Prado 90, new engine for Zim!
Hi All, what a fantastic forum, I've spent the last 3 days reading post after post of really interesting stuff - I apologise if I'm rehashing old ground but for a newbie I've tried to do my homework...
SO my situation - I'm considering buying a Prado more out of necessity than by choice as I need a 4x4 and this one is a BARGAIN! It's a '99 3L but the engine is leaking ALOT of oil, blowing smoke, missing washer plug so rad overheating but gearbox and chassis seem sound. Also a fairly impressive tappet knock coming from the engine which isn't surprising considering how vehicles are treated here/state of the roads and also the small issue of 360,000km on clock... I'll say it again though everything else seems sound so I'm VERY tempted and have a mechanic who says he can re-condition, put new pistons, head etc and likely resolve the problems but then I'm stuck with a fairly aged 3L engine. Realistically though, after a few months I'll need it daily then I hope I can retire it to just pure bush work on weekends so speed isn't necessarily the be all and end all. My question finally is - do I recondition (using a mechanic who may or may not know what he's doing) or do I order a 'new' 3L Jap import from Jhb for $4,800 (R42k!) which with a bit of luck will have much less mileage and just slot in without any mess/fuss and if I went down that route am I likely to get noticeably better performance from a 5L which is the same price (but arguably not the best idea for me as I get a perverse satisfaction from squeezing every extra km out of a fuel tank). Or on that note if I'm buying a new engine is there a magic solution one size fits all Mitsu DiD or Lexus turbo V8 that I'd be mad not to fit without too many mods?
p.s. I've read quite a bit about raising them and getting 25mm or 40mm spacers - is that a fairly agricultural mod that I can hand over to a side of the road type guy or does it need serious surgery?