I was on a (very) limited budget and considering that I have only a limited automotive mechanical and electrical knowledge I knew the vehicle had to be simple so I could do some repair work my self if the need arose during a trip.
TOUGH AS NAILS
I also wanted a vehicle that had a reputation for being tough, ultra reliable and relatively inexpensive to maintain. There are a number of brands in the market reputed for building tough fourbies, however when we were back in Africa, we had a 1988 Toyota Hilux which gave us 400,000 trouble free kilometers, so you could say I was stuck on the brand. Having had a Hilux before, a Landcruiser 80 or 100 series was what I was after.
STRETCHING THE BUDGET
When I started out looking for a fourbie, I wanted one that had some of the basic mods required for touring already in place. This approach, I felt, would give me more value for money. At the same time, I did not want a fully kitted vehicle as I wanted room to kit it out to our requirements.
END OF THE SEARCH
After months of searching on popular vehicle sale web sites I came across an 80 series that fitted in perfectly within my requirements. It was well looked after and had basic mods such as bull bar, snorkel, dual battery system (with a battery manager), rear storage drawers, roof rack, awning and a 2” suspension lift kit. Perfect! But then there was a problem.
When I started out, I was in search of a diesel, mainly for the low-end torque and fuel efficiency (as compared to a petrol). The one I had found was however a petrol. The 4.5l 1FZ-FE engine was well known to be powerful but also quite thirsty.
WHY I WENT PETROL
For obvious reasons, majority of overlanders look for diesels and this demand keeps the resale value of diesel fourbies pretty high compared to a petrol (especially for the likes of a Landcruiser). So for me the saving in purchase price when looked at in conjunction with the condition and mods it already had gave me an approximate saving of A$9000. According to my calculations the price saving would buy me (at current prices) about 7000 liters of petrol, which roughly translated to about 35000km (21,500miles) of touring. Add to this the reduced cost of servicing (as compared to a diesel) made me feel I could live with a thirsty petrol fourbie. With this thought process, I had a new addition to the family.