Cape Trip - Diff Locks

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 06:01
ThreadID: 43581 Views:2486 Replies:13 FollowUps:14
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Hi,

I'm travelling to the Cape in June with two other vehicles. I've got a new V8 Landcruiser with OME rear springs and the front torsion bars wound up 25mm.

I am contemplating fitting ARB Air Lockers front and rear while they are on special. My question is would the diff locks come in handy on this trip?

Cheers,

Topend
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Reply By: Member - Robert A (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 06:37

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 06:37
I may get rubbished for saying this.

I would say you don't need them. I grew up in Cairns and have done the Cape York a few time.
Telegraph road can get a bit tricky depending on rain. Creb track, this track can get dangerous when it rains as it has lots of red slippery mud.

There allot of two wheel cars that head up to Weipa.
Brother drives rain trains up that way during the dry.

Have fun save and save your money.

Rob

AnswerID: 229408

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 22:37

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 22:37
Well Rob you shouldn't get rubbished as the Cape trip certainly doesn't require lockers. Even back in 1984 when the track was much more of a challenge our group took 2 Subaru's to the top, only requiring assitance on the Wenlock River which was running at 1 metre deep. Far more important are a decent set of tyres. In a group where you can tow one another lockers are totally unneccesary.
Really when you look back, the vast majority of people that have driven to the top did so without lockers.
Cheers Craig..........
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FollowupID: 490286

Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 07:08

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 07:08
Did it last year when it was a bit damp and only one of 5 vehicles had lockers. Everyone did the OTL OK. I had muds which were great.
I holed a radiator but that another story.
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Follow Up By: rodeo2005 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 17:19

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 17:19
I remember in the 80's took there 929 sedans up there to prove there worth,they had no problems.They detailed and replaced the shockies and sold the cars. Been there my self with the army its easy going apart from f#$%n corrugations.The roads get worse as the dry season goes on .

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Reply By: Tony Middleditch - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 07:36

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 07:36
Hi Topend.
I have front and rear ARB diff locks in my 80 series. I would recommend them as long as they don't break the bank as I have found them to be a very useful tool with my 4wding. It is also worthwhile considering for how long you will retain the vehicle.
As an example, I used the rear whilst on the Simpson last year, not because I couldn't do it without the locker but because it made possible a slower assent of scalloped dunes & thus a more comfortable run. Similar can be said for mountain tracks.
PS. I only use the ARB compressor for the lockers and also as a back up for the Max air as it is very slow by comparison.
Cheers Tony.
AnswerID: 229412

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 08:33

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 08:33
If you have them you will find them "useful", but they are not "needed" in my opinion to do the Cape.
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AnswerID: 229416

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:04

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:04
We agree again Bonz.

The ARB units are very nice and if you have them you will use them but if you don't have them you will still get there OK.

Duncs
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Reply By: Ozrover - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 09:18

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 09:18
Hi Topend.

You will get through without lockers, if you pick your lines & it's not too wet.

Having lockers fitted though will make life that much easier, as well as having peace of mind.

We went up in a group in June 2005, the vehicles were, 2 x GU Patrols (lockers fitted), 1 x GU cab chassis (open diffs), Series II Disco (lockers & ETC), Hyundai Terracan (open diffs).

One Patrol, the Disco & the Terracan were towing heavy trailers.

All locker equipped vehicles cruised through, with no problems whatsoever, the GU coil cab struggled at some points & had to have a second & third try, the Terracan bumped & based its way most of the way but turned off before the top section of the OTL.

No you don't really need them, but it was much easier & more pleasant in the vehicles with lockers than those without, your choice, but if you can afford them, then I would have them fitted.

Have fun, we will be up there in mid June to mid July!
AnswerID: 229423

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 09:49

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 09:49
In years gone by I'm sure that many open diff 60 series cruisers (and other vehicles without even LSD) reached the cape in various degrees of wet.

So diff locks are not necessary, but would be nice to have available for use. So would a winch, as you could then winch yourself through a spot if you get bogged with the diff locks.

Getting the maximum ground clearance you can is arguably more important, and don't forget the snorkle or you can easily get a gob full of water in the creeks. Saw it happen last year to a 100 series in Nolan's Brook.
AnswerID: 229428

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:29

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:29
gerhardp1 has raised an important point, if you have lockers you will get yourself further in the poo to the point where a winch would be required for a recovery, so if you do get lockers make sure you have the gear and experience to get yourself out if required.

The standard 96 Pathfinder I had towing a trailer had no probs all the way up the OTL, now if that setup can do it I feel sure a 100 series v8 should do it easier so it comes back to driver input if there is problems.

Nolans brook catches a lot of people by suprise, a few members on this site have good photo's to show what to expect. Try HERE lAND HERE to start with. If I remember right, I also have a photo of the Pathfinder in Nolan's Brook on my rig pictures????

My opinion is not to bother with the lockers and just go for it. Enjoy the trip.
Regards, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:31

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:31
Forgot to say, you may need to scroll down to find the photo's on these links.
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Follow Up By: Topend - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:50

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:50
A snorkel will be fitted in the next couple of weeks.

I have a Big Haul hand winch. I have had a Warn winch on my previous vehicle (TD LC100) and it kept failing every wet season so I won't get another.

I bought a 2nd hand set of steel 16 x 8 rims yesterday and fitted them with 285/75R16 Mud Terrains. When in town I will have the standard 17" alloy rims and tyres fitted.

The vehicle suspension is about 1" above standard. I also get another inch from the biggers tyres.

Other things fitted are dual batteries and fridge wire, ARB compressor, HID lights, TJM T15 alloy bar, ARB roof rack and a Toyota towbar which will have a receiver hitch for the trip.

Topend.
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:58

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:58
You will have no probs topend, I took a handwinch just in case also. It had to be used on a stranded troopy in Nolans brook but not used for me go figure.

Trevor.
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Reply By: BUGGER ME - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:20

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:20
hi topend

we are also doing the cape in june and considering doing the same (lockers of some sort) which way are you coming from (state) we are coming from w.a up through gunbarrell , gary junction to alice then up through to the cape, all through desert country
may see you up there , we have 2x patrol cab chassis ( mate has red one, me pewter grey with campers on back

bugger me
AnswerID: 229435

Follow Up By: Topend - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:41

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:41
We are travelling from Darwin with another vehicle and are meeting a third vehicle at Charters Towers. We have 4 weeks before we have to return and have no firm plans once we all meet up.

Topend
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Reply By: Topend - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:53

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 10:53
Thanks for the responses,

As I thought the diff locks are not nessesary but would come in handy at times.

I will sit on it for a couple of weeks before I decide.

Cheers,
Topend.
AnswerID: 229443

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (W.A) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:38

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:38
Topend
Before you make that final decision ponder through these websites first, then it's your decision.....I have then both ends of my Troopy

www.locked-drive.com.au/product.htm

Site Link
www.locked-drive.com.au/how.htm
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (W.A) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:54

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 11:54
The Ideal set up would be Auto in the rear so it's there always at work ...always, and Air locker at the front ,so then steering is at normal until front locker is activated , Basicly it is 3WD until front locker is activated.Disengage the front Hubs then you have a 2WD, what you have now is a 1WD unless of course it is constant 2WD.
And if iy is a constant 2WD you will need a Truetrac in the front.

Doug
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Reply By: 100 Series - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 15:12

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 15:12
Save your dollars and don't worry about lockers, the cape is easy.

I went to the cape via the OTL in August 2006 towing a camper trailer in a 100 series diesel with 2 inch suspension lift without any trouble. The only places it was put in 4wd was for the creek crossings and on a couple of steep hills.
AnswerID: 229460

Follow Up By: Voxson - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 22:04

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 22:04
I really dont think easy was a great single word to use..
Easy for you... Easy for me....
The Cape covers a lot of ground,,,,,last year in June i had quite a bit of trouble going across The Batavia Downs road,,,,, that wasnt easy....
Frenchmans Track was still flooded,,, that wasnt easy....

Difflocks and STT's and still pretty hairy,,, even had to throw gravel down to calm the clay a bit....
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Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 09:06

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 09:06
Just to confirm this point - we went across the Batavia Downs track in August 06 in the Jackaroo with trailer and it was easy. By easy, I mean you could have done it in an EK holden.

It's also true that what's easy for one is not easy for another. I guarantee that you could give 2 people the same vehicle and one would find the cape "easy" and the other would be in trouble everywhere.

The 100 series that wrecked his engine in Nolans had bragged to me that he found Gunshot easy while we were chatting. At that time, there was no soft option for Gunshot as there frequently can be, since we had come through a day or so after about 50 Chamberlain tractors had used the easy descent and turned it into a nightmare with logs and rocks thrown in the bottom (covered with muddy water so you couldn't see but the tip of them) and a tree root exposed at the top almost guaranteed to bounce the trailer over your car just as you were sliding without control into said logs and rocks. He went through this, I took the bypass - hence his bragging to me as he implied I was a sissy.

So although he had a vehicle which arguably should have done the cape more easily than my Jackaroo, he sent his home on the tow truck from Nolan's to Bamaga and then by barge from Seisia, and I drove mine the rest of the way to the top and home to Melbourne.

Now I'm not saying that makes me special, just that some people's bravado can take them only so far before it bites them in the hip pocket
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert A (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 11:07

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 11:07
Hi Gerhardp1.

Everyone has to do gunshot because it is in all the 4wd drive books.

I've done it a couple of times heading north and once heading south.
I'm not sure how it looks now, but when we done it. It just like driving over cliff. I wouldn't say it is difficult.

Most people I know use cape York as a place to get away from it all and not just to go 4wd'ing. Fishing, Hunting, etc

The first time I done Cape York, I had to do Gun shot as it is all people talk about and if you didn't people would ask why.

Next time I will Bypass it again like last time.

Rob
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FollowupID: 490374

Reply By: Robin - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 15:31

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 15:31
Hi Topend

Well I find my diff locks very useful - but never really needed on cape york

The tracks aren't to hard , but we did encounter a few slippery clay tracks like Daintree however a set of snow chains was a lot more useful as they actually provide traction whereas lockers in light slippery conditions can actually cause wheels to loose traction.

Being relatively flat when needed - the chains tend to be on the front wheels.

Robin Miller
AnswerID: 229462

Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 18:39

Saturday, Mar 24, 2007 at 18:39
If you want lockers but don't want to part with big bucks for air lockers then consider "Lock Right" diff lockers. I have one in the front of the 80 series and it is great. Might be different if your 4by is constant 4wd but for about $600 bucks a set + fitting they are great. I have had it in for about 8 years without any problem.
We did the Cape last July and of the 4 cars only mine had a locker and all got through OK. Good Luck.
AnswerID: 229488

Reply By: Topend - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 03:56

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 03:56
I went for a drive on some steep and wet tracks yesterday with the other vehicle (90 series Prado) going from Darwin. The extra traction and clearance from the new 285/75R16 Mud Terrains on my Landcruiser was a big improvement.

On one track that I could get up quite easily, the Prado couldn't with it's Yokohama Geolanders. I think he will now fit some more agressive tyres.

We came across three Suzuki's with diff locks and crawler gears. They were very impressive and almost unstopable. We talked to the young blokes driving them and it turned out one of them worked for ARB. Of course he tried to talk me in to getting the Air Lockers.

Topend.
AnswerID: 229538

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 06:18

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 06:18
No not really needed.

All the best
Eric
AnswerID: 229540

Reply By: Tony F - Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 08:08

Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 at 08:08
Having travelled the Cape for many years. There is no need for diff locks to travel the Cape confidently, my wife and i have ventured into some of the more remote ares without lockers, it comes down to your ability as a driver. Linda Rowe and her then husband are good examples of this. Brush up on your skills and enjoy this magnificent peice of Oz.
AnswerID: 229548

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