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Do you need a 4WD

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Post  Kon61gold Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:54 am

I originally had a a Holden commodore then I upgraded to a Pajero 4WD to go detecting. It was great because it enabled me to get into the rough areas around Victoria.

But then I notice when I am out there are a lot of people who dont have 4WD or just have lighter cars. It would be interesting to hear their opinions for now we have others with mobile homes and bikes as well.

What is the best set up?
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Post  Nightjar Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:19 am

Morning Jeff,
The adage, "Courses for horses" applies here, it comes down to where you go to prospect/detect.
Many of the goldfields throughout Australia can be safely accessed with a conventional car.
However if you plan to venture off road and do some bush bashing in an attempt to find new ground a 4WD is essential.
If you ever happen to take the track out to Mt Elsie (East of Nullagine, WA) there is a grim reminder here of how unforgiving this country can be. The remains of a early model holden lay in the bush just off the track. In the 70's a mother and son were scouring the country looking for old bottle dumps, their vehicle got stuck on a rock on the track and they both perished!

Peter
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Post  bushranger Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:39 am

All my detecting is done here in WA and I have always had a 4wd.I like to feel that
if I go down a track that I can always get out again. On some trips 4wd may never be used, I feel that the important thing is to have the ground clearence.
Having said that a friend of my has only ever used a 2wd Rodeo and seems to
go where he pleases. For me I like the feeling of security a 4wd gives.
Cheers Greg.

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Post  Guest Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:56 pm

Hi All
In Vic we use a 4wd (95 Landrover Discovery tdi deisel cost $8000 240k on clock not as good as patrol or landcruiser but half price so money spare for when it does go wrong (good for towing poptop camper but wouldnt put anything heavy behind it )but in Vic any reliable 2 wheel drive will do.
In WA sturdy and clearance is the name of the game as peter has mentioned.Our Landrover went well over there but our pop top (not being an offroader fell apart around us lesson learned)

For our next trip we have gone back to the same type of vehicle that we used on our first a Toyota Coaster Diesel Motorhome (as I hate towing with avengence)They are not expensive (with a bit of hunting $25k with a reco Diesel)and with proper servicing 400k plus can be achieved.Can you go everwhere with them no.But as they are sturdy with high clearance they are not a bad option for extended touring.Flat tyres are the biggest problem we faced ,so you have to carry the the gear to overcome this.This is only our choice it will be interesting to hear what others prefer
Cheers Dig

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Post  delapan Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:51 pm

as jeff knows i used to drive an EB fairmont and go prospecting in it, as digger daisy will testify i have taken it thru some pretty rough areas, but now having an MQ nissan patrol wagon with a 350Chev and the rest of the gear i no longer have any fears of where i go, knowing that i can get out again, if there is even a hint of a track i will follow it !!, it sure takes the stress out of the driving about in the goldfields and also lets me get to a lot more inacessable places for detecting, and having it converted to LPG (which it loves) the running costs arn't too bad either, regards, gary
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Post  nero_design Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:38 pm

I'll get a 4-wheel drive someday soon. In the meanwhile, I just make my own off-road tracks with a sedan from the city. My car has made it out of some areas that I probably wouldn't go back to again without a 4x4. If the terrain is precarious or rocky, my detecting partner walks ahead of the vehicle to guide me - and we return by following our own tracks. The pic below was taken more than 2km from the nearest offroad track and at least 6km from the nearest listed road. I do this fairly regularly but a 4x4 would make the job easier.

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Post  Nightjar Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:49 pm

Fair enough Marco,
Looks like a drive in the park and if you are finding gold well and good.
However if you want to get out and about where few have been before you need a 4WD.

http://www.geocities.com/onyx1551/creekproblems.gif

Cheers
Peter
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Post  Guest Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:53 am

Back in the late 70's and right up to the late 80's my mate and myself knocked around the WA goldfields in a HQ Holden ute towing a thumpin' great Lincoln welder in a box trailer. We hit every known patch between Norseman and Halls Creek and even though we managed to get into most places, there were times when we were bogged for up to a week.

These days I wouldn't think about going back to those same places in anything but a 4wd simply because I know how unforgiving the country can be if you really get stuck and you can't always rely on somebody coming along to help get you out of trouble even in this day and age.

caveman

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Post  Guest Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:12 pm

for years I had Hilux diesil 4x4s but the cost of diesil plus maintainance was taking its toll.

I've since bought a Rodeo 2 wheel drive which gets me into most places and I quad it into the rest including places I couldn't get into with the 4x4

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Post  CJ Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:03 pm

a small sedan will get you most places in Vic. but maybe you will have to walk a little farther to your spots, you may pick up a nugget on the way,the best are cars with small front and rear overhang also these cars do not use much fuel, if you are real keen you could get a bit of armour, sumpguard ext. a friend has a large 4x4 and won`t take down some bush tracks because he may get it scratched, maybe if i paid fifty/sixty grand i would be the same LOL
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Post  staples61 Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:44 pm

Hey ,
What about trail bikes as an ever better alternative.
In Vic 2WD and the old LPC (Leather personel carrier) gets you into most places.

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Post  Guest Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:37 pm

While investigating quads I also toyed with the idea of ex-postie bikes as they are hardy little beast that can be had for cheap plus with a bit of modification on the rack they can carry a load.

Still a good idea I think, but after navigating down some dry creek beds with river pebbles the size of basket balls plus numerous muddy river crossing with the same pebbles but slippery, I think you'd be hard pressed to keep the bike upright. The quads just slowly pick thier way through without even getting your boots wet.

Dunking 6k+ worth of detector and gear in a muddy creek would annoy me just a tad.

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Post  Guest Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:43 am

Gday

I think that there are a lot of places that you can access without a 4wd but to venture out too far would be foolhardy and could put you in danger.

There are quite a few places that I go that you can easily access in a road car, but all you have to get is a few hours rain for instance and it becomes a whole different place, then getting out again becomes an issue.

I would rather be walking around with my detector than walking back to town, also I think that a postie bike or similar would be good not only for prospecting but in the event of a breakdown you can at least ride back to town or to a station to get assistance.


cheers

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Post  Tricky Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:42 am

Smaller cars are ok but a word of warning if you go near any grassed area without the ground clearance you could very likely end up with a fire underneah your vehicle. I drive a holden commodore at work and many times when I have had te need to go off road in it I have smelt that unmistakeable smell of burning grass under neath. Very scary and I certainly dont want to be the case of a major bushfire. That is where the 4 x 4's have it over the normal passenger vehicles.
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Post  MS Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:22 pm

Tricky wrote:
nero_design wrote:
Do you need a 4WD Medium

Smaller cars are ok but a word of warning if you go near any grassed area without the ground clearance you could very likely end up with a fire underneah your vehicle. I drive a holden commodore at work and many times when I have had te need to go off road in it I have smelt that unmistakeable smell of burning grass under neath. Very scary and I certainly dont want to be the case of a major bushfire. That is where the 4 x 4's have it over the normal passenger vehicles.

VERY TRUE and you will find most framers will not let you drive petrol cars on their property for that
very reason.
Over in SA a few years ago a prospector did start a fire on the Eyre pen with his vehicles exhaust which started a large fire behind him to which he was unaware and this killed nine people from memory and charges were layed against him.
He had no idea of the risk and I feel for him and those who were burnt to death.
Mark

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Post  Guest Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:28 pm

I have taken a number of old Holdens, Fords and Datsuns into places I would not dream of nowadays.

If you did not want to go to a Heavy 4x4 a good compromise is the older model (1980 - early 1990) Subaru 4x4s.
I have had Three over the years 1977, 1980, and 1989.
They are cheap to buy and run and very capable vehicles and if maintained properly 350,000+ klms is acheivable ( Damn good for a little Jap motor). They are also big enough to comfortably sleep in the back of.
Stay away from those which have been lifted ( CV's chew out too fast) but standard with a set of 14" Sunraysias gives good clearance. As for the motors, In my opinion the older 1600 & 1800 OHV motor was the best. The later Overhead Cam motors do not seem near as good.

Now I have an old 85 LWB MK Patrol with 3.3 ltr turbo deisel. It is an easy motor to work on, Cheap to run considering the truck is near 2.5 tonne. I regularly get around 700klm from 65 - 68 litres which is around the old 30 miles/ gallon Shocked

I have a 4x4 because its there when I do need it. It also tows the caravan much better than my 4 ltr ford falcon

Just my two bobs worth.

Ric


Last edited by Goldsubaru on Sun May 31, 2009 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  fcltd Wed May 13, 2009 2:15 pm

4x4 just in case i reckon
ie; u go down a nice easy track , detect for a day , on going back out track you find a tree has fallen across track ,
in 4by u may be able to drag tree to clear track for everyone or at worst make a side track around obstruction ,imo.
cheers chuck

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Post  goldhog22 Fri May 22, 2009 11:31 am

Now there is a man with good thinking, Madtuna. we have a small quad and it goes where no 4+4 will and Im not killing good tyres on stakes ,,ect. runs on the smell ..and its on its third year in the west, not easy country to walk in ..Its ok if your phone works and you can ring for help, But....its a big place here in the west..come prepared...Bob

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