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Thread: Advice Please

  1. #1

    Advice Please

    Afternoon all,
    Would like some input here if i may ask. Over the chrissy break i headed away as normal with the camper in tow and loaded to the hilt. I headed off to Kinkuna with the family for a week or so, i had been here a few times before and never had any issues in the area of getting bogged. I drive a 2012 Pajero, 3.2l and tow a Jayco Penguin outback. Due to the lack of rain in recent times up there the tracks were powder puff soft and to say i got stuck a few times is an underestimate. Due to the help of some good blokes, they managed to winch me out a few times and i eventually got to camp.Now before i go on, i am experienced in 4wding, had tyre pressure down to 15psi and still struggled in some areas. This is the questions i am asking myself. My missus asked me, "how do we stop this from happening again?"
    Not going to places like this is not an option so i gave her two options.
    # Upraged to a v8 cruiser sahara.
    # Do some mods to current Pajy.
    She loved the idea of the Sahara until I tongue in cheek, took her to Toyota for a look at one and she went pale at the price tag of $75k for a second hand one, knew she would lol. I own the pajero so have been thinking of either replacing it with something with more clearance, power etc which i am not real keen to go back into debt for or Install bull-bar/winch, lift her up a bit more to give me more clearance which was the main issue as i was just bottoming out and ended up sitting on the chassis, and have it remapped for more bottom end power as i have previously talked about but did not get done. I reckon my outlay would be around $5k to have all this done but not sure if it is the right way to go.
    What do ya reckon guys.

  2. #2
    Ausfish Gold Member Dirtyfuzz's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Sunshine Coast

    Re: Advice Please

    Did a lot of surfing up 5 rocks and tracks are pretty average with no rain, we had on our rigs suspension lift,bigger tyres and had to drop tyres down to 8 psi at times

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mercury 115ct going strong😁

  3. #3

    Re: Advice Please

    Short of fitting tank tracks, sometimes you just get stuck.
    A lift kit and airbags helps with chassis clearance, but your diffs etc will still drag.
    Bigger diameter tyres will help, but comes at the expense of power loss and gear ratio changes.

    Motor upgrades also help (towing cams, remapping etc). All of the above are improvements.
    But like I said, there are some track conditions that are just 'bad'.

    I did all of the above a few years back and added a supercharger to a new modified v6 in my prado. With 40 years experience on the sand, and not towing, I still got stuck not long ago. Once you loose forward momentum in those conditions, it's often game over. But that's just the way it is sometimes when you venture off-road.

    (Although my old v8 hilux with its 35inch tyres would've walked it in. Lol)

    Good luck & Cheers

  4. #4

    Re: Advice Please

    Thanks Guru,
    Already got airbags fitted and as usualy only pulling through soft sand, diffs pushing thrugh the sand is not to much of an issue, just cant get the power down if the whole bottom chassis is bottoming out...and yes, not a good feeling losing that momentum, you know you are gone. Even worse when its 38 degrees and the sand is burning the crap out of your feet while on the end of the shovel!

  5. #5

    Re: Advice Please

    Most of my sand driving experience prior to going to Perth was at DIP and Rainbow Beach. Don't tell me, I know beach driving...……….wrong. Perth was a real eye opener on a couple of counts but the biggest difference was that the beaches we were driving on, you would sink past your ankles just walking - very soft. At the time I was driving a Patrol. I hit the beach at 25psi. Instantly down to the axles. Eventually got as low as 12psi to get an easy take off without wheelspin. Patrol tyres aren't exactly skinny, and everything I had heard / read about beach driving said they were the go. Imagine my surprise when the old 70 series troopy on the "pizza cutter" factory split rims just cruised up along side us, stopped to see if we were ok and then easy as you like, puttered off into the sunset without barely raising the revs. The difference - tyre diameter and pressure.

    There is however a downside. I fitted larger tyres - only one profile bigger. It was sufficient to knock 100k's range out of the tank by the odometer. In practice it was probably somewhere in the vicinity of 5-7% courtesy of speedo errors I suspect.

    A lift certainly won't hurt either if you are bottoming out.

  6. #6

    Re: Advice Please

    Quote Originally Posted by JEWIENEWIE View Post
    Even worse when its 38 degrees and the sand is burning the crap out of your feet while on the end of the shovel!
    Surely that's why you take the Mrs? Ha

    I also fitted new suspension which raised it slightly more as well as the body lift. Might help too. Just check the regs to make sure you don't go too high and void insurance, roadworthiness etc.

    I'm right on the limit... with the airbags down.


  7. #7

    Re: Advice Please

    Yes Scottar,
    I used to drive a troopy, also had the pizza cutters on it. Was going to change them until i went up Ruhles Beach bundy way and the thing was as you spoke about. Just cruised through the soft stuff up there with ease. Sort of goes against what alot of people say but proof was in the performance, and no need for a shovel on that truck !!

  8. #8

    Re: Advice Please

    Gotta admit pizza cutters seem to work. My brother swore by them. Said they cut thru the soft stuff to a harder substrate. Tyre walls also provided traction. He seemed to cruise by me sometimes while I was madly changing gears (before the v8 transplant) .
    And all the rangers cruisers have them. They don't appear to struggle.

    The wider tyres supposedly 'float' rather than cut thru the sand.
    Never tried skinnies so can't really say for sure.

  9. #9

    Re: Advice Please

    We camp regularly at Kinkuna. Currently 100 series 1HD-FTE and camper., previously 80 series 1FZ-FTE and prior to that (and prior to kids) GD 4.2TD coil cab. I would say the last 2 trips (Easter 2019 and September 2019) to Kinkuna have been the only time I have ever gotten stuck in the sand there. At Easter there were plenty of people airing down and I blew by them saying, "You never need to air down here" only to get properly stuck about 1 km down the track. I aired down to 15 PSI in September and still struggled (broke out the MaxTrax) getting into a tight campsite on the front. Also pulled a few people out at September.

    Anyway all of that is just a preamble to say with the long dry spell we had prior to January 2020 the sand in there is as soft and powdery as I have seen it in 15 years and certainly softer than Fraser Go back this weekend and see how you fair.

    Also don't let me stop you from buying a 200 series


  10. #10

    Re: Advice Please

    Thanks mate,
    Yes I’ve only been there for the last few christmases and got through no worries but makes me feel a bit better knowing it’s as bad as it gets. I took some mates up there with their families and vehicles and ironically enough, I taught them the basics in sand 4wd so I never heard the end of getting stuck so bad. They nick named me “bog boy”😔. Thinking I will have the Pajero remapped, have a winch fitted, lift her up a touch and do some mods to the camper to get rid of some unneeded weight. Looking at taking long service leave in 12months time and pulling the kids out of school for a couple of months to go and have some fun. Will be remote at times so wanna make sure I don’t get completely stuck and need to wait for help so doing what I am thinking of doing should get me out of trouble. It’s the journey not the destination isn’t it!

  11. #11

    Re: Advice Please

    Oh and you won’t stop me from getting a 200 series, my account probably will. 75k on the Sahara I was looking at or 5k on mods to the Pajero, gives me an extra 70k for fun.🤔😁

  12. #12

    Advice Please

    I did the cape in a 200 series with camper in tow. Including all of the OTT and some fairly remote eastern beaches etc. We had 2 Pajeros also with campers were in our group. The paj had lifts, same K02 AT tyres I had etc. Their winches were out about 2 or 3 times each on long/steep creek exits, where the cruiser walked up. Not to mention paj had front wheels 1m off the deck and broke a cv joint (although I call driver error for that one!). Dual cabs not towing we’re also bringing out winches in the same climbs, 1 after the other. A Lot to do (I think) with tyre pressures for many of them, although the Pajeros were on the money with that, but were just less capable. However they have just a little less clearance, less articulation, 1” in wheel diameter, etc all adds up. You often only need more clearance than the slightly lower car in front that graded the track!

    But, when the going was very tight, the older and cheaper Pajeros were faster (less pin stripe concerns!) and more relaxed than you could be in a newish 200... so bang for buck, you can’t fault them in comparison in that regard, when you consider outlay for the cruiser. That’s probably your answer right there.

    Re wheels and pressures. My dads 1960ish something gutless Land Rover, timber tray back and roof, went neatly anywhere on Fraser 35 years ago, before all the boards were on the tracks.
    Skinny lug tyres (no power to push wide tyres, tried it and was hopeless) and tubes in tyres and sometimes as low as 5lb (although spinning tyres could be an issue in old steel wheels). It Walked up most things In 2 low. Never a run up, it was too slow! But he did need to carry spare axles! As I kid I remember driving slowly around bigger new patrols, v8 ford Mavericks, etc...the v& ford Mavericks. They all used to take the massive high speed run ups. Was very funny and maybe a bit embarrassing as we crawled through and around them.

    I crossed Ngkala rocks at Fraser late last year when very dry and powdery. Lots of cars unable to pass, and all turning back after being stuck. We drove it fine with camper in tow, but was down to 10psi. Just simply air up the other side and don’t hit anything too fast... before we went a few guys told us it was impassable, and with a trailer was crazy. 200s, prados etc that all should have done it not towing were all giving up. I do get some funny looks when I mention the pressures I drop to, but I have a real dislike of digging when I have a good tank of diesel!

    I think the other big issue is lack of ground clearance at the drawbar. If the camper is low, and the car not lifted, it’s like tossing out an anchor every time it digs in. Gets worse on rutted tracks as soon as you carry any momentum and it bottoms out.

    Get a moderate lift, 32.5”or even 33” if they fit the paj. moderate width AT tyres 275ish. At a guess, but not MT, deal with draw bar clearance and ensure camper is at least set up level on a suitable drop hitch, and a good compressor so your not scared to drop all 6 tyres a lot from time to time, and you will probably solve most (but not all) of your bogging issues, while maintain a bank balance!Oh and trac control full off, and only ever minimal wheel spin. If travelling with others, save the $$ and weight in a winch. Max Trax (2 on each car is enough) and a shovel are pretty good insurance if your really stuck.

    Don’t get me wrong, the 200 is awesome On The beach when well set up (but stock I would think is too soft and low, so you still need to spend $$). But then I had great 4cyl diesel utes for the beach, when mildly set up to suit. You don’t need a lot of mods to make a lot of difference in sand. Just a few of the right ones.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13

    Re: Advice Please

    Thanks Darren,
    So i have decided on keeping the Pajero as it owes me nothing and making a few mods as i first suggested instead of going back into the world of Debt. Going to lift it up a bit, have it remapped along with manifold clean out, catch can fitted to get the most out of the remapping as suggested by mechanic i have been talking to, and also go ahead with having a winch fitted. I know it is extra weight but dont want to rely on having other people around to help me out......if there is anyone else around and i like the idea of going, "whats my worst case if i go down this track and get stuck, just winch myself out, no biggy"
    I have also been looking at my camper and have seen a few opportunities to get rid of some weight off that also. It has awnings all round, 3 of which i have never used so they are coming off. Removing current 3 way fridge as a bit of weigh there and she only works good on gas so out she goes along with the big gas bottle and I will replace with a lighter 12v one. I will completely empty all my gear out of it and if i haven't used something on the last few trips, it wont get repacked, like 3 of the 4 camp ovens i have, a heap of steel poles for the awnings i never use. I know it doesn't sound like much but any extra weight i can get rid of will all add up and hopefully with the changes to the Pajy, I am hoping to not need the Maxtrac i have just bought........

  14. #14

    Re: Advice Please

    10psi and a bit of lift to start. Front and rear diff lock can help.
    Don’t let a female pack, your going on holidays, not moving home for a week!

  15. #15

    Re: Advice Please

    That’s the trick I think. All the small but clever things add up to making the difference between “why does that bloke do it so easy and I get bogged”.

    But.. my 5 year old daughters biggest learning form a month up the cape, to her little friend across the road. “ hey Joel if ever your lucky to go to cape York, just remember to have a Toyota and never take a pajero or you will just get bogged and break down”
    I won’t admit she might have overheard some comments from dad that are not completely 100% true. Have fun!.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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