Troopy parts: not so widely available as I thought?

Submitted: Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 19:52
ThreadID: 139019 Views:11127 Replies:15 FollowUps:46
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I'm currently in the midst of an extended trip around the outback. The main feature of the trip so far has been a number of Len roads. Including parts of the Gary Junction road, Connie Sue road, and Gunbarrel Highway. And the Sandy Blight road and Anne Beadell Highway, each in their entirity.

I hired an Apollo Trailfinder for the trip. This is a Troopy-based camper with a pop-top and a few amenities. Here's a link if you want details:

Apollo Trailfinder

It's a relatively primitive vehicle: manual locks, manual windows, manual side windows, manual transmission. Blah! But it has the 180L fuel capacity I needed, especially for the AB Highway. At least it's not on tube tyres and split rims, like my 2008 hire vehicle.

And it is a rugged 70 series Landy that can handle those wicked corrugations, right? :)

Well, maybe the AB was too much even for a Troopy. Besides my fire extinguisher bracket (and attached extinguisher) breaking off the interior wall and falling to the floor, I arrived in Coober Pedy with a more fundamental problem: grease or oil splattered on the inside of the front tyre and elsewhere. And then by the final night on the AB, dripping on the ground.

This has been troubleshot via visual inspection (!!!) to a hub seal. So that is supposedly on its way, and the repair should be done on Wednesday. Hopefully they correctly identified the problem, and don't find any more serious issues. I don't care to hang out in CP for days.

I'm not terribly shocked that the part wasn't available in CP. Then again, maybe it should be? I WAS shocked when, after floating the idea of going to Alice Springs for the repair, I was told the part probably wouldn't be available there, and would still have to be ordered.

(I still think I'd rather be stuck in Alice for two or more days. But no one would stick their neck out and say it was safe to drive there with this leak.)

Is this such an obscure part that you wouldn't expect to find it anywhere other than, say, a capital city?

There are a zillion Troopys on the road, and I've been led to believe that parts and expertise are fairly readily available. I've seen that given as a reason they're the best option if you work or travel remote.

To me, it doesn't seem unreasonable that a strategically positioned place like CP should have a wide array of Troopy parts in town. Certainly, Alice Springs should have a great selection in stock?
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Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:17

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:17
As you know, Australia is a big place and to expect major towns, or even a speck on the map like Coober Pedy to carry stock for a 4wd is asking a bit much.
Alice Springs, that has a Toyota dealer, MAY have had the part, but as it's probably not a common part that fails, why should they stock a part that may sit on their shelf for years ??
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Reply By: Mikee5 - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:24

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:24
The hub seal retains the hub grease, there should not be any oil in the hub to leak out. The oil is in the diff. There is an oil seal in the end of the axle, at the back of the hub, its job is to keep the oil and grease separate. It sounds like it is this seal which has failed, allowing the diff oil to leak into the hub. With the hub apart you should replace the seal anyway. The other side is probably due to fail soon so be aware.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 21:23

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 21:23
Your explanation makes sense. I think that's what a couple different people were trying to tell me today, but when they were explaining it I couldn't quite comprehend. I just said "okay." :)

If diff fluid is part of what's leaking out, that explains the nearly nauseating smell. My experience with rear diff oil is that it smells nasty, so I'm assuming this is similar stuff.

Hopefully the other side holds up for 29 more days, LOL. The worst of the corrugations (and other roughness) are behind us now. And if anythng blows out, at least I won't be so remote as I was on the AB, etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 10:05

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 10:05
Hi Candace S,

The source of the "oil" could also be the fact that the front hub has become so hot it has melted some of the grease. Just another possible source of "oil" leaking from front hubs.


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Reply By: Michael H9 - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:31

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 20:31
It's a rumour widely spread by the Toyota religious cult.... :-)
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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:12

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:12
Exactly - if you believe the japper crowd all parts are available everywhere - dont believe it - and when they order parts they will often be wrong.

My neighbour here in Canberra has a 1990 diesel troopie and the gearbox died and has been rebuilt at a local gearbox place.

While the box was out he decided to put a new clutch in and repalce the rear main crankshaft oil seal. Went to a local Toyota dealer with his VIN and ordered the new seal ($120) and put it in - gearbox back and put in - on first drive massive amount of engine oil coming out - gearbox back out and assumed the crankshaft oil seal had got damaged - looked OK though. Compared to the old seal that had been in there before all the work was done with the new one and they are different.

Back with both to the Toyota Dealer and yet the originally supplied oil seal was not correct even though the VIN was provided.

Now this is the rub - even though the Toyota Dealer supplied the wrong seal, my neighbour still had to pay for the second correct seal and the poor old guy (75) is today putting his gearbox back in hoping he will not have leaks this time.

So if having to wait for parts from Toyota and then getting the wrong one supplied in the nation's Capital - I can just imagine the problems encountered in CP and other areas - bit no issues according the the ToyoJappers.
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Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 10:35

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 10:35
The Nation's Capital that really isn't a lot bigger than Alice Springs... (particularly in terms of real industry).

As with many companies/dealers, there is only one Toyota dealer in Canberra - it's only when you have nearby competitors that you need to be careful with how you treat your customers (ie. make sure you get them the right part first time).
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 21:58

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 21:58
Hi Candace,

It may well be an axle seal....BUT.... here's a tale of woe.

Several years ago we took our Troopy across the Anne Beadell Hwy to visit the Pilbara. Almost there and oil appeared dripping from the steering hub. First thought was an axle seal but it turned out to be a loose bearing cover below the knuckle. This is a solid forged plate about 100mm square attatched to the bottom of the hub by four studs. The plates also incorporate short arms which attach to the steering link arms to turn the hubs

Our problem was that three of the studs had sheared, leaving one solitary stud to retain the bearing and loosening enough to allow diff oil to escape!!!
Loss of the final stud would have resulted in immediate steering loss.

The stud failure was of course due to long term vibration stress and finalised by the Anne Beadell's notorious corrugations. Fortunately, it was able to be repaired at Pt Hedland promptly, but only after obtaining some components from a wrecker.

So, it may be a seal, but it may be prudent to closely examine the bearing retainer plate, or rather its securing studs. It can be difficult to observe easily because of all the oil accumulating over the bottom of the hub.

Hope you get it sorted promptly.


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Follow Up By: Leigh H - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:18

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:18
Hi Allan. As said earlier the oil leak you experienced would have been from a failed axle housing seal. The hub should only contain grease. Another explanation may lie in the tendency to over fill the axle with diff oil thinking more is better. Let me assure you from experience that it aint!! I am not convinced that leaving the hubs engaged when not required prolongs seal life?
I would have thought however proper pre trip preparation would have alleviated the problems referred to in Candace's post. The parts to fix these sorts of issues would quite easily fit in a shoe box inc bearings, belts etc and its very high risk not to carry them on such a remote track.
Len Beadell

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:51

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:51
Leigh, whilst having some mechanical competence, I am not an experienced motor mechanic. So when the oil appeared I used my satphone to call my mechanic back home. After listening to the description he immediately directed me to the four studs I described. Due to the oil coating everything, it was not obvious to me that studs were missing..... I couldn't see what was not there to be seen!

The workshop at Pt. Hedland also diagnosed the missing studs as the only culprit. During repair they reportedly checked for axle oil seal failure but determined it as OK. Replacement of the studs and refitting the bearing cover plate was the only work required to remedy the problem. So I dunno about the construction..... just reporting the narratives I received. And there was no oil seal on the invoice!

On the score of carrying parts to "fix these sorts of issues".... just where do you stop filling the "shoe box" with parts? Would you have included for instance the studs, nuts and special coned washers that were necessary for my hub repair? It would double my GVM to carry every item that could conceivably fail and cause immobility. I rely on inspection and preventative maintenance to reduce my risk of breakdown but will still be at risk of unexpected failure.

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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:10

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:10
"I would have thought however proper pre trip preparation would have alleviated the problems referred to in Candace's post. The parts to fix these sorts of issues would quite easily fit in a shoe box inc bearings, belts etc and its very high risk not to carry them on such a remote track."

The pre-trip preparations were the responsibility of the hire company. Who supposedly had an in-depth servicing performed on the vehicle. Or so I was told. They were fully aware of my planned itinerary, and authorised me to travel on all those remote roads.

Also, since it is a hire vehicle, it's not my responsibility to make repairs to it. It's my responsibility to report the problems to the hire company. It's their job to do the "leg work" and arrange when/where to have it serviced or fixed. Or if it breaks down, to have it (and me) recovered to civilization.

Last and not least...I wouldn't have a clue how to replace bearings and such. :) And I imagine many people wouldn't. Would you really want to do those type of repairs along a dusty track? And wouldn't you also need fresh oils and/or greases to complete the job?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:16

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:16
..........and a trailer to carry all the spare parts and special tools needed for many repairs????

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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:34

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:34
I don't think you can expect a town like CP would carry all types of parts , where as AS would most likely have seals as there's many spare part outlet's but if not they would only be 1 day away .
Hope you get going soon fingers crossed .
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: RMD - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:39

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 22:39
If it is actually differential oil, ie, smelly acrid smell, then the drive axle seal located in the actual axle tube is inboard of the swivel hub. People Referring to the swivel hub as the "hub" is misleading, there is a swivel hub, ie, steering related and a wheel hub. People advising should refer to which one it is they mean. I couldn't quite work out what they mean by reading it. If the axle tube/axle seal is worn and leaking diff oil into the swivel hub, if so, it will begin to drain out as there is no positive seal there, only wiper seals on the ball faces. There should be no oil in the swivel hub, only grease. The CV/Uni runs in grease. The actual wheel hub is lubricated by it's own grease in the rotating wheel hub along with the wheel bearings.
If the vehicle has free wheel hubs/devices, on the ends of the wheel hubs, then if set to FREE and the vehicle is in high range/2wdrive and the front differential is not turning the axles, the vehicle can be driven from CP to Alice Springs quite easily and safely. Even if all the oil was able to drain out it would not matter if the front drive/differential and axles aren't being rotated.

There are plenty of shops in Alice who can repair the issue apart from the Toyota dealer.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:13

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:13
The location of the axle oil seal that you describe is where I would have expected. It is also in accord with Leigh's expression. So it beats me how that oil was escaping via the steering hub. Unless over a period of time some oil had accumulated in the bottom of the steering hub?

It seems strange then that my oil loss only occurred after the failure of the (steering) hub bearing plate. the actual words of the Pilbara mechanic was "it's not the failure of an oil seal, you have only one stud holding your retaining plate".

Incidentally, we completed the 100km or so to Pt. Hedland on 2WD with the hubs free..... and steering gently!!!

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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:15

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:15
Interesting points. But nobody today mentioned any of that. Perhaps the shop wants the business. And wasn't eager to suggest I could drive to Alice safely simply by making sure the front hubs weren't locked? :)
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 07:50

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 07:50
If your studs on the arm which also is the steering axis bearings were loose, The whole steering hub, ball and outer axle unit would have had some axial movement. If so, the drive shaft/axle rotating in that seal would be not operating on centre and running sealed. It would drag the seal lips to one side and cause a small gap through which the diff oil can escape into the steering hub. Most do leak a bit but if the steering axis bearings are not being held and holding it all in alignment/in place, then the seal immediately suffers.
I Rebuilt a mates LC swivel hubs and the lower bearing disintegrates sometimes and causes the hub axis to end float up and down. With the drive axle out of line the seal gets chewed.

Best to check the actual hub bearings, place stand under axle and move the hub up and down to check for any movement. There are two tapered roller bearings as steering axis, one above and one below the ball unit. lower one takes the vehicle weight all it's life and is almost never checked. If insufficient grease in there it fails early. Who religiously pumps fresh grease into their swivel hubs to save the bearings? Answer, not many do. Out of sight out of mind.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 08:20

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 08:20

Yeah, thanks for that. I have been wondering if that may have been the case.
Three of my studs certainly were loose..... in fact missing!!
Clearly, failure of the bearing support would have induced movement which then affected the seal.

I have hunted out the repair invoice and note that whilst the seal is not itemised, there is an item for a "Swivel Hub Overhaul Kit" which would include the seal. In fact the "Work done" description includes "replaced front differential swivel hub seals with new overhaul kit".
So it is now clear to me.

As for parts availability, the Swivel Hub Overhaul Kit was in stock at Karratha.
The work was carried out at the "Light Vehicle Workshop" of the Malley Group in a single day and was most impressive. (As was the bill) They also performed a full vehicle service.


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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:25

Monday, Sep 02, 2019 at 23:25
The problem with most businesses today is the pressure to keep parts stock levels low.
This is a money-saving approach pushed by bean counters, which works to some extent, where there's good parts supplies in warehouses nearby, and freight services are fast and frequent.

However, this approach doesn't work in remote areas, where it can take days to get a part.

The downside of keeping too many parts on hand for too long, however, is that corrosion sets in on machined and polished surfaces, and rubber components degrade rapidly with age.

It's a fine line that repair businesses have to walk, and sometimes they get it very wrong.
In addition, as years go by, parts and part numbers change frequently, with model upgrades and changes and engineering improvements. This makes it very hard for repairers to keep up.

Cheers, Ron.

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Reply By: David I1 - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 07:30

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 07:30
I thought the reason why people bought Toyotas was because anybody can fix them, they have dealers everywhere and parts are always readily available at the nearest town. Oh and they NEVER breakdown! Well looks like their spare parts availability is no better than my Disco, and perhaps once again I hear of Toyotas breaking down!!! I will sit back with some pop corn and now watch all the Jap crap owners jump to their defence!!!
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 08:17

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 08:17
I think you are a bit off the mark. All vehicles can have failures. A leaking seal in this case is probably because of wear, ie normal. I had a HJ61 for 25 yrs and it never broke down, this vehicle has not broken down either, but suffering an oil leak. A work friend of mine had an almost new Disco and it wore through the auto fluid pipe to the radiator,( quality engineering there) and dropped ALL the auto fluid in the Pilbara, not even 25 weeks old. No parts for 2000km+ and had a 400km flat top ride to someone who, when they eventually got them, could fit new parts.

Enjoy the popcorn, roughage is good for humans.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 09:09

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 09:09
The other side of the coin is that I've personally...not a friend, had a Land Rover and a Jeep that did well over a half a million kilometres between them, much of it in rough country, and neither ever broke down or gave me much trouble at all. You're right, all vehicles can have failures, it just gets up some people's noses when it is implied literally everywhere, that Toyota's never break down and that parts are everywhere. Clearly that's not the case.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 10:04

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 10:04
Sorry RMD, Toyotas are unbreakable. Their adds tell me that. So leaking oil, or grease or whatever should not stop it, but if so why doesnt Candice continue as it it wont breakdown as thats what their ads say. So why has she stopped? Because to go on further it will be risky, and it will likely breakdown. I seen may cars flatbedded in the outback not just LR. Even the unbreakable. But I guess they really havent broken down, they are just tired and getting a lift to the next place. Yes enjoying my pop corn and reeling in the Jap trash believers!! Ha HA.
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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 13:55

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 13:55
RMD you are missing the point - according to Toyota drivers they are the best thing since sliced bread, they can be serviced anywhere, parts are freely available anywhere not that they are needed as they never break down.

Well we all know that is not true and this thread highlights this. Like all vehicles they have their issues, they are a great vehicle etc etc etc - the issue is that Toytota owners carry on so much I often think there is some underlying mental issue with them as they have to justify their purchases so much to all an sundry. They certainly have a chip on their shoulder and believe their own promotional material.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 14:09

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 14:09
David & OzzieCruiser
I have never claimed Toyotas are unbreakable and have never heard people saying anything like that, only people who own other makes claiming it is said. If David believes the advertising hype of Toyota or any brand, that is his right to do so, but to lump everyone who has one or owned a Toyota in the same basket is a bit rich. Just on numbers alone the failure of Toyotas, whatever the problem, is much less than many other brands. I own a Dmax now and not a Toyota, but would not risk buying most others. Just because some people get a good run out of other brands mentioned doesn't mean all folk do, far from it. I understand how the mechanicals and electricals work and shy away from flashy brands.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 14:21

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 14:21
Sorry RMD wrong again. Just on numbers the biggest recall/failure of car in history was...... you guessed it Toyota! And that was not including the air bags..
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Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 22:19

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 22:19
And they fixed it. As I said they all have faults. The airbags made by someone else of course.
When you see an early Jeep with the steering box not attached to the chassis, broken off, and only held in the vehicle by the column, you may think this isn't quite right. My neighbor bought a new Red V8 Jeep wagon, owned it for 7 months but only was able to drive it for 3months and a few days. It was in care most of the time. Had mechanical and mental problems in the ECU. Some are faultless though.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 13:07

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 13:07
Michael H9,

" ...a Jeep that did well over a half a million kilometres between them, much of it in rough country, and neither ever broke down or gave me much trouble at all."

Last November, back home in the US, I traded in my 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon for a 2018 Toyota 4Runner.

The reason: I was tired of taking the Jeep to the shop! It twice broke down and and left me stranded in relatively remote areas. And had myriad other issues that required a mechanic's attention. I had some intermittent warning lights that required visits to three different Jeep dealers before it was finally troubleshot and repaired correctly.

But good for you that your jeep was flawless. :)
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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 13:49

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 13:49
And now your Toyota has let you down - maybe you should have got the a Jeep - lol
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 15:36

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 15:36
I think a lot of people have very selective memories when they start bragging about vehicles that have done hundreds of thousands of kms without ever having had a wrench on them.

They conveniently forget about the water pumps and radiators and wheel bearings and springs and shocks, and myriads of electrical devices, that all needed repair or replacement at various times, in those hundreds of thousands of kays.

They seem to think those kind of things don't count, because the vehicle was always ready to go virtually every time they wanted it, and the repairs could be scheduled into days when it wasn't being used.

I can tell you the major difference between Toyotas and the Brand X's.
In a Toyota, after 300,000kms, every switch still works, every vent still operates, and every handle and knob is still original and functioning.

But in Brand X's, you'll find broken switches, knobs that have fallen off, vents that have fallen apart or no longer work, windows switches and doorhandles that have been replaced two or three times, and electrical items that have been repaired innumerable times.

I've owned quite a few makes and models and done an awful lot of kms, and the one outstanding feature of Toyotas, is that you never have to spend months trying to sell them, once you want to move them on - they sell themselves.

I even had an RAC repairman one time, who turned up to do an inspection for a buyer, on a used Toyota I was selling, and even he reckoned Toyotas took the cake for reliability and for holding their value.
And he had the knowledge of what brands were involved in the most call-outs.

I won't even go into what he thought of French cars, he would've gladly burnt every French car built! Pommy chariots weren't far behind, in his opinion! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 16:08

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 16:08
I never said they were flawless, but they never broke down, meaning I was never stuck on the side of the road or needed a tow. The Landie never used any oil and all the switches worked. The Jeep had a few electrical gremlins where the air con would blow hot air sometimes. I suppose the Jeep was cheating because it was built in the Merc factory in Austria. Candace...I hear they're more reliable than the US built models... :-)
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 09:23

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 09:23
OzzieCruiser... The Toyota I had problems with here in Oz was a battered hire vehicle, not my own. Mine has had zero problems so far, but I've owned it less than a year. And I don't abuse it. :)

Michael.. I don't know, I've heard the Jeeps here have a poor rep as well!

BTW, I could easily count the total number of Wranglers I've seen during my three visits to Oz. Back home, I see dozens of them every day. Maybe the sample size here is a little too small to judge the vehicle by?!
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 07:36

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 07:36
Let’s get this in perspective.

No one can dispute that Toyota’s are by far the most popular vehicle in outback and regional areas so it stands to reason that when things go wrong ( which they do for all makes and models) that you have the best chance of getting it sorted with a Toyota than any other vehicle.
I blew a shock and there was a replacement on the shelf in Birdsville, I ripped out a brake line and had one fitted the next day
A mate broke a rear shackle and there was one on the shelf at the servo in Borroloola. How many other brands do you think they carry parts for?

For those that don’t agree, tell me what brand would give you better odds?
Compare the dealer network to other brands, Landrover is only represented in our capital cities for example then look at Jeep or VW Amarok dealer network for comparison
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 09:21

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 09:21
Years ago I did a rear wheel bearing on my 105 series Landcruiser (purely due to a lack of maitenace on my behalf), coming into Coober Pedy i heard it squeal as we hit the bitumin, we pulled the axle out of it in a carpark of a building in the middle of the main street of town, then once we knew the problem rang the local mechanic who was about to close shop for the day.....he had several sets of wheel bearings for my vehicle on the shelf, he even stayed back and pressed it on for us before we went back and fitted it to the vehicle. Cost us a couple of hours of our afternoon / early evening putting it back in under torch light, but thanks to him helping us out we were back on the road in no time at all. I wonder if he'd of had Jeep wheel bearings on his shelf?....maybe, but probably not....i know the Tenant Creek mechanic needed to order in front wheel bearings for a mates Patrol that did similar on a trip the following year, they lost several days of thier trip awaiting the delivery of those. Would the Tenant Creek mechanic of had wheel bearings for my Cruiser?... I have no idea and hope never to need to find out.
At the end of the day all vehicles if kept long enough and used for thier intended purpose have failures, turn vehicles over every couple of years and chances are you might never have any issues at all.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 12:08

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 12:08
Agree rumpig...

Pulled into Roma late after trying to help a stranded traveller. Decide to hotel it and on arrival could smell burning - thought it was roadkill on the exhaust. Turned out to be the alternator. Everything was already closed.

Next day (Saturday) local Toyota dealer couldn't get one in until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday. The service manager suggested I call the local auto electrician. Young bloke (late 20s) had just taken over the business from his boss who had just retired. "Yep! I've got one here, but I'm in the middle of Stock take, Let me see If my mechanic will come in and fit it!" Turns out it was his first weekend off in a couple of months and didn't want to come in. "Tell ya what! You come in and pull it out and you can use my workshop!"

Did that! - he ran his expert eye over it during which he found a piece of fencing wire that possibly caused original problem - fixed it and only charge me $300 for the alternator (he didn't know the exact price because his computer system was down because of his stock take). Priced from Toyota $475 plus fitting.



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

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 12:55

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 12:55
Anthony..... You gotta stop driving through fences! lol

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 19:31

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 19:31
Allan, don't you mean, "You gotta stop using fencing wire for replacement fuses!"

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 20:00

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 20:00
Candace, my Jeep was built in Austria, Europe, not Australia. Sorry to say, the finish on the European models is noticeably better than the US models. My wife notices these things and told me so. :-)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 21:33

Saturday, Sep 07, 2019 at 21:33
Aye Ron, even that! lol

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Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 08:17

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 08:17
Interesting replies. Hopefully this shop is good (a local yesterday assured me the mechanic there is very good) and they do a throrough check for other possible problems.

I'm wondering if the problem, whatever it turns out to be, could possibly be due to over-servicing?

When I got the vehicle, I noticed it looked a rather greasy/dirty in that same area. On both sides. I now wish I had taken some good pics at that time, for documentation and for comparison to how it now looks.
AnswerID: 627548

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 09:48

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 09:48
It is entirely normal to have each side swivel hub ball faces oily/greasey because when you turn the steering the grease inside is minutely distributed across the face of the ball. If it was not slightly greasey, I would be concerned there is not enough grease inside. If the vehicle has little grease and been swimming, some water enters and it falls to the bottom and then the bottom steering axis bearing can be water lubed and rusty, Then the swivel hub goes out of its normal position as the bearing fails then the axle seal allows oil into the hub to drain out as oil. If it is oil coming out then most likely there are steering axis bearing problems too. The setting up of that swivel hub and the drive line through it is pretty important to get right. Many mechanics have no idea how to perform the maintenance.
FollowupID: 901602

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 11:55

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 11:55
I have to admit, on a historical basis, I have fond memories of parts availability in Coober Pedy!

It was July 1969 and a 21 yr old year mate and 20 yr old myself, were doing a "big lap" of the Great Unknown Outback of Australia - Perth to Darwin to Adelaide and back to Perth - in a 1968 HK Holden ute. My own work ute, in fact.

It was my first great civilian adventure, before I was being forced to join the "Green Machine" as a national Serviceman, on 1st Oct that year.
We left Perth the 1st July '69, and headed North. We zig-zagged across the Wheatbelt and Murchison and Pilbara of W.A., on roads that would all be classed as ""4WD only" today, with appropriate warning signs.

There was little by way of road signs in those days. If you were lucky, the oil companies and the RAC had put up some road signs - and if you were very lucky, they were still standing.
Many had been ravaged by termites, fire and the elements.

The formed and sealed section of the North-West Coastal Highway ended at Barradale Roadhouse (long gone) on the Yannarie River, 200 kms N of Carnarvon.
After that, the NW Coastal Hwy was just two wheel ruts across the plains, punctuated by massive holes in the road, where some poor truckie had been bogged to the makers name by a big rain - and when he'd been pulled out (usually by a station grader), they never bothered to fill the hole in!

But the old Holden performed flawlessly, despite being pounded along at breakneck speed through washouts, deep bulldust and massive potholes by two over-eager youths.
We made it to Darwin after 2 weeks, and then set off to Adelaide.

But the Holden engine weakness was just waiting to strike. We'd just made about 30 or 50kms over the N.T./S.A. border, when disaster struck!
That weakness reared it's ugly head and laughed, as the fibre timing gear stripped!

There we were - broken down, and as far as we could get, from anything slightly resembling "civilisation", in the centre of Australia!
We had a good selection of tools onboard, and a range of spares - but NO TIMING GEAR!! What a bummer!

So we sat in gloom for a couple of hours, and then a truckie with a semi, arrived from the direction of Alice Springs - in an early 1950's, wooden-cab Foden!
He pulled up, and we told him our predicament, and we discussed what was best to do.

We were closer to Coober Pedy than Alice Springs, and there wasn't a lot of spares available in Alice Springs.
The truckie mentioned a new mechanical repair shop had just started up in Coober Pedy.
It was either Coober Pedy or Adelaide for a new timing gear, and it looked like Adelaide was going to be the only place we could get one.

I thought it would be a good idea if the truckie towed us, we could get the ute closer to civilisation that way.
So we hooked up to the semi with the chain we had on board, and off we went.

Despite the old Foden being flat out at around 60kmh, when being towed, we got showered constantly with gravel and rocks!
Then it got worse! One of the rocks smashed the windscreen!!
A short while afterwards, the truckie pulled up to see how we were getting on, and he was surprised to see we weren't faring too well at all!

So, we pushed the ute off the side of the "highway" and leaving my mate there alone in the wild and lonely Outback (I don't think he's ever forgiven me!), I jumped into the cab of the old Foden and off we went, Adelaide-bound.

The truckie drove all night, and neither of us slept, we just yarned away all night.
I reckon we averaged about 30 kms an hour, as we pounded our way through continuous corrugations, and what seemed like endless creek crossings.

We pulled into Coober Pedy about 7:00AM, and my heart sank. There was hardly a building in town! Just a small roadhouse, a few shacks - and a new shed up the far end of town!

The truckie pointed out the shed and said, "That's the new mechanic in town, walk up and see if he's got anything, and I'll order breakfast for us here at the roadhouse."

So I set off on foot to the far end of town, to the fancy new shed, and walked into it. The bloke had just opened up for business for the day, and when I glanced around, my heart sank.
The shed was virtually empty! It looked like a trip to Adelaide was going to be on the cards!

I walked up to the owner and asked casually, "You wouldn't happen to have a timing gear for a red Holden motor, would you, mate?"
He thought for a second and said, "Actually, I think I do!"

He walked over to the corner of the shed, where there was an open-topped 200 litre drum.
He reached into that drum and rummaged around and pulled out a red Holden engine timing gear!!

You know those times when you could kiss a bloke? That was one of them!!
Over the moon, I paid him for it, and set off back to the roadhouse, where breakfast was just being served.

The truckie was quite amazed that I'd acquired the gear - so we ate breakfast together, we shook hands and I thanked him, we parted company, and I walked North out of town, hitching a ride, while he set off for Adelaide.

It actually didn't take long to get back to the ute. I hitched a ride with a big group of Aboriginals riding on an 8 tonne truck for a start!
That was an interesting ride, as they passed flagons of wine around, and asked if I wanted a drink! - at 8 o'clock in the morning!!

They dropped me off about 50kms out, as they turned off the highway, and it wasn't long before I got a ride with a bloke in a car going to Darwin by himself.

I arrived back at the ute well before lunchtime, much to my mates surprise! - as he expected I'd be gone for a week!
I'd even brought back some fresh bread from Coober Pedy - sheer luxury in the wilderness of the Australian Outback!!

We set to, and ripped the timing gear off in a pretty crude manner - just chiselling the old one off and hammering the new one on! We weren't in the mood for proper replacement techniques!

We got the ute going again by late afternoon, and we were on the road again, heading for Adelaide!
We made it back to Perth at the end of July, where the old ute had to undergo some serious further repair to fix all the damage we had endured, and to fix the leaking timing cover gasket that we hadn't managed to seal properly!

But I've never forgotten the luck we had in the Outback of Australia, and our greatest parts find in virtually the most remote town in Australia!

But those were the days when Holden parts could be acquired in the most far-flung places, and people kept spares on hand, as supplies were infrequent, freight was slow and irregular, and weather events governed whether you got freight or not, on time.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 627553

Reply By: Phil G - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 17:21

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 17:21
Landcruiser rigid front axle oil seals are a dime a dozen but Coober Pedy is an interesting place! But for future reference, your front wheel bearings are still well lubricated with diff oil mixed in with the grease, so you would have been fine driving to Alice Springs and with the hubs unlocked the diff would not be turning.
Hope you are on your way again!
AnswerID: 627556

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 19:17

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 19:17
The diff oil won't get to the wheel bearings, most likely the steering axis swivel hubs bearings is what is meant.
FollowupID: 901622

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 20:38

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 20:38
The diff oil CAN'T get to the wheel bearings, there are two axle housing seals (P/N 43411D) that keep the diff oil, in the diff only.

VDJ79R front diff assembly

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 901627

Follow Up By: Phil G - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 21:53

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2019 at 21:53
Yes, thanks for the correction - my bad. Was thinking of the rears with respect to the wheel bearings. Still, no issue with driving to Alice Springs.
FollowupID: 901631

Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 08:21

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 08:21
Just a comment on availability of parts.
Coober Pedy is mainly an opal mining town.
Not many miners have the wherewithal to buy Land Cruisers.
If you were in a place where there were a lot of cattle stations around you would be able to get cruiser parts.
There is a mechanic in Mataranka who almost exclusively works on Land Cruisers and I reckon would have lots of parts, judging by the number of engines etc lying around. He was quite dismissive of my Range Rover until he had a look underneath and commented on the strength of the chassis. I only had a fuel blockage , but had an interesting discussion with the locals who swore by the electronic 6 cylinder turbo diesel and reckoned that the new fangled V8 diesel was not half as good, a sentiment echoed by the RACQ bloke in Laura who had just done a $13 K job on the fuel system of one.
AnswerID: 627561

Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 10:34

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 10:34
Friend of a friend had the misfortune to break a a rear axle on an ageing Troopy near Halls Creek.
No shortage of replacements out the back at the local Toyota shop.
FollowupID: 901638

Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 17:35

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 17:35
It is logistically unrealistic and would be at extremely high cost to have parts for most manufacturers, as well as the model variants within, as well as the MY variants within each model. Warehousing would be huge, and someone has to buy all that capital to 'maybe' on-sell it within a year, or 10? (remember their 'year' is really only a few months within the season.

I for one can fully understand why parts have to be ordered even for popular vehicles.

AnswerID: 627568

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 18:19

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 18:19
And I've received parts from the UK and USA quicker than from Australia. Sometimes I think local parts are actually stored in other countries.
FollowupID: 901647

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 22:07

Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019 at 22:07
You have to totally agree with CseaJay regarding parts being held or available. Around 15 years ago the farming community asked similar things about tractors which are far fewer than the myriad of vehicles and models in Australia. The ABC reporter was dumbfounded when the person from the machinery world said there was 360plus of tractors and model variants at that time. Far more today.

Some failures similar to the ones Candace experienced are caused by the axle/diff breather being blocked if the mechanicals are OK
FollowupID: 901650

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 00:00
Every piece of manufactured equipment is going the same way today.

Rather than keep things simple, they make the equipment more complex, and then add variations to the mix.

Then they produce engineering modifications that may or may not have been needed, complicating things even more.

A mate owns a tyre business in a rural town about 300kms SE of Perth, and he says he's given up on trying to stock tyres.

The tyre manufacturers delight in producing a new size, and a new range of treads in that size, nearly every month, it seems.

This stunt is not aided by the vehicle manufacturers, who do the same to the wheel and tyre sizes fitted to their vehicles.
Every new vehicle model seems to sport a new tyre size, with a different width and profile.

Then add in the 20 different specification models in that range, most with different tyre specs, and you can imagine the nightmare he's faced with.

And it's not just cars, and 4WD's and utes and trucks, either. The farm equipment is even worse!!
Every season, there's another range of new tyre sizes, or new farm equipment, with some oddball size you've never seen before.

He says if someone rolls up and wants a tyre or a set of tyres, he tells them he'll order it/them in, if they want it/them.

He reckons if he went big on holding tyre stocks, he could easily have tyre stocks running into hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost to him - and he'd only sell some of the sizes once every six or seven years.
As tyres are only rated as good for six years today, he'd end up throwing out a sizeable percentage of that stock, if he held it.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 901658

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 16:08

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 16:08
Still haven't forgiven Toyota for going from 6 Stud to 5. :)
FollowupID: 901694

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 06:49

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 06:49
It is all just a smoke screen.

Toyota nicotine addiction
AnswerID: 627574

Follow Up By: David I1 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 07:28

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 07:28
just love it!
FollowupID: 901660

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 09:23

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 09:23
X 2 :-)

More seriously, I think I read somewhere that Toyota in Australia is subject to a class action on this issue.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 901661

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 10:25

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 10:25
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I believe DPF's are the biggest technical design failure ever installed on an engine.

They are costly, they increase fuel consumption, and they often fail to work as designed.

And it's not just Toyota DPF's, either. DPF's are fitted to the majority of brands of diesel engine today - and Toyota is being targeted, because it's the tall poppy in the crop.

It won't be long before all the other manufacturers will be targeted for failing emissions limits - and that will include some pretty high-priced vehicles and "premium" brands.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 901663

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 14:51

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 14:51
Can anyone tell me if Adblue makes the DPF work better or require less regeneration? My wife's Audi has the Adblue tank.
FollowupID: 901675

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 16:06

Thursday, Sep 05, 2019 at 16:06
Michael, the answer is no, the ad-blue injector is the last in the line behind the DPF and the urea get rid of the nitrous oxide.

The best you can do for a dpf is only use the vehicle for long runs and use the correct oil recommended by the maker, also would be using a premium diesel for crd's.
FollowupID: 901677

Reply By: Candace S. - Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 09:28

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 09:28
Ultimately, to fix my leaky hire vehicle, he replaced the axle seals and bearings at both ends of the front axle. Plus the front shocks.

While all this was going on, Apollo dispatched a newer and less-battered replacement vehicle.

But... I checked the tyre pressures the following morning, and found the left front and spare only had 25 psi! Much worse, I later realized those two tyres were a different size than the other three!!! So back to Bridgestone and Apollo had to buy me two new tyres of the correct size.
AnswerID: 627585

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 18:37

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 at 18:37
Lucky you went with Apollo, I reckon that "other" company would have made you pay for it all. :-)
FollowupID: 901696

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