We just keep going bigger, and just when you think you can’t get any bigger – along comes this next level 79 Series LandCruiser build! It really is the next level here for us, being the first portal axle conversion on a 79 that we’ve done. The results speak for themselves – the portals really make it stand out from anything we’ve built before, but the overall build is a work of art and the customer couldn’t be happier with his dream build being completed.
For those not familiar with the portal axle, the conversion involves mounting a small gear set to the end of each axle tube to transfer final drive from the original axle position to a lower axle position. Effectively this raises the diff height without altering the suspension. Yes, that’s right – we are talking a total of 6” of true lift without altering the suspension!
The kit is a feat of engineering genius, designed and manufactured by Marks Adapters and has a whole heap of other benefits other than just lifting the vehicle. The rear track is also corrected and in addition, the overall track is widened by 80mm adding to vehicle stability and improving axle articulation.
The kit is engineered to a GVM increase of up to 3950kg for the 79 and can be engineered with 35” tyres. The portals themselves have a reduction of 16% between the cogs meaning that on 35” tyres the standard gearing is retained, so no more of those laggy take-offs from the lights after the big rubber is fitted.
The kit also comes with a slotted rotor brake upgrade to ensure that the big beast can pull up with the higher GVM loading.
No change to the original suspension geometry, means panhard rods and control arms stay flat reducing bump steer and with shorter coils you get less body roll, superior stability and better overall handling than a 6” suspension lift can offer.
The extra unsprung weight of the portals, bigger tyres and higher loading capacity means that heavy duty springs and shocks are still a must and on this build the OEM gear was traded for a combination of TJM Pace & XGS gear to get the big Merlot chariot handling its best. Remote res shocks and 600kg load springs take care of the added weight and improved handling.
Of course, there’s much more to this build than just the undercarriage. The other big mod that was performed to get even more out of the tried and trusted 79 Series LandCruiser platform was a 300mm chassis extension. This has improved weight displacement over the rear axle, further improving stability and handling with a heavy load.
Another big-ticket item is the Mits Alloy tray and canopy package. Mits Alloy have designed a tray and canopy package to suit the extended chassis of the 79 Series LandCruiser and this one is finished off with an Enerdrive lithium fit-out, Clearview drop-down fridge slide and Dometic CFX 75 Dual Zone fridge. The canopy package also includes the usual suspects such as built-in water tanks in the headboard, jerry and wheel carrier, trundle draw and tapered toolboxes.
Barwork is by Offroad Animal and includes the Toro front bar and rock sliders for sill protection. The front bar houses a Carbon 12k winch with synthetic rope and a set of Stedi Type X Pro driving lights. The extra track width called for some wide flares and a custom front set were supplied by Mick Tighe 4×4 and colour coded to match the rich Merlot red bodywork.
A Patrol Docta stainless steel snorkel and airbox combo supplies clean air to the intake and a Torqit 3.5” stainless steel exhaust is fitted from the DPF back for better exhaust flow. Other mods under the bonnet include a Diesel Care secondary fuel filter and HPD billet alloy catch can. An NPC 1300Nm clutch was fitted and touring range is now also improved with a 180L long range replacement tank by Long Range Automotive.
A Rhino Pioneer platform with the new Backbone mounting system was fitted to the roof for extra storage and a mounting point for the 180w Enerdrive solar panel. There’ also a Darche 270 awning for protection against the elements at the campsites. There’s enough lighting mounted to the platform to give off 360 degrees of light including two Stedi 13.4” micro light bars.
Interior mods include a Department of the Interior centre and rear side consoles as well as a full set of Black Duck 4 Elements seat covers. Windows were tinted and a set of OCAM weather shields fitted. A TJM Heavy Duty Compressor was fitted behind the rear seat for tyre inflation and also for engaging the free-wheeling hubs.
A Marks Adapters high clearance tow bar improves departure angles and a set of Clearview Next Gen towing mirrors also aid in the towing department. The big beast is rolling on CSA Hawk wheels that are a 17x 9 with a +40 offset and wrapped in Mickey Thompson ATZ P3 all terrain tyres which measure in at 315/70/17.
It’s definitely the next level when it comes to Cruiser builds and our customer could not be happier with his dream build. Can we top this one? It’s a big machine so it’s going to be hard to beat!