Yellow HZJ 78 troopy (2001) build

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Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

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Hi everyone, a little over 4 years ago, I bought a 2001 Land cruiser 78 series with 193k kilometers on the clock. A couple of previous owners had (based on the invoices) taken very good care of it. Other than an additional LRA fuel tank and a good set of BF Goodrich tires, the truck was stock. Factory lockers and no a/c. There was also a brand new R151F gearbox, as the previous one had recently failed.

This car left the port of Antwerp a couple of weeks ago and arrived in Baltimore last week for a year of travel across north, central and south America (if all goes well). An introduction and a short build topic are therefore way overdue! I will try to write it all down in the next couple of weeks. Over the last years, this forum has been a tremendous guide and inspiration for many of the things that have been done to this troopy. Thank you!

Let’s get started. This is how the truck looked when I bought it:

1636602171084


And how it looked when it was shipped a couple of weeks ago:

1636602243170
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

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Belgium
I started off with cleaning all the dirt and grime that had accumulated behind the walls for more than 15 years. The floor of the truck was protected by a worn sheet of plywood but looked spotless, clear of any rust. I applied both audio insulation (abx alubutyl) and thermic isolation (19mm Armaflex).

1636602494049



1636602512081


1636602548346



Thermic insulation was also applied to all side walls and inside the door panels. I also installed new flooring that functions as a base plate and added some carpet to the wheel wells.


1636602593462
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

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Next, a pop-top roof was installed by PSP expedition campers, a small Dutch company. It is a complete alloy construction weighing approx. 35 kg more than the original roof. There are numerous customization possibilities, but we kept it basic and opted to build the bed construction ourselves.

1636602709138




1636602774790


At the front of the car a nice overhead console (which I customized later) was installed, which fitted perfectly with the new roof.

1636602795011



1636602926641


As a mattress support, I used the froli system, which is also often used in boats. Super comfortable and breathable.

1636602942433
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
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Messages
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Location
Belgium
For the interior build, I used an alloy tube construction from a company called Handytube with HPL plates, inspired by @Paulrotterdam 's 75 series build. I then made cutouts in the HPL plates for all the cabinet hinges. Measuring, planning and ordering the HPL and alloy tubes took a while:

1636603136723


1636603149922


If someone would need them, I should also still have the detailed plans of the cabinets that were not butchered :)

Preparing and labelling the alloy frames:

1636603239018



Test fitting:

1636603272981



And almost there:

1636603350671


Left of the fridge, I left space for an 80 liter water tank. On the right side, I put a 200 ah AGM battery (more on that later). The space was tight but it fitted nicely.
So far, I am very happy with the cabinets. They are super light and still strong. A minor disadvantage with working with HPL is that you cannot easily drill holes, nor easily cut them to size. @Paulrotterdam had already pointed this out and this is definitely true.


I will further update this topic in the next couple of days!
 
Paulrotterdam

Paulrotterdam

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104
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The Netherlands
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www.flipfloppingtheglobe.nl
For the interior build, I used an alloy tube construction from a company called Handytube with HPL plates, inspired by @Paulrotterdam 's 75 series build. I then made cutouts in the HPL plates for all the cabinet hinges. Measuring, planning and ordering the HPL and alloy tubes took a while:

View attachment 2835890

View attachment 2835891

If someone would need them, I should also still have the detailed plans of the cabinets that were not butchered :)

Preparing and labelling the alloy frames:

View attachment 2835897


Test fitting:

View attachment 2835899


And almost there:

View attachment 2835900

Left of the fridge, I left space for an 80 liter water tank. On the right side, I put a 200 ah AGM battery (more on that later). The space was tight but it fitted nicely.
So far, I am very happy with the cabinets. They are super light and still strong. A minor disadvantage with working with HPL is that you cannot easily drill holes, nor easily cut them to size. @Paulrotterdam had already pointed this out and this is definitely true.


I will further update this topic in the next couple of days!

I have copyright on this system, choice of materials and layout lol ;)

Great to see that you made a similar choice, we've been very happy with it. Our interior still looks like new after 1,5 years of overland travel.

So did you powdercoat the handytube system white? Looks great!
 
FJ73Texas

FJ73Texas

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Are those handytubes 1"X1"? They look bigger of course but I can't really tell. McMasterCarr sells this sytem but not sure if it is handytube brand.
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

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Messages
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Belgium
Was this fixed or it can be removed handly?


If you decide to come up north in Canada let me know P
The froli system is a click-and-go system, and lays loosely on the base plate, so it can be removed by hand. It does not move while driving, as when the roof is closed, it’s squeezed in between the matras / blankets and the base plate.

We bought the overhead console from PSP expedition campers, through a Belgian dealer. It’s built specifically for their pop-up roof though, so I’m not sure how good it would fit into another construction. I’ll upload the pictures of how we customised the console further tomorrow (when we finally have sufficient cell coverage).

Though we loved to include Canada in our trip, we had to start in the US due to COVID border restrictions. Maybe next time! ;)
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
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Messages
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Location
Belgium
I have copyright on this system, choice of materials and layout lol ;)

Great to see that you made a similar choice, we've been very happy with it. Our interior still looks like new after 1,5 years of overland travel.

So did you powdercoat the handytube system white? Looks great!
Haha, and a great choice it was!

Thanks! We bought the bare alloy tubes, and primed and painted them (if I recall correctly, the powdercoating offered by handytube was quite expensive). After a couple of years, the paint is holding pretty good (though as expected, a bit less on the plastic connection pieces).
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

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Messages
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That sounds great! Unfortunately, we’re already halfway through Texas right now, heading west! Thanks for the offer though ;)
If you get near Wilmington, North Carolina; let me know. We will get you out on a beautiful beach - Fort Fisher State Rec Area.
View attachment 2842200
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
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Messages
11
Location
Belgium
So, the first three weeks in the US have flown by, it has been an amazing trip so far. Find a place with WiFi to upload these pictures took a while, as we have been camping non-stop. We are currently in Phoenix and will be taking our time to explore Western USA.

Bumpers

I picked up a second-hand ARB front bumper. I sanded down the rusty spots, primed it and gave it a couple of layers of brantho korrux.

1637729515243


For a winch, I chose a winchmax 12500 LBS, a UK / Chinese winch. I heard about this brand locally as it gets (ab)used with consistent good results.

I was able to purchase the rear bumper from a wrecked 78 land cruiser. It is from a Polish manufacturer called Fabryka 4x4. The swing-out tire carriers are attached to both doors with a metal plate. Opening the door works with a handle on the side, which lifts the rear door latch.

1637729572448


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A disadvantage to this bumper is that there seems to be getting water / condensation in the bearings of the swingout arms over time. After three years, they looked like this:

1637729642005


I guess I should figure out a way how to stop the gradual water ingress. Switching out the bearings is an easy fix though.
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
Water system

There is an 80 liter water tank behind the driver’s seat. A Shurflo Trail King water pump pumps this water through our system. A small pre-filter is added to protect the pump.

1637729765475



Water tubes go to a faucet above the kitchen and a shower outlet. The faucet is for drinking water only. A seagull marine water filtration system filters this water underneath the sink.

For hot water and / or a shower system, I looked into a lot of systems. I do not like the diesel / propane / electric boilers, given that they look burdensome, are expensive and take up a lot of space. I liked the heat exchanger units that use the engine’s coolant and can be installed in the engine bay but was not keen on cutting into the coolant hoses + engine bay space was at a premium. Thankfully, the troopy had a rear heater that was abundant. First, it was removed:

1637729785501


Instead of connecting the 2 pieces of coolant hose (which is often done when the heater is removed), a 30 plate heat exchanger was installed where the heater used to be, and installed permanently in the side panel behind the passenger seat, nicely out of the way.

1637730119126





Although this is still a shower system that taps into the engine, it required no cutting into fuel hoses. To be sure, I nevertheless installed a 12v water sensor with an alarm below the heat exchanger, just in case a leak would occur at the heat exchanger (either coolant or water). The hot water from the exit side of the heat exchanger and a cold water hose are routed to this thermostat at the backside of the car:



1637729866294



We usually run the car for a couple of minutes before hot water is readily available.

To avoid draining the water tank too fast, there is an additional, external input. It can be put into any additional water source, but we usually use a jerrycan that can be easily filled when on the road. In places where free (drink)water is more difficult to come by, we can use water from a river as well (as the water from the jerrycan will be used for showering only). The water is pre-filtered before running through the water system (with an Icepure 5 micron inline sediment filter). It does not render the water potable, but does eliminate most larger sediments, to avoid damage to our system.

1637729912473


The setup works great, having a (1HZ-) shower while travelling for a long time is game changer when it comes to being comfortable.
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
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Location
Belgium
Overhead console

The overhead console that we purchased along with the pop top roof fitted great, and provides useful overhead space when driving. As there still was a lot of room left between the console and the visors, we made some modifications. First, we doubled the available space by adding additional plywood / HPL, while making inserts for two speakers, and keeping the original dome light.


1637730264858



Besides the speakers, I wired in two led reading lights and two 12v 20 amp sockets. The latter are used to consistently charge camera batteries and other electronics. I used a blue sea 4 port fuse box on the rear side of the console. The whole console comes out with four screws so this remains accessible.

1637730278469




Lastly, the reverse camera (connected to reverse light + a dashboard switch), handsfree mic and a dashcam cabling was installed and the console was carpeted:

1637730316285



1637730327483











 
Lo2aY

Lo2aY

Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
238
Location
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Water system

There is an 80 liter water tank behind the driver’s seat. A Shurflo Trail King water pump pumps this water through our system. A small pre-filter is added to protect the pump.

View attachment 2846814


Water tubes go to a faucet above the kitchen and a shower outlet. The faucet is for drinking water only. A seagull marine water filtration system filters this water underneath the sink.

For hot water and / or a shower system, I looked into a lot of systems. I do not like the diesel / propane / electric boilers, given that they look burdensome, are expensive and take up a lot of space. I liked the heat exchanger units that use the engine’s coolant and can be installed in the engine bay but was not keen on cutting into the coolant hoses + engine bay space was at a premium. Thankfully, the troopy had a rear heater that was abundant. First, it was removed:

View attachment 2846815

Instead of connecting the 2 pieces of coolant hose (which is often done when the heater is removed), a 30 plate heat exchanger was installed where the heater used to be, and installed permanently in the side panel behind the passenger seat, nicely out of the way.

View attachment 2846819




Although this is still a shower system that taps into the engine, it required no cutting into fuel hoses. To be sure, I nevertheless installed a 12v water sensor with an alarm below the heat exchanger, just in case a leak would occur at the heat exchanger (either coolant or water). The hot water from the exit side of the heat exchanger and a cold water hose are routed to this thermostat at the backside of the car:



View attachment 2846817


We usually run the car for a couple of minutes before hot water is readily available.

To avoid draining the water tank too fast, there is an additional, external input. It can be put into any additional water source, but we usually use a jerrycan that can be easily filled when on the road. In places where free (drink)water is more difficult to come by, we can use water from a river as well (as the water from the jerrycan will be used for showering only). The water is pre-filtered before running through the water system (with an Icepure 5 micron inline sediment filter). It does not render the water potable, but does eliminate most larger sediments, to avoid damage to our system.

View attachment 2846818

The setup works great, having a (1HZ-) shower while travelling for a long time is game changer when it comes to being comfortable.

Tackling a similar project soon. Same color too!

We've been doing a lot with this water system. I find it more comfortable to adjust the water temp with a valve. They make RV valves where you can adjust the output water temp. It hooks up to the pump pre heat-exchanger and you can adjust the temp as you like.

beautiful build. Following along.
 
Yellowtaxi

Yellowtaxi

Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
Thanks! And sorry for the late reply, We have been in Baja over the last two weeks with barely any reception. Seems like I still have a ton of updating to do :) Is your project a 70 series well?

As regards the water valve, we have one too (just above the shower quick connect in the picture above). This adjusts the water temp after the heat exchanger though.



Tackling a similar project soon. Same color too!

We've been doing a lot with this water system. I find it more comfortable to adjust the water temp with a valve. They make RV valves where you can adjust the output water temp. It hooks up to the pump pre heat-exchanger and you can adjust the temp as you like.

beautiful build. Following along.
Tackling a similar project soon. Same color too!

We've been doing a lot with this water system. I find it more comfortable to adjust the water temp with a valve. They make RV valves where you can adjust the output water temp. It hooks up to the pump pre heat-exchanger and you can adjust the temp as you like.

beautiful build. Following along.
 
Victorc

Victorc

Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Salt Lake City
I believe I saw your troopy a couple days ago in La Ventana. I had to turn around to take some pictures. Beautiful build!
 

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