Our All Four x 4 Spares Blog provides great information on the 4wd Industry in general. Please check back on a regular basis as we explore a range of issues that are important to our industry.
Whenever we hear of special events that link some of the things we care the most such as off-road adventures and charity events to help Aussie children in needs, we want to do our part...
Variety is a children charity organization that creates super fun themed events that help to raise funds for children not so lucky.
These events are organized all around Australia but this one will be happening near our doorsteps and we just think it's too super cool not to share:
The Variety Bash is a weeklong adventure with 300 new mates, exploring the dirt roads of NSW and the ACT. Along the way they visit some beautiful country towns, see parts of Australia most wouldn’t otherwise visit, and the best bit is supporting Aussie kids to get a fair go.
They visit schools along the way and donate much-needed items and equipment so we can see how our hard work and fundraising is making a difference.
Our Bashers spread joy everywhere they go and they encourage you to pick a theme to dress up yourself and your car. It’s a sight to see as we roll into towns with everything from Scooby Doo, Superheroes and Princess Leia travelling with us.
They have recently changed our car year entry to 30 years and older which will now allow plenty more makes to join us!
Check out the highlights from the 2017 Variety NSW Bash to give you an idea of the adventure you’ll be in for.
however, maybe not everyone knows that All Four x 4 has been around for over 30 years building a strong reputation in the whole Australian Automotive Industry as a business that supports those institutions that are vital for the industry growth.
The Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers ("IAME") is one of these great organizations and was created in 1936 to create stronger relationships and resources across members in the Automotive Industry.
They provide a long list of services for their members: formal industry training, trade nights, information seminars, auditing & consulting services, and they publish the journal "The Automotive Engineer" full of great industry updates and tech advice.
All Four x 4 Spares was the proud Gold Sponsor for the 2018 Annual Dinner and Trade Show, aiming to support local businesses across the Hunter Newcastle Region focusing on the local motoring industry. A Special Guest Speaker for this great event was Kurt Sakzewski; General Manager of Operations Supercars Australia who filled the room on the latest details for this year’s Newcastle Supercar Championship round.
Here is a fun time-lapse video of the evening captioning many of All Four x 4 Spares Men and Women behind the scenes including our legendary Peter Haylock, All Four x 4 Spare's Founder
These exhausts are simple bolt-on systems designed to be fitted by a DIY enthusiast without the need for a vehicle hoist. They are a direct replacement for factory exhausts of many current model 4WD vehicles such as:
Power & Economy
The biggest benefit to most exhaust system upgrades is the increase in power.
Legendex guarantees a minimum of 10% power gain (not including DPF equipped vehicles) simply by replacing the standard vehicle exhaust with one of their systems.
With increased power, an increase in fuel economy is often noticed as the engine is not working as hard to produce the same output
Due to both the increase in size (most Legendex systems are 3 inch) and the use of mandrel bends (rather than crush bends) to form the shape, flow is increased significantly.
This can have an especially large impact for turbo charged engines as they tend to benefit from reduced back pressure after the turbo, allowing them to spool up quicker and bring power on earlier.
All Legendex catalytic converters are high flow 200 cell. Due to the high surface area inside these cat converters the drop in power when compared to the same system fitted without a cat is less than 2%.
For durability, all Legendex catalytic converters, including the heat shield, are constructed from stainless steel.
Understanding that a noisy exhaust is not everyone's cup of tea, and can draw unwanted attention, Legendex exhausts provide a subdued but noticeable rumble at idle that is only a few decibels louder when compared to factory systems.
Once the RPM’s increase the sound of the exhaust provides a pleasant note that is not harsh and will not drone while towing.
For those seeking a full roar from their vehicle the Legendex Berserker pipe is what you need for those offroad situations. A replacement for the muffler, the straight through Berserker pipe is an easy swap when you get offroad.
Requiring only a few minutes on the side of the track to unbolt the flanges and one or two hangers, the Berserker pipe will have you roaring down the track in no time.
Legendex exhausts are designed as a direct replacement for factory installed systems and as such the tail pipe is designed to finish in the original position, albeit with a larger diameter if you look!
As previously mentioned Legendex exhausts are mandrel bent, not press bent which tends to crush the pipe as the radius is being formed. Mandrel bends provide a much more smoothly flowing turn as the pipe is not deformed at the bend.
Adding to their high-quality manufacturing process, Legendex exhausts are constructed exclusively from 409-grade stainless steel. This includes all bracketry and internal muffler components.
Most factory installed exhausts are made from mild steel which while cheaper to produce does not provide for long service life. Aluminised steel would also offer a somewhat increased life but is no match for stainless steel which will generally last for the life of the vehicle.
Mufflers are polished stainless and glass wool packed – with the glass contained by stainless steel wool to prevent it being blown into the pipe and out the back of the vehicle. They will never need to be repacked! They are a straight through design (for max flow) with all internals again manufactured from stainless steel.
Exhaust hangers are made from either 5mm flat bar, or 12mm rod, both with a collar that wraps the pipe. These hangers have proved to be ultra-strong.
Legendex have also developed a 270-degree gripper system for the flat bar hangers which helps absorb vibration.
Turbo dump pipes are ceramic coated and include pyro fittings (EGT) as standard. Rapidly transferring the exhaust gasses out of the engine bay reduces engine operating temp and provides a cooler air intake which in turn allows more power to be produced.
Ceramic coating also reduces extreme heat cycling extending the durability of the dump pipe. Ceramic coating reduces the exterior temp by 110-120 degrees.
10 Year offroad limited warranty is available from Legendex – something no other exhaust manufacturer offers. Initial product purchase includes 5yr warranty but once the warranty information has been registered with Legendex you will receive an additional 5yrs at no cost.
This warranty covers the catalytic converter and can be transferred with the sale of the vehicle. Ceramic coating on the dump pipe carries a 2 year warranty.
Contact us for full warranty/guarantee terms and conditions.
This topic often creates different opinions among readers. Some drivers are actively advocating for them while others don't see much of a use. At the end of the day, each to their own, different drivers, different vehicles, different needs.
But let's start by clarifying what these devices are and how they work.
We can define electronic throttle controllers as tech devices that sharpen (or soften) a vehicle's throttle response by modifying the voltage signal from the fly by wire pedal assembly. The driver can then tune the response from the accelerator pedal and eliminate or reduce throttle accelerator lag.
Accelerator lag is the experience when you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal and you get a poor or very slow response from the engine. This can range from frustrating while trying to sprint in an opening on a busy roundabout to dangerous when trying to overtake a caravan doing 90km/h in the middle lane of the highway while trying to avoid any "flying" work utes in the right-hand lane.
In addition, to increase throttle response, some controllers offer a decreased, mode which can offer fuel economy savings and more gentle control in tricky 4x4 situations.
Back in the days when nothing but the most basic electronics existed in cars, we were relying on conventional mechanical cables - attached to the accelerator pedal at one end and the throttle assembly at the other.
Using a petrol engine, for example, the throttle body assembly controls the amount of airflow into the engine via a butterfly valve, or plate, which opens or closes depending on the pedal position. As you pressed down on the accelerator pedal, the cable pulled the throttle open and voila!
Nowadays on most modern vehicles, electronic sensors and actuator motors have replaced the cables. The sensor at the pedal tells the vehicle's ECU (computer) how far down the pedal has been pressed and in turn, the ECU sends a signal to the actuator to increase airflow to the engine.
The whole process is easily explained in this video
The most popular and recent electronic controllers on the market plug straight into the wiring harness at the accelerator pedal in the blink of an eye.
Check this demo from Legendex Youtube Channel:
It's fair to say that these throttle controllers don't increase horsepower. They don't in any way control fuel mapping, air to fuel ratio or injection timing. They only change how the throttle responds by eliminating any delays in the throttle system.
Okay - but isn't it just easier to press the accelerator harder?
Not quite. In some vehicles when you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal, not much happens - or it happens slowly. This dead zone has lessened response so pressing hard with your foot won't get you far. This is often built into the ECU by vehicle manufacturers to offer better fuel economy and to smooth out acceleration.
The throttle controllers' job is to turn this dead zone into an action zone which opens the throttle earlier in the pedal stroke. This process cannot be done by pressing the pedal faster or harder.
All our customers who purchased these have all been quite satisfied, pointing out that their 4WD has quicker access to power and the fact they now enjoy a more sporty drive.
With the wide range of vehicle configurations the type of mapping required by the sensors can vary. Rather than a one-size-fits-all product, the controllers we sell are customised solutions taking into account vehicle make, model, engine and induction type (turbo or naturally aspirated).
For those towing, throttle controllers can be quite useful when you drive off as they will get the vehicle up to speed more easily so you'll be using less fuel and less motor strain.
Then the good thing about some of these higher quality throttle controllers is that you can pick the settings based on your driving mode. For example, Legendex Thrust Monkey Throttle Controllers come with 21 different variations shown below:
OFF-ROAD MODE (7 sensitivity settings) ... Extra-sensitive control for low-traction surfaces and low-range rock-crawling. It doubles as the economy mode for long-distance cruising.
TOWING MODE (7 intensity settings) ... Instant response for decisive, safer overtaking and merging.
SPORTS MODE (7 intensity settings) ... High-performance response for grunt-on-demand.
Other throttle controllers manufacturers such as iDrive while also offering different settings in Eco mode and Ultimate mode, they also provide an Automatic mode which changes the throttle performance based on the pressure the driver applies to the pedal
Check this review from 4x4 Garage Australia:
Hopefully, this article has cleared some doubts, and if you are considering installing them on your 4WD, check the great range we offer from our great suppliers: iDrive Throttle Controllers and Legendex Thrust Monkey Throttle Controllers
Many international 4wd lovers visit our website, and today we want to show them some of the best 4wd tracks in Australia.
Of course, this is not just for them, that's also for all of us who live in this beautiful country and either have already experienced some of these trips or are planning them in the near future.
We don't want to put any itinerary on a podium, and it's a crime not to mention places like the Kimberley in WA, the Simpson Desert across SA, NT and QLD, the Red Centre in NT and dozens more.
This is just a brief introduction to some of the best 4wd tracks in Australia. Enjoy.
Stockton Beach, New South Wales
That may be slightly biased to put this first, but since we are Newcastle based, Stockton beach is our backyard. We have covered some of our Sand Driving Tips in our blog sometimes ago, and Stockton Beach is the perfect place to take your 4wd on the beach. Stockton Beach is a paradise of hilly, soft sand dunes, (some can be over 1 kilometre wide). In specific sections of the beach, the dunes are very steep and can go up to 30 metres high. Stockton Beach distance is approx 53Km, one day will be enough to cover it, and you can use it all year around
Ok, this is a tough one...the Canning Stock Route is one of the world's most challenging and remote 4WD tracks. It runs for 1850km through Outback Western Australia, from Wiluna to Halls Creek, and the minimum suggested travel time is 16 days. May to August is the best time of the year to attempt it. This used to be an old stock route; today is quite isolated and not many services are available along the route so travelling in convoy is advisable
This fantastic itinerary will take you through some abandoned mining towns that used to be bustling gold towns in the 1920's. Rugged mountains, cute wineries, rivers, fantastic panoramic views, this itinerary provides steep 4wd tracks such as Billy Goats Bluff, which in 6km will take you from 250 metres above sea level to 1480m. The location is between the towns of Mansfield to Harrietville; it's approx 300Km, it will take you three days to enjoy it. December to April is the best time to go
Also called the Old Telegraph Track this itinerary would take you to Australia tropical North Queensland. This region is only open for four-wheel drive exploration from April to October due to monsoonal flooding. Beautiful beaches in the Starcke Coast, great clay driving in the CREB Track, plenty creek and river crossings, this is a one of the world's best offroad adventure destinations. The distance is approx 850Km between Cooktown to Seisia and 24 days will be recommended to get the best out of it
The Flinders Ranges is one the best outback destinations in South Australia. There are 4WD tracks across this rugged regions with astonishing landscape views. National parks such as Ikara-Flinders Ranges and Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges are a must as well as the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, the first legally protected wilderness sanctuary in South Australia that will provide the visitor spectacular mountain views. Not mentioning Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre, created through erosion over millions of years.
A true unforgettable Australian experience voted as a World Heritage Area for his culture and natural beauty. 4wd tracks are available throughout the park and passing through 50000 years indigenous heritage that will make you feel like driving through a giant rock art gallery. Wildlife is incredibly rich with over 290 birds varieties and depending on what season you will visit it; you will find dramatic scenic changes as shown in the photo below.
Another World Heritage destination stretching over 180,000 hectares making it the largest sand island in the world. It's hard to describe the incredible beauty of this region with never-ending white beaches and sand cliffs, freshwater lakes, rainforests growing on sand dunes 200 Meters high. This place attracts thousands of keen 4wd lovers from all over Australia, and it's one of the must-do 4wd experiences in Australia.
You may be someone who already knows the insides outs of a particular part mechanism, or you may be a mechanic by trade (and you should really know all this stuff already), or you may be merely the average Joe who wish to learn more... no dramas, let's take a refreshing look at what is a starter motor solenoid and how it works.
Basically, a starter solenoid (or also called starter relay) is that component in any car which switches a large electric current to the starter motor from the car battery, in response to small control current from the ignition switch, and which in turn sets the engine in motion. Its the same principle of a transistor, but using an electromagnetic solenoid rather than semiconductor to perform the switching. In many vehicles, the solenoid also engages the starter pinion with the ring gear of the engine.
All modern starters rely on the solenoid to engage the starter drive with the ring gear of the flywheel. When the solenoid is energised, it operates a plunger or lever which forces the pinion into mesh with the ring gear. The pinion incorporates a one-way clutch so that when the engine starts and runs it will not attempt to drive the starter motor at excessive RPM.
Some older starter designs, such as the Bendix drive, used the rotational inertia of the pinion to force it along a helical groove cut into the starter drive-shaft, and thus no mechanical linkage with the solenoid was required.
The starter solenoid is a "needy" individual and just like any human struggling to perform any actions if they are starving, a starter solenoid that receives insufficient power from the battery, won't be able obviously to start the motor and will let us know that by producing a rapid clicking sound. Yes.. that not so joyful clicking sound you heard in the morning at least once in your life just before going to work or worst by letting you down in the most unappropriates places and situations.
There are many reasons when that happens though, a low battery, corroded or loose connections in the battery cable, damaged positive red cables from the battery and a few more. The result of all these events is not enough power will be sent to the solenoid that can only push the engagement gear, making the metallic click sound
There is a trick to know if your starter solenoid is bad.
1) Turn the ignition key to the “On” position.
2) Look for the large terminal posts on the solenoid where the thick red wires connect to the solenoid
3) Touch the metal shaft of a screwdriver to both of the large terminals at the same time.
If the engine turns over and starts, the solenoid is bad and should be replaced.
There is hope though and if you ever get stuck in remote locations try some of the tips given by our good friend MadMatt on his 80 series Landcruiser. Check it out!
You can get to these type of starters shown in MadMatt video, and if stuck you can still jumpstart off the second terminal of the starter. But other types of starters use a plunger to push on a lever to engage the drive gear so they will only turn the motor if you jump power to the motor cable but will not turn the engine over. So in these models, the solenoid can't really be serviced and needs to be replaced.
If that's the case we have got a good range of starter motor solenoid in store and if your vehicle is not listed, let us know, and we'll supply for you
Our latest addition here at All Four x 4 Spares is one of those premium products that will dramatically increase offroad performance in a vehicle. This vehicle is not just any vehicle..when we are talking about the Landcruiser 70 Series
We are very proud to bring on board:
A Premium Rear Axle Full Floating solution
for LandCruiser 70 Series that improves:
This Ultimate Dana 60 is the biggest, strongest Dana 60 axle ever built, incorporating upgrades demanded by off-roaders
Check Dana 60's Video to learn more:
This Axle Kit is pretty cool since the original axle centre is offset with 95mm wider overall track
and while retaining the full-float design, the vehicle weight is carried by housing for greater load-carrying ability.
Previously vehicle users resorted to fitting illegal wheel spacers or had their original axle extensively modified by workshops to overcome the narrower rear track width.
Dana is now able to provide a fully tested alternative backed by Dana’s extensive engineering team and supported with a 12 month / 30,000 Km warranty.
An excellent example of ‘Aussie’ design, manufacturing expertise and capability”.
On top of the new axle include 95mm increased rear track width, some other major features are: increased lubrication capacity, higher axle load capacity, heavy-duty suspension bracketry, heavy-duty cover plate, plug and play E-Locker. The design cleverly allows retention of the original equipment brakes, hubs and wheels.
|TOYOTA Axle||DANA 60||Difference|
|Welded 80mm||DOM 88.9mm||+8.9mm|
|OD 241mm||OD 248mm||+7mm|
Gross Axle Mass
|Optional TMC Locker||Harrop Eaton E Locker||Higher Capacity|
Credits and Special Thanks to 4X4australia.com.au
Off-Road applications in Australian conditions are among the most arduous in the world and require drivelines built to last where heat, load capacity and high performance are the norms.
With products that enhance the performance of a host of 4x4 models, the Dana Performance range includes products that include complete front and rear axle assemblies, drive shafts and gear sets, right down to the world’s best universal joints from Dana Spicer.
Dana has earned an enviable reputation for premium driveline components from more than a century of supply to manufacturing - stretching from heavy-duty on-highway trucks and some of the world’s largest off-highway vehicles, to passenger cars from every country – a reputation you can trust for your 4x4.
Would you need to increase the GVM? Check how much weight your 70 Series could be carrying:
So if you desire Superior Offroad Performance in your 70 Series, get the BEST Full Floating Rear Axle Kit in the market and give your 70 Series all of these:
Australian Design and Australian made
Increased Track width for off-road stability
Increased strength and durability
Increased axle load capacity and GVM
Harrop Eaton E-Locker for all-terrain traction
Increased oil capacity for longer duty cycle
We ship "Ultimate Dana 60" Australia Wide and we accept zipPay: Buy Now - Pay Later - No Interest
For our friends at Brown Davis, 2018 will be a special year. In fact 2018 will be the 40th anniversary of Brown Davis Automotive or more simply "Brown Davis" how we got to know them.
For those few (and there's never shortage of these people) that lived under a rock for the past 40 years, Brown Davis is a top brand manufacturer of Long Range Fuel Tanks, Underbody Protections, Tail Gate Seals etc for over 200+ 4x4 models vehicles as well as Australian and US military, mining vehicles, trucks, carpet cleaning vans and motorhomes. (All Four x 4 Spares is a proud Brown Davis stockist of long-range fuel tanks and underbody protection for over 100+ 4x4 vehicles, see our vast range here)
40 years ago David Brown founded Brown Davis Automotive in Melbourne, Australia. Back to the very first days, to help Rod Stephen Racing to get those extra laps needed to go around Mount Panorama in Bathurst, David created a first prototype of lightweight aluminium fuel tank. Shortly after, this led to a close friend wanting the same for his Landcruiser 40 Series to get him all the way to Cape York Peninsula, right at the tip. Order after order and Brown Davis long range fuel tanks was born.
For this 40th anniversary, the Brown Davis Team wanted to celebrate it in an exceptional meaningful way..by restoring a Toyota Landcruiser 40 Series Shorty from 1978. And they partnered up with some 4wd industry pioneers.
In summer 2018, the Brown Davis Team will be making a trip through the Victorian high country with the newly restored 40 Series and other awesome old 4wd. Leading this trip will be Alan Johnson from Piranha Offroad in his 60 Series Land Cruiser, a true 4wd veteran with great knowledge of the area.
They made the mount to sit the rear bar higher and further from the body
The modern diesel engine is a pretty awesome thing. Gone are the days of slow, rough and belching diesels that were tough to live with; these days diesel donks are powerful, efficient and quiet. On the flip side, they are much more complex than the good old days, and have some pretty tricky engineering that you should know about:
Once upon a time, the fuel pump setup on a diesel was a fairly simple affair. There was a lift pump, which fed an injector pump. Then, the injector pump sorted out the timing and fuel dose for each injector. You can see where they get their reputation for being so simple.
These days, it’s a bit different. Firstly, you’ve got computers on-board that take care of the injection timing, no need for an injector pump for timing any more. What a common rail system does need, however, is fuel at a very high pressure.
Modern diesels use advanced pumps that develop up to 3,000psi of pressure in the fuel system. This feeds a reservoir right up near your injectors, called a ‘common rail’. It looks like a rail, and supplies your injectors with high-pressure fuel. The only problems with common rail are that they have much lower tolerances to wear and dirt than older system, and are only happy with clean fuel.
Injectors, controlled electronically and individually by the ECU, can use this ready supply of high-pressure diesel to inject a fine mist of fuel at the perfect moment. This keeps your diesel engine quiet, powerful and efficient.
Common rail injectors are able to provide incredibly precise and controlled fuel injections, in terms of amount and spray pattern. Modern injectors will often go through multiple, different injections for each combustion cycle, all in the quest for cleanliness and efficiency. The injection is controlled by very accurate and delicate electromagnets (magnets that are controlled by an electric current) or piezoelectric (crystalline materials that change size from electric current).
If you want to take good care of your fuel system, there is one simple solution: keeping your fuel clean. Recently introduced Australian Standards keeps a fairly high minimum requirement for fuel these days, but your biggest enemy is contaminants.
1: Change your factory fuel filter regularly, and only use good quality filters.
2: Install an additional fuel filter into your system, for extra protection. This will take the stress off your factory filter, and give your pump and injectors the best chance of a long, happy life.
And of course, you can’t forget the turbocharger hanging off the side. Using spent exhaust gasses; the turbo compresses the air destined for the combustion chamber. Denser air means you can squeeze some extra fuel in, and make a bigger bang overall. Bigger bang equals more power.
Turbocharging is the main tool used to get big power out of relatively smaller modern power plants. At the end of the day, the engine is working a bit harder with a turbo to make that extra power, but there is one trick you can do it help out: Fit a catch can.
The oil catch can is a smart, simple device that keeps your engine running at it’s maximum. The engine crankcase needs to breath, especially if it’s a hard-working turbo diesel. This air, laden with oil mist, can’t be vented to the atmosphere. It has to be reintroduced back into the engine.
The problem with this is that as this oily air circulates through your EGR, intercooler, turbo, intake manifold and piping, it’s going to leave oil and carbon behind, which will slowly build up and reduce your engine’s power and efficiency. EGRs can be completely blocked with carbon, and intercoolers can literally fill with oil.
A properly installed catch can will intercept oil and crap in the crankcase gasses, filtering them out before they get reintroduced back to the engine. This keeps your engine cleaner overall, and running at it’s optimum performance.
One fine example is Catch Can Pro from Flashlube - the answer to carbon build up in modern engines
Check these two videos from Penny Wells and Allan Gray for better understanding on how they work:
(Update as per June 29th 2018)
Despite social media rumours in previous weeks we can confirm that there is no change to existing SSM Approvals. Any vehicles (as stated in current SSM Approvals and as noted on current RVDs) can still be plated with GVM Upgrades and Towing Capacity Upgrades (BTC upgrades) under the approved RVD. Thus Lovells SSM Approved kits can continue to be supplied. Please refer to rvcs.infrastructure.gov.au what's new page
The implementation of Administrator’s Circular 0-4-6 is effective for all future IPA Approvals. That is, any SSM Approvals applied for beyond the current valid and active SSM Approvals.
Lovells GVM/GCM/Towing Capacity or variants of these modifications remain 100% legal in all States and Territories for all vehicles:
The whole point of GVM/GCM/towing upgrades is to ensure the ongoing compliance and safety of vehicles and occupants when carrying/towing heavy loads and thus ensuring the safety of other road users. SSM Approval holders can attest to and advise categorically that there is no evidence of any safety issues, accidents or fatalities due to or related to any GVM/GCM/Towing Upgrade.
Unfortunately, all of the SSM Approval Holders who nominate a revised GCM and/or Towing Capacity increase will be affected by these changes in the future, as will any road user who wishes to tow a caravan, boat, horse float etc.
PRE REGO there is no change in plating vehicles with GVM & Towing Upgrades. GCM as defined by the SSM manufacturer
POST REGO vehicles can be plated with GVM upgrade. The Towing and GCM upgrade would be supported and approved via State Authorities and state-based signatories.
The implementation of 0-4-6 is for all future SSM approvals
If you found yourself googling gvm meaning, what is gvm, what does gvm mean, gvm weight, gcm meaning, gvm weight v tare weight, what is gross vehicle mass and the list can go on forever, well...you are not alone!
Let’s clear up some of the confusion with terminology and explain some of the options we have available here at All Four x 4 Spares
First, let's define them:
The GVM of a motor vehicle means the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle. This is the most the vehicle is allowed to weigh overall, under any circumstances. This includes everything, so minus your kerb weight from your GVM to find out your payloads.
The GCM of a motor vehicle means the greatest possible sum of the maximum loaded mass of the motor vehicle and of any vehicles that may lawfully be towed by it at one time. This is an important one if you’re towing. Aside from the GVM and trailer ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass), GCM sits atop it all.
The BTC of a vehicle is the maximum loaded mass of a braked trailer/caravan which can be towed by the vehicle
is your vehicle as it rolled off the showroom floor, full of fluids and ten litres of fuel. Sometimes it includes a 75kg driver, sometimes it doesn’t.
This is your real-world weight, as if it’s parked on the kerb and ready to drive. This includes accessories and other inclusions, plus a full tank of fuel. Want to know your kerb weight? Then get yourself to a weighbridge.
Let’s look at two examples,Toyota 150 Series Prado and 200 Series LandCruiser:
|LandCruiser 200 GXL||Prado 150 GXL|
|Braked Towing Capacity||3,500kg||2,500kg|
So, is your payload always going to be enough? If you’re dawdling around town with a couple of passengers, you’ll be fine. But if you’re going to fit some common modifications and tow some decent loads, then you might run into trouble.
Now, don’t go putting everyone on the scales before stepping into the car. You might lose all of your friends. But, this point is worth thinking about. Think about travelling with five adults, which could easily account for up to 500kg of mass. Throw in a few accessories, and you could be teetering on the edge…
Everyone wants the tricked-out touring rig that has all of the bells and whistles, but don’t forget they all add kilos.
Your biggest culprits are obviously barwork: bullbars, roof racks and other bolt-on steel all add significant weight. Drawers, fridges and slides are also big ones, plus things like recovery gear, compressors and tools that live in your car full-time. Don’t forget, everything adds up.
On top of this, there are plenty of hidden weights you’ll probably overlook. If you’ve fitted tyres with a light-truck construction, that’s good news. They’re stronger and more puncture-resistant, but they will also weigh a bit more. So will fade-resistant heavy-duty aftermarket springs and shocks.
Our best advice is to take your 4X4 over a weighbridge, to really know what your 4WD weighs. We have got a weighbridge in our Kotara workshop, give us a call on 02 4041 4003 and we can help you out
Some examples of typical weights of accessories include:
Where maximum loaded mass is mentioned above this includes accessories (bullbar, roof racks, long range fuel tanks, recovery gear, custom tradesman rear tray, etc.), tools, passengers, camping gear, food, fuel, water and equipment – everything!
Most people would understand there are weight limits with regards to how much your vehicle can carry and tow. The average driver in the average situation will not approach these limits. However, it is quite easy to approach or exceed them
Vehicle manufacturers don’t always play it straight when quoting vehicle weights. They are trying to sell cars and so will quote the most favourable numbers they can to sell their vehicles. Often the manufacturers stated unladen weight does not take into account simple things like dealer fitted accessories and a full fuel load which individually may not weigh a great deal, but combined can add up.
Like we discovered, try and add a couple of aftermarket accessories like a winch, long range fuel tank, roof rack etc., plus five adults and you can very quickly approach or even exceed the GVM
Trade vehicles can also be particularly susceptible to this when adding things like custom cabinet style tray backs on a cab chassis vehicle, and tools – they can add up very quickly. Throw some building supplies in the mix (a couple of bags of sand and cement wouldn’t hurt, would it?) and again you could easily find yourself exceeding GVM
Add these factors together, and you would be surprised by how many vehicles driving on the road today that would be very close to, or exceeding, their GVM
Well, there are good reasons GVM limits exist, and just as good a reasons to have it increased on your vehicle OFFICIALLY!
Most important is safe and controllable vehicle handling, especially in emergency situations. Ever tried to change lanes in a hurry with a loaded-up vehicle? Especially if you have something on the roof, the lurch and sway can range from scary to outright dangerous
While investigating a claim, insurance companies often look at vehicle loading to determine if there have been any breaches of legislation. If it means they won’t need to pay out a claim, they are going to examine it closely, and they do!
Manage a fleet of vehicles for your company? To protect businesses and managers from breaches of occupational health and safety a GVM increase can provide that bit of extra cover for situations that otherwise maybe pushing the limits.
Some employees don’t always do the right thing, so again having a margin of error to allow for instances of overloading can provide a safety factor which wouldn’t ordinarily exist.
The RMS (here in NSW) and State Police actively monitor our roads and highways, and overloaded vehicles are on their radar. There are stories doing the rounds which describe holidaymakers being pulled over for a weight check only to find their vehicle is over the manufacturers GVM limit and are unable to continue their journey unless a tow is arranged or if they leave some heavier possessions on the side of the road to reduce weight
Our GVM upgrade partner - Lovells Springs - holds Compliance Plate Approvals as a Second Stage Manufacturer (SSM) of GVM upgrades for several makes of vehicle including:
They are steadily expanding the range of vehicles for which they offer this upgrade.
But a comprehensive vehicle list can be found in our Lovell Spring promotional page, take a look at it here
All Four x 4 Spares has been assessed by the SSM, and we have been registered with the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services as a Production Facility.
This allows us to supply, fit, obtain engineering approval and submit paperwork to the relevant agencies to have your vehicles GVM officially increased.
Do you need help on your vehicle?
CALL US on: 02 4041 4001
EMAIL US at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following table shows the vehicles we can currently install GVM upgrade kits to. This list is ever growing, so if your vehicle is not shown, please contact us as something may have recently become available
Original GVM (kg)
New GVM (kg)
New GCM (kg)
Toyota Landcruiser VDJ76 Wagon 2007 to 2016
|3000||3660||7160||Pre 5 Star ANCAP|
Toyota Landcruiser VDJ78 Troop Carrier 2007 to 2016
|3300||3900||7400||Pre 5 Star ANCAP|
Toyota Landcruiser VDJ79 Cab Chassis / Ute 2016 on
|3300||3900||7400||Pre 5 Star ANCAP|
Toyota Landcruiser VDJ79 Cab Chassis / Ute 2016 on
|3400||4200||7700||5 Star ANCAP|
Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series all
Toyota Prado 150 Series (KDJ/GDJ/GRJ) 10/2009 on
Toyota Hilux 150 Series (KUN/GGN) 3/2005 to 6/2015
|from 2710 to 2835||3300||State Compliance Only|
Toyota Hilux GUN126 10/2015 on
Nissan Patrol ZD30 GU/Y61 Ute Leaf Spring 2007 on
|3400||3900||State Compliance Only|
Ford Ranger PX 2011 on
Ford Ranger PXII 2015 on
Mazda BT50 UP/UR 2011 on
Isuzu D Max 6/2012 on
Apart from the compliance plate, placards/decals and paperwork each Lovells suspension kit consist of a set of heavy-duty springs and long travel gas shock absorbers. Additional components vary from vehicle to vehicle
Some vehicles require additional parts to comply with various ADR’s – like mudflaps or a handbrake cable extension bracket – which will be included in the kit if required.
Components may include polyurethane suspension bush kit, hi-tensile u-bolts, greaseable shackles, greaseable shackle pins, brake load proportioning valve spacer, handbrake cable extension bracket, ABS spacer kit and mudflaps
Of course, all of the load ratings above apply equally to the towed vehicle (trailer, caravan etc.) too, which leads to…..
Small vans can weigh 1000-2000kg. When towed with an appropriate vehicle you have a reasonable amount of wiggle room for loading.
Large vans even when empty can weigh 2000-3000kg, some even more. Even with a large 4x4, you will be approaching the limit with only a minimal amount of equipment on board
Think again about the amount of gear to be loaded – food, cooking utensils, sleeping gear, clothes, camping equipment, batteries, generator, gas cylinders, air conditioner. Got water tanks? 1L of water weighs 1kg, so a couple of 100L tanks…
In January 2017 - Victorian Police conducted Operation Roadhouse, part of which involved pulling over and weighing caravans. 41 of the 70 caravans weighed were found to be overweight in some respect. This was treated by the police as an educational exercise, and no fines were issued about weight, but the figures tell a story
As a side note, there were two fines issued although both were for unsuitable towing mirrors. This is also something we can help with our accessories department @ All Four x 4 Offroad
Are you about to purchase a brand-new vehicle and are planning on a caravan road trip of a lifetime?
Are you a tradesman about to renew your work truck with something shiny off the showroom floor?
This is the time to seriously consider applying either a GVM or a GVM & BTC upgrade BEFORE registration
Once a vehicle has it VIN recorded in a state motor registry computer system you can only have the upgrade certified at a state level.
While most states allow vehicles complied in another state to be legally driven as complied in their state, if the vehicle is ever to be re-registered in another state the whole certification process needs to be started again
For a vehicle to be certified at a national level (Federal Certification) the upgrade needs to be completed before registration.
This is only available for new vehicles – hence why the Toyota Hilux KUN/GGN and Nissan Patrol GU can only attain state-level certification (see Table 1 above) as they are no longer being built
Federal certification has several benefits:
You can imagine that this can quite significantly affect the resale value!
Definitely worth thinking about, especially considering the capital investment and depreciation of a new vehicle
No. A competently trained person theoretically could install the components, but to achieve certification, the upgrade must be fitted by a Production Facility approved by the Second Stage Manufacturer (SSM).
We work to supplied quality systems documents and are regularly audited. The installation process also involves organising the required paperwork, booking time with an engineer, booking time in the Production Facility workshop and completing / submitting paperwork to the relevant agencies
During the design phase extensive testing and analysis, procedures are conducted by an authorised Automotive Engineer Consultant to ensure original equipment components are not compromised.
The SSM is responsible for documenting these tests and take responsibility for the GVM upgrade compliance.
The SSM will honour any component warranty which has a failure associated with the GVM upgrade providing written proof and testing by an independent body has been submitted
If your vehicle is not included in the list above, or if you would like to speak to one of our suspension specialists you can:
CALL US on: 02 4041 4001
If you are ready to make a Booking, Contact us at one of the above or simply
and we'll get back to you within four business hours
“Thanks to the boys at Allfourx4 for fitting my Lovells GVM upgrade to my Dmax, the car is so much better to ride in, more sure-footed and the extra payload is amazing,not to mention the extra ground clearance and the vehicle sits nicely now, easy compliance certification and a bunch of friendly guys who like a chat. The fit was completed before time quoted, will use them again for more accessories for my 4x4.Thanks, Steve Jaques.”
Book a trip to Newcastle! just kidding, Newy is a great place to visit but if you just can't make it, don't despair!
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