Build of the Month - Owen's 79 Series Touring build

Build of the Month - Owen's 79 Series Touring build

Our build of the month this month is a 79 series build which we did for our customer Owen. We helped Owen spec this long range tourer over a 5 month period, providing him with a range of options to achieve his desired end state, along with the pros and cons of those options.

Including upgrades like a 300mm chassis extension, custom mods to his canopy, and a GVM upgrade, this build came together over a 2 month period.

While we recommended that Owen do a shakedown trip and return after 1000km of driving to allow us to check over the vehicle and make sure everything is OK, just a few days after he picked up the 79 from us he headed away on a 5 month trip to the outback.

We're glad to report that the vehicle performed flawlessly!

Why did Owen choose the 79 as a platform?

Owen's previous vehicle was a very well setup 100 series Landcruiser, which was twin locked, had reduction gears, and long range fuel tanks.  It did everything he needed, including towing his camper.  However, it was heavy, and also getting a little older and Owen was worried about GVM, especially given that he envisages upgrading to an off-road Caravan in the future, and he knew that the 100 series just wasn't going to continue to suit his needs.

While he loved the 100 series, he was also finding that he was regularly having to unpack gear he wasn't using in the vehicle in order to get to other stuff because of the nature of the wagon.

Owen considered upgrading to a 200 series, or even buying a 300 series against building a 79.  However, with his goal being reliable, long term touring and keeping things as simple as possible, he came to the conclusion that the 200 series and 300 series, with more advanced but complex electrical systems might create a risk for issues down the track vs the 79, which is a simpler platform.

Having done his research, Owen was fully aware of the negatives of the 79 series platform, including wheel track and handbrake, and when he came to Solve he had a good idea of what was needed to get to his end goal.

 What did the build involve?

Owen's build incorporated the following upgrades:

  • ARB Bullbar, sidebars, and side steps and rated recovery point
  • Warn XEON 12,000 pound winch
  • Lightforce HID Driving Lights
  • Safari Snorkel
  • DWIZ Rear Track correction
  • Marks 4WD Handbrake upgrade
  • 4300 GVM Upgrade
  • 300mm Chassis extension
  • 79 series centre console and roof console upgrade
  • Internal sound deadening
  • Rhino-Rack Backbone Platform Roof Rack
  • Rock Solid Tray and Canopy
  • The Bush Company 270 XT Awning
  • Long range comms upgrades (including HF Radio) and 150AH Baintech slimline battery, Redarc BCDC charger and Invertor
  • Enerdive "Traveller" Electrical system coupled 2600W Invertor, 300A Lithium battery and 360W Solar input
  • Induction Cooktop
  • ARB Compressor
  • Bushman Upright Fridge
  • Fox 2.0 Suspension upgrade
  • Hayman Reese Xbar rear tow bar with Stedi worklights
  • King Offroad Hurricane 16" Wheels
  • BF Goodrich KM3 Mud terrain tyres - 285/75/16
  • Heavy Duty Clutch
  • Intercooler upgrade
  • Torqit DPF back Exhaust

You'll notice that there were no major engine upgrades despite the additional weight.  This is because Owen's priority was reliability over performance.  He was happy with the performance of the stock setup, so the only mods done were to improve reliability.

Even with this significant build, we recommended our FOX 2.0 suspension based on Owen's requirements for all round comfort, balanced with off-road performance. 


The Process

When Owen came to us, he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to achieve, and a spreadsheet listing of his ideas.  Nick and the team spoke to Owen about his build, and then over a period of about 5 months (that's not a typo), we helped Owen finalise the spec of his build.

We did not dictate to Owen how he needed to build his car, but we asked a lot of questions about how Owen was intending to use his car in order to understand his needs.

We then came up with a range of ways he could spec his build to achieve those outcomes, with our opinion on the pros and cons of each.  And then we encouraged Owen to do his own homework to validate our recommendations.

If you ask Owen, he recently told us that he chose Solved Offroad because of our clear knowledge of products and the industry, but also because he wanted to deal with one group of people across the build, not multiple individual businesses, where he risked each one blaming someone else if there was an issue after delivery.

After we had started the build, Owen injured himself to the point that he couldn't work the clutch of the vehicle (and wouldn't be able to again for quite a while). That set in motion a process which resulted in a 6 speed auto conversion (using 200 series running gear), adding additional time to the final build.

The Outcome

Owen has been incredibly happy with the outcome.  While we would generally recommend that on a build like this, you drive the vehicle for a few thousand km including a shorter shakedown trip and then return to us for an inspection before hitting the dirt for a logner trip, Owen completely ignored this advice. He picked up the vehicle on Tuesday, and was in Birdsville by Saturday before he spent 3 months exploring North Queensland.

We're pleased to say that on his remote trip, there was nothing that broke or went wrong with the vehicle - it performed flawlessly even though it travelled some of the roughest roads in the country over that period of time.

After that time on the road, he loves the layout and setup, and feels that everything is exactly where it needs to be, which we think is the result of all the time spent planning and challenging Owen on his build.

Owen is now getting ready for his next trip!

Thanks for trusting us with your build Owen.  We are stoked with the outcome and seeing you out there enjoying it.  We can't wait to join you for a few days exploring very soon...

If you are considering doing a build, we strongly recommend getting in touch early in the process, especially if it is a new vehicle.  If we can get involved pre-registration, there is a bit more flexibility in what we can do to setup your vehicle, but we also have the time to work with you to make sure that the end result is everything you hoped for and more!

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