76 Series Landcuiser Rear Wheel Spacer

Submitted: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:08
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Hi Guys, I have a 76 Series Landcruiser GXL Wagon. The Rear
Wheel Track width is narrower that the Front Wheel track width. I have been advised that there is a spacer kit available that when fitted will make both front & rear wheel track widths the same. Can anyone out there advise if there is anything I need to be aware of if I go ahead and fit these spacers?

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Reply By: The Explorer - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:20

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:20
Hi

You may wish to read this thread

Whos using rear wheel spacers on the new Toyotas and any problems?

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Greg
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:27

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:27
Thanks Greg, makes for very interesting reading, based on all that I have read in these answers, I probably will not go ahead with the spacers.

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Fred B (ex-NT) - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:41

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 12:41
Good answer Macca,
I thought of doing the same, until I talked to my mechanic and insurance company. Mechanic said not a good idea, and insurance and vehicle warranty would be void.
So naturally I did not go ahead either.

Mick O got his legally done and engineered by a company in Melbourne (not spacers).... He will have more info.
regards
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:00

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:00
Macca,
There is a properly engineered solution involving axle housing extensions and longer axles. This is way different from bolting on simple illegal spacers. This kit is expensive but legal. EO member Baz - The Landy can probably tell you more about it.Link to Baz's blog.

I understand from his writings you cannot use it in conjunction with a GVM upgrade, but if you're not considering that, then it's all good.
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:36

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:36
Thanks Frank.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 06:59

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 06:59
Thanks Frank

Yes, can be used with a GVM upgrade to 3,780.



Cheers Baz
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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:32

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:32
Without going into the intricacy of the other thread the simple answer is that Spacers are illegal in all States unless fitted to that model vehicle at the factory.

Porsche are the only one I know of that does that
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:36

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:36
Thanks Tom.
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Reply By: Simon C7 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:48

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 13:48
This is the extension kit that is ADR approved. May be of interest

http://www.trutracker.com.au/
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Follow Up By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 14:57

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 14:57
Wow, That is a comprehensive video. I think that would be the way to go
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:39

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:39
Thanks Simon.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 03:08

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 03:08
The TrueTracker system is good, but there is something better now available for the 70 Series.

Jmacx Rear Axle Conversion

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:04

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:04
I have the Tru-tracker fitted to my vehicle and it has made a world of difference.

The thing about using spacers is that there is no grey area about their use - simply they are illegal if not approved. And perhaps there is a good reason for that.

My tip is that if you are keen to correct the problem than do it properly and in an approved and certified way. More expensive, but a far better solution.

Frank posted a link to my blog on the topic earlier...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 09:52

Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 09:52
Why in hell don't the manufacturer Toyota in Japan do this..
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Reply By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 15:25

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 15:25
Would have been better if bloody Toyota made the damn thing properly in the first place . Makes you wonder what they think of their customers and where their head is at hey.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 15:42

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 15:42
Many vehicles have different tracks between the front and rear - including my Landrover and there are no issues.

I appreciate some Toyota owners have complained but much is hearsay - I know one owner of these vehicles and he indicated it was not an issue either onroad or offroad.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 17:56

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 17:56
There are substantial numbers of V8 Landcruiser owners who complain about the steering twitchiness and high-speed steering wander of the V8 traytop and troop-carrier 'Cruisers.

Yes, there are vehicles with differences between front and rear track - but the 'Cruiser has 95mm difference between front and rear - and the 'Cruiser is high and narrow.

When you load these vehicles up, the C of G is high, and coupled with a narrow track overall, plus the substantially narrower rear track, they certainly develop a degree of instability.
The very worst variety is a troop carrier fitted with a roof rack. Loaded up inside, with a full load on the roof rack, they are quite unstable.

The whole design smacks of a miserable bean counter over-riding the engineers who probably wanted to widen the rear axle as well as the front.
In the greater scheme of things, it wouldn't have cost Toyota a great deal more to do so, and it would have improved the stability of the 'Cruiser substantially.

They were happy enough to change from 6 stud axles to 5 stud, thereby stuffing every owner around, and preventing the use of wheels from earlier models - and that change would surely have been driven by a bean counter as well, to try and save 50c on every vehicle.

However, this is typical of the vehicle-manufacturing industry. I read an article recently where GM had a huge and dangerous problem with a faulty ignition lock on one model - and the bean counters refused to allow a modification that would have solved the problem (and stopped a heap of litigation) - because the modification was going to cost 94 cents for each vehicle!!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:41

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:41
Thanks Keith.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:06

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:06
Ron sums it up perfectly my experience is precisely as described so I fixed it...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 18:45

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 18:45
Garrycol, which model Land Rover has different track front to rear?


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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 21:39

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 21:39
The 101 fc
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 23:31

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 23:31
The GU Patrol leaf cab chassis has 100mm narrower rear track too.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, May 06, 2016 at 08:19

Friday, May 06, 2016 at 08:19
Land Rover 101 FC track difference is only 25mm, which is a bit different to the Toyota.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, May 06, 2016 at 16:47

Friday, May 06, 2016 at 16:47
So - it is still different.
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Reply By: Kenell - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 17:44

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 17:44
Macca,
I have clocked up 100k on my LC76 and whilst I am not a motoring purist I have been driving for over 40 years. I haven't noticed any issues with the tracking - certainly none that I could justify spending the dollars to rectify. I have read a number of criticisms from people who say it is dreadful to drive because of it but I just can't see it. My first car was an FB Holden so I find everything easy to drive by comparison. Incidentally I watched a 4wd show last night where the 79 series was sponsored by Ironman. The tracking had been changed and coil springs had been fitted to replace the leaf setup. They didn't explain how or how much but if you were keen Ironman might be worth investigating.
Ken
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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:44

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 18:44
Thanks Ken, I have had my 76 Series since new (2010), and while I have not found it a problem, I had heard about the spacers, and wondered what the pros & cons were. After reading more about them, unless you extend the axle shafts which is expensive, then every thing else is illegal.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 03:12

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 03:12
That would have been the Top of Downunder show.
They use a Jmacx coil conversion, cost about $10,500-
Nice bit of engineering, but costly.

Jmacx Coil Conversion 70 Series

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 10:16

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 10:16
It has amused me that people go to great lengths, sometimes illegal, to have the front and rear tracks identical. It's only when going straight ahead that the rear wheels would be following the front wheels exactly. Now move to off road and the deserts, high country and "the bush" in general, I don't recall many straight tracks where it would be critical that the tracks were the same. So why bother! Certainly not the well maintained and graded etc roads like the GRR, Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks. Maybe Fraser. Cetainly not worth it, and defintely not worth it for places like the high country where a straight, if one exists, would be less than 100 meters.

Similar to Macca; we have been driving, professionally and privately, and racing/rallying, all manner of vehicles over many different terrains from sand to snow for 50+ years and neither of us can recall any problem with tracks not being identical.

Phil
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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 20:08

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 20:08
Wheels with a bigger offset are an option but there are limits on how far you can increase the width and also it puts more strain on the hub, bearings and studs but up to a point are legal.
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Reply By: leigh r - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:30

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 07:30
Give Marks 4wd a call i have heard hhey have a axle extension kit
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Reply By: McLaren3030 - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 09:58

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 09:58
Hi Guys,

Thanks to all who have replied, way too expensive for an axle conversion, so I will probably stick with the existing set up. It has not been a problem up till now, so no need to change anything.

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Reply By: Member - TonyV - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 13:25

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 13:25
Macca,

There are quite a few 79's running rear wheels with a different offset to provide the same wheel track. Most/many, carry 2 spares one standard and one offset.

The 3 recent ones I have seen are Blue plated (QLD Certification) and also have GVM upgrades to 3750kg. I am also told that they drive better when loaded.

I am told in a case of a puncture, that one rear with off set and one wheel with standard offset runs ok.

There are a few standard cars that have different offset wheels on the road, they tend to have a wheel saver spare.
TonyV

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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 18:32

Thursday, May 05, 2016 at 18:32
Thanks Tony.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, May 06, 2016 at 17:59

Friday, May 06, 2016 at 17:59
Macca

Just as a matter of interest I see a set of Spacers would cost 4x$200 approximately, so $800 for an imperfect and almost certainly, an illegal solution.

And illegal for a good reason as they have been demonstrated to be unsafe – and yes I’m sure many have used them without a problem, but the risk is there…Like Russian Roulette, you don't want to be the one with the loaded chamber.

In contrast, an engineered solution, tried, tested, and approved will set you back around $2,000. So whilst the Spacers are cheaper, it could well end up being false economy. I look at it this way, if I have the vehicle 10 years, the additional cost has been $120 a year for an engineered solution.

The cost difference becomes a rounding error when viewed against the vehicle's show-room floor price

Consider how you will use the vehicle - if you are towing regularly or sand driving frequently you might benefit from the outlay - otherwise, live with it, it is just a nuance to put up with..

Just throwing it out there,

Good weekend to all, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, May 06, 2016 at 20:36

Friday, May 06, 2016 at 20:36
Surely you only need two spacers.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, May 07, 2016 at 07:12

Saturday, May 07, 2016 at 07:12
Correct...my oversight (brain malfunction...)

So 2x$200 - $400. I guess it will make the additional cost $160 a year now over 10-years ;)

My main point being of course that a proper solution is better than something that is imperfect and illegal.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, May 06, 2016 at 23:10

Friday, May 06, 2016 at 23:10
I got a call from a mate tonight, who I haven't spoken to, for quite some time. We had a lengthy chat.
He lives in Bunbury - and with a few other mates, they take their bikes out bush every Easter, for an extended bush ride.
They take a couple of 4WD's for initial transport, and one of these 4WD's tows a bike trailer with the bikes on it.
They haul the bikes out however many hundred kays, and then unload the bikes to hit the 4WD trails, and to explore where the 4WD's can't get in.
I used to go with them many years ago, but I gave it up because of other ties.

He was relating tonight how, just this Easter gone, they decided to visit Cave Hill, as a few of his mates had never been there.
One of the 4WD's they took along was a 76 series V8 diesel Wagon. It belonged to another mate.

As most West Aussies know, Easter was a bit of a wipeout due to heavy rain over the weekend.
The group got around 75mm of rain out at Cave Hill, they all got soaked and dispirited and decided to call time on the weekend - and they were worried about the possibility of more substantial rain stopping them from getting out - so they packed up and headed out.
My mate put his bike on the trailer behind the other 4WD and piled into the V8 Troopy.

They were heading West on the Norseman-Hyden road in heavy rain, and after a few kays, they ran into a patch of yellow greasy clay on the road.
My mate said, within seconds, the 'Cruiser Wagon had skated on a greasy patch, and turned turtle - landing on its roof.

Luckily, no-one was hurt, they weren't travelling real fast, and the damage wasn't enough to stop them.
They righted the Wagon, checked everything over, straightened what was needed to be straightened, and set off again.

He said tonight, "You wouldn't believe this - but we got about another 30-40 kays towards Hyden, and we came across ANOTHER V8 diesel 76 series Wagon, that had turned over, in a near-identical episode!!
This one hadn't rolled right over, it had just landed on its side.

He's scathing of the 76 series poor handling, the top-heaviness, the narrow rear axle, and the dangerousness of these things - and he reckons he's surprised somebody hasn't started a class action against Toyota by now, for selling what is essentially a poorly-designed, and poor-handling vehicle.

I note that even in the test review below, the reviewer notes the Landcruiser's "handling can become quirky on bumpy surfaces".
"Quirky" is a cute way of saying they just plainly suffer from exceptionally poor handling in adverse conditions.
Loaded right up, they are just plain dangerous. I note how the test was done with no load - but the reviewer still noted the "quirky" handling.

Buyers Guide - 76 Series Landcruiser Wagon

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - VinceH - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 21:45

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 21:45
Macca,

I believe the best solution is what has been outlined by Baz - The Landy above. A fully engineered solution but somewhat expensive initially, but not perhaps over time.

I opted for a cheaper solution - an offset alloy rear rim made specifically for this purpose. Click on #6 on the following web page.
http://www.canterburytyres.com.au/apparel/4x4-4x2-suv/alloy-wheels/16-inch-en-2-3-4-5-6-7/

I couldn't believe the difference the wider track at the rear made to the vehicle's handling.

Many in WA use offset steel wheels which are cheaper - about $120 a wheel.
They have a pretty useful website -http://www.4-wheeling-in-western-australia.com/toyota-70-series.html

I carry a spare for both front and back wheels, but you can interchange to get yourself out of a tricky situation if necessary, but keep your speed down until you get back to the correct rims.

Initially, I had a heavy duty suspension and a lift on the vehicle (did the Hay River and a few others with that). But, SHMBO was most unhappy with the stiffer ride and the additional height to climb into the cab. After discussions with several EO members (including Baz), I have since had an engineered GVM upgrade installed by Driveline Services. The lift is .5mm higher than standard at the front wheel and 2 mm higher at the back wheel and although it is signed off at 3900kg it has much softer springing in the ride. The system is used by a lot of 79 series fire fighters around NSW dams.

http://www.driveline.com.au/product/light-fleet-4wd-parts/suspension

Having spent all that money, I am now back in the good books and have happy company for my upcoming CSR Trip.

Hope this helps, but just remember that you have guards to contend with on the back wheels of a 76 series which we don't have to worry about with a 79 series.

Cheers

VinceH

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Follow Up By: McLaren3030 - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 13:36

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 13:36
Thanks Vince, but I just can't afford this upgrade at the moment.

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