[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”For this young couple, seeing Australia in their 4WD meant getting behind the wheel of a D-MAX”[/blockquote]
It takes a heck of a lot for a 4WDer to commit to the big lap. Not only do you need to plan and commit 100% to it, but you also need to find and setup a truck that will get the job done. For Clint and Katie, that truck was an Isuzu D-MAX. “When we decided we wanted to do the big lap,” explains Clint. “We wanted a reliable and fuel efficient 4WD that could also tow our camper trailer. On top of that, we wanted to still be able to use the truck when we finished the trip, so it had to also be tough.” Clint’s D-MAX tackled over 42,000km, including some of the most iconic tracks around Australia like the Binns Track. If you want to see what sort of truck can do the big lap, come home and do the daily grind – ya gotta check out this D-MAX!
- Rhino rack and pioneer roof tray
- ARB bullbar and scrub bars
- ARB Rear bar
- Warn Magnum 10,000lb winch
For the D-MAX to tackle some of the toughest terrain Australia has to offer and to be able to do it week after week, Clint and Katie made sure every inch of it was protected. “We added the ARB barwork because we knew it could do the job”, comments Clint. “Weight was something we really had to consider, so there was no need for big heavy rocksliders.
[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”When you’re doing the big lap – ya gotta keep your setup practical and simple”[/blockquote]
We also originally had a rooftop tent on the D-MAX, but decided that the trailer better suited our needs as we could leave it at camp and go and do daytrips, which freed up a bit of space on the roof for the spare. The final tally for weight when fully loaded came in at about three tonnes for the 4WD and one and a half for the camper trailer.”
SUSPENSION WHEELS & TYRES
- Old Man Emu 2inch lift
- 300kg constant load springs
- 265/75/R16 Goodyear Wranglers on ROH track two rims
- Height adjustable airbags for towing
When it came to the suspension setup in the D-MAX, Clint and Katie had to consider two critical factors. “For our suspension setup, the gear had to be tough, but also had to be able to handle the camper trailer in tow,” says Clint. “We added an Old Man Emu 2in lift, as the shocks have been tested and are reliable. To cater for the weight in the rear we also added a 300kg constant load leaf set.
While on the heavier side, it still has a bit of articulation, which helped a lot on some of the tougher tracks.” To help with the weight of the trailer as well, Clint has also added a set of airbags up the back. The end result is a truck that can tow the camper around Australia, but still be capable on those tough weekenders.
- Outback accessories drawer system with hidden
- mounted compressor
- Dropdown fridge slide
- Rear battery monitor
One thing is for sure when you’re driving around Australia – ya gotta keep your setup practical and simple. “We wanted to setup our truck to be comfortable, but didn’t want anything to be there that wasn’t”, comments Clint. “When travelling for such a long time storage space is worth its weight in gold – using every bit of available space is vital.” To that end the Clint has left most of the interior of the cab of the truck alone apart from the bare necessities like a UHF, so there was more room for storage.
[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”Not many trucks can go around Australia and still be a daily when you get home”[/blockquote]
In the back of the D-MAX, Clint has added a set of Outback Accessories drawers. “These drawers were so excellent for touring. Because we had the camper as well, the camping and living stuff could go in there – and we could keep the D-MAX for things like tools and equipment. This also meant we could leave the trailer at camp and head off and only need to chuck some sleeping gear in the back.”
ENGINE AND DRIVELINE
- 4JJ1 3.0L four cylinder factory turbo intercooled diesel
- Front and rear ARB air lockers
- ARB underbody protection
Knowing Isuzu were onto a good thing with the 4JJ1, Clint left a lot of it alone. “I knew the Engine was reliable and powerful for what it was” explains Clint. “Once we loaded it up with around four and a half tonnes, it still performed pretty well. If I had my time again however, I would definitely add a chip and exhaust just to free it up a bit.” Driveline wise, the D-MAX is twin locked. “I added the lockers for that extra bit of insurance, as we didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere without the right gear.”
VEHICLE: 2013 Isuzu D-MAX
ENGINE: 4JJ1 four cylinder factory turbocharged and intercooled diesel
GEARBOX: Five speed manual transmission
4WD ACTIVATION: Shift on the fly and automatic hubs
SUSPENSION: 2in Old Man Emu suspension lift, 300kg constant load rear leaves and airbags
WHEELS AND TYRES: Goodyear Wrangler MTR 265/75/R16
“I would like to thank Tony, Eric and everyone else at St. Peters ARB who helped with the build and got the D-MAX Katie and I on the road around OZ.”
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