CROSSED UP TOUGH TOURER

  • Twin-locked touring and low-range machine
  • LN106 solid-axle with rear leafs up front
  • Insane custom tray
  • Rear IFS Lux diff

4WDing regularly in places such as Yalwal and Menai means you’ll have to own a 4WD that’s tough, reliable and capable. And if anyone knows how to build a truck with these qualities, it’s Jason Heiler, the proud owner of this 1996 LN106 HiLux.

“Before purchasing the LN106, I owned a very nice 2002 HiLux,” says Jason. “I started driving harder and more challenging tracks more often and didn’t want to start damaging it. My cousin originally owned my current ‘Lux – it never got driven, was stock with 240,000km and was a solid axle model – I had to have it. So I asked if I could buy it off him and settled on a reasonable price of $7000; then it was time for the modifications to begin!”

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]Check out how this HiLux has been built to do it all![/blockquote]

It took Jason next to no time to start modding his LN106 Lux, with most of the modifications being custom built right in his driveway. Trust us – the amount of custom work done on this Lux is insane! He wanted the best of both worlds – a tough tourer and a low-range weapon, and that’s exactly what he built. It’s twin-locked and turboed – what more could you want? Read on to check out this beast LN106 Lux in more detail, it’s gonna make you drool!

CUSTOM EVERYTHING!
  • Custom tray
  • Modified TJM bull bar
  • Custom RHS sliders
  • Modified Rhino Racks
  • Custom inner-front guards
  • Front and rear shock mounts
  • Custom RHS box shaft

This HiLux is as custom built as it gets – from the bar work to the suspension, nearly everything has been done in the driveway and is custom or modified. “Why get someone else to do it when you can do it?” That was Jason’s take on the build, and he wouldn’t have done it any other way.

“I’ve made custom shock mounts front and rear to suit the 14in shocks, a custom tray from scratch, a removable canopy/dog box, and custom inner front guards chopped out to suit the bigger shock hoops,” says Jason. “I modified a TJM bull bar – shaved it down, mounted it more solid with two heavy-duty recovery points that link back to the cross member and dropped hanger. I also custom made 32NB mild steel sliders out of RHS. They work really well; they’ve copped a flogging out on the tracks and still holding up nicely. Another thing I custom made was an 8mm mild steel front diff guard, as well as a heavy duty 10mm mild steel transfer case bash plate.”

ULTRA-TOUGH TOURER
  • Two compressors
  • Uniden UHF
  • iPad Mini with HEMA Maps
  • Dual battery system
  • Custom canopy

As well as being one seriously capable off-road weapon, Jason’s Lux has been setup for him to be able to play out in the tough stuff, and then be able to pack up and head to the Cape.

“I run two compressors behind my back seat: an ARB compressor for the lockers and a Tigerz11 compressor for reinflating tyres,” he says. “This is because it produces more air then the ARB, and I also want to keep the ARB for just the lockers so it doesn’t burn out pumping up tyres. Future plans are to run a tank under the tray for extra air.

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]HARDCORE LOW-RANGE 4WDING OR LONG-DISTANCE TOURING – THIS LUX EATS IT UP[/blockquote]

“I’m running a dual battery setup mainly to power my 60L Techni Ice fridge and other accessories while out on the tracks. There’s a big deep cycle mounted out of the way under the tray.

“The canopy was built by me with 35x35mm steel RHS with aluminium panels attached; I wanted it strong enough to put my spare on the back but not over the top heavy. The question often gets asked why I didn’t just put solid doors on it and have it as a complete sealed canopy. The reason is because I wanted to still have canvas sides as I like the canvas look, and I can put the dogs in the back and just roll the canvas up.”

Hardcore low-range 4WDing or long distance touring – this Lux can do it all!

GOT FLEX?
  • Raised 3in leaf springs
  • Bilstein 14in shocks up front and 10in in rear
  • Running rear leafs up front
  • Histeer hydro assist

Yep, this Lux has got plenty! Jason has gone all out on the suspension in his Lux, to make it flex like a sick giraffe. It’s that good, he has trouble ever lifting a wheel!

“In the front I’m running rear springs because it moves the diff forward to help with tyre clearance,” writes Jason. “It’s been raised roughly 3in and has a U-bolt flip kit installed. It’s running Bilstein 14in shocks with custom hoops to suit.

“In the rear is a similar setup. It’s been raised about 3in and the front locating link has been moved 5in forward, with the rear mount roughly 2in back. It’s running 10in inverted Bilstein shocks which are currently limiting with custom length springs with a U-bolt flip kit.”

“I chose this setup because I could source a lot of the parts pretty cheap, and was a lot easier to complete it in my backyard, as opposed to a lot more modifications doing something like a coil conversion. I love the amount of flex it produces, and most importantly I reckon it’s comfortable to drive long distances every day.”

UNSTOPABLE LOW-RANGE WEAPON
  • Twin locked with ARB air lockers
  • Trail Creeper 4.7 reduction gears
  • Rear 02-04 IFS Lux diff
  • Surf turbo setup running 13psi
  • 35in BFG KM2 on steel sunnies

Take note of the heading, as this Lux is one seriously capable truck when the going gets tough. Just take the insane flex for example, or the fact that it’s twin locked, or that it’s got 4.7 reductions gears, or that… the list just goes on. You can’t deny that you’d love to have this thing in your shed!

“I bought the lockers second hand for a lot cheaper than it’d cost to buy new ones with the diff ratios I wanted,” says Jason. “With The Trail Creeper 4.7 reduction gears and the twin air lockers, the amount of control that I have of the 4WD is unbelievable. They would have to be one of my favourite mods to date.  I chose ARP knuckle studs because with the histeer and 35s I snapped low range knuckle studs, but fixed that by putting the ARP studs in.

“The front diff is a standard diff with an IFS widening kit to match the rear IFS Lux diff. It increases my wheel track by around 30mm each side.

I also wanted some more power out of the little 2.8 oiler, so I sourced a turbo kit from a Surf and had it installed onto the 2.8. It’s currently running 13psi safely with custom 2.5in stainless crossover pipes, braided oil and water lines and a catch can. The custom 3in turbo-back exhaust gives even more power again. It helps a ridiculous amount on soft sand and mud.”

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]THE AMOUNT OF CUSTOM WORK DONE ON THIS LUX IS INSANE![/blockquote]

“And finally, running the big 35in BFG muddies allow the Lux to go almost anywhere.”

RUNDOWN

VEHICLE: 1996 LN106 Toyota HiLux Dual-cab
ENGINE: Standard 2.8L diesel with Surf turbo setup
GEARBOX: 5-speed manual
4WD ACTIVATION: Part-time manual locking hubs, stationary
SUSPENSION: Extensive leaf-spring setup, raised 3in with Bilstein 14in and 10in shocks
WHEELS AND TYRES: 35in BFG KM2 on 15in steel sunnies

THANKS:

I would like to thank Steve from Automotive Excellence for the exhaust, and all the other little jobs I’ve lumped him with. Also Trent and Grant from T&G Automotive for working on my diff centres and installing and fixing lockers a number of times as well as installing my reduction gears. Last but not least my girlfriend Sinead for putting up with me wheeling and building the Lux for the last two and half years that I’ve owned it.

 

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