R&D ON THE NEW DODGE RAM ADBLUE CUMMINS DIESEL
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: R&D ON THE NEW DODGE RAM ADBLUE CUMMINS DIESEL Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I love my 2012 Longhorn Edition, but I thought I should do the R&D for you on the new AdBlue version. I have sold my Longhorn, and gone to what is probably most typical for you Bushtracker Owners, a 2500 Crew Cab Laramie. It looks like my 3500 Longhorn edition on the outside:



Now here is the most important feature that is different, a coil rear end for a softer ride. This is important to me, because my Wife has a bone spur in her neck, and it should be more of a 200 Series ride.. This is looking down the chassis at the coil system:



The interior is charcoal, probably most typical in choices, a non marking leather interior:



There are some more improvements, larger 9.5" Nav touch screen, and more diagnostics and checks in the centre of the instrument cluster... There is an LED screen read out of countless features in the blank are between the instruments:



20" Wheels, Ad Blue in the diesel filler compartment, as it is now pumped at the major truck stops...



Mine will come with a white canopy, colour matched.... The AdBlue trucks are getting some remarkable fuel economy, with the SCR...

Now the exciting news:

SCD are going to have the conversion done is a week! They do the same grade of Conversion as the others, or better, and have upgraded their tooling and assembly to a line production that is aiming for two a week!! Shocked That really speeds up the process, and further it is done in Australia and you can see it and insure it here.. SCD are right here in Brisbane, very convenient for any backup you need, and are very good to work with. Tell the Managers Eddie and Steve, hello for me.. I have nothing but good things to say about their Service.. Wink

They are going to send pictures of the conversion, and I will post them here for you.. For Bushtracker Vans over 21' it still is my number one choice of tow vehicles for comfort and safety and capability. All of the big three Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet, all have about the same reliability and creature comforts and options, but only the Cummins Diesel has the total engine access being a 6cyl Big Rig style of diesel. In my opinion having owned all three, the Dodge Cummins Diesel is the pick of the litter, with the best Engine Brake, and best engine, and best backup with Chrysler Australia and Cummins Australia right here, as well as the Conversion People offering backup. Further they bought Fleetguard, so filters are common and inexpensive right here.. Read more about it on the Topic below in this Category below: INTRODUCING, THE NEW GEN 4, ADBLUE, DODGE CUMMINS RAM

Kind regards, and in "Your Best Interests", Steven Gibbs, Director


Last edited by Bushtracker on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have upgraded the Nav.. Now a 9.5 inch screen..

Regarding the Australian Mapping, Eddie at SCD says: "We do it in house now rather then send the GPS unit overseas."

I can say that other than the English Lady accent (for some reason on my 2012) :Laughing I have found the Nav units very user friendly...



Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Admin
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to admit, I have not been down to SCD in well over six months, and they have really moved forward. It looks like a much more professional assembly line now:



They now have racks for parts to keep each one separated, and are quite organized..




They are aiming for two per week, and here it is happening. They only got mine cleared from Customs late Wednesday afternoon, so only started on it yesterday, and are well into the conversion process. Mine is fully stripped down to the firewall already:






They are really turning it into a streamlined operation, I am impressed. What is good is that it is happening all right here in Brisbane. I will have my new truck to start R&D on the Ad Blue system and the coil rear end, and the rest... In only about a week or so. SCD are very Professional and good to work with...
Wink



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very jealous Steve I paid for mine at the end of May from Shogun and am now told of delays that will delay delivery till the end of October! With the new van due early to mid November it is not leaving me a great deal of time to get it all sorted. I do know though it will be worth the wait. Very Happy Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some pictures of Day 2 (Friday)... SCD have really streamlined the operation, and there is no more cut and patch or modify. They actually put in a complete new firewall now. I am impressed.. Wink

In this picture they have cut out the whole firewall, original wiring loom, everything is gone. Steering, brake master cylinder, air conditioning, everything..



Here is a picture of the front, everything is gone, even the wiper mechanism..



Here is the best surprise: In most conversions they cut and put in sections, this is a whole new firewall there sitting on the floor ready to get painted and go in.. The technology and Engineering of SCDs conversions has really come a long way. I am impressed.



Note to any Newbies:
Look, I am not selling trucks here, this is all for your benefit for those that want to tow larger Bushtrackers, say fully loaded up 21' and up. These Dodge Cummins Rams do it safer, easier, with more control, and with better fuel economy. There are people out there with over a million miles on these engines. You have the backup of SCD, Chrysler Australia, Cummins Australia, as well as all kinds of on board diagnostics and aftermarket diagnostics available. Personally I use mine around town. I also have a 2014 Sahara that after R&D my Wife wanted as a luxury car, and I will use this 2014 around town everyday as my personal choice as well as Bushtracker's tow vehicle. It is only about 900 mm longer than the Sahara, parks in all the same places, and is tremendously more capable.

Of the big three, Dodge, Chev, Ford, the Cummins is a 6 cyl Big Rig style of engine, and the Dodge is the only one with easy full engine access.. There are two more Topics in this Category, on the Dodge Cummins Ram, if you want to know more... In R&D this is my third Dodge Cummins Ram, and my choice for the reasons shown..

Kind regards, in the best interests of your safety and success, road Ranger..
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie of SCD writes:

"The heater box has been modified. The dash top would normally be back from the local upholsters on Monday but they have the ekka holiday so we will get it on Tuesday. We would love to have the dash tops sitting on the shelf ready to go, but we prefer to double check the dash top with the dash frame and new dash to make sure we get perfect fitment. We pay top dollar for the upholstery but the result is perfect.
Next week is a little bit messy with the holidays but everything is going according to plan."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new firewall is in place, and the first coat of sound proofing undercoat is done. The dash is done, and the dash top has come back from Upholstery, individually done for a perfect fit..

We will have pictures of the floor pan modified for extra foot room, up next..









This truck will be available for inspection for your convenience, at Bushtracker from sometime next week after testing and wheel alignment. Could even be here from Friday.. The beauty of it is SCD are right here in Queensland, Deliver, Service, and backup is all right here for you. You can also insure your truck from the time of Delivery here in Australia, and see all the conversion first hand.

Kind regards, Admin... "In Your Best Interests"
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCD are just taking photos, without professional back lighting and so on, this is just for my benefit to know how the conversion of the new Bushtracker Dodge Cummin Ram is progressing.. I thought I would share them with you.

SCD reports to me
:


Hi Steve

Heater box is back in the truck. We put down 3 levels of sound reduction so you can expect minimal noise inside the cab.

The dash has been completed and we have just put it back in.

Will have to get you a photo of the floor pan from the next truck tomorrow as the black body deadener makes it impossible to see what is going on.

Regards
Eddie









Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director, Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:31 am    Post subject: Dodge Reply with quote

Steve just one question does SCD do the same French stitching on the dash as original.

Darrell
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Darrell, Friends,

The short answer is yes, they do a really nice job on the dash.
Here is the original stitching:



Here is the new dash stitching from SCD... Not sure I can see a difference..



You (all Owners) are welcome to inspect mine, here next week. I cannot fault SCD conversions in any real way, in fact many rumours I hear, on investigation turn out to be the opposite. You are welcome to see for yourself, mine will be parked in fromt of the office most days.

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve

Thanks very much for posting these photos as I, like a number of others, am getting ready to make the leap to a Ram.

What is that shown across the new firewall in the top photo of your post dated Aug 13, 9.52 am?

It looks a bit like a steering shaft? If so, is that how SCD do the right to left steering conversion? Rather than an opposite hand steering box mounted on the right side chassis rail as I understand Shogun do it?

And I'll be interested to see what SCD do to remove the hump in the RH floorpan as the photos in the other post, now locked, showed that aspect of the Shogun conversion and it looked quite well done. What is under that hump?

Regards Geoff
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Geoff,
No, it is a whole new right hand drive steering system from SCD, i have no idea what is in the photo. These are just Iphone candid shots for my convenience, unlike the professional staged back lighting professional pictures Shogun do in their advertorial efforts... In truth, I have been IN PERSON to see both conversions and IMO they are both on par with each other.

Sadly, I have gotten bad reports from Owners, with the delivery and aftermarket service from Shogun. For the past year, from reports, their Australian Delivery team seems to let down the Philippine conversion company. While my first hand experience viewing the conversion process rates them equal, we prefer to recommend SCD...

We prefer SCD, for a few really simple reasons: First of all, there is always fine print in Insurance Company paperwork that makes exclusions for "Civil Unrest and Insurrection or Terrorism" that can and does exist in the Philippines. We prefer our trucks to come straight to Australia where they can be insured immediately. Other than that, promises and guarantees are only as good as the Company that issues them. I would rather insure my truck here in Brisbane with an Australian Insurance Company.

Secondly, we prefer conversion as well as our backup and parts and aftermarket Service to be right here in Australia for all of the obvious reasons. In our experience SCD have Service on a par with no others. We can have any minor tuning or adjustments or Service done right here 45 minutes away. SCD also now call their trucks back for a 1000 km Service, right to the point of conversion where they have all the back up parts, just to check things over. Look, I have owned both Shogun and an SCD trucks, and I do not find a preference in conversion between the two. However, I find it comforting that aftermarket Service and backup with SCD is right here in Brisbane where the conversion is done and all the parts are available should I have a problem.

This Forum is my help and unbiased advice in the Owners Best Interests. I am not going to have any marketing propaganda battles going on between competing Suppliers. I get nothing out of this, only trying to do the right thing, for the right reasons. You Owners can order from either Shogun or SCD, and there is another Company in Melbourne that seem reputable, I am only stating the reasons we chose SCD.

From my IPhone, to be refined later, Admin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve,

I, and I'm sure a few others, very much appreciate these posts on the Forum as it helps us understand & evaluate the issues on the technical, quality and commercial/insurance risks associated with the conversion options that we have.

Regards Geoff
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoff,

Thank you for the kind words of appreciation G&J. I do try and give fair analysis for your benefit, in all of the primary tow vehicles. I also do not give opinions on things I have not outfitted and towed with and run myself. All the vehicles I review for your benefit, I actually buy and run in the Outback, outfitted for the job, in an effort to give you real time R&D.


My R&D is extensive, on my fourth 200 Series now as our most common tow vehicle. This Dodge Cummins Diesel, for those that might want the higher power and towing capacity, is only 900 mm longer than my Wife's Sahara and about the same money. However, it is more power, more control, more towing capacity, more creature comforts (my Wife's Sahara does not have a steering wheel heater Laughing), and they better fuel economy for about the same money.. Wink While I recommend it specifically for the People that want larger vans from about 21' and up, I would fully understand someone that bought one for a smaller Bushtracker too.... They ARE just that good.

Friends, here is another toy I am going to review... I have a canopy coming in a few weeks in another container, but check this out: A full length slide out bed tray!! Now these are just IPhone pictures, when I get the truck we will try and get some better ones.. But it is a slide out bed tray rated for different loads up to 1 Ton. This one is a medium capacity one at 1500 lbs or just over what 680 kg..



It will be a nice way to get at a fridge or tool boxes in the bed of the canopy,




I have a video of it opening, positive locking catches, rolls right out, but I do not know how to load it.. Will get my Techno Whizz on it.. Laughing Laughing Laughing

I may have to build some bins in the four corners for storage that does not foul the slide out, OK. It still may be an attractive option for many. My last style was a drawer system, with a gull wing canopy like the one I have coming. The raised floor of the drawer system allows access through the gull wing canopy. This slide out tray will allow options like fridge, tool boxes, most important is a bicycle !! Out of the weather and dust, a couple of bikes would slide out, even with the canopy on.. Works for me!

Kind regards, on the road, Ranger...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I drove home my new Dodge Cummins Diesel Laramie yesterday. This is pretty representative of what most Owners would want. The AdBlue system with the SCR (read up on the previous topic on this) anyway this new SCR Scavenger system delivered a whopping 9.5 litres per hundred in fuel economy!!! Shocked To tell you the truth, it got down to 9.2 ltr/100 km and the engine is not even run in yet !!! (Gets better to about 30,000 km as the engine runs in and loosens up a bit)....

If this is true, and I will confirm with hand calculations, This is only about 900 mm bigger than a 200 series, and gets better fuel economy empty as well as towing. More power, more safety and control and better fuel economy!! For a larger van, while the 200 Series GXL is cheaper, and still our most common tow vehicle, if you were thinking the grade of VX or Sahara you should come see my Dodge Cummins Diesel in front of the Office at Bushtracker.. Wink



20" Mag wheels and massive tyres are now standard. Also this full length step goes wheel to wheel for easy bed access. There are also a lot of new and nice features on the interior, and the coil rear end is very nice ride. I am not sure I am so keen on driving my Wife's Sahara out to dinner and around town any more.. Wink



I have some major engineering disclosures coming, a huge new bit of Engineering that makes this conversion now the top dog IMO. I am just waiting on the details and pictures, but it will be a big surprise. I will also post a picture of the new floor pan modifications..


Kind regards, Steven Gibbs
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
I finally got down to the Conversion Shop, and WOW did I get a few huge surprises.


First of all Legendts To answer your question, here is a picture of the floor pan modified for more foot room:



Now, G&J, you ask what that was on the firewall? I was totally wrong. What a surprise: SCD have done a bold move in the conversion. They are using 90 degree mitre boxes like on Prime Movers and Buses in Australia, and have developed the first shaft drive. The firewall is heavier steel and there is a cross channel in it, and it is solid shaft drive from left to right! Now that is a HUGE improvement.

This means that everything in front of the firewall in the engine bay is all stock Dodge Engineering, really cool! That means that all steering parts and everything under the bonnet is Factory, and we get to take advantage of the years and millions of dollars of research that goes into the original Dodge Engineering! About 90% of Warranty problems are to do with the modifications in the front, the steering boxes have had problems, some being rebuilt and repaired several times from reports. The whole front end is modified in the way Shogun does it, the whole steering system, loss of a second alternator if equipped, AC modified and re-gassed, the engine was even moved in my Shogun Dodge, and a lot more. This is all now over...

What is really good, is the whole front end, steering system, everything is now factory original and parts can be gotten directly from Dodge. Further you can get suspension upgrades and lifts kits if you want, the whole front end is Dodge Factory Original... There are no chassis modifications and all Factory equipment stays intact. That is a vast improvement.. Because the Conversion People just cannot do the job as well as Factory Dodge Engineering and the millions of dollars they have spent on refining the steering and chassis and systems for the best reliability. Now we can take advantage of that, and it will certainly mean our trucks are more reliable. Here, SCD reports on the Engineering and advantages:
**********************************************
Hi Steve

Up until recently we were converting all our Rams the same way as our competition. This way required pulling the entire front of the truck to pieces. Major alterations to the front of the chassis to accommodate the right hand steering setup

Previously we had to
1) Modify the Turbo Pipe and rotate the turbo
2) Make a new Alternator Bracket
3) Machine the Tie rod ends
4) Reverse the drag links
5) Make a new Pan Hard Bar and weld Pan hard bar mounts
6) Cut and weld the mounts into the chassis for the steering box on the right hand side
7) Some of our competitors also have to move the AC compressor and also move the entire engine.

All these changes to the vehicle meant it was far from factory in the front end. All the years of engineering Dodge had put into the steering was thrown out the window because no matter how good a conversion anyone does, the steering geometry is not the same.

We have made the bold move to develop the first cross shaft conversion that is inside the cab. What we did is research what other locally delivered trucks and buses used for steering.

If you have a look at the picture you will see that we make a entire new firewall made of thicker steal than the original. We have made a recess in the firewall to accommodate the cross shaft and had laser cut holes to line up the new 90 degree Mitre boxes. These boxes are used in factory delivered prime movers currently in Australia.

We strategically designed the firewall so that the boxes mount in a position that is easily accessible once the dash is in so inspection during servicing is not a issue.

The advantages of our innovative design are as follows

A) Factory steering geometry (factory turning circle)
B) Factory front end
C) Less modification of parts (less room for error)
D) Customers can now get lift kits direct from the U.S that will fit to the truck
E) All replacement parts are factory, customers don’t have to be concerned if the conversion company goes out of business because they can get the parts directly from Dodge.
F) Local mechanics will be in a better position to work on the vehicles as the diagrams in the user manuals and the diagrams on the dodge site will be exactly the same as the vehicle in front of them.

We are happy to take any prospective customers for test drives anytime 7 days a week so they can see for themselves.

We believe this method is the way of the future and wouldn’t be surprised if other conversions shops started using this method.

Regards

Eddie Kocwa
SCD American Vehicles
1856 Sandgate Rd
Virginia, Qld, 4014
Fax: +61 7 3123 6251
Mobile: 0401 071 705
PH: 1300 735 003


*******************************************************

Friends, this is a VAST improvement in the Conversion system and it makes for a better and more reliable Dodge Truck. It also means you are not married to the "Conversion Company" for service or repairs to custom made parts and brackets, it is all Factory Original. I am willing to bet, the others will bag this out for a few months, but then by six months my guess is all the Conversion Companies are likely to convert over to this system themselves... The firewall is stronger, the whole front end and components stay stock Dodge, and here is a picture of the two mitre boxes and shaft drive, the same as in many Prime Movers and Buses in Australia:



I drove my truck home two days ago. The truck feels Factory Original to me. The steering is tight and positive..

The new Dodge has some bigger screens, about eight or so different screens you can put up on what looks like HD LED, a lot clearer than my shaking hands driving with my IPhone..



There are also fancy graphics of the whole truck showing any door not closed, and tire pressures, and graphs of fuel and oil filter life, and oil condition, all in all about a dozen screens you can put up..

My first impression of the coil suspension, is that it is still firm, but not as jarring. It is firm but it takes out the minor impacts and smooths the ride.
All in all the truck sits higher, the wheels are larger, and somehow it makes the truck look even shorter. I my opinion, this can take a serious bite out of Toyota's 200 Series in all facets of function and comfort as well as fuel economy. I am impressed.

It will be here for you inspection if you come to Bushtracker..

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director..
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G&J



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again. Great post Steve.

My background is as a mechanical engineer and was originally negative about having 2 X 90 degree gearboxes added into the steering shaft due to possible slackness/backlash issues. However it does look neat & the advantages of keeping this internal are certainly substantial to the overall conversion. I will now check this steering issue out further with a mate who is heavily involved in the design & Aussie Standards side of the trucking industry.

This thread has been of great interest and I/we appreciate it.

Regards Geoff
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are high strength, high tensile, low speed units. Nothing much to wear in them or give back lash...

If there is something wrong with them, we better quick smart tell the thousands of commercial trucks and busses out there that are running these !! I would much rather have this system than the whole front end rebuild the others do... Common problems to be rectified have been Power Steering hoses leaking, or blowing off, radiator overflow pipes leaking, transmission linea being modified, alternator brackets problems, steering box problems, tie rod ends, and on and on.. Some conversions (two I know of) have had the steering boxes rebuilt twice as something in the geometry was wrong..

Leaving everything with the mega-millions of dollars of Research and Development that Dodge puts into their trucks, suits me just fine... Wink Nothing can compare with the Engineering of Factory Original front ends.. And it personally tickles me that we can keep them like that..
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:35 am    Post subject: tips on tow vehicles Reply with quote

Hi Steve,
Read your comment this morning re: 12 pin plug wiring. As we are waiting on our Dodge Ram through SCD, can you please advise whether they did your 12 pin plug wiring to suit the Bushtracker? If so, what information do we need to give them to ensure the wiring on our Ram is compliant. Your advice would be very much appreciated.
Cheers,
RobandFlip
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Rob and Flip,

SCD know what they are doing, have our wiring diagram, and they do a good job. Just ask them to do it, and like mine picked up three days ago, it will come with the 12 pin installed already....

Now going on 800 kms on my new truck and the gauges said 9 ltr/ 100 km on a 50 km test on the Bruce hiway coming home from Deception Bay. WOW !


Last edited by Bushtracker on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update on the floor pan mods Steve. Looks fine to me. Thank you also for the info regarding the new steering arrangement. The less that needs to be changed must surely make it a better truck and best of all, original Dodge product so no loss of integrity. The fuel figures are unreal for that truck!! It will be interesting to see the actual litres used to kilometres travelled, particularly with a tight engine. Great info and thanks again Steve.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:11 am    Post subject: tips on tow vehicles Reply with quote

Hi Steve,
Thanks for the 12 pin info. It will be a lot easier to have it ready to go when we take delivery of the caravan. The fuel figures appear to be comparable with the land cruiser. However, a bigger, more beautiful and comfortable truck. Smile

cheers,

RobandFlip
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
The fuel economy was nearly too good to be true, and it may have been... Laughing

Hand checked fuel economy figures were not as good a the meter said, out by 1.5 km per 100... If that is consistent, my 9 lt/100 figure is more like about 10.5 litres per hundred on the highway at 100 kph. However, that is still on a tight engine that will break in with better fuel economy for the first 30,000 kms. The bulk of reports are that the fuel economy increases until that break in, run in period of about that 20,000 miles range.

There are a lot of subtle refinements in this new truck, things that are not readily apparent. The new graphics and diagnostics on the main screen are multifunctional and very nice, with tyre pressure sensors, economy, oil and fuel filter life, door open and indicators left on show you a picture of the whole truck showing where the problem is. I have to admit it is fun... It is like a full HD LED TV screen showing the operation of the truck and each new graphic when it comes up is a treat... There are also refinements in things like the Lumbar support variability, memory adjustments for mirror and seats for different drivers, things like that. Even some really little things like when you have running lights on during the day, the Nav and Diagnostic screens dim as per headlight night driving, and on the dash light adjustments there are now two other positions on the dial up and one is for brighter lights in this situation.. Many other little things, I will not bore you with, but you get a lot of surprises like speed adjust of volume, and screen organization ability, and touch screen controls greatly expanded..

The new 2014 has only a few major improvements, like the coil suspension, it does ride smoother. Another one is the large Nav screen with more options and controls.. And the SCR AdBlue system of course. How is that different from the normal DPF? The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) cycles less, the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) cycles less, because the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction), means that the DPF is regeneration (cleaning) is minimized by the addition of the AdBlue Urea.

The AdBlue doesn't actually clean the DPF.. They are still regened by diesel. Urea treats NOx allowing less usage of EGR. Less EGR is a more efficient burn and creates less DPF clogging with soot for less regeneration cycles. As a byproduct, the less EGR cycling keeps the oil cleaner so they have increased the oil change interval. Never mind, I will stick with about 10,000 km changes.. Anyway: The higher HP at 385 and higher torque at 1080, along with less regenerations of the DPF, is where the mpg benefit comes from.

This 2014 still has an EGR and DPF, but it operates far less, so the oil is cleaner, and less soot runs back through the engine to the DPF because of the SCR. Instead of the DPF, it uses an SCR system situated behind the DPF, and adds in the AdBlue Urea to the exhaust stream. It injects the ammonia to break down the NO to CO2 and NO2. Now the big difference is the greatly lowering of the black soot being recycled back into the engine through the EGR and THEN not having to regen the DPF as much with the reduction of that same soot… The general reports are that: THIS plus the higher HP and Torque, combines for about 10% fuel economy.

In my last Dodge, the refinement of my Wife's Sahara made it the choice for the luxury car feel around town and out to dinner. This new one, has completely replaced the Sahara, the feel and luxury and ride of the coil rear, has made it a luxury drive on its own...
Wink

More R&D as it develops.... Canopy coming, Edge Attitude tuner coming, stay tuned... Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director, Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Friends, and fellow "Rig Junkies" as truck enthusiasts are called world wide... Laughing Laughing Here is a radical new angle on this...

As you would know, and for you Newbies, I do the testing and R&D on all of the popular Bushtracker vehicles... Not just some rented vehicle opinion for magazines, I actually BUY the vehicles. I upgrade them with equipment, and run them in the Outback towing and exploring. My reports are not just another sit around the fire jawboning opinions, I actually buy and run the trucks to give you unbiased R&D. In the past 15 years alone that includes (2) 100 Series Landcruisers, (4) 200 Series, (1) Ford Australia Brazilian built Ford F-250 of leftovers, (4) Ford full import F-350 and F-450 Super Duties, (2) 2500 HD and 3500 HD Chev Silveradoes, and now (3) 2500 and 3500 Dodge Cummins Diesels. What I am about to tell you is unique....

All, and I mean ALL of the problems with the converted trucks, 95-98% of the problems are with the converted parts.... A few examples like hose blowing off the Ford because the crimp flange was not as good, like the Chevrolet power steering hose leaking badly on the steering box, most of the problems I have had were of the converted parts. Matthews Dodge is not an exception, he has had his share of little problems, again ALL TO DO WITH THE CONVERSION PARTS!!

Now what is new, is that this new conversion shown above with the Peterbuilt style and Bus style mitre gear boxes in the new firewall, means in front of the firewall the truck remains all Dodge Factory! I have not had one hiccup.. You just cannot duplicate the Millions of dollars of research for reliability, in the Factory designs. With this new system, all steering, front end, pan hard bar, hoses, EVERYTHING stays Factory original... You just cannot beat that!! SCD in Brisbane have Engineered a whole new level of reliability.

On the road, Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I have unfortunately had a couple of people (that do not own one nor want to) add Posts to this thread trying to discredit the Dodge Ram as an off road vehicle. No it is not going to do off-road tracks like a Hilux with fat tyres, but the Hilux can hardly tow a milk crate, it is not a fair comparison. No, it is not going to go as well through steep gullies as a Landcruiser, mind you I think it could with the right tyres and lift to clear the bed overhang. And no it does not have the same turning circle, mind you very close, like within about two metres, and is practically the same in normal driving.. And no it does not fit most small house garages well, but who is buying one of these to park in a garage? Laughing

What it will do is save Lives. What I am doing is showing you a practical alternative to a Landcruiser, for larger vans, that gets better fuel economy, better control, more comfortable, and is far safer when towing. What I am about is showing you a FAR SAFER tow vehicle, that with a larger Bushtracker, could save your Life in an accident avoidance move on the road. What I AM SHOWING you, is a vehicle that allows you to have a larger van and load it up, with a long ton more capacity, that will not only preserve your LIFE in the right conditions, but also keep your Insurance coverage intact with a LEGAL tow vehicle... Further, after 15 years of research, with 10 of these trucks, they will go anywhere I have wanted to go off-road in 4x4...


I have cheerfully deleted the couple of Nay-Sayers that do not own one or want to justify not owning one. It was unproductive to argue their points as they have never owned one, and further this is not about hogging up some muddy creek bed with a Hilux or a dirt bike, this is about safety for you Bushtracker Owners that want larger vans. Safety not only for your Health but also your Financial well being. No offence to the Posters, their arguments did not have relevance to this Topic "In the Owners Best Interests"... If they want to hog up a ravine washout with a Hilux or chopped Cruiser, good on them, but they cannot tow a Bushtracker as well with their comparisons and I have never been disappointed with the Off-Road performance of these trucks. I do not have anything to prove.

This is for the Owners that want larger Bushtrackers outside of the capability of Landcruiser for instance...

Kind regards, Management
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

Well, here it is, the latest and greatest of the Dodges. The coil rear end is a definite improvement, and further the AdBlue SCR addition means the truck seems to get better fuel economy as well.. I have added what I think may be nearly the optimum package, of both a slide out bed tray and the gull wing windows of the body moulded canopy, of what most of you Owners might want, and you are welcome to have a look any time..



The canopy is what I think is nearly the best value for money, a Leer fiberglass, only $3 or 4,000 if brought over on the truck.. I like the gull wing windows, because you can reach the bed as the slide is elevated a little.



Further because the slide is inside the wheel boxes you have four additional storage areas before and after the wheel box. With a little work you could even close in over the wheel boxes with a box on each side with about the same area as the Ram Boxes, only it could be locked up inside the canopy..

Now a few thousand kilometres, it is running in enough to tow.. With the stock front end all Factory per the Posts above, it feels more like a new truck, very tight and very neat.. Wink I think you would be impressed at just how good it drives. With Traction Control and LSD Diff, stock factory, it would be impressive off-road as well. Looks a little like a Dodge Ram Stationwagon... Laughing



Regards, here and finished for your inspection... Kind regards, Admin
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

There is a performance tuner available now. It is the Edge with Attitude. This new AdBlue Dodge with all the latest SCR addition that limits the DPF and EGR cycle, gets really good fuel economy already... I am not thinking of a full Delete program for performance, as it does well now, I am thinking of reliability.

The Air Intake has a couple of sensors involved, the EGR has a couple of sensors, the same for the exhaust in the DPF, and the SCR and the controls for adding the Urea. This ends up being more sensors and complications that the whole rest of the engine and transmission combined... Sad

You will have to go to the Dodge Cummins Forum and read up about what they are doing as far as cleaning all that up with a custom exhaust. I cannot comment on that, but the system is getting ridiculous and I can see the motivation to eliminate the lot for reliability....

For now, I have the Edge Tuner, with all the stock Factory equipment, and all it does it make it more efficient with different tuning levels. So far I am leaving the truck stock, and will use this tuner for the settings for "Mileage" and "Tow" for performance and fuel economy.



The edge tuner fits nicely up on the right hand side.. You can program it to monitor the engine with any number of variables. This one is set for Exhaust Gas temperatures, Engine Coolant temperature, and Boost..



Results are hard to gauge early on, but besides clearing engine codes if required, it seems to have added a bit on fuel economy and performance..

Regards, Forum Admin the Bushtracker Man
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
Is the spare wheel staying under the rear tray or ??
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Bushtrek,
That is a good question, not only for you but for Bushtracker Owners in general..

In over 40 years of extreme 4x4 as my major hobby, I have hogged into places where if you peeled a low pressure tire off the bead, you would be bogged to the rear bumper and extracting that tyre from the under the bed mount would be a terrible job... For example one time, with my stretched 75 Series Cruiser many years ago, on an isolated beach at low tide, I hit a stretch of quicksand and buried the Cruiser to the rear bumper and bulbar... Another time out west, on the back of a Station looking for the "Lost City" jumble of rocks and Aboriginal artwork, I broke through a dry crust of a dirt track 150 kms off the bitumen and again sunk my cruiser to the running boards immediately.. Now in those situations I pulled out by other means, but you get the point that you could be completely surprised, and not only maybe want the spare tyre for a flat, but you also might want the spare to bury and winch to.. Even with monster mud tyres in 1200 /16.5 muddies with Dodge and Ford in North America in the extremes of snow and mud you sometimes got surprised and access underneath was near impossible.

First of all, a second spare for the truck is a good idea, and no real burden as you have a big bed and canopy on the truck. Only once, but once in the past twenty years out west hunting goats in about 48 C hot weather, I did two tyres in one day being silly and driving over hardwood and rock crunching along, it can happen. I mean this is rare but a second spare inside the canopy is what I would recommend. Look, you may never need it, but I remember countless times when I bogged to the bumper and you would not be able to access it under the bed. Like out the back way out of Lawn Hill Gorge, following the river from its source from its source back down to Gregory Downs, I picked a nice bend in the river and drove out on the gravel with a 20' Bushtracker on the back.. The river was not far under the dry gravel, and it was a slushy pea gravel underneath. I stopped to look around and when I started I immediately broke through the dry gravel on top and bogged her to the axles. Again I was able to get out with my winch extension, but if a tree was not in reach, burying the spare at a steep angle and winching to it could have been my only option. Mind you I also had a High Lift Jack, and jacking onto driftwood to fill the holes with wood would have been another option but you get the point?

So, since you have a truck with a bed and plenty of room: Two spares is my recommendation, as I have been in the roughest country. With Ford and Dodge in the extremes of deep snow elk and deer hunting in North America in 4x4, to the extremes of deep mud in logging tracks, you CAN get bogged by surprise.. From Game Patrol in Africa, and 25 years in Australia, two spares with one or both up in the bed for easy access, is my recommendation for these reasons...

Kind regards from the Bushtracker man, I hope I have been a help.

Laughing Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

With this new model, there is a bit of a conflicting style to choose from, and now I have had them both and the problem is solved. The RamBoxes are a nice feature, you have seen them in a previous Dodge Cummins Diesel Topic. The problem with them, is you have to do a Custom Build gull wing canopy that would go our over the whole Rambox, lift the gull wing side and access the box.

The fibreglass canopies in America are fairly cheap by comparison, so with this new 2014 model I got a colour matched Leer canopy instead of Ramboxes. I admit I missed them, so here is what I have done: I have put carpeted panel sides in 1/2 " ply, fastened to the wheel box and canopy.
These give the same storage room as the Ramboxes or better, and I still have the slide out "Bed Tray" to access everything. I can get into the gull wing opening windows to access these side compartments, and the bed still slides out between them...






The fridge would be too tall on top of drawers to get into, this may be the ideal set up...

Kind regards, Admin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again Friends,
Ram has 3600 kms on it, not totally run in but I could tell the fuel economy was improving, so I put it to a meticulous test..

I did a little "Road Trip" on Saturday. 511 kms. I had to go pick up some gear, so with the canopy, solar, fridge freezer, lithium, tools, bed slide out and 170 kg of cargo, I had to have at least 700 kg of weight in the back.

Before I left I filled up.. Three trips into towns, stoplights, a bit of traffic, and mostly highway work. The meter was telling me around 9.5 litres per hundred, so I filled up again on the return when I got back. Six hour trip, filled it to overflowing, and did the numbers: 511.4 kms, 52.2 litres...

This works out to 10.2 litres per hundred!! With more weight than my Landcruiser could even carry? Considering the exhaust is all stock factory, DPF, CAT, SCR, EGR all intact, that is fabulous fuel economy with a payload... It begs you to wonder if you put a delete kit into it and a straight exhaust. I mean how good could it get?? With this good of fuel economy I think I will leave it all just stock factory..

Kind regards, Director, Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:05 am    Post subject: Steering Feel Reply with quote

Steve.

Now that you have had some time in your new one, how does that steering feel via the inside cabin right to left side conversion and how does it compare with your previous RAM with the right side steering box that is now with Matthew?

Is there any discernible difference in feel and performance?

Regards & thanks for your reports on these vehicles.

Geoff
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoff,
Thank you for the kind words.. I do all these reports for the Owners benefit, I don't get anything out of it.. It is just a Service to tell people why I think this is the top choice right now..

On the steering, now with 3700 kms, I cannot tell it from a stock truck. I mean I cannot substantiate it, but I think it feels like it turns tighter circles. From memory, it might even have less play than the conversions with the added steering arms, but I cannot tell. It may just be the case that it sits a little higher and is a little softer ride with the all coil suspension that is making me feel it is better.

This new 2014 has a lot of subtle changes you do not even recognize, and have to discover... Like a double light roll over fine tune on the dial that runs the instrument brightness, to compensate for running lights on in the day... And things like added graphics in the Nav and Mapping, what a treat..





Little things like the added information on the dash that you can scroll through... Oil and fuel filter live, fuel economy, dozens of options...



All in all, this is the easiest and most comfortable truck I have had.. It rivals all the Ford Super Duty in strength and suspension, but the Cummins Engine give total engine access, supported by Chrysler, Cummins, and Conversion People in each State.. It is the Tops..

Kind regards, on the road, Ranger
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Thanks for your reply.

Every time I see a recent RAM I have been quizzing the owner about their experiences and a number have spoken against the internal conversion steering shaft across the inside of the firewall (but none of them have that system), so your experience with your latest SCD conversion is very valuable to me/us.

Just one more question if I can please, and that is with the width of the right side driver's foot-well.

I saw a recent Melbourne conversion of a 2500 MegaCab where the foot-well looked quite small and the left footrest had been fabricated from a piece of bent aluminium checker-plate.

How is that footrest achieved in yours and how does the width of that foot-well compare with the width in your Sahara?

Regards Geoff
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G&J wrote:
Steve,
Thanks for your reply.

Every time I see a recent RAM I have been quizzing the owner about their experiences and a number have spoken against the internal conversion steering shaft across the inside of the firewall (but none of them have that system), so your experience with your latest SCD conversion is very valuable to me/us.

Just one more question if I can please, and that is with the width of the right side driver's foot-well.
Regards Geoff


Yea, it is funny that people talk bad about things they have no experience with. Most of that talk is by the so called Competition. Rumour has it that one of the major contenders is quitting converting the Rams because they cannot compete with SCD. No names, as it may just be rumour, but it has been substantiated by another source... Anyway, I LOVE IT.. My truck has been near FLAWLESS when 95% of the niggling bits are always from things moved in the conversion. You know my biggest gripe? Left front tyre sensor has failed, defective... heh he.. Laughing Going on 4000 kms, and I love the shaft drive conversion. The people that know nothing about it are probably thinking of old style bogged up chain drives and such from the past.

On foot room, look the comfort zone is going to be an individual thing, person to person. I kind of lean my left knee against the center console, and my foot is sort of laid over in front of and to the side of the brake pedal. I rarely even use the foot rest. My suggestion is go and sit in one, and sit there for a half an hour playing with the goodies.. For most people with an open mind, they will adapt within a few hundred kms and never even notice again... I don't even notice it.

Kind regards from the Man on the Road with these, now my third one.. Love it... I am tired of fixing them up in R&D, I may just keep this one, but then again I have said that before... heh he Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does she tow with the new rear end
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rear suspension is about the same feel, the movement is just not as sudden or jarring with the coils...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALRIGHT, HERE IS SOME MORE GOOD NEWS Exclamation

The results with the EDGE Tuner, have been so outstanding, that SCD in Brisbane are going to give one away with every Dodge if they have a Bushtracker on order..

Advantages?
1) Fuel economy, hand calculated per above Post, with 700 kg on board I got 10.2 litres per 100 over a 511 km test... On the way to Brisbane towing a 22' van to the Show, I was getting about 17 litres per 100...

2) Three practical settings, Mileage, Towing, and Street Performance... Full Race is out as the engine is not equipped to handle that..

3) It will read DTC Diagnostic Trouble Codes, and Clear them as required..

4) It is FREE! Courtesy of the Good People at SCD in Brisbane!


For now, I have the Edge Tuner, with all the stock Factory equipment, and all it does it make it more efficient with different tuning levels. So far I am leaving the truck stock Factory Equipped, and will use this tuner for the settings for "Mileage" and "Tow" for performance and fuel economy.

Here is what it looks like in mine:



The edge tuner fits nicely up on the right hand side.. You can program it to monitor the engine with any number of variables. This one is set for Exhaust Gas temperatures, Engine Coolant temperature, and Boost..



Kind regards from the Bushtracker Man, Admin, Steven Gibbs
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
have you looked into different rims/ tyres

20" rims are large and while choice is getting better it is limited.

do you know if the 17" rims off the lower equipped models will fit and if so what sized tyres (285/70/17 or 33" for example)

the Ram website is very hard to navigate
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: fuel Reply with quote

hi steve,
how much adblue do you use per tank of fuel and do you calculate this into your fuel economy.the truck sounds awsome
thanks musky
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Musky,

The AdBlue is now available at major truck stops for about $1.20 a litre. I am on about 5000 kms, and have only added 10 litres, but the tank was not full from the beginning... I mean it is probably 20 litres per 10,000 kms and even if it was half the mileage when towing heavy, the cost is still almost negligible.

Hello other Friends,
I thought you might like to see what accessories are available and what I am doing with my new Dodge. I mean I am a bit of a Rig Junkie, but really these are not bling, they are really useful if not necessary items to me..

First of all is the Ranch Hand. SCD now have one in stock. This might be the strongest steel bull bar I have EVER seen. I mean the Toowoomba Tuff Bullbar four poster with double side bars could be strong, but it is still aluminium and this is a solid steel bull bar. In Texas in drought, the cattle break through fencing to get to the green bits near night dew running off on the highway edges. A few people a year get killed, when a lone steer panics at on coming traffic and bolts to get back to the herd... Surprised Exclamation
The Ranch Hand comes from Texas, to solve this, and the frame of it is designed to save you... SCD can get you one in.



In my view, we have camels, cattle, brumbies, BIG Red roos, goats, Emus, Pigs, really in my opinion this is not wasted.. THIS is the last thing I want them to see:



Look, it won't suit everyone, but my range next year is likely as far south as Melbourne, and north to the Cape.. I like travel at dawn and sometimes at night, as there is something magical about it and far less traffic. The mesh is actually heavy, laser cut plate steel, to stop an animal going through the coolers behind the grill, this is serious stuff. I have not gotten my driving lights and UHF antennae on yet, but am greatly relieved to have the heavy duty Bull Bar protection in front of me again.. Wink Around town, it might even keep me on the road if a wild Ute pulls out in front of me... Laughing Laughing

The chrome bit on the bonnet, is about 60-70 mm out from and above the bonnet, for not only stone chips on the bonnet but it also deflects bugs upwards to some degree.. That is a nice bolt on unit now..

I have another three or four add-ons to show you as I have time in the next week...

On the road, Ranger
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I can't stand it anymore....
I am going back to competing the horses... Who says I am too old..
Confused


I like towing with this Dodge SO MUCH, that I am going to try and do with a "Tow Behind" horse float... It will not be able to go off-road, no delusion about that, but I will still have a 22' Bushtracker tow behind as well...

I just miss travel and competition with my horses too much, so I am going to try and do it with this 25' float.. It will not be as nice as a Bushtracker, a bit cramped, and cannot go off-road, but it will allow me to tow with this truck and not have to go back to the big Gooseneck style and MAN truck.



So, Cowboy has not retired after all. I have two Champion Colts, two year olds starting training next year, and a yearling Champion, and a fresh born Filly, all from the three top Bloodlines in Performance Cow Horses in Australia.. How can I quit now? Last years Colt "A Hollywood Whizz" won the Queensland State Futurity, and only missed the National Futurity by 1/2 point at 219 points in Tamworth, so took Reserve Champion.. How can I quit? I will continue to run my two Senior horses until the babies mature...

New Goodies:
Anti shopping cart guard strips in chrome... Can't go wrong and it looks good.



Tailgate Assist:
I just hate it when people drop and slam down the tailgate.. Here it is, and it is a smooth glide down. Works a treat!



And here is a good one, I call them Mud Bucket floor mats:



Even a set for the rear seat...



I should have more data for you, I am off to Melbourne next week. Like that horse float could not be here in Queensland, could it!! Rolling Eyes Oh well, it is the only one of its kind for sale, I hope the drive is successful.. And while I am there, Equitana 2014 is on..

More as I have it, on the Road, Ranger


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

If/when you pass thru the Riverina on your way to or from Melbourne next week, can you let me know so I can maybe take 10 minutes of your time to have a quick squizz at your truck.

Or if you need a complimentary bed in Wagga on the way down, just let me know (see www.thelawson.com.au).

Regards Geoff
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoff,
Cowboy here,

Going back to the horses, so went down to get this horsefloat about an hour east of Melbourne. It is unlike anything made in Australia, because most do not have the tow vehicle to do the job. It would take an American truck, but the advantage is reasonable living quarters AND horse quarters... It also has some interesting options I want to explore in R&D for Bushtracker.

Sorry, but this was a long haul trip, I mean Loooooong Haul. I took one day out for Equitana in Melbourne (total waste IMO) and was disappointed as it was all City People horse sports like Dressage and Show Jumping, not the Professional Cow Horse style of real horses.. heh he.. Anyway, sorry, but this was a long haul, made it back to Queensland in about 36 hours. The Dodge is THE TRUCK for this kind of a trip... Cummins purred the whole way like it was into its own for a change...


The day of the Dually (Dual Rear Wheel) rig may be over.. I saw about ten truck pull outs for inspection and weights and Log Books, that had a new sign out "All trucks over 4500 kg STOP"... If they include the Duallies, it is going to be just too much hassle and time to tow with one.. This truck (Courtesy of SCD) is down rated to 4490 kg.



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoff,
Cowboy here,

Going back to the horses, so went down to get this horsefloat about an hour east of Melbourne. It is unlike anything made in Australia, because most do not have the tow vehicle to do the job. It would take an American truck, but the advantage is reasonable living quarters AND horse quarters in a tow behind instead of a gooseneck... It also has some interesting options I want to explore in R&D for Bushtracker. Anyway, for the other 25 days a month I like my canopy and bed slide out, so when this float came up in Victoria I was off...

Sorry no visit time, this was a long haul trip, I mean Loooooong Haul. I took one day out for Equitana in Melbourne (total waste IMO) and was disappointed as it was all City People horse sports like Dressage and Show Jumping, not the Professional Cow Horse style of real horses.. heh he.. Anyway, sorry, but this was a long haul, made it back to Queensland in about 36 hours. Come for a visit to Bushtracker.

The Dodge is THE TRUCK for this kind of a trip... Cummins purred the whole way like it was into its own for a change...


The day of the Dually (Dual Rear Wheel) rig may be over.. I saw about ten truck pull outs for inspection and weights and Log Books, that had a new sign out "All trucks over 4500 kg STOP"... If they include the Duallies, it is going to be just too much hassle and time to tow with one.. This truck (Courtesy of SCD) is down rated to 4490 kg.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

This is the latest.. By the time you load up the front end, in this case with a very heavy steel Bull Bar made to save the owners if the truck hits cattle at high speed, Warn winch, and so on weighs down the front end. This is probably the heaviest built bull bar I have ever seen, and my bump stops were reduced down to minimal clearance in a few months of travel. Long story short, there is a very affordable lift kit available, that simply replaces the top coil spring mount, a 2 1/2" lift..



Now I am back to good spring travel without the "buck" of the bump stops bottoming out on the chassis.

The other thing I am testing, is the bounding affect, sort of a hobby horse of the tow vehicle with a big van on the back, on the right road conditions. With the truck loaded, the front end can get a bit of a bound on certain road humps and ruts as the front shocks get over ridden. This has happened with all major tow vehicles from Toyota through Ford, Chevs, and the Dodges. Stock shocks are just not made for that kind of work, and it happens now and then, a bit of bounding on the front end. I have replaced the shocks with Bilstein longer heavy duty Shocks, and I will test it as soon as.. And give you a report asap..

Both the Lift Kits and the Bilstein shocks are reasonably priced and available through SCD..



Look, I understand this is a bit "Heavy Duty" looking, and not suitable for everyone. But also understand that when I go into the Outback, I like to be able to travel at the bad times for big animals: Dawn, dusk, or at night.. So, horses for courses, but for me this is very comforting... Wink


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mattandlana



Joined: 06 Sep 2008
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Location: Ballajura
State:: WA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin' good Steve!

Who made the bar, and can you share the cost? And what winch do you have in it?

BTW for all your customers out there, we haven't done much towing yet, but are loving our 2014 Ram 3500. What a machine!

We did do a very short test run with our 21' van, and the difference from our Tojo 100 series was stark. Chalk and cheese. The Ram loafed up Greenmount (closest Perth has to a serious hill), with me throttling back to stay under the speed limit. Even better, the smart exhaust brake made the descent a breeze without having to touch the service brakes or, alternatively, creep down at 30 km/h to ensure engine braking didn't run away. The heavy-duty Aisin gearbox with its smart tow/haul mode is also a treat. So: Listen to Steve, get a US truck to tow your van! You'll be glad you did.

Cheers,
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The winch is a Warn, the only choice for long lasting waterproof and heavy duty.. There are cheaper, but years later this is the one that lasts. There is a Topic on winches in this Category..

Bull bar? That is a "Ranch Hand" Bar from Texas... I have not seen anything that heavy built in Australia. One came in on a Ram, the black one my last Ram second hand from SCD, and I had to have another one. SCD can get one in for you, and at last look they were stocking one.

It is 4-6 mm thick steel, and is built VERY strongly. Steel is real, I mean the alloy ones look good, but they will fold up hitting anything serious.. The mesh in the front is not any kind of spread mesh, it is laser cut plate steel. The design is for the west Texas empty desert highways, where when a lonely car comes along, cattle will spook and run across the road at night to get back to the herd. People are killed hitting a stray at 60-70 mile per hour, and this bar is designed to handle that. There are also a lot of coolers in the front these days, AC, transmission, radiator, power steering, intercooler, I mean it could be quite a fix if a 5-6 foot tall red roo went through the grill.. Potentially a long time off the road... Rolling Eyes

I like the freedom to get up before dawn, or drive past the sunset, or go into the night if I want to. In those conditions in the Outback, THIS is a top bar. The vertical posts are 6-8mm, and everything is built into it. The lone Ranger gives it a thumbs up..



Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mattandlana



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve. Agree completely on the need for a bar. Critters don't always respect the 'nighttime' rule anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Grumpyolephartz, the truck lights themselves are better on the 2013 and 2014 Dodge. I mean it is like some kind of high intensity HID with a thick magnifying lens in front... As far as comparing the big ARB driving lights, they just did not fit the bar. Again in that other Topic I show pictures. I tried all sorts of methods of mounting them but ended up selling them. I could have mounted them behind the mesh steel, but I was concerned they cut down too much more air flow. In all fairness, I thought I could hear the thermostatically controlled fan coming on more often. The bar cuts down on some air flow, and the combination I just did not think was good for the cooling system.. It might not have made a difference, but a lower speeds it seemed like the fan assist was coming on so I decided it was too much...

I have a report on their efficiency vrs the light bar in the Category TIPS ON SAFETY WHEN TOWING, where I have reviewed most of the major brands. Look, I really like the ARB LED lights but they are a bit expensive.. The best I have ever had was the LightForce big 220 mm XGT HID lights. The problem was they have to warm up for a two second delay or so, and it keeps you from flashing them at oncoming brights. They were the MOST powerful I have tested, and the ARB ones are about 90% as good, smaller, and INSTANT ON... So of all I have tested my current best with the flash feature ability, is the ARB ones. They just did not fit Ranch Hand bar. The light bars are about 1/3 of the range and a wider and bigger flood light. I would say the light bars are only suitable for slow speed travel in the heavy bush.

Anyway, enough on lights, please go to the Category TIPS ON SAFETY WHEN TOWING, and put any further discussion there where others will find it in the relative Topic on the major brands of driving lights with pictures of their strength and reports on my test track, with narrow bridge reflectors at about 700 Metres.....

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