clearance needed

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 19:43
ThreadID: 106299 Views:4351 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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can anyone tell me the recommended ground clearance needed to successfully drive on the islands (moreton and frazer in mind at the moment) but other islands too if possible.
I have just purchased a new Isuzu MU-X and want to have it set up for beach and island driving. I'm new to the 4x4 world and would like any advice you can offer.

thank you to all who reply.
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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:24

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:24
2"is a fairly standard lift and will do what you want it for, Any higher is usually illegal and gets more expensive. You can also go up a size in tyres.
Cheers Dave
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Reply By: desray (WA - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:25

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:25
The Isuzu MU-X as is should have no problems with any beach driving ,, just let the tyres down and go for it.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:49

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:49
Yes, I have to agree.
No need to spend money on a lift if you don't need it.

Sand driving on places like Frazer, doesn't require extra clearance.
Just low tyre pressures (try 18 psi) and enjoy the drive.
Hell, in most situations, driving on the beach is like driving on a firm "highway" except perhaps for the soft area where vehicles disembark and enbark on the Ferries.

PS: If you drive the central track you might be wise to re-inflate to 28 psi or so, as this is a different surface.

I was going to invest in a suspension upgrade including a 2 inch lift prior to my trip to the Kimberley in May/June.
Then I thought of my mate and his earlyish model Pajero, who is the other vehicle in our small "convoy".
I'm not going to go anywhere he isn't, so I decided to save myself $1800 and rely on the OEM suspension on my Colorado to take me where I want to go.

Bill


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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:37

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:37
The MU-X is a reasonable height std, depending on the use perhaps an additional set of rims fitted with larger dia tyres will be just as good and other mods.

Since you let the tyres down for a longer footprint when off road and less pressure for sand, the increase in tyre dia will help retain clearance and also add the ability to achieve a longer more supportive footprint to give the traction/grip you may require

Use original wheels for normal traveling.

Because you are going to ADD salt to the menu, long before ever going near sand or salt I would get the internals of each chassis rail internally sprayed with body wax or Lanolin Industrial so at least some protective coating is in there to reduce the risk of Tin Worm infestation. Too much salt isn't good for the vehicles heart either.

Always remember to have the vehicle on a steep slope and hose the island/beach out the chassis rails after swimming in the sea or near it.

If you have seen the TV ads for the MU-X I wonder if some sort of hair product will keep your hair under control while driving.
AnswerID: 526757

Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:45

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:45
One mm more than the last bloke who only just made it before you is the magic number ;)
As stated, a little suspension work and a minor lift to keep the body up high enough when loaded with the necessaries is a great start. Going up a size or two in tyres will maintain some load carrying ability with the higher air volume.
A bog standard one will go most places but will bump and grind along the tracks. The above simple mods will see you pretty much unstoppable where others fail on the hot dry days. The beaches are much less of an issue than some of the tracks and their approaches.
Places like cornwells cutting and the mad mile out the back of kingfisher on Fraser will reward you for doing a little prep work.
AnswerID: 526758

Reply By: John and Regina M - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:19

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:19
Bog standard will get u in and out safely....If u drive to the conditions and exercise common sense.
AnswerID: 526761

Reply By: chisel - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:35

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:35
No mods needed. Just drop your tyre pressures and away you go. It helps if you don't overload it or attempt to drag a big trailer through the soft stuff.
Just be careful and stick to the well-used (ie. not overly difficult) tracks to start with until you get familiar with the vehicle and sand driving.
AnswerID: 526763

Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:38

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 21:38
Agree standard setup with correct tyre pressure (18-20) will get you to most places. Having just done 200km on Fraser island some areas are very chopped up and tracks up to central station from eurong will really test your tyres and clearance. There are some rather large drop offs going into lake Mackenzie which will test the rear clearance. I have 2" suspension rise and LT construction all terrains and handled this with ease.
If only intending to go to the beach once, standard will do but as we go to the beach at least 4 times a year I chose to upgrade and also we tow a camper.
Mark And Helen QLD
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:31

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:31
How does towing the Exodus go on Fraser Mark ??

I also have a Challenger ( and Lifestyle AT10 ), and the only place that would worry me would be the inland tracks !!
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 22:22

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 22:22
Hard sand good in high but definitely need low range in the sand blows and soft inland tracks. We have done over 20K klm with the camper. Make sure you have your camper pressures low.
Mark And Helen QLD
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 07:30

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 07:30
I was going to suggest yesterday not to worry about it. But not knowing the car I bided my time.

Looks like my gut feel was correct.

From above comments I wouldn't bother.

We have a 100 series with about a 2" lift which came from winding up the torsion bars, stronger rear springs and putting 285 tyress on it.

Haven't been stopped in any drive from the High Country to the deserts.

Phil
AnswerID: 526775

Reply By: Isuzumu - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:43

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:43
We have the latest model D.Max LS-T and the only complaint I had was the suspension, absolute cr"p. You have coils on the back where we have leaf springs, but the front is the same, we kept banging the bump stops and after replacing the whole suspension and checking the old shocks I could not believe how weak they were.
Bigger coils and shocks, end up with 2 inch rise, you will have a much nicer and safer ride.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:49

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 14:49
P.S. congratulations on buying the best brand of 4WD to, you will not be disappointed, done 52,000 K in the D.Max and not one problem.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:30

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:30
Isuzu make a good vehicle but somehow the shocks and springs seem to be more for on road than any off road use.
Interesting to read Isuzumu's comments re, the new model Dmax susp.

May be OK for normal use driving and for towing a caravan on a smooth road but anything where the surface varies or has potholes etc, the 2011 models, are extremely poor and shocks are only good enough to pass the initial rego and a few Km's after.

Hopefully the new MU-X has received some attention in that regard.

I would suspect the shocks and springs may require ungrading at some stage. It could be they suddenly have been fitted with quality suspension gear.
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Reply By: Ali Ree - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:25

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:25
Just be careful and stick to the well-used tracks to start with until you get familiar with the vehicle and sand driving.
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