How do you make an unbreakable Hilux even more unbreakable? You back it in to the TJM Hunter Valley works shop and ask for a Hilux with the lot, that’s how. Our latest build involves taking an ordinary stock standard SR5 Hilux and transforming it into something unique and special.
The new Hilux is a pretty good looking truck to begin with and serves its purpose well, but the owner wasn’t content with pretty good, he was looking for some out of the ordinary and something to meet the demands of some serious off-roading and touring.
We started with the full bar work treatment including a colour coded T13 Outback bull bar housing a TJM Torq 9,500lbs winch with synthetic rope to handle all the recovery duties when the conditions turn bad. A set of TJM side steps and brush bars look after the front quarters and sills, and the rear is protected by the TJM RB6 rear bar. The RB6 bar has a built- in tow hitch as well, so there’s no need to buy a separate tow bar to tow the camper trailer or caravan around and there’s provisions for those pesky but essential rear parking sensors.
A suspension upgrade was taken care of by fitting a combination of the Fox 2.0 Performance Series coil-overs up front, fox 2.0 shock absorbers and TJM leaf springs in the rear. We went with 2”in the rear and bought the front up close to level with the rear using the ample height adjustment available from the Fox coil-overs. Ride quality has improved 100 percent as well as travel and axle articulation.
Under the guards, traction is delivered by a set of 265/70R17 Mickey Thompson ATZ P3 all-terrain tyres wrapping the 17×9 Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 alloy wheels which provide plenty of functionality as well as style.
With touring and weekend trips high on the agenda for this Hilux, a canopy and Outback Interiors rear storage draw system was essential for the dual cab to keep all the gear secure, dry and well organised for trips away. The Aeroklas canopy is a double skinned ABS construction offering a tough shell with a low roof line that keeps the same profile as the vehicle’s roof.
A Rhino Pioneer Tray was also fitted over the canopy to allow for extra storage up top as well as providing a mounting platform for the TJM 2 metre awning and a pair of Lightforce ROK 20W floodlights to light up the campsites. A set of Rhino cross bars where also fitted to the cab of the Hilux because… well, you can never have too much storage space now can you?
Power needs for touring include a dual battery set-up using a Century 100 A/hr deep cycle battery and the TJM 25A BC-DC charger which is a dual charge unit capable of charging alternator and solar at the same time. There’s power to the rear via an Anderson plug and a Redarc Tow Pro Elite for taking care of all the trailer breaking applications with full automatic, set-and-forget settings.
Turning night into day up-front is a set of Lightforce HTX driving lights which use both HID and LED technology to bring you the best of both worlds in one light. These are controlled using a dual stage switch meaning that either LED or HID can be operated and with both lit up you can grab over 1800m of light down the track and almost 100m of spread from the one set of driving lights.
The interior has had the once over, fitting a set of Wetseat neoprene seat covers and a centre console by Outback Interiors with the UHF console mounted. The Wetseat covers will keep the Hilux looking pristine and the centre console is again adding more of that needed storage space and getting the UHF up of the dash.
We’ve taken some inspiration for our own Hilux that we’ve recently taken delivery of so stay tuned to this channel to see that build take place in the coming weeks.