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Rad Rig: Pon Steyn’s Monster 6×6


For some customers, the perfect 4×4 is not enough. Pon Steyn Motors has the answer for these clients: a genuine six-wheel drive.

These 6×6 Land Rover creations start out like other projects − with a donor vehicle that is stripped, stretched, and re-engineered.

In this example, a 110-inch Defender chassis was stretched by 1050mm by welding in a second rear-chassis section from another donor 110, and reinforcing the result with an additional cross member. New drop-down links and upper link ball joints were added, along with the upgraded coils and shocks.

To get power to the rear-most axle, a specially designed housing connects a propshaft from the middle axle to the rear, via a custom-built, air-operated transfer case and propshaft. The rearmost axle acts as a trailing, non-powered axle most of the time − but can, at any time, be locked to the middle axle to provide additional traction.

Under the bonnet of this particular vehicle is a standard Puma 2.4-litre diesel engine, although this will soon be upgraded to a Cummins 5.9-litre straight six. To date, most of the well-heeled 6×6 customers have chosen petrol V8 power, like Chevrolet’s bullet-proof 6.0-litre LS2.

The added weight from the chassis extension, rear axle and additional tyres comes to around 250kg, and the 6×6 will carry up to 2500kg, bringing the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) to around five tonnes. Each 6×6 must be re-certified and approved for road-use by the SABS, who test the brakes and suspension of the vehicle.

According to Arno, the 6×6 drives like a dream. The added axle, he says, reduces pitch and roll, which means a much smoother ride – especially over cross-axle situations and rocky sections. Of course, the extra flotation from the added axle provides sterling performance in mud or sand.

Arno mentioned a recent situation in which he got his 110 stuck in swampy conditions and enlisted the help of a 6×6 to get him out. The 6×6 easily drove beside the 110 and out again, as if it were “reversing up my driveway”.

To have your own 6x6 custom-built by Arno and his team, contact him using the form below.

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