4WD Modifications - General Mods

Modifications you might not have thought about: diff breathers, replacement seats, civilising the ute.

4WD MODIFICATION LEGALITIES
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.

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A SIX WHEELER CAN SOLVE THE UTE GVM ISSUE
A SIX WHEELER CAN SOLVE THE UTE GVM ISSUE
An extra axle makes all the difference

Adding a third axle to a 4WD ute can increase its gross vehicle mass to 4495kg - car driver's licence limit - or higher in some cases. The additional axle carries some of the additional weight and, being braked, increases stopping power.

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AL'S PROJECT 75 SERIES
AL'S PROJECT 75 SERIES
This old warhorse continues to be our bush beast

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 ongoing exercise.

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FASP  REPLACEMENT SEATS
FASP REPLACEMENT SEATS
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.

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INCREASING 4WD GROSS VEHICLE MASS
INCREASING 4WD GROSS VEHICLE MASS
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.

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INSURING YOUR ACCESSORIES
INSURING YOUR ACCESSORIES
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.

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KEEPING THE DUST OUT
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.

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KEEPING THE DUST OUT OF YOUR CAMPER OR CARAVAN WITH RESPA
KEEPING THE DUST OUT OF YOUR CAMPER OR CARAVAN WITH RESPA
This rugged device pressurises your camper or van interior - February 2018

We’ve all done it: opened the camper or caravan and discovered a fine coating of dust throughout the interior. No matter how tightly you close doors, vents and windows, some dust always seems to get inside.

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MODIFYING ELECTRONICALLY EQUIPPED 4WDS
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.

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PROTECTING YOUR UTE TUB OR TRAY
PROTECTING YOUR UTE TUB OR TRAY
A new ute tub or tray back body can look second hand in a very short time

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. At OTA we’ve owned several utes over many years and we’ve evaluated three methods of protecting the metal and paint from damage. All have their advantages and disadvantages.

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PROTECTING YOUR VEHICLE'S LOOKS
PROTECTING YOUR VEHICLE'S LOOKS
Bugs, flying rocks and bodywork scratches can ruin your trip

Your 4WD is in the firing line for damage, on and off road, so make sure the shiny bits are protected.

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4WD SEATS NEED UPGRADING
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.

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SUZUKI GRAND VITARA PROJECT
SUZUKI GRAND VITARA PROJECT
This bush-capable wagon can benefit from some upgrades

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.

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TYPICAL SERVICE BODIES
TYPICAL SERVICE BODIES
Here are some working vehicle service body types

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.

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UTE MODIFICATIONS
UTE MODIFICATIONS
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

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