Which is better: Little for old, or lots for new?

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • Afternoon all!


    Once again I've spent my Sunday day dreaming about getting a bigger van. I've been thinking, what's better... spending around £1500 on a 2002-2005 van with more miles, or around £5000 on a 2008-2010 van with fewer miles?


    I also know of a nice condition 53 plate LWB hi top Boxer for sale for £350. It's £350 cos "it was running perfectly, then all of a sudden stopped." Apparently it's a part ex that the garage owner just wants to get rid of now.


    I reckon any van purchase is a risk, new or old, so I think if the body work and general condition is OK I'd rather pay for an older van and then spend more on getting things fixed. That way I at least know that I've put new parts in and had problems fixed rather than someone else promising me they have.


    What do you all think?

  • Much depends on your situation and what you need from it; if you need an immediate daily runner then that boxer obviously doesn't fit the bill if you pardon the expression. If, on the other hand, you have the time, knowledge and tools to tinker, then maybe it is right for you. £350 though? Sounds almost terminal... Only you can make the decision! Toby

  • It's all just speculative at the moment as I'm awaiting a decision from work which could see me on a plane next week and sent off back to NYC for a few months. If I do go, I will be back in the UK in September and will have about six weeks off work to buy a van, fix it up, convert to full time live in etc.

  • Always a dilemma and one Ive faced a few times but from experience I would prefer to go with taking your time and finding an old one in good nick and thats got relatively low miles...they are about if you look...ex fleet vans like ex post office who dont hang on to their vans a long- same as BT -and have gone to private drivers who use them as second vehicles or dog van. I bought my 2001 ex post office LDV Convoy van in 2008 with 43000 miles on the clock privately and it was perfect with full service history.


    The big problem with newer vans is the technology they employ to comply with enviornmental regulations and while you could buy a much newer van its most probably loaded with expensive electronics and theyre not really DIY fixers unless you really know what youre doing.
    Failures in those systems can cost a thousand or two easiliy -maybe more than the vans worth- especially if you have to rely on dealers to supply and fit parts- and many systems are so geared to prevent home mechanics doing it themselves.


    As much as theyre nice to have, unless you have a really good income its best to keep things simple as possible and avoid vans with overly complicated electronic management systems electronic traction and brake control, turbos,air suspension, air con and other expensive gizmo's.
    Ask yourself what you want from the van and how important all the fancy stuff is to your way of life.The primary role of our vehicles is a home -or towing our home in my case- speed and sophistication is usually secondary or bordering on irrelevant.. If its not essential then avoid it or it will likely cost you some time down the line...always good to have the income to not have to worry about such things ever, but not many of us are in that position and cirumstances change and when you suddenly have an expensive dead van and not much income you may wish then youd bought something less sophisticated :)


    I would tend to avoid most of the second hand van dealers also..theyre in it for the money and as much as they can get,they buy them cheap at auction and flog them out at a premium, theyre not going to tell you the expensive faults lurking in the van nor want to deal with you once when youve bought it.
    Ive bought most of my kit second hand off ebay and other sites from decent private sellers over the years and so far not yet had cause to gripe about any of it.

  • That's really sound advice, thank you. I was actually thinking as I posted this that I'm not bothered about electronic "conveniences". My brother told me about his work van - 53 plate swb low roof trannie - and the electric pedals etc etc and he says it's a nightmare. I've had problems with electric windows in the past and can't be bothered with it all really.


    I'd much rather have a simpler van than a fancy electronic one. Suppose we can't really avoid the electronic gismos etc on newer vans....hmph.


    I'm also quite wary of dealers... my best mate recently bought a Connect with all its service history and a three month guarantee -- and she paid a fairly big chunk of money for it -- and so far she's had to replace the battery, alternator, brake pads and discs, timing belt, filters and leads etc. and a load of other things just to get it running properly. And now she's got the hassle of the warranty paperwork too! Suppose there's a risk wherever you buy..


  • I also know of a nice condition 53 plate LWB hi top Boxer for sale for £350. It's £350 cos "it was running perfectly, then all of a sudden stopped." Apparently it's a part ex that the garage owner just wants to get rid of now.


    What do you all think?


    Run away and dont look back ....if the dealer cant make money repairing it its going to be an expensive repair.Mercedes are usually bombproof with their engineering but when they go wrong youre talking silly money with at least £100+ per hour labour plus parts.Basically he's selling it at scrap value and thats about all its worth.... the old saying 'if something looks too good to be true it probably is' ...yeah.just forget it.

  • I agree totally with nomadicrt. I have an ldv convoy with the ford banana engine with no software or electronics whatsoever. You don't need 'em and will only cause headaches when they fail, which thy will on an older vehicle. While this necessarily means going for an older vehicle, you have. Fighting chance t least of a roadside repair.

  • The biggest problem with electronics is the built in immobiliser.
    I have had two separate Transits where the immobiliser has 'worn out' and the replacement part has potentially cost more than a replacement van, so they have both been sold for scrap value.


    My current van is an 02 plate Transit, and assuming that it gets through this years MOT, I will be looking to replace it with something much, much older that does not have the dreaded PATS bomb fitted. Potentially a Mark 5 banana engine with the immobiliser removed. Assuming that it has a full and regular service history.


    :beard:

  • Buy a horse


    Neighhhh lol.


    The biggest problem with electronics is the built in immobiliser.
    I have had two separate Transits where the immobiliser has 'worn out' and the replacement part has potentially cost more than a replacement van, so they have both been sold for scrap value.


    My current van is an 02 plate Transit, and assuming that it gets through this years MOT, I will be looking to replace it with something much, much older that does not have the dreaded PATS bomb fitted. Potentially a Mark 5 banana engine with the immobiliser removed. Assuming that it has a full and regular service history.


    :beard:


    Loved those bananah engines rock solid bomb proof things they were

  • The problem is even tho the engine is bomb proofish, ive broke a few in my time. The vans there in are far from rot proof n good ones are getting hard to find, read any post from me or dots46 about rust on our trannys. The newest one your going to get will be 15yrs old n most need welded every year for mot time. £500 a year seems to be about the price of welding n even if you underseal them the rust is still started on the metal

  • just get an old merc. my merc commercial dealer dosnt charge 100 pound an hr, and parts are not expensivelike people think, pre 96 no ecus& computors.and they are reliable.

  • Should I be avoiding the TDs then? Sorry if that's a silly question. I'm learning!


    Sorry no, didn't mean to worry folks. I am not sure what engine the TD is to be honest. It has some basic electronic control, more than the banana but nothing like new vans. I think the fuel pump can be a problem on the TD sometimes but others may know more about them. The real bonus I find with the TD in my short wheelbase is that it drives really well where as banana engine is a little more steady, especially on hills I found.

  • The banana diesel engine is very simple, straightforward and does indeed last forever, which is why Ford fitted the immobiliser which fails with no warning, rendering the entire engine worth less than its weight in scrap!
    (Full of oil, see. Got to be drained and cleaned before we can melt it down sir.)


    :beard:
    Who just watched for the love of vans and saw a Beautiful Mark 1 Transit. :wub:

  • W plate 1999 smiley transit with banana engine. PATS system.
    It lost the key code four times over the course of its last year.
    Reprogrammed the pump control.
    Until it couldn't be done any more.


    The transit owners club said it could be rebuilt without the immobilser, but nobody was willing to come and help do it.


    So it went to scrap.


    Current 02 plate Duratorq has PATS too, currently on its second key.
    And it can't be rebuilt (allegedly).


    Wanting a Mark 1 or Mark 2.
    Seriously simple!


    :beard:

  • I love the old transits.. mk 2 wa always mine I had a petrol v6 in mine - an ex ambulance- brilliant when fuel was dirt cheap and actaully wasnt too much of a gas guzzler...My fvourite vans were the huge old twin wheel Mercs(cant remember the model number)the old electricity boards sometimes had and I quite like the old Iveco Daily 5 tonners British gas used to have...finding one in decent condition though was another matter..most of the ones used by utilities had seen some rough treatment.

  • Mines a turbo diesel so I am totally stuffed


    Not necesarily just look after the engine, do the proper oil changes on time and when theyre done use an engine flush first to clean the gop out of them.Turbo's fail usually because the engine has been neglected or abused and the lubrication channels block compromising the turbo bearings...if you look after them properly they will lasta long time....the point I was making is theyre just another expense to go wrong and tend to be expensive to get a replacement.

  • My work vans were nearly all banana Transits, plus a couple flat packed round the back of the workshop for parts, I loved em, mega cheap to own, but gutless towing which is why we had a TD Iveco Daily tipper.


    Anyway, As the boss I wanted a new banana Tranny just after the duratorqs came out, so I picked up a almost new banana tipper for a great price, made in the last week of banana transitit production, ran it from 20k to 160k miles.


    Brakes, filters, clutch, oil, preventative timing belt were replaced , but no dealer servicing and the only failure I had was an alternator failure, which cost 120 euro for a rebuild. Fly by wire throttle did give the odd weird blip though, you would try and change gear , and when taking your foot off the throttle the engine would suddenly accelerate for a few milliseconds. Dirt cheap van to own and run.


    No rust either, but that was south of France so no salt.


    But the older ones do rust like crazy in the uk. Pre 89 or 90 ish they had iron gearboxes which are crap, and 86 or 87 had Polish steel which was rusted through before it ever left the dealers.


    You can pick up rust free LHD ones in France, but expect to pay more much than in the UK.

  • Ive never had an immobiliser on a smiley transit, sure your not thinking of thr duratorque engine fitted from 2000 onwards?


    My S plate has an immobiliser I think, well it has a flashing led when shut off. It's in the head lining. The spare headlining I have from the toureno has one also.


    I also have a red key, whatever that's for.