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Puzzled by 4x4's?


Corrode Finger
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I know that in the past, on this forum, i have read comments that infer that there is a point where a 4x4 becomes ineffective, when the pursuit of '4x4 dieting' is undertaken?

Just wondering how?

Also on the same vein, how light could a 4x4 be made using existing donors and making it road legal?

Obviously a lardy RR is probably not the place to start, so it may involve our small jap competitors motors as a commencement point?

Also would it still be effective, and would a reduction in the mass of the vehicle enable other innovations to be considered such as suspension, engine choice, tyres etc etc??

What is regarded as a light offroader, taking account of a cage and a pair of winches, as these seem sensible inclusions on competent trucks?

Any thoughts greatly considered, all welcome and encouraged.

Let the brainstorming commence?

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You've offered a very broad pallet here.

No one answer really is correct as the ideal weight of a 4x4 (or any other car type) is governed by the conditions in which it is used.

Plus, weight being one issue, you must also consider ground pressure which is heavily dependant upon tyre selection. Then there's the grip available from both the tyre, drivetrain, driver and surface.

Then there's power and how it's made available.

Plus you've got to consider in what context the weight saving would help. Grip? Fuel economy? Speed? Acceleration?

Narrow down the boundaries a little and solutions become clearer.

I assume you're talking about challenge events? I'd say weight wasn't half as important as the skill of the driver.

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My opinion is the lighter the better. I don't think you'll reach a stage where you loose traction because you don't weigh enough (sorry Nige :lol: ). The great benefit of being light is you roll over the top instead of sinking in and when you are stuck it is much easier and quicker to extricate yourself. (aparently! :blink: )

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My opinion is the lighter the better. I don't think you'll reach a stage where you loose traction because you don't weigh enough (sorry Nige :lol: ). The great benefit of being light is you roll over the top instead of sinking in and when you are stuck it is much easier and quicker to extricate yourself. (aparently! :blink: )

This is very true, the lighter the car the stonger your axles become and the faster and more powerfull your winch becomes.

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To answer a few points, about my thought process, and that is what it is!

The truck would mainly be used for offroad stuff, it could take account of challenges, but also maybe the odd trial? Even have some fun days in it?

Its not got to take account of a daily drive multi purspose vehicle solution. I can justify keeping something like my hybrid build for that purpose, but it must be road legal as soo many places require this, and its a sensible base point to work too.

As far as engines to use, well, its a balancing act between lightness, availability, and the petrol v diesel debate?

Tyres would be muds, economy is neither here nor there, equally because of the 'idea' involving lightness, the vehicle could be small? Is there a minimum size as far as effectiveness(accept that limits exist in competition regs etc) - Again the size affects weight?

As far as suspension goes, can a different system other than beam axles benefit through dieting? Or not?

If 1500kg's is light, whats that for, a 90, another, a G Wagen?

That seems heavy?

Does the vehicle have to retain a 'shell' or could it be like moglite in appearance?

I am exploring ideas, and this is one of the most open minded bunch of people on technical innovations etc about, i am picking peoples brains.

Thanks again.

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If 1500kg's is light, whats that for, a 90, another, a G Wagen?

That seems heavy?

1500kgs is light full stop.

The lightest i've managed is 1460kg, thats with tough axles, 35" simex, twin winched, twin battery'd, caged, roadlegal, leccy windows and a heater.

That was a cost no object design build, and it was danmed hard work to get it that light.

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Trying to be slightly open minded etc, and not wind people up, but DD at 1460kg, was that a Landy?

As i suggested further up, it does not have to be a solihull product?

I am attempting to think of it in a different manner, ie what do you need, what can i get away with, what is the lightest starting point, if its cosmetic, bin it, that type of attack.

I just want people to throw ideas about, its an interesting concept to brainstorm.

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Trying to be slightly open minded etc, and not wind people up, but DD at 1460kg, was that a Landy?

As i suggested further up, it does not have to be a solihull product?

I am attempting to think of it in a different manner, ie what do you need, what can i get away with, what is the lightest starting point, if its cosmetic, bin it, that type of attack.

I just want people to throw ideas about, its an interesting concept to brainstorm.

Nope, suzuki jimny.

IMHO, the more people that realize there is life beyond landrovers the better.

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This might be a completely irrelevent thought, since I am on the wrong side of the pond. If it is, I apologize for taking up space. Over here, a lot of the Jap alternatives, are still Iron blocks. With that being the case; the all aluminum 4.0 and 4.6 are a great choice for hybrid projects. Simply because they are lighter overall, and a lot of HP can be made over here using the olds/buick hp parts.

Overall; I agree with the weight equation, I have to off-road in deep water, sugar sand, and deep mud living in Florida. And The lighter the vehicle, the quicker the extrication. This is good for many reasons. The less time submerged your truck is, the less chance of moisture intrusion. Be it breathers for the diffs, crankcase. Swivel balls, brake components, etc...

I like to be out of it as fast as possible to keep the mud and water from messing with my internals, as well as my electrics. Having a DII; electrics become a serious concern when I am driving in stuff deeper than my side marker lights.

My SIIa hybrid will have a lot of weight cut out of it eventually; but I am going for strength and reliability first; then seeing where I can pull weight out after that. My reasoning for that is that when I pull the 2.25 for the 4.0, I will be having a lighter motor, but because of the greater hp; there will be more chance for chassis flex and axle wrap.

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Well - lightness breeds lightness. If you can lose half a tonne or more, you don't need such beefy axles / drivetrain / chassis / protection etc and can get away with less power for the same performance, which means a lighter engine & box, which means your axles are under less stress, and round and round it goes etc... So in a way losing weight helps you lose more weight. (Up to a point).

For lightness I'd guess a tube chassis with integral roll cage is lighter than a regular chassis with equivalent cage. Also, if you start with tube, you only add what you actually need, rather than starting with a chassis that has outriggers / brackets / ovrhangs etc that you probably wouldn't have put there (ok you can chop it all up). Also with a custom chassis, you can choose material and save weight that way - different alloy / thin wall where you can get away with it etc.

Skinning it out with placcy sheet / fibreglass etc is a great saving - I can never get over how heavy a defender door is...

A lot of it has to do with careful materials selection (engine block, chassis, panels, internals etc etc) and avoiding over-complicating it with stuff you might not really need. Cost becomes an issue on the materials thing.

Or just buy a Mog like I did and don't worry about weight.

Al :)

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I might be wrong, but bear with the thought process,

if i read what Astro Al is saying about lightness being a round roundy thing, i guess that is you throw away stuff you dont need, the 'original' equipment does not need to be uprated cos its less stressed and prone to failure, therefore by default it is 'uprated'?

Superfluous(sp?) stuff could be leccy windows, doors( tomcat style instead) wings( Petal esque mudguards?) dashboards, trim, windows, then use mesh on a cage instead(?) therefore you loose heaters, wipers etc etc etc?

I am looking at this with a picture of my Lotus 7 in mind, that has the absolute minimum, seats, lights etc to make it legal?

Ok, DD, if you think that other non Solihul equipment ought to be considered, make some suggestions, i said i was open to ideas, i know its a LR forum but we are like talking tech?

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4 cylinder turbo jap petrols, bulletproof yank gearboxes with crawler first's, zuk t-cases, Toy/G/patrol axles

All worthy of using but none of which can be bolted together using off-the-shelf solutions.

Thus inacessable to most people.

How about an SJ stipped untill it nearly blows away in the wind, T45 cage 'n' bumpers, 400+bhp pulsar engine, BW T-18 box, atlas2, 100 series toy axles, 42" tsl's on trailready beadlocks.

nice vapour build :D

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Ask Twizzle about his Panda 4x4, I doubt that was even 1000kg with a tank of fuel and Twizzle sat in it.

Mark's hot-rod thing (when it was working) was about as light as you could get on a RR chassis & drivetrain, although there was scope for removing a lot more weight from it as he had a lot of excess chassis brackets etc. he could've tidied up, and a better take on the roll hoop and weather-proofing would be desirable :unsure:

A truck I love is Phil's buggy, it runs "little" 235/85 tyres, rover axles with lockers and fiddles, doesn't even have a winch, but around Slindon where they play he can put it anywhere, and quick. None of it is rocket science and it's been about for ages so there's ways you could improve on the theme. Mind you, he is also rather good at driving and you can't buy that from the adverts in LRO :rolleyes:

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Love DD's vapour idea, but it does seem a tad 'pricey'?

Also i love the idea of a tuning demons 400bhp turbo motor, but ouch for the drivetrain!

Yep the hotrod has potential, but surely a RR is too lardy to start with?

Twizzles Panda has got to have a target weight to aim for, 1000kg?

But, also to consider, or am i off on one, if it goes light, you only need half the power, for the equivalent performance of say a 2000kg truck? Therefore a 400bhp motor(even though its cool) is a bit excessive?

So, without going into bespoke, Rocket Science materials, how light does the collective believe a truck could be built, keeping it realistic?

Could a 'mini' moglite be made, excluding the portals, i was thinking of the shape, and the 'lite' bit?

There must be other solutions, or do we all need big 'heavy' trucks to have any hope of going offroad?

Honitton Hobbit, what does the vehicle you describe, look like?

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