissan Patrol (not the 3.0 litre), I would be looking at a 4.8 ST-L Auto or 4.8 ST Auto. Does anyone have a view on how these compare to the Prado’s mentioned above? Without doing too much investigation it seems the Patrol may be cheaper to buy but will cost more to run.
AnswerID: 303285

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