Bushcraft mods to your BLV

Mickldo

Ray Mears
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Near the start of the thread Greatbloke and Dusty Miller were discussing slide on campers. I just thought I would mention a couple of little things seeing as we are building one at work at the moment and I have been thinking about them all day.

The hardest thing about them is getting the doors right. They have to be water tight when shut, structurally rigid, and well sealed from dust. The water and dust sealing is mostly from the rubber seal. We use a good quality side bulb pinchweld seal. When you set the hinges and locks up you need to make sure you get the right amount of crush on the seal. To much and the door is a pain to shut and can warp out of shape, not enough and it won't seal right. We also have a secondary water trap in the form of a folded edge that sits inside the seal in a "J" fashion called a water track. That way if water was to get past the seal, say from a twig getting caught behind, then water would get caught in this "gutter" and get channeled around the edge so it doesn't come inside. We have been using this same design for years on hundreds of Ergon Energy vehicles and they are more than happy with the design, even when used in the tropics in the wet season during storms. It also helps divert water when the door is open and the rain sheets off the door towards the hinge. We use SS piano hinge so the water goes right through the hinge and if it didn't have the water track the water would fall straight down inside. A solid plastic hinge could be used for better sealing there but we use the piano hinge because it is an Ergon spec and we know it works.

The rigidity of the door is another aspect. As the door is generally fairly large (talking gullwing style here) then they usually flex a fair bit. We fold up a hat section and weld it to the inside of the door for extra strength.

Gotta go will continue this later............
 

AussiePreppers

Richard Proenneke
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Stuck on a decision at the moment... new landcruiser has no mounting for a spare tyre under the tray, although there is ample space in there. I have no idea why there isn't gear there for it. I've been thinking about one of those pull out trays and one would fit in there nice with heaps of storage (secure firearms storage, etc). Has anyone done anything like this and still kept the spare wheel under there? I hate having it in the tray or bolted on near the rear window. Maybe I could have a pull out tray that goes from left to right up the front of the tray instead of pulling out the rear and put the tyre in the usual spot back there? It has dual tanks but i'm sure the tyre will still fit there.

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Old man thought these had something to do with it, i'm not so sure...

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Bloffy13

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Hey AP: I fitted a 60l(ish) caravan tank up under there on my Hilux tray back and it fitted like it was made for it. Awesome. Basically had the tray off, put it in place and then put the tray back on.
Had it plumbed up and it worked really well when we travelled around Australia for 10 months.
Also, off the roof rack had a couple of rods I could slide out. Had a small L hook on each which we could hook a tarp around. Had a small battery powered shower from Kmart which, with one billy of hot to three billies of cold was enough for two adults and two grubby kids to have a comfortable bush shower.
As for the Camprite Camper, I would have one in a flash. We were in Tasmania and a young couple pulled up with four kids ranging from a babe in arms to about a 6yo. Mum opened up and started cooking tea while Dad pulled out the camper and their kids played with ours.
In 10-15 minutes they were set up for the night and within half an hour fed and watered as well. Rarely see them second hand, which is probably a good sign.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Mickldo

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Stuck on a decision at the moment... new landcruiser has no mounting for a spare tyre under the tray, although there is ample space in there. I have no idea why there isn't gear there for it. I've been thinking about one of those pull out trays and one would fit in there nice with heaps of storage (secure firearms storage, etc). Has anyone done anything like this and still kept the spare wheel under there? I hate having it in the tray or bolted on near the rear window. Maybe I could have a pull out tray that goes from left to right up the front of the tray instead of pulling out the rear and put the tyre in the usual spot back there? It has dual tanks but i'm sure the tyre will still fit there.

View attachment 9817

Old man thought these had something to do with it, i'm not so sure...

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Hi AP

Those brackets are for mounting a spare, probably just a 7.50R16 (or 235/85R16) though. I have seen those exact same brackets on a couple of different vehicles. We have built a couple of Land Cruiser trays for customers, not to mention the 260 odd Nissan Patrols for Ergon we have built to date, that have the spares under the tray in that spot. If you have a wider tyre and it doesn't fit on your truck you may have to raise the tray a touch to get it to fit. The little ladder thing on the LH side would be a rest for the cross piece. The cross piece would have a hook to slip over the "ladder". The swinging bracket with the nut would accept a bolt used to tighten the tyre hard up under the tray. We usually weld on a T piece to the bolt so you don't need tools to remove. The end of the bolt that pokes through the nut would be drilled to take a padlock or R clip so it doesn't come loose.

The Ergon Nissans we build come with trays from Triple M. The spare tyre mounts under their trays are a standard Triple M option for their trays.

If you need to raise your tray to squeeze your tyre in it would be a simple case of removing the bolts, jacking it up, fitting appropriate sized spacers and then reattach using longer bolts. Just remember to use high tensile bolts. Worst case scenario I reckon you would need to lift it only 25-30mm to fit your tyres unless you are running massive muddies.

The under tray conventionally goes in from the back where the spare could go and are available commercially to fit this space. As you have pointed out though a side opening tray could mean you could keep your spare at the back as described. It would depend on the amount of room you have to fit the tray in. How much space do you have vertically between the rope rail and chassis, and horizontally between the tray mounts? In other words, what is the biggest size box that could slip in there from side to side? The other question is do you want the box to be weather/ splash/ water/ dust proof? If you need it to seal you will lose a lot of usable space in the seals. The other place you will lose space is allowing for the sliders. You might find that you spend over $1000 to get a box that would be only big enough to store one rifle and that would be about it. If you didn't need it to seal (say for storing a shovel or hi lift jack) you could make it a lot bigger.

An alternative, but one that doesn't allow storage of long items like firearms, is to just have two conventional underbody toolboxes (you know the ones with the angled end to match the angle of the mudguard) and then have a drop box in the centre of the tray for dirty items like chains, snatch straps, D shackles, etc. Access to the centre box would be from the tray though so may not be suitable for your use.
 
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Mickldo

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Hey AP: I fitted a 60l(ish) caravan tank up under there on my Hilux tray back and it fitted like it was made for it. Awesome. Basically had the tray off, put it in place and then put the tray back on.
Had it plumbed up and it worked really well when we travelled around Australia for 10 months.
Also, off the roof rack had a couple of rods I could slide out. Had a small L hook on each which we could hook a tarp around. Had a small battery powered shower from Kmart which, with one billy of hot to three billies of cold was enough for two adults and two grubby kids to have a comfortable bush shower.
As for the Camprite Camper, I would have one in a flash. We were in Tasmania and a young couple pulled up with four kids ranging from a babe in arms to about a 6yo. Mum opened up and started cooking tea while Dad pulled out the camper and their kids played with ours.
In 10-15 minutes they were set up for the night and within half an hour fed and watered as well. Rarely see them second hand, which is probably a good sign.
Cheers
Bloffy
Sounds like a good set up.

I have a 40L water tank that sits behind my back seat in my cruiser wagon. It is only 3" thick so you hardly even know its there. The other advantage is as it is inside the cab the AC keeps it cool on long drives.

The shower system is the same as what I use now but I am in the middle of mounting a new 65L water tank under my camper trailer and plumbing in a couple of new pumps. One pump is a low volume pump for conserving water for general sink duty whereas the other pump is a high flow unit for the shower. I am rigging the shower pump so I can draw from the tank or from an external source. I am also plumbing it so I can run it through a hot water system I am making to sit on the stove so that theoretically if I can draw from a dam or creek I can have an unlimited hot shower, well as long as the gas holds out anyway.:risatonaD:

One of these days I'll find a Camprite I can afford. Till then I will have to make do with my cheapy that I am slowly modding into a half decent camper.
 

Mickldo

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I have sort of been getting slightly off track with my own thread compared to what my original intention with the thread and thread title was. Don't get me wrong, I am happy to continue with this thread the direction it is heading, with you guys posting up pics of your vehicles and asking questions and with me waffling on and not making much sense, if that is what you want to do.

My original intention though was to discuss mods to your vehicle the may be classed as a continuation of you personal EDC, bushcraft kit, survival kit, Bug Out Bag, hiking kit, hunting kit. You know, if you were in the car and were caught in a situation it would allow easier survivability.

For example, a few years ago there was a big storm in Hervey Bay that came in suddenly. I was travelling along the Esplanade and there was a fallen tree in front of me across the road. We pulled up and sat out the storm in a safe place and then after the storm we turned around to find a way around the fallen tree. Behind us was another fallen tree. In the end myself and another 4wder with us cleared four fallen trees off the Esplanade to open the road again. We had axes, shovels, hi lift jacks, winches, straps, chains, shackles, etc which made this easy. We also had our fridges in the back with essentials like food and bourbon, as well as water tanks, tools, communications gear, navigation gear, etc. I know in this situation we didn't need these but if it had happened on a back country track miles from anywhere it could have easily turned into a serious situation. I know most of you would carry appropriate gear with you if you head bush but what if it is just a quick trip up the highway? During the floods with ex TC Oswald the Bruce Hwy was cut in numerous spots all along the length of the goat track .................whoops I meant highway. There were numerous cars stranded. How many of us carry appropriate gear even in your family sedan? I know I am probably preaching to the converted here as most here are pretty switched on but I thought it is something to be reminded about occasionally and it might be a good topic for discussion.

Told ya I waffle on a bit.........
 
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AussiePreppers

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Usually things like EDC, survival, BOB's, aren't spoken about in the main forum and the group made for it is a little bit different to forum posting, just the way the people who own the site want to run it. More than happy to talk about stashing bushcraft/camping kit though, and its easy enough to leave out enough not to offend the people who arent into that kinda thing and people who are can fill in the gaps.

Thanks for the tips, i'll have a look over the weekend at how much space I have for the new tyres. I know they will definitely fit between the chassis, fuel tank, other bits, and the floor of the tray, its just how they are held there securely without moving around. I thought something must be missing from the chassis, because if I slid a tyre in there now it would just rest on the chassis, or wiring, or the top of the fuel tank, which isn't ideal. I have no drama fabricating a whole new system that will fit this tyre, but was just wondering if there was a simple piece I was missing that would bring it all together. There still may be, i'll work it out though :)
 

Dusty Miller

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Maybe you can suspend it from the tray to avoid rubbing the wires or the sender on the tank.?
 

AussiePreppers

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I think it may prove to be difficult to get access to undo it with the space available. My "from scratch" idea was a carrier the tyre bolted on to that had a simple frame bolted on to the chassis and you could slide it out. When in place, bolts onto the tow bar would hold it in place, the carrier rear end would be secure inside some sort of rail, and eliminate any movement. This is the long way around, and doing it custom myself will probably work in better for anything else I want to put in there. I'm a bit down after reading that waterproof seals and whatnot will leave me with a small space... that kinda sucks :( Time to put the thinking cap on and trawl some sites for pics and ideas. Thanks.
 

Redrighthand

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The main reason I don't like the air tank in the bumper though on my own rig is I play in the rocks a bit, and if you ever saw the scrapes and gouges I have in my bumpers you'd know why I wouldn't want mine pressurised. But as I said before that is just my opinion and you may not play as hardcore as me and it would be fine for your usage.
I saw in a magazine a little while ago, a guy had done airtanks in his sidesteps/rocksliders. Pros: Centre of gravity between axles and lower. Cons: Same as bumper in really rocky terrain. They looked pretty substantial, however. Worth thinking about, anyway.

One of the mods I'd think about in any 4x4 would be longer range fuel tanks. Plenty of commercial options for most 4x4's, and it saves on trying to find ways to stow jerrycans.
 

Mickldo

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Usually things like EDC, survival, BOB's, aren't spoken about in the main forum and the group made for it is a little bit different to forum posting, just the way the people who own the site want to run it. More than happy to talk about stashing bushcraft/camping kit though, and its easy enough to leave out enough not to offend the people who arent into that kinda thing and people who are can fill in the gaps.

Thanks for the tips, i'll have a look over the weekend at how much space I have for the new tyres. I know they will definitely fit between the chassis, fuel tank, other bits, and the floor of the tray, its just how they are held there securely without moving around. I thought something must be missing from the chassis, because if I slid a tyre in there now it would just rest on the chassis, or wiring, or the top of the fuel tank, which isn't ideal. I have no drama fabricating a whole new system that will fit this tyre, but was just wondering if there was a simple piece I was missing that would bring it all together. There still may be, i'll work it out though :)
Sorry, didn't know about the kit thing. Back to regular programming.....

The tyre will sit on the chassis frames over the top of the sub tank at the front and the rear piece that is missing from yours will squish it up under the bottom of the tray. The wiring shouldn't be an issue, if it is it should only be the taillight wires that will need rerouting. There are extensions available for Cruisers to extend these wires, IIRC these are approx 400mm long and have factory plugs on each end so it is plug and play. Apart from these extensions if the wires get in the way the only thing you need is the rear "gate" that holds the tyre in. It should be a piece of box section with a hook on one end (to hook over the ladder on your LH chassis rail) and hole on the other end with T handle bolt (to screw into the swinging nut on the RH chassis rail). About the only other thing that may be needed is a stopper to stop the tyre sliding too far forward before the "gate" is tightened up.
 

Mickldo

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Maybe you can suspend it from the tray to avoid rubbing the wires or the sender on the tank.?
Yeah, the bracket he is missing clamps the tyre up to the under side of the tray. The chassis frame above the sub tank protects the wires and sender though. We have done a couple of Cruisers like this before with no issues. Actually the Cruiser we are building the slide on camper for at work at the moment we built the tray for too and it has this spare tyre arrangement under it too. When he brings the Cruiser back to get the canopy fitted once it is done I will take some photos of the spare tyre as well as the close ups of the seals and water tracks on the canopy.
 

Mickldo

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I think it may prove to be difficult to get access to undo it with the space available. My "from scratch" idea was a carrier the tyre bolted on to that had a simple frame bolted on to the chassis and you could slide it out. When in place, bolts onto the tow bar would hold it in place, the carrier rear end would be secure inside some sort of rail, and eliminate any movement. This is the long way around, and doing it custom myself will probably work in better for anything else I want to put in there. I'm a bit down after reading that waterproof seals and whatnot will leave me with a small space... that kinda sucks :( Time to put the thinking cap on and trawl some sites for pics and ideas. Thanks.
The seal arrangement we use takes up 35mm per side and the slides take up 13mm per side so that is 96mm overall the drawer will be narrower than the gap you have and that is assuming everything is tight. You may be able to get it narrower than the 35mm but it wouldn't seal as well.
 

Mickldo

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I saw in a magazine a little while ago, a guy had done airtanks in his sidesteps/rocksliders. Pros: Centre of gravity between axles and lower. Cons: Same as bumper in really rocky terrain. They looked pretty substantial, however. Worth thinking about, anyway.

One of the mods I'd think about in any 4x4 would be longer range fuel tanks. Plenty of commercial options for most 4x4's, and it saves on trying to find ways to stow jerrycans.
Sliders may prove to be better than bumpers for this reason. I'd still be slightly wary of them though as you still need a drain in the bottom to get rid of excess condensation, and sliders, by design, scrape across rocks. I personally prefer the tanks tucked up out of the way so they can be protected.

Good point on the long range tanks. Jerry cans are great but a tank is a lot safer. That is one of the reasons I like my cruiser, 145L of diesel stock, and room to squeeze a whole lot more if I decide to fit aftermarket tanks.
 

Bernoulli

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Mods to my SWB Pajero



I bought another console from the wrecking yard and modified it to put in a warmer/cooler. It has a good height for an armrest, has drink holders and holds regular stuff when not turned on.




This is a locking box bolted to the floor. I removed one of the rear seats to put it in. It carries basic stuff for auto repair/camping/survival. It's always there.
 

auscraft

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G'day \I am currently thinking of getting a cruiser or patrol to upgrade from my trusty old Hilux. Plans are getting ready to travel big time.
My questions are has anyone used had experience with Flexy Coil Lift Kits ( that is a 2in lift kit Legal, that get the flex of a 4 inch lift kit)?
2nd question I am a auto fanatic for more reasons than you may think ( have you ever tried driving manual with shattered wrist), but other than the obvious cooling issues autos have including Tran oil what other suggestions other than Tran temp gauges , aftermarket radiator and cooling system would you suggest.
 

Mickldo

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G'day \I am currently thinking of getting a cruiser or patrol to upgrade from my trusty old Hilux. Plans are getting ready to travel big time.
My questions are has anyone used had experience with Flexy Coil Lift Kits ( that is a 2in lift kit Legal, that get the flex of a 4 inch lift kit)?
2nd question I am a auto fanatic for more reasons than you may think ( have you ever tried driving manual with shattered wrist), but other than the obvious cooling issues autos have including Tran oil what other suggestions other than Tran temp gauges , aftermarket radiator and cooling system would you suggest.
Hi Auscraft,
Either the 80-100 series Cruiser or the GQ-GU Patrol would be a good choice. I'm a Cruiser man myself but there is not too much wrong with a Poo-troll. Can't really go too much wrong with either.

The "Flexy Colis" have a few more coils over the length of the spring than a standard coil. This usually results in a slightly smoother ride and more droop than normal coils. They may not have as good a load carrying capacity though. There is a few other factors though.

I just have standard 2" coils in my HZJ105 Cruiser. I have done every "red" track at LandCruiser Mountain Park on these coils when they were in my old HZJ80. Granted, I wasn't running any sway bars but I also didn't have any lockers either. The point is without the sway bars the articulation was awesome and kept all the wheels on the deck all the time. The standard 2" coils weren't the restriction, the sway bars were. Changing to 2" Flexy Coils shouldn't give any more articulation than normal if you don't disconnect the swaybars. After the sway bars the next major limiting factor is shock length.

What do you want to do with your new rig? Touring, hard core wheeling, towing? For most uses, apart from hard core wheeling, standard style suspension is fine. Go for a drive in a vehicle that has the Flexy coils and see if the ride is better than normal. If you can't pick any difference stick to the standard 2" ones.

Autos are great off road except for the lack of engine braking. As you know autos hate the heat. Auto coolers, temp gauges, etc all help. Getting an auto specialist to go over the auto is a good idea too. Autos work really well with turbo diesels too. The torque curve of the TD suits the autos just nice.
 

Mickldo

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OK, I just reread your post and I saw that you did say what your use was, to tour with. For touring, which is what my 100 is set up for at the moment, I would recommend just standard 2" coils. Not only just for the Legality side but also lower centre of gravity, increased load carrying capacity over standard, better ride, etc. Off road ability is just fine with the 2" coils.

One thing to be aware of though is how much weight you have on board the vehicle. Once I fitted a dual swing away tyre carrier on the back of my 80 the 2" suspension sagged to less than stock, so I ended up having to get 4" coils with 30mm spacers to get the car level again. Set up the vehicle to how you want it and then do the suspension to suit the weight.
 
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