Submitted: Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 22:38
ThreadID: 30224 Views:9376 Replies:16 FollowUps:7
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hi all
trying to find info about OKAs and conversions. dont own one but would like to. Cant access yahoo site unless already own one so info hard to find. any ideas
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 22:52

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 22:52
Have you tried searching this site and the archives?
AnswerID: 151681

Reply By: Exploder - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 22:53

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 22:53
For what it’s worth (Probably not much LOL” ) 4WD monthly did a right up on them late last year, you may be able to get a back issue.

They are powered by a 4Cly Perkins Turbo Diesel, Small Motor for that sized truck I thought or thou don’t know how many CI it is.

Also have DANA diffs I think.

There are also only a few OKA dealers in Australia and they can apparently trace the work and service history for all of them.
AnswerID: 151682

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:07

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:07

Try this


AnswerID: 151686

Reply By: mowing - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:10

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:10
Knew a guy who had a couple of these in a tour business. Most of the time they were in the workshop minus motors and other essential parts. They became very expensive garden sheds. The problem as I understand it is a) they no longer make them and b) particular parts are very hard to come by and are costly.
Shame because the idea is good and it would have been good to have an Aussie made truck on the scene.


AnswerID: 151688

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:26

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:26
Gee I hope the guys someone told the guys making OKA's at OKA they aren't making them anymore....

Mate of mine has one and loves it. Has wanted one for years - ever since one of the OKA dealers took him for a several hour demo in one years ago.

He picked one up secondhand and is thoroughly enjoying it. He'll soon start construction of a carry-me style camper for it - once that's finished the only thing we'll see of him is postcards and emails I reckon.

FollowupID: 405301

Follow Up By: mowing - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:51

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:51
OK if they are still making them, then I will stand corrected but I know he had a bugger of a time getting major parts. This guy did not have one OKA , he had about 5 (tour bus configeration).


FollowupID: 405303

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:26

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:26
Went on a trip from Alice Springs to Chambers Pillar in an OKA about 7 years ago. Sat with the driver the whole trip (best view from the front seat! ) and chatted away.

He reckoned the OKA was fabulous, reliable, and when he filled it with diesel just before returning to the Alice it used less than my petrol Jackaroo would have used on the trip.

Engine was everyday perkins same as I used for years in a Bedford truck with no reliability problems. He had no reliability problems either with the engine, gearbox, or diff.

I guess some drivers could wreck anything with poor driving habits being unkind to machinery, and perhaps your mate who had a couple which suddenly became five was slack on maintenance as well.

It's like anything else - everyone has a mate who has had a bad experience with product X, and everyone has a mate who swears by product X.

Perhaps your mate should have been using a Fitch or Hiclone or Polariser.
FollowupID: 405306

Reply By: crfan - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:27

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:27
New OKA NT Model

OKA's NT model vehicle was designed so that it would meet Australian Military vehicle requirements. Other new design requirements that were put upon the new NT model OKA were to bring the exhaust emission up to world standards, namely the new Euro III exhaust emissions and at the same time enhance vehicle capabilities for all OKA 4WD users.

Part of the design program was to also try and include more off the shelf/most used automotive components. Making spares even more readily availiable and cheaper to our world market whilst at the same time reducing servicing/running costs.

All new, fully electronic, common rail diesel engines delivering greater performace
Euro III exhaust emissions comply with Australia's new ADR80/00 (2001 EPA/CARB available)
Engines now 4-5 dB quieter than before
Intercooled, waste-gate turbo charged engines providing greater power and torque
Engine Power up to 55% greater than previous model
Engine torque up to 69% greater than previous model
Choice of two engine powers to suit customers needs
Enhanced engine cooling for reliable operations in hot conditions
Purpose built axles specifically designed to OKA's requirements with the option of air operated diff locks
Five speed automatic gearbox availiable
New 5-speed manual gearbox now fitted with cable-shift for smooth operations
Purpose built transfer case fitted with single cable shift
Air over hydraulic brake system
Larger brake pads and rotors provide greater stopping power
Air operated park brake
Increased front and rear wheel track
Larger capacity organic clutch with diaphragm-type pressure plate
Flanged driveshaft couplings remove the need for bearing U-bolts
1480-series driveshafts and universal joints
Larger capacity air cleaner
130 Amp, high output alternator
Air conditioning and cabin heating enhanced for improved passanger comfort
One piece cab roof
Re-designed window regulators
Back-lit instrumentation
Intermittent wipers
19.5" rims with tubeless tyres now fitted as standard
Optional 20" split rims
Optional Central Type Inflation System (CTIS) allows you to adjust tyre pressure on the move from the driver's seat
Optional bead-lock for 20" rims
Optional 'run-flat' system for 20" rims enables driver to maintain control after tyre deflation
Longer trays provide space for up to three forklift pallets
Front and Rear recovery points

AnswerID: 151690

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:59

Sunday, Jan 29, 2006 at 23:59
They are hideous offroad with the single shock config..
what do u want it for?

and yes, try searching the site, they have been discussed numerous times before
AnswerID: 151691

Reply By: Dave198 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:21

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:21
I drive them at work (tourist industry) . The company have 2 of them and I believe one of them purchased about 1997 was the last one available. In fact it was built as a truck and as far as I recall. It was in Thailand or somewhere over there on a demo when my boss contacted OKA to buy another one. They shipped it back to Perth and built a bus body on it.
They go OK, don't need much of a hill to slow it down, 4 Litre 4 cyl Perkins Turbo.
Parts are a bit pricey apparently ( I don't buy them I just wear them out). They are prone to a few drivehaft problems, UJ's, splines, seals.
Not a bad vehicle though. Many people comment on how comfortable they are to ride in, but they are the ones sitting between the axles.
If you are thinking of getting one Malcolm, check for rust, many have been used for beach runners.
AnswerID: 151694

Reply By: V8Diesel - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:23

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:23
Drove one for a few thousand km's about ten years ago.

Grossly - no - stupidly underpowered for what it was. Should never have left the factory. Unable to get out of crawler gear sometimes. Open road was painful if you even saw a hill.

Looked like it ran cheap plastic 1970's Leyland truck switchgear and instruments. That alone put me off........reminded me of the..uuurrrggghhhh Leyland Boxer I used to drive.

Maybe I copped a dud, don't know. It was a rental. Some folks love 'em. IMHO they're a good idea poorly executed from what I saw. The mines here in WA seemed to drop them pretty quick too.

Isuzu or Mitsubishi 4x4 trucks may be another option to consider.
AnswerID: 151695

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:42

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 00:42
I have seen one on a minesite. it was at kanowna Belle and was an underground firetruck. The Canters and hinos are pretty popular with the Rab drillers
FollowupID: 405307

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:19

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:19
I have seen a couple in Alice Springs. One with the number plate OKA1. Neither of the Oka's that I saw in Alice had company names or adverts of any kind, just palin white.
AnswerID: 151701

Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:25

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:25
I don't think you'll find you can buy a new OKA despite the "NT" advertisement on their website - I think it's a bit like the Not Today, Not Tomorrow, Not Tuesdays and Not Thursdays monicker - the vehicle is probably hampered by not being able to afford to finish the machine in order to get ADR compliance.

The company had some financial difficulties a few years ago and from what I have been told, the effects of this continue.

The parts are generally available from their original manufacturers, and the OKA maintenance specialists are good at repairing them.

It is rather low powered (but matching low consumption) - but does make for a roomy tour vehicle - 14 seater in the bus config.

The vehicles were used extensively on Minesites - for all sorts of uses including bus and various cab chassis adaptations - and by Telstra (cab chassis set up) .

They are prone to rust, and perhaps are a challenge to keep water tight - mechanicals and interior.

As has been said, good OKA repair shops seem to be able to track down the history and maintenance records of all OKAs (they have serial numbers and there are only a few hundred of them I think).

They have great ground clearance and wonderful approach/departure angles - seriously easy to drive in difficult terrain.

I can't say if the unit I've driven was a standard suspension set up or not, but it was quite effective loaded and a dream to drive if you weren't in a rush.

So, if you're thinking of buying one:
* get it checked over totally before you buy
* avoid those with long minesite life
* look at Okas with a history of being well looked after - for instance those who have replaced the lower body with chequerplate!
* look at a good few of them.

A web search does yield quite a bit of information, although beware that Oka owners are very committed to the brand! I think the must own one before you can join of the oka owners forum is an indication of this.

Ciao for now

AnswerID: 151708

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:00

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:00
mkthomp, one of the members on EO has one in a rig pic that I looked at this last week, but can't think who it was.

I have seen them of course and talked to a tour operator about one he had on a display at Caulfield a year and more back. What he said tended to put me off a bit as he said the level of maintenance he had to do surpassed any previous vehicle, eg. axles, gearbox and whatever, you had to be always looking underneath.
AnswerID: 151712

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:20

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:20
Member - Collyn R (WA) is the member with the OKA
FollowupID: 405332

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:46

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:46
A friend of mine has one that wasn't well maintained before purchase. He's very handy mechanically, but on a recent trip everything went wrong. He was under it every day. He's not religious, but rekkoned prayer paid a big part in getting him home. He said that he'd never knock the series 80, that he also owns, again.
Not a good story, and perhaps not indicative of the many strengths of the marque.
I saw one belonging to a tour company in a suspension specialist place here. The mech told me that the design had so many problems that it almost lived in the workshop.
Pity really. I like the concept and the look of them although they are rediculessly expensive.
AnswerID: 151720

Reply By: Steve - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 16:06

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 16:06
Looked into getting one myself and after I did my homework..as in check out a diesel mechanic...and other repair mechanic, who keeps on on the go for a 'Tour' company in Sydeny that goes to Blue Mountains..with 'tourists' ... was warned never to even think of buying one....no power, breaks axles. leaks oil ...and a never ending litany of problems...and it never leaves the bitumen !!! or goes past Katoomba!!
AnswerID: 151818

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:56

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:56
I have owned an OKA for about eight years and have driven it around and across Australia over eight times. So I know it quite well.

The reality is that if some know faults are fixed up front they are an excellent reliable vehicle. Opinions however will vary depending on usage and expectation.

The basic concept is wonderful. Had I designed my own perfect big 4WD (my background is a research engineer with GM) I would have ended up wiuth something very like the OKA.

It suffered through too small a production run to eliminate all design faults. These are mainly a useless Lucas starter motor (most as has mine use a Toyota geared unit). Inadequate shock absorbers - (that cause the vehicle to lurch) fixed in later models by dual units - or in mine by using big Ralph units. Some later units used a separate Rockwell transfer box and this is a known source of trouble.

Most complaints come from some tour operators. OKAs need maintenance every 5000 km and tour operators rarely do that. The sought after coach model weighs about 4.3 tonnes empty and has a 5.5 tonne limit. Load on 13 big passengers, their gear, food and water, swags etc - and they get to well over 6-tonnes. Many operators then add a two-tonne trailer. No wonder they have problems.

The maintenance is not an issue for most private owners. I had some initial problems but the vehicle has been virtually trouble free for the past 70,000 km.

Fuel economy is extraordinary. Mine genuinely averages 13.5 litre/100 km and has returned better than 12.5.

The vehicle is adequately powered for off-road use as long as kept at the designed and legal loading. A bit slow on hills on main highways (but not by truck standards). Will cruise at 100 km/hr (but consumption then about 15/15 litre/100 km.

Very comfortable to drive (effortless steering, clutch etc). Superb off-road - will go anywhere you can take a Troopy or Nissan Patrol - and a few places where you can't (my wife and I also have both a Troopy and a Patrol).

Most OKA parts are standard truck bits - readily obtainable - and the strong OKA Owners Club has heaps of expertise.

I need to add that I have a conflict of interest in that my OKA will shortly be for sale shortly. This is simply because it does not now get enough use to justify keeping it - but I think you will get similar comments from anyone who has owned one for a fair time. (!00 or so private owners cannot all be wrong!).
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 151862

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:57

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:57
Collyn I ran into a guy when I was at Kirricurra Community about 2 years ago he came from Albany if my memory serves me.
He spoke about his in a similar light to you. He loved it and it did go places smaller 4wd's could not go mostly due to better ground clearance (Big Tyres) his was set up brilliantly and he used it all the time, parts he said no hassle and he did all his own maintenance work.

I was most impressed with what I saw of the thing.
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FollowupID: 405454

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:30

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:30
Doing own maintenance is really the key - otherwise they are costly.

OKAs are just like big Meccano sets - really simple to work on.

All the big bits (engine, gearbox, transfer box, diffs etc) are bog standard truck parts. The talk about everything breaking is thus absurd: they do have known bits that fail (like the starter motor) but most have long done just that and been replaced by bits that don't break!

There's a heap on the OKA Owners site but unfortunately it's members only.

As a matter of interest the old one looks exactly the same as the new ones - see www.OKA.com.au - only new ones cost even more.

Am only too pleased to answer questions.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 151887

Reply By: kimbee - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 23:53

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 23:53
Hi The info I have is not good. Argyle Diamonds used to run a fleet of about 12 to service the mining department about 10 years ago, and I think the life of an OKA was about 3 years. Apart from falling to bits and costing a small fortune in parts, they were also not tha popular to work on. So I guess if they were any good we would still have them and we dont . so good luck

cheers BB.
AnswerID: 151987

Follow Up By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 13:09

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 13:09
I feel some respondents are missing the point - which is an OKA a reliable vehicle for private owner use.

It is accepted by most OKA owners that they are disliked by some (but by no means all) tour operators. But also bear in mind that there are still some (now ten years old with hundreds of thousands of kms on them) still going up and down the Gibb River Road. At least one incidentally was an ex Argyle Mines vehicle!

Re: 'if they were any good we would still have them' - they are back again in production.

Getting back to the main point tho. It is whether or not OKAs are good vehicles for private use. That about a quarter of all those sold in Australia are now in private hands (and routinely sell for $70,000 plus)either indicates that they are - or we who own them are all total idiots!
Collyn Rivers
FollowupID: 405624

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