Feb 6, 2017
Great pics and report mate.
The last lane of the day no matter the country
I'm not sure when Bec and Sam will come on these trips again, since Sam arrived Bec has said she doesnt enjoy 4wding and doesnt want to go again.
She said she does enjoy the camping though, so I'm always looking at the option of base camping somewhere and I can go off and do some day drives while she relaxes at camp.
But as soon as Sam is old enough, in probably another year or 2 he will be by my side on every trip! I cant wait!!!
I know its always the last lane/track!
Looking back I was incredibly lucky to get up the track without any serious issues and I'm still amazed I didnt get any panel damage! I was so lucky!
Awww, that a shame, but like you say, if Bec’s happy to camp, you can set up a base and do day excursions on the tracks....
There’s always a compromise if you go about it the right way...
You may find Bec gets worried if you take Sam with you. It’s probably protecting Sam that makes her say she doesn’t enjoy off roading any more. She could get quite worried waiting at camp. You may need to find a way to let her know all is well during the day.
A base camp CB station would sort that out, but she'd probably get more upset hearing the SOS exchanges
Could work entirely the other way if it is out of range though. CB is pretty short range.
Oddly enough since we've had the kids, even after Lily was born Emma isn't as good in a car as a passenger, country roads never used to bother her and we could spend a full weekend laning/camping.
Now some country roads especially one's with dips in the road make her feel a bit ill, time out on the lanes sometimes has to be cut short too
Some of her friends have said similar about country roads etc.
First time I took Lily laning/camping Just the 2 of us Em was a nervous wreck, now she's helping us load up to go lol.
Oscars first laning trip he was 2 and slept even on rocks! Now laughs his head off every time he gets bounced around.
@Gary820 these help my missus with the car sickness part. Not sure if it's mind over matter but they do wonders for it.
I've got 10 days off over Easter and a compromise has been reached!
We will base camp in the stunning Grampians mountain range, 4 hours out of Melbourne and I probably wont do any 4wding, just camping and family time for 4 days over Easter.
Then when we get back I will go to the High Country with my 4wd club for a trip!
Little update before I post yesterday trip report..................................
Before my last High Country trip I had a sort out in the back of The 78 and got rid of a load of things I've been carrying and never used.
Which now means that all the recovery gear can be carried in the bottom drawer.
And in the under floor storage box.
I trimmed the end off the chainsaw bar, cover.
Which means the chainsaw now fits nice and snugly in front of the drawer system. (previously it was on the back seat which I didnt really like).
I bought some more belts to carry as spares, as if the belts snap you're then pretty much stranded as you loose your water pump, fan etc.
So they now get carried along with the spare radiator hoses and clamps.
In the back of the car under the seat in this bag.
I got a hat holder from work.
And mounted that to the back of the roof console.
In a country such as Australia where we have brutal UV's a hat is essential!
And finally a bit of maintenance!
On the last High Country trip my batteries died and each morning I required a jump start.
I checked the receipt and these batteries are an amazing 8 years old!
For them to have lasted that long, especially with the abuse I've given them over the years winching, its quite incredible!
I bought them in the UK, off ebay for £100 each including delivery and they then spent 6 years in my LJ70 and 2 in my LJ78!
So being as I can get batteries at cost price I decided to splash some cash and get some Optima's!
My boss has them in 4 of his 5 LandCruisers and he swears by them!
As The 78 is no longer my daily drive I grabbed some green knob negative terminals from work so I can completely disconnect the batteries from the electrical system when its parked up, some times for weeks at a time.
I like the idea of them being disconnected for a number of reasons, but mainly because then they cant go flat if something is left turned on and secondly there is less chance of it going up in flames with the batteries isolated.
I got the batteries all fitted and wired up.
Then after speaking to one of the auto electricians at work and also my manager who has spent most of his working life in the battery industry I realised I needed to re-wire the batteries.
To get the maximum life possible out of the batteries, all the negative wires need to go to one battery and all the positives to the other battery, with just a single negative and positive wire linking the 2.
That way the current flows evenly through both batteries.
The way I had it setup I had power from the starter motor and alternator flowing in and out of one, along with my winch and then I had a couple of small electrical systems running off the other, along with earths on both batteries to body and chassis.
So I got it into the workshop on Thursday after work.
And then spent a few hours re-wiring the batteries.
It also meant I now only need one green knob which simplifies the system a bit.
Trip report coming as soon as I get more time.
Looking good Ben. Nice and neat.
What do your auto electricians say about charging voltage, as the AGM Optimas need 14.7v to charge properly where your normal batteries are charged at 14.4v which your alternator is set for? The consensus seems to be that charging at the lower voltage will shorten the battery life.
The second green knob disconnect will isolate the batteries from each other which wouldn’t be a bad thing as you can get issues with batteries in parallel discharging one another.
Interesting read on the batteries. I know on my 90, the negatives are not linked battery to battery but one goes to the body/engine, and the other to the body. So you're saying, if linked the batteries should last longer? How much so is the question as wouldn't Toyota have done this from factory? Just wondering, I'm no electrician, maybe you can answer me @StarCruiser
It’s a common problem that in the case of a bad battery, linked to another in parallel that one will drag the other down. In the case of batteries left unused for some time it is considered good practice to isolate them in order to prevent mutual discharge. They will retain charge longest with them being separated rather than connected.
Beau, yours are electrically in parallel by cable on the positive side, and cable-Body-cable on the negative side. Mutual discharge of paralleled batteries is very small and only really shows up when a battery has an internal fault which can cause fairly rapid discharge of the pair. Toyota have taken a view that the benefits of fitting parallel batteries will outweigh the disadvantages in normal use. Ben, while mothballing the truck for several weeks between trips is using the truck abnormally. In this case the extra disconnect will prevent any chance of the batteries mutually discharging.
Here’s some info on all types of batteries and self discharging. Scroll well down for lead acid around fig 6.
I put what you said to my manager who has spent the last 40+ years in the automotive battery industry and he said that what you have said is incorrect and AGM batteries will start accepting charge from 13.5v and he has a load of graphs showing this from tests that have been done.
He said all Toyota's since 2007 only charge at 13.4-13.8v anyway.
It makes sense to me that AGM/Optima's dont need 14.7v to charge properly, because if they did my boss wouldnt get so many years of reliable use out of his in the 3 LandCruisers he has Optima's fitted to.
That’s interesting Ben and was what puzzled me.
The thing is, while 40+ years experience commands respect, the manufacturer seems to think differently.
Quoting from the Technical document linked below:-
“Guide to charging Yellow Top 4.2S deep cycle batteries.
When using Yellow Top batteries in standard automotive applications with a relatively small drain on the battery the standard charging information shown below in Table 1. applies. However, in deep cycle usages such as traction applications and vehicles fitted with a large number of accessories other charging algorithms are involved. These are outlined in Table 1. and explained more clearly in the description that follows.
Charging Yellow Top 4.2s batteries.
Application / System
Type of Charging
Current, Voltage and Time limits
Vehicle charger Voltage Regulated Voltage: 14.2 to 15.0 Volts
Mains charger Voltage Regulated Voltage: 14.2 to 15.0 Volts
(Automotive use) Current: 10 Ampere
Time: Until current falls below 0.2A
Mains charger Current and Phase 1: 25A constant current until voltage is 14.7V
(Deep cycle use) Voltage Regulated Phase 2: Continue charge at 14.7V until current < 1
Phase 3: Continue charge at 14.7V until current < 1
Boost charger Current and / or Current No limit as long as temperature <50ºC
(Deep cycle use) Voltage Regulated :Voltage: Maximum 15.6 Volts
Time: Return 110% to 120% of charge removed
Float charger Voltage Regulated :Voltage 13.2 to 13.6V
(Standby use) Current 120mA
Guide to charging Yellow Top 4.2s batteries in deep cycle applications
In a deep cycling application proper charging is critical to good performance. The proper charge is a balancing act between undercharging and overcharging. Undercharging will result in gradual losses in capacity and thus early cycle life failure. Overcharging, although achieving full capacity, can also result in a severe loss of cycle life. High voltages (>15 V) must be properly managed. They are required for short periods (1 hour) to fully charge and balance the battery and yet if allowed to continue for longer periods they can cause overcharging and thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a condition where the battery gets hot during charge resulting in acceleration of gassing and recombination reactions leading to further temperature increase and ultimate venting and damage to the battery.
Constant Voltage / Constant Current Charge (IUIa)
Charge with a 14.7 V limit. After charge has tapered to <1 A, provide a finishing (balancing) charge for the YT1000 of 2A for 1 hour It is important that there is no voltage limit. Temperature < 60 C. Problems of overcharging individual batteries in a pack may be encountered if the pack is seriously out of balance. No initial current limits as long as voltage and temperature limits are observed. In large packs effective battery management is essential.”
Set out a bit better (depending on the viewing device) in the document below.
I cant argue with that Rich.
I printed off that Optima document from your link, highlighted the bit about the charge voltage of yellow tops and took it in to my manager today.
He said that the vehicle charge voltage of 14.2-15v is the optimum charge voltage, under laboratory conditions and that 14v will still charge them but it will take longer and they may never get to 100% charged and that will potentially shorten the life of the batteries.
My alternator is currently kicking out 14-14.2 but never gets higher than that.
I guess time will tell how long they last. My boss has certainly had a great run with them in his vehicles and we do sell and fit a lot.
I'm happy to be a guinea pig and will report back when they fail.
So 2 Saturdays ago we went to explore a local state forest 40 minutes drive from my house for a day drive, an area we havent been before.
The map said there were some short difficult tracks around and they didnt disappoint.
Both 70's needed front and rear lockers to get to the top of the hill!
Soon we found ourselves near the top of of a track that was once voted the hardest track in Australia, Ellis Track.
So we parked up and walked down for a look.
It looked amazing!
Big gnarly rock steps and boulders all the way down!
So we drove around to the other end so we could drive up from the bottom!
The no through road bit reminded me of UK green lanes which often have the dead end sign when they do in fact go through.
It started off very easy.......
But soon got challenging.
Not something you expect to find at the side of the track.
Quite how someone got off the track after destroying a radiator is beyond me. But as we drove further up the track we would find more and more broken car parts littering the sides of the track!
We opted to take the chicken track at this stage as those rocks were certain to do panel damage if we slipped off them.
So we turned left just before them.
This bit proved challenging and required the first bit of winching of the day.
Passed more broken car parts.
We found as the route often had multiple tracks and the fact that they were all full of ruts, boulders and rock steps we could only drive for a few hundred meters at a time before having to get out and walk the tracks ahead and choose our lines.
After struggling a bit on these rocks and lifting wheels higher into the air, winching was the safest option......
As can be seen in the video below!
A bit further up we had to fill the rut in a bit because I was worried about the rock sticking out of the bank which had clearly been hit before, damaging my doors.
My passenger for the day (Aneta) as Jiri had his work colleague in the 76 with him.
As we continued the track continued to throw obstacle after obstacle at us! It was awesome!
The rear bumper did a great job protecting my body work from the rocks!
As The 78 got on some crazy angles!
Jiri wanted to drive the same line but with no rock sliders, metal rear bumper and towbar for protection he was forced to take a chicken track.
A bit further on we got to the top section that we had walked down to.
The best line seemed to be right over the big rock in the middle of the track but if a wheel slipped off a roll over would be almost certain and this section of track had no chicken tracks!
I foolishly stopped on top of it and ground the chassis out on it.
So out came the winch again!
With The 78 out of the way Jiri was next in the V8 76!
With some excellent spotting by me and some outstanding driving by Jiri he drove straight over the rock and up the bank behind it!
We were soon at the top and the end of the track!
We went and had some lunch and ice creams in the local town of Warburton then explored some more tracks but non of them were very exciting after driving the infamous Ellis Track!
stunning, would love to hear your personal view on a comparison between the 76 and the 71/2 or 78 doing the stuff you do....
That looks really extreme Ben. Chicken track? I think I’d need chicken tracks for the chicken tracks!
You’ve built a great truck with your superb skills and coupled it with your excellent driving skills and experience to conquer the toughest track in Australia. You can now say that you can truly go anywhere in Australia.
This is exactly what I’m saying, and Chris’s experience, except that laboratory conditions in this case extend to real world. As you are laying up the truck they will clearly last a long time without charge but you could probably prolong their life by charging on a Ctek while it’s parked up.
What matters is the experience of those fitted by your manager which, from what you’ve said, clearly demonstrates that they last well enough. Time will tell.
Its difficult to say at the moment because my tyres are so bald and shredded! Once I fit new tyres then I will be able to get a better comparison between The 78 and Jiri's 76.
But so far we havent found anything that one of us could drive but the other couldnt, but to be fair Jiri has to avoid a lot of the really tough stuff at the moment until he fits some more armour.
When you're driving a brand new $80k vehicle you cant afford to damage it.
I've just ordered him a set of ARB side steps and scrub bars and have agreed to make him a custom, heavy duty rear bumper. So once those bits are fitted he wont have to drive the chicken tracks.
As for the 71/72..................
That would be an interesting comparison. If we talk about the short wheel base 70's you get in your part of the world, they're the GR series with the 4 litre V6 petrol engine and rear leaf spring suspension.
I imagine that engine would be a lot of fun and have plenty of power. What do you find the ride is like with the rear leaf springs?
Living the dream!
The 78 is going on historic, club reg which will cut my REGO (road tax) from $800+ a year to $75, next week!
It passed its road worthy test yesterday, which is required when first registering a vehicle and when changing to club reg.
And I'm building a garage for it over the next few months in the garden, so The 78 will be tucked up safely in there for sometimes 3-4 weeks at a time so I'd like to buy a maintenance charger that I can power with a solar panel on the roof.
Do Ctek do a maintenance charger with solar input?
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