• Ultimate tradie 4WD
  • 4in IFS lift
  • ARB Air Locker
  • Cracking custom storage units

The dual cab ute market in Australia is growing, not by a few vehicles a month, but by tens of thousands of vehicles a year. Why? Well, modern dual cabs are arguably the best bang-for-buck new 4WDs out there and they’re offering something that for years 4WD manufacturers were unable to balance; comfort, economy, power and off-road ability. It’s this ‘jack-of-all-trades’ nature of the modern IFS dual cab that’s seen their market take off like never before – and we don’t expect the climb so slow down any time soon.

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”I can literally finish work, fill the tank and head bush any time I want”[/blockquote]

For Sydney based kitchen manager, Daniel Homer it was this exact list of credentials that led him to offload his ’89 single cab HiLux, complete with 35s, twin lockers and a 6in lift and move into the market for a more modern vehicle. “I looked around at several options and I found the Ford Ranger to be both the most visually appealing while giving me the most bang for buck,” explains Daniel. “I’ve always been a very active bloke and I love getting my hands dirty, so being able to chuck tools and toys in the back was a big bonus as was the ability to hook up a trailer and fit a canopy to maximise my storage space over a wagon.”

Dan signed off on the paperwork and rolled home in the brand new black mica Ford Ranger back in 2010, and from there began setting up the vehicle that’d not only haul his tools of the trade, but also give him access to the toughest and most remote parts of Australia. This is a point and shoot 4WD – fill the tank and get out there. C’mon, check her out.

  • ARB Deluxe front bar
  • ARB side steps
  • Aluminium Rhino Pioneer rack over cab and Rhino racks over canopy
  • Recycled aluminium tread mesh used as platform for canopy racks
  • WARN XD9000 winch with steel cable
  • Bushranger 126L long range fuel tank
  • IPF 900Xs driving lights on bar and IPF 800 Extremes with aftermarket HID kit mounted on roof rack

Dan reckons that without the quality barwork, he’d have shares in the local panel beaters by now. “I shopped around for a while before settling on the ARB barwork, but ultimately I found the deluxe bar to be the best for what I wanted,” says Daniel. “With a growing family too, roof storage became pretty high on the priority list and gives me space to store bulky gear safely. I’ve also made up a stainless steel wind deflector to reduce the drag caused by the loaded up roof.”

  • Sky Jacker drop bracket kit – 4in
  • Torsion bar relocation plates
  • Old Man Emu torsion bars
  • Rear Snake Racing 4in raised, 300kg leaf springs
  • Opposite Lock shocks – front
  • Tough Dog 41mm foam cell shocks – rear
  • Snake Racing 2in extended shackles
  • Snake Racing 2in lift blocks
  • CSR Raptor alloy wheels, 16x8in
  • 265/75R16 Hancook Dynapro MT tyres

“There’s no doubt about it, a lot of hair pulling went on getting the Ranger’s suspension properly set up,” explains Daniel. “The first ‘kit’ I bought ended up going mostly in the bin as the parts design was just impractical. The original kit’s rear end setup just wouldn’t have lasted under high stress use, and ultimately the Tough Dog springs and shocks, combined with the Snake shackles have made a huge difference from what was essentially just a 4in alloy block in the original kit.” Originally, Dan’s had to use large offset steel rims to clear the new suspension brackets, these however, caused major issues above 80km/h. After months of stuffing around with wheel weights and alignments, Dan bit the bullet and bunged on a set of CSR alloys which have solved almost all of the issues. The rest of the issues were sorted by fine tuning the alignment, camber and castor angles.

  • Owner-built rear storage made from carpeted ply and stainless steel drawers and runners
  • Owner-built overhead console from Nema composite board in gloss black
  • Carpeted marine ply shelving over battery compartment
  • Waeco CF-50 and Waeco CF-80 fridges with MSA drop-down fridge slide
  • ABR Sidewinder dual battery solenoid and Ctek D250S smart charger
  • 120W solar panel
  • Supercharged MF95D311L, 760CCa cracking battery
  • Thumper Redback 120Ah deep cycle auxiliary battery
  • EGT, water temp and boost gauges – Ket Gauges
  • GME TX3440, GME TX3100 UHFs with 6.5dB aerials
  • GME TX2700 with long range RX AM aerial
  • Bury mobile phone kit with 3G raised feed aerial
  • HEMA HN5i
  • MSA seat organisers
  • Bushranger hot water shower

Having a couple of UHFs is extremely handy out bush as it lets you run one on a constant scan while staying on channel with your convoy at the same time. “All in all though, I’ve gotta say the rear storage is my favourite part of the interior. Everything stays where I want it and it makes the Ranger a perfect work and play vehicle,” Dan says. “Day to day, I run the 50L Waeco, while on big trips with the family we use the 80L unit to cater for everyone.”

  • Optional Ford genuine snorkel
  • Rear ARB Air Locker
  • Future plans to fit a chip and exhaust

“Although the snorkel suited the 4WD better than aftermarket options, I feel it could do with a removable head for cleaning and altering the intake direction in dusty or wet conditions,” says Daniel. “The lockers would be my favourite purchase under the truck, as they keep me in control and mean I can hold my line rather than find an alternate route. In my previous 4WD I ran Detroit lockers front and rear and on the road things could be pretty sketchy – about as safe as chewing glass on a wet road.


VEHICLE: 2010 PK Ford Ranger XLT crew cab
ENGINE: 3.0L four cylinder, Duratorq common-rail turbo diesel
GEARBOX: 5-speed manual
4WD ACTIVATION: Electronic remote front hub lock
SUSPENSION: 4in Sky Jacker brackets, OME torsion bars, Snake Racing extended shackles and Tough Dog leaf springs
WHEELS AND TYRES: CSR Raptor alloy wheels, 16x8in, Hancook Dynapro MT tyres, 265/75R16

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