Tow Vehicle

Submitted: Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 22:49
ThreadID: 123359 Views:5022 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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hi i am currently looking for a new tow vehicle to tow my 18 ft van and am chasing some thoughts on wheather to go auto or manual in the 100 series turbo diesel. any thoughts would be great.

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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 23:54

Friday, Feb 23, 2007 at 23:54
Owned a 5 speed auto TD, beautiful tow car shame it wasn't a ute.

5 Speed manuals, beware the 5th gear is the weak link for towing.
AnswerID: 570706

Reply By: Suncoasters - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 05:09

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 05:09
Having towed my 18' bushtracker with a 100 series t/d auto I believe that the auto is a better choice than a manual.

My two cents worth.

AnswerID: 570707

Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 13:29

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 13:29
Rolly, and Newbies considering the same thing: Consider this before going out and buying a new IFS Turbo Cruiser...

I try not give opinions on the matter, as everyone has one… But rather report the perspective of the 1000 and how they are going… And the analysis of what I have done to prove it, with hands on testing…So here goes: Landcruiser is still the Number One Choice in that size of van, with Nissan 4.2 Patrol and Discovery 3 coming up behind as second place. BUT: I would buy a second hand one for now if you were going Landcruiser, to wait and see the new V-8 Twin Turbo coming… The new IFS prices, if bought now, could fall in a heap when the new Cruiser comes out IF the Twin Turbo gets better fuel economy.. But a good second hand one bought at the right money, will always hold its value better. Myself? I like to see how something new runs in the Outback for a year or two or three, before buying a whole new style of vehicle...

As to selection of a tow vehicle.... This second hand concept, is possibly the best option to consider with regards to Landcruiser, particularly now with this new model coming out.. A secondhand vehicle like a late model GXL 100 Series, for half the money of new? You should take a look at a magazine called the "4 x 4 Trader". There will be 500 vehicles in there for sale every month.. About once every three months for some reason there will be a half a dozen vehicles reduced to ridiculous prices all at once!! Newbies: You have plenty of time while your Bushtracker is being built.....You can get the RACQ to have a look at it, send pictures over the internet, negotiate a price, and have them meet you at the Airport to pick you up... For half the money, I am not sure that it isn't another option. Arguably a GXL 100 Series has the current body style, but has the moonbeam front end which has proven more robust than the Factory Turbo unit with its Independent Front Suspension, and the GXL does not have the electronic engine controls and accelerator of the IFS Turbo Cruiser… I do not like the trend in the new vehicles with computer run complex systems that cannot be rectified in the Bush, if I can easily avoid it. For example-I know personally, I would like an early 2000 and up GXL 100 Series for half the money, maybe even with extra equipment already on it; rather than all the fancy electronic run injectors and injection pumps of the new ones. The same goes for the other Brands. It seems as though the Company Engineers are designing the engines to take the maintenance and repair out of the hands of the do it yourself people and make them dependent on the Dealerships for all service... Just a personal view, but maybe it is another option to consider for half the money... Especially if you are a handy sort of a person yourself.... It is what I did in getting a new Cruiser for my wife, I bought a 2000- 100 Series, aftermarket turbo and intercooler, and it was loaded with extras like long range tanks, diff locks, air compressor, and much more.. Again the motivating factor? It has no engine electronics to run the injection pump, injectors, and controls; and I think it is twice the vehicle as new, for half the money, AND also has the tried and true solid front monobeam axle housing... The aftermarket Turbo on that engine has been remarkably successful for the past 15 years..

? Here is my own first choice: Toyota still offers the Standard 100 Series with the standard diesel and no IFS. So here is another idea: There has been a great deal of success in turbo charging the Toyota standard diesel… I mean we know of hundreds.. ARB put Safari Turbo kits on them for ten years!!! The only ones we have heard of having problems were people problems in not feeding the engines enough oil and water!!! Everyone that said something bad about after market turbo on a 1HZ motor, which is really rare to hear something bad anyways; when questioned, really had to admit to not checking oil or water and that is not the turbos fault!!! The only real problems starting the rumour mill, seemed to be the Factory Turbo engines that had a fault in the lower ends in the mid 90's. But aftermarket turbo addition to the 1HZ engine that is still current, has been very successful with engines going well up into the 400,000 kms and more. Tracy, one of Bushtrackers Directors has had three 80 Series Toyotas with aftermarket turbos added on for himself and his Wife… We hear of them going as high as 600,000 kms. He even took the turbo off one when he updated and ran it on the next one out to 340,000 before he sold that one!! After market turbo does not seem to be a problem at all…… And it is the same engine in the Standard 100 Series. The GXL, looks just like a Factory Turbo, but no engine electronics, no independent front suspension that some have had trouble with, same body style and all but very user friendly and easy to work on and has the most common parts available in the Bush...

I own one.. I wonder if it is not a more reliable vehicle in that it does not need a computer to fix it, and a GXL has the standard Monobeam front suspension.. To me, since any Bush Mechanic can fix it, I consider it to be maybe twice as reliable for half the money??? It is the way I would go, and wait a year or two to see how the V-8 Twin Turbo is going in the Bush…

Active hands on Analysis from the lone Ranger…. I test things full time for a Living!!!

AnswerID: 570708

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 17:00

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 at 17:00
Agree with Steve's comments about going secondhand and waiting for the new 120 Series. In fact, my dealer has told me that, if you can, wait for the Series II 120 which would probably be released about 12-18 months after the Series I, which is when they release an upgrade to address minor glitches.

We tow with LC TD auto, and it is very effective - I finally got around to doing a chip upgrade and wished I had done it sooner. Makes a huge difference and removes the "fifth gear" problem (referred to in an earlier post above) with all the additional torque.
AnswerID: 570709

Reply By: Rolly - Thursday, Mar 01, 2007 at 20:12

Thursday, Mar 01, 2007 at 20:12
thanks for this info it just confirms my decision on getting a second hand 100 series and going with the aftermarket turbo in the auto.

AnswerID: 570710

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Mar 02, 2007 at 01:48

Friday, Mar 02, 2007 at 01:48
Smart move Rolly,
Now as far as I know, they no longer make the GXL Auto, but I have seen them as late as the 2004... Tracy had one for Janelle his Wife..

Mine is a 2000, but not that you could tell the difference. I bought mine with Diff locks, front and back, long range tanks, aftermarket Turbo, Stereo, CB, center console in the roof, rear tyre mount on swivel loader, back up floods, upgraded suspension and 50mm lift, Garrett Turbo, Intercooler, Long Ranger water tanks in SS in the front fenders, Glind HWS shower unit, ARB Air Compressor, IPF Driving lights, Warn Winch, and more than I can even think of and in fact more than many Landcruisers you would ever see... It was a WOW!!! At 104,000 kms. Still have it, now 160,000kms on it, and perfect. And with twin diff locks??? WHAT A BEAST !!!

Now I bought mine (for my wife and a back up tow vehicle), GXL in Auto, in about 2002, and paid a lot for it... $46,000. But at the time it was only 18 months or so old, and had about $20,000 in toys on it, and new would have cost about $90,000 with the toys the way it sat. I got the $20,000 in toys for free, as a GXL Auto was rare at the time and $45-46,000 was the price of the other two on lots in Brisbane.. My point is still that second hand may even be superior due to the solid front axle, no engine electronics, toys for free, and half the money of new replacement..

As with the Fords, run synthetic in the Auto Tranny for "Insurance" when towing.... It is a good solid tranny, but the synthetic just protects it even better.

Best Regards and Happy Trails from the Lone Ranger...

A Good Choice in your size of van.
FollowupID: 847282

Reply By: Kiwi1 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2007 at 03:00

Thursday, Apr 19, 2007 at 03:00

Reinforcing your decision, the automatic is always the way to go with heavy towing. The auto box eliminates the loss of momentum that you get with manual changes going uphill.

As for Steve's advice, remember that an older beam-axle Cruiser is also a better and much cheaper option than the F250 which suffers from the same precarious electronic management systems as the IFS Cruiser TDs.

AnswerID: 570711

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Apr 19, 2007 at 20:10

Thursday, Apr 19, 2007 at 20:10

Your advice is basically on track, I just want to add a couple of points for other Newbies that might pick up on this thread...

1) The Ford is overkill for an 18' and certainly not recommended. However, it is better in almost every aspect with regards to safety and driver fatigue due to the much longer wheelbase and control on the van on the highway at high speeds... While it is not recommended as a consideration until you get up to larger than 20-21', it is better, better storage, better room, more power, better fuel economy for some, and so on....

2) With respects to the electronic engine management, there is one advantage in that the Ford has basically a million kilometre engine, and since it is widely used in remote regions in commercial service there are dozens of performance enhancing units available that read the DTC codes to tell you what is wrong... Usually the fix is just to clean a sensor or check the electronic wiring connection to that particular sensor, if you only knew which one it is... The Toyotas do not have this same range of diagnostics available, so in my experience are more linked to the Dealers. The only sensor that is commonly at fault is the CPS on the Fords (Cam Position Sensor) and most people just do not understand that this is a renuable part by design like fan belts and hoses, a $100 part (U.S.) that has maybe a 50% chance of failure usually from about 80,000 kms and up....

With this is mind, my experience with the 100 or so towing with Fords is that the electronics in the Fords is more managable. So in effect while it is still there, it is a greatly diminished issue and they are cheaper to run if you get any spares from the U.S. like I do...

Regards, horses for courses of course... Toyota is still King up to 20-21', but after that there is no better choice for the money, due to safety on the highway primarily, than the luxury mid size trucks of Ford, Dodge, and Chevy.... Fords only have the significant lead because they were brought in and have major Service and Parts backup in every major city in Australia. Otherwise the Dodges and Chevys would be more attractive, but without the backup quite as good and at $50k more money, you still cannot get by the Fords.

Tow non-Boggers, but Bushtracker Owners have just bought low kilometre Fords, a 250 and a 350 for about $75,000 recently... Certainly more money than a second hand Tojo, certainly hard to park in the city.... But certainly safer tow vehicle for larger vans over the 20-21' level... Significant... Money no object, even for an 18', it is better for storage, Safety, power, control on the van, etc etc... But in coming back to the city life it is out for parking and size..

Taking care of everyone as best as possible, lone Ranger
FollowupID: 847283

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