Buying advice

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wormscoffer
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Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 30 Mar 2008, 16:32

Hello all

My apologes for only being able to communicate in English though I have vacationed in Poiana BraÅŸov some time ago and have very fond memories of the people and region.

I'm hoping someone can offer me some advice on the purchase of a vehicle.

The intention is to take part in the Plymouth Banjul rally, which will be at the end of the year. The event is charitable and the vehicles are donated to good causes to be auctioned.

http://www.plymouth-dakar.co.uk/

I'm therefore looking for a very cheap vehicle that is simple and easy to maintain and will cope with the drive from the UK, through Eurpope to West Africa.

After some research I suspect that an ARO 24 or possibly an ARO 10 would be suitable. I have my eye on a couple of vehicles here in France that are on eBay.

Any comments and suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks

Andrew


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Re: Buying advice

Post by vstef_is » 30 Mar 2008, 16:49

Hello, and welcome!

ARO vehicles have seen some "Desert action", including Races such as the Pharaoh's Trophy, or even Paris-Dakar (though, naturally, they were heavily Modified). However, there were also stock vehicles doing expeditions, or just vacations.

My personal pick would be an ARO 24, simply because it's bigger, tougher, more reliable, and allows for better engines, than the classic Renault 12 engine (1.4 litres, petrol) and you can pick Diesel as well as good and reliable petrols for 24 (such as the L25 - Campulung petrol engine, 2.5 litres)

The Egyptian army/government still uses some very old AROs M461 (which do look classic), and they are known as "Ramses" and renowed for their durability and the way they cope with the desert.

Here are a few questions, to get started.

How many seats do you want/need? Want a pick-up? A cabrio? Petrol or Diesel? Then we can discuss 10 vs 24 and different engines.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by georgenis » 30 Mar 2008, 17:39

My advice is to look for other 4x4 car because in thousands of kilometers you will certainly have problems with Aro and the parts are hard to find in your way.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by vstef_is » 30 Mar 2008, 18:08

Since I got an ARO 243 made in 1978 a few months ago I've made ~2500km with no real problems - except the radiator fan belt broke, and I got it replaced - it was 2 Euros, and not originally made for ARO - just a standard automotive rubber belt. Otherwise, it's true I've invested care into the car, changing rubber bushes, seals, etc, but everything I've done was meant to improve the car - as it was working just fine when I got it. Also, I should be on the lookout for a new battery, as the one(s) I have are rather "weak". Otherwise, I got my share of having to change one lightbulb (changed both), and now it seems a taillight needs to be changed as well. The engine runs strong, I've done some work to the clutch (tried to change the pressure plate with a different model, but gave up as it didn't work out, so put the old one back in), the gear box has no issues, the diffs are a-o-k... and I can't complain. Oh, I've had the oil changed (plus the oil filter)... and done some additions such as a CB radio, and soon to arrive a set of new rims plus tires.

The car hasn't seen just tarmac, but forests, mountains and dirt roads as well. I'd recommend it for this action (but I'm not selling :P), as a good car, that won't let you down on the road... A 24 in good condition is not a bad bet, IMHO... Though, I must admit, I would actually avoid getting a 10 (like georgenis had), although I've seen good examples of nice 10's, it's my personal subjective impression they don't tend to be as reliable as a good 24.


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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 30 Mar 2008, 18:30

Some quick and helpful replies already...thanks!

One of the rules of the event is that the vehicle should cost no more than £100. Another rule is that rules are meant to be broken. As the vehicle is auctioned off at the end of the trip a comprimise should be made between the money I can afford to "throw away" on a vehicle and a combination of what will fetch a decent amount for charity when auctioned and survive the trip.

Other 4x4 vehicles may be preferable but we're setting ourselves a budget of 1000€ for the vehicle. Two seats are required though when the desert is crossed there is a high likelyhood of some competitors breaking down and needed to share transport to get out.

Diesel is preferable and LHD is mandatory. The vehicle I have in mind on eBay is a French version called the Forester which I think would be the 244. It has the 2.5L Peugeot engine which I'm assuming would be fairly easy to service and obtain a few spares for the journey.

Buying any vehicle on eBay without having the time and money to go and visit is a gamble.

I can post the link for the one I have at the top of my list if anyone's kind enough to take a look and give me their opinion.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply so far.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by vstef_is » 30 Mar 2008, 18:37

I have a 244 with a 2.5TD Peugeot Engine... it's the same engine as the one in Ford Scorpio, or Peugeot 504... Not a bad engine, though especially in the desert you have to pay close attention to the COOLING. If it has the original cooling installation without any improvisations and problems - then it's ok. If the cooling system has been "home-made" or otherwise modified, pay close attention to over-heating. Mine had a "home made" electric fan - which could NOT cope with the engine running on a cold night... I had to pay constant attention, and dose the effort of the engine, do frequent stops, allow it to cool etc. Being extra careful I haven't had problems. However, it's my opinion the Peugeot TD engine is more prone to overheating than the classic Romanian tractor engine - "Brasov" D127 (which is the one I have on my 78' 243). I was able to run without the radiator fan belt on the engine (it broke, like I said) for about 5 miles, on a hot spring day, at noon, in traffic. With a thermostat set at 85degrees, it barely reached 90! All with just "natural" cooling - i.e. wind blowing in the radiator. Maxim (a member from Siberia, Rusia) who has a D127 engine on a 243 is running WITHOUT a fan. He doesn't need to. Albeit, it's cold in Siberia.

Please post the links and we will tell you whatever we can.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 30 Mar 2008, 19:06

I have just received the phone number for the seller so any pertinent questions that I need to ask I would be appreciated.

4X4 ARO Forester 24 moteur peugeot 2,5L. TD


Cheers

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Re: Buying advice

Post by tudop » 30 Mar 2008, 20:31

That car has some rust problems for sure, but for a cuple of weeks of usage it won't be a problem... Next, are the electrical problems... there will be a lot of theese... looking at the pictures you can see it's missing a tail-light but its the same as the ones on Citroen Axel.. if you need to replace it.  If you need 4x4 traction, you shoud check the free wheel hubs, also the drive shafts... it should be checked for steering problems also.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by georgenis » 31 Mar 2008, 11:24

[RO] - Ce pret avantajos are! Motor Peugeot, blocant spate...

[EN] - What a good Price! Peugeot engine, locking rear diff
Last edited by vstef_is on 31 Mar 2008, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 31 Mar 2008, 15:24

Georgenis - thanks for the translation. I went in search of an on-line translation engine and it didn't work very well.

I'm really wondering whether to place a bid not being able to visit and view. Also considering Lada Nivas which it will be easier to get spares for I suspect.

???

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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 01 Apr 2008, 01:24

Bought!

1140€

Would have liked to have paid less but isn't that always the case. After speaking with the vendor he seemed genuine and I decided that it was worth taking a gamble.

Thanks for the advice and replies to my questions.

I'll probably be back when I need more advice as I try to get it roadworthy.

Cheers

Andrew

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Re: Buying advice

Post by vstef_is » 01 Apr 2008, 02:41

Congrats! Hope you're happy with it, and it won't take much to make road worthy!

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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 11 May 2008, 00:08

Greetings!

A quick update and request for info.

The car has been on the drive for about a month now. I managed to give it a good pressure wash a couple of weeks ago to remove most of the mould and today I've spent my first full day "fettling". The French paperwork has been completed and sent off.

It's a long time since I've worked on a car. I used to do a lot of work when I was younger on several Cortina 1600E cars including engine transplants and body repairs. It's so nice being able to crawl under a car without having to jack it up and stick your head in the wheel arch without slicing your neck on the bodywork.

The chassis looks to be solid and I'll be able to easily repair most of the bodywork rust. The tailgate hinge mounting points will need to be prefabricated though! The engine starts first time and sounds very sweet though I've not driven it far enough to know how the transmission is.

I'll be putting a website together soon for the rally for which this vehicle was acquired and will post it here for your amusement.

The electrics are pretty poor so I'll be losing most of the stuff that's not required like the heated rear screen, rear wipers, and electric windows e.t.c. and probably rewire the lights and ignition.

I'm concerned about the rear springs that look to be horizontal. It seems that an extra leaf has been inserted to try and improve this.

Is there a source of information anywhere on any of the component systems that can be substituted? I seem to recall seeing somewhere that the rear axle was from a Ford model but can't remember where and may be mistaken. Are the brakes proprietary or common to some other vehicle?

There's also a service manual on eBay but it's rather expensive and I wondered if anyone had scanned one that was available in electronic format?

The biggest danger that I can foresee is not wanting to give the car away at the end of the rally for charity. The more time I spend on the vehicle the more I think I'd like to keep it!

Thanks

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Re: Buying advice

Post by Misi din Cluj » 11 May 2008, 16:31

There is the repair manual, for Aro 24:

http://www.pedros.cz
http://www.pedros.cz/Aro/A240RepairHB.pdf
Gaz 69 AM -1962; Aro 10 Mk1 - 1980

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Re: Buying advice

Post by wormscoffer » 12 May 2008, 12:19

That's a big help.

Thanks.


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