I Can't Seem to find the Right 4WD for my Needs

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 19:40
ThreadID: 111288 Views:3129 Replies:13 FollowUps:11
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I'm sure this will open a can of worms and has been discussed many many times already.

But wanted to ask the question in the context of my needs......

I've been contemplating another vehicle for the last couple of years, but the need has become more pressing lately.

I drive an 80 Series GXL. It's tough, but it gets hammered. It's kitted out with all the fruit, because I need all he fruit and rely on it when I'm out bush. Mainly in the north-west of WA and mainly at summer time, though I do spent a lot of winter months there also.

The challenge at present is this. The GVM is 2960Kgs and the actual weight is between 3.6 and 3.7 tonnes. Bugger.

The impacts are particularly felt in the steep back-country and I want to get away from being overloaded like that.

ALL the gear pretty much one would describe as necessary for what I do.Winches. 166 litre sub tanks. Heavy bull-bars. Dual wheel carrier. Roof rack. Solar panels. Three batteries. Tool boxes. Fridge. Etc. Etc. Etc.

The reality is that even if I were to drop the payload I would still be way over the mark.

So how to get around the problem.....?

What vehicle could do the business and not be so expensive that it's unaffordable for me?

A mate has suggested a Canter or something to that effect. But I want to know how a vehicle like that would go in rough bush country so far as handling is concerned and I'd like to know to what extent it would make some areas inaccessible to me. I don't know that I like the bigger size.

So far as I can see Patrols and other Landcruisers have the same GVM problem. I don't want a trailer.

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated on possible solutions.

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Reply By: Member - wicket - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 19:47

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 19:47
one of these would probably do the trick


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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 20:42

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 20:42
I was going to suggest an Iveco Daily :-)
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 20:47

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 20:47
Yeah, an Iveco Daily dual cab might be the go. Has been some discussion here about them, might be worth doing a search.

Daily 4x4 has about 3 gear ranges, so might be the goods in the areas you frequent. Fuel range might need upgrading?

Canters are a good, light truck but they can be a bit rough!


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 21:12

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 21:12
You might have to rob a bank beforehand, but have a a look at F trucks


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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 21:19

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 21:19
The Iveco looks good, on paper. Should be good in practice. Time will tell.
Canters and the like need parabolic spring mods and 'super singles' to work well.

Our OKA is 21 this year and goes most places. We have no thoughts to replace it. It is simple and maintainable for the foreseeable future.
It is 2160 wide, 3050 high and 6000 long and has all the "mod cons".
GVM ex the factory is 5500kg, but they are regularly upgraded to 6600kg.

OKA196 Motorhome
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Reply By: PeterInSa - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 23:30

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 23:30
If you are happy with your current vehicle...........

Have you looked into upgrading your 80 series. From memory I think that 1995 models or there abouts can be upgraded to 3500Kg similar to the 100 series.

In SA would probably cost $500 for engineering checkout/paperwork/approval + Transport dept inspections. But you would still need to loose some weight.

The LC Forum Lcool would have more info.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 23:50

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015 at 23:50
Its the towing weight that was upgraded in 96 because of the previous towbar being 2500kg rated.

A 100 series diesel GVM is 3260KG
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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 08:06

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 08:06
I have a 79 Series Dual Cab with an upgrade GVM 3,900 kg over the normal 3,300 kg.

Mind you the limiting factor can be the rear axle so can’t necessarily load to the GVM and don’t need to in any case. Normal loading is in the 3,300/3,500 kg range.

Cheer,s Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: 843 - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 10:43

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 10:43
the kerb ( not the GVM ) weight of a 80 series was around the 21-2200 kg mark,
looks like you've added around 1.6-1.700 kg in extras,
no wonder the old girl is getting a bit grumpy lol
and that's before ya hit the steep stuff as well,

she needs to go on a diet too,

l think something like a 4wd hino might do the job, like a ex- fire brigade truck,
they use them here in Tas and l also drove them in Vic,

if you need that much gear might be better to get something that can carry it better than a LC/patrol etc etc etc...
and you'll be legal as well
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:01

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:01
Maybe you have not got the real requirements just right DQB.

My mission was to create a car that would do everything to fullest extent and have no practical limitations and so I choose the 4800 petrol Patrol which costs little.
Its like your 80 in a way with long travel live axles and coils lockers and also every unnessary acessory available for it but instead of being 15 years old they were made up to 2010 , so inate reliabilty is much higher.

I won't go into real detail here but say that from professional engineers point of view in which delivering is required , not talk , there is nothing that I know of I could do to this car which would expand its total performance.
The real trick is to expand the total performance envelope not make it better in just one department.

It can tackle everything from your Cannings to real Madigan line and pure cross country.

E.G. could use 35in tyres instead of 33's but no real advantage , makes wheels heavy , reduces life of suspension and steering bits , slows acceleration and makes changing tyres harder etc etc.
Bullbar - adds weight, uses more fuel and is general waste of time , but only because winch is mounted in such a way that it would take main animal strike impact and while car would suffer damage it would be mostly cosmetic - hence a hit would be annoying but not a deal breaker.

Carries 220lt but range is only 1400km cause its petrol , but that has seen it drive everything from real Madigan to cross countries, Cannings etc , and also cruises quietly and fast on unlimited speed highways.

Looks standard - so gets no tickets.

Gee , we even sleep inside it , have nothing above roof, so it can go thru heavy bush and low hanging branches , and with a solution for every real likelihood the whole thing loaded weighs 2650kg in its month long trip configuration.

Overall you can pose many senarios which might occur every Blue moon and pay for it in weight and poor performance so I advise to consider carefully.

Oh there is one serious limitation - but the driver also owns it so we can't dump him !

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:26

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:26

This is away from the topic but I noticed that you twice referred to the "real" Madigan line in your post above and was curious as to what you meant. What other version of the Madigan line is there?

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 12:06

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 12:06
Hi Ando

The approved path that is now the Madigan line misses almost 1/2 the original camps Ando.

These days you miss 2 or 3 near the start and most now go up or down the Hay River track from 15 instead of proceeding across to camps 17,18,19 etc which I found the harder to reach camps.

The centre section is a fairly straight forward , and worthwhile but easier drive.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 12:29

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 12:29
Okay, I see what you mean. We missed camps 3-5 because of the difficulty getting permission, but I think some parties just take the liberty of going anyway. We were able to do all the rest of the route except for camp 24 I think (or whichever is the last one before Birdsville) which the station owners asked us not to go to.

It is certainly a beautiful drive and we're heading back again this year.

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Reply By: Louwai - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:06

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:06
Last week I saw a Canter decked out similarly to what you describe. It was at the 4x4 workshop where I get my work done. It looked the business. Huge wheels & good clearance with a "pod" on the back.

Chatting to the mechanic he noted to me that the ride in the cab was really bad. Just driving it on the road almost bounced him off the seat. The front leaf springs looked pretty solid.

If this is what you choose, then maybe a good paid of suspension seats..
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:19

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:19
Have you considered going to the ex Army auction/disposal sales?
A good s/h Unimog may be worth thinking about.

It would certainly carry the load and go anywhere the old Tojo would, and even further.

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Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 18:39

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 18:39
6 wheel ute with a lazy axle but it may limit some of it's off road capability depending what sort of terrain you drive on or a full 6WD conversion but that's expensive..
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Reply By: Member - Michael A (ACT) - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 22:35

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 22:35
What sort of money are you looking at spending also what are the main duties going to be ie. Permanent living or weekender etc
The Iveco daily 4x4 is a great mid range vehicle 24 gears 3 range gear box even in reverse
They start at 88000 with quite a good range of fruit already standard
I m talking the 4x4 daily which is a different beast to the on road daily
Great divide tours (Vic Widman) one of his staff bought one as a replacement for their troops a couple of years ago and I believe are quite happy with it
It may be worth dropping them an email for some hands on answers


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Reply By: DQB - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 23:28

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 23:28
Would just like to thank everyone for their considered and informed replies.

Many of them have sent me off to look at possibilities like I had not considered. The Iveco daily being one, but also the Army auctions.

The Iveco looks an interesting option but budget is the challenge.

The vehicle is my primary work vehicle out bush and does very hard bushwork. Probably an average of three months of the year. Two months in summer and the remaining one in winter.

I looked at the six wheel option also over the last few days but that raises concerns in that you then have three diffs, six axles, eight tyres, six sets of bearings, six brake points, etc. etc.

So I will keep hunting. It's not an easy fix but I'm confident I can find the right solution at the right price.

Thanks again to all.

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 19:54

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 19:54

Maybe you need a change in thinking rather than a change in vehicle.

I guarantee I could strip a tonne of crud out of your vehicle and still safely travel the remotest parts of WA.

Most of the 'fruit' is there for self gratification rather than need.

Lose the dual wheel carrier and put the spares on the roof rack.

Lose the bull bar and winch - what a waste of space.

High Lift jack? Leave it at home.

Three batteries and solar panel? Perhaps leave the air conditioning unit at home.

166 L sub tank. Without the above you might achieve a half decent fuel consumption. There aren't too many places in WA more than a couple of hundred K's from a bowser.

I intentionally made this post a bit confrontational, but maybe thats what's needed.

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Follow Up By: DQB - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 00:48

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 00:48
No offence Bob but I've spent seventeen years of my life living in this part of the world - the Kimberley and Pilbara - and most of the gear gets used. Many would say I understand this part better than most. And that includes vehicle needs.

Okay, I get the fact that you wanted to stir the pot a little but I'd come back at you a little and suggest your knowledge seems to be lacking quite a bit. Here's why (and intended in good spirit).

Dual wheel carrier. Already stuff on the roof. Solar panels for starters. Inflatable raft for water work that I do. Some water gerry cans also. I carry 80 litres of water. As I say, I travel remote. More remote than most and often on the turn of a dime.... There's also the OHS issues hauling a 40 kilo plus tyre up onto the roof. Particularly in 46 degrees in summer. Not fun.

Get rid of the bull-bar. You've obviously not hit too many roos or bulls or camels or horses for that matter. I've dinged a 400 kilo cow at 110kmph. Nearly hit some camels. A herd of them actually. Narrowly missed horses. And then had probably three to six near misses with cattle that would probably have been fatal. You get that with a lot of night driving. Had a difficult drive a fortnight ago up here also. Six times had to brake hard.

High lift jack. That doesn't necessarily get used as a jack often but it does a whole heap of other stuff that becomes important if you're bogged out in Savoury Creek on the Canning in January in 47 degrees.

Solar panel. Should be plural. They do more than the aircon. Fridge to keep the food cool when you're out in the desert. Or even in the western Hamersley as I've just done six weeks. Ten days in a row over 45 at one stage.

Aircon. Fair call. The old timers never had it. But if it's there these days I say use it. No point being more uncomfortable in summer up here than you need to.

And sub tank. Again, you obviously don't do many miles. Or miles at night. This part of the world not a lot of service stations open past seven at night. And if you have to do a big night drive you can't do so on a 90 litre tank. Or even out in the desert 90 litres doesn't get you far. That sub tank more than earns its keep.

Appreciate you don't know me. But I've had my days belting around with an ice box in the Great Sandy Desert over here in WA in January and opening it up to find olives and butter and every other concoction floating around. And I've had being bogged for 49 hours after a cyclone came through.

Most don't get off the black top, but by the same token I don't spend a whole heap of time on it. There are still remote places in our WA though they are getting chewed out quickly by mining.

Take it easy.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 00:59

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 00:59
Maybe some good ideas but there are some essential items like a bulbar without one you may be stuck somewhere with a roo, tree branch etc in your radiator, 60 plus kg of spare tyres on the roof not a good idea when off road making a vehicle more top heavy than it needs to be, winch very handy piece of equipment especially if you're on your own not only for de-bogging forwards and backwards but removing trees of tracks etc. I know you're trying to make a point but some people need extra gear when there set up to be self sufficient in the bush but yes some do go overboard as well.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 21:50

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 21:50
DQB, thanks for the reply.

I certainly acknowledge your vastly greater experience in that part of the world than mine. Having said that, I have travelled most of the tracks in the WA and NT, albeit in favourable seasons and in company. And yes, I do avoid travelling at night where possible.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I have been able to avoid fauna strike everywhere in Australia except in the street where I lived in Wamboin NSW when a roo struck my stationary vehicle.

I firmly believe vehicle mass is your enemy.

I have to agree with moving heavy wheels. I am working on a light weight winch to swing them from the roof to the hub.


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Follow Up By: DQB - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 23:41

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 23:41
Hi Bob.

No problems. Fauna strikes are one of the major hazards up here. There's probably half a dozen times I could have been killed regardless of whether there was a bull-bar up front. But a bull-bar nevertheless is more than important.

There's a stretch between Hillside turnoff and hedland on the Great Northern. A few years ago a number of new mines opened up. So many that you've got a road train at a rate of about one a minute coming at you. The road trains of themselves are not a problem. It's the quantity and the fact that you can't get your spotlights going. Throw in a lot of cattle from Yandeyarra and it's a catastrophe waiting to happen to some unlucky LV. Hopefully not me. It's been atrociously managed by Main Roads.

So, while I get the thread of your point, it's horses for courses and every driver's needs are different. Those needs depend on what you do, where you live, what times you drive and what you drive.

I do a lot of night driving as well as day because of what I do and have done hundreds of thousands of kilometres up here. And if you do night driving many will know about the suicide roos also. Nothing you can do. I've also experienced suicide cattle that nearly killed me and a mate coming the other way in another vehicle one night just out of Fitzroy Crossing. Such is life. But the bull-bar is important for people like me despite the weight. Heavier the better actually.

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Reply By: TomH - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 09:05

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 09:05
I believe you can get a 100series upgraded to about 3750GVM with not too much trouble.

Suspension upgrade, some attention to brakes etc.. Lcool would be a good place to ask the questions. Anything doable has been done by someone on there.
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