What would YOU import?

Discussion in 'Importing' started by JustAnFO, May 17, 2018.

  1. JustAnFO

    JustAnFO

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    Hey all, long-time lurker, first-time caller.

    TL;DR: What RHD turbo diesel SUV with a 5-speed would you import to use as a weekend fun vehicle in the Colorado mountains?

    Long attention span version: I've been searching for the right vehicle to import to the USA for about a year now... the number of options are staggering, and I've kinda lost track of what the best options would be for me. Right now, I've got a '02 Pathfinder with a mild lift that I use for weekend ski trips up I-70 and camping trips on Forest Service roads. It's a bit gutless, especially at altitude, but just in general, and is burning oil. I want something slightly weird, which is why I want something RHD in a body style that wasn't sold in the USDM. There seem to be tons of LJ78s available through importers, but I've read lots of hate for the 2L-TE lumps. I have some ability and skills to make minor mods, but nothing like an engine/trans swap. So I want something that will more or less work out of the box, and a less than 10% chance of leaving me stranded halfway up a 14er with annoyed buddies in the back seat.

    I know this is a Toyota forum, but I figured y'all have seen way more of the imported truck world than I have. Prado with a different motor? Hilux Surf? Patrol? Mitsu Pajero? If you could do it again, and had $15k to throw around, what would you do?

    Thanks y'all!
     
  2. Tigerstripe40

    Tigerstripe40

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    Put together another 4-5k and get a BJ-74.

    I just don't understand the appeal of a Prado
     
  3. Mookies

    Mookies

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    If you can find a Surf with a 1KZT-E it's a go in my book. Although you want something unique so you could try to bring in a 4 door Hilux from Australia.....

    Yeah been there done that with the L series. Honestly for long term use a HD 70 series will be the best bet.
     
  4. FJ73Texas

    FJ73Texas

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    HZJ70 soft top would be my first choice but they still have a few more years before they can be imported.
     
  5. drenmaster

    drenmaster

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    I have a hj61 with a 5spd and its awesome. If i did it again maybe an 80 but its hard to find those with a 5spd. Either way both are awesome with turbo diesel.
     
  6. JustAnFO

    JustAnFO

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    Good stuff, guys, keep it coming. I wasn't aware of a couple of these options (or at least, I didn't know what they were called.)

    Why no love for Pajeros? Unreliable? Gutless?
     
  7. drenmaster

    drenmaster

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    Not having a solid front axle did it for me. I drove 2 different Delica vans for they were both very reliable and while the turbo diesel engine in it was slow it never let me down but it was too slow for US highway speeds. But if IFS is ok for you the older Mitsubishi's are pretty solid vehicles.

    I also looked at Nissan patrols but parts for those would be even more difficult to find in the states than the 60 series.
     
  8. gilmorneau

    gilmorneau

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    Not sure why you're stuck on RHD--other than that it's "weird" (as you put it :))--there's lots of LHD trucks in Europe that match your criteria. Get a BJ71. Turbo, diesel, direct injection, 13B-t is a super nice motor. BJ71's are even available with factory lockers (though not super common). Short wheelbase for easy maneuverability on the trails, super robustly built, reliable if well cared for, and 25+ years old so easy to import.
     
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  9. JustAnFO

    JustAnFO

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    Yeah, IFS is no big deal, I don't plan on taking on any rock-crawling expedition. So if they're reliable, and decent highway cruisers, then I'll look into Pajeros. There are tons of them out there, and importers aren't gouging on them like they do the Landys. And yes, RHD for the weird factor... I can't explain it beyond that. I like weird! The BJ71s look awesome with those 80's graphics, but I think I need 4 doors for buddies, so maybe the HJ61 is more my style.

    Y'all have me spending way too much time googling these machines.
     
  10. drenmaster

    drenmaster

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    If you like the pajaro check out the delica. Its a van based off the pajaro frame. Turbo diesel and 4wd. I would have brought my delica back with me but the 2.5l in it is not powerful. I think the new model the "space gear" had the 2.8l which is better.

    Even the engine was weak at highway speeds it never let me down one time. I went snowboarding all the time while i was in Japan so it was awesome to have a 4wd van to get there and have the room inside the van to change clothes and keep all your gear.

    Now i only paid like $1000 for this van which is a star wagon but with 15k u could find something bad ass.


    IMG_7002.JPG
     
  11. JustAnFO

    JustAnFO

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    Nice! Nice and weird. My concern with one of those is getting over Colorado mountain passes which top 10,000'. I don't want to be the doofus holding up traffic. Are the 2.5L or 2.8L TDs capable of this?
     
  12. drenmaster

    drenmaster

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    I would be concerned with the 2.5l but the 2.8 i think would be ok. My 2.5 never let me down when i took it in mountains just had to be patient with it but they were not Colorado mountains. Alot of people use the newer version in off road expedition type vehicles. But no idea about 10,000 ft altitudes. Those are the same engines offered in pajeros that are allowed to be imported currently so you would be in the same boat at that point.

    or just find a HJ61.. im not scared to go anywhere with it haha.. I do miss the delica though, it was a unique vehicle.
     
  13. CIR

    CIR

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    JustAnFO - I vote for a HJ61 with a 4.0L straight six turbo diesel and 5 speed manual transmission. It is a real all terrain vehicle with the cable locking differentials and can handle US highway speeds unlike the 2.5L turbo diesels in Mitsubishis.

    Also look into a Mercedes Benz w460 with the long wheel base. The gasoline 2.8L 280GE were quicker off the line but the 300GD offered the legendary OM617 like the W123 300D. Neither are fast but both version can keep up. W460s also had the triple locking diffs for all terrain.

    If you dont want to get stranded, keep up in traffic, haul buddies and look cool, then both are great choices.

    RHD may save you money but if you are interested in LHD drop me a line.

    Enjoy the hunt!
     
  14. AirheadNut

    AirheadNut

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    My vote would go toward a W460 or early W463 Mercedes G-Wagon if you can find one that fits your budget. In my opinion there is nothing better for the "cool factor" than a G-Class that gets used for what it was designed. You will be hard pressed to find a more robust 4x4 anywhere, including Land Cruisers, and in bone stock form they are some of the best off roaders out there.

    The 280GE will be the quickest of the W460 lineup, as the 300GD never came with a turbo, but it will also be pretty thirsty (low teens at best). The best would be an early W463 (1989 and up) 300GD with the OM603 turbo engine, which will provide plenty of power, reliability, and reasonable economy, with tuning potential galore. They are also quite a bit more civilized than the W460, with leather upholstery and AC.

    One of the major downsides to the G is rust, especially in places like northern Europe. Also, parts can be really expensive, even compared to JDM diesel LC's.

    Having had both an HDJ81 and a W460 300GD, I can say that the 81 was a much more comfortable vehicle, but I would take the G over it any day, and given the chance would jump on a LWB diesel G-Wagon.
     
  15. westhillsmover

    westhillsmover

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    How about Chevrolet Colorado? Definitely would import my car too if I'm moving like what I did before when I move to West Hills.
     
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