4x4 Light Trucks

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 23, 2005 at 00:53
ThreadID: 121861 Views:3671 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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G'day all,
New to the forum, been reading the archives so as not to ask repetitive questions. This has to be the most informative and helpful site on all questions pertaining to outback towing and caravanning. 4x4 light trucks. In searching for the right rig, we can't go past a BT for obvious reasons, but the areas we wish to travel, will take us into pretty rugged, and reasonably remote areas, in search of the ellusive Au, as well as normal sight seeing. So it comes down to the size and power combination. We would all like a big van and an effie to tow it but, under certain conditions it becomes impractical, so unfortunately, have to compromise and at a cost to comfort. A friend of mine travells the outback quite extensivly and in the last 7 yrs with a 4x4 Canter, non turbo, towing a fully loaded Ph***** a fully loaded Ph******, dam computer won't let me spell it. Gooood computer, feenix, there tricked ya, Weighing in at 2.5 - 2.9 tons loaded up plus all the toys, extra h2o & fuel , loaded down to the max in the back of the Canter. He's clocked up over 150000 + kms, 90% outback roads with not one mechanical breakdown, except for the tow hitch that cracked which as the "Lone Ranger"stated, light trucks can be savage on . So what about the comfort zone in travelling over rough roads!? Unfortunatly in light trucks u sit right over the front suspension but, loaded,as he says only slightly less comfortable than a Land Cruiser, all depends on how u drive them . They're not speed machines up hill but, on the flat u still will get your 100 ks . His advice on air bag suspension as an add on was that the comercial adventure tourers out of Cairns had tried them and were a lot more comfortable but were getting staked on the trips to the Cape and took them off . As he does a lot of trips to that area, (not to the cape ) he won't put them on, naturally, but if u are doing outback desert or touring normal, they will be an advantage . With realibity, and the newer models with intercooled turbos, plus the need to carry a lot more weight than the norm, its a serious contender in my book, no speed machine, granted, but with a 16 to 18 foot BT, u won't be missing out on much, in fact gaining, cause u will get to where u want to go with all your needs .Comparrison in Gear and Diff Ratio between a GLX 100 series Land Cruiser and a Canter 4x4
LC 1st 4.081:1 Canter 5.380: 1 25% lower 2nd LC 2.294:1 Ca 3.028:1 25% lower
LC 3rd 1.490:1 Ca 1.700:1 12% lower 4th 1:1both LC 5th 0.881:1 Ca .722:1 Diff Ratio
LC 4.100:1 Ca 5.714:1 26% lower Power LC 150Kw@ 34000rpm Ca 103kw@ 2700rpm
No speed machine but u gota give an take?
Cheers. Aurum Au-Zees

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2005 at 03:19

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2005 at 03:19
The "Lone, or is it Last Ranger" here..... Look, I spent six years and a hundred thousand dollars battling this concept, and here is my experience....
I started by investigating the possibilities and talking to many Canter Owners over the years, as I thought of it as an upgrade from my stretched Landcruiser..
My decision based on the Isuzu or Canters was that it would work, but with a few caveats.... (My research cost a fortune, so here goes the results:)

1) I think you would have to be prepared to upgrade the truck suspension as the distance between the bump stops and chassis are not enough to keep it from bottoming out, or get air seats... You need a high lift arc on the springs, the right springs, and shocks, and it will be a bit of a trial and error to get it right.... Or the ruts will wear you out a bit... And, there is Driver Fatigue to contend with as they do drive like a truck.....

2) The flexible hitch set up, which you already know about, but is a problem..

3) The last three things are Power,
and Power..... I am afraid you will be slow, and the tendency is to load more on the bed of the Cantor or Isuzu with a big canopy and then you will be even slooooowweeeerr... Maybe an 18', but I think it might be a bit slow for 20' Bushtracker and up.... Unless you greatly shorten the load on the truck... After a full engineering study for myself, considering a sleeper cab for the Cantor or Isuzu, and one run at building a custom Isuzu with a bigger engine that ended up a disaster and cost me $46,000....... (Don't ask) I abandoned the project and about five years ago bought an F-350 with a Dualcab, and canopy, 7.3 litre diesel, and definitely not slow... That has proven to be a success for many.

I spent two years with a Mid size truck, a Misubishi FM 517.... It had enough engine, but still drove loud, hard, and stiff, like a truck... Wear you out....

Not saying you can't do it or make a success out of it, but the only long term success stories have been with the next size larger trucks (and engines)... My current Mack Dual cab also has air seats for passenger and driver by Ordering it, and it gets Exxxy $ to do it this way... I had no choice... Try driving the Canter over a rough rutted out road for an hour or two.... See what you think then... Maybe they are better now... (hey look, there is another of those pigs flying by) Japanese trucks are not known for comfort....

Anyway, take it as just an opinion, from someone that spent a fortune chasing it for the last eight years....

Cheers from the last Texas Ranger Ha!
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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