As they say we live in interesting times. Inside one year we have travelled over 20,000km in the D4 and learnt a great deal about its capabilities on and off road over that time.
We have not made any major modifications to the car which is exactly as we expected. It is good enough on its own albeit there are a few foibles we had to over come and they were.
Tyres and rims
The availability of off-road capable 19″ tyres and rims is non existent so we have purchased and had already budgeted for 18″ Compomotive Rims from GOE in Perth and have fitted them with our favourite tyre, the Bridgestone D697. The specification chosen is legal which is another important decision. Performance to date has been as expected, exceptional. But the forthcoming trip to the Kimberley, coastal and outback WA and across the cliff tops of the Great Australian Bight will be their toughest test by far.
The other issue is the self levelling air suspension (SLAS) drops to road height above 50 kph which is, quite frankly, a PITA. So it was a given we would install a Llams kit to resolve this technical challenge and let us get on with our off-roading without the annoyance of having to either slow down or keep adjusting the suspension height. Great Ozzie technology for sure.
Rear storage system
This was an interesting challenge. With the Ultimate on the back almost permanently we did not need the cost, weight and inconvenience of a drawer based storage system. So we designed an elegant sliding tray that allows us to secure the fridge and pretty much anything else using the simply and tailorable tie-down system we have had designed and manufactured here in Adelaide. The sliding tray is secured using the standard tie-down points and can easily be removed to allow the use of the third row seats. As well it still provides direct access to the spare wheel winder with the slide fully out.
Thanks to Paul at Trek Tech for all his excellent work. We recommend him highly.
Rest of the fit out
Really nothing special and stuff we always do and including:
- RedArc Tow Pro brake controller. A fantastic addition for on and off-road towing. Australian technology and manufactured and we are supporting SA jobs as well. What could be better
- Traxide dual battery system. Great service and support and works perfectly. An excellent piece of kit delivered to our door and ready to install.
- Cargo barrier, Milfords of course, UHF and a tyre pressure monitoring system
Where to from here?
We are off to Arkaroola prior to Easter for a pre-Kimberley shakedown run then to Willangie Bush Escapes near Peterborough for Easter to ensure our Kimberley setup is working perfectly. Then over to Moruya in NSW to the Ultimate factory for the fitting of some test gear before returning to Adelaide with a couple of weeks to do the final pack before heading off on our 20,000km adventure.
Watch this space for photo’s and updates