TESTED: FRONT RUN­NER STEER­ING GUARD

A STEER­ING GUARD CAN PRO­TECT THE 70 SE­RIES FROM BE­ING BASHED AROUND IN ROUGH COUN­TRY.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

Un­der-ve­hi­cle pro­tec­tion is crit­i­cal for many work­ing and week­ender 4x4s. Most of our favourite full­size rigs have their un­der­body laid out to min­imise po­ten­tial dam­age (such as hav­ing sumps that are in­stalled nice and high), but many ve­hi­cles can ben­e­fit from af­ter­mar­ket un­der­body pro­tec­tion, es­pe­cially those that are used in rocky ter­rain. In gen­eral, my toughas-nails Toy­ota Troopie (and the Toy­ota Land­cruiser 70 Se­ries in gen­eral) isn’t likely to be dam­aged too eas­ily, but it does have a cou­ple of weak points, not least of them be­ing the ex­posed base of the ra­di­a­tor and the also-ex­posed, lowslung steer­ing arms (drag link and tie rod) and steer­ing damper.

An easy and solid fix is a 6mm, alu­minium Front Run­ner shield that is fixed to a sub­stan­tial (sup­plied) cross mem­ber, which is then in­stalled to the Cruiser chas­sis with no drilling or mod­i­fi­ca­tion needed. Over­seas the plate is touted as a sump guard, but it doesn’t pro­tect the sump at all; rather, it pro­tects the ra­di­a­tor and steer­ing com­po­nents. At least here in Aus­tralia it’s billed as a steer­ing guard.

Weigh­ing 10kg, the guard is sturdy enough to help de­flect mishaps, and it looks bling, be­ing the only shiny part un­der the blacked-out Cruiser.

While I’m re­laxed in the knowl­edge that vul­ner­a­ble parts of my un­der­car­riage are now pro­tected, one un­ex­pected prob­lem was that the re­cov­ery hooks I’d pur­chased at the same time didn’t fit due to in­ter­fer­ing with the guard fit­tings.

Sure, a bit of an­gle-grinder work would have seen them slot in, but they’ve now been re­turned and I’m on the hunt for a re­place­ment set.

The guard is sturdy enough to help de­flect mishaps, and it looks bling

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.