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G'Day & New Prado 2018 with Mods

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  • G'Day & New Prado 2018 with Mods

    G'Day Guys,

    Great to be finally on this site, given that I have been trying for months to get my password issue resolved with now using "Canberra" as opposed to the PM's when resetting passwords.

    Good to also see that this site is moving forward in both activity and reliability so kudos to the admin team.

    Anyway, I bit the bullet and 2 weeks ago I took ownership of a 2018 Prado GXL. Have had the following done to date

    Redarc Brake Controller - Pro Elite
    2 x 12v sockets + anderson plug to rear
    Towbar - 3 ton
    TJM side steps - black powder-coated
    Safari Snorkel
    DChip - makes a HUGE difference in performance
    Provent Catch Can
    Torqit Exhaust 3" with dump pipe. - T304 Stainless Steel
    Extra 100AH Battery
    Projecta Battery Management system
    TJM Outback Bullbar + winch
    Lightforce HTX Spotties
    Rhinorack Pioneer/Backbone 2180mm + numerous brackets and accessories
    Sunseeker 2.5m awning (from previous landcruiser)
    Bonnet protector + window shields
    Seat Covers and rubber mats - front and back
    Solvit Deluxe Sta-Put Bench Car Seat Cover - waterproof dog cover for back seat - excellent

    Bilstein stone guards
    Dobinson Coils C59-352 - front coils
    Bilstein BE5 D563 - front shockers
    Dobinson Coils C59-327 - back coils
    Bilstein 24-217-897 - back shockers
    Airbag Man High pressure - with kevlar sleeves
    Vehicle Measurements are as follows:
    Front :745 , Rear: 786
    Front : 805 , Rear : 850
    Height gained, 60mm in front 64mm in rear. Note suspension will settle a few mm.

    Im based in Adelaide and the guys at Northpoint Toyota were excellent. I have always been a TJM man as years ago I had a run in with an obnoxious ARB manager and vowed NEVER to buy ARB. Thought the TJM products, fitting and installation was excellent, TJM Nailsworth left much to be desired though in their client focus and communication, given that I had spent over 15k with them. Lesson learnt in having a service level agreement with TJM before committing. Wasted my rec leave in waiting for TJM to finish installs and they went 4 days beyond the promised time frame. So be warned in dealing with TJM Nailsworth when it comes to job timings. Their workmanship though is excellent.

    Im currently researching the drawers and have nearly decided on wheels and tyres but that can wait until next year.

    My old car was a Landcruiser 100 series FZJ105R GXL Petrol, and served its purpose well. Im an avid beach/fishing guy, take the dogs everywhere and am looking forward to trying out the new Prado on the far west coast this Xmas.

    Some snaps attached of the old, and the new.

    Looking forward to contributing this site, now that it appears to have had some endone and PP is working better. :-)

    NEW - Prado 2018 GXL NEW - Prado 2018 GXL OLD - 100 Series 2000 GXL OLD - 100 Series 2000 GXL OLD - 100 Series 2000 GXL
    Last edited by tompocz; 07-11-2018, 03:33 AM.

  • #2
    Some more photos of the new Prado and a few of my old beast.


    • #3
      You don't mess around getting your vehicle fitted out. Looks great!

      I've got the same TJM bar and side steps getting put on my 2018 Prado GX very shortly. I got them at a discount at the recent 4WD show. Getting them fitted at TJM Nailsworth too -- see how we go. I've got the same roof rack too. I was considering getting the side steps powder coated, like you have, but decided not too... perhaps I should though...

      I've got Drifta drawers in the rear, with a 35 L water tank builtin. I'm very happy with them, although it would be nice if the drawers extended out further. I'm not sure if the tank is a good idea or not -- on the one hand it is nice having it built in and the weight low, on the other, it would be nicer to have bigger drawers and jerry cans are cheap and easy enough to deal with.

      I've got BFGoodrich T/A KO2, 265/70R17 tyres on there. Seems like a lot of PradoPointers get these.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Gday Grinbot

        Yours looks nice too. I recon Toyota did something right in its design for this model as I like the front and backends.

        I have researched Drifta but am not keen on them for two reasons,

        1. Not sure about the teflon coated slides as Im used to bearings and they work. Teflon coating in drawers to me is new, and it reminds me of teflon coated pots that over the years of use get run down and need to be thrown out.

        2. Not keen on the idea of installing Drifta myself, Im over that now as I did a lot personally to my previous TLC in installs and electrics. I believe Drifta is based in QLD and Im not keen on getting a palet of drawer parts delivered and installing it myself.

        Ive been looking at the following sites during my research as well. - TJM Nailsworth do the installs - go figure :-) - interesting as one does NOT have to take the third row seats out, but you lose in storage space.

        Im thinking of just having one drawer and the a 75l WAECO on the passenger side as low as possible (see attached picture)

        I would recommend powder coating your steps. I had similiar steps on the TLC but were silver checker plated, and over the years of use, they became very hard to wash or clean the grime off them. The only thing I did to my new ones was to paint the steel bolts satin black as they were silver. I painted the bolts on the bullbar as well as some bolts are silver.

        I too was looking that the 265/70R17 size but heard that the larger profile size puts you speedo out by about 3-4km/hr. My understanding also is that the speedo in the prado is calibrated slower than the actual speed, so maybe the size may not matter, but could affect fitting in to the spare wheel cover, though I intend to take mine off anyway. Also read that the BFG's AT KO2 are lousy in the wet, hence Im holding off on tyres and wearing the stock ones down in the first instance.

        Ill take some pictures of the engine bay/battery system/winch/DChip, and I must say I have withdrawals when I dont drive mine after a while. Im always worried about leaving it in the supermarket carpark or the train station, so i take my partners old car, and she drives mine to her work which is safer to park.

        Keep cool, and thanks for your reply.

        Attached Files
        Last edited by tompocz; 07-11-2018, 07:37 AM.


        • #5
          Regarding the Drifta drawers, I actually like the teflon runner concept. There are strips of teflon recessed into the bottom of the drawer. Pretty smooth action (not as smooth as runners, but good enough), less weight, very durable (not much to go wrong), and no runners mean more room for drawer space. The only problem is that they don't extend out as much as drawers on runners, because otherwise they would fall out :-), which means it can be hard to get stuff in/out of the rear of the drawer.

          Fitting the drawers was straight forward (I have a GX, with no third row of seats) -- just slid it in and attached 4 turn buckles to the tie down points. However, I had to cut out and glue on carpet to the side inserts... that was a pain.

          I reckon those MSA drawers look pretty sweet:

          I looked at RV Storage Solutions and MSA drawers at the 4WD show, and they both seemed great. Very high quality. The RV ones look heavy though.

          (I'm concerned about weight because with a family of 4, and all the extras on the car, we're going to be at or just over GVM.)

          I was considering the 1-drawer option too. Was very keen on it, and probably would have gone that way except we got a built-in water tank which would reduce the size of the single drawer too much.

          Regarding the tyres. I took the wheel cover off (was going to do that even if the tyre fitted), and I also fitted a Kaymar Wheel on door bracket (part K7120, $139) to bring the spare about 25 mm out, to avoid any rubbing on the paint, and to make it possible to attach the wheel bin we use.

          I've now found that when the Prado is at 110 km/h according to the dash, the GPS reads exactly 110 -- the bigger tyres corrected it exactly at that speed .

          Why bigger? An extra 13mm of ground clearance mainly, but more grip from a longer contact patch is handy too.

          BFGs in the wet -- can't say I've noticed any issues with that at all. And living in the Adelaide hills, we did plently of driving on wet and twisty roads over Winter.

          Thanks for the tip about powder coating the steps. That is a great point. I think that is enough to justify me doing it.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            With a family of 4 and all that kit (and more to come?), get a compliant GVM Upgrade. Your favorite TJM shop does them for Prado 150s. It provides a good lift and a smoothish ride on corrugated tracks.
            And you and your insurance company will sleep better at night.


            • #7
              Gday Grinbot

              I had a look at the spacer for the kaymar tyre and will go down the path of getting it and getting 265/70/R17 once the current stock tyres wear out - u convinced me to do this in getting a different tyre size with an increase of 1/2 inch lift, so if I get a speeding ticket, please provide contact details, bank and pin details to let ezyreg know where to send and fine the bill against lol. Also as some people say, I wont specify gender, but that extra 1/2 inch can always make a difference :-)

              I have the kaymar led light as well so Ill get the attachment for it. Ill be taking the tyre cover off this weekend off the spare a I use the tyre to put a Bushranger Wheelie Bin on it . Bummer on covering the camera but hey "Ce La Vi".

              Working on having the photos of engine bay this weekend uploaded. 25C weather so turning Japanese with happy snaps :-)

              PS - the RV drawers I believe do also make them in alloy composite for weight saving. The MSA brand with the blue and gimmicky led lights is to me a little bit "skanky". I prefer something robust, rugged and with lines LOL



              • #8
                Originally posted by RPP View Post
                With a family of 4 and all that kit (and more to come?), get a compliant GVM Upgrade. Your favorite TJM shop does them for Prado 150s. It provides a good lift and a smoothish ride on corrugated tracks.
                And you and your insurance company will sleep better at night.
                Gday RPP

                How does one know "when such an upgrade is required" or what measures are required to ascertain compliance levels. I see where you are coming from in your post but would welcome further input into any regs, especially state based across OZ as such compliance levels are different between the States of OZ.

                Onya ....... as in GoodOnya
                Last edited by tompocz; 11-11-2018, 07:52 PM.


                • #9
                  As far as I know there is only one (legally) 'compliant' GVM Upgrade available for the Prado 150. It is supplied by Lovells and installed by a couple of 'certified' installers in Adelaide. You will get compliance plates stuck to your door recess pronouncing that your GVM is now 3,500Kg.

                  It is best to get the kit fitted BEFORE your vehicle leaves the showroom. But you can get it fitted after - with some restrictions (interstate resale related I believe).

                  The numerous suspension upgrades discussed in various forums might be technically OK but I don't believe they are 'certified' as 'compliant' GVM Upgrades.

                  If you are decorating your vehicle with all the usual heavy barwork (bullbar, armour, rock sliders, wheel carrier, roof rack, winch), xtra tankage, rooftop tents, aux battery, hi lift jack, second spare wheel,,,,,,,etc and gearing up for a long desert trek you WILL blow your factory GVM and your insurance (amonst other things such as warranty).

                  The GVM Upgrade gives you a technically satisfactory lift (2", maybe plus a bit), legal increase in load capacity, and peace of mind. And I've found also a smooth(ish) ride over corrugations.

                  My front lift became about 2" and rear about 3". The rear drops about 1" for every 200+Kg of rear payload.

                  If you do go for the GVM Upgrade (or any lift upgrade) make sure you ask for the front sway bar spacers, and ask about longer sway bar rods (especially if you go for a lift bigger than 2" [not recommended]).

                  Hope this helps.

                  Last edited by RPP; 11-11-2018, 02:56 PM.


                  • #10
                    RPP - thanks for the info - definitely food for thought in your comments. When I have done any upgrades Im always conscious of the regs governing ADR and state rules. The last thing i want is an insurance assessor negating my claim on a technicality. I don't believe I should have a GVM issue in the new Prado, as I'm learning to travel a bit lighter, as opposed to previously employing backup strategies in equipment.

                    Last edited by tompocz; 11-11-2018, 07:52 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tompocz View Post
                      Some more photos of the new Prado and a few of my old beast.
                      Just noticed yr big donk compressor in the back. How is that working out?
                      I bought the ARB twin compressor with 4ltr tank (initially to be able to re-seat Tyre beads and run air tools), but eveyone wants to use it on my trips, so its been worth the stowage and coin.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RPP View Post

                        Just noticed yr big donk compressor in the back. How is that working out?
                        I bought the ARB twin compressor with 4ltr tank (initially to be able to re-seat Tyre beads and run air tools), but eveyone wants to use it on my trips, so its been worth the stowage and coin.
                        Its called the "Big Boss" I think, a 3/4hp pump and a 20l tank with safety valve to 150PSI. The hard part was wiring it with 100amp fuses on both end - at the battery end and compressor end. You would notice a white box hanging off the cargo barrier - this houses all the switches and fuses for it - even installed a kill switch with a toggle light.

                        It pumps up small tires (in my view) like 265/65/R17 extremely quickly, but on the old car I had 285/75/R16 so it would take a bit to pump them to 38PSI from 20PSI but more efficient that a small TJM or ARB twin cylinder compressor.

                        I used it to also blow/clean dust, clear air filter etc - bloody excellent for this. I had it hanging off the auxiliary battery and it worked a treat.

                        Ive been looking into an engine bay mounted twin system like ARB have (CKMTA12) but I have two issues with this ..... one is to find the room, and 2. I hate ARB with a vengeance, and I haven't found one that does a similar setup.

                        Last edited by tompocz; 11-11-2018, 07:53 PM.


                        • #13
                          Just some more pics of the new Prado - suspension back/front and engine bay/DChip/Second Battery and T304 Torqit Exhaust. Getting it ready to go cockling (cockles=pippis) at Goolwa beach next weekend., so working on the roofrack at present in prepping shovel holder/maxtrax brackets etc.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by tompocz; 13-11-2018, 07:01 PM.


                          • #14
                            I bet the 12V cable generates a mighty EM field when your compressor is running. The 100A fuse must simmer too.
                            My CKMTA12 guzzles over 50A when under load. The Auto Sparkies recommend running it off the main battery with the engine running.

                            There is zero room under the bonnet for a compressor in the Prado. However, Toyota did the world a favour by making room for an Aux battery.
                            Although they didn't make room for a decent size one.

                            I used to dig up cockles on Goolwa beach when I was a kid. We'd camp on the beach, have a fire going at night and shoot rabbits behind the dunes.
                            There's miles of holiday shacks there now.

                            Thanks again.
                            Last edited by RPP; 11-11-2018, 08:35 PM.


                            • #15
                              Just some more snaps of the rhino rack - maxtrax and shovel on, car washed, ready to go to Goolwa Beach tomorrow for some cockles/pipis
                              Attached Files