The More Things Change the . . . . . .

Submitted: Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 19:07
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Boats have been defined as a "Hole in the water you throw money into"
4WD's must have a similar definition.

Being the backwater of the world (I hasten to add; in a global market share way) Australian engineers have pleaded with a certain Japanese 4WD maker to produce a 4WD that suites our rugged land. They never had any luck.

In the early 70's bought my first FJ40. Parting with truck loads of the 'hard earned' for Suspension, Bar work, Full Cage rack, Thomas PTO, Roberts Diff Locks and a 350 short block Chev with a Holley and Perry Extractors

... anyone old enough that remembers all this stuff?

48 years of 4WDing later and repeating a similar upgrade process with everything I owned I went out and purchased a vehicle that supposedly delivers all the stuff we need here in Oz.

Guess what?

"The more things change, the more they stay the same"

4WD accessory business are thankful because here in Oz there are people that actually use 4WD's to the max ! Major market driven manufacturers provide mostly the Pitt Street Pony for that 85% segment.

Had my gripe again since visiting and griping when we toured Toyota 20 odd years ago

Cheers

dad














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Reply By: Member - Witi Repartee - Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 22:22

Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 22:22
I hear what you're saying. I've spent more on my current 4WD than I spent on purchasing my first 3 motorbikes and 2 cars.....and that's only the bits underneath it, I haven't started under the bonnet or inside it yet.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 23:13

Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 23:13
I think you are exaggerating.....it's only been 46 years since 1970. :-)
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 02:31

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 02:31
Ha Ha well picked up Mike but I started driving Toyota's on a relatives property before purchasing my own.

Cheers

dad
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Reply By: Genny - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 01:08

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 01:08
I was recently told that BOAT means Break Out Another Thousand.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 10:32

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 10:32
I hear what you say, most 4wd's are now a hybrid on off road vehicle. But you would have to argue that is what people are asking for in the main, because that is what most people are buying.

I guess the only Toyota that's a real descendant of the FJ is a 70 series. Pretty hard to argue that it is anything other than agricultural. But they still do sell them here and have modified them to Australian conditions ( a bit)

So .. what did you get, Troopy? Station Wagon or a tray?
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 02:42

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 02:42
Hi Boobook, I purchased an FJ Cruiser (just for the 2 of us) but have had Troopy's and Shorties all with the full-monty accessories.

The FJ needed the 'same' improvements as the rest except much higher tech these days.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 12:26

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 12:26
Maybe we need to start separating into categories before we criticize.

Back a decade or 4 (or 5) ago if you wanted a 4WD you were pretty much limited to Landrover, Jeep, Toyota, or Nissan.
Sure there were a few European manufactured offerings such as the Volvo C303, Pingauzer (spelling?) and a couple of others in 4WD and 6WD variants who's names escape me ATM.
Pretty capable in the right hands. I doubt Len Beadell had a V8 engine monster tyres and jacked up modified suspension fitted to his mostly trusty SWB Landy and still managed to successfully tackle trackless country mostly uninhabited and remote to lay down the "highways" we now boast about having conquered in our modern day air conned highly modded 4WD's.
Just my opinion but I believe the typical modern 4WD (as opposed to the plethora of AWD, or so called "soft roaders") are mostly limited by the ability of the driver.
In the right hands, even the aforementioned soft roaders go more places many would give them credit for.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 16:18

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 16:18
Your obviously younger than me Pop,
There was a 3 month+ waiting list when I was buying my first FJ40, no Jeeps or Chev's (they were imported later) so if you wanted you would settle for a 3 speed Nissan. The model Reg Sprigg's old man drove across the Simpson.

Your right about the drivers role in just about anything (I'm still learning) but I ran into an old fella coming down the Billy Goats Bluff Track (Victoria's steepest 4WD track) His old wagon was shod with road tyres (I noticed about 15 - 18psi) and I warned him about a bit of a hole further down the Track .... and the incoming storm.

He said " It's alright I've already been to the Lookout for lunch and the missus reckons we should head back down with those black clouds coming in fast"

Here we are with the latest piece of Tojo rocket science dripping with BP-51's and the usual full monty on an angle of 35 degrees recognising what this old driver in a standard LC had achieved with skill and common sense.

Cheers Pop

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 17:13

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 17:13
Pop,
You are getting your Spriggs mixed up. It was Reg himself who traversed the Simpson in August of 1962 with his wife was Griselda and children Douglas and Margaret.
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:14

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:14
Oops, thanks Allan it was the little fella Doug, the wife has already pointed it out.

One of DOUGS pro drivers is a bloke called Largs who was the guiding light that had me purchase a FJ Cruiser in Port Lincoln on the way home.

Speaking of REG, Largs told me he took REG to the airport for his trip to England. They were good mates. The last time he would see him.

There's a little story you may be interested in.

Cheers

dad
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:15

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:15
Dad,

Don't know what vintage you are but I'm a 1947 model.....lol.

The Jeeps I'm on about are the CJ models ranging from CJ3 to from memory CJ7. There were also a smattering of the MB's left over from WW2 and the Korean fiasco. A few, actually very few J series, the 1 and 2 tonne tray back variety. I remember fitting a complete new rear axle to one for a bloke.
The Toyotas were being imported by Sir Leslie Theiss mainly initially for the Snowy project. A few G60's were also appearing but in reality the choice was which model Series Land Rover you could afford.
My first 4B was a rather well used Series 2 Landy of about 196* something build date. There wasn't a lot to distinguish them appart...lol
A mate waited for about the 3 months you mentioned for a new 1977 FJ 40. Bloody flash bit of kit back then although the dealer couldn't get it to stop leaking even in fairly moderate rain. I gave the mate a hand pull most of the body apart and fit new seals and a liberal application of sealant. That stopped the bugger leaking.

Allan,
Ummm, I think it might have been Dad that mentioned the Spriggs. I read the book written from memory by his wife Griselda. Tough lady.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:53

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 20:53
G'day Pop,
Yes mate '47 was a great year alright so we both nearly burn down the suburb when the candles light up ;)

Leaking FJ40's?
I thought it was a brilliant engineering design to flush the salt out after a days fishing :) The bungs pulled out in the floor and she was hosed out in case it didn't rain.

Landy's?
How many times have I pulled LR's out to 2WD country in the Barrington Tops after the Salisbury diff said 'snap'

Ahhhh those were the days!?

Cheers

dad






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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 22:30

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 22:30
Sorry again Pop, the book Rock Star was not written by Griselda. The author was Kristin Weidenbach, the wife of Reg's son, Douglas.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:13

Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:13
Allan,

The book I read was "Dune Is a four letter word" written by Griselda Sprigg with co author Rod MacLean. Published by Wakefield press.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:41

Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:41
Dad, the earlier pi$$-weak Landrover axles weren't Salisburys, they were Banjo spiral bevel diffs.

When the Landrovers went over to hypoid Salisbury diffs in the rear of the LWB Series III, was when they improved out of sight.

However, the SWB Landrovers stuck with Banjo diffs even in the Series III.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 12:54

Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 12:54
Thanks Ron, I was working on advice from years ago but that is interesting. Never heard of Banjo's but then always had Tojo's.

Cheers

dad
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