Which tow vehicle?

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:58
ThreadID: 97707 Views:2849 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Hi. Seeking advice on buying tow vehicle for year on road around Oz pulling 2800kg caravan. Want to spend 30-35k on used vehicle. Narrowed down to LC 100 series diesel- love to have turbo but these seem very pricey, old and many km ... Do non-turbos really struggle with performance? I am a sedate driver with family of four ... Also now looking at Disco 3s. Seem a good car, turbo and few years newer for the money. Any thoughts?
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:31

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:31
Hi Richard,

I have owned a 97 Petrol 80 series, a 96 turbo diesel 80 series and now own a V8 petrol 2003 100 series.

While the torque is brilliant in the turbos the prices holds a lot of us back.

At a minimum of 10 grand the difference for the turbo 100 over the V8 petrol it means you can fund a lot of economy difference in the V8 petrol.

Remember you only have to fund the difference if economy, not the full fuel price, with that 10 grand or more.

Personally I prefer the V8 petrol. Smoother, cleaner, less servicing, at least 10 grand cheaper, and maybe much more, and could pull a house down.
Absolutely brilliant tugs. I won't be going back to a turbo diesel any time soon.

The normally aspirated diesel will dissapoint you performance wise unless you have had a history with normally aspirated diesels and are fully aware of their limitations. They are as reliable as they can get though. A million Ks is not uncommon if looked after.

My mate reckons he can get out and run faster up hills when he is towing with his normally aspirated 2005 landcruiser ute.

That's my 2 bobs worth for you anyway.

Cheers, 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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AnswerID: 493788

Follow Up By: Richard B9 - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:42

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 13:42
Thanks, very helpful. I was thinking diesel for economy and accessibility but 10g does buy a lot in the economy stakes! I am convinced LC are the go but have only recently tested a Discovery and was impressed
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Follow Up By: chisel - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:17

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:17
Remember it isn't as simple as comparing purchase price and thinking you can pocket the difference for fuel - it's really the resale price (or the difference between purchase and sale price) which is the primary factor to consider.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:53

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:53
Hi Chisel,

What you say is correct if you intend updating your turbo cruiser in the not too distant future but as this V8 cruiser will do me till I down size to a Falcon or a Toyota Camry sized vehicle then it is not an issue.

As I said I had the 1HD FT 80 series cruiser, and on gas as well, but this V8 petrol is streets ahead on performance and comfort. It just cost a bit more to keep it fueled.

Overall the running costs are similar, in fact if you are buying new then the whole of life ownership costs put the petrol slightly ahead, from several posts I have read.

It is interesting to note that nearly everybody who has a turbo diesel is trying to get a bit more performance out of it, hence the plethora of aftermarket chip manufacturers and the large number of workshops specialising in fitting them, not to mention exhaust shops fitting 3" exhausts.

I do not need another thing on the V8. It works terrific straight out of the box, so to speak.

I got the turbo diesel because everybody said what a great vehicle they are.
After spending heaps of money on it I was glad to see the back of it. I was always chasing a bit more performance despite the lowdown torque.

On the other hand I am sticking with the V8 petrol, as far as I am concerned it is a no brainer, given the tasks I will need it for.

Cheers, 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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FollowupID: 769450

Reply By: WBS - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 15:06

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 15:06
Based on the weight you are proposing to tow I'd give the naturally aspirated diesel a miss. I would also give the aftermarket turbo's diesel option a miss too if you were looking at that option too. My only choice would be to get a LC 100 with a direct-injection 1HDTE turbo-diesel engine. There is just no comparison in performance, they are chalk and cheese.

I base my opinion on the fact that I bought a naturally aspirated diesel 80 Series Landcruiser which towed but only very slowly and died on hills, but once it gets down to 1200rpm and in second gear it just keeps on chugging along. Not good for long distance towing.

I next fitted an after market turbo plus a bigger exhaust system and snorkel. There was a noticeable improvement in performance but it was still inadequate on hills when towing. Without load (not towing) it was a huge improvement.

That just leaves the 1HDTE turbo-diesel engine. Although I've not personally experienced how they tow I have acquaintances who do use them and love them and they leave my vehicle in their dust. Theirs are all automatics. I know people actually put those 1HDTE turbo-diesel engine into 80 series Land Cruisers as an upgrade.

AnswerID: 493791

Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:20

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:20
Spot on ..! Good advice.
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Reply By: dindy - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 15:59

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 15:59
Depending on where you live, spend a weekend going around the car yards and try, if possible, driving all the different combinations of the 100 series you can find. Find some good hills to test them out, even if you don't tow anything this should give you some good a reasonable starting point. The results will vary with age, mileage and condition. Most car yards are prepared for you to spend some time with the vehicle if you appear to be a prospective buyer. However be cautious about whatever they say regarding performance and handling as they will say almost anything to sell you a car. Lcool.org is a great site with a mountain of info on all cruisers, join its free, it may help you make decision. When you go to buy look hard at private sellers as you tend to get more bang for your buck but be sensibly cautious with any purchase. For the amount you want to spend you will find a vehicle to suit your purpose.
AnswerID: 493792

Reply By: Richard B9 - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:39

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 16:39
Thanks, all good advice, particularly resale value as LC obviously holds value. It just irks me to fork out 35g or so and still get a 10-year-old car with 200,000 on the clock ... This seems the norm, however, for 100 series turbo diesel in good nick. I do appreciate there are sound reasons for this.
AnswerID: 493799

Follow Up By: dindy - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:26

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:26
I agree with bruce-c could not afford a t/d went looking at auto v8 petrol's. I also own a 1994 manual petrol 80 series on gas with 460,000 ks, use it primarily as a work tug now towing a machinery trailer. I bought a 2003 auto v8 with 150,000 on the clock, privately for $26,000. Best thing I did, wife uses it mainly loves the auto driven steady is reasonably good on fuel however consumption is not a main concern for me as the vehicle is multi use, wife for business, me for shooting trips out west, wife and me for travelling around. Five speed auto is fantastic and more than enough power for what you want. The purists will try to convince you, as I used to think, that a 4x4 should only be manual, most of them have not driven one of these vehicles, great in the rough as well. The engines are almost indestructible provided to look after it.
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Reply By: graham B9 - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 20:54

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 20:54
Hi Richard,

Well do not buy a Discovery for a start. Get a LC100 TD is the only way to go for so many reasons.

Go look at Grays Online auctions and buy one from them. Then you have to learn to do some maintaince work for yourself. You might have to wait for a while for a "right" one to come up but they do. You might have to travel to another state to get it, organised to have it registered and do some fixing up before they will register it.

"There is no free lunch"
AnswerID: 493816

Reply By: Richard B9 - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 22:55

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 22:55
Thanks again. Appreciate there is no free lunch. With respect to my family's plan (purpose tow vehicle for a year, then resell, plus little serious off road but reliability a must) I will certainly give thought to a petrol v8. My reckoning is fuel costs will go up a third pulling 3t but 35g will buy a much nicer 2003/4 Sahara (creature comforts are enticing) plus Ks around 100 rather than 220-plus. Resale value should still be strong. That said I will keep an eye out for a Td bargain and will give normal aspiration a miss as towing appears hard, slow slog. Thanks again to all and appreciate any further advice. Disco3 was a passing phase- really nice but with a Kluger and Camry in the garage (and a few more before them) I know toyotas are solid, if not sexy
AnswerID: 493820

Reply By: Member - Keith Berg - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 14:43

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 14:43
I bought an immaculate 2006 V8 GXL Petrol 18 months ago for $29K with bull bar, lights winch and snorkel, 170,000 country miles on the clock and no signs of off road work. Love it, despite the awful thirst.

You'll probably have to put up with about 25 litres per 100 km while towing (more off road), which bis a lot. Flying solo you should get about 15 l/100km in the country. But oil change frequency with the petrol V8 is 10 litres at 10,000 km rather than 15 litres at 5,000 km with the diesel, plus filters.

On my sums, it would take me 150,000km to make up for the difference in price between the V8 petrol and an equivalent second hand Turbo diesel. Maybe the silver nomads have pushed the second hand market for turbo diesels out of reach.

The Petrol V8 is the nicest V8 engine I have ever driven. Good luck with your search.
AnswerID: 493855

Follow Up By: Richard B9 - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 22:44

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 22:44
Thanks ... The open road awaits
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 13:02

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 13:02
10.5 litres of oil for 1HD-FTE not 15
FollowupID: 769557

Follow Up By: Member - Keith Berg - Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 13:04

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 13:04
Thanks Fisho. Looks like I have been mislead on the oil. Got my info from one of the 4WD mags, so there you are.
FollowupID: 769559

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