Most Common Engines in Africa?





View Poll Results: Which engine would you choose for a trans-Africa trip?

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  • 3.4L V6 5VZ-FE

    2 7.14%
  • 4L V6 1GR-FE

    23 82.14%
  • 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE

    3 10.71%
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  1. #1
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    Default Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Hello.
    I am trying to decide on a platform vehicle for my next build. It will be a vehicle designed to carry 2 people and all of our gear for a 2 year trip through the African continent(and possibly around the world). We will be purchasing and modifying the vehicle in our home country of USA, but want to pick the best vehicle possible for parts availability on the African Continent. The tricky part is that vehicles of the same make, model, and year can be very different in the US vs. Africa markets, so for this thread I am concentrating on the engines.

    So the question is: Which engine would you choose to drive across Africa? (based on reliability and parts availability throughout the continent)
    a) 3.4L V6 5VZ-FE
    b) 4L V6 1GR-FE
    c) 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE

    I realize that diesel engines are more popular over there, but they are not options for us unfortunately. With that in mind I am open to other suggestions as well.
    Thank you.
    Our overland travel video series: YouTube

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    I do not really know the Toyota engines ! I see you are from the USA . Here is a interesting read .
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...es-120-000-kms
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Why base your choice on an engine? It is one of the more reliable components of a vehicle.
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    Hello.
    I am trying to decide on a platform vehicle for my next build. It will be a vehicle designed to carry 2 people and all of our gear for a 2 year trip through the African continent(and possibly around the world). We will be purchasing and modifying the vehicle in our home country of USA, but want to pick the best vehicle possible for parts availability on the African Continent. The tricky part is that vehicles of the same make, model, and year can be very different in the US vs. Africa markets, so for this thread I am concentrating on the engines.

    So the question is: Which engine would you choose to drive across Africa? (based on reliability and parts availability throughout the continent)
    a) 3.4L V6 5VZ-FE
    b) 4L V6 1GR-FE
    c) 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE

    I realize that diesel engines are more popular over there, but they are not options for us unfortunately. With that in mind I am open to other suggestions as well.
    Thank you.
    If you are limited to petrol, 4L V6 no doubt. People like the 3.4 also but I'm not a fan.

    Enjoy the project.

    Now, before the whole circus begins and people come up with all sort of crazy suggestions (based on what they themselves drive), close the thread!!!
    Last edited by tashtego9; 2018/11/12 at 06:20 AM.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uys View Post
    Why base your choice on an engine? It is one of the more reliable components of a vehicle.
    It's not the only thing I'm basing my decision on. It's just the first comparable component I thought of.

    The tricky thing is, the vehicles over here are different. If I ask you to choose between a 1998 Toyota T100 and a 2003 Tacoma, it's likely that people won't know anything about T100s and will be thinking of a smaller diesel power truck(ute, tray back, ?), not the tacoma we have in the USA.

    So, if you tell me that the 3.4 and 4L V6 engines are common, but that the V8 petrol is not, then that helps me narrow my choices.
    Thanks for your help.
    Our overland travel video series: YouTube

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    I think the 4l V6 is one of the best(if not the best) engine currently being made by Toyota.
    Very reliable and good power.

    Only drawback is that its a bit heavy on fuel.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    So, if you tell me that the 3.4 and 4L V6 engines are common, but that the V8 petrol is not, then that helps me narrow my choices.
    Thanks for your help.
    Between the 3.4 5VZ-FE and the 4.0 1GR-FE engine the 1GR engine is the most common one and a very fine machine.
    Johan Marais

    Toyota L/Cruiser Prado 4.0 VX AT 08

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    I would say that you could do worse that hit up both Stan weakly and tony Weaver on this forum.

    Both are big fans of vehicles that are as standard as possible and are arguably the most well travelled on this forum.

    What about picking up a 6cylinder diesel land cruiser somewhere on this side and of the pond. We have front runner just around the corner from me in kyalami and they could add basics like a roof rack etc.

    I think you can drive that vehicle anywhere in the world. Not really answering your question, but just a thought.

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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    It's not the only thing I'm basing my decision on. It's just the first comparable component I thought of.

    The tricky thing is, the vehicles over here are different. If I ask you to choose between a 1998 Toyota T100 and a 2003 Tacoma, it's likely that people won't know anything about T100s and will be thinking of a smaller diesel power truck(ute, tray back, ?), not the tacoma we have in the USA.

    So, if you tell me that the 3.4 and 4L V6 engines are common, but that the V8 petrol is not, then that helps me narrow my choices.
    Thanks for your help.
    Just buy a Cruiser.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Just buy a Cruiser.
    Sorry you meant to say Nissan Patrol right?
    2006 Nissan Patrol 4.8 GRX (OME, ARB, Freeflow Exhaust)
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Just buy a Cruiser.
    OK. but my choices are an fzj80 or a uzj100. I don't get any of the diesel options and I'm not willing to go smaller than that.
    Our overland travel video series: YouTube

  16. #12
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Africa_Trekker View Post
    Sorry you meant to say Nissan Patrol right?
    I would if I could, but they aren't offered in the US market. I'm not insistent on getting a toyota. They just seem to have the best offerings in the USA in the size range I am looking for
    Our overland travel video series: YouTube

  17. #13
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    Hello.
    I am trying to decide on a platform vehicle for my next build. It will be a vehicle designed to carry 2 people and all of our gear for a 2 year trip through the African continent(and possibly around the world). We will be purchasing and modifying the vehicle in our home country of USA, but want to pick the best vehicle possible for parts availability on the African Continent. The tricky part is that vehicles of the same make, model, and year can be very different in the US vs. Africa markets, so for this thread I am concentrating on the engines.

    So the question is: Which engine would you choose to drive across Africa? (based on reliability and parts availability throughout the continent)
    a) 3.4L V6 5VZ-FE
    b) 4L V6 1GR-FE
    c) 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE

    I realize that diesel engines are more popular over there, but they are not options for us unfortunately. With that in mind I am open to other suggestions as well.
    Thank you.
    I follow you on InstaGram (I'm stinkyfj60). If you end up in Jozi, let's grab a beer or braai.

    I would go with a FZJ80 even though it'd be heavy on fuel. And older. A UZJ100 would be my second choice (sad that I had to sell ours, but happy to be here).

    I have a 2003 Prado, which is the same as the Lexus GX470, but the US only got V8 Petrol. Solid vehicle.

    Really, I wouldn't worry as much about engine components as much as I would CV axles and things like that...

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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Petrol seems to be readily available all over Africa, but check Toyota websites in those countries you will be visit and see what fuel engines they selling.

    Both the 34,l or 4l V6 will be good enough.
    Last edited by JLK; 2018/11/13 at 06:57 AM.
    Johan Kriel

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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    Hello.
    I am trying to decide on a platform vehicle for my next build. It will be a vehicle designed to carry 2 people and all of our gear for a 2 year trip through the African continent(and possibly around the world). We will be purchasing and modifying the vehicle in our home country of USA, but want to pick the best vehicle possible for parts availability on the African Continent. The tricky part is that vehicles of the same make, model, and year can be very different in the US vs. Africa markets, so for this thread I am concentrating on the engines.

    So the question is: Which engine would you choose to drive across Africa? (based on reliability and parts availability throughout the continent)
    a) 3.4L V6 5VZ-FE
    b) 4L V6 1GR-FE
    c) 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE

    I realize that diesel engines are more popular over there, but they are not options for us unfortunately. With that in mind I am open to other suggestions as well.
    Thank you.
    The best vehicle is a single cab 79 series Land Cruiser or a 78 Series Land Cruiser Troopy or a 76 which is smaller, all equipped for overlanding.

    None of the petrol engines you list is available so you can pick anyone you like as you will have to import parts if you need any and almost nobody has the knowledge to fix it so the more simple and less electronics the best. Perhaps some parts can be sourced from older Prado's for the 3.4 or maybe other older models for the 4L or 4.7L. North of SA, Namibia and Botswana you only get the 1Hz diesel engine, no petrol or diesel V8 in any of the 70 series Cruisers, not even Zimbadwe or Mozambique. The 1Hz is a simple 4.2L straight 6 non turbo diesel. It runs on the worst of diesel or diesel paraffin mix unlike new generation diesels and any mechanic know them as there are many thousands in Africa.

    Many vehicles will work as long as they don't break. Nissan Patrol is very good but very few there. Petrol is sometimes more available as most vehicles, trucks etc is diesel.

    Go to Toyota websites in Africa, say Tanzania, Egypt, Uganda etc and see what models they have. On the Tanzania site I only see the 4L V6 in the FJ Cruiser, no other 4x4's have a petrol engine. Even Prado and 200 Cruiser is all diesel.

    http://www.toyota.co.tz/new-vehicles/

    Here is a very interesting report of a couple in a Cruiser in a remote part of Africa, a very long but very interesting read:

    https://www.expeditionportal.com/for...inshasa.50799/

    We did our fair share of travelling in the southern part of Africa, first in a Mitsubishi Colt (L200) 2.8 TD 4x4 D/C and since 2007 in a 79 series Cruiser p/u. See attached tracklogs and photo of the Cruiser.
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    Last edited by PierredW; 2018/11/13 at 10:14 AM.

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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Are the diesel options not available to you in America because of the stricter controls on exhaust emissions?

    Is there no way around this? Can you not purchase a vehicle with the Toyota 1HZ Diesel engine from sources outside North America?

    As said by Pierre above, this engine as found in Toyota 76, 78 and 79 series vehicles is by far the most predominant engine to be found in any area even slightly off the beaten track in Africa. This ensures that even fairly remote places will have Dealer workshops, spares and competent mechanics familiar with the vehicle. In fact even the remotest village is likely to have a bush mechanic familiar with this engine and vehicle, with some spares (even if secondhand or salvaged).

    It is not only the engine that is important, but also the model of vehicle (Toyota 70 series), so that spares and mechanical expertise beyond and excluding engine problems, allow the vehicle to be sorted out even if remote.
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  24. #17
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    The 3.4 is not common in south africa at all - I would even say you would be hard pressed to find any. Not sure how the rest of africa looks.
    4l v6 and 4.7 v8 you will find a fair amount of
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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Are the diesel options not available to you in America because of the stricter controls on exhaust emissions?

    Is there no way around this? Can you not purchase a vehicle with the Toyota 1HZ Diesel engine from sources outside North America?

    As said by Pierre above, this engine as found in Toyota 76, 78 and 79 series vehicles is by far the most predominant engine to be found in any area even slightly off the beaten track in Africa. This ensures that even fairly remote places will have Dealer workshops, spares and competent mechanics familiar with the vehicle. In fact even the remotest village is likely to have a bush mechanic familiar with this engine and vehicle, with some spares (even if secondhand or salvaged).

    It is not only the engine that is important, but also the model of vehicle (Toyota 70 series), so that spares and mechanical expertise beyond and excluding engine problems, allow the vehicle to be sorted out even if remote.

    The U.S. buyer never really like diesels, so Toyota and others didn't bring them. VW cracked the market with the Golf and full-size American trucks too...

  27. #19
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    With your limited choices, either of these will be fine ito spares and reliabillity etc !

    Quote Originally Posted by traveling2gether View Post
    OK. but my choices are an fzj80 or a uzj100. I don't get any of the diesel options and I'm not willing to go smaller than that.
    Personal choice I would go with the SFA 80 ser and look for a manual boxed one at that.
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  28. #20
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    Default Re: Most Common Engines in Africa?

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkyfj60 View Post
    I follow you on InstaGram (I'm stinkyfj60). If you end up in Jozi, let's grab a beer or braai.

    I would go with a FZJ80 even though it'd be heavy on fuel. And older. A UZJ100 would be my second choice (sad that I had to sell ours, but happy to be here).

    I have a 2003 Prado, which is the same as the Lexus GX470, but the US only got V8 Petrol. Solid vehicle.

    Really, I wouldn't worry as much about engine components as much as I would CV axles and things like that...
    Thats super cool. We will definitely have to grab a beer.

    Thanks for your input.
    I will try to figure out the axels and brakes and other components as well, but I figured engines would be the easiest place to start.

    I like the 80 series cruisers but those FZ engines, with their poor fuel efficiency and uninspiring performance aren't too appealing.
    Our overland travel video series: YouTube

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