Buying the right car....

Let’s hear about all those weekend toys for the boys (and girls) boats, skis, camper trailers, motor homes, 4wheel drives OK even airplanes (again add the make and model to the title we will organise as it gets unmanageable).

Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:44 pm

Hello,
I’m a Danish guy arriving in Darwin Sunday, and need to get me some 4wd wheels as soon as possible. We will be driving around 10.000km from Darwin through Kimberly (Gibb river road) to Perth. From here to Uluru and down to Adelaide, and from there to Sydney. We will be driving some 4 wd roads in the outback and semi-outback. Our criteria’s are:

Need to have:
4 wheel drive
Space enough to sleep in the back with the back seats laid down.
Air-condition
Reliable and easy to repair (well known all over the country and easy to get sareparts)
Good value for money – pricerange 4.000-7000 AUD
Snorkel (what does it cost to mount that after buy)
Road worthy or easy to get on the roads

Nice to have:
1 or 2 spare tyres (if not we have to buy)
Long range fuel tank
Dual battery system
Jerrycans
Roofrack
Refrigerator
12 – 220 V converter
Tools
Shovel , tov rope
Winch
Kitchen supplies (othervise we have to buy).

My suggestion is a Landcruiser 60’s or 80’s series or a Troopcarrier from mid 80’s. Maybe a Nissan Patrol but don’t know this car well.

Please come with your advice and experiences. If you know anybody that have a car suitable for us for sale near Darwin, please write. Do you know where to look for used cars in Darwin we would like to know. If there are a forum designated to cars or 4wd please advise me.

Further more I would like to see a list of what you have in you car, camper ect. When you are going camping and exploring the country.

Sorry for the long post and for any language mistakes.
Thanks in advance
Rasmus
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:45 pm

Freelance wrote:My suggestion is a Landcruiser 60’s or 80’s series or a Troopcarrier from mid 80’s. Maybe a Nissan Patrol but don’t know this car well.


60 or 80 series would be your best bet.

Make sure you have good communications. Sorry if it's something blatantly obvious to you, but mobile phone won't work for a large part of that trip. If your planning on adventuring off major roads, an EPIRB might be a good investment.

Carry plenty of water. And carry spares that you need, not that you might need. So things like radiator hoses - if they break, you CANNOT continue to the nearest town, your stranded. But there's no point carrying spare shocks as you can still drive with a blown shock.

Sites for cars/4x4:

http://www.outerlimits4x4.com/index.php - 4x4 forum.

www.carsales.com.au
www.drive.com.au
www.tradingpost.com.au
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:41 am

Hello Ozzy,

Thanks for your answer. Are the reason you say 60 og 80 series that the Troop carrier are more expensive and therefor will be older and in worse shape than the two others?
Do you know if the 80 series alså have the ability to lay the back seat down for a plan surface?

When you are talking about safety it is never a bad idea to come with advises :-)
I knew about the bad or none mobilecoverage ind the outback, and have thought about an UHF radio and or a EPIRB. I still need to check where and how you can rent a EPIRB, but i it maybe the way to go... More to read up on :-)

Are your 60 serie still going strong without any problems? What are the fuel consumption on normal road and how many liters can there be in the standard tank?

Where can you buy autoparts (would like to look in a webshop)? What should I have in the car before driving in the outback? Spare tyre and hosekit for radiator, are there other spare parts you should have with you?

Do you any other know if there are some good books or websites about 4 wd driving and how to cope and behave in the outback ? Not the obvious not to litter and protect the natire and be careful with burning stove ect. but more specific for Australias outback (maybe with something about avoiding snakes and other bugs).


Thanks
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:04 pm

Freelance wrote:Hello Ozzy,

Thanks for your answer. Are the reason you say 60 og 80 series that the Troop carrier are more expensive and therefor will be older and in worse shape than the two others?


Do you know if the 80 series also have the ability to lay the back seat down for a plan surface?

Nothing wrong with troopies. Would actually be a good choice and you should be able to get a 75series in your price range I'd imagine. Out of the 3 I think an 80 series would be the most expensive.

60 series rear seats will fold flat, not sure on 80 series. But the problem with sleeping in the back of the car, is that you need to unpack the boot everytime you want to sleep!! I'd much rather a swag or a tent.

Freelance wrote:When you are talking about safety it is never a bad idea to come with advises :-)
I knew about the bad or none mobilecoverage ind the outback, and have thought about an UHF radio and or a EPIRB. I still need to check where and how you can rent a EPIRB, but i it maybe the way to go... More to read up on :-)

A UHF is only really good for close distances (maybe 20-30 kilometers tops?) I tested mine today and could transmit clearly up to about 15k. I'd imagine I could get further than that but thats as far apart as we tested it.

HF radio or Sat phone is the only realistic way of communicating.

http://www.prestigecom.net.au/ - Thats the place to go if you want anything to do with communications. They sell EPIRBS, UHFs, etc. I've never found cheaper than their prices anywhere.

Freelance wrote:Are your 60 serie still going strong without any problems? What are the fuel consumption on normal road and how many liters can there be in the standard tank?

It's an old car, but apart from the paintwork I can't fault it. I've had it 7 months and not had to repair anything. Toyota's have a awesome reputation for reliability and I wish I bought one sooner. That said, nothing's perfect and a lot will come down to regular servicing and maintenance. Just need to give the car a really good look over before you buy it. It has 350 000k's on the clock.

My car, if driven at it's ideal speed of about 95-100kph uses just under 15L/100ks. This is with a 2H diesel motor (found in most 60 series and 75series Landcruisers) with an aftermarket Turbo. Some 60's came out with a direct injection Factory turbo diesel engine (12HT). If you find one of these in good nick in your price range grab it!!! They are an awesome engine. (and then you can sell it to me when your ready to leave Australia!! :mrgreen: )

Standard tank is 80L I think, the most I have ever filled up for was about 72L and this will regularily get me 500ks.

Freelance wrote:Where can you buy autoparts (would like to look in a webshop)? What should I have in the car before driving in the outback? Spare tyre and hosekit for radiator, are there other spare parts you should have with you?

Repco, Supercheap Auto, and Autopro are probably the 3 most common car parts stores in Australia. They have stores in most major cities but a lot of the places you plan on traveling you will only find 'local' parts dealers.

Freelance wrote:Do you any other know if there are some good books or websites about 4 wd driving and how to cope and behave in the outback ? Not the obvious not to litter and protect the natire and be careful with burning stove ect. but more specific for Australias outback (maybe with something about avoiding snakes and other bugs).


no sorry, everything I've learn't has been from listening to other's experiences first hand either in person or from forums, or from what I've thought about and/or done myself.

Actually, the only thing I can think of is a magazine called 4wd Action (used to be called 4wd Monthly) They have some pretty good tips and profiles of other well set up 4x4's to give you ideas. But there's also enough 4x4 forums for that.



Now, re: spare parts. This is what I would do and take if I where planning to do your trip:

- I would replace the top and bottom radiator hoses before I left, and throw the old ones in the back as spares (provided they where still in useable condition). I would also do the same with all belts. Hoses/belts that survive thousands of kms of short trips can suddenly blow on one long trip. Same with wheel bearings, if you are only doing short trips they never get a chance to heat up. So I would probably take a spare of each of them. Also spare Uni joints.
- A grease gun
- Spare fuel and oil filter, as well as oil. I would also carry a bottle of brake fluid and power steering fluid.
- My toolbox, which has all your basic tools and a good hammer ;) Also has a can of WD40 in it, and a can of "Start you Bastard".
- Coolant and lots of water. I've limped home with terrible leaks just by pulling over every few k's and topping up after all the water's boiled out :evil: . It's not an ideal situation, but better than being stranded. I would also carry a bottle of "stop leak" just in case.
- I'd also throw a few welding rods in. If you get desperate you can weld using a removed car battery.
- Spare tires - I would probably carry ONE spare wheel/tyre (two if I had a rear wheel carrier). And ONE spare TYRE only (strap the Tyre on the roof). You don't want too much weight on the roof for obvious reasons. Chances are your not going to get two punctures, but if you do it's not that hard to "blow" a tyre onto a rim on the side of the road.
- I would also have a good quality air compressor on board (spending more than $100 at least!)
- A puncture repair kit, so that with some puncures you might'nt even have to change the tyre!
- Lenght of chain and rope.

All these parts/tools I've mentioned so far would happily fit In my rear draws, or in a large storage container. (apart from the tires of course!) Ideally this is all you want as far as weight/space. If you overload your car with spares/luggage then there is an increased chance your going to need the spares!! There's probably other spares I've forgotten that are worth carrying, hopefully some one else will chime in too.

- Most importantly, you need to know how to use all these tools/parts if you need too. No point carrying spare wheel bearings/hoses/belts etc if you don't know how to replace them when you need to.

- In my 'recovery kit' I'd carry a long handled shovel, an axe, drag chain and a snatch strap.

- Tyre choice is also very important. Not all tyres are created equal. From what I've read, the tyres I would consider for touring the outback would be Mickey Thompson MTZ's, BFG KM2 Mud Terrains, Cooper STTs, In no particular order. That said there are others that would do quite well, and these are prolly more on the aggressive side of tread patterns.

- I would fit a winch - there's a good chance you won't need one, actually, if your just 'touring' I can almost guarantee you won't. But I want one anyway and a good one can be had for under $1000.

- I would have a Hi-Lift jack as well as the stock Jack. The Hi-Lifts are very versatile and usefull, but also very dangerous. So read up on them or get someone to show you what do do and not do with one first!

- If traveling on my own I'd probably take 2 20L Jerry cans. And maybe only have one filled up. If you've got a map you will generally know how far it is to your next fuel stop.

- Maps, I'd have them lol.

- Fridges... the prices may scare you. But I love mine (got it at a bargain price) and when it breaks I will gladly pay the exhorbitant $1000+ price tag for a new one.

- If you've got a fridge your going to want 2 batteries.

- Snorkel... not really an essential item, will help with the dust but as long as you replace the airfilter before you leave and clean or replace it regularily it should be fine. They aren't cheap to buy or to fit, so, as with everything I've mentioned, it's handy if you know how to do things yourself.

- If your traveling on rough roads, get underneath the car and check everything as often as you can. Try to catch potential problems before they become serious problems. Anything that is loose will have 'shiny metal' as it moves about and dust won't be able to settle on it. Check uni joints, steering components, leaf packs etc for any excessive play in them. Same goes for oil/water levels. Check them regularily and top up as needed. Might only take you 5-10mins at the end of the day when you pull up to camp but if it stops you breaking down its time well spent.

- And lastly before I left, and once I finished I would do a full service, engine oil/filter, gearbox/transfer/diff oils, grease all nipples, check everything, change air filter and fuel filter.


Dammit, now you've got me wanting to go on a big trip :armsup ... if only work would give me a massive pay rise along with a stupidly large amount of time off :(

What an essay, I think it's time for dinner now! I'm sure there's things I've missed, will add them later if I remember.
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:10 pm

Obvious small things I've just remembered I'd forgotten!!

Hose clamps, fuses, electrical wire, electrical tape, various connectors to join wire if you need to and a crimping tool (in the tool box)

Spare lenght of fuel hose... And add heater hose to the radiator hoses I mentioned previously.

And a GOOD 1st aid kit + the knowledge of how to use it!
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Al&Sharon » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:38 pm

Hi rasmus think this site may help you. from vehicles to equipment and advise on trips. And welcome to aus have a safe and great holiday

http://www.overlander.com.au/
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:44 pm

Thanks Ozzy,

There a lot to prepare :-) Now I just have to come to darwin and find the car... It will get a full checkup from a mechanic that know about 4wd cars, so i should be in the best cindition.

Will RAC be the best car owner association to join or which would be the best? I hope go get them to check the car before buying.
Thanks
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Titch » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:28 pm

Welcome, what a great Adventure.
Two very important things you will need, a shovel and toilet paper..
Also bring a sense of humour, enjoy the trip and let us know how it goes.
I have not done Darwin yet that will happen later.
Interesting that I found it easier to go to Malaysia than Darwin.Go figger.
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:12 pm

Thanks guys,
It is always nice to hear what you have to say...

I will write about the results, and if any problems comes up on the way. Sitting here i Singapore Airport just waiting to arrive :-)
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:30 pm

I have now looked in the area around Darwin and here are what I found:

Found at a local Toyota store: 1996 Troopy with a 4,2 diesel enging. Looks ok and drives fine, with Longrange fueltank and a spare tyre. milage 300.000, snorkel, bullbar rego 15. oct, Price 8.000

Backpacker car: 94 Landcruiser 80 serie. price 8.500, rego mar 2010. Liftkit, longrange fueltank, good tyres, liftkit, bullbar, roofrack, camping gear and tools 420.000km.

Landcruiser 60 serie price 6.800. 4l diesel 315.000km, mechanical checked and a lot of things were changes lately (like wheel bearings, stearing pump, stearing joint and more).. Long ange fuel tank, towbar, new tyres

Nissan Patrol 94 3.3 TDI rego to feb 2010 WA, bull bar roofrack, 2 pare tyres, 3*20l fuel tanks 2*20l watertanks, camping gear. Price 6400

Pajero 220.000 with camping gear 5.200

84 Landcruiser 300.000km 140l fueltank diesel, new shocks, roof rack, tools, camping gear price 5.500 aud

87 Landcruiser 155l fueltank 221.000 WA reg Rego dec 09, roofrack, matress and camping gear, 4 chairs and dual barrery,

91 Patrol, rego dec 09 236.000 km 20l fueltank. 2*20l water tanks 2 chairs and a 12-220v powerconverter price 5.900.

Landcruiser Camper 93. 2*80l fueltank, roobar, air compressor, reece towbar, dual battery, power inverter, snorkel, wide all terrain tyres, bucket seat, cd/radio, aircon, matress, cooker, sink, vhf radio, service done every 5.000km in good condition 10.000

What would you pice out of those?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:28 pm

Hello Ozzy,

When you write HF-radio, is it a VHF radio? After looking in the link you wrote I only could find the UHF and VHF radios.

I saw that the cheapest EPIRB was one called spot, but I'm not sure if that is actually a EPIRB. Does it work? I think that what we need are one we can activate if everything goes really bad...

Where can you look for used camping gear?
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Cheiffy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:30 pm

Freelance wrote:Hello Ozzy,

When you write HF-radio, is it a VHF radio? After looking in the link you wrote I only could find the UHF and VHF radios.

I saw that the cheapest EPIRB was one called spot, but I'm not sure if that is actually a EPIRB. Does it work? I think that what we need are one we can activate if everything goes really bad...

Where can you look for used camping gear?
Rasmus


Hi Rasmus,

When it comes to picking a vehicle, I would suggest you have a mechanic look over it. It would be a tad difficult picking one out from the list you have given without actually looking over the vehicles condition. When it comes to diesel motors, the most important thing is regular oil and oil filter changes and with the models you have pointed out, this will need doing every 5000km's.
The Gibb river road, from all accounts, is one of the worst corrugated roads in our country so a good suspension set up on your vehicle is important and carrying a spare shock or two would hurt either.
As to your question regarding the SPOT GPS receivers. I have read about these breifly and from what I can gather, these are better optioned than a standard Epirb unit. Whereas an epirb will only send out a distress signal requesting emergency help (please note emergency only) a SPOT has the ability to do this as well as send a SMS or Email to a nominated number within Australia requesting non urgent assistance or a general " Doing OK" message. You can find more info http://www.findmespot.com/australianewzealand/index2.php
Good luck with your trip and remember, this is a dry country and another hot summer is expected. Water is absolutely vital and an allowance of 5litres per person per day is what you should aim at.
Please sir, Can I have some more? Time off that is.

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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:46 pm

Out of those I'd probably go the troopy, the 80 series, or the camper at the bottom - it's 2000 over budget but theres at least 2000 worth of gear in it too by the sounds of it.

They all sound ok, except the 60series seems way over-priced. I paid $4800 for mine, and it came with a fair bit more gear than what's listed there. Also the 1st Patrol you mention seems suss cause they didn't have a 3.3L TDI. Not in 1994 at least. Up till late 80s (1988?) there was a 3.3D/TD. 1994 there was either a 4.2L diesel, a 3.0L petrol, and possibly a 2.8L diesel... not sure what year they had the 2.8's.

When they say 20L water tanks, are they just jerry cans? Cause they are only about $25ea brand new so not really a big deal if they come with the car.

The 87 and 84 Landcruisers (i'm guessing 60 series?) both sound ok, 220 000ks is a fairly low amount for a diesel.

At the end of the day it's your choice and your vehicle and your problem if it breaks :lol: , so you have to be happy with it, and more importantly you need to make sure it's mechanically ok.

And yes I meant HF radio. Google will be able to tell you more about them, I don't have one but they seem to be the go for travelling the outback and still being able to communicate. They aren't cheap though (about $3000 new ::() ) so you may as well just get an EPIRB if it all goes wrong and your life is in danger, and just have a UHF for close com's with other travelers and truckies if you want.

Read that spot thing, and it seems like a great idea. Just keep in mind it's $115USD a year for the service also. But it still works out cheaper than an epirb and with more functions.
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Re: Buying the right car....

Postby Freelance » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:00 pm

Hi Ozzy

Thanks once again, it is great with your help. We have now listet it down to two cars.

The 75 Trooper from 96 with 300.000 km on the clock or at 8.000+250 for rego+250 for new taillight and 250 for changing the car to my name, but I recon we could put a little pressure on the dealer.

The HJ80 from 94 with 435.000 on the clock. at 7.000 but NSW rego (does anybody know it you can change the registry via internet or so on NSW plates?).

Both cars seems ok, mecanicaly. There are a little leak in the servo oil on the 80's and I am not sure but the 80's took a little to start, a few seconds so I'm not wether that is a problem or not.

Right now our thoughts are that the HJ80have allready most of the things we need so probably around 3.000 cheaper in buying. We have space for splitting costs with others (6 seats), the car is nicer inside and and it have a winch... On the bad side the sleeping area will be alot worse than if we buils something in the troopy, the smaller mechanical problems but with good tyres. So we have to deside, maybe we should leave an answer to a independent mechanic. Hmm interesting choise, but i'm sure that both cars would do the job fine...

Which car would a person i Sydney prefer if we cannot sale it to another backpacker?

I thing we go for the SPOT, it are still cheaper with the annual sevice fee (we only have to use it one year) and can actually use it in Denmark with a danish service fee. We now only need a Aussi phone number to one that can send the messages from us...

How good are an eskie when you compare it to a frigde? I know it not as good, but the is a lot of money we can't get back when selling.
Thanks
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