Fanfare for the Bush Beast

Submitted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 12:40
ThreadID: 119914 Views:6424 Replies:15 FollowUps:0
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Well. Hello. My eyballs are now officially fried (I've been reading this site for hours after trolling my way through other sites to finally find you nutters). I'm in "Not gunna get buyers remorse" mode after laying down my deposit yesterday (feels like a week ago). Happened like this. Cancelled a trip with the family to Toronto (Canada, not NSW) due to War, SARS, airline going into Chapter 11 (Travel Inurance withdrawn). Someone trying to give us a message. So, swmbo suggested "Australia". I thought, "OK.... Yeah.... Humm..." (scratches head). Next thing I know I'm trying to look enthusiastic at first day of Show (where are all these people coming from?!!) 6 hours with rug-rats in tow & all we had done was look at Vans (talk about a learning curve-ball). Was drifting toward Compass 18' on road with no ensuite. This was still over double what I was assured we could get a good rig for (by an ex-vanner). Went back on Saturday to have another look - the brouchure said Duragal (don't think about it, Angie). Didn't like the explanation, but was assured that they now used Supergal (I think she goes even longer). Looked at the drawers - same mitre construction that my old built-ins had - they fell apart & they weren't subject to vibration! The very nice man proudly showed me the frame sample & I'm sure it is among the best of its kind, but I felt real nervous seeing all those staples holding the joints together. The final killer though was an absolute refusal to consider that the factory may be prepared to install my own brand of water filter or to pre-wire for eventual solar panels (as I might get them supplied & installed by someone else!). Wandered off dazed & stumbled into the BT stand. I had spottted them the previous week, but though I love the whole idea of gross over-engineering - I had dismissed them as off-road Mad Max headquarters; too heavy for 'Plan A' - sell car & buy second hand Fairmont Ghia auto for family/tow vehicle (Compass said 1700kg - no worries). However, swmbo is partial to 4x4. Always thought they were ecologically indefensible myself (the way most Sydneysiders use them). So, what the hell. Yadda, yadda. Tracy got us serious. Came back Sunday with more questions than you could poke a stick at & 'Plan B'. i.e. 19' Queen with Double bunk & ensuite at 4 times the original budget PLUS the need to keep existing car & look for a pre-loved Diesel grunt-machine which takes the whole operation to 5 or 6 times original budget. Do we qualify? Are we crazy enough for your exalted company? Hope so, as Turist, Motely, Collyn et al, combined with a bit of colour from Angie, have alredy added hugely to the de-greenhorning process. "WHAT HAVE I DONE????!!!!" There, that feels better - needed to get that off my chest. So - any input on tow vehicle would be very welcome (No - I will NOT get a 250 {I think}). Great input so far on further up-speccing van - has anyone tried that lovely little diesel powered heater?; to strut or not to strut; and who makes the best coffee machine - de Longhi, caggia, Krupps? These are the real issues & I am surprised so little space has been devoted to crema and warm toes! Please pick up your game. Happy Tracks Griffon
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:07

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:07
MRS GRIFF!! MAKE SURE GRIFF LEAVES THE CREDIT CARD AT HOME (or in your handbag which would be much more productive) Angie
AnswerID: 558731

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:08

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:08
Angie, AAhhh! What Have you Done!!!??? (Flaring nostrils & rolling eyes, flecks of spittle dribbling from corners of mouth, heaving chest, shaking hands). You may have single-handedly torpedoed years of conubial bliss. You now have Mrs Griff enquiring, "Whats this Credit Card thing that your new girlfriend is talking about?" (impales me with gimlet stare & raised eyebrow whilst casually waving around the gutting knife). I have successfully denied the existence of such a Device of the Devil for years. I tried, "Its a UK thing; its a bank record of your Total Level of Endebtedness which they use for calculating who goes to Debtors Prison; its something the Poor People have; its a University admissions record etc etc etc". She isn't buying it. What to do now? Desperately yours Griff
AnswerID: 558732

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:09

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:09
Griff, Griff, Griff. No need for desperation. Angie would say: In these days of enlightenment, tell her that its a Mars and Venus thing and that CC's are only for men from Mars and that if she touches it, it will deflate your financial monitoring ego. She will relate to and respect you saying that, and feel that all her time invested in you during the marriage has been of benefit because she is seeing that SNAG in you finally coming out. (and then of course want to touch it and see if it does deflate the ego within 5 seconds) My husband would say: "What did you let her out of the kitchen and near the computer for? You only have yourself to blame!!" Angie (definitely one for the ex-pat even if it is only on poor newbie Griffin)
AnswerID: 558733

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:10

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:10
Watch out Mrs Griff ..... Good old male damage control imminent !!! <smile>

Try these ....

Anything I said six months ago my darling is inadmissible in an argument. In fact all comments become null and void after 7days.

If something I said my sweetness can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you angry or sad, I meant the other one.

Anthony <freudian grin>
AnswerID: 558734

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:11

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:11
Sage advice, Anthony. However, for the benefit of The Terrible, a little explanation is called for. I was minding my own business behind closed doors in the Computer Sanctuary while Mrs Griff was happily scrubbing grease off the BBQ set-up & the soot off the walls in the spare room where I have my now-weekly spit-roast in the old bathtub (I'm practicing, you see). Well, as luck would have it, I didn't notice Mrs Griff sneaking in with a lovely glass of Fume Blanc & a tray of assorted cheeses (Blue Castello; Mersey Valley; King Island Double Brie; Jarlesberg; Nimbin Natural), crackers, dates & grapes. It had escaped my notice that it was Mother's Day, so, naturally, the Fair One wished to express her heartfelt thanks for my part in enabling her to become a mother. Who knew that a simple act of gratitude would go so horribly wrong? Are well, back to vehicle specs. (By the way, Anthony, you see what I mean about the Unimog?) I'm getting brain spasms with all the "necessary" equipage, de rigure for 4x4's! Petrol (or Gas!) with Turbo (or Supercharger!) v Diesel Turbo Intercooler; Bullbar, Driving Lights & Winch; Twin battery set-up (if it'll fit under the bonnett, Mr Toyota!), Snorkel, uprated Air Filter, Extra Fuel filters/water seperators, in-cabin electronic chip/turbo controller, long range fuel tank (where spare used to be); Overhead for communication gear, Laptop & GPS for navigation, Sand mats to keep the crud off the Silvertail Shag that all these beasts (inexplicably) come with, DVD/Playstation entertainment system to keep the Littluns amused, rear parcel cage, drawers & tie-down/box enclosure for the portable fridge & wine case; lower-range low-range gears, raised suspension, on-road & off-road sets of Cooper Tyres, split rims, slotted & grooved aftermarket Brake Discs, in-cabin-controlled shocks; 3.5t tow rig with weight dist gear & best electric brake controller; Roof luggage system to take water, fuel, gas, & spare tyre (which should never be kept under body, Mr Toyota!); Diff Breather (whatever that is - maybe a petrol sniffer who heard it was dangerous & decided to filter it through an engine first - can be identified by the tell-tale burnt lips); and, finally, Snatch gear (I'm sorry, angie, I meant "recovery gear"), tool kit, puncture kit, compressor, long jack, air jack, chain saw, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, "30 second tent", BBQ, sleeping bags, Eco-Billy (Good one, 99!), Big Haul, not to mention EPIRB, food, drink & somewhere in there, us! I thought van fit-out was bad. I should have stayed in bed - a little knowledge is a bloody dangerous thing. And no, I'm still not getting an F250! I'm not, you hear! Stop laughing, Flea Infested Camel Droppings Griff
AnswerID: 558735

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:12

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:12
I afraid Griff may have contracted a very virulent psychological disease ….

Overloaded Fluctuating Follicular Rhabditus Obstructive AntiSerenity Disease or
a bad case of the OFF -ROADs.

Because of overloaded synapses periods of confusion are often seen bordering on
paranoia especially if within arms reach of a 4x4 magazine. Pallor from long
periods at the keyboard …. This is also the time when fingernail extremities are
bitten whilst staring into the screen. Sometimes the zest for the other things in
life can suffer because of the channelled energy going into the disease. Partners
need to be vigilant here some patients become so adept at hiding it they can become
asymptomatic. Periods of depression are seen but have now been diagnosed as periods
of frustration. Selecting products from 4x4 stores etc only to find the product was not
really suited to the task has become a benchmark symptom for the new patient. The
patient is rarely serene.

Cause is conjectural so far …. But in the Australian male perceived peer pressure
from other off roaders may contribute. Words like …. Outback, camping, tanami,
toyota, cania, beachside caravan park certainly invoke periods of longer rem during
sleep causing hollograms of 4x4 accessories to appear in a fog above the patients
head. The full list of words has not been explored.

Allergy regime seems to have some success …. Controlled small exposures to anything
4x4 building over time to increase immunologic response. Distraction has not worked.
Support from certain "groups" is vital as is tolerance and understanding from partners
and friends.

Once contracted can stay for life but so far can be controlled very well. Relapses usually
occur around birthdays and Christmas. May never be cured and partners usually learn to
live with it. Some patients are now reading 4x4 magazines with glee able to select a
product with a clear understanding and buy "right" the first time.

<diploma of grin>

AnswerID: 558736

Reply By: Wadefarers - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:13

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:13
Griff The only things missing are the Recaros, but at least with all that the truck will then be as heavy as the BT . Isn't it good knowing you're keeping the country afloat with all that expenditure. Tell Mrs Griff - think of the credit card points Women love that sort of thing PS - if you buy the 100 Series T/D - comes with dual batteries standard. Jeff
AnswerID: 558737

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:14

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:14
I'm beginning to suspect that some contributors may be in the pay of BT's competitors and determined to place expensive obstacles in the paths of potential BTers.
My clear understanding has always been that a case or two of the brewer's finest will substitute for most of that expensive 4WD gear. Amazing what fellow travellers will do for a few beers. Trouble is, the first ones to come along the track and find you stranded will probably have nothing more useful on board than a couple of cases of beer!
AnswerID: 558738

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:15

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:15
I thought Recaros were standard equipment??!! (along with the Maglite, tilly lamp, ground sheet, on vehicle heat exchanger shower, & forward & reversing location sensors). Alright Kiwi, I suppose I could sacrifice the wine case for the brew (Squires, Hahn, Coopers & Cascade) - it certainly settles the nerves. Matter of fact, I need some now. Griff
AnswerID: 558739

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:16

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:16
Hey, Kiwi - I found the right draw supplier! They advertise the there draw set is designed to hold six cases of tinnies! Sounds like we could be onto a winner. Whaddayareckon? Hey, I've just noticed I've been promoted! Assisstant Mangler no less. How did they get that one so wrong. Like Marx (Groucho, not Karl) I don't think I'd want to belong to any outfit that had me as any kind of Manager - even if the only qualification is that I talk too much. Already getting tired of sales types telling me a four pot 3.0 TDi Nissan Auto rated to 3200kg towing will do the trick. 116kW just doesn't cut it for me somehow. Its looking more like the 80 every day - though where I am going to get a 4.2 TD Auto at the right price, I have no idea. Maybe find a standard 4.2 Auto & add a turbo? Probably just as rare. Came across something interesting the other day, though, as a possible tweak for more oomph (and we all want that, don't we, Angie?). In among all the blueprinting of engines/turbos, exhaust mods, chip sets, intercoolers etc, I see that a truck developement is starting to filter across. Namely, LPG over Diesel Turbo. Not what you might think. 6-30% LPG is fed into the air intake prior to the turbo. Has the effect of cooling inlet gasses (not unlike intercooler), but more importantly promotes clean burn of Diesel. Lifts it from about 75% to 95%! Whole thing kicks like another Turbo, runs cooler cause unburnt combustion gasses aren't flaming off in the turbo exhaust side, thus extending service life all round & all together oozing enviro niceness (providing you don't blow you sump off all over the country side, which is what tends to happen if'n you acts all a 'ornery & use a 30% mix - "But it felt so good, Doctor!"). Met any Guinea pigs out there? Next Great Thing are a Big W? Thoughts? Rude noises? Shaking heads? Annoyingly Yours Griff
AnswerID: 558740

Reply By: Wadefarers - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:17

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:17
Griff If you are thinking of an 80 series a couple of things to note:- 1 - You are "supposed" to get one plated after September 1996, as those before that date are legally not supposed to tow greater than 2500kg. (Post Sept 3500kg)No difference in the vehicle - just plain bastardry from Toyota Japan 2 - There were problems with the 80 series turbo diesels as they tended to let go. This has been rectified in the 100 series, but knowing the broken mirror thingie, if you bought one?????????????? 3 - Sometimes if you crank up a standard diesel that can cause problems as well. Possibly if you talked to Cooma or Berrima Diesel, they could set you straight. Currently I have an 80 series 4500 petrol which uses around 25L per 100K when towing the BT. The 80 weighs 2.8 T without adding fridges etc so I figure that that's not too bad at the moment but am looking to go to a 100 series TD auto as I still want to off road a bit. The F250 would probably be a bit of a handful over some 4x4 tracks. Jeff
AnswerID: 558741

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:18

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:18
Griff After having an 80 series petrol, 100 series TD and now F250 TD, the later the model the better the tow vehicle. I also know 2 Bushtracker owners who have not yet joined this group who tow with 3.0Lt Patrol TD. I know 1 has a manual because apparently they can tow heavier loads than auto in that model, but not sure of what the other one has. If you would like to speak to them about Patrol capability as a tow vehicle contact me direct and I will pass on phone numbers to you. Life must be tuff without anything to brighten up your messages.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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AnswerID: 558742

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:19

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:19
Hey, Bruce, thanks for the 80's news. I will try to get the engine spec on the standard 80 4.2 D & the TD. If they turboed the same engine as used in the Standard 100 series (indirect injection & 12 valve), I could understand problems arising if you just bolted on a turbo. The 100 series 4.2TDI on the other hand is a direct injection SOHC 24 valve unit - altogether much more sophisticated - hence 151kW & 430Nm (Compared with the Nissan 4.2 TDI @ 114kW & 360Nm!). I'm sure the 100 Series could take a tweak to another 10% without too much fuss. It sounds like I'm talking myself into a 100. Oh dear, there goes the budget again. (just to prove I can do the emoticon trick) Griff
AnswerID: 558743

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:20

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:20
Thanks for the offer of contact, Brian, but I've pretty well conceded that the Nissan is not the go. Even though the 3.0 TDI DOHC is no doubt a lovely piece of gear (giving almost identical figures to their 4.2 TDI !! 116 v 114kW & 354 v 360Nm), I feel that both are a little underpowered & I suspect that the 4 cylinder would just not be as grunty at low revs as a big 6. Although the 100 has a GVM of 3260kg, & the Nissan 3.0 clocks in at 3000kg (the 4.2 is out as it doesn't come in Auto, & as Mrs Griff says, "If I'm spending that much, I'm **** well going to be comfortable!" - no argument out of me on that one), the interesting (disturbing) thing is that the 3.0 Nissan is rated to tow 3200kg (vs the Toyota at 3500kg) in MANUAL only, dropping to an unacceptable 2500kg in Auto. The Toyota is rated at 3500 across all 100 series models, regardless of engine or transmission. Makes you ponder, don't it? Here endeth the boring techy bit Griff
AnswerID: 558744

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:21

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 13:21
Its official - I'm now on the hunt for a moderately used, pretty green (for Mrs Griff), 100 Series Land Cruiser TDI (and I can almost bet there is a Safari Snorkel & Dtronic Torque Box in it's future, too). Wish me luck Unerringly Yours Griff
AnswerID: 558745

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