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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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Maps VS Gps in 4WD: Which one is best?

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Many of us have been itching to get away and into some proper Aussie isolation; one thing this great country offers in buckets...





Those that do have the opportunity to get out in the scrub regularly, most would already have the basics like some sort of shelter and sleeping gear (whatever your style - swag/tent/roof top tent/pop-top trailer/caravan), basic to advanced kitchen/cooking equipment, transport whether that be by foot, bike or vehicle, the options and configurations now-a-days are endless


Among the list of equipment highly recommended to be included in your kit, but often overlooked, are navigation tools






For many years one of the most common and essential pieces of equipment is the good old map


With the assortment of technology available in recent years, there are many modern options available for us to navigate to our destination, maps are now often considered a thing of the past


But there is a lot of the fun using navigation skills nearly forgotten and plotting your route using a paper map


Passing these techniques onto our children can also make the most out of some of those "are we there yet" moments


How about giving them a map and asking them the question instead


Maps can be a recreational tool also - picture being setup at your campsite and planning a hike to explore the local area


Sitting around a map, sharing ideas about waterways with swimming holes or scenic ridgelines and working out the best way to get there


It’s a terrific way to get some education in to the kids without them realising - a bit like sneaking veges into their dinner - good for them!




A seasoned map reader is able to locate themselves on a map using various tools and techniques, but it does take experience


For most of us, a better tool to use to find out where you are is a GPS



GPS Receivers




The modern GPS is a great device


It is quite a complicated system, although in a nutshell there are a network of GPS satellites orbiting the planet with each satellite constantly transmitting its location and current time using radio frequencies


A GPS receiver (commonly fitted to a vehicle, or handheld) detects these transmissions, compares the information it receives (and when it receives it) from several satellites, and uses this information to determine where on the surface of the planet it is


Typically, 4 satellites are required to calculate your location reasonably accurately, the more satellites picked up the faster and more accurate the result


One of the outstanding features of a GPS receiver is as it uses radio frequency completely independent from phone / network / internet / Wi-Fi coverage, as long as your unit has battery life and you can see the sky (Note: tall buildings/trees etc can reduce performance) then it’ll work anywhere on the planet - including the middle of the ocean


Conceived in the early 1970's by the US government, the GPS system was initially restricted for military use only


In the 1980's it was opened up for civilian use by the then President Ronald Reagan


Currently, this first GPS system is still owned, maintained and controlled by the US Government


Since the 1980's there have been numerous upgrades and 'next generation' systems implemented but they essentially do the same thing the same way


Several countries have also created their own GPS network of satellites due to the obvious security issue of the original being under US control


While a GPS is an extremally useful navigation device, there have been several cases over the years showing relying on a GPS system alone to plot your route can end in disaster






"Death by GPS" has its own Wikipedia entry - its a brief read but contains some great advice


A sad case in freezing far Eastern Russia where a pair of teens using GPS chose the shorter suggested route rather than the longer second option shows how easily we can be led down the wrong path


What the GPS did not make clear was the shorter path was actually an abandoned highway known as the "Road of Bones", which was no longer regularly maintained


With temperatures around -50degC and a mishap with a stick piercing the radiator their adventure ended disastrously with one dying and the other suffering acute hypothermia due to it taking a week to find them - Read more – click here


Here are a few more cases where budding navigators survived but only just….

Unplanned 3-day tour of Death Valley California

Car competes with train - on train tracks

Is this a road or a boat ramp


Like any tool GPS receivers have their short comings and, as long as the user is aware of them, they can be worked around


To be fair, the GPS receivers in all the above examples worked as intended


What failed was the route mapping software loaded onto the unit


The technology is just not quite there to make them a reliable single tool to navigate in all situations


They can be used but should not be relied upon for route planning or guidance on their own


Had the Russian teens in the tragic story above taken the time to study a traditional map, there is a good chance it would have indicated the road was not maintained


It may have even shown it was not suitable for their 2WD vehicle


Anyway - enough GPS bashing


GPS units are the best tool for telling you WHERE YOU ARE



Local Guides




A third and often overlooked tool used for planning a trip are local guides


Local guides provide highly detailed information about roads, towns, forests, campsites, points of interest etc


They often contain photos, list facilities, pricing information, reviews, the list goes on


The level of detail included in these guides can range from single page pamphlets covering particular sites to books covering regions with detailed information about a wide range of points of interest


This level of info can be a real game changer!


Ever turned up to a camp site or caravan park only to find out pets are not allowed, or the facilities are not quite what was imagined


Local guides can also help plan your trip by high lighting some interesting sites that often easily can be overlooked


Got a favourite camp ground but are struggling to find new activities in the area?


Want to break from routine and find a new site to camp and explore?


A quick look in a local guide may provide enough interesting stops in one area that it could change the course of your trip


Local guides usually contain some very detailed information about local road conditions but they must be treated as they are intended – THEY ARE A GUIDE TO INTRODUCE A LOCAL AREA OR REGION


They are generally not terrifically useful as navigational aids although the Hema Atlas and Guide range does offer topographic map content!



So, what should I use to make the most out of a trip?




An ideal solution is to have access to all three


Maps and local guides to plan your journey and GPS receiver and maps to help get you there


Maps and local guides come in a variety of formats, scales, levels of detail so picking the right combination may require asking your favourite map store ( some questions


Many local guides now, especially the higer quality ones, include very detailed maps which can negate the need for a traditional fold out style map


Personally, I find nothing better than unfolding a map on a table and start pondering what to do or where to go



Some suggestions:


Alpine National Park - Victorian High Country


Local Map

State Map


Parks Victoria


Want a taste of Victorian High Country? Check this great 4wd trip from Brown Davis 40th anniversary!


Cape York & Old Telegraph Track - Far North Queensland


Local Map

State Map


Parks and Forests Queensland


Heading North? Check these handy tips!


The Kimberly - North Western Australia


Local Map

State Map


Parks and Wildlife Service - Western Australia



Browse our entire Hema range of Hema Maps, atlases and guides here



Here is a MadMatt4wd overview of the Hema Maps



And one of the Hema GPS Navigator



Finally, one picture to highlight another advantage of maps over a GPS


Not recommended to use this technique with a GPS to find a random place to visit.....






If you do want to try, this is the map to do it with - you'll need to BYO darts!


Most important of all - have fun out there exploring!


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Bring on the Summer Camping Adventures

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Ever since school, the words Summer Holidays have meant something special. Most Australians are lucky enough to enjoy a 6-week break when they are at school over January and either side of it.


For those working, planning time off for school holiday fun with the kids, or just some well-deserved downtime often means pulling out the camping gear and heading to our favourite spots.


Who can blame us? We live in such an amazing country with some truly spectacular destinations!


What was once just a simple tent and the family, has grown into camper trailers, rooftop tents, 19+ foot caravans and quite amazing setups with everything including the kitchen sink.


To help you enjoy these Summer holidays, we have put together a list of accessories and items to improve your experience in the great outdoors.



Setting up Camp




Depending on where you are camping will determine what your accommodation will be.


For those towing a caravan, you are pretty much set up for accommodation. You just need to book your holiday park or be set up to free camp with solar panels, extra water tanks and sanitary solutions.


If it's just you and your mate, or you are running solo, a simple swag might be the best option. Easy to set up and pack away, as well as being small enough to carry on a roof rack, a ute back or even a motorbike.


We have some great swag options available from Darche and Campboss that will keep you insect free and dry when out in the wilderness.


Taking your 4x4? An awning on the side of your vehicle can provide extra protection from the elements and take away some of the harsh heat of the sun, as well as deflecting the rain and condensation.


Our awnings are available in a range of sizes and configurations depending on what you are looking to achieve. A simple 2 or 2.5-metre side awning is great for a couple of swags to camp under, or a 270-degree awning will protect more area around your car for things like food preparation and changing clothes.


If you are camping somewhere like the Northern Territory or far north Queensland and fear uninvited guests visiting throughout the night, why not opt for a rooftop tent?


Our rooftop tents provide accommodation off the ground on the roof of your 4x4 or trailer, and feature mosquito netting and window awnings to protect you from that morning sun after a big night, or rain on a hot night.


They are quite simple to set up and pack away, and conveniently hold your mattress and blankets whilst stored away.


Of course, you do not need to be limited by space when all set up. We have a range of awnings and annexes that can extend your camping rooms.



Making Breakfast




Just because you are away from home, does not mean you have to eat poorly. There is a range of exciting new camp ovens and kitchen accessories to satisfy even the fussiest camp chef.


Why not build up your recipe repertoire of camp oven meals with the new CampBoss Ultimate Camp cooking Bundle? Now you can roast, bake, fry or boil just like Jase and the team from All 4 Adventure. The possibilities are endless from dinner delights to desserts that will make your fellow campers drool.


Need a BBQ set up for your morning bacon, eggs, sausages and mushrooms?


The stainless steel fold up options from Darche make storage and setup easy and expand your cooking capabilities when out camping. It will come in handy when you catch that fish that always gets away from you.



Relax like a King




After all the hard work of setting up camp and making dinner, you will need a few essentials like a good camp chair and a hard-working fridge.


Reliable camping furniture is often overlooked. We have a range of collapsible camping chairs to keep you cozy and comfortable as you enjoy a meal, a drink, or a story or two with your mates.


Do not forget chairs for the kids or they will want to sit on your lap all day.


We even have camp chairs with side tables and drink holders. They are available online, or you can come into our store and find the best fit for your body and budget.


You will need somewhere to put all your things that are not the ground. Pick up a sturdy fold-out camp table. Easy to store away, light, and perfect as a kitchen table.


When it comes to storing your fruit and veg, meats and drinks, a reliable fridge freezer is needed.


Select from a range of sizes depending on your needs and the length of time you plan to be away.


Having a dual compartment can be handy to freeze items to last longer. Larger fridges can also fit more drinks, larger bottles, and the big fish you are going to catch.


The fridge can be mounted in your car, camper or van to avoid it moving around during your travels. We offer a range of solutions including tie-downs, fridge slides, and dropdowns.


To maximise the efficiency of your fridge, you can use a fridge cover. This is very relevant when you are mounting the fridge externally such as on a ute back or in a canopy.


To protect your cans and bottles during transit, we suggest trying out MSA 4x4’s Stubbie and Tinnie tubes. These are neoprene covers that protect both your fridge and contents.


Drop-in or jump online to check out the range of sizes for fridge freezer models.



Do not be afraid of the Dark




Your iPhone light is just not going to cut it out camping. Get serious with a good quality torch or lantern.


We also have work lamps and spotlights for your 4x4 or van. With a range of LED options, as well as power solutions including solar and dual battery systems, you can set up a lighting solution that works best for your camping environment.


Heading out to your favourite fishing spot after the sun has gone to bed, or before it rises? Try a head-mounted lamp to give you hands-free lighting. You will wonder how you did without it for so long.


If you are travelling at night, a good quality light bar or driving lights can make a big difference. Choose from spot and spread beams, LED, halogen, curved bars and more.



Getting there Safely




Most importantly, make sure you get to your Summer camping adventures safely.


If towing a caravan or camping trailer, be sure your 4WD is set up correctly including suspension and airbags, towing hitch and load levelling, electric brakes and weight calculations.


The workshop team at All Four X 4 can help with your towing setups. Get your four-wheel drive correctly set up and checked over before towing.


If you are travelling with your vehicle alone, the same applies in terms of suspension setup and weight calculations. You will also need to consider your storage options for the gear you are bringing.


Often enough, that ideal fishing spot, beach camp, or remote camping spot will require some off-road driving.


If you are travelling alone especially, be sure to have recovery gear packed in case you get stuck. Getting bogged before you get to your campsite is not a good way to start a summer holiday adventure.


Whether you are towing or not, be sure to look after your tyres by correctly adjusting pressures. Having an on-board air compressor and a good quality tyre deflator can make navigating corrugated roads and sandy tracks a lot simpler.


The team and workshop at All Four X 4 in Kotara are ready to help you make the most of your Summer adventures, as well as ensure your four-wheel drive is up to the task.


Book in today for all your pre-road trip servicing and safety checks, towing setups, and suspension upgrades.


Our online store and shop have your camping needs covered from fridges to frypans, tents to tools, and chairs to…… well almost everything to do with 4WD adventuring and camping.


How can we help you?



article by Adventure Unplanned


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How to Prepare your 4x4 for Water Crossings

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With La Niña in effect in Australia and more rainfall forecast, it is more important than ever to remember the essentials on your 4x4 for dealing with water.


Parts of your four-wheel drive need protection from the elements, and whilst we usually think of protection bars, underbody protection and better tyres, there are specific components that must be protected from water.


There are plenty of components that do not like water, these include fuse boxes, breathers, intakes, engine computers, the alternator, batteries, and lots more electrical items.


Here are a few ways you can protect your four-wheel drive from water and the elements.



Breathe air, not water




Just like us, humans, petrol and diesel engines breathe in air to run. Having water in this airflow can seriously mess things up.


Water entering your four-wheel drive’s air intake can cause damage to components, cause a hydro lock (as the water will not compress like air) and permanent damage that will require a rebuild of your motor. Not what you need when you are out in the middle of nowhere.


Small amounts of moisture in the air intake can also cause your engine to stall. The last thing you want happening when you are guards deep in a river.


To avoid the consumption of water by your engine’s air intake, fit a quality snorkel to your airbox, ensure one-way drain plugs are working correctly, and that your air inlet system is sealed correctly.


Not all snorkels are the same, be sure to find out how sealed your system is and stick with a quality brand.


Being on the outside of your four-wheel drive, snorkels are also exposed to Australia’s hot sun and cheaper plastic snorkels can easily crack and warp.



Fuel burns, water does not




Now that you have ensured water is not getting into your inlet, we need to also protect the fuel system.


Water in our fuel lines and tank can also find its way into our four-wheel drive’s engine, and cause damage, as well as corrosion.


This can lead to engine stalls, poor performance and permanent damage cutting your adventure short.


Fitting a water separator and secondary fuel filter system can help keep the fuel water-free.


Kits can be fitted on the majority of models, or a custom solution created. Our workshop can advise and install the best setup for your four-wheel drive, and also explain how to empty the water collector.



Water and oil should not mix.




Crossing a river or hitting a large puddle means the underside of your four-wheel drive is exposed to a lot of water, and in some cases, is fully submerged.


Four-wheel drive differentials have breathers mounted on them, which when submerged, can cause water to enter the diff, contaminating the oil and grease. A lot of the time this may also be mud with sand or dirt.


This can cause premature wear and even failure of your diff.


To avoid this happening, fit an extended diff breather kit which includes hoses to run from your original diff breather points to a filtered airbox that you can mount higher up in your vehicle to avoid water consumption.


You can also fit extended breather kits to your gearbox and transfer case breather points.



Wear a bra




When attempting to cross a river or creek that is deeper than your wheels, it can be a great idea to fit a wading bra or water crossing cover.


This will help avoid a wave of water filling your engine bay.


They simply fit across the front of your four-wheel drive and help create a bow wave that you can follow through the crossing.


Avoiding the big rush of water into your engine bay can also avoid costly damage to your radiator and engine fan.


Remember to only use the water crossing bra when you are crossing a waterway, as it may hinder your vehicle’s cooling system if left on otherwise.


Another point to remember is that a water crossing bra will only be effective while there is forward motion. As soon as you stop in the water or reverse, water will flood into your engine bay.



Be prepared.




Being ready is better than fixing the problem later.


Your four-wheel drive is not designed to be submerged and there are many entry points for water like your fuel cap and doors.


If you have a petrol engine, consider making sure your distributor cap and coil leads are sealing correctly. Some four-wheel drive enthusiasts with petrol engine vehicles use a small film of silicon around the cap and coils to seal things up and plumb any distributor breathers into the airbox.


Your electric winch on the front of your four-wheel drive will also cop the water, so be sure to also use a water dispersant spray on the terminals and check the breathers on the winch motor.



Ride the wave.




The speed you enter and exit the waterway, as well as drive through it can affect the way water enters your vehicle.


Creating a small bow wave at the front of your vehicle and following it can stop the water rushing over your bonnet or splashing hard into your engine bay.


Entering the water too fast can sometimes cause this wave to come over your bonnet and also endanger your air intake.


If you are in a manual, avoid changing gears whilst in the water as this can allow water and contaminants into your clutch.



Water Dispersant.




Carrying a can of water dispersant can be useful in protecting your 12v electricals.


Regularly clean your electrical components and give them a light spray. Having this spray can also be helpful if your engine stalls or has problems after the crossing.



Tyre pressures.




If you have been tackling some rough country already, your tyre pressures might be down, but if they are not, lower them.


This will help both in reducing buoyancy, and to increase grip on the riverbed or waterway floor


Use a quick tyre deflator with a gauge to ensure your tyres are all correctly aired down.


If you carry an air compressor with you, bring an air nozzle along to blow out water from your engine bay components.


Most importantly, check the riverbed or ground before entering the waterway. If soft sand or mud, you may want lower tyre pressures. If rocky and hard, slightly higher pressures might need to be used for grip.



Cooling down.




Spending time preparing your vehicle and checking the waterway you are about to cross will also give your vehicle time to cool down.


Components like brakes and the cooling fan can get damaged if suddenly entering a cold flood of water.


Four-wheel drives with viscous coupling fans can sometimes self-destruct when spinning fast and hitting a body of water. Consider anchoring this type of fan to something in the engine bay to stop it from spinning up whilst you cross the water. Just remember to release it straight after.



Safety first




Water crossings can be fun but should also be avoided where possible.


The last thing any four-wheel drive owner wants is to see their vehicle stuck in deep water, damaged or floating away.


If you are towing a van or camper trailer, the risks increase again with added weight and unpredictability.


Carrying an emergency seatbelt cutter can also come in handy if you do happen to get stuck in the water.


Whilst many people close their windows before crossing to stop splashes and possibly increase buoyancy, consider the consequences if you get stuck and not being able to open your window to escape the car, especially with power windows.


Make sure your four-wheel drive is set up for water crossings by talking to one of our team at All Four x 4.


We can help you with the supply and installation of all the above accessories, as well as identify problems that might arise on your model of four-wheel drive.


See you on the tracks, or in our workshop soon.



article by Adventure Unplanned

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10 Things to Remember before you Plan a Trip up North

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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?



Buying Food on your Trip



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.




Storing Food on your Trip





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.




Keeping up the Fluids





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.




Too much water





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.


It can get pretty wet up north and you will most likely cross a few rivers and waterways to discover all the great spots. Protect your 4x4 with a snorkel and a wading cover (or water crossing bra).


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.




Protection bars and covers






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.




Mountains and mole hills





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.


Talk to our expert team in store about suspension including GVM upgrades.




What if you get stuck?





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.


We would also recommend a good tyre compressor and tyre deflator for adjusting your tyre pressures for different terrain.


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.




Stay in contact with the world





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.




Keep Australia beautiful




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.




Accidents happen





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.




In summary


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).



article by Adventure Unplanned



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How Santa can Improve your New Year 4WD Adventures

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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.



Throttle Controllers




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




CAMPBOSS Cape York Chairs





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!




Swivel Housing & Wheel Bearing Kits




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?




Got a Winch? You need this




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.




Next Gen Towing Mirrors



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.



Fridge Freezers




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.




Tyre Basics




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.


Give our team a call today and we can see what options we have for your 4WD.




Pre Fuel Filter Kits




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.



Camp Ovens




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.




Stocking Fillers




Of course, there is even more gear you will find in our Kotara Showroom including recovery and camping gear, 4x4 parts, performance accessories and more.


Maybe all you need is the best stubby cooler in town – the All Four x 4 stubby cooler.



Can’t decide?




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?


It could be the difference between you getting a swag or a rooftop tent.



article by Adventure Unplanned

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Is your air filter housing sealing correctly?

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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


Air Filter


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 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.





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 a 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 the knowledge!




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

Read entire post: 23 things to check when servicing a 40 Series Landcruiser (at home)



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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