The beaches around ther Alkimos area

Submitted: Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 13:01
ThreadID: 21398 Views:6561 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Friday fortnght ago I decided to take thr trusty old V6 4 Runner for a gentle drive from home in Craigie up to Pipidinny road,partly to see where the rad leads and what sort of phtogrtaphic opportunities were avalable.Being retired and in no hurry, I ambled along until I came across Pipidinny road. Having stopped at the CAltex garage to but a few nibblies and some water, I wandered my merry way down to the end of Pipidinny road. I could see that the sand was pretty soft, and Hi range brought me to a grinding halt. So LoRange was engaged and I found a nice flat area where I was able to park in some shade and set about walking the dunes with camera in hand. I must have been about three to five Km North of the ALkimos adn the walk was refreshing to say the least.

On returning to the 4Runner, she would not start, and not having any tools with me , decided to lock the vehicle and start the long walk back to Wanneroo RD. After an hour of walking in the heat and humidity, a Wanneroo shire ranger happened to come along in my direction. We discussed the situation and with the use of two snatch straps I was back on the tar in no time at all. He every kindly towed me to the first CAltex garage on the left hand side of the road heading into Perth. After having a cuppa with him I sat down and asked where we were allowed to drive on the beaches and dunes etc. I was flabberagsted to read the legislation that stated that you were not allowed to drive within 200metres of the beach.or on the beach. Where I was parked was about 900 metres from the beach and judging by the sand dunes there was no way I was going to risk driving down those steep dunes with no way out. There was supposed to be a demaraction sign - which had conveniently gone missing. I was assured that driving over the dunes did not present an infrigement so long as I was not closer than 200 meters !!!!!!. BY the end of our conversation I was none the wiser as to where we could go. However yesterday being Sundaythe 20 the MArch, my son took his vehicle along with a friend, and ended up on the beach alongside whats now left of the Alkimos. They counted 17 four whel drives in and around the area

So much for enforcing the 200 meter demarcation line. However, what with a car that refuse to start and many frantic calls to the RAC a flatbed truck arived and was taken to my local friendly garage. What had happened was that the ruber cam shaft belts had sheared the "teeth" off the insideof the belt. The Gods must have been shining on me that day as the belt must have broken just as I switched the ignition off. Fortunately there was no damage to the valaves or heads, but the bill for $1522.08 left a nasty hole in the pocket. It could have been a lot worse with two new hedas having to be installed.

Obviously the prevous owner didnt bother to get the belts changed at the 90,000 km change point after the three year/100,000Km service. In future let it be a warning when buying any jap car that has its camshafts driven by rubber belts to have then checked out be fore heading off into the great blue yonder. If you are mechanically minded, then do youself a favour and check out these parts that have a habit of breaking and save yourself a great deal of financial hassles

And on a final note, remember to check your airfilter element every few thousand kilometers.Mine was so chock a bloke full of dust that no wonder I was gettng 18 litres per 100 km. On a recent trip down to Busselton we averaged 11 km/100litre. BIG SAVING ON THE WALLET!!!!!!!!!!!

Preventive maintenance is better than the cure - believe me. If only one person gets toread this and benefits from it, than my job will have not been in vain.

Regards 4 Runner
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 13:30

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 13:30
Yup a change of the timing belt is a good thing to do when you buy any second hand car.
Mine (being a grey import) had it's timing belt changed by local Toyota dealer in Perth at it's 50k service. I also changed it at 100k just to be sure ( I don't trust no one!). When I had it changed it was also changed by a Toyota dealer (it's the one thing I got Toyota to do as I wanted it done by the book.

Ok, so when I got it back from Toyota they charged me an arm and a leg for a simple job (it's an easy job on the 1kz-te) but I didn't care because it would be done properly. I drive the car back to the office and pop the bonnet to inspect that evetything is how it should be.
The coolant overflow tank (surge tank) had the cap off and it was just floating around in the engine bay. A bolt was missing from the timing belt cover. And I was not impressed. But then to top it off I was driving along on the weekend end and the odometer hit 110,000 k's. Guess what happened. The timing belt warning light came on. Good to see Toyota did everything by the book and reset the timming belt counter too.... I got out my handy toyota servce manual for the 1kz-te and reset the counter myself. ...
AnswerID: 103294

Follow Up By: 4runner - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:09

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:09
Thanks to Maverick of WA and Jeff M (WA).

The problem of being retired after working ones guts out in the motor industry for 40 + years, the last thing you want to see is a spanner and a set of sockets.

Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, and had I bought a workshop manual, then the cam belt issue would not have been a problem, and the job could have been done at home - over a few pints. There was no hurry to get it fixed so whats a week or two amongst friends. The sad part was the water pump had reached the point of no return, all the timing cover seals were leaking as was the crankshaft oil seal. The bearings and pulleys that these belts drive over and under had all worn so decided not to be penny wise and pound foolish, and get everything replaced while the front of the motor was in bits and pieces. I

I now carry spare fan, aircon and power steering belts and 10 litres of coolant - just in case. On a closing point, the Wanneroo Shire ranger was extremely helpful, but alas he wasnt au fauit with where we could go and not go. So much for the Wanneroo council knowing where the boundry lines are. And what does one do when there are 17 4x4s enjoying the fesh air and sunshine. There is no UHF radio link and neither does a mobile phone work down there.

I would dearly love to get my hands on the American 4Runner. Looks identical to the existing models, but has a 4.2 litre V8 and 3.4litre V6. All autmatics sadly, but some very nice up to date equipment on board. Still has a 65 litre fuel tank and IFS, but those are minor problems in the overall scheme of things. My 4 runner is going to have to last for another 15 years !!!!! Built as tough as a tank - virtually unbreakable.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:26

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:26
Hey 4Runner once you drive an auto 4wd on sand you'll never go back! I bought the surf and reluctantly went auto because the manuals were SO rare on the Jap imports and well we drive around town more than we drive in the bush. Best decision I ever made, I had no idea i would be better for 4wding!
When in low range you can drive it like a manual as it torque locks in every gear and won't change until it hits the red line or you take you foot off the accelerator and put it back on, then it sounds like a manual and changes gear. It's actually pretty clever. Took me a while to work out how to use it though!
But you can short change in low range and everything, it's pretty good. In low range it's got plenty of engine braking and when it's still not enough you can put your left foot on the brake and your right foot on the juice to about 1500rpms and it crawls down the hill without locking up the wheels (as the torque convertor keeps turning them). I can creep down hills with that method slower than manual 4bies in Low 1.
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Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 13:37

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 13:37
driving on the beaches and/or tracks around the beaches has been banned by wanneroo shire for a number of years. the alkimos area has been subject to the ban for a long time. a great pity but that is the way it is - not much of fight by any locals when the ban was proposed so it went ahead. also watercorp is looking at even more bans in the area. as for timing belts and dealers - about the only way to make sure it gets done by a dealer is to wait for it to break (not a good situation) - or forget the dealer and get yourself a reputable mechanic shop that you can trust. rgds
Slow down and relax......

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AnswerID: 103296

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:21

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:21
Yes you are right Maverick... I had a good mechanic for years but his little business kept growing and growing to the point where his service levels dropped and I ended up waiting for days to get my car back. Not a good situation.

I tried another and found his work to be dodgy. Then I reverted back to doing 90% of the stuff myself, but the timing belt (although relitivly simple in theory, I wanted some comeback if she went shebang 20k down the track). That's why I got Toyota to do it. The cost of a new 1kz-te motor is pretty scarey.

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Reply By: 4runner - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:31

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:31
I have noticed that a lot of European manufactures arenow starting to shift away from the rubber cam belts and gobackto the original timing cahins etc. Makes a lot of sense, as they very rarely break, and adjusment is by chain tensioner, plus the will out last any rubber belts

I guess my next vehicle, all things being equal will have to be the Mitsubishi Challenger. Its a well proven vehicle with a bullet proof engine and auto box, same motor and box as used in the early 3.00litre Pajero
AnswerID: 103300

Reply By: 4runner - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:38

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 14:38
Hence the reason for looking at the Challenger auto. Its basically the same size as the Surf/4 runner models, same 3.litre motor. Where as the Landcruiser is to big and heavy for some of the places we go and the tracks are too narrow for them to get through. Same reason as for the Patrol. Different if I was having to work out in the back of nowhere, then a LAndcruiser or Patrol would have to be my choice, but as a retiree, no point in spending big bucks for something that isnt going to be used to its full potential
AnswerID: 103303

Follow Up By: mattlobie - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 00:18

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 00:18
Get a Prado.

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Follow Up By: 4runner - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 00:43

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 00:43
Hi Matt.
Must be one of those nights. As much as I like most Toyota products, I did a test drive in a couple of Prados` and to be totally honest and unbiased, I just could not get to feel that I was part of the car. Its strange, and I have experienced that sort of feeling before. I know a number of people in our club who have Prados and they swear by them. I dont doubt them one iota, but its one of those quirky things where I dont feel at home in it.
The V6 4 runner was a differnt kettle of fish. The moment I stepped inside and sat behind the wheel, I knew that was the vehicle for me and have never regretted it The same goes for the Landcruiser V8 Sahara. I`d give my all for one of those - but the price tag and the running costs our out of my league. If I am forced to change, then the Challenger it will be. Just waiting for the Perth motor show to see whats new for 2005 or in the pipeline. If I can get 500,000 to 700,000 Km out of the 4Runner that would be an incredible achievement - so long as the cam belts dont break !!!!!!!!!!!! Now if the Kluger became the replacement for the V6 4Runner now you are talking, but as a pretend 4x4 its useless. I did write to Toyota Australia and they said they would take a serious look at it as others have requested the same. SO we wait and see. cheers mate
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Follow Up By: mattlobie - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 01:02

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 01:02
I always thought that Prados took over from 4runners / surfs. I'm sure I read somewhere that when the Prado was released here in 96, the 4runner was taking sales from it, so the 4runner was canned. They are pretty similar vehicles. Similar size and Prados and 4runners have always used Hilux engines (except the 4runner 3 litre V6, but that should have been available in the Hilux at the time). But they shared the 2.4P and 2.8D and the 90 series Prado shared the 2.7P, 3.0TD and 3.4 V6 with Hilux. So I don't really seem room in the range for both. I'd say the closest thing you'll get to a 4runner is a dual cab Hilux with a canopy any time soon.
The Kluger issue is interesting but I don't see why they'd make such big changes to it to make it a real 4x4 when 4runners are still in production in other places (like the US). It'd seem a lot more viable to me to get some current 4runners and convert them to right hand drive. And if they did change the Kluger to a real 4x4 wouldn't they be back at square 1 with it taking sales from the Prado? I guess now that the 120 series has gone to the 4 litre V6 and a bigger TD sometime in the near future, it opens the window slightly for a smaller 4x4 wagon, but there'd still have to be a big sales overlap.

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Follow Up By: 4runner - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 01:25

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 at 01:25
I agree with everything you say about the Prado. I got the feeling it was filling a void left by the 4Runner, but the Prado looks top heavy, very thin with not much space when viewed from the outside - How looks can be deceiving, but it is definatley taller than a Surf/4Runner.

What got me fired up was that my son told me to got to the Toyota website in the States and lo and behold there was the 4 Runner - identical in just about everything. Although it has a lot of electrical gimmicks,( which takes half the fun out of driving) they are non the less a stunning vehicle. What we need is some one with the finace to get them into Australia and convert to right hand drive. Never mind that they are all automatics, I`ll take two for alternate months. Toyota told me that they sold 200,000 vehicles last year and in the states the sell 200,000 cars a month ! so Toyota said they couldnt justify the parts inventory and tooling costs etc . Bollocks. Get rid of some of the more mundane vehicles and the show ponies that drive up and down the freeway , never getting a tyre off the black stuff. The V8 Sahara and the likes. That new US 4 runner would fill a void in the genuine 4x4 market. Mitsubshi has it all to themselves with the Challenger. Same specs as the 4Runner . Nissan Pathfinder doesnt come close. But there is nothing to challenge the Challenger unless ---------------
FollowupID: 360937

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