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Buying a 4x4

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 03:49 PM


    Taxi Driver

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Erm, can I ask something here. Is there a difference between a solid axle
and live axle?

I googled for clarification and one result was that they mean the same.

Then, my second question will be Hilux has front live axle while Courier
does not? What about a Ranger, Rodeo, Invader, Frontier and Storm?

Thanks for your clarification.


Posted 22 December 2004 - 04:12 PM



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you are right, both are the same, just different terminology.
there are two types of suspension system used in 4x4 vehicle, solid/live
front axle and IFS (independent front suspension). solid/live axle is
good in extreme condition where else IFS perform better on road (on road
comfort). most latest model 4x4 are equiped with IFS. refer list below:-

01. ford courier/ranger/explorer
02. mitsu storm/pajero
03. isuzu invader/rodeo/trooper
04. tata telcoline
05. mazda fighter
06. nissan terano/frontier
07. toyota prado/latest model hilux

solid/live axle:
01. landrover series 1,2,3/defender/old model disco and range rover
02. toyota landcruiser/old model hilux
03. jeep wrangler/cherokee
04. nissan safary/patrol
05. daihatsu rocky
06. suzuki jimny

one good info, toyota prado (LC90) sold all over the world are equiped
with IFS but the one sold in australia are fitted with live axle. looks
like those ozzie are live axle fanatics


Posted 22 December 2004 - 04:28 PM


    Taxi Driver

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Thanks. But there are ppl who say that you can't do a body-lift on those
trucks with IFS? But how come so many Rangers/Storms etc etc are lifted?

Another question ar, body lift and suspension lift, what's the difference??
I would think suspension lift gives better wheel articulation. But I could
be running on wrong concept. Please correct me. I am definitely wrong
somewhere. Blush


Posted 22 December 2004 - 05:41 PM



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both body lift and suspension lift can be done on both IFS and live axle
4x4. somehow on IFS the thing you can do is quite limited. the purpose of
body lift is to further lift the whole body out of the harm way, ie
scrathes and damage to paint and bodywork. it is done by inserting 1 inch
or 2 inches of PU or metal bushes between body and ladder frame with
little modification on other component. but if you want to insert 3 inches
or more of bushes, a lot of modification need to be done on other system.
you are right about suspension lift, it is for better wheel articulation.
it is done by putting longer absorber and spring (either coil, leaf spring
or torsion bar). it is quite easy to do on live axle, quite straight
forward and the parts are not so expensive. but it is one hell of the mess
to do on IFS. a lot of thing need to be done to change the geometric
setting of IFS system. there are so many component to replace, so many
things to do and the parts are bloody expensive. I've done a lot of
homework and scouting around for prices for this 2 things. I was thinking
to do both on my courier. on 2nd thought, why spend so much to do all
those thing when you just do light/medium offroading. unless you always go
for hardcore track, the standard setup of your 4x4 is more then enough to
tackle most light/medium track easily.


Posted 22 December 2004 - 06:09 PM



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now the latest craze among hardcore offroaders in malaysia - volvo/portal/
offset axle. after you done both body and suspension lift, now the lowest
point of your vehicle is your labu on the axle (sorry, I forgot the proper
name of the thing). by fitting 35" tyres, your can further lift the labu
out of the harm way. but for some people, that is still not enough. by
using axle taken from volvo c303 vehicle (ex-pdrm and ex-army punya),
where the axle is not directly connected to the wheel hub, it is offset a
lil bit. it is difficult to explain, so refer to my drawing below:-

Normal live axle:-

I-----I I-----I
I I /---\ I I
I I__________________/ \_____________I I
I I__________________ _____________I I
I I \ / I I
I I \----/ I I
I I "Labu" I I
I_____I I_____I

Tyre Tyre

volvo/portal axle:-

I-----I I------I
I I /---\ I I
I I |----------------/ \------------| I I
I I_| |_I I
I I |-------------\ /----------| I I
I I----| \---/ |---I I
I I Offset I I
I I part Labu I I
I_____I I______I

Tyre Tyre

sorry, my drawing might not be accurate, but that is the idea of volvo


Posted 22 December 2004 - 06:12 PM



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Oh...shit!!! now my drawing goes haywire. I have to search for the the
proper photo in the net. later I'll do. damn, wasting my time trying to
draw the thing.....


Posted 22 December 2004 - 09:00 PM


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hi jobo

just to finetune your impressive list of vehicle type of axle:

"solid/live axle:
01. landrover series 1,2,3/defender/old model disco and range rover "

unless you consider 2004 disco "old" (series 2 up to year 04 make), they
do have live axle and permanently engaged.
Range Rover mk 2 (p38) also have live axle but with air suspension.

But the newest Disco 3 will have independently sprung suspension but have
fully adjsutable height tide but sits on coil. This effectively
compensate the lack of play like in the real solid axle.


Posted 23 December 2004 - 10:42 AM



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sorry guys, maybe I made mistake here. thanks aadnana for correcting me. I
am out of touch from latest model LR, I am not really interested in their
latest model freelander, disco and rangie. it has become offroad
unfriendly, they paid too much attention to on road comfort and luxuries,
its not worth to bring it into jungle anymore. not to mention the price
your have to pay.


Posted 24 December 2004 - 02:43 PM


    Taxi Driver

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Thanks a lot for the explanation. And sorry about your drawing going meshed
after it is posted!! I think the idea is to have as flat as possible on the
undercarriage like the Hummer right?

Sharks.. I am contemplating on the diesel pick-up as well particularly the
Ranger but then it's a IFS!! Of the diesel pick-ups, which one has live
axle apart from the old Hilux? I'm more into a daily-runner and maybe a
weekly medium/hard core 4x4 machine. And preference at this stage is to be
a diesel-powered unit.

You mentioned about your Courier falling apart. What happened? And it cost
a lot to maintain a Ford Courier?

Thanks again..... Cool


Posted 24 December 2004 - 06:39 PM



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fyi hummer is using all around independent suspension, that means all four
suspension are IFS type, not live axle. that is why it looks flat under
the hummer.
for diesel pick up with live axle other than old hilux, you can get some
old model of toyota BJ40/FJ40 and some model of land rover series and
defender. but pick up model for this 2 types are quite difficult to look
my courier was having serious overheating problem, but that was caused
by my own stupidity. its radiator suddenly leaking hot water spray while
on the way home. stop at the roadside, checked the engine, waited until
engine cooled down. since I didnt standby any spare water in the car, I
took a big risk by driving further 5 km to a workshop slowly, with
temperature needle stayed in red zone. big mistake, that was the start of
the never ending overheating problem. up until now, I've replaced the
radiator twice, all the hoses, thermostat, temperature switch, the
cylinder head was skimmed with gasket replaced. even this problem was
featured once in sunday CBT car problem column. other than this problem,
this car is actually great, diesel engine is actually easy to take care.
until now I still regret doing that stupid thing.