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Old 03-02-2019
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Default Cape York & Overheating

Hi everyone,

We are traveling to Cape York at the end of July in our 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. One of my friends, after talking to his mechanic son, said that Jeeps are unlikely to make it to Cape York because they inevitably overheat and then cost a bomb to fix. He is earnestly recommending that I swap my Jeep for a more common brand. Unsurprisingly I am a bit suspicious of this advice and I am keen to hear what folks on this forum have to say. Do Jeep GC often overheat up north? Is it wise to trade it in on a brand that has cheaper parts etc.

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 03-02-2019
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I did the Cape in September 2016 in a jk wrangler with no overheating issues and saw a few wk2's towing vans up the PDR, I wouldn't worry about it. Just get your car checked out before you go to make sure it's mechanically sound and carry some basic spares and tools (regardless of what you drive) and I think you'll be fine.

When I went up there were 3 cars, a Wrangler, a Hilux and a Colorado, the Wrangler got a leak in one of the front axle seals, the Colorado went into limp mode once and the Hilux did a starter motor from the water crossings after returning home, so nothing's 'unbreakable.'

I also had a 2012 diesel wk2 for 3.5 years and put 120000km on it in the North Qld heat. One day on a 7 hour trip the ambient temp was over 40 degrees and never had an issue with overheating the whole time I had it.

There are a lot of jeep haters out there but I believe they are just as reliable as other brands. They just need to work on their after sales service.

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Old 03-02-2019
eksjay  eksjay is offline
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It's just another croc.

The temps in the top end in July are around 30 deg C tops. Doesn't compare to the high temps we have been experiencing lately in the 40s in Sydney and Melbourne. I did the gulf country and the Kimberley during July in a cast iron 4.0L engine and I can't recall my cooling fan coming on. The car didn't raise a sweat.

Sounds like urban legend. It's what a few bad beers ( cats pi$$) and a campfire very late at night does to people.

Last edited by eksjay; 04-02-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 03-02-2019
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I'd find new friends with mechanic sons that know the difference between their ar$e and their elbow to start with.
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Old 04-02-2019
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Surprised he didnt tell you it would catch fire? Would be about as pointless.
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Old 04-02-2019
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Well I have a mate who says his wifes ex father in laws next door neighbor recons that his uncles next door neighbors sisters cousin went to the cape in a BA falcon towing a 40' van with wintertreads. & on one of the river crossings they pulled out a Hylux towing a camper trailer without having to unhitch. I read about it on facebook so it must be true!
Beat that!!!
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Old 04-02-2019
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So I bought a Jeep JKU Rubi long before ”I bought a Jeep” became the daggy slogan that sent every weeny teeny and her brother into every Jeep dealership in the land… it was the colours that attracted them. They knew dead shit nothing about Jeeps which was about as much as they knew about any other vehicle with 4 wheels and an engine. Still applies.

Soon, every mall parking lot was lit up with neon JK paint jobs brighter than your Christmas tree in December. I can’t remember seeing so many shiny Jeeps… I thought they were meant to be dirty brown, or baby poo brown, as my missus would comment. Still see tons of them. The poor things must be so disappointed. The Jeeps, I mean, built to last and for a blast, but living lives tamer than a Protestant priest’s on a Monday.

Anyway, I coordinated my buy with a trip to Cape York, towing a camper trailer and with my missus next to me. I admit to complete novice knowledge about Jeeps, but did have some idea about bush camping.

For her, the trip was less than she wanted. Vibrations sent her teeth a chattering. This, I found, was a downside for her of having a mouth full of metal for teeth. And, thank whoever for the fact that there were enough dunnies along the road that she did not have to dig her own poo hole under a tree branch that could serve as the dunny seat. She always took her preferred dunny paper with her, though. Hers was always the best blend that made cotton wool feel raspier than a nail file. Me, I had to do with the sandpaper type… most blokes would know what I mean.

Anyway, I got to the tip without trouble. She was excited. Funnily enough she posed with quite a few strangers but not with me. Still don’t understand that.

The JK purred. If there were issues, they were mainly to do with my ignorance as a 4WDriver. I learned quickly though. I did see earlier model Jeeps, TJs mainly, and a couple of JKs. They were all loaded to the hilt but I don’t recall any of them having issues, other than those that come with the breakages and wear and tear of age.

Anyway, the main issues for me in this brand spanking new JKU was that the weight, and towing a camper trailer on stock standard springs, meant that eventually the arse end sagged lower than haemorrhoids through an old man’s freckle. The front end pointed higher than a teenager’s early morning wood and the slow destruction of the shocks meant that the JK was bouncing up and down harder than a bum in a brothel.

I thought all of these issues could be fixed by re-springing and re-shocking the JKU. I did get this (un-needed) advice from a group of the blokes who went donga bashing for a job with the 4WD Action magazine. Mind you, one was in a Toyota Troopy and he was having no end of trouble with it.

So, I get back to Cairns and arrange a change over of springs and shocks with the ARB shop. They fitted everything well. I sent the missus back home and then proceeded with the rest of my trip across the Gulf, Darwin, GRR etc.

Half away across the Gulf, near Boorooloola, the JKU starts vibrating harder and faster than a strip teasers tits! I began to shit myself as if I had Bali belly and somehow, I missed crashing sideways into a metre high track edge. At that very moment, a wild Brumby leaped over the bonnet of the JKU and took off down the track faster than a horse zapped with an electric prod powerful enough to win a Melbourne Cup. I think, without being sure, that the Brumby was more terrified than I was. All this really happened!

After much trial and error over a year, I finally changed the front ball joints. These had seized tighter than a fish’s whats it. Also changed the crap ARB springs and put on Bilstein shocks and rear air bags.

So far, for the last 10 years I have had no trouble with the JKU. Yes, I have had to replace things but these have been normal wear and tear. And I have been everywhere almost, with a few places still to visit. And I have towed a camper trailer and a caravan at different times. The JKU is always close to its weight and towing limit. It has never over heated and I have travelled for days in 35-40C temperatures.

I have helped more people driving all those other brand 4WDs than I have those who drive Jeeps.

Feel free, and safe, and PROUD to take your JK and your GC or whatever to the tip. And enjoy every minute of it. And pose all you want.

Just my 50c worth.

Last edited by humdingerslammer; 04-02-2019 at 10:31 AM.
  #8  
Old 08-02-2019
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Thanks for the helpful responses. I reckon my Grand Cherokee will be fine at the Cape. I shall think positively.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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SJC had 6 GC's do Cape in 2016 with ease!!!
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