We’ve assembled an incredible list of modified machines for the inaugural Custom 4X4 Of The Year award.
The ever-popular PX Ford Ranger provided the first real competition to the dominant Toyota Hilux. It also provided aftermarket kit makers the opportunity to test their wares on a new platform.
Never one to follow trends, Harrop Engineering prefers to set them instead, and the business’s Ford PXII XLT Ranger is certainly no exception to this rule.
This Ford Ranger really mimics the style of the Baja 1000 chase cars: off-road racers that used to ‘pre-run’ tracks, as well as follow and service vehicles in the race.
With its prominent chase rack made by Uneek 4x4 here in Melbourne, the Ranger certainly looks the part. It’s comprised of the base rack, spare wheel carrier, roof rack and is fully powdercoated for durability with custom-designed side plates.
The Ranger is fitted with MCC side steps and a subtle yet sturdy low-cut bar from Rhino 4x4. You’ll notice that the front bar is made for its bigger brother, the Everest. In order to fit the different style bar, an Everest grille had to be fitted and, like several other bits and pieces, coated in hard-wearing black polyurethane.
Tough Dog 4WD Suspension supplied the springs and shocks. One-tonne utes with the IFS are not exactly known for their wheel travel, but the articulation of the Harrop Ranger surprised us as it provided a firm but surprisingly capable ride. A Harrop E-Locker on the front axle works in tandem with the factory Ford rear locker and can be switched to run independently.
Continuing the race-inspired look, the Ranger has a set of 18in Method wheels wrapped in 285/65R18 Nitto Trail Grappler rubber with a matching spare tyre on the rack.
The Ford 3.2-litre diesel (one of our favourites) has been further augmented with a free-flowing exhaust and Unichip Q4 tuning module, increasing power from 125kW/420Nm to 157kW/536Nm, with the torque coming on right off the mark, ensuring a more capable and controllable off-road drive and more entertaining traffic light duels.
Refined, with striking looks, this is one bit of kit that would certainly win the race.
Vote for Harrop's Ford Ranger to decide this year's Custom 4x4 of the Year.