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Talking Trailers

I’ve been doing a fair amount of towing lately. As you can probably imagine I’m lucky enough to tow all sorts of campers, hybrids and even caravans in my job and I wanted to share a few thoughts on the subject with you. CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE Number one; there is a …

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How you’re buggering your auto-box

Want to find out exactly what makes autos so good off-road and how you’re probably killing yours? We have a chat with one of the best in the business…   First, we need a refresher on how autos work. It’s no secret these days that autos are vastly superior for off-road work, but have you ever wondered why people …

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From the Editor: The Sickness

Hi, my name is Dex, and I’m a Gearhead.  Nope, not into drugs; I’ll leave that to the politicians, people who wear yoga pants when they shouldn’t and professional rugby league players. I mean I would literally rather be working until 3am on my project car in my grinder-dust encrusted, weld-smoke-filled, bearing grease-caked shed than go to a …

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Why most modern ute tow ratings are bulls#!t.

The inherent lie behind braked towing capacities.   We’re all being a little bit hoodwinked at the moment; led astray by 4WD manufacturers. It’s to do with the relevant tow ratings of vehicles, especially utes. It seems like all manufacturers are hell-bent to have a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity, the problem is that they are all cutting corners …

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Editor’s Column: Looking Forward

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Over the holidays and the recent Australia Day long weekend, all of our brains have been dreaming big. After several campfire meetings (where all the best ideas come out) I have to tell you… we have a hell of a year planned here at Unsealed 4X4. CLICK …

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What are you risking? (more than you think)

A popping Question: Should Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems be compulsory in Oz? CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE A TPMS can save your life! We were travelling along the Donahue Highway in Outback Queensland, towing our camper behind us. Our speed was good, suiting the road conditions. Suddenly a high-pitched alarm sounded from the …

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The death of low range

Have you really thought about why we have low range? It’s only ever been a workaround. CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE There are just two reasons for low range. First, the lower gears allow the engine to develop useful amounts of torque yet have the vehicle moving very slowly. Second, low range provides …

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The day a bullbar saved my life

Warning this story may be distressing (especially to horse lovers).   The reason why every four-wheel driver should have a bullbar on the front of their 4X4. CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE   One topic that I see pop up all too often on social media is the call to ban bullbars on …

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Size does matter

What’s getting smaller and what’s getting bigger in the 4X4 scene? We dust off the microscope and take a closer look at some cool (and some worrying) trends. CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE Size does matter in most cases; however it isn’t always the case when it comes to off-roading. I mean, you …

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IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE 4X4s…

Welcome to the first issue of Unsealed 4X4 for 2017. Hope you all had a killer holiday break and got out to see some of this spectacular joint we call home. Make sure you drop us an email with all of your pics and stories of your adventures – we always get a kick out of seeing them. …

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Touring Level: 200!

Come for a ride in one of the most well-travelled Cruisers in the country…   CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE   If you haven’t heard of Jamie Benaud before, chances are you’re probably still familiar with his work. He’s the bloke behind Australian Images, and he’s photographed for just about every off-road publication …

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Diesel is Dying

Received wisdom is the knowledge passed down from generation to generation, often repeated but not always understood. To query these rock-solid foundations of knowledge is to invite scorn and disbelief.   CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY IN OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE   Yet the world changes and, over time, what we take to be an article of faith …

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The Ultimate Expedition Guide

The 4X4s you can trust to get you Outback and back again, and what to steer clear of… Sometimes I get asked, “Why do you need that great big car? It’s not fuel-efficient, it’s difficult to park and it cost more to register than my Barina.” While all of that may be true, it totally misses the point. …

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2016 Willowglen Challenge

Unsealed 4X4 was one of the main sponsors for this year’s Willowglen Challenge, and we were there to catch up on the action. For the fifteenth year, the TLCC used their 320-acre Southern Highlands property to play host to the Willowglen Challenge over the October long weekend.   For images, videos and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read …

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Unseal My 4X4

A Prado gets transformed from mall crawler to Outback Warrior in a single day… for a hell of a good reason   We Aussies are a funny mob – separated by the vast distances that this magnificent country covers, we really are just a big island community with an amazing ability to look out for each other and …

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STAFF CORNER: THE UNSEALED 4X4 TEAM GETS DIRTY

It doesn’t happen often, you know – with the pressures of pumping out the biggest four-wheel drive magazine in the country, amongst other things – but we decided it was high time to get the entire Unsealed 4X4 team out of the office and out camping. From the accounts person, to the journalists and editors and sales team, …

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EDITOR’S COLUMN: CHASE THAT FEELING

Soul. It’s often overlooked by vehicle manufacturers. I’m not talking about James Brown pumping out the 4in splits, I’m talking about a vehicle’s characteristics that effect you on an emotional level. They put a smile on your face every time you get behind the wheel… it doesn’t matter if you’re heading down to the shops or out on …

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WHICH 4X4s ARE KEEPING IT REAL?

While they’re shouting from the rooftops, 4X4 manufacturers are in a race to the bottom.   We’re being ripped off. The mid-size 4X4 market is absolutely booming and Aussies are lapping up anything that resembles a 4X4: even better if it’s got four doors, a tub on the back and vaguely American styling. The market is that red …

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ARE DIESEL ENGINES DEAD? INFINITI THINKS SO…

  Australians first had a love affair with big V8 petrol engines powering their vehicles. Then turbo-diesel dual-cab utes became a more common sight than tradies at happy hour. We here at Unsealed 4X4 love our turbo-diesel engines, and it seems that on the whole the Australian market are only interested in turbo-diesel engines backed by automatic transmissions.  …

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INDEPENDENT THINKING, INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION

Beam axles have long been the mark of a serious off-road vehicle, but there’s now just a handful of examples left on the market. What does that tell us? Before we get too far into the pros and cons of suspension design we’d best recap on just what is meant by ‘beam axle’ and ‘independent suspension’.   For …

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PROJECT RUSTY: RUSTY GETS A PAINT JOB

Was painting Project Rusty worthwhile, or have we just smeared lipstick on a pig?   We all know how Project Rusty earned its name: Five years on a mine site has definitely taken its toll on the vehicle. So it was time to dive deeper into the project, and after unbolting the body off the chassis we were …

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EDITOR’S COLUMN: OLD VS NEW

  Read this in our online magazine HERE.   A lot of us as four-wheel drivers are a bit reluctant to accept and embrace new technology in our vehicles. I know this, because I’m one of those people who still punts around in a mechanically injected diesel who prefers his traction control to be a locker button, his …

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STAFF CORNER: SAM’S PROJECT 130 GETS A CANOPY

It’s all about having your cake, and eating it too. Since putting down money on the 130, I can’t really ever see myself moving away from having a trayback dual-cab ute. Once you get used to the immense practicality of having a big, flat load bed on the back, you can’t really go back.   Read this in …

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OFFROAD DECADENCE

If we won the Lotto tomorrow, these are the ten off-road goodies we’d have-to-have!    Here at Unsealed 4X4 we get to take away some of the coolest camping products on the market. Everything from swags, cooking gear, tents, trailers, motorhomes – you name it. So over the years, we’ve developed a keen eye for some of the …

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ELECTRONIC TRACTION CONTROL: SLOWLY KILLING THE LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL

  …and it’s not a bad thing. Nothing has challenged the locker’s status as the ultimate traction tool.   Until now.   For images and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this in our online magazine.   Traction is at the heart of everything we four-wheel drivers do, which is why there’s so much discussion about traction aids. …

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STAFF CORNER: LED HEADLIGHT UPGRADE

The headlights fitted to oh-so-many four-wheel drives could best be described as rubbish. The units I am referring to here are 7in round headlights found on Land Rover Defenders, Jeep Wranglers, and my much loved (and sometimes sworn at) Nissan GQ Patrol… for example. I’ve tolerated their performance, much like my wife tolerates my need to rebuild chainsaws …

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WHY MUD SUCKS

  Five reasons mud driving is the worst thing you can do with your 4X4   For images and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this in our online magazine.   Off-road driving means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some it’s the pure isolation touring provides. Travelling thousands of kilometres just …

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IS FRASER ISLAND THE SILENT KILLER?

Paradise on Earth ain’t as cheerful as it seems…   Read this story in our online magazine HERE.   Fraser Island is an oddity in the Australian touring landscape. No other destination comes across as so easy, so forgiving. Yet we’re never shocked when another fatality pops up in the news. It’s become such a common event in …

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3 KNOTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

BECAUSE RATCHET STRAPS ARE FOR HIPSTERS When you’re camping in remote locations, or even when you prefer to head away for an easy weekender, sooner or later you’re going to need to know how to tie a knot or three. Here are our top three knots that we’ve found incredibly useful in a few different situations over the …