Bent BT 50 4X4

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 11:03
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 12:40

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 12:40
It just goes to show that there is a world of difference between a static weight and a moving weight. The 250kg being forced to move excessively up and down creates far more stress then 250kg that just stays relatively level. That's why Land Rover specify different weight limits for their vehicles in off road situations. Other manufacturers should follow suit if they don't already.
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AnswerID: 615718

Reply By: Ozi M - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 15:56

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 15:56
Beware the dips ! I was told this before heading outback for the first time and it remains my one piece of advice to any newbie who asks.
AnswerID: 615722

Follow Up By: Member - J&A&KK - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 16:58

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 16:58
Very good advice Ozi M.

I learnt this the hard way, on the Duncan Rd in the Kimberley’s, driving a LWB Land Rover tray back with a canvas canopy. It was sometime between 1967-69 during the wet season( which had been dry) we were doing survey work on the Ord catchment as the dam was under construction. We were loaded with survey gear and supplies for a 3-4 week field trip.

I was driving. We were doing about 80kph. We hit a hidden dip, that none of us saw, that pitched us hard onto the front wheels. The heavy gear in the rear was launched skywards with some expensive survey gear going straight through the old canvas onto the road and into the Bush. The force of the impact broke the steering box off the chassis so the aftermath was an uncontrolled excursion into the road side Bush.

No seat belts in those days so the three of us in the front all hit the roof plus each other and other things before we came to a stop. No major injuries as it turned out.

We lashed the steering box back onto the chassis, collected all the kit and drove back to Kununurra where we received a serious tongue lashing from the boss. A replacement vehicle and survey kit and one day later we were back on the road. We drove a lot slower after that and were far more vigilant in looking for dips.

We were all in our late teens, thought we were pretty good experienced drivers. To this day I look for dips and the tell tale signs that often accompany them.

I feel sorry for the BT50 owner. Unfortunately sh..... does happen even to the best prepared.

John



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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 17:26

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 17:26
"We hit a dip a little too quick as I was focused on not getting bogged,"

I would suggest that "charging" is an inappropriate (but very common) method of negotiating soft sand.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 615724

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 17:45

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 17:45
If the 300kg was not in the front of the tray above the axle and the suspension was std with no additional ride height and especailly with std shocks, it is not surprising the chassis and axle had a fight in the dip. Two additional wheels on the rear makes the 300kg load approx 400kg and the inertia of the trailer as extra ball load and inertia must have been just too much. Maybe the chassis is made of Kobe Steel to add a little spice to the mix.
I learnt about dips on motor cycles and the story of the landrover on the front axle is a killer. I rode my xt600 on the front wheel only. Instant respect for dips forever thereafter.
AnswerID: 615725

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 18:41

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 18:41
Others may recall a retired gent who had chassis bending problems with his Triton dual cab?

He had fitted a canopy on the tub, and then attached a dual wheel carrier onto the rear, before hooking up, I think, a camper trailer of some description. Massively bent chassis, and unhapppy owner who took Mitsubishi to task. Don't recall the outcome these days......

Was in Longreach a year or two back, and to my surprise, spotted a chopped Landcruiser dual cab, suffering the same fate as ol' mate above. Don't recall if this ute had a canopy, but may have had a mesh one, and didn't appear to have much weight in the tray. Did have a Kimberly camper type on the back. One could suggest that this bloke may have been hitting dips a bit quickly?

Back in my past life, we had a young bloke working for us that had little regard for equipment, and a reputation as a "lead-foot". He was tasked to tow a full 2300L fuel tanker about 80kms to the outstation, using a dual cab Hilux, with strict instructions not to exceed 60kmh!

In hindsight, his instructions should have been even more precise, as the Hilux returned to the station with a bent chassis, moi wasn't happy and he was never trusted again. Did get my revenge later, in an incident involving a rake, wheel tracks and half a day in hot sun.......

In the original article, did the bloke let his tyres down? Might have been more concerned with appearing on "I got bogged at Inskip", than watching where he was driving. Just bad luck.......

Bob


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AnswerID: 615728

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:45

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:45
Chassis bending is common on twin cab Triton's

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FollowupID: 886768

Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:07

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:07
I know the bloke that bent the Triton. It sat in the police yard at Oodnadatta for a week or 2 until it was recovered. The camper trailer was not an overly big one either. Anyway ...it was repaired under insurance ( straightened ) and then promptly sold. He now has a v8 Troopy...and is happy with that.


Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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Reply By: swampy - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:00

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:00
HI
It would have been a bad day .

The real question becomes for the vehicle makers .
When are they going to tell the public about these issues . Then advise and derate accordingly the tow /carrying load in a dual cab .
Finally when is the redesign going to happen and stick the rear axle at least 300mm rear ward .

People are finally realizing the B..L SH.T vehicle makers have been serving up for all the years past .

NO MORE underated CR..P FROM THAILAND ..............!!
AnswerID: 615729

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:51

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 19:51
About what issues? There is only one brand that has issues. You load your vehicle appropriately and drive appropriately you'll have no problems. I have a dual cab just under it's GVM, I tow a 1.5tonne trailer through some of the worst country in Aus and have never had an issue with the ute. The trailer has been repaired a few times but not the ute. And I have hit a few dips at speed to
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:08

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:08
One brand? I assume you mean Mitsubishi? Clearly wrong when Hilux, Landcruiser and BT50 have already been mentioned here. Plenty of Navaras bend too, they had a reputation in years gone by.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:24

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:24
Navara's especially still do, especially in Europe where they salt the roads and it rusts out the chassis where it kicks up at the back of the cab.
They literally snap in 1/2.
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 09:30

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 09:30
Apart from your wording appearing inappropriate, Swampy (I believe you may have meant "no more OVERRATED crap from Thailand"?), I think your statement contains more than its fair share of unsubstantiated bias. Vehicles from Thailand ( though often manufactured elsewhere) are not only some of the most popular in Australia, they are also getting a reputation for being reliable, well built and well designed.
There are thousands of these running about with camping gear on the back, the vast majority having no problems whatsoever. There is a group of individuals who appear intent upon making a ruckus regarding the carrying capacities of these vehicles and a "tendency" to bend chassis (a version of the weird pleasure some get from using forums to vent anger or suggest some kind of superiority). A common link is made to a three year old article by Ron Moon. In this article the suggestion is that bent chassis are common. In reality they are mainly common when vehicles are overloaded, poorly loaded and driven too quickly or with lack of caution. I discussed this with Peter Barnes after this article came out (I am looking to set up a ute with a slide on) and he confirmed he felt the issue was not the design of the vehicles, but the main issues were excess weight, weight distribution and, above all, inappropriate speed. As mentioned the vast majority of similar vehicles are fine.
It is true there is a misunderstanding (overestimation?) of the carrying ability of the popular utes (witness the numerous people towing vehicles over GCM without realising it). The ute owner in this article believes he was doing all the right things. Unfortunately having that much extra weight behind the rear axle may be technically within the range of the carrying capacity but is without doubt inappropriately placed for 4wd-ing. Appropriately loaded and driven utes experience, and will continue to experience few, if any, problems in this regard.
Cheers,
Mark
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FollowupID: 886813

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 06:43

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 06:43
This issue comes up from time to time.
While you do see all makes with it occasionally, the Tritons do / did seems to be more often in the photos, I have a heap of them in my 4WD pics files found over the years, along with side on comparos of different makes showing some with terrible rear axle position, others are certainly better.
It's amazing what even a few inches of more rearward axle placement achieves to reduce risk.

Design has a lot to do with this issue.
It is FAR more prevalent problem in dual cab designs, where the rear axle has to be far too forward, more so in some models like the Triton.
Turning circle would be unworkable if you moved that back to a more central position.

Extra cabs and single cabs are much more suitable in design for what many are asking of their tourers.

You only have to look at the dual cab Tritons side on to Hilux, Ranger, any of the common makes to see there are some issues with position or rear axle.
Even 79 dual cabs look like a bad design too, but their chassis can generally handle it, except in extreme cases of poorly thought out setting up.
Pretty sure I have a pic or 2 of bent 79s.

I recall heading east towards Birdsville one crossing, we came over a dune and down in the corridor was a small group stopped, a Landrover dual cab obviously bent, large slide on fitted.
There were a swag of people sitting about, waved, but my group had kept going so seeing they were all ok, we kept moving.
I thought the poor bugger, but it could have happened to anyone in the right (wrong) circumstance.

All these would be fine if they weren't loaded up for trips, usually far greater stresses using them off road over their designed road specs, the heaviest weights are often far too rearward, home made or bought slide on type canopies with twin wheel carriers on the back, big roof storage with fuel or other spare wheels, heavy stuff popped in the very rear for easier storage and access, or heavy towball weight towing.
With towing, not just heavy towball weight, but added stresses of it in movement on tracks, and especially in undulating / rough country like those beach access points, or dunes.

With added weight and / or towing, people often put airbags in, which reduces the nice spread 2 point leafpoint weight distribution, more so onto one focus point.
Used right they are ok, but used as a substitute lift in a weighted rear and it's just asking for trouble.

I'm not engineer, but it's painfully obvious there are often multiple factors and contributing circumstances that cause bent chassis, and others failures too.

The 'perfect storm' once is all it takes.

I'm sure Tritons are fine, when used right, a simple decent constant load suspension upgrade to cope with a moderate, well loaded rear cargo area and all ok.

As long as dual cabs are made, there are going to be threads and stories online about this forever . . . and they are so popular, it's easy to see their market share will only increase as it has been for the past numerous decade or so.
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FollowupID: 886848

Reply By: Hoyks - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:04

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:04
Its a reasonably common occurrence though; vehicle hits a dip a bit fast, suspension compresses/bottoms out.
Any load aft of the bump stops if going to want to keep going down, so 70kg of tyres and a few hundred kg of mass on the tow ball that is heading down that you are going to have to stop and all over 1m aft of the bump stop which has suddenly become a fulcrum with 600-1000N pushing on it.
Something has to give.
I'm eyeing off some cheap insurance in a weld on chassis brace kit
AnswerID: 615730

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:21

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:21
I spoke to the engineer approving my GVM upgrade regarding this option. He suggested some of the "quick fixes" being done are only transferring the problem to other areas of the chassis- often more likely to break. His advice was, if I wanted to go down this track, it would be a substantial chassis rework, insurance maybe, but hardly cheap.

His advice was to have a properly engineered GVM Upgrade, avoid airbags (not that they are an issue in and of themselves, more-so in how they are used) and load and drive to the conditions.

Cheers,

Mark
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FollowupID: 886819

Reply By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:45

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 20:45
The major manufacturers sell their utes all around the world but is there anywhere else they are modified and used the way many of them are in Australia?
People take what is basically a workhorse designed to carry a load for a tradesman or a farmer, add a whole heap of accessories and extras in different places that can change the dynamics of a vehicle and how its suspension works and then maybe hang a 1500kg camper with the 200kg ball weight off the back and drive it on some of the roughest roads in the world.
And then some of them bend or break.
Sure the manufacturers set weight limits but I wonder what they would say if shown a picture of how some of the damaged utes we have seen are configured. I recall reading a few years ago that some government dept somewhere found that just adding a bulbar, aux battery and passenger to a Hilux was in danger of putting the front axle loading over the limit.
It's really sad for people who have to deal with this but I would think anyone going down this path to build a travelling vehicle should be aware. Maybe more people see the 4WD advertorials on TV or the glossy magazines than read the forums where the problems get an airing.
If you get all your knowledge from some I have seen you won't know much.
Given the amounts of money involved with setting up these cars I would hope people do lots of research. But we live in a free market world and if people want to splash the cash the sellers will always happily oblige.
A bloke I was travelling with earlier this year bent his Ranger dual cab just a little bit on a bumpy river crossing. It was a familiar setup. Lots of accessories from the ARB shop on the car and towing a nose-heavy forward fold camper trailer.
I didn't see him cross but somebody who did said the car was going up while the trailer was going down ... and then the car came down and the trailer went up.
People will always push the envelope and there are plenty who think it will never happen to them and if it does it is someone else's fault. I am not sure the manufacturers should wear too much blame.
And I note the owner in this case isn't blaming Mazda.
Cheers
AnswerID: 615731

Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:00

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:00
My question.....So what tyre pressures was he running to need to hit the dip as fast as he did? Inskip is a short straightish sand run to the barge, it's not like you need speed if the tyres are down sufficiently. Last visit there we extracted a few bogged 4wd's with caravans on the back of them, we slowly drove up and basically towed them out (going so slow it wasn't really a snatch recovery as such), barely even spun the wheels of our vehicle as we towed them out....we had 10 psi in our tyres, but so many people are scared to go below 25 or even 20 psi...go figure.
AnswerID: 615732

Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 15:39

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 15:39
Best thing don't tow in sandy condition's like this.

And yep for sand I start at 20 psi work down to 15 and done 10 for some really soft stuff speed has to be about walking pace for the 10psi pop rims off otherwise.

I have seen some kumo's fitted to white steelies on a prado pop off at much as 18 psi
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FollowupID: 886782

Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:03

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 21:03
It's interesting that Land Rover's 3500kg towing capacity is reduced to 1000kg if off road. That's food for thought for anyone who wants to tow off road with other brands. I would say that BT50 was definitely way over weight if the same rule applied.
Interesting article-

Bent Utes
AnswerID: 615733

Reply By: nickb - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 02:00

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 02:00
The dip didn’t cause the ute to bend but no doubt it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. How many hundreds of other Utes went through the same dips and none of them bent?

That weight hanging that far back has been fatiguing the chassis for a while. He maybe under gvm but as is often discussed in this forum to carry the weight it must be evenly spread in the ute, not hanging almost a metre back from the rear axle.
AnswerID: 615734

Reply By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 20:58

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 20:58
Most people buy ute's for their load carrying capacity. However they tend to get carried away with the bling and marketing hype. The most important part of a load carrying vehicle is its chassis. Most utes do not have decent chassis designed to carry a load. The Isuzu D-Max has the same chassis that is in some of their smaller trucks with up to a GVM of eight tonnes. If you intend to carry any sort of decent load, compare the chassis of your intended buy with a D-Max and at least make an informed decision. I wanted to carry a slide-on camper on the tougher tracks around Australia where I knew I would very close to my upgraded GVM. The D-Max is the only ute with a truck chassis and a truck motor. Do you want reliability or bling, your choice.

Chris
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AnswerID: 615745

Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 00:24

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 00:24
So what , you don't like the dmax? Strange you should diss the dmax, I've heard its a lovely truck.
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FollowupID: 886798

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 01:07

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 01:07
Hi Paul E6,

I think you have misunderstood my post.

The chassis on a D-Max is what is used in their 6 tonne trucks. What I suggested was that anyone buying a new ute should compare the chassis of any other ute with that of an Isuzu. They will notice a big difference in favour of the D-Max. If people expect their loaded vehicle will be around the 3 tonne mark then I suggest that the D-Max is the most capable truck to carry that weight if you intend travelling any sort of rough roads.

As for dismissing the D-Max, heavens no. I have a slide-on camper and need a Lovells GVM upgrade to 3.6 tonne to be able to carry it. If fact I took delivery of my second D-Max only yesterday. Because I travel the outback reliability is everything to me and the D-Max with a truck chassis and truck motor ticks all the boxes IMHO.

Chris
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:24

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:24
No way in the world is the do the d-max's and isuzu's light trucks share the same chassis.
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FollowupID: 886801

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:38

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:38
Dmax has a 6 Ton Truck chassis first I've heard that one , they will bend just like any other Dual Cab .
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FollowupID: 886802

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:09

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:09
Chris, the D-Max is a great ute, has a reputation of being one of the more solid in the class (though mainly from the mechanicals). But the chassis is absolutely NOT the same as the smaller truck chassis.

Cheers,
Mark
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FollowupID: 886817

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:17

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:17
Anyone noticed that there are no pics or stories anywhere of bent dual cab utes with the standard style-side ute tub with or without a fibreglass canopy ??

All the bent dual cabs either have a long tray, large custom made canopy or a tray-on type camper - all of which you can carry 3 times more gear/weight in !!

Just my observation

Cheers

Gazz
Ps - I don't own a dual cab and never have.


AnswerID: 615747

Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:39

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:39
Gazz

I mentioned further up that I was on a trip a few months with a guy who bent the chassis in his Ranger on a bumpy river crossing .

It was a style-side dual cab. I don't know what was in the back under the canopy but he was towing a forward fold camper which I have read elsewhere are nose heavy.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 886794

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:55

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 21:55
The dual cab Triton I mentioned in my reply above, Gazz, was a style side with a canopy.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 22:07

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 22:07
Rocco2010, that's a bit like the story of a guy I used to work with.
He landscaped his place all week-end, lugging around railway sleepers, shifted 20 cubic metres of soil with a wheel barrow, lopped a tree down and dug the stump out.
Monday morning at work, he was all chirpy and told us what a big job he achieved in his yard.
Was not 10 minutes later he reached across a desk to pick up a biro and collapsed to the floor. He'd done his back, was carted away by the Ambo's on a stretcher and was off work for several weeks. Ruptured a disk apparently.
What caused his crook back, was it what he did on the week-end or was it the reaching for the biro.
We will never know.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 886796

Follow Up By: mike39 - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:52

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 07:52
Looking behind the two signature pics above.....seems like Bob and Blue are one and the same.......lol
mike
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FollowupID: 886804

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 08:15

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 08:15
Ha ha, you're wrong there, Mike!

Just 2 old fellars with similar interests, I'd say. Anyway, having 2 EO accounts would be like having 2 wives, not worth the trouble for very little gain.

Bob


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Follow Up By: mike39 - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 11:06

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 11:06
Good one Bob...
My curiosity came because both pics interchanged and I reckoned that was your Cruiser and van?.

Regarding 2 wives, many years ago a well known actor had 2, in houses opposite each other........not far to visit and he seemed pretty happy....
Mike
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FollowupID: 886821

Reply By: splits - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 22:14

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 22:14
I wonder why he needed heavier springs if the back was not overloaded.

Did he check the towing instructions in the handbook? If they are anything like my ute, a WDH is requierd for any ballweight above 50% of the maximum.

I wonder what pecentage of the total load was in the five seats. They are supposed to carry five large adults and their clothing etc. That would amount to a bare minimum of 450 kg if the car was to be fully loaded.

Did he ask Mazda about any carrying or towing restrictions in off road conditions? Just about any manufacturer will tell you the maximums are for sealed highway conditions only. There are too many variables to try and list them in the handbook.

There is nothing wrong with the car. It was just unlucky enough to get the wrong owner.
AnswerID: 615748

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 23:10

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 at 23:10
Mine would find the bump stops with 250kg (bagged stock feed) on the back, so they are under sprung from the factory for what they are supposed to be able to carry.
Engineered more to ride as a passenger vehicle with a load carrying option than a work horse when stock.
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FollowupID: 886797

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 08:56

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 08:56
"There is nothing wrong with the car. It was just unlucky enough to get the wrong owner."

Yes - you can only wonder how many other times the fellow in the video has previously hit washouts, dips and large potholes etc he hasn't seen by going way too fast - which all eventually contributed to this final result !

I'm sure we have all seen in our travels the "speedster" who drives 30% faster than conditions allow whether in sand, on corrugations, in mud, over gibbers and up or down steep rocky hills ? I have travelled with friends that have four, five hundred thousand k's on their dual cabs - some with custom made canopies and no bent chassis's - and I will have an educated guess that's because they are not overloaded, have the weight distributed properly and drive to the conditions !


Happy and safe travels

Cheers

Gazz
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FollowupID: 886809

Reply By: swampy - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 11:14

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 11:14
Hi
Until all the ute makers shift the axle rear ward there will be many more BENT UTES .
PK/ PJ Ranger levelling bars required over 1800kgs . Many donot/cannot use .
Derate for offroad driving 1000--1200kgs . Sounds very familiar to the Landrovers ??

There are many other dual cabs with axles in the middle of the rear/ tray .
Unless u have 150,000 grand there a no go for most .

Simple solution is just build a better dual cab and not the current rubbish .

OH look a better chassis with optional engines and transmissions

THERE are many a workers utes by the the big USA makers that would fit the requirement . at 3/4 the current price of the Thailand utes .
AnswerID: 615764

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 16:01

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 16:01
Swampy, did you get frightened by a Triton as a child?

The current group of dual cabs are hardly "rubbish''. A few thousand satisfied owners having driven millions of kms would disagree. Collectively millions, of course. Even Land Rover owners don't claim that much ;-)

Cheers,

Mark
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FollowupID: 886834

Follow Up By: Tomdej - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 16:57

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 16:57
There have been many posts about this subject previously and it has been shown that all brands have bent their chassis.

For around $5000 a number of companies can extend and reinforce the chassis of any dual cab. This moves the wheels under the centre of the tray and will then provide you the strength of the single cab together with the benefits of a 5 seater vehicle.

Creative Conversions in Brisbane and Specialised Vehicles south of Sydney are just two of the companies.

The fee includes an Engineer's report to enable registration in any state/territory.

Please look into this more before posting more comments that appear to only being made to justify your own choice of vehicle.

Have a good new year, and let's research things a bit more before posting without thinking....
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FollowupID: 886839

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 17:33

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 17:33
Never seen a Land Rover that hasn’t fallen of a cliff or been hit by a train with a bent chassis!
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FollowupID: 886840

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 18:57

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 18:57
Tomdej, I presume you are replying to my comment? No need to justify my choice of vehicle, my point wasn't about the actual vehicle. It was regarding the unreasoned tone taken to denigrate products on the market which some dislike. There have been numerous posts on the bent chassis subject, mostly from those not really having done THEIR research. Of those who have chosen dual cab utes to use for recreation (over 10,000 utes sold in September alone) the vast majority do not see these problems. Many users here use dual cab utes as their 4wd's. They use them regularly and do thousands of kms without issue. Denigrating their choice is, in my opinion, inappropriate and close to trolling. Some thinking (and research) before those posts might be more appropriate.

If you want to make an issue, how about using some real world statistics and getting some actual data. As for research, I have personally been researching this issue, as I am about to get a new vehicle in this class. In doing so I have spoken to engineers, government bodies and users. Including getting information and quotations on options from Creative Conversions amongst others. A general chassis extension can have some benefits but is not the definitive answer to off-road use with overloaded vehicles. To enhance a standard dual cab (some more than others) to cope with loads (both weight and placement) seen with most of those with bent chassis takes more than the $5000 chassis extension and the addition of a couple of fish-plates. The type of engineering likely to make the BT50 in the original post reliable would be significantly more work and cost. Check with creative Conversions to see a cost to increase a chassis on a Triton AND include a GVM... I think you'll need a little more than your 5 grand.

There are numerous options for the average user to improve their situation, e.g. the 300mm extension you mentioned can often be more easily achieved by going from a dual cab to an extra-cab, with none of the other additional issues involved in aftermarket modifications.

Of course, this does not stop some from deciding they now have a longer tray, might as well use it all up. We are back to personal choices, load ratings, appropriate use and driving.

Again, there are examples of most types of utes bending chassis, but the vast majority do not. Could the manufacturers do a better job of marketing their product? Yes, but you can say that of many products. It is up to the user to make the best decisions for their use.

Nice to see you have been thinking before posting!

And Shaker, my comment on the Land Rover was regarding the mileage, not the chassis (poorly worded, I guess, sorry). But just to be consistent, my brother-in-laws 130 has a bent chassis. Mind you, I wouldn't let him drive any of my cars on his farm (or off, come to think of it)!

Enjoy your new years.
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FollowupID: 886841

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 19:41

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 19:41
Just curious - would anyone have any official statistics on how many dual cabs have actually had bent chassis's ?? Most of the stories I have read on this great site and numerous other sites all seem to post about the same utes bending - along with a new one maybe every six months or so.

In the last ten years would there be 20 ? 50 ? or even a hundred ( which I doubt )
Would be interesting to find out as there would easily be over a million dual cab utes sold in the last ten / fifteen years in Australia.


Cheers
Gazz
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FollowupID: 886844

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 20:22

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 20:22
Gazz, a problem in finding these stats is accuracy. It appears there is anecdotal evidence (albeit from reliable and qualified sources) that many dual cabs have some degree of chassis damage which may not show up for years. There is an issue with using these utes as they are advertised (and worse... perceived).

Couple that with a fair number of extra- and single-cabs also having chassis damage (though in far lesser numbers, suggesting that a main issue is weight behind the rear axle) and many other vehicles (from lightweight to heavy weight) also having damage and the picture is not clearly defined.

What is clear is, given the sales numbers with good approximations of the numbers being used recreationally and the problem is far from common (statistically).

There are enough incidences to suggest far too many are overloading and poorly positioning weight on these vehicles (I feel the comment by the BT 50 owner that the load was "within the capacity" of the vehicle shows a misunderstanding of the forces involved).

Regardless, those I have spoken to (engineers and outback mechanics) suggest the main issue is not just weight but speed and inappropriate driving. I'd be interested in comments from existing dual-cab owners here. Keep in mind, on the net you mainly see comments from those with an issue, giving a somewhat biased picture.
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FollowupID: 886845

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 06:51

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 06:51
Dual cabs are always going to need the axle too far forward than is ideal . . . they would have an unviable turning circle otherwise, most likely too great for some design rule somewhere.

The other thing that maybe isn't so important to all is ramp over, either in normal design, or with extended chassis which are of course frightfully expensive to do.
You'd be better buying a more suitable vehicle if you needed chassis extension . . . for slide ons with all the wheel carriers, roof rack carrier, and an extended tourer type of load.
A single cab 79, Iveco 4x4 Daily in single or dual cab, etc, but there aren't too many choices.
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FollowupID: 886849

Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 08:32

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 08:32
I've been driving these "rubbish" dual cab Ute's since 1982. I tow a very heavy work trailer daily & have traveled most of the outback, a lot of it towing a camper, or a caravan. I've never bent one, nor even seen a bent one other than on the net. But hey, that's only 35 years, I'm sure I'll bend one eventually lol.

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FollowupID: 886851

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 09:07

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 09:07
Kevin, I generally agree with your sentiment, but would not like to see it discount what is a real issue for many. I'm sure many of those who have suffered bent chassis as a result of overloading or poor loading did not do so willfully. They are encouraged to place unreasonable loads on their vehicles by the advertising and promotion of these vehicles as outback "weapons" (look at the advertising for the Ranger- you'd think NASA was considering one for their next Mars trip). Couple that with the advent of the amateur YouTube adventurer, bashing their way up an already overly rutted hill, and you can see why many would think these things are invincible.

The fact that many justify their loading by recourse to the maximum weights noted in their specs (disregarding the idea that this is in flat, ideal circumstances) appears to indicate and support the theory that promotion is largely to blame.

Personally, the one that worries me most is the advertising of towing abilities. Simply promoting "capable of towing 3.5 tonne" is not only disingenuous, it is, in my opinion, dangerous. If someone bends their chassis on some dunes it is (usually) disastrous only for themselves. It's a different story if someone is towing a 3.5 tonne van along the Hume Highway on the Easter Weekend- there is the potential for catastrophic damage to themselves, their families and others on the road.
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FollowupID: 886852

Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 10:43

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 10:43
I'd argue that some personal responsibility be taken by those who buy & modify dual cabs, tow unsuitable loads with them off road, then fail to adjust their driving style to the conditions.

Just had a glance at the trailer towing/off roading section of the owner's manual for my Ute, it's quite detailed. Even gets into driving on rough ground, hills, tyre pressures/types. It also states that damage caused by incorrect towing techniques voids the warranty. That "should" set alarm bells ringing for anyone looking to tow, especially if they're not sure of what they're doing.

The modern fascination with making 4WD's "look" a certain way with after market mods doesn't help.
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FollowupID: 886853

Reply By: splits - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 22:53

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 22:53
There has been a lot of replys about the chassis design and the location of the axle etc.

A couple of years ago I read a story on the current Hilux just before it was released. It was in the NRMA Open Road monthly journal. They spoke to a man named Max Gilliard . I think from memory he was the manager of Toyota's engineering or research division in Melbourne.

The story said Toyota spends one million dollars per HOUR worldwide on research and development. The Hilux 4x4 was tested for one million ks. 650,000 ks was carried out in Australia and spread over twelve cars. Some did 150,000 ks while they tried and succeeded to break the others within 20,000 ks.

I doubt if those attempts to break them were in cities. They would have had the stuffing pounded out of them all over mountain tracks and the Outback.

The engineers would have been well aware of chassis being broken in those conditions. They would have known about it long before they started designing it which I think from memory was about six or seven years earlier.

They knew what thay wanted the cars to do and they made sure they would do it in real world conditions.

The problem lies with the owners and how they use them. Internet talk about inadequate suspensions and the after market industry claiming they can solve owners load carrying problems certainly don't help either.
AnswerID: 615782

Follow Up By: Tomdej - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 12:16

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 12:16
All of the manufacturers, with the exception of Land Rover although there may be others, produce their range of utes - single cab, extra can, or dual cab with a single choice of wheelbase. This is not because it is the ideal solution, it's because it cuts costs.

As an owner of a dual cab ute with an extended chassis I understand the increased turning circle (still less than a 130 LandRover), and the slightly worse ramp over, but this is more than made up for, in my opinion, with having a ute that is more fit for purpose than the cantilevered trays on other dual cabs.

I agree that the vast majority of utes are not taken off road, and by the time problems arise warranty may have ended.

Look at the big utes available in the US, and see that they have the rear wheels under the load area, where it needs to be. The blame for bent chassis needs to be shared by owners overloading, owners not driving to the conditions, and manufacturers who won't sell a better designed product.
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FollowupID: 886856

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 13:28

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 13:28
and manufacturers who won't sell a better designed product.
===========================

These dual cabs started decades ago as a single cab with a back seat added to carry a few extra workmen. This was long before families suddenly found them useful.

Their research would have shown there is not enough interest in a lengthened dual cab based on the curent type. When their market research shows there is, they will do it. At the moment there is only a tiny minority of owners that are having chassis problems.

You are right about the big US utes. If you were to ask Ford of GM why they don't lengthen the chassis and relocate the axle on their dual cabs so owners can carry more weight than the entire chassis and drive train has been designed for, they would show you their range of US utes and say we already have vehicles designed to do that. Why would they want to make another one?
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FollowupID: 886858

Follow Up By: swampy - Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 14:22

Saturday, Dec 30, 2017 at 14:22
Hi
last time I looked at were F truks dual cabs ,dont no the model /yr but the rear axle was no where near the rear cab door . Far different from the crap we are served .

Towed for decades every day a heavy single axle on the back of a dual cab . Then changed ute and went dual axle way way better . NO MORE AGGRESIVE TRAILER ACTION influencing ute .

THe rear distance from rear axle to towball is pathetic on Aussie/Asia utes .
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FollowupID: 886860

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Dec 31, 2017 at 12:23

Sunday, Dec 31, 2017 at 12:23
Here is one thing so many people fail to grasp.

All the load ratings for these vehicles are for "smooth improved surfaces".

The Australian Army has two load ratings for its off road capable vehicles ..... one for on road use that would reflect civilian rating and another for off road use that is considerably less ...... not a a little a lot .... like 1/2 or less the on road loads.

cheers



AnswerID: 615833

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 14:12

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 14:12
Adding up the weights mentioned, I get 585 kgs of load. What has not been stated here which needs to be considered is the weight of all the people in the family and their personal affects, this has to be added to the payload if being carried inside the vehicle. This could be 200 kgs, but lets say it is only 150 kgs, this brings the payload up to 735 kgs.

Another weight that has not been mentioned is the fuel. If the vehicle has a long range fuel tank, this is extra weight. Considering that 1 Ltr of Diesel weighs approx. 780 gms, then 100 Ltrs would weigh approx. 78 kgs, taking the payload up to 813 kgs. This does not include all the other vehicle fluids, oil, water etc.

What about other accessories fitted to the vehicle such as Bull bar and winch. Although this has not been stated by the owner, and the photo in the facebook post does not include the front of the vehicle, if fitted with a bull bar, add another 30 or 40 kgs. If a winch with a steel cable is also fitted, add another 30 or 40 kgs.

So with these other factors in mind, the payload of the vehicle is much closer to the max. than previously stated. Agree that the "load" moving up & down with the suspension increases the force load, and according to the owner, the chassis has bent at the point of impact with the bump stop, this would explain why the chassis has bent. GCM is not a factor here, but GVM is. This vehicle would appear to be loaded very close to its GVM, and as others have stated the GVM quoted by the manufacturer, is for smooth on road driving conditions, not rough off road conditions. There have been other posts on this site that explain the difference between GCM/AVM & GVM.

Macca.
Macca.

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AnswerID: 615847

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