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Build of Borec's 2007 120 with D4D

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  • Build of Borec's 2007 120 with D4D

    Seeing other peoples build posts, I have decided to do mine too. It will be ongoing project, as time and money becomes available (especially the $$$ bit).

    First bit of a history

    I have always liked travelling around, and since I was a kid, I have been immersed in maps and atlases. My “first” big trip came when we emigrated from Europe to Australia. Shortly after that I have started nurturing a plan of travelling around Australia, especially to the little accessible places like, Strzelecki Track, Canning stock route and the Cape (back in the 80’s it was still big adventure). I was an avid follower of Jack Absalom and his Chrysler Sigma and the Bush Tacker Man (Les Hiddins). I bought plenty of books, guides and maps back then (I still have those).

    I have been dreaming of 4x4 drive since about 1986, however it was pretty clear that as a student, I would never have one back in those days. So I had Mazda 929, with which I was planning to do all the driving (Surely that was a better car than Jack’s Sigma ) . My preparation went as far as getting quotes for limited slip diff (something I thought could be handy ). Then my life took another direction, and I moved to South America, where I stayed for over a decade. My dream of having 4x4 did not materialize there either (I came very close to buying Lada Niva, and 74 Range Rover, I even test driven them). Unfortunately there were always other things more important to spend money on, then an old 4x4 (could not afford a new one). So I kept modifying my old 1980 VW Brasilia (basically a beetle with different body), and did lots of trips (or rather expeditions, one might say) with that car (followed the route of Top Gear Bolivian special, long time before Top Gear even heard of Bolivia – from jungles to the Andes and the deserts) to places where only 4x4 could go (if that). I did hire 4x4 couple of times, but only followed the same routes I had done with VW.

    I did few modifications on this car (lifted it as high as possible, put in different seats (and seatbelts), and few other bits and pieces.
    For those interested, here are some pictures of my VW in action

    In the Andes
    Up in 5000 meters
    At the top
    Around Lake Titicaca
    On the Inca Trail
    Across the Lake Titicaca

    In the Lowlands
    Landslides here and there
    No Bridge
    Oriental Bolivia
    Lost a wheel (including the drum)
    After a river crossing
    Pitstop in a local workshop
    Bit of maintenance in your friendly workshop
    Good as new, ready for another 1000 km back home

    The jungle
    Crossing a river in Amazonia
    Deep in the Jungle - Neol Kempff Mercado NP
    Stuck on a sand bank
    Stuck after river crossing
    Into the jungle I go..

    Then due to my wife's work commitments, we moved to Caribbean (Dominican Republic) for couple of years, and there I finally got my hands on a real 4x4, 2001 Mitsubishi Challenger (except there it was called Montero Sport). It took 6 months of searching and test drives to get that car. I have tested couple of Challengers, one 80 series cruiser, one Lexus 470, Mitsubishi Pajero iO and Suzuki Vitara. There was always something not quite right with each car, until I found the white Challenger. The car was US import, with 100 000 miles on the clock, and I had to take a good care of it as it would need to be resold at the end of the stay with a minimal loss. So there were no mods, and no extreme trips. Mind you there were plenty of places to go on that island, I have regrets of not exploring it bit more, but we did explore a good part of that great island.

    Here are few pictures from Dominican Republic and of my first 4x4
    On a dodgy road near Haiti border
    On one of the coconut lined beaches
    On the most beautiful beach in DR, in Bahia de la Aquila

    The following two pictures are from Caribbean, believe it or not, DR is a home to the highest mountain in Caribbean, which is over 3000m high, so there are some mountain trails, besides the beaches .
    Up in the hills
    Through the pine forest

    And the last sad picture, when I was selling it
    For Sale

    It was a good 4x4, bit uncomfortable, especially for the rear passengers, but it was way better than my VW .

    Here comes Prado
    At the end of the stay in DR, due to the political instability in Bolivia, we decided to return to Australia. So once back in Australia, I kept looking at 4x4s, but still could never really afford one. We did several trips with my Falcon, and during each trip I was in pain every time I got to a point where Falcon could pass no further (like the road past Cahill’s crossing – I did the crossing – but no further, Gosses Bluff crater, Palm Valley, or Tassie’s west coast, or the road above Cape Tribulation). Eventually I thought, I am getting old, and time is not waiting for anybody, this better happens. So I started looking for an old 80 series Cruiser. Found one in Brisbane, and actually flew to buy it, but when I inspected it, I decided it was too old, and perhaps petrol cruiser was not the ideal choice, and disappointed I flew back home, only to find a Prado for sale on my street.

    It was being sold by a grey nomad, who had it from new, it has done some serious travelling around Australia with a trailer, but it seemed to be looked after OK. The car was 2x the price of what I intended to pay, so I renegotiated my loan, on got the 2007 Prado GLX with D4D engine with 120 000 km on the clock.

    It had TJM snorkel, ARB non-winch bulbar, back air locker, double battery setup, radio and brake controller. The suspension was bit saggy, the paint job was bit dull, the inside trimming was bit scratched and dull, but it was running OK, but there were early signs that it might want new injectors.

    As soon I bought it, we took it for a three day trip to the Little Desert, and back down along the border track. So the first unofficial add on was Thule crossbars (the crossbars I bought in Czech Republic and used in Bolivia, then used them in DR on the Challenger, after I bought Thule roof rail clamps in USA) and a Thule roof box (I took that away from my Falcon).

    Here it is just before the trip

    So that is the end of the introduction (rather long). And my next post will be with the add ons that I have done so far. I hope to continue sometimes this week .

  • #2
    Looks like you had some adventures in the old Whoppi

    Looking forward to seeing what happens to this one in preparation for your big trip.

    Cheers Andrew
    [COLOR="#FF0000"]So Long and Thanks for all the Fish![/COLOR]


    [url=]MY HZJ79 Landcrusier[/url]



    • #3
      Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Some of the Challenger shots could be taken here.
      My 150 build -


      • #4
        Originally posted by AJ120 View Post
        Looks like you had some adventures in the old Whoppi
        Sure did...


        • #5
          Originally posted by mjrandom View Post
          Some of the Challenger shots could be taken here.
          Yes, the only difference being, that in DR all was within couple of hours of driving


          • #6
            General Cleanup and Extra Electrical sockets

            Ok, here I continue...

            The first bit to add on was actually not an add on as such, but rather a general clean up. As I have mentioned previously, the car has been through outback travel and went through some red dust.
            I decided to clean-up up some of it, as it was bothering me, especially around the boot. Well one thing led to another, and I found myself taking out more and more of the trimming to get to the dust. Fortunately I still have my trusty Falcon to drive around, so I was in no need to do a quick job. Couple of days later I found myself with the car totally stripped (well nearly totally stripped).

            Area around rear aircon
            Filthy power windows controller
            Cleaning up the small bits and pieces

            I took out the seats, the carpet, the dash, console, and all of the trimmings. The only things that I did not take out was the roof lining. The dust was everywhere. I cleaned up as much of it as I could, even from the blades of the fans in the aircon. I tried to get it out from the air ducts as much as possible too, but that was bit hard.

            I have found that the cabin filter was probably never changed, as it was full of dust, insects and other debris. Good job Toyota!! (The car was serviced by Toyota according to the books).

            Washed the carpet with pressure hose, quite lot of send got out too!! It looked like new afterwards. To dry it out, I put it on the bonnet of the falcon, and left the engine running for couple of hours.

            Man on a mission
            Dust everywhere
            Carpet out ready to be cleaned
            Carpet getting dried

            Well, while the carpet and the trimmings were out, I thought it would be a good time to put in some extra wiring for some extra 12V sockets for the back seats (for the kids), and to put Anderson plug to the boot. So that was actually the first modification.

            So I ordered some Narva Heavy duty Accessory Socket ($16.75) and Heavy Duty Dual USB socket ($30.70) together with Tab wire connectors and some fuse holders from EziAuto Parts (I also got the cabin filter from them). I also got some 12V LED rocker switches, as I wanted all of the sockets to be independent of ignition, connected directly to the battery.

            Also ordered 50Amp Anderson Plug FLUSH PANEL DASH Mounting Mount Kit Bracket Dust Cap Cover from ebay ($18.95 - I have checked, and the item is no longer available)

            For the back console sockets, I ran the wires from my secondary battery through the firewall (using existing hole) along the door sill, then under the carpet under the passenger seat. For the Anderson plug, the same way, just continued along the back door sill, and back wheel arch to the back under the back boot trimming.

            Cleaned and getting it back together, with some new wiring visible

            On the back console, I used the space just under the rear aircon controls. The sockets and the switches were however too deep, and thus there was no space to attach them directly to the console, so I had to mount them onto a wooden block to get the sufficient depth. Then I needed something to actually attach the sockets and switches too. I found a bit of black plastic in the garage (cannot remember where it came form), unfortunately it was not long enough to cover the whole wooden block, so it is not too neat as I would like, but it has done the job.

            Wooden block
            Bit of plastic
            Dry fit of the whole assembly, before wiring it
            Wooden block, painted and test wired
            The whole assembly fixed to the back console panel, back view
            The finished product, not as neat as I would like, but functional nevertheless
            With covers opened

            The Anderson plug was attached directly to the back trimming. Since install I have found that it was not the best place to put it at, should have put it higher up. It is actually in a way. And my 3 way Aldi fridge (till I get a proper one, one of these days), had hit against it and pushed it in, and braking off the dust cover (note the scratching all over the trimming at the boot area, would like to get rid of that somehow, but not sure how).

            Plug location, not the best one as I found out later

            When I put all the bits and pieces back, I had few pieces left over, till now do not know where they come from . But the car was more or less clean of red dust (for now, anyway).

            There was bit of an anxious moment, when I tried to start the car at one stage, and there was nothing, no lights on the dash, no notice, just dead quite. I panicked, thinking that I have shortened something somewhere, however after some time I worked out that the cause was totally dead battery.

            This is also where I came into contact for the first time with the strange power windows behavior, after a battery disconnect. Bit annoying that, especially if one does not expect it.

            Well and that was my first proper interaction with my Prado.

            Our quick (three day) trip to the Little Desert and the drive along the Border Track confirmed what I already knew, the suspension was too low and saggy and had to be upgraded. So the next on the list was suspension upgrade.


            • #7
              Hi Borec, any more of this to come? Looks very interesting!

              White 2008 Toyota Prado 120GXL - see here: [URL][/URL]


              • #8
                Originally posted by spike69 View Post
                Hi Borec, any more of this to come? Looks very interesting!

                Sure, unfortunately I have been snowed up by work for the past few months, so had absolutely no time for anything :-(.


                • #9
                  Suspension lift

                  Next on the list was new suspension, shockers and springs, as the old ones were pretty done in.

                  I wanted to get as much ground clearance as possible, after some research I have decided to do 2” lift as this besides the new springs and shockers does not require any other modifications. I had 265/65-17 tires on already, so this was probably as high I would get it without going illegal or necessity for engineering certificate.

                  So after some more research I have been decided to get the combination of Bilstein/Lovells
                  I was thinking about putting in airbags, but in the end I decided against, purely for financial reasons. I have decided to install the new suspension myself in order to save some $, as from the YouTube videos it looked pretty easy.

                  So after some more research I have chosen as the supplier the 4WD Direct from Buderim QLD.
                  After I have been asked few details about my driving habits and load carrying customs, I was recommended to get these:

                  2 X BE5-A713 BILSTEIN GAS REAR SHOCKS
                  2 X BILSTEIN REAR STONE GUARDS
                  2 X TOY-1084 FRONT UPPER STRUT MOUNT ASSYS

                  I have purchased the front struts already preassembled with the coils, and at the time I paid for it all $1454.00 inc GST and delivery. Next, I was off to get spring compressors, got these from Cheap Auto, and cannot remember how much those cost me.

                  As it turned out the back shockers and springs were fairly easy to change.

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                  It was the front which took me most of the day, and lots of swearing. I just could not get the struts in, the coils were in the way, in the end I did managed to get it in, but I swore I will never do it again (probably will, short memory).

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                  I was pretty happy with the outcome, the car did looked bit more decent after that, I believe it still had the original shockers and springs on, so when looking at it from the front, the shaft from the diff to the wheels were going on a slightly uphill angle, now it was the other way around. One more expense was a wheel alignment, $69 at the time at Kmart auto.

                  Excellent!!! Next on the list was to fix the leaking back ARB locker, which was leaking oil through the ARB compressor line. I wanted to get this fixed before our trip to Fraser Island. In the end I did squeeze it in, and made a deal to get the back locker fixed while adding the front locker, all for $2000. I would have to pay for it somehow latter on in the year :lol:


                  • #10
                    Nice job Borec

                    Sent from my SM-J110F using Tapatalk
                    2008 120 GX D4D with a few extras
                    Rig build here


                    • #11
                      Fitting Rhino Pioneer tray

                      I have done many things to my Prado since my last entry, I will fill in the gaps eventually, but this weekend I have fitted Rhino Pioneer tray.

                      It was one of the mods that was on my list, but not urgent, but when I checked PradoPoint posts few weeks back, I came across a post which announced heavy discounts on pioneer platforms which had superficial damage to them. I could not resist as the savings were substantial, and after bit of agonising over the price and fitting possibilities I have ordered Rhino Pioneer Platform (2128mm x 1426mm) - 42104B for $580 including postage from Roof Rack City. I also was not sure if my JB rooftop tent would fit between the north-south planks, but I was open to modifications, and prayed for positive outcome.

                      I know this is oversized platform, and not specifically recommended for Prado 120, and was made aware that I will need to drill some holes here and there to make it fit, I was willing to do so in order to get more space.
                      I have also decided to ditch the factory roof rails and got the RLCP 03 legs for Prado 120, unfortunately these were not cheap, bloody highway robbery at $343.00. So total cost of $924.00, which is what a new platform would cost me without the legs.

                      Couple of days after the order went through I got a call, telling me that unfortunately the platform is too damaged to be sold, and that I will be getting totally new one!!! Great, no issues from my side!

                      Started with properly washing and waxing the roof, as that might be difficult task after the platform is installed. Then I took off the factory rails, and found lots of dirt and one rust spot under the plastic lining, so first I cleaned it all up, and removed the rust spot, with a small grinder, and repainted it. This took several hours on Friday evening.

                      Cleaned up and ready for the bases

                      Saturday I have installed the bases of the feet. This took a while too, since I put some sealant around the bold holes, and on the bolts themselves, I have also added small bits of plastics to the edges of the plastic linings, to ensure that these are properly clamped down by the feet bases.

                      Bases ready to go

                      Next I have temporarily attached the feet to the bases, to work out how I am going to attach the platform, and what existing holes I can use, and what holes need to be drilled out.
                      The plan was to have the platform as far back as possible, as I will install the JB tent as far as forward as possible, that way will have some of the platform available at the back, for other things (like a storage box or jerries or anything else)
                      After looking into all possible combinations, I had decided to use four of the existing holes, for the forward and middle cross rails, and need to drill out the two additional ones for the rear rail.

                      The new hole

                      At this stage I have been playing around with the measurements and fittings about 6 hours, and it was time to stop for the day.

                      On Sunday I have attached loosely the crossbars to the rack, and slid the rack from the side onto the legs. This took some doing as I was doing this by myself. But the rails fitted smugly onto the legs, and I was able to slide the rack freely east west in order to position it properly in the centre of the car.
                      I have tighten the feet bolts first on the back crossbar, after checking that the platform is in the middle still I have tighten the front feet bolts, and then the middle ones. After that I have tighten the bolts on the edges that hold the crossbars to the platform. After that I have added the locking tabs that bold from the top along the crossbars, and job was done.

                      Front position
                      Side overhang
                      Back overhang
                      View from the back
                      View from the back corner

                      It took me nearly two days, but I was not in a hurry, plus there were other bits and pieces I have done. Pretty happy with the outcome, it might not look "cool and slick" but it is what I need. I have also found out that I have been extremely lucky, and the JB tent just fits in by millimetres. If I would have bought the narrower platform the north-south planks would be in the way of the fitting rail, which also runs north-south.


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