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Browsing: Technical

Anyone who’s watched Jurassic Park will remember the first scene, in which a convoy of 4x4s drive together through the undulating terrain, autonomously following a rail in the ground. This great system allowed the excited passengers to observe dinosaurs on their pre-historic safari without worrying about the pesky task of controlling a vehicle. Autonomous vehicles have been around for ages – in fact, it was in 1912 that the mechanical gyroscopic autopilot was invented. This device was able to keep an aeroplane on the straight and level for as long as the pilot deemed necessary. Later, autopilots became a necessary

Words & Images Angus Boswell There are thousands of ‘chipped’ Hiluxes out there, many with over 200 000km on their odometers and still going strong, so the extra power can’t be all that dangerous. As long as that ‘extra power’ is kept strictly capped. Toyota has built a reputation on vehicles that “keep going right” and they’ve done it by building a generous margin of safety into their engines. And the 3.0-litre D-4D turbodiesel (which powers my Hilux Vigo 2010 vintage) is a tough, slugger of a motor, which clearly does have the potential for a little more woema. It’s

Words Anton Willemse, Images Anton Willemse JNR I have now had my Hilux for just over a year, and have completed a few trails of varying difficulty in what has become known as The Red Devil. But, with a major trip to Botswana on the horizon, I wanted some professional advice on 4×4 driving and recovery techniques. This advice is offered by the Toyota Advanced Driving team, and all it took was an email to get booked onto the next available course. Then it was off to the Gerotek training facilities in PretoriaWest − where I met Jo Holtzhausen, our

Words Freddi Stafford To kick off where this series of articles started, it’s a simple truth that using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) approved lubricants for your vehicle will substantially reduce maintenancecosts over the long term, protect exhaust emission equipment (DPF/TWC/DeNox/ SCR), and, with energy conserving lubricants, reduce fuel consumption and thereby minimise emission of thefour main pollutants – CO, HC, NOx & particles. So, not only are OEM-approved lubricants environmentally friendly, but are more convenient as they offer a longer service life and less frequent maintenance/service intervals. Over the past 20 years, kilometres between oil-draining operations have been multiplied by

This short article explains how to set up a portable plug-and-play unit that you can use in your car, boat or caravan. This is indeed a fun weekend project, with plenty of uses down the line. By assembling the various components yourself, you are able to make some cost savings compared to buying a complete off-the-shelf unit. A useful aspect of this design is the ease of monitoring the state of battery charge. This is achieved through connecting a Victron Battery Monitor along with a VM Bluetooth Dongle, and using a smartphone app, through which you can keep a record

Having done a fair amount of research about the MadMan EMS (Engine Monitoring System) and having especially discussed its merits with others who use it, I ordered one to be fitted before the December holidays − I’d planned two long-drive holidays, and was eager to test the system. I was off to the Wild Coast in mid-December, and to the Mabuasehube area, which is on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, in early January. These two trips would be the ideal opportunity to learn how the Madman system works on my 3.2 diesel Pajero, as well as to

“Everybody has a world, and that world is completely hidden until we begin to inquire. As soon as we do, that entire world opens to us and yields itself. And you see how full and complex it is.” – David Guterson. In a world of changing technology, automotive lubricants have changed along with motor vehicle technology, and these lubricants have become extremely complex – and more difficult to understand.  However, our opening quote shows that it is worth digging deep. In last month’s article, we said that the correct choice of base oil is a major determining factor in the

We had been living in Australia from 2008, but the global financial crisis had led to many mines being closed or sold in Australia, and many workers were being laid off. Sadly, it hit closer to home than expected. Since Australia is an incredibly expensive country to live in, especially when you don’t have an income, we decided to move back to South Africa at the end of 2014.When we’d arrived in Perth in 2008, we’d bought a 1997 Series 80 Land Cruiser and most of the paraphernalia needed to go bush. We had been on some amazingtrips in the

When you do wander far, and frequently off the beaten track, there are more risks involved. Even the best vehicles have some soft spots. My vehicle, a single cab 70 Series Land Cruiser, also needed some protection for the bottom of the radiator and the steering arms. I had a look at what was available on the market and decided that I had a few more requirements. Most commercial bash plates look quite impressive, but are not always practical. I believe function to be more important than looks, so I came up with a solution in my garage. I first

Jerry cans deserve some respect, for they’ve been a saviour to many an off-road adventurer over the decades. They became one of the first must-have accessories for overland travel, and enabled explorers to venture ever further off the beaten track. But they’re also a bit of a palaver to use out in the bush. They can leak, rub up against each other, and even when paired with a funnel, the chances are that some of the precious liquid will be spilled. They are damn heavy to heft up and down, and topping up the tank with an exposed stream of

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