ARTICLE THREE: THE PRE DELIVERY MODS OF THE TRACKS 4X4 TAGALONG 6X6 LANDCRUISER.
Well the vehicle is now a 6×6, the wallet has had a knock, but there is still along way to go before we are ready to drive it for the first time.
Some basic legal bits needed to be done first. The standard Toyota wheels cannot carry the weights that the truck can now legally carry as we are now a 6 tonne truck. Our Tracks 4×4 tag a long tour vehicle is a Landcruiser in VX trim. This means that it came with 18 inch wheels. We sourced through ROH Wheels, a 17 inch wheel that was able to go over the larger brake rotors fitted to the VX model. We tracked these down specifically so that we had more tyre side wall which gives us a greater footprint when we air down.
We added a Unichip as the truck is a little bit heavier than a standard 200 series and this was fitted by Aitkenvale Auto and Dyno. They even fitted the truck on their Dyno for a custom tune!
Icon remote shocks were fitted all round. These were amazing shocks, however, sadly they are no longer in the truck…more on this in a future post.
A catch can and a pre filter for the fuel were fitted to protect the mechanicals.
TJM was chosen this time round ahead of ARB. A TJM snorkel, bull bar and brush bars with the side steps were fitted by Townsville TJM.
Lighting is a carry over using the ARB infinity driving lights.
I added a bit of luxury inside with heating and cooling to the front seats and then got carried away and added massage…love it!
Two winches were added, one for both ends. In the tag a long scenario, the rear winch saves me having to turn around to recover people, which makes the whole process quicker and easier. We are using 12000lb Runva winches with synthetic rope. These have proven to be a great winch with great after sales support for the product.
A hard working vehicle like ours needs a bit of help to keep looking great so we added an ERPS system to help with the vehicle not rusting. These systems state they stop rust so we will keep you informed as to how well these units work.
The tray and small canopy were fitted prior to delivery. The tray length is a full 3m with approximately 200l of water storage built in. This is a huge help when we are in remote country as we are able to assist our tracks 4×4 tagalong customers that are caught short.
A Long Ranger rear fuel tank is fitted. This is 155l when added to the original front Toyota tank giving us a total of 245l of diesel on board. We have though, a trick up our sleeve…when fully fuelled this vehicle will carry 445l of diesel! Some call us the mother ship! More on this later…
The vehicle underwent extensive electrical upgrades. There are in fact that many that this will make up a seperate article so keep an eye out for this one.
A lot of people ask whether we fitted diff locks and to be honest I wanted to, but Micheal at AEV said to me, ” you will not need it, trust me”…well I did, and I don’t. The Toyota traction control is that good with a 6×6 drive train that this thing crawls itself through anything and after nearly 3 years of travelling we have only needed to recover ourselves twice.
Obviously Diff breathers were fitted. We started with a Harrop system, though recently we have changed this to an old fashioned system which I think has reduced the pressures in the diffs.
The car was originally fitted with BF Goodrich all terrain tyres and these were ok, but recently we were lucky enough to get support from Toyo, so now we are running their Hybrid Tyre, the Open Country R/T. So far we have travelled 15000k’s in the past 2 months with these tyres and I love them. I will have more on this also in a future post.
Underbody protection is a must for any vehicle. To start with we fitted an Ironman kit. In their defence I found out later they did not manufacture a kit for the 200 series with DPF’s, so I changed this to of all things a Russian one! A Drivetech unit, very strong, and has definitely saved me a few times such as when cresting dunes in the Simpson or through Creek crossings on Cape York.
That wraps up this article. In our fourth article on the Tracks 4×4 tagalong 6×6 Landcruiser, we will be looking at the electrical system in this purpose built tag a long tour lead vehicle.