TRIP PREPARATION

HEADING TO THE BACKCOUNTRY SOON? RESIST THE URGE TO THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND AND ENSURE YOU CONSIDER THESE ESSENTIAL PREPARATION TIPS

As off-roaders, challenge is part of the adventure – man and machine against the elements, testing the limits of our vehicles to find that magic spot in the middle of nowhere.

That’s all well and good, but no one wants to be stuck on the side of an isolated trail, out of range and out of luck, contemplation an expensive rescue or worse when you should be casting your fly rod into a beautiful river or relaxing with a cold one around a campfire.

RESEARCH

Before you head off, research your intended area of travel. Check the local road conditions, purchase or download the latest maps and roughly plan each day’s travel. And if you have GPS, make sure you know to use it.

VEHICLE PREP

Take some time to get to know your vehicle. Speak with your mechanic, get them to perform a pre-trip inspection and show you how to rectify some of the common issues specific to your vehicle. Key areas to pay attention to are suspension, cooling, steering components and wheel bearings.

You should also ask yourself if your insurance and roadside assistance are up to date, and whether you are covered for the areas you’re intending to travel. Make sure you can answer yes to both before hitting the trail.

PACKING

Pack only the gear you really need. Camping and over landing is about escaping the rat race, not taking it with you. A good rule to follow when trying to reduce your amount of gear is ‘if it doesn’t have a least two uses, leave it at home’.

Aside from the obvious items like clothing, food, water and shelter, other non-negotiables for remote area travel include a well-stocked first aid kit (and knowledge to use it), basic tools, common vehicle spares and reliable communication equipment.

COMMUNICATION

The ability to contact the outside world when traveling in remote areas is paramount. Most backcountry locations don’t have reliable mobile reception, so consider taking a satellite phone and EPIRB (i.e. SPOT) for emergencies and have a good quality 2M radio system or at minimum, a good quality CB radio fitted to your vehicle for short and medium range communication.

With this knowledge on board, get out there and explore the amazing places this world has to offer.

To help choose the correct ARB vehicle product for your next adventure, visit ARB’s vehicle application guide at – http://www.arbusa.com/Vehicle-Application

For a more detailed list of recommended spares and tools to carry, driving techniques and recovery procedures, visit www.arb.com.au/getting-started

Fitting Old Man Emu Torsion Bar

TORSION BAR REMOVAL

Before removing the original

Image A: Measuring Ride Height

1. Torsion bars, the vehicle’s front and rear rim to guard measurements must be taken and noted down, as per Image A. Ride height is measured from the bottom of the rim to the wheel arch vertically through the centre of the hub.

2. Using either a hoist or axle stands; raise the vehicle so that the front suspension is off the ground.

3. Refer to Image B:

Image B: Measuring Threads

After cleaning and lubricating the two adjusting bolts, in the torsion bar anchor arms, measure and note the amount of thread protruding through the lock nut.

4. Using only hand tools loosen and remove the adjusting bolts.

5. Remove torsion bar and anchor arm assembly. Slide anchor arm and dust covers (if applicable) off the torsion bars.

6. Thoroughly clean the anchor arms, adjusting bolts and dust covers.

Thoroughly clean the anchor arms, adjusting bolts and dust covers.

TORSION BAR INSTALLATION

Image C: Left and Right Markings

7. Refer to Image C: As each OME torsion bar is preset they are marked (LH) and (RH) and because of this they must only be installed as marked. As viewed from the driver’s seat: LH -to the left hand side. RH -to the right hand side.

8. Refer to Image D: Where there is a master spline on the torsion bars (shown in white) on installation they must be aligned to the anchor arms. Where the torsion bars have the same spline sizes at each end, the torsion bar can be installed with either end to the front.

IF there is a master spline, it will be marked with a white line

9. Slide the dust cover (if applicable) over the Old Man Emu torsion bars and apply grease to all splines and threads.

10. Install the torsion bar and align the anchor arm so the adjusting bolt is just protruding through the anchor nut. If required, the torsion bar can be rotated one spline at a time to adjust the position of the anchor arm.

11. Tighten the adjusting bolts so the same amount of thread, as noted in step 3, protrudes. Install dust covers.

12. Lower the vehicle back onto its wheels and drive a short distance to settle the front suspension.

TORSION BAR ADJUSTMENT

All torsion bar adjustments must be done with the vehicle raised off the ground and the front suspension hanging. Do NOT adjust the torsion bars with the vehicle wheels on the ground.

13. Park the vehicle on level ground and measure the vehicle’s rim to guard measurements

Image E: Measuring the vehicle

(Refer to Image E).

14. Use the torsion bar anchor arm adjusting bolt to raise or lower the vehicle’s ride height, also to trim the vehicle from side to side, to the desired height.

FRONT SUSPENSION DROOP CHECK

15. To maintain good drive shaft, ball joint angles and to stop constant front suspension top out,

it is important to check after adjusting the vehicle’s ride height, that the vehicle has enough front wheel droop. Generally, a vehicle must have a minimum of 50 to 70mm of downward wheel travel (droop)

16. Front suspension droop is checked by taking the vehicle’s front rim to guard measurement, while the wheels are on the ground and noting it down (Refer to Image E). Then raise the front until the wheels are off the ground and take another rim to guard (Refer to Image F) measurement and note it down.

Image F: Measuring downward travel

By subtracting the first measurement from the second measurement, the amount of droop will be obtained. Carry out any adjustment that may be required.

17. All vehicles will require a headlight, front end alignment, and tire pressure check after the fitment of new torsion bars.

For 80-Series specific installs, Slee Offroad has a great write up on their site.