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2001 G500
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everybody!

First off, I need to comment on how great this forum is! I have learned so much about the G-Class through all of your interesting stories and conversations.

I am in my second year at the United States Air Force Academy and this summer we are finally allowed to have cars! Ever since reading an article comparing the G-Class and Range Rover in 6th grade, I've been hooked! I return home on Christmas leave this next week and recently saw this '02 500 for sale back in SA (I think they're asking around $27K):

http://hovey-motorcars.ebizautos.com/webdetail.aspx?iid=5996814

I've heard some scary stories about the '02-'03 models.... Would there be any true way to check if it's a lemon or not? I'm planning on actually viewing it this Wednesday.

Also, the Europa G-Classes seem pretty good... Is it possible to find one (with airbags) around $25K or less?

Finally, after graduation I plan to serve a number of years in the Air Force... For you military/frequent relocation people out there: would this be a practical car? How easy is the maintenance? I grew up working on 1930s Ford V8s and the DIYs on the forum do not seem impossible...

Thanks!!!

Christopher
 

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03 G55
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178 Posts
02-03 G's should have all of the issues worked out by now. What I'd check would be service records and number of owners. You don't want a truck thats swapped hands a dozen times, as there's going to be something driving owners from it. Check service records for repeat visits for the same issue (I wouldn't look @ minor mechanical issues, like window regulators, as they're prone to failure by design).

For a DIYer, the Europa G's are a more sensible choice, as they dont have nearly all the electronics that the 02+'s have, but, they are much harder to acquire by reason of an extremely limited supply.

I looked for a Europa truck for 6 months before giving up and settling on the one I bought. An aquaintance is an MB master technician and his advice on my decision still holds. He told me I'd probably never have an issue with the M113 engine or the military grade drivetrain, but, "creature comfort" electronics can be and are the vehicles achilles heel.
 

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1978 Chevy Chevette "Sandpiper"
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19 Posts
UPT Class 88-04 Sheppard AFB (14 months)
Combat Survival/SERE Training Fairchild AFB (2 weeks)
Water Survival / Ejection Training Homestead AFB (2 weeks)
Combat Crew training Castle AFB (7 months)
Difference training Carswell AFB (1 month)

Just making the point that it took me two years and six moves 'till I even got to my unit. And then I trained for another six months before being assigned a position in the squadron / or a crew...not much time to enjoy a "G" (plenty of time to enjoy a POS VW)

Better to wait 'till your at your first assignment where you can get something local. In four years you can get a 2005 G for $25K or a 2008 for $40K

Get a 4WD "beater" now for $10K which won't cost an arm and a leg to repair (or $120/hr to "STAR" diagnose at a dealer).

Just my $.02
 

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As fellow military member (currently deployed) and fellow military Academy grad (USNA), I agree with the above post. You are going to be moving a lot most likely in your first couple years. I'm almost to my 9 year point. I've moved three times in the last 18 months and now I'm deployed. I paid $750 for my current ride. Thinking about a G when I get home this time. I recommend you look at '95-'97 or '98-'02 Toyota Land Cruisers in the $10-15K range to start off. You pretty much can't go wrong with one of these vehicles. Wait until you get promoted in a few years and are a little more stable to get the G. There will always be plenty of nice ones around and then you'll know for sure if you want to take the plunge or not. It took me 3 different Land Cruisers to realize what I wanted out of my 4x4. Now I'm in a position to make it happen.

(edit) Just re-read your post and realized you are going to be a Junior next year (can't remember that actual term for you guys, we call them 2nd Class). Definitely wait on the G. I know that feeling when everyone starts getting their shiny new rides. I personally would not want one without a garage to park it in every night. I would highly suggest buying a cheaper 4x4 if that's what you want and waiting until you graduate to make the G purchase. You have plenty of time. That's my $0.02.

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