WHY BUY SECONDHAND
Have you ever considered what you want in a Dream car and what you can get in your Dealers showroom? Well you can have your type of Vehicle built to your specifications and if done properly should last longer than a new Vehicle while being cheaper to set up. While this is not an article on how to build a show car, it is meant to show you how you can build a highly effective Vehicle for the fraction of a cost of a new Car. Interested? Read on.
Lets take a 4*4 as an example, which will set you back an easy 100 000 bucks New. OK so you shop around for a 2índ hand unit with little rust and no major dings and most importantly no frame breakage costing 10 to 20 Grand. From here you can tow/drive it to your performance shop or do it yourself. One important word of caution, beware of bargains as they can bankrupt you in the end. Before laying down hard cash make sure what is broken or needs repair (who cares what is right, since you want to fix it anyway, Right?). Then set up a plan on converting that "thing" into usable property, using Rands and cents to make up your equation. If it seems worth it, buy it. Again make sure that your plan does not take to many bargains, helpful friends and other loose variables into account.
The vehicle gets stripped totally at first and the frame sandblasted as well as the body being stripped from paint. Your axles can be rebuilt and Diff Locks fitted. Your gearbox can be rebuilt or exchanged for a more suitable unit i.e. Automatic. The Engine too can be rebuilt and updated, or a more powerful/economic unit may be fitted. Of course all the accessories should be overhauled, as skipping these minor items can be a major Headache later on. The chassis as well as Axles and gearbox can now be coated or galvanized, whatever you choose. Thereafter you can bolt the body onto the chassis, with polyurethane mounts of course and get it sprayed with that color you always dreamed of. Please donít forget such mundane chores as replacing/rebushing door hinges etc. Thereafter an aftermarket quality suspension should be fitted and the engine plus gearbox and axles bolted in with uprated mountings. The loadbox can also be customized as in Flatbed or Fleetside. Remember it is your imagination that is limiting you. Then fit the seats of your choice as well as a custom dash with instruments of your choice. Finally if Aircon and Sound was not up to your standards from the start, that too can be replaced with quality units. Of course there are many more small things to consider but the completed project should take a competent shop 1 to 2 months and will give you new car looks, smell and most importantly features that you could never buy of the floor to start of with. The good part being that it could cost 1/2 of a new car (depending on your wishes of course). Of course the above also applies to 2*4ís though the end price is normally not so far of that of a new car. But remember that if done properly that customized dream machine should also be more durable than the new vehicle!
This should give you an idea what can be done and what to consider before laying out your lolly. Make sure to work according to your needs and not according to your chequebook, as I have seen far to many unfinished Rustbuckets that have swallowed tons of money. Remember what you pay for now; will reward you in the Future. If you decide to shop work out, please see to it that a reputable person does the Job, and that you get some form of warranty. Forget those Friends that will "help you" unless of course they have ample experience in the field. Professional shops normally will not accept Butchered jobs and if they do, believe me it will cost.
If you decide to do a rebuild as suggested, ask questions. "Vra is vry" and professionals will normally give advice freely. If possible, look at other peopleís projects and find out where they have gone wrong. Be realistic, Fiberglas will not rust, but it does break easily and therefore has no use on a Plaasbakkie. Diesel engines are far more expensive than petrol. Discontinued or rare vehicles are no start to a utility vehicle, trust me International 1 ton truck parts are not "volop" and just because you can pick up a Holden 308 for a song does not mean that you can use it. Avoid peoples unfinished project vehicles (unless you are a master craftsman, in which case why are you reading this ?).
Other peopleís eyesore can be your salvation. Just because the "wreck" is standing underneath a tree doubling as a "hoenderhok", does not mean it canít be saved. See the possibilities. "Opgeroeste bakwerk" is just another synonym for future "platbak."
The following vehicles are favorite for rebuilds, so knowledge and parts are available:
Land Cruiser ideal for that V8 swap, and Diesels have excellent frames
Hilux is more of a light duty vehicle but parts abound and are cheap
Safaris are tough but unrusted vehicles are getting hard to find
Jeep has a lot of do it yourselfers out there, though you will have to do research
Isuzu can be converted to 3.8 Buick but is costly due to a weak gearbox.
Land rover has weak sideshafts the electricís are "the king of Darkness" but if you stick with a weak motor they are unbreakable.
F 250/100 parts are getting available again, but people are holding onto their treasures
C20 and similar need import parts but can be surprisingly cheap to build
B 2600 and Couriers are good for some mild work
Using theEngine Conversions Article, you should also be prepared in choosing a suitable Engine. With this I wish you "Happy Building".