OP­PO­SITE LOCK’S RANGER BUILD

OP­PO­SITE LOCK HAS KIT­TED UP A FORD RANGER, WE TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT IT’S PACK­ING!

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

HOW to build the per­fect ac­ces­sorised 4x4 de­pends on a num­ber of key fac­tors: namely, how you in­tend to use it, where you want to take it, and your bud­get. If you have a bot­tom­less pit of cash, then you can af­ford to go all out with the best sus­pen­sion up­grade, the best roof rack sys­tem and the best set of treads. But for most peo­ple, it’s im­por­tant to bud­get for their 4x4’s up­grades.

Re­gard­less of how deep your pock­ets are, there’s plenty you can do to get your rig to take you fur­ther. To prove this point, Op­po­site Lock gave us the keys to its rigged-up Ranger, and we took it for a blast through Toolangi Na­tional Park in Vic­to­ria.

Op­po­site Lock has decked out the PXII Ford Ranger XLT with a num­ber of top­grade ac­ces­sories in an at­tempt to show off its broad range of gear on of­fer, as well as its qual­ity work­man­ship. Not only does Op­po­site Lock sell and in­stall its own gear, it also sells and in­stalls gear from other man­u­fac­tur­ers. On this Ranger build in par­tic­u­lar, some of the best gear from Sa­fari, Front Run­ner and Sam­mitr has been used to max­imise the rig’s off-road po­ten­tial.

Along for the ride and to talk us through the ins and outs of the build was Op­po­site Lock’s global sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager, Wayne Coombe-heath.

“The first thing to do when you buy a 4x4 off the show­room floor is pull the wheels off and put on de­cent tyres,” Wayne said.

For Op­po­site Lock, this meant a fresh set of Dy­namic Wheels with Dick Cepek All Ter­rain tyres. Out on the tracks of Toolangi, the new rub­ber ca­pa­bly nav­i­gated through cor­ru­gated tracks and over fallen logs.

As men­tioned, Op­po­site Lock hasn’t made all the equip­ment seen on this build, but they do stock and fit a va­ri­ety of parts – such as the Aussie-made Sa­fari snorkel.

“We can do all in­stal­la­tions at all of the Op­po­site Lock stores,” Wayne told us. “While you can fit the snorkel your­self, it’s not rec­om­mended. When you see some­one tak­ing a big hole­saw and drilling a mas­sive 50-70mm hole in the fender… I don’t want to do that my­self. You’ve got to get it ex­actly right and you have to know ex­actly what you’re do­ing.”

This is why it’s best to leave the mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the boffins at Op­po­site Lock, who are highly skilled and trained in this field. The con­tours of new-car de­sign can be com­plex, and the task of cut­ting a hole in

“This is the most ver­sa­tile roof rack ever de­signed. This is the top of the top!”

the fender isn’t as easy as it used to be. So it’s best left to the pros!

The high-qual­ity Sa­fari snorkel doesn’t just al­low the OL Ranger to wade through waist-deep wa­ter, it also lim­its dirty air from fil­ter­ing through the in­take pipes – es­pe­cially valu­able for sand and ex­treme­bush driv­ing.

Up front sits an Op­po­site Lock Pre­mium three-loop steel bull­bar fit­ted with Ul­trav­i­sion Nitro driv­ing lights and a Kin­gone winch with sy­thetic rope.

Run­ning down the flanks of the Ranger are Op­po­site Lock steel side­steps that dou­ble as rock slid­ers. The durable and sturdy side­steps are bolted to the chas­sis, and they of­fer su­pe­rior pro­tec­tion un­derneath the ve­hi­cle. “You also want to be able to stand on them when you’re in the mud,” Wayne added. “So they’re the best of both worlds.”

Up top re­side two Front Run­ner roof racks: a canopy rack and a cabin rack. The racks are at­tached to the roof sans any drilling, so they can re­moved and re­fit­ted with ease. They can also be cus­tomised to cater for what you want to trans­port, be it jerry cans, gas bot­tles, wa­ter con­tain­ers, fish­ing rods and ca­noes, to name but a few.

“This is the most ver­sa­tile roof rack ever de­signed. This is the top of the top! It re­ally has taken ver­sa­til­ity and de­sign to a whole new level,” Wayne said.

A slide-out ta­ble is clev­erly stored un­derneath the canopy rack in what would nor­mally be wasted space. It’s easy to access, so when you ar­rive at a camp­site you don’t have to un­pack a week’s worth of lug­gage just to set up lunch. And fear not, out on bumpy tracks the ta­ble re­mains rat­tle-free.

The Sam­mitr V2 Pre­mium Steel canopy is made from the same ma­te­rial as the car’s body pan­els. Plus it’s colour-coded, it fol­lows the con­tours of the car, and it pro­vides full side and rear access with big win­dow open­ings, which makes the re­trieval of goods eas­ier. The canopy is care­fully wired by OL staff so it works off the same cen­tral lock­ing sys­tem as the ve­hi­cle. Brake lights and tail-lights are also in­te­grated. Don’t try this kind of in­stal­la­tion at home, as the wiring is a tricky job best left to the pros.

An added ben­e­fit of the canopy is that it al­lows a Front Run­ner drawer sys­tem to fit in the tray to max­imise stor­age space.

“When go­ing over­land­ing you need as much space as you can pos­si­bly get, and

hav­ing a drawer sys­tem dou­bles up your nor­mal pack­ing space,” Wayne added.

The twin-drawer, lock­able sys­tem has draw­ers that slide all the way out – and all the way down to touch the back of the cabin – so that there isn’t an inch of wasted space. The wings on ei­ther side of the draw­ers lift up so you can access the space un­derneath, which is an­other clever way the draw­ers utilise all the space. Re­cessed power points al­low­ing the tail­gate to close are an in­tu­itive ad­di­tion, as are ad­justable tie-down points on top of the drawer sys­tem.

“Front Run­ner re­ally has thought of ev­ery­thing. This is a top-class drawer sys­tem,” Wayne said.

Mov­ing un­derneath and Op­po­site Lock has re­jigged the Ranger’s stock sus­pen­sion with a 40mm lift and changes to the leaf springs, front struts and shock ab­sorbers. The full Op­po­site Lock sus­pen­sion kit has given the Ranger an ad­di­tional 300mm of wheel travel.

“The more you add on, the more your sus­pen­sion drops. So there’s noth­ing like a great sus­pen­sion up­grade to get the car back to where it should be,” Wayne said.

To im­prove un­der­body pro­tec­tion

Op­po­site Lock is the one-stop shop to deck out your 4x4 with all of the best gear

an ex­tra tough steel plate Front Run­ner sump guard has been fit­ted.

“We re­moved the stan­dard guard which was only mi­crons thick and re­placed it with a Front Run­ner sump and belly guard. It’s a nice, solidly-fixed steel sump guard, pow­der­coated black, prop­erly re­in­forced, and bolted in us­ing ex­ist­ing bolt holes,” Wayne said. “Nice added pro­tec­tion when you’re go­ing over rocks and logs. It fin­ishes the pack­age off nicely.”

The Op­po­site Lock Ranger is an ad­ven­ture-ready tourer ca­pa­ble of tak­ing you to the most re­mote re­gions of out­back Aus­tralia. Op­po­site Lock is the one-stop shop to deck out your 4x4 with all of the best gear, and the en­thu­si­as­tic staff will tailor-make a pack­age to suit the cus­tomer’s spe­cific needs.

Wayne added: “You can go into an OL store and you can kit out your car with any­thing you want. You got a trip, you got a plan, you got a dream, and an Op­po­site Lock store can make it hap­pen.”

CON­TACT

OP­PO­SITE LOCK PH: 1800 624 444 WEB: www.op­po­site­lock. com.au

Dick Cepek Fun un­try A/T tyres are ready to roll. Op­po­site Lock full sus­pen­sion kit lifted he Ranger by 40mm.

Op­po­site Lock three­loop bull­bar with Ul­trav­i­sion Nitros.

Front Run­ner roof rack can be cus­tomised to carry most things.

We gave the OL Ranger a thor­ough off-road work­out at Toolangi. Get­ting into the tray is easy via the canopy’s big side win­dows.

Front Run­ner drawer sys­tem utilises ev­ery inch of avail­able space.

Lights twice as bright as the sun and a winch to move the planet.

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