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.