Op­po­site Lock

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Beefed up shocks. For heavy stuff

When Han­sie Coet­zee from Pre­to­ria-based 4×4 Mus­cle Trucks de­cided to build the best 6×6 Toy­ota Land Cruiser 79 in the world, he spared no ex­pense, in­vest­ing mil­lions of rands in the ef­fort. His Cruiser 6x6 sin­gle cab work­horse, with a load ca­pac­ity of four tons, is des­tined for mil­i­tary ser­vice, too, with ev­ery com­po­nent en­gi­neered for mil­i­taryspec­i­fi­ca­tion dura­bil­ity. Just as well he fit­ted some tough shock ab­sorbers then, ones that can han­dle four tons in any sit­u­a­tion, all day and night long. Tough shocks like Op­po­site Lock’s Tough Dog big bore, heavy-duty shocks. Imag­ine…

There you are in a con­flict sit­u­a­tion, in your 6×6 Land Cruiser 79 mil­i­tary truck, which hap­pens to have a 120mm mor­tar sys­tem fit­ted on the ‘bak’. Some un­friendly folks are shoot­ing at you and you and your hench­men are re­turn­ing the favour, rain­ing mor­tars on their po­si­tion. But then a call comes over the two-way ra­dio: “Get out of there fast. Tank on the way! Move it!”

Your Cruiser army truck is pretty cool, but against a tank... well, it’s like go­ing for a swim with a great white shark, think­ing ‘ag it’s okay, the shark doesn’t look par­tic­u­larly hun­gry’. No. Best plan is to high­tail it out of there, away from the reach of the tank’s weapon sys­tems.

You se­cure the mor­tar sys­tem, fire up the en­gine, and let rip, tack­ling some ex­tremely rough ter­rain at speed, bul­lets whizzing past the cabin. If ever there was a time you’d need a re­li­able ride, this is it. A me­chan­i­cal is­sue in this sit­u­a­tion could prove quite un­com­fort­able and ca­reer lim­it­ing, what with a tank ap­proach­ing and all.

The good stuff

It’s for this rea­son that Han­sie Coet­zee, creator of South Africa’s home-grown Cruiser 6×6, ef­fec­tively over-en­gi­neered his Cruiser. All the com­po­nents were de­vel­oped to mil­i­tary stan­dards, and to han­dle as much of­froad abuse as the driver can muster.

The Cruiser’s heavy-duty, re­in­forced chas­sis and sus­pen­sion were also en­gi­neered for off-the-shelf sus­pen­sion parts. The rea­son is sim­ple: if some­thing goes wrong in the sus­pen­sion de­part­ment in a con­flict zone, there’s no need for spe­cial­ist re­place­ment parts to be shipped from the other side of the world, as is of­ten the case with spe­cial­ist mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles.

Still, pre­ven­tion re­mains bet­ter than cure, es­pe­cially in a war zone. That’s why Han­sie opted for Tough Dog’s 45mm big bore shock ab­sorbers – at all six cor­ners. Th­ese nine-way ad­justable items are said to be the largest bore ex­ter­nally ad­justable shocks on the mar­ket, and just the ticket to han­dle the Cruiser’s four-ton load ca­pac­ity.

One tough puppy

The shock’s 45mm bore is housed in a 70mm outer cas­ing. An ex­ter­nal ad­just­ment knob al­lows for nine dif­fer­ent set­tings be­tween soft and hard, de­pend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion and re­quire­ment.

The 45s are de­signed for big lift sus­pen­sion mod­i­fi­ca­tions, and up to 150mm of lift over fac­tory set­tings in cer­tain ap­pli­ca­tions. The shocks fea­ture a Foam Cell in­sert to com­bat fade, an ABS plas­tic dust shield as well as an ex­ter­nal dust wiper seal to pro­tect the shock’s in­ter­nals from grit, which may dam­age the oil seals around the 22mm chrome-plated rod.

The big bore shock also has an in­ter­nal bump stop and pis­ton rod guide to en­sure the shock is sup­ported at the ex­tremes of travel. There is a DU bush­ing fit­ted in­ter­nally to pro­tect the seals from dam­age caused by side load at full ex­ten­sion.

The big DOG’s in the house!

Tough Dog calls it Ralph. It’s the com­pany’s big­gest, mean­est big bore shock of all.

And with a 53mm bore and 22mm chromed pis­ton rod housed in a 70mm cas­ing, it’s de­signed for only the toughest of ap­pli­ca­tions.

It was orig­i­nally cre­ated for small trucks but re­designed for 4×4 ap­pli­ca­tions. The Ralph is not ad­justable but in­stead aimed at heavy over­land rigs weigh­ing sev­eral tons that have to han­dle tough driv­ing con­di­tions day in and day out. With that huge 70mm cas­ing, the shock can carry so much more oil and it runs cool over any ter­rain, at any speed, all the time.

For ex­tra dura­bil­ity there is ad­di­tional weld­ing on all studs and eye rings, there’s multi-stage ve­loc­ity sen­si­tive valv­ing, a rod wiper seal, a multi-lip seal and a hy­draulic re­bound stop.

Main im­age: The Land Cruiser 6×6, cre­ated by Han­sie Coet­zee of 4×4 Mus­cle Trucks. It was en­gi­neered to cope with tough con­di­tions, in­clud­ing real life war zones. Above left: Tough Dog’s 45mm big bore, housed in a 70mm cas­ing. It has nine dif­fer­ent set­tings be­tween soft and hard. Above right: The big­gest bore of them all. Called Ralph, it has a 53mm bore and a 22mm chromed pis­ton rod housed in a 70mm cas­ing.

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