Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

altair
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Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby altair » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:49 pm

Looking for input from you guys who own or have owned Bighorns. The 3.1 model from say 1992 onwards to about 1998ish when they changed to a 3.0 litre.
How are they for towing, power wise? Currently have a 1995 Mistral with 155km on it, but with a ton and a half of wood behind it it struggles to hit, and stay at 90km/h in third, 3200RPM. Have done all the usual stuff including replacing injectors, services etc but the total lack of power really annoys me. Its okay round town but open road its hopeless.
Love the look of Bighorns so wondering if they are considerably more powerful than the TD27t? The Bighorns seem to be a "hated" 4WD by many, not sure why?
Any weaknesses in the Bighorns, things to look for when purchasing? Would love a manual but pretty rare. Also what sort of kms do these diesels do normally? A lot for sale between the 2-300,000km mark.
Any opinions appreciated..cheers.

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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby Pj_Marsh » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:14 pm

I've got a '96, auto 3.1td. It's been a solid truck for the last 3 odd years ive owned it. I drive from Palmy to Northland about twice a year minimum and its always been a dependable and economical vehicle for the trip. Sits on 100kph just fine, doesnt get there quickly but its a lwb and generally loaded down with everything plus the dog. I've towed a few car trailers with it and its not quick by any standard, decent hills drop it down to 80kph. Offroad its capable and you can get '31's on it without modification. I had a problem with a leaky turbo manifold gasket which wasn't easy to fix but other then that, great truck.

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muddy
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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby muddy » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:33 pm

Had one for 13 years. 1994 3.1 diesel auto. 160,000km when we got it, now over 400,000km. 2 x timing belts plus ball joints, brake pads and wheel bearings. Oil change every 6 mths and still going strong. Had a turbo whine for the last 150,000km but no loss of boost. Just recently developed a power steering groan so due a new pump. Cost less than $500 per year in maintenance. I reckon they are a way under-rated truck. Great value for money cos they are cheap but well built. Done quite a few shiny 4WD trips and are surprisingly capable offroad. Really good articulation in the rear end, but front IFS lifts a wheel pretty easily. For towing with the auto it does need an extra trans cooler but it's an easy fit. No rocket-ship, but it's a good torquey engine that pulls well. Tows our 16ft caravan with no problems over the Takaka hill, or up the Wairau Valley through St Arnaud to the West Coast. Likewise no problems through SH1 along the Kaikoura Coast and Hundalees southbound.
Similar age Pajero's are also worth considering. Also well built und cheap

BlakeNZ
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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby BlakeNZ » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:25 pm

have you considering putting a bigger down pipe/exhaust on the mistral and upping the boost?
Also note the intercooled models have 25% more power than your model. Add a top mount intercooler and a bonnet scoop to feed it?
Or buy a 1996 onwards 3.2 diesel terrano?

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Suza
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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby Suza » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:36 am

WE had a 91 Bighorn LWB with the 3.1, all in all it was a great wagon. Much more comfortable than my current Safari with a heap of interior room. We used to tow a lot with it as I sell firewood on the side and no big issues. Without a trailer and loaded with the family on extended holidays it was not a race car but sill didn't hold anyone up either, with 2 ton of wet beach behind it I thought it went well as you would expect it wasn't the fastest thing on the road but still quite respectable.
In the 10 years we had it I had to do the head but that was my own fault radiator got clogged with mud and it over heated, you will hear lots of horror stories about the heads on the 3.1's but from my observations all the more modern diesels do heads.
The only reason we changed to the Safari was because we were pushing harder and harder stuff off road and when I went to 33's it just kept breaking tie rods, steering idlers and doing bushes.
I am currently looking to replace my wife's corolla and we have been talking about getting her a 3.1 Bighorn as it was cheap to run provided you drove responsibly and very comfy

altair
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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby altair » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:01 pm

Thanks guys, they sound okay to me.

If I get one it will be a grocery wagon 99 percent of the time, but when I tow wood I need something that can keep up with traffic. The Mistral is totally inadequate to tow with..feels like its hooked up to Ayers rock.

BlakeNZ I haven't thought of this mod but not really interested, would rather just have a more powerful wagon, thanks all the same. I'm about to delete EGR and clean out manifold etc, as a last resort..

Thanks all.

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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby BlakeNZ » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:04 pm

they are a little bit gutless. Some td27s apparently have a mesh screen in behind a banjo bolt on the fuel pump. This can get clogged up, and rob lots of power. Simple clean (if your one has it) and maybe worth a look. (much quicker than removing the manifold to clean, and the EGR blanking can be a bit fiddly.)

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nivaman
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Re: Bighorn owners, your thoughts please?

Postby nivaman » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:40 am

Good truck but as others have said it is no rocketship.
Before you start towing, invest in a bigger exhaust system (2.5 or 3 inch) egr delete, bigger turbo and a replacement air filter element wont go amiss.

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