This is the first guide in the series about modifiying (modding) GTA: San Andreas. We’ll be starting modding by adding new vehicles with cool designs to GTA: San Andreas. There’ll be more guides about modding GTA sereis games here on TechLighten. Today, we’ll cover about replacing the default San Andreas cars with new, cool ones. We’ll be taking San Andreas’ Police Car as our replacement example. The default police car looks pretty dull as you can see in the image. But San Andreas is gonna rock after we replace this dull police car with a shiny new Aston Martin DB9 (designed by a friend, Jack).
You’ll be needing IMG Tool 2.0 to replace the necessary car files in GTA: San Andreas. After downloading, extract the compressed file, and run IMGTool.exe contained within. The first time you run IMG Tool, you’ll get a warning to backup your files before proceeding. Since we’ll be modifying this big IMG file called gta3.img, its a good idea to make a copy of this file (incase anything goes wrong, although i hope you’ll replace your cars without any problems if you follow the steps right). Now with the IMG Tool opened, click on File > Open to open the file browser, like shown below
From the browser window, select the folder where GTA is installed, and then go to the “Models” sub folder within your main GTA folder, you’ll see a file called gta3.img there, select it and press open. Like as shown below
IMG Tool will load the gta3.img file, and show you all the contents. Now basically, every vehicle (cars, bikes, planes, helicopter etc) have two sub-files representing it in the gta3.img file. One file looks like carXYZ.dff, which included all the geometry/model information about a car, and the second file looks like carXYZ.txd, it contains all the textures like the logos, reflection material, tyres images, seats images etc.
Since we’re going to replace a police car, you’ll have to search for the two files representing that dull police car, rename it within IMG Tool (so that we can re-use the old police car if anything goes wrong), and upload the new car’s files (in this case, Jack’s Aston Martin DB9′s files) with the same name, to IMG tool.
Download Jack’s DB9 car files here. , extract the car files to a temporary folder (you’ll notice two files named copcarsf.dff & copcarsf.txd) , now get back to IMG Tool, Go to EDIT > Find and enter “copcarsf.dff” and press enter, you’ll find the copcarsf.dff (which is the geometry file for San Fierro’s police car), right click on that file and renamed it “2copcarsf.dff”, now again, perform another search for “copcarsf.txd”, when the file’s found, rename it to “2copcarsf.txt”. With both the default files renamed, it should look something like this.
By renaming the files this way the default police car files will stay in gta3.img for backup purposes.
Now that both the files of the default police car are backed up , we can insert the Aston Martin DB9′s files to IMG Tool. Go to COMMANDs > Add , and select the copcarsf.dff file from that temporary folder that you made earlier. You’ll see DB9′s copcarsf.dff is added, now in the same way, go back to commands > add and select the copcarsf.txd file from the temporary folder.
Once the files are added, you can now run GTA: San Andreas and all you have to do find the San Fierro’s cop car now. Here’s a close up picture of how your new DB9 will look like.
If you want to save yourself from searching for this police car, you can download my savefile, extract it in “MyDocuments/GTA San Andreas User Files” (where it’ll ask you if you want to replace an older file with my save file, click yes). And then start GTA: San Andreas, load the first save file from the list, and you’ll start with CJ’s House, go to his garage by his house, and you’ll see your shiny new DB9 waiting there for you.
You can use this guide to replace other cars etc also. For example if you download a new car that contains two files patriot.txd and patriot.dff, then you’ll simply have to open gta3.img in IMG Tool, and renamed the already present patriot.txd, patriot.dff files and insert the new files that you downloaded. Hope this guide helps you make your GTA experience better and I’m sure you’ll be interested in modding your game with new vehicles etc after this first step. P.S. If you’re followed the guide ok and are enjoying your DB9, you can now add more vehicles. For lots of cars and vehicles downloads for GTA: San Andreas, go here. Thanks to Jack for his nice DB9 model car, that he allowed me to use in this guide.