ULTIMATE ADVENTURE TROOPY

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]Hands down, this has gotta be one of the best tourers we have ever seen – Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself![/blockquote]

If you were to take all the best bits from all the cracking touring setups us 4WDers have and put them into one vehicle, you’d end up with one of these. This LandCruiser Troopcarrier is so well setup, it would make Graham want to convert to a Toyota! Perth Local Ante Andabaka has built this Troopy up to go bush for extended periods of time, and be able to do it comfortably.

“I have owned a lot of 4WDs over the years, but this one has the best camping setup out of all of them,” explains Ante. “Last year I travelled round WA for eight months and it really cemented my belief that this is the ultimate touring vehicle. It took me about eight years to find this truck, before it I had a heavily modified 2010 V8 Troopy, which I sold to buy this.” Not only is the camping setup absolutely unreal, the truck also has one of the best diesels Toyota ever made under the bonnet. Top it off with some of the coolest custom barwork bolted to a 4WD and you end up with a recipie for one heck of a truck. If you don’t want this true supertourer in your driveway, ya’ gotta have rocks in your head. Want more proof? Let’s check it out!

TOURING SETUP
  • Pop top camping setup
  • Recaro seats
  • Interior camping and living setup
  • Dual battery system with solar

One of the things that makes a Troopy perfect for touring is the amount of space in the back which has made it pretty common for people to convert them to a camper. “When I bought the truck, she already had the Trekka poptop conversion,” comments Ante. “To do it to another Troopy was around the 16k mark so this one was perfect. I added the roof cage to store other gear, which is on a slide so that the roof can still pop up. In the back is the pop-up camping setup as well as a benchtop and a small table and cuboard. I made a folding bench on the bottom bench seat which turns into a platform which you can turn into another bed so the 4WD can actually sleep four people if required. At the moment I am running a dual battery system and a 120W flexi solar panel on the roof, but down the line I will look into adding a third battery.The best thing about this truck as a tourer is that it is so versatile and simple. I’ve had quite a few 4WDs each with different camping setups but this truck is the quickest, easiest, well organised and most comfortable I’ve had to date!”


Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART TO BUILD?

A: The side supports for the ladders/rack originally had thin rubber to prevent the steel rubbing into the paint (as I didn’t want to drill holes into the vehicle) but after heavy corrugations the rubbers fell off and the metal supports rubbed into the paint, which I am currently looking into fixing.

[blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]UNREAL CAMPING SETUP, MENTAL BARWORK AND ONE OF THE BEST DIESELS EVER MADE[/blockquote]

Want to know more about how Ante built one of the best Tourers in the country?

Check it out on this issues DVD!

SUSPENSION AND DRIVELINE
  • GVM upgrade
  • Dobinson coils and Bilstein shocks
  • 1HD – FTE turbo diesel
  • Standard 90L and custom 160L fuel tank
  • 100 Series LandCruiser factory rims

You’re probably thinking, ‘crikey that Troopy must weigh a bit’ and you’d be right, so much so that Ante has had a GVM upgrade done on the big tourer. However as you probably guessed, Ante has also setup his suspension and driveline to handle it. “When it came time to setup the suspension, I had to consider the weight of the Troopy,” explains Ante. “Fully loaded, she sits at about 3.9T, so the suspension had to be able to cope with it. In my previous Troopy, I had five inch Armada shocks which were nice, but I couldn’t mix components as it would have voided the GVM upgrade, so I had to stick with what the GVM is upgraded with.” One of the best bits of this Troopy, and one of the main reasons Ante gave up his V8 Cruiser for it, is the motor. The 1HD-FTE is considered one of the best diesel engines ever made. With excellent power and reliability, it is perfect for a tourer. “Fully loaded I get around 13-14L/100km which isn’t bad considering she’s almost four tonnes. I have left the motor alone for now, but down the track I will to look into freeing up the restrictive factory intake and potentially a bigger turbo, for improved bottom end torque in the soft stuff.”


Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE BUILDING THE ULTIMATE TOURER?
A: I think planning on how you want to setup the vehicle and what you’re going to use the 4WD for is very important, and then building it to suit.

BARWORK
  • Custom built roof cage and exo-cage style supports
  • Twin wheel carrier with rear winch
  • Slide out roof cage to access popup camper

You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the barwork of this Troopy. “The barwork on the truck was built by XLR8 Fabrications,” comments Ante. “When I first bought the truck, she had a Kaymar rear bar but it was dented on a 4WDing trip. I decided a custom bar was the go to protect the truck, and to house a rear winch too. Mike from XLR8 has been doing barwork for years so it was a no brainer to get him to build mine. With the roof cage, since the roof is fibreglass, there are no internal supports so we couldn’t use the gutters to support the rack. I didn’t want to drill into the body of the car so the idea was to make custom sliders and use them to support the custom ‘ladders’ which acted as supports for the rack itself. These ladders would also double as a semi exo-cage. The best part is that it’s all removable with 12 bolts whilst still retaining the sliders and the rear bar.”


Q: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE TOURING MOD?
A: Fitting the Recaro seats! They are very expensive, but I would strongly recommend to anyone to get a pair of aftermarket seats as they make a massive difference to your comfort and back. I can literally drive for hours on end without any back aches or problems like many people seem to complain about and I experienced with the standard seats previously. Best part is that you can transfer them to another vehicle with just a different base plate if you decide to move on.

RUNDOWN

VEHICLE: 2002 Toyota LandCruiser Troopcarrier
ENGINE: 1HD-FTE 4.2L inline six cylinder turbo diesel
GEARBOX: Five– speed manual
4WD ACTIVATION: Manual locking hubs
SUSPENSION: Two inch Dobinson springs with Bilstein shocks
WHEELS AND TYRES: 285/75/R16 Toyo Open Country MTs on 16in 100 Series factory wheels
THANKS: “I would like to thanks the boys from XLR8 Fabrications for the custom sliders/scrubs, rear dual wheel carrier that incorporates a winch and of course the modification and fabrication of parts for the sliding roofrack, Hayden from Custom Car & Boat Electrics for doing all the electrical wiring, Jason from JD Automotive & Detailing for his assistance and use of his workshop, the boys from Malaga suspension for the GVM upgrade and suspension and LCOOL.org forum for the technical knowledge and information.”

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