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.
Whether you are travelling to Cape York up the Old Telegraph Track, visiting Moreton or Fraser Island, or going inland through Northern Territory, being prepared is the aim of the game.
Here are some tips on what you will need for your trip up north in your 4x4.
Australia has some amazing four-wheel drive tracks and destinations, and whilst there are some great spots down south, there is something magical about the northern parts of the country.
Far North Queensland offers tropical rainforest, beautiful beaches, islands, reefs, and off-road tracks that make the most travelled 4WD enthusiast excited.
With the majority of the population on the east and south coast, travelling up north is a great way to escape. The remote environment, whilst beautiful, can also create a trailer load of problems for the unprepared traveller.
Planning your trip? Have you taken these 10 things into account?
Photo credits to Ronny Dahl - 4 Wheeling in Western Australia
Food is something we all need to survive and whilst you can purchase groceries further up north and on the islands, it can become quite expensive – the IGA in Bamaga is a prime example. Take what you can with you, especially food that can last the length of your trip in the remote parts of the country. Consider vacuum bags and freezing your proteins.
This brings us to how to store food on your trip. With more remote trips in hotter climates, a fridge in your 4x4 or camper is essential. It can also help keep your end of day beverages cold and frosty.
A unit like the Ironman 4x4 IceCube 65L fridge/freezer is a good start allowing you to run two fridge compartments, two freezer compartments or split fridge and freezer. Depending on where you mount the fridge, you might also want to consider a drop slide to make access easier.
Hot and remote travel means both you and your 4WD need to keep the fluid levels up. This means cold water in your fridge, extra water for drinking, more extra water for your vehicle’s needs, and extra fuel depending on where you are headed.
If you are towing a camper, you may also be able to cover your water needs with the extra tanks on it. Contact our team today to see what custom tanks we have for your 4x4, or to pick up jerry cans and taps.
It is a good idea to keep lots of water for you and your family to drink, and extra for topping up your vehicle’s needs. Too much water can also be a problem in the way of water crossings.
The snorkel, when correctly fitted, will provide a seal on your intake and allow air to come in around your vehicle’s roof height. A wading cover or water crossing bra creates a bow wave in front of your vehicle and protects your engine and radiator from damage during water crossings.
Contact our team today to get a quote on supply and fitment of a snorkel to suit your 4x4 or to pick up a water crossing bra.
Whether you are going bush, tackling tight 4x4 tracks, or on the highway, a bullbar and side rails can help protect your 4WD from animal strikes and trees that jump out from nowhere.
Rear protection bars are also available that integrate a towbar, as well as being capable of holding fuel and water cans, and spare wheel carriers.
There is lots of gear under your 4WD that can sustain damage from being dragged over rocks and rough terrain. Underbody protection covers the important parts from the front near your bullbar, to the back of your transfer case.
Check out our range of body and underbody protection here.
For travelling to destinations like Cape York, Arnhem Land, the Kimberley region, Fraser Island or Moreton island, we recommend upgrading your suspension, especially if towing.
Stock suspension can become soft or sag when it must deal with corrugated dirt roads, heavy loads, and towing.
Upgrading your suspension will allow you to also ensure you have good clearance under your vehicle, an advantage when out on bush tracks with deep ruts, or on the sand where your underbody is dragged along in the deeper tracks.
Even if travelling in a group, pack recovery gear. When things don’t go to plan, which is often the case in remote areas like Cape York, having a good array of recovery gear is essential. Carry a basic tool kit, snatch straps and shackles, a tyre repair kit, and a set of TRED Pro extraction devices.
Remember to check your insurance policy too regarding towing from remote areas and roadside assistance fine print. It may also pay to look at travel insurance.
When travelling to remote places or off the beaten track, a UHF radio comes in handy. It will allow you to hear updates from other travellers in the area, as well as giving you a lifeline when you need help.
As phone signal can be minimal in some remote areas up north, you could also consider carrying a satellite phone.
We recommend carrying a satellite beacon with you on your trips, especially if travelling with a single vehicle, or if you intend to go off the main tracks. You can learn more about the types of beacons here.
We live in an amazing part of the world and travelling it by 4x4 is one of the most enjoyable past times. The last thing we need or want on our tracks or in the environment is rubbish.
Be sure to pack rubbish bags and carry a rear wheel bag. This will ensure you can take rubbish with you when you leave camp or your rest stop to the next bin on your travels.
You can never be too prepared when it comes to accidents and that is why we recommend carrying a comprehensive first aid kit. Remember to allow enough stock to cover the people travelling or take a couple of kits with you.
This will allow you to temporarily stop bleeding, splint a broken bone, or treat a burn or bite on your travels before getting to a hospital which could be quite a distance away.
Another item that is not on our top ten list of things to remember (but deserves a mention under the ‘accidents happen’ heading) is toilet paper. Just like drinking water, this essential item needs to be taken if you prefer not to use ‘nature’ to wipe. Be sure to dispose of it appropriately.
Australia offers some amazing off-road adventures with the Old telegraph Track being the northern-most highlight for most 4WD enthusiasts, but they present their own dangers.
Away from major towns, help can be far away when disaster strikes. Being prepared and having your vehicle equipped with the gear to tackle the tracks and whatever they throw at you, can be life-changing.
Get in touch with our team before heading off on your next 4x4 adventure.
Have you travelled much up north of Australia? What are some of your favourite places and tips for a better experience?
If you haven’t yet set your itinerary for your trip up north, come in and grab a Hema map.
See you out on the tracks! (or in our workshop first).
What do you want most for Christmas? New socks? Clothes? Or 4x4 gear you can put into action over Summer?
If it is the latter, then we have some great options for you!
Summer holidays in Australia is the best time of year to explore, camp, four-wheel drive and test out the gear you got for Christmas. But what if Santa gets you the wrong things?
Let us be clear. Its time to make a list! Here are some ideas for your Christmas wish list.
Want to improve your 4x4’s response? A pedal mounted throttle controller reduces throttle lag and improves engine responsiveness.
They are easy to install with plug and play setup, have different levels of responsiveness to suit your driving needs and are ideal for turbo diesel engines.
GET 10% OFF our range of throttle controllers: use code THROTTLE at the checkout. Shop here for EVC (previously iDrive) Throttle Controllers and Shop here for SAAS S-Drive Throttle Controllers
Get the chair with all the comfort and features Jase from All 4 Adventure loves most in a camp chair.
These camp chairs are fully padded with high back support and a neoprene headrest. They are easy to pack and carry around with you as you travel Australia’s best beaches and bush, but still tough enough to handle outdoor living.
New stock just in, you are going to need a bigger Christmas stocking!
Your 4x4 needs a Christmas present too. Purchase any Terrain Tamer swivel housing and wheel bearing combo kit till December 31st 2020 and receive a FREE front hub socket tool worth $42*.
Terrain Tamer is a great choice for Aussie 4WD enthusiasts. The kits use high-quality components like Koyo bearings and seals, and are covered by an Australian-wide 12-month warranty.
*applies to both standard and heavy-duty kits, retail customers only.
Small enough to pack anywhere, feature packed to be useful in even more places than ever. The new CAMPBOSS Multitool includes needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, a knife, phillips and slotted screwdrivers, saws, carabiner, can opener and most importantly, a bottle opener.
All components are 3CR13 stainless steel, packed into an anodized aluminium handle.
This one will fit easily in your Christmas stocking, why not get a couple?
The Premium Adventure Recovery System from CAMPBOSS is here and includes components that eliminate risks usually associated with traditional recovery kits.
The kit includes kinetic recovery rope with up to 30% stretch and a 50% kinetic advantage over a snatch strap. It also includes a 12-strand super lightweight winch extension rope with minimal stretch, a tree protector, and soft shackles to reduce the risk associated with flying metal shackles.
Kit out your 4x4 with Clearview’s Next Gen towing mirrors. They retract when not in use for towing, and the new designs are not much wider than standard when fully retracted.
When extended (up to an impressive 180mm) you get the ultimate vision you need for towing safely.
They feature a two mirror design incorporating a flat top mirror to look directly down the side of your 4WD and caravan, and a smaller convex mirror on the bottom to help eliminate blind spots.
Better still, they fold back or forwards if someone brushes against them in the carpark or at the holiday park.
There is nothing like hitting your favourite camping spot, setting up the caravan or tent, and grabbing a cold beverage or two out of your Ironman 4x4 IceCube fridge freezer.
Available in 30, 40, 50, 65 and 74 litre options, the IceCube range of fridge freezers will keep your food fresh and your drinks icy cold. They are portable and run on 12 or 240 volt power.
We have a range of accessories to go with your fridge freezer including slide mounts, drop slide mounts (to make your fridge easier to access), insulated covers, fridge thermometers and more.
If you do travel off-road on corrugated roads, sand and mud, you will at some stage need to adjust your tyre pressures.
We have everything you need to take care of your tyres including heavy-duty tyre compressors, tyre deflators including quick deflate where the valve core is taken out, and also tyre repair kits should you sustain a puncture on your travels.
Get yourself some quick shade this summer with an awning for the side of your 4x4.
You can choose from standard models that pull out 2.5 metres, or 270-degree options that wrap around the back of the vehicle as well.
We also offer add-on accessories like flyscreen rooms, side extensions, tent extensions and more. You can even get a smaller instant Ensuite awning setup for using as a change room.
We can fit these all up to your existing roof racks, or give you options on racks too.
This one will have to go under the Christmas tree, or be fitted to your 4x4 before Christmas.
Let your engine breathe better and protect it during water crossings with a Safari Snorkel. Made from industrial-spec UV stabilized polyethylene, they are available for a range of vehicles.
The fuel quality around Australia can vary, and the last thing your engine needs is to be drinking contaminated diesel. This is even more critical on today’s common rail diesels which can be prone to injector and injector pump damage from contaminated fuel.
Our Flashlube pre fuel filter kits sit in line with your existing factory fuel filter to provide pre-filtering and water catchment.
They come with all the brackets, hoses, clamps and fittings you need for the fitment as well as a 30 micron filter.
See our team about optional parts including hand primers and water sensors with dash mounted indicators.
Have you watched All 4 Adventure or Trip in a Van cooking in their camp ovens? The possibilities are endless from roast dinners to cakes.
Now you can get bush cooking the way Jase from All 4 Adventure does with the CAMPBOSS Ultimate Camp Cooking Bundle.
It includes a 9L spun steel camp oven, trivet (the bit that sits inside to stop food burning on the base), canvas bag, lifting handle and gloves. Roast, bake, fry or boil with this versatile cooking tool. The lid can even be used as a frying pan!
A good swag can last a lifetime of adventures. Check out the new CAMPBOSS Signature swags available as a single or a double.
They come with a premium high-density foam mattress and are designed to be extremely durable, lightweight, and comfortable. Made from tough waterproof ripstop 400gsm canvas, this is the swag Jase from All 4 Adventure recommends you take on your next adventure.
Maybe all you need is the best stubby cooler in town – the All Four x 4 stubby cooler.
We also have gift certificates. The hottest gift around giving you endless opportunity to expand your adventure capabilities. Available in a range of values, they are the perfect gift if you cannot decide on what to get, or you want to put money towards a bigger item or fitment.
Order your gift certificate online here and select the value you want.
The big question remains though: HAVE YOUR BEEN NAUGHTY OR NICE THIS YEAR?
Many modern vehicles use a panel style air filter for cleaning the outside air your vehicle's engine breathes.
Panel filters are not the most robust of designs and when a vehicle is working under hot conditions (not uncommon here in Australia) the housing can slightly distort.
This ever so slight distortion can compromise the amount of clamping force it provides on the filter element allowing air to move past or around the filter rather than through it.
Dust or any fine particles can cause catastrophic damage to an engine. Even small quantities can significantly reduce its life span.
Its the same for oil and fuel filters as well as air.
Today's engines have sensors in the intake measuring things like airflow and/or pressure.
Dust collecting on these can cause faulty readings which can cause the engine's computer (ECU) to think there an actual fault - technically there is!
The vehicle may go into 'limp mode' in an attempt to prevent or minimise damage.
Not a great experience if you are a long way from home on a dusty dirt track.
A housing that holds barrel or drum type filter as found on heavy earth moving equipment provides much better clamping force to handle those more extreme conditions
There are a number of reasons why barrel-style filters are not commonly used.
The complexity of modern engines does not provide much available space to install a larger barrel-style filter.
Cost is also a significant factor, generally panel filters are less expensive than barrel types.
So you have a panel type filter fitted and while you're doing a routine service you notice fine dust on the engine side (the 'clean' side) of the filter.
We know filters play a critical role in maintaining a healthy engine, even more, important for turbocharged vehicles - what should you do?
If you own a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series VDJ (V8 4.5L turbo diesel) or a Land Cruiser Prado 120/150 Series KZJ KDJ RZJ (4 Cyl 3.0L turbo diesel or 2.7L Petrol) we have a solution for you, the new air filter housing shim kit designed by Terrain Tamer
If you would like more information please feel free to contact us on the phone number or email address below
Alternatively, if you want to purchase directly from our website please click the following link:
Phone: 02 4041 4000 (+612 4041 4000)
Today we are going to talk about which 4x4 accessories or 4wd modifications you should consider essential "must-have" or "would be nice to have"
After all, with so many products in the market, it can be tricky to differentiate essential to not-so essential accessories.
Let's start from the basics:
- An accessory is usually something not permanently attached to the vehicle, like a fridge, or not directly related to vehicle fitments, such as an electric winch.
- A modification is usually the process of replacing an existing part of the vehicle, like tyres or suspension.
We used the expression "usually" because there could be countless interpretations based on who you ask.
Still, it's fair saying that certain products are must-haves if, for example, you are planning an offroad trip with your family.
Let's split them into the two sections mentioned earlier:
A common approach from novice 4wdrivers is to look at aesthetics first and purchase a sexy looking lift kit thinking it as a must-have to go offroad.
Admittingly they can be much more desirable than let's say a cargo-barrier, a fire extinguisher, radios, or first aid kits.
However let's make this clear: purchase the safety equipment first. You won't regret it for when you may need it.
There are several types of 4wd recovery gear products designed for different recovery situations, and the following lists some of the most popular.
You don't need to have them all but make sure you carry some suitable for the offroad environment you are travelling to.
If you get bogged, one way to rescue your vehicle is being pulled with tremendous force.
You need a mounting point for that force.
Don't think that any hook you find in your car will do the job.
Some of those hooks are just tie-downs, designed to stop the vehicle moving when being transported.
The forces involved in vehicle recoveries are much stronger and can rip these tie-down hooks off the vehicle (and that can be very dangerous).
In the front of your car, a couple of recovery points will be convenient.
In the rear, you potentially could use a towbar as a recovery point, provided that they are secured to the chassis of the vehicle.
Sure you may bend the tow hitch, but tests show it takes approx. 10 Tonnes of effort, by which time, you'll probably have broken the snatch strap wrapped to it.
By the way, do not ever use the tow-ball as a recovery point.
One of the cheapest and most useful items of recovery gear. Although not the safest if misused.
A snatch strap is a giant elastic band made in nylon that can stretch 20 to 30% that attaches to the stuck vehicle on one end and the other end to the recovery vehicle which uses momentum to pull the stuck vehicle free.
Be wary of the ratings. The rating of a snatch strap is the load at which it's designed to break, and they can vary between 6000Kg and 12000Kg.
You should already carry your vehicle standard jack at all times, so that's one less piece of recovery gear to worry about.
However, depending on where you get stuck, that won't be much of a help.
That is why there are several other types of jacks, each suited to different terrains.
An air jack or also called exhaust jack is a big balloon perfect for sand and soft ground recoveries. You put the deflated air jack underneath your stuck vehicle, connect its input hose to the exhaust and this inflates the bag and lift the car.
They can lift to three Tons vehicles about a meter, and they can also be used for winching and bead breaking.
Hi-lift jacks are great for when you need to lift the car a long way, like when you need to stack rocks under a wheel or cannot get under the body to lift.
The biggest cons of hi-lift jacks are finding a place on the car actually to mount it.
They can only work on the body of the vehicle not under the chassis like the regular car jack.
So not every vehicle have places where a hi-lift jack can be used.
In some instances, a bull bar can be used, but not always, or strong rock slider sidesteps, or metal rear bumpers.
Here is a comparison table across these three types of recovery jacks
|Car Jack||Air Jack||Hi-Lift Jack|
|Approximate Cost||Included with car||$250||$100|
|Soft ground||With a flat plate||Excellent||With a flat plate|
|Rocky ground||Yes||with care||Yes|
|Suitable for modern vehicles||Yes||Yes||Rarely, few jacking points|
|Height||Approx. 30 cm||Up to Approx 50cm||One metre|
|Other uses||None||None||Winch, bread breaking, panel bending and more uses|
The purpose of traction devices is to improve grip, increase clearance, reduce axle flex to put more weight on the wheels and create a ramp.
Since you place them under the wheels, you could potentially use rocks, wood sticks or car mats in case of need, however, there are several great specifically made products designed to recover your car.
Let's go thought some of them:
They are light devices with linked tracks and work best in soft surfaces. Easy to transport as they are roll-up nice and tight.
These are heavy and bulky to carry around, but they can be used on any surfaces. They can take the weight of a vehicle's wheel across a gap or can also be jammed under the wheels to create a ramp.
These are like traction ramps but inflatable. They are light and small and can only fill in gaps.
They don't provide the sort of flotation a traction ramp can achieve, but they are better than a flexible traction mat.
The great thing is that they can be used on any surfaces.
These are not essential recovery devices, but if you drive through thick bush and come across fallen trees blocking your way, you would be glad to have brought one of these with you. A saw and chainsaw will work best, though.
The universal pieces of recovery.
The spade is not as efficient as the shovel for moving loose dirt, but it's far superior for digging.
Shovels are super convenient in the sand. Ideally carry both or get a multifunction tool with different heads for picks, shovels, spade and axes.
We hope you never come across a vehicle on fire, it's not a pretty sight, but in the event you do, a fire extinguisher will save lives, vehicles and potential bush fires.
If you drive through a powder extinguisher will be the best choice for dry grass catching fire.
For vehicle fires, you will need an electrical extinguisher.
If your cooking oil on the BBQ catches fire, then a fire blanket will do the job.
These are top priorities to always carry with you while travelling anywhere remote.
The first aid kit should include infection control items, saline to clean eyes or wounds, bandages, gauze, dressings, burns sheet, sharp scissors and more.
Survival kits should automatically include a small first aid kit. On top of that, they should consist of a swiss army knife, notepad and pencil, hand-powered torch, flint, newspaper, compass, thermal blankets, fishing wire, water purification tablets, whistle and gloves.
These metal mesh cargo barriers fit between the rear of the vehicle and its occupants. They are handy to stop the contents of the rear flying forwards and injuring someone in case of a crash.
They also make it easier to store items in the rear storage compartment. As a bonus, a cargo barrier can act as a rollover cage preventing deformation of the cabin.
You can convert the back of your vehicle into a full organized vehicle storage system maximizing the available space right to the top of the back of your car.
A set of shelves, trays and single or double drawers will subdivide the space in the back, giving you easier access to get things in and out without removing lots of gear.
And you can also have your fridge bolted on fridge drop slides allowing easier access.
To go offroad, you'll need offroad tyres. It may sound obvious, but it's not.
The standard tyres on a 4wd vehicle are passenger tyres, and they are only designed for road use. They provide insufficient grip and will puncture too easily.
You should consider swapping your tyres to light truck construction tyres with at least an all-terrain tread pattern.
You should be ok if you have a dual cab ute that should have tyres designed for a load, but if you have low profile tyres, you should swap them before going bush.
Similarly to tyres, standard 4wd suspension are not designed to have the vehicle be loaded up and driven offroad.
Manufacturers don't spend money providing heavy-duty quality suspension on stock vehicles. If you do light-duty offroading with a small load and don't venture into the outback, then the standard suspension will be adequate.
If you need to load bigger weights and travel to the outback, then a small suspension lift kit would be highly advisable.
A suspension upgrade is very important for safety and transforms a loaded vehicle when offroad or on dirt roads, and particularly when towing.
You can also increase your vehicle GVM (gross vehicle mass) by upgrading your suspensions.
A typical aftermarket kit could be made of four springs and shocks with a lift of approximately two inches.
Carrying basic essential tool kits on your trip will be highly recommended in the event you need to fix or modify a broken part.
Tools to take with you include shifting spanners, flat and Philips head screwdrivers, knives, socket set, pliers, hacksaw, hammers, multimeter, mole wrenches, wheel braces.
You can also add workshop manuals, cable ties, fuses, electrical wires, hose clams, thread-locks, wd-40, jump leads, nuts, bolts, screws, emergency windscreen, tyre repair kits, Allen keys.
The spare parts you decide to take with you will depend on the vehicle and the trip.
Usually, if you are considering a long trip, you could be taking with you some spare: air and fuel filters, extra spare tyres, hoses, belts, electrical wires, fuses, screws, nuts, bolts, rags, light globes, thread lock, cable ties, superglue, wd-40 and a workshop manual.
An absolute must.
You will need to reinflate your tyres after dropping pressures or to reseat a tyre or rim after it comes off.
Air compressors can be permanently mounted to the vehicle (like under the bonnet) or be portable.
Most compressors are electric at 12V, but there are quicker ones driven by the engine.
Driving with others is probably much more fun and safer..if you can communicate easily.
But there would be times where you need to communicate with people outside your group.
UHF CB Radios work by having a set of CB frequencies available for public use. No licence or fees, totally free.
Radio units can be vehicle mounted with a range for up to 40Km or handheld usually up to 5km.
A typical mix of types of communication available for touring offroad is UHF Radios to communicate with others in the same group, UHF and HF radio to communicate with other groups, HF Radio and satellite phones to communicate with anyone in the world.
Items in this category are debatable wether should be essential or not based on who you ask; however, usually that includes:
Waterproofed relocated air intake that only allows air through the intake.
The main job of 4wd snorkels is to prevent water from going to the engine and by fitting a snorkel to your vehicle means the air intake is very much higher than it was before. So if you decide to cross a deep river, you have more height tolerance not to let water going to the engine.
Other benefits of a snorkel are cleaner air and improved performance, especially in older diesel vehicles.
Breathers are a set of pipes which allow air inside the diffs and other components to breath.
The diff can breathe through a long pipe, usually routed to the top of the engine compartment.
A breather kit is an excellent mod to have in situations like water crossing where hot diffs get in contact with cold water, and due to inadequate lubrication, they will eventually get damaged.
If you make a big trip to the outback, you may need extra water.
So transporting extra water tanks is a smart idea.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and/or you could customize them to live inside or outside your vehicle.
Make sure to use only food-grade hoses for the drinking tank plus a second tank for greywater.
A small fridge of approx 20 to 60L capacity is not a real necessity, but kind of is when you are in the outback sun at 45degrees.
You can fit all your trip's cheese, drinks, dairy food fresh and cool, making your life much more comfortable.
Fridges need electrical power, and we do not recommend plugging them into the rear 12V socket.
You will probably need a dual battery system for an alternative power supply.
To drive further with fewer fuel stops.
If you plan a big trip to the outback, you will want to carry extra fuel.
Long-range fuel tanks can be replacements and/or additional fuel tanks.
There are two basics types of long range fuel tanks, replacement and auxiliary.
Replacement tanks will be "replacing" your stock tank with one the has a larger capacity.
Auxiliary tanks are additional separate tanks.
These underbody protection metal plates will protect components such as the transfer case, fuel tank and diffs.
Going offroad will always put you at risk of running out of clearance and bash plates will absorb the impact from terrain shielding it from the expensive transmission.
Most stock 4wd vehicles don't come with suitable underbody protection bash plates, so you need to provide a stronger aftermarket alternative.
Originally the only intent of bull bars was to provide either a replacement or supplementary bumper bar to protect the vehicle in the event of a collision with animals.
Nowadays other than the original purpose, they are also a very useful place to mount winches, lights and antennae.
There are three types of bullbars:
The first two categories are usually purely cosmetic with little protection against collision.
The bull bar will give you better protection, and it comes in three types of construction:
Rear bars will replace your vehicle rear bumper bar optionally with a wheel carrier or a carrier that mounts onto the chassis and preserves the existing rear bar.
As mentioned earlier, a dual battery system will come very handy with a fridge as it can provide a second battery in addition to the vehicle starting battery. The second battery can be mounted on specifically designed Single and Dual Battery Trays.
The primary vehicle battery is meant to start the engine and supply the vehicle electrical needs.
But it may not be adequate to run extra accessories such as fridges, electric winches, lights, radio equipment, therefore a second battery would help.
You can never have too much space in a vehicle, and after you fill the interior, the only way to go is to use the roof (unless you tow a trailer).
Not the best instead for heavy items like fuel or water but if there is no choice, then you will need to be aware of the change on the vehicle handling as well as increased fuel consumption.
Alloy roof racks are as strong as steel and far lighter, so they are highly recommended.
For urban driving, your headlights are more there so others can see you.
For offroad trips, it's all the way around, and you need extra light to light the way.
4wd driving lights usually come in two basic styles:
And both can be either halogens or HID (High-intensity discharge). The latter is far superior by creating more light using less power. Halogens lights are usually cheaper.
Elockers are locking differentials that massively improve the offroad capability for vehicles without modern traction control.
They can really simplify crossing challenging tracks and can be for front or rear.
The rear is usually the better choice since the rear axle is stronger, there are no CV joints to stress, and it's easier to steer with a rear locker than a front.
Rock sliders other than helping you get in and out of the vehicle, protect your door sills as you slide over rocks.
The heavy-duty rock sliders are recommended because they can take the weight of the vehicle as it slides over rocks.
They can also work as good support for hi-lift jack in recovery situations.
A vehicle recovery with a winch is so much easier!
Usually, the maximum recovery load is around 1.5 times the fully-loaded vehicle weight, and they come in two types, electric winches and hand winches.
An 8000lb to 9500lb winch with a snatch block or two is usually enough for standard offroading.
The list is still big of all accessories and modifications you can fit in a 4WD if you go out touring.
It's better to plan which accessories or modifications you are going to need and work through it.
Here at All Four x 4 Spares, we can help you go through all the options and help you choose what's best for your needs.
We have a massive range of 4WD Accessories available in our online store and showroom.
And we can also fit them for you in our workshop service centre.
If you have any questions, please shoot them in the comments!
In this article where we are going to cover a few important points about upper control arms (UCA)
We are going to try and answer some of the most common questions you may have
Please bear in mind this is a general overview as suspension systems vary greatly between different model vehicles
Upper and lower control arms are critical components on IFS vehicles that dictate the alignment of the road wheel as it moves up and down with suspension travel
They firmly hold the steering knuckles, axle spindles and road wheel to the vehicle while allowing the suspension to flex and maintain accurate steering geometry.
It’s all thanks to the ball joints and rubber control arm bushings that allow this movement.
Many controls arms (either upper or lower) have a limited range of adjustment, mainly to allow for setting camber and/or caster during a wheel alignment.
Camber is the angle of the tire with respect to the vertical axis of the car.
Positive camber is when the top of the tire is leaning outward, and the bottom of the tire is inward.
Caster is the angle of the tire with respect to its steering axis (where it pivots when turning the steering wheel) against vertical.
It is considered positive if pointing toward the front of the vehicle and negative if pointing toward the rear.
If you have a suspension lift kit, please understand that you have just changed your 4WD suspension and steering geometry.
Your good-looking lift kit, other than allowing you larger tyres and more ground clearance, it has also lifted your chassis and body up and away from the mounting point of your wheels and tyres.
Solid axle vehicles have a similar problem with the front diff rolling but is easily corrected with some off-set bushes in the trailing arms.
With IFS vehicles you need to be careful fitting a suspension lift as the original caster and camber specifications are pushed outside the acceptable limit.
A lack of enough adjustment combined with typically short control arms causes your vehicle to lose camber/caster.
This can cause your steering to become vague (tracking) with an out of control feeling.
These issues can also greatly accelerate tyre wear costing you more money in the short term.
To make things worse, fitting larger tyres can hit suspension components and even make contact with the chassis which is a problem that nobody needs.
From the factory, most IFS 4WD's only come with a small amount of adjustment; however, this is reduced when you add a suspension lift to your vehicle.
This means when you do a wheel alignment, there will not be any adjustment available to set your vehicle’s camber or caster correctly.
And please know that your vehicle’s instruction manual wheel alignment specs page does not take into consideration raised suspension or tyre size.
Another serious issue found when lifting a vehicle with IFS is running out of movement in the ball joints.
This is called ball joint binding and is caused by changing the suspension geometry to a point where the ball joint simply cannot move to a larger angle.
The ball joint itself comes into contact with its own housing effectively reaching its maximum angle.
While the ball joints may look okay parked on flat ground when under conditions involving significant articulation (lots of suspension travel/extreme offroad) this can cause the ball joint to separate (pop out of socket) with the road wheel and steering knuckle coming loose from the control arm
Far from ideal!
So, what to do?
Luckily here in Australia, we have a choice of quality aftermarket upper control arms from well-known brands that can resolve all these issues.
They have been redesigned to provide a better geometry for lifted vehicles, allowing the use of the standard adjustment for setting wheel alignment.
They will effectively help to get the maximum performance and lifespan from your suspension, steering components and tyres.
The positioning of the ball joint allows it to sit in a more neutral position providing a full range of travel as per OE specs, effectively eliminating the binding issue.
Here is a brief introduction of both:
Tough Dog upper controls arms features are:
Roadsafe upper control arms:
A lot goes into the design and manufacturing of an upper control arm kit.
Thousands of dollars are spent in computer modelling, prototypes and testing before going to the market.
Here in Australia, they need to meet or exceed OEM specifications with the appropriate paperwork and engineering reports to receive ADR compliance (Australian Design Rule)
Although designed and manufactured to be ADR compliant this can be somewhat confusing as there is no Australian Design Rule for specific products like upper control arms
Roadsafe have ensured their control arms mount to standard fitment positions, have not moved or changed any of the mounting points and used OE specifications for bushings at the chassis.
More detailed information is available upon request.
Not all upper control arms are created equal
Different users (and uses) - different needs
Some aftermarket control arms are fully adjustable in both camber and caster; others have spherical joints at both ends.
Tough Dog and Blackhawk UCA’s use a fixed position ball joint with heavy-duty, OE specifications for the ball joint itself
Both brands specifically chose a fixed ball joint for off-road applications as the ball joint receives a large amount of bump / shock loads.
Over time this could knock an adjustable ball joint out of position.
These brands provide standard features such:
Toyota Landcruiser Prado 120 - 150 Series & FJ Cruiser
Any questions about adjustable upper control arms? Write it in the comments below or call us to talk to our suspension specialists.
And don't forget, sharing is caring. Share this article on social media to spread the knowledge!
credits: Brown Davis
FJ40 FJ45 BJ40 BJ42 HJ45 HJ47 may sound like digits of a Medicare Card or Tax File Number but not for the passionate four-wheel driver enthusiast. He/she knows that those are the models of one of the most iconic 4wd of all time: the Toyota Land Cruiser 40 Series.
In this article, we’re going to cover off a few simple 40 series Landcruiser maintenance tips you can complete at home with a basic set of skills and tools.
But before jumping in, it's fair saying that 4wd owners' friendly rivalry between the different brands of 4wds is one of the joys of being a passionate owner of an off-road machine.
There are a few 4wds that unite owners together: the Willys Jeep, a G60 Patrol or a Land Rover Series 1 short wheelbase. Such vehicles that we tend to agree are “just cool”.
There’s another 4wd that this article is going to cover off that arguably has no haters and that is the Mighty 40 series Landcruiser Troopy.
The 40 series Landcruiser Shorty has explored every corner of Australia numerous times and made itself famous for its exploits crossing remote deserts, floating across the Jardine River, to competing in the Tuff Truck Challenge.
Like all things man-made it has a couple of areas that need to be kept an eye on so let's explore how you can do them at home.
Let's dive in:
If you end-up needing new 40 series parts and start typing on Google things like "40 series Landcruiser Parts Australia" etc, you may not always find what you really need.
40 series Landcruiser body parts, Landcruiser 40 series chassis parts, or 40 series Landcruiser roof console, for example, are not always easy to come by, however, can be found in specialist 4wd shops such as the one you are reading right now.
All Four x 4 Spares stocks a wide range of 40 series Landcruiser parts for sale in this website and they provide a massive help whether you are doing a 40 series restoration or just a service.
If unsure give them a call on (02) 4041 4041 for any of the service items you may require such as 40 series power steering kit, 40 series air conditioning parts or if you need quality second hand 40 series doors, you may find them in their 40 series Landcruiser wreckers department.
Of course, if you find something during these checks and you would like their professional team of Landcruiser service mechanics to do the work for you on your 40 series ute, call their fully equipped Landcruiser repairs workshop in Kotara on (02) 4041 4003.
(from some of the most iconic 40 series in Australia - Roothy 4WD Milo)
Buy the Terrain Tamer Filter kit here
Today we are going to talk about 4WD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS and how you can keep them in perfect shape without breaking the bank.
Automatic transmissions are a weird and wonderful design, as some would say foot goes down, magic happens, and power comes out. (If you like geeky stuff and want to learn more of how an Automatic Transmission works in engineering terms then watch this video)
Auto transmissions are super easy to operate so that you can hold the wheel with one hand and eat a burger with the other, but, unfortunately, the driving force of our vehicles is not quite so simple and just the same as our engines, they require regular maintenance and pre-emptive modifications to aid the overall performance and longevity of our transmissions.
This, of course, starts with regular servicing of the oil and filtration system to give your transmission the best bet to keep performing at its best potential.
Good question, the simple answer is heating,
an overheating transmission is one of the leading causes of costly failures to our automatic transmissions.
So, what causes this excessive heat?
Again, brilliant question! You’re good at this!
Number one measure of maintaining your transmission, and ensuring your internal oil temperatures are kept cool and manageable is a heavy-duty auxiliary transmission cooler
yes, most vehicle manufacturers do have automatic transmission coolers fitted, however, these systems are tested under moderate conditions and not pushed to the true tough conditions our four-wheel drives are used for, be it fully loaded tough touring, towing the boat or caravan every weekend or hardcore four-wheel driving!
These are the areas where your standard transmission cooler will begin to build up excessive heat, causing hard-shifting and even worse, possible failure due to burnt/prematurely worn oil.
I thought you’d never ask! Time for a home run.
As previously mentioned a heavy-duty front mount auxiliary transmission cooler is going to make an immediate difference to the performance and longevity of your transmission.
All Four x 4 Spares have a wide range of automatic transmission coolers specific to suit many makes and models, our coolers come with an especially Australian designed and manufactured mount which allows optimal airflow directly from the grille of your vehicle, ensuring the most efficient cooling possible!
Each kit has a top-quality, tried, tested and proven PWR cooler and 4mm thick E-coated mounting bracket, as well as high-quality hoses and fittings to suit, meaning you get the maximum confidence in your transmission cooling system. Give us a call on 02 4041 4041 to order one for your vehicle.
Although we touched on some key points above that will cause heat to rise to a damaging level in your transmission it is important to remember that on a hot day in even a lightly-loaded vehicle something as minor as a slight uphill rise can cause a major peak in transmission temperature leaving you stuck roadside, with a possibly failed transmission.
Much like having a winch fitted to your vehicle, an automatic transmission cooler is cheap insurance, not only making for a more comfortable drive from your transmission but potentially saving you thousands in costly repairs due to a failed transmission!
If you are in a situation where your automatic transmission has completely failed, well then you won’t have any other options other than visiting an automatic transmission repairs workshop.
Not wanting to blow our horns but our team of automatic transmission mechanics are specialists in transmission repairs, overhauls and auto transmission rebuilds.
They’ll repair your automatic transmission with the highest level of speed and efficiency possible. If you are after some of the best automatic transmission mechanics in Newcastle and Hunter region only two hours drive from Sydney, then look no further and give them a call on 02 4041 4003
Does your 4WD have a manual transmission? All these automatic transmission talks may make you wonder what would be like off-road driving with an automatic transmission.
Do you know that you can change your manual transmission to automatic? And let’s say you own a 70 Series Landcruiser and you want to make her quieter at highway speeds by dropping the rpm’s off your tacho and provide an overall improvement in comfort, performance and fuel economy.
Here at All Four x 4 Spares, we can convert the Toyota Landcruiser 76,78,79 Series from Manual to 6 Speed Automatic Transmissions. We only use quality automatic conversions kits from Wholesale Automatics Transmissions. Check this video by MadMatt 4wd for a comprehensive overview.
To learn more check our automatic conversion blog page where we go through the details of the 79 Series manual to auto conversion.
Do you have any questions? Comment below or call 02 4041 4003 to get in touch with our transmission specialists
If you’re one of those fortunate people who own a Toyota Landcruiser 80 series (any models such FJ80 FZJ80 HZJ80 HDJ80 etc), there is a slight possibility it needs a little bit of COVID-19 love from you. (If you’ll land here from the future: this post was written in May 2020 during the Coronavirus lockdown)
In this article, we’re going to cover off a few simple tasks you can complete at home with a basic set of skills and tools.
Your 80 Series Land Cruiser service and maintenance will vary depending on how you have set it up and how you use it. The service requirements will vary slightly so with this in mind lets touch on some of the items you can look at for your vehicle.
Starting at the front end:
Check all bolts on the steering linkages and associated components. Check the steering system for play and adjust as required.
The lower kingpin studs are known to come loose and should be checked with a torque wrench. (71Ft-Lbs/96NM) If they look as though they have been loose for some time it would be advisable to strip the knuckle down and investigate for any damage. Look for burrs and wear around the holes, studs and where the steering arm joins the knuckle. Check our Swivel Stud Kits in stock
for fatigue cracks. These can be repaired with one of the many welds in repair kits available.
The power steering reservoirs are renowned for weeping around the top crimp.
and look for feathering, scalloping, cuts and uneven wear patterns and tread wear indicators.
Jack up each wheel and by holding the top and bottom of the tyre feel for any play in the wheel bearings. Rotate the wheels feeling and listening for abnormalities like rumbling or scraping sounds. Be aware that the brake pads may make a slight rubbing noise which is ok. The rear bearings are a little harder to feel because the axle is connected to the wheel hub. In an ideal world, you should remove the axle to check the rear bearings. Our range of: Wheel Bearing Hub Kits
While you are at each wheel look for oil leaks around the knuckles and hubs. I also inspect the shock absorber and sway bar bushes at this time.
Task #8: Check the rear control arm bushes
Using a pry bar check all the front and rear control arm bushes for cracks and failures.
for signs of flogging, fretting and oil leaks. Check our 80 Series Rear Axle Hub Studs
If you decide to repack the wheel bearings it’s worth considering the use of the Terrain Tamer Heavy Duty bearing kit. This comes with a cassette seal which resolves issues with worn seal surfaces.
and condition making sure the differential, gearbox and transfer case oils are not water contaminated. If the oil looks grey there’s water present and the component needs to be drained and flushed.
for dust and blow it out from the inside with compressed air. Clean out the dust trap under the air filter box.
There should be no signs of cracks or fraying. The correct tension is about 15mm of play in the longest run of the belt.
Check our 80 Series Fan Belt Kits
for leaks or damage and coolant hoses shouldn’t feel crunchy when you squeeze them.
(no, we don't mean to put grease on your partner’s nipples)
You’ll find 3 grease nipples on both front and rear driveshaft, grease these with a quality general purpose grease.
There should be 7 clicks when you pull on the hand brake lever and the car should hold on a slight slope.
All Four x 4 Spares has all the parts you require available in the Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series Parts section of our website.
If unsure give us a call on (02) 4041 4041 for any of the service items you may require such as Terrain Tamer Engine Filter Kits, Drive Belt kits, Swivel Kits, suspension bushes etc
Of course, if you find something during these checks and you would like our professional team of Landcruiser service mechanics to do the work for you, call our fully equipped Landcruiser repairs workshop in Kotara on (02) 4041 4003.
Some of the 16 tasks can be seen here in this video:
(skip to 1:20)
To John C. for providing all the photos of the parts to inspect from his 80 Series Landcruiser below
So, which task are you going to try first?
(Updated to 25/03/2020)
It is all systems go here at All Four x 4 Spares.
Our showroom is still open, as is our workshop and dismantling facility. If you are unable to come to our store we have lots of options to freight parts to you.
You can be assured we have plenty of stock on our shelves and our freight partners are business as usual.
Considering the current health situation, we have put in place the following measures for the safety and protection of our customers, our staff and our families:
Refer below for steps and tips to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Hand Sanitiser: We have placed multiple Hand Sanitiser dispensers throughout our shop and on our counters. We ask that you use the sanitiser when entering our showroom.
Hand Shaking: We all like a good handshake as a gesture of appreciation for good service/advice, however, during this time we instructed our staff to abstain in the best interests of good mutual health.
Personal space (Social distancing): To ensure we are doing all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 we have increased the area of the distance between our customers and our counter staff.
If you are feeling sick, feverish, coughing, sneezing or other flu like symptoms we would kindly appreciate you informing us prior to coming in-store.
Some preventative measure we have put in place include:
When visiting us at Kotara, you will be greeted a stop sign asking you to ensure you are well before entering our showroom
We have placed tables with hand sanitiser between our customers and our counter to assist with social distancing. For customers picking up orders in our showroom, our preference is Eftpos
We have added hand sanitiser and hand cleaning advice to all toilet doors
We have added hand sanitiser to each hoist and each work station
So we can ensure we are here when you need us we have a large number of our sales team working from home, answering calls via a VoIP system
Non-urgent meetings and supplier visits have been postponed
All of our key suppliers, in Australia and overseas, have confirmed they have plenty of stock for the long term
We look forward to continuing to be of assistance and get through the current situation together.
All Four x 4 Spares