PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF
AS JUDGES for the Global Media Awards (GMA), we must select 10 new products from a showcase of close to 3000 we think would work well in our market. Many of the products are performance, race, hot-rod or pick-up-truck specific, so we can narrow it down a bit, but there were still plenty of 4x4 products to choose from. We might be a bit biased, but it’s true that Australian companies make some of the best accessories you can buy, and this is reflected in the way our Aussie-made gear is respected by the global market. So it’s no surprise to find a few Australian designed and made products among our choices. Again, these selections are in no specific order.
I’M A big fan of removing any metal components from your vehicle recovery rig, and synthetic rope soft shackles are a great way to do that. We voted for Bubba Rope’s Gator-Jaw soft shackles last year and were again impressed to find Bubba Rope has taken the next step and spliced a Gator-Jaw soft shackle to the end of its Gator-Jaw Pro Line.
The Pro Line uses 3/8-inch advanced HMPE synthetic rope with a synthetic shackle at the end of a synthetic winch line to simplify and reduce the weight of the connection.
This eliminates the weight of a metal hook and/or shackle and the possibility of it flying loose in the event of a failure.
The American-made Bubba Rope Pro Lines are available in 80- or 100-foot lengths and are only available direct from the manufacturer, as there is no Australian distribution.
AS V8 and other engine conversions become more popular in the 4x4 market, it can be much easier to use an aftermarket gauge panel than trying to wire the new engine sensors up to your OE gauges. Racepak has been making such gauge panels for racecars for years. However, now its IQ3s Street Dash includes indicators and other warning lights such as high beam, speedometer and fuel gauge into the system.
The Street Dash can integrate with your EFI system be it OE or aftermarket, as well as your OBD system if equipped.
It can replace up to 24 gauges on your dash.
A smart, all-in-one system that can simplify installation and look cool at the same time.
LOOK at the custom 4x4 features we run throughout the year and it’s becoming obvious that more builders are forking out the big dollars for high-end suspension products from companies such as King Shocks. Kings are known for its off-road racing wins and you’ll find them on the winning cars at Baja, Dakar or the Finke Desert Race. So when we saw the new three-inch Performance King Shocks for the Land Cruiser 200, we knew they’d be a good thing.
Kings have taken that race-winning experience and technology to create a three-inch bolt-in replacement shock for your 200 that offers more travel and better control of your vehicle under the harshest conditions.
WE FITTED a set of the new Mickey Thompson All Terrains to photographer Mick Hurren’s Land Rover and he’s pretty impressed with the ride and performance of them as he gets around to the 4x4 shoot locations and his favourite fishing haunts. The tyres got the tick of approval from us.
The Deegan 38 A/Ts are an aggressive all-terrain tyre with a high silica compound for added on-road traction and chunky side traction and chunky side biters and tread for off-road grip. They are proving to be the right combination for on- and off-road use for Mick and are a great compromise over a fully fledged mud-terrain tyre.
WEBSITE: www. mickeythompsontires. com.au
ANOTHER Aussie company that has been turning out worldclass products for years is Sprintex Superchargers.
Sprintex chose the SEMA show to unveil its blower kits for the Jeep Pentastar V6, as fitted to the JK Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.
Sprintex has adapted its proven twin-screw supercharger unit for use on the latest 3.6-litre petrol Jeeps, with an OE quality kit that can be fitted by a qualified workshop in just a day. It delivers V8-like performance with plenty of low-down torque, without the headaches of a V8 engine conversion. Up to 58 per cent more power and 28 per cent more torque is nothing to be sneezed at.
WE HAVE to admit it was AccuAir’s weldless aluminium ENDO-Tank that caught our attention here, with its hardware including the compressor inside it. But Synergy Manufacturing’s mounting brackets, to allow the ENDOTank (and others) to be mounted under the floor of your JK Wrangler, is equally neat.
The Synergy kit places the three-gallon air tank up in between the crossmembers in space that is otherwise unused, and all the included mounting hardware is quality stuff to ensure a neat and lasting installation.
WE’VE had plenty of experience with MaxTrax over the years and know how good the existing product is, so anything new from the Queensland company is exciting news. MaxTrax launched three new products at the SEMA show, and two of them got the tick of approval from us.
MaxTrax has answered the complaints of users who have spun the tyres on their MaxTrax and burnt the lugs off them. The Xtreme features screw-in, replaceable lugs made from aluminium, so you shouldn’t have the same problem; but you shouldn’t be spinning tyres on them anyway. The Xtreme is the same size and construction as the existing Mk2 MaxTrax, but it has been reinforced around the lugs for added strength.
The MaxTrax Jax Base is like a mini-MaxTrax, but the underside is flat to give you a sturdy, flat platform for placing your vehicle jack on, on soft or uneven ground. It’s big enough to support a small trolley jack, a bottle jack or your OE jack, and it will be a godsend for many off-roaders. The top surface is just like a MaxTrax, so you could use it to get you unstuck in an emergency, but this also allows it to stack nicely inside your regular MaxTrax.
If you want a set of smaller MaxTrax, the Mini is just 635mm long and is the same design as the Mk2, only shorter. Good for compact SUVs or ATVs. The new MaxTrax products will be available in Q3 of 2018.
TYRE Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are invaluable for any 4x4er, and the TYREDOG system is a budget kit that has been around for a while now. Traditionally the TPMS measure both tyre temperatures and pressures and sends a warning to the driver if there is an irregularity from the specified data point. TYREDOG’s latest TPMS adds another parameter to the data with a vibration sensor that, using a six-way sensor and complicated mathematical calculus, can warn of excess vibration caused by tyre delamination, bubbling, rim damage or other deformation.
Monitoring and early warning of changes to tyre pressure, temperature and vibration can not only save the cost of replacing a tyre, but could save a life if it prevents a tyrerelated crash.
SOUTH Australia’s Redarc Electronics has led the way in DC-DC vehicle chargers for dual battery systems and solar charging. The charges sense and maintain voltages to supply optimum charge to the vehicle and trailer batteries, and they’re especially valuable in modern vehicles with so-called smart alternators and electronics.
The chargers are available to suit all the different batteries you are likely to want to use, and they come in various sizes to suit your application.