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Fantastic Mister Fox 12 Jan 2011 18:45

Wanted Suitable 4x4
 
Me and a few mates are going to Morrocco on Motorbikes this summer.

One of my friends wife now wants to come along snag is she doesn't have a bike license so needs to find a 4x4 to come along in.

Our plans are mainly centred around pistes on the High atlas.

I know nothing about 4x4s so I don't really know what we are after, but I assume if we can find a good land cuiser/ Hilux we should be alright.

If any one has one for sale that would be suitable feel free to contact.

Any advice over what we need also be handy.

We have an absoulute maximum budget of £4000 but we would like to spend less.

mossproof 12 Jan 2011 21:10

We have an absoulute maximum budget of £4000 but we would like to spend less.[/quote]

Don't know what standard of Toyota you'll get for that budget. Without wanting to kick the old hornet's nest again over "the best car for overlanding"... oh what the hell,:helpsmilie: here goes...
ASSUMING:
1 Short trip/one off
2 The budget is fairly rigid
3 You're UK based
a 300tdi Land Rover Discovery is a lot of car for your money.
BECAUSE:
1 Comfortable and roomy, even at motorway speeds
2 Air con if you want (but more expensive)
3 Cheap (P reg with MOT can be had for £1000 which leaves cash for mechanical prep (more later)
4 Reliable once you've covered the usual failures (see 3)
MAKE SURE YOU:
1 Get the timing belt changed AND the P shaped gasket behind the water pump done (this is one of the main causes of water loss/overheating/head gasket failures and can be quite sudden)
2 Have a close look at the radiator header tank for splits and change it if there's any doubt in it's integrity (this is the other main reason for sudden water loss/overheating/head gasket failure - they don't just "go", contrary to popular opinion!)
3 Change all oils/fluids and if g/box oil is burnt or unduly metallic, change the box, and the clutch while you're at it
4 If any of the door locks are "lazy", change them. Otherwise they just wind you up!
5 Welding should not be an issue if the MOT is legit
6 Check suspension - springs, shocks and bushes. Renewing the lot will not break the bank using standard parts, even genuine LR parts, and as it's not a RTW trip, you don't need gas shocks, polybushes, lift kits etc, and there's no need to overload with fuel, water roof tents/racks. Keep it simples! After all, the rest of you will be on bikes - think how much kit you would carry normally.
Of course, there are decent Mitsubishis in this price range, but the ability to detect their faults at the high mileages involved is the preserve of much fewer people than the Land Rover fraternity.
Other than that, for that money, DON'T be tempted by a TD5 LR product. It WILL let you down.
Suzuki Vitara not a bad prospect (SJ/Rhino would just be miserable for the long mileages, likewise a Niva unless your partner is a masochist)), Isuzu Trooper if you can find a good 2.8 or 3.1.
From the left field, have you considered a quad:thumbup1:
Right, let's see what they make of that!

ilesmark 12 Jan 2011 21:45

Is the £4000 intended to cover the buying of the vehicle and the preparation?

I would seriously consider a vehicle that's already been prepped/used on an expedition. It will work out far far cheaper than buying a 'virgin' vehicle and doing it yourself. If you can stretch a bit closer to £6K, have a word for Paul Marsh at Footloose 4x4. He is currently selling an already-prepped LC80 which I know is a good truck as it used to belong to a friend of mine who's been around Morocco in it!

Otherwise, have a look at the Preparation and Equipment pages of my site overlandcruiser.net for more info.

moggy 1968 12 Jan 2011 22:29

we ran a 4x4 for a group of bikes to chernobyl via belarus in 2007. the organiser wasn't sure wether to have us along, he was glad he did when the alternator went on his bike. also on the rougher sections we were able to carry the bikes luggage (most were sport bikes) and when one of the bikers was ill he could ride in the truck while his bike went on a trailer.
the upshot was we've been invited back this year!
I would go for the pickup because you can get a bike in the back if you need to (a trailer isn't viable in morrocco I would say).

carrying the bikers gear would allow them just to concentrate on and enjoy the biking.

the only rule we have is that all the luggage must be able to be carried on the bikes in case the truck has a problem, oh, and if your on the truck you contribute to the fuel!

NIssan navaras are prone tp blowing their engine bearings when running hot (not that hot, just motorway speeds) although mods are available. the ford ranger is a good inexpensive truck but check the synchro on any with over 50000 miles and make sure it starts from hot as there are problems with the fuel injection system on mileages over 80000. both are expensive to fix. I used an L200 for chernobyl but I don't think it is suitable for Africa, not tough enough. my choice would be a 2.5L hilux. there is a price premium thanks to top gear and finding a good one is hard as they are a victim of their own reputation but they can be found. don't necessarilly turn down an old one, go for condition. in fact an old one may be handy as parts can be easilly obtained anywhere, there are loads of them in morocco.

you DO NOT need a fully expedition equiped truck for this, you are not going half way round the world. Just make sure the basics are in good nick, drive train, suspension, and cooling. Fit a new clutch and waterpump and take the old ones with you, then you know they will fit. same with any parts you replace. take a 2 barrel footpump as a backup to any tyre compressors. waffle boards are cheaper and more versatile than sand ladders. take a long handled shovel and a tyre pressure guage. the truck can carry a range of tools etc for the bikes and itself. stick with steel wheels and go for 7.50x16 tyres for ease of availability and extra ground clearance.take two spares, the rocks in morrocco are bad news for tyres.

I drove to the gambia with 2 heavilly laden but totally standard H60 landcruisers on this basis in 2006, having previously done it in a stock suzuki sj413. My budget for the two landcruisers together, including all the preparation (no tat, just replacement of suspect parts and servicing) was less than your total budget.

you do not need to spend a fortune on 'essential gear' to go to morocco and beyond!

there is a tips and advice section on budget expeditioning in my book

Me, dad, and the Plymouth to Dakar suzuki expedition on eBay (end time 31-Jan-11 18:54:21 GMT)

moggy 1968 12 Jan 2011 23:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by ilesmark (Post 319282)
Is the £4000 intended to cover the buying of the vehicle and the preparation?

I would seriously consider a vehicle that's already been prepped/used on an expedition. It will work out far far cheaper than buying a 'virgin' vehicle and doing it yourself. If you can stretch a bit closer to £6K, have a word for Paul Marsh at Footloose 4x4. He is currently selling an already-prepped LC80 which I know is a good truck as it used to belong to a friend of mine who's been around Morocco in it!

Otherwise, have a look at the Preparation and Equipment pages of my site overlandcruiser.net for more info.

epic trip mate, looks fab, impressed by the relatively low budget for quite a long time away as well. deeply jealous;)
for that, yes you need some gear! looks like you manged even the prep on a very good budget though

gary27 13 Jan 2011 08:56

My 1997 mitsubishi shogun will be for sale as frrom the 5 of march 2011
It has been preped for a trans africa trip but we now have a unimog we are doing the trip in.
It has:-
New OME shocks front and rear
New heavy duty rear springs
Air Flow snorkel
1200lb winch
New brake pads
2 new brake calipers
T-max duel batt system
Extra Aux 12v sockets
New exhurst system
Alot of new engine parts
12v strip light in the boot
The 2 jump seats in the boot have been removed
A home made roller draw in the boot
I have a new three peace clutch (cost £200) but i haven't fitted it as i was going to do this just before we went as a precaution.not becauce it needs one.
New injectors
New glow plugs
New spil rail
i have some new fuel and oil filters
New belts and some over spares
It has central and rear diff locks so it takes a bit to get stuck in it.
And a lot more

There is a 4x4 track built by VW on the farm so you can test the truck off road if you like.

Bad points:-
Will need 4 new tyres,the ones on it are legal with plenty of tread but are good year wranglers A/T and i found that the side walls on them are not very strong and get cut easly.

Has some rust on the rear wheel arch where the mud gaurd was atached.
it has a dent in the drivers door wher my wife didnot see a trailer in the yard.But nothing major.

The truck starts and runs fine i have driven it down to tuscany three times now and it hasn't missed a beat.

I'm looking for £3000 all in but there is room to move on the price and i'll put an mot on it as it runs out in march it has tax an till 31/08/11.
If your interested let me know as i'll back in the U.K on the 31 of jan.


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