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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched with not much coming up. I have a 10' TDI (113K miles) that I may do buyback and swap for a 16' TDI lux. I am not excited about it as I am not excited about the 4motion downgrade. But it makes sense to me to trade in and walk out with a brand new TDI for $20K w/ factory warranty etc... I mean I'd be kind of stupid right?? Problem is car will have another 20-30K miles on it another year. Putting it up to 150K miles. Not much but.

Anyway, although I was wanting to keep my T2 because of the off-road capability ( Old school transfer case, center diff, rear diff combo) compared to T3. But the 8 speed trans, lighter weight and the frequency of actually off-roading swayed me slightly. I still want to take her off-roading but clearance is an issue due to lowered chassis. T3 still looks great out of the box but need to possible add a spacer or larger tires on 18" wheels. Not sure yet if T3 can take my 2010's 17" wheels. Not sure why not but I just slapped new Cooper AT3's on there in 245/70/17 so I want to use them on the T3.

So T3 owners, #1 honestly how good is it off-roading? Nothing major but still want the option to get into deeper places. #2 will larger tires help greatly with getting over stuff? My T2 with new tires can get to some good places now. #3 low, do the electronics really do a good job or is it just crap compared to the gears in T2? #4 lift kit? Not sure if anyone one makes anything worthwhile. I want a 2" lift.

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I haven't had mine very long, but so far it's been very good "off" road. Granted, this isn't rock crawling, but I have some very narrow, off-camber, muddy stretches of disused trail near my house. The OEM 17s should fit for sure, and you'll likely by fine with the 245/70s, but might get a bit of rubbing. You'll get an inch of extra ground clearance in tires alone, but I'm not sure if anyone builds a lift kit. I can't imagine a 1-1.5" strut top spacer would affect things too much. In terms of gearing, 1st gear in the 8 speed is low enough for all but the gnarliest crawling, and sport mode/manual mode will hold gears really well for incline/decline situations. Overall, larger tires and maybe some underbody protection will get you anywhere the T2 can go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I haven't had mine very long, but so far it's been very good "off" road. Granted, this isn't rock crawling, but I have some very narrow, off-camber, muddy stretches of disused trail near my house. The OEM 17s should fit for sure, and you'll likely by fine with the 245/70s, but might get a bit of rubbing. You'll get an inch of extra ground clearance in tires alone, but I'm not sure if anyone builds a lift kit. I can't imagine a 1-1.5" strut top spacer would affect things too much. In terms of gearing, 1st gear in the 8 speed is low enough for all but the gnarliest crawling, and sport mode/manual mode will hold gears really well for incline/decline situations. Overall, larger tires and maybe some underbody protection will get you anywhere the T2 can go.
At this point I am not doing anything major with my T2 but I want the option to get out into things or go to Mexico with it. I may swap my 17's off this one with the 19's I bought for it and trade it in. I may have to make my own lift kit for it. I would not think gearing would change much especially since this car came with bags in other countries. I assume the lift from air suspension is another 2 inches without causing any issues.

Thanks for the response. That helps. I have been not keen on moving up to a T3. I love my T2 but in all reality the amount of times I use it off-road is minimal to camping out in the sticks or desert or beach. I think I will be good. Just hate to see the T2 go to the crusher.
 

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Things not on the newer ones that your T2 has:

Air suspension: Do you find that you NEED the Off-Road or Extra Height Modes when you venture off the pavement?

Low range: Are there obstacles that you feel you wouldn't have overcome without low range? Are there a lot of hills where you four wheel? The newer transmissions do have nice low 1st gear. But there are some 4WD clubs that will not let you participate without a low range.

Rear locker: The "electronic" diff locks work OK, but they do require wheel spin to actuate. Are you OK with chewing up your tires a little bit in situations where a rear diff lock would be useful? Also, how many times do you get into those situations?

I like to hit tougher trails that require a Touareg to have a skid plate, air suspension and a rear locker. So I would recommend keeping the T2 if it were mine. But your needs may be different. And a 2016 TDI is definitely tempting if that is the case!
:- )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Things not on the newer ones that your T2 has:

Air suspension: Do you find that you NEED the Off-Road or Extra Height Modes when you venture off the pavement?

Low range: Are there obstacles that you feel you wouldn't have overcome without low range? Are there a lot of hills where you four wheel? The newer transmissions do have nice low 1st gear. But there are some 4WD clubs that will not let you participate without a low range.

Rear locker: The "electronic" diff locks work OK, but they do require wheel spin to actuate. Are you OK with chewing up your tires a little bit in situations where a rear diff lock would be useful? Also, how many times do you get into those situations?

I like to hit tougher trails that require a Touareg to have a skid plate, air suspension and a rear locker. So I would recommend keeping the T2 if it were mine. But your needs may be different. And a 2016 TDI is definitely tempting if that is the case!
:- )
No, I don't't feel I need air for what I do but until I moved to 245/70/17 on my T2, I occasionally had slight clearance issues. Tires made all the difference with that. I assume that will help the T3. I still want to raise it bit regardless. :)

Some places the low came in handy here in Flagstaff. I will be moving back to CA soon so not sure what I will find but I am sure I wont be going major or anything so most likely again, it would be good enough with a good set of tires/wheels for off-roading. I agree with everything your saying, this is why I am moving on from the T2. I love it but it's not getting used for what it can do right now at least. I wanted to do more but this damn scandal ****ed it up.

Thing is I can get rid of t2, for new t3 and leave the dealer under $20K. Maybe I go buy a t2 v8 with air later....
 

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Generation 1 17s fit Generation 2s.

Judicious reading of the terrain will get you most places with the Generation 2 and I suspect your concern about bodywork damage to the much newer vehicles might be the stopper rather than the transmission!
 

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I've had two Landcruisers (40 & 80) and two Patrols (Both GU's) as well as a 2007 T2 with steel springs and 4XMotion.
In the manual gearboxed Japanese vehicles I've never needed Low First to go up hills, Low 2nd is enough. Low 1st was useful for steep descents.
What I missed with the T2 was the ground clearance of the Japs.
I haven't taken my 2016 T4 4Motion off road yet but I reckon the lowish first gear of the 8 speed will be enough for ascents and the computers can take care of the descents. I'm sure the adjustable suspension will make this one more capable off road, even without the low range of the T2.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Guys. I have decided to keep (2010) it and wait emissions fix. When I need a new vehicle I will buy a used TDI t3 if available. Otherwise I will go Jap route with LC. I am happy with my T2. Cost wise after calculations and loan payoff, does not make sense to me.
 

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I think the t3 works amazingingly well...for 99% of owners i think it will do more then they will try....It might not be as hardcore as air and locker t2...but aside from that mine keeps up to my buddies t1 no issues.

Things i wouldnt give up to go to a t2...interior is so less dated...8spd is so much better and 1st is very low which works great for off road..fuel mileage is better...panoramic sunroof...handling on road.

The standard 4motion with electronic diff locks is pretty awesome...it is programmed very well and it can do some pretty decent stuff...i just wish someone made a nice little 2 inch spacer lift...but with the 31s im pretty well the same height as my buddies t1


 

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Rear locker: The "electronic" diff locks work OK, but they do require wheel spin to actuate. Are you OK with chewing up your tires a little bit in situations where a rear diff lock would be useful? Also, how many times do you get into those situations?
One thing about those electronic diff locks.. they are braking the spinning wheel to a stop, which effectively halves the diff ratio to the remaining spinning wheel on that axle.

Meaning any concerns about lack of low range on a T3 are made worse when any of your wheels are slipping and the stability control "locks one of the diffs".

Beyond that.. I plan to get up to colorado in mine this summer. Will try to remember to report how it did.
 

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One thing about those electronic diff locks.. they are braking the spinning wheel to a stop, which effectively halves the diff ratio to the remaining spinning wheel on that axle.

Meaning any concerns about lack of low range on a T3 are made worse when any of your wheels are slipping and the stability control "locks one of the diffs".

Beyond that.. I plan to get up to colorado in mine this summer. Will try to remember to report how it did.
How was your trip?
 

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For an allrounder its great bit without the low range anything rocky becomes a challenge.
We had all the different Touaregs on recent trip, it was slow going very slow going for the T3, few people had to guide the driver thru most sections since it couldnt go slow enough to go over obstacles...
 

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Posted this somewhere else but was meant to be here. Saw this on FB re T3 lift:
"Has anyone heard of CEIKA? They are able to offer adjustable coilovers which can give up to 60mm lift with their rally package and dual spring for around aud$2000. Seems like a better option than spaccers and much cheaper than seikel."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Funny I found this. I am finally doing the buyback. This after 35K in warranty work and 146K miles on the car. VW is offering me a nice deal since it broke down (HPFP) and so I will be purchasing a 2012 TDi White exec. for less than what VW is paying me. Factory warranty untill 100K or 2021, Emissions for 3 1/2 more years.

I planning on lift and larger tires with 17" wheels. Can't stand 20" wheels it comes with. Might throw on some new shocks. I am not super happy giving up my 10' TDI especially with all the work done but Newer Cata motor with 8 speed sounds good. I am excited for it but also very pissed I am giving up the other one which is a way better car IMO. Wife wants newer. I also like the idea and the warranty. The 10 was basically flawless. I think I pretty much drove this 2010 TDI for free the entire time.
 

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Alfissimo, you have made a good choice. We have a ‘12 with the CATA and it’s a great engine, gobs of low end torque (smaller turbo) and with the 8 speed asin and the fully mechanical (no clutch plates to quietly wear out ) Torsen center diff. It’s an extremely capable set up. I run 17” Nokians in the winter (sometimes year round) and it’s better in the snow than my landcruiser! Excellent for all the FSR backroads too. I put Russian steel skid plates on for added protection, but a bit of care picking your line is all you need, it has all the pull you could ask for. Ant it’s awesome on the road!!!
 
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Alfissimo, you have made a good choice. We have a ‘12 with the CATA and it’s a great engine, gobs of low end torque (smaller turbo) and with the 8 speed asin and the fully mechanical (no clutch plates to quietly wear out ) Torsen center diff. It’s an extremely capable set up. I run 17” Nokians in the winter (sometimes year round) and it’s better in the snow than my landcruiser! Excellent for all the FSR backroads too. I put Russian steel skid plates on for added protection, but a bit of care picking your line is all you need, it has all the pull you could ask for. Ant it’s awesome on the road!!!
Thanks. I am already looking for 17-18" OEM wheels, Not going to bother with the 20" that come with. Lifted it 2-2.5" too. I want to fit around a 32 tire on it. I don't need what I had in my 10', super car but I rarely used the Low in that car. I think this 12' will be good enough for what we do. I think that's the main reason they dumped the 4xmotion here. 99% of people never used it, they needed better MPG too. I am really sad to get rid of it but looking forward to the new 12'.

238549

238550


Something like this:

238551


238552
 

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I run the 17” VW Canyons, lots of them around for cheap, great selection of rubber with good sidewall, strong, and have never had a clearance issue with them as long as the balance weights are thin and correctly positioned.
 
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