Dressing the car for touring

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:22
ThreadID: 92647 Views:2290 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Well we decided to buy the Jackaroo.... so now my question is what should I do to get the car into perfect shape for towing and touring?
We have a few plans to leave the caravan and head out along the Gibb and similar kinds of roads, so anything which will help with that kind of travel as well.

Full specs:
Holden Jackaroo SE
1997 3.2L v6 Petrol
She has no accessories other than a Nudge bar.

Also, this morning someone asked if they could buy her off us, we thought about it as maybe we should just get a diesel or something that wont require as many mods, but it probably wouldn't be in as good condition as this.... are all these required mods going to end up more expensive than if we just sold her and got a diesel patrol/cruiser/pajero with all the trimmings??

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Reply By: 80CSR - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:45

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:45
My son has a Jackaroo and know they are a great unit.
To get a reasonable setup for your car I would suggest some basic mods:
A steel bull bar to protect you and any occupants from stray wildlife - a nudge bar won't cut it.
Secondly, I would suggest you raise the suspension to stop it bottoming out and this will make your trip so much more comfortable.
Then a decent set of light truck off road tyres to give you the safety and security to travel the kind of raods you are going to travel.
Make sure you have a decent set of driving lights for any unplanned night driving.
After that, you are only limited by your budget.

Happy travelling, Greg
AnswerID: 480875

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:43

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:43
The Jack is a robust fourbie - I had a 99 SE from new for 8 years (moved up to a landcruiser for higher towing specs). Re changing to diesel - probably no point, but avoid the 3.0L post Oct 98 models (problematic) - while the lower tech earlier 3.1L motors are less powerful, they enjoyed a much better reputation. If you need the extras for bush travel, surely there would be a Jack on offer somewhere with the items you need - suggest your outlays on this one are unlikely to affect resale value. Bullbar and snorkel are usually early on any bush list - after that, it depends on your personal circumstances and preferences (roof racks, rear storage setup, side steps, aux battery, UHF etc.). We went into a lot of 'ordinary' places with our Jack and the only suspension mods were up market shocks (Koni)...... the Jack clearance is not bad overall, except for the transfer case, which needs to be kept in mind when roughing it.
AnswerID: 480881

Reply By: GT Campers - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 12:22

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 12:22
The first thing I've done with any new second-hand vehicle purchase, especially one for bush travel, is a full DIY service to change all fluids: oil, filter, brqake fluid, trans/diff fluids. Make sure you see what comes out - for instance cloudy or watery diff oils.

Make sure all the factory stuff is in tip-top shape, by that I mean dampers, bushes, springs, idler arms, CV joint boots, fuel lines, raditaor hoses, radiator.

Then look at aftermarket hardware for your needs (not just appearance ;) ) starting with tyres.

Unless you think you need a winch (have you done any instruction/courses?) I wouldn't worry about a front bar - driving sensibly, during daylight hours, will lessen any risk there. People were driving Beetles out there 50 years ago without bars.

Cargo barrier is MANDATORY in my opinion.

Not sure what your budget is - but Outback travelling isn't cheap!! - but keep in mind, to service and repair an older rig for outback travel costs almost the same as a newer one: eg: I spent around $3000 on a $5000 Nissan to get it up to scratch. That got me a big tank (SH) full service with timing belt, wheels and tyres and afew other bits and bobs. Buying second-hand hardware helps, as is doing it all yourself.
AnswerID: 480884

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:13

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:13
Hi Angie, pleased to hear you have joined the Jack owners ranks. I wouldnt be
rushing in to bolt heaps of stuff on it...try it first & add as you find neccessary. I
have driven mine on all the major outback unsealed roads, including the GRR, in
stock standard trim with no issues...towing a C/t with 4 adults aboard....
Now the important stuff....before you head off...
...if it"s an auto..fit a transmission cooler....maybe $150 fitted.
...have a full service done including changeing all fluids.
...check the shocks, at those k's may be getting a bit iffy.
... a towbar,wiring & brake controller will be required.
...have good tyres, suggest LT if buying.
... drive it sedately, like me, it will drink hard if stressed.
...establish your fuel usage when towing & thus your touring range, may use
between 18 & 25L/100 Km, depending on driving habits.
... there is no limit on the $$$$ you can spend on the so called neccessary bits
for outback touring, so use common sense...a good fridge is a far better option
than a bullbar.

I think you have found a good car..now all you need is the right van...:)))))).
Good Luck with your plans.........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 480890

Reply By: wizzer73 - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:40

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:40
Hi Angie

Heres some of my thoughts. I do tow a van with my Jack.

Suspension - heavy duty coils in the rear and change all shocks. This made a huge difference to my jack. Cost me about $1200.

Brakes - Get them serviced/replaced. You may need to stop in a hurry.

Tyres - Decent All terrian tyres with LT rating.

Towbar - Make sure it is rated high enough.

Then the usual servicing, change filters and all fluids.

Cargo barrier is another good safety item.

You'll need a brake controller installed for the van, and a Weight Distribution Hitch is another good safety device.

Have fun
AnswerID: 480893

Reply By: Angie M - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 20:10

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 20:10
Thank you all for the excellent information and advice!

Oldbaz - A special thanks for all the help through out this little venture, I really appreciate it!

Have a great night all!
AnswerID: 480926

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:45

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:45
You are more than welcome, Angie, & thank you. I'm a great believer that this great
country can be toured "on a budget" & I'm living proof of that. You will be advised
from all sides of the useless stuff you must have to do it....ignore them. Experience
will teach you all.
I wanted a flash diesel wagon, but ended up with a petrol Jack...fell on my feet.....
I hope yours gives you similar satisfaction. We recently found the van of our dreams
...paid a bit more than hoped but are very happy with it. We expect our rig to see
out our touring days....another 10 years we hope.
More free advice...why not hire a van,similar in size to what you want, & sneak off for a week to get the feel for it. You will learn heaps ..about the Jack & vanning...for
not a lot of $$$.
FollowupID: 756385

Reply By: TheMightyMoose - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:04

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:04
* First aid kit and a decent sized fire extinguisher.
* As others have said - decent service.
* Maybe UHF for comms with other travellers - a 2w hand held unit will suffice.
* Forget driving lights - unless you like night driving. If not but you happen to need to drive at night just take it steady and normal lights will be fine.
* LT tryes (and a decent tyre pump and guage so you can use appropriate pressures).
* Dual battery? Yes if you have a fridge, otherwise you should not need it.
* Forget winch and snorkel for now.
* Make sure you actually enjoy what you plan to do before investing money. If you become a regular traveller, after a trip or two you'll work out what you need.
* Don't rush your trip - take it easy and enjoy it. There are heaps of fantastic places for you to visit. Good luck and safe travels.
Cheers from the Moose
AnswerID: 480998

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