LPG conversions vs other options for first 4wd

Submitted: Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 22:19
ThreadID: 70071 Views:5562 Replies:10 FollowUps:29
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Gday guys,

Im back again. Made a post a month or more back about getting a Vitara or something similiar.

Well I have been doing practically nothing BUT research into this matter and here is where I currently stand...

I absolutely love Suzuki Sierras, but am turned off by their relatively high price still (for something in good nick), their lack of space, the small engine size (camping with a full load wouldnt be fantastic, nor do I think it would be ok to tug a trailer any decent distance with it to make up for the lack of room), and above all... safety... Now I know its a hum-ha topic but the safety factor in the Sierra makes me seriously think twice about it because I am getting a four-wheel drive for myself and my girlfriend to experience a bit more of remote Oz, and the fourby will double as our regular vehicle... for that reason, I am not so sure I like carting her around in something that little safety wise alone...

So... Although I probably will still jump on a Sierra if I find the right one at the right price (if anyone spots one, lemme know!), I am looking at other options. I have covered all sorts of ground... Jackaroos, 4runners, pathfinders, etc but I just keep coming back to the Pajero.

I cant get past the availability of the 93 (it almost always seems to be that a 93 model is for sale) with a 3L petrol for around 5-grand with

Anyway any feedback would be appreciate here.. Im looking to purchase anywhere from the next few days to the coming months... Assuming I decide to go with something bigger and dont give in to the Sierra urge..


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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:47

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:47
I had a 92 model (NH) as my last car. Took us on lots of good trips and towed my camper trailer with no problems. In your price range it would be hard to do better IMO.

The 3lt petrol is a good honest and reliable engine. The manual tranny on these can suffer from dodgy synchros and 5th gear was suspect on some but most would have been fixed by now. Plenty of room, lots of accessories available, spares are pretty easy to come by as there's lots of them around, relatively easy to work on...

I'd definitely choose the Paj before the Zuk..

I am NOT biased... (much)

AnswerID: 371437

Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:47

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:47
I had a 92 model (NH) as my last car. Took us on lots of good trips and towed my camper trailer with no problems. In your price range it would be hard to do better IMO.

The 3lt petrol is a good honest and reliable engine. The manual tranny on these can suffer from dodgy synchros and 5th gear was suspect on some but most would have been fixed by now. Plenty of room, lots of accessories available, spares are pretty easy to come by as there's lots of them around, relatively easy to work on...

I'd definitely choose the Paj before the Zuk..

I am NOT biased... (much)

AnswerID: 371438

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:53

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:53
FollowupID: 638689

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:48

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 07:48
I am quite happy with my 96.
Had it since new, now has 335,000k.
Was looking at trading it in a couple of years ago and after looking at the market and what we do, decided to stay with it. It is mainly used around SE Qld and for the trips away in Oz.
The 93s are getting a bit long in the tooth now, and if you can find a low milage you might be OK. The prado of the same age (series 90 is maybe a bit younger) is similar, but of course, more money.
I would look at any pajero of that gen 2 shape, which is up to 1999 (NL).

If you want more info, go the Victorian Mitsubishi club forum.

Pajero club forum

As usual maintenance on them is important, and usual checks apply.

Know some who started in pajeros, and some have stayed with them and others have gone for something stronger off road like a patrol to suit their ventures.
AnswerID: 371439

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:14

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:14
Gday John,

Mate can you tell me what exactly "low" mileage is for these things? Prados seem to be low anywhere under 200K and Pajeros are almost always around the 200K mark as well (at least thats what I am seeing as whats available).

FollowupID: 638741

Reply By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 09:33

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 09:33
In this price range Gav condition of the indivual vehicle is more importent then brand.Good low k NH s still bring $7k plus. We sold our 93 NH with 98000ks(would you believe) for $7400 in Feb this year.IT woulds have done anothjer 100000ks before needing any major repairs.Where are you?
I have seen a few good ones on car sales.
Their is also a plain looking but low k 95 Jack at cowra listed on Country cars
My first 4by was a lj80 Suz. Had heaps of fun with that vehicle, but no long distance stuff and just a few days atr a time.The Suzs are a bit dodgy in the safty aspect.
Anyway good luck Pete
AnswerID: 371454

Reply By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 10:20

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 10:20
Hi guys, thanks for the reply.

I actually forgot part of my post... I should have mentioned that in place of the Sierra, I am still on the lookout for a good-nick Vitara or even better, a Feroza (I know parts are harder to come by but for the price, safety etc, they seem probably a happy medium for a mostly-city car)...

What John C said really struck a chord... the 93s are really getting a bit old now I would think.. I actually mentioned that I sold my 98 Magna earlier in the year and now am looking at something substantially older with much higher kms...

Pete: Im in the South Western suburbs of Melbourne. I am heading to the Fowles pre-inspection auctions today but they have nothing in the way of smallies (cept a soft-top high kms, old Vitara). They do have a number of Pajeros ( http://www.manheimfowles.com.au/find_buy/power_search/index.mpl?unit_key=93149_AU102665117-93149;detail_tab=vinfo;fulltext=pajero;include_salvage=;salvage_only=;model=;state=Victoria;model_all=1;rm=view_detail, http://www.manheimfowles.com.au/find_buy/power_search/index.mpl?unit_key=93149_AU102670125-93149;detail_tab=vinfo;fulltext=pajero;include_salvage=;salvage_only=;model=;state=Victoria;model_all=1;rm=view_detail, http://www.manheimfowles.com.au/find_buy/power_search/index.mpl?unit_key=93149_AU102669689-93149;detail_tab=vinfo;fulltext=pajero;include_salvage=;salvage_only=;model=;state=Victoria;model_all=1;rm=view_detail, http://www.manheimfowles.com.au/find_buy/power_search/index.mpl?unit_key=93149_AU102673780-93149;detail_tab=vinfo;fulltext=pajero;include_salvage=;salvage_only=;model=;state=Victoria;model_all=1;rm=view_detail, http://www.manheimfowles.com.au/find_buy/power_search/index.mpl?unit_key=93149_AU102670079-93149;detail_tab=vinfo;fulltext=pajero;include_salvage=;salvage_only=;model=;state=Victoria;model_all=1;rm=view_detail ) that are going to be in the price range, but with the exception of the first link there, they seem to have very high kms... but 1 is an auto (not a big fan and hear theyre worse on fuel) AND doesnt seem to have reg...

So anyway I guess it boils down to "do I need a truck like this"... Now I know people say that the Paj is a whole-other class of vehicle to a Feroza or a Vitara (and most certainly to a Sierra!), but I have to ask myself if I really need something this big...

I can justify it if I can keep the costs down. The running costs are not stupidly, outrageously higher if the fuel consumption isnt through the roof, but the best I think I can expect on a 3L is 10L/100km and thats highway.. I expect more stop/starting in the city/... now Id be interested to know what people think about LPG fittings to it? Consumption of LPG would obviously be higher but I was hoping to draw on any experience anyone might have with them in this particular vehicle. What bothers me with LPG besides the back-firing component, is that it uses so much more and people are getting limited range on it, even as little as 200km per 90L tank... plus a smaller petrol auxillary that severly reduces the range of the big truck making it a bit of a silly thing: get a big truck to be able to do the occasional trip in the outback, but have such high running costs that fit LPG to it, which impacts its ability to work in the outback due to limited range)...

To sum it up, Id love a Paj, but probably dont need something that big because I dont have bucket-loads of money and wont be going on any big trips for a while at least. I do like to know that I can go on a bigger trip if I want too, but it seems a little silly to have something so large for a big trip I might not ever take, if the fuel costs are exceptionally high.

Having said that, I am reading on the Pajero forum (thanks for the link) that people are finding anywhere from 10/11L ((best case scenario)) to a more common 14/15L even up to 17L per 100km and that is just ridiculous to me... I am really worried that I get something like this and end up spending so much in fuel), not to mention the environmental impact which is acceptable IF I was using it all the time...

I am planning on joining the local 4wd club and getting away whenever we can but that might be limited because we are currently both looking for work and when we get it, its going to be more-work-than-play kind of thing.

Anyway let me know what ya's think, and if the consensus is to fit LPG to it.

Im off to the auctions now to have a look, and Ill make some private enquiries.

Oh and regarding the comment that its more importnat to find something in the right condition for its age rather than model, I agree completely. But the Pajeros price is consistently lower than a Prado or Patrol, Ive been looking at that.

I did find a great-looking Japanese import 89 SWB Pajero with a 2.5TD in it but the bloke said the engine isnt what came in it and it had to be reasonably modified to accomodate it... that worries me in case of working on it, I have to call him and chat to him a bit more about it.

AnswerID: 371462

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:46

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:46
Gav the Pajs where not suited to gas till the nls (about 97).Asking for trouble putting gas on a NH, Nj Nk. Best economy out of ours was 12.5 with road tyres, soon as we put 10r lts on that went out the window as well. Manual Pajs rev hard eg 3000 @100 which was one reason Jacks in the same state of tune will give slighly better economy. Jacks do 2500 at 100. A 6 cylinder falcon will give far better economy then any 6 cylinder 4by.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 638773

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 19:04

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 19:04
Pete: Good to know about Pajs no being alright on LPG til later... I have seen a heap of them on LPG but if theyre not suited for it, seems like it could be more trouble than its worth.

I am looking at ALL options now.

I have actually discovered the workers utes... The Mazda Bravo and Ford Courier (same car apparently, even though the Courier is cheaper) in a 2.5 turbo diesel... it gets mixed reviews but I think thats peoples expectations and driving styles in a turbo diesel rather than something particularly wrong with them... anyway theyre a pretty good price for something low kms and new model, plus theyre a bit more economical and can still do most of what I reckon Ill want it too.. It will need work though... have to figure out about raising it up..

Also on the books is a high-km (270,000) 97 Petrol Prado 2.7 (though I understand theyre quite thirsty), some Disco's (not seriously though, I have heard too many people putting them down to consider them seriously), some 4-runners (but I feel like I'll buy a lemon when I look at them), an 03 Mitsubishi Challenger (way outta my price range, but it sure is PERTY!), and of course some early 90's Pajeros... with what you said about not putting LPG on the 90s pajeros though pete that makes me think twice... 12L/100km is OK because thats what I had with my Magna...

I know a Falcon will give better economy, of course its much lighter and aerodynamic and is designed for the road exclusively.. but its not a fourby :)
FollowupID: 638792

Follow Up By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 15:31

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 15:31
Gav, the 2.7L Prado will be a 4cyl and not as thirsty as its 6cyl brothers. I'm not sure if a 4cyl would last as long as a 6cyl though - they tend to work a bit harder.
FollowupID: 638915

Reply By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:12

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:12
H again Gavo,

You must have decided against that Rocky? It's good that you're considering a wide range of alternatives but just a few points to help you along...

If you are looking at longer trips (particularly if planning to head Outback), I'd recommend something bigger than Feroza/Sierra/Vitara. My first car was a Suzuki LJ80v (predecessor to the Sierra) and we managed camping trips up to one week but it was cosy, and it was quite an art to pack everything inside (like a 3D kigsaw puzzle)!

I'd also recommend against a grey-import... These can be difficult to get parts for since some of the parts aren't supported by local dealers & sometimes you have to import things as needed. A colleague of my brother had no wheels for a few weeks because he was waiting for delivery of an oil pressure switch! The difficultly of sourcing parts also drives insurance premiums up.

You have noticed that the Paj is significantly cheaper than say the Prado of similar vintage, mileage, condition, etc. Sometimes it is because of reputation, what the market wants, and the level of discounting & availability of new equivalents. From some personal experience: I wanted a Prado but ended up getting a Jackaroo since they were around $5-10k cheaper for the equivalent (ie. $15k instead of $20-25k). Was the Prado a better car? Probably, but definitely not nearly twice as good! Hardly anyone wanted a Jackaroo new (perhaps because Holden never bothered to market them seriously) and therefore not too many people wanted them 2nd hand either - this drove the 2nd hand prices down quicker than the Prados. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Pajero because I've heard Mitsubishi has a shady reputation on transmissions but I think this was mostly the early Magnas, I don't know if Paj's were affected or to what extent - it's possible that this also could affect the resale values (ie. making them cheaper for you to buy now!). I trust you were happy with your Magna? Many people have Pajeros and swear by them and wouldn't consider anything else for their next upgrade (which says something). I also understand that the ground clearance & wheel articulation isn't as good as some of the others, but people still seem to get them into some fairly rugged places!

My Jackaroo also had high mileage when I bought it (~225,000km) but I never had an significant repairs to it (sold it with ~395,000km). If you find a vehicle that has high mileage but has been well looked after ie. is in excellent condition inside & out, has been regularly serviced properly, etc. it might still be worthwhile but cheaper because all the other potential buyers are scared off by the high mileage.

Many Pajeros (like many of any sort of 4WD) never see a dirt road, let alone a desert track or rocky fire trail so there should be many that have had a fairly easy life. I've also observed that a lot of (not all) Pajero owners are VERY car proud so it shouldn't be too hard to find one that's been looked after.

Research the used car values on redbook.com.au and drive.com.au so you know you're paying the right amount.
AnswerID: 371476

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:32

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:32
Hey there Tim,

Thats an issue for me see.. Longer trips really arnt going to be happening all that often.. wont have a great deal of time for it really, once the work starts.

Made me laugh with the Suzi though, but it actually sort of makes me think it might be a better investment for me since I cant imagine much more than a week just yet... honestly I (unfortunately) think Ill be lucky to get away for longer than 2 weeks and if I do, that will be what... once a year if Im lucky.

Your not wrong about the prado not being worth twice that of the jack... all balances out, just have to find the right compromise.

I certainly was happy with the Magna, but she was actually very thirsty. I probably drove it too hard (but not SUPER excessive, just a bit hard off at the lights) and I would have been on at least 12L/100km with that I think...

I think ill make a list of what is acceptable to me tomorrow and head down there and have a look... LPG might really be the right way to go though because its such a massive saving for the driving ill be doing most of the time.
FollowupID: 638744

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:56

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:56
Gav what is your budget, reason for asking was I remember seeing a very low k NK (113000) on car sales in Sydney. They where asking about $11000. Son Emailed them offing $9000, but they where away. In the mean time he found his Jack. Week later he gets his am email saying they would meet his price. It also had a b/bar, driving lights and roof racks I think. Check to see if still for sale.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 638774

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:43

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:43
Hey Pete,

Nah mate budget is a fair bit below that... Im lookin at 5-6 tops... maybe I can stretch it slightly higher but I doubt it.

Otherwise I have to wait on it which might be a good idea (something always seems to come along), but that still leaves me without a vehicle for getting around (I suppose I could pull out the old pushie!!).

FollowupID: 638787

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 22:10

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 22:10
Gav at the risk of sounding like a broken record the best value 4bys arround are 3.2 v6 Jacks. The motors last at least 50% longer then pajs(most people do not know how long they last iof maintained because you never see a worn out 3.2) The motor is much smoother then the paj and more econimical. And they have better suspension travel.
Had a look on car sales Vic and found a 1994 with 179000ks at meadow heights for $3800 (quick sale wanted) and a really nice 93 in very clean condition with 203000 for $5750 at rosebud west. This last one looks well looked after.
I work in the industry( car rentals, and ex rental sales) so have a bit of an idea of what is going on.
Tim s 3.2 done for memory 395000ks with out being touched. Most pajs would be on their 2nd rebuilt motor and gearbox by then.
But they do not like gas either.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 638835

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 23:18

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 23:18
Pete, thats... actually a bit of a revelation. I was under the impression they were MORE thirsty than a 3L paj... could you give me an idea of economy?

As I said before, my magna was very thirsty... bit hard to tell exactly how much but I reckon I was getting maybe 500kms from about 70L so thats pretty bad for a regular car...

Even so, that was about as much as I would ever want to spend on fuel cause it really did eat into my wallet a bit much...

Thats why I was very hopeful about LPG!!! I though maybe it was the solution to my problem... bigger vehicle, cheaper fuel...

But seems like all my good options are not suited to LPG which is not great.

Im having a look on carsales now at those jacks...
FollowupID: 638840

Follow Up By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 11:28

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 11:28
I'll happily second that Gav, I was nervous about high mileage when I bought my Jack with 225,000km on it, but it did almost that much again before I sold it and the most major thing I did to it was to change the timing belt (clutch had been done once just before I bought it). I reckon you won't beat a Jack for comfort when travelling (my friends' Dad had a Pajero and they reckoned the centre row seats in my Jack were decades ahead of the Paj seats, and I often had passengers commenting to me on the comfort). There are some trashed ones around, but also some good ones that have had an easy life running to/from the office/shops/school/etc. I'd have another Jack in a flash - it served me very well and axle articulation was similar to my brother's Prado (can email pics if you like - just email me on this username at hotmail)

I had similar fuel usage to what you're reporting in your Magna - generally I'd get 500km on a tank before the fuel light came on and then I'd put between 70-75L in - it worked out around 14.5L/100km but could get down to 12L/100km on the highway. If you're interested, I have fairly complete records of every L of fuel I ever put into it as well as tripmeter readings etc. so you can be confident in the numbers (I'm not trying to make it sound better than it is as is common for people quoting fuel consumption figures!).

Personally, I have never seriously considered conversion to LPG simply because you can buy a LOT of petrol for the price of the conversion - it will take a fair few km to pay for itself and that has to happen before you start making any savings.
FollowupID: 638887

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:55

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:55
Gav the reasons for the better economy of the Jack is higher gearing in fouth and fifth. The diff at 100 kph is 500rpm. Also the sohc Jacks where a 24 valve motor. The paj often made better towing vehicles because of the low gearing, and better torque lower in the rev range. The diff in economy is about 1l/100, not startling. I have still got the road tests from when they where new and in every side by side comparion the Jack beat the paj, except for heavey towing where the paj was better.
But the news gets better, all v6 Jacks have a baffle in the y piece leading to the cat. I have heard of improvements of 1 to 3l /100 when this is removed, plus more power. The only downside is a slight increase in noise when your foot is glued to the floor. But I like it, its not an unpleasant sound,just sounds ballsy. As soon as you back off their is no diff in noise.
I have heard of 3.2s with restrictor removal and sports exhaust doing mid 10s.
Best I have ever got out of my 3,5 man is 10.71/100 after a tune by a specialist engine builder, thats with restrictor removal, non naggro tyres at 40psi, and bitron in gearbox and diff.
I believe the 3.2 to be a longer lasting motor then the 3.5s as the early 3.5 had to small drain back holes in the oil rings, which could lead to oil burning. Mine does not at 146000ks.
The only drawback with the jacks I spotted where they where both autos, try and get a manual if economy is importent.Also the gm auto is the weakest link.
Note after the nl model the Pajs where slighty better on fuel then the Jacks by about .5l/100
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 638896

Follow Up By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 15:26

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 15:26
Pete, I'd certainly be interested in a copy of those reviews if you could scan & email them to me at same username at hotmail?
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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 21:23

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 21:23
Tim I will have to dig them up as I have hundreds of 4by 4 mags. If I can find the Mags in question I will mail the Mag to you. No idea how to scan(old fart). Found out the other day from and isuzu website that if you have a 3.5 using oil if you use shell rimula x in the motor it mostly cures the problems. Unplugs the drain back holes in the oil rings apparantly, which is the major cause of oil burning. The 3.2s had much larger holes as did the later(post mid 2000) 3.5s.Thats why it is importent to use 10/30.
Cheers Guys
FollowupID: 638995

Follow Up By: tim_c - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 12:00

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 12:00
Hi Pete, thanks for the offer but don't bother about trying to find the mag - sounds like a bit of a drama for you and I'm o/seas at the moment.

Was 10w/30 the oil that Holden/Isuzu said to use? Perhaps it would also be helpful to run an oil flush through the engine every couple of oil changes.
FollowupID: 639060

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:12

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:12
Hi Tim ,
should have elaborated a bit futher, the oil burning was mainly an issue in the USA. The rimula x is actually a diesel oil and is very good at cleaning the inside of petrol motors as well. One of the yanks tried this with his oil burning 3,5 and found it cured it, and now going well at 265000 miles. Source of this info was planetisuzu.
When the 3.5 came out they recommended 15/30, the 10/30 was in an amendment a few years ago. Certainly mine uses very little oil. Did give it a clean out with bitron engine formulation( do not reccommend for long term use though)
Have you had a drive of the 3.5 Tim, superb motor, very torquey at low revs, mine will pull stongly from 1000rpm in fouth gear.When towing my boat their is very few hills that slow it in fouth gear
When you get back to oz let me know and I will dig the mags out. Might even see you at an exploreoz gathering.
We also have an o3 Nullarbor auto, and son has an 02 SE manual. Bathurst must be the Jack capital od Aust. Seen three today while getting my lunch.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 639070

Reply By: Flywest - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:56

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:56
Umm - maybe it's just me - but did you mean to ask a question about LPG conversions for a first 4WD maybe and forgot?

I just figured that from the heading was all.

AnswerID: 371486

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:01

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:01
haha that made me laugh.

Yeah I kinda did forget. I mean I mentioned it but its a bit of an essay so its pretty easy to miss I think... maybe not I have to look at it again.

Anyway I guess the point is, I need to know if its worth it to go to LPG considering the benefits in fuel savings vs the variation to performance and range...

And if there is anything else I should know.

Looking at more than just Paj's now...
FollowupID: 638739

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:04

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:04
I read it again, your 100% right I completely forgot to mention LPG in the first post but fixed it later... woops... !
FollowupID: 638740

Reply By: Wherehegon - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:06

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:06
I think the pajero's are under rated. Most will have been used for shopping trolleys like the prados, (myn was).. The 3 litre is a great motor although can get a bit smokey and rattley if they havn't been looked after and done a few klms. Rear main leaks are common when they have done a few klms (like the prado's) and as mentioned above the manual gearbox's if they have thrashed syncro's will be starting to show signs of needing an overhaul.. You would be surprised the fuel diference between auto and manual are virtually the same. The manual will be sitting on around 3300, 3400, rpm at 110k the auto about 2600 in O/D. If  going LPG it will cost around the $3300 mark as they dump the main fuel tank in the rear and put LPG in its place, they then add roughly a 45L petrol tank enough to start up on and few more Ltrs to get you out of trouble if the LPG's getting a bit low. Heap of extra's available, diff locks, etc. Up to the 99 models had good ground clearance as well.. Dont be fooled by the suzuki's economy. Best I got out of the vitara 92 model 5 speed manual was 10L per 100, the 01 model we had was 9 L per 100. I love the sukz, but neither of them suited OUR needs, too smaller area for luggage, fuel tank to small (no after market tank available) and ok for towing on the road but too under powered to tow when off road. Like any short wheel base they have advantages and disadvantages. Personally I would go the pajero over the suk for what you have described and if intending to do a lot of off roading away from towns I would forget the LPG. Also with the LPG as of July you will only get $1000 back instead of 2 when converting any used vehicle to LPG.......Regards Steve
AnswerID: 371506

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 19:09

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 19:09
Hey Steve, thanks for the info.

I reckon the Vitaras etc are a miss.

Its a bummer about the LPG though, I probably cant book in for the next week damn!

FollowupID: 638795

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:14

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:14
Hey Steve,

Cant find any solid info about the reduction.

Found this though...


it says the reduction is $1750 instead of $2000... thats not TOO bad only $250 instead of $1000 loss.

Does anyone know if the reduction is $250 or $1000? Its a pretty big deal to me!

FollowupID: 638844

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:20

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:20
OK found it hidden away in the VCCC website...


“The current $2000 rebate continues for vehicles converted before June 30. As of July 1, it becomes $1750 per conversion and there will then be a series of further reductions until the rebate is $1000 per conversion from July 1, 2012,”

But with the Polies, who knows if thats how it will stay...

FollowupID: 638845

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 21:22

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 21:22
Hi Gav, your spot on with it. I just received a letter today from the mob who put LPG on my old prado to tell me of the change exactly as you have said. Good luck with your choice hope you get a good one.......Regards Steve
FollowupID: 638994

Reply By: OzTroopy - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:58

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:58
Just looking at those pajero fuel figures in the above posts made me happy ... really, really, happy ... LOL

Same figures and WORSE - than what my vehicle gets ......

You might remember my vehicle from your last thread ... one of those environmentally unfriendly, gas guzzling, dirty american Jeeps ... as many are so quick to describe them ... LOL

If you are stepping up in size ... you might want to have a look at private sale prices on a petrol XJ cherokee ... some will also have gas fitted ... many will have low mileage and all are well appointed with creature comforts compared to same age jap wagons. You missed a bargain in Sydney recently - bought by someone in N.Q.

They also drive a lot better than early jap wagons ... and certainly a lot better than 4wd tradey vehicles. Sizewise they compare well with forerunners/jackeroos/pajeros and early prados ... they just have a lot more "oomph" when it comes down to towing ability / downlow grunt.

You can even drive them in 4wd on the bitumen for better traction when towing etc .... something the jap stuff only learnt to do fairly recently by comparison.

I would suggest LPG as a nescessity for round town given your concerns on consumption of fuel.

Be warned tho ... If you buy one ... you will be ridiculed forever by the mitsiwutoyssan brigade ... Jealousy at its worst ... LOL

Have a good look at the jackeroos too ... they have always been a bit of a dark horse and would be my preference compared to the others.

AnswerID: 371604

Reply By: GiveItAGoGavo - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 16:45

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 16:45
Gday guys,

Thanks for all your help with everything!

Anyway, in the end, I got (what seems like) a good deal on a 98 Mitsubishi Challenger.

It came up at the right price, bit under under 200,000K. Got it from auction so wasnt able to take it for a test drive (a gamble, I know)... anyway brought it back today, noticed a few issues with it already but overall seems good.

Im a bit worried about the gearbox and the transfer case/notification system... Gearbox is my biggest concern at the moment.

Ill let you know when I know more!

Anyway I chose the Challenger because it was the right price, its a 98, apparently theyre pretty good on fuel when theyre tuned up properly and theyre still reasonably capable (so I am told... I wouldnt know, shes my first!)...

Will post more updates soon!

Tell ya what though, cant wait to get her on the road, tuned up, and get into a 4wd club!

AnswerID: 371810

Follow Up By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:48

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:48
Hey Gav, good to hear you got something now (you must be relieved the search is over!). From what you've said, the Challenger seems like a good size for what you want, and with less than 200,000km on it, should have a fair bit of life left in it. I hope it serves you well and that you enjoy the whole 4WDing thing.
I look forward to reading some future threads from you telling us all of your adventures in it!
FollowupID: 639677

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:24

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:24
Hey Tim!

Thanks for that! Im well relieved that Im not looking anymore.

But now the stresses start with "whats wrong with it"!!!

Right now Im trying to get tyres for it (265/70 15) because I need 2 new ones for the roadworthy and man this is not easy OR cheap! Im considering switching to 31x10.5 15 down the track to save some cash but for now I will probably have to go with the cheapest possible (Nexen/Roadstones, though I cant even find info on those!)...

Thanks for the encourgement, and Ill be sure and post something up when I finally get out there!


FollowupID: 639680

Follow Up By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 14:19

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 14:19
Hi Gav,

Just checked and in 265/70R15 you can get a BFG A/T (v. good tyre) or Bridgestone D694 (also gets good comments on this forum). I don't know how much they are but generally the 15" tyres are cheaper - as with anything, it pays to shop around (phone a few tyre fitters in your area).

I'd be hesitant to just go the cheapest tyre - it's worth getting good ones and you should get good life out of either of the ones I've suggested (I'd be surprised if they don't last at least 60-80,000km).

You had some problems already? Sorry to hear that.

FollowupID: 639691

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 14:30

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 14:30
Hi Tim!

Ill look into those ones now. I have been calling around the past 2 days and the cheapest I can find are the Roadstone/Nexen AT's (which are anywhere from $140-$200 each).

After that, there are some Dunlop Grand Trecks at 229 each, and after that it gets mighty more expensive.... next step would be the 694 bridgestones at $269 each!

Its really adding up in the price I tell ya what.

But I have been thinking about what you suggest and I think that getting something betterat a higher cost.

Biggest problem with the price is that they are a bit of a "rare" size... I was looking at Maxxis 751's which are apparently great for their price, but theyre only in 31x10.5 R15 and theyre around $200 each without being on special.

Everything in the 31 size is substantially cheaper than the 265/70, I assume because there are far fewer of the latter ones around!

Since I know I have to get all 4 tyres if I am going to change the size, I might have to get just 2 694s or so for now, and then switch to a different size next time I have to cough up for a new set.

At the moment I only need 2 tyres but Id like to keep the age as close together as possible so Ill see if I can afford another 2 or even 3 in 2 months time or so.

And sorry, didnt mean to give you the impression somethings wrong with her already, she seems actually quite good!

There are lots of "little" things I want to get sorted out. My biggest concern is the gearbox at the moment, a bit stiff going into second so Im trying to find a decent gearbox place to maybe have a look at it, or even my mechanic... he drove it and said he thought it was fine (though the selector is SUPER sloppy)... I checked the oil in the gearbox which was a bit more off brown than I would prefer but I am hoping to switch to Castrol VMX-M soon which apparently makes a huge difference.

Short of that I think I will have to check the bushes and bearings here and there, and there could be a leak from the rocker cover...

But for a car of its age, I think its actually pretty good! Worst part is that its just under 200K so here comes the big birthday service including timing belt!!

OOOH and the 4wd system I need to look into.. the switch is doing what it seems famous for and being very finnicky... have to find out where the problem lies and get on it :) But first comes RWC and then the service... there goes what little money I have :)
FollowupID: 639694

Follow Up By: tim_c - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:56

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:56
Gav, I understand what you're saying: money money money and it never stops!

I've never heard of Roadstone or Nexen tyres but remember that the tyres you choose will affect your safety. I've had tyres that just didn't grip on a wet road - it was like driving on soap! so I'd recommend getting something reasonable (although you don't have to go for the best). I'd give the Dunlop GrandTreks a miss if you intend to do any offroading - they are the most puncture prone car tyre I've ever heard of!

I've never seen a second hand car that's not a bit stiff going into second... it's the 2nd synchros that get the toughest time in a gearbox. Try changing a little slower (ie. a short pause between 1st and 2nd), or at a slower speed (ie. just use 1st to get the car moving, then straight into 2nd). As you get used to the car hopefully you'll find a technique that works.

Most 4WDs are only ever driven around the city or on the highway so the 4WD system may not have been used much - hopefully you'll find that frees up a bit by switching it in and out a few times while using the car for what it should be used for! :)

Wishing you all the best in your new adventures, and I hope don't have to stretch the finances so far you go hungry :(
FollowupID: 639845

Follow Up By: GiveItAGoGavo - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 15:59

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 15:59
Hey Tim,

Great to hear from you again.

Mate, I ended up getting just 2 of the nexens because I had a look at them and theyre really do look like pretty decent quality, plus a fella on another forum told me he has been using his for some time now and said theyre absolutely fine.

I know what you mean about the safety issue, its the biggest reason I got a larger 4wd (larger compared to a Sierra!) so I dont want to negate that by being all over the road with dodgy tyres, but having said that theyre on there now and they look and feel pretty good so far (dry, and squeaky-clean new... so of course they are!)... I drive like a bit of a grand-pa despite my age and more so in this big truck (my first car was a 72 corolla... bit of a change!) so I really do think the tyres will be fine. I might actually put up a post on how I am getting on with them after a few thousand kms are under the belt.

Plus I have started saving for a "real" set soon... Have to work out if I want to switch to 31's or keep the 265/70 15 size but I reckon I might be in for some 694's in a few months when I have a bit more cash (assuming I do :))

This one definitely had SOME time offroad.. but I really think she will be an ok little truck for me to get started on and hopefully get some good mileage out of.

Thanks for the good wishes, Ill keep the spending down to a minimum and learn to live off the land in case it starts costing TOO much!

Thanks again Tim,

FollowupID: 639886

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