Building your dream 4x4 – Stage One The “Stretch”

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:57
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For those interested, the stretch and GVM upgrade has been completed on the new 79 series ute. I picked it up last week from Multidrive Technology in Geelong. Darryl and the team have done a great job and the vehicle is now 500mm longer in the chassis and the GVM increased by 540 kgs. All engineered and a secondary compliance plate fitted.

The chassis was cut with two 45 degree angled cuts just behind the cab. The new section was added and then the overall depth of the chassis deepened by adding a ‘C’ shaped section along the length of the extension and extending out along the rails. A cross member was fitted right behind the cab and a new centre bearing fitted with a jack shaft running from the gearbox. The tail shaft was also extended.

The rear leaf springs were added to with two extra secondary spring leafs and a new bump stop type load assister (my description and my apologies for lack of technical expertise) mounted on top of the axel housing. All lines and hoses were then extended. The first thing I noticed on picking her up was that the ride is a lot smoother than previously even with an absence of tray and toughened springs.

After a lot of looking around, drawing plans and talking design and cost, stage two is now underway and the vehicle has been delivered to the chosen engineers. I have opted to go with Allform Engineering in Morwell. Hopefully she will be ready to go in mid to late March.

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The spending continues. Mick




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Reply By: Member - Tezza Qld - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:06

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:06
Good onya Mick

It's all good fun. I know with my truck the costs at the time were a bit worrying but when your in the bush and it's all working well there's no regrets.

Hope it all keeps going according to plan

Cheers Teza
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:37
Cheers Tezza, I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end and there's a bit of fun in the doing as well. Hope it's all ready by this years departure date.

Mick
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Reply By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:20

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:20
No turning back now Mick,
empty the wallet............lol lol

Cheers
Michael
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:40

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:40
It is sport. Just ordered 6 Toyo Open Country MT's. I'm down to moths in the wallet for a while mate.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:33

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:33
Mick does that mean your going to renege on the promise to buy me half a dozen new BFG Muddies?? :-))

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:41

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:41
Sorry mate I must have been under the influence. Can't be held responsible for something I may have said in your imagination LOL.
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Reply By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:36

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:36
Nice one Mick, keep the updates coming. I'll just keep drooling.
Regards
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:41

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:41
I'll give you the worries for free Peter LOL.

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Scott C (Coolum - QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:46

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:46
Hi Mick

I will be watching with envy, keep the update coming.

Scott
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:24

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:24
Thanks Scottie. I'm sure a blog will be created soon LOL.

Mick
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Follow Up By: Mark B - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 12:20

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 12:20
Hi Mick,

Nice post ! Look forward to further updates - when you get the "build-up" blog going :)
Really interested in how you approach this, as I'm pretty sure my next vehicle will I think be a Cruiser ute with a camper unit on the back.
But I'm happy to stick with the 100 series cruiser for a while longer (having recently spent $ on it to get it to where I want it) !

Cheers, Mark.
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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:08

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:08
tick tock tick tock....

lol.....

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:23

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:23
110 days 1 hour & 37 minutes. Let the Dragon hunt begin.
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:31

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:31
Very interested in your progress Mick.

Are you getting a longer tray or getting a standard tray with a custom storage area between tray and cab.

Keep going with the updates. This has got me thinking about doing the same. I am keen to see how yours comes out. And of course the final $$$ tally.

How long has the chassis extension taken from when it was dropped off to now. Like if I had this done how long would my ute be off the road.

David




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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:03

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:03
David,

I'm getting a custom storage pod between the cab and tray and then a standard 2400 tray after that. Another removable pod incorporating a lift top camper will then sit on the tray.

Time wise. Mine was done in 4 days. So if you said a week, you'd be well within the boundaries of possibility. Depends on how busy they are and how well you orchestrate the move.
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Reply By: Member - Boeing (PER) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 01:10

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 01:10
You must have a great deal of patience Mick, Good on you and I hope the vehicle is everything you want it to be!!!
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:29

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:29
Just a metter of time and $ Mark.

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: _gmd_pps - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 03:32

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 03:32
hmmm ...
why all this effort when you could buy a decent vehicle in the first place ??
just wondering
gmd
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Follow Up By: Muntoo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 04:21

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 04:21
It was a decent vehicle to begin with...

Each to there own i guess, must be planning on carrying some weight are ya Mick. The chassis extension must limit its offroad capability, especially when climbing dunes, and washouts.

Very keen to see it when its finished though, its a nice looking rig as it is.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:24

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:24
GMD,

I'm building the vehicle around my needs for travel both in the short and long terms. Unfortunately the only vehicle that comes in a variety of configurations these days is the Landrover Defender and even then, most of those options are only available overseas. In actual event, I believe that with careful planning and a lot or research, building the vehicle may actually be cheaper than trying to buy something 'off the shelf'. Of course that's not including all the 'toys' LOL. The $ tally at the end will tell I suppose.

Muntoo, weight is always a consideration for me in travel so the GVM upgrade is a welcome side effect of the stretch process. At times I have had near 400 litres of fuel and then 120 of water so there's half a tonne straight away. That sort of weight soon takes care of the upgrade allowance. Mind you it's a diminishing weight as the trip progresses. Ramp over angle is definitely effected and I would imagine that on the sharper dunes of the Simpson and similar, I may have some issues here and there. Some of that will be offset by a small lift (2") and an extra 25mm or so from 33" tyres. Should present no problems in the majority of my cross country work though. Angle of departure is not changed. I always aim at being the lightest possible for the big off track stuff.
Turning circle....well that's another matter.....not that it turned on a 10 cent piece in the first place but!!!!

Cheers Mick

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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:03

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:03
Muntoo, Just read Mick"s blog entries.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alex B - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:20

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:20
Great stuff Mick,

It's a bit like a great trip...the journey is as enjoyable and exciting as the destination.

Talk soon
Cheers
Alex
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:55

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:55
Hi Mick

Like your work. Whilst we didn't extend the chasis on the Defender130, we find it does the job.....as you say, it just takes time and money.

Look forward to more of your tra vel blogs.

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 22:59

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 22:59
Keep us updated Mick, departure angle shouldn't change with your extention by what I see, but as you say turning circle will be another matter, also I think you may suffer with ramp over. We did a trip over the simpson years ago with a stretch and he had surely gun it to get over without bottoming out.

Still best of luck and its a large job...




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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 00:21

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 00:21
gmd_pps-what vehicle do you have in mind?
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