REAL-WORLD EX­PE­RI­ENCES

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

IT’S ALL well and good to throw money and parts at a 4x4, but it’s the re­sults that mat­ter. Re­cent im­prove­ments in shock and spring tech­nol­ogy, com­bined with ad­justable sus­pen­sion links and tune­able sway-bars, means that ride and han­dling can be im­proved while sus­pen­sion ar­tic­u­la­tion can be di­alled in to suit the driver’s needs per­fectly.

Of course, this all pales in com­par­i­son to real-world ex­pe­ri­ence, so we’ve en­listed the help of two own­ers of late-model, live axle­con­verted 4x4s to give their opin­ions. Ray Pisani is the owner of the pris­tine white Hilux on these pages, while Jarad Roberts is the owner of the tough-as-nails Tri­ton fea­tured in our July 2016 is­sue (page 64).

RAY PISANI

“The first set-up was ra­dius arms, and that han­dled just as good as IFS con­sid­er­ing it was three inches taller on 35s. Sel­dom Seen En­gi­neer­ing did a good job set­ting it up as an all-round 4x4 as if it was done by Toy­ota. After a year or two I wanted more travel and that’s when Au­to­mo­tive Et­cel­lence 3-linked the front. It’s a bit looser on-road but still drives well. Off-road it flexes through the big­gest ruts and sits so flat, a lot smoother than the ra­dius arm set-up. If it was a ded­i­cated tourer I’d run ra­dius arms, but at the mo­ment I’m hav­ing fun tack­ling the hard tracks and the 3link is per­fect for that.”

JARAD ROBERTS

“It’s a softer ride all around, but it does have a bit of body roll. The steer­ing is a lit­tle heav­ier than it was orig­i­nally, too. The front has a heavy spring rate, which helps keep it nice and stiff.

“Off-road it def­i­nitely shines. Peo­ple get caught up with flex be­ing the be all and end all, but hav­ing the strength in the front diff is the big­gest ad­van­tage for me. I can run 37s and never worry about break­ages, whereas with the IFS and 35s I was al­ways snap­ping CV joints, even nurs­ing it with cus­tom-made, heavy-duty units.”

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