Issue 61 Readers’ Rigs

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ByUnsealed 4X4April 1, 2019
Issue 61 Readers’ Rigs

Andrew’s 200 Series LandCruiser big-lap tourer
Andrew has been building his 200 Series ‘Cruiser for a few years now, with a grand goal in mind. In the middle of this year, he, his wife Jodie and two daughters are embarking on an 18-month trip around Australia, towing their Cub camper. It’s been a long build to get there, having shake-down runs to destinations including Cape York via the Frenchmans, Old Coach Road and the Tele Track.

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Closer to home, trips to Abercrombie and Jenolan Caves via Wombeyan Caves, Newnes Plateau, Mt Airlie and Yalwal have kept the appetite whet. Andrew and family have only recently taken part in the HopeStreet Drive to the Top charity run, touring the NSW High Country over three days raising money for homeless people in Sydney. Andrew’s team raised over $600 for the charity, well done!

Andrew goes by the motto ‘do it once, do it well’, so has fitted his ‘Cruiser with ARB’s awesome Old Man Emu BP-51 bypass shocks, an ARB bull bar and Warn winch, ARB rock sliders and underbody protection, and a Kaymar steel rear bar. Thanks for sharing with us Andrew; allow us to wish you luck on your trip with this Mammoth Recovery Kit care of our good friends at Drivetech 4×4.

Alex’s unique Defender 110
Alex’s 1997 Defender 110 has evolved a lot since he purchased it in 2013. Replacing a fairly well modified baby blue Rangie Classic, Alex sought to make a tourer than can also rock crawl, out of a bare-bones Defender. One of the most obvious changes is the fitting of a 2013 High Capacity Pick-Up rear tub, trimmed for clearance and complemented by the frame that supports the ShippShape rooftop tent. The tub gives a huge volume of storage – great for Alex’s weekday tradie tools and week-long camping trips alike.

Alex kept the engine improvements simple: a Morgan Hill boost pin and Allisport intercooler to give a bit more useful output. The rest of the drivetrain is anything but simple! Starting with Hi-Tough Engineering rear axles, Lucky8 CVs and front axles, Alex has increased traction with a Detroit NoSPIN locker in the rear Salisbury diff while the front has a Jack McNamara hypoid vacuum-operated front locker. Upgraded drive shafts with 1310 unis and a double cardan front joint forged in Mordor give drive from the transfer, which is fitted with an Ashcroft Underdrive for an extra low range, giving a ridiculous low-low 1st gear.

The custom-made rims are 16×11 inch featuring proper mechanical beadlocks fitted with 35-inch tyres. The mild two-inch lift allows 12 inches of travel using Superior remote reservoir shocks on Gwyn Lewis raised mounts. The rear dislocation cones are soon to be replaced with an APT Fabrications retaining kit. 12 inches of travel puts a fair bit of load on the factory suspension bushes, so Alex has had custom billet long arms and top link brackets manufactured by Rampt Customs.

All this sounds pretty good, but if it’s only used for coffee runs or trips to the dog park it isn’t so special. Thankfully Alex gets out most weekends for some tough trips near Sydney and Newcastle with mates and is saving his annual leave for trips to Tassie, Cape York and the Kimberley. Future mods? Late at night, from Alex’s rooftop tent, muttering can be heard with phrases such as “three-link front end”, “hydro bump stops” and “BMW M57 conversion”….Fantastic Defender Alex, thanks for sharing with Unsealed 4X4!

Mark’s 200 Series LandCruiser
Mark has spent a lot of time individualising his 2013 200 Series ‘Cruiser to suit his touring needs. He started out by getting TJM bar work and sump guard to protect the front, belly and sides, and mounted his TJM Torq winch and Roadsafe 4WD front recovery points. The rear recovery option is by way of a Factor 55 hitch. Thankfully loss of traction isn’t too frequent seeing as Mark has fitted BF Goodrich KM2s in a 305/60R18 size to stylish ION 18×10 alloy rims. The typical two-inch lift is bolstered by Fox 2.0 components and Blackhawk upper control arms also by Roadsafe 4WD. A BushSkinz transmission guard keeps the gearbox and transfer case out of rock-rash range.

The engine has been treated with fresh air via a TJM Airtec Snorkel and Unifiter, and the exhaust freed up using an exhaust that feeds twin three-inch pipes into a single four-inch pipe manufactured by Torqit. The improved breathing has meant that the engine really responded to a Remap Solutions tune for extra power and torque. Mark has used an HPD catch can to prevent oil misting through the turbo and intercooler, and a Fuel Manager secondary fuel filter has been fitted too.

Mark’s 200 Series is pretty special to him, so to keep the interior clean he’s fitted Wetseat covers over the front Recaro seats, and Black Duck covers over the rear seat. As much as the V8 burble is a beautiful thing, Mark’s Sony audio system outdoes the engine when needed, especially good on the long touring drives. Now that the Uniden UHF, Redarc brake controller and dual battery system are fitted, there isn’t much to do, although by the time you read this Mark will have fitted a rear drawer set-up too! Great rig Mark, looks like you get to some interesting places, thanks for sharing!