Touring Ranger

The Ford Ranger is without a doubt, one of the most comfortable and capable touring rigs in the dual cab ute sector at the moment. It’s ability to be modified exceeds most of it’s competitors, it has plenty of power and mod-cons to make touring and off-roading a breeze and it looks the goods as well.

It was always going to be the perfect platform for this customer’s build and a good start to improve the Ranger’s capability, and to ensure the vehicle handled the extra weight, was to fit a Lovells GVM upgraded suspension package. The Lovells kit uses an upgraded mono-tube shock design as well as heavy duty springs to legally raise the GVM from the Ranger’s standard figures of 3200kg to 3500kg and gives the vehicle approximately 50mm of lift.

This upgrade perfectly complimented the tray and canopy package by Mits Alloy and got the vehicle sitting the way it’s supposed to. The jack-off design by Mits contains all the goodies for touring including tapered underbody toolboxes, trundle draw, spare wheel carrier, jerry carrier, roof racks and the canopy doors were colour coded to suit the rest of the vehicle.

Bar work is by TJM with the T13 Outback which has massive 63mm tubing and matching TJM brush bars and side steps, offering the ultimate in frontal protection. The bar also houses a TJM 9,500lbs Torq winch with synthetic rope and wireless control for recovery duties, and a set of TJM 215 LED driving lights turn night into day on those night time stints on the tracks.

A TJM Airtec snorkel was fitted to the vehicle to feed clean cool air and a Rhino Pioneer Platform was mounted to the roof featuring the backbone mounting system for extra storage and a base for the solar panel. A GME XRS Connect UHF and AE4705 antenna were fitted for communications and towing duties are taken care of by a Haymen Reese X-Bar.

 

Keep an eye for this awesome touring Ranger around the traps – it’s definitely got the goods going on and the perfect touring set-up!

Next Level 79 Series LandCruiser

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!

Black Label 200 Series LandCruiser

When it comes to advertising your business, you want something that stands out from the crowd! Of course, when you want to maximise the use of the vehicle for work as well as play, what better weapon to have than a murdered out 200 Series LandCruiser that well and truly stands out from the crowd.

The tried and trusted 200 Series LandCruiser platform was the perfect base to build a tourer and a mobile billboard for our customer’s business and like any 4WD that is going to be set up to carry the extra weight for touring duties, a GVM upgrade formed the basis of the suspension fit-out.

We went with the TJM GVM Plus kit on this occasion, using the TJM Pace suspension which is a monotube shock body with remote canister and 8 stages of adjustment on both compression and rebound. It has a built-in hydraulic bump stop design and offers the 200 Series LandCruiser about 50mm of lift and a GVM of 3800kg, up from the standard 3350kg.

This particular set-up is also running Roadsafe Blackhawk upper control arms and diff drop to realign CVs and castor. A set of Polyair high pressure airbags were also fitted to assist the rear springs with load carrying duties.

Bar work includes the TJM Venturer bar and houses a 9,500lbs TJM Torq winch fitted with a Factor 55 Flatlink shackle mount. The bar also houses a Stedi 22” double row light bar to light up the tracks at night and a GME 4501B antenna for UHF communications signals. TJM Sidesteps were also fitted for easier access and protection for the sills.

A Rhino Pioneer Platform was fitted to the roof for extra load carrying capacity which also serves as a platform for the Enerdrive 180w solar panel. There’s also enough lighting by Stedi, mounted to the platform to provide 360 degrees of lighting around the vehicle including a 42” double row lightbar up front, a 13” high powered micro light bar on the side and two 10w Mini Leds at the rear.

Inside, the touring fit-out extends to a set of RV Storage Solutions Premium twin draws and cargo barrier with a Bushman 85L upright fridge. A TJM Heavy Duty compressor was mounted inside the rear storage panel along side a 3L alloy air tank to handle airing up duties out on the tracks.

Power needs are taken care of by an Enerdrive 200A/hr lithium battery controlled by Enerdrive 40A AC and DC charging units with an e-Pro monitor, and trickle charged by that 180w solar panel on the roof for when the vehicle is off-grid.

A TJM Airtec snorkel feeds cleaner air into the engine, while the Torqit 4” stainless steel exhaust expels the gasses far more efficiently than the stock item. Performance is also improved by fitment of an iDrive throttle controller for enhanced throttle response.

Under bonnet component protection is aided by fitment of a HPD billet catch can and Diesel Care secondary fuel filter as well as a Harrop breather kit fitted to both diffs, transfer and transmission.

A Hayman Reese towbar along with a V3 Redarc Towpro Elite takes care of the towing duties as well as the new Next Gen Clearview towing mirrors. The big black beast is rolling on matte black Method 301 The Standard wheels and BF Goodrich KM3 tyres which measure in at 305/60/18. This is possibly the best looking 200 Series LandCruiser we’ve built to date and will have no problems standing out from the crowd. Keep an eye out for this one out on the tracks – it’s the unofficial black label edition.

 

One Unstoppable 79 Series LandCruiser

Ok, so we might be flogging the 79 Series LandCruiser just a tad, but there’s a pretty good reason for that. We can’t think of a more popular 4WD at the moment and when it comes to touring – there just isn’t anything quite as capable.

Truck-like capabilities, with the flexibility to be set up as a comfortable tourer that can still do the hard stuff when you need to.  Reliability, durability, old school live axles, lots of after-market mods available, a motor that will happily lug an overweight 4WD and caravan around all day – have we missed anything?

Yes, they’re on the pricey side and yes, in standard form they lack a lot of features, but with the right mods and set up, there is nothing available on the market today that will match one. And this big white beast is the panicle of what you can actually do to a 79 Series and there has certainly been no expense spared.

The foundation for this build is the Jmacx 300mm chassis extension and coil conversion, running the Kings 2.5 suspension with remote reservoirs. This ups the GVM on the 79 Series from 3300kg to a whopping 4495kg and the towing capacity is also up 500kg to 4t. Ride refinement and axle articulation is increased from the coils with those big remote-res shocks and airbags in the rear also aiding with towing and soaking up the corrugations on those rough stretches.

Another stand-out feature and the epicentre of its touring capability is the Mits Alloy tray and canopy package. Mits Alloy have designed a tray and jack-off canopy specifically to suit the stretched chassis of the 79 Series and this particular unit features two Engle 95L upright fridges, a 130L under-body water tank, trundle draw and the whole canopy is centrally locked.

Power will never be an issue with a Kick Ass 170A/hr slimline AGM battery managed by a TJM 25A DC-DC battery charger mounted behind the back seat, which believe it or not, is actually just a back-up for the giant Enerdrive 200A/hr lithium battery managed by the Enerdrive 40A AC and DC board with Simarine panel mounted inside the canopy. There’s also solar input thanks to a 180w Enerdrive panel for when the big beast is off the grid. This set-up powers a 2000w Enerdrive inverter and all the 12v power you could ever need while out on the tracks.

Vehicle protection is compliments of a colour coded TJM T13 Outback bull bar, TJM brush rails and side steps which have the big, chunky 63mm tubing to make this 79 Series just a little more bulletproof.

Lighting is an all-Stedi affair with a set of Type-X Pro driving lights up-front and a Stedi 50” double row light bar mounted to the Rhino Pioneer Platform. There’s also two side mounted Stedi micro 13.4” light bars for lighting up the campsite.

Recovering Patrols is handled by a Carbon 12,000lbs winch with synthetic rope mounted in the TJM bar, fitted with a Factor 55 Flatlink shackle as well as a rear mounted Carbon 12,000lbs winch with Factor 55 Prolink shackle which has the cradle integrated onto the Jmacx chassis. There’s an ARB twin compressor and 3L air tank controlled by an Airbag Man air control kit which takes care of tyre inflation as well as supply to the airbags, all mounted in one of the rear toolboxes.

Performance modifications include a Safari Armax snorkel which feeds fresh air onto a Patrol Docta stainless steel airbox. The intercooler was upgraded to a HPD S2 top mount unit to keep that air flow nice and cool. The big hefty beast needed a serious kick in the pants after all the weight gain and was sent off to Streamline Automotive at Beresfield for an ECU tune. The guys up there where happy to wring a big torque increase of over 70% out of the lazy VDJ V8 and still retain reliability. The power is dialled up a whole lot quicker with fitment of an iDrive unit for extra throttle response and drivability. A Torqit 3.5” stainless steel exhaust designed especially for the Jmacx exhaust routing was also fitted from the DPF back for better exhaust flow.

Engine protection is courtesy of a Diesel Care secondary fuel filter and HPD billet alloy catch can. A clutch upgrade was also a necessity and the NPC 1300nm upgrade kit is now part and parcel of the Jmacx kit. As is stopping power and the big GVM kits also include an upgraded hydraulic brake booster. A Harrop diff breather kit to both diffs, transmission and transfer case prevent water ingress to vitals as well.

Interior mods started with the whole inside being stripped out and Dynamat Xtreme sound insulation fitted. The factory front seats were ditched for the sexy looking Recaro buckets and the rear bench received a leather retrim to match the fronts. Not only to the Recaros look a million dollars, but the added bolstering and lumber support means you can spend more time in the saddle on those long touring trips.

Department of the Interior centre console and rear seat side consoles were fitted, as well as Cruiser Consoles overhead console with touch lighting.

 

Communications are handled by a GME XRS370C UHF radio running a GME AW4705B antenna, and a Cel-Fi mobile phone repeater with GME AT4705B antenna.

The factory audio system was swapped out for an Alpine touch screen unit with Hema maps built in and a speaker upgrade to DB Drive units gives much better sound clarity and boost than the OEM speakers ever could.

Other touring mods include a Brown Davis 180L long range tank which has been designed specifically for the unique requirements of the Jmacx rear end, a Darche Hi-view 1600 rooftop tent,  270 Eclipse awning on the passenger side and Eclipse 2 x 2.5m side awning on the driver’s side. Roof mounted Maxtrax and shovel holders are mounted to the Rhino Pioneer platform and the whole package is rolling on a set of Method 305 NV HD machined face wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich KM3 tyres which measure in at 315/70 R17.

When it comes to any type of terrain and any long-distance touring, there certainly is no stopping this big 79 Series LandCruiser. It’s a testament to what you can actually do with these things and the capability is far beyond anything else on the market. Keep an eye out for this one around the traps – you certainly can’t miss it!

 

 

79s in the Blood

The love of LandCruisers can often be hereditary and the passion for owning a heavily modified 79 certainly runs strong in this family. Father David and son Nick have a common family interest in 4WDing and touring and their passion extends to the love of the Dual Cab 79 Series LandCruisers, so it make sense to do a father/son build from start to finish on a couple of big double cabs.

David opted for the traditional and much loved Sandy Taupe while Nick decided to go left-field and order in a brand spanking new Merlot Red 79.  The only thing better than a Jmacx coil conversion is having two on the go at the same time and, well a 79 build just isn’t complete without one these days so it makes sense to have both of these beasts as capable as you can get a 79.

Both vehicles were fitted with the coil spring conversion using Kings remote res shocks giving a GVM of 4200kg at 4 inches of lift. Both kits entail the usual suspects including refabbed diff housing correcting rear wheel track, stronger axles, airbags for load carrying assistance, front heavy duty radius arms, adjustable panhard rods and an NPC heavy duty clutch.

Both vehicles were also fitted with Method 312 Matte Black wheels in a 17×9 inch wrapped in the Toyo Open Country RTs that measure in a 35 x 12.5 inches. From here though, the vehicles start to take on their own personal touches and the biggest point of difference between the two starts with the bar work. While David went with the traditional bar in the way of the TJM T13 Outback bar offering full frontal protection of the big 79’s square lines, and matching TJM brush bars and side steps – Nick opted for a more stylised look while still offering basic protection from the Predator Bar by Offroad Animal along with matching rock sliders. Both vehicles will be recovering Patrols using a 12,000lbs TJM Torq winch with synthetic rope and wireless controllers.

The other stand-out features for both of these vehicles include tray and canopy packages from MITS Alloy. Again, personalised touches included dimensions of the canopies with David going with the full-length canopy and Nick opting for a half canopy, both colour- coded to match the vehicle.  David’s full-length canopy has the complete touring fit-out consisting of a Bushmans upright 85L fridge, sliding draws, Travel Buddy oven and a battery system combining Enerdrive AC and DC charging systems and twin Kick Ass 170 A/h AGM batteries. There are twin wheel carriers mounted to the back.

There is a full on-board air inflation kit by Airbag Man using the TJM Heavy Duty Compressor. This gives David full control of the airbags in-cab as well as being able to run an airline for tyre inflation which is flush mounted into the rear fascia of the tray. Tapered colour coded tool boxes and an under tray trundle draw add to storage capacity and a built-in water tank in the headboard saves room for water storage for remote travel supplies.

Nick’s Canopy is fitted out with a Clearview ES150 Plus drop-down fridge slide and Enerdrive BCDC charging system driving a single 170A/h kickAss slimline AGM battery.  A Travel Buddy 12V oven was also mounted on an overhanging shelf compartment.  Again an Airbag Man on-board Air inflation system was installed using the TJM Heavy Duty Compressor for airbag inflation as well as the ability for tyre inflation. Tapered under body tool boxes and a trundle tray were also a must for Nick for extra storage capacity.

Both vehicles are fitted with Hayman Reece’s top of the range X Bar tow bar which incorporates heavy duty tow points into the bar. Both vehicles are also fitted with the Redarc Tow Prow Elite Version 3 trailer braking units.

David’s 79 is running a Rhino Pioneer Platform on the roof which holds the Enerdrive 180W solar panel and Darche 180 Eclipse awning for protection from the elements.

Lighting for Nick’s vehicle is a 21.5″ slimline LED light bar by Stedi which is integrated into the top tube of the Off-Road Animal bar and lights up the track while being tucked away nicely and out of harm’s way. David runs the Stedi Type-X Sport 8.5″ LED driving lights which are perfect for turning night in to day.  Both have had the OEM headlights replace with Stedi LED upgrades so no more travelling by candle light as anyone that’s driven the 79 on standard headlights will be familiar with.

Under the bonnet, both of these trucks are running HPD catch cans, Diesel Care secondary fuel filters and HPD upgraded intercoolers for engine protection; and Patrol Docta stainless steel air boxes and snorkels for improved, cleaner air flow.  Both were fitted with the Marks Adapters bonnet strut upgrade to make life a little easier and save the old-school steel bonnet rod from bending under the weight of the hefty overweight bonnet.

Interior features for both vehicles include  upgraded entertainment systems by Kenwood, installed by our good friends at House of Soundz. The interiors were completely stripped out and Dynomat sound insulation fitted for reduced road noise and better interior acoustics. Bushmans Centre Console fridges were installed for keeping stuff cool while on the road and  Department of the Interior custom console with gauges and USB sockets were designed to fit the Bushmans fridges.  GME XRS 370 UHF radios take care of comms and a set of Black Duck 4 Elements seat covers finishes the interiors off just nicely on these two beasts.

The pair of big 70s will definitely be the talking point of many a family get-togethers now and outings on the tracks are family affair. The guys couldn’t be happier with their big rigs and we are happy to be apart of this father/son build. Keep and eye out for these two weapons on the tracks, you certainly wont miss them!

 

 

 

 

 

Stretched Single Cab 79

Looking for a 4WD that can carry the earth on it’s back and pull the arse out of the sun at the same time? We may just have the answer for you. This is one single cab 79 with a difference! 300mm difference to be exact and the mother of all payloads! So just how much can this ute carry and how did we achieve it? Read on to find out.

When it comes to choosing a new 4WD to suit your exact touring and towing needs, more often than not the standard offerings from all of our manufacturers these days don’t really fit the bill. It really comes down to the tried and tested durability and  servicing/parts network of a LandCruiser with modifications or venturing into the relatively unknown realm (in this country at least) of american pick-up trucks. This was the decision faced by our customer Ian with the plan being to travel with a heavy slide-on camper – maximum payload was required with maximum reliability desired for traveling the remote regions of Aus.

The good news is we can retain that legendary LandCruiser reliability and dependability that so many people have backed over the years in this country, but with a payload and towing capacity that can match and exceed many of the big yank tanks.

The key player to achieving this lies in the chassis which has been modified and lengthened by 300mm. The chassis section is manufactured by our good mates at Jmacx Off-road Solutions and replaces the whole rear section of the standard Toyota chassis with stronger, longer rails, cross members and all the infrastructure to convert the leaf spring suspension arrangement to coil springs in the rear.

At the time of this build a single cab Jmacx chassis extension/ coil conversion hadn’t been done before, so the whole vehicle was put on a truck and sent up to the guys at Jmacx so they could do all the R&D they needed to get the chassis fine tuned to suit the single cab body.

We got the rolling chassis back and went to town on fitting the Kings remote res shocks, coils, airbags and all the other components that come with the kit like radius arms, adjustable panard rods and control arms. The coils have improved ride refinement, axle articulation and down travel, and the airbags assist with load carrying when the 79 is loaded up.

The second part to maximising the payload on this vehicle, was to minimise the weight when fitting accessories. The first step was to fit a lightweight alloy tray that was strong enough for the tasks being asked of it. The tray was custom built by Peninsula Plasma Cutters on the Central Coast and comes in at over 2.5m long and has trundle draw and tapered under body tool boxes. It was built with weight reduction and strength in mind.

An ECB Big Tube alloy winch bar was fitted to the front for protection, again with weight reduction in mind. It houses a TJM Torq 12,000lbs winch with synthetic rope to take care of any recovery duties. The Jmacx chassis also incorporates a rear winch cradle as well, but in the interest of saving weight, no rear winch was fitted.

The extra mods and weight to be carried would also require extra power so with the addition of a Patrol Docta stainless steel air box, HPD ungraded intercooler, Safari Armax snorkel, the big girl was then sent up to Streamline Automotive where they waived their magic wands over it in the form of a Dyno tune. Throttle response was also greatly improved by fitting an iDrive throttle controller in combination with the tune. The engine receives extra protection using a Diesel Care secondary fuel filter and HPD billet catch can.

There is, of course, much more to making a single cab 70 Series LandCruiser into a comfortable tourer, even in the top-spec GXL form. The entertainment system that’s standard in the 79 series is fairly basic so an upgraded unit by Alpine was fitted by the guys at House of Soundz and features upgraded speakers and door pods. The interior was stripped out and sound deadened using Dynomat and mirrors upgraded to full power-fold towing mirrors by Clearview.

A set of Black Duck seat covers were fitted to fit protect the seat fabric and a molded dash mat by No Bull Accessories was fitted to protect the dash from the harsh Aussie sun. A GME XRS 370 and AE4705 antenna pack to take care of communications.

Suspension airbag pressure is controlled inside the cab using the Airbag Man wireless inflation system and the TJM Heavy Duty Vehicle Mount Compressor. The compressor is mounted in one of the under body tool boxes and there’s provisions to run an air hose for tyre inflation as well.

The whole package is rolling on a set of ROH Maverick wheels that are 17 x 8″ in size and wrapped in a set of Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 that mesure in at 285/70R17. So now the figures you’ve all been waiting for. We’ve been able to obtain a 4490kg GVM thanks to the Jmacx chassis extension and coil conversion and the vehicle tared in with all the upgrades, bar work, tray, a full tank of fuel and spare wheels at 2627kg. That leaves a massive 1863kg payload. The towing capacity is upgraded to 4000kg although GCM (Gross Combined Mass) is capped at 7990kg which means that loaded to full GVM (over 1800kg on the back) you can still legally tow 3.5t. No matter what way you look at it, you’ll never get the same figures out of an american full-sized pick-up. Is this the perfect solution for a tow/touring vehicle? Well if it isn’t, it’s pretty much the closest thing we’ve seen to it!

Keep an eye out for Ian’s big rig touring the country. It’s the first Jmacx stretched single cab LC79 in the country, but we’re sure it won’t be the last!

 

Redi Cruisers’ Sandy Taupe Troopy

Is there a more iconic 4WD on the market than a Sandy Taupe Troop Carrier LandCruiser? We think not, so it’s only fitting that we got hold of one these box-on-wheels machines for our shop and threw everything we could at it to make it the Troopy from hell. We really wanted to show people what we could do with this Troopy and the 70 Series in general, while still making it practical to tour with, as well as hitting some of the harder tracks.

Of course the first thing was to get our good mates from Jmacx involved, with them fabbing up a 4200kg GVM coil conversion kit with some Sandy Taupe colour-coding thrown in…well a lot of Sandy Taupe colour coding actually! Cradle, coils, control arms, panard rods – you name it – it got hit with Taupe! We opted for the Kings remote res shock options for this build as they are the best in the business for load carrying, touring and off-roading which we’re aiming to do plenty of. The 4200kg GVM means that we could throw all the accessories we could at it, without worrying about the legalities when loaded up with camping gear or towing. The certification with this kit also means we can run a fully legal 4″ of lift and 35″ tyres.

When it came to bar work, we thought we would do something slightly different to our normal 79 builds in the way of the TJM T15 Deluxe bar. The fleet style bar, while a little more basic than the traditional T13 Outback bar that you’ve all become accustom to seeing on our big builds, still caters for the GXL owners with it’s slightly wider design to suit factory flares and built in fog lights. There are a set of TJM brush rails and side steps which match the 63mm tubing of the bull bar and give the sills a bit of extra protection if we ever manage to reach them with anything.

The bull bar houses a TJM Torq 9,500lbs Black Edition winch fitted with a Factor 55 Ultrahook winch hook with built in closed system shackle mount.  There’s a set of Stedi Type-X Pro LED driving lights and GME 4705 6dBi antenna also mounted on the bar.

A Kaymar rear bar and wheel carrier offers rear protection for the big girl and a place to mount the spare to get the weight off the rear door. Up-top is the Rhino Pioneer platform for extra storage and provides a good base to mount the solar panel and Darche 270 Awning for the ultimate protection from the elements.  The awning is running Korr adjustable strip lighting with dimmer switches for ample shades of light for the campsite. There’s also 5 of Stedi’s newest light-  the LED Quad 12 driving light. These things are packing a mean punch in series together and turn night in to day out on the tracks. The square look is the perfect alternative to a roof mounted light bar as well. There’s also plenty of camp lighting from Stedi with 2 rear mounted 10W LED’s and a side mounted ST3520 13″ Micro light bar for lighting up the campsite.

We’ve gone to town under the bonnet as well with an upgraded stainless steel air box and snorkel combination by Patrol Docta. We wanted to ditch the leaky old OEM units for something seriously well designed and engineered to handle the sort of conditions that would be thrown at it. They also look mint in the powder coat black finish and the induction noise resonating from the staino snorkel sounds great without being intrusive.

There’s a HPD high-flow intercooler to keep turbo temps down and a billet catch can to catch any unwanted oil contaminates. This will really come into play when we take the Troopy up to Torqit for some performance tweaks, where they will be playing around with some new technology which we’re pretty excited about. We also fitted a Diesel Care pre-filter to give the engine the best protection from dirty fuel.

Inside, the vehicle has had a complete work over with over-head and centre consoles by Department of the Interior. We’ve added a little Redi Cruisers touch of our own to the consoles which is a sneak peak of something special to come. The floor console is fitted with a Redarc dual battery voltage gauge and a series of Stedi Carling style switches for lighting.  The overhead console houses the Uniden UH9050 din size UHF radio for communications and there is a ton of netted storage compartments to hide all your goodies.

We took the Troopy to House of Soundz at Hamilton so that those guys could work their magic with the sound system featuring a Kenwood touch screen unit with Apple and Android play as well as a set of door pods and DB speakers to suit. Seats are covered by a full set of Black Duck 4 Elements seat covers over the standard Toyota seats. The back has received a once over by RV Storage Solutions with an Easy Access Combo draw system with fridge and cargo barriers. We went with a Bushman DC65-X Upright fridge for cool storage and we’ve fitted out the TJM Heavy Duty 12v compressor hidden away in the wing panel of the draws.

To power the lighting and electricals we’ve done a full lithium battery set-up by Enerdrive comprising of a 200A/h battery, 40A AC and DC chargers, inverter, 180W solar panel, all controlled and monitored through a Simarine panel. There are a series of Enerdrive USB outlets and sockets to run any additional accessories flush mounted into the panel. All the charging units, inverter and breakers were mounted on the side of the fridge barrier to keep them out of the way, but still accessible when the need arises.

The whole package is rolling out on a set of Method Beadlock wheels that are 17×8.5 and a set of Toyo Open Country R/T tyres measuring in at 35 x 12.5/ 17, supplied to the us from the legends at Race Wheels Australia. Even the GXL Troopies miss out on factory flares so a set of  TJM Deluxe flares, colour coded by T&K Restoration were fitted to give that factory look, hide the fat rubber and keep it all on the legal side. Josh and the boys in the TJM Hunter Valley workshop put in a big effort as usual on this one and the results speak for themselves.

We’re all about the big Cruiser builds here at Redi Cruisers and we believe that this Troopy represents a big part of what we do here. It’s built Redi to tour, Redi to tow and Redi to hit the toughest tracks in Australia. We’ve bough together some of the best names in the business to supply the best parts so that we go harder, go further and for longer. If you’re looking to get your own tough build done, then get in contact with us.

 

 

Redi to Rumble

Doing the big builds are what we’re all about here at Redi Cruisers and more often than not, it’s not just about what we do here but a collective effort by a number of companies working together to achieve the same end result for a customer. We’re all about collaborating with some of the best names in the business to piece together the right products and the right solutions to suit your requirements. The results always speak for themselves and this dual cab 79 is up there with the best of them!

Our customer Terry approached us with some unique requirements and a very particular criteria that he was expecting from his new 79. Firstly, it needed to have plenty of canopy space with the versatility of being able to move things around to suit his needs. Coming from a Patrol, Terry was used to the comfort and refinement of coils springs so for touring, a coil spring conversion was definitely on his list. After doing some research, there was also one last big-ticket item on Terry’s list that was a must have – an automatic transmission conversion.

We knew we had the coil conversion covered has we’ve been doing the Jmacx coil conversions for a few years now. Jmacx have designed and refined their conversion kits to perfection over the years and now, although it’s still quite an extensive process, our working relationship with these guys sees a flawless process in place that makes getting your coil conversion done an easier process than buying a new pair of shoes for the end customer!

This kit includes a GVM upgrade certification to 3900kg and is running 3″ of lift on the Kings 2.5 remote res shocks and air bags to assist in load carrying. We shoe-horned in a Brown Davis 180L long range fuel tank which has been designed by Brown Davis to suit the coil conversions. Exhaust is by Torqit which is a 3.5″ stainless steel, mandrel bent, DPF back system, custom made by Torqit to suit the unique routing requirements of the coil conversion. Torqit are another locally based company here in Newcastle that make awesome performance products.

Mits Alloy had us covered when it came time to putting together an alloy tray and canopy package that met Terry’s requirements for touring and, as always, the local Newcastle -based manufacturer came up trumps on this build with this amazing looking graphite lift-off design. It incorporates an under tray trundle draw, 35l poly water tank on the headboard, tapered tool boxes and built-in kitchen bench table.

The inside of the canopy is fitted with an Enerdrive DC and AC charging system using a 125A/h lithium battery which powers the Dometic CRX110 upright fridge and all the lighting throughout the canopy. There’s also an under-bonnet dual battery system running a Redarc BCDC charger on a custom bracket by Perth Performance Diesel powered by a Centruy Dual Force AGM battery which feeds power to the canopy system off the alternator and also works as a back-up to run canopy accessories. Hidden in one of the tapered tool boxes is a TJM HD air compressor to control airbag inflation and tyre inflation as well.

We enlisted the help of our good mates at All Four x 4 Spares for the auto conversion and after the coil kit was completed, we shipped the vehicle off to the boys over at Kotara for them to install the 6-speed Wholesale Automatics kit. The transmission is the same box used in the LC200 but using an upgraded torque converter, valve body and transmission cooler so the box is even stronger and more reliable than the standard item and is adapted to suit all the standard 70 series components and transfer case.

The difference in the way the big beast drives now is like chalk and cheese. Imagine the ride-refinement of coil springs and an auto cog swapper combined with the rugged build and durability of a bulletproof 79 dual cab ute. This is definitely the best of both worlds!

There is, of course, a lot more to this build as well. TJM bar work is the order of the day with the T13 Outback bull bar, TJM side steps and brush rails to suit. The bar work has all been colour coded Graphite and houses the TJM 12,000lbs winch with synthetic rope and there are a set of Stedi Type-X Pro LED driving lights for day-making.

There’s a Safari Armax snorkel feeding clean air into a Patrol Doctor stainless steel air box and there’s a HPD high-flow, top-mount intercooler helps keep air-flow nice and cool.

Further engine protection is helped with the fitment of a Diesel Care pre-filter on a custom-made bracket by Perth Performance Diesel which also houses the diff breather filters.

The interior was completely gutted and sound deadened using Dynomat before any mods were made.  Front and centre of the interior is an Alpine in-dash head unit with Hema maps installed, front and rear speaker pods, all fitted by House of Soundz at Broadmeadow. A Cruiser Consoles over-head console houses the GME UHF and extra storage. The centre console was fitted by the guys at All Four x 4 as part of the auto conversion and houses the display panel for transmission readings.

There’s a set of Clearview power-fold, electric towing mirrors for seeing around the canopy and a Rhino Pioneer platform up-top for extra storage. The big grey beast is rolling on a set of Pro Comp Series 74 Trilogy alloy wheels that measure in at 17 x 8” and a set of BF Goodrich KO2 All Terrain tyres that are a 285/70/17.

Building a 79 like this is like conducting a symphony of an awesome team of fitters, suppliers and accessory manufacturers to achieve the end result. Here at Redi Cruisers we are all about the customer being able to come to the one place to build their dream Cruiser. Terry is over the moon with his new 79 that is that perfect mix of refinement vs durability. Keep an eye out for his awesome rig out an about on the tracks.

Bigger is Better

 

There’s an age-old saying that says bigger is better and when it comes to building a 79 Series, the saying couldn’t more true! When our customer Ian approached us after having taken some inspiration from our own 79, the call was made and it was pretty much a case of “I want what he’s having!” But in actual fact, there was a lot more that went into this decision and it basically came down to crunching some very important numbers based around those daunting little acrimonious – GVM and GCM.

The standard 79 Series Cruiser has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 3300kg, so by the time a decent tray, canopy, bar work and all the fruit we use for touring these days goes on- that GVM can soon be blown out of the water. More importantly is the weight placement, with the design of the dual cab leaving most of the load siting behind the rear axle instead of over the rear axle. This can lead to poor handling characteristic when the vehicle is heavily loaded and it is amplified even more when towing.

Fortunately the guys at Jmacx came up with a fix for this solution, so it was only fitting that our first official Redi-built Cruiser involved stretching this 79 using the Jmacx Chassis coil conversion. This kit involves a full rear chassis frame section that is 300mm longer than the standard Toyota chassis as well as being stronger and incorporating all the infrastructure that is required to convert the big 79’s rear end from leaf springs to coil springs. Kings remote res shocks, rear airbags and Jmacx custom colour coded radius arms finish the kit out nicely with coils giving a more refined ride, better axle articulation and those big meaty shocks handling anything you can throw at them. We also Raptor Coated the chassis rails for a hard, stone proof surface with a clean look. Yep – we’re talking taking the grinder to a brand new 79 and chopping the chassis clean in half! So are the results worth it? Let’s look at the figures:

With the GVM now officially raised to 4490kg, towing capacity upgraded to 4000kg and a GCM of 8000kg, the numbers well and truly speak for themselves. The big girl tared in at at just over 3600kg with canopy, tray and all accessories, leaving almost 800kg of payload to still play with.  There are very few options on the Aussie market offering those sort of figures unless you look at an import, but when you factor in Toyota’s Australia wide parts and service network – the Yank tanks just won’t make the cut for outback touring solutions like the Cruiser does. What’s even better is that this complete package is rolling on a completely legal 4″ of lift and 35″ tyres!

While the chassis is the centre-piece of this build, it is just essentially a legal platform or foundation for the rest of the vehicle which entails a whole cavalry of aftermarket goodies from some of the best names in the business. Another stand-out feature is the tray and canopy package by Mits Alloy. They have designed the tray to suit the 300mm chassis extension and the canopy also features their unique uni-strut design, meaning that everything is removable or movable inside the canopy to suit your needs. There’s a 35L poly water tank built into the head board a stainless steel under body tank and trundle draw built in as well. The under-body lockers house a TJM HD air compressor and 3L air tank for controlling both the airbags and running an inflator hose for airing up the tyres.

The canopy is fitted with a 200a/h lithium battery set up with 40a DC and AC charging capability as well as solar input via an Enerdrive 180w solar panel mounted on the roof. It runs a 200w inverter and is all controlled via a Samarine control panel.This set-up runs the Dometic 110L upright fridge lighting throughout the canopy as well.

Bar work consists of the TJM T13 Outback bar, 63mm TJM Brush Bars and Side Steps, and the rear tow bar and rear mounted winch cradle are both integrated into the Jmacx chassis, housing a 12,000lbs TJM Torq Winch.  The bull bar also houses a TJM Torq 12,000lbs winch with synthetic rope and is running a set of TJM Narva LED215 Ultima driving lights for turning night into day. In addition to the driving lights we completed an LED headlight conversion using Stedi Copper Heads and a Stedi 52″ double row light bar was roof mounted.

Performance and engine bay mods include an ECU remap, dyno-tuned by Streamline Automotive and an upgraded intake using the Patrol Doctor stainless steel air box and TJM Airtec Snorkel. The intercooler was also upgraded to hi-flow top-mount unit by HPD. The exhaust is custom made by Torqit to suit the unique routing requirements for the Jmacx coils and chassis extension and is a 3,5″ stainless steel DPF back unit. An iDrive was fitted for improved throttle response and engine protection is improved using the Diesel Care secondary fuel filter, and HPD billet alloy catch can. A high output water-cooled alternator by Rapid Power was fitted to add protection from mud and water and handle the extra dc power loads. An NPC heavy duty clutch was also fitted to handle the extra power, weight and tyre size.

The interior was stripped out and fully dynomatted, then fitted out with Department of the Interior full length centre floor console and a Cruiser Consoles overhead console was fitted up top for additional storage. There’s a Kickass 170a/h AGM battery mounted behind the rear seats charged by a TJM 25a BCDC charger. This runs all the auxiliary lighting on the car itself and can also run the canopy accessories as a back-up to the lithium set up.  There’s an Airbag man in-cab wireless control system for the airbags with pressure display gauge mounted in the centre console.

Communications are in the form of a GME XRS UHF radio running an AE4705B 6Dbi antenna and a CEL FI mobile phone booster with GME multi-band cellular antenna.  Black Duck 4 Elements seat covers protect the factory seats and the old steel-framed mirrors are replaced by a set of Clearview electric power-fold mirrors. Front and centre is a Kenwood touch-screen sound system with custom door pods by House of Soundz. The guys at House of Soundz also fitted a Mongoose alarm system while they had the vehicle.

Up-top is a Rhino Pioneer platform for additional storage and there’s some more lighting by Stedi for the campsite. The whole package is rolling on a set of 17 x 8.5″ ROH Maverick Alloy wheels that are load rated to suit the requirements of the higher GVM and a set of BF Goodrich KM3 tyres that measure in at 315/75 x 17″.

The 79 Series Landcruiser certainly is a hard vehicle to beat in terms of being rugged, reliable and able to haul big loads. So it makes perfect sense that when the need to exceed the standard weight carrying capabilities of the 79 arises that the solution is to simply make it bigger! Keep an eye out for Ian’s bigger than big 79 out on the tracks – you defiantly can’t miss the big white beast!

 

 

As a nation, our touring and towing needs have far outgrown the capability of any standard 4WD, so upgrading the current Landcruiser is the perfect solution to being able to go further for longer and carry more!

We offer a range of full build packages for the 70 and 200 Series LandCruisers that we have put together from years of experience, with each package being custom designed to suit your individual, unique needs and finishing touches. We can even source the new vehicle for you. Drive away Redi to tour!

Although the name Redi Cruisers is new to the game, the faces behind the brand are the names you know and trust. TJM Hunter Valley have been modifying Landcruisers now for over 5 years, sourcing parts from the best in the business including Jmacx, Mits Alloy, ASG 4×4, Torqit, TJM and Stedi.
Some of the services we offer include:
Coil Conversion LC70
Chassis Extension LC70
Dual Cab Conversion/ Chassis Extension LC200
GVM Upgrades
Tray & Canopy Packages
Interior Consoles
Barwork, driving lights, roof racks & winches
Drive-in, Drive-out packages
Wheel & Tyre Packages
Towing Accessories
PLUS we have something else exciting in the pipeline with our website coming soon. If you own an Landcruiser you are not going to want to miss this.

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Off-road Taupedo

The 76 Series Landcruiser wagon is fast becoming the weapon of choice for those that want to get down and dirty, and do some serious off-roading. Add one Jmacx Coil Conversion with 4 inches of lift and 35″ tyres and you are looking at one truly unstoppable combination. Colour choice is a no-brainer for this caliber of 4WD. Sandy Taupe – is there any other colour?

After a bit of inspiration from previous builds that we’ve done and a love of the almighty 70 Series, our customer Adam approached us to build the ultimate track tackler with the Sandy Taupe theme to run not only on the top side of the wagon, but the undercarriage as well. The Jmacx coil cradle, panard rod, control and radius arms all received the Sandy Taupe treatment before they left the sunshine state and lobbed on our workshop floor.

This set-up was done on Kings remote res shocks all round with the assistance of Airbag Man airbags in the rear coils giving this big wagon a completely legal four inches of lift on 35 inch tyres with an upgraded GVM to 3900kgs. As usual the Jmacx conversion has enhanced the off-road ability of the 76 ten fold.

Setting the look of this weapon right off is the Method NV Machined face wheels which measure in at 17×8.5 inches and they’re wrapped in a set of BF Goodrich KM3 mud tyres measuring 315/70/17 or 35 inches of chunky goodness in the old scale.

Bar work is the TJM T13 Outback steel winch bar, brush bars and side steps and the bar houses a TJM 12,000lbs Torq winch for recovery and a set of Stedi Type X Pro LED driving lights for turning night into day.

A Kaymar rear bar with single wheel carrier takes care of protection for the departures off-road and also gets the weight of the heavy 35 inch tyre and wheel off the back door.

The factory two piece Toyota snorkel was scrapped in favour of the higher-flowing and better sealed TJM Airtec snorkel. A HPD catch can and Diesel Care primary fuel filter was also fitted for giving the engine the maximum protection from fuel and oil contaminates and prolonging engine life.

The standard GXL flares were colour coded to match the Sandy Taupe theme and a set of Bushranger Flexi Flares were fitted to keep the law at bay with those big boots. The chrome GXL grille and mirrors were also blacked out for a tougher look.

A Rhino Pioneer platform was also fitted with a Darche Eclipse 2.5m side awning to beat the harsh Aussie elements while out and about on the tracks. The platform is 2.1 m long, giving plenty of extra storage room up-top for all the camping gear and has a Stedi 51 inch Slimline light bar for additional nighttime off-road driving enhancement.

One of the biggest downfalls of the 70 Series Landcruiser is the factory sound insulation leaves a lot to be desired. To rectify this, we completely stripped the interior out and fitted Dynamat Xtreme sound deadening to the doors and floor dramatically reducing road noise and body panel vibration.

The centre console was upgraded to the Department of the Interior Full Length Floor Console and an overhead console was fitted with a unit from Cruiser Consoles. A GME XRS370 UHF radio was fitted with the AE4700 All-terrain series antenna to take care of communications with that neat hide-away look.

The interior was finished off with a set of Black Duck 4 Elements seat covers and some Lightforce factory style switches to keep all the lighting switches looking neat and tidy.

This Sandy Taupe 76 wagon is one weapon of of an off-roader and well set up to take on the hardest tracks this country has to offer. Keep an eye out for Adam and his beast out on the tracks.