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Project Toyota HiLux build: Part 3

23 Mar 2016 Gear

The Loaded Lux build giveaway car gets some TJM Protection, a Mean Mother winch and Lightforce LED lights.

Project Toyota HiLux build: Part 3

The Loaded Lux build giveaway car gets some TJM Protection, a Mean Mother winch and Lightforce LED lights. 

Click here for your chance to win 4x4 Australia's Custom Toyota Hilux.


Aside from the factory accessory canopy, our Lux looked sales-rep stock, so some fresh barwork was needed to toughen it up and to protect it in the bush. We wanted a different look for the front of the car and elected for a steel bar without top hoops. Sure, it doesn’t offer the best level of animal-strike protection for the radiator, but it’s the lighter look we wanted for this rig.

TJM’s ‘Frontier’ winch bar fit the bill, but the catalogue only lists it for the 2011 ‘facelifted’ model onwards. It’s basically the same came car as our 2010 model, so the guys at TJM said they would make the bar fit.

The car went to TJM Airport West for the fit-out, where James managed the job. The steel Frontier bar still offers better frontal protection than the plastic OE bar and it also allows a better approach angle. With integrated fog lights, LED indicators, high-lift jacking points, and provisions for light and aerial mounts, the ADR-compliant bar gives the Lux a smarter yet tougher look.

The TJM bar is rated to take a 9500lb winch, perfect for the Mean Mother Edge 9500lb winch we had. TJM Airport West fitted the winch to the bar before installing the whole assembly on the car.

Just about every one of these Hiluxes that we’ve off-road tested over the years has gone back to the company with bent or damaged factory aluminium side steps. On our car these were turfed in favour of TJM’s 50mm tubular steel steps that offer genuine sill protection. They mount direct to the chassis for extra durability, plus they offer the owner the option of fitting TJM brush bars (with a different bull bar) should they want to add them down the track.

That same durability carries through to the back, where James fitted a TJM Rear Step/tow bar. 63mm tube steel; high-lift jacking points; alloy tread plates and a rated class-4 tow bar all add up to deliver protection, functionality and good looks.

With bigger tyres coming soon for the Hilux, we wanted a set of SR5-style flares for it and chose the TJM fiberglass reproduction items. These fit like factory, but if you look closely they don’t quite meet the front bar as they should, but that’s the price we paid for electing to fit a later model bar. They’ll nicely cover the set of Cooper Tires we have ready to fit next month.


The Mean Mother Edge winch is rated to pull 9500lb. Its 4.8hp motor delivers through a planetary gearbox with hardened steel gears while the remote-control box is connected using tin-plated heavy-duty copper cables for the best conductivity. For the sake of safety and the benefit of lighter weight, we asked for the winch to come with synthetic rope rather than steel cabl,e and the fact that MM use genuine Dyneema rope on its synth models backed up our choice. 30.5 meters of the tough, blue 9.5mm Dyneema rope fits to the drum of the Edge and exits the bar through an alloy hawse fairlead.

The Mean Mother Edge 9500lb winch with Dyneema rope and hawse fairlead retails for $999.00.


Also mounted to the bar is a pair of Lighforce LED 180 spot lights. These little wonders impressed us with their performance when we tested them last year (See the video at www.4x4australia.com.au/gear/electronics-gadgets/1410/lightforce-led-180-road-test/ ) and again in our LED light test. So it was a no brainer to fit our Lux with some Lightforce lux.

Using seven 10W high output CREE chips installed in deep reflectors, the LED180s punch above their weight and outshine many bigger, cheaper LED products. With military-spec water and dust protection, they are durable, too, so they cope with all the hazards being on the front of a Toyota can throw at them.

Lightforce also supplied us with a pair of its LED ROK lamps, which we’ll be mounting in the back as camp/work lights once we get to that part of the rig.


TJM 4x4 Equipment
Available at TJM stores nationally

Mean Mother winches
Available in leading 4x4 accessories retailers

Available in leading 4x4 accessories retailers

Want to see more of our Project Hilux build? Check out the below: