Overland vehicle prep... What would you do? - Page 3





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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    quote from a different thread located here: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...eply&p=4149849

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruuuzer View Post
    Standard shocks fitted to 95% of vehicles start deteriorating from about 25 000 km. if you drive quite a bit of gravel or serious off road, expect to chuck them away before 40 000km. My van is now on 53 000 km and it's shocks are totally done for and have been for the last 15 000km. you only realise how bad they were after fitting the new ones.My cruiser on the other hand has a full set of EFS in, those are over 150 000 km now and still impressing me.
    This (quote from another thread) does not help me and is completely counter intuitive wrt going with stock suspension vs after market as discussed earlier. Cruuuzer's experience appears to be unique? Or not?
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2020/08/05 at 09:02 AM.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    If you want higher spec shocks then at least do not include a lift.

    This would mean that standard shocks could be used as a replacement for the rest of that journey. With a lift, standard, readily sourced shocks will no longer be appropriate even if can be fitted.

    With Toyotas (and other brands) the standard shocks are of excellent quality and will withstand many a km of overland travel provided there is not excessive loading. However if you foresee excessive loading merely upgrading your shocks and suspension will merely cause other areas of the vehicle to fail under the undue workload.

    When planning to travel outside major centers, keeping things as simple as possible will not be regretted, in my experience.
    Stanley Weakley.
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  4. #43
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    quote from a different thread located here: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...eply&p=4149849This does not help me and is completely counter intuitive wrt going with stock suspension vs after market. Cruuuzer's experience appears to be unique?
    Not quite. We change the suspension to aftermarket with all our tour vehicles. (do not use my 105 as reference, that is a whole different ball game)
    Simply due to the fact that imo the aftermarket handles better and lasts longer on the gravel, but you need to have the correct set-up fitted which suits your application.


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  6. #44
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Keep it simple, first motto of overland travel.
    Last edited by RobH; 2020/08/05 at 09:23 AM.

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  8. #45
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobH View Post
    Keep it simple, first motto of overland travel.
    I agree - there is a big argument for this.

    And thanks for all the perspectives and views - appreciate all the input and I do learn a lot in the process.

    Part of me does wonder however why even toyota decided to go with an after market suspension setup for the Land Cruiser Namib? Perhaps because the volumes dont justify the engineering investment to come up with their own? Does anybody know what ‘respected local brand’ they did opt for? Not that I would consider fitting it to the Prado - very different vehicle - just interested..
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2020/08/05 at 09:27 AM.

  9. #46
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Reading your requirements - at first do as little as possible on the stock one. Depending on the condition of your shocks, you could upgrade them to the next step up - like Pedders Gas, Bilstein. They shouldn't cost an arm and a leg - around R7000 for all 4.

    I would consider bumping up the rear coil for towing or initially, just air bags might be a better option.

    If your tyres are in good nick, leave them until you need to change them and then go for decent A/T's. I did 70,000 km through Zambia, Botswana, Moz, Zim, Namibia on HT tyres with 2 punctures - both on tar and 1 in a Choppies parking lot.

    If you're going to do the Koakaveld - then this whole conversation changes.

    That's it.
    Last edited by gavpike; 2020/08/05 at 09:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    I am going to swim a bit upstream here, but I was not happy with the standard Toyota shocks on my Hilux D4d. They lost all dampening at the end of the track leading to Kaa gate in the KTP. The track is not so much corrugated but is has endless bumps, like mini speedbumps. One after the other for most of the 100km distance.

    If your shocks needs replacement, then for me it is a no brainer to go for Bilsteins. They are standard length and the Bilsteins in my Prado peformed very well on corrugations. We put them to test more than once in the KTP. You have nothing to lose as you can easily replace shocks with standard Toyota shocks if the Bilsteins give up the ghost, which they will not.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/08/05 at 09:42 AM.
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  12. #48
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by gavpike View Post
    If you're going to do the Koakaveld - then this whole conversation changes.
    How?

  13. #49
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Boesman,

    Suspension is one of the hardest working components of a vehicle. The Prado is a relative softer sprung vehicle for ride comfort. As you stated that the tail drops quite a bit with the trailer hooked (conqueror is known for their heavy nose weight) I would personally look at upgrading the suspension. You cannot be towing safely on corrugated roads with a heavy tail and the nose up. You would ideally want to tow in a straight line or a marginally down rear.

    If you select the right suspension upgrade with your load in mind and do drive with due care, I cannot see why it will fail like so many stated. Bear in mind that suspension including coils are a wearing part on the vehicle, so at 15 years old, the springs will most likely be more tired than new and just putting shocks in is not going to help anything with keeping the tail up when loaded. This actually may cause failing of the upgraded shocks.


    Also with a 15 year old vehicle towing a heavy caravan, consider for peace of mind to replace the radiator as the plastic age with time and they do blow unexpected leaving you stranded. Same goes for the viscous clutch on the radiator fan. Replace it before taking the trip or you might have overheating issues when least needed. The cooling system is going to work, and work hard at times, so it need to be in tip top shape or something can let you down unexpected.

    Consider to replace the upper and lower control arms with the ball joints and bushes. Especially if they are showing signs of play or movement. They have served their time. This might seem excessive, but I would rather replace it all and have peace of mind that these are new and should be able to do the trip without any hassles.

    That said I recently seen a couple that traveled the world non stop since 2016 with their 120 Prado on Ironman suspension. No issues at all despite carrying a 500 kg combined luggage and load in the vehicle. 150000 km later on the suspension the vehicle still sits level loaded and no hassles. So after they have travelled the Gibb river road and all around australia's outback, Russian roads and some of the worst roads in South America along the Mexican coast into USA, I cannot see why yours will fail when upgraded.

    A bit of extra clearance is always good on a Prado as the rear bumper is a bit fat and low in standard height.
    Johan Marais

    Toyota L/Cruiser Prado 4.0 VX AT 08

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  15. #50
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    How?
    Because of the surfaces I wouldn't hesitate to install an aftermarket suspension (with lift) and possibly even go for very good A/T tyres and consider going up a size to 265/70/R17 for that extra bit of clearance.

    Oh yes - and I would have a look at Uys' bashplates.
    Gavin Pike

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    . I would remove the middle spot though.
    Jip, that middle spot is illegal and the cops WILL stop you. It stands out like a sore thumb and can be spotted a mile away. All lights have to be in pairs and may not straddle the centre line of a vehicle.

    It will also impair airflow to the radiator, which will be an even bigger problem if you blow a head gasket due to overheating and causing the water of the cooling system to boil.
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2020/08/10 at 10:15 PM.
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  17. #52
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter de Waal View Post
    Some excellent advice here. In principle, standard is pretty good. Do mods or add ons because of very specific needs and not for looks or the ego. I believe it is 70% driver, 20% vehicle and 10% luck. It pays to get experience or training and bags of caution and common sense. Mechanical sympathy works wonders. If you can learn from others, talk to the old hands like you are doing here. You will always get better answers if you are a little more specific.
    This is the best advice that I have seen! In some sixty years of travelling the African hinterland the only real trouble I have had was due to my ignorance, inexperience and stupidity. A vehicle that is widely used (LR, LC) in the places you go ensures parts and expertise are available in the event of accident or breakdown. Spare tyres, belts, hoses, fuses etc are mandatory, but adding anything else is speculative, expensive and heavy at best.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Some very important stuff is named her.

    I did travel a transafrica (20`500km) from switzerland to capetown, and did till now 110`000km in my prepped Landcruiser 200. Did live inside of the car for over 12 months till now. Maybe i can also give you some ideas.

    With a Prado you have choose a good brand/model for overlanding. Stock he drives very smooth, comfortablea and pretty good for offroad conditions.

    Soon you start prepping, you will have to rework the suspension - not many cars delivers the same comfort /capability after the prepping.

    Our Toyotas are pretty heavy compared to other 4x4 - we have to winch very soon at average slope in muddy conditions, compared to a jeep, jimny and many others. So I would suggest to try to travel lightweight.



    Most time I had to winch, it was because my buildup was very heavy (and also not legal fully loaded). Many of us overlanders are too heavy during their journey. Here is a nice writeup about the overweight of 4x4 for overlanding. So if you can, try to travel light.

    I did choose to sleep inside of the vehicle, what means a kind of a 4x4 camper build. It makes out of a 7 Seater a two seater. I use it also as daily driver, but I dont have kids yet, so that dont hurt. It is not easy to built it back - so your car will be an overlanding vehicle for extended time this way. Is that an option for you? Otherwise consider to add a rooftop tent - or a trailer. A trailer would allows to do the offroad stuff very lightweight and relaxed - soon you let the trailer somewhere. Keep always in mind the weight issue - what is about a cheap ground tent?


    Some modding stuff:
    - Under armor: 6mm Aluminium dont armoring enough.. More is more heavy - dont do it
    - bigger tyres: 33" is more most of all locals have, let you go further than them - i would do again for a worldtrip (not overlanding purpose)
    You cant fit a 33" spare tyre under the car, has to be mounted in the rear what is heavy (and expensive).
    As Dailydriver you had to handle the spare tire each time you want to open in the rear.
    - Tyres: MT (mud terrain) is the only way do be "capable" in muddy conditions. But are f*** noisy also when a landcruiser/Prado filters a part of the noise away. Personally I drive MT Tyres all seasons, too at home...
    - Frontbar / Winch: help you on worldtrips, dont do that for overlanding purpose. Too heavy means less fun at offroad conditions (or to get a very very expensive way like me (suspension upgrade, dampers, fine tuning).
    - just one spare tyre. Did work for my during my transafrica, should work for you while overlanding?

    Stuff who is helpful for overlanding:
    - Air compressor - very important to airing up/down - here you find a comparison of air compressor brands
    - Tyre repair kit
    - Sand ladders like maxtraxx or similar. Cheapies here at 4x4community.co.za here is too comparison of sandladders / recovery boards
    - a small compressor fridge adds cheese, fresh meat, butter, salmon and much more options to your meals
    - consider solar power solutions, when you like more days "off" - and carrying a compressor fridge




    Often I do overlanding with rentals during shorter holiday (flying in, rent a rental car, start overlanding) - and it is too very nice. Above a picture of someone, who has find too a way of doing overland trips

    Keep always in mind, what you really need for overlanding. That is a car, something to sleep like a tent, and some camping gear. Everything else is comfort or something you want/like. If you like, do prepping. But always look at the weight!

    Fully equipped, heavy and modded you will have more issues on sand, mud - have to work more with much less air. Playing in the biggest dunes in namibia with near 4tons? Possible yes, more fun with a local rented stock 4x4 - or a lightweight own vehicle..



    If you considering to buy an car just for overlanding - together with your daily driver - many mods wouldnt hurt at the end for comfort purpose. But the weight issue is ongoing....

    If you really love offroad stuff, you may need 3 cars to have a happy smile in any condition: offroad toy, overlanding vehicle, daily driver - most of us unfortunatelly cant do that ;-)

    So you probably have to do some compromise - choose them carefully and think the modding stuff to the end!

    Mud terrain tyres may not make you happy on your Daily Driver, when you had 60km highway twice a day for going at work as an example. I hope you will find your "optimal" compromis!

    4x4tripping
    Last edited by 4x4tripping; 2020/08/11 at 12:52 PM.
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  20. #54
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    4x4Tripping - Thank you for a comprehensive response. Gosh, most of us can only dream of traveling like you! I fully concur on the ‘lite weight’ recommendation. Thanks also for the pics.

    For overlanding without the offroad caravan we’ll do a rooftop as well as a single bed inside, otherwise we’ll tow the caravan- all depending on the trip and iternirary. (I wont be taking the caravan down VanZyls as an example). Vehicle will be kept as close to stock as possible.

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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikevR View Post
    Something not often thought about. Take 20 to 30 empty 50kg agricultural type bags with you. They roll up into a small bundle. They are great to fill up with sand to fix a road or construct a crossing where there has been a washaway. They are reusable once you have crossed the obstacle - just empty the sand / soil. Or to put down under mattresses or use when you want to lie under your vehicle.. Also can be used to store dry rubbish until disposal or to carry wood.
    Thanks for the really good tip. When leaving home take firewood along in 2 bags but never thought about taking extra.

  22. #56
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    Some good input here, thank you everyone! I’ve compiled what I think would be a good basic set of prep – I am sure you experienced folks will either laugh at my attempt, or can contribute to it. Either way, let me know if I have missed anything.

    My thinking so far in terms of the vehicle:
    1. I'm leaning towards keeping the vehicle stock, but to replace the worn shocks with an Old Man Emu suspension to improve the clearance a little and increase load carrying ability – not keen on coil helpers. No winch, no bullbar, no bash plate, no sliders, no spots.
    2. Attach decent recovery points
    3. Replace tow ball with pinball
    4. Quality AT tyres – standard size
    5. As I will be towing my conqueror - I have no further need to add storage systems or extras – aim is to keep vehicle as lite as possible.
    6. TPMS
    7. I am considering adding a Roofrack as it provides me with an option to carry extra spare tyre and a few bags of wood, also serve as mounting point for 270 degree awning & sand tracks
    8. Tool and parts kit
    9. Recovery kit
    10. First aid kit
    11. Water

    In terms of vehicle prep:
    1. Take car for a full assessment with Toyota to rule out/replace possible suspect components.
    2. Replace radiator rubber hoses
    3. Replace all fluids & oils (steering, brakes, coolant, diff, gearbox and transfer case)

    Things I am contemplating but haven’t made up my mind yet
    1. Aux battery - with 2x 120ah in the conqueror and no fridges to run in the car, I can do with the weight saving. so maybe no second battery in the Prado.
    2. I possibly need a solution for drinking water storage as the prospect of carrying loose containers/bottles of drinking water in the car does not appeal to me but I guess it too has its advantages. (separate container reduces lack of contamination of water stock, useful containers once empty)
    3. &nbspepending on trip I might consider diff breathers at a later stage – not required for Namibia/Kgalagadi/Richtersveld – but will need for Moremi/Chobe depending on season
    4. not critical for short trips, but a 12v UV Filter option in the trailer would be a nice addition - but not essential.

    Planned contents of toolkit:
    1. The basics for the vehicle
    - light bulbs
    - fuses
    - spare fan belt
    - used radiator hose
    - quality bottle jack + base
    - set of chock blocks
    - comprehensive toolset in a roll
    - rags
    - work sheet
    - My Prado workshop manual ��
    - Set of tyre levers
    - Depending on how far I would want to travel also engine oil and filters, but not for trips less than 15 000km
    2. For the trailer-
    - spare male/female 7pin trailer plug;
    - spare wheel bearing set & surgical gloves
    - spare coupler shock,
    - Electrical wire,
    - spare brad Harrison plugs,
    - assorted wire terminals,
    - insulation tape,
    - contact adhesive,
    - multi meter,
    - selection of bolts and nuts,
    - duct tape,
    - cable ties,
    - cotter pin,
    - castle nut,
    - grease cap,
    - hand cleanser

    Contents of recovery kit:
    1. 12v air pump
    2. Quality tyre repair kit + fresh rubber solution
    3. Tyre gauge
    4. Spade (attached to my trailer – mustn’t forget to put it in the car for when we do a “gou gou ‘n draaitjie” before sunset)
    5. Sand tracks or empty sand bags – which ever is easier / lighter.
    6. Snatch strap
    7. Tow rope
    8. Shackles
    9. Gloves
    10. 2 ounces of patients

    First aid kit
    1. Enough great threads on this forum – cover the basics and make sure you know how to use everything. Keep a list ready with contents and its purpose/how to use it.
    from my side. Sunlight liquid for washing up and degreaser for hands, no need hand degreaser.
    A set of various bolts and nuts. Always comes in handy.

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  24. #57
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by dgwmundy View Post
    from my side. Sunlight liquid for washing up and degreaser for hands, no need hand degreaser.
    A set of various bolts and nuts. Always comes in handy.
    Nuts and bolts. I spent a long time finding a bolt in Mozambique years ago.
    Good suggestion.
    Kimball R. Pitcher

    Head - 2007 Toyota Fortuner, OME, extra tank, roof rack, bent running boards
    Heart - SFA hilux dcab


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