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rinty

4 Wheel drive

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Full disclosure - ex-caravaner seeking  advice!

 

Im now towing a horsebox and pony most weekends with a BMW 330d. Trailer weighs about 900kg and the pony a further 450kg (ish).

so no issue with towing weights.  Issue is that at many equestrian centres when the car park is full , parking is diverted into the nearest field. Slightest hint of rain and I don’t think that the BM will be going anywhere. Also I’m a bit precious about the car and throwing saddles, bridles etc etc in and out of the boot is inevitably marking the bumper - never mind huge horses wandering around it.

so thinking of getting an old 4x4 for weekend towing duties. For some context I’m thinking maximum of £3k.

im trying to understand the difference in varying 4 wheel drive systems. My understanding, and I hope that someone can confirm is that at one extreme you have shoguns and landcruisers and at the other X3/5 and xc 90’s. The former have selectable 4 wheel drive the later just do their own thing.  On the shoguns etc can you lock the 4wd or could you still have 1 front and 1 back wheel spinning?

 

also Kia Sorento s are well thought of by caravaners. They have switchable 4wd - is it similar to the shogun/ land cruiser type?

 

finally I used to have a Suzuki Grand Vitara (mid 2000’s model). Fantastic little car and technically up to the job - just looks a bit small.

 

any thoughts or info welcome.

 

 

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One of my sons current girlfriend used a 2009 Honda CRV 2.2 petrol for towing a horse trailer with one horse in it to events etc. When my son bought a horse as well she changed to a 2007 Touareg V6tdi which they've been very pleased with over the two years they've owned it. Think she sold the Honda for about 3k and reckons the VW would now be worth about the same. 

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24 minutes ago, rinty said:

 My understanding, and I hope that someone can confirm is that at one extreme you have shoguns and landcruisers and at the other X3/5 and xc 90’s. The former have selectable 4 wheel drive the later just do their own thing.  On the shoguns etc can you lock the 4wd or could you still have 1 front and 1 back wheel spinning?

 

You are basically correct, but it's not that simple.

Yes, there are traditional 4x4, such as the LR Defender and its predecessors the 90 and 110, with diff locks and low ratio box, all manual.

But, there are loads of other arrangements, most "just do their own thing" but in several different ways, different ways of distributing power to the axles, automatic diff locks, 4 wheel traction control etc. 

Your £3k budget will limit your options quite considerably and you may have some difficult compromises to make. At that price you would be looking, almost certainly, at pre 2010.

To get modest mileage and good condition you will likely have to avoid the prestige brands and go for something like a Vauxhall Antara. To get a prestige brand (BMW/Volvo/LR) you would be looking at high mileage vehicles that have been worked hard. With the likes of Mitsubishi, Kia and Hyundai in between

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Most 4x4 use traction control to brake a spinning wheel.

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If I was in your position towing a horse box I would buy a Discovery 2 TD5, that will tow anything safely and you could pick up a fair one for that money. They do go wrong on occasion but they are very fixable by a competent diy'er

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Thanks

loads of old xc90’s , x5 etc out there - high miles and mid 2000’s.

was also considering a double cab pickup such as Navara, l200 or Isuzu rodeo.

disco 2 are available at this price but I’m put off by the endless stories about poor reliability ?  They also look a lot older (in design/shape terms) than any of the above

 

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If all that's to be towed is under 1400kg,is there any need for a large, heavy vehicle? Something like an Xtrail, CRV, Freelander etc. etc. would be cheaper to tax and run whilst having AWD for those muddy fields. A set of appropriate tyres would help as well. 

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As you already have a 3 Series what about a  BMW 3 Series with X drive.

 

Alternatives are Toyota Rav4, C or E Class Merc with 4Matic AWD.

 

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Buy an old Shogun, my sister ran the same one for 26 years and it never let her down.

You can run them in 2WD, 4WD, engage low ratio, central and rear diffs. A muddy field won’t be any dramas.

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1 hour ago, Tigger said:

Perhaps a Toyota Hilux surf?  Essentially a landcruiser underneath.

 

This is a new import, but there are plenty around https://www.algysautos.com/listings/toyota-hilux-surf-ref-nc3406

We have 2 Surfs with the KZN engine and they are probably more reliable than any more modern Landcruiser.  The price for a 1996 in the ad is way beyond what any one would pay for that year.  The earlier models with the 2.8l engine should be avoided like the plague due to heads cracking.   

We have also had an auto 2013 Shogun and while it is an ultra reliable go anywhere vehicle, it had a very heavy fuel consumption and when towing we were very lucky to see 18mpg.  Average was a about 17.2mpg.  We traded it in for a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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For 3k any full sized 4x4 is going to be well used. And a big gamble on getting a good one or a money pit. 

 

At that age, modern traction control isn’t likely to feature, so you’re looking at mechanical systems. There’s loads of variations, full time 4x4 on Landrovers with centre diff locks, selectable 2/4wd, centre locks and possibly rear diff locks on shoguns. 

 

Pickups and Vitaras are part time 4wd, with no centre diff lock so shouldn’t be used on hard surfaces in 4x4.

 

without traction control most will still allow 1 front and 1 rear wheel to slip, you need axle lockers to prevent that. Some cars will have rear lockers, none will have front ones as standard, if they aren’t  used correctly, you can’t steer. At all. 

 

Smaller 4x4s like the Freelander use traction control to engage the 4wd when needed, having had a couple and used them extensively off road, don’t discount them, they are much more affordable and give amazing traction. I’ve seen my old Freelander 2 outperform the Mountain Rescue team Defender in snow, several times. 

 

A set of All Terrain tyres will transform any of them over road tyres on slippery fields, while still being very usable on tarmac. 

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4 hours ago, AndersG said:

Most 4x4 use traction control to brake a spinning wheel.

Now, yes, but at the age the OP will be looking at to fit his budget there was a lot of variety.

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4 hours ago, Fireman Iain said:

 

Pickups and Vitaras are part time 4wd, with no centre diff lock so shouldn’t be used on hard surfaces in 4x4.

 

without traction control most will still allow 1 front and 1 rear wheel to slip, you need axle lockers to prevent that. Some cars will have rear lockers, none will have front ones as standard, if they aren’t  used correctly, you can’t steer. At all. 

 

 

My Old 2003 V6 Frontera 4 x 4 came fitted with an optional "Limited Slip" rear differential which proved excellent on both normal roads and/or slippery terrain snow etc.

 

In my early rally days I once fitted a "Limited slip" diff' in a Mini Cooper but had to remove it after only one rally as the car consistently tried to drive to the right, leaving me with aching arms trying to hold it in a straight line all night for over 200 miles! 

 

You only learn the hard way!         :D

 

Vin Blanc

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Having owned two X-Trails (2005 & 2011 models) and having been happy with both, I would say it's worth considering one if you're happy with mileages of 85000+. 

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17 hours ago, AndersG said:

Most 4x4 use traction control to brake a spinning wheel.

Not quite true most AWD in the last 10 years have used a Haldex clutch which is essentially a viscous coupling on each axle to distribute power to the wheel with the most grip accordingly. 

Edited by Pembssurfer

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14 hours ago, rinty said:

Thanks

loads of old xc90’s , x5 etc out there - high miles and mid 2000’s.

was also considering a double cab pickup such as Navara, l200 or Isuzu rodeo.

disco 2 are available at this price but I’m put off by the endless stories about poor reliability ?  They also look a lot older (in design/shape terms) than any of the above

 

 

The older XC90’s are famed for their prodigious thirst! 

 

Andy

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Thanks for all of the thoughts , views and opinions.. not sure what to do.  Have a 2007 mini for my son and daughter which is a bit of a money pit - live in fear of the engine management light ! Don’t know if I can face the risk of another 4x4 ‘money pit’

 

where do you find one of those shoguns or landcruisers that people day that they’ve had for 20  years and only ever changed the oil 😀
 

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16 minutes ago, rinty said:

 Don’t know if I can face the risk of another 4x4 ‘money pit’

 


 

Any mid sized or larger 4x4 in the sub £3k price  range is in danger of becoming a "money pit"!

 

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My Discovery 4 has just reached the end of its warranty period so all trousers now at local seamstress for pockets to be made deeper.

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16 hours ago, Tigger said:

Perhaps a Toyota Hilux surf?  Essentially a landcruiser underneath.

 

This is a new import, but there are plenty around https://www.algysautos.com/listings/toyota-hilux-surf-ref-nc3406

Pretty sure they're more Hilux than Cruiser at the age, price range OP is looking at. 

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7 hours ago, Pembssurfer said:

Not quite true most AWD in the last 10 years have used a Haldex clutch which is essentially a viscous coupling on each axle to distribute power to the wheel with the most grip accordingly. 

I have Haldex and traction control on my car.

 

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10 hours ago, Pembssurfer said:

Not quite true most AWD in the last 10 years have used a Haldex clutch which is essentially a viscous coupling on each axle to distribute power to the wheel with the most grip accordingly. 

 

 

The Haldex clutch engages the rear prop shaft to provide drive to the rear wheels. 

 

The AWD traction control uses the ABS sensors to detect a spinning wheel and distributes power to the wheels that still have grip. The early systems may have braked the spinning wheel, the current ones, on Land Rovers at least, don’t. 

 

The more I think about the OPs needs, just towing a horse trailer on fields, the more I think he should choose any 4x4/AWD that tickles his fancy, fit AT tyres and he should be fine. It’s not like he’s proposing any hard core off-roading. 

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