Rated Recovery Points

Fitting rated recovery points to your vehicle is absolutely essential before heading offroad.

A recovery of any kind is dangerous if not performed carefully and with correct safety precautions. Not everyone realises that when stuck, it’s not just the weight of your car that is on the strap, but also the weight of the vehicle that is pulling you, as well as extra weight depending on how you are stuck. If you are stuck to the chassis in mud, the mud causes suction and can make the recovery harder, and make the forces applied to your vehicle and straps stronger. 

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It’s The Little Things That Count

Paying attention to small details will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip!

Replacing this wheel bearing in China would have been much harder without a spare on board, or a hand from the local mechanics...karma rolling around again!Over the years I have done my fair share of 4WDing trips, but I have also had the opportunity to help set up a number of vehicles for remote touring. I have recently helped set up one for a return trip to the Cape and another for a trip to the Kimberley. Even more interesting was an opportunity I had recently to set up a vehicle for a remote overseas trip.
One of the main things I’ve learnt is that it is usually the little things that fail and need attention along the way. For remote travelling, not only do you need to take spares with you, but you also need to make sure you take tools, and before you head out you need to know your 4WD. By this I mean you need to know how it drives, where your gauges sit and the systems you have.

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Adjusting Drum Brakes

All you need to know about drum brakes.

The rear disk rotor retup incorporating the handbrake inside the disk rotor.

Although drum brakes are being phased out of newer vehicles, they are still widely used in many popular older makes and models of 4WD. Drum brakes are made up of brake shoes, wheel cylinders, retaining clips, springs, adjusters and in some models, handbrake levers and cables.
When putting your foot on the brake pedal, brake fluid passes from the brake master cylinder to the wheel cylinders. The wheel cylinders push the brake shoes outwards, where they contact the brake drum. The rotation of the brake drum forces the brake shoes into itself, jamming the shoes into the drum and stopping the vehicle.

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A Little Valve with a big Responsibility: Thermostat

I recently came across an overheated 4WD on the tracks, which got me thinking about the importance of understanding thermostats.

On this engine there is a bleed screw which must be removed when refilling the radiator. A thermostat is a wax type valve that is used to regulate engine temperature. It warms the engine quickly and ensures that the engine stays at optimum operating temperature. Ensuring that the engine gets to the right temperature as quickly as possible improves fuel economy and keeps your engine running well.
Engine sensors control the amount of fuel delivered to the engine. To warm up, an engine requires more air and fuel than usual. Once it has reached its running temperature, these sensors bring the fuel trim back to normal to improve economy and emissions.

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Brake Hoses

What do you do if one of your brake hoses develops a leak when you’re out in the bush?
A brake hose fitted into the supporting bracket. The brake hose only locates into the bracket in one position and is held in place by a clip. The metal tubing is screwed in place by a brake line nut, which creates a seal.

The brake systems in our 4WDs consist of a sealed hydraulic system that stores fluid in a reservoir. When you push your brake pedal, the fluid gets forced through the system and provides force to the brake callipers clamping the brake pads to the disk rotors. Or, if you have drum brakes, pushes the brake shoes into the brake drum.
Our 4WDs have brake boosters which assist in applying brake pressure, however, there are still huge hydraulic pressures passing through the brake lines to the brake components.
Imagine you are driving along and press the brake pedal, and your foot goes straight to the floor. If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you know how to diagnose the problem and get yourself and your vehicle out of trouble. View full article →