A few questions from a newbie

Submitted: Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 19:17
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Hey im new to this forum , I used to be taken 4wding alot many years ago when i was a child ;) . But now im slowly getting into it i dont have my own 4wd yet but im thinking of selling my road car and getting one at the moment im using my dad's ford mavrick ( read Nissan GQ ) which is unmodified but im still having fun i just go into brindabella national park which is close to home and is good because it allow's responsable 4wd's, and it has some quite easy trails for newbies like me.

Anyway more to the point i have a few questions. As im looking at a 4wd for myself i do a fair bit of highway and backroad travelling so ill be clocking up a fair amount of km's so reliability is a good trait to have , I was thinking of a Mitsubishi 1991~1995 NJ 3.0 litre petrol does anyone have one of these or know its strong or weak points is this a good choice or not ? Hopefully i can pick up a cheaper model and maybe still have enough to get a suspension kit or some good tyres. How many Km's is high for this type of car as i note these normally have about 180,000~220,000km for my price range.

Because i do most of the travelling on my lonesome i was thinking of possibly investing in a HF radio, I dont think i will be going anywhere as fancy as the simpson dessert or the far outback yet but im sure i will progress to that in time. But for now i will most likely be going into the mountains and more on the eastcoast, but was thinking of getting one for communication and for emergencys incase i get stuck or have an injury because i know walking 40km let alone 400km can be a bit of a backbreaker and even more so when you have a broken leg. And possibly even signing up for Radphone network and definatly the VKS737 is a get a HF radio. Is it worth the outlay for my kind of application ?

One more question just to tie you up with reading it. Another thing ive been thinking about is in EPIRB , but whenever i see someone saying for life threatening situations only how is that determained. I mean if your car gets stuck or breaks down and you are running out of food or water and you cant get anyone with UHF or CB at what point is it a "life threatining situation" that stipulates the use of the EPIRB"

Anyhelp is greatly appreciated
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Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 21:49

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 21:49
hey welcome widowmaker (like the hill in NSW??)
You may want to settle down a bit i like you grew up like that but i never really had time for much 4wding but i do know it is very costly .
having said that you may or not be able to afford all the mods you would like in the beginning but i personally would think a swb patrol like you dads would be fine you may even get one already modified for your tastes but i would just go the bullbar spotties maybe suspension, uhf is good no real need for hf till you get really into it maybe just hire when you need it .My old man has a patrol as well i am trying to talk him into giving me but until i do i guess my navara will do , I was previously in the army and believe although ugly old landrovers are ok except clearance and road speed and noise on highways newer are fine and even Mercedes Unimogs (now these rock big time 8 forward eight reverse gears ).
shop around in the trade section here even.
Keep insurance in mind when looking at mods to ok .

see ya out there1999 NISSAN NAVARA DUALCAB
AnswerID: 24738

Reply By: Slammin - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 23:40

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 23:40
Gday as for the car etc it's short minis or tight jeans tastes and costs vary as you will see from previous posts. If buying any 4byy allow sizeable back up for unexpected circumstances.
As for the UHF they're pretty cheap insurance I agree that HF is expensive and may be overkill but if you are doing lot's of mountains etc a CB is also pretty cheap and will work over hills etc much better than UHF, do a search on UHF etc here there are some good links and info.
EPIRB I feel is the most important piece of all, as a pocket unit can be easily taken walking (likely place to break a leg), most likely to survive an accident (reasonably shockproof, doesn't have an aerial to be ripped off in a roll over, independent of cars power). As to when to use it - if seriuosly injured, bitten (not by a tourist), stuck - food gone minimal water left (read- enuff for day or two) and no likely traffic etc, no radio response. I figure I would use the EPIRB rather than leave the vehicle - unless favourable conditions and known track.
I know of an EPIRB here in central Aust that was used for a flat tyre - fools and in the Kimberleys that was for a Ranger bitten on the finger by a snake while climbing (chopper was there in 4 hrs) - legend.
Common sense is the rule and I find that people who carry the right gear, recovery or emergency usually only use the stuff for other people who took a risk.
Have fun and look forward to seeing more posts and maybe on the track.
AnswerID: 24750

Reply By: Member - Cocka - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 23:54

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 23:54
So many things to consider. Take your time. You'd be surprised what turns up if you keep browsing the papers, mags & web. While you got the money in your pocket your the boss 'n you can choose'n offer what you want to pay for anything.
4wd's are like boats you keep pouring money into them, but you can find some beauties already set up that'l save you heaps. Sticking with popular brand names 'n models gives you more flexibility.
In reality a simple 4x4 will get you around a lot of national parks without b/bars or d/lights or winches or radios. The more advennturous 'n remote you want to get then the more you have to think about being able to get back.
Try then joining a 4wd club and doing weekend trips, you'll get a feel for what is important and what you need and they also train you in recovery work. They are excellent value , good company and fun. The Nissan Car Club takes in members irrespective of the type of vehicle they own.
What ever you buy try to buy the best, it pays off in the long run to have quality.
AnswerID: 24753

Reply By: Brian - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 08:32

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 08:32
Hullo Widowmaker... I was exactly like you about 8 months ago... wanting to get a 4by but not sure where to start... The first thing I did was ask people questions on cars... next thing was to buy lots of magazines... I settled on Australian 4X4 Monthly as a regular read... lots of good advice! We firstly wanted a 4by to "go-to-Fraser-Island-and-maybe-North-Stradbroke" every now and then. Now we are planning on going to the Simpson, Cape York and Vic High Country etc...!!! We test drove lots of cars, 'Cruisers, Patrols, Disco's, Pajero's etc... before settling on a GQ Patrol. The main reason is they are big tough cars that are easy to drive and easy to mainain yet hard to hurt! Pajero's are a nice car although the suspension can be a worry, depending on how far you want to go. Look around for whatever you decide on... the right car is out there waiting for you, it's just a matter of finding it!
My definition of a life threatening situation in the outback would be "immobilised with less than two days supply of water and no radio/phone contact". I would be letting that bloody EPIRB squeal it's lungs out! Never EVER leave your car in the outback... rescue planes will see a vehicle a damn sight easier than a lone figure trudging along a track!
As a parting comment, the best thing we did is join a club! The Club Awareness Program that we had to attend as part of the membership package taught us invaluable lessons, and the atmosphere of the club is fantastic!
Good luck, post a message here to let us all know what you eventually buy, and get out and get dirty!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 24762

Reply By: Luke - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 23:08

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 23:08
Hi Widowmaker - and welcome. Glad to hear you're interested in getting a fourby. Before you commit to a purchase - be sure to do as much research as you can so you are best able to make an informed decision about the vehicle you buy and it's intened usage.

By the sounds of it - you are keen to progress to reasonably serious four wheel driving - and if you do you may find that the independant suspension on a Pajero is a limiting factor....for extended wheel travel and traction look for a vehicled that uses front and rear live axle suspension like the Patrol or Land Cruiser.

I'm on my third Patrol now and I've loved every one of them - an MQ, a GQ, and a GU. (currently driving a SWB Maverick - the GQ - so far in many ways I think it's the best of the three).

As far as radios go - HF is probably a bit of overkill to begin with. A portable EPIRB is a great idea - but if budget is a limiting factor UHF would be my first choice - most people are now using UHF in prferance to 27MhzAM CB's. Having said that, AM will tend to work better in hilly country - so both an AM and a UHF might be the answer. In my last car I had a Uniden UH-090 CB - combines both 40ch UHF and 40ch AM in the same unit. You will get it in the car for around $500 if you shop around - and if it's installed correctly it will work very well. My UH-090 performed extremely well - every bit as good as any previous AM rig I've owned - and at least as good as friends UHF only GME units.

Anyway, cheers, and good luck in your search.

AnswerID: 24805

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