You need good comms wherever you go in the scrub, so the crew at Outback 4WD in Bayswater fitted a GME TX4500S 80-channel UHF radio (RRP $540). Backing that up was a GME AE4705 heavy duty 6db antenna on a spring base (RRP $280).
I have a similar setup in my Patrol and have always liked the standard of the radio’s reception and the voice quality of the front-mounted speaker, while the antenna is flexible and robust.
For a bit more storage space in the cab of the 79, we fitted a 4WD Interior’s Top Shelf unit (RRP $495). The shelf imposes little on headroom and not only does it hold the UHF radio but it’s a handy place to throw a few small items such as maps and guidebooks. Still, I’d like to see a support located in the centre of the shelf just to make the shelf a little more solid so it doesn’t vibrate or flex on rough tracks and corrugated roads.
Last but not least, I fitted an Armax snorkel (RRP $594 for the complete kit, to suit 70 Series) from Safari 4x4 Engineering. Good, unrestricted airflow to the engine is one of the most important criteria for a proper functioning powerplant; while keeping the air that flows to the engine as free as possible from dust and other particles, as well as any water, is critical.
4x4 Industry Insider: Safari 4x4 Engineering complete airflow system
Safari has been building snorkels for a whole range of 4WD vehicles for darn near as long as I have been writing for 4X4 Australia ... and that’s a few decades now. Now with the introduction of its Armax range of snorkels, Safari has three model line-ups of snorkel to choose from, with more than 250 models of snorkels to suit more than 300 models of vehicles, both old and new.
Its RSPEC range is made for non-current model vehicles only, while the VSPEC range covers most current models of 4WDs as well as the popular 100 Series Cruiser and GU Patrol. The Armax range is designed to deliver huge gains in airflow and engine performance, and Safari now offers 14 different models to suit the most popular four-wheel drives.
The 70 Series does come with a so-called “snorkel”, but it’s a sad piece of equipment comprising a number of separate pieces and joints that aren’t properly sealed against water entry. The raised air intake flows 265CFM (cubic feet per minute) while the replacement Armax snorkel flows a whopping 540CFM, so my best advice is to dump the OE ‘snorkel’ and get a real one-piece unit.
Ownership is its own adventure with 4x4 Shed
With the right gear and skill an experienced DIY mechanic could do this job, but, as there is a lot of panel-cutting, I’d be leaving it to the experts – if you know what you’re doing, it’s about a three-hour job.
With no other accessories or improvements to the engine, I can honestly tell you I felt the difference as soon as I drove the Cruiser out of the workshop; the engine was breathing easier and better, getting more cool air with less effort to improve performance.
Over the next few months we’ll bring you reports on how the Project 79 Cruiser and its accessories are faring, not only in the Victorian High Country but also in the Outback, where we have a long trip planned.
4x4 Shed Log: 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series
Current mileage: 112,800km
Date acquired: April 2016
Mileage this month: 900km
Average fuel consumption: 13.8L/100km