Update 12 – Dec 11

Well it has been a while since I updated either vehicle actually. The Prado has been going quite strong. It has ferried us through a number of different areas since the last update.

We did a trip at Easter into the VIC High Country, enjoying ANZAC Day service with the local community. It is the first time I’ve ever spent an ANZAC Day out of uniform, and I greatly enjoyed being able to spend it with the kids. We also managed to get the Prado to the top of Blue Rag in it’s stock standard set-up – and enjoyable lunch was consumed at the very top!

Another trip to the High Country saw us tackling the Eskdale Spur Track, encountering everything from snow and mud to great views and travelling through clouds.

We spent a few days camping on Stockton Beach, and then across at Lithgow. This enabled us to have a bit of a ‘play’ with the vehicle and test its capabilities. On the quiet I was actually impressed at where it was able to go compared to some of the vehicles in company at the time!

Our relocation up to Townsville saw it having a nicer time than normal, with Mitch driving it whilst I drove the Landy and the trailer. Visiting areas like Cooloola, Byfield N.P and Cape Palmerston it never got stuck once – unfortunately!

All of the above trips have got reports done on them. Have a look at the right hand side of the page and click on the ‘2011’ link and you will find all of them.

Now as for the maintenance and upgrades:

Mitch has been into me since we brought the vehicle to fix the air-conditioning. Well I can now say that it has been done. When we vacuumed the system out, it only had approximately 40 grams left in it! It is meant to have 700 grams under normal conditions. We tracked the fault down to one o-ring which was duly replaced.

Keeping the system under negative pressure for 45 minutes saw no leaks, so we refilled it with some nice new gas – and what do you know, the air-con worked! I will quietly admit to enjoying the drive home before I had to hand the keys back.

Today I looked at getting another job completed that I’ve been meaning to do since we brought the vehicle. The dual battery controller. I started by stripping out the old wiring as it was wired through the vehicle to the rear seat area, where it terminated at battery terminals which were taped over!

However as I was ripping the old stuff out, I found that it had been tapped into and was providing all of the power to the brake controller, plus there was a rocker switch wire in-line with it all. I also found numerous areas where the wire had been rubbing that bad that it had worn away the protective covering. Bare wire was sitting on metal!!!

Now I’m all for DIY and I gladly give advice to guys trying to find the right way of doing things. I was glad to find the problem, but I was right royally pissed off that it was in this condition in the first place. You never ever mix an important circuit like the trailer brakes with another circuit. AND you always use a circuit breaker on your main power line to the brake controller.

So off I went to purchase a couple of cicruit breakers. One was for the brake controller, and the other to the dual battery controller. I rewired the brake controller properly, and then ran wire to the rear of the vehicle for the dual battery controller.

Now I don’t run two batteries in the vehicle itself, same as the Landy. In fact the components (brake controller, dual battery controller) are the exact same as in the Landy. However the trailer has two deep cycle batteries in it and quite often I will leave the trailer connected over-night when we are doing quick stops. Hence the controller.

The wiring was protected and run to the rear of the vehicle where it terminated at an Anderson plug. I mounted the plug where it couldn’t be damaged off-road, although I did notice that I’ll need to relocate the trailer plug itself.

I used the nutsert kit and two 4mm phillips head bolts to secure the plug. All wired up I connected the battery and it is testing good. However I think I might be up for a new battery soon…..

Pictures are below.


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