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Monthly Archives: October 2012

DecNewsMaxOUR TIMELY INTERVIEW with celebrity TV chef, Mike Robinson (see page 40 – December issue) comes in the same month that Isuzu has announced that it’s produced a bespoke D-Max for the keen huntsman. As you can read in our story, Mike is a keen hunter-gatherer, and enjoys doing that in a 4×4, and after a dalliance with the Land Rover product decided that the Isuzu pick-up was the thing for him, so no surprise this has come together. Mike’s actually already had two Isuzus, but this one has some nice touches just for him, including a rubber tray insert to hold his binoculars firmly in place, a secure gun box for his rifle and ammo, with special-tailored rubber grip mats on the wing mirrors to rest the rifle and take aim… To avoid glare that might distract his prey, Mike has had all the chrome bright work wrapped in matt-black vinyl. Good move in our view as the original is a touch too bling for some tastes. At the rear the D-Max has a winch and ramp for those large kills, and the load bed has a Truckman Grand Hard Top. You can look out for the truck on ITV’s Countrywise Kitchen show, as it will be working hard around the 20,000-acre estate that Mike manages.

DecProdMudderThe legendary Mud Terrain General Grabber tyre is once again available in the UK. General Tire’s excellent mud plugger is available in the following sizes: 235/75R15 104/101Q; 265/75R16 123/120Q; 31×10.50R15 109Q; 33×12.50R15 108Q. The Grabber MT will be available from many 4×4 tyre dealers and 4site4x4 centres nationwide. For details of your nearest stockist please call 0870 112 9401 or visit www.4site4x4.co.uk.

DecNewsHydrogenTHE NISSAN TeRRA SUV concept vehicle is an interesting power option, as it has hydrogen fuel cell technology driving three electric motors for 4×4 drive. Looking at the pictures here, it follows the quirky looks of the Qashqai and Juke but it is certainly the power option that excites, offering as it does zero emissions. Sadly, at present, it is a design concept rather than a technical exhibit so details of the proposed fuel cell/electric motor’s are not detailed. However, it does use the same electric propulsion system that is used in the Nissan LEAF, and that is a production reality, so we can but hope that this will see the light of day soon. The use of the electric motors means that the vehicle doesn’t have any axles, which allows for a flatter floor space. The punch line to the project, however, explains that the TeRRA ‘signals that Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available’.

DecProdStrapAnyone that has a competition car on a trailer will appreciate the value of a good set of tie-downs. And they don’t get much better than these Mac Tie Downs; available from the guys at Old Hall Performance Ltd. We have had personal experience of these straps so are happy to recommend. The Mac’s Pro-Pack is available with either axle or wheel straps and gives a choice of end fitting on the ratchet strap. Pick the Pro-Pack that’s right for you with either Twisted Snap Hooks or the Direct Hook Ratchet System. There are a whole range of products available, including recovery straps, so check out the website at www.oldhallperformance.com, or call them up to discuss your requirements on 02476 717100.

DecProdCoveredIf you have ever seen the Discovery Channel’s TV programme called Storm Chasers, you’ll be familiar with this truck. What you may not have realised, however, is that it is actually completely covered with LINE-X. The GMC Sierra is actually owned by weather researcher Tim Samaras and he wanted full protection… not just from the weather but also from all the associated flying debris that the weather flings at these guys during the filming! A highly impressive piece of promotion for the product, don’t you think?

DecProdToughPlastic body panels were originally fitted by manufacturers to add protection to a vehicle’s bodywork. But after time, and off-road jaunts, these can get damaged. LINE-X offers a service where they will spray bumpers and side panels. Given the speed the product dries, it’s actually the masking that takes all the time, but as soon as the vehicle has been sprayed, the owner will only just have time to pay up before the vehicle is ready to drive away! LINE-X applicators are located throughout the UK so if you are interested then the dealer near to you can be found on www.line-x.co.uk/find-a-line-x-dealer.html. The company is also looking for people who want to open new dealerships. For more information contact LINE-X Protective Coatings Ltd on 01271 344 000 or email [email protected]

DecProdProtectionGiven the ease of application, and the strength and protection that it offers, it is no surprise that the company has developed into covering 4×4 accessories with this amazing stuff. Front bumpers on Jeeps take a hell of a lot of a beating, scratches often turn to rust and certainly end up looking somewhat knackered. Covering with LINE-X sorts all this out, and looks pretty good too!

DecHilsPhotoA recent trip across the Pond saw our Hils bowled over by the F-series Ford pick-up trucks. Talk about torque…

Last month the subject of my column was the Ford Escape, a huge-selling compact SUV in North America which was my mode of transport during a superb wildlife watching and adventure sports trip to Canada. It’s a real shame the Escape’s not available over here in the UK. But being in North America really brings home just how 4×4-aware our cousins over the Pond are, at least by comparison to most people over here.

Before that Canadian visit, my most recent venture over there had been to Utah and Arizona, two states I overlanded through and fell in love with, dazzled by the quantity and variety of cool trucks I encountered. This time the destination was British Columbia, and I was equally impressed and delighted by the array of humongous trucks and SUVs.

DecProdLineIt would perhaps be understandable, but wrong, just to think of LINE-X as a top quality bedliner product. Well established as the company is in protecting the working areas for truck beds and van interiors, there’s a lot more uses that seem to grow each time we hear from these guys! LINE-X is actually a spray-applied coating that is amazingly tough, stone chip and scratch resistant and very easy to clean. It is also touch dry in three to five seconds… “careful with that spray can, mate!”

BobCookeBob Cooke – contributor

DecStaff1BobI told you you’d have a laugh, because it all went exactly as I expected it would. That’s not to say it went to plan, if you consider the plan to be as laid out in the workshop manual, which describes the removal of the Cherokee’s leaf spring in not many more words than: “Remove the four nuts securing the U-bolts to the axle, remove the two bolts securing the spring to the chassis, and remove the spring.” There is no reference at all to that bane of anyone who chooses to work on old cars – the WCS (Worst Case Scenario.)