New to 4WD and need some advice

Submitted: Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 15:32
ThreadID: 75092 Views:3782 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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Hi all,
After a great look around Cameron Corner last winter in my sedan I'm buying a 4WD. At this stage I'm considering Cruisers, Prado and Patrol. Probably no older than 2000 models. Any thoughts? Think I want to go diesel but again need some guidance. Can anybody advise me? Thanks for any feedback. Steve
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Reply By: stumbly1 - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 15:43

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 15:43
Hi Steve,

If your thinking Patrol diesel, look at the 4.2TD. The 3 litres have a pretty bad rep - type in 3lt Patrol or Grenade in the search bar and it will give you lots of food for thought.....
Other than that they're all good vehicles your looking at - the 4.2TD patrol is virtually bullet proof as is the 'Cruiser but both maybe a little thirsty.
But not as thirsty as the petrol ones.........

Cheers, Keith
AnswerID: 398838

Follow Up By:- Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 15:57

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 15:57
Thanks Keith,
I'm seeing what you mean about the 3lt from an older post here I just found, which is good advice because I was actually thinking I don't need something as big as 4.2!! Thanks for the advice.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 01:28

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 01:28
dont know about the patrol but the LC TD definitely isnt thirsty.
FollowupID: 667901

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 08:02

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 08:02
Get a 4.2 Patrol..

3.0 TD's arn't called Grenades for nothing

FollowupID: 667912

Follow Up By: stumbly1 - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 16:43

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 16:43
"dont know about the patrol but the LC TD definitely isnt thirsty. "

Didn't know about them - could never afford one to find out LOL!!!!

Heard they were good strong motor, and we use the nataurally aspirated 100 series at work - some are going on for 600,000kms now with no major problems.
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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 16:31

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 16:31

Without any detail of family or if you intend to tow or camp, it is difficult to suggest a suitable vehicle. But I will throw some thoughts together.

The iconic Cruiser - Patrol is a big vehicle and you first need to consider the other 90% of the time when the vehicle is just a means of transport.

Maybe consider a Pajero - Prado sized vehicle. Some of the smaller Korean wagons can be great value as well.

Maybe a Dual Cab would suit, you can throw the camping gear in the tray and away you go.

Petrol and Diesel ---- This is a difficult area. Long term big vehicle that tows, Diesel wins. Not towing then Petrol with LPG gets closer and in some cases beats Diesel.

(Watch the thread light up now)

What i would suggest is go visit a few 4WD Clubs, have a chat and see what they have to say.

AnswerID: 398843

Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:46

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:46
Too true, Brian. Sometimes people have trouble with their computers. When I said it had taken me ages!... I'm having trouble with my curser jumping allover the place. I wind up with a jumbled letter and unless I continually watch the screen it takes me ages to correct it. Also, Try as I might.... I've waisted hours on this, I can't get the paragraph thing to work and trying to do the correct sign off doesn't either. It's been taken to the technitions and it came back worse! It will be going back again. (long story).
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Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:57

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:57
Sorry Brian, it should read John.
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Reply By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 17:26

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 17:26
Hi, I may be treading where Angels fear to tread but I know I speak for Neville who is nearly always at work & can't type. It depends how serious you want to get. as far as size goes. Each to his own choice of 4by. We bought a second hand Toyota 80 series Diesle " standard "& it was in great shape. We go very remote & usually have to carry everything for 4 wks holz. We have it serviced and cheked by an A grade mechanic before we leave each trip..Maintainance is a must.This is just a thought for you. If you want to do trips like The Canning Stok route or The sympson Desert crossing, go for a vehicle easy enough to fix yourself with the aid of a manual & or advice from others.These computerised things. can't be fixed without being sent away. These computers can be a simple thing but stuff up big time. We've seen it. No amount of people could help, No amount of phonecalls to our Auto electition. These people were at a roadhouse with a mechanic. Imagine in the middle of the Canning, it just refused to start.They had a dog, so couldn,t get on a bus. Secondly, you don't want to be in the middle of a dust storm in the desert with your electric windows stuck down!!! We also found that a demobilizer can stop your car too so we disengage it for these trips. some of the new models, it's built in and you can't. Yes, we all know that lots of things can go wrong but we all know that and that is another story. Take care, Safe travels. Now ,watch the screen light up!!! No offence to all you blokes who may have been about to say the same thing, it's taken me ages.
AnswerID: 398850

Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 17:32

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 17:32
Sorry ,I should've signed it Sally and said that the last reply was also good advice. You may even come accross a good one for sale when talking to them. Bye, Sally.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 19:30

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 19:30
Well done Sally no offence here.
Some good info.
Some times some of us blokes have been doing it for so long we can't see the forest for the trees.
And i can't type for nuts, saves me half an hour to type up something like that.

I only ever made one mistake
and that's when I thought I was wrong!

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 667847

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 20:56

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 20:56
Yeah, I thought Sally's post was good as well!


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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 02:38

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 02:38
Not bad, but a bit of paragraphing wouldn't hurt.

Just hit 'enter' at random like everyone else does. heh heh.

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Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:34

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:34
Thanls Rob and thanks Brian. Yes, That's what I lwas thiking. Sometimes you blokes get talking about specs & techs and forget about things like that. I work on a potato farm, most of the time I'm the only female. I hear this type of talk all day. Also , the men I work with find it very hard to compliment a woman's ideas. I thought I'd find some Integrity on this forum. I appreciate your comments. Take care. Safe travels. Bye Sally.
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Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 16:45

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 16:45
Yes John, Sometimes computers get cantankerous. I have a cursor jumping all over the place. Lucky I got what I did get typed. It won't do the paragraphs. I was running out of room or I would've explained. It's going back to be repaired again.
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Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 19:23

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 19:23
Hi Steve,

I love my GU's in the 4.2 turbo variant but there is a few things to keep an eye out with the GU's. Obviously you are aware of the 3lt issues, but the 99-01 4.2's also had a gearbox mainshaft problem giving plenty an owner expensive rebuild headaches. Also the 4.2 Turbo GU is prone to running high on the temp gauge when towing or working seriously hard, they do cope with this quite well but it is nerve racking when you see it happening so be prepared for this. All this said, when you find one they are good for many many hundreds of thousand k's. I have a 2000 model with nearly 400 on the clock and there is no way I would part with it, I reckon it goes better than my 2001 with only 210 on the clock.

I had a 99 GXL diesel Cruiser before these Patrols but the gearbox kept letting me down in this vehicle plus it was seriously underpowered for the towing duties I was asking it to perform. Apart from this it was very comfortable and easy to live with.

Ultimately it is up to you and your needs, the Prado would not suit for me (towing up to 3.5T) but if it did, it would be high on my shopping cart. Massive fuel range would be most welcomed for outback touring and they are no slouch in the rough stuff if you like to play on weekends. Plenty of parts and aftermarket goodies to suit any purpose.....except towing 3.5T hehehehe and quite roomy inside for most families.

Plenty of good examples in all the vehicles you mentioned so take your time and no doubt you will come across a gem.

Regards, Trevor.
AnswerID: 398863

Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 21:05

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 21:05
All good replies above Steve. Vehicles are a personal choice IMO. Do some homework and you'll soon develop a "feel" for the type of vehicle that will suit you. (It took me about 4 months to finally make a choice of vehicle, I own a Nissan GQ Patrol with some after market mods and accessories.)

Rather than tell you the good and bad things about a particular 4WD, (although I strongly advise you to be very wary of the Nissan 3.0L Diesel), I would prefer to suggest that you consider joining a 4WD club in your area, preferably a club that has a Driver Awareness Program in place. There's a lot of fun to be had in a 4by, but there's a LOT that can go wrong, and usually "wrong" in 4WD'ing means expensive or hurt.

There are some wonderful destinations in Australia, and a lot of places that you will see in your 4WD that the average tourist is not able to visit.

Keep us posted as to what you decide on, and good luck!


AnswerID: 398887

Reply By:- Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 23:08

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 23:08
Thanks all for your input. I should have said that i'm single and don't intend towing. No big family here. I just need the vehicle that will take my butt anywhere. My brother and I are planning the Fl;inders ranges, Lake Eyre and Simpson Desert in May. Also any advice on things to see out there that might not be common knowledge would be really appreciated.

AnswerID: 398916

Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 13:01

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 13:01

In this case I would seriously look to a 4WD Ute. King Cab or Dual for the occasional friends, :)

Fuel consumption will be better than a big truck and you also have a greater range from HiLux to D-Max to Rodeo, Triton, Navara, Mazda and Ranger.

You will get more bang for your buck and most of the Utes only need a minor lift and a set of decent tyres.

These provide a great range of layouts and you won't regret having a tray to put your gear in, or collect firewood.

Good luck with your search....

FollowupID: 667946

Follow Up By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 21:07

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 21:07
I'd also suggest a ute or trayback. IMHO there are only two to choose being 4.2 Patrol or a Landcruiser. Others will do the job but are not as well suited. There are other less common vehicles that will do the job just as well.

Avoid lowish ground clearance vehicles. They can do the job but are more likely to take damage doing it.

Quite a few roads are only maintained well enough for the cruisers and patrols. You have the security of knowing if a road is open one of those can get through. In lower ground clearance vehicles it is not so clear cut.

The Hilux, D-Max, Rodeo, Triton, Navara, Mazda and Ranger lack the carrying capacity and the strength to be the vehicle of choice. That said they can do it and do it well but if you are looking for the most suitable vehicle go up to the next size and get a cruiser or patrol (but only in 4.2 not 3.0).

FollowupID: 668057

Reply By: Member - Tina D (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 09:59

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 09:59
Hi Steve,

You have had some great answers, we have a 2007 hilux diesel now but prior to that we drove a GQ Diesel Patrol to The Kimberley, Central Australia East and West , Darwin, outback QLD and NSW from Victoria it was a great 4WD vehicle.
Good luck with your 4WD travel it is a lot of fun with some amazing secenery around every corner.

Cheers Tina
AnswerID: 398952

Reply By: Ozzie Nomad - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 20:08

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 20:08
The only real 4WD out there is a Land Rover. Everybody secretely knows this.
Many are afraid however, of the brain damage they'll get from their jealous mates, and go with the throng to the more basic Jap stuff.

Do yourself a favour and at least go play with a couple of T/Dies Discovery's.
Better still, drive a Land Rover, then drive something Japanese straight after it.
You will know instantly why they sometimes cost a few bucks more.

My old Grand Dad used to say, "Son.....if want quality fresh clean oats...then you pay a fair price......If, on the other hand, you are content with your oats after they have already been through the Horse........then you can save a few bucks.

Buy a Land Rover Mate.
Ozzie Nomad
AnswerID: 399033

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