First mod was EGR Blank Plate added (29-08-09 3500km)
After reading some of the horror stories re; sooted manifolds & speaking to a friend (Diesel Mechanic) this was a no-brainer, the sooner the better. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4813&hilit=egr+blanking+plate&start=175#p52746
Still to this day I have not had a CEL or limpy due to plate, It didn’t seem to effect economy although it’s hard to tell with all the other mods done since.
ARB Commercial Bar (added 1-10-09)
The next mod that I did was the bar, I had a good look around at different styles but as I had the GLX I was limited as to options without factory flares.
I went to one of the main 4x4 shows in Melb. with a couple of things on the list, bullbar & winch (more on winch later).
I had a good look at TJM, Ironman & ARB. For me the style of the Ironman & ARB suited better to my taste but the ARB quality was the seller. The material & finish just seemed better & stronger.
I got a decent price & locked it in with a deposit but had to wait 6 weeks.
I decided to have it fitted locally as I would be easier than having to spend a day in limbo stuck in northern suburbs of Melb.
I asked our local 4x4 specialist but he was unsure about cutting bumper so referred me to a local panel beater. All was good & after bar was delivered fitting was arranged.
It looked good when I picked it up but when I got home I noticed a scratch on the headlight where the bar had scrapped. Not impressed!
Hindsight is a wonderful thing & if doing it again I would do it myself.
Avenger Mako 9500lb winch (added 4-10-09)
Purchased directly from Avenger at the show (they don’t deal directly any more
After I got the bar fitted I figured it would be fairly easy to un-bolt bar to fit winch.....well sort of
It was just as well I had a winch to fit because many of the bar bolts were finger tight, don’t know what I payed the fitter for??
Had to turn the free-wheel release handle around to suit bar cut-out & it fitted very snugly into position. The STD fairlead did not suit the bar so I had previously purchased a Warn fairlead from fleabay that fitted perfectly.
If I was doing the winch fit again I would go synthetic rope, much less weight & floats in water, the offset Hawse fairlead was also not available at the time of purchase so I went steel cable.
After hearing some pretty scary stories of louts hooking cable either under or over cars to towbar & shorting power pins, effectively writing off cars by bending chassis,
I decided I want to protect myself from this. I fitted a heavy duty power cut-off switch with removable key under the bonnet.
For all of my accessories wiring (except winch) I mounted a couple of din rails to connect power wires, one for +ve & one –ve. I did this to prevent having multiple wires direct to battery. One heavy wire from battery to rail & all accessories connect to there, makes for a much neater job & reduces the chance of electrical problems later. Plastic protection cover is removed for photo.
Next up was GME TX-3100 miniature UHF (added 4-10-09) Now I had a bullbar I had somewhere to fit a CB antenna. I had a Uniden CB from my previous car but even though it was a small unit was struggling to find somewhere to fit it. At the 4x4 show previously mentioned I also ended up with a new GME CB (don’t know how that happened) antenna/base. The small size of these is ideal for newer cars with limited space. I considered fitting into the compartment above heater controls but due to lack of storage I decided to leave that space for other things (glasses etc) I thought ‘what the heck’ I’m keeping this car for a long time so it’s time to get some holes drilled. I fitted CB to passenger side console in easy reach & not in the way. Power was from accessory wire via ignition key, the problem was that every time I started the engine the unit would power off & I quite often forgot to turn it back on. I rewired it straight to battery but still have the same problem. When I fit the aux battery I will wire CB directly & that will eliminate that issue.
To save the passenger having to listen to the CB chit chat I cable-tied a small extension speaker under the headrest, also makes it much easier for us half deaf folks to hear whats going on