Browsing: DIY / Fitment

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…

With special thanks to National Luna and Branden Austen of Deltec Energy Solutions. Auxiliary batteries are used to operate appliances while you are away from mains 240V power, without running the risk of compromising your vehicle’s main starting battery. People have been using and charging auxiliary batteries in their cars and caravans with varying degrees of success for over a century. For most of us, the days are long gone when all we needed from our auxiliary battery was a small amount of power for a bit of lighting, and maybe a radio. These days, we expect much more. We…

Special thanks to Branden Austen of Deltec Energy Solutions Batteries are the core storage units of any solar or multi-battery system, so it’s worth knowing how to choose the right type for your application. This quick look at a complicated topic outlines key differences between cranking and deep-cycle batteries, and how to prolong their service life. Starting Batteries Starting batteries, most commonly referred to as automotive batteries, are required to provide a high current output for a relatively short period of time with immediate recharge from the vehicle’s alternator. This type of application typically uses a very small amount of…

With thanks to Branden Austen of Deltec Energy Solutions There are three types of wiring configurations that are relatively easy to learn. Once these are mastered, the wiring of batteries or solar modules becomes easy as pie. The three configurations are: Series Wiring Parallel Wiring A combination of the two known as series/parallel wiring In any DC-generating device such as a battery or solar module, you will always have a negative (-) terminal and a positive (+) terminal. Electrons (or current) flow from the negative terminal through a load to the positive terminal. For ease of explanation, we shall refer…

With thanks to Branden Austen of Deltec Energy Solutions We have discussed how photovoltaics produce power, and how to calculate power draw, but there is more than that to a solar system. Apart from the batteries (more on that next month), you will need a charge controller. This is because the brighter the sunlight, the more voltage the solar cells produce, and excessive voltage could damage the batteries. A charge controller is used to maintain the proper charging voltage on the batteries. As the input voltage from the solar array rises, the charge controller regulates the charge to the batteries,…

Words & Images Branden Austen A typical shopping list for a solar system consists of an 85 Watt solar panel, cabling, a regulator (to prevent the panel from overcharging the battery), a deep cycle battery (100 Ah rated at 20 hours) and a battery box. An average 85 Watt solar panel will collect an average annual daily high of 5.5 peak sun hours. Camping in summer will increase that average daily collection. 85 Watts x 5.5 hours, divided by the voltage (the nominal output specified by the panel manufacturer), will give you less than 38 Ah per day. This is…

Words Freddi Stafford In this, our seventh and concluding article on how automotive lubricant technology has changed forever, we will discuss brake fluid − which is not something you can use until you notice deterioration. With old fluid, one minute you have perfect brakes; and the next you have none. Many people are complacent about their brake fluid, assuming that it will always do the job. It is a “safety critical item”, but how many motorists ever ask to have their brake fluid checked, or when it was last changed? Approximately 70% of vehicles on the road have brake fluid…

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