Tow vehicle ramblings comments welcome

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 19:01
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In the 70’s I towed a 22 ft viscount with a short wheelbase petrol fj 40. That seems contrary to what we believe we need now.

So I wonder what is the ultimate tow vehicle today.
Since the fj 40 I have had a 60 series naturally aspirated cruiser, great vehicle but not really suited to towing at freeway speeds.
Then my 80 series petrol automatic. Wonderful vehicle. Adequate power but only rated to tow 2500 kg ( funny next year model was increased on paper to 3500 but no change mechanically)
Then I tried Triton, not bad on the highway but many times on a slight hill I would have to ride the clutch to get going. This inability to take off was really highlighted once when the van was bogged in sand. (Needed revs for the turbo to cut in)
Then a Ranger. Very popular vehicle and probably ok towing no more than 2500 kg.
With my van weighing 2500 loaded I would lose some speed up those hilly bits between Sydney and Newcastle and the scan gauge engine temp would sit on 90 deg on a flat road and increase to 95 up hill. Similarly the transmission temp would rise to about 106 when working hard.
When towing 2500 kg the Ranger felt like it didn’t have a lot left, so it’s gone.
Now a replacement!! This brings to mind petrol or diesel as well as what vehicle.
I don’t like the way diesel is going, common rail, dpf, turbos squeezing high output out of small engines. So I think a 350 cubic inch petrol V8 may just be the answer.
I look forward to all and any comments
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:05

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:05
Really. To start with what Ranger was it, if it was a px 3.2 then there was something very, very wrong with it.
As for the 350 petrol go for it, they are great for trolling, sorry or is that trawling.

If you are sincere, look at the weights of old vans against new vans. We now cart our whole house around the country with new vans.

BTW most modern if not all modern 4wds run temps around those you specify. trucks run similar temps and working and it is common to see 110c on the gauges
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:27

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:27
Thanks for the reply eagle.
The Ranger was only 18 months old and had done 20,000 Kim’s. with the 3.2 motor. It’s gone now and I must decide on a new and better vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:41

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:41
Your not wrong Eagle about the weights I just checked the difference between our previous 1986 16' 6" pop top compared to current model which is 600kg heavier.

Depends if you really like old school what about a chev V8 turbo diesel they have different levels of power up grades available to suit with good torque figures should be much better on fuel than a petrol so you get better range. Find a cruiser or similar that has the towing capacity you need.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:28

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:28
Hi Batts
Yes I did look at a Chev Silverado.
Something like I am thinking about
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:58

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:58
"We now cart our whole house around the country with new vans."

For many people these days a caravan is their home...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: nickb - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:41

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 21:41
I agree with the ranger comment. My 2014 3.2 (just under 3t loaded for a trip) is a great car, tows my 1.6t camper very well but I can’t imagine towing more than 2.5t with it. Maybe if it was closer to tare weight...
What about a patrol with the 5.6L v8?
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:18

Saturday, Dec 08, 2018 at 22:18
Thanks nick
I didn’t know the patrols had a model with a 5.6 l V8.
Sounds like a great tow machine
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 07:51

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 07:51
The Patrol with the v8 would be a great tow vehicle. I agree about the optimistic weights towed by the 4 cylinder brigade. My 2014 Pajero tows well with 1500-1800kg. With 2 tonne load it is not as cruisy or pleasant on a trip. Towing over 2500kg would be a bloody nightmare and one I couldnt imagine. I like to sit on 95-100 and not have the vehicle struggle too much on hills. Advertisers have certainly sucked a lot of people into thinking their mighty 4 cylinder makes towing 3 tonne a breeze. Anything over 2.5tonne is v8 country as far as I am concerned.
The Patrol is well priced and with a few accessories will make a great tow vehicle. $60,000 will see you in a good unit with towbar, etc...2nd hand.Diesels are on the way out according to vehicle manufacturers, are expensive to repair and not as easy to work on for the average home mechanic.
Good luck with your choice.
AnswerID: 622539

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:08

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:08
Thanks biggish
I agree with your comments.
Diesels of today are certainly not the same as the long lasting, trouble free motors of the past.
I am looking at a new vehicle. Have only looked at Silverado so far, not a lot near me to see in the flesh so that is why I seek comments here.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 09:52

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 09:52
Working with a bloke at the moment that has a Silverado. He had a 79 series Landcruiser for towing his 'van but it wasn't good enough in some aspects, apparently? Forked out $140K including canopy etc and he's a happy man. Some blokes are spending up to that amount, or more, on dual cab LC's with remaps, rear axle conversions, canopies and even auto g'boxes.

Did read somewhere, probably on Facebook, some wag suggested with Silverado, you have this beautiful engine & transmission, with a bit of work, the rest of the vehicle falls to pieces.

F-250's are still available, converted from LHD, from a dealership in Melbourne. Don't recall the business.

Or you could buy a low km GU Nissan, rip out the 3L & fit a Chev V8 diesel. One EO member in WA did this some years back. Just a bit noisy, he said.

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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:06

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:06
Hi Bob y
Thank you for you reply, interesting about the Silverado not standing up to the job.
I was thinking it , F series truck or Dodge Ram as possible options.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 22:39

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 22:39
Apparently, Cruiser, I've been giving you a bum steer about my work colleague's ute. It is, in fact, a Dodge Ram dual cab.

Asked him this morning about his previous ute, a s/cab 79 series. He said it gave 21L/100, whether he drove it at 85 or 105 clicks. It struggled on hills towing the 'van, occasionally grabbing 2nd to get over the rise. The Ram though, towing the same 'van, has been down to 17L/100, but usually sits about 18 mark. He also said the tub, with canopy, "is not me!" Mainly for lack of access in such a large tub.


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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 07:22

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 07:22
Hi Bob
Thank you very much for finding out all the details about your workmates experience.
That info is very helpful.
Going for a test drive in one
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:13

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:13
While Europe may be starting to move away from diesel, here in Aust diesel will be king for a long time - mainly for the reasons of better fuel consumption, better torque, and overall outback fuel availability (when apples are compared with apples) - yes in specific circumstances things may be different but overall diesel in Aust will be around for a long time and I doubt interstate trucks will be changing to petrol in the near future.

With its big V8 I am sure the patrol can physically tow very well but like all petrol vehicles its fuel consumption will high in high load scenarios like towing a big van.

As far as the American V8 diesel utes are concerned they are a mighty tow vehicle vehicle with big power and torque and high tow capacities. However you need to be aware the vehicle themselves have a relatively load capacity - in the case of the Silverado it is only about 950kg - about the same as a dual cab Hilux.

Now that doesn't sound too bad but if you have the vehicle to tow a big heavy van loaded to the hilt, your tow ball weight may be up around 300kg or higher so you are then down to 650kg load capacity, a tubby Ma and Pa passenger and driver - say 200kg all up, so down to 450kg load capacity.

Your touring around so maybe a long range tank - say 180litres will conservatively be 200kg so down to 250kg load capacity. Bull bar and winch - say a 100kg (conservative) and you are down to 150kg. What about a canopy to cover the ute back? 100kg?

Now you can argue the weights - for sure your own circumstance maybe different but my point is that while these big utes may have a 5+ tonne tow capacity the vehicle load capacity is not superior and may not be much more than smaller Jap dual cabs - so take this aspect into account when considering these vehicles using you own needs.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:58

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:58
Thanks Garry
I appreciate your input and yes I understand exactly what you mean, And this seems to apply to all vehicles.
I never tow to the manufacturers max rating So will will easily stay within the limits.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:40

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:40
The big American 4WD's are the biggest rip-off in Australia.
They sell for $50-$60K in the U.S. and they double and sometimes even nearly triple in price, by the time they're on the road here.

The problem is, they're slapped together by low paid workers, as with most U.S. built vehicles.
These are the people they have to keep repeating "righty-tighty", "lefty-loosey" to, just to ensure they can remember which way nuts and bolts have to be turned.
Fortunately, in the factories, they have most automated tools already set up, to turn the right way, so they don't have to think about it.

The greatest single problem with the big U.S.-built utes, is that they are designed specifically for LHD.
Unlike those vehicles such as all Jap vehicles, which are specifically designed for RHD or LHD.

As a result, you pay a fortune to convert a vehicle from LHD to RHD and endure all the remnant LHD features - such as wipers that wipe the wrong part of the windscreen, controls arse-about on the steering column - and more importantly, steering and suspension and brake conversions which are rarely stellar in their redesign.

It's not just the re-engineering required on steering and controls, to go from LHD to RHD that is important - "proper" RHD's have a different firewall, and are engineered for RHD - which includes steering alignment set up for RHD.

I have several mates who have regularly been to steering specialists, trying to re-align their front ends, to stop their big Yank utes from wandering all over the road, or pulling one way or another, due to road camber.

I had a mate who bought a new Dodge Ram, and the panhard rod (or track bar) on the front axle had to be relocated, to allow for the repositioning of the steering box.
This entailed fabricating new panhard rod mountings - and these ended up breaking off, and giving him great grief.
In addition, the brakes on the Ram were pretty pathetic for the size of the vehicle. It took a lot longer to stop than the average Tojo.

Then there's the load capacity as mentioned by garrycol. You just have to wonder why such huge vehicles have such a piddly load rating. It certainly reflects their build quality and strength.
You want a towbar or bullbar for these things, you pay dearly to have one engineered for it, because they are not a common product.

And of course, if you want any parts, you're up against the "difficult to procure and expensive" parts scenario.
I bought a new 4WD F100 (which was supposedly "Australian built") and I can remember paying $600 just for a grille - in 1980!
I spent thousands trying to get the F100 to steer straight. No power steering was offered with it, and I ended up having to fit aftermarket power steering - at great cost to myself.

My nephew bought a new diesel Silverado around 2010 - and he promptly got rid of it, it was nothing but constant strife, always in the dealers getting some kind of repair - at great cost to him.
So many of the problems with it were infuriating niggly, electrical problems.

Getting stuck in "limp-home" mode, with a 50kmh speed limitation, between Kununurra and Broome, was the last straw for him - let alone trying to find anyone with intimate knowledge of the vehicle, to be able to service it.

He currently has a Ford F150 SVT Raptor, which he does seem to be fairly happy with - he reckons it's the best handling and most driveable of all the "Yank tanks" he's owned - but to me, it's still an overpriced Ford.

The St John Ambulance in W.A. disposed of all their F-series ambulances some years ago, after having run with the F-series for years and years.
The thing that killed the F-series with St John was the sheer cost of running and maintaining the F-250 Powerstroke diesels.
Parts prices would make your eyes water - $1400 for injectors (each) was a figure I was quoted by one of the SJ mechanics.

The bottom line is, if you want to haul 3 tonnes, get a Japanese truck, they're designed to handle it, year in, year out.

The alternative is purchase a motorhome, and tow your car behind it. You can buy a good motorhome based on a Jap diesel truck, for not much more than a new "Yank tank" 4WD ute.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:19

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:19
Hi Ron
Umm I take it you don’t like American built.
Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply.
As far as the Rams and chevs being much cheaper in the US I thing it would be fair to say that applies to all vehicles in America Toyota included.
Your comment about the US vehicles being assembled by low paid workers is a bit cruel and is often used to demean Asian workers. So who should we trust to build a car or truck.
I think the right hand drive converters do a far better job than you give them credit for.
I have only now finished inspecting and driving a Ram. You could not pick that it was once left hand drive. Beautifully done by Australian Special Vehicles. Exceptional to drive, brakes were very good and great steering contrary to how you described them. No doubt there is merit in what you have experienced much the same as those who love the Ranger and others who bagg them endlessly.
What Japanese truck do you suggest? I have read about the 5.6 litre patrol but don’t want a wagon. Of course the dual cab utes are not made in Japan and am stepping up from a Ranger which is why I am looking at the US trucks.
I am not looking for a motorhome.
I really do think that my only option is a Chev Silverado or Dodge Ram.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:40

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:40
I can answer the piddly load capacity bit easily. A HD2500 has a kerb weight of just over 3500 kg and truck rego and licensing kicks in ay 4495 kg. It has nothing to do with anything apart from paperwork and maths. Get a 3500, put it on truck rego, drive it on a LR/MR license and blow OO all the time and you can have the best of both worlds.
For the record I also would do LOTS of research on anything Chrysler is bringing to the market. They consistently own the bottom five spots of any given JD Power ownership satisfaction survey.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 15:50

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 15:50
Cruiser 3 - I just personally believe that the American-built stuff is over-rated, over-priced, and unsuitable for Australian conditions.
I do know that some of the LHD conversion specialists are very good at what they do - but it costs, big-time.

There's a "Wow!", awe-inspring factor in these utes that makes most people genuflect as soon as you roll up in one.
I've had the same response with a old Jaguar - but old Jaguars were (and still are) nothing but a pile of expensive trouble.

You have to remember these utes are built for the American market, and American conditions, that are vastly different to Australian conditions.
In America, if your Ram/Silverado/F-series packs it in, it's 5 mins to the nearest big dealer who has immediate access to the factory engineers that built them - often, just down the road. We don't have that kind of backup.

The auto workers are low-paid employees. American auto worker earn around $16-20 hr.
But substantial number of components and parts in your big "American" pickup, are made in places such as Mexico and China - where the wages rates are as low as a couple of dollars an hour, and the workers are lacking in mechanical skills.
The content figures have shocked many Americans even, with up to 30% of the "home-grown" pickups containing imported parts.

As far as the Japanese trucks go, Isuzu and Hino are leaders in the light to medium truck field, Mitsubishi has sold their Fuso truck line to Daimler and it's not as good as it used to be, UD has a good reputation, and Nissan has a reasonable product backed by poor customer service and poor parts supply.

The Ram is still a Chrysler product, and known for assembly faults, varying build quality, and poor bodywork.
The Silverado build quality problems are well known (search for "Silverado problems), and the Ford F-series comes out as the best of the three at present, if you seek reasonable reliability.
However, Ford have now dropped the V8 petrol engine from the F-series Raptor lineup, and you now get a highly tuned twin-turbo V6 instead.
With all three of the above, be prepared to be "shafted" on parts pricing and servicing - Ford in particular.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 16:56

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 16:56
I think some of your generalizations are way off the mark...Would have been better if you put this in the Friday Funnies section.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 20:30

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 20:30
Some of Ron's comments may have been relevant in the past but I dont believe so now as these "trucks" in RHD are now being sold through Australia dealers (Holden, Ford, Chrysler) and where conversion to RHD is being done here it is part of the manufacturer's local systems.

Eg GM products such as the Silverado are being converted by HSV which of course is very part of the Australian GM Holden organisation. So In dont think we have to worry too much about the quality of conversions for Aust conditions.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 00:29

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 00:29
The interesting part about the Dodge Ram, is Fiat-Chrysler sold 398 Rams in Australia, in total, for the whole of 2017.

But they have only managed to sell 80 Rams for the first 5 months of 2018 (official figures).

However, the head honchos at Fiat-Chrysler claim they are looking at total sales of 2100 Rams for the whole of 2019.

With the current slump in the car market (down about 10% overall, and I've even seen Toyota offering 3 day special deals), all I can say to the Fiat Chrysler salespeople, is - "in your dreams, mateys! - in your dreams!"

You just have to wonder why the Ram sales have taken such a kick in the guts so far this year.

Surely it can't be because all the Ram buyers are holding back for the 2019 model?? (waiting for the bugs to be sorted? LOL) - Ram recalls

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:46

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 08:46
If your considering the Silverado, why not look at the Dodge Ram as well. Don’t know what the actual figures are ,but we toured the USA and Canada last year (on our motorcycle) the Ram’s seem to be prominent in numbers over there.
Only thing I wouldn’t like about either is the size, but brilliant tow vehicles , and economical.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 09:28

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 09:28
There was a RAM next to me at the lights yesterday, it did look very nice. The only thing to keep in mind is that Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep are pretty low down on the reliability and customer service rating. Probably better in the States because there are more of them with a larger dealer and parts network, but pretty thin on the ground here. It makes it a hard decision.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:22

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 10:22
It is a pity that the big Rams have reliability problems and rate pretty low. Especially as they have a great cummins engine and borg warner transfer case. Mopar were always good at making very tough auto transmissions, this may have changed though and would be worth checking out.

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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:11

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 12:11
Shane , Michael and Eagle
The Ram at the moment seems pretty high on my list but as you say Chrysler/ Jeep don’t seem very popular reliability wise. Although you do see a lot of Jeeps towing caravans now.
The search continues.
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Follow Up By: nickb - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:25

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 13:25
If the bigger utes interest you have a look at the Toyota Tundra. No idea what they are like but I had a look at one at a 4x4 show and they are mighty impressive, I’m 6’6” and fit in the back seat nicely...
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:15

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 14:15
Hi Nick
Googled the Toyota Tundra. Hard to find much info on them but they do have a large petrol V8 which maybe is a good thing. I just feel that diesels are being strangled by all the emission controls and loosing reliability with common rail etc.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:48

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 15:48
Japanese common rails can be a problem. European and Korean not so much. The European's had at least a ten year start on the Japs plus a huge local market to get the bugs out. I bought my Euro diesel in 2008 when all the Jap stuff was pretty outdated, low power, bad fuel economy, etc. I had friends in Europe who wouldn'touch a Jap diesel because they thought they were tractor engines. The Japs have caught up as far as power and economy is concerned but at a reliability cost. I still wouldn't touch a Jap diesel. Petrol electric hybrid will get them back on track, they are in the zone there in my opinion.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:15

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 16:15
Hi Michael h9
Diesels are popular with people who may have other diesel powered equipment such as farmers with their own tanks for filling tractors etc. but for the average motorist is there any real benefit having diesel over pertrol. Diesel vehicles are dearer to purchase than equivalent petrol models. Diesels may no longer have the longevity that they were once famous for.
Diesel fumes apparently can cause cancer.
So your comments about petrol / electric seem very valid.
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:29

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:29
I bought a new Nissan Y62 Patrol just a few months ago ,there are only 2 models now , the Ti that's the one I bought and the TiL , only one motor a 5.6lt V8 Petrol , both have a 7 speed auto .

They are very good value for money , compared to a 200 series .
I would encourage you to at least have a look at one , take one for a spin , they have plenty of power , very quite and comfortable , if you find the right Dealer and bargain hard you should be able to drive away in a Ti for a fair bit under $70k , about $10k more for a TiL

I stepped out of a Dmax into the Patrol .
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:28

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:28
Hi Jackolux
Wow I wasn’t aware that the patrols now have a 5.6 l petrol motor.
That sounds just the thing. Congratulations on your purchase.
That the patrols are only coming out with the petrol motor tells me that Nissan are forward thinking and seeing the demise of diesel power.
I will seriously look at the Patrol, love the idea of the big motor.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 09:48

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 09:48
Do some solid maths on the Patrol with regards towing and GVM. They have reductions for high ball weights etc and appear to be tare weighted rather than kerb weighted so you'll need to allow for a tank of fuel as well. They look like a great thing though. You are right about the ranger feeling like they have nothing in reserve - they hit max torque and that's it - they do their own thing. Not necessarily a bad thing but pointless trying to kick them. Typical diesel engine and the Rangers actually dial back the power over 3000 rpm so even more reason to be patient with them or get something different. I like mine but I'm comparing it with utes I used to have rather than much classier tow vehicles.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 11:02

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 11:02
Hi Gbc
I liked my Ranger and it’s most probably the best of the dual cab utes. Its just that I would like a little bit more, maybe I am expecting too much.
The Nissan Patrol certainly has the motor for the job but I need a vehicle with a tub or tray so I can use it for work as well as tow with it.
I’m in the bush so not able to stroll through the car yards as you could in the city.
I have seen though the Silverado and the Ram and I seem to be favouring the Ram at the moment. I have arranged to take one for a test as I have found a dealer close by (200 kilometres from me but I consider that close)
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:30

Sunday, Dec 09, 2018 at 21:30
Quote "Then I tried Triton, not bad on the highway but many times on a slight hill I would have to ride the clutch to get going. This inability to take off was really highlighted once when the van was bogged in sand. (Needed revs for the turbo to cut in)"

The problem here as I see it was not the lack of power per se, it was the wrong choice of gearbox.

The old 4WDs did not have the engine power (power to weight) that the modern ones do. The old ones relied upon low gearing to negotiate the difficult areas. You could start them on any hill without excessive slipping of the clutch. They were also a little slow on the road compared with sedan cars but we put up with that we could go to many more places than we could in our cars.

The modern 4WDs have greater power than the older ones. They drive like cars and most owners treat them as cars (they even incorrectly call them cars.) As a result the manufacturers equip them with gear box ratios similar to cars. This results in our utilities and 4WD station wagons not really being suited to heavy going which includes towing. First, and possibly, second gear are too high for tough going. This results in severe slipping of the clutch being necessary in tough going. This deficiency could easily be fixed by fitting a pit gear for use when required.

If you had selected a model with an auto box you would have overcome that lack of a pit gear. From rest, a torque converter provides 2 to 3 : 1 torque multiplication. This is like having an extra low gear of somewhere 2 : 1 and 3 : 1 in your gear box. I think you are being a little unfair bagging the Triton when it was you who selected the wrong type of gear box. If you are looking at a large Yankee vehicle then you will be getting an auto box. This will be handing you the wrong box at twice the price. If you purchase a smaller vehicle with an auto box then you should be able to get a vehicle that will suit your use at half the price.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:46

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 at 07:46
Hi Nomadic Navara
Your detailed reply hits the nail right on the head, particularly about 1st and 3nd gears being too high.
I certainly wasn’t bagging the Triton simply highlighting the shortcoming when towing. Brought the Triton as a cheap runaround while still having a Landcruiser, tried it on one trip to see how it went towing, got rid of it at 1 year old. It was Nissan though who selected the wrong box for the vehicle not I. Then I brought the Ranger in auto, at least it had 5 cylinders not 4 like most others. But I am now looking for something bigger.
I agree that an auto box is the way to go now days.
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Reply By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:52

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 13:52
Thank you to everyone who replied to my thread.
I found it very interesting. It seems that diesels are alive and well here in Australia.
There also seems to be an obsession with fuel economy, whereas I place comfort and the ability to tow with something that does it easy as more important.
There are wide and varied views and I don’t think there is any “right” answere because what is right for one is not so for another.
As a matter of interest I have just purchased the vehicle of my choice so am signing of now and won’t be back online until the novelty of driving my new toy wears off.
Bye for now.
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 16:44

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 16:44
Hang on , you can't just take off and not tell us what you bought .
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 17:59

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 at 17:59
If it's the Dodge you might be stuck out there for a very long time. :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 15:44

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 15:44
“Wide and varied views” Is spot on
And all makes have lemon even the mighty 200 series Toyota , heard of at least one dud , so I’m sure there’s more.
Hope whatever you’ve gone with gives you good service!
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 20:04

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 at 20:04
Just watch out for these things, Cruiser!


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Friday, Dec 14, 2018 at 15:31

Friday, Dec 14, 2018 at 15:31
Ahh back in those days (late 60s early70s) my parents towed among other vans - a 25’ Skyline Caravan - (built to order) with a 1963 later upgraded to a 1966 Chevy Belair with a 283cu in V8 with a 2 speed Automatic. They pulled all sorts of vans over the years from Nth Qld toVictoria following the fruit seasons and gem hunting. They did this for over 10 years and apart from being mechanically inept never had an issue or an accident. They went up and down some shocking roads - sharing the old Marlborough to Sarina stretch with huge semis at the time. But back in those days the big Yank Tanks were the go. Fuel was about 50 cents a gallon and went up 1 or 2 cents at at time the real rip off came when everyone converted to litres and then went up 1 or 3 cents at a time...
Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 at 10:24

Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 at 10:24

Your memories of your family's Belair has revived a few memories of a Belair for me too, though a little OT.

In '64-65, I worked on a station that adjoins the famous Brunette Downs, then owned by King Ranch. At the time, the manager's mode of transport was a Chev Belair, in a very similar blue duco to the one in the sample photo I've attached. During the annual Brunette Races, this car was often seen, no doubt ferrying guests & hangers-on, from the station to the race course, and return. There was also a Jeep shooting brake on the station, complete with rifle scabbards, that was used to impress the southern visitors.

On one occasion, in '65, our stock camp had met up with one of the Brunette stock camps, south of Bloodwood Bore, to assist them in drafting out a fair mob of our cattle. During this process, what should rock up but the Belair, driven by the then manager, Charlie Weiss. I was quite impressed that the Chev could manage some of the tracks out on the run.


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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 at 18:41

Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 at 18:41
Ah Bob!

You have created some stirrings of memories for me with your post.

I too have fond memories of a Belair and a different kind of Brunette. They had a lovely big and roomy back seat....

From memory it was '68 auto with buttons on the dash to select the gears (could of been called Ultra Glide or something similar) - a very smooth ride indeed.


VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 01:32

Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 01:32
Great cars, the Chevy's of the 60's. They were the wealthy squatters cars, particularly the big wool producers who were my major clients in the '60's - and who were literally "rolling in it".

It wasn't unusual to do a job for these blokes, and they would pull out the chequebook when we finished, and they would write us a cheque for 10,000 or 15,000 POUNDS ($20,000 to $30,000), without a care.

That was in the days when a new EH Holden cost 1100 pounds ($2,200) - and these blokes would pull out the chequebook and write out a cheque for the full purchase price for the new Chevy, too!

One farmer client went right overboard (he'd be described as a really irresponsible hoon today).
This bloke had a stunning-looking wife - and he went and bought a new 1958 Plymouth Belvedere Fury 4 door pillarless - complete with the 350 cu in Golden Commando V8, producing 305HP - to match the wife, I guess!

I can remember him giving me a ride home in this beast, it was like a ride in a rocketship to a drooling 16 yr old - and this bloke just loved flooring it, and fishtailing her up the local dirt roads, so we could feel what real American V8 power was!

Sad to say, this bloke died of a heart attack at age 57, thus proving that fast cars and fast women will shorten your life!
Or, he had a "fast life, but a good one!" LOL

Plymouth Belvedere

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 20:39

Sunday, Dec 16, 2018 at 20:39
Bob Y it is interesting that the old Chevvys were such good Bush cars despite their weight. Because they were so popular with American farmers the General made LSDs standard in all the Belairs and Impalas so they could more reliably negotiate muddy farm tracks. It made them more marketable to a wider section of the motoring public. I found this out because as a school kid I did a project on the importation of the Chevrolet into Australia by GMH in the 60s. They were so impressed with my request I received a detailed letter and a history of the cars and why they brought them into Australia from GM. So many good stories from those 60s and 70s it’s a shame we forget so much until somebody sparks our memories.
Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

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