The current police blitz on modified 4WDs is across Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, before that it was in Western Australia and you can bet your bottom dollar the next state to be targeted for this will be New South Wales. This then begs the question, why?
The answer is believed to be caused by a certain group of enthusiasts. The modified 4WD scene can roughly be broken down into two demographics. Those who are financially capable and likely to go on the All Australian Adventure. Traditionally these are more senior citizens, of retirement age or close to it. Have a decent level of savings to fund this hobby and generally pay professional workshops and accessory fitters for the modifications. This group only go with what they deem necessary for their adventures and avoid modifications that reach into the ridiculous range. Larger fuel tanks, minor body lifts, bigger tyres and bull bars to name a few. Nicknamed the Grey Nomads, this group can often be found travelling forty kilometres below the speed limit towing some enormous caravan up the freeway.
The second group of vehicle modifiers is the reason for the police blitz. This group is the young guns who just a few short years back penned the term Drift Missile. These young blokes have the mechanic skill set of a cold potato sandwich, have limited funds, big dreams and a battery powered angle grinder.
Their modifications include body lifts using unevenly cut nolathane blocks, shackle extenders, wheel spacers and simply removing bumper bars due to fouling on 33 inch wheels.
This group of vehicle enthusiasts was shut down by a police blitz on drift missiles a few years back. Rather than learn the lesson that perhaps your Bunnings tool kit and a lifetime supply of zip ties won’t make you a master car builder, they simply moved into another category.
Wheel poke was big in the sex speck modified scene so why not bring that trend over to the 4WD world along with the change of weight distribution over the hub (a fault that made Japanese ricers dangerous)? This group of vehicle modifiers are now extending brake hoses to allow for maximum suspension travel, have no clue what it means to service a swivel hub, repack wheel bearings or grease lock stops.
They have twelve dollars to their name and they need that for a case of cans and half a packet of darts. These cars should be taken off the road because they are the mechanical equivalent of a homemade abortion. These DIY cowboys now head off into national forest out near Lithgow somewhere, armed with LED spotlights hardwired to the battery positive terminal, exhausts cut off at the rear diff and tie rod ends with more movement than Trumps hair.
These vehicles are the result not the cause. The real issue here is Jimbo and his mates who got started on the modification work after cracking open a case of Wild Turkeys, drinking them all, and got started at ten forty five pm on a Friday night after they burnt down half of their mothers front porch whilst attempting to light the oxyacetylene torch. Jimbo needs a swift kick in the ring, a real job, some accountability and to be kicked out of home. Instead the following morning Jim and his mates, still intoxicated head off on their 4WD adventure.
After driving up the freeway at 110Km/h for a few hours Jimbo is exhausted due to endless steering correction caused by the excessive movement in every tie rod, has a huge headache due to the noise those 33’s make on the freeway, has gone through two tanks of diesel and now plans to spend two days destroying national forest. All good and well if you can afford to pay to have the thing towed out after the aforementioned brake hose blow off, and the brake pedal goes to the floor, secondary battery shorts out and he burns the whole forest to the ground because battery clamps are for pussys.