120 Prados - Cracks

Submitted: Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:07
ThreadID: 66153 Views:8753 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Hi everyone, time is coming close to buying a Prado. Want a 2003-2005 model GXL 3.0L TD. After doing some research it seems that they crack in just about every panel imaginable. Especially the firewall and around the battery mounts.

I guess alot of people would of come across this problem before, does it happen as often as what im reading about? Has it happened to yours and what places has it been and what mods have you done? I really want a dual battery system but will stick with the alloy bull bar. Will be getting rear _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx also, i have heard of the rear door cracking often also. I dont really wanna fork out for a swing away spare tyre carrier. As the car that i will prchase will no doubt be out of warranty it would be much fun paying for these repairs that i believe are too frequent.

Thought i beter ask here cause i know the majority of ExplorOz folk look after there gear and dont go rock hopping or anything extreme, mine will be used for fairly corrugated roads (Cape Leveque road, Gibb Road). Really like the Prado, have spent many hours driving a 120 and i really like them. Power, comfort and economy is all miles ahead of my 75 Series trayback. (But not as strong thats for sure)

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Reply By: PradOz - Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:30

Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:30
i got to wonder where you have got your research from. i was only just reading a write up on these models on friday and nowhere under the heading "cons" did this get mentioned. the write up was very favourable for this model. i am pretty sure if it was common to "crack in just about every panel imaginable" as you refer we would be reading about it on here and elsewhere all the time. my brother has no dramas with his and sister in law none with hers (but has since sold it, but no wotties at all - she actually has commented about being sorry she sold it). if you have spent "many hours driving a 120 and really like them" surely a big problem llike this would have become obvious to you at the time. i am sure that out there somewhere in the world there is one 120 sitting there with the problems mentioned, but i would have to wonder about the treatment it got from that owner. if you go to purchase one i am sure such defects would be obvious before you bought it and it would pay if you still have doubts to get a pre-purchase inspection done first. why not ask over at the pradopoint forum
AnswerID: 350173

Follow Up By: Kroozer - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 00:24

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 00:24
Hey mate, The Information is from members of PradoPoint., And yes the Prado that i drove had a giant crack in the Dashboard and also around the radiator support. This car had no mods at all though went on corrugated roads often.

Dont get me wrong i love the Prados, but when you get info from people who own them and are dedicated to them then you gotta wonder. Might be time everyone checked theres over.

Have a read hereCracks, Front End Noises and Chassis Problem

But this is the big killer here
Even photos for proof
Cracks In Guards

Not trying to shoot down the Prados believe me, i just wanna get some real world answers or explanation so i know what to do and what not to do when i get one. Surely all these people arent out there thrashing there Prado's in order for this to happen, its just gotta be something not right.
FollowupID: 618489

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 04:42

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 04:42
I have just been looking at those photos.

I would be interested o know what speed they traveled at ?

FollowupID: 618492

Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 08:21

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 08:21
Seems to me that both of those were originally caused by "incidents" and not repaired correctly. It would be a bit of a stretch to say Prado's have problems based on those two vehicles.

Quote from first link

"Some years ago I had and incident which resulted in the left hand suspension coming in contact with the underside of the wheel arch. At the time I found the crumple zone area on the left hand firewall had been compromised."

Quote from second link

"On the QAA line I hit a blow out in a sand dune that almost bought the car to standstill."
FollowupID: 618497

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:43

Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 23:43
My biggest mistake was selling my old prado (petrol). After 2 years of not having one we had to fork out a lot more dough to get another one. I still see my old one around town every now and then. The guy who owns lives out bush and it sees some rough roads and he doesn't have problems with cracking; dual battery, steel bull bar, winch and all.

Had the 2006 model almost 3 years; hasn't seen the same work as the old one, but no dramas there either. I talk to a lot of prado owners, no one has mentioned this problem to me.
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AnswerID: 350174

Reply By: wheeler - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 07:09

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 07:09
This is a common problem on the Prado and contary to what Toyota say it is absolutly nothing to do with having a bull bar fitted. There ahve been quite a few that have cracked with no bars fitted.
Black toyota in dalby have had several vehicles come in to them that have had this problem.
The problem is the soft front body mounts that allow the body to move around too much and stress cracks form on the firewall and the radiator surround.
AnswerID: 350183

Follow Up By: Kroozer - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 16:10

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 16:10
Finally someone who has also experienced it. It honestly seems that people are a little embarrased about owning up to this problem. Or maybe people who havent heard this before have never checked there Prado for it. Probably be very suprised if they have done some bush touring.
FollowupID: 618537

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 16:53

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 16:53
Hi Kroozer,
I have checked my vehicle and I am sorry to report that there are no cracks in my 120 Series, plates 12/05, and yes I go to very remote places in my vehicle, the type of places that it is made for and at home in. Last year we travelled some remote places in the Gibson Desert, with some good corrugations thrown in for good measure. This year we are venturing into very remote Great Victoria Desert Country, so will give a report when I get back.

I am not reporting this cocky, but honestly. If I do have a problem, I will give a true report.


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FollowupID: 618544

Reply By: RobAck - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:32

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:32
We operate a 2005 V6 which has done just over 60000km off bitumen and is heavily modified for remote area tours and training.
It is fitted with twin batteries weighing in at 27.6 kg each, an Ox 10000lb winch, bull bar and uprated suspension and a full drawer unit in the back. All up weight without the touring kit is 2350kg.

No cracks.

Yes I've seen two with cracks in the LHF guard and that's it. Whilst there is plenty of discussion regarding these vehicles there is very little knowledge on how these vehicles are configured and driven.

Early dual battery systems were poorly designed and did cause cracking in that area. That problem has been fixed.

Rear door problems? Only seen when vehicles have been overloaded and over driven. Suspension setup and tyre pressures can also go a long way to reducing wear and tear, along with driving to the conditions. We regularly see 4WD of all makes being driven too fast for the conditions so are rarely surprised to find their owners complaining about some product failure which is definitely not their fault.

If you buy one with a log book service history and which hasn't been flogged to death by a minng company then you should have a happy ownership experience


AnswerID: 350269

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 00:11

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 00:11
""Rear door problems? Only seen when vehicles have been overloaded and over driven ""

Sorry Rob but cracks on the top hinge were a common problem and could be found on 03 model prados, and ones that are used for shopping trolleys and never seen off road. In 04 (early not sure what month) Toyota have a revised hinge to stop the problem on the later models. First sign of hinge fatiqe is them dropping and when you go to shut the door you can feel it as it lifts up onto the striker when shutting. Have heard of cracking on inner guards when fitting duel batts but cant say I have seen it for myself (doors I have). Other then that I think they are a fantastic vehicle and would definately own one (currently have 95 series). The only other issue I have heard about and have heard for myself on nearly all of them is the fluttering under full throttle (petrol only) sounds like a manifold exhaust leak but thats just the way they are. Some people it really bothers them others have the windows up all the time and wouldnt hear it..........WHG
FollowupID: 618646

Reply By: GerryP - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:45

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:45
Hi Kroozer,

Couple of Prados in our 4wd club - well, used to be... only one now.

The older model (not sure of the designation) seems fine, however, the chap with the later model had several cracks around the radiator and also around the firewall area somewhere. Had it repaired (over $3000) then traded her in.

Both vehicles have regularly been bush, but certainly neither of the guys are rough on their vehicles.

The problems you mention certainly do occur, just gotta be unlucky I think.

AnswerID: 350272

Reply By: Muddy doe (SA) - Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 23:57

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 23:57
Hi Kroozer,

I have hit some pretty serious dips and dunes with mine over 5 years and am yet to see any evidence of cracking. It has a dual battery installed and has the Toyota alloy bar.

At least twice I have had forward progress impeded swiftly enough that I feared the airbags were about to be deployed directly into my snoz!

Once was a dip on the Weipa to Cairns run that I didn't see in the dark at 4am (saw the other 700 or so) and we hit that at 80 with a 1500kg trailer on the back - front end was airborne after the hit and I was just waiting for the trailer to enter via the back door. No damage thankfully.

Other occasion was piling it into a sand dune after bouncing the front end off line on a hairy angled approach. This one was enough to mould the number plate into the shape of the winch cradle behind it and give me another close up of the logo in the centre of the steering wheel.

I have read a few accounts of cracks in 120's, particularly in sides of the engine bay/front guards - so they do happen - but I don't think it is as often as you make out. Toyota at one point was selling between 15 and 20 thousand Prados a year so with about 100,000 of them on Aussie roads they are pretty popular. If even 5% developed cracking as you describe there would be a hue and cry akin to Nissan ZD30's blowing up.

Buy one and enjoy it. They are a great 4WD if it also has to double as your daily driver.


AnswerID: 350332

Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 11:03

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 11:03

Bloke I know bought a Prado. Lives in Derby and has a shack up the Cape Leveque Road.

He is very disappointed with his Prado as it is falling to bits. He has previously owned Landcruisers, Hi-lux and Rodeo and did not have the same problems with them.

I have also driven Prado's at work and I am unimpressed.

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AnswerID: 350369

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