Steyr Puch/ MB G-wagon 230GE?

L1A1

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Anyone on here have any experience with the Steyr Puch/Mercedes G Wagon 230GEs? Swiss Army Vehicles sells them. Kind of remind me of a "Euro-CUCV". Are they any good?

Matt
 

L1A1

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I don't know Mercunimog404, from some of the comments in that link MWMULES posted, looks like the USMC didn't think that much of them.... But, that's neither here nor there. What I'd be curious to know is what's their reliability like & how do the ride? They look like they'd perform the same as an civilian SUV and that's not entirely all bad. What sparked my passing interest in them was the Swiss Army Vehicles has one for sale. At 19k it's a bit "rich" for my blood but considering what civilian G-wagons are bringing, I'm sure that's a steal.


Matt
 

Mercunimog404

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I don't know Mercunimog404, from some of the comments in that link MWMULES posted, looks like the USMC didn't think that much of them.... But, that's neither here nor there. What I'd be curious to know is what's their reliability like & how do the ride? They look like they'd perform the same as an civilian SUV and that's not entirely all bad. What sparked my passing interest in them was the Swiss Army Vehicles has one for sale. At 19k it's a bit "rich" for my blood but considering what civilian G-wagons are bringing, I'm sure that's a steal.


Matt
I didn't read anything about the marine corps not liking them. They will outperform a civilian SUV as they have lockers. Do some research on these. They are very well made trucks.
 

B3.3T

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They are extremely durable and off-road capable; well up to the task of being a military vehicle. For civilians, they are underpowered compared to their civy counterparts but not under military conditions. Like a Pinzgauer in that respect. Parts are very expensive but readily available. They are in use by over 40 countries including most NATO members and Australia.
 

scottgs

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My opinion, as both a G-Wagen enthusiast and having been in several CUCV's. First, the 280G is a better overall driving G than the 4 or 5 cylinder Diesels, or the 4 cylinder petrol. However, it's not up to the standards of the later G's, specially the V8's.

You will find all G-Wagens far superior off-road to any CUCV, in every way, except it's payload. But then CUCV's are particularly poor off-roaders, for a military vehicle. On the road, I feel they are much more equal. The 280G will be somewhat quieter, but not really any faster. It will however be much more nible and sports like, just due to the G's size and basic physics. But then the CUCV is much roomier, on a scale only American-made iron can be. Having said this, the G is particularly accomodating for a tall person, having been designed for a soldier to get into, with a G3 or FAL rifle (or the L1A1 for the Anglofiles), and with his helmet on, and not get hung up on the truck.

Parts for G's are expensive, and usually best sourced through specialists, like most true military vehicles.

G-Wagens are reliable mechanically, but suffer from the electrical bugaboos that most all European vehicles have, with thier substandard electrical systems.

Repairs on G-Wagens are somewhat more difficult than a comparable US, Japanese or Brit vehicle. They may look like Land Rover's, but reparing them is a different matter. Special tools and paying attention to the service manual will be required for many repairs. I personally find that this is just the way that German vehicles are.

Known problem areas are in the wheel hubs, and bad rust-through in certian body areas. This is prevelent on earlier 460 chassis models. Later 463 chassis vehicles have both of these problems resolved. The 280G is a 460 chassis.

The drivetrains are generally reliable, with thier engines being very reliable, and I would even say nearly bullet proof. But then they are Mercedes motors, which are some of the best in the world, much unlike CUCV's, who's powerplants come from lower down the cost-reliability scale. Transmissions are also excellent, all Mercedes built. But all is not perfect in G-land, and it's not unheard of for a wheel to simply fall off of a G every now and then, if it hasn't been well maintained, similar to many Jeeps. They do not have full-floating axles, front or rear. In this respect, it is a somewhat weaker design than we are accustomed to on Military vehicles which typically have full-floating hubs, front and rear, with everything on the hubs truly heavy-duty. But if properly maintained, they are very reliable, and rarely fail to normal use, or abuse. The maintenance of the hub is the key. The advantage of the G axle design is better turning circle and dynamics, and very good off-road toughness in general. Speaking of dynamics and reliability, last week I just put new tires on my G-wagen, and I got 83,000 miles on the old set. I had the alignment checked, and it's still spot on, from the factory, with 138,000 miles on the truck. I never before in my entire 30+ years of owning 4x4's had a truck of any kind allow it's tires to last so long, usually not even half that long.

Just my thoughts.

Garret
 
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scottgs

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Wait! I just got new contact lenses today. Are you talking about a 230 or 280 G-wagen? The 230 is fairly underpowered, if it's a 4-door. I think I read the original post wrong!
 

scottgs

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For what it's worth, the G-wagen is now the preferred light-weight Military vehicle around the world. In the past decade Magna Steyr (maker of the G-Wagen) has handily overtaken the previous long-term #1 supplier of light military vehicles, Land Rover. Both have supplied more of the world's armies than any other maker of light Military 4x4. When I say "light weight", I mean 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton range. This does NOT include HMMWV's or Oshkosh for goodness sakes...

Australia and Canada both have place relatively large orders in recent years. Australia in particular is replacing both thier 4x4 and 6x6 Military Land Rovers with simliar 4x4 and 6x6 versions of the G-wagen.

Garret
 

L1A1

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Scottgs
Thanks for the replies (all of them :smile:) . Your posts really answered the questions I had about the G wagens. It was the 230GE (2 door-short wheelbase?) that I was inquiring about. They sound like a very good rig for general tooling around in but can still be driven long distances (on roads) without it being a real chore. Noticed your avatar I have a '74 series III airportable myself. It is currently torn down for resto.
Matt
 

rchalmers3

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One of the major differences that I have always considered between the G wagon and a CUCV is the ability to perform affordable customizations, such as tires, rims, gearing and suspension. Because I don't see catalogs of modification parts for the military G wagon, it seems like the Chevy platform is champion at providing a dual role as transportation and a modification project. That is something I value.

Rick
 

L1A1

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Thanks for the input, Rchalmers3. Yeah I would say that there is a lot of "support" for anything Chevy out there. My reference to the CuCv in the first post was not how does a G-wagen compare to one, though.

The only CuCv that I can honestly say that I'd like to have would be the M1008. But that is because I can use a full size pick-up truck. The Dakota just isn't cutting it some times.

What peeks my interest in the G-Wagen (or a LandRover 109/D110) is it's size -not to big/not to small with good compromise between off road & on road abilities (something that could be used as a daily driver). The LRs also seem to be an almost modular design readily able to convert from hard to rag top (without the use of a sawzall :-D) .

Matt
 

scottgs

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Agree completely on cost of ownership, parts avialability, and the ability to customize any CUCV is significantly more favourable. However, also consider that some things you would do to customize a CUCV have already been done by default on a G-Wagen. For example full 100% locking differentials or coil-sprung long-travel suspension.

L1A1, if you have a Land-Rover Lightweight now, the G-will be comparable handling off-road, thought the lockers will give it a significant advantage. But the G is heavier and larger. It may not look it at first, but it is. Also, the G aesthetics and creature comforts will be completely foreign to a series Land-Rover owner. However, as a long time owner of both vehicles, I can say with confidence that if you put lockers in the Lightweight Land-Rover, you may just find it surprisingly superior to the G-wagen off the road. In my opinion, this is due virtually entirely due to the lighter weight and smaller size. I know I may be thrown in the Stalag for saying that, but hey, that's my experience.

Although I may have already said it, the real drawbacks to the G-wagen is cost. Cost up front, and spare parts, will be like 100% more than a Land-Rover, and probably many times that of a CUCV. But, you do get what you pay for. In my opinion, the quality of design, materials and production QC of any mechanical G-Wagen component is head and shoulders above the rest of the world's trucks, for comparable sized components. Now, having said that, it's also worth considering that any CUCV, and most Long-wheelbase Land-Rovers will have Dana 60 class axles, and no standard G-wagen axle is that tough.

Notice that I previously singled out German mechanical components as being superior, and not electrical. In my opinion, a large number of German electrical components pretty much suck. Just a slight notch above Lucas, maybe... For example, if I haven't driven my Unimog in a few weeks, I have to "Twirl" all the fuses in the fuse box to make thier little tiny pointy ends cut through the oxide and conduct again. Thankfully, the Unimog motor runs without electricity. Now the G-wagen... Well I've had to fix the main electrical distribution panel becuase the feed from the battery fell off, i've had to fix the instrument cluster twice, the head light switch once, the turn signals once, then windshield wipers, and did I mention the stock headlights are lousy? And, since mine's a G500, well there's the the electric windows, the electric sunroof, every freaking rear light on the truck (not to mention the melted and very expensive composite rear light lenses), oh, and you will have to remove something called the K40 relay module and re-solder most of the connections on the PC board about once every 50K miles, and the same for the central locking/alarm module. Then on the engine I've had to replace virtually every sensor on it, and there are many... including one after it left me stranded, and then the o2 sensors (there are 4 of them by the way...). Do you see a pattern developing?

So while I just love my G-Wagen, (which is of true Military ancestry, unlike a CUCV), I could never trust my G500 in the same way that I can trust (and repair) the Land-Rover, Unimog or Dodge in the outback. Though I imagine an older mechanically injected Diesel or Carberated G-Wagen would likely be much more trustworthy. But then the other hand, a Land-Rover is infinitely more appropriate for any L1A1,be it BSA, Enfield, Fazakerly, Lithgow, Longbranch, or god forbid, an RFI.

Again, just my thoughts.

Garret
 
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M813rc

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.. For example, if I haven't driven my Unimog in a few weeks, I have to "Twirl" all the fuses in the fuse box to make thier little tiny pointy ends cut through the oxide and conduct again.
One nice modification made to Unimogs for Swiss service was breakers instead of those wretched pointy fuses..

Cheers
 

L1A1

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Scottrgs
Again, thanks for writing a "book" :)-)). Your posts have shed a lot of light on the G-wagen for me. Seems to me that I might be better off staying with the landies for now. At least in terms of where repairs & cost of spares are concerned. I'd still like to see one of those G-wagens up close maybe go for a ride in one. Of course there's also a lot of other stuff on the bucket list that I'd like to do as well :mrgreen:.



M813rc
Yeah ditto on what you said about the circuit breakers over fuses on the Swiss 'Mogs. That was a good idea..
Matt
 

TehTDK

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I have driven and is certified for both the G240 and the G290 and I would personally love to own a G290 one day. IMO the 240/290 has a distinct advantage over the V6 Diesels, as the V6's has all time 4x4 and the 240/290 has to be engaged or disengaged meaning that if you have a breakdown at some point you won't have to pull axles etc to get it flat-towed after another vehicle etc.

We had a convoy while I was getting trained of 2 G290's and 1 G280 and 1 G270 and all 4 seemed more or less on par in on road performance. It wasn't as if one seemed majorly overpowered compared to the others, but obviously the 270/280 had a bit more power due to the different and newer engine, and a completely different level of creature comforts :p.

That said, I would still love to get my hands on one and use as a daily driver.
 
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