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  • Advice on PS modifications for newbie.

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post. I have recently retired and have bought a Pajero Sport GLS, my first 4WD. It arrives in early Dec. It will mostly be used on the tarmac but the intention is to get off the beaten track when possible. I now live in SE Qld, but lived in SA for nearly 30 years. My wife and I plan to do some road trips to and from SA, with side trips to places like the Flinders Ranges and Mungo Lakes, and eventually the SW WA coastline. Obviously, we also intend exploring SE Qld, especially the sand islands. We intend to travel light and have no current plans for towing. It will mostly be just the two of us. I am keen to keep added weight to a minimum. With all this in mind, I am considering the following modifications.

    New set of wheels and tires. Ideally something like Cooper AT3LT or Toyo A/T II e.g. 245/70R17 or even 245/75R16. It seems like the current base model Triton has 16 inch rims so I assume I should be able to get 16s, or at least 17s, to fit on the PS.

    SmartBar Spartan bar (~30kg).

    Lightweight towbar (~20-25kg) This is not so much for towing as a rear recovery point. I gather from several of OJ’s replies to various posts that a towbar is the best option for rear recovery and the front factory points should be adequate. I plan to get some Maxtrax and and recovery straps but only use the recovery points as a last resort.

    Underbody protection e.g. BushSkinz (~20kg).

    By keeping the weight down I hope to be able to avoid upgrading the suspension, at least in the first instance. I am mindful of not rushing to mods that might affect the warranty, and so I don’t want to go straight to a lift or oversize tyres, but I guess I am willing to consider these at some stage.

    I would be really grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

    Cheers,

    Malcolm

  • #2
    Hi Malcolm,

    Welcome to the forum.

    The PS is a very capable and comfortable tourer, especially for 2 up.

    1. PS runs a P38 wheel offset and this is the same as the Triton and the Challenger since 2009.
    17" Triton rims will fit but the 16" are very unlikely. When the PS was first released we tried fitting Challenger 16" and 17" rims, the 17" fitted fine but the 16" wouldn't clear the front brake caliper on the PS. 16" will fit on the rear. If changing rims and tyres do not forget the spare tyre!
    See if the dealer will do a swap of the 18" trims for some 17" off a Triton prior to delivery.

    2. I am all for running narrower tyres and think the 265mm wide on the PS is too wide especially when changing over from passenger construction HT to light truck construction AT tyres.
    However in some states it is illegal to fit a tyre which is narrower than the manufacturer has fitted to any vehicle of the same type. Highly unlikely to get pinged for 245mm but best to check with you insurance company and state regulations. Both the Cooper AT3 LT and the Toyo AT II LT are both good mild AT tyres that have good reputations. I would also strongly suggest fitting a TPMS when you fit new tyres, cheap insurance, getting an early warning of loss of tyre pressure can save a tyre, rim and even your life!

    3. Although the Smartbar only weighs 30kg, but then you add at least the front intercooler and engine sump guard so 20ish kg, you may find the front struts are not up to the task on corrugated roads, so you will just have to wait and see what you think. Front coils could still be ok.
    There are alternatives to Bushskinz, so do some research and see itf the Bushskinz are going to give you what you need. Plenty of PS owners on this site will give you honest feedback on the underbody protection they have fitted to their PS's.

    3. You will need to load up like you would for a trip and see if you are happy with the rear suspension, empty the PS is fine but once loaded with a few kgs the rear coils are too soft and the suspension will bottom out easily especially on outback roads. Rear shockers and rubber assist cones are also undersized if carrying 250kg of rear axle load. Remember 50% of the front seat occupant loads is also carried by the rear axle so it does not take much gear to add up to 250kgs.
    Best to measure your front and rear ride heights from new and unladen and then measure again with various loads. Measure from the centre of the wheel hub up to the underside of the wheel arch in a vertical line.

    4. Any approved towbar is fine for a rear recovery point. I believe there is a new concealed towbar as a genuine accessory which is less intrusive that the previous towbar than hung down quite low.

    5. Mods that affect warranty, this "old chestnut", warranty can only be refused, by law, if the modifications you have done have caused or contributed to the failure. So you have to weigh up the risk of having a "discussion" if you have a warranty claim.

    I would also add a compressor to your list, reducing tyre pressures is essential when venturing off the bitumen so having the ability to re-inflate your tyres is important.

    If travelling solo off road, then recovery tracks such as Maxtrax or Tred Pro are essential.

    Doing a 4wd course and/or joining a 4wd club that has similar types of vehicles is also worthwhile as you will learn a lot.

    OJ.
    2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
    MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

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    • #3
      Advice on PS mods for newbie.

      Many thanks for your very helpful comments OJ.

      Your suggestions regarding recovery tracks, a compressor, a 4WD course +/- joining a club are well received and were all already on my essential list. I will look into a TPMS.

      We will start exploring locally with family +/- friends who are experienced 4WDrivers, so it will be a while before we head way off road solo.

      Sounds like the brakes on the base Triton are different to the PS and will prevent me getting 16 inch rims. I had wondered if this was the case.

      In addition, you are spot on about legal widths. I looked up the Qld Dept of Transport and Main Roads standards which state that the narrowest tyre fitted must never be “less than the manufacturer’s narrowest optional tyre as indicated on the manufacturer’s tyre placard”. The MM specs sheet lists 265/60R18 as the only option. Do any PS owners know if the plate fitted to the car lists any other tyre options? If not, I guess it will be 265/65R17 tyres for me as they will be an almost identical diameter to the OEMs.

      I take your comments about suspension and clearance once loaded, and will need to give some more thought to these.

      Cheers,

      Malcolm

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