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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, hope I can get some experienced members here to help me. :liebe011:

While I am a newbe to this forum, I am not a newbe to off roading or to mechanics, I'm old motor head that used to rebuild my own engines & transmissions, so I am mechanically inclined, and used to drive a camper / motorhome towing a boat all over the Baja peninsua & the beaches of the Sea of cortez for fishing, where if you broke down, you either repaired it on the spot yourself with bailing wire and a prayer, or didn't come back.

I am in Costa Rica now, moved here 10 years ago from Canada, and I just took over three Eco Lodge projects that will require that I have a min van type vehilce that seats 7-9 plus luggage (as these projects are Eco-lodge - Nature-Adventure Tourism based and we'll have to transport clients from Airport to whichever of the 3 Eco Lodges in the mountains or jungle), but also has turbo diesel for economy with torque, as I will occasionaaly tow a light 18 -20 ft boat or trailer with 2-3 kayaks up steep mountain highways, and then final requirement is true 4x4 capability, though not anything like the rubicon or the likes.

So everyone tells me a Starex 4x4 Turbo Diesel with manual transmission made between 2000 and 2007 fits the requirements, but no details as to why or what is the best model

So I need help/advice as to what to purchase, I am not sure of the different models, engines or transmission options
(5speed, is there granny or 4 lo?, diff locks available, etc.) do the 4x4's all cary a specific code (SVX or GRX) does the 4x4 only come in a 9 passenger, what is the most powerful turbo diesel to look for, and "special models" that would be the 1st choice, etc.

I will end up making what modifications / additions necessary to make it the best tool for the job, lifting in slightly, snorkel for river, suspension / tire modifications, chip for the diesel for more torque, etc

Use would be 60% on the various highways and roads in Costa Rica that a normal 2 wheel drive can navigate, 30 % on the many very muddy and deeply rutted roads during rainy season where you need basic 4x4 "hi" including driving thru rivers as much as 2 ft deep, and then 4x4 hi and low, 6% on muddy areas where there is no defined roads, including the beaches, and 4% some very light (not much angle) 1st gear/granny lo rock crawling in true remote 4x4 areas.

So any and all help and advice is appreciated, what model, what transmission/transfer case to look for, and also what to be wary of, even links of vendors that sell the Starex 4x4 add ons recommended, etc.

fyi, I will create a project blog that references this site, or post on this site the entire before and after and experinces and what I learn for the benefit of other members as well.

Cruz in Costa Rica :beer:
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