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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
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  #1  
Old 20 Dec 2014
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200 series for touring/overlanding?

In an effort to get some more posts going on this forum!

Has anyone had any experience using a 200 series as a touring/overlanding vehicle? I'm sure plenty of Australians have upgraded to a 200 series from a 100, interesting to see what you think of it.

The 100 series is getting a bit long in the tooth now and buying one in my part of the world (UAE) isn't great as they're all thrashed and ruined, very difficult to find a good, honest, genuine 100 series these days.

I've driven 200 series a bit and they're fantastic on the road and off road in the sand at least even with the 4.0 V6 surprisingly capable.

But what about for a long voyage? About Northern Asia.
Would you opt for a 200 series, or stick with the tried and tested 100 series?
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  #2  
Old 20 Dec 2014
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Not sure what you mean by Northern Asia, to me that means Russia.

A 200 Series would be perfect in Russia; they are fairly common there (though I would prefer to take the V8 petrol or diesel than the V6 petrol as I am not sure if this was sold in Europe / CIS markets?).

People on here will whinge that you have to take an old, simple truck (which I generally agree with), but if you're not going out in the African jungle for months on end, I think a 200 Series would be a great overlander.

The main drawback would be that you obviously look rich, but it's not as if you would be the only one driving a 200 Series there. This would probably be more of an issue if you were in Mongolia / Central Asia, but it's not a show-stopper.

If you really want to hack it up Siberian tracks, I would check the ground clearance compared to a 100 series, but having said that you can probably get bigger wheels on a 200 which would help.
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  #3  
Old 21 Dec 2014
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The 200 (and 76/8/9) in Aus only comes with the 4.5 V8 common rail diesel engine. One question mark with this engine for overlanding in developing counties is whether fuel quality, particularly sulphur content, is good enough not to cause problems.


Most Aussies going overlanding outside Aus take an older vehicle with the 1HZ engine. For people travelling Aus in a newer vehicle with the VDJ engine most will fit an extra fuel filter as sometimes fuel in remote areas isn't great.


There's definitely plenty of people in Aus using the 200 for long travels though. You have to sign up to view topics but you could check out the 200 section on:


LCOOL.org :: Index


for more info.
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  #4  
Old 21 Dec 2014
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Thanks for the replies guys.

By Northern Asia I meant the 'Stans, Russia, Mongolia and back via the Caucasus region.

We don't get the diesel engined one here, well they do exist but are used by the companies out in the desert and have a very hard life, it is possible to buy a brand new one but that's out of my budget.

Mostly here it's the 4.0 V6 which is popular, going for the V8 pushes the price up by quite some margin.

It's the same engine as used in the Prado (150 series) so I can't imagine getting parts for it is going to be a challenge, and I would take some service parts with me just in case. It is a little underpowered for such a big car and the V8 is much nicer, but it just comes down to cost.

Not planning on going into the Siberian wilderness, mostly sticking to well used tracks. I did consider the 'wealth' image of the 200 series but like you said it's not as if it's uncommon so hopefully I should be okay.

Thanks for the link, will check it out.
I've got plenty of time as I don't plan to leave for another 18 months, but I love planning things well ahead of time.
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  #5  
Old 25 Dec 2014
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I have just bought a VDJ200 Toyota Landcruiser V8 diesel, 2008, 183.000 KM. I will use it for overlanding. I looked at all other options. HDJ80's and HDJ100's are all old and had a hard life. The HDJ100's I found with an easy life and low KM's where super expensive. My VDJ200 is cheaper then a nice HDJ100???? So my decision was easily made. Now I'm looking for other overlanders who have experience with the VDJ200 to;-) I'm just back from a 3 week trip in Morocco at my Moto. I saw a lot of Land cruisers 200s there. So I'm not afraid for services, spare parts or traveling in a bling bling thing. And it drives supernice at Asphalt. Now I'm looking how to make it into a 4*4 travelcar.
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  #6  
Old 25 Dec 2014
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if you get a petrol and are thinking of travelling through eastern Europe get an LPG conversion. You will find it is widely available throughout eastern europe. Sometimes even more so than petrol!

A newer vehicle is probably better being petrol than diesel because of the sulphur issue, if you can live with the fuel consumption (where gassing it will help) , the greater dangers of carrying pack fuel and the complications of engine electrics and their dislike of water.
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  #7  
Old 26 Dec 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebra AT View Post
My VDJ200 is cheaper then a nice HDJ100????
That's normal in Aus too with a late model 100 normally more expensive than an early model 200.


The early 100s had IFS problems but later 100s had all their issues sorted. Most people in Aus (if they can afford it) will look for a 2010 or later 200 as Toyota had sorted out some teething problems by this time, such as the oil consumption issue.

Last edited by misterpaul; 26 Dec 2014 at 12:09.
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  #8  
Old 26 Dec 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Rothwell View Post
Has anyone had any experience using a 200 series as a touring/overlanding vehicle? I'm sure plenty of Australians have upgraded to a 200 series from a 100, interesting to see what you think of it.
I did cross africa with an Land Cruiser 200, and will start the Panamerica this days.

It is a great car for such trips! Save, comfortable, capable.

You can read more about my journey:



My travel thread at HuBB
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ana-next-79748

My travel blog and diary
Adventure-Overland

The Transafrica Blog from 2012
Trans-Africa

Surfy
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  #9  
Old 30 Dec 2014
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One interesting thing I've been pondering is what about what they call here the 'Safari' spec 200 series. They are sold with the 4.0 V6 with the manual 5 speed box, rear diff lock, and spare wheel mounted on the rear door (so better clearance underneath or space to fit an aux tank).

They are very basic though.
What would you do, buy a basic manual with diff lock or a higher option automatic?

Planning to take it to Mongolia and back so more of a touring vehicle than a dedicated offroader, also a couple trips to the desert here but nothing too strenuous.
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  #10  
Old 30 Dec 2014
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Pity it runs the 4.0 v6 - same motor as in the 120 and 150 Prado and possibly a little under powered for the beast in overland guise. I'd have preferred the single turbo 4.5 v8 diesel tbh as found in the 78 and 79 series wagons.
For the rest though I'd go with the wheel on door and rear locker every time ...
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  #11  
Old 31 Dec 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimcruza View Post
Pity it runs the 4.0 v6 - same motor as in the 120 and 150 Prado and possibly a little under powered for the beast in overland guise. I'd have preferred the single turbo 4.5 v8 diesel tbh as found in the 78 and 79 series wagons.
For the rest though I'd go with the wheel on door and rear locker every time ...
It isn't that bad, it moves itself well enough but wouldn't want to tow anything heavy with it.

Having it as a manual is quite nice too... I think that might be the solution.
I wonder if it's possible to retrofit some of the goodies from the higher spec models to these basic ones, just things like multifunction steering wheel, xenon headlamps, the more comfortable seats, stuff like that. I know they aren't paramount but I intend to be in it for a lot of the time so would be nice to have those things.

I did find out that I can buy a 4.5 twin turbo diesel 200 series in Kuwait as they are imported there, but from what I've read this new engine doesn't like the diesel fuel available in less developed parts of the world, and it's expensive too.
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  #12  
Old 31 Dec 2014
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Yup the 50ppm sulphur content diesel is what's preferred apparently although there are 200 series v8 twin turbos running in Southern Africa that run on the 500ppm fuel for fairly extended periods that haven't died - yet!

Get an 80 series then? Or 100 / 105 series for more comfort? The 1HD-FT and 1HD-FTE don't seem to care about the diesel too much!
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  #13  
Old 31 Dec 2014
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Would love a 100 series but buying a good one here is impossible.
They're all absolutely wrecked, it seems Landcruisers get looked after for the first 5 years very well, most of them never even venturing any further offroad than maybe a gravel car park or at a push the beach. Once they reach 5 years old they get bought as toys to bounce around the sand dunes in.

Luckily I do have time to find something as I'm not actually going until 2016 but I'm one of those people that likes to have a plan for everything.

I think my first choice is a 200 series, then a Prado V6, Patrol Y61, finally if all my plans go out the window and my budget for a vehicle is low then I will just get a Pajero.

It's a shame we don't get diesels here as a 200 series V8 diesel with a manual gearbox would be awesome. It would never sell here though as diesel is way more expensive than petrol.
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  #14  
Old 5 Jan 2015
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Another option that you've not mentioned is a 78/9 Land Cruiser. I think they're also available with the V6 petrol engine in the UAE.

Probably a stronger overlanding vehicle than the 200, but less luxuries.

Re: swapping the steering wheel from a higher spec 200 onto the basic 200, I think you probably can. AFAIK most modern Toyotas are a common fit. I've seen in Aus someone has fitted I think a Camry steering wheel onto a 78 or 79 to get the stereo controls.

If you're set on a 200 I would definitely go with the basic spec and add your own upgrades. And think about changing a wheel after driving through mud when your spare is mounted underneath!
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  #15  
Old 5 Jan 2015
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I did think about the 78 Cruiser but it's really not pleasant to drive on road for extended periods. I'm planning to go to Mongolia and back to UAE in 8 weeks so it's an average of 280km per day but in reality it's staying somewhere for 3 days and then having to cover 800km per day.

Upgrading the 200 series is quite a common thing here I found out, a lot of people actually fit the seats, door cards, steering wheels, etc from the Lexus LX570 to give the interior a more upmarket feel.

Been thinking more and more about the little 150 series Prado. You can get it here with the V6, rear mounted wheel and factory aux tank so a total of about 155 liters. No rear locker though and as I mentioned before I find it odd to buy a vehicle like this without a locking diff.

Maybe I should just see how much I can actually spend in about 6 months on the car, I guess my budget will dictate what I can actually buy and I will just have to accept that.
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