Browsing: DIY / Fitment

Water is the elixir of life and a priority on any overland journey. We need at least two litres per day just for drinking, before we can even consider washing grime off our skin, brushing our teeth or tackling the dirty dishes. Although some tannins in water have a nasty taste, and some may discolour surfaces, water is also the perfect breeding ground for a wide variety of bacteria, parasites and viruses that can ruin a trip − or even end your life. But, for the well-equipped overlander, there are many filtration options, each with its own pros, cons and…

Fire. It’s a vital component of any overlanding journey. Internal combustion powers your 4×4; and more often than not, fire cooks your meals out in the wilderness. On the other hand, fire can be the cause of your journey’s untimely end. Unfortunately, while we are all too eager to stock up on gas bottles, jerry cans and firewood, we often overlook the absolute necessity of having fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are not too expensive to purchase and are widely available in many retail outlets. It is also simple enough to mount a fire extinguisher in your cab, or to stash…

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…

Good news for our Mazda BT-50 long-termer is that it has just been fitted with a set of Dunlop’s Grandtrek AT3G tyres. We fitted a set of LT 265/65 R17 tyres which have a load rating of 120 (1400kg per tyre), and an “R” speed rating (170km/h). Pricing per tyre at this stage should be around R3000, ex Vat and fitment. Why would we change tyres? Simple, really. The AT3G, unlike a number of other all-terrain tyres on the market, has a three-ply sidewall design; and from the get-go, it looks to be the business as aftermarket fitment for tough…

Where is off-road adventure travel going? An editorial in the June issue of SA4x4 suggests that the trend is more and more towards SUVs and the obvious limitations in using them for serious off-road travel. It would appear that this is quite correct. Are high prices moving your 4WD dream off the radar? Go the left-field route and get ready for a little DIY …So what does someone who wants to explore the wild blue yonder do? Many would automatically point to vehicles like Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, Nissan Patrols and the like. These would do the job admirably, but…

1. Ignore your tyre pressures Tyre pressures are the most critical thing you can control when 4×4’ing. There’s a very good chance that the tyre pressures of the vehicle you are recovering are incorrect, so check the pressure and adjust. In sand especially, this is the easiest way to make a recovery simple, safe and quick. Don’t be afraid to let your tyres down a bit more if needed; it makes a huge difference. 2. Use the tow bar ball NEVER use a tow ball to snatch or winch a vehicle. It can create a heavy piece of metal flying…

Over the years, we’ve travelled countless thousands of kilometres on various sets of General Grabber all-terrain tyres, from the sharp rocks of the Tankwa Karoo to slippery mud deep in the Transkei, as well as on long gravel and sand stretches crisscrossing Botswana and Namibia. This left us with a high opinion of the previous-generation offerings, and especially of the AT version which proved extremely puncture-resistant on our travels. Now, General Tire, an American brand that is a subsidiary of Continental, has released redesigned versions of its all-terrain and mud-terrain offerings – respectively the Grabber AT3 and Grabber X3 –…

Getting stuck; it’s as much a part of 4x4ing as a good braai and a camp fire. At some point, no matter how big your tyres, how expensive your bull bar, or even how many skull stickers you have to your Jeep’s door, you’re going to fluff a line on an obstacle, lose traction and get thoroughly bogged. Getting stuck is all part of the fun, though, and as vehicles get more capable, they find themselves stuck in progressively more precarious situations. Getting yourself unstuck safely is an art all of its own, which requires that you invest in some…

Both a snatch strap and a kinetic rope are used for a so-called “kinetic” recovery. This is a recovery in which you use a bit of momentum from the front/ towing vehicle to “pop” the stuck vehicle out of whatever it’s stuck in. This technique is incredibly effective at retrieving stuck vehicles if used correctly; if not, it can be extremely dangerous! Just to be clear about the difference: a snatch strap is similar to a kinetic rope, but usually a snatch strap is made from flat webbing, while a kinetic rope is just that – a round rope. Both…

Somebody gets stuck; you take out the snatch strap, connect it to the stuck vehicle with a pair of rated steel bow shackles and complete the recovery. It’s the way it’s been done since the first Datsun 1300 was still proudly displayed on showroom floors. On Track: Vehicle recovery tools and techniquesThe problem comes in when a recovery point fails or the shackle was incorrectly attached, and now you’ve got a heavy piece of metal flying through the air at speed similar to a bullet. People have tragically lost their lives or sustained horrific injuries this way. It’s why we…

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