FOLLOWING ON from our report in the December 2019 issue, the olí Patrol was in more dire straits than we originally thought.

I knew something was wrong as we clambered out of a canyon that had formed at the Palm Creek crossing up on Cape York. The olí girl got hung-up at the top of the bank and it was noted then that, even with front locker engaged, there was no drive going to one of the wheels; a bad sign. We mucked around with the hub and got some semblance of drive out of it, and we continued on the OTL track and then the Laura-Mayfield road without any further issues, barring the occasional growl from the front end. Still, she got us home with barely a whimper ... well, maybe a snarl or an occasional clatter from the front end, but that was all.

When looking for the growl back at Outback 4WD ( au), it became obvious it was more than a noisy free-wheeling hub.

It was then I learnt from the experienced gurus at Outback 4WD that while there are good free-wheeling hubs, there are better ones. After a bit of deliberation I ordered a set of genuine Nissan manual free-wheeling hubs (no auto-lock facility) as found on the Nissan GU cab-chassis. Theyíre not particularly cheap, and as we go to press weíre still waiting for them to come in - maybe they are on back-order from Japan!

In the meantime we had a good look at the axles and CV joints. While neither of the CVs featured broken teeth, busted cages or worn balls, one of the CVs was decidedly stiff in its articulation, so we thought weíd change both. The axles again had nothing really wrong with them but were showing the strain of more than 430,000km of travel, so we changed both. Again we opted for a set of genuine axles and nothing super-duper or costing a grand or more. The diff itself was still in fine form, so we let that be.

While we were giving the Patrol a good going-over, I also decided to change the shocks. Iíve had OME Sport shocks on for a number of years now and, while Iíve been more than happy with them, I thought Iíd fit a set of Koni 90 Series Raid shocks to each corner. Itís been a long time since Iíve had Konis on my 4WD (the last was on my 75 Series Troopy more than 25 years ago) and as yet I havenít even driven out of the driveway with the new shocks, so Iíll wait until Iíve used them on a rough track or two before I let you know more about them. Suffice to say, they are more expensive than many other brands on the market; but going on my previous experience, if you want a good shock that will go the distance and you donít want to go to a remote canister set-up, then the Konis are worth looking at. Check them out at:

koni shocks

RON replaced the OME Sport sports with a set of Koni 90 Series Raid shocks. The Konis feature twin-tube technology and a huge 70mm body diameter. Stay tuned for a write-up.