Diesel vs Petrol

Submitted: Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 12:11
ThreadID: 78301 Views:8064 Replies:10 FollowUps:26
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Hi all,

Have my heart set on a landcruiser troop carrier, preferably a later model, for when I head back home with the wife and begin our tour of Aust.
Always thought of a diesel, for simplicity, but some threads comment that the servicing costs are more for a diesel and more expensive to buy.
We don't think we will be doing any extreme 4wding, rather just some good touring of Australia for about a year or more. (been overseas for past 14 years)
This will be our first 4wd and apart from touring all the side roads and camping, some beaches, a bit of bush tracking, we are not experienced or planning an expedition trek, rather travelling Aust seeing what we can. I see from the forum pics, many members do not have the big 4wds (L/cruis/Hilux/Patrol).
My parents have recently bought a Mazda dual cab and are touring with this and the caravan, this from having a Patrol touring vehicle a few years back.
They highly rate the Mazda with lpg conversion.
As much as I love the troopy, beginning to think we maybe don't need to go that extreme.
So, two fold question,
Petrol (with possibly lpg conversion) or diesel for a troopy?
Or keep dreaming of a troopy, but actually get a smaller vehicle? (pathfinder/jackeroo/Pajero etc)
Any advice?

Thanks all in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin B1 (WA) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 13:24

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 13:24
I think if you have your heart set on a Troopy and then buy something else you will always be thinking ,wish I had bought that Troopy.
When it comes down to petrol or diesel the main issue I feel is the matter of fuel consumption, especially if towing. As we know fuel is only going one way and that is up,who knows what we will be paying in a year or two. A diesel should cost little more to service than a petrol unless you are servicing any of the fuel injection components and that will only be required every 100,000 km or so. Yes petrol's are cheaper to buy but they also do not have a very good resale value either. I personally have owned diesel 4x4 vehicles since they came on the market and would not own anything else, but then as a diesel mechanic I admit I am very biased.
AnswerID: 415846

Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 19:47

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 19:47
Thanks for your response.
I do love the troopy and note your work mate in profile pic. Could you elaborate on the comment of 'fuel consumption'. I understand to calculate on 20l/100k, is this what you find? At the moment, we don plan on towing, but if we do, it would more than likely just be a camper trailer set up.
Regards to servicing, with a diesel regular oil and filter changes, but anything else I should count on at same time when comparing P vs D. (not counting hubs/bearings etc) solely on the engine difference. I cant see where the larger servicing costs are.
Many Thanks in advance.
Much appreciated.
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Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:58

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:58
Hi Kevin,
How do you like the 4.5 V8 ?

I had originally had in mind the 4.2 turbo 6.

Does the intercooler require any extra consideration? (Dust/water crossings etc)

Regards Paul
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin B1 (WA) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:31

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:31
From reading the posts on the subject I guess you have seen most people agree diesel is the most economical,there is no question about that. To quote figures is an impossible task, it depends on the vehicle, how it is driven and the size of the engine. Bottom line is what vehicle do you feel comfortable with, if it's a troopy go for it you will be disappointed if you buy something else.As you have noted I drive a 76 Series v8 at present and am sitting in a caravan park in Cairns waiting for the water to drop. In June I am heading off to the Cape for a trip over four weeks, well someone has to do it. I average around 14 l/100km on the tracks not towing, I would expect around 20l/100 in a petrol so you can see the difference. The answers to your posts will give you a good idea as to servicing etc so get a diesel Troopy and enjoy this great country.
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Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 13:59

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 13:59
good luck finding a petrol one

servicing costs wouldnt be hugely different

the difference in cost of the oil filter and a bit more oil would be less than the fuel saved on 1 tank diesal compared to petrol
AnswerID: 415849

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 16:54

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 16:54
Try $800+ evey 40,000 for a 100 ser at a Toyota service centre.

My 140,000 is coming up and I am going to do the timing belt as well so am not expecting any change out of about $1,200.

Do mine every 7,500 and it costs about $240inc oil and filters I usually supply my own
The in between 20,000 cervices are not cheap either.

My wifes Commodore doesnt cost any where near as much to service.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:11

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:11
Graham, I think I'd be looking for another dealer. I get my LC diesel serviced not by Toyota, but my local garage. They really know 4wds and I trust them completely. They charge me nothing remotely near what you are being charged.
Why I like diesel? The range I can get in the bush on a tank and a couple of jerry cans. I really dislike carrying petrol in Jerries, and if you use petrol, you need to carry even more jerries because of the higher consumption. I like not having to worry about as many electricals out bush. I like not having to buy spark plugs. I like the low end torque for towing and crawling up and down difficult stuff. Love that high compression when using the engine to take some of the load off the brakes.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:59

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:59
yes the 40k services are expensive but how much cheaper are the petrols to service?

your comparing a commondore with a 4wd

from memory alot of the cost in the 40k services are greasing the bearings and total oil change (diffs, g box, transfer case etc) as well as coolant

I guess also i was factoring doing the basic servicing yourself

through a workshop i think diesals do get charged a bit of a needless premium just because when you question it they can go "oh its coz its diesal"

apart from that the later model troopies, utes and 105s have identical service intervals and only minor variations

(timing belt vs spark plugs etc)
FollowupID: 685941

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:03

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:03
sorry should add I reckon you will find for what actually gets done I think you will find the cost per hour of work on a modern petrol vehicle far exceeds that for a 4wd

Petrol cars these days have almost no servicable parts
- you would be lucky if they changed the oil and made sure your lights and indicators work
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:30

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:30
A rather naive comment considering Petrol and diesel Croozers both have all

the same running gear and the 140k service includes doing the front hubs etc

and the fluids and tappets which have to be done cold.

Necessitates an overnight stay to get them done.

The workshop charge is about $80 an hour regardless of which vehicle is being worked on.
They charge the same for everything as far as I know.

The autos are supposed to be sealed for life but I got mine done at 130,000.

Oil was very slightly dirty after a year of towing nearly every day
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:42

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:42
sorry what i meant was comparing the the amount of things that need servicing on a 4wd (petrol or diesal) compared to a modern petrol car like a commodore but especially smaller 4cyl that are almost disposable these days with vry few servicible items and yearly services
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Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:02

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:02
Thanks for all your responses, much appreciated.

Could you give more info on the 20k and 40k services please.

I am in the marine industry and although not an engineer/mechanic, vehicle servicing is not an issue, (though taking into account the limited workshop/tools whilst travelling) the larger injection pumps etc would be left for the workshops. Basic servicing and maintenance is not an issue or hassle. I enjoy keeping my hands tinkering.

Has anybody had any experience with 'fuel set', we use it on my vessel, to kill the fuel bug when taking bunkers, though have read on the forum some people are sceptical. I have seen the damage through fuel bug and we use it regularly onboard.

Thanks in Advance.

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Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:39

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:39
I just had my Troopy's timing belt changed at a Toyota Dealer in Nowra NSW. The cost was $200 including the beltI. I dont think that was expensive concidering my 2002 model Astra cost $480. 2 years ago!! and that has to be changed every 60K. I dont concider diesels particularly expensive to service especially if you can do the simlpe services yourself. Get a diesel for peace of mind

AnswerID: 415865

Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:21

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:21

$200 for a timing belt change, with piece of mind included afterwards does not seem over the top.

Simple services are not an issue, just the disposing of waste oil and filters woud be an issue.
How do you guys find the disposing of oil/filters when travelling? I am not one to blindly dump this in the local garbage.

Oil, air filters would be standard as per P vs D I presume?

But with the fuel filters I would plan to do more regularly.

Cant see where the comments 'Diesel are more expensive to service' keeps being forum'd

Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:40

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 17:40
Go a Diesel and do most of the servicing yourself. It helps to know these things when travelling anyway. Oils and Filters and greasing points shouldn’t be too hard to work out, once you’re on top of that it will reduce costs considerably. Wouldn’t hurt to know how to change the belts either. Stuff like valves, injectors and timing belts can be left for a qualified person to do.
Good Luck

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Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:47

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:47

Thanks for your reply.

How do you dispose of your old oil/filters when on the road for an extended time?

Plan on oil/filters/greasing to do myself anyway, the more 'technical' aspects to the workshops.

Regards Paul
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 23:13

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 23:13
Now do you really believe anyone is going to openly tell you they put the 'used oil' into a sealed container with the 'old dirty oil filter' too, then deposit it all at the next town they come to when on an extended trip Ha Ha Ha
I would find that just a bit hard to believe :-)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:23

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 18:23
Just as others have said, get a diesel, for all the same reasons too
My old Toyota hasn't seen the inside of a mechanics shop, with the exception of injector and pump adjustments, since it run out of warranty about 6OO,OOO K's ago, do everything else yourself, including belts, get to know what it is that makes them run forever and save a heap of money to boot, then maybe just because it's a Toyota it's still running :-)
My next vehicle will also be diesel powered

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:41

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:41
600k !!!

Guess they dont make them like that anymore. ?

Plan on doing the basic servicing myself, belts, I guess you dont mean 'timing belts' also?

Thanks in advance.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:00

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:00
Yes, done the belts twice now, last one *snapped* when I was idling at a red light here in town, two guys pushed me off the road and I got it towed home, ordered a new belt, checked the valves and fitted the belt, set up the alignment marks, changed the 2 fan belts at same time.
Belt was about $80 from memory and had to be readjusted at 1,000 km, better do that soon and adjust the tappets too

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 09:40

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 09:40
timing belts arnt hard to do

BUT there not hard to stuff up either which instantly does about 3k of damage to valvesd and head

Guy i work with did his own and unknowingly roatated the camshaft while doing it resulting in a new head
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:09

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:09
A diesel troopie will go 1200km on full tanks - try getting that out of any petrol vehicle. Range is important - means you can do most desert crossings without jerries.

Diesel fuel is cheaper in remote areas than petrol, and is more available.

The later model 1Hz and 1HD-FTE troopies are 10,000k servicing - same as the petrol 4wds. They just take a few litres more oil and need fuel filter changes every 20,000k. The $$$ are not an issue. Resale is sooooo much better with a diesel landcruiser.

And remember you are buying a LIFESTYLE.... not just a vehicle. Get the troopie and fit it out the way you want ... and enjoy.
AnswerID: 415886

Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:52

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 20:52
Hi Phil,

with 'tankS' i guess you have a long range tank fitted? What fuel capacity onboard to get 1200kms? Is that based on 20l/100km, or less?

Can you explian further the 10k services? solely Oil/filter?

Quite keen to see more pics of the inside of your tray back fit out, are they posted anywhere online?

Thanks in advance

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:55

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 21:55
Hi Paul,
Troopies come with 2 x 90litre tanks as standard. I've never used more than 16 l/100k - on any desert trip.

Vehicles need to be serviced by the book. 10k is the interval that Toyota says for engine oil and oil filter. There's plenty more items on the sechedule. The large diesel fuel filter is 20k, the small diesel prefilter (if the vehicle has it) is 10k. I change diff/gearbox/ transfer oils, and regrease wheel bearings at 40k. Timing belt is 150k; valve clearances is 40k.......

there are photos of the back in my profile and in the forum pics. I've not got them organised into a blog at all. There was a thread about two weeks ago titled traytop fitout or similar and I put some photos there.
FollowupID: 686003

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 22:49

Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 22:49

Just to round out the discussion a bit - our old (1987 3E motor) petrol Troopy gets about 16l/100km on highway. Much thirstier over sand dunes! Recently we have towed a light gear trailer and that does not seem to affect fuel consumption much. But the petrol motor is simple to service and to do basic repairs - we do most of that ourselves - and that is one of the reasons why we have stayed with an older vehicle. (The other main reason is the amount of work that has gone into setting the vehicle up just the way we want it.)

We have been on a fair few remote tracks where we do carry petrol in jerries, but we have never had any trouble getting petrol - and often petrol and diesel are the same high price anyway. But be aware that in remote/northern areas most Troopys are diesel so getting spares for a petrol vehicle eg radiator, can be a bit tricky and it takes time and extra $$ if they have to be flown in.

A Troopy is a lifestyle vehicle - they are a great vehicle regardless of which fuel they use. So have a great time in your Troopy.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:22

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:22
Hi Val,

Thanks for your response.

The 'lifetsyle' suggestion has been mentioned also above and I think thats also why I have my heart set on a troopy. Also the HUGE inside storage and potential sleeping capability.

It seems, (for me anyhow) no difference in servicing a P or D model.

I was concerned about the 'size' of the troopy but nobody has even suggested looking at a smaller vehicle.
From what I know, there is no vehicle similar to the troopy. We did look at a 4wd trayback ute, with option of traytop camper, but came back to the troopy. We are bound to carry too much gear we dont really need.

Enjoyed reading your blog and profile.

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Reply By: travla - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 04:58

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 04:58

Kevin hit the nail on the head, you will regret not buying the troopy every time a beauty comes rolling past. I also agree with the diesel, the petrol engines are thirsty thirsty thirsty, of course they go like scalded cat, so its a trade off.

AnswerID: 415913

Reply By: Wilko - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 06:43

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 06:43
Hi Cruiser dub,

I'd go the diesel all for reasons others have said, Have you thought bout a tray top with lockable aluminium canopy?

Just a thought but if you like the troopy, get one and enjoy.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 415914

Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:37

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:37
Hi wilko,

Thanks for reply.

We had thought about a 4wd trayback, (prob L/crusier) with possibly a trayback camper option, but came back to the troopy for the storage capability(we will prob take too much gear we wont ever need) and the potential to sleep inside vehicle if needed.(prob never will)

We are aware of the security aspect and not having your gear on show, the full windows of the troopy are noted as being a weak area as well as the possible heat inside vehicle from these.

The ute does not seem to have the ability to lay back a seat for a reclining passenger for the longer drives. (you'll probably reply with the safety of reclining a passenger seat !)

I am constantly and regularly viewing this and many other websites for info.

We are, and will be, complete newbies to this. Work has taken a huge majority of our time and are now planning our own time together to travel Aust for and extended long term.
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 08:19

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 08:19
Being the devils advocate...
you don't need to buy a Troopy to get a good, capable 4wd. Any standard cruiser or 4.2 diesel patrol will do the job. Some of the new dual cabs or, as you mention, pajero, jackeroo etc will be perfectly fine if a heavy duty vehicle is not required.

These vehicles have the advantage of having 4 doors, and being more comfortable to drive. These 4 cylinders turbo diesels should take you to all of the places you want to go and use very little fuel.

I would recommend a diesel regardless of which vehicle you get. There is a reason why even many newer passenger cars are running turbo diesels now.

If you decided on a troopy, yes you could sell it after your year long trip, or if you wanted to do more trips then keep it but then you are stuck with this big, thumping impractical vehicle as a daily driver. The smaller vehicles should do everything your want and still be useful after your trip.

Just a few thoughts. Most important though is that you enjoy the trip, regardless of which vehicle you own.

AnswerID: 415922

Follow Up By: CruisinDub - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:49

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 02:49
Hi Barnesy

Thanks for your reply.

The first to elaborate more on a smaller vehicle.
As far as I am aware, there is no smaller version of a troopy style. We thought that it may have to be an option to sleep inside the vehicle at some stage,(though probably never will) and thought the troopy for its open interior volume. (we will probably pack way too much gear we wont ever need)
We also thought that we could lock the rear with a cage type panel behindhe front seats and have all our gear secure.(the windows on the troopy are a concern)
We are complete newbies, so we are not sure of our 'particular' requirements, and might be way off the mark.
We had not thought about the 'after' period, though no doubt kids would be high on the agenda of thoughts in relation to a vehicle though.

What do you refer to as a 'standard cruiser' ?

Regards Paul
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:00

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:00
I've road/bush tested both the VW Tiguan and Hyundai ix35, both in turbo diesel 6 speed auto AWD format in the last week.
I can also make a direct comparison to a Troopy diesel (manual) as I've driven one for a few years, I would take a very close look at the Hyundai ix35 as it impressed me in sand and on the black top too.

Sure it's not a big thumping Troopy, but drive a Troopy around town, see if you could really live in that world anyway, plus the Hyundai gets 8 lt per 100 Km even when giving it a bit of a hiding, using half the fuel of the Troopy and is comfortable to boot.
For me it’s a no brainer unless you can use the Troopy only at weekends.

Maîneÿ . . .
FollowupID: 686161

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:24

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:24
by 'standard' cruiser I mean the 4 door landcruiser, not ute or troopy. Even these are big vehicles and not practical if being used as a daily driver through cities in between trips. Think about these things.

Mainly the people who own troopies are those who love long distance, remote area travel. They either have a different car as their daily driver, are willing to sacrifice practicality in their daily driver so they can go on that once a year trip, or they live in a country town. How would you take kids in a 2 door troopy with 8 bench seats?

With a 4 door vehicle you could remove the rear seats and give you lots of space, accessible because of the rear doors, and put the seats back in after the trip.
FollowupID: 686302

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:01

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:01
Hi Cruisin

I wouldn't be considering a later model troppy for simplicity !

They have changed a lot since my 1964 International Harvester tractor was built.

They are much more complex than my petrol 2002 Nissan Patrol , and
as a general rule are less reliable since they went electronic fuel
metering and added turbo chargers etc.

Have you seen Rockapes recent replies about complexity and issues
with just removing the starter motor and multiple failures ?

Often these posts about fuel types come up and I have tended to argue
the petrol side for many reasons, by and large the costs are the same
its just that with the petrol you pay a 1/3rd more each time you fill up
where the extra diesel costs come in particulate based health issues
extra sevicing costs, extra outlay up front, extra cabin noise - and heaven forbid if you need an injector with many now costing $1000 or more, or you happen to drown it.

There are the odd extreme requirements, and minor pluses and minuses
but I believe the only real reason for getting a diesel is because it has about a 1/3rd extra range.

My petrol guzzler can do 1000km on a tank and there are not many places
left where you more than this and for those occasions you do need jerries
so think it thru carefully.

If you have read many of this sites posts you probably know that troppies
have a shocking roll over angle and are over represented with accidents
both in number and severity as they often lack basic occupant protection

Think it over carefully !
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 416103

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:51

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:51
I know you love your petrol but...
being the devils advocate....
I fitted a bypass oil filter in my diesel, allowing up to 20 000km between complete oil changes. Very cheap.
Interior noise levels is same as my brother's petrol GQ.
Happen to drown it? You can drive through deeper water in a diesel than a petrol.
In 100 000km I've driven in my diesel GQ I had a major service including injectors when I bought it costing $1100 and that's it. 6 oil changes only.
Low range 4wding in my diesel is far better than the petrol GQ, the petrol needs to keep revs over about 2000 rpm during low range ascents! I can sit at a very controllable 800 rpm.
Another benefit of diesel is that they allow more time to enjoy the scenery because they are slower!
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 07:52

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 07:52
But Barnesy your diesel is a big step in the direction of my tractor compared to the new ones with V8 twin turbo's and those horrendous costs , so I accept some of your points - the thing about the Patrol petrol is that you can buy this relatively simple engine brand new today - whereas todays diesel is so complex and and has so many sensors that its great when it all goes , and not so great when it goes wrong.
Robin Miller

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