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!