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First run with the Ashcroft ATB


Boydie
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Fed up with being house-bound due to foul weather Julie and I set off in the rain aiming for the sun for a weekend camping.

General weather experienced, Friday - intermittent showers, 20*C; Saturday cloudless sunny and 36*C. Sunday Overcast and 24*C

We traveled up to the Liverpool planes to an advertised "Harvest Festival" only to find it was a con, in reality it was a mass protest against the construction of a huge open cut coal mine by a Chinese conglomerate, while i'm anti the mine I'm more anti the conned protest, so we left.

On the way there we went through the Goulburn National park and hit some good dirt roads, the ABT came into it's fore for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that the two Detroit differentials a "trulock" in the front and "Locker" in the rear were more audible than ever before, a tad alarming at first to hear the ratcheting noise we had never heard before but interesting nevertheless, generally traction, especially in tight uphill bends and badly washed away tracks was noticeably improved. The only time I had to engage low range was to negotiate some really deep river gravel to get to a fabulous campsite that we spotted next to the Goulburn River.

I wish I'd packed my fishing gear as a brown trout at least 2' long kept us amused for some time watching it leap out of the water to catch hoverflies.

On the wet roads - dirt as well as bitumen, understeer was greatly reduced, the steering being far more positive and direct. The only comment would be that the ABT has a quite noticeable differential type whine, but with all those helical gears I guess some noise is to be expected.

We are going up the north coast of NSW in 2 weeks time as Julie won a weekend away in a flash beach side hotel so we will stay for a week camping as well and I'll be able to give it a try out on some of the fabulous sandy beaches that are up that way, with luck we may even get bogged ^_^ above the high tide mark in some soft sand and get to try out winching with the sand anchor instead of burying the spare wheel. It's all done in the name of good fun and gaining experience.

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I took a Range Rover through that park about eleven years ago. Fabulous spot!

Did you mean that front diff is a "TrueTrac" or a Truelock as you said? I'm intrigued. A friend has that set up (TrueTrac front, Detroit Locker back) on his "90" (actually a cut-down 110). It certainly gets bags of traction but every now and then the combo seems to fight him and sends the truck bucking around, spinning in whatever direction it wants. This is generally on a rutted hill or trying to cross a log. I often wondered if it was more his driving or the effect of one or both of those diffs. Do you ever find that sort of thing happening?

I ask because there is a dream world, in which I could afford some sort of traction control for my 110...

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Yes :blush: the front axle has a Detroit "TrueTrac" (helically geared thing) while the rear has a Detroit Locker on the rear. I've never had them "fighting" as you put it but driving over deep soft sand on the French Line in the Simpson Desert in low range with the diff lock engaged was, at times, "interesting" Since fitting the ATB I'm getting a shuddering from the front axle just before the Disco comes to a stop. I'll email David Ashcroft about it and ask his advice.

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Mmm interesting, less understeer suggests less power going through the front. And the old open diff ate washers. Does that suggest the back is harder to drive than the front, and maybe the old diff sent most of the power forwards? And now it's not, hence the increase in noise? There must be something of this effect in a turn because a detroit locker lets the outside wheels speed up, and the inside go at crownwheel speed, whereas a truetrac or 'normal' diff would let the outer wheels go faster and the inner go correspondingly slower, so the detroit effectively raises the gearing on a bend. So the diff in the transfer box must have been working quite hard on bends.

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Yes, at times very hard and of course the front axle takes most of the strain, especially on badly rutted sharp corners where despite taking it easy speed wise quite often the inside wheel isn't in contact with anything solid or could even be in the air, the rear simply follows the front.

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