4WD..Where to now??

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:29
ThreadID: 76116 Views:4468 Replies:17 FollowUps:20
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Not often I agree with the sentiments expressed in the 4WD mags, but lo &
behold, one mag has several writers lamenting the direction of manufacturers.
Four out of five of their "4by of the year' entrants are panned because of the
poor wheel /tyre combination fitted . You know the stuff...big 18" plus rims &
piddly low profile highway pattern tyres. Also crying over the fact that to fit
decent profile rubber with A/T patterns will make those wagons illegal. Also
whining over all the electronic gadgetry & traction control gizmos that do all
the thinking for you, & the sorry state you are in if they malfunction, which is
a regular occurrence apparently. How do we avoid this horror? Maybe buy
something like the 76 series wagon, you get a great motor, strong body, &
little else, but way too expensive compared to the LC that has everything. Or
take my way out...get an old, reliable bus with FWH & a drive system that you
control, not some electronic signal. The manufacturers respond to public demand
& apparently this says more toys,less practicality, less load carrying capacity, less driver input. Probably fine
for the majority of 4by highway tourers, but what about the real 4by folk?
What do we do when our beloved "proper 4WD" has had its day?
....oldbaz.
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:55

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:55
CRY.... then tell stories... Back in the good old days when.... there were real 4x4's made from real steel... not plastic....
Ah.! those were the days....
lol... (:
But yes... sadly, you do have a point
regards
Fred B
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Reply By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:07

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:07
Hi Oldbaz,

..........."The manufacturers respond to public demand".........

Nah, the manufacturers CREATE public demand. It's called marketing!

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:21

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:21
4 x 4's have had their day .....


Now its just family wagons with all wheel drive ability ... or vehicles purporting to be "workhorses" ... yet hobbled by over the top technology.

BUT .... to be fair ... Its not just the AWD manufactures trying to woo "normal" car owners away from their holden & falcon etc., sedans ..... with bling and gadgetry ....

Its also the govt legislation on what electronic drivel MUST be fitted to new vehicles and the incorrect methods used to class vehicles.

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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:22

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:22
Yes Oldbaz,

It certainly is an issue for some of us. That is why (along with an horrendous changeover figure) I have kept my 11 year old GU Patrol. It is likely to have a market value of 2/5ths of 5/8ths of stuff all.

I have looked at Troopys, but for more than 2 passengers there are serious entry/exit issues, as well as seating comfort and vision issues for those in the row behind the driver.

Based on the KISS principle of outback touring, and concurring with your observations above, I feel comfortable with my decision, but the old girl won't last forever.I spend freely on maintenance, telling myself this is far cheaper than changeover costs, and because I am motivated by reliability and safety.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:58

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:58
Agreed, Rick, I think my 2000 Jack will see out my serious touring days, & I am
more than happy with its performance. I would not contemplate forking out
$50k plus for a new or newer one, apart from the depreciation slug, I would much rather devote a few bob to what I have & avoid the major costs likely
when the electronic controls go pear shaped, or spending $2k on a new set of
tyres for those 19" rims......oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:35

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:35
Rick If I was going to do a major off road trip I would buy a na gq or gu and completely rebuild it, much more reliable then the modern 4bys.
As most of you know I work for a franchise of a major rental co. We have had 3 major issues with hi tech Diesels this year, one being the bosses TT x5.
Interesting no issues with any petrol motors. We run currently arround 120 vehicles
Baz as the Jacks had a design life of 500000ks I think we will be right for a while.
Now up to 157000ks in mind now, fuel economy has dropped off a bit, but still going great.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:43

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:43
I am told that they still produce the 80series in South Africa and can be purchased new, still with the old 1HZ though.
Wonder if it is possible to import them?
Chris
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:50

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:50
Oldbaz

I agree. I did a thread a few weeks ago on what would be your dream 4WD.

The Toyo 200 series and Discovery 4 it ain't.

But then perhaps you can console yourself with the fact that when the last of the real 4WDs have died, all the tracks will be either bitumenised or off limits so a pooncie soft roader will be all you'll need anyway.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:08

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:08
Aaah, Bob, you are the supreme optimist. At the current rate of progress on roads
it will take 100 years to seal most of them. Your point re being banned from a lot of areas is a much more feared prospect. I suppose by then the 4by will drive
itself to the Kimberley by autopilot & GPS & we will stay at home trying to pay
for the priviledge of owning one :)))....oldbaz.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:07

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:07
At least if you fork out the big money on a 70series Landcruiser they won't depreciate much. Bought mine 2nd hand for $40k in 2004 - local dealers ask over $35k for them now. But there's not a better vehicle for me, so I'm hanging onto this one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:17

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:17
Good one, Phil, you dodged the worst of the depreciation by buying second hand,
& demand for that type of vehicle is now supporting its value. Way to go, I
reckon.:))....oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:27

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:27
Off Topic

Phil,
An update on the Troopy investigation/trailer scenarios that I was discussing before Xmas.

I decided against a Troopy.
Kept the GU. Got all the crap out of it, took it back to GVM limits, & accepted that towing a trailer is a better method for my style of travel if I have > 2 passengers. Still within GCM limits.
Fuel consumption appears ro be 20 to 25 % higher when towing. If that is so, I can get 5 years of fuel " free" before I anywhere near approach the depreciation costs on a replacement vehicle.

I bought a 2nd hand trailer in Dec 2009, in very good nick. Spent the purchase price over again getting everything just right:

new bearings + 2 x spares, packed with grease
electric brake controller
3 x new rims & tyres so tow vehicle & trailer wheels interchangeable
built roof rack
aluminium stone guards
wired for 12 V power outlets
internal 12 V lights
Projecta battery charger
S/steel tops on workspaces
strengthening existing welds etc where weakness potentially exists
fit out with tubs & storage boxes
water transfer pump & hose
new jockey wheel
new 9 kg gas bottle
extendable light poles

Did a test run last weekend. Some stuff broke, all was water tight & dust proof; generally OK in a 1500 km off bitumen sortie with 3 mates.

Now I'm happy, Jan!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:56

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:56
Rick,
I have your email address - will take it offline
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Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:50

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:50
Hey Rick, you made me think of something really simple but a really neat point about having the spare bearings already packed with grease. Probably a great little time saver if you DO have to change one beside the road on a hot day.

Cheers
Muddy
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Reply By: centron-sg1 - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:10

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:10
hi oldbaz,
I know the feeling.... I recently tried but just couldn't bring myself to buy a 76 series Wagon (currently $68k) as there was just to too many things that "fall off" or "break" and it would cost around another $20k to get it trailworthy anyway...

I have an '82 60 series landcruiser and have decided to extend its life with a reconed engine, major rust removal and paint job.
Basically I just couldn't find anything that would replace it ...
If it breaks I don't need a laptop/dyno and Rocket Science degree to fix it. A spanner and hammer generally work fine...

Furthermore, it's completely recyclable (not much plastic), gets better mileage and over it's lifespan is heaps greener than a new 76 anyway, especially when you consider that apart from bluetooth in the radio, a 2010 76 series has absolutely nothing the 60 series hasn't had for almost 30 years.
The 200 Series landcruisers are ridiculous and don't deserve the title of "Landcruiser" at all...

As far as the future is concerned, I am looking at Indian Companies like "Mahindra" and Chinese manufacturers to produce tough practical trucks that begin to compare to older 4wds.

Good luck..
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:32

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:32
Your point re the Indian & Chinese makers is very valid. Plenty treat them as a joke, but I'm old enough to remember the laughter & scorn Honda copped when
they first came to Oz. I think you & I are part of an increasing number of
consumers that see better value in maintaining the older (& simpler) vehicles.
I see no reason such cars wont last 20 years or more with due care .Good luck
with the 60....oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:32

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:32
Yep I just forked out a fair bit for the new 79 series ute and it's more like 40K extra to get it up to a level that I would deem trail-worthy. I look at it as as long term investment in my mental health except when I worry about how much I'm forking out LOL.

My first outback exploring vehicle was a 1980 model KingCab ute. Cost $7K new. I only earned $7.5 K working full time in a furniture store so it was about 93% of my yearly earnings. In todasys terms, the latest purchase cost 60% of a yearly wage now so it's relative. Nothing much else has changed...still living at home and paying $20 a week board ;-) (I bloody wish)

Something to be said about some of the older rigs but I think the 70 series vehicles are all bloody good and shouldn't provide too many worries. I think how you look after any vehicle has a lot to do with it.


Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:02

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:02
They pay you too much!
Peter
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Follow Up By: Gazal Champion - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:10

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:10
Hi Centron, mate would you not be better off updating to an 80 series. especially a post 95 update model. Great motors, great looks and good ride and best of all, no rust.Regards, Bruce
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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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 18:32

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 18:32
Add me to the believer in the old models. My 1985 60 series diesel is coming up to 500,000km and my garage reckon it will do that again. Picked up a new gearbox for it a few years ago, but still haven't needed to have it fitted. Depreciation, essentially zilch. Ai its current market value, doesn't need full comrehensive insurance. Scratches etc in the bush nor a worry. This makes it a very cheap vehicle to run and I'd take it to most places with complete confidence.
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Follow Up By: centron-sg1 - Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 09:20

Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 09:20
Hey there Gazal Champion

Thought about a newer 80 Series, Better, newer ones go for around $15-20K.
I payed $2500 for my 60 with Dual tanks, Bullbar, Steel Roofracks, 2nd battery e.t.c So if I spend a few grand on it, it's still heaps cheaper than an 80 series that has all the same issues (except rust) and needs to have heaps of work done to get it trailworthy anyway...

Current resale value is not worth me selling it anyway... perhaps one day when people realize how great a truck it is, I will have a classic worth heaps ...
In this vein, my wife still insists on driving her 1981 Mitsubishi Colt in the hope that it will be come an expensive classic one day. Personally, I hope it will be come a small metal cube sooner rather than later.... :-)

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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:56

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 13:56
Yep - and you wonder why we still drive the old '97 model 80 series!!
Need an upgrade, but nothing comes close...
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:11

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:11
Interesting thread, I have been looking at a number of new and second hand 4
WDs and the figures do not add up. A new 4WD ute around $40k plus fitting it out, a second hand wagon $40k to and they all have computers to run them. Now the MU is a little over 15 years old and has over 250 K on it and I am doing the steering components tomorrow for the first time not bad I think. Some of the paint work needs a touch up, no rust so with some good care I hope to get another 200 K out of her. I may be even be able to import another for as little as $5K for spare parts, something to think about to (now they are over 15 years old).
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 18:45

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 18:45
Bruce
The 15 year import rule is pegged at May 1989, anything since then needs to be either private import or RAWS/SAWS.
Peter
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Reply By: Member - Tezza Qld - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:13

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 14:13
I bought one of the last GU traybacks with the 4.2 diesel. As I wanted a leaf spring rear it was also a poverty pack. Great just what I needed. Nissan even dropped $8000 off the price for my ABN No. Drive away at $44000 couldn't complain. Done 120,00 ks and have no thoughts of getting rid of it , should see us out. Mind you Nissan have never seen me or the truck since I left their yard which is probably why it still goes good.

Cheers Teza
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 15:01

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 15:01
Same with me Tezza. Got one of the last coilie ST traybacks and used my ABN as you did. Couldn't be happier.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 15:09

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 15:09
Hi Oldbaz

The real 4wd'ers still have the GU Patrol at under $60k.

2010 build - with straight forward & tough long travel, wide track, live axles and coils on a proven chassis , stack of petrol power with a relatively low level of electronics .

Now it comes with 8 years of field work experience without a single generic fault !

Whilst fuel economy is in the sixteen's this is a solvable problem considering all the pluses, and you can get just enough of the modern stuff like ABS/Airbags - should you choose to have it.



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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:26

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:26
"The real 4wd'ers still have the GU Patrol at under $60k."
Real 4wd'ers still have the JK Wrangler too for under $50K with double lockers, rock crawling gears, lifted springs & auto sway bay disconnect straight out of the factory.
With Defenders, 70 series Cruisers, Jeeps & Patrols there are still enough true offroad vehicles around.
Cheers Craig..............

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Reply By: anglepole - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:30

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:30
Buy a Land Rover Defender about $48k new.

I dont reckon it has changed much since the 1960s (except for price)
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Follow Up By: Steve - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 20:21

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 20:21
why pay $48k?

My '96 130 is running like a Ferrari. Was offered $25k for it 3 months ago. I've put too much into it to let some other bugger benefit from it. That $25k would be a handy stepping stone to a modern 4by but no thanks. Been tempted but I'm not as young and silly as I was. Wouldn't mind some of that energy back though.
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Reply By: Bob the - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:52

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 19:52
G'day oldbaz, I have a V8 cruiser on gas with all the bells and whistles, a little while ago my 4wd club posted a trip to the cape, which we are going on. After a lot of thought and discussion regarding water crossings up the through to the cape, I started to have second thoughts about driving my computerised V8 cruiser due to fear of perhaps not making it across a water crossing,then water coming in and the engine stopping,all sounds like it could be an expensive problem. If it happens.! So after a lot of looking around I have just purchased a 1986 cruiser,turbo intercooled 2h with only 191000kms, and plenty of extras, in immaculate condition. Which we will happily drive with confidence to the Cape and back... Go the old 4x4s....
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Reply By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 21:21

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 21:21
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Here is my Rig. HJ80 HZ1 with Camper Trailer.
Whole setup cost me $12000.

Took over 1/2 hr to set up tent first time with a bit of scratching of the head.

The HJ80 is great, although overtaking could be a distant memory.
The camper I got from an upmarket dealer who sells $400,000 motor homes and had just traded the camper and a Pajero in on a Motor home. The dealer did not want the trailer and offered it to me for $5000. Mate the ink had already dried on the cheque before he said anything else.

I recon I have got the deal of the century.

HAPPY CAMPER Jan :)
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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 23:18

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 23:18
I have the HZJ105 Landcruiser withe the 1HZ and whilst I often crave for more power, you can't beat the reliability of this engine if looked after. They are said to have problems with the front diffs (nothing yet and some fairly hard yards in the mountains) weakish gearbox ( have towed the camper about 20k km now and nothing to report).

I can see myself keeping this thing for a while and if the diff should fail.....I'll get it fixed.....if the gearbox should fail I'll get it fixed or swap it to the slightly stronger one.... if the engine should fail, the Toyota factory turbo would fit it quite well. I like the lack of electronics as it doesn't stuff up my HF radio reception!

Cheers,

Mark

Ps I do often wonder, though, whether all this talk of failing electronics is a bit of a furphy....... has anyone PERSONALLY had MAJOR electronics failure that really caused them some hardship? Report?
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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 23:56

Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 at 23:56
"I like the lack of electronics as it doesn't stuff up my HF radio reception!" Quote.

Mark funny you should say that. My UHF radio triggers all my dash warning lights when I am transmitting on the Radio.???

Strange and I don't know why. I am not all that concerned as there are no electronics on the HJ80 to stuff up anyway
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Follow Up By: anglepole - Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 09:41

Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 09:41
If your UHF is causing that trouble with your lights, I would make sure the 12volts to the UHF comes directly from the vehicle battery properlly fused of course
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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 14:13

Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 14:13
Good Point Anglepole
I will check that out
Cheers
Wayne B
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Reply By: disco driver - Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 00:26

Friday, Feb 19, 2010 at 00:26
Guys,
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but....................the only 4WD's you will be able to buy new in the future will be all high tech computer controlled softroaders with dozens of fuses and circuit breakers to protect the electric everything that is fitted.
Offroad capability will be limited to that of the current softroaders (Subaru Forester, X trail etc) because those in power will consider anything more capable to be environmentally unacceptable.

Once your current vehicles are worn out, however long that maybe, you will have no choice but to go high tech.

Fortunately for me, my/her "good" vehicle at 125K is still a long way from being clapped out although the electrickery does cause problems at times.
This vehicle is a 1999 Discovery TD5, so it's not particularly new
It has at least 43 fuses, that's all I've found so far, there may be more somewhere yet to be found next time the electrickery goes on the blink.

Compare that with my 4WD, it's a 1981 model, 2.3L petrol engine with no anti pollution stuff, 4 speed gearbox, leaf springs and aluminium body and sliding windows. It has done 66K from new and sorting things out on it are a piece of cake.
The Fuse block holds 4 fuses, one of them is a spare, everything that needs to be fused is fused.
This vehicle does all I need it to do, maybe not in armchair comfort, and is likely to still be running long after I'm not.
So why update?

As you probably can tell, I'm not a real fan of the modern high tech motor vehicle.

Disco.
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