Brought to you by Drivetech 4x4, this article was published by Australian 4WD Action Magazine (Issue 255 - 2016). Words by Jock McDonald. Photography by Rob Cameriere. To download the full article, CLICK HERE.
Protecting your driveline is an absolute must do for any 4WDer – this under vehicle kit from Drivetech 4x4 takes underbody protection to a new level.
There is no getting around it – taking your vehicle 4WDing is tough on its components, particularly the driveline. Factory bashplates are often thin and won’t cut the mustard after a couple of big hits so it’s a smart idea to invest in a quality underbody armour as one of your very first mods.
Drivetech 4x4 offer a range of tough as nails underbody armour that is lightweight and ultra-durable. They’re made out of deep stamped alloy, which means they also won’t rust after a couple of trips like standard steel ones do. In this issue, we’re going to install a 6mm underbody armour kit on a D40 Navara. It’s so easy to do; you can knock it over on a Friday night ready for a weekend of 4WDing!
Step 1 - Proper Protection
The first thing you need to look into is a quality underbody armour protection kit. Manufactured by RIVAL in Russia, Drivetech 4x4’s range of deep stamped alloy plates are tough and offer plenty of protection. One of the things that we liked is that all the plates link together when you bolt them up, which means you have solid protection from the radiator, all the way back to the transfer case.
Step 2 - Out With The Old
Now you have your kit, it’s time to turf your old factory bashplates. A lot of these factory items are made of thin plastic or steel and will be mangled beyond repair after a few trips out bush. The mounting bolts on your old bashplates may have copped a hit over time too, or have been subject to the elements so it’s a smart idea to give them a squirt with WD-40 the night before to make it easier to get them off. Start from the front, removing the radiator guard and then work your way back.
TIP: Take your time with the old bolts, particularly the ones on the front diff support as they are the most likely to have copped a hit, and the bolts may have bent or weakened.
Step 3 - In WIth The New
Now you have your old plates off, it’s time to install the shiny new ones. If you need to service any driveline components, it’s a smart idea to get into them now while you can access them. Give all the mounting surfaces a good clean before you mount the underbody armour too. The good thing about Drivetech 4x4’s plates is that they are lightweight, so it isn’t tough to bolt them up. You can start from either end when you install them, we went from the back and worked our way forward.
The Drivetech 4x4 Underbody Armour is designed to fit one another, so keep that in mind when you are fitting them. Install
the brackets first, then bolt up the armour, but don’t tighten them up all the way. One of the best design features of these plates is that a lot of the mounting holes are open ended, so you can slide them over the bolts you have already installed that hold the previous bashplate.
When you install them, make sure the front plate overlaps the one behind it, so it doesn’t scoop up dirt when you drive the tough stuff.
TIP: The Drivetech 4x4 Underbody Armour Kits come with all the bolts you need, as well as a few nutserts.
Step 4 - Button Up and Check Over
Once everything is installed nicely, go over all the bolts again and nip them up, paying attention to how everything is lined up and making sure it’s all snug. Give everything a final check over and you’re all done!
Step 5 - Test
Now that everything is installed, take your 4WD for a drive and listen out for any rattles. It’s a smart idea to check all your bolts and brackets at the 500km mark, to ensure none have come loose. All that’s left now is to take your truck bush and put this tough as nut underbody armour to good use!
Drivetech 4x4 are a leading developer and distributor of quality 4WD replacement parts and accessories across Australia and New Zealand, with a huge range of parts for most popular 4WDs.
To find out more or find the details of your nearest stockist visit www.drivetech4x4.com.au/store
To find out more about the Drivetech 4x4 Underbody Armour Kits...CLICK HERE.
To see if we have a kit to suit your vehicle...CLICK HERE.