[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”Rather than part with a pristine TD42 GU, Josh decided to chop it – and if you ask us, the results are spectacular!”[/blockquote]
Life often throws us curveballs, some big, others small. But no matter what life throws our way our passion for 4WDing will never disappear; it may even grow stronger.
After Josh’s mother sadly passed away, he inherited her completely stock 1999 TD42 GU Patrol wagon which she had owned from brand new. “I always wanted a factory GU ute, but after inheriting mum’s GU wagon I couldn’t part with it. It was just such a great, honest 4WD,” Josh tells us.
“An opportunity arose where I could have sold the wagon for a well-setup ute, but decided to use the money to chop the wagon instead as there weren’t many down here in Canberra at the time.” Josh preceded to chop and mod his GU to become one tough and capable 4WD. Take a look at what Josh has done to get the GU where it is today.
ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK
- Chopped into a dual cab ute by Millweld Customs
- Tray by Millweld Customs
- Fully engineered at the time of chop
- Custom dog box on rear of tray
After passing up the opportunity to sell the wagon for a GU ute, Josh decided that the best option for him would be to chop the wagon into a dual cab ute. After sometime looking around trying to find the right company to do the chop, Josh was convinced that Millweld Customs were the right guys for the job. “I went with Millweld due to the fact that they do very good work and because they were an awesome bunch of guys to deal with,” says Josh.
“All up, the chop took around four to five weeks, and that’s with the tray installation as well. As for the tray, it’s a basic standard design by Millweld commonly used for chops such as mine. I love it because it’s simple, looks great and is strong and durable. Now for the cost – all up with the chop, the tray and installation and engineering, it came in at roughly $11,000, but it’s definitely money well spent in my opinion.”
After the chop, the tray felt a little bare, so Josh and his old man designed and built a custom dog box that sits on the backs of the tray. “The old man and I made up a dog box in the shed for some extra storage and so the dog had a place in the 4WD. On the back of the dog box I fitted an ARB awning so I can put it out for shade and for something to sleep in the swag under.”
[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”it’s got 420,000kms on the clock and hasn’t missed a beat.”[/blockquote]
Josh has some quick advice for readers who are considering chopping their wagon: “It pays to take your time and look around – don’t rush into a chop as it’s an expensive modification and you wouldn’t want to get it wrong.”
- ARB winch bar
- ARB brush bars and side steps
- Warn 10,000lb winch
- FYRLYT spotlights
Josh has added ARB bar work to his GU for added protection on those rough tracks. An ARB winch bar was added because of its solid construction to house the Warn 10,000lb winch. ARB scrub bars and sidesteps were also added for furthermore body protection. Since the photoshoot, Josh has added canvas to the tray to keep his valuables such as the Engel fridge out of sight.
SUSPENSION, WHEELS & TYRES
- Tough Dog steering dampener
- Superior Engineering drag link
- 5in EFS coils up front and 6in in rear
- 5in Tough Dog Foam cell shocks up front with 6in Tough Dog Big Bore shocks in rear
- Previously 33in BFG now 35in B
- FG mud terrains
Josh has his suspension setup down-pat. “I went with the EFS coils because I got them for a good deal off a mate, and I chose the Tough Dog shocks as he couldn’t recommend them enough. I’m extremely happy with these products – nothing has failed and the GU has a very smooth ride.” Josh fitted all the suspension components himself in the shed, along with the Tough Dog steering dampener and the Superior Engineering drag link.
It’s important to note that Josh has 33in BFG tyres on his Patrol in the photos, but since the shoot he has upgraded to 35in BFG mud terrain tyres that he uses for daily driving and touring, also owning a set of 35in Micky Thompson Claws for when the going gets tough.
ENGINE AND DRIVELINE
3in mandrel bent exhaust
4in stainless steel snorkel
ARB front air locker
Josh’s GU has the factory TD42 engine, a legendary engine among 4WDers. “There is no internal modifications done to the engine – it’s got 420,000kms on the clock and hasn’t missed a beat yet: touch wood.” says Josh. “I used to have a standard Safari snorkel on the GU but since the photo shoot I’ve had a 4in Millweld Customs stainless steel snorkel installed, along with a 4in air box with a BMC pod filter, then reducers to go to the turbo. I also have a 3in mandrel bent Beaudesert exhaust fitted which gives the TD42 considerably more power.”
[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”Chop your 4WD like this and it’ll be the best mod you’ve ever done”[/blockquote]
Josh had installed an ARB front air locker to make the big GU more capable in the rough stuff. “I fitted the diff centres myself in the shed but had Monaro Off Road Centre install the front locker. I chose the ARB air locker for their reputation of components in tough conditions and it hasn’t let me down yet, living up to every task I throw at it.”
Josh has some future plans for the big GU, such as getting it set-up for more remote touring. He would like to add more storage on the tray, as well as possibly replacing the back seats with another storage solution. Other modifications he has planned are upgrading the TD42 with a Cross Country intercooler, a turbo and pump upgrade from UFI Diesels, along with hybrid arms for the front and a long arm kit for the rear from Bud’s Customs.
VEHICLE: 1999 GU Patrol dual cab chop
ENGINE: TD42 4.2L turbo diesel
GEARBOX: 5-speed manual
4WD ACTIVATION: Part-time, manual
SUSPENSION: Front – EFS 5in coils with Tough Dog 5in Foam Cell shocks
Rear – EFS 6in coils with Tough Dog Big Bore 6in shocks
WHEELS AND TYRES: Set of 35in BFG mud terrains for daily driving and a set of 35in Mickey Thompson Claws for play, on 15in steel Sunnis
“I would like to thank Millweld Customs for the amazing job they did with the chop, along with Monaro Off Road Centre for their help with fitting gear, and of course the old man and the missus.”
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