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 Youngsters

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Assassin
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PostSubject: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyWed Jul 20, 2011 12:07 pm

Eldest grandson has reached that age, now legally able to drink, and of course drive, and had a few weeks of being out every weekend drinking and having his friends all scrounging free drinks off him as he works full time in his fathers business, and now getting fed up with these freeloaders, and hangovers and having little money left.

Last weekend the conversation turned to driving, and quite surprisingly he did not want to tap me up to pay for his lessons, he is going to save up for them himself. The conversation then turned to vehicles, unlike most youngsters he does not want the average pimped up hot hatch he fancies a 4X4, i asked him why, and we had the usual in depth conversation about what he wanted, and why. It transpires that in his short life, speed does not appeal to him, since the age of 7 he has regularly driven off roaders and is a pretty good off road driver, he fancies doing for himself and having a 4X4 which he can work on himself, and he has checked out the insurance, and a 4X4 is actually cheaper for him to insure. He prefers the skillful driving required of a 4X4, not speed and trying to defy the laws of physics as many boy racers do, inevitably ending up in accidents.

Since he could walk he has worked on vehicles with me, and is fairly competent wielding the spanners, he can weld, and is a reasonable fabricator, he is generally experienced in all aspects of older 4X4's. He revealed some interesting information, most of his friends would prefer a 4X4 to a hot hatch as most boy racers are crippled by massive insurance bills, considerable more than i would have thought been interested in off roading.

This set me thinking, should we as ardent off roaders also be nurturing interest in youngsters wanting to enter off roading, modifying and repairing their vehicles, and generally becoming interested in the considerable skills required in off road driving, and helping to promote our own hobby??????????

What he does not know yet is i have done a deal on an old cart sprung Daihatsu Fourtrak which will arrive Saturday dinnertime for him. It is generally sound mechanically, but fairly battered as it has been a workhorse, every panel is dented and the paint is virtually invisible as its spent most of its time covered in mud. It is an excellent project vehicle as it is fully roadworthy, and simply needs work to get it back to a decent condition.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyWed Jul 20, 2011 9:48 pm

Good for him ... and you of course for the upbringing. Also a great idea purchasing an old motor to hone his skills on.

Personally I would have said an old Landy would have been better, for the internet and autojumbles are awash with parts for what essentially is a giant Meccano kit. That said, a Daihatsu is smaller with lighter components (gearboxes and axles are good examples of this) and it too will have a host of donor parts - but not the autojumbles unfortunately which are great for rummaging.

How about insurance? I really have no idea what the difference is between an old Daihatsu and a Land Rover. I'm sure you have considered this, so the Fourtrak has to be the less expensive.

Whatever the vehicle, YES I believe we should be nurturing interest in youngsters wanting to enter off roading and helping to promote our own hobby, you’ve clearly made a good start!

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PostSubject: Re: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyTue Jul 26, 2011 1:42 pm

Tom:

He has now got the Fourtrak, not the Sportrak, this is comparable to the LR in all aspects, the Sporty is the lighter variant of the Fourtrak and a good off roader even though it is the lighter variant.

We both prefer the Fourtrak as it is much more reliable than LR and he wants to do more driving than spannering, and as they are so durable they do not need spares like LR do, and there is an abundance of parts for them as they actually sold more Fourtraks worldwide then LR. Unlike LR products the Fourtrak is very simple, rebuilding a gearbox or transfer case is entirely possible by the home or relatively inexperienced mechanic as they need no special tools, pre-loading, and can be done on the workshop bench. Engines regularly achieve over 500,000 miles without work if they are correctly maintained, our local farmers has over 700,000 miles on its original engine, and everything for a full rebuild is readily available from the trade suppliers.

Insurance is an issue for him, Daihatsu Fourtraks are cheaper to insure for a young driver, and this surprised me until i looked into it, apparently Fourtraks are generally less modified than LR products and are much more of a known entity to insurance companies. In contrast LR products are much more extensively modified, and in most cases insurers are not notified of many of the modifications made by most owners, and many owners buy LR's which have already had extensive work done and are not aware of many of the modifications, so do not declare them as they are unaware of them.
One other aspect is the quality of aftermarket components and conversions for Daihatsu and LR products, Daihatsu has far fewer suppliers of aftermarket conversions and these are to a much better or higher standard than LR, in contrast LR conversions and aftermarket components can vary significantly more in quality. It is this variable quality which ranges from very good quality components to very poor and cheap components which makes the LR much more of an unknown quantity to insurers, and obviously a much greater insurance risk.

It is interesting to note this, and also to note the masses of cheap imported parts of poor quality being imported for all vehicles, and Land Rover parts are a much larger market then Daihatsu, so attract many more cheap aftermarket components as larger markets mean more profits for importers of these cheaper, poorer quality components.

To date a number of his mates have expressed interest in 4X4's, many looking at LR, Daihatsu Fourtrak and Sportraks, Suzuki, and a number of the smaller and cheaper 4X4's, and yes i have offered to teach them the fundamentals of off roading as i have a friend with a disused quarry to which i have unlimited access. This has it all, loose stone, mud, water, steep climbs and descents, grass, and all the niceties to teach the basic principles of off roading, and the capability to teach more advanced skills.
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Jas
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PostSubject: Re: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyWed Jul 27, 2011 3:43 am


Sounds Great.

My dad did a similar process with me. My first 4x4 was a single cab Hilux. Great Times tinkering with that and learning to drive on & off road. The insurance then was half the price it is now, crazy eh..........


Jason

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyWed Jul 27, 2011 5:32 am

That all sounds very logical, so I'm sure it will work out well.

Know what you mean about poor quality LR parts. I remember buying some porous Italian-made brake slave cylinders a few years ago, never did get my money back. Have bought Girling or similar ever since. Same with brake pads. Ever since a one set of Mintex got me all the way to Dakar, despite having two back-up sets on board, I have sworn by them ever since. Still a bloody good price to this day!

Like the sound of that quarry, that'll be paradise for a lad learning the basics of off-roading, and you for a bit of bonding and teacking him the ropes ... quite literally; enjoy! thumbsup


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PostSubject: Re: Youngsters   Youngsters EmptyWed Jul 27, 2011 11:21 am

We don't need any bonding, every time he has a problem its down to our house, spending time with him means he probably knows us better than his parents, and it is this which has encouraged him to do so much. Unfortunately many parents have children as trophies, they are not allowed to do anything or get dirty, my philosophy is let them do what they want within reason, dirt and oil will wash off, and if they hurt themselves they will learn not to do it again, or be more careful in the future (within reason of course).

Its strange, we had a similar conversation a few days ago, those wishing to become apprentices have no practical skills as schools focus on computers and such things as materials technology, and our staff spend the first six months teaching first year apprentices the basic hand skills they should (as we did) have learned at school. This often means many children have no basic skills, therefore little to no interest in any practical things, their skills end at changing the batteries in their i pod's. They have no imagination, or the capability to figure out how they may achieve something; and they say schools have improved, not in my opinion.

Fortunately he has these skills, the ability to come up with ideas, and most of the skills to translate them into what he wants, although he always asks me before doing anything to see if i have a better way of doing it and this appears to have sparked interest from many of his friends.
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