4WD Modifications - General Mods
Modifications you might not have thought about: diff breathers, replacement seats, civilising the ute.
4WD MODIFICATION LEGALITIES
Find out what you can modify without running foul of the law
In early 2006 a draft National Code of Practice (NCOP) for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification was released. Since then, there have been several updates, but while no State or Territory has adopted the NCOP, some States have adopted parts of it.
INCREASING 4WD GROSS VEHICLE MASS - October 2017
Staying legal can be difficult and a GVM increase may be needed.
As 4WDs become heavier and the list of 'essential' equipment increases, many 4WD owners find that their vehicles are overweight. There is a way around this situation, but it mightn't be cheap.
SUZUKI GRAND VITARA PROJECT
This bush-capable wagon can benefit from some upgrades - May 2017
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is by far the most capable SUV on the market. It has useful 1.97:1 low range gearing and is robustly built. However, like most 4WDs it can benefit from additional ground clearance and some under-body protection.
AL'S PROJECT 75 SERIES
This old warhorse continues to be our bush beast - updated May 2016.
Our Outback Travel Australia restoration project, rebuilding and modifying a LandCruiser 75 Series tray-back, is progressing well. We're now putting the finishing touches to this four-year exercise.
ARB KIT FOR THE NEW HILUX
There's a wide range of accessories to suit the market leading ute range - December 2015
ARB wasted no time in launching a wide range of accessories for the latest HiLux models.
ARB GVM INCREASES FOR THE HILUX
This modification gives the HiLux a much-needed payload boost - March 2017
ARB has now extended its range of Old Man Emu (OME) gross vehicle mass upgrades to include post-2015 Toyota HiLux models. The upgrade options increase standard GVM from 3000kg to 3150kg or 3465kg.
DOMETIC REVERSING AND SURROUNDS DISPLAY
Be safe when manoeuvring your camping vehicle - May 2017
Dometic HAS introduced the PerfectView CAM45 reversing camera and PerfectView M55L and M75L monitors that can each display three camera inputs.
FASP REPLACEMENT SEATS - January 2016
Seat comfort and support are vital on long trips and during off-road excursions.
Modern 4WD seats are better than they used to be, but some still leave much to be desired - particularly those fitted to working-class utes and wagons.
FLAT-PACK UTE TUB PROTECTION
Everything comes in the one box.
New Zealand owned Pro-Form has released the Sportguard ute liner system that is said to offer significant advantages over previous liners.
INSURING YOUR ACCESSORIES - December 2015
Make sure your bolt-on bits are covered against accident and theft.
It’s all very well loading your vehicle up with accessories, but it’s not so easy getting their value correctly assessed and insured. One company we found stands out from the crowd.
KEEPING THE DUST OUT
Dust inside your vehicle and gear can ruin a trip, so here are some tips.
Dust. It looks great in the trip photo album or video, but it’s a gritty nuisance when it gets into your last kilogram of flour.
MODIFYING ELECTRONICALLY EQUIPPED 4WDS
Take great care when making alterations to modern 4WDs.
Modifying a recent-model 4WD isn’t the simple operation it was with previous-generation vehicles. Electronics confer greater safety and efficiency, but changes to standard specifications can upset electronics' programming and behaviour.
PROTECTING YOUR UTE TUB OR TRAY
A new ute tub or tray back bodycan look second hand in a very short time - August 2014
Nothing on a 4WD ute looks worse than a dented, scarred and rusty ute tub or tray. It doesn’t have to be like that.
PROTECTING YOUR VEHICLE'S LOOKS
Bugs, flying rocks and bodywork scratches can ruin your trip - September 2014
Your 4WD is in the firing line for damage, on and off road, so make sure the shiny bits are protected.
4WD SEATS NEED UPGRADING
We’re tired of carping about varying seat quality in the 4WD market
Our keyboard-happy legislators are quick to pen Australian Design Rules on every safety-related item they can think of, but the importance of correct seating seems to have escaped their attention.
TYPICAL SERVICE BODIES
Here are some working vehicle service body types - January 2016
The Service Body business has grown from backyard fit-outs to professionally engineered, purpose-designed units that suit all popular cab/chassis and light truck vocations. Here is a representative sample of service body types.
A 4WD ute can carry plenty of camping and recovery gear
As today’s 4WD wagons become larger, heavier and ‘softer’ the 4WD ute has great appeal to many off-roaders. However, a ute – even one of the up-market ones – needs the personal touch to fit in with work and bush travel plans