mahindra-picLeisure Wheels  and LA Spor t 4WD Megastores’ Project Scorpio is finally a done deal, with all the modifications and alterations completed. And the good news is this: for less than R350 000 you can now buy a brand-new 4x4 double cab to overland between Cape Town and Timbuktu. And it’s fully kitted for over landing, too!

To read the full Leisure Wheels Article, please go here.

Phone LA Sport 4WD Megastores’ Louis van Niekerk at  012 751-0877/78/79; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Or contact your nearest LA Sport branch. Find out more at www.lasport.co.za.

ANIMAL

The man-up HILUX!

LA Sport's Lionel Lewis has been building big-wheeled Toyota Hilux bakkies since the early nineties. Today he is still at it, and his latest creation is a 36-inch Hilux 3.0D-4D double cab monster. We took this man-up bakkie for a spin.

Text: Danie Botha
Photography: Jannie Herbst

Mention the word "Arctic" in LA Sport's Lionel Lewis's company, and you will be greeted with a wry smile. And possibly a stern talking-to. Lionel has been building bigger-wheeled Hilux bakkies for more than 20 years, and he reckons his modified Hilux bakkies are as good or better than the Icelandic company's big Hilux 4x4s, designed and built mainly for tough Arctic conditions. "Africa is Africa," says Lionel, in his typically animated way. "Those other bakkies look really nice, but can they handle the African punch? Can they trek through the Richertsveld, Kaokoveld and the Namib dunes, and come back in one piece? I wonder." Lionel is at our offices, and he has brought along his latest big-wheeled monster. It's a Toyota Hilux 3.0D-4D Raider 4x4 double cab that he has modified for a client, and it boasts 38-inch Mickey Thompson mudterrain tyres, a beefy bull bar, a 50mm body lift kit – and more testosterone than a pack of Springbok forwards could ever muster. "She's a beaut, isn't she?" Lionel says, while we're all staring at the Hilux in the Leisure Wheels parking area. A delivery person arrives on the scene, and immediately takes out his cellphone to snap some photos of the big Hilux. The testosterone is certainly there. The big wheels, the smart new wheel arches, the big and intimidating bull bar, the custom roll bar. Big, bold and imposing, yes. And the stuff dreams are made of for most Hilux fanatics. The Hilux's drivetrain remains largely standard though. So it uses the same fivespeed manual gearbox and differential ratios as the standard 3.0D-4D. The 120 kW/343Nm three-litre turbodiesel engine is also nearly stock-standard – an after market performance.

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Read more: LA SPORT TOYOTA HILUX 36-INCH
Navara

Text: Danie Botha
Photography: Jannie Herbst

After Leisure Wheels’ long-term Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4 was involved in a small on-road incident, an idea was born. That original idea has now developed into something rather big. 37-inch wheels big. This is how it happened...

The Navara is comprehensively insured. Following the mandatory hat-in-hand moment with Nissan’s officials, we were armed with a comprehensive list of Nissan-approved panelbeaters. Shortly afterwards, we had acquired the necessary three quotes. With the repair bill ranging from R37 000 to a whopping R54 000, we conceded that panelbeating must indeed be a much more lucrative business than journalism. And that’s where the first seed was planted. If it was our bakkie, we reasoned, wouldn’t it just be easier to replace the shattered bumper with an aftermarket bullbar, replace the headlight, and let a friend of a friend of a panelbeater sort out the little bit of damage to the fender and bonnet, rather than face higher insurance premiums, lost bonuses, and so on?The little seed soon germinated, and evolved into something bigger. We shared our ideas with Nissan South Africa. We spoke to LA Sport’s Lionel Lewis. We spoke to other knowledgeable people in the aftermarket industry. But we’re also going cream-of-the-crop when it comes to suppliers and product partners, and the team that will build the ultimate Nissan Navara 4x4. Firstly, the team is the highly experienced crew of LA Sport in Pretoria. Under the direction of Lionel Lewis and TJM’s Louis van Niekerk, the team will set about creating a unique machine. Possibly the most “ultimate” Nissan Navara 4x4 the world has seen.

PROJECT  NAVARA update: when the going gets BIG!

We recently went to visit the project Nissan Navara 2.5dCi 4x4 in Pretoria, where it is currently being given a new coat of paint, and custom side body panels. But let’s first go back a few weeks, to LA Sport’s shop in Pretoria. There Lionel Lewis’s henchmen fitted a complete TJM off-road suspension, along with a 60mm body lift. The TJM brand hails from Australia, and LA Sport is the official local distributor. The company started manufacturing off-road equipment in 1973 for the Aussie market, where 4x4s are often used in tough and extreme conditions. The TJM XGS suspension, as fitted to the Navara, consists of new springs up front, springs and shock absorbers at the back, as well as polyurethane bushes. The springs are not just any old springs. The TJM XGS Suspension lineal and progressive rate coils are manufactured to TJM’s exacting specifications on computer-controlled coiling machines, then spot peened, load tested and finally, powder coated.

The springs are designed to provide a smooth and comfortable ride when the vehicle is not carrying a load, and improved stability and load-carrying capability when that heavy load is added. The TJM XGS shock absorbers are also specially developed for extreme 4x4 usage. The 60mm diameter expanded body, with its large oil capacity and high-temperature oil seal, can keep its cool, even when the going gets very heavy duty. It also features fully welded mounts, polyurethane bushes, and extra strong, twin-tube construction. This is one shock absorber that relishes a tough work-out. The TJM XGS polyurethane bushes are also a high-grade component, manufactured specifically for tough 4x4 applications, and offering a far longer life than rubber bushes. Next up is the TJM Airtec snorkel system. But a snorkel is a snorkel is a snorkel, right? Yes and no. Yes, they all perform the same function, and that is to keep water and dust out of engines. But there is more to the Airtec snorkel’s case than just being a handy off-road accessory. All Airtec snorkels are designed according to a specific vehicle’s profile, and according to its styling, and looks. So you get a specific snorkel for a Navara, a specific snorkel for a Hilux, and so on. The result is a snorkel that not only does its job very well, but also looks good, fitting in with its host’s profile. The wheels… now this was more of a challenge to fit than the suspension and snorkel. The LA Sport crew had to manufacture a special adaptor for the Mickey Thompson rims to fit the Nissan’s standard hubs. They also had to modify the body in places to enable the front wheels to turn as they should.  Soon, the bakkie will go in for its new coat of paint: a camouflage-green, in a matt finish. Then, in time, the rest of the accessories will be added.

This Nissan Navara is going to be a beast. A beautiful 4x4 beast.

PROJECT  NAVARA update:
With the custom wheel arches in place, the snorkel fitted, and the bullbar modified to fit in with the wider front-end, the Navara is… jaw-droppingly imposing, even without its new coat of paint!
The bodyshop team will now focus on finishing all the modified surfaces and doing the final preparation before the bakkie goes for its new coat of paint. Custom LA Sport side-steps will also be added to the package. Indeed, the Navara project is looking bigger and more imposing by the day! But those big Mickey Thompson tyres and wheels sure do make a difference to the Navara picture. The 38-inch Baja MTZ 5269 tyre is designed for serious off-road use, especially for extreme mud conditions. Specialised LA Sport adaptor plates anchor the eight-stud Mickey Thompson wheels securely onto the Navara’s standard six-stud hubs.

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Read more: Navara hits the BIG time!

monster 3a

The impressive Land Cruiser 80 Series monster truck was built purely to showcase L.A. Sport’s off-road and suspension products; (TJM). It was designed by Lionel Lewis and built by a team led by Carl Swart.

This Cruiser was built on a ChevC20 4x4 truck chassis, with a 7.4 liter V8 Supercharged Big Block Chevy motor.

The 450 kilowatts of power produced by this power plant is transferred to earth through the B & M shifter, the Turbo 400 Chevy transmission, the extra reinforced prop shafts, and the DANA diffs onto the some mighty 44 inch Dick Cepek donut tyres.

The wheel rims are reinforced with creative ribs to ensure that all the power unleashed by its every roar does get to the ground.

The cruiser weighs in at 3 tons and is roughly 2.7m in height and width and has a fuel consumption figure of 500m/1Litre. The monster is only capable of running on high octane racing fuel.

It took 3 years to build this monster of a marketing tool. If such a monster can be taken off road on TJM suspension products (designed for normal four wheel drive vehicles), imagine what it can do for yours.

club day poster - monster 5a
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