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"Searching though the forum most recommendations seem to go for 70s and 80s model.
How do these differ from the Colorado and amazon for sale in the UK?"
70 series are the very square looking Land Cruiser, many models and variations - swb, mwb, lwb 74, 75, 78, 79 etc - some are ideal for overlanding but al,ost impossible to find in the UK, some can be found in Europe but hard to find and expensive.
80 series available in UK 91 or 92 to 98/99 - they are in plentiful supply and the one to go for would be a GS/gx or VX 4.2 td
105 is a 100 with the 80 series axles and I think 1hz non-turbo engine, again almost impossible to find in the UK - mostly supplied to NGO's and Aid co's.
Amazon is seems to be a name used for lots of LC's - mostly 100's and 120's, but they have Independent Front Suspension so not as appropriate and newer/more expensive.
The general advice would probably be - if buying in the UK - to go for an 80
Wait for that to be picked apart
Does anyone know of anyone who sells or imports the 105s in the uk?
100%! The 105 is a solid front axle 100 series, so looks like a UK "amazon" but has a stronger (but not so good on the road) one piece axle and coil springs - so no torsion bars. However they were not available with the factory turbo (why?????) and are very scarce in EU/UK/US, in fact most places outside Africa and Oz.
The troopy is the utilitarian Landcruiser - post '98 with coils on the front (78 series) and leafs on the back. Before that they were leafs all round and known as 75 series. They were available with a factory turbo as well as the
n/a 1HZ. Many (including myself) have fitted aftermarket turbos to them as the factory turbo is basically unknown outside Australia. Very basic but rugged and roomy - hence their popularity esp amoung EU overlanders (Germans know them as "Busch Taxis"). Expensive as they are not normally type approved in Europe... Now with a facelifted front end to make room for the TdV8 in Oz, but still with 1HZ for developing world markets.
80 series is the last of the solid axle Landcruisers sold in GB market, and hence popular as they are available and cheap. If you are buying in the UK it is realistically probably your best option, 4.2 factory turbo - very nice, strong motor.
The basic 105 to be honest is a bit lugubrious with the naturally aspirated engine, and realistically a well looked after 80 will do everything and more a 105 will do. I have one as a company car and it is a super vehicle, but in EU I would rather have a nice turbo 80. Bear in mind the 78 and the 105 actually have slightly weaker gearboxes than 80 series - IMHO not a big issue, but something to remember if you want to go towing or extreme off roading.
As prices drop, it is not unfeasible to acquire a good 100 series amazon, everyone seems afraid of the independent front suspension, but there are no real issues with them in harsh conditions - certainly no more than all the other vehicles all over the world with torsion bars.
The 105 ceased production last year, shame as they're a great piece of kit for overlanding. No electronics, strong motor and transmission. Mechanics around the world know how to fix them. Not that they go wrong.
You can still get a new 78 series Troopie. Speak to Paul Marsh at Footloose4x4.com 01733 362999. He imports to order. Ordered mine before Billing and it's fantastic. He'll have one on his stand at the Peterborough show.
"The troopie looks like a great vehicle, but I will be travelling with 3 kids and really need a 4 door car, I guess they are all 2 door."
= The new L/C 76 is basically a smaller 5 door troopy, but again will be difficult and expensive for what is a BASIC vehicle!
"does anyone know of anyone who can import a 105?"
= As I inferred, you might get tired of the lack of power on long slogs down through EU/normal use... You might still get one in Germany, but they are now very scarce and in demand! You could fit a turbo, but again how much do you really want a 105 over an 80 - bearing in mind the fact that as I mentioned the UK 80 is arguably more vehicle than the 105! I have a 105 and my father is looking for a L/C in the UK, and the last thing I am encouraging him to do is spend extra loot in aquiring a good but rare vehicle - he can better spend the money on traveling and still pick up spares from local motor factor type guys! Try finding 105 series parts easily (and it is surprising how many differences there are between 80 parts and 105 parts).
"Alternatively my options are finding a 80 series or going for a Amazon I guess."
= To be honest I think it is a better option!
"Is the Amazon not recommended because of the front suspension? will this really cause major problems"
= Again, as I said I have not heard of serious issues with them, plenty of them (i.e 100 series 'Amazons') running around here. IFS cars tend to be sneered at a bit by "hard core off-roaders", but to be honest in a trip/expedition type use I cannot see it being any real problem - you can always go for beefed up torsion bars from ARB or whatever. Don't forget to really think about how much time you will really spend 4x4ing and how much on sealed/good gravel roads where you will be happy with the comfort of an IFS 4.2 TD 100 series. Unless you go for extreme 4x4 action the lack of axle articulation with an IFS vehicle is not going to be an issue. If you go this route though I would stay away from the active suspension ones. We have run dozens of torsion bar vehicles in a hostile, off road environment for years now and to the best of my knowledge we had one broken torsion bar! The only real issue with them is that the front wheel alignment goes off a lot compared to a solid axle vehicle. Again this is not exactly a reason for disregarding them as an expedition vehicle.
"Many thanks for all the advice"
Best of luck with your decision! Gil
Oh, and just to make it even more difficult, don't forget the Nissan Patrol is damn good too!
Jebel Sahro tomorrow, then the desert again for a while.
We are 2 78 series Troopies. Weve had sand, mud, snow, wind, rain, either singly or in combination. The Toyotas have been fantastic. Bags of torque from big motor, light controls, loads of room, dead simple.
Hmmmmm is there a business opportunity exporting 2nd hand Troopies from Australia to the UK? I just had a look in my local paper and there are 5 for sale, one with a high roof (standing height) already kitted out as a 3 berth camper.
There are also 3 door conversions for Troopies available in Australia, passenger door added to the nearside. Not brilliant as the vehicle was never designed with forward facing rear seats and seat belt anchorages are a drama to get engineering approval for.
Hmmmmm is there a business opportunity exporting 2nd hand Troopies from Australia to the UK
You'd think so. We went thru it all a couple of years ago and decided not. We even tracked some down in Zambia. I've dithered over it for years but they're pricey in Au for what you pay here (UK) for a good 80, or even an LR.
And that was when the pound was better (tho I suppose the VAT has come down a bit).
Some UK people DIY from Au and LHDs crop up in west Europe. Sounds like an ex-Britz camper you got in your paper. Well put together in the back but tall to ship.
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