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  #31  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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"To narrow the field we would consider at Defender Hard Top TD5 from about 2004 and upwards and the Toyota Land Cruiser 80 or Amazon from 2001 & up."

TD5's have occasional ECU problems which would be pretty difficult to fix in Africa and in South America probably even less so. Consider an all mechanical 300 tdi or a pre '98 Cruiser VX. An Amazon or similar is also stuffed with electronics and is NOT recommended for desert use by friends in Germany who run a desert business, so probably not so good in non desert rough areas either?? Also Amazon highly stealable..............

The wonderful toyota reliability we hear sooo much about doesn't bear out in reality in my humble opinion or experience. Both makes are probably about the same and both need to be properly maintained even if they are tough 4x4's. I for example have had no problems with my thoroughly maintained Defender in 240,000 km whilst 3 Toyota friends have seen blown diffs (Prado) , a 3 ltre engine (Prado) self destruct and VX80 series transfer box fail - but you do have more power and comfort if that's what you want when things are going well.

Personally, and my Toyota loving girlfriend backs me up on this, I find the Defender (half the price of an Amazon and a working vehicle not a light load passenger car - so a fair comparison ?) more involving and Cruisers (Yes I've used air conned cruisers in the desert) too insulating for exploratory trips. If you want to wallow in air conditioned comfort whilst filing your nails and see the whole world move past the closed windows like a film - go see a film. Just my opinion, do you want to get involved in what's happening outside or not ??

I'd go for a 300 tdi or a pre 98 VX for your trip, either will be reliable if in good fettle to start with. Avoid anything with electronics or independent suspension if possible.

Andrew.

Last edited by Andrew Baker; 13 Dec 2007 at 10:52.
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  #32  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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I do not drive either of these but have traveled with landrover TD5s and one thing they are prone to is fuel pump failure on poor fuel. I think it is in the tank too so not an easy fix.
I know it's not a popular choice but for the kind of money you are talking you might look at a mercedes G wagen as used by Tom Sheppard
The 461 series 290 turbo is the one to go for ( sprinter engine) and very reliable.
Just my twopenneth
Chris
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  #33  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Not all Toyotas have air-con and electrics.......

The Toyota that we purchased actually cost much less than a defender in similar condition. Its a 1996 GX which basially is a VX model but with hardly any electronics in it. When we briefly looked at Defenders in our price range they did not come in the same good condition as the Toyota.

As for Andrews comment "If you want to wallow in air conditioned comfort whilst filing your nails and see the whole world move past the closed windows like a film - go see a film. Just my opinion, do you want to get involved in what's happening outside or not ??"

Surely its up to you and not the vehicle that affects your trip experience - anyway if you really want to be exposed to the people/culture then get a bike and ditch the safe, metal shell reagardless of the badge.
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  #34  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Smile

A 1996 GX model is a passenger car that has probably had an easy life on paved streets, hence the better condition than similarly priced Defenders - generally purchased as 'working' vehicles. In my experience the GX (Prado..??) is not built so solid. Expect to lose bumpers, diffs to pop when asked to do rougher jobs. They have independent front susp. and are not as tough as the bigger VX's.

A G wagen is probably one of the worse choices for such a trip, spares are very expensive - and where can you get them, and you need special tools.... You could trust to reliability (sounds familiar) if you want. The Sprinter engine is a common rail diesel controlled by electronics and an ECU. You often see them on the hard shoulder of the M25, as well as the outside lane. For rich Germans only...

Yes it does hinge on the individual as to how the trip is perceived but the vehicle also has a bearing on the overall experience.. As I said earlier, LR Defe's are more involving (smaller, noisier, bumpier, more trashable, no air con usually, can carry more weight), Cruisers are more insulating (smoother ride, quiet, plush, cool, precious, mmm ) - depends what you want.

Either will do the job, but get a simpler non electronic type with beam axles front and back......BTW you can get a TD5 fuel pump upgrade (!) from Switz that removes the pump from the tank and filters more dust or something. There's still plenty to go wrong though (I don't think they're too bad in reality) but I was speaking to a colleague a few weeks ago who had a TD5 Disco - same basic set up - who, the first thing he mentioned - 'had a problem with the ECU'.......

Andrew.
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  #35  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Angry

"but have traveled with landrover TD5s and one thing they are prone to is fuel pump failure on poor fuel".

Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but is this the ECU 'brain' telling the engine I don't like the fuel, so I'm going to shut everything down, rather than the pump at fault...???
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  #36  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Just for reference the GX model is not a Prado but a no-frills 80 series (looks like an amazon). It was never imported into the Uk or most of Europe because people wanted leather interior, air-con etc.

The vehicle was imported and used off-road prior to us buying it. I have no worries and a lot of faith in the vehicle. Think of it as a cross between a troop carrier (no electrics) and an amazon (looks like one)
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  #37  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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"We are planning a two year plus journey through Africa & South America and are debating the two types of vehicles"


Bigpond I think your thread was hijacked however its fun to see our biases in writing..have you thought of a Toyota that is available in africa and SA, would seem to be the answer...Alternatively use a LR but do africa first, when U. know all has been checked, then as the vehicle gets tatty U. will be in SA and find it easier to repair than a Landcruiser.

When are U. travelling?
Ch
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  #38  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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The GX is not a Prado but the third world version of the VX - Now I remember.... I encountered these in N.Af. Good simple vehicles with big 4.2 diesel but no turbo so don't know how they will perform at altitude in South America ??

Think you can buy them from some German dealers but not cheaply.

Why faff about - just get a pre 98 VX (£6k or less) or tdi Defender from the UK.

Andrew
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  #39  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Andrew,
the question was about newer landcruisers and TD5 landrovers - post 2000. In that case the G wagen is certainly a contender since they all have electronics and yes a better relyability record. We all see broken down vehicles by the side of the road.
If the question had been which vehicle (of any age) then the options open up
but in the 5 or 6 year old category unless you import a third world spec landcruiser then the G wagen has proved itself over and over with the basic 461 model off the shelf - no mods. Yes you won't be able to get bits in the middle of nowhere - nor will you for a 100 series cruiser or TD5.
FWIW the injection pump on the merc 290 is the same as a standard peugeot item
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  #40  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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which biscuit to dunk in your cup of tea - Ginger Nut, or Hob Nob?

Cheers,
Matt


Oh, UK GX'x do have turbos
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  #41  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Mercedes 461 worker

if anyone is interested.

Matt - chocolate
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  #42  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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This is like watching tennis or volleyball...

Here we go again; already at 3 pages.
They're both boxes with the same number of wheels.
A large part of what they are capable of and how much they guzzle depends on driver competence/foolishness/care or whatever you want to call it.
Whatever car you take you’ll probably end up loading it to its limits, unless you’re very well disciplined/experienced (the former comes with the latter)
Sod's law (or is it Murphy) states that the moment you're stuck in some sand/mud/snow/melted chocolate or whatever there'll be someone who comes sailing by in the other brand car.

There’s not really enough space to sit on a porta potti in either (no I don’t have a bowel problem I just relish those tranquil moments, not rushing to finish in the fear that someone else is going to appear around the bush/rock/building where everyone else has already gone)

Absolutely FORCED to choose, I’d still try and find a way to choose a Daily; although at the Salon 4x4 de Val d’Isère I’ve seen some (almost) respectable camper conversions on both LR and TLC

After market upgrades: Have you ever asked yourself WHY a certain brand has so many upgrades available?

Service it, get in, drive, enjoy, fix what breaks with the facilities available where it breaks (if). The willingness and generosity of people to help travellers in distress has never ceased to amaze me, both from what I have experienced and in all the travelogs I have read. We “civilized” people have lost something there…

Talking technical: lots of people are wary of electronics. If electronic gubbins are going to pack in, they usually do it in the first year or so of their life, I wouldn’t be too worried about well tested circuit boards.
But the idea of a rubber timing belt makes me nervous; they seem to have a self destruct mileage built in, and although one can usually plan service intervals, I’ve seen more than one engine mangled because of cack in the belt pulleys and teeth.
A good old chain or gear drive will perhaps wear or be noisy, but IMHO is less likely to snap.
What type does the TLC use?
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  #43  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Chocolate fingers are best, but first you have to bite both ends off and then suck the tea up like a straw.

Back to the thread. My very first car was a landrover, but I think i would be tempted to take the Toyota. Check which vehicle has the best spares support in the countries you wish to travel.

baswacky.
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  #44  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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I can't tell one toyota from another, but I gather from this thread some are not easy to find in the UK. You could try Germany or Holland, anyway I think a LHD would be best for SA and the Americas.

I use mobile.de as a good source for motorcyles.

I did a quick check and a search came up with over a 1000 landcruisers, like this one

mobile.de - the car market for second-hand and new vehicles

I brought a couple of motorcycles from Germany, cheap flight over drive them back, MOT and UK registartion, easy. Number plates can be an issue in germany, just need to be a bit creative about that.

Steve
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  #45  
Old 13 Dec 2007
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Timing belts

Luke,
to answer your question all the LCs being talked about here use timing belts. Landrover Tdi engines also use them (and used to have a pretty serious quality issue). Landrover Td5 uses a chain.

On the recent landcruisers (HZJ105) the timing belt interval is 150,000kms. We have seen them let go before that with predictable consequences.

Gil
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