Overland hilux build: Part one
A journey from standard workhorse to independent remote traveler
"Hey James, fancy selling me your hilux?" a vehicle i had been admiring since he first drove it into work some months earlier after rescuing it off a business man with too many toys. A long shot i thought but after recently coming back from a trip with my Suzuki Jimny to France i needed something bigger to be able to go further afield.
The Suzuki Jimny did well as a beach hack but didnt like eating them motorway miles
To my surprise he replied with "Yer, go on then" and a couple of weeks later i had a 2007 Toyota Hilux Invincible sat on my drive way, as it stood then it had a few modifications including a Pedders +2inch lift on the front to level out the ride and 32inch BFG Mud Terrain Tyres strangely enough mounted on Toyota Land Crusier alloy rims which he wanted back!
While the steel rims were on order, so i could give my mate his rims back, i started making a list of the changes i wanted to implicate. The first on the list was a new set of reversing lights, anyone that owns a Hilux will tell you the reverse light sucks luckily Wilderness Lighting had just brought out a flush mount option for their "compact lights" which when fitted to the rear bumper quickly improved the situation and looked great while doing it
Not long after the rims arrived and they went straight into the make shift spray bay to add a bit of individuality to the project. Could be viewed as pointless to most Overlanders but a certain part of me likes the uniqueness of the little things, once fitted i handed the Crusier rims back to their owner and moved onto the next item on the ever expanding list
Next was a power upgrade, funnily enough Toyota left a big space under the bonnet most likely for a factory twin battery set-up for cold climates. Making use of this space i fabricated a battery tray and fitted a 55amp hour AGM Leisure Battery charged by a CTEK 250 Battery to Battery charger, this differs from a conventional split charge relay mainly due to the fact this unit never connects the two batteries together which eliminates problems caused by mixing battery types and ages.
This coupled with some outlets switches will allow us to run for a couple of days with out having to turn the key, later on this will be upgraded after a couple of incidents which resulted in a completely flat auxiliary battery.
VARTA & CTEK Side byside at the heart of the Hilux Aux Power System