76 Series Landcruiser
We love our offroad adventures. Whether we’re simply hitting the tracks for a day trip or towing the camper for an extended holiday it’s really important to us to have a reliable vehicle. We previously owned a Toyota Prado GXL which was fully kitted out for touring. We did the Gibb, Fraser, the Top End and even a trip to the Cape in that rig. It was a great rig and we were sad to see it go. We’ve subsequently upgraded for better towing capacity and currently own a 76 series Toyota Landcruiser which we are very happy with.
2013 76 series Toyota Landcruiser Wagon GXL
Rig Run Down
That’s a pretty extensive list of mods but our wish list is almost just as long!
Here’s some mods we’d like to do in the future:
Tyres and wheels
After the cruiser’s first outing slipping and sliding at Levuka 4×4 Park over Easter we knew the very first upgrade we had to get for the Landcruiser was some new treads. Our first point of call was always going to be Chris and Margie at TYREPOWER GEEBUNG who were always our go to specialists for anything and everything tyre-related in SEQ.
So one of the VERY FIRST upgrades we did was to get us some brand new shoes. Tyrepower Geebung said it best when they said by NEW we mean REALLY NEW!! At the time back in April 2018, you probably hadn’t seen these on the road (or even in stores for that matter!) as the TOYO Open Country Rugged Terrains (R/Ts) had literally JUST BEEN RELEASED in Australia.
Toyo Open Country R/Ts
We were pretty excited when they told us about the impending release of the new RTs. This 4×4 tyre from Toyo Tyres is a next-generation 4WD tyre that combines the extreme puncture-resistance and strength of an M/T with the long-wearing compound and sealed road performance of an A/T to service the emerging ‘hybrid’ tyre category. Our main goal: plenty of TRACTION.
Coupled with the sweet looking black SPYDER TRAX rims from TUFF A.T Wheels Australia we are pretty stoked with the new look…not to mention they get a big thumbs up from our little Spiderman fan too!
New suspension set up: Our very own OPERATION LIFT
No matter how smooth your ride is on the highway it only takes a bit of variation in terrain coupled with some added weight that comes from a fully loaded rig, for the comfort to quickly disappear. Upgrading your vehicle’s suspension is definitely more about the feel than the look. It’s an investment in a better, more capable ride both on and off road.
At the time there was significant attention in QLD regarding suspension modifications. Our vehicle does not have ESC therefore we opted to have the cruiser fitted with a Tough Dog 2” lift which means we stay within the limits legally permitted (not to mention we don’t want to void our insurance). We opted to have the installation done by Dennis and his team at Toowoomba Steering & suspension. We first dealt with these guys back when we purchased the 30 second awning (vid here: https://goo.gl/4jmnmB). We loved it so much, there was no way it was driving away with the Prado so we transferred it over onto the 76. Anyway with the team doing the suspension we figured we’d also get a catch can, air bags and front recovery points fitted at the same time.
SHOCKS – Tough Dog
The shocks are adjustable and allow me to easily change the ride from off-road to on road. Our visit to Stradbroke Island over the weekend was a good opportunity to test out the new suspension. The adjustable shocks were quite floaty on No. 1 so I adjusted them to No. 4 which suited the constant change from sand to bitumen. Later with the fourbie fully loaded to head home I opted for No. 6 to keep the body roll to a minimum. Being able to change the settings gives greater flexibility and it literally only takes a few moments and is quite easy to do.
CATCH CAN – ProVent
ProVent’s catch cans protect your diesel engine by separating and redirecting oil and air from blow-by gas produced from within the crank case. Given it’s only just been fitted we’ll have to let you know how it goes over time.
We didn’t have any front recovery points on the vehicle so we wanted to get some fitted. We were very happy with what Dennis fitted for us as these allow the weight to be spread to both sides of the car when recovering.
AIR BAGS – AirBag Man
We’re not talking about the type of air bags that go off on impact but those that assist with towing. We had a set of AirBag Man air bags in the Prado which we found useful towing our camper so we’ve had the same installed in the cruiser.
Rear drop down shelf
Sometimes it pays to pay for a custom made shelf. This one from Custom Stainless and Steel did not disappoint, easy to fold and maintain and looks like it belongs. As an added extra, we got the cover for the rear drawer. It closes with the rear drawer, and if you don’t have our drawers you can offset it slightly and hold the drawer open for extra prep area (or more bar area).
Paint Protection: Cquartz Ceramic Coating
When you run into a bloke on Fraser and then again at Levuka 4×4 Park you know you both share a passion for 4WDing and the great outdoors. That’s how we first came across Aaron aka Changy and his 200 series which was always looking so damn smick. Turns out there’s a very good reason for that!
The secret is Cquartz by CarPro which is a revolutionary nano technology SiO2 (silica) based glass coating whose protection is measured in terms of years, not months or seasons. It’s an innovative, ceramic coating which when applied to your vehicle gives it a sacrificial semi-permanent glass layer that will give a gloss level that is unmatched by conventional wax based protectants. Because of glass coating technologies unique low surface energy formula it is able to fill and level paint ridges which in turn gives the coating a “self-cleaning effect” also known as the lotus effect. This means the coating actively rejects bonding of contamination and when water is introduced to the surface it carries the contamination off with it, this is also aided by the 110 degree water drop angle of Cquartz. Plenty of science behind it hey?!?
Anyway, Willow had a yarn with Changy whilst he worked on the cruiser and discovered that he’s been in the industry quite a long time. It was clear from the outset that he’s very passionate about his work and the quality of the end state.
Firstly he prepared the surface meticulously. This involved removing every possible external accessory, from the spare wheel and the roof rack right through to the side lights, and protecting all the seals. All surfaces were thoroughly washed, and decontaminated. Any defects existing in the paintwork will be ‘locked in’ by the coating, therefore the next step was correcting the exterior paint work as much as possible without damaging the factory clear coat and the decals on the vehicle. It was then layered with two generous layers of Cquartz finest reserve, baked and cured for that extra bond and gloss. Even our TUFF A.T Wheels were also cleaned and prepped and coated with Cquartz finest reserve.
Wherever and whatever we put the cruiser through now, the ceramic coating will help resist scratching and bush pin stripes. Whilst it’s certainly not a licence for Willow to go crazy in the bush, the cruiser will now be scratch resistant (to an extent) and much easier to maintain after each trip which is a huge bonus. It also has an extreme gloss which makes it look a million bucks.