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3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 01 Feb 2014 09:40
by Florian320

I wanted to share how I got to which patrol. It is actually 'we' but to make typing easier I'lll only write 'I'.

I drove a '97 Defender TDI quite often and decided, I don't want such a car for myself. It is basically loud, slow, uncomfortable (especially in the back row), unbearable on bad dust roads and drives and has a turning radius like a big truck.
In addition the Defender is one of the cars which you put in your garage working perfectly in the evening and in the morning it is broken.
It has one advantage: the seating height. As the Patrol is also quite high and a test drive in Germany really made fun it was decided: a Patrol it must be.
The plan was to get the 3.0 Diesel, roughly around 2000-2004 model. The more I looked into the internet (and also this forum) the more I learned that it is kind of a risk to have that engine but if you adequately monitor it, it can be made 'safe'.
So, already with a blocked EGR, a madman installation and a Daves valve in mind, I searched gumtree, autotrader and so on for cars.
Eventually I found one in Durban. It had a refurbished engine and turbo after a cylinder failed so I thought, that might be worth looking at as the engine should be like new. An appointment was made but didn't happen: a week before the appointment the turbo blew.

Independent of that the need for an own car rose spontaneously and I had to make a decision. I went to the internet and searched for problems with the 3.0 Diesel vs problems with the 4.5l petrol engine.
I don't have to tell anybody here what the result was. On any forum you will have more than 90% posts regarding problems with the diesel and comparably rare serious problems with the petrol.
Yes, things happen also with the petrol but the major grenade like breakdowns resulting in the need of reconditioning don't really happen often.

So a decision was made: it must become a petrol, even with the catastrophic mpg-values. But I thought, where if not in Africa you need a car you can rely on? In South Africa it might be ok most of the times, but latest if you go for example to Zimbabwe you (at least I) don't really want to have a serious breakdown due to your engine giving up on you.
That decision was made on a Friday, 9 o'clock.

I immediately searched the known sites now for a Patrol with 4.5l engine and found one in Nelspruit. I sms-ed the guy wether the car was still available and got a 'yes' back. Then I phoned him, got a few infos about the car's history and an hour later went to Nelspruit (Friday, 10 o'clock).

Before we went there we told us, we won't make the mistake to buy the first car we see.
But then we saw it.
'99 GRX, 4500 injection, 234000km. From the inside it was a bit worn, you could see the mileage. But the outside was basically flawless. I searched the car for more than an hour to find any reason not to buy it - any corrosion, oil on the engine, something that doesn't work in the vehicle, anything.
I didn't find anything. Also the test drive didn't show anything bad, at least nothing I was aware of.

So I told the guy around 2pm on Friday, I'll take it but refused his offer to do the roadworthy immediately, we agreed on Monday.

On Monday I went to Nelspruit again and went back in the Patrol.

Two days later the first trip into KNP took place and it was an unbelievable pleasure compared to the Defender: there are birds in the KNP which sing! And you can talk to each other without shouting! Eventually even while the air conditioning is running! You don't have to press the pedal to the floor to get something going, you just have to barely touch it. What a treat!
It became true: fueling (and calculating the mpg) really is something you have to live with. But if I only do not have one major repair I could have had with the diesel, I will have saved something - at least a lot of stress.

A first look-around by the local mechanic didn't show anything bad despite corroded mufflers. But they are still usable, they just will come up in the near future. The engine oil is about 2000km in now and still has a light color.
Here are some pics:

Re: 3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 01 Feb 2014 12:24
by Tinus lotz
Well....most of us are petrol heads ...the 4.5 is a tank of note ...if you can make a plan to get it to graham he can give it a once over regarding ecu ect those km most patrols eat up their fist viscus and radiator other than that not much else ....enjoy your patrol ..if you drive nicely you should get 7km per liter on the open road
Is yours a auto or a manual?

Re: 3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 01 Feb 2014 12:56
by Chris Skinner
Good decision. Petrol is here to stay - worry free driving!
The Troll looks good.

Re: 3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 01 Feb 2014 19:22
by Peter Connan
Nice car Florian!

Where in Hoedspruit are you? We used to own land in the Kleserie PNR, so used to know the town fairly well, although it has expanded a lot since then.

Re: 3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 05:25
by Clem
Well done Florian. One correction - in South Africa a reliable vehicle is absolutely critical; breaking down can cost you your life, especially in the wrong place at night.

Re: 3.0 or bad mpg?

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 07:39
by Alex Roux
That engine bay looks very clean and new.
I suspect the previous owner must have had a lot of love for this vehicle