I do not know if I had too much tequila or not but I am sure that I saw a Falcon ute with a 4WD system under it. It had a front end like a EA-EB, not sure.
On second thought, with a good 4WD or AWD system under a EB wagon with a V8, you would have just about the ultimate go-anywhere, comfy family mover.
OK, I can hear someone saying, "Yeah, lets take a EB wagon bush-bashing, and watch it leave body parts everywhere!!! Ha Ha Ha"
That is not what I am referring too, that is what they Landcruisers and Patrols for. I guess I am still thawing my brain from the Frozen North where I lived for many years and snow, ice and wet leaf covered roads were a daily encounter and the more traction you could get to the road the better. AWD wagons are very functional and practical to get you home after a snow storm and to the ski lodge and back.
Anyone familiar with the Volvo Cross Country 70 or 90, excellent car, except too small for me. I have seen a few on the road here. Having power to the front wheels would do wonders for the handling characteristics of a wagon, anyone ever driven a Audi Quattro, I have, and they handle like a dream. The Ford R7 is a based on this concept. And the Holden Cross 8 will probably be available in wagon form.
There aren't many of these vehicles in Australia because the conditions aren't so bad that 4WD family vehicles are needed. A trip up to the snow in Australia is accomplishable in any vehicle really, the conditions are always good, and if they're not people fit snow chains. It's just not worth it down here.
You are probably right, conditions here in Oz are very different from living in the Northern Us or Canada. even if you live in Jindy or Victorian Alps, you probably would never need an AWD or 4WD family wagon as long as you are driving on the road. If things did get bad, it would only last a couple of hours and then be back to normal.
The vehicles FordRaptor mentions are in a completely different class of 4WD than the Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70, Audi Quattro, these vehicles have the suspension travel & etc to handle serious off-road work, although 99 out of hundred that you see in the CBD of Sydney, will probably never get any further off-road that the sidewalk.
Free entrprise will always fill the need of the market, so the need must be quite low.
I would one day consider putting 4WD on the LTD, with low range gearing and all that stuff, as long as I can fit the transfer case... But it's not like it's really necessary, that would just be there for a bit of extra grip for when the blown 351 goes in
Yes I know they are different vehicles. My point was the 99% that never ever need the capability of those vehicle may have brought an AWD Falcon wagon or dual-cab ute if it had the "off-road" image (bit more ground clearance, chunky tyres, bash plates etc.) and the same seating capacity and load flexibility. Thus keeping the money and jobs in Australia rather than bringing in imports.
I am a real fan of Subaru AWD's, Audi All-Road and the Volvo's.
FordRaptor, I am agree that it annoys me to see all these yuppie SUV drivers around. Kinda like the guy that lives in downtown New York City and drives a BMW M5, so he can set the redlight to redlight speed records in rush hour traffic. But each to his own.
I have never been that impressed with burnouts, I prefer to put the maximum power to the ground and get the hell out of there. That is where AWD makes all the difference, plus powering through corners takes on a whole new meaning with power to all four wheels. Enough gasbagging.
The goal of putting an AWD system under a Falcon is to improve handling and perfomance, so thought has to be taken in regards to the additional weight and suspension and drive components and how each will affect the handling and performance of the car.
A couple of candidates for parts would be the Explorer, Escape, possibly the Taurus. If you can think of any other pass them on.
The power plant would definitely be a V8, you would gain space because the block is shorter, and you couls gain space to bolt the transfer case on the back without heavy floor pan mods. Possibly. Plus the additional torque would come in handy, plus with some heavy handed mods you can easily out power the I-6. The six is a fabulous engine, but 2 more cylinders and 1 more liter does not count for nothing. You would start with extractors and dual exhaust 3" cats and 2.5" pipe throughout. You next open the intake with some very discreet bonnet vents to create a cold induction dual sided intake system with dual filters. That would a good start to boost the Kw's to accommodate the extra driveline components.
I would lift the whole car just enough to give clearance for the new goodies, install extra heavy sway-bars to control body roll, stiffer suspension bushings to tighten everything up. With 16" wheels and some really good rubber. You would have a crusing, grooving, corner eating machine. A bit of a surpise package!!
As strange as it may seem Raptor has given this some thought.
Firstly Jack, the XY 4WD utes are an "old school" rough country 4WD with front & rear leaf springs & high ride height. Not a good basis for a performance AWD as I am sure you would agree.
89EAwagon, I couldn't agree more with your comments on burnouts. I think the promotion of this sort of thing by several high-profile car mags has been a HUGE disservice to the modified car scene.
Some comments on your posts;
Donor vehicles; I don't think any of those will be real good choices, Why? Escape/Taurus are both primarily FWD with light alloy I4/V6 engines and strut front suspensions, I would doubt an engineer would deem them sturdy enough to carry an iron V8 or even an I6. Explorer, yes suitable for a V8 as it come with one from the factory, also as big and heavy as a Falcon so OK on that basis. However Explorer have a full chassis which supports the drivetrain and suspension whereas the Falcon does not so unless you want to adopt a full chassis on the Falcon (which kind of defeats the purpose) it would probably will have limited parts that are suitable. Also not that readily available in Australia. I'd be looking Pajero/Patrol/Cruiser.
Your comments about the V8 being shorter (than a six) is true but you will find that the g/box is located in the same spot so you will not gain any additional room for a transfer case.
The biggest stumbling block to such a conversion is a suitable front end. The Falcon K-member supports the engine as well as the lower suspension links and the steering. You cannot fit a front diff where it needs to be with the K-member in place. Removing it basically takes away the whole front end as described above. A slot-in alternative is the best bet but something suitable for heavy I6, V8 applications will probably be integral to a full frame and require huge amounts of fabrication. While other possibilities will probably either be too narrow (hilux/prado etc) and not satify an engineer as they were only ever fitted with lighter alloy V6's.
While no doubt a thought provoking and interesting project I think I'll just wait for the factory Falcon solution - coming soon.
Maybe some of that can be retrofiited into an E-series wagon - then perhaps I could convert that to a dual cab using a sedan turret (whoops - giving away all my good ideas now).
Yeah a couple of years ago I had a chat with a bloke in an Alice Springs caravan park whilst on holiday and he had a brown VH Commodore station wagon on a Range Rover chassis. He had the 253 in it I am pretty sure he used a transfer case from a Landcruiser or Hilux, but can't remember. He did do it himself. It looked very individual, so obviously these things can be done.
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