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My 1st Prado

Which engine should I choose?

  • 1KD

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5VZE

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1

gdietz

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Well it will be... I am currently looking to import a 95 series Prado from Japan to Canada. As this vehicle is rarely seen on my local roads I thought it best to reach out elsewhere and see what other opinions there were from other Prado owners.

It really boils down to the 1KD D4D engine OR the 5VZE (which I am not sure was offered in parts of Europe). I have done as much internet scouring as I possibly could and still come back to the same dilemma no matter what I read. Diesel vs. Petrol. On one hand I know the petrol version will likely require less maintenance and care as the D4D engine does. Sourcing injectors was also a concern of mine in the eventual need to replace however they can be found but for a fair price. Luckily the 3rd Gen 4runner is in abundance here so finding cross referenced parts is a breeze.

Its primary use will be my daily driver as well as I am hoping to pull a small built up utility trailer (1500lbs) with rooftop tent. I will be occasionally driving over mountain passes so having a bit of power would be nice. Living in western Canada we do get some cold snaps of -25C but its usually around -10C on average.

Any and all opinions welcomed!
 

chadr

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Hello and welcome,

Out of the two engine options, I would opt for the 5vz-fe for a few reasons (I'm not biased, honest! :yum:)
It's a very reliable and robust engine and will easily go on to mega miles with basic maintenance.
Availability of parts and servicing - it's a very common engine option in North America and there are various Toyota models fitted with it, so will be very familiar to most garages.
Fuel is (relatively) cheap so not really a deciding factor.

Personally, as well as Japan, I might also look south of the border in the US. They don't have Prado's but there are many Toyota models that might suit - such as 4Runner or Tacoma /Tundra pickups. Firstly, they'll be LHD, so no issues or hassle with toll booths or car park ticket machines. Also they were available with the TRD supercharger option, which solves any power and torque requirements :icon-wink:
If you can source one from a Southern state, they're usually rust free too.

Good luck!

:thumbup:
 
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Bob

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For me the main reason to go for the petrol engine, is that the 1KD is a very rare motor on the continent of North America. Now you can import stuff bit it will be costly.

Having said that, a well maintained KD will run till the apocalypse. (I am biased in this regard, but I have run this engine to mileage most here might never reach).

As you say, cross reference for suspension/driveline parts is easy with the 4runner. Could you source one in South America? The steering wheel would be on the correct side, plus they built the 95 down there until about 2008 - Meru in some markets.
 

AdventureWagon

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5VZ was used in the 3rd gen 4-Runner and other US models of the era like the Tundra so you'll have bags of places to get parts for that.

The 5VZ is a bit fuel hungry - about 16-20l/100km but if you only use it for trips away etc then it's not bad.

With basic maintenance you can easily get 500,000km plus out of either engine.
 

gdietz

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Thanks for the replies and suggestions! Really appreciate it! My assumption was that the 5VZ would be the one on top.

@chadr I have looked into importing from South America but its harder to find companies that import. I like your point about the abundance of parts in NA. That certainly is a factor! Interesting about the TRD supercharged options. I know another Prado owner who has used a pedalbox and OEM chip to get more power and less turbo lag out of his D4D. Says the change is mind blowing!

@Bob Thanks for chiming in Bob. You are definitely not biased ;) I really do want reliability out of this vehicle. You are correct in saying parts are not as easy to come by. Sourcing parts for my diesel 5L has been a breeze thanks to Megazip, partsouq etc. Parts for the D4D seem to be plentiful but you are correct they can get pricey and you are waiting for parts to come in. Can you speak to the regular maintenance that the D4D requires?

I currently drive a 4wd Hiace with the 5L engine and have gotten used to the RHD and don't mind it. It is incredibly easy to get vehicles from Japan and if I was really bent on having a LHD I could potentially look to Korea or Taiwan as I believe they are both LHD.

@AdventureWagon Thanks for your input as well! This is the exact info I was hoping for. I have heard the V6 is a bit of a fuel hog which ya as my daily driver and adventure platform is not as ideal but the payoff is worth it I think. Can you speak to towing in regards to its power? Would it be okay to tow a small trailer, say 1500lbs?

Thanks again gents!
 

AdventureWagon

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I tow a 1000kg (2200lbs) camper trailer (Jayco popup) with mine and have the auto tranny. Generally it tows fine and makes city fairly easy. Highways are also easy with cruising at 90-100km/h ending up at about 2500-3000rpm. Country roads especially hilly ones you'll want to drop manually to 2nd at below 60km/h - it will stay in 3rd otherwise until about 30km/h. Having said that once you shift to 2nd and get the revs to over 2600rpm there is enough power for long steep hills.

With only 3 gears when towing there are 2 points where acceleration on hills is not the best, 40km/h and 80km/h. The 40km spot is mitigated by the 2nd gear shift but there's nothing you can do about the 80km one apart from wait until you get to a speed suitable for 2nd, or don't get there in the first place, i.e. stay at 90 or higher.

You aren't going to win any 0-100 times towing but it will feel like a sports car after you unhitch it.

I have a transmission cooler fitted in line with the radiator one but one thing I have found out the hard way is that it's very easy to overfill the tranny. I just drain and fill mine with the Toyota recommended 2 litres now and then just a small amount more until it reaches the dipstick. Note I'm just a software guy who messes with his cars not a mechanic in any way! However a mechanic and a trans place I took it to both overfilled mine IMO.

One other thing is that the manual for mine at least says you can't use cruise control when towing. I am not a great fan of it anyway as it's a little too savage for my liking.

My experience towing has all been for camping trips where the car is also stuffed to the roof with a toolbox and few bits of mine and 99 suitcases of wife stuff she never uses so we're usually a decent part of vehicle payload. If your trailer is just for DIY store hauls then I doubt you'll even notice it there.
 
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gdietz

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@AdventureWagon Thanks for all the info!!

I definitely am not looking to win any 0-100 times. I just dont want to be getting passed by any Westfalia's :tearsofjoy:. My guess is my trailer will be roughly the same weight once its loaded with gear (Bikes, tents, packnplay for the kids etc). Hoping to get an awning and rooftop on the trailer at some point in the future as well. We certainly pack light but its easy to pack on the lbs fast.

The transmission cooler fitted inline is a great idea and thanks for the tip on the tranny gear. Do you have a Prado specific hitch or is it a modified 3rd gen hitch?
 

AdventureWagon

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Mine is a Toyota genuine Prado towbar with 2 inch hitch receiver. I just use a standard 50mm ball hitch on it as that's what most trailers here have. The trailer is an on road model so would not take it off road otherwise it would be like the top gear caravan challenge!

Most 4WDs and a lot of cars here have towbars but a lot of people leave the hitch in place. The guy that had mine before I got it did that and it was really rusted in place. I also wanted to use a bike rack with it so had to get a replacement from a local 4WD wreckers. So when you are looking make sure it doesn't have the hitch in it or ask to see a pic of the hitch removed.

No idea if the 3rd gen 4-Runner hitch will fit but the Prado one has just 4 big bolts that go into threaded bars you put in the chassis so it's pretty simple.
 

Bob

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The KD just wants routine maintenance. The only thing in the engine to watch for of you went that route is the suction control valves on the fuel pump. Pretty much indestructible other than those. Diesel and manual will always win for towing heavy loads for me... no issues with overheating the transmission. But at the weights you mention, that won't be a problem. (I've hauled 4500lbs from Ireland to the South of France at sustained motorway speeds, and it didn't blink).

I have no experience with the petrol, but I only hear good things about them.
 
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