our 4wds

Submitted: Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 18:24
ThreadID: 64743 Views:3725 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Why is it that we spend $35000 + for a 4wd from the dealer and have to do the mods to handle the Australian country.
First there is the suspension,then the engine chip and mods,the tyres, the lighting and then there are the accessories eg. snorkel,spot lights,bars and in some cases seats.After this we have to deal with the faults of the manufactures.eg engine gearboxes and the list goes on. Is there no end to this madness
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Reply By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 18:38

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 18:38
Carl trust me its not a need...ITS A WANT!!!!

My uncle drove a Mazda 626 over nearly every outback road in aust in the late 70s and 80s. This thing was stock standard and immaculate!

There is also an endless amount of capable 4WDs for sale on the second hand market that could travel around Aust many times for less than $10k. Look at what the international tourist (backpackers) get about in every day!

Again its a want!!!

I do see what you mean though...wouldnt it be nice for a manufacturer to produce a vehicle that is built complete for long distance outback touring...can you imagine the one-off production cost though? Additionally we are in the single digit percentages of vehicles produced for the Aust market compared to the rest of the world...economics!

All the best

AnswerID: 342294

Follow Up By: Member -Carl R (QLD) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:29

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:29
I know what you mean I have just watched a DVD with Jack Absalom going up the Birdsville track in a Sigma.Yes I have seen the backpackers transport had to follow them from Sarina to Rockie the traffic was banked up with them doing 75klms.
What annoys me is something goes wrong ,you take it to the dealers and you get the same answer.THAT HAS BEEN UPGRADED why can't someone tell you before its to late.
As happened to poor soul in a 3lt Nissan patrol north of Mackay new years eve when smoke started coming out of the exhaust [hole in piston]he had no idea there was a problem.
FollowupID: 609994

Follow Up By: Member - Dick (Int) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:33

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:33
Matt, so true.

Most of the mods we install have less than 10% chance of ever being needed. Go into the remote area's and you don't see the locals driving around with all the gear hanging off them. For the most they are near standard except for the addition of a good Front Bar and some Extra Lights.

In the 1960's I drove stock standard Land Rovers across some very remote area's and thought nothing of it. My Holden Ute could handle any gravel road with not a thought of mods.

Look at Willem's Nissan. It has the essentials only and he has been across more of Australia than most of us dream of.

My own Troopy has a lot of additions, none of which were essential to go anywhere in Australia. I just want to have them but I certainly did not need to have them to travel Australia.


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FollowupID: 609997

Reply By: Willem - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:19

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:19

Pretty much what Matt said.

The very large Aftermarket Industry would go broke if all purpose vehicles were built and sold. The way it works now is that you can buy a base vehicle and add on what you perceive you want.

Suspension mods aren't really needed
Snorkel not really needed but it helps to have one on odd occasions
spot lights not needed
Bars not needed
Tyres are a usable item so you can't include them
Engine mods...not needed

Standard factory built 4x4's can go the same places as heavily modified jobbies. Sometimes mods are just an image thing

There is no such thing as a perfect vehicle

And $35,000 only buys you a very 2nd-hand vehicle these days

AnswerID: 342299

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:10

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:10
Can't argue with the experienced man.

Many of the add ons are bugger all other than cosmetic jewellery.

I'm on my third, basically stock 4wd, and they have taken us everywhere we need to go. I'm not into driving through three feet deep mud holes for the sake of it. I'd rather drive around or go back.



FollowupID: 610015

Reply By: Splits - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:51

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 19:51

Unless you go out of your way looking for the most extreme conditions, you will be hard pressed finding a track in the country that was not crossed forty to fifty years ago by a stock standard Land Rover on 7.50 x 16 tyres.

I think a lot of it comes down to some very effective advertising. If you want to sell modified equipment for 4WDs then you start by convincing as many people as possible that they can't possible go onto any kind of unsealed road with a standard vehicle.

It reminds me of the time back in 1973 when I bought a DT3 Yamaha trail bike. All my mates and the magazines said I needed a "fork kit" in it. The thing took me through rivers, over countless mountain tracks and through desert sand without any problems. Maybe if I had wanted to ride it way beyond the limits of my ability, a few alterations might have helped but I sure did not miss them with what I did with it.

You will find it is much the same with 4WDs. No matter where you go in the bush, you will find local people running around the same area in stock vehicles and usually with factory fitted tyres.

AnswerID: 342304

Reply By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:11

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:11
Even this has been around Australia:
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AnswerID: 342317

Reply By: The Landy - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 08:57

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 08:57
I think the after market accessories business for four wheel drives is one of the biggest rorts around. As noted in a number of responses most are not needed for the type of work they will do, and the prices are heavily inflated.

At the risk of sounding controversial; there are always complaints about fuel prices on here, but look at what you pay for accessories that will never be needed.

Happy New Year to all by the way......

AnswerID: 342379

Reply By: DIO - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 10:42

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 10:42
Most 4 wheel drives never (seriously) go off road.

Many people purchase 4 wheel drives in the mistaken belief that they are safer for city and urban driving!!

Many people buy 4 wheel drives because of the image they create (tough, Aussie, go anywhere-do-anything) you know what I mean.

Many people want to enhance the image even more by adding unnecessary and often unwanted equipment (winches, roof racks, extra fuel tanks, (dare I say it ) bull bars, bigger wheels, suspension lifts etc. etc. (Something to do with a lack of self esteem, or ego (manhood)- for many).

So do you really need to add 'all those accessories' to your vehicle? My recommendation - NO - only install them if you NEED them. Many just don't understand less weight makes running costs a lot cheaper, saves on tyre wear and fuel consumption, prevents unwanted load on the suspension, probably even cheaper to insure etc.

I guess that's not what the gurus want to hear though.
AnswerID: 342396

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 14:07

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 14:07

This is a 4wd/camping/travelling site and you say "Most 4 wheel drives never (seriously) go off road! and they are purchased because of "lack of self esteem" and to " create a tough Aussie image"
Sure...some people might. But MOST????
Where I live MOST people have them because they NEED them to get around or WANT them to go out camping or are tourist travelling around this great country ENJOYING themselfes....Not what you sugest.
Your a pessimistic, miserable ba$trd aren't ya.....

FollowupID: 610117

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 13:34

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 13:34
G'day Carl, an interesting question you pose. I think its an image thing. The aftermarket industry is very good at convincing most that some or all add ons are essential for outback touring. I
wonder how we made it to the Centre & Kimberley & back in our
humble rig, without incident, & without any aftermarket mods or
toys. No suspension mods, no snorkel, no bullbar, no spotties, no
Coopers, no roof racks, no UHF, no Satphone, no GPS, no winch,
no solar or generator, no chips, no turbos.No Engel , No extra batteries .Bloody thing is not even a diesel.
While I freely admit that some or all of these things may be desirable or convenient, none are essential. The cost of these
things would exceed the value of my humble tug & the C/t.
Surprisingly, three times we were able to assist fellow stricken
travellers, who, between them had all the toys. One had a jack that wouldnt fit under the vehicle, another no spare wheel bearings for trailer, & the 3rd no oil on the dipstick or in the back
of the car either. None carried a shovel. These things cost next to
nothing, but the flashy bar & winch was considered above them.
We tour in a rig I couldnt get $15k for, but we have confidence in its ability & condition, & we carry all the stuff that ensures that
90% of the problems encountered are not an issue for us.
I must admit to fitting a long range fuel tank, but surely that is
not an extravagence for a Jack V6 ??...:)))........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 342415

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 23:31

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 23:31
We modify our vehicles for many reasons.
1. All vehicles have their design limitations so when you want to drive through bonnet deep rivers or up a metre high rock ledge then bigger tyres, snorkels & winches become a necessity.
2. Each 4by has it's own flaws so to maintain some reliability particually in remote areas it's often prudent to fix the problem beforehand.
3. Many have the need to carry additional weight or tow large trailers so increased power & heavier suspension can not only improve the handling but make the vehicle far safer.
4. Forums, magazines, 4x4 shops all tell us this gear is "essential" & you'd be a fool to head off without it. Experience often tells us it's not always the case.
5. We like the way they look with a bit of 'Bling' on them. (& what's wrong with that) Everything doesn't always have to have a purpose.
6. Work vehicles are modified to do a job efficiently & safely.

Manufactures can't produce a vehicle that is everything to everybody so it only stands to reason there will always be a big part to play for customizing.
Cheers Craig.........
AnswerID: 342501

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