Diff Locks for Cape York?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 18:08
ThreadID: 19659 Views:6544 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Will be going up to the cape at the end of May and would like to know if diff locks are considered a necessity for doing the creb track/telegraph track and other similar tracks up at the cape.
I wouldnt consider myself a hardcore 4wder, but enjoy a challenge and a bit of a play.
Also, is it better to put the diff lock in the front or rear on an 80 series if i can only afford one.
If i can scrounge the extra for both- is it worth it?
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Reply By: Mudness - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 19:49

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 19:49
G'Day Ruffstuff. Seriously mate difflocks are great but not a necessity. The 80series is a very capable machine and with a bit of careful wheel placement will take you most places you want to go. I would definately recommend a highlift jack, a snatch strap and a long handled shovel be purchased first if the budget is a bit tight and always travel with another vehicle. If you are keen on a locker than put it in the rear as it will give you the best performance increase in general. Unless you do a lot of very serious off road work than I feel F&R lockers are a waste of your hard earned $$. Just my thoughts and good luck with the trip.
AnswerID: 94321

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 19:55

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 19:55
Ruffstuff, did the Old Telegraph Track 3yrs ago now and you certainly didn't need a diff lock (though my vehicle does have a factory centre diff lock), you can get thru all the spots without doing the bypass rd with a ordinary 4WD, though there are alternative crossings at each of the creeks along the OTL. There are the hard ways and easy ways, I generally went the easy way because I wanted to get to the top and back. Some of the more difficult ways diff locks would be handy and so would a winch. Note a winch on the front could well be buried deep in the mud when you dive down off the banks of some of the crossing ie Palm Ck and Gunshot, and end up standing your vehicle on its nose.
The CREB track I have not done it rained - if it rains no one is going anywhere, need diff locks and chains etc.When dry believe no problem with a normal 4WD; but someone may correct me. Have fun !!!
AnswerID: 94323

Follow Up By: Dennis (Mackay) - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 23:40

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 23:40
Your centre 'diff' lock just turns your vehicle into a 'conventional' 4WD.

Locks the front and rear tail bleep s together (like a normal transfer case), as opposed to locking the axles in a diff lock.
FollowupID: 353342

Reply By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 20:43

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 20:43
Did the cape in a Rodeo in 03 and went up the Telegraph. No difflocks. Didn't do the creb. Difflocls for the Cape I would think are an expensive luxury!

AnswerID: 94331

Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 21:34

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 21:34
In 1963, as a teenager, I went with my parents & siblings & another family as far as Bertiehaugh station (on the Ducie R.)...
Both families consisted of 2 parents + 6 (yes, SIX!) kids (each!!), w/- vehicles loaded up w/-provisions for a stay of 2 wks duration...

The vehicles ???
2x bog-standard VW Kombi vans!! (no diff-locks on those!)

I can still remember the tut-tutting & head-shaking that went on when we met the odd Land Rover, ex-army Jeep, or (rare at that time) Tojo along the track, & let me tell you that a *track* is exactly what it was.. I reckon we'd have been among very few people up there at the time, who didn't live/work there...
My (late) Dad & his mate had been well briefed on track conditions by our station hosts, & obviously, they were experienced & competent drivers who had done their homework on vehicle preparation w/- provision made to extend air intakes if necessary...
Apart from 12 kids havin' the time of their lives pushin' those Vee-Dub Kombis thru the odd sand patch, & all the wet crossings, we had no problems whatsoever...
Keepin 'em movin' was the key, & little (if any) water made it into the engine compartments...
Aaahhh, the memories.... (sigh)

Regards, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 94341

Follow Up By: dano01 - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 21:48

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 21:48
The memories also return. I went up in the early 70's with my parents in a vw beach buggy. There were 3 hard tops and 1 baja not quite stock but still only 2wd.
FollowupID: 353608

Reply By: locallaw - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 22:02

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 22:02
Gidday,I have been up the cape twice and have not needed a locker.If you do put a locker in put it in the rear and a LSD in the front.The cape is not as hard as a lot of people claim but it is a good adventure.Been to the Kimberley twice,Simpson once and across the top in a commodore.Had a lot of fun and not bogged once.
Seeya Locallaw
AnswerID: 94347

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 00:30

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 00:30
LSD in front diff ???? not if its full time 4WD. Even then you would have to think,,,,

LSD in rear, Diff lock in rear.
AnswerID: 94364

Reply By: gordon g - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 01:31

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 01:31
You will not need difflocks for either the CrebTrek or Cape York especially as you are driving a very capable car in the 80 series but like any trip in the outback care and common sense is the answer.Iwent through the CrebTrekin2003 from Daintree to Bloomfield(the more chalenging direction) in a Troopy fully laden with no problems.It is a very scenic trip but be carefull as there are VERY steep slopes to be overcome and don't even THINK of it if there is a hint of rain.I have more info on a post under the Cape York trek notes in the reply section.If you want more info contact me on gandml@bigpond.net.au
Good Luck
AnswerID: 94370

Reply By: Ruffstuff - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:47

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:47
Thanks for all of the feedback so far folks, looks like i can direct the funds elsewhere.
AnswerID: 94380

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (on the move) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 16:06

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 16:06
Hey Ruff Stuff,

The tip can be wet still at this time of year. I towed a camper trailer up there last year, including the CREB which was a little hairy with a trailer, it was a late / big wet last year and we did max out the rear LSD in the 100 series and needed a gentle pull twice to get us some slippery slopes onthe way up on two occasions. One on the way out to Chile beach and one on the old telegraph track.

Depending on your loading you may find a diff lock handy, but then again I think the 80 series is more capable than the 100 series, and there is usually plenty of helpful people around to help on the main tracks you mentioned. If you are getting remote add a winch to your kit. If you are staying on the main tracks as in the bypass road, old telegraph track, chile beach, batavia downs track to weipa (just south of moreton) ets you should be pretty right. If you are going to places like shellbourne station and places like that be better equipped or travel with someone else, preferably a local.

Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 353382

Reply By: Willykj - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 18:43

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 18:43

I wouldn't spend the money on diff locks - but in 2004 went to the Cape & did all the OTL & side tracks. At one creek - which wasn't very wide - I couldn't get out of the creek - it was a small jump up on greasy rock - wheels just started spinning (in low range 1st with Cooper ST's running 26 psi) - got snatched out quickly as we were travelling with another vehicle. An experienced 4WD nearby said that I needed a diff lock - but for that small problem I wouldn't spend the money.
AnswerID: 94430

Follow Up By: Ruffstuff - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 13:01

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 13:01
Hi willy,
im currently running BFG all terains that are at about 50% wear.
do you think they will handle it up there ok or would you recomend something a little more agressive like mud terains?
FollowupID: 353555

Follow Up By: Willykj - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 13:21

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 13:21
Hi Ruffstuff,
I think your tyres should be OK - just keep your pressures down. I was travelling with another vehicle who had AT's & he had no problems at all. The Cape roads dont need muddies.
FollowupID: 353559

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:28

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:28
If you do decide to go the difflock, i would be putting it in the front...although the rear lsd doesnt work too well, the front diffs on these models can do with a bit more strength in the hemisphere and a loka does this...have a look through the archives on front diff failures on 80 series .... and depending on the age of the vehicle, the whole drivetrain up front will be serviced and ready after the install...so there will be some advantage there...
If you dont have a winch already, that should come b4 the loka...or else buy a loka and a turfer hand winch...if you get stuck...u can recover yourself.
AnswerID: 94488

Follow Up By: Ruffstuff - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:57

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:57
Thanks for all of the advice, i am petty well set up as far as recovery gear goes, snatch straps, snatch blocks, chains , hi lift, winch extension etc & have a 9000lb Warn on the front, all of which has been put to good use on a few big trips.
I believe prevention is better than cure hence the enquiry re diff locks,
why get stuck if you dont have to?.
FollowupID: 353553

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