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All Four x 4 Spares Blog

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.


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Is your air filter housing sealing correctly?

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Air Filter


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 engineEven 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





  • The kit includes a custom-designed shim along with a new Terrain Tamer branded air filter
  • It increases the clamping force the upper and lower sections of the air filter housing has on the filter element creating a more secure seal
  • All Terrain Tamer designed parts (including filters) are designed to meet or exceed OEM specifications
  • The shim itself is cut from approx 0.7mm stainless steel plate
  • It is designed to be installed into the sealing channel in the upper section of the housing
  • An adhesive like Sikaflex Pro is recommended to be used to secure the shim in place although it is not required




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:


Terrain Tamer Air Filter and Dusting Shim Kit suitable for VDJ70 Series & Prado 120 150 TTAFSK


Phone: 02 4041 4000 (+612 4041 4000)





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Which 4x4 accessories and modifications do you really need?

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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:







Recovery Gear




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 firstYou 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.


These includes:



Recovery Points:




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.




Snatch Straps




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.




Car Jacks




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.




Air jacks (or Exhaust Jacks)




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.




Hi-Lift Jacks




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.



Car Jack VS Air Jack VS Hi-Lift Jack


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:


Flexible traction mats




They are light devices with linked tracks and work best in soft surfaces. Easy to transport as they are roll-up nice and tight.



Bridging ramps




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.



Traction ramps


treds 4x4


Similar to bridging ramps but they are much lighter and can only be used on soft surfaces. They are quite a popular recovery and extraction devices and can come in different colours.



Inflatable traction aids




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.



Spades and shovels




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.



Fire extinguishers and fire blankets




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.




First Aid kits and Survival Kits




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.



Cargo Barriers




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.



Internal Storage Systems




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.



Spare Parts



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.



Air Compressor


mean mother air compressor

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.



Uhf Radio



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.



Water Storage



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 must be adequately secured in the vehicle, and drop fridge slides are the best set up to do so with easier access from the rear of your car.


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.



Long Range Fuel Tanks



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.



Bash Plates (underbody protection)



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.



Bull Bars



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:


  • a nudge bar fits over the existing front bumper and covers part of the bumper.
  • an over bumper bar is the same thing but covers the entire bumper
  • a bull bar replaces the front bumper completely


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:


  • Steel: stronger, cheaper and heavier
  • Alloy: lighter, more expensive and better looking (usually)
  • Plastic: the lightest of the three but not the toughest.




Rear Bars (Tow Bars)



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.



Dual Battery Systems




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.



Roof Racks



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).


Roof Racks are handy places to store light and bulky items such as rooftop tents and camping chairs.


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.



Driving Lights




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:

  • spotlights great for cruising and illuminating a long distance
  • wide-angle or spread-beam light is better suited for low-speed 4wd work.

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



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.



Other 4wd accessories

The list is still big of all accessories and modifications you can fit in a 4WD if you go out touring.

canopies, heavy-duty clutches, heavy-duty seat covers, awnings and annexes, flares & grilles, cruise control kits, performance exhausts, and many more






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.


We only stock the best brands such as Brown Davis, Clearview, Darche, Drivetech 4x4, EFS, Ironman 4x4, Msa 4x4, Narva, Piranha Off-Road, Roadsafe 4wd, Terrain Tamer, Tough Dog and many more.





And we can also fit them for you in our workshop service centre.





If you have any questions, please shoot them in the comments!



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Upper control arms

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The ultimate guide (2020 Update)






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



What are suspension control arms and what do they do?


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 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





Why upgrade upper control arms?



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?





Install modified upper control arms to your IFS 4WD



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 full range of travel as per OE specs, effectively eliminating the binding issue




Tough Dog and Blackhawk by Roadsafe are among those



Here is a brief introduction of both:



Tough Dog upper control arms





Tough Dog upper controls arms features are:

  • Fixed position arm with increased caster (built in)
  • 1020 grade forged ball joint housing and end-rings (bush end)
  • Heavy duty, greaseable ball joints of OE size for easy replacement
  • Grease-free synthetic elastomer bushings
  • Free-pivoting bushings remove the chance of binding
  • increased clearance to strut/coil spring at full droop
  • increase strength exceeding OE versions






Blackhawk upper control arms (by Roadsafe)








Roadsafe upper control arms:

  • Fixed arm with increased caster (built in)
  • OE style/size rubber bushings
  • OE style/size ball joints.
  • Increased strength over OE



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: 

  • 3 or more degrees of fixed caster correction which is the perfect amount of correction required for lifts ranging from 30-70mm
  • A fixed amount of caster offers the ability to use the factory adjustment to fine-tune the caster required for the vehicle's lift
  • Camber adjustment to meet OE specs
  • Maintain OE specification ball joint & bushings – you can use genuine replacement parts or aftermarket OE in case you need to replace a ball joint or bushing (OE spec bushing for Blackhawk only)
  • Positions for factory mounting of brake lines
  • Increased strength compared to the OE design 
  • Heavy-duty long-life ball joints 




All Four x 4 Spares stocks Blackhawk upper control arms and Tough Dog upper control arms suitable for a wide range of vehicles. Here is the list:




Toyota Hilux

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Hilux KUN GGN 2005-On

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for Hilux KUN26 GUN125 



Toyota Fortuner

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Fortuner 2015-On 

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for Fortuner 



Toyota Landcruiser 100 Series 

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for Landcruiser 100 Series HDJ UZJ



Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series 

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Landcruiser 200 Series - TDCA-004

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for Landcruiser 200 Series VDJ UZJ


Toyota Landcruiser Prado 120 - 150 Series & FJ Cruiser

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Landcruiser Prado 120 150 Series and FJ Cruiser - TDCA-005

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for Lifted Prado 150 Series FJ Cruiser



Nissan Navara & Pathfinder

Blackhawk Upper Control Arms suitable for Lifted D40 D23 Navara & R51 Pathfinder




Ford Ranger PX

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Ranger PX I, II, III 

Roadsafe Blackhawk adjustable Upper Control Arms suitable for 30-70mm Lift Ford Ranger PX



Ford Everest

Tough Dog Upper Control Arms suitable for Everest



Mazda BT50

Roadsafe Upper Control Arms suitable for 30-70mm Lift Mazda BT-50 2011 on






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 knowledge!




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23 things to check when servicing a 40 Series Landcruiser (at home)

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credits: Brown Davis






Guest post by MadMatt 4WD. Follow him for great 4wd tips and tricks on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Website



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:



Check #1: Steering system

  • The 40 series Landcruiser power steering system has the bell crank Steering Idler Box out front on the chassis rail which is well known to wear and will cause sloppy steering response. It’s worth checking all Tie Rod Ends and Steering Box along with the steering system for play in any of the components. These are usually easy to adjust or change out although you may need to get a wheel alignment after this work.




Check #2: Wheel bearings

  • Jack up the front wheels and use safety stands, then hold the tyre top and bottom, push and pull the tyre to feel for play in the wheel bearings. Rotate the wheel feeling and listening for ‘rumbling’ that will indicate failing bearings. A slight rubbing sound could be the brakes and would be seen as normal. The rear bearings are a little harder to feel because the axle is connected to the wheel hub on full floating rear diffs from 09/1975 on. In an ideal world, you should remove the axle to check the rear bearings.




Check #3: Oil leaking

  • Look for oil leaking onto the inside of the tyre, this would be from the wiper seals on the front steering knuckle. This would often require a swivel hub rebuild as it is you will need to replace the inner axle seal fitted to rectify.




Check #4: Inlet manifold

  • On the petrol 2F motor, the inlet manifold is known to warp which will cause vacuum leaks that cause rough idle, a lean mixture and poor running




Check #5: Ignition components



Check #6: Ignition base timing

  • Check the ignition base timing and vacuum advance with a timing light.




Check #7: Diesel injection pump

  • The 2H Diesel injection pump on an HJ47 is vacuum operated and has a tendency for the leather diaphragm to fail to cause fast idle issues. This can be easily fixed by All Fourx4 but does need the expertise to change. If your oil pressure gauge reads high it indicates the common issue of a sticking oil relief valve. It’s easily fixed with an updated valve. 




Check #8: Air filter

  • Clean the air filter with compressed air by blowing from the inside out.




Check #9: Fluid levels

  • Check all fluid levels and condition by 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. You could consider fitting an extended diff breather system to stop water ingress in the future.




Check #10: Brake and clutch fluids

  • Consider flushing the brake and clutch fluid depending on when it was last done.




Check #11: Rubber hoses and belts

  • Inspect all rubber hoses and belts for cracks, leaks and signs of perishing, change as necessary.




Check #12: Fan Belt tension

  • Check Fan Belt tension. The correct tension is about 15mm of play in the longest run of the belt.




Check #13: Handbrake system

  • Check and adjust the handbrake system, this is normally located at the back of the Transfer Case.




Check #14: Inspect the radiator

  • Visually inspect the radiator for signs of coolant leaks around the core and tank joints.




Check #15: Spring shackle bushes

  • Using a pry bar, lever all spring shackle bushes inspecting for wear and play. 




Check #16: Inspect the springs

  • Inspect the springs for any broken leaves.




Check #17: U-bolt tension

  • Check U-bolt tension.




Check #18: Shock absorbers




Check #19: Grease nipples

  • Grease all grease nipples on the steering and drive shafts.




Check #20: Universal joints




Check #21: Differential drive flanges

  • By pushing up and down feel the differential drive flanges for play and signs of leaking from the pinion seal.




Check #22: Body mounts

  • Visually look at the body mounts to see if they are compressed or cracked, If they are they’re relatively easy to replace and will ensure the body stays connected to the chassis which is a good thing.




Check #23: Tyre pressures

  • Check all the tyre pressures and their condition. Look for deep cuts and irregular wear patterns. Consider doing a tyre rotation.



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.



Useful 40 series servicing videos


(from some of the most iconic 40 series in Australia - Roothy 4WD Milo)


Buy the Terrain Tamer Filter kit here






  • If you’ve got through all this, go for a drive to the shops as a test drive and enjoy the iconic 40 series cruiser you own. Questions? Post them in the comments below!



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How to look after your 4WD's Automatic Transmission

Read entire post: How to look after your 4WD's Automatic Transmission





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)


How an Automatic Transmission works:


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.



What is the biggest killer of an automatic transmission?

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.



So how do I avoid this excessive heat, you ask?

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!



My Automatic Transmission is dead


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




What about 4WD Manual Transmissions?


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



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16 easy maintenance tasks to do on your 80 Series Landcruiser (in 2020)

Read entire post: 16 easy maintenance tasks to do on your 80 Series Landcruiser (in 2020)








Guest post by MadMatt 4WD. Follow him for great 4wd tips and tricks on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Website



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:


Task #1: Check the steering system


Check all bolts on the steering linkages and associated components. Check the steering system for play and adjust as required.



Task #2: Inspect the lower kingpin studs


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






Task #3: Inspect the steering box and upper panhard chassis mount


for fatigue cracks. These can be repaired with one of the many welds in repair kits available.




Task #4: Inspect the power steering hoses, pump and reservoir for leaks and weeps


The power steering reservoirs are renowned for weeping around the top crimp. 






Task #5: Inspect all tyre pressures


and look for feathering, scalloping, cuts and uneven wear patterns and tread wear indicators. 




Task #6: Inspect the wheel bearings


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



Task #7: More checks around the wheels


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.





Task #9: Check the rear axle drive hub studs and nuts


for signs of flogging, fretting and oil leaks. Check our 80 Series Rear Axle Hub Studs





Task #10: Check for worn seals


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.




Task #11: Check all fluid levels 


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.




Task #12: Check the air filter


for dust and blow it out from the inside with compressed air. Clean out the dust trap under the air filter box.





Task #13: Check the condition and tension of all fan belts 


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




Task #14: Check all hoses 


for leaks or damage and coolant hoses shouldn’t feel crunchy when you squeeze them.




Task #15: Grease the nipples..

(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.




Task #16: Check the handbrake operation 


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.




Useful Landcruiser 80 Series servicing videos



Some of the 16 tasks can be seen here in this video:

How to service your 4WD Vehicle: 4x4 Servicing Tips and Tricks

(skip to 1:20)

Credits: LowRangeNick



What's the BEST Toyota 80 Series motor? 4x4 Landcruiser



What does a Spindle Bush do plus tips about it? Shown on my Toyota 4x4 80 series



Changing Diff oil in your 4X4, see MadMatt's solution!



Upgrade of My Rear Axle Hub Drive Studs on my 80 series Landcruiser




A Special Thanks


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?

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Coronavirus - Covid19. Lets drive through this bumpy ride together!

Read entire post: Coronavirus - Covid19. Lets drive through this bumpy ride together!




(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

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The NEW 2020 Land Rover Defender 90 & 110 presented by Richard Hammond

Read entire post: The NEW 2020 Land Rover Defender 90 & 110 presented by Richard Hammond


After much anticipation, the new 2020 Land Rover Defender is finally here!


Richard Hammond found a spanking new 90 and 110 in the middle of the woods somewhere and it looks like he approves of the redesign of the British off-roading icon.

Watch as he takes you through all the main features of the 2020 Defender!




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Terrain Tamer Parabolic Leaf Springs

Read entire post: Terrain Tamer Parabolic Leaf Springs




What are parabolic leaf springs?




Terrain Tamer has recently introduced new parabolic leaf springs for the popular Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series and Toyota Hilux and we thought to put together different resources from Terrain Tamer itself as well as independent reviewers in order to describe what they are and how they work.




Allan Gray from Terrain Tamer wrote a great article about Parabolic Springs on the Automotive Technician Magazine.




Allan Gray's definition of parabolics is: a suspension system used many years ago when vehicles were produced using one, two or three tapered leaves instead of multipacks.


The idea was successful but appeared to go out of fashion when coil springs started being fitted to the form of family cars and light trucks. However, while parabolic tended to disappear from the light truck scene, they continued to be chosen for heavy-duty track applications.


Now Terrain Tamer has released a new design in parabolic leaf springs, bringing the technology back to the Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series.


The new springs are thicker in the centre and taper towards the ends in a true parabolic form, and each leaf is designed to act as a spring in itself. The standard spring is supplied with three leaves - two main leaves that operate when unloaded and a lower leaf that contacts the upper leaves through a pressure pad when a full load is being carried. It's proof of what happens when modern technology is applied to a well-proven idea.


Parabolics are now fitted standard to many vehicles, both light and heavy-duty, for a smoother quieter ride, lower unsprung weight and greater flexibility. During Terrain Tamer testing, they placed cameras on the undercarriage area to check articulation, chassis clearance and brake and acceleration characteristics.


It soon became evident that owing to the increased flexibility of the parabolics, any excessive load on the driveline resulted in the differential housing deflecting with the springs, reducing the shock loading on the crown wheel and pinion.


This situation is particularly advantageous in four-wheel driving situations, where rapid forward and reverse gear selection is often used to extricate a vehicle from an embarrassing mud-hole incident. As with all Terrain Tamer products, these springs have been tested in the rugged situation of the Australian outback.


Greater flexibility, quieter operation, up to 500Kg capacity and improved driver comfort, it's a win-win situation and once you fit them, you will wonder how you ever did without them. 


Terrain Tamer's Parabolic Springs are suitable for these Toyota Vehicles:





Parabolic Springs in real life









Parabolic Springs independent review? check this great review down here




Check our Terrain Tamer Rear Parabolic Leaf Spring online listings here for prices and specs


ATTENTION! We have a great offer valid for JULY & AUGUST:






Do you have any questions? Post a comment down below or give us a call to speak to one of our suspension specialists!


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Which Oil Catch Can is best for your Engine? Find out in this great guide

Read entire post: Which Oil Catch Can is best for your Engine? Find out in this great guide


Unsealed4x4 has recently released an excellent Oil Catch Can comparison guide by testing in a University Laboratory a variety of catch cans commonly used on 4X4s. The volumetric flow rate of the air, the % Efficiency in catching the oil particles and the pressure drop were some of the parameters studied to measure their effectiveness.


We are pleased to share this guide since we proudly stock the WINNER OIL CATCH CAN, but we don't want to break your suspense and discover the winner before reading this guide so click below to open this great PDF guide that you can also save on your device and keep for future references. You will also learn: WHAT IS AN OIL CATCH CAN, WHY WOULD YOU WANT ONE?, HOW THEY WORK, HOW TO CHOOSE (SIZING), WHAT MAKES A GREAT CATCH CAN. OPEN THE GUIDE HERE AND ENJOY THE READ!




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