Ok, so with a massive 4 posts to my name (probably read 4,000…. more a stalker than a lurker….), I am today starting my build thread. The catalyst has been the selling of my beloved Jeep Wrangler today (images below - sold to a lovely female couple, which I am still coming to terms with).
Mixed emotions – really sad to see it go, as it was such a fun car – but wow it was a PITA at the same time, and above all, just plane uncomfortable to sit in and drive. I am thinking the Prado might be more suited to what I do. The challenge will be to make it as capable as the Jeep off road (on road shouldn’t be a problem).
The new car will be my daily drive for work as well as the families (wife and 3 kids under 7) holiday car. Work involves the commute to the city and a lot of highway driving around SE Qld – c.30,000km/yr. Despite this, I am prepared to sacrifice a little on the daily drive to have a great holiday car (I drove a Jeep for 2.5yrs – I know about daily sacrifice….)
Holidays involve towing the camper trailer general to some off road destination (mixture of beach and bush). Camper is a Lifestyle Extenda – 0.85t unloaded, 1.35t overflowing. Plans are for this car to take us on some trips further afield if we get it set up right (Cape, Simpson, etc) – those distances seemed so difficult in the Jeep.
So to that end, I have placed an order on a Dec/14 plate GXL Prado, D4D Auto in Graphite. There is a moderate (compared to some on here) list of mods which are somewhat staged to fit in with a renovation at home. The list is as follows:
Stage 1 – Immediately
• Done - Leather throughout (gotta have leather in my daily drive) – charcoal with black dbl stich
• Done - Tint/UV film and paint, leather, plastic and electronic rust protection
• Done - Toyota towbar (considered HR but I like the rear bumper protection the genuine towbar offers, as I have no intention of adding the weight of a rear bar)
• Done - ARB deluxe bull bar – graphite colour coded and winch compatible
• Done - Safari Snorkel
• Done - Front and rear air lockers and high output pump under passenger seat (tyre inflation plumbed to rear door)
• Done - Pioneer platform roof rack on legs (rails removed)
• Done - Rubber and carpet mats
• Done - 4 year warranty
Stage 2 – Once I have got it home
• Done - Replace stock wheels with 2014 FJ Cruiser wheels
• Done - Replace stock tyres with Cooper STMaxx in LT265/70R17
• Done - 40mm suspension lift (Dobinsons and Bilstein) including rear poly airbags for camper
• Done - need to wire - Install IPF900xs driving lights (carry over from Jeep)
• Install GME UHF (hidden unit (carry over from Jeep)
• Tray and battery in - need to wire - Dual battery and rear fridge outlet
• Brake controller (P3) and Anderson plug
Stage 3 – As permitted/required….
• Chip and exhaust to improve towing
• Remove 3rd row seats and replace with false floor and fridge slide/box
• Bash plates and sliders
Stage 4 – TBA – All the stuff I will want in future but am oblivious to ATM….
Let’s see how I go sticking to this plan….
Expected delivery is on Friday 13th Feb (renamed "Graphite Friday"….) – stay tuned….