Vehicle Prep For Performance

The Mates of Mickey thrive for Performance, and Vehicle Prep is a big part of it. Here is Penny Wells take on it.  Find out how Penny Wells gets her vehicle ready for her 4WD show Top Of Down Under...


"One of the most common questions I’m asked is why did I go from a Nissan Patrol to a 79 Series Cruiser. I spent months deliberating this decision and it wasn’t easy as both vehicles have their strong points. What pushed me over the line in the end was that V8 engine in the Cruiser. Growing up as a kid we had a lot to do with drag cars. I can still remember being taught to listen carefully to the roar of a 350 Chev, back in the day when you would tune a car by ear. So you could say I’m a bit of a rev head at heart and the 79 Cruiser appealed to that side of me.

After the Cruiser rolled off the show room floor it was sent straight to Ironman for a full kit out - winch, suspension, spot lights, gvm upgrade, bull bar and side steps. To complete the transformation a set of Mickey Thompon’s ATZP3’s were bolted on. 


Even after two years my 4WD is still evolving. Due to the fact after each road trip I usually come home with another modification for the wish list. It’s not until you have your vehicle out on the tracks that you find out what’s missing or what needs tweaking. For example, before we left for the Vic High Country I had the rear coil conversion done. My most recent trip into the NT I upgraded all my brakes, new booster braided lines, everything. This has made a huge improvement and now I don’t go flying past my driveway entry waiting for it to pull up!

And before I embark on my next adventure I’m going to invest in a long range tank. This will negate the need to fill up this thirsty 4WD every time a petrol station comes into view. Which can get a little embarrassing when you’re travelling with some that can get 1200km out of their tank.

People often ask me what should be the first accessory to fit to their vehicle. It really depends on where they plan to take it and what type of driving they do. A friend asked me recently should he buy a winch or a performance chip. After talking with him, he usually goes goes 4WDing with mates and not alone so a snatch strap could complete a recovery. However he is about to upgrade his tyres to a larger diameter which will cause slight power loss so a chip would remedy this. If he was going on a decent 4WDing trip to somewhere like Cape York then a winch would have been a better option.

One thing I have learnt when setting up your fourby is don’t skimp on your tyres. The old saying you get what you pay for is true. I’ve had an excellent run out of both the Mickey Thompson All Terrain and Mud Terrain. When you’re doing big K’s you want minimal cab noise and that’s what you get from the Micky T’s whether it’s bitumen or dirt. They are very quiet compared to other brands I’ve had previously.

The great thing about setting up your vehicle is you don’t have to do it all in one hit. Take it for some test trips and add the accessories as you can afford them or need them!"


- Penny Wells, Top Of Down Under

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