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Amarok auto surprisingly capable

Picture of Posted by stu1957 – 10. Dec 2016 - 20:33
We recently did Cape York, via the Frenchmans Track and Old Telegraph Track. There were 2 vehicles on the trip, both Amarok automatics. One was heavily loaded with a slide on camper, the other towed a camper trailer. Both went everywhere we tried, and made it feel easy. At the Pascoe river a group before us didn't expect us to make it through with the trailer. That wasn't an issue at all, much to my surprise as well. Similarly for the creek crossings on the Old Telegraph track. We spoke to people, and saw people having difficulties getting through with just their vehicle where we simply walked through gently with the Amaroks, even with the trailer. A very surprised and happy little group of campers was the result, now planning the next trip away.
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Project Developer

1mak
I think the Amarok is an amazing concept given engine, gear box, big tray, interior etc. and I was close to buy one but at that time the aftermarket options for upgrades didn't convince me. Now this has changed quite a bit and there are really good looking exterior upgrades like bars and fenders and the new V6 model makes it even more attractive. Definitely a great vehicle for camping and touring. :) Did you do any upgrades on yours Stu?
Posted

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stu1957

Still very much a learner when it comes to using forums. Hope this works.

From the standard Trendline auto, we have added at purchase the VW ute liner, hard ute lid, stainless side steps (which have proven to be damn tough and completely saved the panels many times), and a towbar. None of these are performance improvements. Since then we have fitted an East Coast black alloy bull bar, Ironman snorkel, now a Runva winch, and Toyo Open Country 245/75R17 tyres.

The tyres gave us a bit under the 50mm legal maximum increase, which in theory would be a 25mm increase in height. It actually works out a bit more as the Toyos have tougher sidewalls, and stand a bit taller than the standard H/T Bridgies that were on the ute. I later added Ironman front springs and shocks to compensate for the extra front weight of the winch and bullbar.

The rear end is still standard. My brother in law's single cab trayback has ARB suspension, bull bar, winch, Safari snorkel and a Hayman Reece tow bar. His is a bit higher than ours. Both tackled the terrain with ease. My wife has now literally taken our dual cab flying a couple of times. One resulted in quite a bit of damage to the camper trailer, the Amarok didn't even need a wheel alignment. I had it done of course, but everything was still fine.

We have had both utes tuned by TSO Mining ( a Crispmods dealer) with slightly different tunes. They probably would have been the same if mine was done first, but because we arrived after the first one was done and we spoke about issues passing trucks up hill with the trailer, ours had what he called the stage 1 tune max to cover those times when you really want to pass those long trucks.

Both have the Crispmods intake pipe, but both still suffer the drop off of output if you have your foot on the floor in rough terrain. We now realise we need to adjust our driving style. DO NOT floor it with an auto! Fight your fear, keep control and the vehicle will deliver heaps of power to get you through. Floor it, especially flooring it suddenly, and the stability control will ramp your power off. Even when it did ramp the power off, while I was in panic mode, at no time did the vehicle actually lack enough grunt to get through.

We have never been stuck due to lack of grunt. Maybe I should rewrite that. Simply, we have never been stuck. Not once! Our ute has crossed the Simpson in almost standard trim (it had a bull bar and hard lid on the ute), towed a camper trailer to Cape York on the old telegraph track, crossed the Frenchmans Track from east to west (the hard way) with the camper in tow, had a bash at the Creb track but it piddled down rain.

Three other vehicles rolled trying to get through. Everyone had to turn around and try to get out. The three vehicles in front of us, all well set up and with muddies, had to be winched back onto the track going down but the 2 Amaroks made it down unassisted (with lots of poo in the scary bits).

Are we happy with the performance of these pissy little 2L Amaroks? You bloody betcha! I have NEVER owned a more capable 4WD vehicle before. I've had 3 Toyotas, 2 Suzukis, and a few others in between. Not one of those could do what these utes do with ease.

Stu

Posted ‐ Changed by 1mak 22 hours ago

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pebbo

Did your Amarok come with a Rear Locker @Stu?

Posted


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