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  1. #1

    Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    I have a dilemma and I am seeking some advice. I currently have a 2wd 2008 BT50 which I have owned since new. I have used this vehicle to launch 3 different boats of variyng sizes over the years and have not had any problems until recently. The 2 incidents where at manly boat ramp the eastern one. The first one was pulling the boat out and had massive wheel spin about a foot up the ramp, I sometimes get wheel spin as it is an open diff but usually good clutch control, brakes etc get me out of trouble however not this time. I found out what the problem was after finally getting up the ramp was a pile of wet weed/grass. Second occasion was same ramp on dead low tide, this time I reversed down empty trailer. Stopped ute at the best spot to load boat. I put the ute in gear and handbrake on only to open the door and realise the whole rig was still sliding backwards, needless to say I started the ute up again drove forward possibly a little as half a foot and all was good loaded the boat and drove away without a problem. My dilemma is I now am thinking that I need to get a 4wd but don't really want to as I like the simple small ute and I am not interested in 4wd after spending 5 years driving around the Pilbara working in exploration mining. A mechanic at work suggested putting in a diff lock in the rear and either using a chock on the front wheel or putting in a Line lock(not sure if this is what they are called) on the front brakes, not sure about the legality of this.

    Anyway some advice would be appreciated as I said I don't want the added cost of a 4wd, but don't want the cost and heart attack of seeing the whole lot slide into the drink.

    P.S wasn't sure if this is the right spot to post my query

  2. #2
    Ausfish Addict Chimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Gold Coast

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Hi B4

    Have you ever been to Melbourne and seen how the trams get traction between their steel wheels and the steel tracks?

    Not sure if you feel like trying it /doing it but perhaps you dropping sand for a meter or so in the path of your back tyres might just get you enough traction to overcome the lack of traction on some of the ramps you use.

    in the past I have seen council staff high pressure washing the growth off ramps on the Gold Coast but that probably won't help you where you are.

    Good luck with it.

    If it goes in can you post pics or video?
    Apparently if the vehicle goes in its important to have the motor running as it happens and to not turn it off.
    If you have some bystanders pull the vehicle back to wards the ramp while its still afloat you can drive it out.
    Not sure if the above works here or not or only in the internet.

    I guess if you drown yours in the bay and you do get it out quickly you would still be looking for a new truck.

    Enough conversation..

    Coffee is on

    What could go wrong.......................

  3. #3

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Wrong oil in Lsd or old oil?

  4. #4

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    try dropping your tyre pressure a little or throw some weight in the tray or both

  5. #5

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4


    Thanks will definitely get some video for everyones amusement. I can try the sand thing but it is not always available.


    No LSD, it is an open diff hence the advice I received to install a diff locker.

  6. #6

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    +1 for fitting an lsd or locker. Gotta be cheaper than trading up just for "those" situations. Dunno why all utes dont have them.

  7. #7

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    You have a couple of different issues going on there - Handbrake and gears only lock up the rears being the sliding problem and the open diff being the spinning issue. If you fish alone, you are stuck with trying to sort out a solution. If you fish with a mate - fit a front tow hook and buy a decent tow strap and shackle and take a second car. Cheapest fix for both at once short of finding another ramp that doesn't have the same problem. Other than that you need both the diff lock and a way of jamming on the front breaks or a decent chock as your mechanic indicated.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  8. #8

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Thanks Scottar and the RealPoMo.

    Fish alone about 70% of the time. Agree a diff lock is probably the way to go, but have never heard of a line lock before. From my googling of this it is a lock on the front brakes. Will this work or would it be better to use a chock as the ute seems to tow the rig easily otherwise. Just don't want to spend the extra and find that I should just get a 4wd and not sure if the Minister of finance would be happy with me spending the money on a 4wd considering I will probably never use it except at the ramp.

  9. #9

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Look I'm no expert but can't see having the front wheel brakes locked can help much on a slope with most weight on the back. Reckon the chock would be more effective at holding. The locker/lsd gives you full 2wd in the slippery stuff versus 1wd - but as Scottar says, that only helps when dragging the rig up. If both back wheels slip you might find the rear sliding sideways and then the only real answer is drive to the front wheels to pull you straight - 4wd.
    Other options include weight in the tray, more weight on the towbar (careful here) or finding a better ramp.
    I remember as a kid an F250 2wd with lsd would pull a glass 21ft sterndrive Yalta up any ramp. 1970's F250's were VERY heavy tho.

  10. #10

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    There is another option that will end up cheaper than having a locker fitted and possibly fix both issues - extended drawbar. Bit of mucking around to launch and retrieve and you would have to watch your ramp over angle but if you get a couple of metres further away from the water (maybe more) it might be enough.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  11. #11

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4


    Do people with 4wd ever have the problem of the vehicle sliding back once stopped or is it just a 2wd problem. I might look at putting some sandbags in the tray for extra weight. Might still look into fitting a diff lock as 2wd has got to be better than 1wd.


    Hadn't thought of an extended drawbar. This option does seem like a lot of hassle though. Lots of things to think about.

  12. #12
    Ausfish Silver Member 552Evo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    I've got a 4wd and haven't ever needed to use it at the boat ramp. But I have seen others slip and spin wheels at the same boat ramp - the cars I've seen do that are vans and utes that are light in the rear end. So I reckon your best bet could be as others above have said put some weight in the rear and even try a more aggressive tyre pattern with lower pressures.
    I know they are slippery because it's like walking on ice and slime in ankle deep water when I sort out the latch and chain when launching and retrieving.
    Could you fit one of those extendable sections in your boat trailer draw bar (as others have mentioned) so your rear car wheels are above the water line ?

    Saltwater fishing, boat mad but has a job that gets in the way.

  13. #13

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    i have a 4x4 hi-lux and few weeks ago it started to slightly move backwards when I got out of it....manly ramp was slippery as shit
    I got mate to put rock under back tyre and now carry a brick in car to put under front tyre if needed
    I had to put in 4 wheel drive to get off the ramp

    4 days later ramp had been pressure cleaned and no problem

    I did see a bloke at the ramp and he had a block of wood with rope through it and he keeps it tied to his tray, always uses it and then drives away and puts back in the ute tray when tying boat etc down

  14. #14

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Quote Originally Posted by Berger4 View Post

    Do people with 4wd ever have the problem of the vehicle sliding back once stopped or is it just a 2wd problem. I might look at putting some sandbags in the tray for extra weight. Might still look into fitting a diff lock as 2wd has got to be better than 1wd.
    Looks like you have some answers already Berger; probably from people with more experience than me. Me - I leave mine in auto 4wd so really dunno if it's ever kicked in.
    Edit: Scratch that. Just remembered new vehicle does constant 60/40 split. Old one kicked in when needed. Sorry. Never needed low range on the ramp tho.
    Extra weight in the tray - how about a 200l water tank? Be easier to load/unload with a hose.
    Still reckon the diff lock is a good idea if budget allows. Never know when it might help.

  15. #15

    Re: Vehicle upgrade vs new 4x4

    Thanks everyone.

    Think I will go with a few sand bags and lower tyre pressure a bit, at least I will have some sand on hand to try the sand under the wheels theory(thanks Chimo). I may also get a tyre chock and install diff lock at some stage.

    I will also remember to keep the phone handy in case it goes in the drink, should give everybody a laugh.

    Would have been good to hear if somebody else has gone down the diff lock route.


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