A Flaw in the 70 Series Toyota’s (And a solution)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 08:47

Baz - The Landy

Story and photo: Baz - The Landy

Owners of the newer 70 Series Toyota’s will be familiar that the wheel track between the front and rear is substantially different, in fact 95mm is the measurement.

The narrow track on the rear of the vehicle will cause it to sway on dirt and sand tracks, deep dry rutted roads and even on sealed roads. This was something I have experienced with “The Landy” given the configuration I have set up.

The problem can also be acute for Troop Carriers which have a higher centre of gravity, especially if configured with a loaded roof rack.

Anecdotal evidence suggests there have been a number of rollovers that have been attributed to this issue.

The offset had its genesis in the need to accommodate the larger TD V8 engine. Perhaps Toyota still has a warehouse full of the old rear axles assemblies and associated equipment, or the cost of changing the tooling is too expensive at this time. Either way perhaps they will fix the issue at some time in the future.

There are alternatives to correcting this problem and one of the most common has been to use wheel spacers if a read of the various internet forums is any guidance. Clearly, this can be an extremely dangerous practice, in addition to being illegal, as there are many instances of wheel studs sheering with the potential for a serious accident following. Offset rims has also been a popular method of correction.

It is worth noting either practice is likely to void an insurance claim and could see the drivers of vehicles modified in this way facing punitive charges if involved in a serious accident.

One company that has engineered a solution to this problem is Kinetic engineering based in Geelong, Victoria. The company has engineered the MDT Tru Tracker, a complete rear track correction system for the V8 70 Series Toyota’s. The solution relocates the entire wheel hub assembly to the correct position.

I recently had the modification completed on “The Landy” and whilst I am yet to test it on our outback roads, that will happen shortly, the drive back along the Hume Highway was far more relaxed as the vehicle tracked flawlessly and without the constant correction in the steering to which I had become accustomed.

The modification is approved for vehicles with a GVM up to 3,780kg, which did initially cause some issues for me due to the vehicle GVM sitting at 3,900kg with the Lovell’s GVM upgrade fitted. The solution was to de-rate the GVM to 3,780kg.

I will update once I have performed some off road testing in the Western Deserts throughout July and August this year, but for those looking for a solution this is a good place to start.

The cost comes in around $3,000 approximately, which is a bitter pill to swallow to correct a problem created by Toyota that should not exist on a vehicle of this calibre.

But the team at Kinetic has provided a great solution and peace of mind for those concerned about this problem. Importantly, the Tru Tracker is fully engineered at the company’s Geelong Headquarters – yes, manufacturing is alive and well in Geelong!

Just in case you were wondering “Baz – The Landy” came about as a consequence of owning three Land Rover Defenders, but as you can see this has now changed...

And yes, thank you, I've recovered fully from the experience!

But “Baz – The Landy” reference has stuck...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia…
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”
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