After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?





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  1. #1
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    Default After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    I am no expert, but I believe I have stumbled on the answer to that question.
    At first I thought it would be better tires, then maybe followed by some recovery points and protection plates, but now after guiding a lot of drivers with different kinds of vehicles and widely varying experience levels I have come to the conclusion that it should be fuel. I am willing to discuss it and consider other suggestions, but I am willi g to put money on it that fuel to drive it and gain experience will come out top in the end.

    The trails I made is turning out to be much more a test of driver ability than vehicle ability, and I have seen experienced drivers in standard pickups do it easier than others in modified cruisers. Just the ability of a driver to react correctly to the instructions from a spotter makes a big difference, and knowing what line to take is more important than an extra difflock.

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Training is the most valuable addition to your new 4X4
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    +1 for training, nr 2 good pair of rock sliders.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bex View Post
    I am no expert, but I believe I have stumbled on the answer to that question.
    At first I thought it would be better tires, then maybe followed by some recovery points and protection plates, but now after guiding a lot of drivers with different kinds of vehicles and widely varying experience levels I have come to the conclusion that it should be fuel. I am willing to discuss it and consider other suggestions, but I am willi g to put money on it that fuel to drive it and gain experience will come out top in the end.

    The trails I made is turning out to be much more a test of driver ability than vehicle ability, and I have seen experienced drivers in standard pickups do it easier than others in modified cruisers. Just the ability of a driver to react correctly to the instructions from a spotter makes a big difference, and knowing what line to take is more important than an extra difflock.
    We were close to your track on our way to Road to Hell. We actually planned to do your trail. The time factor however ruled it out.
    Next time definitely.

    Yes training is important but nothing beats experience. I know a lot of 4x4 experts and I mean real experts that never had any 4x4 training. Even with training you need to practice that. Seen many guys that brag around braai fires about training fail in the field by not having the ability to pick the correct lines.
    Then spotters with a good experienced spotter I will tackle the most extreme.

    The vehicle also plays it part. Here I will say the type of tyre first. Doing rock trails an enormous amount of stress is throw a tyres. Vehicles with low profiles is seldom suited for this type of 4x4. Doing dune and sand trails one will very quickly find the advantages of tyre choice.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    I would agree. It boils down to 2 aspects, exceeding the capability of the vehicle or exceeding the skill of the driver with the latter being the most variable.
    There is no such thing as inclement weather, only poor selection of clothing.... or Vehicle

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    100%. We dont need any modifications to a 4x4 to enjoy it actually. The modifications part is just part of the 4x4 "lifestyle" I believe. we modify and add goodies to our 4x4s because we enjoy doing it. Guaranteed at every 4x4 club meetup, or braai at a 4x4 trail, the conversations are about modifications.

    but anyway, yes, newbies really shouldnt feel the pressure to go and spend all their money at Frontrunner before they think they can enjoy their car.

    And on the training thing, yes, I agree, doing a one day 4x4 course is a good thing, but, I think that should be sufficient, you then need to get out there and get the experience yourself.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Agree training. best money ever spent. don't rush to buy stuff, on the course you will learn about tyres and what recovery equipment to have, etc, etc.

    The better you know "YOUR" vehicle the more you can enjoy it. and the less damage it will have.

    There is so much you can get, with so little time and money. spend wisely.

    After training, you will gain valuable experience, training gives you a huge leap in experience and in the right experience direction.

    I have spent plenty on stuff on 4x4s. Only to get another 4x4- spend money on that 4x4 and then you up grade the 4x4 again!!

    Spent it on training and experience and stuff you can move to the next 4x4.

    The good this about training is, you will then spot who has experience and who to listen to and who to walk away from. There are plenty 4x4 people out there, that are not worth listening to, the 4x4 forum people are good to know, good advise on this forum.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Ek het die heel meeste fun in my stock standard 4x4, met oop diffs en standaard bande. Geen lift of enige sliders/bumpers. Net soos van fabriek.

    Ja, ek sukkel bietjie meer as die ander voertuie met lifts en lockers ens, maar dit is wat dit lekker en interessant hou.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reenen View Post
    Ek het die heel meeste fun in my stock standard 4x4, met oop diffs en standaard bande. Geen lift of enige sliders/bumpers. Net soos van fabriek.

    Ja, ek sukkel bietjie meer as die ander voertuie met lifts en lockers ens, maar dit is wat dit lekker en interessant hou.
    Stem, as jy jou gat af sukkel om die obstacle te maak en jy kom bo uit is dit lekker, as jou voertuig teveel kit het en alles is maklik raak dit vervelig.

    Ek is nogals lus om my TJ se swaai en 'n standaard Defender of 'n ding te koop om bietjie meer pret op bane te kan he.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanvn View Post
    Stem, as jy jou gat af sukkel om die obstacle te maak en jy kom bo uit is dit lekker, as jou voertuig teveel kit het en alles is maklik raak dit vervelig.

    Ek is nogals lus om my TJ se swaai en 'n standaard Defender of 'n ding te koop om bietjie meer pret op bane te kan he.
    ons wil 'n TJ koop met 'n stukkende 4.0 en 'n diesel indruk, ek dink die TJ is 'n epic klein 4x4
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    +1 For fuel. I go to places that has escape routes on the more challenging obstacles, and tend to use the escape routes if I am not 100% comfortable. This means I don't require recovery gear yet (should not get stuck on the easier stuff), don't need sliders or accessories (not doing the hectic stuff), I am now on the "learn your vehicle" phase. You start to understand what your vehicle is capable of the more you drive it, and by the second time I took it to a place, I was definitely more comfortable. So, I am spending on fuel and entrance fees.

    I'll probably look at different tyres next though, as I am unhappy with the ones I have on, not just because they are HT's, but they are crappy HT's, some el cheapo brand I have never even heard of.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    We were close to your track on our way to Road to Hell. We actually planned to do your trail. The time factor however ruled it out.
    Next time definitely.

    Yes training is important but nothing beats experience. I know a lot of 4x4 experts and I mean real experts that never had any 4x4 training. Even with training you need to practice that. Seen many guys that brag around braai fires about training fail in the field by not having the ability to pick the correct lines.
    Then spotters with a good experienced spotter I will tackle the most extreme.

    The vehicle also plays it part. Here I will say the type of tyre first. Doing rock trails an enormous amount of stress is throw a tyres. Vehicles with low profiles is seldom suited for this type of 4x4. Doing dune and sand trails one will very quickly find the advantages of tyre choice.
    Experience is worth nothing if it is a lifetime of learned bad habits and incorrect procedures. Some of the very worst 4x4 drivers are farmers with decades of bad habits and experience. You can spot them a mile away on an outing. You know the ones, they can go anywhere with a 4x2 with difflock and enough momentum and brannes.

    A huge part of training is in fact choosing the correct lines. Then not getting into trouble, then how to get out of trouble (recover).
    Wrong lines are a huge mistake. In the immortal words of Julia Roberts, "huge mistake, huge huge mistake." Strangely enough picking lines is not actually intuitive, just like steering into an imminent roll on a side slope is also counter intuitive. Natural instinct dictates otherwise in both cases.

    The biggest thing I ever learned. - Left foot braking when rock crawling. If nobody taught you, either during formal training or on a trail, you will never know.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    The 1st item you spend money on IS:::::::
    a 12v Fridge,you will use for the rest of your 4x4 life
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koos Best View Post
    The 1st item you spend money on IS:::::::
    a 12v Fridge,you will use for the rest of your 4x4 life
    Let us know which one it is that will last a lifetime.

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    nothing, first go out and play, get to know your new toy, work out what you want and are intending to do with it, after you know what it is sort of capable of, then decide what needs fixing and changing to do what you want it to do, you can't have everything,either a toy, rock crawler,overlander or daily driver, nothing ticks all the boxes.
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post

    The biggest thing I ever learned. - Left foot braking when rock crawling. If nobody taught you, either during formal training or on a trail, you will never know.
    When I first bought a auto 4x4 in 2006 logic told my left foot braking can be of huge assistance. Nobody told or trained me that
    On an other forum in a thread I mentioned how I pull away up against a dune with controlling wheel spin on an Auto using left foot braking. In my younger days I also learned myself the art of heel and toe.

    I were in two 4x4 training sessions where the instructors were good in the theory but battled to get that over in practice. In both cases their tyres were simply overinflated for their intentened sand driving techniques.

    I do not think Sakkie and DVR ever had formal 4x4 training. Their experience speak for themselves.
    When we come down to farmers it is strange that they managed to win the Spirit of Africa on many occasions. I have witnessed Kalahari Farmers go in F100`s where other battled with 4x4`s in the dunes.

    I would rather join Sakkie and DVR on a trip than an 4x4 instructor with 5 years of experience.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bex View Post
    I am no expert, but I believe I have stumbled on the answer to that question.
    At first I thought it would be better tires, then maybe followed by some recovery points and protection plates, but now after guiding a lot of drivers with different kinds of vehicles and widely varying experience levels I have come to the conclusion that it should be fuel. I am willing to discuss it and consider other suggestions, but I am willi g to put money on it that fuel to drive it and gain experience will come out top in the end.

    The trails I made is turning out to be much more a test of driver ability than vehicle ability, and I have seen experienced drivers in standard pickups do it easier than others in modified cruisers. Just the ability of a driver to react correctly to the instructions from a spotter makes a big difference, and knowing what line to take is more important than an extra difflock.
    I don't get the title of your post and then your answer is fuel? Logically you cannot drive your vehicle without fuel.Fuel does not improve your vehicle. Is this not a necessity? no fuel no drive, no tyres no drive, no oil no drive...
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    When I first bought a auto 4x4 in 2006 logic told my left foot braking can be of huge assistance. Nobody told or trained me that
    On an other forum in a thread I mentioned how I pull away up against a dune with controlling wheel spin on an Auto using left foot braking. In my younger days I also learned myself the art of heel and toe.
    Good point: anybody who has done much go-kart driving will tell you that left foot braking is the difference between winning and losing.

    I could never get the heel and toe right. I reckon I'd need adjustable pedals or my ankle joints are funny.

    And anybody who has ridden off-road bikes will also tell you the value of when to slip a clutch under power.......

    driving-lines are also second nature to anybody who's wrestled a big off-road bike: they also don't take lightly to the wrong line and you can quickly have your bum handed to you by a big racing 4-stroke: if the back kicks out on a bad rut you'll be chewing dirt very quick
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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bex View Post
    The trails I made is turning out to be much more a test of driver ability than vehicle ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by Disco-Deon View Post
    Training is the most valuable addition to your new 4X4
    /\ This!
    Cheers,
    John

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    Default Re: After buying a 4x4 what should the first item be to spend money on improving it?

    I have a few 4x4's most are fairly standard.

    1. Apart from training and gaining experience from chaps that have experience,.

    2. The first thing I always do is check and replace the bulbar, recovery points and towbar bolts (8.8ht) {it costs a few minutes and is a cheap critical fix}. and double check recovery points. This is a given and absolute MUST. If you play hard enough you will get stuck and you will need to be recovered at some point, just make sure the "points" are strong enough!! If you don't get stuck play harder... experience also comes by NOT getting stuck, but on the other hand, you have 5 fingers and you can't gain experience without getting stuck.... even the best drivers get stuck!!!

    3. Second is tyres as and when they are required to be replaced. Nothing wrong with battling with the wrong tyres at the beginning, it teachers you stuff. (and you will wreak a tyre or two playing)

    4. (Important if cash is tight).. Decide am I keeping this vehicle for a very long time, if not- don't waste money on stuff you can't move to the next vehicle. You get nothing back with a trade-in. And the more 4x4ing you do - you will find you need a bigger and better vehicle. it's,,, how it works....

    5. Decent shocks are important. Remember if you plan to upgrade the suspension don't do shocks as they will need replacing then. But shocks can wait,,,, right now you need to spend your money on petrol or diesel.

    Highlift jack is useful if you have the correct recovery points. It moves to the next vehicle.
    A winch is heavy, expensive and over rated. I have a 15000 on my recovery LC and a 9000 sitting in my garage. I donated a few with my "lost" vehicles to bee. Moves to the next vehicle, if not stolen. don't waste money here. LEARN how not to get stuck. But remember if you don't get stuck play harder. i have several tirfors here and at the farm, so I can move from vehicle to vehicle.
    Recovery straps are useful. don't trust other peoples. Learn how to use them, lots of cowboys out there that will damage your vehicle. It's a basic tool many and drivers don't carry, without them you can't be towed out, by that farmer passing by.


    Somebody said a fridge, it was one of my first 4x4 accessories in 1987, I still have it and the dam thing still works. A cold beer or two is critical after playing.

    Recovery and 4x4 accessories, there is a big dark world out there, once the bug bites it sucks all your money on stuff you hope to never use. spent wisely. Rather spend you cash on driving gaining that experience,
    Last edited by K-9; 2019/04/29 at 03:03 PM.
    Current off-road vehicles: *** Great family accommodation. See Facebook, Google maps and airbnb. Wild Wind Ranch/Mkulu Kei
    * 1975/8 SHREK Land-Cruiser FJ40 DIESEL P/U, BFG 31x10.5 muds. 2 x 1.6 ton tirfor winchs
    * 1994 Land-Cruiser J70 DIESEL P/U, my truck recovery vehicle. 15000 warn winch. And 3.5ton tirfor winch. Back full of appropriate sized recovery gear. BFG31x10.5 muds
    * 2014 Land-Cruiser LX V8 76 DIESEL STATION WAGON, BFG's 285 all terrain
    * 1988 HILUX TOYOTA 4x4 D/C.
    FOR SALE
    * 2011 HILUX 4X4 P/U, BFG 31x10.5 all terrain
    * 1999 PAJERO 3.5 V6 Mitsubishi (sorry not a Toyota), BFG 31x10.5 all terrain
    * 2006 FORD ranger 2.5 diesel. 4x4, (what was I thinking, also not a Toyota!) I have a spare 5000 warn winch I might fit
    * FIONA - Rhino Yamaha 660 4x4. Warn winch. Mud tyres
    * 4x4 trailer, 1987, BFG all terrain
    * GSA 1200 BMW ADVENTURE LC 2018, the closest motorbike to a land cruiser
    * A Massey Fergusson 375 tractor. Not BFG's and not a 4x4




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