Page 1

ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

AUSTRALIA 4WD INDUSTRY COUNCIL TALKS MODIFICATIONS

SUSPENSION & LOAD CARRYING


ABOUT THE COVER Now in its 10th year, Drivetech 4x4 says it continues to grow its range of reliable, quality, value for money replacement parts and accessories.

4WD MAGAZINE 2019

KEEPING YOU INFORMED Australia 4WD Industry Council talks modifications….................................................... 4 Where 4WDing meets fundraising................................................................................. 5 Don’t charge the customer for your inexperience............................................................ 6 When size does matter................................................................................................ 7

5

FEATURES Accessories & Electrical............................................................................................ 12 Driveline & Brakes.................................................................................................... 26 Engine & Exhaust..................................................................................................... 30 Suspension & Load Carrying...................................................................................... 38

16

MEMBER FEATURES Cover Feature: Like nothing else: Drivetech’s 4x4 Supashock........................................... 8 TJM: A new force in the Australian automotive aftermarket............................................ 10 HELLA: Continuing to innovate in the 4WD lighting market............................................ 16 Redarc: 40 years in the making.................................................................................. 22 Monroe: Safe suspension replacement tips.................................................................. 36 Cequent: The towbar with the X factor......................................................................... 42

36

Publisher Cameron McLachlan for The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association ABN 23 002 271 454

CAB Audited

Suite 16, Building 3, 195 Wellington Road, Clayton VIC 3168, Australia Phone: 03 9545 3333 Fax: 03 9545 3355

Official publication of the AAAA

Email: info@aaaa.com.au Website: www.aaaa.com.au EDITOR Allan Edwards

EDITORIAL Tel 61 3 9372 9125

PRODUCTION MANAGER Brigid Fraser, Tel 61 3 9505 0121

 ADVERTISING Tel 61 3 9545 3333

PUBLISHER Cameron McLachlan

All material appearing in Australian Automotive Aftermarket magazine is copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without prior written consent. Contribution: Freelance contribution and submissions are welcomed by this magazine. No responsibility is accepted for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and transparencies. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the AAAA. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission. The publisher reserves the right to omit or alter any advertisement and the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher for all damages or liabilities arising from the published material.


4WD NEWS

WE LOVE 4WD MODIFICATION REGULATIONS… Yep, I said it, but let me explain… I jokingly remarked during our most recent 4WD Industry Council committee meeting that it seems, in all the years I have been involved as Chairman, that there are two items that are consistently on the meeting agenda – bull bars and suspension. It seems as soon as we get it right in one corner of the country, another takes a turn in the wrong direction. Such is the world in which we live. Australian 4WD businesses battle it out to be the most innovative, adding more and more value to this fantastic 4WD culture. Hand in hand with innovation comes regulation – and to be honest, it’s not a bad thing. After all, how do we push the boundaries without knowing what the boundary is? In all seriousness though, good regulation and sensible guidelines do work in favour for our industry as they define the boundary between responsible modifications and customisation, and irresponsible. And the 90 percent of the industry that operates within this arena can continue to thrive knowing that their products and services are regarded as safe and compliant. However, good regulation and sensible guidelines are not always what we receive. In the case of Queensland’s ‘Operation Lift’ late in 2018, we were shown exactly what can go wrong when ‘NOT SO GOOD’ policy is acted upon. In this instance, the department of Transport and Main Roads found themselves at the centre of enormous controversy during what could otherwise have been an industry supported and perhaps well-overdue enforcement activity targeting unsafe, non-approved vehicle lifts and modifications. Unfortunately, drivers with minor modifications were caught up in the activity due to a contentious

restriction in the state guidelines and this is where it all went wrong. Mounting pressure resulted in an emergency stakeholder meeting, and finally in the removal of the restriction. We certainly welcomed the decision by the regulator to end the disruption by amending the guideline to reflect the standard across state borders however, the financial impact on 4WD businesses, not only during this period but for the next few months was devastating as customers were put off having their vehicles fitted out and modified until they felt confident once again. There are lessons to take away from this for both the regulator and for the 4WD community – and despite the negative impacts, a number of unsafe vehicles were taken off the road which is something the 4WD Industry Council supports; and it is fair to say that we look forward to working more cooperatively with the regulator in Queensland. Over the last year, Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has also demonstrated how good, sensible policy can be achieved in this state without major disruption. Updated guidelines from Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) for re-rating GVM for Queensland’s in-service vehicles are nearly finalised and 4WD Industry Council members have provided valuable input throughout the process. We have conveyed our expectation that the updated LS11 code and newly created LS15 code should provide clear, sensible guidelines for industry that are workable and non-disruptive, whilst satisfying the regulator’s need for a robust, auditable system for safe modification and approval. The consultation process has now been completed and, notwithstanding any final minor amendments, we would expect the new codes to be launched in 2019. Most members of the 4WD industry would be aware of the New South Wales regulators’ efforts over the past four years to arrive at a clear, sensible policy around bull bar compliance, which has yet to produce a result. The AAAA and the 4WD Industry Council have been actively involved in this process. You may not be aware, however, that we have also been discussing revised Bull Bar guidelines with the Western Australian Department of Transport for more than 12 months. Over this time, the DOT staff have indicated a willingness to accept a number of our suggested

4

Ray Smith-Roberts, Chairman Australian 4WD Industry Council The Australian 4WD Industry Council is a non-competitive, specialist council of the AAAA. It has been formed to provide advice, understanding and a strategic approach to market issues from regulators, governments, 4WD enthusiasts and community groups.

www.4wdcouncil.com.au changes and have convened a number of stakeholder round tables to discuss and fine tune the draft of the document. AAAA’s 4WD Industry Council continues to participate in this process, and I have personally travelled to Perth on several occasions to provide input directly. This has given us an opportunity to understand their key concerns and provide the government with an insight into our issues as manufacturers and suppliers of these products, which has been enormously valuable and has led to a good relationship with the WA team. Effectively, the intent is that the new guidelines are designed to give consumers and product suppliers some clarity about how the WA government interprets the existing Australian Standard. We have been successful in having a number of our amendments incorporated into the draft; and we are always seeking to ensure that there is harmony across difference states and territories in Australia.  This document has not yet been finalised and we are still constructively feeding in our comments and concerns however we are confident that the result will be a positive step forward for all. Finally, a note on upcoming events: we will once again be hosting our industry networking breakfasts on the opening mornings of the National 4x4 and Outdoor Show in Melbourne (August 16th), as well as the Sydney and Adelaide 4WD and Adventure Shows (6th September and 26th October respectively) so mark your calendars and keep an eye on your member e-news for registration details. If you are not currently a member of the 4WD Industry Council but you are a member of the 4WD Industry, get in touch at 4wdcouncil@aaaa.com.au and sign up to help support our efforts. I look forward to seeing you there!


4WD NEWS

WHERE 4WDING MEETS FUNDRAISING Camp Quality’s FUNX4 is the charity’s newest outback motoring event If you have a 4WD, a swag, a big heart and are after an adventure that will make a difference to Aussie families who are facing the daily ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis, then Camp Quality says FUNx4 is for you. Camp Quality explains that FUNx4 aims to go beyond the classic rural tracks. Participants will experience some of the best 4WD terrain, make new friends and most importantly, give kids facing cancer the chance to be kids again. Designed for stock standard 4WD vehicles, this is a week worth committing to. Camp Quality will organise your meals in ‘civilisation’, and you can show off your best bush kitchen skills when sleeping under under the stars. Last year saw FUNx4 hit the road for the very first time. Starting on the 29th of October in Wagga Wagga, the route took participants through two of the most spectacular iconic 4WD playgrounds, the Brindabellas and Victoria’s High Country, before finishing up in Benalla on the 3rd of

November. Thirteen 4WD and three Official Vehicles participated, raising an incredible $76,776. In 2019 the six-day adventure will travel from Broken Hill to Wilpena Pound delivering a once in a lifetime opportunity to take on the Aussie outback off-road as we tackle iconic tracks crossing through Corner Country and the Simpson Desert. To register, you’ll need: • At least one driver and one navigator • A vehicle with 4WD Low Range capabilities • To be available from 30th June to 6th July 2019 • The MOTORvation to raise $3,500 for an amazing Aussie cause! Following two major rainfall events this summer in Queensland and the Northern Territory (Cyclone Trevor), the Diamantina, Warburton River, Cooper Creek and more recently Eyre Creek

are all flowing steadily into Lake Eyre. This may present participants with a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the desert in full bloom and to also see Lake Eyre with water in it, says those behind the event. There’s still time to join in on the fun for this year’s event. To find out more, head to www.funx4.org.au or contact Cara at Camp Quality on 02 9876 0551 or cara.woods@campquality.org.au

COFFS HARBOUR: THE 4WD CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA Coffs Harbour is one of only two places in Australia where the Great Dividing Range meets the sea This gives Coffs and the region the enviable position of having the ocean and the mountains together. They say that 10 minutes to the East, you are out to sea and 10 minutes to the West, you are in the best 4WD country. This is where ARB stockists 4WD and Ute Extras is located, offering a whole range of products and services for the customers and its dealership network. It says this includes the complete fit-out of all 4WD vehicles with the very best brands on the market today, with services including bull bar, winch and driving light fitting, dual battery systems, auto electrical, storage solutions and

suspension amongst the wide variety of ARB equipment. It also customises alloy canopies and tool boxes to suit the tradie as well as the tourer. The team at 4WD and Ute Extras has been together for more than 15 years and has qualified tradesmen fitting and customising customer’s vehicles for work, for 4WDing and touring.

It says its modern and newly renovated business – which includes a workshop and warehousing, a new showroom and a prime position on the Pacific Highway in the centre of Coffs – is a great asset for the region. This business is listed as for sale. For all genuine enquiries, please call Lisa on 0488 04 3387. 5


4WD NEWS

REDVISION WINS GERRY RYAN OAM AWARD RedVision is the inaugural winner of the award from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia In May the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) held their Gala Awards night on the Gold Coast. The high-profile industry awards provide national recognition for exceptional individuals in the caravanning and camping industry. Redarc says it was honoured to receive the first Gerry Ryan OAM Award for Innovation for its RedVision Total Vehicle Management System. The new Award celebrates the implementation of creative ideas that generate value. It was introduced by the CIAA in the name of long-standing contributor to the industry, Gerry Ryan OAM, who was the owner and founder of Jayco Australia. “It is an honour that RedVision has been recognised with the inaugural Gerry Ryan OAM Award for Innovation, gaining national recognition in the caravanning and camping industry,” Redarc Managing Director, Anthony Kittel, said. It was an exciting week of May for Redarc, as the

company had just celebrated RedVision winning the Australian Industrial Product of The Year at the 2019 Manufacturers Monthly Endeavour Awards, only one night prior. The CIAA Gala Awards capped off Redarc’s three-day interactive trade exhibition at the CIAA Conference 2019. RedVision continues to gain recognition since the product won a Good Design Award in 2018, and Redarc says the CIAA Award again highlights its innovation capability. “Innovation is one of our leading company values, and by ensuring an innovative culture we continue to find success,” Anthony said. Redarc reports that since its release, RedVision has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from end-users, installers and manufacturers who have praised it for its ease of use, simplicity and the new level of automation it brings. In addition to the caravan and camping manufacturing industry, it says RedVision sets

a new level of automation in the RV and 4WD industries. Redarc is also proud to be a Accredited Supplier to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. For more information, please visit www.redarc.com.au

DON’T CHARGE THE CUSTOMER FOR YOUR INEXPERIENCE In this article, Diesel Help Australia’s Clinton Brett shares his thoughts on the importance of training in our industry “I hear this far too often lately: ‘I’m not getting paid for all the time I’ve wasted on this job,’” Diesel Help Australia’s Clinton Brett said. “At this moment I am concerned about the approach of these people to diagnosing as I feel it is a very negative outlook on the future of your business. You must understand the true value of training. “Another favourite I often hear is, ‘I’m the one who gets the hard cases no one else can fix.’ I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re not the only one. At some time, we’ve all thought we were the leaders in diagnostics. “Think back to that doozy job where you were pulling your hair out, frying your brain, spending long days and losing sleep. Oh yeah, I’ve been there! Release the tension – you’re running a business and diagnosing, drop the ego and don’t be afraid to bounce an idea off of someone else. “Those who’ve attended our training courses may recall one of my opening lines: with more than 30 years of diesel fuel injection experience, I do not know everything! If I did, you would find me on my 600 foot superyacht in the Whitsundays and the only diesels I would be talking about would be the ones driving my boat! 6

“I’ll answer questions to the best of my knowledge and when I cannot provide the answer, I will endeavour to find the correct answer via our expansive network of professionals. I haven’t had a workshop of my own to perform diagnostics on a daily basis, so how do I keep up with the latest of diesel systems? I’m listening to others during our training sessions and I am utilising our expanding network of Diesel Help members. “Our over the phone diesel diagnostics assistance has a success rate of 99.9 percent – the 0.1 percent has been a result of the technician ignoring the advice provided, being impatient because they’ve had the vehicle for weeks before seeking help or not being confident diagnosing the system because they weren’t quite sure of its operation. “In this case you should own your mistakes and treat them as a valuable learning experience. You have taken on a job that you knew very well before you started you were not experienced with, so why should your customer pay for your mistake? Once you have invested in the correct training, then you can charge accordingly. “This is the motivation behind the start-up of Diesel Help Australia. In my previous business,

we vested in thousands of unpaid hours and we were working on systems very few had seen in Australia, while access to valuable training was very limited and often involved an overseas trip. “Today in Australia and New Zealand, there is no shortage of valuable training providers. Our Ultimate 10 hour common rail diesel diagnostics course limited to 15 people is in its sixth year and continues to sell out. You can visit our website – www.dieselhelp.com.au – for details of locations throughout Australia and New Zealand. “I also highly recommend these leading professional training providers: TAT team members Rod Maher and Brendan Sorrenson, Bosch Australia, Denso Australia, Gary Wall of Cheaper Diesel Spares and Auto-tech training.” For more information, visit www.dieselhelp.com.au


4WD NEWS

WHEN SIZE DOES MATTER ARB gives the new Suzuki Jimny the full treatment Suzuki has been a leader in mini 4WDs since the 70s, so when they announced a new model of the Jimny, the world listened. Sporting a slightly larger engine, an up-to-date infotainment system and new safety components, the pint-sized fourby is a serious contender in the Australian market, says ARB. ARB says Suzuki Australia knows how important the right gear is to the Australian public so before the 26th January launch date, they visited ARB

to start developing prototypes for its Project JBOX promo vehicle. A team of ARB engineers got straight into designing and developing a range of new and updated accessories including a bull bar, rock sliders, roof rack and suspension whilst confirming fitment from the previous models on other items such as Air Lockers. Project JBOX will hit the streets with the smallest ARB Summit Bull Bar ever developed. To ensure continuity in aesthetics with the sizing of the vehicle, the hoops were reduced from the big tube design to a narrower profile for better integration. No 4x4 is complete without a winch and thus the JBOX has been fitted with a Warn Magnum 8,000lb winch. When it comes to side sill protection, ARB developed a new set of rock sliders. Tucking neatly in under the sills, the new sliders will see improved protection when tackling the tracks in this short-wheel base explorer. Prototype suspension has offered lift suitable for a set of new muddies and improved off road

ability while the retro fit roof rack provides that much needed extra space when heading out on the next camping trip. While all JBOX accessories showcased are prototypes, ARB says it is keen to continue with the testing and development of the Suzuki Jimny product range to have a comprehensive line-up for customers in the near future. For more information, visit www.arb.com.au

7


COVER FEATURE

LIKE NOTHING ELSE: DRIVETECH’S 4X4 SUPASHOCK Now in its 10th year, Drivetech 4x4 says it continues to grow its range of reliable, quality, value for money replacement parts and accessories Drivetech 4x4 says its extensive and everexpanding range occupies a unique position in the market as it covers both hard parts and accessories for a wide variety of vehicles in the Australian and New Zealand car parcs. Further, the range is rapidly growing to meet the current and future requirements of the 4x4 industry. The company explains that the latest addition to its range is the “very exciting” Drivetech 4x4 Supashock suspension lift kits. These reportedly combine the expertise and experience of Supashock and Drivetech 4x4 in the development and production of vehicle specific kits that deliver “ultimate ride quality and performance.”

Australian designed, tested, manufactured and assembled “What’s really exciting about the Drivetech 4x4 Supashock dampers is that they are designed, tested, manufactured and assembled at Supashock’s world class manufacturing and test facility in Adelaide, South Australia,” Drivetech 4x4 Business Manager, Ben Lavis, said. “The Supashock engineering team has extensive experience in motorsport, OEM, mining and defence industries. “The shock absorbers have been designed using technologies that were developed, tested and refined for mining, racing, military and performance vehicles and are available in unique vehicle specific kits. “We are so confident in their performance that we’ve backed them with a three-year/80,000kms warranty.”

Manufactured using optimum materials Drivetech 4x4 says its Supashocks have been developed specifically for motorsport and mining applications, providing each damper with superior strength and durability. The dampers and 64mm main shaft have been constructed using aerospace grade alloys and the highest quality hard chrome rods. The main shaft and outer casing reportedly provide incredible resistance to bending and buckling when carrying heavy loads and during large impacts. Military grade surface coating technology provides extremely hard and durable surfaces on every component. Each damper has a redundant sealing system which acts as a second seal. The 8

combination prevents the main seal from being damaged and provides the ultimate resistance to rocks, mud, water or other corrosive fluids, maximising service life. The bushes used in the dampers are manufactured using a specially designed material compound developed in Australia. The material has extremely high resistance to cracking and hardening and can carry extremely large loads. The stiffness characteristics of the material have been tuned to maximise service life and minimise harshness.

Packed with innovative features for precise handling and improved traction High displacement pneumatic bump and ride control provides additional load bearing capability, reduces harshness and acts as a pneumatic bump stop. It utilises an innovative design to build pneumatic pressure where it is needed and soften the harshness generated by road inputs. During high wheel articulation, the pneumatic bump stop system provides a cushioning effect on hard landings and regulates the stress transferred into other components on the chassis, increasing their service life.

Drivetech 4x4 Supashocks also incorporate “input response technology” to eliminate unwanted damper lag, allowing the damper to control the wheel and body as soon as it starts to move. With the damper working at 100 percent as soon as it starts to move, Drivetech 4x4 explains the suspension becomes highly efficient at controlling the wheels and body, providing excellent ride quality and off-road performance.


COVER FEATURE “By eliminating unwanted damper lag, the dampers become extremely responsive which means extremely precise handling, due to the speed that road inputs are transmitted to the steering wheel,” Ben said. “The responsiveness also keeps the tyre on the ground by minimising wheel bounce over bumps, significantly improving traction.” This technology also reduces internal damper pressures, which reduces heat generation and stress on the entire damper and chassis, therefore helping to increase their service life.

Tuned damping for unrivalled performance Each shock absorber is also designed and tuned to eliminate external adjustment to provide a wide operating window and unrivalled performance. The dampers are tuned to each application and the variety of road conditions they will be exposed to. Proprietary piston and valve assemblies are currently used in top level circuit racing, off-road racing and mining. “This design feature allows the shocks to cope with large and rapid shaft displacements while still being able to soak up smaller bumps without causing harshness,” Ben said. “The end result is maximum road contact, vehicle stability and driver confidence for ultimate handling performance on and off-road.”

Patented shell reservoir system and adjustable spring seats Each damper features Supashock’s patented Shell Reservoir system. The Shell Reservoir system has a floating piston that separates the pressurised gas from the oil and allows for a larger oil volume than most remote canister dampers on the market, making it extremely thermally efficient. It provides the performance benefits of a monotube damper packaged into the same space as a twin tube damper, without the need for an external canister or external bracket. All coil-over type front struts have adjustable spring seats for ride height adjustment. The adjustment system features a stress relieving bearing that allows for easy adjustment and eliminates torsional spring stress during damper compression, providing consistent performance and extending the life of the spring.

Worth a look Drivetech 4x4 Supashocks have been designed using the technologies developed for mining, racing, military and performance vehicles. Drivetech 4x4 says they incorporate a host of innovative features and add another dimension to the extensive offer of hard parts and accessories from the Drivetech 4x4 range and are “definitely worth a look.” For more information, visit www.drivetech4x4.com.au or call 1800 463 646. 9


TJM MINI FEATURE

A NEW FORCE IN THE AUSTRALIAN AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET With more than 180 years of experience

In early 2018, Aeroklas Australia strategically acquired two iconic Australian brands and cast its plans for expansion in local and international markets. Today, an impressive brand and product portfolio exists and includes Aeroklas, TJM 4X4 Equipped, Flexiglass and Bocar. Each of these brands attract a unique customer supported by a growing products and services mix which underpins the Aeroklas Australia offering to the Automotive Aftermarket. Aeroklas Australia has also invested significantly in the Australian automotive market with new premises and the creation of local jobs for everyday Australians. A modern ‘state of the art’ facility in Brisbane’s northside has recently opened and is home to more than 100 employees. “Our brands are strong and the investment in R&D, product innovation, IT and an efficient distribution centre demonstrates their long term commitment to our industry,” Aeroklas Australia General Manager, Greg Kelly, said. “Our premises have been specially designed to provide staff with the best working conditions and include a modern R&D laboratory, new manufacturing equipment, paint booths and modern staff amenities.”

AEROKLAS Aeroklas, a leading global manufacturer and exporter of high-end automotive accessories, distributes its product in more than 100 countries. A member of the Eastern Polymer Group of companies (EPG), Aeroklas international customers include some of the largest OEM manufactures in the world including Ford, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen.

Aeroklas says it pays great attention to every aspect of production that contributes to the success of each process, including production, quality, manpower and factory excellence. This thoroughness has reportedly enabled it to be accepted as one of the world’s top ranking automotive accessory companies with its TS16949 – Automotive Quality Standards, ISO9001 and TUV/ ABE Certifications demonstrating its commitment to first class manufacturing and customer excellence. Aeroklas boasts that it never stops innovating to meet the demands of the automotive industry, devoting its time and attention to every detail in creating new innovative automotive accessories. As such, the Aeroklas Product Research and Development Department is vital, helping develop new materials and production processes for the manufacturing of innovative new products. An example of Aeroklas’ innovation can be found in the fact that it is the world’s first manufacturer of

an ABS Double Shell Canopy – ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the only plastic acceptable by OE car manufacturers. With a modern factory utilising advanced technology throughout the facility and production processes automated to world-class standards, Aeroklas says you can be confident in its ability to completely develop products from initial concept through to mass production.

TJM 4X4 EQUIPPED Founded by three off-road thrill-seeking mates, Lloyd Taylor, Cliff Jones and Steve Mollenhauer, TJM are the “original Aussie off-road adventurers” and have been designing and manufacturing “the toughest and highest quality 4WD equipment in Australia” since 1973. Whether you’re an off-road enthusiast, a weekend warrior or a city slicker, TJM says it has all the gear you need to get 4x4 Equipped. TJM products can be found in nearly 100 retail stores across Australia where you’ll find a team of experienced and passionate 4WDers ready to help. Australian designed and engineered, TJM says its products are proudly manufactured to the highest quality standards. Further, it states it doesn’t stop at intelligent designs and quality or precise manufacturing either, noting that it also tests all of its products right here in Australia to ensure optimum compatibility, safety and reliability. TJM’s huge product range includes bull bars, snorkels, suspension, winches, side and rear bars, side steps, lockers, recovery and camping equipment. TJM stores also stock a large range of Australia’s leading 4X4 accessories.

10


TJM MINI FEATURE FLEXIGLASS Flexiglass commenced in Western Australia in 1949 when Harry Robins saw the first Holden car and identified the need for a station wagon. Harry created his first canopy using a steam bent timber frame and sheet metal panels. It was an outstanding success and he was soon making a range of designs from aluminium sheeting with side sliding windows. This innovative canopy featured laminated glass and an interior dome light. This was just the beginning for Harry. In 1956 he designed the first ever fiberglass canopy. This canopy was years ahead of its time and featured many similarities to today’s canopies. In 1959 Harry diversified into the fiberglass boat building business and together with his two sons created the foundations of today’s Flexiglass. Together they designed and perfected a new system of fiberglass that they called “FLEXIGLASS.” Unlike the ridged canopies of the time, it was extremely lightweight and flexible. Throughout the 1970s Flexiglass continued to grow and branches were opened in South Australia and Victoria. Demand rapidly grew around the country and New South Wales and Queensland branches soon followed.

signage, display signage and overall look and feel. This is the beginning of a long term plan to position Flexiglass as one of the leading canopy, tray and automotive accessories suppliers in Australia. Most recently, the Flexiglass Perth branch underwent a major external revamp, bringing this facility into line with the new refreshed Flexiglass branding.

A national network

A comprehensive range

Today, dedicated Flexiglass branches are strategically located around the country to support dealers, distributors and end users. These facilities also carry complementary products and brands, to the core range. Flexiglass also extends the reach of its products and services across an expansive network of dealers, resellers and end users across the country. With an outlet generally available within most major rural and provincial locations, and spare parts readily available, product support is never far away. All Flexiglass branches offer in-store fitting and colour coding, meaning fast turnaround time on all stocked items.

Flexiglass says it has developed the largest range of canopy and tray options in Australia. Further, this range is continuously expanding through development and product partnerships, to enhance your canopy and ute tray experience. This allows Flexiglass to offer customers the most comprehensive range of canopy and ute tray complementary products, so they can complete their vehicle setup for work or play. A recent example of this continuous quest to increase product range and quality can be found in Flexiglass’ recent upgrade to its FlexiLid series. These tub lids feature a smooth high gloss finish and provides a low profile, stylish secure lockup for 4x4 ute tubs. Just like most of the Flexiglass range, the body of these lids is constructed using fiberglass, meaning

A fresh new look Since joining the Aeroklas Australia family, the Flexiglass brand has undergone a major branding refresh including updated catalogues, vehicle

a tough yet light-weight product, with a smooth colour coded finish available. Each lid has been individually designed to enhance the vehicle’s appearance and carries a three-year warranty on paint and structure. It also features a premium feel felt lined interior finish, an optional interior battery LED light with on/off functions and twin gas struts. A remote central locking module can be added for ease of use. It is available for all recent common dual cab models including Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Holden Colorado, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara NP300, VW Amarok and Isuzu Dmax.

Product Partnerships Flexiglass also partners with other market leading brands to provide the perfect complementary products for work or play. Partner products include drawer systems, roof racks, storage, electrical and more.

BOCAR Bocar is an innovative manufacturer of quality and affordable heavy duty alloy ute trays and accessories. Genuine Bocar products are designed, engineered and tested in Australia to suit tough Australian conditions. With more than 45 years of experience, genuine Bocar products are said to be synonymous with quality, style, durability and performance. Bocar reports it was the first to design and release the contoured tubular headboard for ute trays and that it was also the first to use shaped extrusions for ute tray drop sides, adding strength and style. Many of Bocar’s benchmark designs have reportedly created new standards which are widely copied, but not matched, says the brand, which states its goal is to supply genuine quality heavy duty products and great value for money. For more information please visit www.aeroklasaustralia.com.au 11


ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

HALFWAY TO THE TOP HSP 4X4 HAS YOU COVERED ARB releases mid-height drawer range One vehicle set up can differ greatly from the next, which is why choice is becoming more important than ever before. ARB says it is pleased to introduce its new midheight drawer. Sitting at a comfortable 105mm, it slots in between the low-height (75mm) and the fullheight drawers (215mm), giving customers all the options for their packing needs.

Complementing the current drawer range, the mid-height drawers are available in 945mm, 1,045mm and 1,355mm lengths which accommodates the full range of vehicles ARB services currently and will bolt in seamlessly. The mid-height drawers have plenty of space for essential ARB accessories such as the snatch strap, weekender recovery kit, personal first aid kit and coffee mugs.

The company offers a range of products to the 4x4 market HSP 4x4 Accessories specialises in the design, prototyping, manufacturing and distribution of truck bed accessories.

Roll R Cover Roll Tops: A fully electric roll top, allowing the customer to open, close and pause at the click of a button. Proudly the only Australian made roll top, the Roll R Cover is constructed from heavy-duty aluminium with steel reinforced side rails, giving the Roll R Cover the ability to maintain factory roll bars while also offering ladder rack and crossbar options using pre-mapped insertion points. Key features include: • Electric Operation with pause option • Dual Cab and Space Cab compatible • Ladder rack compatible • Rhino Rack compatible • Sport Bar compatible • Heavy duty interlocking aluminium slats • Four point water drainage • LED light built in • Guttered side rails • Clamp on system • Canister protection barrier • The only Australian Made Roll Top • Two-year warranty

Premium Hard Lid:

The drawers feature an anti-rollback system that locks the drawers in their fully open position to stop unintentional closing and an anti-rattle system that locks the drawer and floor to eliminate movement while closed. The roller floor allows quick access to everything on top of the drawer and similar to the drawer component, it features aluminium drawer runners to reduce wear. For more information, visit www.arb.com.au 12

Manufactured in Australia, each lid has been individually designed to enhance the vehicle’s appearance and carries out an industry leading three-year warranty on paint and structure. HSP 4x4 Accessories says its premium lid is one of the only lids to have the option to add central locking or an LED light at any stage, allowing you to tailor the features to your needs. All premium hard lids come with the HSP twin lift ‘Max Lift’ system which HSP says to date is the highest opening lid on the market. Key features include: • Factory Remote Central locking option • LED light option • Quick release pin hinges • Quick release struts • Carpeted interior • Heavy duty Honeycomb fiberglass construction • Interior security release • Single handle double lock

• HSP Max Lift Struts (Highest opening lid) • Dual and space cab options • Australian made

Load Slide: Unlike most load management accessories on the market, HSP 4x4 Accessories says its Load Slide is custom cut around the wheel arches, ensuring a perfect fit. The Load Slide has the ability to extend up to 75 percent outside of the vehicle’s tub, along with multiple latching points make securing any load simple and secure. The purpose-built side rails, simple use handles and hexa-grip heavy duty surface gives the user endless applications. Key features include: • 75 percent extension • 250kg weight compatibility (when extended) • Multiple latching positions • Easy use handle • Four-piece side frame • Tub liner compatible

Tail Lock HSP 4x4 Accessories says its HSP Tail Lock is a truly revolutionary product allowing you to sync your tailgate with your existing vehicle remote. There is no drilling required as the Australianmade system uses existing factory mounting points.

Tail Assist The HSP Tail Gate Assist uses a two-way strut system which will not only dampen the weight while the tail gate is reclining but also reduce weight when inclining while supporting a high weight rating. There is no drilling required for the two-way assist system which works with factory mounting points. HSP 4x4 is one of the leaders in the Australian market in manufacturing hard lids, roll tops, tailgate central locking units, retractable bed slides and more. The company says its mission is simple: to create and distribute beautifully engineered products that create an effortless collaboration between the vehicle and the user. For more information, call 1300 441 498, email info@hsputelids.com or visit www.hsputelids.com


ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

NEVER DETRACT ECB says its Frontal Protection products won’t detract from any safety features of a vehicle East Coast Bullbars says it has released ‘First to Market’ frontal protection to suit the new MY19 SsangYong Musso. When the new MY19 SsangYong Musso entered East Coast Bullbar’s R&D facility, ECB reports it was faced with a variety of challenges. The vehicle design incorporated a crumple zone in the front to work in conjunction with an airbag release to lessen the impact in event of a crash. As such, ECB’s R&D department was challenged with securely mounting the standard 8mm steel mount to the vehicle yet allow crumple zones to remain as effective with the addition of frontal protection being installed. ECB says it incorporated an expansion area in the crumple zones on the 8mm steel mounts and states this design will not detract from the vehicle’s safety features. Its steel mount is tied back to the chassis and triangulated to the lower radiator support for maximum strength. The tow point on the Musso when evaluated was found to be insufficient for a majority of towing

14

according to ECB, which says its technicians decided to develop a stronger tow point directly off the 8mm steel mount with tow points now being added to both sides of the mount. This allows for ease of access for attaching a tow strap or tie down to the vehicle. ECB also reports it identified a weakness on the bottom of the lower radiator mounts that could risk the hardware shearing off the vehicle, thus exposing the radiator and A/C condenser. In response, ECB says it designed a full-length lower bash plate to protect these sensitive parts, made from high tensile 6mm alloy. This bash plate tied in the lower suspension mount and offers increased protection with directional air vents to aid in cooling the engine, and wing protection plates to strengthen the inner wheel guards. ECB says this is what it means by never detracting from a vehicle, so, when you leave the bitumen, you know your vehicle has the level of protection intended. ECB has more than 48 years of Frontal Protection

Products and says it designs and manufactures bullbars which are suited for purpose and will never detract from any features of the vehicle. Further, it reports that everything ECB manufactures is Australian Made, ADR Compliant and airbag compatible, which is why it can offer a lifetime warranty*. For more from East Coast Bullbars, go to www.ecb.com.au *Lifetime warranty applies to alloy Bullbars to be free of structural defects in materials and workmanship. The warranty period for alloy products is the lifetime of the product; whilst in the legal possession of the original owner.


HELLA MINI FEATURE

HELLA CONTINUES TO INNOVATE IN THE 4WD LIGHTING MARKET The best illumination for the toughest assignments Professionals, adventurers or simply offroad enthusiasts: the extensive HELLA product range for the offroad sector has something to offer for everyone, says HELLA, which states the HELLA name stands for state-of-the-art technology, outstanding reliability and unparalleled quality. “With our knowledge and expertise in this area, we know the requirements of drivers inside out and offer tailor made products designed to meet the rigorous demands of challenging offroad conditions,” Stefan Kisser, HELLA Australia Product Manager and Applications Engineer, said. “From innovative auxiliary headlamps and daytime running lights incorporating LED technology to rugged work lights and professional beacons: everybody can find exactly the product they need from our range.”

Auxiliary headlamps by HELLA: powerful light with passion Whoever ventures off the beaten track must always be ready to face extremes. This applies for the driver as well as the equipment – and is certainly true for lighting. Impaired functionality or failure cannot be caused by stone impact, extreme humidity or mud. With the auxiliary headlamp series, which are specially tailored to offroad requirements, HELLA has developed a range of outstanding products to ensure you will be perfectly equipped

16

for precisely these kinds of applications under the most grueling conditions. “The result is different headlamp models with stability, resilience and unparalleled lighting performance which have been legendary for many years and are being continuously and systematically developed further by HELLA engineers. Light, which you can rely on.” Stefan said. Available models include: • RokLUME 380 N Driving Light - unmatched performance • Ultra Beam Gen II Pencil Beam Driving Light - compact yet powerful • Luminator – the measure of feasibility • Rallye 4000 – maximum power, minimum weight • Jumbo 320 – a truly rugged character • LED light bar 350 – it doesn’t always have to be round

Daytime running lights by HELLA: safety and peace of mind HELLA says you can find the perfect solution for every vehicle type in HELLA’s sophisticated range of daytime running lights. HELLA also offers a comprehensive versatile range for the offroad sector: sometimes understated and refined, sometimes strikingly different.


HELLA MINI FEATURE

HELLA IN FOR THE LONG HAUL Lighting the way since 1899 HELLA says its history of innovation begins almost as far back as the birth of the automobile itself, explaining that for 120 years, automakers and drivers alike have relied on HELLA to illuminate the road ahead. “As an Original Equipment expert, the culture of advancing automotive lighting has always been the core of our success,” HELLA Australia Managing Director, Darren Robinson, said. “HELLA driving lights are tested and proven in the harshest conditions, from mining and long haul commercial transport to taking on Australia’s toughest 4X4 challenges. “Today and tomorrow, no matter where you’re heading, we’ll always be lighting the way.” For more information, visit hella.com.au “One thing our daytime running lights have in common: the tried-and-tested compelling HELLA quality, which you can completely rely on,” Stefan said. Available models include: • LED daytime running lights • LED daytime running lights 15/30 • LED daytime running lights zero • ​ LED daytime running lights, ‘surface mount’ version • LED daytime running lights, round

• LED daytime running lights, rod-shaped • LED daytime running lights, rectangular

Give your undivided attention to the task in hand with HELLA work lights Anyone who works in the dark has to rely on a good light for safe and productive work. HELLA work lights have been specially developed to cope with the grueling demands of daily offroad use and, due to the materials used, meet the higher expectations for resistance to dirt and moisture in an exceptional manner.

“Rugged yet lightweight housing design and reflectors developed to ensure high and lasting productivity. The typical HELLA high quality and craftsmanship ensures functionality and longevity at the highest professional level.” Stefan said. Available models include: • Q90 Compact LED • Module 50 LED • Module 70 LED Gen. IV • Power Beam 1800 • Oval 90 LED Gen. II • Oval 100 LED Gen. II • RokLUME 155 TP • Ultra Beam LED Gen. II • LED Light Bar 350

Stay on the safe side with HELLA beacons Beacons are not only required during rescue operations, but also always where a special warning is required to alert users to hazardous situations. “This is frequently the case when working with heavy machinery offroad. If professionals have to rely on technology, their first choice will be HELLA beacons and warning systems,” Stefan said. Available models include: • K-LED Mining • KLX 7000 • KL 7000 LED • Rota LED For more information, call the HELLA Techline on 1800 061 729, email custservice@hella.com or visit hella.com.au 17


ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

PROTECT YOUR SEAT All Black Duck SeatCovers are made right here in Australia, using Australian made materials Black Duck SeatCovers is a family owned and operated Australian company that has been manufacturing high quality, tailored fit seat covers for a wide range of vehicles including 4WDs, trucks, buses and earthmoving equipment for almost 30 years. Black Duck SeatCovers says it has been proactive in developing the best in seat cover technology to cater specifically for the tough conditions faced by Australian vehicle owners. With two manufacturing facilities, one in Kelmscott (Western Australia) and one in Wangarratta (Victoria), Black Duck SeatCovers says it has built a reputation widely respected for quality of product and service excellence. While manufacturing techniques are growing ever more advanced, Black Duck’s extensive quality assurance process is still done manually throughout the production process to ensure every product delivered meets stringent quality standards. Working closely with local fabric manufacturers, Black Duck offers several options to provide solutions for all applications and conditions. The Black Duck range includes seat covers designed to be hard wearing, water resistant, tear resistant and offers superior protection for vehicles that experience heavy use. All fabrics used are independently tested to ensure internal and external benchmarks, including Australian Standards, are met with every seat cover produced.

Heavy Duty protection Black Duck SeatCovers are perhaps best known for their Heavy Duty Canvas range. This is a tried and tested, ultra-heavy duty product made using a cotton based, military grade, 14.9oz Australian Canvas. The product has been tested to meet stringent Australian Standards for strength and endurance, with proven durability and stress metrics. Using the latest in advanced fabric treatment technologies, the canvas is treated to endure resistance to water, rot and mildew. Many companies, particularly in the resources and construction industries, use Black Duck Canvas seat covers on their fleet vehicles to protect the original seats – having a damaged seat can significantly reduce the resale value of a vehicle, so early protection is paramount. Investing in a wellfitting, heavy duty seat cover at the fit-out stage will ensure seats remain in pristine condition from the outset.

New 4Elements range In April, Black Duck launched its new 4Elements range which it says features its most advanced seat covers yet. Tested to withstand tough conditions without compromising on comfort, this product features a 19.2oz Cotton Twill Composite made in Australia. This is a heavy weight product with a soft and flexible feel for the ultimate in seat protection. Made from a 100 percent waterproof material that is also machine washable to keep your vehicle interiors in pristine condition, Black Duck says this product is a game changer and is already gaining high acclaim within the 4WD industry, having been described as “an outstanding, Australian product that integrates beautifully with the factory interior and complements the look of your 4wd whilst retaining a soft but rugged feel.”

A perfect fit Black Duck SeatCovers currently has more than 1,600 individual patterns on file, each tailored to fit a specific seat design. This not only ensures a snug and stylish fit but ensures all safety features and functionality of the seat is retained while minimising the chances of dirt and dust reaching the original seat. These patterns are made by trade qualified professionals who go through a comprehensive process of creating detailed and tailored templates for a superior fitting seat cover. The range of airbag compatible Black Duck SeatCovers patterns are dynamically tested and certified to ensure Vehicle Standard Australian Design Rule 72/00 (Dynamic Side Impact Occupant Protection 2005) is not adversely affected. This testing is undertaken at ACS in Adelaide, an award-winning company in the safety engineering industry. To maintain this certification, Black Duck uses advanced manufacturing techniques which allow the required air bag release in the event of an accident, without compromising the safety of the occupants. Black Duck SeatCovers are available at more than 1,000 resellers across Australia. For more information, call 1300 252 253. 18


ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

NEW FROM QLED QLED has announced new products for the Toyota Prado QLED says it is again extremely proud to announce the release of its new square OE dash switches, RJ45 Pass-Through and 2.1A USB charger that are compatible with the current model Toyota Prado. The mounting of these products utilises the factory blanks, and their appearance keep that ‘factory look’, which all discerning owners have as their preference, says QLED. The range of switch symbols are extensive, including the common Driving Lights, Beacon and Lightbar. However, as is QLED’s commitment, it shall also have Compressor, Work Lamps and the not so common ‘Perimeter Warning Lights’

20

that are a regular installation on the Prado. Further, QLED also invites clients who may have a customisation symbol request, and or illumination, to get in touch. QLED says these switches also match its standard illumination pattern sequence, as the Prado does accept two variations of switches, allowing for a common sense uniformity in switch design and operation. A matching, full 2.1A USB outlet is also available, and with great excitement QLED has also announced the availability of the dash mounting, UFH RJ45 microphone pass through that suits those model UHF radios that are a complete under dash installation; stating you will no longer have to put up with that ‘not quite finished’ look that is standard today. As the Prado is used not only as a work vehicle but also as a suburban vehicle, sometimes its working compliance is required to blend into the normal surroundings. QLED says its range of 64-LH Series Perimeter Lamps are of a ‘clear’ appearance, making them easy to mount without

lessening their best performance position or looking out of place on a wagon vehicle design. Also recently released is QLED’s 114 series Micro Beacon. For its size, the company says it packs a huge amount of punch. It offers compliance to class one output and has an option of three flash patterns. At the same time, QLED says its compact size, especially in height, makes it ideal where an unobtrusive look is required or where height may be an issue with a vehicle regularly visiting those height restricted, hotel or shopping centre underground carparks. For further information on QLED’s extensive range of products or to learn where these goods can be supplied locally to your business, please call QLED on 07 5456 2656 or visit www.qled.com.au


ACCESSORIES & ELECTRICAL

MSA 4X4’S NEW DRIVING MIRRORS Built for work and play Extended towing mirrors are an essential addition to many 4WDs as they provide full vision for the length of the trailer or caravan being towed. MSA 4X4 says it has designed and is currently extensively testing a brand-new range of towing mirrors that extend your field of vision past the trailer, for towing/reversing or launching your boat at boat ramps, whilst being unobtrusive for every day driving. “I think ‘towing’ mirrors is a restrictive description for an ‘all-round driving and towing mirror’ like ours. ‘Towing mirrors’ are great for towing, but annoying when not required,” MSA 4x4’s Shane Miles said. “Whilst 4WDing on tracks when you’re not towing the van, or simply parking at shopping centres and in garages, regular towing mirrors can be a hindrance. “We’re very proud of our eye-catching fleet of branded 4WDs that are all used for real-world testing of our product range and pride ourselves on the build of these company vehicles. “We obviously put a lot of thought into the

accessories installed onto each of them and found ourselves in a position where we needed to look at installing towing mirrors onto some of our fleet, but nothing currently available in the market suited us. “Not one for compromising on the perfect solution, we then set about designing what we wanted in an all-round driving and towing mirror. “The key was to design a mirror that, when not towing, still looks proportionate to the size and styling of the vehicle. We needed to design a set of mirrors that just look right! “Our new MSA 4X4 Driving Mirrors feature a unique design with a large single mirror that pivots on an extremely heavy-duty extension slide, that allows the mirror to be returned to its normal “non-towing” position, to avoid the extended mirrors permanently protruding off the sides of the vehicle. “As part of our testing, we had new mirror prototypes on our MSA Amarok featured in the current series of 4X4 Australia Magazine’s DVD series 3. The fact that most viewers haven’t realised that the Amarok’s mirrors aren’t standard

mirrors, really proves that our design works!” Shane said. The new range of MSA 4X4 Driving Mirrors are still currently undergoing extensive testing and should be available in the second half of 2019. The concept of the mirror is the subject of pending patent applications in Australia and overseas, including Australian patent application No. 2017268622 and international patent application No. PCT/AU2017/051320, as well as a granted Chinese utility model No. 20172162844. The shape of the mirror is also covered by Australian design registration No. 201614622 and pending Chinese design application No. 201830077185.5. For more information, visit www.msa4x4.com.au

21


REDARC MINI FEATURE

40 YEARS IN THE MAKING WITH REDARC In 2019, the technology manufacturer celebrates four decades in business

Australian manufacturer Redarc Electronics is a technology-based company that designs, manufactures and supports patented, reliable and fully integrated portable vehicular power solutions that continue to lead the way in the 4WD industry. This year, Redarc is celebrating a very special milestone, its 40th year. Over the decades, the business has grown exponentially to become a world-class advanced electronics manufacturer, servicing both domestic and international markets with more than 200 staff. “Redarc is not just a world-class manufacturing facility, it’s an agile and innovative problem solver. We give our customers the confidence in mission critical situations where things just have to work,” Redarc Managing Director, Anthony Kittel, said. “At Redarc there are no limits to where you can go. Our rugged products and customer obsession play a crucial role in ensuring that, whatever your mission, you can get there and back safely and confidently, secure in the knowledge that you have left nothing to chance.” Now 40 years strong, Redarc’s $22m investment strategy to scale up the business has resulted in the recent expansion of its Lonsdale factory, the introduction of new state-of-theart manufacturing equipment and systems, the installation of sustainable power infrastructure, new staff recruitment and ongoing investment in its highly skilled workforce. Anthony stated that all of this would not have happened without the support from customers,

22

the industry, distributors, suppliers, and trade backing Australian manufacturers.

and passenger, which called for a new design in electric brake controller technology.

In celebration of its 40th year, in this article we take a look at the history of some of Redarc’s long-standing products as well as some newer ones, that have taken the 4WD industry by storm.

In the mid-2000s Redarc released the Electric Brake Remote Head brake controller, which had the main unit tucked away behind the dash and the control knob which could be fitted in a factory pop-out switch.

Tow-Pro Electric Brake Controller range Redarc has been manufacturing electric brake controllers since 1989, with the first designed electric brake controller – known as the EB – being a compact box with a rotary knob used to adjust trailer braking strength. It incorporated an override button with an LED to indicate trailer connection and strength.

Perhaps Redarc’s biggest “brake through” to date, is their Tow-Pro electric brake controller, which was first released in 2014. Tow-Pro is the first Electric Trailer Brake Controller released to the Australian market that incorporates both Proportional and User-controlled braking in the one unit.

In later model vehicles there was less dash real estate, more curved surfaces, shrinking driver space and numerous airbags around the driver

With the introduction of Tow-Pro Elite in 2015 it once again pushed the limit of what a brake controller could do.


REDARC MINI FEATURE Through Active Calibration, the need for an initial calibration process was no longer required as the unit constantly monitors the vehicle’s direction of travel with or without a trailer attached. This has resulted in hassle-free installation for trades people, specialist towing providers and 4x4 stores, with the added bonus that the user will not have to attach their trailer to calibrate the unit. Earlier this year, Redarc released the Tow-Pro Elite V3, with further enhancements related to the size and installation of the remote head and compatibility with new vehicle technology. “The new and updated remote head will benefit those who install the product by simplifying the installation process, ultimately saving them time”, Anthony said.

BCDC In-vehicle Battery Charger Range Redarc has been designing and manufacturing in-vehicle battery chargers since 2009. The grey nomad movement, the arrival of smart alternators, temperature compensating alternators and Euro 5 and Euro 6 compliance were just some of the factors to why their BCDC in-vehicle battery chargers took off. As a result, the BCDC1220 was introduced. With the addition of MPPT solar regulators and more power, the BCDC1225 and BCDC1240 were added to the family, along with smart alternator compatible variants of the 20, 25, and 40A models. They featured a multistage DC-DC battery charging profile that was designed for installation in any 12 or 24V car, 4WD, truck, bus or marine electrical system. In 2018, the BCDC1250D 50-amp model was introduced, making it Redarc’s most powerful in the range. Nowadays the reliable in-vehicle battery chargers have been consolidated; with more functionality from fewer models and a dual input range that can charge all battery types and alternator types with direct input from solar. The BCDC is used and recommended by vehicle manufacturers, including Toyota and Ford in Australia, and Fiat and Peugeot in Europe.

AC Chargers Redarc has been making AC chargers for quite some time, but more recently introduced a range of SmartChargers by DEFA designed to automatically charge and maintain most 12v automotive start and auxiliary batteries including Lithium (LiFeP04). Redarc says the SmartCharge range are the perfect battery chargers for people to keep in their home and garage or anywhere where you might need to charge a battery occasionally. They are ideally suited for a wide range of applications such as cars, boats, motorbikes, scooters, lawnmowers and just about anything

else with a small battery that isn’t used on a regular basis. “The addition of the SmartCharge range is a natural and logical fit to our existing power management product offerings,” Anthony said.

RedVision Total Vehicle Management System Redarc explains the idea behind RedVision came through spending considerable time with caravan manufacturers and installers to better understand how they do things and appreciate their pain points which was mainly around the electrical installation and set-up. RedVision is a central hub that connects electrical devices and displays vital information for a vehicle or RV and its on-board 12V accessories by bringing information and control together in one place.

As a result, RedVision reduces installation complexity, electrical wiring which increases fuel efficiency, therefore can help GVM is maintained at legal levels. Customers can customise their vehicle as they see fit and provides them with the ability to control all powered and power related devices through a single platform that is easy to operate and access. Mostly recently, Redarc took away two gongs for RedVision: the Australian Industrial Product of the Year Award at the Manufacturer’s monthly Endeavour Awards, and the Gerry Ryan OAM Award for Innovation at the Caravan Industry Association of Australia awards to complement the 2018 Good Design Australia Award for Innovation. For more information, visit www.redarc.com.au

23


BRAKES & DRIVELINE

RYCO CRANKCASE BIG UTES NEED BIG BRAKES Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kits are VENTILATION designed for the discerning driver particular about how their ute performs SYSTEM Developed in Australia to solve a complex problem The rapid increase in diesel powered vehicles in Australia, particularly in the 4WD SUV and Dual Cab Utility segments, has seen enormous market opportunity for the development of aftermarket products in this area. As many as half of the top ten selling vehicles in Australia are represented in these segments. A common problem with all vehicles is the PCV valve. Crankcase gasses that exit this valve into the engine’s intake system often contain several contaminants such as oil, water and soot which can cause significant engine issues over time and adversely affect the vehicle’s performance and fuel economy; particularly in 4WD diesel and high-performance engines.

Launched into the Australian and International markets in 2018, Pedders’ front brake kits are designed to suit the Ford Ranger PXII, Isuzu D-Max RT50 and RT85, and Holden Colorado RG. There is also a Rear Drum To Disc Brake Conversion Kit for the Nissan Navara D23 (coil spring models). Whilst many people associate performance brake kits with high-powered sedans, hatchbacks and station wagons, Pedders says that suspension upgrades often come with the need for brake upgrades, especially for vehicles that carry and/ or tow load. With that in mind, it made sense to develop a kit for popular and hard-working utes, says Pedders.

Bigger braking surface means bigger stopping power, it says, stating that with the fitment of the all new Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme brake kit, independent Australian Engineering tests reflected an average improvement in braking distance by up to 14 percent, which could save lives. Pedders says independent Australian engineering test results, using a Ford Ranger with GVM+ load of 3590kgs, proved that at 100km/h, the TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit system upgrade stopped on average 11m shorter than original equipment brakes.

Whilst standard aftermarket catch-cans remove the contaminants, there remains one issue that plagues this technology. The lack of volume and flow in almost all aftermarket catch-cans means that there is no guarantee that the “stored” contaminants wouldn’t find their way back into the engine via the intake system or directly into the engine’s sump and this is especially the case with 4WD vehicles that are operating off road. Ryco Filters has produced the RYCO RCC350 Crankcase Filter Assembly and the RCC350K Universal Crankcase Filter Kit. Ryco Group says the system boasts the most efficient crankcase filter currently available with market leading high flow capacity and internal storage. Further, RycoFilters have reportedly delivered undisputable industry-firsts with the sump capacity, the high gas flow design and safety valve technology of the product. For more information visit www.rycofilters.com.au

Suited for 18-inch wheels or larger, the front brake kits feature 10 slot and dimpled TrakRyder geomet coated rotors measuring 356mm, resulting in a 40 percent increase in swept area compared to OE rotors. The rotors are clamped by six-pot, two-piece aluminium forged calipers featuring forged aluminium pistons and hightech Kevlar Ceramic low dust brake pads. As well as the huge improvement in braking performance, Pedders says the kit is well presented with the calipers finished in a durable red gloss finish with debossed Pedders branding in white.

Pedders says its Rear Drum to Disc Brake Conversion Kit, for Nissan Navara coil sprung vehicles, includes everything needed to convert a rear drum setup to a disc brake system and is ADR 35/05 compliant. In independent engineering tests, Pedders says a Navara NP300 with a laden weight of 3410kg, when fitted with the TrakRyder Rear Drum to Disc Conversion Kit, had an average 24 metre reduction in braking distance from 100 km/h, when compared to the original equipment rear braking system. In addition to improved braking performance, features include easy inspection as the car owner does not have to remove the wheels to look at the disc brake system, improved brake pedal feel and modulation, reduced brake fade, vastly superior water drainage from braking system compared to drums, and only two bolts need to be removed to replace brake pads. Each rear drum to disc conversion kit must be installed by a Pedders outlet or approved distributor. The product is offered for sale at more than 120 Pedders outlets Australia wide and adds value to fleet and trade customers alike. For more information, visit www.pedders.com.au

26


BRAKES & DRIVELINE

KEEP COOL UNDER PRESSURE Exedy launches Coolmaster Offroad 4WD Transmission Cooler Exedy says it is excited to announce the launch of its innovative Coolmaster Offroad transmission cooler for 4WD. Acting on new car sales data, which revealed a trend towards multi-speed transmissions, Exedy’s team analysed the Australian car parc and found a gap in the market for a heavy-duty transmission cooler for 4WD that would exceed the performance of OEM built-in cooling systems. In addition, the team discovered that performance upgrades for both petrol and diesel 4WD vehicles are rapidly increasing and that owners of modified 4WDs were actively searching for transmission cooling solutions to complement their new-found engine performance. “Modern, multi-speed transmissions have to contend with an ever-increasing operating temperature due to increased vehicle loads, towing capacities and the rigours of serious Four-WheelDriving,” Exedy Product Manager, Mark Davis, said. “When combined, these factors quickly highlight the inadequacies of OEM built-in cooling systems.

The result of which increase the wear rate of transmission components, ultimately reducing transmission life expectancy.” From the outset, Exedy’s primary objective was to develop a cost-effective solution allowing vehicle owners to reduce transmission operating temperatures, increase the longevity of their transmission and reduce transmission repair costs. “Initially, we investigated the existing cooling system to determine whether or not it would be possible to improve the cooling capacity utilising the existing infrastructure. But our research proved that upgrading the existing infrastructure would not deliver the target reduction in operating temperature required,” Mark said. As such, Exedy shifted its focus to developing a new transmission cooling system designed to work in unison with, or replace, the original components depending on the make and model of the vehicle. This change of focus resulted in the Coolmaster Offroad transmission cooler for 4WD. “Our oil cooler design is lightweight, compact and offers high levels of heat transfer and corrosion

resistance, making it the most critical component in the Coolmaster Offroad transmission cooler kit,” Mark said. Once prototypes of the oil cooler were available, a fleet of test vehicles was secured to allow the Exedy team to design mounting brackets to ensure that the kits would be easy to install, as well as being positioned to allow maximum airflow. Complete kits were fitted to test vehicles for an intensive off-road trial to test cooling performance, clearance and the rigidity of the mounting brackets. “Of course, every Exedy Coolmaster Offroad transmission cooler kit is supplied with fitting instructions outlining the simple step-by-step installation process,” Mark said. For more information, visit www.exedy.com.au

27


BRAKES & DRIVELINE

NEW FROM DWIZ DIFF HOUSINGS Super strong Diff housings are now in design and testing for the VDJ Landcruiser Front Diff Dwiz Diff Housings says that since starting sales of its ADR Approved Super Strong Rear Track Correction Housings in October of 2018, it has had more than 50 housings in vehicles on the road all over Australia. It says it has evolved its design based on market demand with updates to its load carrying potential (3020kg rear axle rating) and high clearance of leaf plates. With sales coming in steadily, it says this has allowed it to focus on its next products. As such, Dwiz Diff Housings says it is proud to announce that it is currently in the process of testing its Super Strong VDJ Landcruiser Front housing. This is a Super Strong Housing with a twist – the design has been developed to suit a much larger

and stronger diff centre of the Nissan Patrol. “In our experience operating a 4WD Hire company on Fraser Island, we have found the VDJ Front Diff Centre is prone to break teeth off the crown wheel when the front wheels lift from the ground and land while the wheels are still spinning,” Dwiz Diff Housings Sales Manager, Todd Gerbich, said. “The reason for this is the small size of the Hilux center that Toyota has used in the VDJ. We have not had this issue with the Nissan Patrol front Diffs. “These diffs will run the same 4:3 ratio of the Landcruiser front Diff, to keep within manufacturers’ specifications. In production we have applied our patented design of internal

tubing trussed to the outer casing, including chrome moly swivel hubs. “Once in production we expect to offer a complete package of Front and Rear Super Strong Housings for the VDJ Landcruiser for under $10,000.” Todd also mentions that Dwiz Diff Housings is currently looking for distribution partners. “Being that Dwiz Diff Housings is new to the industry we are still establishing a wholesale network. If you believe there is a demand for these with your local customer network, please contact me on 0450 256 355 or todd@dwizdiffhousings.com.au to make an enquiry to become an agent today,” Todd said. For more information, visit www.dwizdiffhousings.com.au

28


BRAKES & DRIVELINE

NEW FROM XTREME OUTBACK A new Extra Heavy-Duty Xtreme Outback upgrade for the Hilux is now available Xtreme Outback, the heavy duty 4x4 and SUV division of Australian Clutch Services, has recently launched a new Extra Heavy-Duty upgrade to suit 2005-2015 Toyota Hilux 2.5L models. The new kit offers a 45 percent increase in clamping force and is designed for vehicles that have significant performance upgrades but still require excellent drivability, says Xtreme Outback. “Our latest Extra Heavy-Duty upgrade to suit the Hilux is an ideal addition to our existing range of upgrades for this popular application,” Australian Clutch Services Managing Director, Brenton Jordan, said. “The upgrade has been developed specifically for vehicles that have had significant increases in torque and are already proving to be popular in Australia and overseas.” The Hilux is one of Xtreme Outback’s most popular applications and are ideal platforms for tuning and performance upgrades. It is expected that the new Extra Heavy-Duty kit will be one of the most popular upgrades for the brand and the nationwide distribution network. “After the success of our Extra Heavy-Duty upgrades to suit the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series and Nissan Patrol, the Hilux was the ideal next addition for the range,” Brenton said. The upgrade includes an Extra Heavy-Duty pressure plate, 275mm sprung organic friction disc, specially designed flywheel, thrust bearing, braided hydraulic clutch line (to eliminate the dampening valve), bolts and

alignment tool to ensure the installer has everything required for a reliable installation process. “We always ensure to offer everything the installer may need with the kit,” Brenton said. “By providing the hydraulics, bearings and bolts with the kit we are offering much greater value to the customer and ensuring that all of the critical components that should be replaced whilst the transmission is out of the vehicle are provided in the one kit, saving time for the installer.” For more information on the Xtreme Outback range of upgrades, please call 1800 CLUTCH or email sales@xtremeoutback.com.au

29


ENGINE & EXHAUST

COMMAND GO The latest tech in throttle control Command Auto says it has led the market in ECU cruise controls for more than 30 years, stating that its evolution into the electronics field has propelled it to the latest in throttle control technology: the Command GO. Command GO helps reduce throttle lag and increases vehicle response, resulting in more power, faster. Developed and tested on Australia’s most popular 4WD vehicles, Command Auto says the Command GO will transform the way you drive and tow both on and off-road with the nine sensitivities assisting each driver in adequately adjusting to a variety of driving conditions or driving habits. The “incredibly easy to install” Plug and Play module sits between the OEM throttle connector and accelerator pedal; while the control unit mounts to the driver’s dash.

NO COMPROMISES Adrad Performance Alloy For 4x4 You may be wondering, should you put a copper/ brass or alloy radiator in your 4x4? Adrad says it has changed the answer with genuinely durable high-performance alloy units for 4WDing. If you challenge your 4WD regularly or just now and then, fitting an upgrade aftermarket radiator will allow your engine to stay comfortably cool under load. Modified 4x4s in particular may require an upgrade radiator to handle the heat from the extra power output. Upgrading the radiator could mean the difference between a successful trip and being stranded on the side of the road. It is an investment that you should consider if you plan to take your vehicle off-road, use low-range to scrabble up a steep hill, climb sandy ridges on a 45-degree day or simply tow a trailer or caravan on the open road in summer. Adrad says the Adrad Performance 4x4 radiator range features alloy tanks and super-tough, heavyduty extruded water tube for maximum strength.

How do Adrad Performance 4x4 Alloy Radiators Compare to Copper/Brass Radiators?

This allows each user to adjust the sensitivity while operating the vehicle effortlessly, says Command Auto. The reduction in throttle lag and increase in vehicle response makes Command GO exceptional for towing, it says, stating that Command GO also boasts the unique Intelligent Mode which will learn your driving habits and adjust automatically. Additional safety and security features include Over-Taking mode and an Anti-Theft Function. Equipped with Manual and Automatic mode, Command GO is suitable for any transmission. Users can choose from a one-nine sensitivity within five different modes (economy, intelligent, boost, sport, elite) and there is also bypass mode for original vehicle acceleration, keeping you in control in any situation. The Command Go will be available from July 2019. For more information, visit www.commandauto.com.au/commandgo or call 02 8853 2913. 30

Adrad says that while copper/brass radiators for 4x4s have the advantage of being easy to repair when you are in the outback, the heavy duty alloy radiators designed by Adrad Performance combine superior heat transfer capacity with real durability and strength. On a copper/brass radiator, the tube and fin are joined using solder (mix of lead and tin), which acts as an insulator. This decreases the heat transfer capacity of the radiator, explains Adrad. It says Adrad Performance full alloy radiators allow maximal heat transfer where the tube joins the fin, stating that this means that you get the high performance cooling you expect from an alloy radiator. “The real advantage of an Adrad 4x4 heavyduty extruded tube radiator is that you don’t make a compromise between durability and

cooling performance,” Adrad National Marketing Manager, Andrew Mitchell, said. “Adrad’s heavy-duty extruded tube has thickness at the leading wall edge of 1.6mm thick, where standard tube is between just 0.28 and 0.32mm thick. This much thicker tube is highly resilient, eliminating the likelihood of impact damage due to the increased toughness and strength of the thicker alloy tube. “When an Adrad 4x4 radiator is driven on corrugated roads, exposed to sand or flying debris, it is tough enough to survive unscathed. “With an Adrad Performance alloy radiator in your 4x4, you can expect longevity on the road unless there’s a major impact, or a stray current issue. “Invest in a tried and proved Adrad Performance heavy-duty extruded tube radiator for your 4x4 for peace of mind that your radiator is tough enough for any driving challenge.” Adrad radiators are available for Landcruiser, Navara, Patrol, Pathfinder, Ranger, Rodeo, Colorado and more. Adrad Performance also has the Koyo 4x4 range available. To learn more, ask for Adrad Performance at your local workshop, browse the range online or call Adrad on 1800 069 610.


ENGINE & EXHAUST

THE RIGHT 4WD HOISTS Selecting the correct hoists for lifting Four-Wheel Drive vehicles isn’t just about getting the lifting capacity correct Interequip explains that if you are buying a 4.5 tonne capacity hoist and lifting a 4-tonne vehicle it could still fall outside of the hoist’s design parameters. This could lead to premature wear in a best-case scenario and a fallen vehicle in a worst-case scenario. As such, it is important to understand where the centre of gravity is of the vehicles you intend to lift. An example might be a four-wheel drive ute with a tool tray body full of tools. The weight bias is rearwards, so a symmetrical arm design is very important and so too is ensuring the hoist is capable of lifting an off centre weighted vehicle. For this reason, it may be worth considering a five tonne two post hoist when lifting a four tonne vehicle. The post and carriage structure is designed to cope with heavier vehicles and a symmetrical arm design will ensure a more stable lift, says Interequip. Interequip is the sole Australian importer of the Powerrex range of heavy duty two post lifts. It says

32

these lifts are unique in that they are constructed of six millimetre thick steel. The Powerrex range is available in either four or five tonne capacity and in an extended height version. A new version is also on the way which complies with Australian standards at 4.5t lift capacity. Interequip says the Korean made hoist has been a very popular choice in Australia for the past 20 years and that the SL2900 four tonne range and the SL25 five tonne range have long been “the professional’s choice.” Interequip also imports a range of four and five tonne lifting capacity hoists from what it calls “a more cost effective supplier” which is also available in extended height configuration, stating that the BulletPro JL35A-M and the BulletPro JL50 hoists are a great economical alternative. The company also says the ‘real’ heavy lifter is its six tonne extended height two post lift from Real. With a maximum height of 5.5 metres, this hoist

is capable of lifting a 3.3m high roofed vehicle to a full two metres. Each arm has a maximum radius of over 1800 mm making a total arm spread of 3.6 metres. This gives the flexibility of the vehicle placement on the hoist ensuring even a four-wheel drive with a heavy rearward weight bias can be safely lifted. Interequip says the entire range is in stock and available for immediate delivery and all hoists comply with Australian standards. For further information, please call Don on 0414 794 930 or visit www.interequip.com.au


ENGINE & EXHAUST

UNDERSTANDING MICRON RATINGS FOR FILTERS In this article, Diesel Distributors explains what you need to know about Micron ratings A micron is a unit of measure in the metric system equal to one millionth of a meter. The average cross-section of a human hair is 50 microns and the human eye cannot see anything smaller than 40 microns in size. A micron rating is used to indicate the ability of a liquid filter to remove contaminants by the size of the particles. It is important to remember that a micron rating without an associated efficiency does not fully describe the performance of a filter.

A filter that has a rating of “10 micron” has some ability to capture particles as small as 10 microns; however, because there is no single accepted way to measure and describe the size and amount of contaminants a filter can hold, you need more information. For a micron rating to be truly useful, you must know the filters’ removal efficiency of the specific particle size in question. There are several variations of micron ratings, but the two most common terms used are nominal and absolute. • Nominal Micron Rating – expresses the ability of the filter to capture particles of a specified size at an efficiency between 50 percent and 90 percent. For instance, a nominal rating of 50 percent at 10 micron simply means that filter captures 50 percent of contaminants 10 micron in size. Keep in mind that nominal micron ratings may range anywhere from 50 – 98.6 percent efficient at removing a specific particle size. • Absolute Micron Rating – means that the

filter is capable of removing at least 98.7 percent of a specific size particle. This rating is determined through a single-pass or multi-pass test in which fluid containing measurable particles is passed through a flat sheet of filter material. Particles that pass through are measured and counted. This rating is more informative than the nominal micron rating. When comparing filters, it is important to ascertain if it is the nominal or absolute rating, as well as the percent of efficiency rating and contaminant capacity. This will allow you to better assess the performance of the filters being compared. For more from Diesel Distributors, visit www.dieseldistributors.com

33


ENGINE & EXHAUST

FUEL QUALITY AND YOUR COMMON RAIL DIESEL In this article, Direction Plus offers tips to ensure the fuel entering your CRD is refined and clean With the increasing popularity of the Common Rail Diesel (CRD) which boasts better efficiency, more power and reduced emissions, there also comes with it a fair share of problems such as engine rattles, injector sticking and stalling problems. With ultrafine tolerances of diesel pumps and injectors, the common rail system is highly susceptible to fuel contamination. Any contamination or water in diesel fuel can be disastrous to both the injectors and the fuel pump, causing expensive injector and fuel pump failures: the two big-dollar components in any common rail system. Common rail fuel system injectors are required to inject diesel into the cylinder up to five times or more per firing cycle, making it possible for the CRD to precisely inject the required amount of fuel. A delay in fuel injection caused by wear (from contamination) or poor fuel lubricity commonly results in incorrect fuel delivery, resulting in reduced performance and poor fuel economy. Direction Plus, a trademark brand of Diesel

Distributors Australia, says now is the best time to ensure that the fuel entering your common rail diesel engine is highly refined and scrupulously clean. It says there are a couple of ways to make sure you get the most out of your common rail engine: 1. Where possible, fill up at a reputable fuel station 2. Never use biodiesel or biodiesel blended fuels 3. Always use OEM or OEM quality fuel filters and replace them at the specified service intervals 4. Try not to fill from drums, if you must, ensure that they are contaminate free Following these few steps is cheap insurance against expensive failures and repairs, says Direction Plus. It states there are also ways of adding an extra line of defence, such as a Direction Plus Diesel Pre-Filter Kit. Direction-Plus has also released its next-generation PreLine-Plus pre-filter kits keeping up with the latest available advances in fuel filtration and water separation.

These kits are installed between the fuel tank and the OEM fuel filter. Direction Plus says its kits do all the hard work by removing most of the contaminants and water from the fuel, leaving your factory filter to remove the finer contaminates left and ensuring that your common rail diesel gets the cleanest fuel possible. For more information, visit www.direction-plus.com

TRANSMISSION OIL COOLERS: ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY? Davies Craig investigates Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is subjected to tremendous heat and pressure from the action of the torque converter in transmitting power from the engine to the drive components and never more so than in four wheel drive vehicles. ATF must lubricate, clean, prevent rust and corrosion, and cool. It is the lifeblood of the transmission. Ideal oil temperatures for transmissions should fall below 95°c for maximum component life. Surveys report that an average rear-wheel drive automatic transmission fails in about 80,000 kms. Front wheel drive trans-axles report lower average life and far higher repair costs and some 90 percent of transmission failures are caused by overheating of the transmission oil.

34

With modern SUV ‘soft roader’ vehicles using lighter and smaller transmissions, the use of an auxiliary transmission cooler has become more significant in reducing operating temperatures. SUVs have overtaken passenger vehicles to be the predominant segment of the Australian automotive market. SUV numbers will continue to grow with the SUV being the ‘work horse’ of choice for the trade industries. In many cases these vehicles will tow trailers full of equipment for on-site duties during most of their working life, thus placing an increased load on the drive train. Some of the driving conditions that induce additional stress on an automatic transmission are stop, start driving - heavy traffic; outback/ sand/off road/hilly driving; towing up to the maximum of the vehicle’s GVM and beyond; and operating in extreme weather conditions. Davies Craig says a simple yet effective way to manage transmission stress and the overheating of transmission oil while alleviating possible failures is to install a suitable model Davies, Craig Transmission Oil Cooler. Davies Craig specifically supplies two types of transmission coolers: tube and fin (“ULTRACOOL”) and the plate and fin (“HYDRACOOL”) designs.

It says the HYDRACOOL units are 33 percent more efficient than comparable tube and fin designs and are the transmission oil coolers of choice for many SUV and 4WD applications. Davies Craig states Automatic Transmission Fluid cannot be cooled efficiently by an OEM style cooler, either through the bottom of the radiator or a box on the side of the transmission. It says an auxiliary transmission oil cooler is the best answer and a Davies Craig transmission oil cooler can reduce the ATF’s temperature by as much as 30°c (54°f). Reductions of 10°c (18°f) can double the life of automatic transmission fluid and components, it says. A Davies, Craig transmission oil cooler is a low cost insurance policy to ensure vehicle and transmission longevity, says the company. For more information, visit www.daviescraig.com.au


MONROE MINI FEATURE

SAFE SUSPENSION REPLACEMENT TIPS FROM MONROE Monroe raises two important factors that ensure safety with suspension replacements Australia’s market leader in ride performance products, Monroe, advises that replacing only a single shock or strut could lead to adverse vehicle performance and premature tyre, steering and suspension component wear. Like other vehicle systems and components, shock absorbers, which stroke an average of 2,800 cycles per kilometre, are subject to significant wear over time. When replacing one worn or damaged shock absorber, it is vitally important to also replace its counterpart on the other side of the vehicle in order to maintain consistent performance and to prevent premature wear. Because a new shock absorber has experienced no internal wear, pairing it with an old unit could create uneven damping characteristics, and cause the newer shock to wear out much faster than expected, because the replaced unit will need to work harder to compensate for the wear of the old shock absorber. Replacing only a single worn or damaged shock absorber can create adverse effects on vehicle performance characteristics, increasing both suspension component and tyre wear. It is critical that automotive technicians always replace both

shock absorbers on a single axle to ensure a safer and much more comfortable ride for their customers. Worn and damaged shock absorbers have a significant impact on driver comfort and safety, causing vehicles to excessively bounce and sway, adversely affecting steering response along with causing increased stopping distances. Monroe recommends that automotive technicians check shock absorbers for wear or damage with every vehicle service, and when carrying out other repairs such as brake or tyre replacements. When conducting vehicle inspections, automotive technicians should look for common signs of worn and damaged shocks and struts, which include damaged steering and suspension ball joints, poor steering response, fluid leaks from the shock or strut body, cupped or uneven tyre wear, and excessive vehicle bounce. When performing road tests, technicians should also look out for any leaning or swaying during lane changes. Another important part of checking a vehicle’s suspension is the condition of the strut mounts when replacing shock absorber struts. Strut mounts are subjected to heavy vibration during their lifespan and as like any rubber to metal bonded parts, they are susceptible to wear over time.

Worn strut mounts or bearing plates can adversely affect vehicle handling and safety as they are an important component of the suspension system. Worn strut mounts and bearing plates can cause noise, steering binding or even be the cause of steering pull. In the worst cases, worn strut mounts can allow the upper end of the strut to change position which directly affects wheel alignment angles. If such wear is not detected properly at the time of replacing shock absorber struts, it almost always results in customer returns, premature tyre wear and suspension component fatigue. To increase the lifespan of any vehicle strut, replacing a worn strut mount and bearing plate is essential. These integral suspension components work together with the strut to isolate road vibrations and to provide smooth and safe steering response. To best service Australian automotive repairers, Monroe says it provides complete StrutMate Mounting Kits which are easy to install. In most cases with strut suspensions, the upper strut mount replaces the upper control arm and bushings, upper ball joint and control arm pivot shaft, making this component the pivot point of a vehicle’s suspension. Once replaced, the flexibility of the mount allows the strut angle to change to follow the travel of the lower ball joint. The rubber portion of the mount is designed to reduce vibrations and transmitted road noises. The bearing plate built into these mounts serves as the upper pivot point and forms the steering axis, so when the front wheels are steered, the entire strut is able to pivot from the lower ball joint to the upper strut mount. The upper strut

36


MONROE MINI FEATURE

mount may also carry the load and transfer that load to the spring and strut housing. To check for worn or defective strut mounts, automotive technicians should first do a road test, checking for unusual noise, pulling or steering binding. Then with the car parked in the workshop and on the ground, rotate the steering from stop to stop while listening for noise or the effects of binding, which are indicative of a defective bearing. The rubber portions of the strut mount also needs to be checked for cracks or separation from the steel before raising the vehicle. Also before activating the hoist, the technician needs to take

note of the position of the strut piston rod. Then once the vehicle is raised, note any change in the position of the strut mount assembly. A slight downward movement is normal, but any side to side movement more than likely indicates a worn strut mount. The next step, once the vehicle is raised, is to grip the coil spring as close to the upper strut mount as possible, then push in and out on the strut while watching for movement of the upper end of the piston rod. There should be no free movement, if there is movement, the strut mount needs to be replaced. The inspection is completed by checking the steering pivot

to ensure smooth and free rotation, while also checking all rubber components for breaking away from the metal, visual signs of cracking and general wear. Monroe Strut-Mate Mounting Kits feature original equipment style bearings, SAE grade nuts and bolts, superior rubber to steel bonding and plated steel for longer wear. These premium quality replacement strut mounting kits have been manufactured to meet or exceed original equipment specifications. For more information, visit www.monroe.com.au or contact Monroe’s technical experts on 1800 088 205.

37


SUSPENSION & LOAD CARRYING

NEW FROM WHITELINE The company has introduced new heavy duty suspension products Whiteline says it is best known for dramatically improving a vehicle’s handling and performance. When it comes to 4x4s, Whiteline says it boasts a growing range of heavy duty suspension solutions for this booming 4x4 vehicle segment.

4X4 Hd Sway Bars Upgrading sway bars is not just limited to sports or passenger vehicles. 4x4s and utilities benefit greatly from larger sway bars particularly where heavier loads, towing and/or highway driving is involved. Whiteline has customised a short range of heavy duty sway bars (anti roll bars) to suit the most common 4X4 models with the objective to minimise excess body roll, dramatically improve handling performance and most importantly improve safety.

4X4 Upper Control Arms (UCA) The new Whiteline offset UCA (Upper Control Arm) is an all-in-one solution for any vehicle that has been lifted between 30mm and 70mm. Providing an increase between +2.5 and +3.5 degrees of caster and up to 1.5 degrees of negative camber increase (figures quoted are based off an approximate 50mm/two-inch) along with greater clearance to the coil over strut and more articulation of the arm by virtue of new maintenance free GIIRO bushing technology.

4X4 Leaf Spring Bushing Kit An all in one leaf spring bushing service kit covering front and rear eyes of the leaf plus shackle bushings. High kilometres and heavy load carrying causes excessive wear on rubber bushings – Whiteline’s signature black bushings are made tough and offer outstanding abrasion resistance, high load bearing capability (4WDs, utes and towing), flexibility, increased tensile strength and chemical resistance to oil, grease, ozone and weathering. For more information, visit www.whiteline.com.au/4x4_ suspension.php or free call 1300 882 355. 38

MILFORD’S NEXT GENERATION ULT1MATE TOWBAR Milford says this is one of the most advanced, high-tech and safe modular square hitch receiver style towbars on the market Milford’s patented, fully integrated, next generation Ult1mate towbar design features a high-tech interlocking design to ensure maximum strength and failsafe durability. Designed to provide load bearing reinforcement and interlocking connection between the main rail/cross bar and outrigger chassis mounting plates, Milford’s high-tech interlocking design has been torture tested to achieve maximum load rating and durability in Milford’s world leading towbar test lab to loads exceeding 3500kg even without the use of any fasteners whatsoever. Further, all Milford Ult1mate next generation towbars are securely fixed using aircraft grade locking fasteners for added peace of mind. Milford says that in addition to being one of the most advanced, high-tech and safest modular square hitch receiver style towbars on the market, Milford’s patented interlocking design also provides the added advantage of being the simplest towbar to install. Owing to the interlocking features and precisionformed parts, Milford Ult1mate towbars are

suitable for single person installation and rapid fitment. Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions are delivered in full format HD video for each part and can be viewed on your smart phone, tablet or other smart device, 24 hours a day. All Milford Ut1mate next generation towbars are protected by ArmorTex – a new, high-tech, eco friendly pre-treatment and high performance, anticorrosion, anti-mar coating. In abrasion resistance testing, Milford says ArmorTex performs 650 times better than standard satin powder coat. Finally, Milford’s unique modular design Ult1mate next generation towbars – covered by Milford’s unique lifetime warranty (some terms apply) – are packaged in dedicated cartons with secure provisions for all elements and components and thanks to its security seal, you can be confident that everything you need is right there in the box. For more information, visit www.milford-auto.com

A SMOOTHER RIDE IN ROUGH TERRAIN Terrain Tamer has developed a sophisticated suspension system Terrain Tamer says this system offers better vehicle articulation and more effective drive. The trucking industry has recognised the advantages of parabolic springs on light and heavy haulage vehicles with many popular units now having them fitted, says Terrain Tamer. By applying this product to 4WDs, Terrain Tamer says it has improved the driving experience by improving flexibility, transferring less road shock to the vehicle and reducing driver fatigue. The Terrain Tamer Parabolic Spring uses three leaves (instead of multipacks) which taper towards the ends, in a parabolic form. With the parabolic system, inter-leaf friction is almost non-existent compared to standard multi-leaf spring types, it says. Due to the absence of contact between the leaves, the issues surrounding noise, rust and undue wear between the leaves are noticeably reduced and this characteristic also reduces shock load on the differential centre as it allows for easier differential housing rotation in the

event of rapid changes from forward to reverse to extricate a bogged 4WD. With a rating of 500kg, the springs are ideal for all legal loads, says Terrain Tamer, which explains that as part of the Research and Development phase for the system, the parabolic springs were tested over 2000km, towing 2320kg over rough roads through New South Wales, with daily temperatures reaching 40 degrees. Before loading, the vehicle height measured at 690mm (axle centre to tray edge) and with the load attached the height measured at 685mm. After the test, Terrain Tamer reports the vehicle returned to the original 690mm height. Currently the springs are available for the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series but the technology will soon be extended to other applications. For more information, visit www.terraintamer.com.au


SUSPENSION & LOAD CARRYING

SUPERPRO 4X4 UPPER CONTROL ARMS A fully integrated and adjustable solution SuperPro says its Upper Control Arm kits are the best solution available for your lifted 4x4. SuperPro explains that with most people fitting bull bars, winches, larger tyres and rims to their 4x4 along with a lift in their suspension, there was a need for a product to correct the steering geometry. When most 4x4 vehicles are lifted above standard height, they start to run out of camber and caster adjustment. “So, you get a lift kit installed, why only have half the job done to correct your wheel alignment with a control arm that offers a solution, but can create other issues? Get the job done properly with SuperPro’s 4x4 upper control arms,” SuperPro Marketing Coordinator, Emma Pitt, said. “These arms come with complete camber and caster control and are designed to give your 4x4 the best wheel alignment settings and increased clearance, without introducing excessive bump steer.” SuperPro says the design of these control arms has removed the common issues usually faced

with getting the correct alignment and clearance and they also reduce tyre wear and allow the safety of the vehicle to be maintained. SuperPro reports it worked with an OE (genuine part) Manufacturer in Australia to ensure that OE standards of manufacture, material and quality controls were exceeded. “Not only are these arms made in Australia, they are also made as tough as they can be to deliver a product to the market that eliminated the issues other arms on the market were facing, which included fatigue and introducing excessive bump steer through aggressive geometry changes,” Emma said. “These arms were rigorously tested in-car and with extensive Finite Element Analysis before the release. The result of these tests was a tough, expanded arm range that now delivers up +/two degrees of camber adjustment and up three degrees of caster change. “So not only do these arms provide for better wheel alignment settings, better handling, better steering and traction both on and off road, they

also allow increased clearance between the arm and strut at full droop. “Don’t waste time with any other control arm; get the perfect alignment solution from SuperPro with these control arms that are built tough in Australia using high strength, OE grade Australian steel for a lifted vehicle and are covered by the SuperPro warranty.” Key features include increased articulation, perfect for the off-road environment, pre-assembled for optimum settings straight out of the box, provides for camber, caster and clearance fine tuning adjustment, increased clearance between spring and control arm at full articulation, SuperPro bushingsand made in Australia For more information, visit www.superpro.com.au

41


CEQUENT MINI FEATURE

THE TOWBAR WITH THE X FACTOR Locally made and manufactured, the X-Bar has been well received by the Aussie market The X-Bar concept was born and launched to the Australian market to ensure the needs of serious 4WD enthusiasts were met. Standard vehicle towbars are designed to serve the single function of towing for vehicles on Australian roads. As a result, the final product, whilst being fit for purpose, is often utilitarian in appearance and function, says Hayman Reese. The Hayman Reese X-Bar was developed and manufactured locally as a range of aftermarket ‘off-road’ towbars that meet challenging and conflicting consumer demands. All towbars need to meet the tow rating of the vehicle and Australian Design Rules, include rated recovery points, offer maximum clearance and should also look great. However, many towbar products for 4x4 cabchassis utes are typically only designed for towing trailers up to 3,500 kg. Firstly, many existing products do not offer a rated rear recovery point for the vehicle and endusers often attempt vehicle recovery using the towbar’s hitch – a major safety concern as regular towbars are not designed to carry the extreme loads of vehicle recovery. Secondly, regular towbars are mounted low to meet Australian Design Rules (ADRs) requirements for tow ball height. This impedes clearance and reduces departure angles in offroad conditions. Thirdly, regular towbars are utilitarian – they lack the visual appeal and features demanded by consumers, says Hayman Reese. The Hayman Reese X-Bar is a fully ADR compliant towbar featuring three highly-visible 8,000kg rated recovery points and increased clearance for maximum departure angles wrapped-up in a class leading design.

42

Maximum Clearance Compared to existing OE and aftermarket towbars, X-Bar provides improved clearance and departure angles as it’s mounted higher and neater into the vehicle’s chassis. This also reinforces a key structural part of the vehicle.

Superior strength and ADR compliance To meet ADR requirements for tow ball height the X-Bar features a custom-forged Trailer Ball Mount (TBM) made from 700-grade steel. The customer-forged TBM is longer and stronger to accommodate the additional height challenges on vehicles with suspension lift kits. The customforged TBM is also removable for additional clearance.

Recovery Rated Recovery rated to 8000kg, the X-Bar completes the missing link in rated vehicle recovery requirements. Other towbars are designed and tested exclusively with trailer and caravan towing in mind. Although commonly used as a solid fixing point for snatch strap recovery, they are not

designed with the related stresses imposed when used to extract a bogged vehicle, says Hayman Reese, which states the X-Bar features two side recovery points rated to 4,000kg and a centre recovery point rated to 8,000kg.

Design During the development of the X-Bar, product design was a leading criteria for Hayman Reese. Cab-chassis vehicles are particularly challenging from a design perspective as there are significant differences between vehicles and the plethora of rear of vehicle storage solutions. The X-Bar design is rugged, purposeful and practical and the rated recovery points are highly visible and coloured red for contrast and to meet consumer expectations.

Innovation The core innovation behind X-Bar is it brings together three separate aftermarket solutions in one product for cab-chassis vehicles: 1) towbar, 2) rated recovery points for the rear of vehicle, and; 3) body styling. Prior to the X-Bar range, such a product range didn’t exist, says Hayman Reese.


CEQUENT MINI FEATURE

Customer centric ideas Hayman Reese says customer feedback indicated end-users wanted convenient and safe recovery points that didn’t require removal of the TBM to install a tow hitch recovery shackle. The engineering challenges involving rated recovery points were significant in developing the X-Bar. The engineering team devised the 8,000kg centre recovery point above the hitch receiver and end-users now have a safe and strong rear recovery point without needing to remove the TBM. The X-Bar is also perfectly suited to the aftermarket as an ‘upgrade’ product. Where vehicles are fitted with an existing OE towbar solution, existing vehicle wiring can be retained and the OE towbar simply replaced by X-Bar – further reducing installation time.

Design innovation The X-Bar incorporates a number of innovative design elements. Recessed mounting points for trailer socket and Anderson plug wiring help

protect against accidental damage. A removable and replaceable ‘bash plate’ helps protect the underside of the X-Bar and the Hayman Reese anti-rattle SmartPin reduces annoying TBM rattle.

Of course, added strength brings added weight and added weight in a single-piece assembly can create complications. By using a threepiece design, installers can assemble the X-Bar product in multiple stages decreasing installation and reducing OH&S risks. The added benefit is a three-piece design accommodates the chassis variability found in these vehicles.

innovations are recognised in the Australian innovation Patent for X-Bar, stating the product is a testament to Australian automotive engineering and manufacturing. With production in Keysborough, Victoria, Hayman Reese has invested in additional production capacity and resources to meet demand. Launched in May 2018, the X-Bar has received critical acclaim from experts in the field of touring and 4WDing. Hayman Reese says the positive and overwhelming response to X-Bar has reinvigorated and focused Hayman Reese on developing Australian-engineered products that are design-centric and address the customer need. Hayman Reese has increased engineering and development efforts and is nurturing a graduate program to support the product’s development and states that investment in product development for the second generation is already underway.

Hayman Reese notes that multiple design

For more information, visit www.haymanreese.com.au

The X-Bar product concept consists of side plates, a cross section and recovery point mounting plates. By using a modular approach, fewer common components can be utilised across multiple vehicle fitments. The innovative design enables fewer welding jigs and manufacturing tooling – which is perfectly suited for a highcost, low-volume market such as Australia which demands manufacturing flexibility.

43


SUSPENSION & LOAD CARRYING

TRANSFORM YOUR 4WD UTE TUB With Flexiglass Flexiglass invites you to completely transform your 4WD ute tub by adding internal and external storage solutions. The company says it all begins with a market leading canopy by Flexiglass, the original canopy brand since 1949. The Flexiglass range of canopies includes the sleek and sporty designed FlexiSport Premium – featuring all-round central locking and push button opening windows – through to the trade focused design FlexiTrade which features a raised roof and large opening windows for maximum storage. The Flexiglass range of canopies are constructed using fiberglass, meaning a tough built ute canopy, with a smooth exterior and colour coded finish. Flexiglass canopies also feature tinted safety glass windows and integrated LED brake lights. Flexiglass says it guarantees and support all products with an industry leading two-year warranty, providing peace of mind for customers.

With dedicated branches nationwide, Flexiglass says it is able to provide support to the large number of dealers, resellers and end users across the country. It states that with an outlet generally available within most major rural and provincial locations, and spare parts readily available, product support is never far away. All Flexiglass branches offer in-store fitting and colour coding, meaning fast turnaround time on all stocked items. Once you have selected the canopy that will best suit your needs, Flexiglass encourages you to add some accessories to complete your vehicle for work or play. Flexiglass has designed and developed a number of accessories including the industry leading 150kg FlexiRacks with internal supports, which can be coupled with an overcab extension or steel basket, adding heaps of canopy rooftop storage. Ventilation systems, sliding windows and security mesh are also available on selected models. Flexiglass also partners with other market leading

brands to provide perfect complementary products to complete your setup. Some of these products include, but are not limited to, draw systems, ute tub storage boxes, ute tub liners and mats, ute trays, ute tray toolboxes and accessories, vehicle and canopy roof racks, load secure nets, lighting and electrical accessories plus more. Please contact your nearest Flexiglass branch for more information on 1300 656 599 or visit www.flexiglass.com.au for your nearest reseller. Dealer, general, reseller and trade enquiries welcome.

45


SUSPENSION & LOAD CARRYING

GABRIEL FOR YOUR 4X4 OR SUV We are seeing more and more 4x4s and SUVs on the road Some are brand spanking new and full of extra gear such as bull bars, snorkels, power winches, special racks and more. Others are ‘tradie’ utes loaded with toolboxes, a compressor, ladders and more; and then there are your more ‘average’ dual cabs run by the family man who uses it both on and off-road, perhaps for a family outing and a run on a beach that can be reached only off the beaten track. The common denominator in all of these is the ‘4x4’ and the fact they are loaded with plenty of extras which are adding weight. Four Wheel Drive vehicles continue to gain a larger share of new vehicle sales and this is a market

that attracts special attention by companies such as Gabriel who say they are keeping pace with shock absorber replacements and upgrades for 4x4 vehicles. Some owners demand upgraded suspension as soon as a new model is released. In such cases, explains Gabriel, ‘raised’ suspension is the normal requirement. At a later time, there is a significant call for replacement shock absorbers that are ‘bigger and better’ than OE and Gabriel says this is why it has built up a range of shocks to suit a range of performance needs and budgets. All of these shocks are “valve tuned” so that they may cope with rough off-road driving as well as providing a comfortable drive around town, says Gabriel. At the top of the Gabriel product line is the Gabriel UltraPlus 4x4. This is a big gas charged shock that Gabriel claims is loaded with features

for 4x4 performance. It is made for all popular 4WDs and is available for standard and raised suspensions and on the bore size scale, it has a “massive” 40mm piston. Next in the line is the 35mm bore gas charged shock – the Gabriel Ultra LT which incorporates the Gabriel G Force technology valving that adjusts damping for city and off road driving. There are also Gabriel Top Strut Mount Kits for all Spring Seat Shock Absorbers that are used on the majority of late model 4WDs. To complete the product line-up, Gabriel says it is well known for its Steering Dampers which can really improve the handling and control of a 4WD vehicle by providing damping of the steering system’s lateral motion. The Gabriel Australian Agent is Brandlines. For more information, call Brandlines on 1800 645 609.

TOUGH JOBS FLOAT THE BOAT OF HYDRAULINK PROBLEM SOLVER A safe and easy lifting solution has been engineered by Hydraulink’s Simon Bell, of Blackbutt Engineering A hydraulic engineering and service specialist who loves to take on jobs that others find too difficult has created an innovative and unique solution for a customer. Simon Bell of Blackbutt Engineering in Port Macquarie turned his talents for solving industrial and contractor challenges to help a recreational customer who wanted a solution that would help him easily load his boat high on top of a camper trailer. Simon is part of Hydraulink’s nationwide team of over 400 service points throughout Australia and New Zealand who typically focus on providing 24/7 support to industrial customers. Hydraulink customers are usually seeking to optimise the performance, reliability and safety of their fixed and mobile machinery, including graders, earthmovers, trucks, trailers, harvesters and hire and OEM equipment – characteristics Hydraulink’s staff are experts at across a diverse range of industries. On this occasion however, Simon was asked to undertake an unusual job on a recreational camper-trailer vehicle. This is a type of trailer that has become increasingly popular among the retirement, contractor and tradesmen markets 46

that are strong in his area and which frequently tow campers with boats loaded on top. Simon’s solution to this customer’s needs was to engineer a rugged side-mounted lifting frame that uses three-tonne double-acting cylinders connected with Hydraulink H16-04ST industrialgrade hoses. This combination effortlessly flips the attached tinny from its position on the ground, up onto the top of the camper at about head height. The hand pump, mounted behind the trailer’s drawbar, turns the loading and unloading procedure, which might otherwise involve multiple people, into a one-person task. “The lifter is deliberately over-engineered for effortless use and outstanding reliability,” Simon said. “The tinny it is loading and unloading weighs only a couple of hundred kilograms, but it is an awkward shape, going into an awkward elevated position, so there can be slip and strain risks with other methods of loading and placing the boat. “This lifter is great for all customers, but especially those who may have back issues or lifting issues, and it is good too for the tradesmen and contractors who use their utes to tow camper

trailers to fishing and camping in remote spots.” Simon’s customers in the Port Macquarie district range from individual contractors involved in the agriculture, timber, housing and retirement industries, through to national organisations such as electricity distribution authorities and infrastructure groups and hire organisations with an absolute focus on safety. “Lifting and actuation applications depend absolutely on reliable hydraulics – as does all machinery,” Simon said. “If there is anything wrong with the hydraulics in a vehicle or in machinery, it is a safety risk and customers will send it to us to get it right. They like the fact that Hydraulink is on-call 24/7 and understands how important properly serviced hydraulics are to avoiding downtime.” For more information, visit www.hydraulink.com.au


Profile for aaaa710

Australian Automotive Aftermarket eMagazine - 4WD 2019  

Australian Automotive Aftermarket magazine is the publication of choice for the Australian automotive aftermarket industry because of its wi...

Australian Automotive Aftermarket eMagazine - 4WD 2019  

Australian Automotive Aftermarket magazine is the publication of choice for the Australian automotive aftermarket industry because of its wi...

Profile for aaaa710