Looking into owning a Surf.

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GRWLR ZN
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:19 pm

Good day,

An SUV type vehicle is proving to be a bit more apealling for my little family.
I am not a fan of the prado, nor the fortuner have even considered a Disco2, however... enter the Surf and I am paying attention.

I am looking around as I am planning to buy a decent one mid to end 2018, asking help early on so I can take my time in finding the one that is just right. That, and from what i am finding, they are quite scarce.

What are the things to look for when buying a surf? Where to find one? I see they come in auto, some with KZTE motors etc. Are the autos permanent all wheel drive? From what i can gather on the net, they appear to be?

Any guidence on do's and dont's, where to find, who to call?

Any info will be appreciated.
Thanks guys.

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dalkill
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:43 pm

my friend has a surf and i know he had endless problems with his cooling system...
not sure if that a general problem with the surf, but it gave him grey hairs
2007 d4d 3.0 D/C 4x4 (Mar 2016 - current) (Buraaq V)
2003 Isuzu KB300 tdi LX D/C 4x4 (May 2015 - Feb 2016) aka Buraaq IV
2000 hilux DC 2.7 4x4 (Jul 2011 - Sep 2012) aka Buraaq III
1999 RXI 20v (Nov 2009 - Jul 2011) aka Quicksilver
1990 hilux DC 2.2 4x4 (Jun 2008 - Jul 2011) aka Buraaq II
1997 corolla 160i GLE (Feb 2007 - Sep 2009) aka Green Goblin
1990 GLI twincam (still my fav rolla) (Oct 2005 - Mar 2007) aka Wit Blitz
Golf GTI 2.0 (temp insanity for 2months) (Jun 2005 - Aug 2005) aka A mistake
1993 hilux SC 2.2 4x4 (April 2003 - Sept 2005) aka Buraaq

TOYOTA IS MY LEWE

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GRWLR ZN
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:28 pm

Thanks for the info Shaakir,
Do you know which motor his surf has got in? If it is a KZTE I will bet ten bucks it was issues with the head?
Or perhaps it's been Lexus converted? Talking from experience with the GRWLR , they tend to run hot if not cooled properly?

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Mud Dog
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:03 pm

Some of them also came out with the 5VZ (3.4 it V6, same as the Prado). Earlier ones may have had the 3VZ (3 lit V6).

I've heard that there were some overheating problems on some models.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
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GRWLR ZN
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:16 pm

Thanks Mud Dog,
I have heard that those 3VZ's were quite thirsty also. I have a big enough 'gas fed' beast with the lexus so I am definitely looking for a diesel. I am a diesel fan by heart. Probably the only thing i do not like about the GRWLR....

So i need to do some research on which models had over heating issues.

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:34 pm

Did the Surf come into SA via Toyota?

DanabaaiDaan
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:44 pm

I think most of the Surfs were smuggled in illegally via Lesotho/Swaziland, as "grey" imports from Japan.

Hi Louis - used to have a Disco 2 V8 - worst experience ever - when they overheat slightly the motor is GONE!! It will cost you as much to fix as you paid for it. TD5s even worse...
Groete uit Danabaai!
Daan Louw

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Mud Dog
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Real Name: Andy

Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:03 pm

GRWLR ZN wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:16 pm
Thanks Mud Dog,
I have heard that those 3VZ's were quite thirsty also. I have a big enough 'gas fed' beast with the lexus so I am definitely looking for a diesel. I am a diesel fan by heart. Probably the only thing i do not like about the GRWLR....

So i need to do some research on which models had over heating issues.
They are both thirsty motors, the 3VZ maybe not quite as bad as the 5VZ. Toyota diesels were sluggish before the KZTE and that one can potentially give head problems - they also don't like overheating. Fitting an AMC head sorts them out pretty well. So if you find one with that motor, it's worth considering. Alternatively you could swop it out for a 3.0 D4D motor if you wanted to keep it all Toyota - otherwise fit a Ford 2.5 WL diesel (good motors).
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!

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JohanM
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:11 pm

Hi Louis,

Welcome here.

Some pointers to bear in mind with the SURF... all of them is grey imports and some parts especially body but also certain drive train parts and electrical stuff might be a bit hard to get by even from the dealers.

The Surf (185 chassis series) and the Prado 90 (1997-2002) model share the same chassis, however the Prado does have the stronger chassis as the chassis is boxed, reinforced, and strengthened in places the Surf is not. Also the Prado has a different suspension type compared to the Surf. Although the Prado and Surf share the same chassis, the Surf was never designed/fitted with dual tanks in certain markets as the Prado. Thus it only carries 70L tank and aux tanks are hard and expensive to get your hands on. Most Surf's were leaf sprung rear axle and IFS front axle with torsion bars, were the Prado runs 4 link coil suspension rear and strut coils in the front for much improved ride comfort and stability on road. Off road the Prado does have real good articulation with the coil setup helping much here and most 1999 upwards had a factory rear locker fitted also.

Load space in the back on a Surf is really not that big, and depending on your needs and use might be a limiting factor. I think the 2009 Fortuner is bigger in the back than the Surf.

Surf's were mainly automatic and rear wheel drive with high and low 4 wheel drive selected via switches and the transfer case lever.

Most surfs were turbo diesel on either the 2.4 diesel or 2.8. Both really not very fast or strong on the open road. KZTE motors were much better of an improvement, but with high mileage they tend to suffer from cracked cylinder heads. Costly to repair but once sorted seems to be going well. Not the most economical if driven at speed or towing/carrying heavy loads for a turbo diesel.

The 3VZ motor was prone to being very thirsty and somewhat under powered. Also some reported overheating issues. The 5VZ motor is a big improvement over the 3VZ and even though it still can be thirsty when driven with vigor, they tend to be a much better option then the 3VZ.

I was also looking at the Surf before I bought my Prado. Never looked backed on that choice after 3 years of owning it.

I am not saying the Surf is a bad choice, but for me, overall cabin refinement, long distance comfort, load space and payload was contributing factors.
Johan Marais

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george
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:50 am

I was also looking at the Surf before I bought my Prado. Never looked backed on that choice after 3 years of owning it.
I have to agree with Johan.
We had a Surf for a while.It was a 1993(IIRC) with a Lexus convertion.
I always wanted a surf and it was a good SUV.One of the biggest irritation was you could not open the back door with out rolling down the window.I dont know if the newer models also do this.

When I was looking I could not find a Surf with a 5VZ-FE(3.4l V6).The only ones I could find was the 3l v6(Think its the Camry engine) and the 2.4 TD.

At the end I got a Prado 90 5VZ-FE(3.4l V6). The 90 is extremely good value for money.A decent one can be anything from 80k-90k.
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.-Saint Augustine"

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mcw
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:48 am

Hi Louis

i have a 95 series 3.4 v6 Prado apart from fuel consumption would not change for any other vehicle ,


Martin

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dalkill
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:22 am

GRWLR ZN wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:28 pm
Thanks for the info Shaakir,
Do you know which motor his surf has got in? If it is a KZTE I will bet ten bucks it was issues with the head?
Or perhaps it's been Lexus converted? Talking from experience with the GRWLR , they tend to run hot if not cooled properly?
he has the 2.4 diesel.
2007 d4d 3.0 D/C 4x4 (Mar 2016 - current) (Buraaq V)
2003 Isuzu KB300 tdi LX D/C 4x4 (May 2015 - Feb 2016) aka Buraaq IV
2000 hilux DC 2.7 4x4 (Jul 2011 - Sep 2012) aka Buraaq III
1999 RXI 20v (Nov 2009 - Jul 2011) aka Quicksilver
1990 hilux DC 2.2 4x4 (Jun 2008 - Jul 2011) aka Buraaq II
1997 corolla 160i GLE (Feb 2007 - Sep 2009) aka Green Goblin
1990 GLI twincam (still my fav rolla) (Oct 2005 - Mar 2007) aka Wit Blitz
Golf GTI 2.0 (temp insanity for 2months) (Jun 2005 - Aug 2005) aka A mistake
1993 hilux SC 2.2 4x4 (April 2003 - Sept 2005) aka Buraaq

TOYOTA IS MY LEWE

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GRWLR ZN
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Real Name: Louis

Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:46 am

Good morning,
Thanks for all the feedback guys.

Mud Dog, the KZ motor head- and overheating issues are a point of concern and the D4D idea is not bad at all - perhaps if I can find a V6 fitted version with a motor that is a bit tired then a D4D swap can happen... or even the WL

Johan, your input on the chassis is a bit of an eye opener for me, especially the bit on the suspension differences. Part of the reason for looking around a bit for something a bit more comfortable is because the hilux (mine is a late '98,-one of the first IFS models) is not exactly praised for ride comfort and from what you tell me the surf has got the same suspension. :think:
I guess it should've been obvious as from what I could gather while reading up on the Surf is that it was initially based on the hilux chassis, I assumed that the suspension would be different seeing as though it is an SUV.

George, I wonder if the rear door isssue was rectified in later models?
I wouldn't say I am converted to the prado just yet, however I will look into the 90 a bit more. I had a 80 series cruiser a few years back...4.5 petrol (carb)... loved it, not the fuel consumption .. Kick myself every day for letting Beastie go though.

Dana, I really enjoy my lexus, but one V8 is enough. I have a work friend with the disco V8 and from what i can gather he is having constant headaches with it. :naah:

Shaakir, what did your friend have to do to sort out the over heating problem eventually?

Thanks again for all the feedback guys, keep it coming.

This is the great thing about this forum, more than enough info and advice to go around...

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dalkill
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:48 pm

Eish Louis, I can't really remember... I just remember him posting the invoice on our group chat and i nearly fell off my chair... radiator, hoses, pumps... i think they basically redid everything cooling.

As i said, I'm not sure if it was just his bakkie that just needed some TLC or if it a general problems with the surf / 2.4 model.

I'll check with him if that fixed the issue or not.
2007 d4d 3.0 D/C 4x4 (Mar 2016 - current) (Buraaq V)
2003 Isuzu KB300 tdi LX D/C 4x4 (May 2015 - Feb 2016) aka Buraaq IV
2000 hilux DC 2.7 4x4 (Jul 2011 - Sep 2012) aka Buraaq III
1999 RXI 20v (Nov 2009 - Jul 2011) aka Quicksilver
1990 hilux DC 2.2 4x4 (Jun 2008 - Jul 2011) aka Buraaq II
1997 corolla 160i GLE (Feb 2007 - Sep 2009) aka Green Goblin
1990 GLI twincam (still my fav rolla) (Oct 2005 - Mar 2007) aka Wit Blitz
Golf GTI 2.0 (temp insanity for 2months) (Jun 2005 - Aug 2005) aka A mistake
1993 hilux SC 2.2 4x4 (April 2003 - Sept 2005) aka Buraaq

TOYOTA IS MY LEWE

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dalkill
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Real Name: Shaakir

Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:07 pm

OK, just checked with him, and after the major transplant of cooling system, he reporting problem solved.
So i'm guessing it was just a case of needing some major TLC.
2007 d4d 3.0 D/C 4x4 (Mar 2016 - current) (Buraaq V)
2003 Isuzu KB300 tdi LX D/C 4x4 (May 2015 - Feb 2016) aka Buraaq IV
2000 hilux DC 2.7 4x4 (Jul 2011 - Sep 2012) aka Buraaq III
1999 RXI 20v (Nov 2009 - Jul 2011) aka Quicksilver
1990 hilux DC 2.2 4x4 (Jun 2008 - Jul 2011) aka Buraaq II
1997 corolla 160i GLE (Feb 2007 - Sep 2009) aka Green Goblin
1990 GLI twincam (still my fav rolla) (Oct 2005 - Mar 2007) aka Wit Blitz
Golf GTI 2.0 (temp insanity for 2months) (Jun 2005 - Aug 2005) aka A mistake
1993 hilux SC 2.2 4x4 (April 2003 - Sept 2005) aka Buraaq

TOYOTA IS MY LEWE

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chopper
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Real Name: Thinus
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:50 am

Hi Louis
I've been driving a 2000 Surf with the 2700i motor and auto gearbox for some time and I really enjoy it
I'm past my "storm en drang jare" so I'm very comfortable with the fuel consumption too
Mine is registered in Botswana - a family member renews the license every year
Thank you
To fly is heaven ...... to Hover is Divine !!!!

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GRWLR ZN
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Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:02 pm

Thanks Thinus,
The 2.7 is a decent motor, funny thing - on the dunes (we mine the sand dunes on the north coast of KZN) the 2.7 and the Cruiser 4.5EFI gives roughly the same fuel consumption which is 1.8- to 2.3km/l.

I am still looking and will give updates as and if i get somewhere.

Libor Jira
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Real Name: Libor
Club VHF Licence: diesel

Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:38 pm

I have recently bought a 2000 Sorf with 1Kd motor. I am looking for a suspension upgrade , any suggestions , mine is toast and very soft?

Libor Jira
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Town: Harare
Vehicle: Toyota Prado
Real Name: Libor
Club VHF Licence: diesel

Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:41 pm

Typo'; SURF'; I believe the under pinnings are same as the old 95 series Prado. Which is great so guys in S.A. should have plenty bits for them ?

TOYOMOZ
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Vehicle: Hi Lux Surf 3.0 kzte Toyota Granvia 3400 V6 4x4
Real Name: Gideon

Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:52 pm

Hi Louis,
I came across this post and realize it is a bit old. People have a lot to say about the Surf. I've had mine 1995 KZTE for almost 7 years now and have done many a trip from Chimoio (Moz) to Kokstad (SA) and back. with no problems. I baught it in Moz with a cracked head and replaced the head with genuine gasket and water pump and new radiator. After that no problems 150 000 klicks and running strong.
I have to inform you that mine is a 95 model and it has coil suspension in the rear. Beautiful. Now for the part where I disagree with
comments on the forum. No way in hell has the Fortuner, new or old more room than the Surf! There were many options on drivelines even a 2uz option from the factory in some of the later models.
The prize one I would love to have is the one with the 1kd motor.
Sadly two years ago I relocated back to SA and have had an uphill struggle ever since to register the vehicles,( amper vergeet ek van my bus maar daai is n anner dag se storie, Toyota Granvia 3.4 v6 AWD.) I am almost done now, waiting for one more document. then it will all be legal. :celebrate:
What I wanted to say is if you have to import one unless you can buy a legally registered one in SA it is not worth all the K%$.
Ek love my Surf en het groot planne vir n D4D ombouing sodra als legal is. :celebrate:

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