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Buying a Hilux / Surf

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Hi all

I am moving to Darwin in January and am planning on buying a 4x4. I've pretty much narrowed down my options to either a Nissan Patrol, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Surf or a Landcruiser... The Landcruiser's by the looks of things are going to be way out of my price range. (Not above $8500)

I have found (what I believe) to be a really nice 1998 Toyota Hilux Dual Cab Ute.

It is a 4x4 Manual Diesel. First appearance is that it is in a very tidy condition (from the photos). However...

1) It has been slightly modified for off-roading (Stuff I would have done to it anyway but you never know where the last person took it)

2) The Air Conditioning is broken (apparently a $200 part)

3) It has 320,000km's on the clock...

What should I look for with this truck and are the kilometers too high to expect any reliability?

Any advice would be really appreciated!



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It is my opinion that as far as reliability you just can't go past a good Hi-Lux. One thing to keep in mind is many of the Surfs in Australia are 'back door' imports.

I work in wholesale supplying aftermarket and genuine parts and often can't match parts for 'import' vehicles of any brand. While the initial vehicle price can be substantially cheaper the cost of parts can be prohibitive.

I think it is better to buy an Aussie delivered model.

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Thanks for that, I will make sure I take that into account!

So you don't think 320,000km's is too much? I'm guessing I'll only find out by test driving it?

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Maybe that is a bit much but a diesel will go almost forever as long as it has been serviced regularly.

I may be able to get some A/C parts cheap through a mate who works for another wholesaler

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Cheers mate!

I will get in contact with you if I end up getting the truck... I asked the guy for service history so hopefully it has been treated well!

He is asking for a bit over $8000 for it which is a little steep for those kilometers so will try to get that down for sure. However, I cant really find any other Hilux in that area for any less than that!!

The other option is a Toyota Hilux Surf, 1992, no seats in the back (thats gunna be a mission to find seats...) and am unsure if it is an import or not...

Thanks again for the advice, am still open to more advice if anyone else is willing to share their wisdom?



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as far as I know all surfs are imports> I think our version was the 4 runner. They have a common problem with cracking heads,If your looking at one of these be sure the cooling system is 100%, and if possible try to get a compression test done first, If your planning to take it to Darwin,I has to be 100%

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  • 12 years later...

Hi all I need advice I have a 94 hilux surf and it has a code g26 and won't rev past 3k I've taken it to a mechanic but they are not sure what it is has been scanned but nothing anyone have have the same 

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