Surf with a twist!

I bought the Surf in February 1999 – jeez, was it that long ago? I loved the shape and the colour as well as the fact that it has all Prado underpinnings and the venerable 1KZ-TE engine. It is a 5 speed manual and has all the comforts of home. It has a centre diff with ADD on the front axle which allows me to use it in 2WD, 4WD and AWD.

 

The 1st mod was a double din JVC CD/MP3/Tape/Radio to replace the original Toyota Japanese stereo. With imports, the radio can only tune into lower frequencies than we use in Australia.

Next on the list was a couple of old spotties that I put on in place of the massive factory option fog lights.

A TJM winch bar came next. After many phone calls and dead ends I found out that TJM sells Prado bars in the U.S as 4Runner bars, so I got onto head office and had one sent to Out of Town 4WD which I picked up and fitted the next day. ARB would not even sell me one that they sell for 4Runners in the U.S! (this policy has changed now due to demand)


 


After fitting such a big lump of steel to the front, the suspension started to sag a fair bit. After more hassles of trying to convince salesmen that Prado gear fitted, I bought a set of OME heavy duty coils and shocks which went underneath without too much fuss. With the saggy suspension, the new stuff gave me a lift of about four inches! This has settled a fair bit over the years.

 

When the original Maxxis tyres wore out I fitted el cheapo GT Radial muddies 1” bigger than standard. These tyres served me very well but wore out very quickly.

 

With all this new found traction and weight, I destroyed the front diff, left hand CV shaft and transfer case (whoops) in a big rut near Mt. Sugarloaf, one of my favourite places to drive. Which is handy, as it’s just out the front door.

I decided to re-gear it to suit the tyres while I had the car up on stands, so now it runs 4.3 as opposed to 4.1:1 diff gears. I also fitted a Prado radiator core as the Japanese one was paper thin and she’d get a bit hot on the beach.

 

I broke another front diff at Wallaroo State Forest and decided to fit a front locker. I went through the same old “grey import crap” before they finally relented and sold me an Air locker. I got a low kilometre rear LSD centre which I had adjusted up to make it an “almost” locker. This was great for about 3 months until it stopped working properly. After I saved up more money I convinced the Missus (Janiesurf) that I needed a rear air locker to keep the front one company.

 


 

It has now got dual batteries, an Optima red for cranking and a yellow top for accessories and to run the Warn XD9000 which is fitted with B-Line synthetic rope. The winch was a freebie! The rope wasn’t…….

It has a GME TX 4000 UHF (an oldy but a goody!) in the cab and a 6 litre air tank under the rear which will run the lockers for a 2 day trip without the ARB compressor cutting in. It also has a Bushranger Max Air in the back which outdoes the poor little ARB by a long way.  

It now has the new 32” Cooper STTs that replaced the muddies and they seem like a pretty good tyre, albeit very noisy on road. I also fitted 80 series shocks to the rear, which free it up quite a bit! I even had to put 2” extensions on the bumpstops to try and keep it in check!

Future mods include a snorkel, sliders and a rear bar as I’ve done a bit of panel modification that Janies not too impressed with.

It’s not as pretty as when I first got it but it’s a hell of a lot more capable!!

All the mods, except setting up the diff centres, have been done by me with a lot of help from my brother Sean (GUHOON), who I’d like to thank heaps.

 

 

 

©2006 DownUnder4x4

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