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Best 4x4 gear of 2017: MSA 4x4 drop slide, EFS Recon winch, Evakool fridge/freezer and more

By Justin Walker, 28 Dec 2017 Gear

gear guide 5

MSA 4x4 Drop Slide, Terrain Tamer LC70 Modified Fifth Gear Set, MSA 4x4 Dash Organiser, EFS Recon R13 Winch, Piranha Universal Diff Breather Kit, and Evakool RV18 Fridge/Freezer.

2017 was huge for quality aftermarket kit. Here are six of the best.


MSA 4x4 drop slide
With most 4x4s, fridge access can be compromised by height – more so if the fridge sits on a cargo drawer. MSA 4X4’s Drop Slide system eliminates this issue by sliding the fridge out from the cargo area and lowering it 300mm. MSA claims the slide design means that gas struts of 670N to 1200N are needed to assist lowering, which helps keep the overall weight of the unit down compared to others. The Drop Slide has a 200kg slide-runner rating, lock-in/lock-out safety latches and all the extras (fixing and straps) needed to fit the fridge.

There are even Side Drop Slide variants available, designed for when the best way to fit them is actually sideways. There are numerous models to choose from, governed by the capacity and brand of the fridge. The Drop Slide has MSA 4X4’s lifetime guarantee.

Website: www.msa4x4.com.au; RRP: $425-849


terrain tamer fifth gear set
THE 4.5-litre 1VD engine in Toyota’s 70 Series Cruiser is one sweet thing. The only complaint is that, in pre-2017 models, it’s matched to a five-speed manual gearbox with a low fifth gear, meaning it sits relatively high in the rev range (around 2400rpm) when cruising at 100km/h.

Terrain Tamer’s new modified gear set includes a taller fifth gear, designed as a direct replacement for the OE part. This modified gear set brings the gear ratio down from .881 to .736, with an overall RPM reduction of 20 per cent. The modified gear is built tough, too. Made from 62-strength Rockwell hardened steel, it meets exclusive Terrain Tamer tooling specs to be equal to or better than the OE part.

The set can be purchased individually or as part of a gearbox overhaul kit. It will also be optional in all relevant Terrain Tamer reconditioned gearboxes.

Website: terraintamer.com


msa 4x4 organiser
Designed to mould to any dash shape, MSA 4X4’s dash organiser design has been upgraded. Ensuring all your at-hand travel essentials can be easily accessed, the organiser now features five pockets for small items (think: sunnies, mobile phones, etc.) and a large pocket for your map.

Objects inside the organiser are secured via elastic straps to ensure they don’t fall out when negotiating bumpy terrain, and the unit is secured to your dash (or dash mat) using Velcro and adhesive strips. The organiser’s unique ability to be moulded to the dash is due to the internal flexible aluminium strip, with the overall manufacturing quality that you’d expect from this Aussie company. The dash organiser measure 185mm long by 365mm wide, making it an easy fit to all 4x4 dashboards.

Website: www.msa4x4.com.au; RRP: $69.95


EFS winch
EFS spent more than two years developing this big-bopper electric winch. Impressively, it has a 13,000lb (5900kg) rated single-line pull, which puts it at the top of the market in terms of capacity. It also includes a full-load automatic brake and a 265:1 gear ratio.

The 6hp electric motor is waterproof (as is the gearbox) and the 25m, 18,000lb, 10mm-diameter, syntuff synthetic multistrand rope is abrasion-resistant and includes anti-bind tech. The full-load auto brake is designed to work with synthetic rope and this, combined with the gearbox’s three-stage zinc-plated hardened planetary gears, ensures a virtually bombproof winch.

Website: www.efs4wd.com.au


Piranha diff breather
ONE OF the best bang-for-buck mods to increase your 4x4’s bush-touring reliability is to fit aftermarket diff breathers. Piranha Off Road’s universal diff breather kit includes seven metres of hose, two osmotic filters, clamps and all essential fittings. The kits extend the breathers higher from the diff housing to eliminate any chance of water ingress.

Vehicle-specific kits are available for the new Triton and Pajero Sport, both of which need a replacement fitting in the rear diff housing to work effectively. Piranha also offers vehicle/brand-specific kits for Toyota, Nissan, Pajero and Ford Ranger.

Website: www.piranhaoffroad.com.au


Evakool fridge freezer
For those tight for space in their 4WD, this new compact fridge/freezer from Evakool is perfect. With space for 16 375ml cans or a mix of drinks and food (including a dairy shelf), the RV18 is ideal for road trips or overnight adventures. The slim design (230mm width) means it can be fitted between passengers in the second row.

The RV18 features an Evakool CK15 compressor and can be run as a fridge or as a freezer, with an operating temperature range of 10°C and -18°C. The unit weighs a paltry 8.7kg, has an impact-resistant polypropylene cabinet and lid, an internal LED light, digital control panel, and can be operated via 12V, 24V or through 240V mains (using an adaptor). The RV18 comes with a two-year warranty.

Website: www.evakool.com RRP: $549