Project D-Max part two: Time for our 4×4 touring mods and vehicle protection to go on

By Evan Spence 11 Min Read

Last week, we ran through the installation of TerrainTamer’s suspension lift kit for our 4×4 D-Max. Including why we decided to fit parabolic leaf springs to the back of the D-Max. Well, now the suspension is sorted, we can start adding weight – and let’s be real, some damn cool accessories. 


In this, second build update article, we will be focusing on some key 4×4 touring upgrades, as well as sorting out vehicle protection. These are the sort of upgrades every serious four-wheel driver has (or at least has thought about) fitted to their vehicle. Not only to make them perform better at work duties and when off-road, let’s be honest… these modifications really visually transform the D-Max from stock tradie rig to outback ready tourer. 

Let’s dive into what Perry and the team of mechanical wizards from Pez’s 4×4 Fitouts have been busy working on. 

Ironman 4×4 Raid Bull Bar 

As well as being a practical four-wheel drive, we wanted our D-Max to look the goods too. This is why we chose a more modern style bull bar, that is also a bit lighter than a traditional bar with loops. 

There are actually plenty of different options in the Ironman 4×4 range to suit this model D-Max, but we made the call and went with the Raid. It was actually an easy choice to go with the Raid bull bar from Ironman 4×4. It just looks mint on this 2022 model Isuzu D-Max. Best of all, it also provides the perfect place to mount accessories such as driving lights, and a winch.  


Speaking of, this Raid bull bar can house a winch up to a 12,000lb winch, overkill in the best way for what we need. The winch cradle also mounts directly to the chassis for a super strong winch mounting platform. 

The Raid series of bull bars from Ironman 4×4 even come with rated recovery points as standard as we touch on later in this article. Best of all, the price for this bull bar is what really blew me away. Now, we are building this on a budget, the sky isn’t the limit here. Coming in at just $2299, I feel the Raid bull bar from Ironman 4×4 is almost as good value as free beer. 

Fitting tip!

You’ll notice in these pictures a red hot tip when fitting a bull bar. Before bolting it on, tape up any areas you don’t want to be painted (like headlights), and give everything else a lick of black paint. The end result is far more professional. It’s worth the small amount of effort to do this right. Ask your installer if they go to the same level of detail before parting with your cash. 

RRP: $2299 

More information: CLICK HERE

Bushranger Revo 10,000lb 12V Winch 

As we were having the bull bar fitted, it made sense to think about what other accessories we’d want while the D-Max was in pieces. This saves you money in the long run, as you don’t have to pay to have the bar that was just fitted to be removed, to then fit the winch you were sitting on the fence about. Trust me, you want the winch.  

The winch we decided on is the tried and tested Bushranger Revo 10,000lb unit. These have been on the market for a while now, and I’m yet to hear a bad word about them. We selected the model pre-fitted with synthetic rope to save a bit of weight and added safety during recoveries.   


The Bushranger Revo 10,000lb winch came with everything required for installation, including Hawse fairlead, a wireless hand controller, and a winch control box that Busharanger claim is fully sealed and IP67 rated. We’re looking forward to testing the winch out very soon. 

RRP: $1215.50

More information: CLICK HERE 

Bushranger Night Hawk VBP LED driving lights 

I’ve run Bushranger Night Hawk LED driving lights on my own HiLux for the last four years at a guess, and have never wanted to replace them. Not only is the performance first-class, and I’ve tested nearly every driving light on the market, but they are also packed with innovation. 

We chose the 9-Inch VBP (Variable Beam Pattern) Night Hawk driving lights, and have zero regrets. What the VBPs offer, is the ability to direct the light where we need it. We can choose from full spot beam to flood beam by simply turning a dial. Yes, it’s that quick and easy.

Driving tight tracks and want to focus the beam? Too easy. Driving on sand and want a wider light beam? No problems there either. Theses Bushranger Night Hawk VBPs offer so much versatility, as well as producing an impressive amount of light output. They are super bright, that’s for sure.

The loom supplied with the Night Hawks is quite innovative as well as being easy to install. I also love the shape of the Bushranger Night Hawks. The flat top helps when mounting the lights into a tight looped bull bar. Not that we had that issue with our loopless Ironman 4×4 bar, but still worth noting. So with lights, a bar, and a winch all sorted, let’s look at underneath the D-Max. 

RRP: $1,144

More information: CLICK HERE

Ironman 4×4 Under Vehicle Protection 

While our 2022 Isuzu D-Max came fitted with some underbody protection plates, they aren’t what I’d call beefy. They’d be a single-use-only item, as in they’d be put in the bin after one hit off-road. They aren’t enough for our needs. 

We decided to match a set of Ironman 4×4 Premium Underbody Protection to the Ironman 4×4 Raid bull bar we had fitted. Not only is the Ironman 4×4 gear look way stronger than what rolled off the Isuzu production line, but it offers far more protection too. And everything fitted up perfectly, as you’d expect.

We chose the full Premium Underbody Protection system. This protects both the engine bay as well as the transmission, with two separate bash plates. We can basically slide the D-Max over obstacles now, without fear of damaging the engine or transmission. 

The Ironman 4×4 under-body protection plates are made from 4mm thick steel. They are then EDP E-coated and finished in a textured black powder coating for longevity. 

RRP: $745

More Information: CLICK HERE

Ironman 4×4 Recovery points 

I don’t feel comfortable heading off-road without rated recovery points. So there was no discussion required when the question was asked if we should fit them. Yes! As we have the Ironman 4×4 Raid front bar, these recovery points are actually included out of the box, which is awesome. This way we know they are going to bolt straight up and work with the bar. And they did just that. 

These Ironman 4×4 recovery points are rated at 5000kg a pair. Which is huge. As a mate once said, if you need more than that, call your insurance company and a tow truck – because you are properly stuck. For just $227 on their own, or included with the Raid bull bar, fitting these Ironman 4×4 recovery points is the cheapest form of insurance you’ll ever have. 

RRP: $227 (included with the Raid Series Bull Bar) 

More information: CLICK HERE 

Hayman Reese X-Bar Towbar 

A Hayman Reese X-Bar towbar was a no-brainer for our D-Max. These Isuzu utes are widely regarded for their excellent towing ability. So we needed a good quality towbar. I feel we’ve picked the best on the market. 

Not only does the Hayman Reese X-Bar have built-in recovery points (which means we have rated recovery points front and rear), there are actually three additional recovery points on the rear alone now so we’re covered from all angles. The middle recovery point is rated at 8000kg. And the two side recovery points are rated to 4000kg. 

Our X-Bar from Hayman Reese also provides a better departure angle compared to the Original Equipment towbar. This was another major consideration as to why we wanted the X-Bar. An easy way to maximise the departure angle for technical off-roading. 

The X-Bar is rated to tow 3500kg. Which is the maximum legal towing capacity of the D-Max. Something else I rate about the X-Bar is the integrated bash plate and protected trailer plug mounting points. No more busted trailer plugs when off-roading. Sweet! 

RRP: Priced from $1610 

More information: CLICK HERE  

Special thanks 

This project of ours wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for the huge effort from Perry and his team from Pez’s 4×4 Fitouts in Brookvale NSW. If you need any work done on your 4×4, give them a call on 0472 504 544 or check out their website in the link above. 

(Note – fitting prices are not included in this article. If you want fitted prices, contact Perry and his merry crew of automotive experts to get the goss for your four-wheel drive). 

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