Nissan Terrano II advice

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 at 23:40
ThreadID: 98475 Views:4005 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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My boyfriend and I want to get into camping and 4WDing and we're looking for our first 4WD. We've come across a 1997 Nissan Terrano II manual turbo diesel for $3,400 with 6 months rego, bull bar, driving lights and tow ball. Does this seem like a decent deal?

We're saving up for a wedding so don't have a lot of money to spend so I'm really just after advice about Terranos as we've never come across them before. I realise they aren't being made anymore, but are parts easy enough to get?

We don't need it to last forever, really just a few years until we're in a better financial position.

I also doubt we'll be doing much serious 4WDing, as neither of us know much about it at this stage.

Thanks :)
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 00:05

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 00:05
Under-rated vehicle with a very strong & relatively powerful diesel. I towed a camper trailer all through the Outback & High Country. It was still going strong when I sold it with 400,000 kms.
It is basically a Pathfinder.

AnswerID: 496427

Reply By: jhoath - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 05:06

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 05:06
Thanks for that Shaker! Any idea if repairs and parts are easy enough to get and do? We don't want to be stuck in a few months time with something that we can't fix, or will cost a bucket-load to do so, obviously.
AnswerID: 496432

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:54

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:54
I had no problems with parts supply, to be honest, the vehicle gave me virtually no problems, they do have an inherent overheating issue when worked very, very hard on days of extreme temperatures, but they return to normal temperatures as soon as the load is reduced, this can be a problem with other Nissan models too.
Some after market can be a little hard to find, mainly a suitable snorkel, but I can help you get through that, if you want to fit one.
No problems though, with things like suspensions, bullbars, roof racks etc.
The price that you quoted in your original post sounds very fair.
FollowupID: 772136

Reply By: Nargun51 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19
A far under rated vehicle; strong motor, reasonably comfortable to drive, handles better than many 4WD's of that era and big enough for a small family without going to the point of being difficult to drive in city environments.

The one thing I did find was the cooling issue; on a hot day, you could use the temperature gauge as a tacho when towing.
AnswerID: 496450

Reply By: Sutto - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:01

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:01
They are a great 4x4. To give you and idea we just sold 99 model for $5500 and it was picked up quick. The only thing that made me sell, was the parts issue. Engine and major parts are fine as they are share parts with the pathfinder. Its just little things like interior parts that can be a pain. They seemed to get stripped pretty quick when i would find one in a wreckers. The major problem and it has really annoyed me is the lack of cup holders lol...
AnswerID: 496453

Reply By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:52

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:52
i didnt have a terrano but i had a diesel nissan navara 1988 dualcab ute with the same motor it towed an old 16 ft viscount caravan with ease provided you used the gearbox willingly on the hills and kept it stoked up
yes the engine temp did rise towing on very hot days in hills but would drop back as soon as the rd flattened down
i sold mine at 130,000km's and the new onwer went on to click up 300th k's be he sold it the engines are very reliable and it always started easily
AnswerID: 496455

Reply By: jhoath - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:43

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:43
Thanks for all the info, we feel much better about it now! We were thinking it was too good to be true, or that it was just a crap 4WD, but we're fairly certain we'll go ahead with the sale, pending the results of its service today, and the test drive on Saturday, of course!
AnswerID: 496457

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:51

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:51
Good luck! If you need any help re mods etc, we can exchange phone numbers via email.
FollowupID: 772149

Reply By: Member - Julie P (VIC) - Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 at 09:21

Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 at 09:21
Have a 1997 Terrano II - TDi - took us to some of the most remote places - great as a 4wd - very easy to handle and very economical - it is now in Newcastle, NSW, going to be put on ebay - has no rego and a couple of dings in the passenger side - great vehicle, but don't need it any longer, change of circumstances.

Has dual battery system, electric brake for towing, dual plugs in the rear for fridge etc., very comfortable.

Would recommend the Terranno II highly. Never had a problem with parts etc.
AnswerID: 496600

Reply By: jhoath - Sunday, Oct 21, 2012 at 16:07

Sunday, Oct 21, 2012 at 16:07
Thanks for the replies!

We bought it last Saturday and are very happy, but we've had a few issues with electrics.

We have had one big issue though. After going 4WDing on Saturday the car has started playing up. The revs were getting really high, but we had barely any power, although the turbo was kicking in. Now, the car can't make 5kph - it had no power at all. Also you can idle in gear without the clutch in.

We were towed down the mountain we were camping at by Andy's brother-in-law, then towed by NRMA to a mechanic this afternoon so we can put it in tomorrow.

Any idea what could be going on and what it might cost to fix?

AnswerID: 497076

Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Monday, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:42

Monday, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:42
Clutch gone?

From what I can remember there was nothing "special" (read particularly expensive) about the clutch.

A ring around various transmission specialists would give a fair price.
FollowupID: 772887

Follow Up By: jhoath - Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 20:34

Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 20:34
Yep, need a new clutch kit and clutch fork because that broke too.. So about $1900 to fix, yay :( I guess though it's something we'd need to fix anyway even if we decided to sell it. The mechanic said though that the Terrano isn't really suited to proper 4WDing. And we'll be a bit hesitant to use it again once it's fixed because we sure don't want to do another $1400 clutch..

Anyway, rant over!
FollowupID: 774387

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 21:14

Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 21:14
The mechanic is wrong or biased!
They are as strong as most 4x4s, he has no idea what sort of treatment the clutch has had over it's life!
They have a strong chassis, rear diff is same LSD as fitted to Patrol & a very long lasting diesel motor.
FollowupID: 774390

Follow Up By: jhoath - Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 21:03

Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 21:03
Turns out we've broken the clutch fork too - need a genuine one from Japan for $470 :(

We haven't owned a manual vehicle before although we're both competent and not clutch-riders, although BF was riding the clutch a bit 4WDing.. Could that have been what caused it? We've only been 4WDing for a few hours in total.. I'm just really paranoid we'll ruin the clutch again!

You have instilled some faith back in me though Shaker, thanks!

FollowupID: 774587

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