How do you use your 4X4?
This Triton is just a memory for Steane now, but he admits it is a fond one. Bought as a daily driver with the intention of ‘getting out a bit more’ the plan was to leave it stock, which was the case for a while…
Unfortunately sanity didn’t prevail and each new trip ‘out’ to places like the High Country or Narbethong in Victoria resulted in an urgent requirement for new mods. Steane became hooked on this 4wding caper and well, you know how that goes!
What have you done to your 4X4?
Matilda was bought new in 2007 and did the daily drive to the office and back for a couple of years. That was about all it took to kill the Triton’s stock shocks which are rubbish, so the first mod was a 2-inch lifted suspension kit from Ultimate Suspension.
This transformed the ride and handling and of course made the Triton look ridiculous with the factory rubber.
So next on the agenda was a set of 265/75/16 Mickey Thompson MTZs and Dynamic steel rims. That improved ‘the look’ no-end and the muddies were a handy thing on the winter High Country trips.
From there it was a case of feeding an addiction and the mod list expanded rapidly. Protection was a priority, because if it’s not on, it’s not on, at least not without risking panel damage.
It’s certainly an addiction. One mod leads to another and then you jump on a forum and join a few group buys and before you know it you have a shed full of gear and need a second job!
An Ironman Commercial bullbar was the first fitment, which Steane confirmed is not easy on your own in a high rise car park but it was knocked off in a day or so one weekend. Next was a secondhand ARB rear bar to protect the tub and then some seriously solid rock sliders made by an engineering firm in Adelaide.
Some Roo-Lite spotties were next to be crossed off the list because there was a bullbar now and well, you put spot lights on bullbars don’t you?
An upgraded 3mm steel front bash-plate replaced the woefully inadequate stock rubbish and ensured the sump and 4WD actuator were protected from damage.
Stainless braided brake lines, new DBA 4WD front rotors and Bendix pads improved braking performance.
If you frequent the High Country and hang out with people that have no fear, water crossings become a fact of life… Which of course meant I needed a snorkel! Fitting the Safari snorkel took a day and required the purchase of a couple of hole-saws and a neat new cordless drill. It’s only money.
Off-road ability which is impressive in a stock Triton was further improved with the fitting of a Lokka auto-locker to the front diff, which combined with the factory rear diff-lock made this Triton virtually unstoppable, at least where Steane was prepared to take it.
Under the bonnet the venerable 3.2 litre 4M41 turbo diesel got a tweak or two.
First up was a ChipIt performance chip which, as is often the case with this type of diesel, made a significant difference.
Next was a 3 inch exhaust system which while nice made no difference at all!
In retrospect, the larger exhaust was probably a bit of overkill and while the ‘seat of the pants’ dyno couldn’t detect any real difference it would have done it’s bit in lowering exhaust gas temps which shouldn’t be sneezed at.
A Razorback steel canopy with central locking was added along with a tray mounted dual-battery system and an ARB fridge and slide.
Inside the Triton, Steane fitted a double-din off-road navigation and sound system along with Boston Acoustic speakers and lot’s of Dynamat. An Icom 440 was mounted under the centre console and hooked up to an RFI aerial and worked well if Steane remembered to switch it on.
Well known for having fairly ordinary front seats, Steane fitted seat mount spacers to raise the front of each seat which made a very noticeable difference and was many thousands of dollars cheaper than a set of Recaros.
The other “can’t live without it” ML Triton mod is a centre armrest which is possibly the best mod of the lot. These came from Italy in a batch as part of a forum organised group buy. Real leather as well and with blue stitching to match the GLX-R trim items
A Tigerz11 12,000lb winch was one of the last mods fitted but according to Steane was never used in anger.
What’s next for your 4X4?
What’s next has already happened.
I have always wanted a Series Land Rover or a Defender. There is just something about them that captures the essence of adventure that makes Four-Wheel-Drives so appealing. When a Defender was eventually purchased, it was time for the Triton to be moved along.
I removed many of the mods which have since been used on the Defender and traded it on a car for my wife. A sad day, which while never regretted will always be remembered.
You can read about Steane’s latest folly here.