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.
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.
|HILUX||GGN25||3/2005-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC|
|HILUX||KUN25||8/2004-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC|
|HILUX||KUN26||3/2005-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||FZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||FZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||FZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||FZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||GRJ78||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||GRJ78||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||GRJ79||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||GRJ79||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HDJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HDJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HDJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HDJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||HZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||VDJ78||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||VDJ78||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||VDJ79||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC|
|LANDCRUISER||VDJ79||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC|
Do you have any questions? Post a comment down below or give us a call to speak to one of our suspension specialists!
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!
What's in this blog post has been experienced first hand quite a few times from our guys in the workshop so we thought to do our bit to inform people to act promptly and save their vehicles.
This is about the infamous injector copper washers (or seals). Unfortunately and eventually they will likely all leak.
During compression, the heat eventually melts out the rubber o-ring which is up a little above the copper washer. And above the o-ring, there is an oil channel. The oil that comes down from the injector port gets carbonised into tiny pieces that will end up floating in the oil system and then in the oil sump.
Then when the engine is looking for oil, it will find and suck these tiny particles. Result? Your oil pickup will eventually get blocked.
When that happens, you will get lubrication problems and oil starvation and the very first victim will be the bottom end bearings. Your vehicle will start running crap, the oil light will come on and voila, if you are in the middle of the road, you'll need to be towed away. Plus say goodbye to those Bali holidays savings because you'll be up for a new engine and turbo $$$$
This scenario will affect all those 2006 & 2007 vehicles that are still running around with the older generation of copper washers. From 2008, Toyota introduced and fitted revised coated washers.
If your vehicle is in that year bracket, we can only recommend finding an experienced diesel workshop with experience on 1kd-ftv engines. Some may try DYI but up to your knowledge and confidence to get it right.
Have the injectors and washers checked and replace them only with genuine Toyota or at least with a high-quality aftermarket brand such as this. There are a number of aftermarket brands offering brass washers but that caused controversy among experts due to the nature of brass, a hard material that can't flex and stay sealed.
The same goes with o-rings, any other seals, gaskets, fuel pipes, don't use cheap parts. If your injectors and washers are still the original from 2006, replace them asap. Newly revised copper washers should last every 120.000Km. And don't even think of reusing older washers.
Many common rail diesel owners are aware of this and are on top of it, but many more don't realise the amount of trouble they can get into...so do your vehicle a favour and get those injectors checked!
Drivetech 4x4 Supashocks
|VEHICLE||SUPASHOCK SUSPENSION KIT|
|Ford Ranger PXI & PXII||SSK-001|
|Toyota Hilux GUN/N80/Revo||SSK-002|
|Toyota Prado 150||SSK-004|
|Toyota Landcruiser 200||SSK-005|
Whenever we hear of special events that link some of the things we care the most such as off-road adventures and charity events to help Aussie children in needs, we want to do our part...
Variety is a children charity organization that creates super fun themed events that help to raise funds for children not so lucky.
These events are organized all around Australia but this one will be happening near our doorsteps and we just think it's too super cool not to share:
The Variety Bash is a weeklong adventure with 300 new mates, exploring the dirt roads of NSW and the ACT. Along the way they visit some beautiful country towns, see parts of Australia most wouldn’t otherwise visit, and the best bit is supporting Aussie kids to get a fair go.
They visit schools along the way and donate much-needed items and equipment so we can see how our hard work and fundraising is making a difference.
Our Bashers spread joy everywhere they go and they encourage you to pick a theme to dress up yourself and your car. It’s a sight to see as we roll into towns with everything from Scooby Doo, Superheroes and Princess Leia travelling with us.
They have recently changed our car year entry to 30 years and older which will now allow plenty more makes to join us!
Check out the highlights from the 2017 Variety NSW Bash to give you an idea of the adventure you’ll be in for.
however, maybe not everyone knows that All Four x 4 has been around for over 30 years building a strong reputation in the whole Australian Automotive Industry as a business that supports those institutions that are vital for the industry growth.
The Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers ("IAME") is one of these great organizations and was created in 1936 to create stronger relationships and resources across members in the Automotive Industry.
They provide a long list of services for their members: formal industry training, trade nights, information seminars, auditing & consulting services, and they publish the journal "The Automotive Engineer" full of great industry updates and tech advice.
All Four x 4 Spares was the proud Gold Sponsor for the 2018 Annual Dinner and Trade Show, aiming to support local businesses across the Hunter Newcastle Region focusing on the local motoring industry. A Special Guest Speaker for this great event was Kurt Sakzewski; General Manager of Operations Supercars Australia who filled the room on the latest details for this year’s Newcastle Supercar Championship round.
Here is a fun time-lapse video of the evening captioning many of All Four x 4 Spares Men and Women behind the scenes including our legendary Peter Haylock, All Four x 4 Spare's Founder
These offroad performance exhausts are simple bolt-on systems designed to be fitted by a DIY enthusiast without the need for a vehicle hoist. Legendex exhaust range serves as a direct replacement for factory exhausts of many current model 4 wheel drive vehicles. Check if your vehicle is in this list:
Power & Economy
The biggest benefit to most 4x4 exhaust system upgrades is the increase in power.
Legendex guarantees a minimum of 10% power gain (not including DPF equipped vehicles) simply by replacing the standard vehicle exhaust with one of their performance exhausts system.
With increased power, an increase in fuel economy is often noticed as the engine is not working as hard to produce the same output
Due to both the increase in size (most Legendex systems are 3 inch) and the use of mandrel bends (rather than crush bends) to form the shape, flow is increased significantly.
This can have an especially large impact for turbocharged engines as they tend to benefit from reduced backpressure after the turbo, allowing them to spool up quicker and bring power on earlier.
All Legendex catalytic converters are high flow of 200 cells. Due to the high surface area inside these cat converters, the drop in power when compared to the same system fitted without a cat is less than 2%.
For durability, all Legendex catalytic converters, including the heat shield, are constructed from grade stainless steel.
Understanding that a noisy exhaust is not everyone's cup of tea, and can draw unwanted attention, high performance Legendex exhausts provide a subdued but noticeable rumble at idle that is only a few decibels louder when compared to factory systems.
Once the RPM’s increase the sound of the exhaust provides a pleasant note that is not harsh and will not drone while towing.
For those seeking a full roar from their vehicle, the Legendex Berserker pipe is what you need for those offroad situations. A replacement for the muffler, the straight through Berserker pipe is an easy swap when you get offroad.
Requiring only a few minutes on the side of the track to unbolt the flanges and one or two hangers, the Berserker pipe will have you roaring down the track in no time.
Legendex 4wd exhausts are designed as a direct replacement for factory installed systems and as such the tailpipe is designed to finish in the original position, albeit with a larger diameter if you look!
As previously mentioned Legendex offroad exhausts are mandrel bent, not press bent which tends to crush the pipe as the radius is being formed. Mandrel bends provide a much more smoothly flowing turn as the pipe is not deformed at the bend.
Adding to their high-quality manufacturing process, Legendex exhausts are constructed exclusively from 409-grade stainless steel. This includes all bracketry and internal performance muffler components.
Most factory installed exhausts are made from mild steel which while cheaper to produce does not provide for long service life. Aluminised steel would also offer a somewhat increased life but is no match for stainless steel which will generally last for the life of the vehicle.
Mufflers are polished stainless and glass wool packed – with the glass contained by stainless steel wool to prevent it being blown into the pipe and out the back of the vehicle. They will never need to be repacked! They are a straight through design (for max flow) with all internals again manufactured from stainless steel.
Exhaust hangers are made from either 5mm flat bar, or 12mm rod, both with a collar that wraps the pipe. These hangers have proved to be ultra-strong.
Legendex have also developed a 270-degree gripper system for the flat bar hangers which helps absorb vibration.
Turbo dump pipes are ceramic coated and include pyro fittings (EGT) as standard. Rapidly transferring the exhaust gasses out of the engine bay reduces engine operating temp and provides a cooler air intake which in turn allows more power to be produced.
Ceramic coating also reduces extreme heat cycling extending the durability of the dump pipe. Ceramic coating reduces the exterior temp by 110-120 degrees.
10 Year offroad limited warranty is available from Legendex – something no other exhaust manufacturer offers. Initial product purchase includes 5yr warranty but once the warranty information has been registered with Legendex you will receive an additional 5yrs at no cost.
This warranty covers the catalytic converter and can be transferred with the sale of the vehicle. Ceramic coating on the dump pipe carries a 2-year warranty.
Contact us for full warranty/guarantee terms and conditions.
This topic often creates different opinions among readers. Some drivers are actively advocating for them while others don't see much of a use. At the end of the day, each to their own, different drivers, different vehicles, different needs.
But let's start by clarifying what these devices are and how they work.
We can define electronic throttle controllers as tech devices that sharpen (or soften) a vehicle's throttle response by modifying the voltage signal from the fly by wire pedal assembly. The driver can then tune the response from the accelerator pedal and eliminate or reduce throttle accelerator lag.
Accelerator lag is the experience when you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal and you get a poor or very slow response from the engine. This can range from frustrating while trying to sprint in an opening on a busy roundabout to dangerous when trying to overtake a caravan doing 90km/h in the middle lane of the highway while trying to avoid any "flying" work utes in the right-hand lane.
In addition, to increase throttle response, some controllers offer a decreased, mode which can offer fuel economy savings and more gentle control in tricky 4x4 situations.
Back in the days when nothing but the most basic electronics existed in cars, we were relying on conventional mechanical cables - attached to the accelerator pedal at one end and the throttle assembly at the other.
Using a petrol engine, for example, the throttle body assembly controls the amount of airflow into the engine via a butterfly valve, or plate, which opens or closes depending on the pedal position. As you pressed down on the accelerator pedal, the cable pulled the throttle open and voila!
Nowadays on most modern vehicles, electronic sensors and actuator motors have replaced the cables. The sensor at the pedal tells the vehicle's ECU (computer) how far down the pedal has been pressed and in turn, the ECU sends a signal to the actuator to increase airflow to the engine.
The whole process is easily explained in this video
The most popular and recent electronic controllers on the market plug straight into the wiring harness at the accelerator pedal in the blink of an eye.
Check this demo from Legendex Youtube Channel:
It's fair to say that these throttle controllers don't increase horsepower. They don't in any way control fuel mapping, air to fuel ratio or injection timing. They only change how the throttle responds by eliminating any delays in the throttle system.
Okay - but isn't it just easier to press the accelerator harder?
Not quite. In some vehicles when you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal, not much happens - or it happens slowly. This dead zone has lessened response so pressing hard with your foot won't get you far. This is often built into the ECU by vehicle manufacturers to offer better fuel economy and to smooth out acceleration.
The throttle controllers' job is to turn this dead zone into an action zone which opens the throttle earlier in the pedal stroke. This process cannot be done by pressing the pedal faster or harder.
All our customers who purchased these have all been quite satisfied, pointing out that their 4WD has quicker access to power and the fact they now enjoy a more sporty drive.
With the wide range of vehicle configurations the type of mapping required by the sensors can vary. Rather than a one-size-fits-all product, the controllers we sell are customised solutions taking into account vehicle make, model, engine and induction type (turbo or naturally aspirated).
For those towing, throttle controllers can be quite useful when you drive off as they will get the vehicle up to speed more easily so you'll be using less fuel and less motor strain.
Then the good thing about some of these higher quality throttle controllers is that you can pick the settings based on your driving mode. For example, Legendex Thrust Monkey Throttle Controllers come with 21 different variations shown below:
OFF-ROAD MODE (7 sensitivity settings) ... Extra-sensitive control for low-traction surfaces and low-range rock-crawling. It doubles as the economy mode for long-distance cruising.
TOWING MODE (7 intensity settings) ... Instant response for decisive, safer overtaking and merging.
SPORTS MODE (7 intensity settings) ... High-performance response for grunt-on-demand.
Other throttle controllers manufacturers such as iDrive while also offering different settings in Eco mode and Ultimate mode, they also provide an Automatic mode which changes the throttle performance based on the pressure the driver applies to the pedal
Check this review from 4x4 Garage Australia:
Hopefully, this article has cleared some doubts, and if you are considering installing them on your 4WD, check the great range we offer from our great suppliers: iDrive Throttle Controllers and Legendex Thrust Monkey Throttle Controllers
Many international 4wd lovers visit our website, and today we want to show them some of the best 4wd tracks in Australia.
Of course, this is not just for them, that's also for all of us who live in this beautiful country and either have already experienced some of these trips or are planning them in the near future.
We don't want to put any itinerary on a podium, and it's a crime not to mention places like the Kimberley in WA, the Simpson Desert across SA, NT and QLD, the Red Centre in NT and dozens more.
This is just a brief introduction to some of the best 4wd tracks in Australia. Enjoy.
Stockton Beach, New South Wales
That may be slightly biased to put this first, but since we are Newcastle based, Stockton beach is our backyard. We have covered some of our Sand Driving Tips in our blog sometimes ago, and Stockton Beach is the perfect place to take your 4wd on the beach. Stockton Beach is a paradise of hilly, soft sand dunes, (some can be over 1 kilometre wide). In specific sections of the beach, the dunes are very steep and can go up to 30 metres high. Stockton Beach distance is approx 53Km, one day will be enough to cover it, and you can use it all year around
Ok, this is a tough one...the Canning Stock Route is one of the world's most challenging and remote 4WD tracks. It runs for 1850km through Outback Western Australia, from Wiluna to Halls Creek, and the minimum suggested travel time is 16 days. May to August is the best time of the year to attempt it. This used to be an old stock route; today is quite isolated and not many services are available along the route so travelling in convoy is advisable
This fantastic itinerary will take you through some abandoned mining towns that used to be bustling gold towns in the 1920's. Rugged mountains, cute wineries, rivers, fantastic panoramic views, this itinerary provides steep 4wd tracks such as Billy Goats Bluff, which in 6km will take you from 250 metres above sea level to 1480m. The location is between the towns of Mansfield to Harrietville; it's approx 300Km, it will take you three days to enjoy it. December to April is the best time to go
Also called the Old Telegraph Track this itinerary would take you to Australia tropical North Queensland. This region is only open for four-wheel drive exploration from April to October due to monsoonal flooding. Beautiful beaches in the Starcke Coast, great clay driving in the CREB Track, plenty creek and river crossings, this is a one of the world's best offroad adventure destinations. The distance is approx 850Km between Cooktown to Seisia and 24 days will be recommended to get the best out of it
The Flinders Ranges is one the best outback destinations in South Australia. There are 4WD tracks across this rugged regions with astonishing landscape views. National parks such as Ikara-Flinders Ranges and Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges are a must as well as the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, the first legally protected wilderness sanctuary in South Australia that will provide the visitor spectacular mountain views. Not mentioning Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre, created through erosion over millions of years.
A true unforgettable Australian experience voted as a World Heritage Area for his culture and natural beauty. 4wd tracks are available throughout the park and passing through 50000 years indigenous heritage that will make you feel like driving through a giant rock art gallery. Wildlife is incredibly rich with over 290 birds varieties and depending on what season you will visit it; you will find dramatic scenic changes as shown in the photo below.
Another World Heritage destination stretching over 180,000 hectares making it the largest sand island in the world. It's hard to describe the incredible beauty of this region with never-ending white beaches and sand cliffs, freshwater lakes, rainforests growing on sand dunes 200 Meters high. This place attracts thousands of keen 4wd lovers from all over Australia, and it's one of the must-do 4wd experiences in Australia.
You may be someone who already knows the insides outs of a particular part mechanism, or you may be a mechanic by trade (and you should really know all this stuff already), or you may be merely the average Joe who wish to learn more... no dramas, let's take a refreshing look at what is a starter motor solenoid and how it works.
Basically, a starter solenoid (or also called starter relay) is that component in any car which switches a large electric current to the starter motor from the car battery, in response to small control current from the ignition switch, and which in turn sets the engine in motion. Its the same principle of a transistor, but using an electromagnetic solenoid rather than semiconductor to perform the switching. In many vehicles, the solenoid also engages the starter pinion with the ring gear of the engine.
All modern starters rely on the solenoid to engage the starter drive with the ring gear of the flywheel. When the solenoid is energised, it operates a plunger or lever which forces the pinion into mesh with the ring gear. The pinion incorporates a one-way clutch so that when the engine starts and runs it will not attempt to drive the starter motor at excessive RPM.
Some older starter designs, such as the Bendix drive, used the rotational inertia of the pinion to force it along a helical groove cut into the starter drive-shaft, and thus no mechanical linkage with the solenoid was required.
The starter solenoid is a "needy" individual and just like any human struggling to perform any actions if they are starving, a starter solenoid that receives insufficient power from the battery, won't be able obviously to start the motor and will let us know that by producing a rapid clicking sound. Yes.. that not so joyful clicking sound you heard in the morning at least once in your life just before going to work or worst by letting you down in the most unappropriates places and situations.
There are many reasons when that happens though, a low battery, corroded or loose connections in the battery cable, damaged positive red cables from the battery and a few more. The result of all these events is not enough power will be sent to the solenoid that can only push the engagement gear, making the metallic click sound
There is a trick to know if your starter solenoid is bad.
1) Turn the ignition key to the “On” position.
2) Look for the large terminal posts on the solenoid where the thick red wires connect to the solenoid
3) Touch the metal shaft of a screwdriver to both of the large terminals at the same time.
If the engine turns over and starts, the solenoid is bad and should be replaced.
There is hope though and if you ever get stuck in remote locations try some of the tips given by our good friend MadMatt on his 80 series Landcruiser. Check it out!
You can get to these type of starters shown in MadMatt video, and if stuck you can still jumpstart off the second terminal of the starter. But other types of starters use a plunger to push on a lever to engage the drive gear so they will only turn the motor if you jump power to the motor cable but will not turn the engine over. So in these models, the solenoid can't really be serviced and needs to be replaced.
If that's the case we have got a good range of starter motor solenoid in store and if your vehicle is not listed, let us know, and we'll supply for you