What to get? secondhand 4wd

Submitted: Monday, May 30, 2011 at 11:44
ThreadID: 86640 Views:2423 Replies:15 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,
New guy to this great site !
I have a bit of a dilemma i have gotten the bug and want to get the family out to explore our beautiful country especially now that we have a little fella!
The problem is the treasurer is allowing a budget of sub 10k, so this limits me to vehicles in the mid to late 90's.
Needs to be a daily driver to and from work awell.
Both myself and the wife are happy with manual aswell as auto (leaning toward manual as better for engine breaking etc.)
can be TD or petrol but i am leaning toward TD
vehicles i have in mind are:
Mitsubishi Pajero
Holden Jackaroo
Landrover Discovery
I would love you hear opinions or suggestions on any other vehicles?
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Reply By: sweetnam - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:15

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:15
Sorry to answer a question with a question, but the 10k budget is to include any accessories?

If you have the bug, accessories won't be too far away.

I am a long time sufferer of that illness - and it is very expensive.

With the budget - and the TD in mind, I would look at the reliability of each engine between the Paj, Jackaroo & Disco.

I am a Patrol guy and don't know much, but if you get the engine right, then your a long way to getting a good 4wd.

Things like body work and interior make great weekend projects, but dud TD's can wreck marriages

AnswerID: 455879

Follow Up By: Daniel G - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:23

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:23
Sorry Sweetnam , I should have been a little clearer the budget is for the vehicle only.
I haven't explained to the wife about the accessories ... yet I will wait till I get the vehicle first hahahahaha!
Learnt that one from her!..... those shopping trips are killers!
Yes i do agree but seeing the lifestyle and what getting away offers is a pretty tempting trade off for the expense .... now just got to convince the wife !
FollowupID: 728817

Reply By: member - mazcan - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:46

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:46
hi daniel g
the tdi paj's were quiet a reliable vehicle
the petrols reliable as well but were a little heavy on fuel

i wouldn't be too concerned about accessories as most s/h ones already have a range of accesories fitted and come with the vehicle

more important is the km's travelled and service/maintenance history done for one in the price range you are looking at

and whether it has spent a large part of it's life towing a caravan around aus or just short trips occasionally
if you take your time and select carefully you could get a good one
cheers and good luck
AnswerID: 455880

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:57

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:57
I'd be wary of buying older TD's & Autio's simply because of potential expenses.

Of your 3 I'd go with Jackaroo in petrol.

However Nissans GQ RB30 (3lt commodore type petrol) would be my choice , 10k would more than buy you a top condition last run of them - think about 1996.
There were EFI 4.2 petrol versions with more power and fuel use - but as is the RB30 had solid axles long travel suspension , around 800 kg of load carrying, with plenty of space and was relatively simple and highly reliable.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 455881

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:20

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:20
Top motor Robin some have now covered over 400000ks. In fact most people can not tell you how long a well maintained rb30 last because most are still going.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728878

Reply By: Gossy - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 13:25

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 13:25
I'd stay clear of the Discovery for reliability issues IMHO.

Couldn't go wrong with the Pajero or Jackeroo in diesel form. Pay a bit more up front for the diesel but cheaper to run but it will depend on how many km's you plan on doing in the car. May not be worth the extra $ for the diesel if only doing low km's. If high, then definately.

Fairly sure all Jackaroos came with a Isuzu diesel so very reliable.

You won't pay much more to get one with heaps of expensive accessories so good luck car hunting.

AnswerID: 455884

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:38

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:38
Gossy the earlier 3.1 Isuzu motor was super reliable and long lived BUT the newer DOHC 24 valve common rail motor is a marriage wrecker. This motor came out in 98 and put out 118kw more then any other 4 cylinder TD in its day. Cat designed the HUEI injection system for Isuzu and completely muffed it. It used high pressure engine oil to run the injectors, this motor is more unreliable then 3lt Patrols .
But the 3.2 and 3.5 v6 petrol motors are extremely long lived and reliable and do not suffer head gasket problems like Mitzi v6s as they are all alloy. Their are 3.2s around that have covered in excess of 400000ks similar to the rb30 patrols.
The manuals give about 2/100 better economy then the autos and are a much stronger box.
Note we have had Pajs in the past and currently have three v6 Jacks in the family . Two manuals and a auto.
My personel Jack is a 98 se with 183000ks, the only repairs have been new shocks, inlet manifold gasket , blocked egr and a flange gasket on the diff.
My old 98 is also the quickest of the three by a long shot, and you could buy a similar one to mine for $8000 to $10000.
A rb30 Patrol will go a bit further off road but are much thirster and slower.
I know their is a very low k 93 one owner Jack on car sales. Has appox 126000ks for memory, asking to much at $6000 but for $5000 would be good buying.
One other thing Danial stay away from any Jack on Gas. Pajs are ok on gas but paj petrols always require top end work at 200000ks and major rebuilds by 300000ks.
Their are heaps of resonable Jacks around for less then $10000.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728882

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 13:56

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 13:56
Another vote for the Jackaroo from me, but not the diesel. Too many issues there, & hard to establish what remedial action has been taken. As a biased 3.5 L auto owner
I dont think you can get better value than this wagon. Still around with low k's..
under 150k..built between 99 & 03...& 10-12k will get you into one. Not that hard on juice if driven gently & a very good tug..plenty have done 4-500k with this motor.
I have nothing against other TD's but your budget means a lot of k's on the clock
already on a vehicle that may be close to 20 year old. Good luck with your search.
AnswerID: 455887

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 21:02

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 21:02
Hi Baz, after a major tune on Sals auto Nullarbor we recorded 12.4/100 fully loaded with mountain bikes on the rear sitting on speeds up to 110. Pretty good I think.
Your Jack is still going well I take it.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728885

Follow Up By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:21

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:21
Will you two stop knocking my 4JX1 !! :-))

Seriously, you are right, I wouldn't recommend them either, but I have been lucky so far, 1 injector in 2.3 years, and a sensor (can't remember which one). A damn shame they stuffed the injection system, or woulda been the greatest thing on 4 wheels, in it's class. 212k on mine now, about 10 litres /100 klm, still going fine (touch wood!).

Cheers, Dave

FollowupID: 728891

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:31

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:31
Sorry Dave, its a shame they did not use the 3lt Td they used in the Rodeo less power but better reliabity.
Every time I see a thread like this I am torn between warning people off the 4jxi or shutting up as I realise it does not do your resale any good. Still some people have a good run out of them. I wonder about fitting the 3lt from the rodeo to the Jack. Problem is computers make it a difficult job.
Hope yours keeps on keeping on mate
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728896

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:13

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:13
G'day Dave & Pete, sorry to put the diesel Jack down as I do realise some owners have been able to do the necessary stuff to make them reliable, but I still think the
risk of buying a lemon is a bit high without very good history available. Pleased to hear
yours is going well.
Yes, Pete, still going strong..has a whole 140k on it now. Towed the C/t round Tassie
for a month with no issues, in fact has done 60k,mostly outback touring, & nothing has broke or failed. Starting to plan a trip to the Pilbara maybe next year. Up the Jacks
....still the best value real 4wd wagon for $10k..:)))))). cheers....oldbaz.
FollowupID: 728927

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:02

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:02
Hi Daniel,

have had both a 96 petrol Paj and an 01 petrol Jack. Both good vehicles individually but neither come close to my GU's or the Cruiser I had either.

Paj was a DOHC 3.5 petrol and I did not have to touch it mechanically in 170 000km apart from regular service (including timing belt which was expensive and plugs were platinum so also very expensive and not really able to be done at home like normal plug changes on most vehicles).

Jack was a 3.5 Petrol and had the MAF sensor replaced, Fuel pump replaced and a consistent fuel surge problem but as it turns out this was fixed for under 200bucks upon sale of the vehicle to a mate and it has not let them down since. That vehicle now has 260+ thousand kms on it and is still going strong.

Both vehicles returned about 15-16lt/100kms. If I had to go back and choose between one of them I would probably go the Paj even though it was older and originally I did not like that vehicle but in hindsight it was a good wagon. As I said though, both of them are a world away in 4wd terms compared to the Patrols and Cruisersthat I have also owned ( in my opinion ).

Hope this helps,
AnswerID: 455888

Reply By: snoopyone - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:45

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:45
Only Nissan grenades come with engine BREAKING

All the rest have engine BRAKING ROFL.
AnswerID: 455893

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:43

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:43
Made my night LMGO.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728883

Reply By: eighty matey - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:51

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:51
Hi Daniel,

I have a mate with late 90s petrol Jackaroo. Taken it to a lot of places, often towing a camper trailer.

Another mate has a petrol GQ Nissan that he loves. I swear my Toyota 80 series diesel is the best vehicle I have ever owned and I rue the day I have to sell it (at the moment), but a diesel would be your $10000. Another 2 mates have petrol 80 series and they have been all over the place in them with their families. One has done over 5000,000kms and is still going strong. They're thirsty when you push them but they're extremely capable and spacious vehicles. A petrol 80 can be bought for around $10000.

What sort of driving do you do for the daily drive? That have a fair bearing on what's suitable.

Hope I've helped a bit.

eighty matey.
AnswerID: 455895

Follow Up By: eighty matey - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:57

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 14:57
Sorry Daniel,

I must do some editing.....

I meant, "but a diesel would be over your $10000"...

and, "One has done over 500,000kms", not 5 million.

I must preview more.

80 matey
FollowupID: 728832

Reply By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 18:09

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 18:09
Daniel, you cant do better than an 80 series petrol IMHO. Cheap to buy,expensive to run but not bad on gas. Reliable, roomy and capable 4WD.

After 1995 is best but earlier is still quite OK

Cheers, Wooly

Wooly VKS-737 Mobile 0058

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AnswerID: 455909

Reply By: splits - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 18:23

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 18:23

What do you have in mind when you say you want to "explore our beautiful country"? Where do you want to go? Do you want to camp in the bush/deserts or stay in motels? Do you want to tow anything? All of these things and your budget can have a major influence on selecting a suitable car.

When your budget is down a little it usually means the money available for major repairs is also a little low. This is an area in which you have to be very careful when buying low priced 4wds. They have a lot more major parts than 2wd cars and they often have a harder life. You could for example buy one that sounds good then have a problem like a transmission failure a short time later because it has been full of water from river crossings. The owner could have changed the contaminated oil prior to selling it but the damaged may have already started.

I would recommend you start by joining a large family orientated 4wd club with a good driver training program. This will give you a good grounding in all the basics of driving, maintaining, recovery and car selection. Recovery is very important. 4wds don't stop you from getting stuck, they just help you get stuck in worse places.

As for what type of car, you may find a privately owned dual cab ute may be a better choice. The base models are usually cheaper when new than many wagons so you may be able to find a better or later one for your money. Your family will fit in easily and they are fine for driving to work. They are also very handy for bringing things home from Bunnings or the local nursery if you are setting up a new home.

As a general rule they go a little better in rough conditions than family station wagons seeing they have been designed to go straight from showrooms to cross country on rural properties in standard form. My 8 year old 3 litre non turbo single cab has taken my wife and I from the top of Blue Rag in the Victorian High Country to the top of Big Red in the Simpson desert all on standard suspension and tyres. This means you can see a hell of a lot of the country without having to modify anything.

Be careful with modified cars. They may have heaps of accessories like lifted suspensions etc but they usually have these accessories so they can go into much harsher conditions. These conditions can really take their toll on the car over time. I have found the type of tracks that need these modifications rarely lead to better camping grounds or scenery.
AnswerID: 455910

Reply By: Member - Brian R (WA) - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:08

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:08
Hi Daniel
I go the Jackaroo Petrol .I have had 2 Jacs the first a 1984 petrol the second 1990 TD . If I was to take the choice now I would go Petrol. I had probs with the TD which cost me big bucks.......I think the cost of any probs on the petrol would be much less.
They are a good 4x4 if looked after. in your price range thats the one. Have it checked over.
AnswerID: 455920

Reply By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:57

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 20:57
Some good advice here, but what you need to to look for is a vehicle that has never been off road. That way the diffs etc will not have water damage and the only body damage will be car park bingles.
Turbo diesels are brilliant till you need injectors/ pump rebuild this alone will cost aound $5000 then add another $10000 for and engine rebuild. And most tds wilth alloy heads crack heads,budget around $4000 for this.
I do usually try and get a vehicle with a b/bar as theses are worth around $2000 and worth their weight in gold.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 455926

Reply By: Axle - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 21:29

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 21:29
G/Day Daniel,... You must be as confused as a baby in a topless bar by now..LOL...Mate instead of looking at the OLD blunder buses!, and thats what most of them are when you get back to under 2000 mods,Been good in their time .but absolute money pits.! ..IMHO...Petrol or diesel...If your travelling is not going to be to severe as far as the rough stuff goes then why not throw a soft roader into the mix, Some of them arn't all that soft, and much more fuel efficient, most are reliable as, and probably only cost two grand more for a later model and less ks.

Cheers Axle
AnswerID: 455930

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:36

Monday, May 30, 2011 at 22:36
Axle our three Jacks would not have had any more then a thousand dollars spent in total in repairs and will leave any soft roader for dead. Thats in the last three years. Admittly Sals only has 106000ks on it, but it would only bring $14000 private sale.
But their value is starting to go gback up as they atre becoming sought after.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728897

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:28

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:28
Well Axle, at this point I'm still in front, I have a proper 4wd wagon that has done
60k of touring..towing..over 5 years, & hasnt cost one cent in repairs apart from
scheduled servicing. It is now worth $2k less than I paid for it...total capital cost...
$400 bucks a year. Dont think I'll trade it on a softroader yet..:)))))......oldbaz.
FollowupID: 728929

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:38

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:38
Baz I borrowed a Rav from work and gave it a work out on some mild tracks, which it had some difficulty with because of short suspension travel, took the Jack back and it did it easy in 2wd.
I have also noticed that low k o2 and 03s are being snapped up straight away.
I prefer My old 98 Jack to the new 150 prados at work to drive and off road you can pick your lines so much better in the Jack.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 728959

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 21:36

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 21:36
Hi Daniel,

You need a rodeo, the best 4x4 ever made. I'll beat all comers over all sorts of terrain, Its no wonder it was voted worlds best off road vehicle.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 456034

Reply By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 22:44

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 22:44
You could also get yourself a RV6 or just an RV prado, both would be very capable off road, The base rv with the 2.7 petrol motor is a very good engine and not to bad on fuel, or the V6 which would be a bit thirstier around town but again good on road and capable off road. No it wont flex and so on like a cruiser but depending on your needs which sounds like a bit of weekend escaping but used daily for work the prado would be ideal. You wont get a TD prado for 10 unless it had 400 + k on it or totally trashed and I wouldnt rave about the 1kz diesel in them anyway...... And yes the jacks are very underated 4wd, go well heaps of get up and go.............Regards Steve
AnswerID: 456041

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