1978 ARO 243 3.1 diesel
Good off-road performance vs no on-road performance
A heat hose from a supplemental heater (not originally installed by the factory) got severed, which impaired the cooling system's operation (water leaks). I bypassed it and continued.
The fan belt tore off, as it was very old. I continued without the fan to the nearest shop, got a new one, and installed it.
The engine starter (which was not original, rather an adaptation) malfunctioned, and I had to service it.
Otherwise, believe it or not, no other problems.
Extremely noisy, with a lot of diesel vibrations, and a lot of torque for that matter. (which is a good trade-off in my opinion).
The independent front suspension is surprisingly comfortable on-road, provided that all the bushes and springs are in good condition, however it's not as reliable off-road as a live axle would be.
The clutch needs some tuning from time to time, but otherwise being hydraulic it operates very well (if properly tuned) and copes with the engine's torque.
The drive train is very sturdy, I haven't had any problems with it, and wheel travel is good in stock version.
Overall a competent off-road car at a very low price - the downside of which is regular maintenance (some grease here, some oiling there, some tweaks somewhere else, etc).
I'm looking to get several more.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd February, 2009