The Long Ranger.

At the risk of invoking the ire of my stateside Land Cruiser owning fellows, whom don’t even seem to get the option of a factory sub tank. I’ve decided that the standard 50L/11 gal sub tank is just not going to cut it, for what we want to do.

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While the highway range of around 900km/560miles is fine for normal travelling. I haven’t come across anywhere is Oz that fuel is that far apart on the bitumen. Off-road it’s a different story. At our recent trip to Eyre Peninsula, my mate kept rough record of our fuel consumption while in Coffin Bay NP. Whereas we do around 15L/100kms/15.5mpg on the highway, on the dirt this sank to 35L/100kms/6.7mpg, and this is the AVERAGE in this park, lots of it was pretty easy going. It shows just how hard the trucks work in the soft and technical stuff. If you have ever taken a car on a race track, you will relate to this level of consumption...

So after some concerns that my truck was needing ‘Goose’ levels of surgery, I booked a dyno session (while I am a advocate for working on your own truck, sometime you just have to recognise the limitations of your own equipment and expertise, and take it to an actual expert. This can save you much time and money in the long run). Luckily it seems my concerns were unfounded. Some oil leakage past the valve stem seals was really all that was wrong. No increase in crankcase pressure under full load on the dyno means that the rings are sealing fine. Redo the leakdown test when hot was the dyno operators advice. Anyway, with open heart surgery avoided, meant some funds could be spent on further modding the 105.

My initial thoughts were to put another arm and a jerry can holder on the rear bar. However this is not a cheap option (approx AU$900) for only two jerry cans worth of capacity. A replacement sub tank is not much more expensive (approx AU$1200) and give you an extra 180L/47 gal, on top of the 90L/23 gal main tank. That’s a bit more like it! Also no extra stuff hanging off the outside of the truck. Lower centre of gravity. Better security. Less contamination, etc.

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This tank is made by Australian company The Long Ranger, it is distributed by ARB. There is another one made by Brown Davis, distributed by TJM. I went to look at examples of each before ordering, The Long Ranger seems slightly better finished, also a good mate who works in the industry recommended them.

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Unfortunately my local ARB seem to need 6 weeks to ship something across the country, and have no way of tracking their own freight. Which for a ‘premium’ retailer of bits that go on trucks, that go on trips, is pretty poor in my book. This was meant to be here before the Eyre trip, they even wanted to book me into their workshop the week before (“I’ll fit it myself thanks”), and despite me trying to chase them up they had no idea where it was or when it would arrive. Pay peanuts. Get monkeys. /endrant.

Shame because that trip would have been an ideal way to test it out. I think I could have done both dirt sections without refueling. Anyway not to worry, there will be other times.

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Goodbye old friend. You have saved me more than once...

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It wasn’t actually too bad to fit. The recommended time is 3.5 hours, maybe if you have done it ten times before, have a hoist and air tools. For one man is his driveway, it was a full day, as I expected it to be. No worries, it’s not a race. Unfortunately my usual offsider was a bit under the weather, however my apprentice came to give me a hand when it came to jacking it in (thanks babe!). My nice new paint job copped a hiding on the way in...

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Some odd instructions supplied with it:

  • verify sender is 5mm from base of tank. (ok, cool, except once you fit the sender you can’t see into the tank...)
  • unpick the wiring loom so the wiring for the tank is now at the rear axle rather than the rear bumper. (err, the loom from the tank reaches the original location...)
  • brackets you have to drill new holes in the chassis for that can vary their position by about 2 inches...
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What they should say is to test fit the tank and then drill holes, etc. More work but you’ll get it right first time. You learn all the good tricks on the first one. Luckily it’s recommended to change the filter on the pump after 1000kms, so it will have to come out then. I can fix all the things I’m not happy with then. I did about 500 clicks today, to stock up on firewood for winter, all seems good.

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So, lots more capacity and range. No reduction in departure angle. Just need a new adventure to test it out!

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