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  #16  
Old 7 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Hi Dan


Would re-iterate that the Surf is more than capable, as is a Hilux etc.
This bit is confusing to me: second hand surfs, in the UK at least, always seem to be "hilux surfs" in the adverts but later "hilux" are double cabs with pickup bodywork and they are subject to VAT - correct, or am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by rclafton View Post
Interesting if you read the surf forums, they seem to suffer from head issues on the 3L, also lots of electrics on the import ones. Advice seems to be do the head, replace the rad and don't overheat them

I was advised that a 4runner would suit me better as less electronics. In the end I bought an Isuzu pickup
As per the list of surf characteristics in post 2 - "avoid the 2.4 engine" - it is the 2.4L that has the head problems in the reviews that I have read:-
4x4 - Best Reviews of 2010 & 2011 at Review Centre
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  #17  
Old 9 Mar 2012
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"Hilux Surf" is the full name, often shortened to simply "Surf". Locally they are affecionately called "Smurfs".

The 2.4 does crack heads, although there is a better head from another model avialable. (Not sure which one myself.) The 3.0 head also cracks occasionally but it's usually due to cooling system not being up to the task.

The Japanese radiators in Surfs are not up to Aussie 40+ degree days, especially when towing or when a bullbar that blocks airflow is fitted. The solution here is to fit a local-spec Hilux Turbo Diesel radiator. That solves any further issues on the 3.0 at least.

The Surf was never sold in Aus new either, we got the 4-Runner in 4cyl, V6 or non-turbo diesel form. But we did get Prados sold as such new here.

I can recall driving all the way across Melbourne to look at a 1KZ-TE Prado and being annoyed to find it was a Jap Import with no dual tanks and various other oddities.

Both Surfs and Prados have a huge range of aftermarket bits here. A Surf can be converted to dual tanks relatively easily using a Patrol tank provided the spare wheel is mounted on the rear, not underneath.

If I was doing a journey by myself I'd prefer the Surf for it's more compact size and slightly better economy. I also think they look better and they are far cheaper here. But if with a couple of extra people or I was towing I'd take the Prado/Colorado.

Cheers,
Brett.
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  #18  
Old 16 Mar 2012
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Great Feedback!

Thanks again everyone for the information on the comparisons.

Although it seems like a LC would be largely the better vehicle for general road driving, probably more comfortable and better maintenance I am very tempted to go for a 1994/5 Hilux Surf (especially with some on this forum noting the benifits of a surf)

I am aware of the advice against these early models due to them being quite old and having problems with the head cracks.

However due to the cheaper price of surfs i am very tempted to look in getting an old model and potential replacing/fixing the head to hopefully avoid cracking problems in africa.

I appreciate any feedback surrounding this idea, or any possible feedback against buying an older model (eg excessive mileage etc)

Many Thanks
Dan
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  #19  
Old 4 May 2012
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The imported models are a bit more to insure. I have a 4runner sold new in the uk insurance is just over 200 pounds per year. A surf the same year model but imported would have cost over 400 pounds per year to insure. The 2.4lts crack heads the rear springs sag and the rear bumpers rust oh and the radiator falls apart. 30mpg is normal
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  #20  
Old 9 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by norfolkjack View Post
The imported models are a bit more to insure. I have a 4runner sold new in the uk insurance is just over 200 pounds per year
More than a bit! As you say with your own example the insurance cost can double for a grey-import model compared with exactly the same truck that was officially imported into the UK.

I bought a Prado 95 model LC and my insurer at the time declined to cover this replacement vehicle (they were quite content to insure a "Colorado" which is listed in their acceptable vehicles but not a "Prado"): I ended up having to use a specialist insurance broker and my annual premium doubled instantly, for what amounted to a lesser degree of cover.
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  #21  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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I found the same problem years ago when I went looking for a 95 series Prado. A JDM import one was about $5000 cheaper than an Aussie delivered Prado of the same year. The insurance on the JDM was double. Unfortunately the JDM version only has a single fuel tank and does not have proper child restraint points, so that ruled it out for me anyway.
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