Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Shake Down

Went for a drive over the weekend with a few Land Cruiser owners to give the old BJ41 a proper run. Covered a decent few miles over three days, some rough back roads and a couple of forest trails. Was a bit worried that the truck mightn't be able to keep up with the group. But as it turned out the 41 had no problems. The only time the 41 fell behind the group was on good roads with speeds over 100km/p. So here's a list of the good and the bad from the weekend

Plenty of power with the turbo, no problem climbing hills and staying with the newer and bigger 80 series.
The 41 felt tight and held the road pretty good. Brakes held firm and held a straight line when braking hard. 
With very little play in the steering and with disk brakes up front, they gave the 41 confidence in tight twisty roads.
Original seats are actually pretty good, well sprung and pretty comfortable over three days
Water and oil temps stayed where expected
Never have to worry about being cold in the 41, plenty of heat transmitted from the engine and great box through the firewall and directly above the gearbox :)

The suspension is all wrong, causing the 41 to bounce when hitting any kind of bump. 
Four speed gear box. The gear ratios are not well spread. Third gear is too short and fourth gear to long. 
Noise in the cab over a few hours can be a problem.
The only time the water temp moved above cool was long hill climbs with low gears and high revs. But even then nothing to worry about.

So .. what next
The reason for the trip was to see how the old BJ41 would feel and coupe if taken on a proper long trip. Well the answer is the 41 would coupe no problem, I'm afraid its the driver that would give in first. The gearing can be sorted with a 5 speed, hopefully this might help with the noise in the cab as the longer gear ratios could keep the revs lower and keep the drown in the cab down a bit. Have a 5 speed ready to put into the truck, hope it actually fits. 
The biggest problem (driver issue ) is the suspension setup. The way it is now it would be pretty much impossible to drive the truck for more than 3 hours without feeling your neck of back might actually disintegrate :).
The problem with the suspension is the bounce it causes when faced with any kind of dip or bump in the road. Its not just a single bounce, it more like continuous series of bounces till the truck settles again.We all had a good look at the suspension setup and figured the problem is with the rear.  There is little or no give in the front springs and there is plenty of flex in the rear springs.It feels like the back end is where the bounce is generated and given the rear is so light there is no weight to counter act the bounce. 
So first step is to replace the rear shocks and see if they can absorb and limit the rear flex, if that fails I'll have to look to get different springs.
Let you know how it all works out.

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