Our 4WD setup
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I always like to hear and see how
others have their vehicles set up. So I thought I would
show what we have done to mine.
Once again this vehicle
has taken us to some remote places and through some
nasty scrub, I think it is about as comfortable as you can
get without compromising its off road ability. Maybe a
military humvee might be better off road, but I would
imagine them to be pretty uncomfortable for cruising the
I always planned to put a
"how to" page together to show how to do some basic
electrical and radio connections, but never got around to
A mate of mine, Jason, has
done it and you can visit his website
and learn some interesting info from solar panels to current
draw and his camping setup.
Good one Jason!
I use OziExplorer for navigation. I have tried a few options with laptops, and found all the new ones have screens that are far too big. We tried a small 8in LCD, but whilst it was good, it failed. We had a lot of leads running around and it was difficult to set up.
We used an ASUS EEE PC and this worked very well. It runs from 12V, which means no inverters, and the leads are much simplified. The screen is just the right size at 7in and the whole lot is easy to use and move between passenger and driver. However, there was still the issue of mounting it.
We have just installed an
AVNC 3000 2 DIN combined stereo and GPS navigator in the
dash. We removed the in built memory map and put in
OziExplorer CE. This device has since been removed and
discarded as too un-reliable. Getting help was next to
impossible and for the money spent, not worth it.
I have since replaced this
with a much cheaper "Chinese" unit which runs WIN CE 5. I
did this because the of the un-reliability of the AVNC. The
unit I bought cost about $480 and was 25% of the AVNC price.
The only problem with any of
these units is the relatively slow processor speed and
having too many maps causes them to be slow when Oziexplorer
indexes the maps.
I have also got a Nexus 7
with the Android version of Oziexplorer, so now I have at
least two instances running in the car when we are in remote
areas. This means I can run different maps without having to
swap over. I still carry the EEEPC as a backup, and this has
been useful when I have mucked up a map file on the SD
I learnt to read maps in the Army Reserve. Oziexplorer is absolutely brilliant, but if all the technology fails make sure you can get yourself out of the shit manually. Either carry the paper maps or ensure you can retrace your own route.
The CB is a GME with a remote head mounted on the over head console. The transceiver is mounted behind the driver's kick panel. I have made an extension lead for the microphone to allow it to be mounted on the dash.
There are a couple of Uniden handheld radios for when walking away from the vehicle.
With the change to 80 channels I have bought a couple of Oricom handhelds and also installed a Motorola radio which I programmed with the new channels.
|I have a Barrett 530 12 channel HF radio with the RFDS and VKS737 channels installed. The main transceiver unit is mounted on the back of the cargo barrier, the head is mounted on the floor console behind the gear selector. I made a bracket for the spare wheel carrier to hold the autotune antenna, this has the added advantage of giving a bit more space between the spare wheel and the car door so that small stones don't get stuck.|
I have drawers fitted where the rear seats were. They contain nearly all the stuff I need to take everywhere.
In one drawer are the tools and recovery equipment, including: two snatch straps, winch extension straps, a selection of shackles, socket set, spanners, miscellaneous tools, tyre repair kit, compressor, bead breaker, tyre levers, outback first aid kit, wheel chocks, rope, 12V fluoro lamp.
The other drawer has human needs like a kettle and pots and other cooking gear, as well as head lights (for human heads at night), matches and of course a reasonable first aid kit (not some junky one from Kmart)
The rear area has a shelf made over the drawers to help with stacking other gear for a trip such as food and clothng. Next to this is an Engel fridge.
There is a half sized roof rack fitted with a kangaroo jack and shovel along with the extra spare wheel. I chose the smaller rack to ensure that overloading does not occur.
|A non branded winch has been installed in the bull bar. The car was ordered with a winch compatible bar. The winch was easy enough to install, but I had to rotate the gear box so the lever could be accessed (Undo all the screws and simply rotate to the right spot and rescrew). The control box mounting meant the control cable would be difficult to insert, so I made up a short tail using a trailer socket and wired that to the bull bar. The end of the control cable was modified accordingly.|
SpotlightsI use standard round IPF 100W spotlights. I have used them for nearly 20 years and find them excellent. I only ever use the 100W elements because I have found anything more powerful usually overheats and burns out pretty quickly. These may not be the absolute best light, but I believe they are the best bang for the buck. And I think the adjustment/mounting method is better than any Hella I have used or seen.
Dual Battery System
|We have a have a dual
battery system fitted by the dealer. This allows the
spare battery to charge after the starting battery.
There is a switch to allow the spare battery to be put
in parallel across the main battery if needed. All
accessories are wired to the auxiliary battery. The
problem with this design is that it is still possible to
flatten the start battery (main), by leaving on a light
(especially the interior lights) or even running the
stereo too long. Put simply both batteries could easily
end up flat. However, wiring to the main battery is an
issue in some cars as the in built immobiliser may sense
a draining of the battery and register it as an attempt
at theft and immobilise the vehicle. Unless you know how
to re-activate the vehicle you could be in trouble (some
need to have the key turned to on for 20minutes before
and attempt can be made to start, or there may be a
sequence of things you can do, but that knowledge is
usually not printed anywhere for obvious reasons).
I just make real sure before I go to sleep that all systems are off (including the fridge) and I start the car early in the morning to make sure all is go. This is the only way I know of to buy peace of mind.
|Power is distributed from the auxiliary battery via a fuse block and an 80A thermal circuit breaker. The fuse block feeds the GPS and CB radio. The circuit breaker feeds the rear fuse block via 18mm cable.|
Power in the rear is distributed via the 80A thermal circuit breaker supplying power to a rear fuse block. Another circuit breaker feeds power to a heavy duty solenoid. The solenoid is used to switch power to the input of a 600W invertor. The solenoid can be controlled from the cab so that the invertor will not drain the power when it is not required. I have since removed the invertor as we simply didn't use it.
I have since removed this as we never used it and tidied the excess wiring up. Actually, the wiring is always being modified as new things are added and the old removed.
|At each side of the drawers
I have made a power unit.
The left side has a switch for the fixed compressor. It also has a cigarette light socket and a merrit socket. The cigarette socket is controlled by another switch. Above the power unit can be seen a white extra low voltage power plug.
The right hand unit has a switch to control the fridge as well as a voltmeter to show the condition of the auxiliary battery.
Cigarette sockets are usually poor quality and do not provide a good connection for anything requiring a decent amount of current., this is why I use the extra low voltage plugs and merrit sockets. But this means that all accessories need to have their power cables modified to suit.