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Arguably the most popular 4WD topics around the camp fire are either tyres or suspension, or both. Now that we have fitted a heap of vehicle protection gear to our Ranger, which has added considerable weight, our truck is a bit low to the ground and the skinny wheels and road tyres look out of place. In this next installment of our Ironman 4×4 Bush Truck build, we fit an up-rated suspension system. Suspension Of all the accessories that you could possibly fit to your 4WD pride and joy, a fully matched suspension upgrade kit is one of the most expensive.…

I jumped at the chance to take the newest Prado for a jaunt to Arniston and surrounds on the Cape east coast. I’d driven up there in a Ford Ranger and 200 Series GX Land Cruiser in the past year, and it’s a great destination for exploring fishermen’s rock- and sand tracks along the coast, driving gravel, and cruising on some excellent hilly tarmac – notably the R316 to Bredasdorp via Napier. The sort of varied terrain one expects owners will want to tackle in their new fourth-gen J150 Prado. The press launch had included a drive up Sani Pass…

In this Series we look at what it take to build a “Class O” Ford Ranger for the Avis Safari Rental fleet. We follow step-by-step the modification process from standard to tough overlander. This month: Cooper tyres and Takla seat covers and mats… The Rubber As with any overland vehicle, tyres play a vital role in the Avis fleet – but in this case, with poor tyres their entire business model would crumble. For this reason, Avis Safari Rentals have selected the best in the business for their vehicles, to ensure client safety and satisfaction while reducing cost per kilometre.…

The departure of GM from SA, and with it the Chevrolet brand, left an SUV-sized hole in the Isuzu line-up; fortunately, the new custodians have now filled it with the Thailand-built Aussie-spec mu-X. The Trailblazer was no great volume seller in the mid-size ladder-on-frame bakkie-origins market here. This is properly dominated by Toyota’s Fortuner, with the Ford Everest taking the rest of the lion’s share, and the Pajero Sport now vying for the scraps. Not that the Trailblazer was bad, as it was quite a decent looker; it’s rather that the Chev nameplate had lost currency, and the interior plastics…

In this four-part series, we look at what it takes to build a “Class O” Ford Ranger for the Avis Safari Rental fleet. We follow the modification process step-by-step − from standard, to tough overlander. This month: Alu-Cab canopy, drawers, racks and more … Having installed Pedders TrakRyder suspension, we return to the Avis Safari Rental factory. The next step is finicky, and many small tasks (like installing brackets or drilling holes) must be completed, which takes up valuable time. The larger items installed are listed in the steps below, which took Cuan Elsey and his assistant Wisdom Dhliwayo the…

In this four-part series we look at what it takes to build a “Class O” Ford Ranger for the Avis Safari Rental fleet. We follow step-by-step the modification process from standard to tough overlander. This month: Pedders TrakRyder suspension … THE AVIS FLEET Buying and kitting out a 4×4 for serious overland use is not a cheap exercise. Apart from the initial new-vehicle buy in, one can easily run up a R200 000 bill for accessories fitted – both of these often on HP. Then there are the monthly fuel and insurance costs. It’s an investment in a lifestyle with…

Can Mitsubishi’s Triton-with-a-twist escape the shadow of its Fortuner and Everest classmates? We put the futuristic 7-seater family SUV to the test. SPECIFICATIONS Price: R599 995 Engine Cylinders/Capacity: 4/2442cc Aspiration: Turbocharged Fuel: Diesel Power: 133kW @ 2500rpm Torque: 430Nm @ 2500rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic Controls Steering type: Power assisted rack & pinion 4WD type: Part-time with viscous coupling Chassis/Suspension Chassis type: Ladder frame Suspension (F): Double wishbone, coil Suspension (R): 3-link, coil Turning circle: 11.2m Fuel index (l/100km) Fuel capacity: 68l Combined: 8.1 (claimed) Range @ average: 840km Brakes Front: Ventilated discs Rear: Drum-in ventilated discs ABS: Standard & off-road Traction…

Whether you are banging about in the bush over rough terrain, clambering over rocks up a mountain pass, fording through a rocky water crossing, or travelling on a rural road at night with your eyes peeled for that Kudu that suddenly appears next to the road, it is always good to have the extra peace of mind that comes with having your vehicle protected against rough terrain, ground and animal strikes. In this second phase of our Ironman 4×4 Bush Truck build, we look at some of the Vehicle Protection Gear that we think is essential for any serious off-road…

The first phase of our Ironman 4×4 Bush Truck build is the installation of a performance upgrade. I was expecting more people to ask why and I was a bit disappointed that most people just accepted it without explanation. I was ready to explain that the performance upgrade would help to compensate for the additional weight of all of the accessories as well as the larger wheel and tyres that we would be fitting to turn the Ranger into a serious bush truck. It would seem however that a performance upgrade for a diesel- powered double-cab bakkie is par for…

Long gone are the days we had to be content with the traditional solenoid dual battery system. With the current advanced modern day DC to DC systems you can now truly maximize on battery power. Batteries today are expensive and one needs to ensure that you get the most out of your auxiliary battery and prolong its lifespan. “During the last couple of years we have seen great improvements on battery development,” says Shane Maree, head of Technical Sales at Enertec, suppliers of CTEK smart DC to DC systems and Discover batteries. Here are some differences between the traditional deep-cycle…

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