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Thread: Budget Family 4WD

  1. #31
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROKTOY View Post
    Nope no Bunji here, thats me, mid 90s ish on Thompsons Flat near lake Daniels. Nelson 4WD club trip.
    Also on the trip was a Ford Transit V6 with Jeep J20 running gear under. Built up by a local now retired small motors mechanic.


    Sent from my SM-G990E using Tapatalk
    I meant that picture of the 4wd hiace I posted is a random one!
    Your van looks ok, pretty hard to compare it to the 'king of thee road' hiace though...
    ROKTOY likes this.
    Use enough gun

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    I meant that picture of the 4wd hiace I posted is a random one!
    Your van looks ok, pretty hard to compare it to the 'king of thee road' hiace though...
    I got ya. Well of course a Toyota would be hard to beat..
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROKTOY View Post
    I got ya. Well of course a Toyota would be hard to beat..
    Know your place!

    Hard to beat, except for the departure angle etc.... Those Mitsi's are much better like that, just not enough room inside for what I need.
    My mate has an old L300 4wd, really old shape one, cool as .
    Use enough gun

  4. #34
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    I've saved some of you guys' good advice which may be of use to OP, I was saving it as a guide for when I get into a 4WD

    Because there is interest in the subject a bit of copy and paste is easy enough - if OP is reading, Mudgripz knows his onions..

    Mudgripz speaks

    Bit of advice from old 4x4 clubber.*

    Did umpteen years club offroading (hence the site name) and hundreds of tracks including coast to coast etc. After many years of running all the 4x4 makes through obstacles side by side, and knowing the relative maintenance for each model, alot of myths go out the window, and the sturdier trucks emerge.

    First thing - forget the old landies. Even in the Canterburyy Landrover club very few members run landies, they are frowned on when you take them on trips because of breakdown rate, and they had special landie days to accommodate them. Don't go there - too brittle. Then forget the new ones. Went on one landrover club trip - it had only two new landies on it - and both buckled steering gear when no other trucks did.

    Don't believe the Toyota 'tough truck' marketing. Have watched too many members and mates doing their toyota boxes, diffs, motor work etc when other trucks didn't need it. 2.8 non turbo probly the best of the Toyota motors but not much power. Performance better with turbo bolted on but motor not so reliable afterwards with the extra turbo pressure.

    Chrome has summarised the 1Kz motors above. Ok, nice to drive, but a number of club trucks cracked heads and if the water got into the bore it was a $9k rebuild.

    Some of the mitsis ok - not as rugged as some trucks but the older 2.5 softtop with factory locker ok - esp if it had the cast iron Mitsi Canter gearbox.

    Three good options are the safari, toyota hilux 2.8, and the isuzu 1987-92 2.8T:

    Safari very heavy - we called them sinkers for obvious reasons - and a bit gutless unless turboed, but tough, durable donkeys. Easy to mod.

    Toyota hilux 2.8 - good engine, tons of parts for inexpensive repairs, Can be made into good performers but you must do the lifts right - have seen hiluxes that look great but on the ramp measured terrible wheel articulation.

    Isuzu bighorn 87-92 - a sleeper - in fact an isuzu light truck with 4x4 body. 4Jb1T a cracker of a*diesel, easy to tune to 140-150hp, very tough and durable, great drivetrain, easy to mod. Hard to get here now though.

    It is no accident that these are the three 4x4s overseas (from Dubai etc) buyers come into NZ to pick up and sell into Africa etc.

    Jeeps a no-no. Standing joke among jeep club mates is jeep means "just explode every part'.... Very brittle.

    Little suzukis do some things well but with serious limitations - not much torque, no grunt when pushing big tyres, no room for passengers and gear, and no good in deeper rivers - have seen them floating off.

    For bang for your buck for an easily setup 4x4 for hunting and moderate offroading, my advice would be the 4JG2 3.1 isuzu wizard. Very underpriced, very sturdy isuzu drivetrain and box and quite good motor. Occasional head cracking but nothing like the toyota 2.4T and 3.0T. As noted above a bigbore even from flexi back will help with this. Quite good ones from $3,500 - alot come with v good isuzu LSD, good range of lockers etc. Don't buy the wizard with 4X1 3.0 motor - crapper of an engine. 92 - 97 Bighorns also good value - similar to but heavier than wizard.

    Give me call when you get back Mark - cheers Mike Anderson. Hope this short summary helps.*

    (And no more *&#* old landies! A Cantab clubmate of mine had one for about 12 years but it hardly ever left his garage - he used a cruiser instead... He spent a fortune on the old series 2 and finally sold it for $1200 - not going.) Nuff said...




    Other 4WD forum advice

    Flyblown

    Hands down the best option is a 1GR-FE V6 4.0 engined Prado, or even better for NZ use, the rare but findable Hilux with the same engine.

    The old school high compression turbo diesels with 400,000km plus the extra couple of hundred thousand you donít know about? Fuck that.

    If like me youíve lived a while in Aus and used the 1GR in a variety of vehicles, and have access to the fleet data for a hundred or so more, youíll know why Iím talking it up. One of the better examples of their ruggedness were the railway company vehicles - Prados mostly - used to check the lines day in day out in QLD, NT, WA. They didnít buy the diesel variant of these vehicles for a reason. If I told you the mileage these vehicles wracked up in three years you wouldnít believe me. And only about 5% of those kilometres were on the black top, the rest rough as railway tracks.

    I got the first 120series Prado with 80,000km on it and gave it back to the fleet manager with 255,000km. A typical 4 week holiday for us, from WA to Tas or the Vic High Country, was a 10,000km trip all up. I tried to buy that vehicle, but was turned down (the couldnít allow the precedent unfortunately). It was a manual.

    The second Prado was a 150series with the same engine, I only had it for 2 years from new, we did 39,000km in the first year, then my job changed and I gave it back when I left with 55,000km. The second one was an auto box.

    Neither vehicle gave me a hint of trouble. None whatsoever. We went into some hell and gone places, especially in the first one.My neighbour runs an early Gen 7 Hilux with the same 4.0L engine (GGN26R model) that is probably a 2005 or 06, I go in that truck regularly, it is well over 400,000km and smooth as silk, a very very reliable vehicle.


    Josh C, re same motor
    They're an awesome motor, so reliable and cheap to service. If you're only doing a few thousand kms a year I'd have one a hilux with one of these motors hands down over a diesel variant

    Flyblown again
    The other petrol engine that should get a mention here is the Toyota 3RZ-FE, 2.7L 4cyl. I have not owned one of these, but thereís a couple in Tacomas stateside with my cuzzies, and they are like crazy high mileage. Those are conventional 2WD pickups, delivery vehicles. You can get this engine in the Gen 6 Hilux 4WD here, it is often overlooked by kiwis and thatís a mistake. There are of course thousands of super-high mileage Hiaces with this engine.



    Nissan Patrol GU
    Looking for one of these with the factory TD42T motor. GU/Y61. Ideally one that hasnít been cowboy tuned or modded too much. Not an easy find these days. I dicked around after looking at a tidy one the other day for 30k. I see it was sold to a commercial dealer and relisted on trademe today for 43k*
    *
    It would appear that mechanically injected diesels that can be worked on, with OEM parts still available new, that have not had a visit from the rust monster are worth gold now a days.

    And no, I'm not selling any of my collection of Y60's and Y61. They are just too good to move on,......and with what would you replace with these days???
    *
    I got myself a great example a few months back, td42ti manual gu, has all the bells and whistles. So glad I brought it after selling my 80 series cruiser
    *
    *





















    3.1 4JG2 Isuzu motor quite a good diesel. Based on the earlier 4Jb1 2.8 which was a beauty. The 3.1 will occasionally crack heads but nothing like as bad as the 2.4T or 1kz series toyotas. Indirect injection system feels like they're a little sluggish to get moving but once up and running they pull quite well. 120-135hp depending on model. Very good box and drivetrain, and easy to modify for club use.

    Things to look for with 4JG2 (and most any diesel):
    * turbo noise on wind down - $1000 if turbo bearings shot on 4JG2.
    * Check steering box for leaks. WOF issue and can be $400 to fix*
    * Check lower crank pulley for movement (serious) and for oil leaks (easier)
    * Check if timing belt done
    * Check radiator - well maintained coolant or dirty. No oil or sealant material in it. No temp issues on road test.
    * Check excessive fuming - lift off oil filler cap
    * Check for excessive engine noise
    * Check oil leakages around block, and esp at rear main seal join between motor and gearbox
    * Check front CVs and CV boots. If skinny CV shafts (some are very skinny but most 25-30mm diameter) then no good for offroading
    * Check 4wd in both high and lo ratios when driving
    * Check if LSD (G80 on options plate on firewall) or by wheel spinning test
    * Check even tyre wear and alignment on road. Half worn muds no good for club offroading - that's when we sell them.
    * Check auto smooth changes and at right revs - changes smoother after running 5-7 minutes.
    * Check for smoking - puff of blue on start up ok, and bit of grey or black ok when running. Not white.
    * Check rear pinion and axle/hub seals not leaking
    * Check for vibrations/noises when driving - can be universals, driveshaft hanger bearing, wheel bearings, rear diff etc
    * Check it has adequate power
    * Check all window operations - they all cost money to do.
    * Check every electrical item
    * Rust check every panel and underneath.

    Run through this checklist and you'll troubleshoot most diesels. Before about 95 (approx) 4JG2s are usually mechanical diesel pumps and easy to tweak timing and diesel flow for 15 more hp. After round 95 usually electronic pumps and harder to tweak. 2.5" bigbore from turbo allows greater airflow, gives them extra hp and brings turbo in boost sooner. I wouldn't expect a 20 year old diesel 4wd to be perfect - just a matter of noting work that needs to be done, checking its cost, and coming to a fair purchase price.


    When buying older diesels - or probably any*diesel*for that matter - its good to go through a short checklist of key parts in the vehicle when inspecting it. Pretty much anyone can do this if you know where to look. Main parts to look for are:

    * Steering box seals*- is there leakage around box at bottom of shaft = WOF issue.
    * Radiator*- is there brown dirty water and gunk when you run finger round inside cap area = not well maintained. Check radiator hoses aren't crunchy - easy enough to replace.
    * Motor*- is it excessively rattly, does it fume alot with oil cap off, and does it blow blue smoke? Bit of blue on start up ok - but not more, bit of black is just overfuelling, puffs of white sometimes water in system = not good. Check also for oil leakages round head/block. Track any leakages/oil dripping.
    * Fuel pump*- check for any leakages around fuel pump - occasionally you can get away with top seals only but usually a major cost.
    * Turbo*- is it leaking oil round unit (fixable) or is it whining bad when switched off (terminal)
    * Check rear main seal*where motor bolted to box. Oil sweating normal, but significant wetness/oil leakage is a gearbox off job sometime.
    * Feel driveshafts*for movement - if sloppy its likely universal joints - easy enough to do. Check front driveshaft for movement too.
    * Check for oil leakage around rear diff head*= pinion seal and a bigger job to do and reset gears.
    * Check rear axle seals*- some pressed in and a fair bit of time to fix.
    * Check CV boots*- each perished one takes 1-2 hours to replace.
    * Gearbox*- smooth or lurchy for auto, clutch judder on take off for manual, clutch slip when booting it at very low revs in 4th for manual, smooth and not notchy synchro changes for manual.
    * Engage 4wd*low range and test it to see it works well without strange noises. Turn some hard lefts and rights to check CVs for clicking = stuffed
    * Check electrics*- all windows etc - WOF issues
    * Road test*- does it have enough power or is it gutless for the model. You can do compression/leakdown test but you can usually tell when compressions b*ggered just by driving them. When driving does it smoke - and what colour. Smooth straight tracking or wheel alignment issues.*
    * Tyre wear*- a big cost with 4x4s. Muds more than half worn are not much use in slippery conditions - ok in summer or on rivers.
    * Check body*for damages and rust - esp in sills etc
    * Check for lifts/mods*done with no certification - can be insurance issue.

    That's just a few basic checkpoints anyone who is not a mechanic can do when buying a 4x4. And if you do them and vehicle passes, chances are its reasonably sound and you won't be hit with big bills. If you are still in doubt get a mechanic to test it - better to spend $50 and save $1000s. There will always be some areas needing attention on an older 4x4 - like CVs or steering box seals or something - and that's where you adjust the price accordingly.

    Hope this is useful - kind of question that comes up alot. These are things I look at but maybe we could get a few mechanics here to add to/adjust the points above, and then when we've got a good simple checklist it can be a sticky that anyone can print off when going to check your potential 4wd buy. Save alot of headaches*

    Cheers Mike



    Was chatting to*diesel*mechanic mate about the marvies and his comment was leave the mazda 4wds alone - not so robust engineering. They are also v hard on the juice.

    Wizard far better option and they go for b*gger all too. Nice on the road, easy to lift, good strong drivetrain and box, and isuzu (like the safari) have excellent LSDs. Pop some Redline Heavy Duty Shockproof Gear oil in them and they bite extremely well - almost as good as a diff locker....almost. Downside with 3.1 motor is it requires new turbo every 120ish ks so don't pick one w noisy turbo whine... Most of the wizards have mechnical rather than electronic fuel pumps so usually easy to add bit more fuel and tweak timing to gain 10hp extra power.

    I like the 3.0 surfs to drive - had one as work vehicle - but they're a bit of a lottery and can cost a bundle if head probs occur. In terms of bang for your buck I'd take the wizard as a worker - will be my next 4wd. Just make very sure you don't buy the 98-2000 or so model with the 3.0 4JX1 motor - isuzu's mistake. 4JH1 ok.
    mudgripz, rupert, Puffin and 6 others like this.

  5. #35
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    @308 someone's been doing their research!! Plenty of information here for the OP

  6. #36
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    Safaris mentioned but 80 series not ?
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  7. #37
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    That 3RZ is a good motor, had one in the 2wd Hilux. The unfortunate thing with that combo is the pilot shaft on the transmission had a fault and sounded like it was encased in gravel. There were a few campaigns on it from the dealers but it remained the weakness of that combo. Also definitely did not like water, hit a section of surface water one day during a weather event (not particularly deep either) and the water getting up into the engine bay stopped it cold. Managed to get it restarted after half an hour or so, but what a piss off. That remains the weakness of the petrol engines...
    mudgripz likes this.

  8. #38
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    I've always wanted one of them. Was looking for a 4 wheel drive van for about 6 months and after finding nothing ended up going with a Nissan Caravan. A bit like a sale in the wind ( almost 2.5m high) and with the motor over the front seats it kind of ploughs in the front in the soft stuff. Still ok for going up and down the beach as a mobile dog kennel done 300K in it so far

    Looks like the OP has done a runner, but at least we can chat amongst ourselves


    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    Know your place!

    Hard to beat, except for the departure angle etc.... Those Mitsi's are much better like that, just not enough room inside for what I need.
    My mate has an old L300 4wd, really old shape one, cool as .

  9. #39
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    Those toyota vans are OK, but for the love of anything mechanical don't reverse into anything or get rear ended. Seen several written off from that now...

    Had an L300 van - the early more rounded shape with the petrol donkey. Quite good off road, effectively the same running gear as the equivalent model pajero. Weighting was considerably different which meant the weight was shared more evenly front to rear, and it was surprising what you could tackle with the thing and drive straight through. Should have kept it, as the rust was not too bad (was the one thing that killed them). Some idiot backed into it at a shopping mall carpark and destroyed the rear door and bent the door frame piller out - luckily found a spare three doors down on my street and did a bit of amateur panel beating - good as new...

    Was for a long time, considering a shortened one of them with the rear door and frame moved up to make a double cab effectively and stick a tray on the back. Would make a somewhat weird looking but very useful little truck.

  10. #40
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    Had good chat with Marllon (MBraga) this morning. We'll help him get sorted with right vehicle for the grade 3 outdoor, mountain and southern river terrains he wants to visit. Also had a good yarn with hunting team members last night - all of whom are also 20-30 year canterbury 4wd club members - all done 100s of offroad tracks. Guidelines same from all of us. One of these boys is head mechanic for big diesel workshop in Chch - works on the 4x4s every day.

    Advice - No cars, crossovers, softroaders in this country. Not even Suzuki Grand Vitara with partial ladder subframe and hi/low ratio - too many limitations. Limitations that could get you into serious trouble. These soft SUVs have limited suspension travel, poor articulation, low ground clearance, thin spindly CVs/steering rods/tie rods etc, water susceptibility, small thin tyres. In short they're unsuitable for often rutted tracks, banks, wet conditions, uneven ground, deeper and rocky rivers - with boulders you may not see. Old landies also no. Landrover club wouldn't even have them on its club trips as they are too fragile - special outings for them. Know them very well - learned to drive in them back in the south Waikato.

    Marllon needs a 4x4 truck or he stays home. I like the toyota petrol 6s - 2.7 (3RZ - thanks for that tip No 3), 3.4 and 4.0. Possibilities - but very hard on petrol as day to day drivers - though this equation changing by the day. Key issue is water susceptibility. Would need it proven electrics/electronics can be 100% water sealed as at times rivers can be 3 feet and more in spots. Not No 3s experience. Mountain rivers no place for sudden limp mode. Diesel shop mate gets drowned trucks in and can easily be $15k fix. And no quads except in select terrains - Canterbury rivers may be 1 foot deep on way in, and with storm in mountains be 3 feet deep on way out. Even lightweight trucks like little suzukis can be seen doing 180s in the current.

    Recommendation given terrain and requirements and budget is 90s to early 2000 trucks. Much better ground clearance, ladder chassis, stronger drivetrains, often LSD, less electronics, better entry/departure angles, better articulation, much bigger tyres - in short designed for this terrain - with mods. And models we've given him to think about are 92-96 (4JG2) Bighorn, Mitsi Challenger, Toyota Surf/Prado e.g.

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/c...9?bof=XpnYWRcF

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/c...6?bof=XpnYWRcF

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/c...7?bof=XpnYWRcF

    Not a fan of Surf 1kz motors - they really are prone to cracking heads. But risk can be much reduced by keeping radiator/cooling system flushed then fitting bigbore to reduce EGT/pyros. Challengers parts now - something to look into.

    Old 80 series VX Cruisers good wagons - three of our team run them. Their's are set for very tough terrain with modified suspension, 4" lifts, front and rear lockers, max articulation (ramp index 700+), full recovery setups, tuned motors, 33s-35s tyres etc.. In the terrain in which we offroad, and even in some of our hunting areas in the mountains it is good to have all the advantages
    jakewire, Carbine, rupert and 9 others like this.

  11. #41
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    An interesting thing that I had happen on the 3RZ hilux was the vacuum sensing hose falling off half way through a short drive. That wasn't ideal to be honest, I thought I had killed it - it started running that roughly. Wasn't too easy to spot as well, but plug it back onto the tail and good as new!

    Not an issue with the diesel powered ones haha.

    Water ingress is a potential major, it's not just inlets and breathers that you need to worry about now as there are a heap of oddball sensors that can stop things outright if they start feeling out of sorts from a swim. Some of the DPF systems with an extra injector down aft get severely testy with the sudden temp drop from immersion, and there really isn't anything you can do about that even though the basic system is fitted to a vehicle with a nominal 600mm wading depth. I think we are going to see a lot of pricing increases on older solid 4x4's as the newer electric everything ones take over. ABS systems are another that can give problems from swims.
    MBraga likes this.

  12. #42
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    Ouch... good to hear about water issues. Really prohibits them from many terrains as alot of our south island 4x4 tracks may have multiple riverbed crossings.

    Yes club guys really like the 90s trucks. Club night carpark full of them.. Often tough, durable old girls (with good maintenance), with adequate power and bugger all electronics. Just have to watch the model you're keen on still has good supply of new and if poss 2nd hand parts. Good to be able to pick up 2nd hand box or transfer case etc rather than face cost of rebuilds.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    Know your place!

    Hard to beat, except for the departure angle etc.... Those Mitsi's are much better like that, just not enough room inside for what I need.
    My mate has an old L300 4wd, really old shape one, cool as .
    Maybe I'm reading your post the wrong way, but the departure angle on those Tritons are terrible. The arse sticks out from the rear axle more than all of the common utes I can think of.
    Apart from that they are pretty good utes.

  14. #44
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    Its not something that happens on every immersion, I've taken the ranger through three swims getting out of flooded areas during weather events - everything below the door sills which is my self imposed limit (no prep other than factory breathers etc) and not had an issue. A couple of Iveco's I've had somewhat to do with have weird issues with wet roads, one refuses to select reverse... Fine once it dries out.

    On the other hand, if you are unlucky enough to experience a water related issue it can stop you cold on the side of the road with a 'red' dtc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allizdog View Post
    Maybe I'm reading your post the wrong way, but the departure angle on those Tritons are terrible. The arse sticks out from the rear axle more than all of the common utes I can think of.
    Apart from that they are pretty good utes.
    Van, not ute. The vans are actually very good, just as far as I'm aware the 4x4 versions on 31's or equivalent are not available locally now.

    Another point to note with older 4x4 vehicles - rust...

 

 

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