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  1. #1
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    Secondhand truck - thinking out loud

    No, not another 'what secondhand truck should I buy' thread - although those are very informative. I know what I want / don't want, but I need some local knowledge on specific models. And maybe some expert tips.

    So anyway, with all the help from reading this forum, the internet in general and from test driving, I've decided to buy the Great Wall 'Steed'.

    Nah, not really.

    Tossing up between the previous generation Toyota and the current generation Isuzu actually, but that's a discussion for another thread.

    First some general questions. And reading them back they sound a bit paranoid, given that honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are Thai traits we all know and admire. But go ahead, tear my post to shreds, I like that.

    (1) Is the winding back of clocks (odometers) endemic amongst Thai secondhand dealers? I simply cannot believe the low mileage of almost every truck I'm looking at (online). So many 2 to 4 year old trucks that have done under 40k, what are the odds?

    Australian consumer sites warn it is fairly easy to download software to wind back digital odometers. And these digital odometers were supposedly introduced to make it harder to wind 'em back. Fail on that one then. So I have probably answered my own question there.

    (2) I notice a lot of pretty young females in the 'owner / seller' photo on Taladrod. (The site is mostly in Thai so I'm guessing at a lot of the content btw.) Is this the equivalent of being told the kitted-out-for-off-road 4WD you are inspecting "has mostly been used as a mum's taxi and for school runs"? One 'open doors' talorod shot of an otherwise spotlessly clean Vigo even had a pink school backpack prominently displayed on the rear seat, and a fake designer handbag on the floor behind the driver's seat. Am I being overly suspicious, is it a harmless attempt at diversion, or might it be something more sinister? A case of don't over think it, just appreciate the photo of the pretty young thing?

    (3) And on the same theme, ads for trucks often have photos of them parked outside a private home, suggesting 'private sale'. But the photos sometimes have little indications they may actually be dealer sales. I think the practice of a dealer posing as private seller is called 'curbstoning' in the US, and done in an effort to offload dud cars / avoid the regulatory framework. Is this practice something to look out for in Thailand? Given that there is so little consumer protection in Thailand anyway, what would a dealer stand to gain by this? (Encouraging you to believe the low odometer reading is my initial thought.)

    (4) And one specific question - The 'old shape' Hilux, the Vigo. The four door 'G' spec seems to come in 'high rider' and 'low rider' (tall and short?) versions in the same year. Is this correct? Is there something in the model name or such that tells them apart? The two on Taladrod I spotted that were different heights were both listed as '2014 3.0G Champ'. (I prefer the high rider btw - it makes my dick look bigger.)


    Alright, thanks for any replies. We are looking to buy on our next visit early next year. Just doing the prelim tyre-kicking atm. I will prolly have a few questions thru the year, and I'll just keep coming back to this thread.

    I am aware it is far more sensible to buy new btw, but you are welcome to point that out anyway. Brand new may not be the best option for us at this point though. Besides, in the early years after we retire / move to Thailand I'll sometimes actually be carrying stuff in the back - stuff that might scratch the paintwork!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    Is the winding back of clocks (odometers) endemic amongst Thai secondhand dealers?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    I notice a lot of pretty young females in the 'owner
    Wife/gik or mea noi/yai/luang of the male owner... 1 careful lady owner sounds better than arrogant, bogan, prick owner...

    pass on the 3rd/4th questions...

    Finally, if you don't really (REALLY) need a truck.. save yourself the hassle of a rough tractor-like ride, annoying to park, etc... and buy a car with LPG... save on gas, much easier to drive/park... I hated my truck (BT50) brand new... sold it for a car, trucks are for farmers bro...

    *don't fall for the 'oh, their chassis is stronger, built to last bullshit, although some truth to it, unless you are going off-road, little difference in durability really... sure, modern trucks drive smoother than past generations, but still nowhere near as smooth as a modern car... it's tiring driving a truck, more noise, feel the bumps more, etc...

  3. #3
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    the early series vigos without too much in the way of computers and electrical systems are pretty much bombproof, and good for half a million kilos, find one with a certified main dealer service history (toyota keep records, check with them, dont believe the owner unless he has receipts )and cleanish oil. look underneath for strange looking chassis bends or welds and if it drives ok, you probably wont go wrong.

    there are good reasons they are so popular. reliability and a good dealer network.

  4. #4
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    I am aware it is far more sensible to buy new
    Not in my opinion. Big deprciation hit the moment you drive of the dealer lot.
    Specific model has some importance but proper maintence as per manufacturer spec more important.
    Not uncommon for used car dealers to set back odometer.
    Always a risk of getting a problem used vehicle but look for a privately owned expat seller to reduce risk.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZdick1983 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    Is the winding back of clocks (odometers) endemic amongst Thai secondhand dealers?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    I notice a lot of pretty young females in the 'owner
    Wife/gik or mea noi/yai/luang of the male owner... 1 careful lady owner sounds better than arrogant, bogan, prick owner...

    pass on the 3rd/4th questions...

    Finally, if you don't really (REALLY) need a truck.. save yourself the hassle of a rough tractor-like ride, annoying to park, etc... and buy a car with LPG... save on gas, much easier to drive/park... I hated my truck (BT50) brand new... sold it for a car, trucks are for farmers bro...

    *don't fall for the 'oh, their chassis is stronger, built to last bullshit, although some truth to it, unless you are going off-road, little difference in durability really... sure, modern trucks drive smoother than past generations, but still nowhere near as smooth as a modern car... it's tiring driving a truck, more noise, feel the bumps more, etc...
    Ah, you've confirmed my thoughts there re the questions, thx.

    We do need a truck - we is gonna be farmers! Your typical small acreage hobby farm / retirement plot with fruit trees and fish in the pond. Nothing too serious but we will need to cart stuff around. And we have a few KM of rough as guts dirt road to cover before we hit blacktop - some of the holes that develop would near hide a little zip zip car (OK, I exaggerate), and the road would shake them pieces in a short time.

    I got interested in the Ranger and the Navara for the better ride. The more I read of the Ranger, or the Ford after sales service more to the point, the less I liked it though, and the Navara sold in Thailand does not have the rear coil springs for the softer ride anyway. So I'll have to put up with the bounce.

  6. #6
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    ^ In that case, Toyota Vigo/Hilux all the way.. don't be swayed into buying a Ford/Mazda... Toyota is still a cut above.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    What sort of money are we looking at here?

    For 350,000 you can get a brand new Suzuki Carry but there are some good used ones around for less. Will carry (sic) most anything you want . Has drop down sides for larger objects, ground clearance will handle the rough bit to the asphalt. If the access road is really soft could use one section wider tires but... Fuel consumption is , yes, a bit high on really long journeys if not LPG because it has the aerodynamics of a brick at 120 Kph but still...

    Whatever is left over you can buy a small "town" car?
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    the early series vigos without too much in the way of computers and electrical systems are pretty much bombproof, and good for half a million kilos, find one with a certified main dealer service history (toyota keep records, check with them, dont believe the owner unless he has receipts )and cleanish oil. look underneath for strange looking chassis bends or welds and if it drives ok, you probably wont go wrong.

    there are good reasons they are so popular. reliability and a good dealer network.
    Yes, I went thru all the different manufacturers and had a few early favourites. But it always comes back to that popularity and dealer network - in Thailand. People do slag off the 'lux but as you say, the older ones were bulletproof.

    Interesting what you say re the electricals and computers. I am coming to realise all the new whizz bang features are wonderful if you can turn your vehicles over as they run out of warranty, but for a long-term hold ... nah. If I can scrape together the cash in time I shall likely get a new DMax, purely because they still have the old-tech 3.0 litre donk and not many bells and whistles. I don't normally like to buy so near the end of a generation (next gen due 2020/21 they say), but I'd treat her with love and affection and get as many years out of her as I could.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    What sort of money are we looking at here?

    For 350,000 you can get a brand new Suzuki Carry but there are some good used ones around for less. Will carry (sic) most anything you want . Has drop down sides for larger objects, ground clearance will handle the rough bit to the asphalt. If the access road is really soft could use one section wider tires but... Fuel consumption is , yes, a bit high on really long journeys if not LPG because it has the aerodynamics of a brick at 120 Kph but still...

    Whatever is left over you can buy a small "town" car?
    Hmmm, food for thought there - they're that cheap eh? I drive everywhere in Thailand at no more than 80km/h, seems there's always some dickhead ready to do something stupid in front of me. So fuel use not such a factor.

    I'd be surprised if the Suzi comes in auto. We are after auto coz the wife refuses to learn to drive a manual. I've given up trying to convince her, the reasons why will have to remain one of those unfathomable Thai woman mysteries. But a "town car" in a couple of years would take care of that. People are starting to move into the area, the roads will likely improve. Hmmmm.

    As to budget, up to B700k. Not going to spend more than that on something that is 1m or less brand new. I'm looking at four-door trucks up to around 4 years old. I was aiming for something brand new as a long term hold, but other commitments mean I'm probably going to fall short. C'est la vie.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    find one with a certified main dealer service history (toyota keep records, check with them, dont believe the owner unless he has receipts )and cleanish oil. look underneath for strange looking chassis bends or welds and if it drives ok, you probably wont go wrong.
    I missed your shopping advice there the first time. I knew of the service history but figured a log book can be easily faked by a well organised dealer. But cross checking with Toyota / whoever, that's good advice. Thank you.

    Bent chassis / recycled wrecked vehicle are two of my biggest fears. But I think they should not be too hard to spot. Get down in the dirt and have a damn good look around, then get it inspected by a reliable mechanic if it passes my own initial inspection. I've been reading 'buying a used 4WD' tips on various websites, some good advice out there. - silt in crevices may indicate flood damage for example. But bends / welds, haven't seen that advice anywhere.

    Pre-purchase inspections are common here in Oz. I'm considering hiring one of those guys to show me some shockers out there, teach me what to look for. Could be money well spent.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    I'd be surprised if the Suzi comes in auto.
    Sadly no. I didn't see that requirement.

  12. #12
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    Every trick in the trade is used here to sell older vehicles without much recourse. This is why you should always stay away from dealerships, unless buying new. I have purchased two used vehicles here in Thailand, both from private western sellers, and both are still running strong. I just apply what I have learned from buying vehicles for the past 60+ years and I am fine.

    Look for a second hand truck owned by a western one owner and make sure they have all maintenence receipts. Take it to a good mechanic for an inspection and of course test drive it on a highway and rough road. Look for any possible accident damage and weld spots. Low miles on a privately owned car is more reliable than from a dealer. Even tire wear, interior wear and tear along with undercarriage rust tells a lot.

    Mostly all common sense, but it all pays dividends in the end. Good luck.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZdick1983 View Post
    ^ In that case, Toyota Vigo/Hilux all the way.. don't be swayed into buying a Ford/Mazda... Toyota is still a cut above.

    I would recommend the Mazda BT-50 Pro above all others. What do you have against it ?

    It's cheaper and tried and tested.

    http://www.mazda.com.au/cars/bt-50/specifications/

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    I had it... it sucked donkey dick...

    Reasons: plastic interior, faux silver on the volume control, etc.. peeled off in the 1st month... terrible in the wet, sliding at the mere touch of the brakes, bumpy ride, rattles like fook, wind noise, etc...

    There is a reason why it's cheaper than the Hilux... originally ordered the Honda City, but got impatient with the 3 month waiting time.. so went with the Mazda...

    1 positive... engine is great, loads of grunt... everything else is shite... sparse and cheap...

    Yeah, I read all the reviews too... better to test drive it, compare with the Hilux first... Oh, I had an old Ranger circa 2002 turbo.. that was awesome! one of the best vehicles I have ever driven... just to balance my argument somewhat..

    Oh, and Seats were so hard and uncomfortable, hence the pillow... and no, I don't/didn't have piles lol... roads were ok, driving in Korat...




    Last edited by NZdick1983; 28-05-2017 at 02:24 PM.

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    Has anyone used the services of Siam Motor World in Bangkok? - "Servicing the motoring needs of Expats in Thailand".

    Feel free to PM me.

    And the 'old shape' Hilux, the Vigo. The four door 'G' spec seems to come in 'high rider' and 'low rider' (tall and short?) versions in the same year. Is this correct? Is there something in the model name or such that tells them apart? The two on Taladrod I spotted that were different heights were both listed as '2014 3.0G Champ'.

  16. #16
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    the high riding toyotas are either the 4wd versions or the 2wd ones named pre runner.

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    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    Has anyone used the services of Siam Motor World in Bangkok? - "Servicing the motoring needs of Expats in Thailand".
    I've been wrong before but isn't that the new "Expat Motors"

  18. #18
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    ^ Yeah I don't know, sorry. SMW are at Suk 103, Bang Na / Seacon Square area according to the map on their website.

    Siam Motor World

    'Expat Motors' does sound like a kinda restrictive name for a business.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog View Post

    'Expat Motors' does sound like a kinda restrictive name for a business.
    Well they were around for a long time.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZdick1983
    plastic interior, faux silver on the volume control, etc.. peeled off in the 1st month...
    I didn't realise it was as bad as this.

  21. #21
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    If I were looking for a used pickup I would restrict my search to reputable seeming farang who were looking to return to their country of origin and could produce a full service history manifested by annual dealer service invoices on which the odometer reading was recorded.

    I would no more buy from a Thai than I would cut my left testicle out and eat it.

    Pickups are relatively crude vehicles but the diesels are rugged and reliable - Isuzu/Toyota is the way to go.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    the high riding toyotas are either the 4wd versions or the 2wd ones named pre runner.
    What tax exile says is true. I've dragged a lot of 2wd pickups out of a bog with my 4wd Vigo. Interesting trying to explain a 'snatch strap' [stop snickering down the back] to the locals - but it opens their eyes in use!

    So, get 700k will buy you a latish model Vigo G Auto 3.0 4x4. Wife's '08 one did close to 200k km, not totally bullet proof, but not too bad either.

    BTW, my '08 Vigo 2dr manual 4x4, has less than 40k. So they do exist, but it has earned every one the hard way!

  23. #23
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    ^ I forgot to thank Taxexile for that info. (Thanks)

    So Bobfish, your wife's '08 Vigo died after 200k, or that's when you traded it in? Gotta be when you sold it, they're good for a lot more than that. Haha, might be the one we looked at in a Buriram tent a few months ago - 235k on it, B520k price tag.

    'Snatch strap' - I really hope you're not referring to some pretty young thing's g-string! (thong) Nah, know what you mean - I've seen them, never used one. If you truly 'snatch' with it, I'm guessing you don't attach it to the other vehicle's front bumper?

    'Latish model Vigo G Auto 3.0 4x4' is pretty well what I have in mind BTW. The Vigo went to 5 speed auto in the 2013 model year, so I'd be looking for something no older than that, a wee bit younger maybe. See how we go.

    Isuzu of similar age seem more expensive. Because they are the "current" shape I guess.

    I'd like a 4WD for that peace-of-mind factor. Brother in law swears we don't need 4WD coz the Amphur (?) has just gravel-topped the road right to our driveway entry, but there is a lot of truck traffic hauling dirt out of rice fields in the dry season that really chew the road up. Don't think a bit of gravel "dressing" is gonna be much help a month or two into the wet season.

    I've been asking around about Siam Motor World, for anyone that is interested. Cannot find anyone with anything even slightly bad to say about them, and several that have good things to say. Now if I can just get my wife to accept the advice of a farang we may go with them. Trouble is her brother "knows someone" that "won't cheat us". <sigh>

  24. #24
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    Snatch straps.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bindog
    I'd like a 4WD for that peace-of-mind factor. Brother in law swears we don't need 4WD coz the Amphur (?) has just gravel-topped the road right to our driveway entry, but there is a lot of truck traffic hauling dirt out of rice fields in the dry season that really chew the road up. Don't think a bit of gravel "dressing" is gonna be much help a month or two into the wet season.
    Toyota for me. Very easy to maintain, good local dealers and parts availability.

    Why forget the manual gearbox? Far less electronics to let you down and a more straightforward drive train.

    I agree a gravel dressing will soon be absorbed into the heavy truck ruts.

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