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Buying a 'new' MU

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Buying a 'new' MU

Postby Lamoo » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:09 pm

Hey guys,
I've been skulking around this forum for a while now and finally registered. I am very nearly in the market for another 4WD. I have owned 80 series Landcruisers,NL Pajero, SWB Holden Jackaroo (UBS55 i think) and currently a GU Patrol. All of which have been petrol models.

The fuel bill on all of these have been over the top. Now is the time for a Diesel. I had a few criteria that needed to be met before I chose what brand/model.

Initial Purchase price - under $5k
Auto
Room for two people and two medium large dogs as well as some storage.
Interior has to be comfy as it will be a daily driver as well.
Needs to be able to hold its own 4WDing. The places I go are usually fairly easy but there are a few sections of steep, loose rock tracks and 600mm vertical drops and climbs that it needs to navigate without damage.
Solid in construction but parts need to be readily available if something does go wrong.
I would like to get well under the 15l/100km around town driving. It would be also nice for that figure to come under 10 when on the highway.

After considering all of these I have come to the conclusion that the MU is right for me.

As far as my research goes, the MU was imported into Australia from 1990 - 1996. It had the petrol 2.6, and turbo diesel 2.8 and 3.1. Both auto and manual available on all models.

I have also read that the 3.1DT (electronic indirect injection) likes to get hot and blow head gaskets when not inter cooled or turbo timed.

The 2.8DT has mechanical injection (varying in power depending on year) and seems to be the most stable.

Is this accurate and if so, am I better off finding a 94 2.8DT auto rather than a newer 95-96 3.1?
Lamoo
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Re: Buying a 'new' MU

Postby geeves » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:31 pm

since you want auto you should really look for the 3.1 Very few of the 3.1 mus are electronically controlled but the head issue is something to watch out for. Also watch out for a turbo that whistles when you turn off the key.
The 2.8 is an excelent motor but doesnt mate well to the auto unless you dont mind a little longer to accelerate. it would give the better ecconomy but in both cases 15l/100km would take some very aggressive driving to reach My 3.1 wizard which is basically a 5 door mu is doing arounf 12l/100km round town and can be coaxed to below 10l/100 open road 11 is realistic. the 2.8 though in my bighorn/trooper/jackeroo with 5 speed will easily go under 9l/100km open road best is 8.3 I have got it to above 20l/100km by driving in soft sand
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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Re: Buying a 'new' MU

Postby Lamoo » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:44 pm

Thank you for your reply Geeves. I was hoping you would - you seem to be one of the gurus here.

Going slow in traffic does not concern me in the slightest, so the sluggish 2.8DT would be fine.

But, If you believe I can control the head issue with the 3.1 and its power band is better suited to the auto, then I will have to consider this also.

I guess, If I can find a 'low' km 3.1 that has had I/C and turbo timer fitted, I can assume this engine is far less likely to over heat. Although there will be times that this engine will sit idling for periods of time in the blistering North Queensland Summer.

After all the head issues I've read online about the 3.1DT I am hesitant to purchase one. The slightly extra power and the flatter torque curve in the 3.1DT is appealing though.

OMG why is this so hard? ;)
Lamoo
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Re: Buying a 'new' MU

Postby geeves » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:34 pm

your biggest killer is that only 285 Mus were ever imported into Australia A significant number of these are no more so your pool of available trucks is somewhat limited. How many are auto????If I was looking for a mu for off road use my dream would be the 96 - 98 wide body version as it has longer front cv axles and articulates better but at the same time parts are more limited. Heads are an issue on the 3.1 but nowhere near as bad as the famous toyota 2lt engine. Mine got a new head just shy of 200k as a crack test showed the starting of cracks when the head was removed to fix a couple of broken manifold studs. Turbo timer helps the head a bit as does intercooler but the best thing is a big bore exhaust to get rid of the heat.
I would grab the first Mu that comes your way that is in serviceable condition
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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geeves
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Re: Buying a 'new' MU

Postby Lamoo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:36 pm

Wow. Only 285. that was a lot less than I expected. Were they brought in by Isuzu?

I must admit, they are certainly not as common as commodores but I do see a few around now and again.

This wide body version - is that a model we did not receive in Aus?
Lamoo
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Re: Buying a 'new' MU

Postby geeves » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:38 pm

All used imports from japan. There are effectivly 3 models of Mu. Gen 1 started with a 2.6 petrol and covered ute back but dropped the petrol engine for the 2.8 diesel and hardtop. Gen 2 is the 3.1 but this got a facelift in about 96 with a new dash and rerated susspension and a plastic flare on the guards. Gen 3 Im not sure any made it to Aus. These had a coil spring rear a choise of 3.2 petrol or 3.0 diesel. This was the famous for all the wrong reasons 4jx1 which had magic power and ecconomy but no one could fix if it broke. Also a different body which was much the same as the Holden Frontera which only ever got a 2 litre Opel/vauxhal engine in Aus although other engines were available in the Opel badged version in Europe.
Sanding your knuckles before starting work can help. That way you cant skin them
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geeves
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