Salty’s new B60 equipped Troopy – Salty Davenport

 

Having returned home no more than a week ago it’s hard to feel like the trip happened at all. Sitting behind my wooden desk all rugged up as the sun and rain clouds jostle for position outside, I can only refer to all that we have, our memory, our own account of our experiences.

 

So, where to begin with this article is seemingly as difficult a question as when to end an amazing adventure.

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Having picked up the keys to this incredible vehicle in April 2018 its been a manic rush to have the structural build completed as soon as possible to get out in the red dirt.

 

Prior to departure on this journey, the car was ALMOST ready, just missing one vital ingredient, the Bilstein B60’s and Poly Air dominator air bags. I’ve been so excited to have these installed giving the Troopy a smooth ride and a sexy 2-3 inch lift.

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The plan of attack was to drive about 1500kms North of Perth and dive into the crystal clear waters of North Western Australia. The coastline in these regions is very sharky with common knowledge being to shoot your first fish for the sharks and the next one for you. This generally buys you a little time to get your fish and get out of the water. With an empty freezer, the plan was to fill it with fish fillets for our desert driving to come. What’s better than fresh fish in the desert!

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A lot of these locations we find ourselves camping in are well off the beaten track, generally we make out own tracks over the spinifex riddled horizons. There’s something very special about making your own path in the outback, the scale of your surroundings really begins to spotlight how insignificant you and your vehicle really are. Travelling further and further from the safety of society has become a romantic addiction.

 

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility” Jack Kerouac

 

From prospecting in isolated creek beds, fishing for Barramundi in crock infested waters to mud crabbing, spearing and surfing in the waters around Broome it was a trip that saw us span 80% of the Western Australian coastline in 30days.

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My setup for this adventure comprised of B60 Shock absorbers front and rear with Poly Air dominators and 400kg springs in the rear also. The comfort this combination provided me on this journey was leagues above the stock gear that comes with a new cruiser (which is still good). If I felt the car was not quite riding how I’d like, it was only a matter of increasing/ decreasing the dominators PSI in small increments until you find the ride you want.

This journey I feel the suspension endured a great variety of conditions from soft sand to hard rocky outcrops, high speed pothole encounters and of coarse long range road driving. The 12000kms without a hiccup, its safe to say the sand, water, mud and dust did little to affect the high performing B60’s.

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Take me back to the warmth of the desert sun, where time stands still and direction is endless.

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Hope to see you out on the road!

 

Salty Davenport.

Bilstein Australia’s Outback Adventure Pt.2

The Bilstein Australia's Outback Adventure comes to an end!
Its time to look back on the 12,000km trip through the heart of the outback in the Bilstein B60 equipped Toyota Prado 150 series.

 

(This trip was primarily a family holiday, so all the footage and images were taken in what spare time was had during the trip.)

From where we left off in Part 1, relaxing on the beaches in Broome - We headed north east through the Kimberly along Gibb River Rd all the way up to El Questro Station in Durack W.A, where it's not far from crossing back into the Northern Territory after 2500km's of cruising around Western Australia.

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xDSC00643Relentless corrugations for hundreds of km's at a time, with large wash-outs hidden among the smaller ruts.
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From Durack, we head fairly straight across the Northern Territory to follow the coast line around the Gulf of Carpentaria back into & through Queensland.
As before, the Bilstein B60 taking all conditions into its stride as we transition from soft, sand-like dirt to hard corrugations to long sealed roads with wash-outs and plenty of pot holes.

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Leaving the big red in the dust,  the scenery turns green with more soil than red dirt, sea views and a range of Big Pineapples, Mangoes, Bananas and Shrimp on a smooth highway drive following the coastal roads back to Sydney from Cairns!

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Making the trip a far nicer and easier, the Bilstein B60 shocks were certainly put through their paces and passed with flying colours as expected! What better test for an Australian tuned off-road shock absorber?
It's also worth mentioning that there were 2 other suspension components getting put to the test on the same trip. The Prado was also equipped with H&R 4x4 lift springs front and back and also a set of the brand-new Polyair Ultimate series air bags which made towing the Nova caravan far safer, easier and more comfortable!

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^Before and after of the front shocks / springs. Time for a clean!
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^The Polayair Ultimate series bags looking a little dirty, but the tough Polyurethane construction making ease of the harsh conditions, running around 45psi with the caravan on.

Ford Ranger Made Tougher with the B6 Offroad

The Ford Ranger is a brilliant mix of macho looks, everyday utility, and capable power. With a grunty 3.2l turbo diesel, car like interior, and tough design, it’s won the approval of many hi-vis vest wearers and more. However in stock form, the suspension is barely adequate, and once it’s loaded up with bigger wheels, tyres, bull bars, side steps and camping gear, the stock shocks are at its limits. Enter the Bilstein B6 Offroad shock absorbers.

Check out how the Ford Ranger performs on and off the road with the Bilstein B6 Offroad.

Ford Ranger testing the B6 OffroadLooks tough, but can it go tough? Check out how the Ford Ranger deals with the great outdoors on raised coils and our Bilstein B6 Offroad shock absorbers.

For more information, visit www.bilstein.com.au, or message us here on Facebook.

Posted by Bilstein Suspension Australia on Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Ford Ranger tackling trails easily with the Bilstein B6 Offroad.

The Ford Ranger tackling trails easily with the Bilstein B6 Offroad.

Bilstein B6 Offroad is built tough like the Ford Ranger.

Bilstein B6 Offroad is built tough like the Ford Ranger.

The Ford Ranger can leave anyone behind on the trails with the B6 Offroad.

The Ford Ranger can leave anyone behind on the trails with the B6 Offroad.

Bilstein Australia’s Outback Adventure Pt.1

Getting close to a month on the road, the Bilstein 150 Prado has clocked nearly 6000kms of its 12,000km+ road trip across Australia!

The Prado is equipped with our beefy B60 shock absorbers, which utilise H&R springs for a 2" lift.
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Starting in Sydney and heading through the Hay Plains straight for Adelaide. After filling up on food and wine in the Barossa Valley, its  onto Coober Pedy via Port Augusta.
So far its been long, sealed highway work, the B60's are smooth and soak up the not-so-smooth roads with ease, while feeling stable and predictable.
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Next on the agenda is Uluru, The Olgas and Alice Springs. The roads start to get a little worse but the sights get a whole lot more spectacular!
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From Alice Springs, its time to tackle the Tanami! Rough, heavily corrugated roads for hours and hours on end. This is truely where the Bilstein B60's shine. The B60's soak up the ruts and while the shocks can get scorching hot to touch, they don't fade or lose rate. The oil remains stable, which make the shocks predictable and reliable with the use of the gas pressure technology the Bilsteins are so famous for! A larger bore and increased oil capacity over the B6's 46mm, makes for greater cooling abilities and a more progressive, smoother ride.

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With more and more heavily corrugated roads, passing through Wolfe Creek Crater and the Bungle Bungles, its time to head onto Broome and relax on Cable Beach!

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And that is just one half of the adventure so far!
Australia truly has a unique and beautiful landscape, a lot of which can only be accessed via 4WD. Stay tuned for more along the way, plenty more to see. After a short break in Broome, it will be time to head up the Gibb River Rd and onto Katherine N.T, following the gulf and through to Cairns, where the journey will be on the home stretch back to Sydney.

 

The B6 Offroad and the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

In stock form, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado has the right ingredients to be a daily driver on the weekdays and a happy camper on the weekends.  However, to tackle the tougher trails, most Prado owners will start upgrading to proper 4WD gear. With Bilstein B6 Offroad shock absorbers paired with raised springs, the Prado can take on tougher trails and long off road tours without a problem.

Check out how the Prado performs off and on road with the Bilstein B6 Offroad.

 

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It's easy tackling rough rocky trails with the Bilstein B6 Offroad.

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Toyota Landcruiser Prado equipped with Bilstein B6 Offroad tackling the Simpson Desert, perfect for those long, corrugated roads.

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The Bilstein B6 off-road shocks utilise proven monotube technology to deliver consistent and fade-free performance.

 

The 1770HP KRANKI Ute

When you've got 1770HP under your foot, you need quality, reliable, predictable parts. A touch of the throttle and everything happens at the blink of an eye. For this Holden ute, certainly nothing is off-the-shelf, and to get as much of the 572ci Chevy block's power down, means going custom suspension.

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We started by building the custom mono-tube, gas pressure Bilstein shocks front and back, with a threaded body for height adjustment. Apart from the custom valving, the shocks are the same technology used in all mono-tube Bilstein sport shocks.

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Along with the Bilstein shock absorbers, we used H&R motorsport springs, this allows us to be able to easily change springs rates if ever need be.

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With the coilover's finished up, we moved onto the corner weight and alignment. Getting this to steer as straight as a 1770hp car can! It spends half of its time hanging out sideways with pillows of smoke anyway, its what its built to do! And it certainly does it well, putting on a show at the Sydney Powercruise 2018

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BILSTEIN B60 Beach Day

Here at Bilstein Suspension Australia, we take pride in developing our own shock absorbers that are specially tailored to suit our unique and harsh conditions here in Australia. Not only do we use our extensive years of off-roading experience to develop them, but we also put them to the test to ensure we are 100% satisfied that our products are practical and reliable in real world applications. We go, where our customers go.

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Today's trip involved the Bilstein Toyota Prado 150 and the H&R 200 series Toyota Landcruiser, both running our the Bilstein B60 off road shocks. Whilst we have already done lots of beach driving in the Prado to Fraser Island last year, we wanted to get the 200 series out to see how it went on the soft, unpredictable sand.

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selectnine2016-Bilstein-60mmOffroadShocls-22The Bilstein B60 shocks feature a massive 60mm piston / mono-tube bore (the biggest mono-tube on the market) which gives it a much larger oil capacity.  This increase in oil capacity allows for more efficient and effective cooling. As everything is contained in a single tube body, it makes the Bilstein B60 extremely reliable. That reliability provides peace of mind when you're out in a remote location. Whether its corrugations, highway travel, running around in town, or dirt roads, there is no situation that the Bilstein B60 shocks can't handle.

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If you want to find out more about the Bilstein B60 shocks or want to know how to get a set of your own, email us or give us a call on 02 9516 1182 today!

BILSTEIN Upgrades – 6th Gen Ford Mustang

Looking for a suspension upgrade on your 6th generation Ford Mustang? Look no further! Bilstein offers a range of options to suit many applications.


Bilstein high-performance B6 shock absorbers
Our B6 shocks are specially tailored to enhance the vehicle dynamics for a mix of comfortable street performance.
The B6 shocks can suit factory springs or a range of aftermarket / lowered springs.

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Bilstein B16 coil-over kit

The Bilstein B16 coilover kit is the ultimate suspension upgrade for any street or track driven Mustang!
With a 10 position combined bump and rebound adjustment on each shock, it is certain to adapt to any street and track condition. The kit also features easy to use height adjustable spring seats which has lowering capabilities between 20mm-45mm.

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Gnaraloo Surf Adventure – Salty Davenport

'The road North to the Coral Coast in Western Australia is a long one in global standards, short in Australian distances. Where I’m heading requires you to take all food and water for the extent of your adventure. The destination is 1200kms North of Perth with no reception, no running water and very limited food supplies, its paradise!

My friends and I venture up to these barren landscapes each year in search of solitude and surf. No matter what job we now have, new girl not wanting us to go or new life challenge, we always put a few weeks aside for 'the desert’.

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I had just had a long overdue suspension upgrade and chose to go with Bilstein. No suspension is a cheap operation, but my gosh what a difference it made on this adventure. We stocked up on our supplies in the nearest town of Carnarvon before hitting the corrigated dirt roads that parallel the coastline. With two weeks of fuel, food, water and camping supplies, the car became about 400kgs heavier than usual. We let down the tyres for a smoother ride and were on our way with smiles from ear to ear.

In the past years my car would bottom out on the suspension due to the weight added to the car, this year it felt like the weight only made for a smoother ride; we were on our own magic carpet.

We pulled up in our camp spot, cracked a beer and setup our home for the two weeks ahead. In the Winter months this place is generally filled with surfers chasing warmer waters and long clean swells, whilst the summer months are windy and lack swell which attracts fishermen and kite/windsurfers.

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This time of year along the Western Australian coastline is whale migration season. There is tourism that targets this period in the Deep South and further North however, Quobba Station is too rugged for such tourism so we get to sit and surf all day with our own private whale shows, some days I’ve counted over 50 whales.

The desert tracks in these parts are damaging to any car, I feel each adventure up here reduces my cars life by a year or two. I’ve seen the corrugation and 4wding tracks rattle cars to bits, remnants of vehicles on the tracks tell a similar tale. This year it felt like the new suspension changed this for me, my car didn’t feel like it was on its last legs, it felt like it just got a brand knew set of knees so to speak. I was stoked!

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We surfed some amazing waves whilst up there and speared fish for our dinners whenever we could. Theres a real feeling of unity up there; everyones in a similar position so when someone has a big catch at sea, everyone shares the catch.

At the end of the day it is the desert, its a beautiful barren landscape being eaten away by the powerful Indian Ocean. The first thing you’re greeted by at the turn off to these locations is a 20ft high wooden sign with the words ‘KING WAVES KILL’ etched into the wood. It’s a place that demands respect and the lives that have been lost up there are carved into the earth as a reminder of this.

I hope you get the chance to experience it one day.’

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Caleb (Salty) Davenport

 

The Road to Club Sprint Victory

Starting just after the 2016 World Time Attack Challenge, we jumped on board with IS Motor Racing / Team Raptor to help them build a Club Sprint winning car. With several key challengers in this class, we knew the next 12 months was going to be busy. Our team here at Bilstein Australia, combined with Heasman Steering, are used to setting up race cars and championship winning cars. With this one we not only wanted to win, but also to break the record by the largest amount. The challenge had been set.

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With their road going Mitsubishi Evo 9, we started by installing a set of custom built Bilstein 3-way adjustable dampers complete with H&R motorsport springs.

Having this huge range of shock adjustability, it allows us to dial the car in quicker as well as offering fine tuning for different track conditions, different driver styles and perhaps different weather conditions on race day.

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After an initial track test and driver feedback, we decided the Evo needed an upgraded rear sway bar in the form of a 27mm H&R adjustable bar.

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Another test was arranged and with it more changes to the wheel alignment from Heasman Steering, as well as a change to the spring rates. Once again driver feedback was dissected, shocks adjusted by Bilstein’s track support team and out for more testing.

Once we had the EVO dialled into a window where we felt we could go no further with the driver/car combination, it was decided that the car would benefit from a more seasoned driver. Someone who knew car set up and could get the most from the tyres and conditions, as well as push things to the limit. Crucial driver feedback from Jordan Cox during the next test day caused the team to reconsider the Evo’s power and torque delivery. With the new power output, we again needed to test the suspension and make changes to the spring rates and shock valving.

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With 10 months of preparation, testing and support on and off the track, the final 2 months was crunch time. Further fine tuning and alignment set up from Heasman Steering and Suspension meant this Evo was as prepared as it could be on race day. The opening day of WTAC saw Jordan Cox set a time of 1:37.5, breaking the current lap record for Club Sprint class. With further driver consultation and a few more suspension tweaks Jordan re-set the record the very next day with an incredible 1:36.839 on the second lap!

That lap time held a comfortable 2.5 second gap over second place, and everybody started asking where had this successful team come from, it seemed like they were an overnight success.

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It came from 12 months of testing, it came from a specialised suspension team that likes to push the boundaries. It came from a driver who knows how to get the most out of a car and its components. But most of all it takes a team/car owner to listen to his group of specialists and have them all working together to achieve a result that is beyond what other teams consider as fictitious, and make them a reality.

Who knows what next years World Time Attack Challenge will bring, but here at Bilstein Australia and Heasman Steering & Suspension we do know one thing, preparation and testing starts now. Is anyone up for the challenge?

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Watch the on-board footage of the winning lap, Jordan making it look so effortless.