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Updates & Errata

Mistaks and erors do creep in, and they’re listed here if they are at all likely to confuse the reader.

Some aren’t errors but are clarifications, updates, extra information or just different points of view.

This page is split into two:

  • 4WD Handbook, Print 1 – original print from October 2010 to August 2012
  • 4WD Handbook, Print 2 (Revised Edition) – second print from August 2012 onwards

See the Versions page for the difference.

Many thanks to all who have written in!

The 4WD Handbook, Print 2 (Revised Edition)

Chapter 3 How 4WD Works
Page 28 The diagram of the freewheeling hubs is incorrect.  The lower two hubs are set to Free and Locked – they should be set to Locked and Free.  The correct diagram is below:
Chapter 40, navigation
Page 476 Top of page: the correct grid reference is 3 66 290 / 58 51 240, in the grid square 3 66 / 58 51.  Should read “That’s in Zone 55H, and in the square “3 66 / 58 51”
The triangle in the shaded grid square on the map image is at 3 69 290 / 58 41 240.  Should read “In this case, 290m or quarter of the way between 3 69 and 3 70…”The text “..240m up from 58 50…” should be “…240m up from 58 41.”The black star is at 3 69 575 / 58 42 180.Clarification – the green triangle referred to is the point at 3 69 290 / 58 40 240.  It’s not very easy to see though.

The 4WD Handbook, Print 1

(all fixed in Print 3, except for the pg 28 diagram error)

Chapter 3 How 4WD Works
Page28  In the caption under the photo on page 28 you point out that the front passenger side wheel is stationary, while the front driver side wheel is rotating fast. You then explain why this is occurring. In this explanation you state that, “the reason the driver’s wheel is easier to turn is because it has less of the car’s weight on it than the passenger side, and the more weight on a tyre, the greater the traction.”I suggest that this could be made clearer if your explanation was ‘the reason the driver’s side front wheel is easier to turn is because it has less of the car’s weight on it than the passenger side front wheel, and the more weight on a tyre, the greater the traction.”

My reasoning behind this suggestion is that as the driver’s side is clearly down hill, gravitational force will result in more weight being on the driver’s side than the passenger ’s side. As you know, this doesn’t mean that more weight will be on the downside wheel (in this case the front driver ’s side front wheel) than the upside wheel (in this case the passenger’s side front wheel) as there are other factors to be taken into account. In your explanation, you have referred to the passenger side, not the passenger’s side front wheel.

The car in the photo is indeed at slight side angle and therefore the lower wheel, in this case the driver’s side, would normally have more weight on it than the higher wheel. However, the car is balanced such that the lower wheel has little weight on it, hence the wheelspin. Yes, I could have said “passenger’s side front wheel” to make it clearer.

36 The diagram of the freewheeling hubs is incorrect.  The lower two hubs are set to Free and Locked – they should be set to Locked and Free.  The correct diagram is below:
Chapter 4: gearing and transmissions
Page 59 On page 59, Automatics3rd dot point you state that automatics “can’t be towed for long, because the turbine is not designed to effectively “drive” the pump. While this is the case for automatics without a transfer case, if you have a 4WD Automatic (has low range) and put the transfer case in Neutral, and the transmission in Park, you can tow it for long distances. See the 4WD Action magazine No 164 page 83.

That depends on the design of the automatic. Some of them, such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 are designed for this operation and have a neutral. But it is a good point, worth clarifying.

Chapter 6: weights
Page 77 The printing, which should be below the diagram, is over the diagram. Indeed it is. The text says “Vehicle weights (refer to table on page 75 for vehicle weights and table on page 79 for towing weights).Misprint.  I’ll have the printer shot tomorrow morning without breakfast.
Chapter 10: Vehicle Examples
Page 141 Suzuki Grand Vitara – in line 7 it says that the “the 4WD selector on the right …….” this should have been “on the left …”.Correct.
Chapter 22: Hills
Page 275 In explaining how to stop an automatic on a downhill, in the 2nd point you say “apply the park brake and shift the transmission into P. Gently release the footbrake.” Shouldn’t this be something like “apply the parkbrake, gently release the footbrake and let the vehicle settle on the parkbrake. Shift the transmission into P.” You have explained why you need to let the vehicle settle on the parkbrake in the next column.Correct, good point.
On the same page under Parking on a Hill, 3rd line it says, “creep backwards”. I suggest that this be changed to “creep downhill”. This change is suitable whether the vehicle was facing down or up the hill. Correct, good point. In the 1st column on page 317, 13th and 12th line from the bottom, it says “…..rough for clutch-up speeds can be negotiated in a manual by holding the vehicle lightly on the brake ….” It took me a long time to work out the by “clutch-up speeds” speeds, you meant driving as normally while going as slowly as possible in the lowest gear possible with the clutch up (disengaged).If my interpretation is correct, I suggest that in any future editions that “clutch-up speeds” be altered to something like “driving as slowly as possible in the lowest gear possible”. Even if you decide to leave is as it is, there needs to be a comma after speeds, and this terrain inserted after the comma and before “can be negotiated……..”

Your interpretation is correct.

Chapter 31: Recovery Loads
Page 352  The example of the landcruiser stuck on a 16 degree slope calculations.
I looked at doing this differently as follows;-: Gravity force of the vehicle calculated as folows:-  Force = Sin of 16 degrees = 0.2756 (as per natural sine tables). Thus the force to overcome = 3,180 x 0.2756 = 876.4kgs plus the Rolling resistance at 6% of 3,180= 190.8kg Total of above 1066.6kgs. The book answer 899kg.

You are correct, the answer should be 1066.6kg.  I don’t know how I came up with the lower figure.

I have used the approach of using the Sine tables to obtain the 0.2756 rather than than radians. I am not sure a lot of 4wdrivers would understand the radian method of calculating the force due to the angle of the slope, including myself. 

A simpler method is described in the book, slope in degrees x (weight / 60).  Radians are not required.

The coefficent figures on page 352 also, differ from those published by Ramsey Winches some years ago. Their rolling resistance figures are as follows
Smooth hardtop 1/25, 4% Surface grass 1/7, 14% Gravel 1/5, 20% Sand 1/4, 25%. Shallow mud 1/2, 50% Deep mud to top of wheels =1x loaded weight of vehicle Deep mud to top of mudguards= 2x loaded vehicle weight Deep mud to top of cabin 3x loaded weight of vehicle 

Thanks.  The figures quoted above are close to what are in the book which are an average of several sources and my own tests.  But “top of cabin” ????

Chapter 38: Repairing Tyres
Page 430 In Legal Repairs, page 430, you indicate, “It is not legal to repair any damage anywhere other than the crown”. Unless the legal requirements have changed since 2008, I believe that you can legally repair sidewalls providing you use a special patch, which has been designed for this purpose. I believe that these patches are available from Rema Tip-Top, 1B Chapel St Lynbrook, ph 9554 7700 – they are expensive, about $80 each. To the best of my knowledge there are two tyre repair places in Victoria which have been authorised to make these side-wall repairs – Greys Tyres, 434 Francis St, Brooklyn, ph 9315 2585, and Melton Tyre Repairs, 4 Collins Rd, Melton, ph 9747 0143. Members of City Offpeak have used these sidewall patches in an emergency situation, and successfully travelled thousands of kilometres before they started to break down.

I have checked this out.  The repair is actually more of a rebuild of the tyre where it is placed in a special jig and ‘cooked’ to more or less recreate the tyre, as opposed to a patch.  However  the basic premise of sidewall damage being legally repairable in some cases is correct, albeit with this specialised equipment.  So if you have a sidewall problem bring in to one of these guys to have a look at.  I can’t recommend the work of either, but Grey’s were significantly more helpful on the phone when I called to ask about the process, so I’d run with them.  Always be polite to callers as they may turn out to be bloggers!

Chapter 39: Vehicle accessories and modifications
Page 455 On page 455 you state, “there are two basic types of battery, deep cycle and high-current discharge (starter)”. You then explain the difference between these. I was wondering why you haven’t included marine batteries, which have characteristics similar to starter and deep cycle batteries, and are designed to operate under adverse conditions and are suitable for 4WD use.

Marine batteries fall into either of the two categories depending on their design. Agree that they may be suitable for offroaders.


Your book is very comprehensive and the best I seen.  Some of the images in photographs are hard to define ( publishing process problem. Also I find the redish text is hard to read in some lighing conditions.

I have just finished reading your 4WD Handbook, which I found to be excellent! Congratulations, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to those I have instructed, or those I go on trips with. 

Random Factoid

Every 4X4 handles and performs a little differently to every other.  As the 4WD Handbook is written for drivers and owners of all 4X4s, it’s important to include a wide range of vehicles.  There’s a total of 82 different 4X4s from 17 different manufacturers.  This doesn’t count all possible variants, for example the LC105 part-time 4X4 is quite a different car to the LC100 Sahara, but that’s counted once as LC100, and the Defender TD5 is different to the Defender Puma. There’s also multiple instances of the same car, for example at least two Terracans.  The most common vehicles are my own – Defender 110 TD5, Discovery 3 TDV6, Santa Fe Gen 2.