Let's gear up your 4WD
These days, it’s quite common to see 4×4’s decked out with the latest 4WD accessories and tech.
Nothing is more exciting than picking up your new rig and heading down to your local 4×4 accessories supplier to gear it up.
From bigger tyres, lift kits, bullbars, roof racks and fishing rod holders, the list is endless.
Although these upgrades may increase your off-road capabilities, it could also make your vehicle illegal on the roads.
The consequences of driving an illegal vehicle can lead to a number of very serious risks as well as some hefty fines and a whole lot of time-wasting.
To help keep your 4×4 road legal while still giving you an edge for tackling some of WA’s most hectic off-road tracks, here’s a list of legal 4WD accessories and their limitations.
WA Tyre size regulations
All 4×4’s come with a standard set of tyres which have been designed by the manufacturer to abide by local laws and regulations. You can usually find a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door stating its specifications.
In most circumstances, you can fit larger tyres than what is stated on the sticker, however, it must comply with local regulations.
For WA, there are limitations on both the width and height, whereby drivers can only increase tyre size by 50mm in diameter.
Note: If you increase tyres to this size, it will increase the overall height of your vehicle and therefore limiting your lift kit to a total of 1 inch.
WA Lift kits regulations
Lift kits are one of the most common forms of 4WD modding and you would’ve noticed some 4×4’s jacked up to extreme heights cruising around the streets of Perth. The height at which you can lift your vehicle varies from state to state and is usually linked together with the size of your tyres.
The legal road height you can lift your vehicle in Western Australia is 50mm from larger tyres and a 25mm suspension lift without any form of engineering.
WA Wheel track regulations
Wheel track is in relation to the amount of space between the tyres and the body are.
This is where wheel spacers are put in to allow for larger wheels to fit. You’ll want to stay away from these completely as they are illegal for on road use.
WA Overweight issues regulations
Every 4WD will have it’s own limitations when it comes to carrying payloads. It’s a total combined weight of towing capacity as well as the gross combination of mass. If your vehicle is over this combined limit it is no longer road legal.
If you aren’t towing anything, you’ll only need to concern yourself with the payload capacity which is usually around 600 to 1000kg.
Anything added to the vehicle, such as bull bars, roof racks, storage, extra fuel tanks or passengers will contribute to this weight.
Being overweight can also lead to the chassis cracking, which has become a more common issue due to overloading or incorrect placement of weight.
WA Roof racks regulations
The maximum allowable roof rack length in WA is 2.5m. It is also not allowed to hang any more than 150mm past the sides of the vehicle.
WA Additional lighting regulations
Additional driving lights can be fitted to a vehicle without the need for an inspection providing they designed and securely fitted in a way that minimises the likelihood of injury to a person, does not obstruct the driver’s view of the road and the light emitted does not cause discomfort to the driver either directly or indirectly through devices or reflecting off surfaces.
They must also remain switched off when high beam headlights are not in operation and must automatically switch off when high beam headlights are either turned off or the headlamps are dipped.
You’re allowed a maximum of four additional lights.
Legal minor modifications that do not require inspection
If you’re interested in modding your 4WD but are unsure of what you can upgrade without the need for an inspection, here’s a small list.
- Roof racks
- Mud spats and pebble guards
- Mesh stone shields for windscreens and lamps
- Tyre size and aspect ratio
- Additional lights
Failing to comply with regulations
Owning a 4WD gives you the freedom to explore some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes. You’re able to modify it to suit your off-road and on road needs, making travelling more enjoyable, especially when you conquer an off-road track.
So it’s worth taking the time to ensure your 4WD is completely legal. Failing to meet regulations can have severe consequences.
- Refusal of insurance claims. Insurance companies have to right to decline your claim because of an illegal modification that rules your vehicle unroadworthy.
- Refusal of warranty claims. The same goes for warranty. The manufacturer has every right to deny warranty claims if modifications have contributed to the failure of your vehicle.
- Increased chance of an accident. There is a reason why regulations apply and that is to ensure the safety of the driver, passengers and other motorists on the road. Many illegal modifications can increase the chance of an accident.
- Issues with the law. WAPOL love giving out yellow stickers. So if your vehicle isn’t road legal, they can pull you over and give you an unroadworthy or yellow sticker, sending you straight to the pits for an inspection by the local road authority. The worst part is they won’t just pin you for one mod, they’ll go through the entire vehicle and pick at anything that’s not up to scratch.
Total 4×4 is here to help
Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or you’ve just picked up your new rig, Total 4×4 is here to help make sure your vehicle is safe and road legal. The last thing you’d want to happen is if you’ve just decked out your rig in brand new modifications only for the popo’s to give you a yellow sticker.
If you’re in doubt, you can always contact the professionals at Total 4×4, who are happy to inspect your 4WD, provide expert advice and supply/install high-quality 4×4 accessories.