110 DEFENDER – DO YOU HAVE ANY BLACKER?
When you want a fishing rig that is tough, proven, economical and won’t rust out as soon as you look as salt water, a 110 Defender fits the bill pretty nicely. Especially if you can buy it already built for a steal.
Are you a keen fisho, and wanting a new truck for fishing and camping trips over to Fraser every other chance you get? Well, few 4X4s fit the bill quite as well as Defenders. With just about everything bar the chassis being alloy, they make great beach rigs and are light enough to roll through the sand without an issue.
Jamie picked up this 110 with just under 60,000 km on the clock for a steal from the blokes at TJM Cleveland. Having the TJM cattledog already thrown at it, there wasn’t a huge amount for Jamie to do besides finish a few tweaks to his liking, load up the camping gear, and take off. He’s worked it on the idea of why pay squillions to build it up from scratch, when you can pick an old girl up cheap enough… and with the hard yards already done?
Picking up the 2012 110 Defender two years ago, she started out life as a typical stock black wagon. Being the local TJM car, it got the works; and Jamie picked it up ready to tour and take tripping.
Jamie tells us the reason for purchasing it originally was that he wanted a truck that would be reliable for him, and economical; and he could get a little extra go out of it without having to tow a couple of 44-gallon drums of diesel behind it. A few camping mods to the 110 later and it was ready to roll, whether it be out to Fraser for a week fishing or up into the Glasshouse Mountains for a quick weekend play.
Most of the mods had been done by TJM, prior to Jamie picking it up… with what was essentially everything TJM sells for a Defender being thrown at it.
The front bar is an X-rox-inspired bar, made to suit the Defender, and it houses the TJM winch up the front, a set of Xray Vision 90W HID driving lights on top, and a Big Red lightbar mounted to the front grille below the bonnet. Having headlight grilles from Terra Firma has saved the old candles more than once from what Jamie tells us, and they remove the need for solid hoops on the bullbar. There’s also a bash plate under the bullbar, which encloses the winch and keeps any crap from getting into the housing.
From the bullbar there’s a set of custom brush bars that go down to a set of modified factory side steps. To keep the bar lines straight, Jamie has modified the side steps to sit closer to the body, and reinforced them so they’ll cop a beating just as well as your typical set of sliders. This has stopped him from getting hung up on some tight rock work, as most brush bars do widen out at the steps.
Out the back of the 110 there’s a factory bar with Terra Firma bumperettes, and there’s light covers on all the rear-end lights. Jamie didn’t see a need to go to a full rear bar setup – as the factory bar is solid, looks good, and just needed the bumperette wings put on to give him complete protection.
Everything under the vehicle remains standard, with it being plenty enough to get him everywhere he wants to go. That said, he’s got a set of BFG 285/75R16s wrapped around black sunnies with a –25 offset, giving the Defender a decent amount of stance (and more stability with the wider wheel track). There’s also a TJM 2-inch lift with springs and shocks netting just that much more clearance.
With the rear tyre being mounted on the tailgate he’s also got a custom step which allows him access to the roof topper, and becomes a solid viewing platform when finding gutters on the beach to chase the fish.
Speaking of the roof topper, Jamie built it up himself (working in the steel industry) and had the local canvas bloke knock up the tent for him. Being the clamshell flat-top type, it’s a perfect platform for the 200W solar panel.
The big solar panel runs down into an Intervolt DC/DC charger in the back of the 110, which looks after charging duties on the two 105Ah batteries he has in the back in a custom-made box… which gives him the starting battery, plus a 210Ah battery bank to look after the fridge, lighting and all the accessories you could poke a stick at.
On the engine bay side of things, he’s got a TJM Airtek snorkel, and he’s had an ECU remap done, tuned to his truck, rather than just sticking a generic ‘more fuel’ chip on it.
Rolling inside the cab, Jamie’s got an air compressor under the seat for tyre pump-up duties when getting back on the blacktop from beach trips. It’s hard plumbed to the front and rear bars with push-type outlets. Heading out the back of the cab, you’ll find a gullwing window on the left side to get into the fridge, custom trundle-style drawer, 80L Waeco fridge/freezer, and more 12V outlets than the International Space Station. He’s also got a 60L water tank under the sill, which plumbs out to a tap out the back next to the air outlet.
Keeping things on the mechanical front standard has been the way this 110 has been built. Despite looking absolutely stunning in the black on black scheme, there’s not been too much done under its skin. Yup, some bolt-on steel, wheels, tyres and camping mods makes them look this good!
After catching up with Jamie and getting to climb all over his 110, we were surprised to find that he uses the Defender mostly for beach work. Despite being a rather capable truck whether on the sand or in the bush, it’s a magic bit of kit that will get him everywhere he needs to go. His favourite place in the world is Fraser, and being a Brissie local, it’s just up the road and he gets over there pretty much every other weekend. If we had a fishin’ rig like this, chances are we’d be over there with ya, mate!