Upgrading a HDJ79 - is there anything better out there?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:05
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My Landcruiser TD Traytop is 10 years old. I'd normally have upgraded it a few years ago. But I have a dilemma - I can't find a newer vehicle that is better....but I'd like a 4wd with a rear seat so our grandchildren can come 4wding with us.

Been looking at other vehicles:

VDJ79 - current model traytop has airbags but....the track is 100mm narrower at the rear, the starter motor is inaccessable, the alternator is low, the fuel consumption is no better than my 1HD-FTE factory TD, the fuel injectors are not perfect and the oil consumption issues may not be resolved yet.

VDJ78 troopie - as above, GXL 5-seater looks good but it really hasn't changed in 25 years. And its $75k on the road for a very basic vehicle.

FJ Cruiser is a good price and nice on paper and i expect it will make a good weekend warrior, but for desert travel, will need long range tanks (only 80 L standard) and its really a small 4wd, so can't carry a fraction of what my 79series will carry. It also needs premium ULP and from inside the cab, its a very claustrophobic vehicle. I test drove one today and have crossed it off the list.

The new Mazda BT50 looks very good...but can I trust a BT50 on the remote corrugated tracks in our deserts...so you break down, and need parts.. will Mazda have a clue? And the common rail injectors we find on the latest diesels... have they been sorted yet?

Hilux...well its a backward step after a 79series and is behind the pack until the next upgrade in 18 months time. And the other dual cabs have potential chassis problems when you load them up and tow a TVan.

Prado... I had them in the past... the 150 series D4D looks great with 8.5 L/100k but it looks such a dawky vehicle. Can't get my head around that aweful front end.

100series HDJ100 - buying a 2006 model to replace a 2002 model with the same motor is no good for me. But this may have well been the best of the wagons for a long time to come despite the fragile IFS front end.

200series - sure 90k for a TD GXL - or even 75k for the base model GX with vinyl floor and cruddy looking steel wheels.....its a lot of money for a vehicle that has had its fair share of teething problems. But 10.3l/100k is great for such a big vehicle, so I'll keep it on the radar.

What about the next step up... an OKA maybe... but no longer in production - next ones might be from Malaysia and the old ones are a bit dated compare to my 79series. Maybe an Earthcruiser....but I don't want to have to pack up the truck every day to go for a drive.... prefer the Tvan or just a swag, and a 4.5T vehicle won't go places a 3.3T Landcruiser will.

When I visit a dealer these days,they are more interested in getting my 79series as a trade-in than they are in selling me a new car, so I figure I'll have to hang onto the 79series and if the grandkids want to come, we take the VW Tiguan and a towrope!

So is there something that I've missed? After touring the dealers today, I'm resigned to keeping what I've got for a bit longer :-(
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:13

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:13
I understand your dilemma , I have a similar issue.
There is a lot of talk of a dual cab 79 series tray back coming later this year. I hope it is true.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:42

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:42
Yeah, I've followed that - looks like it will have the same wheelbase as my 79series. Might be a reasonable option.

I guess I've looked at the VDJ 70series as being a stop-gap model while they redesign the 70series, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
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Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:14

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:14
Sounds like you have answered your own question--stick to a good thing as your vehicle is a proven wagon.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:46

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:46
Gday Rambler,
My problem is that its not a wagon! A bit reluctant to convert a 10 year old 79series just to take the grandkids.
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Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:26

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:26
Dare i say the prado might be worth another look and just go blindfolded

one of the few vehicles with really good range

ultimate toughness will be lacking compared to what you have but should be tough enough for desert travel rather than trashing it as a weekend warrior

- forget the dual cab utes

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:50

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:50
Gday Davoe,
wash your mouth out :-))
But I agree with everything you say. Interesting thing is that Kathryn wants "a real truck" and not "a Prado" even though we travel with others with Prados and they are a very good desert vehicle. I like the D4D motor and the Prado mechanicals, but its a pity each model change seems to go backwards as far as the shape goes.
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Reply By: Life Member Dick B - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:30

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:30
Hi Phil

I don't think you will find anything better than you have now. It's hard to beat the 79 Series with the 1HD-FTE engine. You have the best engine Toyota produced and you don't have any of the problems associated with the new Common Rail V8. You know the condition of your vehicle and you have it setup the way you like it.

If you want a second row of seats, get the dual cab conversion done. Not cheap but it will give you the second row of seats you want.

My 2003 Troopy with the 1HD-FTE engine has only done 60,000km and I would not consider changing it for one of the new V8 models. It is setup the way I like it and I don't see a new model giving me anything that I don't already have.


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:55

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:55
Gday Dick,
yeah the dual cab conversions are usually a chopped down troopie or 76series. Problem is the wheelbase is not as long as the 79series. I think to extend the cab on a 79series may be too expensive, and at the same time, I'd have to chop short our canopy. I figured it might be better to start from scatch with a new vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 10:49

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 10:49

dream machine for remote travel with Grandkids.


Something along the lines of the SES conversion should do it I reckon.

Cheers Mick

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:03

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:03
Gday Mick,
Looks like the perfect stretch limo for a daughter's wedding!
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Reply By: Axle - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:44

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:44
When you have a study of all the mechanicals of all the brands,( forget the looks) and dealer network, parts supply,value for your dollar, Then me thinks Mitsubishi is hard to beat,..You will have a hard time with any of them if you break down in a remote area,...Not a hard time a slow time ..lol...Thats only my opinion.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:02

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:02
I have a lot of respect for Mitsubishi - I've rarely witnessed a problem with Pajeros, but unfortunately the current dual cab triton fits into the "weak chassis" mob when you fit them up for desert travel and tow a Tvan over corrugated and rough roads. The Pajeros are reliable, but the independant suspension lacks the clearance I'd like.
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Reply By: Member - Des Lexic - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:51

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:51
G'day Phil, I went through a similar process12-18months ago. The cruiser is now 12 years old but basically apart from being a slug, there is nothing wrong with it. It's only done 183000k's so I decided to spend a little money on it and keep it. It's comfortable, suits our needs, reliable and doesn't owe us anything. As long as it lasts another 12 years, I guess it will do us for now.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:11

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:11
Gday Des,
Yep, mine's done 175,000k and I tend to think what might go wrong in the middle of nowhere over the next 100,000k. I've done a bit of preventative maintenance at 150k by replacing the water pump, hoses, belts, thermostat, alternator etc so hopefully thats covered, and maybe sometime in the future I'll electively replace the clutch so I don't leave too much to chance. It's running sweet, just lacks a rear seat!

Looked at a GXL Troopie at the Govt Auction today (#51) - looked like it had hit something pretty hard on the left hand side - had a big crease in the left hand side panel and had dings in wierd places underneath! So I'll give that one a miss!
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Reply By: Member - Tezza Qld - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:52

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 20:52
Hi Phil

In a word--- No---- There is nothing better out there.

I went through the same questions at Easter when my 2006/7 Patrol trayback, leafsprung rear and 4.2, turned 5 years old. With 170,000 k's on the clock and only used for touring decided it will be in the shed for a few years yet.

We get all the newer vehicles in the shop for suspensions and accessories ect and a good look around when they are on the hoist does't do anything to exite me about their use as a off road tourer.

The mid sized utes are all too light in construction for bumping around the deserts with a camper on. I have bent chassis on them before.

All the newer stuff with a sensor for this and a sensor for that and the fuel issues with the slightest contamination, plus if something does go wrong who , when and where can fix it does nothing for me.

Your issue seems to be the people carrying capacity and apart from a 5 seat troopy from 2006 or before I can't think of anything else.

Cheers Teza
AnswerID: 484487

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:24

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:24
Gday Tezza,
I'd love to find a low mileage 2006 RV 5-seater troopie!! But they are getting pretty rare and the asking price is increasing - some on carsales are $55k! But I'll keep my eyes open
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 23:13

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 23:13
$55K!! Bugga me!!
My 2006 RV has only done 50K so still holding value well.

I have been thinking about a vehicle change also as I need to replace the suspension in mine and was looking to do a GVM upgrade as part of it.
Started to weigh up the costs and now figure its worth spending the money and keep mine for a few more years also, owes me nothing now and still in top notch condition all round.

Interesting thread Phil.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 23:27

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 23:27
Yes John they seem to hold their value well.
Problem is to decide when the price is still high enough to get a good trade in, maybe too late before you know it.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:35

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:35
True Al.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:26

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:26
G'day Phil,

In the same situation as you, with an '02 HDJ79, with about 235K on it.

But I don't have your dilemma, as only grandchild is just 12months old. By the time he wants to go bush, he'll be taking me!

I'm resigned to keeping ours, adding a aluminium canopy similar to yours, and using the money saved on a new vehicle, for repairs to this one.......Oh, and the mortgage.

Not real keen on the "rest" either, though could just manage to "suffer" a GX 200, or even a Prado, if we happened to be at the end of the rainbow.

A Canter mightn't be too bad, but one would need to spend heaps on the front suspension, and add suspension seating, to give a smidgin of comfort.

Have seen a few 100 series turbo's cut into dual cabs, and it seems almost a crime to do that to a new vehicle. Mightn't be too bad now they are a little cheaper. We had a lot of dramas with a 105 series on the station, that had been "hacked off", and had a chassis extension.

What about a Hummer, Phil?


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:55

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 21:55
Gday Bob,
I agree with you about the Canter and I guess the same for the Izuzu - needs a fair bit of development to get the suspension/wheels/tyres up to what I'd want.

A chassis extension is not what I want - it can turn a good 4wd into an extended limo - the rampover angle can leave you stuck on dunes and the turning circle becomes even bigger than what we have on the standard 79series. And the rear axle ends up with a too much weight on it.

I've had the benefit of going away with Humvee a couple of times! The Hummer is pretty rare vehicle and needs Peter's enthusiasm to get it through rego etc and build it up into a good desert vehicle. But I'm sure the grandchildren would love it - especially the gun turret! I wouldn't consider the H3 - its gone out of production.

I think the towrope and the Tig are winning so far!
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Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:17

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:17
you have given some really good advise over the years.

I am going on long service . I was told that they were going to give me a new ford ranger dual cab to trial. Now that is a big ask of a vehicle in the underground area.

It really gets my interest going when a company does that as I think they either don't know what they are getting into or they have a really good product.

Pity I won't see what happens to these utes but then again I won't ever have to see rocks in my dreams again. LOL.

Check them out as no one has ever done this before. That does not mean they will survive but at least they are backing their product.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:29

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:29
Hey, enjoy your LSL - I've been nibbling away at mine for years - gradually running out - give it a few years and might be able to retire with a bit of luck.

Haven't looked at the Ford Ranger, but I hear what you're saying that they have confidence in the product.
The new Mazda Bt50/Ford Ranger ticked a lot of boxes for me. 5cyl, plenty of power and torque, standard rear diff lock, looked strong with a stronger looking chassis than the other dual cabs. The engine is new, so might have a few teething problems - looks pretty crowded under the bonnet.Ranger front end looks better than the Mazda. Lots of electronic wizardry though.

Haven't ruled them out yet!
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:46

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 22:46
I know what you mean about the electronics. It will be interesting to see how the rangers go and I will let the forum know how they pan out.

People keep saying how miners flog vehicles and they are right but my 7 year old 1hz is still going and she might look like a piece of rust on the outside but the cabin is still spotless and heaven help anyone who messes it up.

If they knew how many k's that old girl has done in low range 4wd and the engine hours they would be astounded.

Happy 4wd hunting,

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:14

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:14
Actually Rockape yeas they have done it before many times

many a mine manager has tried to save money with hiluxes, roadeos and nissans to name a few

its always failed
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:17

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 00:17
as for the New BT50 - it would have to stronger than the old one to be any use to you

a local guy on the forums ive been out with a ferw times and just uses his vehicle same as you would has had no end of troubles with it mostly relating to strengtyh a durabilty issues for touring with a load including cracking the whole chasis clean in half
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 07:47

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 07:47
get outmore,
I am hearing you and I have seen all the other makes tried. From Hiluxes, Patrols, Fergy tractors, Mimps, Kowari,s and even a Hummer.

The big problem now is what it is costing to keep the fleet of cruisers running. Ours don't sustain much body damage but rust, airconditioning compressors and condensers (being a lead mine these are pretty important), alternators and starter motors are the main culprits causing hugh amounts of downtime. The bodies are no where near as good as the old cruisers.

The mine cruisers when they are speced up cost between $120000 and $140000 with all the bits added and the installation of sibs brakes.

They will trial 5 Rangers at a very low cost due to the manufacturer supplying them well below cost. In fact about $7000 cheaper than a Great Wall.

The people involved in this are long time miners and also have seen the others tried.

They have to give them a go and see what pans out.


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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 22:28

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 22:28
Gday Rock A
I did a little reserch the other day on SIBS brakes. They look very well made. I supose they last a lot longer in your job.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:37

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:37
Old Wes,

The brakes do work well and they only have them on the rear axle.

One if the reason for the brakes is that they are fail safe. If you turn the vehicle off or open the drivers door they apply. The hand brakes in the standard Toyota are a real pain as most of the time they don't work or if they do it takes a heap of maintenance to keep them working.

One of the reasons for the brakes is we have had a few runaways where people were slack parking the vehicles or left them running with the engine going. We even had an explosives ute and a stope charging truck runaway the ue actually turned over underground. Now we all suffer as we even have to chock both sides of a wheel and that applies to parking on a 1 in 6 decline with ours wheels into the wall. It is a pain in the arse I can tell you.

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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 09:19

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 09:19
Hi Phil G

Have a look at these beauties - should do everything you need!http://www.amesz.com.au/

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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:32

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:32
Phil I think you have been reading into things a bit too much!

All the problems you have listed are few and far between and most new real 4x4's whether it's a passenger type or ute handle things very well and are built strong.

I don't think any of the new 4x4's have had any more teething problems then previous models...... it's just that most forget and are quick to point out and justify why they haven't got a new one.

New or old they all can fail for something stupid.

We had a look at a new troppy but could not justify the price, in the end we settled for a 200 series that's we have changed to a 2 seater and is near completion for remote travelling.

Very comfortable and capable 4x4... the only down side it is a little wide for some places but bush pin striping gives it character and helps in removing the title of "URBAN 4x4".

And what's wrong with the "cruddy looking steel wheels."

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 16:37

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 16:37
"Phil I think you have been reading into things a bit too much"
hehe wouldn't be the first time!

Yeah, every vehicle has a problem or two but I'd rather get a vehicle that has had piddly recalls than one that bends its chassis or busts the front arms. Don't like the idea of failures when we're a long way from home.

Had another look at the GX wheels.... but they still look cruddy :-)
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 09:00

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 09:00
Yeah agree Phil re ongoing major problems that are an issue like the Patrol rear chassis and spring seats cracking and the Navara nad Triton cracking their backs.

But with the Landcrusiers faults are dealt with and rectified quickly and in most cases only appear on the very first batch..... unlike some other brands issues that have been over the whole life span.

The worst thing about the internet is if 5 vehicles out of 1000 has a fault it seems like the whole 1000 has that fault...... I don't think faults are any worse then that on previous models just that you never heard about them when the vehicle was new and most of these vehicles are on their second or third owner.

When the 60 series came out the internet and forums were not even in the dream stages. with the 80 series 1 in 200 people had that ultra fast 14.4k or 28k internet thingy and forums.... what's forums? ANd you could still buy those 51/4 floppy things..... with the 100 series we had 56k modems and for the few well off RICH people they had 128k or 1500k but still only 1 in 150 people had it and forums was something from the dark side, 51/4 floppys were old hat and the modern 3 1/2 was the rage and a high performance computer had 4meg ram, 14 inch SVGA monitor, 16 colour video cards and a hugh 40meg hard drive..... shoot to the 200 series where we run internet speeds of 5 to 100 megabytes per second, everyone is on more then one online forum.... 1 out of 3 people ARE NOT ON THE INTERNET DAILY plus 1 in 2 phones have high speed internet, the average person spends 3 hours a day surfing ( the net).

So I would expect to see more people complaining and with issues.

If you want some ideas on how the rack a 200 series give me a yell.

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Reply By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 12:57

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 12:57
The only vehicle not mentioned here is the VW Amarok.
Phil you already have one VW in the family. Maybe consider an Amarok.
Price is reasonable and the accessories are getting better, fuel consumption is great, power is good, comfort appears good. The only real question is strength.
I don't have one but would love one.
I am of the belief that they have been used as a back up in the Dakar. Please correct me if I'm wrong and they went well.
Some of the reasons mentioned in this thread is why I keep hold of my TD auto 80 series. At 327 000km it is almost run in. lol.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 13:43

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 13:43
Just because the were used in Dakar doesn't mean the are any better then anything else out there.

You might find VW like others before them had their own team of mechanics and spare for the Amaroks..... last thing they would want is one to fail even that they were not competing in the main race.

When the eye's of the world are on you things get done.

There was a story going around about the 1979 Repco round Australia Rally..... according to some insiders the Ford team running Cortina's had a few identical cars even to the point of the same VIN and engine numbers...... and Holden used planes and helicopters to fly in mechanics and parts...... I would call that winning at any cost.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 15:59

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 15:59
Gday Scott,
Been watching the Amarok - nice looking vehicle that does most things really well. But there are no dual cab-chassis available unless you take the tub off yourself, and the auto transmission is not available until July and if you get an auto, you miss out on low range. It might be worth waiting for - an 8 speed ZF (not the dreaded DSG), and at the same time they are upping the power to 132Kw.

Been a bunch of clutch slave cylinder failures - have to remove the gearbox to access it - not good.

I like most of the engineering in the VWs. But the electronics are likely to leave me bewildered out in the bush. The "engine check warning light" commonly comes on for many reasons. In our Tig recently it was because the throttle body was clogged (EGR + intake oil with only 40k on the clock) but more commonly when the pressure sensor for the diesel particulate filter plays up. I'd really like to avoid a DPF.

I agree with olcoolone about the Dakar thing - I think its advertising hype but maybe with time, the Amarok will earn good offroad credentials.

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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 15:42

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 15:42
For your use Phil no there's nothing better on the market at the moment. The current V8 Cruiser tray hasn't improved enough on it's own to warrent upgrading although the twin cab version to be released soon will be a versatile vehicle worth a look.
Speaking to a Nissan rep recently he gave no hope what so ever that a large diesel was even being considered which is unfortunate as a coil sprung tray is definately the go for Oz touring.
Do as so many others I know are doing at the moment.............. keep maintaining the old bus.
Cheers Craig.............

PS: You would have looked so good up the desert in an FJ Phil ;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:05

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:05
Gday Craig,
Yep, agreed - FJ Cruisers do look good in the desert!
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 16:49

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 16:49
Totally agree with the sentiments expressed in this thread. The trend in the new vehicles just seems not to suit many of us.

Came across the following during a search - I am seriously considering an Earthcruiser as a soft finish to our 4wd travelling.

Secondhand troopy with side door

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:10

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:10
Gday Alastair,
My wife wants an Earthcruiser - she reckons we should take the next step now. One day it might happen - maybe after we give up on the TVan, but that's not yet.
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:13

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:13
Hello Phil,
My 2006 model Troopy now has 180,000 kilometers on it. I too have been pondering "what's next"

I've come to similar conclusions regarding the new TD V8 78 & 79 Series.

I've decided to spend the necessary cash on the Troopy and buy a Subaru Outback for my daily driver. I'm lucky in I can get my business to purchase and fund the Outback.

The Troopy needs new shocks and I'll do the springs while it's in pieces. The drivers seat had dropped its bundle, replaced it with a new Recaro a couple of months back.

Apart from those couple of things it has a couple of massive advantages. I already own it, it is already setup and a couple of people whose opinion I value consider the TD6 in our Cruiser a better engine than the TD V8 when it really matters.

Happy hunting, I'm keeping mine!


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:18

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:18
Gday geoff,
You're chalking up the k's - the subaru is a good move. I'm lucky that I don't need a daily driver - I cycle to work, so the Landcruiser is only used for trips - about 15,000k a year. Maybe I'm just running out of mods to do???
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Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:54

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 17:54
Hi Phil
Been going through the same sort a thing my self.
Thinking of upgrading the 80 series mainly for the fuel cost these days and LPG not even worth running on at up to 90 cents per litre.
Have been looking at all the light crew cabs as i can claim all the deductions as a work vehicle.
the Bt50 is ugly as, and the ford ranger 60k drive away and then at least 10k to finish it, gets it up there in price, even if you can get one, or a test drive.
The hilux sr5 just doesn't cut it after an 80 series gxl limited model.
Best so far price wise is the isuzu Dmax 4x4 crew cab LSU manual (top of the range)40k drive away 2012 model as well. i like the engine in these no rubber timing belt to change.
After looking at all these light duty crew cab utes they all seem to be a down grade, and can't bring my self to do it in a hurry.
Im surprised the Landy hasn't chimed in as far as i can see at the present
Landrover have the only serious heavy duty 4x4 crew cab out there.
And i am seeing alot more new landys on the road these days.
Though you would probably commit seppuku (or ritual suicide),
before going down that track LOL
Go for the 06 100 series ideal for the grand kids and towing the Tvan, the front end wont drop off that quick, and there a fixes for them.


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

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AnswerID: 484557

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:24

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:24
We spent our honeymoon in a 2A LandRover - my wife hasn't forgiven me since! It would be nice if I could drop a Toyota motor into a defender.
FollowupID: 759938

Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 22:41

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 22:41
G'day Phil,

Yeah went through the same process that you are going through at the moment.
My HZJ75 1991 model was getting a little long in the tooth although still very reliable so I removed the 1HZ and H55F gearbox and fitted a 1HD-FT engine and a H150F gearbox. Towing a 22' van also had something to do with it. Why did I not just buy a later HDJ79.
Too many electronics on the engine.
Oh wait... isn't that part of the problem for you?
Fortunately for me 2 of my kids already own 4WD's so taking grandkids bush and beach adventuring is no drama.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

AnswerID: 484574

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:32

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 22:32
Cheers Pop,
Can't get away from electronics - they're OK if they are reliable, but a nightmare when it comes to engine transplants, so I can see why you went for the -FT and not the -FTE.

I'm almost settled on the "do nothing" option!
FollowupID: 759940

Reply By: Phil V (SA) - Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 15:11

Monday, Apr 30, 2012 at 15:11
Gday Phil

Went through this last year. Had a HZJ75 traytop and either did a lot to it or upgrade. Well after a lot of looking on the net and test driving a lot of VDJ79's, but only one HDJ79 I decided to wait for a HDJ79. Took a few months of waiting but one became available where I live. Absolutely brilliant vehicle for what I need it for and it doesn't bust my arse when going on a long trip. Thanks very much for your information about the HDJ79's on here and Lcool.


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