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Serious 4×4 tyres offer a 3-ply sidewall, which will obviously be stronger than a 2-ply. The major benefit is the puncture-resistance added to the vulnerable sidewall and tread areas. In a normal 2-ply radial tyre, each ply runs at the same 90-degree angle from the bead. The rubber gaps between the sidewall cords are the weakest point of a tyre.   A nail, stake or thorny bush can push against the sidewall cord, be deflected, and penetrate through the weakest point (the rubber), resulting in a puncture. In the case of Cooper and Mickey Thompson tyres, the 3-ply sidewall forms a…

Coined in 1854, the term ‘Ethology’ refers to the study of the way in which an animal’s habits (its behaviour) are related to its structure and habitat. It is important to note that there is no such thing as typical behaviour, because the typical animal is a mythical beast! However, patterns can be observed, hypotheses devised and tested, and a working interpretation of what an animal is doing obtained. This data can then be extrapolated, to create an accepted ‘normal’ behavioural model for that species. Without doubt, every person who visits a game reserve hopes to spot an African lion…

Congratulations to our sixth #SA4x4OverlandImages Instagram competition winner, Jonny Rich! He and his wife Meg go anywhere and everywhere in their tough little Jimny, and we always love seeing their pics! View this post on Instagram 🦆 . . . A “wherever the road takes us” kind of weekend. . . #SA4x4OverlandImages #vscocam #outdoors #Jimny #LJBW #jimny4x4 #jimnylife #southafrica #littlejimnybigworld #4×4 #offroad #nature #explore #expedition #suzukijimny A post shared by Jonny Rich (@jonny_rich_) on Oct 22, 2018 at 12:35pm PDT Check out some of our other entries below: View this post on Instagram Taking in the…

As the festive season approaches, I am sure that many of you are looking forward to a holiday at the coast. In light of this I thought we would take a look at a few of the amazing creatures that inhabit the many tidal rock pools found along our 3000km coastline. “The sea… holds one in its net of wonder forever” – Jacques Cousteau One of the weird and wonderful life forms that are easy to spot in rock pools are sea anemones, with their gently waving tentacles. Although they resemble delicate flowers, anemones are actually primitive animals that are…

When an accident happens, you need to be prepared. And the first thing you jump for, after making sure that the area is safe, is a first-aid kit. Although these kits are available from outdoor shops, pharmacies and even some supermarkets, it may well be worth putting your own together. In my experience, most of these off-the-shelf kits are jam-packed with plasters, bandages, safety pins and not much else. (I bought one, and on getting it home and opening it up, found that it had six triangular bandages!). They should not be viewed as a cover-all-eventualities-kit, but as something of…

Tyres (and the air inside them) are totally responsible for supporting the weight of the vehicle. If the load rating of the tyre is insufficient for the vehicle which it is fitted to, the tyre may become overheated, resulting in potential tyre failure. For example, if a passenger-car tyre is selected to replace an OE light-truck tyre on an SUV, the new tyre must meet, or exceed, the requirement for the specific vehicle weight. In order to determine, roughly, the load capacity for each individual tyre, identify the gross weight of the vehicle and divide this by four. If the gross weight of the vehicle is 2040kg,…

A turbocharger is a turbine driven by exhaust gases. It increases the combustion efficiency of an engine by compressing intake air before the engine consumes it. Because the air is being compressed, the engine has more oxygen available for combustion, thus increasing output and efficiency. Why boost? In recent years, we’ve seen nearly every vehicle manufacturer drop large displacement naturally-aspirated petrol engines from their line-ups, and focus attention on the more efficient (turbocharged) diesels. Some markets still demand the old-school petrol engines (including ours, the United States and the Middle East), which is why Toyota still offers a 4.0-litre V6…

Congratulations to our December Readers’ Rides winner, JP Franken! His snowscape wins him a RING 14W Solar Power Charger worth R1 800, courtesy of Xinotech. To stand a chance of winning one of your own, simply follow the instructions at the bottom of the page! JP Franken The Matroosberg can be a cruel mistress in winter, but it seems like JP’s 2011 Navara 2.5 LE 4×4 made it up there with no complaints. The white knight is fitted with an African 4×4 bumper and a 4x4Direct 50mm lift, rolling on Velocity Raptor tyres. Romaine Naicker Listen, we’ve seen some pimped-out…

Tyres look simple enough from the outside, but the mix of components inside is the result of extensive (and expensive) research and development by the tyre manufacturers. Each tyre type and profile is designed to meet a specific and exacting set of requirements, either set down by the vehicle manufacturers (when the tyre is specified as Original Equipment) or to meet a defined range of demands that make it attractive as an aftermarket fitment. All the components of a tyre work together to meet a specific set of requirements, and consumers need to know what their requirements are, and what…

A controversial picture was recently published in SA4x4 showing a reader using a high-lift jack, but not in the correct manner under load. (The jacking handle was at the halfway position, not fully up, while he changed a tyre.) Because of this oversight, we thought the timing right to talk about high-lift jacks and how to use them, as they are a very useful overlanding tool but can also be highly dangerous when used incorrectly. Because they are relatively low priced and have a myriad of uses, they have become a mainstay in the overlanding community and are standard kit…

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