In this blog I will do a quick run down on the mods I have done for this wagon to make it more reliable and carry the weight better.  I’m a firm believer that if you match your spring rates to your vehicle you don’t require 3000+ in aftermarket suspension to maintain a nice smooth ride, as I have said before were not baja racing my average speed over a period of a week in the bush has been 15kmh. nothing a beefy set of off the shelf shocks cant handle. 


Keeping an engine stock is normally required for these type of vehicles, but I have a habit of adding extra power and the factory DPF has been known to give issues and that last thing I need is a limp code miles from a dealership. This setup allows a pretty reliable setup as I have had zero issues that have left me stranded.


Plug and play chip

EGR delete

DPF delete

3” exhaust

Provent catch can

Diesel pre filter

Safari Snorkel



The trans is basically all factory, fresh oil flush and a lock up kit is installed. Keeping it simple. A planned upgrade is a bigger cooler though for hot days in the sand.

Link for those interested


All factory optioned, I have ended up with an air locker rear from factory but still need to hook it up.


Lets face facts, factory suspension doesn’t cut it. I have gone with a set of dobinsons springs front and rear for a 45mm lift and a set of airbags compliment the rear for when I am fully loaded. The shocks in the front are lovells shocks and rear is tough dog 41mm foam cells.

The combination allows for offroad bumps to not be felt and highway to feel almost like a car. A tough balancing act, but was doable.

The rest of the running gear has been left factory but replaced to avoid breakdowns due to age as the wagon currently has 293000kms on it.

Wheels and tyres:

Currently sitting on BF Goodrich All Terrains in a 265/65r18 size which allow me to still air down for comfort yet provide a good enough sidewall for weight bearing.  Next round of tyres I am looking at moving to a 275/70r18 which are 40mm larger in size just for a bit more clearance in the sand when aired down. Rims are factory with no plans to change them as I have pushed them out with a 30mm spacer which has held up for over 25000kms of Africa’s toughest roads without issue


A take away would be try to leave as much factory as you can get away with, I have changed some engine dynamics to avoid break downs on route that are problematic with the vehicle but otherwise its pretty oem overall allowing easy repairs. You can download manuals for on the road repairs, but I do suggest getting to know your vehicle very well to prevent getting stuck of a simple break down. 

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