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Okay how about a sensible debate

My next vehicle will be an expedition style vehicle. I'm currently tooling around in 92 Isuzu, and I thought that would be good for the job, but I've fallen out of love with it after the engine blew, and the replacement was a PITA.

I was planning to get a nice late 300TDI Defender 110CSW, one of the definitive expedition vehicles, and to kit it out, something like this TD5 from Frogs Island, but with a full external cage

Matt-Johnston-110-017.jpg

However, the Defender is a bit short on creature comforts for my taste, and needs a lot of time and modifications to seating, soundproofing, central-locking etc etc. By the time I've got it what I want, I've spent a whole heap of money, and I'm still going to be banging my elbow on the door every two minutes, and my central locking is going to be a kit from Maplins

No other vehicle in the LR range is big enough, as I'll be travelling with my two kids, and I'm not very good at travelling light.

So I was thinking about the other definitive expedition vehicle - the Toyota Landcruiser. I know there are some Landcruiser owners here, so hopefully they can enlighten me.

This is what I'm thinking of, again from Frogs Island

DSC02837.jpg

I'd be looking at a pre-95 as I want the simpler 12 valve engine, but I prefer auto given the choice.

I'll buy the vehicle on condition rather than price, I've been amazed at the condition of my grey import Isuzu, so that seems like a better option than a UK car.

I reckon the UK cars will have diff locks, but are likely to have higher mileages and be rustier.

Although I plan on kitting it out to full blown expedition spec. Thats largely me being a poser, it probably wont get out of Europe. But if I decidde to go to Norway in winter, then it wont be the vehicle holding me back.

So whats a 'Cruiser like to live with ?

This will be my daily driver too. I know there are some scary prices for spares in Toyota Land, but Landies seem to need so many parts, it'll be even in the long run.

I could go for a newer one, but I want to keep it DIY, and the later ones have IFS which I'm not keen on.

Any comments appreciated.

Andy

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The two people I know with Landcruisers swear that they are God's gift to motoring. Not much cop for getting through narrow gates on upland green lanes though... :P

I met a couple the other week who are planning a trip to South Africa, driving all the way - within reason. They owned a Landcruiser at the point that they decided to do the trip but having looked at the cost of equipping it they promptly sold it and bought a Disco Tdi in preference as the cost of accessories for the 'cruiser was so high.

Chris

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I picked my L reg LC80 last week. Most imports do not not have the axle lockers fitted.

Depends on what to spend? Theres a nice one alldone up on ebay for £30K :ph34r:

Paul

Some info

UK models got axle diff locks as standard, most other markets had them as an option. That means imports very rarely have axle lockers. Other than that there's nothing wrong with imports. You can tell an import by 2 main things - they often have a mirror on the passenger front wing and the rear most side windows are a single piece where UK models have a split sliding arrangement.

1990-92 were effectively the MK1 80 series (my terminology, never heard anyone else put them in MK's). MPG 22-25.

1992-95 MK2. Main changes were larger brake discs all round, ABS, 16"

alloys (MK1 had 15" alloys which won't clear the brakes on a MK2). Almost all UK models are auto gearbox but I have seen a few 95 manuals (Ray has one). New improved gearbox. A few hundred other minor changes. MPG 24-26.

1995-98 MK3. Main change was 24 valve version of the engine delivering a little bit more power and economy but all UK models now manual gearbox to meet emmisions regulations. Revised dashboard, air bags (dual I think).

The 4.5l petrol engine became available in the UK market in 1995 as well.

MPG 25-30 (diesel) 14-18 (petrol).

I know a lot of people prefer a manual gearbox but I'm a firm believer that you only get the full Landcruiser experience with an auto. I've never owned a petrol one but if you can afford the fuel bills / gas it they are often a lot cheaper than the diesels.

Ideally go for a 92-95 UK diesel IMHO. The earlier ones the gearbox and brakes are poorer, the newer ones only came in manual gearbox.

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Guest diesel_jim
However, the Defender is a bit short on creature comforts for my taste, and needs a lot of time and modifications to seating, soundproofing, central-locking etc etc. By the time I've got it what I want, I've spent a whole heap of money, and I'm still going to be banging my elbow on the door every two minutes, and my central locking is going to be a kit from Maplins

But thats only a weekends work really.... couple of decent seats in the front, CDL, drop in rubber mat.

and i'd imagine, (got no real world experience here) that the defender would be far more expedition friendly than the toyota (as in, using a hi-lift front and back, fitting a cage etc).

although the toyota would win hands down on torque (4.2 diesel?) and comfy driving.

that said, i'm building a 110, and plan to fit something like disco seats n the front (as soon as i sort out the removable seat base) and possibly CDL (although thats more to go wrong). soundproofing is just a case of removing the interior trim, fitting the deadening stick on panels, and fitting decent (hose-able too) rubber floor mats.

I've got a brand new full external P&P cage here if you want to take some measurements for a 110 SW!

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Andy, I've seen quite a few Land cruisers and spoken to a fair number of owners while sourcing the parts for my LC axled Disco project. All the owners rat them extremely highly and don't seem to rate Land Rovers as highly! They seem like the ideal vehicle and after we last spoke (when I came round to pick a power steering pump) I thought I should have suggested it. A few thoughts:

Paul's right there's a magic age when you get the big brakes and the 12v engine.

Also I've seen all sorts of vehicles being broken and never seen one that rusty.

I don't have the figures, but with the wheel arch extensions removed a series 80 is apparently narrower than a Disco 2.

I met a guy the other day who had built his own expedition LC and had taken it to North Africa 3 times with only routine servicing in between trips. Find a Land Rover that can claim that!

I'm definately considering one to replace my Disco 2.

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I don`t have anything to say about the which is best of these two vehicles for the job you want them to perform but looking at the two photo`s

there is only one that looks the dogs dangly bits. It`s got to be the Land Rover. :)

Foxminer.

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I don't have the figures, but with the wheel arch extensions removed a series 80 is apparently narrower than a Disco 2.

I can agree with that as I was out laneing with a D2 over the weekend.

I also know someone with a LC80 with a 5" lift and 36" simex tyres, park it next to a 300tdi disco with a 2" lift and 33" tyres the LC is lower at the roof hight than the disco.

Just one point to remember the LC has a 112" wheel base.

Paul

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Depends on what to spend? Theres a nice one alldone up on ebay for £30K :ph34r:

The picture Andy has posted is the one on e-blag @ £30K

Tend to agreed, would rather £30k in the Defender , rather than the Toyota,, But i can fully see where Andy is coming from !! They did cross my mind,, till Pugwash got one :ph34r::P

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mmm well you know what they think of Toyota's in Aus :rolleyes:

They reacon they are reliable and great (in the cities) but when out in the outback they think they are carp and you need a defender

When we were going around we asked the police stations what the tracks were like and kept saying that we would be ok as we were in a defender but they would warn us if we were in a toyota. Got on my nerves in the end as they would never tell me what the condition of the track was

We are looking for a TD5 110 at the moment, going to change the 300 Disco for one . Sue (the misses, who will drive it most of the time) wants a 110 over a D2 as she does not like the disco compaired to the defender. Also we want somthing a bit bigger as we have the 2 dogs . Will be set up ready to tour as the disco and 90 are already.

Also i have a Toyota camry as a company car. It is 6 months old and i am not impressed with it. It is a petrol and gutless, and also the bulid quality is pretty carp. Also it is gone though 2 set of front brake disc in that time. So i would not buy a toyota after my experiance with the camry

Ali

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I don`t have anything to say about the which is best of these two vehicles for the job you want them to perform but looking at the two photo`s

there is only one that looks the dogs dangly bits. It`s got to be the Land Rover. :)

Foxminer.

Amen to that.

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The two people I know with Landcruisers swear that they are God's gift to motoring. Not much cop for getting through narrow gates on upland green lanes though... :P

i have no idea what you mean :ph34r::ph34r::ph34r::ph34r: it never got stuck- it was just a little tight!

As to the cruiser itself i love it. I have a 93 12v auto UK spec car with leather electric seats and air con; owned it for about 6 months now. Everything works as it should (apart from a fault with a lockup solenoid in the gearbox which needs a clean). It's build quality so far exceeds land rover i'm amazed- i actually enjoy working on it, and jobs take half the time they did on the range rovers i owned- they are generally really well laid out and easy to work on. I am currently working on turning it into an expedition truck but i'm not spending £35,000 to do it.

They cruiser beautifully at anything up to 90 on road tyres. Mine's on BFG MTs and will happily run at 75 all day- they tow as if there's no weight on the back- very very stable. Inside they are very comfy although the seat bolster on the drivers side usually collapses and turns into a hole. Lots and lots and lots of space- if i fit in one comfortably then just about anyone else will.

Offroad they are really very very good- in standard trim they have as much articulation as a 110 (although they don't have as good step approach), and with lockers and front and rear they are nigh on unstoppable (i got stuck last time because i drove everything in high box- DOH). Obviously breakover angle isn't great, but approach and departure are fine- departure is better than a range rover.

Costs. Mine costs £3250 which was a bit of a bargain- certainly cheaper than the vehicles that were selling in Brightwells auction. Spare parts really aren't expensive, pads cost around £20/axle, seal kits are £30, filters are a couple of quid. The costs kick in when you have to swap CVs, radiators and the like- Toyota prices are ridiculously expensive (£650/pair) but you can get warrantied for life CV kits and inners from the states for £300 (longfields), other parts are finally coming available cheaply which is nice, although the scene isn't as large as the land rover world as you might expect. Expedition wise my snorkel was £150 (which isn't bad for what is basically a safari). For other parts you are looking at OME cost stuff- there isn't the real cheap end of the market for this kind of thing. Rock sliders are £350 or so, winch bumpers from £450 for a simple job to £650 for an all singing all dancing ARB jobby. Roof racks seem very expensive, but other things can be made to fit. Servicing is every 12,000 miles for a major service, 6,000 for a minor oil change. Economy wise i get 25mpg at a cruise and happily get 420 miles from a tank. Generally costs are no more than buying reasonable quality parts for landies.

Nice touches- Lockers front and rear. retractable In built radiator muff. fuel guage that shows the fuel level even with the ignition off. retractable aerial. 24v dual battery setup as standard. No rust. Anywhere. You can run 36" simexes with just a 2" lift and the drivetrain can stick it. Just about everything seems to be bolted on with a 14mm spanner which is nice.

known problems- Big end bearings in some trucks have been made from the wrong material- good idea to change them. Electric window motors wear out and get sloooooooow. there are a LOT of bushes to change when they wear out. standard spare wheel placement is under the rear floor- Jap imports ahve them on the back, but doing this with UK trucks can be expensive.

I have had really good experiences with Anton at OEC who really knows his way round landcruisers- realy recommend you talk to him about expedition kit. Lots of information on European Landcruisers owners mailing list- another forum is www.tlocuk.co.uk

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I will confess, I have an 80 series cruiser, (well swmbo does when it dosent need refuelling!!!). I bought one after doing a Wales weekend with one life adventure (Paul). He's real good mates with Eddie from frogs island. He had just converted from a camel 110 to a cruiser due to sheer power and reliability. Theyre also better supported spares wise in most of the world, Africa may be debatable with the high number of Land rovers there.

I have just bought a pair of rear vented discs for mine, £48 to my door, spares are not too bad if you shop around. Off road adornments are spendier but some bits are comparable to LR (suspension for one). I have it on good authority that the timing belt is 1 hours work, simply remove the clips holding on the timing cover.

As far as drivability, nothing comes close imho, point and squirt, 4.2l of lovlieness pulling you effortlessly along! (dont watch the fuel gauge though).

I have seen pictures of an 80 series pulling TWO broken down 110s off road!!

Yes, it's an awesome car, but I'm still typing this on a Land Rover forum, it's a bit of what you fancy at the end of the day. ;)

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The 110 in the picture would make a good expedition vehicle, but rather than add even more bits on to it, I'd remove the bullbar, spot lights, rock sliders, rear ladders, roof rack, jerry cans on the roof, chequer plate, window grills, tank guards. Just fit a good stereo with USB socket for an MP3 player, and get a fridge.

An expedition vehicle is for driving a long way in safety, and none of the junk people bolt on does anything to help that. You'll find that if the extra ton of gear is stripped off, you won't need an external roll cage in the first place, you wont need the roof mounted jerry cans cos you be doing better mpg, you wont need the roof rack to put the jerrys on, and not shining out like a rich western tourist you wont need the side window grills.

Being lighter and more nimble you won't need the under body protection as much either, and probably wont need to shell out £800 on an OME suspension kit.

If you speak to Frogs, they'll no doubt recommend a Land cruiser, as they can sell you even more gear for one of those...

Aside from spending loads of dosh, big heavy lumbering 4x4's just aren't as much fun to drive when you're on a rough piste or in the dunes.

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mmm well you know what they think of Toyota's in Aus :rolleyes:

yeah most of the ozzies seem to think they are bloody brilliant- there was a reason why most aid agencies/ government agencies etc etc bought 80 series instead of defenders in the 90s (and still do)- it's becuase of their reliability and ability off road. There's also a reason why you see far far far far more landcruisers in Oz than in the UK- people preferred to buy them for the outback - jsut get onto a couple of the Ozzie forums (outerlimits 4x4 etc), the toy-yoda board is much busies than the landrover board!

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yeah most of the ozzies seem to think they are bloody brilliant- there was a reason why most aid agencies/ government agencies etc etc bought 80 series instead of defenders in the 90s (and still do)- it's becuase of their reliability and ability off road. There's also a reason why you see far far far far more landcruisers in Oz than in the UK- people preferred to buy them for the outback - jsut get onto a couple of the Ozzie forums (outerlimits 4x4 etc), the toy-yoda board is much busies than the landrover board!

Yeah and they are the most anti land rover people you will meet. And most (if not all) of them have never even been in a land rover , or would not know what they are even if you ran over them in one :rolleyes: But still have no problem slating them

I had a chap slate my 90 at Bloomfeild junction. Now to explain bloomfeild juntion is a camp site at the top of Australia. 1000 miles from anywhere . and i mean anywhere. This chap had broken the rad (from the corrigations) on his brand new toyota. He had been there for a week while a rad was sent from Cairns to Wheaper and then had to wait for somone to bring it from there to him (i would not like to even think of the cost of that )

He was then was telling me i was mad to bring the defender up to here( this was the last part of our trip we had already done 23,000 miles around aus) as they were carp and i would get myself in real trouble.

It was at that point i reminded him i was not the one would had been stuck in the middle of nowhere for a week because my truck had broken down :rolleyes:

My defender did 25,000 miles around aus and on some of the worse and most isolte tracks in the world. and all the problems i had was one set of wheel bearings, One rear brake pipe, and one buckled alloy wheel. Not bad for a 95 defender :)

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The picture Andy has posted is the one on e-blag @ £30K

Tend to agreed, would rather £30k in the Defender , rather than the Toyota,, But i can fully see where Andy is coming from !! They did cross my mind,, till Pugwash got one :ph34r::P

Are you sure as the one on ebay is not an import and that one is. Also the one on ebay has a non-standard rear bumper with 2 swing away spare wheel carriers.

Paul

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Personally if i was going anway from Land Rover i would go Nissan and not toyota

The best trucks seen down here these days are the nissans decked out like on the long way down. See alot of them around. The nissan are said to be more reliable with better engines and axles that the toyotas

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The toyota is a perfectly adequate vehicle, reliability is good, fuel consumption is considerably more than the defender especially when working hard, I managed to get down to 12mpg on a high speed road run pulling a 1 ton trailer in OZ with a 4.2 diesel 1hz engine. The routine maintenance schedule is much more demanding, and therefore quite expensive, the pay load is less than the defender , you cant recover a landcruier on a trailer with another landcruser (train weight) Thats why I used a 130DC HCPU

As for spares support, most l/crusr spares are gen only as they copyright the parts(they cant patent them) I know of intsnces of waiting for two days for a simple relay (they dont use the standard pin layout) . The marketing is brilliant, huge discounts to UN etc , and Land rover were a bit slow to realise what was going on with toyota going into their markets,

The way they put things ,''do not use fifth gear when towing, so as retain better control of the load'' in hand book, i pointed this out to guy I had to tow in he had gearbox failure driving down from Darwin, pulling a trailer, he worked out the real reason :lol:

I know what I preferred in the bush :rolleyes: and I pulled out enough LC to confirm I made the right decision :P

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Are you sure as the one on ebay is not an import and that one is. Also the one on ebay has a non-standard rear bumper with 2 swing away spare wheel carriers.

Paul

I stand corrected Paul,, EB one is black,, but if you check the pics, both were taken at Frogs place by the look of it,, as both vehicles are on their website !!

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Lots of great feedback - excellent :)

GBMUD - yeah I can see the width being a problem on greenlanes, but I don't greenlane that often. In fact the last time I did it was on the plain with you :D

Paul - I'm not spending £30K, I'm not going to cut corners, but that is a whole chunk of money.

I like your Mk2 terminology. Its the Mk2 that suits me best I think. I didn't know about the bigger brakes, but ABS is a big plus.

I deffo a diesel I'm after

Foxminer and Daan - you are absolutley right, a Defender is a style icon. I'm just not sure I'd be happy blasting from the south coast to Scotland in one.

Tim - I don't think that one is the eBlay 30K one, I thought the eBay one was a really late S-plater.

I'm thinking upto £7K should get me any 92-95 pretty much. another £5K will fit it out, and that will include roof-tents and stuff which is never cheap.

Jim - interesting you say you enjoying working on your 'Cruiser. Thats the thing I wanted to hear. I enjoy working on our P38a, but the engine bay of my Isuzu - there be monsters in there......

Getting an import with a spare wheel carrier will be a big plus for me - like you mentioned.

I've got a lot of time for Anton and the OEC outfit, thats for sure.

Eightpot - yeah that particular 110 does have too many bolt-ons for my taste. I just took a couple of pictures from the Frogs site, that were close to what I was trying to achieve. The fridge is already sorted - nice Engel :D

Reads90 - I'm not going to do a Patrol. Alex my co-driver has one now, a 92 LWB high-top. Its rusty, and he's got to wait a week for the Nissan dealer to get him a new fuel filter. True their drivetrains might be stronger for comp trucks, but I'm planning on staying under 33" for the tyres - so it wont be an issue.

More tommorrow :)

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try and take a look at one. take a look underneath as well. with a 110, underneath you have for hitting an axle radius arm then a great big length of chassis rail. chassis rail depth is much greater on a 110 allowing everything to be stuffed up out of the way. so when you have to slide the fat belly over something it can just slide on the rails. under an 80 you have a bunch of bash plates which have to protect the running gear.

i did buy a cheap primera though for driving long distances as i can't be bothered with the wind noise and 80 top speed of a land rover. been threatening to buy a patrol or cruiser ever since i got the land rover 6 years ago.

amusingly have come over here after reading your bit on itocuk about the trooper. what was the major gripe? i hat to cut a hole in the floor of the trooper to get at the last two bellhousing bolts when i took the engine out to put in my land rover, but only because it was going for scrap. rest of it was not much more difficult than getting the engine out of the land rover. granted it was a mk1 with fewer ancilliaries though. took 3 of us an hour and a bit to get it out on a gravel drive, although it would have taken considerably longer with 1 person and being careful not to scratch the paint. maybe you are just really quick when removing a landie engine by comparison.

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