Tech Tradies 76 series out back expedition rig - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum  

Go Back   Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum > General Tech > Expedition Vehicles
Notices

Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-07-2019, 02:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
Newbie
 
TechTradie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Member # 873712
Location: Pilbara region, West Australia
Posts: 5
Tech Tradies 76 series out back expedition rig

Hi all,

So I am about to start a build of my new outback touring rig (expedition rig for you Americans). This is a project I have been planning for several years after selling my old bunky 4x4. Hopefully, this will be a bit of a showcase to Americans about how we do things in Australia.

To start I needed the right base vehicle, I definitely wanted to start with something new to avoid issues of previous neglect or abuse. I had a bit of a checklist, the requirements were;
- Reliable: You don't want to be halfway across the Simpson desert and have the thing die on you.
- Freely available parts: The vehicle needed to have a significant support network and easy parts availability, again, you don't want to be broken down 1000 miles from the nearest city and waiting for parts to be specially ordered from Europe
- Capable: I plan on travelling some pretty long distances and some pretty gnarly tracks over the next few years, the vehicle needs to be capable enough to do this.
- Legality: The vehicle needs to be able to me setup for extreme remote travel and some pretty difficult tracks without breaching the limits of road legality here in Australia (not too far to get police attention anyway).
- Self-sufficiency: the vehicle and the modifications available need to enable the vehicle and the driver to be 'off-grid- for several days if not weeks at a time.

These criteria really only left me with a few options, from two manufacturers, Nissan, and Toyota. I know some Americans will question why I didn't buy a Jeep, but the reality is they have proved woefully unreliable in Australian conditions.

The options;

- Nissan Patrol: The once legendary Nissan patrol, the only real rival to the Landcruisers of old. A few years ago this may well have been my choice. They were still solid axle front and rear, strong reliability, and with power to burn. But unfortunately, the patrol has recently been redesign to independent suspension all around and less than desirable options for modification. While one of the most powerful 4x4s on the market, it really is more a tow vehicle now than the offroad legend it once was.

-Nissan Navara: A large and powerful pickup. a strong contender but still has the IFS in the front. This isn't always a bad thing, but I would prefer Solid front axles if possible. These are one of the largest vehicles on the passenger class in Australia, while Americans love their big rigs, they can be hard to maneuver down windy bush and outback trails. More power for towing would also be appreciated.

- Toyota Hilux: Closely related to the American Tacoma, this Hilux is a very common vehicle for general use and offroad use. somewhat cheap and cheerful, they offer a great package at their price. A good size for most tracks, but a wagon-style vehicle would be prefered in one that fits the bill is available.

- Toyota Landcruiser 200 series: A full-size SUV with a monstrous 4.5L Turbodiesel V8. A very strong contender despite the IFS set up. Plenty of modifications are available from mild 2-inch lift kits to full 6x6 dual cab truck conversions. Very capable and a strong contender, but prices starting in the 6 figures is a bit of a turn-off.

- Toyota Landcruiser 70 series: The legendary 70 series, considered the toughest and most reliable 4x4 available in Australia, while the 200 series and the 70 series are both descendants of the mighty 40 series, the 200 series line (60 series, 80 series, 100 series, and 200 series) increasingly focused on comfort, the 70 series line up is pure no-nonsense tough and capable. powered by the same V8 turbo diesel monster as the 200 series, it retains its solid front axle. A massive amount of modifications are available, right up to the extreme of 6x6 conversion and purposed designed portal axles (all road engineered and road legal).

The final choice:
I decided to go with the 70 series, in particular, the 76 series wagon. This has the smallest wheelbase of the current 70 series land cruisers, and could technically be classed as a mid-size SUV. on a side note, the 70 series is also available in the 78 series (a large wagon referred to as a troop carrier, because it can seat 11) or the 79 series (single and dual cab utes, or trucks in American talk).


Currently sitting in my driveway is the new beast. So a bit more about the thing.

Name:  20191007_162836.jpg
Views: 200
Size:  70.6 KB

What you get for your $75,000 investment;
- legendary reliability, nothing can kill a 70 series new or old.
- A monster power plant, from the factory it put our 151kw and 430nm (202 hp and 317 ft-lb). Toyota did a good job strangling this thing to meet emissions regulations and avoid luxury car tax on high powered vehicle in Australia. An exhaust and intake upgrade and a simple tune can add 30% more power and almost 100% more torque.
-Traction control AND front and rear lockers, We all appreciate how handy that is.
-Provision for accessories and expansion, dedicated power attachment points and a fuse box under the hood just for adding to the vehicle.
-Stong as hell gearbox and a gear-driven transfer case.
-comes standard with 31.5-inch tyres so a small increase to a tyre suitable for touring is no problem.
-Huge options for modification; as previously mentioned right up to specially designed portal axles are available.
-Range: the 76 series comes with a 130l (34 gallons) fuel tank that can be upgraded to 180l (47.5 gallons)

What you don't get;
-Fancy controls, it still has the old "clunker" style of aircon controls
-Fancy entertainment, 4 paper cone speakers and a cd player from the early 2000s. It does have Bluetooth at least.
Name:  20191007_162930.jpg
Views: 208
Size:  66.9 KB
-Fancy instrument panel, all needle gauges here.
Name:  20191007_162950.jpg
Views: 182
Size:  61.4 KB
-luxurious interior, Fabric seats and grey carpet all around.
Name:  20191007_162958.jpg
Views: 189
Size:  64.4 KB

Modification plan:
All modifications should be Legal and Australian Design rules compliant where ever possible. Don't want to be 3000 miles from home only to have the vehicle taken off the road. High-speed stability, safety, and comfort need to be maintained, I may do a hard track from time to time, but may need to travel for several days to get there.

I will update as parts arrive and things get fitted.

Last edited by TechTradie; 10-07-2019 at 02:59 AM.
TechTradie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2019, 09:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
clb 017's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Member # 166307
Location: Nannyfornia
Posts: 2,091
Nice snorkle...
Do post a vid of it's first time that ya needed it!
__________________
If its made in china IT WILL FAIL!
Phawk photofukkit.
clb 017 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 10-31-2019, 12:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
Newbie
 
TechTradie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Member # 873712
Location: Pilbara region, West Australia
Posts: 5
Nothing too exciting has happened as of yet with the build, and I have yet to take it too far out of town as I was waiting on the bullbar being delivered and fitted before risking the wildlife in the Pilbara.

The work so far has been pretty tame. I have had the bullbar fitted (the local Toyota and ARB are owned by the same parent company so got it rather cheap with the vehicle purchase), a pet barrier, and replacement of the factory snorkel tip.

The reason I went with this pet barrier, in particular, is that it is very easy to remove without tools if I need to fit something long in the vehicle. The trade-off is it isn't rated as a cargo barrier, but it is very strong. It mounts to the ceiling mounting points by a screw with a handle on it and then attached to the seats via a bracket through the headrest mounts. to remove just take out the headrests and remove the hand screws.

I also like the fact it has the small round holes in it, I plan on designing and building a soft luggage shelf that utilises these (the manufacturer sells them already for other models).

When I build the rear storage I will screw the barrier to the back of the woodwork.

The snorkel tip was changed out for a Sherpa 4x4 ram head. A lot of people immediately replace the snorkel for aftermarket sighting the restriction of airflow and the lack of good sealing. There isn't a lot of water around where I am based, so the sealing in water isn't an immediate worry, but the airflow was. I saw an article comparing the flow restriction of the factory tip, a replacement ram head, and a full replacement snorkel. The full replacement saw a 92% improvement, which is great but just replacing the cyclonic filter with a ram saw 89%... So, for now, I'll stick with just replacing the head. I may look at an Armax snorkel in the future though.

Next on the list will be a butter mounted light bar, then suspension and tyres.

On a side note: Having discussed with a few people on facebook, we discovered that some of the newer workmates came with 225/95R16 tyres as standard, and the GXL is also stickered for them. This is a bit of an oddball tyre size, being a 33 inch skinny. What it does mean though, is that a 315/75R16 (34.6 inches) tyre is a legal fitment to this vehicle as it is less than a 1.5 times increase in width and less than 2-inch diameter increase.
Attached Images
   
__________________
76 series Landcruiser tough expedition vehicle build. Australian remote travel and exploration enthusiast.

Last edited by TechTradie; 10-31-2019 at 12:44 AM.
TechTradie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-13-2019, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Member # 67823
Location: Republic of Vancouver Island
Posts: 5,131
I do not envy you with the rules you have to work around. I do however envy the cruisers you still get! A buddy has a very rare (in Canada) LHD 70 series from the late 80s I think, wicked truck but it makes my 500,000km 22re powered 4runner (surf to you), loaded with gear, look like a damn race car.
__________________
Big diesel Ford, a stable of white toyotas from '84-08, and a bw200. They all need work.
squamch is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
flecker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Member # 23744
Location: White Mtns., Arizona... it's on the map, just not on any map!
Posts: 10,320
Always a fan of the Cruisers~

40 series on up!

Keep updating for sure!
__________________
I R A REVOLUTION LEADER!
flecker is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-23-2019, 01:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
Newbie
 
TechTradie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Member # 873712
Location: Pilbara region, West Australia
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by squamch View Post
I do not envy you with the rules you have to work around. I do however envy the cruisers you still get! A buddy has a very rare (in Canada) LHD 70 series from the late 80s I think, wicked truck but it makes my 500,000km 22re powered 4runner (surf to you), loaded with gear, look like a damn race car.
It's all about reliability with the 70 series. Slow and steady is the game in the outback, better to get home slowly than not at all. That being said, the 1VD-FTV in the newer models is an absolute beast of a power plant after an ECU tune.
__________________
76 series Landcruiser tough expedition vehicle build. Australian remote travel and exploration enthusiast.
TechTradie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-23-2019, 01:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
Newbie
 
TechTradie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Member # 873712
Location: Pilbara region, West Australia
Posts: 5
So not a lot has progressed on the 76 since the last post, mostly just some electrical and lighting stuff.

I installed a 52 inch curved light bar from BAP offroad, for the price I am pretty happy with the thing. I mounted it to the gutters using a bullseye gutter mount kit for the 79 series. The brackets needed a bit of tweaking to get them to work with the BAP offroad bar, but wasn't too difficult. I was, however, very unimpressed with the wiring harness that came with the light bar.

I decided I would make things a bit easy for myself and do some favours for future me, Instead of the usual single relay mounted to a convenient bolt hole in the engine bay, I decided to buy a relay holder to mount next to the accessory fuse box under the bonnet, I want things to look like they should be there as much as possible, on older vehicles the mash of switches and relays everywhere is fine, but on a new car I want everything to be neat and tidy. I found Swe-check to have a great range and they are very helpful and shipped my order very fast. I went with an MTA modular unit, that can be added to later on, but am already thinking I will replace this relay holder and the fuse box with another product from Swe-check, namely an MTMR bussed fuse and relay holder. To make things easier in the future I also bought an 8-pole terminal block to mount behind the dash, Along with this I ran a 7 core cable through the firewall, I only need one of the cores for each switched item using a relay, this means I have another 6 switches I can run before having to run cables through the firewall again.

The UHF has been the only other addition so far. I nothing too exciting though, just a GME XRS 330 touring pack. Installed nice and easy and the main unit mounts nicely behind the cup and phone holder. The socket nearby also adds a convenient place to tap into power. The handpiece is mounted to the left of the aircon controls leaving the switch blank available for use as well.

A lot of effort has gone into finding the best option for GVM upgrade and rear track correction. In Australia GVM is the maximum legal weight of the vehicle, the 70 series are under-rated significantly, a suspension upgrade (along with engineer inspection and compliance plate) can increase the GVM by up to 720 kgs (1587 lbs).

One major issue with the V8 70 series is that Toyota widened the front axle to accommodate the bigger engine, but left the rear one as is, this means that the rear wheel track is 3 and 3/4 inches narrower than the front. I know for a lot of people the rear track issue isn't a problem, but I will be doing a lot of driving through soft virgin sand and along with virgin country with some of the local aboriginal people on hunting and fishing trips. So rear track correction should stop the snaking and rear end jumping around from trying to climb the front wheel ruts. Options seem to be Jmacx, Superior engineering, Dana 60 kit, Dwiz, and Marks portals.

I quickly dismissed the portals based on cost alone ($30,000+) although you get a lot more than track correction; GVMincrease, upgraded brakes, axles, CVs, and the massive diff clearance, along with being engineered for 35s. Of the remaining ones the Dana is rated as the strongest but is also significantly more expensive than the others, you also can't use the factory locker or rear driveshaft, both need to be replaced. Dana axles seem pretty plentiful in America, but are not very common here in Australia. So of the three that were left, the Dwiz was the choice due to cost and strength...

But then I got a phone call from a local mining company offering me a job as a 'subject matter expert', paying double what I earn now . This is an amazing opportunity as well because the roster is 8 days on, 6 days off, 7 days on, 7 days off, rinse and repeat. So lots of time for exploring and significantly more money to spend on the land cruiser . So there may not be many updates over the next few months, but Portals axles are now well and truly back on the table, and now the preferred option.
Attached Images
     
__________________
76 series Landcruiser tough expedition vehicle build. Australian remote travel and exploration enthusiast.

Last edited by TechTradie; 11-23-2019 at 01:33 AM.
TechTradie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

** A VERIFICATION EMAIL IS SENT TO THIS ADDRESS TO COMPLETE REGISTRATION!! **

Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.