BergDonk's BT50

BergDonk
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Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 9:44 am

Hi Guys,

I have been searching for some info since I got my BT50 and have found some useful and helpful stuff here so thought I should join up and say 'G'Day' and post up what I've done with my BT50 FWIW. I wasn't sure whether to post in other threads, or make a new one, or maybe both, whatever.

A quick intro. I've have been driving 4wds for almost 35 years, initially because it was my job, and then for recreation, and for transporting my dirt bikes. I've also built my own buggy, and some bikes over the years. With access to almost all the common 4wds over the years through the work fleet and RFS, and driving them in all sorts of terrain, I have a pretty good idea of what I want.

I've had a Courier for 282,000 kms, acquired new in 2000. Its been a great vehicle, with the exception of a couple of gearboxes and a diff. Pulled a few HiLuxes out of the bush too. We decided that we wanted to do some more outback trips and a new 4wd dual cab ute would be appropriate.

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The old girl, now departed and absolutely nothing wrong with it.

After some test driving and research, and some dealing, I got a new base unadulterated BT50 XT for just over $40k. Too good a deal to pass on. Like others have observed, once you drive one, you want one. So 6 weeks ago, this arrived home.

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After some thought and the usual research, it came optioned with a tow bar, snorkel, floor mats and headlight protectors. They also cut me a deal on some XTR alloys they had spare, and the same weekend I won another set on eBay, so 8 brand new rims. Having tried lots of tyres over the years, I'm a fan of BFG KM2s, so managed to get 6 fitted to drive it home and traded the original steel rims and HT tyres before I drove it. Upgraded from 255/70/16 to 265/70/17 for about 1" lift straight away.

The GPS says the speedo now reads about 0.5% slow and the trip meter and odo about 5% under. Means the fuel consumption reading is spot on though, and is averaging 9.0 l/100 km, and about 2 l/100 km better than the Courier. Nice!

Also fitted is an ARB bar with underbody plates and a pair of Fyrlyts. Having been a Cibie fan and user for years, witness the Courier, I fitted Lightforce XGTs to the missus car. Nice, but not as controlled as the Super Oscars. The Fyrlyts are the best of both, more light than both, and with the control of the Cibie, I'm now a fan. Only issue is movement, the bar is always moving sideways relative to the body which is rubber mounted to the chassis and results in a vibrating beam at times. Not sure how I'll fix it yet.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 9:46 am

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Also fitted a Waterwatch because it seemed like a good idea. You can also see the relays for the bull bar above the headlight, and the others hanging off the battery clamp are for the lights, accessories and Waterwatch.

I used a piggy back fuse holder to tap into power to run the accessories and WW. Used an spare socket on the 'Ignition' bar. Means it fires up when opening the doors and at other times, not just when the engine is running, but seems OK overall.

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Figured out how to pop the panel and fitted the WW LED and driving light switch.
Last edited by BergDonk on March 15th, 2013, 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Subscriptions don't work for me, so I'm unlikely to reply quickly, sorry.
Shed Time is Quality Time
My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 9:54 am

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I found some space under the glovebox for the remote UHF and separate speaker and screwed a modified mike holder to the dash.

Also fitted some more 12 v and USB outlets to the footwell. Both these hang off the accessories relay under the bonnet and a Redarc timer relay under the glovebox. I've set the relay to about 20 mins which means if the keys come out, the UHF and outlets stay powered for 20 mins. Means the GPS and stuff can be used while in the servo or whatever. I had the same hardware in the Courier and it works well.

Got some seat covers on eBay that work and fit. Comfy too.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 9:56 am

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Added some ARB tie down rails to the tub and tail gate and a Clark Rubber floor mat.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 9:59 am

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I also wanted a headboard and Mazda don't do one. Spotted one on a Ranger, so visited my local Ford dealer who was pissed that I didn't spend $51k on a Ranger, $10.5k difference!!!!

I welded in some mesh and a sand flag mount, and some tie down points and got it powder coated black. Should work good.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:09 am

The bigger tyres don't fit with the Mazda tow bar unfortunately, so out with the welder. Internally reinforced, so at least as strong as unmodded.

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Also moved the electrical spacer from the back of the pumpkin to the top of the bracket to gain another 20 mm and protect it a bit.

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Zip tied the wiring a bit to make it less likely to snag.

While the bar was off for welding, I rerouted the trailer wiring connector so its on top of its mount and not underneath where it'll go the first time the tail gets dragged through a gully.

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And bent up a sheet metal shield to protect the trailer relays.

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Last edited by BergDonk on March 15th, 2013, 5:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Subscriptions don't work for me, so I'm unlikely to reply quickly, sorry.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:30 am

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This pic is MkI version of the remote breathers for the diffs and boxes. Standard the BT has a quoted 800 mm wading depth and 3 breathers come up behind the fuel filter. I added some hose and a filter to each and plugged them into a bit of heater hose I had lying about. A also pulled the rear diff breather from under the fuel filler flap and ran it up here too, so all in one place and all filtered. I'll see how it goes, but will likely tidy up the manifold a bit. Its given me another 100 + mm too.

Here's some dirt in the rear diff breather, although not all the way to the diff yet.

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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:34 am

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I fitted some more tie down points to the tub above the wheel arches. To get at them is a bit of a pain, as the inner guards are not only held in by the usual plastic clips, but some aluminum rivets that have to be drilled out.

This also gave me access to the diff breather. You can also see the sand flag mount in the tub corner.

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Rivets drilled out and a couple of nutserts installed for next time.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:35 am

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Some Rhino bars and a couple of home made brackets to fit the awning when traveling.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:38 am

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At 3000 kms right in the middle of Melbourne's Westgate Bridge :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:49 am

So right now its at 5,500 kms and I decided to change the driveline fluids. Mazda says its a 250,000 km interval.

Only just started, and here is the rear diff magnetic sump plug:

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Hmmmmmm.

I will wait for the engine to get to 10,000 kms because its got some special break in oil that I can't find a replacement for. Normally I would have dumped all these at 1000 kms, but I was assured it wasn't necessary. The diff oils are normal spec stuff, but the transfer and gearbox aren't. I have got the right stuff though, Mercon LV for the transfer, and Castrol Syntrans FE 75 for the 'box. I also needed to add 600 mls to the 'box at the 1000 km inspection, an bit of a surprise as it only is supposed to take 2.7 l. I have a 20 l drum of Mobil 1 5/30 for the engine.
Last edited by BergDonk on March 15th, 2013, 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Subscriptions don't work for me, so I'm unlikely to reply quickly, sorry.
Shed Time is Quality Time
My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 10:56 am

On order is a Long Ranger tank and some suspension.

The suspension is a bit of a frustration, but as a few others seem to have discovered, a bit of extra weight over the front stuffs up the behaviour. It crashes through stuff and understeers with the bar and underbody protection fitted that before it floated over.

I have some Bilstein shocks and + 30 mm springs coming for the front and some Bilstein shocks and some HD airbags for the rear. Hopefully this will sort it.

Headed for the Simpson in May and other adventures before and after.

Another frustration is the noise the trim generates when it resonates over corrugations, time will tell. But it great to drive, the engine and gearbox are brilliant, and the seats are very comfy. Its also very quiet inside. The diff lock is a great asset too, and likely made the difference between being stuck and getting out of a bog hole the first weekend we had it :D
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 15th, 2013, 12:15 pm

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Because the Diff drain plug is on the side it doesn't completely empty the pumpkin, I jacked the LHS a bit and put a bit of bent copper tube on the end of my vacuum brake bleeder and sucked the rest out.
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My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

jackal77
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Joined: January 11th, 2011, 3:48 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by jackal77 » March 15th, 2013, 8:57 pm

Nice work! are you still gettings 9lttrs/100km? I still have to baby it to get mid tens.

BergDonk
Here and there
Posts: 82
Joined: March 6th, 2013, 5:47 pm

Re: BergDonk's BT50

Unread post by BergDonk » March 17th, 2013, 8:08 am

jackal77 wrote:Nice work! are you still gettings 9lttrs/100km? I still have to baby it to get mid tens.
Yep. The trip computer was sitting on 8.9 l/100 yesterday morning since I filled the tank about 100 kms prior and reset it. We then did 2 hrs bush work straight out the gate from home, 40 kms in a bit over 2 hrs where it snuck up to 10.1 and by the time we got home after 300 kms of dirt road and highway running, it was back down to 9.2. Babying it, it'll drop into the mid 8s. And as noted above, with the bigger tyres, it seems to be pretty accurate, even just a bit conservative.

I note others have mentioned a lag when taking off, and I guess mine exhibits some of this too. The computer does some interesting things.

The hill holder function seems to hold the brakes on too long, and inconsistently, and makes it harder to take off smoothly when it activates. And I still haven't worked out when it works and when it doesn't, or why. I prefer it didn't do it, and if I need the handbrake to take off, so be it.

The computer also plays with engine revs when you release the clutch. If you are on flat ground and with no footbrake or hand brake, without touching the throttle, just like we teach learners, release the clutch slowly, and the engine revs up just like you would if you were using the throttle, but all by itself, as the clutch comes out.

It also tries to second guess up changes. When you depress the clutch to change up a gear the revs drop immediately, but only as far as the computer decides will match road speed in the next gear. Problem is if you want to short shift, the revs are too high. What I've observed is that after another 1-2 secs they then drop to idle and you can release the clutch like normal. Its just not needed.

Another thing it does is tries to keep the revs at or above idle, 750 rpm? This can be an issue if you just want the revs to drop a bit below that, say easing downhill over a rock step or similar. If the revs drop down too far, it accelerates by itself to get the revs back up, which depending on the situation, can be a nuisance.

For me these are minor irritants that I'm learning to drive around, but I can see how they would be more of a pain if I was driving in traffic all the time.
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Shed Time is Quality Time
My BT50 - viewtopic.php?f=187&t=141977

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