Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Anything non-technical about the Mazda Bongo Friendee van

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Aledooow
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Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:07 pm

Evening all. New to the forum.
Let me tell you a bit about my predicament.
I've been looking for a van/day van for some time after too many camping trips squeeeeeezing all our gear into the boot of our kia venga. After looking into the vito/trafic/vivaro route, I came across the beauty that is the bongo.
After researching this fabulous forum I have decided I want a 2l petrol. Not bothered about a conversion but would be a nice addition (may buy unconverted and do it myself in the future.)
I have found a 2.5l tdi (not exactly what I wanted but I'm willing to compromise) with manual transmission and still has all 8 seats. 1995 with 128k on the clock. Looks in decent nick with only a small amount of rust under arches and under radiator. Had an underseal in July.
Van starts 1st time and drives lovely, but does splutter alot on start up.
I have no car or mechanic knowledge.
Its does have an excellent service history until 2017 and I've checked its mot history and nothing bad sticks out on it.
Van price is only 2k. I really like it, but at this price is it too good to be true? Something is niggling in the back of my mind. Should I be considering purchasing a 25 year old car that has the potential to die on me at any minute?
Should I wait for the 2l petrol which I think would serve my lack of mechanical knowledge better.
Any opinion would be really helpful
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g8dhe
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by g8dhe » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:51 pm

Welcome aboard!

A 1995 vehicle is going to be the oldest you will find, also the fact that it has been undersealed recently would flag be WARY !!!! Underseal will hide any visible rust as well as protect a perfect chassis! At present there is a lot of old vehicles that have been tarted up and if your not aware of what and how to look for problems then get one of the AA/RAC checks or by someone who is knowledgeable and you can trust!

Do you know the date of import and do they have receipts for any servicing and rust work carried out ? MoT's are a guide but be careful, they are not guarantees!
Geoff
2001 Aero V6, AFT, full side conversion.
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Aledooow
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:57 pm

Was imported in 2007, and has plenty of receipts for work carried out until 2017. Nothing after that.
How does this AA/RAC check work? How do you go about it? Any idea of cost?
Aledooow
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:31 pm

Never mind. Just googled it. :D
Thanks for your help
Bob
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Bob » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:10 am

Hi, and welcome aboard.

Sound advice from Geoff, of course. :)

I would be wary of a vehicle which has had no maintenance for 5 years then suddenly gets treated to undersealing. Why not service and cam belt?

The 2 ltr will be newer and has a much simpler engine with no need for the 'Right Royal Pain' bleed process.

We bought our (diesel) 14 years ago un-converted with a view to checking out different camper fits and all these years later it still has all 8 seats as it's so useful.
Aledooow
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:16 am

Thanks for the reply Bob.
I kno it was serviced in July when it was last MOTd and undersealed (the owner said he only bought it in July but didn't like camping in it so is selling **alarm bells**) but there's a massive gap in the receipts before that.
Think I'll steer clear of this one and hang on for the petrol
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sotal
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by sotal » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:50 pm

Not wanting to put off but you say you have "no car or mechanical knowledge", I'd be cautious with any vehicle of this age.

You need to have some knowledge or you need to be very friendly with a mechanic or it could get expensive quickly.

Ours has been relatively reliable given its age but there have still been jobs I've needed to do, and a few that I've had the garage do.

Of course you could lucky and have no issues at all but the chances of components failing increase (probably exponentially) as vehicles get older.

Things like wishbones, anti-roll bar droplinks, and ARB bushes, all get worn.

Rust is an issue that most will have to some degree, and it will always be a case of trying to keep on top of it.

Rubber pipes and belts all deteriorate with age and can need replacing.

Then you've got all your standard consumables like brakes etc.

It is all doable and most stuff isn't horrendous but there are odd things where the parts seem ridiculously expensive like ABS sensors - £15 for other cars, the same technology and components but being Mazda costs a couple of hundred quid.

As I say I don't want to put you off, we've had ours for 6 years or so now and I don't regret it at all but just wanting to make sure you buy with your eyes open.
Aledooow
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:58 pm

Thanks for the response.
I've done plenty of homework on here and am prepared for what lies ahead.
Not going to bother with the above mentioned van but wait for a later model (2000 or later) 2l petrol. I'm prepared to roll my sleeves up and have a go. I know I said previously that I have no mechanical experience. That's not strictly true as I come from an engineering background working as an electrician in a manufacturing industry. I've just never worked on cars.
I'm just gonna be patient and wait for the right van
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sotal
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by sotal » Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:47 am

Out of interest, what makes you fancy the 2l petrol?

When I was looking, it was lowest down my list. I test drove one and it felt really under powered.

The diesels are a simple enough engine, they just have a couple of quirks that you need to know about. With a low coolant alarm and a bit of knowledge about bleeding the coolant - you are good to go.

If you get the chance I'd definitely test drive the diesel and the petrol, if you've got to go petrol then the V6 might be worth a look instead. A good diesel keeps up with any other regular car on the road, the 2l that I drove felt like it wouldn't.

It was a good few years back now and perhaps that one had issues, but it certainly put me off.
Aledooow
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by Aledooow » Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:53 am

Put simply, I'm not interested in fast or powerful cars. Plus in the past I've owned both petrol and diesel cars and and had far more issues (and far more expensive issues) with the diesel cars I've owned
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sotal
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Re: Interested in becoming a bongonaut

Post by sotal » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:17 am

Fair enough, I wouldn't class the diesel as fast or powerful, just capable! The 2L just felt under powered. Admittedly I didn't go far, but it felt like it would struggle up a hill, or if you just needed a little bit of power to get out of the way of danger etc.

The diesel can suffer from more expensive problems, with the main issue being that it overheats very quickly and warps the head. The temperature guage is too slow to respond to the overheating and that is if you even see it. So by the time you know, the damage has been done. However you can purchase a low coolant alarm which alerts you to the coolant becoming low, which is the primary reason for overheating. This then gives a light and a very audible beep.

I believe the 2L is also a non interference engine, which is an advantage of the cambelt ever snaps as it is less likely to damage the internals.

As I say, the choice is yours, but I wouldn't write off the diesel and if you get chance, then I'd recommend test driving all three.