Sam’s HiLux is his first 4WD and needed to be something that could cover all bases. As a second year landscaping apprentice he needed something that can handle a hard days work and be up for the task of tackling tracks in between. He picked up his 2003 model HiLux bog stock with 16,000km on it and proceeded to turn it into a work hard, play hard rig. As Sam’s first 4WD, we think he has done a bloody good job at building one very capable all-rounder.

  • Bar work front and rear
  • ARB roof cage
  • Stainless snorkel
  • Domin8r 12,000lb winch

Sam’s Lux has no shortage of good gear on it. Bar work has mostly been covered by Raslarr who built the front bar and scrub rails. They also took to the front guards to make a little extra room for the tyres. Up top you’ll see an ARB roof cage that holds the shovel on the passenger side and the awning on the driver’s side which has been fitted with LEDs just like the canopy.

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”Every inch of this one-of-a-kind canopy is purpose built for work and play”[/blockquote]

Sam mentioned the HiLux doesn’t have as much room as he would like so utilising space is key, and the roof cage really helps in that department. Hiding behind the Raslarr front bar is a Domin8r 12,000lb winch to help get out of any sticky situation Sam finds himself in. Last but not least is a 3in stainless snorkel also made by Raslarr that helps to keep the HiLux breathing freely.

  • Custom built tray
  • Custom made drawer setup
  • Adventure Kings Roof top tent

Sam’s custom checker-plate canopy is the base of it all and is also custom made. It includes under tray drawers and side bars made by Raslarr that connect the tray to the sliders for extra strength. They also offer extra protection from stray trees, rocks and rut walls. On the inside you can see that a game of Tetris has been played to get everything to fit nicely. Sam and his dad built a slide out pantry and some shelves to utilise space and make things easier to access from the side of the Lux.

Inside you’ll also find an Engel fridge, some spare jerry cans and LEDs to help you find it all at night time at the campsite. Moving to the outside of the canopy you’ll find the custom spare tyre carrier surrounded by another two jerry cans. On top lies an Adventure Kings roof top tent that covers sleeping duties when Sam is out bush. Sam reckons all that custom work on the back of the Lux makes it stand out, and we reckon he’s absolutely right.


When your 4WD is an all-rounder, you can’t leave the interior without a few changes as well. As far as sound goes, Sam had a mate install a Kenwood head unit and some speakers, a sub and an amp to go with it. Also up the front you’ll find a GME UHF and aerial and a Tom Tom GPS unit for all his navigation needs. In between the two front seats, the centre console has been replaced by a Waeco cooler to make sure he can grab a cold drink on the fly during the long hauls or keep your lunch fresh throughout the week.


We reckon Sam has done an excellent job at decking out all areas of the HiLux to make it the kind of rig you can just jump in and go bush. Still happy to handle the tougher 4WD trips while also retaining the ability to comfortably spend a while away from the big smoke. Sam says he does it all, from trips to Toolangi with the boys to the VIC High Country. He has even done the Border Track twice and says he absolutely loved it. We can’t see why he wouldn’t considering the setup he has, with all bases covered from lighting to eating, and navigation to sleeping. This Lux really can do it all.

  • Three sets of wheels and tyres
  • 2in OME lift

The underside of the HiLux hasn’t been left untreated, it’s been given a 2in lift using Old Man Emu gear which includes an OME steering damper and Nitro shocks up front with upgraded torsion bars. You’ll also find Nitro shocks in the rear paired with some upgraded leaves that Sam needed to install after all of the extra weight was added from the canopy.

The lift was kept at 2in because Sam wanted to stay friendly with the boys in blue, when we asked him why he went with this particular setup, Sam says “It’s good quality, keeps it legal and it flexes well in the back”. As far as tyres go, the obvious set is the 33in Silverstone Extremes that the HiLux is equipped with in these photos. What you may not have known is that Sam also has a set of 33in Federal mud tyres and another set of 31in Hankook All Terrains just to make sure he has all bases covered when it comes to traction.


You’ll also see that the HiLux is covered in a lot of good quality 4WD accessories that make it a very capable rig. Even though it performs it’s daily work duties, you can tell in the photos that it doesn’t get babied. Sam without a doubt uses every bit of the extra capability. Even unlocked the Hilux still loves to lift a wheel and is more than happy to see some good angles on the track when Sam takes it out bush. Something else that further proves it gets driven hard is that Sam actually has 3 different sets of tyres for it to suit different conditions.

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”Prepared for any track, Sam has three sets of tyres for the Hilux”[/blockquote]


If you take a closer look at Sam’s HiLux, you will notice the massive amount of lights that it has on it both inside and out. Starting at the front you’ll spot the two LED spotlights mounted on the Raslarr bar and the 20in double row LED bar sitting just above on the centre hoop. Moving up on to the roof there are not one but two 42in double row LED bars sitting in a staggered setup on the roof cage.

Sam isn’t one to be caught out needing to reverse in the dark, so the back of the Lux hasn’t been left out. It’s fitted with another huge 42in double row light bar and two single row 6in bars mounted on the sides of the Jerry cans to throw some light out to the sides and make it a breeze when you’re moving the truck around camp or reversing down a tricky part of track.


VEHICLE: 2003 Toyota HiLux dual cab
ENGINE: 3L turbo diesel
GEARBOX: 5spd manual