EXPEDITION 79

RONíS TAKEN A FEW MONTHS TO GET STARTED ON HIS LC79 BUILD, BUT THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION WITH SOME GREAT AUSSIE-MADE ACCESSORIES.

WORDS RON MOON

2013 TOYOTA LC79 4X4 SHED 078 DATE ACQUIRE D: APRIL 2016 PRICE: $59,000 KM THIS MONTH: 1100KM AV FUEL: 15.4L/100KM KM 1 0 5 6 0 0 09

RONíS TAKEN A FEW MONTHS TO GET STARTED ON HIS LC79 BUILD, BUT THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION WITH SOME GREAT AUSSIE-MADE ACCESSORIES.

WE BOUGHT the 2013 dual-cab V8 Cruiser last year, but it promptly went into the garage while we were overseas in our Dodge Ram. Finally, once we got back home from travelling and with a few bob in our pocket, we started to source some aftermarket gear for it. Then we headed to Outback 4WD in Bayswater, Victoria, who do all our service work, to get the first lot of goodies fitted.

First up was a bullbar to protect us from wayward animal strikes. We opted for an ARB Summit bar, which not only delivers airbag compatibility but also has a 60mm top tube, LED indicators and fog lights. We also added a set of side rails and steps for extra protection; the OE alloy ones getting the flick for something that will give a lot more protection. The build quality and finish on this bar work is exceptional.

Tucked in behind the bar is a Warn XD9000-S winch with Warn Spydura synthetic rope. I thought long and hard about this as the Warn range of winches donít come cheap, but their reputation is as big as the hills they help you climb, so reliability and durability won the day over any savings I could have made.

The synthetic Warn winch rope has a special braided-type construction, and it has a temperature resistant coating on the first few metres of the rope (which is the section that wraps around the drum of the winch) to set it apart from many other synthetic ropes. This helps protect the rope from the detrimental effects of the heat generated from when the winch is working under load. The synthetic winch rope has a few more advantages in the field: itís lighter, safer to use (especially if it breaks under load), and if it breaks it can easily be joined together in the scrub.

Helping light the way is a pair of Lightforce DL230 HTX hybrid driving lights featuring a ring of 20 LEDs and a 70-watt HID light within a 170mm reflector. The LEDs provide an instant flood of wide-beam light, while the HID bulbs produce a far-reaching light that punches down the track ahead.

It combines the best of both worlds in LED and HID technology, and theyíre a dream to drive behind. Combine that with Lightforceís effective and sturdy mounting brackets and youíve got a great light ideal for long outback drives. If there are any downsides to

this light itís that the size is too big in many situations Ė they just managed to tuck in behind the leading edge of the Summit bar.

Wanting to tow our camper and/or van we fitted a Hayman Reese towbar to the rear of the Cruiser. Again, these are a well-engineered and Aussiemanufactured product that sit at the very top end of design and build quality.

We completed the installation with a seven-pin trailer connection and an Anderson plug to bring 12-volt power to the trailer. A Redarc Tow-Pro trailer brake controller was also wired into the system; weíve had one of these on our Patrol for a few years now and I wouldnít have any other electric brake controller Ė simple as that!

Before we do any more work to the Cruiser, the bank account will need replenishing and the old wallet will need to be refurbished. Iím sure all who have built up a vehicle know what that is like!

The Warn range of winches donít come cheap, but their reputation is as big as the hills they help you climb