I have to say; 4WDs are now just getting too complicated…
The old school 4WDs were literally equipped with truck-like motors. They were reliable and would run almost forever.
If you had a problem, it was usually something that you could fix on the side of the road with a spanner and a screwdriver. Whereas these days, with what I see come through my workshop, I just wonder…
I realise that its all emission based. And sure, we need to do what we can to protect our planet and way of life, but sometimes I’m left bewildered.
For example, Nissan teaming up with Renault, putting the world’s most complicated V6 diesel engine into a Navara. When it goes well, its awesome. But the question is for how long?
Toyota’s D4D engines in the Prado and Hilux are popping pistons. DPF issues in the latest 200 Series LandCruiser, and even just the countless stories of dusting through the air filter elements.
Let’s not start on the GVM of the 200 Series from standard.
These days it just seems that you have to spend so much on a 4WD just to keep it legal.
I’m also baffled with the towing capabilities of all of these 4 cylinder turbo diesels, but hey… let’s bring them out with smaller sized engines and throw a turbo on them, so that they drive like they should…
Because, let’s face it, a smaller diesel engine will be more efficient. But without a turbo, it just won’t go.
So, the turbo not only helps with emissions but it helps provide enough power for the vehicle to be acceptable to drive.
But then what happens? We tow with it.
We go up a hill or pull for a long distance and the engine temperature runs hot, causing the EGT to soar, and again, we have engine problems.
I just don’t know. I think that maybe we in Australia are blessed with the ability to travel a vast country, but the 4WDs we’re using are designed for the rest of the world, who just don’t use vehicles like we do.
I guess we are a very small percentage for the car manufacturers, and they cannot make a vehicle just to please us.
So what does it come down to? Well, I think we need to be more responsible. We each need to work out exactly what it is that we want to do with our 4WD, and then purchase a vehicle that will actually do what we want.
If we are towing a 3 tonne caravan across Australia, we need to look at a 200 Series or a Y62 Patrol. The big V8s are designed to tow.
Even, and dare I say it, the American vehicles that are now coming through are also designed to tow and have larger GVMs.
If we are travelling with just a swag and an awning, then sure, maybe a Prado or Isuzu is perfect.
If running around with a rear canopy, then a ute makes sense, as you take off the tray and drop one on. But again, what are the weights? And can the chassis handle the extra load?
If you have a clear picture of what you want, then maybe you should look at strengthening the chassis before the canopy goes on. Otherwise, be prepared to spend money on a chop and drop one onto a 200 series.
Either way, we have to work with what we can. But let’s choose a vehicle that is capable of what we want it to do.