The aftermarket 4X4 accessory industry is going gangbusters. As such, in this digital age, it is important for off-road media outlets, such as this ‘ere publication, to get information out there as quickly as possible. It is good for our readers (cheers for reading by the way), it is good for audiences seeking the latest information and it is good for companies trying to develop hype. Everyone wins! So in this issue, we wanted to contact the main players in the 4WD industry to see what they are working on behind closed doors. Basically, don’t spend a cent on new gear before reading this article.
ARB 4X4 ACCESSORIES
Seriously, why hasn’t somebody already thought of this?
ARB have got some pearlers coming out this year, including an Aluminium Encased Awning which is the first of its kind that we have seen in Australia. This design removes the external soft case traditionally used, and replaces it with a rigid aluminium case that should stand up to low lying branches and off-road debris well. The awning material is the same proven 300gsm PU coated fully waterproofed and UV protected canvas. Literally as this piece was written, an ARB media release was issued for their Toyota HiLux Stage 1 and 2 GVM upgrade that takes the original specified capacity from 3000kg to either 3150kg or 3465kg. You heard it here first folks!
For more information, visit: https://www.arb.com.au
Nuclear reactors still too large to fit in your ute, this is a pretty good alternative but
The Baintech 12V gear has long been considered top shelf and the company has just released their second version of their popular PowerTop, which is excellent for those who want a second battery while at camp but don’t want to, or can’t, fit one to their vehicle.
Now with an easier to use on/off switch and LCD power readout, it’s even easier to use. Plus it still has the usual array of cig sockets, Engel sockets and USB outlets, and it can still be charged from AC, DC or solar inputs. If you’re looking for all of the advantages of a dual battery without the need to hard wire a system in, This thing has you covered.
For more information, visit: https://www.baintech.com.au
BUSHRANGER 4X4 GEAR
Bushranger – 1
Idiotic light mounting laws – 0
Bushranger is focusing heavily on LED driving lights, light bars and camp lights. Their newly released range of Night Hawk LED light bars are available in sizes from 5.5-inches right up to a massive 51-inch. These have been designed to be affordable, without compromising on quality according to the Bushranger 4X4 team. It isn’t just the lights that are exciting though, they have developed a range of tube-mount-clamps to make fitment of the lights simpler, and there are also coloured filters available to suit various conditions (yellow or orange works great in fog by the way). The mounts supplied with Night Hawk LED light bars are also adjustable by up to 200 degrees, and can be slid into numerous positions to take the hassle out of installation.
For more information, visit: http://www.bushranger.com.au
Caravanners going 30km/h under the limit now have no excuse to not see line of vehicles behind them
Do you like towing and fridges? Of course you do! Clearview Accessories are a true blue Aussie success story who have built their name over the past few years as a manufacturer of top quality towing mirrors and fridge slides. This coming year will see them continuing to expand their model range, with mirrors now available for the new Toyota HiLux and Mitsubishi Triton, with a lot more to come.
They’re also continuing to refine their innovative Easy Slide drop-down fridge slides and Expanda fridge slides that will fit just about any fridge. Mike (the owner of the company) tells us that this is going to be huge year for Clearview, but he wouldn’t say anything else to give his secrets away… we even tried bribing him with a pallet of VB, but he wasn’t having it. Still, watch this space.
For more information, visit: http://www.clearviewmirrors.com.au
Taking sun safety to a new level
Darche are one company who seem to not be able to sit still, every time we check out their website they have a new swag or piece of camping equipment available. It must be said, their next release looks just magic. The Eclipse 270° Awning is as the name suggests, and awning which is hinged from both ends allowing it to span the full length of a vehicle as well as the back. What makes this product stand out however, is the modular design which allows you to add walls to turn this into a truly large living space or shelter. In fact, Darche tell us that there are seven different configurations when using all optional walls. Camping sure has come a long way from setting up a ripped tarp and few poles.
For more information, visit: http://darche.com.au
Land Rovers about to get a little less painful to own
We’ve been mates with the guys at Drivetech 4X4 for a long time, they even took us on a factory tour once, and luckily we remembered the alarm code so we could sneak back in and suss out their R&D department.
Despite already having a massive range of replacement parts and aftermarket gear, we have it on good authority that they’re about to step up their coverage of Land Rover parts, becoming a distributor for Bearmach parts – Landy owners rejoice!
Given that these guys offer just about everything for most modern fourbies except Rovers up until now, this is big news.
For more information, visit: http://drivetech4x4.com.au
Retro-cool Ranchos now available!
Fulcrum Suspension has recently announced the addition of the well-known Rancho RS5000 shock absorbers to their product line-up. This also included the range of Rancho 4WD Lift Kits and ReadyStruts to the range. Fulcrum tells us Rancho shock absorbers use a double wall construction; double-chromed rods for longevity and the mounts are double welded for strength. Fulcrum Suspension now offers these suspension components and kits to suit many popular four-wheel drives, including the Toyota Prado, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton.
For more information, visit: http://www.fulcrumsuspensions.com.au
“No really, our mascot isn’t the Incredible Hulk!”
Ironman 4X4 has plans this year to ramp up their already expansive product range this year, already kicking things off in the 12V department with the release of their new LED spot light range, with both 7in and 9in lights. While we haven’t had the chance to test these out for ourselves yet, the fact that they’re rated for IP67 and IP69K, meaning they’re built to handle high-pressure water blasts and complete submersion when doing river crossings, is a good sign.
Continuing the theme is the release of more 12V items such as a DC-DC charger, electric brake controller, low water alarms, auto-off headlight kits, dual battery monitors and start assist kits all available now.
For more information, visit: http://www.ironman4x4.com
New lights; still look the same as they have since the `90s
Last year Lightforce released their HTX range of driving lights, and they mentioned that they had another big release coming in 2017. Well, they weren’t joking and have announced their new LED driving lights. There are two new lights on offer, the Genesis and Venom series. Venom is a smaller light, which is perfect for many modern vehicles with reduced available fitment space. The Genesis is a 140W LED driving light that is physically larger; Lightforce claim this light will shoot 1053m down the road at 1Lux, which is an astounding figure. Stay tuned for a full review, as a set of each has just landed in the Unsealed 4X4 office.
For more information, visit: http://lightforce.com
Officially the least exciting mod, and one of the most important
Long Ranger fuel and water tanks have been around since the 1970s and have always been one of the top names in the business. While there may not be too much that’s flashy about a fuel tank, even one that has an integrated water tank built into it, they’re still one of the best mods you can do to any touring 4X4. They’re still built out of tougher material than any OE tank and still come sith an impressive 3 year warranty, but what continues to impress is the company’s product range. Manufacturing well over 50 different model specific tanks, they’re going to continue to expand that range over the next 12 months, in fact, they’re in the middle of building a prototype for the V6 Amarok as we speak.
For more information, visit: http://thelongranger.com.au
MDC CAMPER TRAILERS AND OFF-ROAD CARAVANS
Aussie made van still unable to move under its own power without tow vehicle
MDC have made a huge move, to expand into the Australian made caravan industry with the launch of their latest evolution, a separate company Aus RV. The first release, called the Aus RV Byfield, is manufactured from scratch in Brisbane with Australian steel and composite materials. Inside the van, you will find all the luxuries of home, with a full bathroom, kitchen and lounge area. Styling is modern, with absolutely first quality inclusions throughout. Check out the full review in our sister publication, RV Daily here. http://www.rvdaily.com.au/issue010/#181)
For more information, visit: http://www.marketdirect.com.au
OPPOSITE LOCK 4WD & VEHICLE ACCESSORIES
All possum retinas must die!
Opposite Lock has hit 2017 running, already releasing their new range of Adventurer Series LED lights in both round and light bar forms. They’re also looking to expand their range of bar work for 4X4 utes and wagons with the latest range out to suit the new Holden Colorados, and plenty more to come in the next few months apparently.
Word also has it that they’ve also just secured Australian and NZ distribution rights to the US-based Trac Grabber recovery aids. Check out the video to see how they work, and excuse the extreme amounts of cheese…
For more information, visit: https://oppositelock.com.au
Navara on roids
This is an exciting one for those seeking a full-size 4X4, Performax have just received their first Nissan Titan fresh off the boat and are getting ready to convert it for Australian roads and regulations. This monster has a 5.6L Cummins V8 diesel engine which boasts 390hp at 5,200rpm. There is a seven-speed automatic gearbox, and believe it or not… 12 speakers! Not that you would want to listen to the radio when you have 5.6L of diesel symphony in front of you. Performax are saying that the Nissan Titan won’t just go like stink; it is also a very luxurious vehicle capable of eating up many thousands of kilometres with ease.
For more information, visit: http://www.performaxint.com.au
Mobile defibrilator likely to save lives…
Redarc is another one of those companies where you get off the phone with them, and by the time you hang it up they’ve designed, developed and released seven new products. It’s hard to keep up. And from the sounds of things, they have no plans in 2017 to slow anything down.
Back in November last year they released their next generation of in-vehicle DC-DC battery chargers: the BCDC 25A charger, which is one of the most advanced units on the market. From what we heard, apparently the tech-heads at Redarc are currently working overtime on the next BCDC unit, that apparently is going to be whopping 40A unit, you know, for when you need to charge up the Lunar Rover or something.
It’s also going to have a charging profile for Lithium batteries as well as the usual other inclusions and will be fully dust and water sealed to boot. For more information on the BCDC1240D as soon as it becomes available, watch this space.
For more information, visit: https://www.redarc.com.au
Black metal thingy makes life so much easier
These two releases are so new, Roadsafe 4WD don’t even have images for one of them yet. The first release is their range of Black Hawk upper control arms, which have been designed to address multiple issues resulting from raising independent front suspension. These include castor angle, ball joint binding and clearance around the coil spring to prevent contact with the coil. The Blackhawk upper control arms are ADR compliant too, making them safe for road use. The second update (which is soon to be released) is a range of suspension lift blocks called LIFT FX that work with leaf-sprung vehicles and front coil struts. These are constructed from Billet 6061 aluminium for weight reduction, and provide a cost effective lift. Roadsafe 4WD tells us that these lift blocks have been designed with a tapered edge to provide 3 degrees of pinion angle correction to avoid driveline vibrations associated with traditional lift blocks.
For more information, visit: http://roadsafe.com.au
Armoured car drivers aren’t so special anymore
Terrain Tamer are right on the edge of releasing a brand new range of heavy duty clutches. Originally designed for use in armoured vehicles, they’re more than capable of handling the abuse off-road. They call them Fortified Clutches, they have a unique Velvetouch ceramic and organic combination plate design and can handle up to 80% increased torque capacity.
They reckon that it will offer smoother engagement while upping the friction coefficient, meaning a stronger engagement to the flywheel, and offering a significant increase in longevity. They also hinted that they’ve got a bunch of new releases coming up in the next few months, but security showed up and asked us to stop listening at the boardroom door before we could hear what they were…
For more information, visit: www.terraintamer.com
TJM 4X4 ACCESSORIES
Updated piece of black steel still causing kangaroos nightmares
It must be hard for aftermarket accessory suppliers to keep up with new vehicle manufacturers. Which is why it seems TJM are currently focusing on developing new barwork such as rear bars, side rails and bull bars, to keep up with the facelift trend. The latest release from TJM is to suit the Isuzu MU-X, with their TJM Explorer bull bar. Mitsubishi MQ Tritons and VW Amaroks haven’t been forgotten about either, with other additions now available such as canopies and sump guards. The very latest release from TJM however, is their updated 79 Series LandCruiser bull bar which has been revamped to suit the newly remodelled single cab.
For more information, visit: http://www.tjm.com.au/en-oceania
Make Australia great again – with U.S. rubber
Toyo Tires have long been a market leader in black round things made of rubber, and we’re not talking about chew toys for your dog here. If you haven’t already heard of the Toyo Open Country range of tyres, or given them a go for yourself, you may not be aware that it’s one of the most popular tyres on the market. Now, these guys were very reluctant to give too many secrets away, but one of our paid informants (we pay them in Unsealed 4X4 subscriptions, they haven’t realised it’s free yet) told us that they’re looking to expand the Open Country range a little more, but wouldn’t tell us anything else.
Ok, I’m speculating here, but if you look at the American market, which has a habit of trickling down to us in Australia, they’ve recently released their brand new Rugged Terrain over Stateside and expanded their options in the 17in and 18in rim sizes. Does this mean we’ll be seeing the Rugged Terrain down under pretty soon? We sure hope so.
For more information, visit: http://toyotires.com.au
WHOLESALE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS
Breaking: autos still underrated by bogans
Wholesale Automatic Transmissions released their 70 Series LandCruiser automatic conversion a few years back, but did you know they offer a similar conversion for Nissan Patrols? This conversion suits any Nissan GU Patrol wagon or ute with either the ZD30 or TD42 motor, and is a direct bolt-in replacement conversion, with no modifications required to the vehicles driveshafts or cross-member. If you have a petrol TB48 model, a high-torque version of this conversion isn’t far off, and Wholesale Automatic Transmissions are in the process of developing another conversion kit to suit Holden LS engine swaps.
For more information, visit: http://automatictransmission.com.au
XRAY VISION LIGHTING
New lights so powerful they’ll contribute to climate change – Richard Denatale to investigate
These guys blew a lot of folks away last year with the release of their Quad-Optic Linear Driving Lights last year, and they’ve got plenty more in the pipeline for 2017. They told us that they’re looking to expand their range of HID and LED products before long with some exciting new releases. Stay tuned!
For more information, visit: http://xrayvision.net