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1987 300GD
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

I'm a relatively new owner of a 1984 LWB 280GE. My wife is an Aussie and we're moving from Washington DC to Canberra in the next few months, and I'm thinking about bringing my G with me.

Due to it's age, import regulations won't be a problem, and I don't care that the steering wheel is on the wrong side!
My concerns have to do with replacement parts and having it serviced, etc. Also, I've admired G wagens from a distance for years but have never put one through any serious tests. I welcome anyone's comments (especially G owners Down Under) on how well the G does in the Aussie bush, and whether you have any concerns about using an "exotic" vehicle in remote places.

Cheers,
JD
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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3,504 Posts
Congrats on two counts!

On the move to Oz and on the G. I can't comment about use in Oz, but as far as a dependable vehicle for use in remote areas, in my opinion, there's nearly no better than a 280 GE. About the only prefered vehicle would be a 300GD, just on general principle that the diesels are somewhat simpler (no electronic ignition system) and the better fuel economy the diesel affords.

But as for petrol vehicles for use in the outback, the 280 GE is an excellent choice. A fuel pump, ignition coil, and "spark box" for the ignition system will pretty much cover your "mission critical" spares list so you can't be stranded. My G has covered 300,000 miles all over the globe, near 100k of it around the US in my hands and I've traveled to some pretty remote areas with never a worry about getting home.

Keep it properly maintained and you'll get many many happy years of service.

-Dave G.
 

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Registered
230 G BGS 300G TDI
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965 Posts
I have driven Gs for 26 years both military and civilian, I have driven them in some of the most inhospitable environments you can imagine, I wouldnt think twice about taking one down under and don't worry about the wheel being on the left, they all drive down the middle of the road any way, you will see why when you get there.
Add to that spares list one set of front wheel bearings and a couple of belts. and that will see you through just about any thing.
Good luck cobber.
 

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Registered
300GD LWB 1985, 300GD LWB 1988
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73 Posts
Hi JD,

Good to hear that we have another G fan heading to Australia. The bad news is that you may have some problems registering your LHD G for road (or off-road use) This will depend on the specific regulations within the Australian Capital Territory but you may find that it is only vehicles over 25 years old that can be registered for use with LHD. (I hope I'm wrong). You have probably checked this out but here is a good place to start.
http://www.dotars.gov.au/transreg/vsb/vsb_10.htm

As far as handling the forests, deserts, beaches and mountains, you will find the G a very worthy drive. The only real problem is the lack of resources here. While ARB and other aftermarket stuff is "dime a dozen" there is nothing specifically made or available for the G so you need to work-out what will work. While all benz parts are readily available (usually with a week or so wait)they are expensive. If you use the well worn Link to price and availability of parts you can convert it to Australian dollars and multiply it by 200%.

This is not to dissuade you though. Even if bringing your vehicle does not work out. I hope you will search out another G when you get here.

Enjoy

John
 

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Registered
1987 300GD
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Love the feedback - thanks!

I haven't read anything that says LHD will be a problem, but I'm still researching...

Please keep suggesting spares I should bring with me from the US. Also any G owners in Aus who would like something from the states may feel free to contact me; I'm not paying for weight, so if there's space in the container I will consider requests to bring bits over.

Meanwhile, here are pics of my new G!



 

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Registered
300GD LWB 1985, 300GD LWB 1988
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73 Posts
Hey JD, your G looks great.

I still have concerns about you bringing a LHD vehicle here. I cannot find anything on the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) site but as a guide the Victorian (where I come from) regulations state that the vehicle must be 30 years old before being considered. http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrpdf/rdsafe/vsi 18.pdf

Unfortunately, I would think that this will be similar throughout Australia.

I am trying awfully hard to think of things that I need from the US but can't think of anything at this stage. Give me a few suggestions and I might take you up on the offer!

John
 

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Registered
1992 300 GDL
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268 Posts
You can't register a LHD vehicle in Oz. If you search under Australian design rules you can find a place to send you a copy.You will notice they constantly refer to "if a LH to RH drive conversion has been done...".
Quite a few US vehicles are in Oz and they are all RHD converted.
It's a nice looking G you have but I'm certain you won't get it in.
 

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Registered
1987 300GD
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've sent out the working dogs. My Aussie classic car friends, who have plenty of experience dealing with this sort of thing, have come back with some tangible info on the subject.

It is possible to import any car more than 15 years old into Australia without restriction. However, most states require that all vehicles less than 30 years old be converted to RHD, with a few exceptions. This is a recent flip-flop after a period when some states allowed cars in the 15-30 year range to remain LHD. Other states, such as NT and WA, have looser regulations but that's not where I'm headed!

(Insert explicatives here)

So, anyone want to buy a nice clean 280GE?

Cheers,
JD
 

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230 G BGS 300G TDI
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965 Posts
What a huge huge dissapointment that must be. I feel for you.
And this from a nation who were one of the biggest users of the Alvis Stalwart outside of UK, where the steering is in ....the middle.
 

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'91 G300D SWB Manual, '99 ML320 7 seater
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827 Posts
Skenties - 4/20/2005 12:27 PM

I've sent out the working dogs. My Aussie classic car friends, who have plenty of experience dealing with this sort of thing, have come back with some tangible info on the subject.

It is possible to import any car more than 15 years old into Australia without restriction. However, most states require that all vehicles less than 30 years old be converted to RHD, with a few exceptions. This is a recent flip-flop after a period when some states allowed cars in the 15-30 year range to remain LHD. Other states, such as NT and WA, have looser regulations but that's not where I'm headed!

(Insert explicatives here)

So, anyone want to buy a nice clean 280GE?

Cheers,
JD
Well, don't despair, JD. With the cash that you'd get for your very nice-looking G you can buy a very decent RHD G in the UK and have it shipped to OZ. We will hate you for it, but hey, you can't make everybody happy, can you?
 
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