Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with





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  1. #1
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    Default Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Evening Ladies and Gents,

    Was chatting to a friend about the first upgrades that should be done to a 4x4 and the usual came up: Tires, snorkel, suspension etc. The emphasis being on making the car more off-road ready...

    It got me thinking, if you could give beginner you advice on 5 alterations you should make to any given 4x4 to make it tour-ready, what would they be?

    Second, of the alterations that you have done, what do you feel was a waste of time?

    Thought I would start this to give new-comers a starting point, sorry if there is already one floating around...
    2006 Land Rover Defender TD5 90

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Canopy. AT Tyres. Good set of seat covers. If you are going to do lots of river crossings a snorkel. Rest is camping equipment.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Good set of spots lights

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    I'd say it very much depends on what 4x4 you are taking about and what your abilities and expectations are.

    What works for me might not work for you.
    I would recommend getting a vehicle and improving it over time as short falls are showing.

    Best upgrade for a beginner might be a 4x4 course.
    2012 FJ Cruiser
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Dit hang maar net af waar jy orals wil gaan ry en doen met jou 4x4.
    Wat ek sou doen is n Canopy,A/Tyers vir die begin en dan met hom ry en kyk wat het jy nog nodig.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    A 4x4 driving course for you and your partner comes first. Doesn't matter how fancy the rig if you don't know how to use it.

    Tyres, good all terrain that will be replaceable in whatever countries you will be traveling through.
    Tool kit, the most important thing bar water you will ever need.
    Long range fuel tank, gives you the option of taking the detour and choosing where you fill up.
    Steering guard, first thing to get dinged.
    Water tank, you can go without food for days, water no nearly as long and a busted radiator needs it even more.

    Not needed

    Winch, unless you are planning extreme off-roadng you won't use this
    Fancy bull bar, great for cosmetics that's about it.
    Fancy rear wheel carrier, same as above
    Massive Spotlight's, you need safe driving light that's it. Unless you know the area you are in you shouldn't be driving at night.
    Snorkel, helps with dust but again unless you are doing extreme off-roading you won't be using it.
    1962 88" Series 2a
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    Only dead fish go with the flow

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Pretend your car is in an empty swimming pool. Then start filling the pool. Whatever the water touches first, do that upgrade/mod.

    In other words....

    1) Tyres
    2) Bashplates
    3) Suspension etc....

    .... in that order.
    2014 Pajero 3.2DiD SWB

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Proper 4x4 driving course.

    Proper vehicle and equipment insurance.

    At minimum AT tyres.

    Under belly protection plates.

    At least a 50mm suspension lift.
    Si Vis Pacem Parabellum


    2012 Hilux 2x4 D/L
    A few basic mods.

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    If you want to tour and not nevcedary want to do Grade 5 playgrounds I would look at tyres, then split charge system for fridges, and you will be able to do most trips.

    You can then add extra fuel (jerries or long range tank) and what else becomes your desire after gaining some experience. You will know after a few trips if you need to upgrade the suspension (which may mean you are packing too much) dependant on vehicle make.

    Biggest waste I ever had was a winch, never used it.

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  16. #10
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Depends on how extreme you want to go off road.

    I did the following:
    1) Suspension lift, the D4 XS is a little too low as is.
    2) Bigger tyre, the standard looked stupid in the wheel well and it added a touch to the lift.
    3) Dual battery with extra plugs, very worth while, or a have to have with a fridge. With a battery monitor.
    4) Later came a Tyre pressure monitoring system, thought it was a fun thing but with a big SUV you don't feel a flat till the tyre is wrecked and the rim too.
    5) Extra spare for poece of mind.

    My D4 came with what I think is called the Kalahari kit. Spots, nudge bar, roof rack, ladder, snorkel and mats all round. The mats are the most expensive bits of rubber you will ever find. I kept my compressor from my 90 and also carry a highlift jack and jack buddy and axle stand. Puncture kit and rescue straps are standard plus a socket set, screw drivers and a water pump plier. Have just bought a Indeflator, am a bit anal about tyre pressures. Those booties are expensive. Other stuff like load straps are normal junk.

    The Landrover roof rack has wide spaces between the slats, rather useless so I covered my whole rack with a 2mm aluminum plate secured with eyebolts. I can load anything like fire wood 20 liters diesel and water without it falling onto the roof.

    I also have a small c tek charger as the Landy is a travelling vehicle so if standing just leave it on charge.

    winch is a waste of money if you are just touring off the tar. I thought long and hard about an extra tank and moving the spare to a bracket on the bumper. Unless I go into darkets Africa a huge extra tank is a no go, two of those red 10 liter Midas jerrys and a 5 liter of water and you are good to go to most places in SA, Nam Bots etc.
    Last edited by pwgg; 2019/06/25 at 07:41 AM.
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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    AT tyres
    Duel battery system
    Storage/drawer/cupboard system
    Recovery points and gear
    Roof rack

    Not an upgrade but take tools and spares
    Ross

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Depending where you will be going.
    1. A good dose of common sense.
    2. Proper tyres. And not the cheapest you can get.
    3. Proper gas shocks. The corrugations will kill std shocks
    4. Proper Garmin type navigation system
    5. Proper complete tool kit. I seldom use mine, but it is always to help somebody else.
    LC 78 Troopie 1HD-FTE
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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    1. Tyres
    2. Shocks/Suspension
    3. Protection

    Number 4 and 5 will depend on the intended use of the vehicle.

    Don't buy/add stuff to your vehicle because others have it or because it looks cool! It only adds weight and costs LOTS of money.

    After fitting 1 -3, use our vehicle and then determine your needs and then add what you really need.

    If you will be doing any kind of off-road stuff then good recovery gear and an air compressor is a must. Same goes for a decent First Aid kit and fire extinguisher.

    Jeep Grand Cherokee 2002 4.7 V8

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  24. #14
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    A good driving course

    A decent jack

    Long range fuel tank

    All terrain tyres

    If you don't already have one ... a good driving companion
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Rock sliders...............
    Dirk
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    Uys

  27. #16
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    1. Training, preferably on the vehicle you have bought
    2. No other things needed
    3. If you get stuck or pick up damage, you have exceeded your capability and or that of your vehicle, refer point 1 above or point 4 below
    4. Buy a Jeep (See Baboons Pass stories)

    I have been travelling now for over 20 years with a succession of Discovery and Range Rovers. All bog standard, except for a P38 Range Rover where I replaced the stupid air suspension with Iron Man Coils and I have never been stuck, ever, or, apart from a couple of bush scratches and some diff scrapes, incurred any damage. ( I lie, I have been stuck, but only because LR product reliability sucks but never due to terrain)
    Last edited by Estee; 2019/06/25 at 09:08 AM.
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  28. #17
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Tour ready and off road ready may not be the same thing. Doing obstacle courses and difficult trails is very different to taking the road less traveled.

    Over the years I made a few mods to my Navara for touring purposes. The things that I'm very happy about:
    - Goodyear Wrangler AT/SA tyres (now Adventurer)
    - Canopy with side doors.
    - Roof rack, use it almost every time.
    - Drawer system
    - Additional USB plus in the cabin and hella plugs in the back
    - Compressor (and I would love to get a bigger one)
    - Additional LED driving lights (for when I have to drive at night)

    I did fit underbody protection but that is more for peace of mind as the Navara's sump is vulnerable.

    Overrated mods for overlanding:
    - Winch
    - Snorkel
    - Suspension (most 4x4's are quite capable stock-standard)

    I don't have a dual battery system but it may be useful if you run a large fridge/freezer or two, again peace of mind.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Most important thing to have on a 4x4 is a full tank of fuel. Getting out there is what's important. As mentioned previously each persons needs are different. I'd say get off the internet and get in the bush, you'll soon learn after your first few trips what you need. Stock 4x4s are surprisingly capable and can take you 90% of destinations. But it does look much better after some 'upgrades'
    2018 Suzuki Jimny - 40mm Lift Kit, Steering Damper, Tow Bar, DIY Backboard and underbody plates

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  32. #19
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon93 View Post
    Most important thing to have on a 4x4 is a full tank of fuel. Getting out there is what's important. As mentioned previously each persons needs are different. I'd say get off the internet and get in the bush, you'll soon learn after your first few trips what you need. Stock 4x4s are surprisingly capable and can take you 90% of destinations. But it does look much better after some 'upgrades'
    Excellent advice!
    Jeep Grand Cherokee 2002 4.7 V8

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  34. #20
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    Default Re: Top 5 4x4 upgrades to begin with

    Many wise words and excellent advice. I only needed my winch 3 times in 12 years but on one occasion it really saved me so pending on where you go it can be very important. The Hilux could not move the Cruiser.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONgiYDBcotE&t=2s
    Last edited by PierredW; 2019/06/25 at 09:31 AM.

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