How do you use your 4X4?
Jaffa, formerly known as Dexter, has had a very varied life, providing my wife and I with many memories.
As a new Triton, it was my daily driver and saw an early introduction to four-wheeling in the hills of Perth. You could say it was here that the cherry was popped. We never looked back. Whenever our social calendar permitted it, the Triton was off the road and on the tracks in Sawyers Valley or beaches in White Hills or Two Rocks.
My occupation saw us move from state to state and at the end of the projects in Western Australia, we relocated to Victoria. This project was more time-demanding, so the weekend fun was reduced significantly and Dexter was reduced to a commuter for the wife. We did however journey up to Mt. Terrible on one occasion. As picturesque as it is, Victoria is cold and we looked forward to getting out of there.
The next stop was Queensland, where things got interesting. Apart from being a daily driver for work, we found ourselves either camping or four wheel driving or a combination of these up to twice a month with a group of like-minded Triton enthusiasts, forming the majority of our friend network ever since.
Tracks progressively got harder, driving the need for upgrades and modifications to the ute (or perhaps the modifications drove the need to find harder tracks). Dexter was chipped and raised and wheels grew in size. Camping got more complex and the small Triton tub was no longer viable.
Then, life stepped up a notch, a child was born and the money tree no longer bore the fruit of fun. Other cars came and went, but the Triton, ever reliable, stuck the course. Only, less off-road tracks are travelled and the frequency of camping reduced. Until recently, it has been the runabout, but it didn’t prove to be overly efficient at that task so has been relinquished to occasional duties only.
However, in it’s new guise, Jaffa will once again hit the tracks.
What have you done to your 4X4?
Over the years, Jaffa has undergone a few changes.
Tyres were upgraded to 32” once the factory set had had their run. The increase in size meant a noticeable loss in performance, which was quickly fixed with the addition of a ChipIt chip.
Suspension was next. Initially, a RidePro suspension setup was put in, supposedly two inch lift, but the quality was poor and later found to be made for a different vehicle and not suited to the Triton setup. This was later replaced by a two inch lift from the guys at Ultimate Suspension.
A colour-coded ARB Sahara bar was added along with Narva 220s. An Avenger XRT canopy was added to keep up with the increasing demands for space for camping.
Shortly after this, in keeping up with the Jones’s and getting into places on the tracks that most people really don’t need to go, an ARB front locker was installed. This modification however, came with some complications.
Engaging the locker would see CVs breaking at the slightest hint of pressure and replacing them was difficult due to splines not entering the shaft properly, causing unnecessary play. This was later found to be a fault with star gears that ARB rectified under warranty.
The installation of a T-Max winch was one of the last major additions to the Triton. That is until one day I decided the paint was looking a bit weathered, not to mention the countless number of bush stripes, a badge that, although proud of, gave the Triton a lacklustre look. I was also starting to feel that I had lost the original Triton feel, it felt like it had doubled in size and was like driving a truck day in, day out, probably more due to the fact that the only trips it was doing was to and from work or the train station.
This is when things really changed a bit. I decided to go for a unique look, among Tritons anyway. Having a brother who is a spray painter made the decision even easier. I would often walk past a sports car dealer on my way to work and couldn’t help finding myself staring at an orange Lamborghini.
The colour seemed perfect and I made the decision to put the Triton through a transformation. I stripped the canopy back off and added it to my tri-trailer, using the hard lid from it on my Triton.
My brother came and collected it and took it back down to his workshop in New South Wales, where over a few months, he stripped, prepared and painted, creating what is now Jaffa.
The colour isn’t quite the same as the Lamborghini, which is called Arancio Borealis, but is a close flat version. We decided that the gold fleck in the Lamborghini would be more difficult to repair should it be subject to the usual abuse of four wheeling.
As friends (who I am sure were more interested in me spending money than the actual result) pointed out, if I was going to go down this path, it may as well be done right. I purchased wide flares from overseas and painstakingly, they were fitted up and colour coded black to match the rest of the bar-work.
The flares however, also had knock on effects. The standard wheels and tyres sat too far in, meaning an upgrade was also required there. After a lot of deliberation, a set of 16 x 8, 0 offset Crossfire Rambo rims with 305/70/16 Procomp X-ATs were decided on, giving Jaffa the stance required to complete the look.
The end result is what Jaffa is today, a very unique looking ute, at least for now anyway. I refer to it as the mid-life crisis for the Triton.
What’s next for your 4X4?
There’s not a lot planned for the future, some minor cosmetic changes in the form of headlight and rear light changes.
Performance wise, possibly an exhaust upgrade to a 2.75” or 3” system, but not in the near future.
Other than that, my work here is done. The Triton has been given a new fresh life and as a result, will stay with us for many years to come.