RA Rodeo Chassis Crack

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 23:04
ThreadID: 32332 Views:7941 Replies:12 FollowUps:12
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Hi all I have a 2005 RA Rodeo with a cracked chasis. Have contacted Holden through dealer and customer service (what a joke) and they informed me that as the tray is not a holden fitted and approved tray that my warranty is void. I am in the process of getting an engineers certificate to prove the tray did not cause the problem. Apparently any "modification" that is not holden dealer fitted such as trays, fuel tanks, suspension, bullbars, winches, etc, etc voids the warranty. So to all out there beware. Check your owners manual and dealers before you fit any "modifications". For me I'm going to be hiring a lawyer to take this matter further. Also anybody out there who has a holden vehicle, especially a Rodeo or is thinking of buying one consider lemon yellow for the paint job, I need say no more.
The pic below taken a while ago shows the start of the problem with chassis sag.

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Reply By: Member - Bouncer (WA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:43

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:43
Just curious, what sort of weight were/are you carrying in the tray?
AnswerID: 163781

Follow Up By: Brad G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:47

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:47
I carry a recovery kit, tool kit engel 40l fridge and ambulance kit. About 100kgs all up.
FollowupID: 418559

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 01:06

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 01:06
those service bodies weigh a hell of a lot on their own, i remember seeing some ford couriers getting them fited and needing 2 extra leaves to level them out - before any tools were loaded on board!!!

Get a case number from holden for your issue then put it onto the body manufacturer and holden to sort out, if it hasnt exceeded gvm, then someone is gunna pay.

PS previous model rodeo were renouned for soft rear leaves which many many sets got re-set under warranty.

sounds like the ra is made from the same plastic chassis rails as the new hilux.
AnswerID: 163785

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 08:44

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 08:44
Brad, I guess I was just about prepared for that response but also the "yours is the only one reported" answer too.

Careful of the lawyer route as it can be very costly if it goes anywhere and they fight it just a little. Had an engineers report before on some other gear and the legal route. Mediation was the eventual conclusion - nothing positive for anyone, just pay the dollars please...
AnswerID: 163822

Reply By: camship - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:37

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:37
This is a good lesson for anybody fitting non standard items, it is your own risk.
A lot of dealers now won't fit aftermarket items that affect warranty, so that they do not get caught up in it.
To me (I'm sorry), but it sounds like a typical blame someone else situation, unless you did your homework and looked into GVM and weight behind rear axle and all was ok then who ever gave you the info was to blame.
I have seen the same thing on previous shape hilux and navara, so it hasn't got anything to do with week chassis on the new generation vehicles.
AnswerID: 163831

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:55

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:55
G'day Brad,
Sorry to learn of your problem, mate.

As yours is a home-made canopy etc, I reckon they'll have a field day with you about weight distribution etc. I too would be cautious about hiring a lawyer for the task as it will definitely cost you money and in all liklihood you may not end up any further in front as they have no doubt got little clauses in the warranty document that state that as soon as you take a spanner/welder etc to your vehicle, all bets are off.

Tough call, but I think you'd be better off just spending your efforts on strengthening the chassis (I know you have the capability of doing this yourself). Certainly you shouldn't have to, and I would be making my feelings well known to Holden that you will NEVER darken their doorstep EVER again when it comes time to update your vehicle in future.

Good luck mate

AnswerID: 163835

Follow Up By: camship - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:01

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:01
I just would like someone to clear something up for me;

How is it Holdens fault? (I am not a Holden fan or in any way connected)

I would take a guess and say that service body is not a factory option.
FollowupID: 418622

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:06

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:06
IMHO, the issue is that this vehicle is presumably 'rated' to cope with a certain load (probably 1 tonne or less.....I have no idea.....). Provided that Brad has not overloaded it by adding a canopy/body + contents which exceed this rated capacity (very difficult to prove, I know), then there is no reason for the chassis to have cracked unless it is a defective.

FollowupID: 418623

Follow Up By: camship - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:19

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:19
Its all dependant on the weight over the rear axle, not an easy thing to find out but it is essential in this situation.
FollowupID: 418624

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:26

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:26
when the bracket snapped off the chasis that held up my LR tank, holden didn't want to know about it as it wasn't their tank and the bracket wasn't rated to carry a larger tank. the LR tank manufacturer didn't want to know about it because it wasn't his braket that failed that also caused the tank to crack!
As a result I am a bit more caution of the accessories that I fit now and the way i go about it. eg I got my lift kit organise through the nissan dealer. if a prob arises from this then they will have to deal with it.

FollowupID: 418626

Reply By: signman - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:26

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:26
Hi there
Just for interest sake..where is the chassis crack??
Also, interested in your radio installation..is it a proprietory overhead console??
AnswerID: 163846

Follow Up By: Brad G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:23

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:23
The radio console is an Outback brand console which I've modified to take multiple radios mainly for marine rescue work. Follow the link below to find out more.
Outback Roof Consoles

FollowupID: 418642

Reply By: Brad G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:17

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:17
Ok then the chassis cracked just in front of the plate onto which the axle bump stop attaches. The vehicle has not been overloaded and the towing capacity and towbar download has not been exceeded to my knowledge.
The tray itself is a copy of a Decker that is built in Adelaide and available through a Holden dealer for fitment. I have had fitted Firestone Ride Rite airbags to stop the vehicle from dragging its ass on the ground (that was with tray only, no box), TJM XJS suspension pack to keep the vehicle on the road up north and so that I don't get bounced of the road with the substandard bitumen only suspension.
Your right Roachie I will never again disgrace my garage with a Holden or Isuzu for that matter, nor will any of the organisations I am involved with at a state level.
I basically have two options: quit the vehicle or have the chassis reinforced to the way it should have been built.
Just goes to show you they don't build them like they used to.
AnswerID: 163860

Follow Up By: A.J - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 22:16

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 22:16
Wait till all the new Rodeos start to crack if you can, certain Jackaroos were recalled for crappy welds in the front end, so you may not be alone.
FollowupID: 418805

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:41

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 12:41
Hi Brad, sorry to read of your trouble mate, that's bleep tering.

It wont help you much but here's some interesting reading from South Africa about a blokes battle when his Rodeo chassis buckled.

AnswerID: 163868

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 13:30

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 13:30

The chassis on that article bent in what appears to be the same spot as in Brad's!!
FollowupID: 418659

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 13:33

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 13:33
Yes, it's um, interesting to say the least.

I came across this story some time ago when I owned an older model Rodeo and was researching a possible chassis problem.
FollowupID: 418661

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 14:17

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 14:17
there was a post on the forum about a bent chasis a while back. definitely worth doing a search.

FollowupID: 418665

Reply By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 14:14

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 14:14
And another one!!
AnswerID: 163884

Reply By: Fab - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 17:56

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 17:56
Lets take the anti-Holden emotion out of it and concentrate on the facts.

Suspension has been modified to obviosly give a firmer ride. Tyre size and inflation pressures are also a contributing factor. There is no mention of how the box has been attached to the chassis, is it welded, bolted using original mounting holes or were new hole created? Then there's the issue of the LR tanks. Again the same questions have to be asked about the mounting method. Then there is the argument of how and where the vehicle has been driven. This boils down to your word against theirs. 100kgs soon multipys expedentially when the load becomes airbourne. Not saying that's the case, but lets keep an open mind here.

Before you or anyone else jumps on any band wagon, let me just say that I have personally viewed and certified the repairs on many vehicles experiencing the same problems. A certain SA government department went around fitting similar boxes to yours on their early 90's Hilux's and let me say, your problem seems pretty moderate compared to some of those that I saw.

One more thing. Forget the lawyers, I think you'll have a hard enough time trying to find an accredited/experienced engineer to sign off on your mods to a point where a lawyer will even touch the case. In my (vast) experience, 95% of cases like this are root caused to be a result of non engineering approved modifications or owner driving habits. You may, on the other hand be in the other 5% bracket.

Best thing is to be honest with yourself and quit bashing the vehicle manufacturer. If nothing else, you're not doing yourself any favours as far as resale value goes.
AnswerID: 163916

Follow Up By: Brad G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 19:20

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 19:20
Let's clarify a few things.
The suspension was fitted by a reputable dealer in Adelaide.
The tyres are the same size and pressure as OEM.
The box is attached to the chassis by way of original chassis mounts and thick rubber mounts between chassis and tray as per normal mounting of any tray to any vehicle.
The box is made of 20 x 20 x 2 angle iron and 1.6 zinc sheet, mounted by four straps to the tray with slight movement allowed for flex.
No long range fuel tank fitted.
The two roughest tracks the vehicle has been on and at low speed mind you are the Echo Camp Back Track at Arkaroola and the Robe to Nora Creina Beach Run, These tracks where driven at an appropriate speed and would not have contributed to the problem I believe.
The 100kgs of gear is stowed and lashed at the front of the box in front of the axle position.
Trailers that have been towed have not exceeded 2 tons and 200kgs download on the towbar.
I cannot see how I could have contributed to this problem, the problem is apparently widespread as the above links have shown.
They are the facts.
FollowupID: 418730

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 20:22

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 20:22
Another prob I had with my Rodeo was that I had the rear leaves reset and eurothane bushes installed. When returning from the Cape one of the rear shackle hangers/brackets tore off the chasis. Apon closer inspection the other had hairline cracks along both welds and it would of been a matter of time before that one broke off as well. When I pulled appart the shackle to reweld the hanger back to the chasis I noted that all the grease had dried up and it was like the eurothane bush was binding on the bolt from the shackle that went through it. It was dry as!! After welding the bracket for the shackle it was greased and reassembled and when you jumped up and down on the back of the vehicle the shackle flexed back and forth very freely compared to the other side. Now the lack of lube and the binding of the bush on the pin is what I feel caused the hanger to tear off the chasis. Maybe this has contribuuted to your prob. with the rear springs not being able to flex because of binding? Just a thought.

FollowupID: 418757

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 21:53

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 21:53

Very sorry to hear about your Rodeo. Unfortunately it is relatively common with dual cab utes - I've seen it on recent desert trips with both rodeo and Hilux dual cabs which were carrying too much weight behind their rear axles, and not much in the middle.

The physics is simple but not often appreciated -
#1 there looks to be alot of weight behind the rear axle - the steel tray, the canopy, the stuff you put in the canopy, the toolboxes and the trailer.
#2 The stiffened rear suspension (springs and airbags) has no give - turns it all into a hinge and the chassis bends when you go offroading.

I would be pessimistic about your chances. I'd think your energies might be best spent getting it fixed, and reassessing your needs.

AnswerID: 163988

Reply By: Fab - Saturday, Apr 01, 2006 at 10:53

Saturday, Apr 01, 2006 at 10:53
I don't want to come across as a know it all. My last post was intended to serve as a devil's advocate perspective before you go and potentially waste your money on lawyers. Here is some more info you may find usefull.

Everything Phil has stated about pivot points etc is entirely true. If you look at the fulcrum point (pivot point) on a dual cab, you will see that even unloaded, there is a lot more weight behind the axle than in front.

My suggestion is take your rig along to an accredited weigh bridge (Wallaroo, Kadina and Bute all have one that I know of). Get your bus weighed (GVM) unloaded. Then put in the equipement you would usually take away with you (this is where you need to be honest with yourself) and again get it weighed. Best to get a front axle weight and a rear so you can determine where the weight is sitting. Then factor in 200kg of ball weight (which seems pretty heavy for a camper trailer - my Jayco Hawk is only about 50kg) and then you can start to do the maths.

One thing you have to take into consideration is that 200kg on the ball is probably closer to an equivalant of 290-320kg depending on the distance from the fulcrum point to the ball. I'm guessing at least 1100mm. That's a lot of leverage on the chassis in front of the fulcrum!!!

If you're unsure, take your weight values and your rig along to an accreditted engineering firm (Vennings at Kadina might be able to help) and they should be able to work it out for you on the spot. It's basic maths if you know how.

Just another snippet of factual info. There have been a total of six (reported and confirmed) cases of chassis cracks on RA Rodeos Australia wide (use/load/equipment unknown). When you look at how many RA's are on (and off) the road, it would be safe to say that six is an insignificant number. Of course, everyone knows someone who knows someone with the same problem, but be carefull. Dealers have access to this info and based on the low incident rate, will look at "other" factors before they look at design/manufacturing faults.

You don't want to comapre this to early 90's Hiluxs either. Trust me, you'll be glad you bought the RA.

For what it's worth, (and to echo Phil's comments), I believe you're better off spending your money on getting the chassis repaired and strengthened beyond original spec rather than linning some lawyers pockets. Again, an accreditted engineer will be able to strengthen your chassis based on the equipment you have fitted compared to having it repaired to original spec which doesn't factor in your additions.

Don't feel like you're hard done by. We all spend lots of money upgrading our rigs (wheels, tyres, suspension, seats, lights etc etc etc) but too many of us overlook the most important upgrade of them all. The chassis which is the backbone of our pride and joy.

Sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear, but I don't think there is anyone out there that wouldn't agree with me in one way or another.
:) Cheers, Fab.
AnswerID: 164232

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