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Cars that go Forever

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  • Cars that go Forever

    When setting up your permaculture property you will need some kind of vehicle to haul all the building materials etc. The key here is to find a car that is technologically simple, reliable and that you can repair yourself- literally a car that will run forever. I remember when visiting David Holmgren's property he ran an old Ford F100 utility truck on LPG to haul gear, while the Volvo stationwagon sat idle in the garage.
    Cars that make the shortlist are the legendary Volkswagon, the Peugot 404, the Indian Ambassador by Hindustan Motors, and even the original Ford Model-T.
    Of course I personally drive the highly fashionable 1981 Mitsubishi Sigma Station Wagon, still going strong!
    "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit beneath."

  • #2
    I drive a not so flash old hilux.... I'd been looking for a ute for some time trying to decide what type to buy when I came across a video about trying to trash a hilux done by topgear motoring show..

    Very funny and interesting video can be seen here http://youtube.com/watch?v=nD0UVI99R8Q It convinced me to get one....
    http://www.backyardaquaponics.com

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    • #3
      Peter,

      LOL about your Mitsubishi!

      Dr J, That video is hysterical! I love it! But sort of a sad way to kill a nice truck.... :? doncha think?

      I think a hilux is about as "go forever" as most people will ever need. I own a 96 hilux with a half a milion miles on it, it runs fine. It will haul as much stuff as you can load in it, and it runs, and runs, and runs, and runs. Give it oil changes now and again.... it just goes.

      We MMRF has a flash hilux, 2002, with some bells and whistles (comfy, in a rough, utilitarian kind of way, as compared to the 96, which is rough and utilitarion in a rough and utilitarian way), and it is as reliable and wonderful as the 96, though I like long ditance driving i the newer on as it is a bit more comfortable...

      Either one of them will go just about anywhere.

      My vote, such as it is, would be Toyota Hilux. Also the diesel engine has run ion straught, untreated and unheated veggie oil for a tank or two when diesle was scarce....
      http://www.mmrfbz.org

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      • #4
        The Hilux is a good candidate for a lot of reasons; it's mechanically fairly simple, and because there are so many of them, a lot of parts can be found at the wreckers. The 4wd is up among the good ones, too.

        I've spent a lot of time (and money) on old Holdens over the years. The utes, up to the WB, are still among the best ever in my book.

        Some years ago, a workmate had an EJ (1963, Grey Motor) that leaked & burned all its oil. He decided to run the motor to destruction before swapping it for another. He drove it for weeks with no oil in it, and it was still running (but making a few noises) when he took it out. I think a mate rebuilt it, and it's probably still running, 25 years later.

        It's a shame they're so polluting, or I might still have one, myself.
        We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden. - Joni Mitchell

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        • #5
          Ahhh. Covet. I need a tough vehicle soon both for my own project and for a start-up permaculture business. I think they might be the Tacoma here in Canada. I think the Tundra is basically the same thing. Am I right?
          http://www.ecoedge.ca/

          http://permaculturetokyo.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Well, I think the tundra has a bigger engine and so on. they are both toyotas. I am looking at a tacoma right now, out the back door of the kitchen, as a friend left it with us while he is on hols in thailand, and I know, because I have borrowed it in the past that it can only haul about one half of a yard of cinders before it feels like it is overloaded. Of course it gets better mileage than the turbodiesel f250 parked beside it, but the f250 can haul one and a half tonnes at a stretch...
            they say that the newer toyotas have gone to pot since they started assembling them in the USA, but if you get a pre2000 model it will probably go to 300 000 miles...
            I have a wheel barrow that cost $50 and is pretty cheap on fuel (seems to use a lot of bananas) that must have about 5000 miles on it by now. It is by far my favourite vehicle!
            caretaking 14 acres of ridge and gully land at Huelo, Maui. 400-500 ft above sea level
            wet tropics/subtropics

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            • #7
              Douglas,

              Tacoma is similar, but different engine, different chassis. My mechanics buddies tell me the Hilux is built stronger.

              The Tacoma will go faster than the hilux, which tops out at about 70mph/120kph. Does the Tacoma come with a diesel engine, now? If not, that is one of the biggest draws of the Hiluux, a nice strong engine that runs on diesel.

              Richard, the wheel barrow is, of course, better, buts its range anmd payload are limited to the strength opf the engine!

              C
              http://www.mmrfbz.org

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              • #8
                Oh, I see I misunderstood Douglas's question.
                Is another difference that the HiLux has the flatbed with the fold down sides? You don't see that on American trucks nearly as much as everywhere else. Don't know why, it is a great idea, and every yank I know who has seen them loved them...
                caretaking 14 acres of ridge and gully land at Huelo, Maui. 400-500 ft above sea level
                wet tropics/subtropics

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                • #9
                  vehicles

                  My neighbour had one (with the drop down sides) and sold it to buy a motorbike.
                  I know nothing about cars, but had thought a second vehicle one that I had observed was incredibly useful for hauling all sorts of bitz of stuff might be a possibility at the right price.

                  Not wanting to be too keen or too much of a sticky-beak, I thought I'd wait to the weekend to mosey over and have a non-committing chat over the the fence.

                  Huh! Some joker drove past, saw it, did an immediate U-ey, didn't even try to negotiate on price. As he only had $50 in his wallet he left that and a credit card as a holding deposit, came back that evening with his brother-in-law and the cash and was gone, or so I am told......
                  guess as a small truck it WAS as good as I thought it might be.....
                  The History you were NEVER taught in school:
                  Oil War 1: 1914- Britain thwarts German Berlin to Basra pipeline.
                  Oil War 2: 1939 Germany, Italy, Japan seek to solve their oil deficiency.
                  Oil War 3: Cold War: US v USSR: Clash over oil sales to Europe

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                  • #10
                    Technically nothing will really run forever because the oil wells will eventually dry up! And even biofuel spews CO2, so it's not so good for the, er, 'warming trend' we're starting to feel! But I'm all for the 'run forever' sentiment! My current motorized transport is a '66 Volvo- stupidly simple, foolishly rugged (I guess the Swedes were slow to catch on to the concept of planned obsolescense), I get about 30mpg(us), and amazingly I can still get 95% of the parts for it NEW! Thinking about converting it to run on LNG or CNG to cut down on the emissions. My girlfreind and I are looking for some land (just had negotiations on a perfect perma-site fall through when, apparently, a developer came along...), and so I've also had my eye out for some sort of work truck. Sadly, here in the land of GIANTS, the small, practical truck doesn't seem to exist anymore. The Tacoma is hardly 'small,' especially in it's latest incarnation, and they're hot stuff and so command high $$. Every other jackass in the US is charging around in an SUV or (empty) pickup! Not much hauling power, but an old VW Caddy with a turbo diesel done up to run on bio would be perfect to me, but they're like hen's teeth now. I don't know if you could even find a Toyota with a diesel engine in it here at all!

                    Maybe a horse and cart is the way to go- something that runs on unprocessed 'biofuel' and instead of polluting the air, gives off fresh manure!
                    Tom

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                    • #11
                      Ah yes tom...if only volvo made a ute I would be happy......I did contemplate making a volvo wagon into a ute but it seemed like sacrilage so I didn't.....
                      kathleenmc......yes......we......can

                      http://permaculturedearth.blogspot.com

                      http://www.lusciouslandscapes.com

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                      • #12
                        Tom,

                        Toyota never introduced a small sized pickup with diesel engine to the US, tho Isuzu did with the Isuzu Pup, which has the absolute best diesel engine ever made. They run and run and run. I owned three of them, one after another. The engines are STILL running, though the chassis all cracked. They were produced until 1986, when they were no longer marketed to the US.

                        The Pup also came with 4wd, but extra or double cab were not options, which is what the Hilux offers!

                        The Tacoma is a good truck (its a Toyota!) but i wish they would introduce one with a diesel engine so I could convince my dad to get one when the Chevy retires....

                        Kathleen, Volvo makes a ute! http://www.volvocars.us/models/xc90/ I bet they are not cheap, though!
                        http://www.mmrfbz.org

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                        • #13
                          That's not a Ute.
                          THIS is a Ute: http://www.abc.net.au/dimensions/dimens ... 779287.htm

                          More on the Ute here: http://www.fpv.com.au/index.asp?link_id=4.249
                          We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden. - Joni Mitchell

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                          • #14
                            I doubt that any vehicles made today qualify as "cars that will last forever". Most are literally disposable consumer items; not even worth fixing after a few years.

                            This has been a concern for some time (they don't make 'em like they used to, y'know), and an article from the first issue of mother earth news makes the point well, I think. And we thought guzzleen was expensive then!
                            http://www.motherearthnews.com/Alternat ... That_Could

                            For my own, I also lament the slow, strangling death of craftsmanship. So, anyone out there interested in collaborating on a steam powered Ute? :lol:
                            We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden. - Joni Mitchell

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                            • #15
                              I have a wheel barrow that cost $50 and is pretty cheap on fuel (seems to use a lot of bananas) that must have about 5000 miles on it by now. It is by far my favourite vehicle!
                              Did I write that this morning? Just this morning? Well, tonight I ran over that wheelbarrow with my biodiesel truck as I tried to manouver in close to dump a big pile of mulch. Completely totalled the wheelbarrow. I would take a picture and post it but I would probably vomit trying to take the picture I am so annoyed at myself for ruining such a good wheelbarrow.
                              I would be too embarassed to share this with you if it wasn't such a magnificent irony. I can't believe I DID that! :evil: :cry: :oops: :shock: :lol:
                              caretaking 14 acres of ridge and gully land at Huelo, Maui. 400-500 ft above sea level
                              wet tropics/subtropics

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