Enhance your new Hilux to do more!
From factory the new Hilux is a very capable vehicle and in most cases will do the job. However, some Hilux owners require that little bit extra from their ute. You may be a tradesman, who requires stiffer suspension for the weight you carry in the tub, or one who travels on country roads and requires a bull bar for any possible large animal strikes that could damage the vehicle.
Others may require more power than the standard outputs for any possible towing and then there’s those who might just need more simpler modifications like a Roof Rack or an Awning for any extra loads needed to be carried during the week or on any weekend escapes!
Whatever the modification required, the guys at Aussie Offroad Megastores, have sourced the best accessories which have been designed and manufactured for Aussie conditions and will guarantee you the best price in Australia!
This basic guide, will give you some modification ideas on how you can transform your new Hilux into a weekend warrior!
THE ROCKARMOR HILUX:
CHOOSING THE CORRECT BULL BAR
If you are going to be driving on country roads or offroad, chances are you are going to need a Bull Bar. Driving on country roads incurs high chances of potential animal strikes, which can do some serious damage to your vehicle and the people in your vehicle depending on severe the hit may be. If the vehicle has a Bull Bar installed chances of damaging your vehicle or injuring anyone in the vehicle are very slim.
A bull bar is not only for animal strikes, but also a great accessory to carry vital accessories like a winch, extra driving lights and communication equipment like a UHF Antenna. When it comes time to choosing a Bull Bar, Aussie offroad Megastores can give you 2 different options Steel or Alloy. Both Bull bars have the ability to carry a winch, but differ in so many ways depending on type of driving you may be doing with Hilux.
Rockarmor Elite Steel Bull Bar
Designed and tested in Australia, Rockarmor’s Elite Steel Bull Bar has been specially designed for the true all rounder who would give their vehicle a hard run. The steel Bar, which weighs in at 65kilos, comes with an in-built winch plate, and is constructed with a heavy duty 63mm steel cross tube. This bull bar is a roo’s worst nightmare.
The bull bar is Air bag compatible and does not require a bumper cut when fitted to the vehicle, meaning if you wanted to ever re sell the vehicle and keep the bull bar, the original factory bumper can be re used. The Bull bar also comes with inbuilt vital features, which include; LED DRIVING LIGHTS, TWIN SLOTTED ANTENNA MOUNTS, UNDERBODY STONE GUARDS, RATED RECOVERY POINTS, & PRE DRILLED LIGHT HOLES for extra Driving lights.
*Please note if you do select a Steel Bull Bar, you may need to upgrade the front suspension of your hilux. Later down in this article you will see which options Aussie Offroad Megastores Recommends.
Rockarmor Alloy Hybrid Bull Bar
If weight is a concern for you,then Rockarmor’s all new Alloy Bull bar, dubbed the Hybrid, give’s 4WD owners the ability to protect their vehicle and mount a winch without the usual heavy weight a Steel Bull bar would apply to the vehicle. The bars 63/74mm Alloy tubing gives the vehicle’s front end full protection from any possible animal strikes. L.E.D Fog lights & L.E.D parkers come standard with Bull bar at no extra cost.
Like the steel bull bar, the Hybrid is fully air bag compatible and does not require a bumper cut, when being installed onto the vehicle. Choosing an Alloy Bull bar does mean your vehicle will weigh less in the front, and most likely wouldnt require a suspension upgrade in the front, how ever the Alloy Bull bar will never be as strong as a steel bull bar in any impact. So this is where you will have to choose, depending on your lifestyle.
A TOWING SOLUTION THAT PROTECTS YOUR HILUX’S REAR END!
It’s highly likely when owning a Hilux, you are going to tow a trailer, caravan or boat at some point during your ownership of the vehicle. If you have opted to purchase your Hilux with a factory tow bar, or the Hilux you own, already already has a factory tow bar, it certainly will do the job for on road applications. However if you are tradie, or one, who likes to get off road, chances are you will damage the factory alloy rear step and most likely damage your tub.
To prevent any damage to the tub, your best option is to apply a aftermarket steel rear bar. You will find like most aftermarket accessories for a Hilux there are many rear bar options for you choose, at Aussie Offroad Megastores you will find the all new Rockarmor Elite rear step tow bar.
What makes the Rockarmor Rear step Tow Bar different from all the other makes you may ask?
1. The new Rockarmor Rear Step, provides a much wider foot print than other rear steps available on the market. So for a tradesman who might hopping in & out of the back frequently, this rear step will make life a lot more easier on a daily basis.
2. One of the key features, Rockarmor’s designers applied when designing the new rear step was to maintain maximum departure heights. A lot of rear steps on the market, sit very low and when venturing off road, your rear step may bottom out and get yourself stuck, or even worse, damaging your rear step. The all new Rockarmor rear step sits very high up, making sure you won’t have any problems when driving off road.
3. The Rockarmor rear step tow bar has incorporated High Lift Jack points which allow you to lift the rear end of your hilux with a High Lift Jack. The High Lift jack points have been double plated so that they will not deform the rear bar in anyway.
4. Your new Hilux will most likely come with factory reverse sensors. When fitting the Rockarmor rear step tow bar you will not loose this functionality.
WHY IS SIDE PROTECTION IS SO IMPORTANT & COULD END UP SAVING YOU HUNDREDS IN REPAIR COSTS!
The factory alloy side steps that come from Toyota are great for some, who just drives on city roads or the odd occasion on country road. Take that Hilux off road and accidentally land on a log or an over sized rock, then kiss those pretty alloy side steps goodbye, and possibly damaging your vehicle’s side sills located under your doors, which could costs hundreds if not thousands in repair bills.
A pair of steel side steps can reduce this risk of damage, as they are much stronger than the factory alloy steps. At Aussie Offroad Megastores, the guys will offer a pair of Rockarmor Side Steps, which have been designed to give your side sills maximum protection with its DUAL RAIL DESIGN plus still offer a practical step for you & family to get in out of the car with its steel checker plate that comes supplied with the step.
The DUAL RAIL construction gives you the ability to land on a large rock or log without being worried you will kink the step and damage your side sills. The Rockarmor side step also has ability to connect an optional brush bar/side rail. The side rail that connects from the side step to your bull bar will then also protect your side front fenders from any panel damage.
Like all of Rockarmor’s 4×4 accessories, their steel side steps have also been designed to meet all Australian Design rules, where in this case, they will work with our factory side air bag curtains which are hidden away under your interior’s trim.
BIG-T’S TECH TALK – ROCKSLIDERS
“ONE OF THE TOP 3 MOST VITAL MODS YOU COULD DO”
Aussie offroad’s Mark Cutajar tells us about the time he & his crew had to wait 5 hours till the tide went down, cause the other guy didn’t have a snorkel”
It was November 29th last year, i remember the date exactly, cause it was my birthday. We were up on a week long trip on Fraser Island with the crew, and we decided to drive up to one of the most beautiful, & remote locations on the island, ANIWYA CREEK. Located up towards the north west of the island, there are 2 ways you can get there from the south, the easy way which is Drive all the way up main beach and cut through the top or the hard long way which is drive up the guts of the island, that takes about 4 hours, we decided to the longer route.
Just before you land on the beach at Aniwya, there is a small creek which you need to cross, when we got there at about 2pm, the water was only just above our ankles which made for a very easy crossing for all the vehicles.
That day we only spent about 3 hours on the beach, we would of longer, however we were hesitant about the drive back as it took 4 hours to get up there and it was starting to rain pretty heavy. When we arrived at the creek crossing, the first thing we noticed was that the water levels had risen, one of the boys walked in and it was just above his waist and rising.
The first vehicle to give it a try, didn’t even have a snorkel. He got about 5 meters into the crossing and yep as you guessed he got stuck and killed his car. (Thankfully it was only a Pajero) Once we winched him out, we checked to see who else didn’t have a snorkel and funny enough the only vehicle who didn’t have one was the new Hilux!
We didn’t want to take the chance, as we already had one car die on us. So we pulled out the awnings, and all crammed under them to keep dry. Big -T was the man with the brains,when he planted some sticks 3 metres apart, which would measure how far the tide was going down.
It was now 10pm, 5 hours had pass since the first vehicle got stuck, it was dark and the rain was still hammering down, the boys were really hungry and we really wanted to get back to our main camp south on the island. The water had come down, quite a substantial amount, it was just above our knees in the deepest point, but yet still very risky, for those without a snorkel. To give the Hilux some chance of crossing, we decided to use an awning cover as a car bra and wrap it across the front of the Hilux Bull Bar, this would help push the water forward away from the engine bay.
Each vehicle got through, but i tell you what, the Hilux owner copped a flogging from all of us for not having a snorkel! Such a small investment, yet so vital and can save your engine from drowning!
My tip for everyone is make a snorkel in your top 3 modifactions when you purchase your Hilux, you just never know when you are going to need it!
At Aussie Offroad Megastores our staff have been recommending & selling Runva winches for well over 5 years now. They have a very low return & failure rate and the best thing is their warranty.
RUNVA 11XP WINCH
Runva’s 11xp winch has been Aussie offroad Megastores biggest selling winch over the last 5 years. This winch’s 6.5hp motor is a workhorse and has enough pulling power to pull your Hilux out of any trouble. The Winch motor is fully IP67 rated meaning you won’t have any water issues & it also comes with a Limited Life Time Warranty.
RUNVA 11XP PREMIUM WINCH
(THE INDESTRUCTIBLE WINCH)
Runva’s 11xp Premium, is the upgrade of their ever popular 11xp winch. The winch is fully IP67 rated making it completely waterproof. Another big upgrade is that it has external brake rather than the brake being found on the drum. We would highly recommend this winch for anyone, who is planning on going offroad regularly and sees themselves doing quite a few water crossings.
Strong, reliable recovery points are essential for off road driving.
The factory tow points found on the vehicle are unsafe and have not been stressed tested for recovering your vehicle, which may also cause harm or even death for any near bystanders.
Xtreme Recovery have developed a pair of rated points which safely secure to a point of the Hilux’s front end which will ensure a safe recovery.
PERFORMANCE & SUSPENSION
IDRIVE – IMPROVED THROTTLE RESPONSE
The iDrive Throttle Controller reduces throttle lag and improves engine responsiveness, giving you total control over your throttle sensitivity.
- Easy plug and play installation
- 20 levels of adjustment
- Auto control for set and forget use
- Ideal for turbo diesel engines
MORE POWER, LESS FUEL CONSUMPTION? YES PLEASE!!
If you are going to be towing anything with your Hilux, then one modification you may want to look at investing in, is an aftermarket performance exhaust system. At Aussie Offroad Megastores you will find one of Australia’s most trusted brands RED BACK 4X4 who have engineered an exhaust system that will give your Hilux more power when you need it and save you money on FUEL!
THE CHOICE OF SUSPENSION REALLY DEPENDS ON YOUR DAILY LIFESTYLE.
Upgrading your factory suspension might be one of the most important upgrades you can do to your Hilux. You might say, but the vehicle is not even old! Well there are a few things you should think about and if you answer YES to just one these questions below, then a suspension upgrade should be on the top your list.
1. How much weight am i carrying in the back? If you are a tradie, most likely you are going have some heavy tools or machinery in the back. For anyone who will have 200kgs or more sitting in the back tub or tray 90% of time, then a suspension upgrade is a must.
2. Will you be towing? If the answer is yes, Factory suspension can do the job but for how long? Most likely your rear suspension will sag or fail after time. An Aftermarket suspension has been designed and engineered for towing applications, and geared up for more heavier applications.
3. Are you going to put on a Steel Bull Bar or any other heavy aftermarket accessories? Once you start adding the weight of a Bull bar, rear step, rock sliders, winch, plus maybe 200kgs of weight in the back and then add your passengers, you will then start to realise how heavy your Hilux will become. The factory suspension will not cope with this added weight, especially when driving at high speeds and off road.
4. Will you be driving off road? If you will be taking your vehicle off road, sometimes depending where you may be driving, ground clearance can be an issue. Most suspension upgrades will give your Hilux a 40 to 50mm lift, giving your vehicle more ground clearance to get over off road obstacles which may be in your way, causing your vehicle to bottom out and get stuck.
In the last 5 years mobile phone reception has extremely improved, however go off road for a few km’s and that story changes.
Communication with other vehicles is very important. Having a UHF Radio within your vehicle means you have constant communication amongst other nearby vehicles regardless how good or bad the mobile cellular reception is in your location.
At Aussie offroad Megastores you will find the full range of Oricom UHF radios & accessories, which have been all been used & tested and approved by our staff on many trips across Australia. When it comes to choosing your UHF radio, you will need to think about a few things, these are:
- Where will you be mounting the unit? Which radio will fit where you would desire to fix the unit to your vehicle.
- When connecting your UHF radio, will you have visual contact with the uhf radio? if not you may need a unit with a remote face
- Do you see yourself using multiple channels? If so, ORICOM now have multiple units which allow for this to actually happen.
Here our top 4 Oricom choices we recommend for your Hilux.
ORICOM DTX 4200
An Australian First! Like having two radios in one, the dual receive function allows you to receive and listen to two different channels simultaneously without compromising the regular features you’d expect from a UHF CB Radio. This is the perfect radio for any vehicle where space is limited. Install the transceiver out-of-sight as the fully functional ergonomic controller speaker mic has all you’ll need to stay connected on and off road.
ORICOM UHF 380
The UHF380 utilises space saving design allowing the transceiver to be tucked away, while the rugged, ergonomic controller speaker mic allows for all of the features of the radio at your fingertips. Perfect for modern vehicles, like the Hilux where space is limited.
If you are on a budget, The Oricom DTX4300 Micro Size 5-Watt UHF CB radio is a well-crafted unit, packing a real punch for its ultra-compact size, and is one of the smallest fixed mount UHF CB radios on the Australian market.
The unit has a powerful 5-Watt operation, 80 channels with 38 CTCSS and DCS Codes, 3 memory groups and smart fast scanning, ensuring you’re always connected.
Oricom ULTRA550 5 Watt Handheld
If you don’t want to install a uhf into your vehicle, we would highly recommend using a uhf handheld. Featuring one of the largest backlit LCD displays in the Australian handheld radio market, the ULTRA550 is super compact and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Water and dust proof rated to IP67, this radio will go wherever you need it to, ensuring reliable communication no matter what the situation.
When it comes time to choosing a roof rack, it really depends on what you are using it for and your budget, here are some of the roof rack choices you can find at Aussie Offroad Megastores.
ON A BUDGET?
ROCKARMOR STEEL FLAT RACK
This steel flat rack from Rockarmor will only set you back just $399, it has a rating of 85kilos. Great for tradies, weekenders and you could even adapt your rooftop tent and side awning to it. The rack ‘s mounting legs do need to be drilled through the roof so it is recommended that you have a professional installer fit this rack.
WHISPBAR HEAVY DUTY PRO RACKS
Whispbar’s Heavy duty pro racks are great for anyone, especially for tradies, who require a good set of bars that are rated to withstand heavy loads.The Racks can be either mounted using a custom track system or by a door clamp (note the door clamp style will have a lower weight rating). These racks can also be used for mounting side awnings and roof top tents.
REQUIRE LOW CLEARANCE ROOF BARS?
YAKIMA LOCK N LOAD ROOF BARS + CUSTOM TRACK
Yakima’s lock n load roof bars are great for those who require a heavy duty rack but still needs a low clearance roof rack. The Lock n Load bars come supplied with their very own custom tracks.
YAKIMA’S LOCK N LOAD FLAT RACK
Yakima’s all new lock n load alloy flat tray, is one of the best roof racks on the market. It offers a very light weight and low clearance solution. Once the rack is on the vehicle, it sure does look like it was meant to be there!
PRICE: $986 (SAVE 10%)