Late last year I sold my old 7.3 (2000 model, 4x4 SC/LB, ZF-6) that had 307,000km on it. I had only just replaced the clutch, ball joints and a few other things, and she was a good truck. Although, I think the injectors needed to be replaced soon.
The reason I sold it was because living o/s I am allowed to take a vehicle back to Aus when I move back there if I own it and use it for 12 months overseas under the Personal Import Scheme. While the vehicle has to be RHD still, it skips a whole lot of the other red tape and BS that you need when importing a vehicle, and so works out to be a bit cheaper. It didn't make sense to throw 30-35 grand at a truck to convert it to RHD and ship it over to Aus, if it would only be worth 40-50 grand when it got there, so I sold it to get the newest truck I could afford, which look like they are selling for 140-150k over there.
I looked at all the options (and brands - even if I am a Ford bloke), and in the end it came down to a 2010+ Dodge Ram Cummins manual, or a 2011+ Ford 6.7
I liked having a Cummins (could get parts in Oz), having a manual, and they are much easier to work on than the cluster that is under the bonnet of the modern Fords, but the truck had a bunch of other shortcomings from what I read, so stuck with what I know. Found a used 2012 6.7 locally with 60,000 km on it that had a good price, and bought it.
The trucks have moved on a lot since the 2000 I owned (same mechanically as all the trucks sold in Oz). It rides a lot nicer, the engine and whole truck is really really quiet (sits at about 1500rpm at 110kph), it has no turbo lag, and on the hwy I have been averaging between 11-12l/100km. Steering and brakes are much better too. The electronics are pretty impressive, navigation, 9 speaker sound system, climate control, rear diff lock, heated and cooled seats. Although its a lot more to go wrong too, but short of a Range Rover, I don't know of a more comfortable offroad capable 4x4 in Oz. I definitely miss having a manual, vinyl hose out floors, and the while being quieter, the 6.7 doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the 7.3. This truck (a short bed) only has about 90l usable in its diesel tank, which is useless.
Since owning it, I have tuned it, fitted a straight pipe and removed the emissions systems (DPF, urea injection and the EGR), and according to the tuners dyno sheets it should have very close to 500 hp and 1400Nm at the rear wheels now. My bum dyno suggests it might not be quite that much, but it will light up the rear tyres on a dry sealed road at 60kph
I plan on lifting it 2" front and rear, and fitting slightly larger tyres on it once I wear these ones out, and have a few other changes planned too.
My parental unit will be flying over to the US to do a 3 month trip up to Alaska in it with a camper on the back to test her out.
As I go through the Personal Import and RHD conversion process towards the end of this year, I'll share the info here in case you guys ever go down this path.
My crappy memory told me that it was different to the grey import RAWS scheme, and what you have read supports that. That's great news as going through the RAWS is hellish and the vehicle would have to be bone stock to get through.
I think all our importation laws are crazy, and to be honest the Personal Importation Scheme is the only sane way to bring a vehicle into the country (there isn't another country in the world that has vehicle importation laws like Oz - and part the reason I think vehicles are so expensive in Oz), but they have recently made the requirements quite a bit stricter.
Crazy - hell yes.
There is some hope, the productivity commission report into the auto industry just released has said that it's not viable to support auto manufacturing here, so highly likely the last player ( Toyota) will shut shop. But they also said that personal new and grey imports should be opened right up, possibly not to the open slather that NZ has though.
It will be nice to be able to parallel import any new car you wanted.
Brad, you were spot on about Toyota shutting shop!
It will be interesting to see how it plays out. The only reason it won't go open slather like NZ is that vested interests in the dealer network/s will lobby the Govt to keep taxing grey imports so as to protect the dealers current situation.
Yeah Simon, I agree it won't go open slather, my prediction is the current RAWS system and paperwork may be relaxed or streamlined somewhat.
The current dealers/importers would still have the advantage of factory direct supply and price, and factory warranty support.
Parallel import means you are now just pitting local dealers against O/S dealers and paying the freight etc.
Locally, well Ford were only selling one platform into a limited market, so that was never going to last. I predict they will shut early, even as early as end of 2014. They already have supply options to replace the Falcon & Territory.
Holden - they don't own the platform and importing the driveline from the US to fit to a local stamped body, then trying to export the driveline and body back to the US wasn't ever going to be cost effective. Since they pulled the Chevy badged product out of Europe there is a heap of available supply capacity in the Daiwoo factory in Korea which is earmarked for Aus. The next large sedan is apparently a Chinese design / build GM item. I predict Holden will go early as well, probably 2016 as they need time to tool up the US plants for the commodore platform.
Toyota is the sticky one, with so much of their build being exported they would need time to fill that from elsewhere, but seing they already make hybrid camrys in other plants it won't take them too long.
I used to think we should or could make specialist Natural Gas vehicles here as we have the supply capacity, but then yesterday I read that the Chinese are now paying such high prices for NG that the supply is all heading there now and we are actually in shortage in our own domestic system what a sad day!
Just to update this. About 3 weeks ago I submitted my papers to DOTARs, and received importation approval under the personal import scheme. Requires a bunch of paperwork, but now it is an online application and its a relatively cheap (~$60) painless process.
Once in Aus, I need to get a compliance plate made for it.
The truck is now at a workshop here that specialises in converting these vehicles. I'm told it will be a 6-8 week process to complete. Also plan on increasing the fuel capacity - for which I have an idea, we will see how it works out and I'll report back.
A few more changes to the truck as well. Fitted Bilstein 5160 shocks, Bilstein 7100 high mount steering damper, Firestone airbags with a wireless controller and airbag cradles, also a Viair on board air kit. New tires are required to register the truck in Aus too. I hope to have it over there before the end of the year.
Another thing Adrian, you said your new vehicle that you bought 2nd hand had 60,000K's on the clock. Was it a Canadian truck then - with K's on the clock? As I thought all the US units would be in miles rather than K's.
I do remember though on my one trip to the US, which was last century, to Seattle, my friend had a Ford T-bird, when we cross the border into Canada he pushed a button and hey-presto, all readouts where in K's! Maybe the new F series has the same feature.
It was 40k miles when I bought it, I just said Kilometres, coz I that's what the real world works in
The new trucks odometers can change between miles/kilometres (and other associated data tracking, like l/100km instead of (US)mpg) with a setting on the dash. The Speedometer has kmh already on it too - although mph is indicated with larger numbers. I'm not sure if the conversion process involves changing the speedo fascia to just have kmh - I had 500 questions for them, and forgot to ask that one.
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