Tom’s Tough Tourer 79 Cruiser

Tom from Perth says his dad got him into 4WD’ing at a young age. At 15/16 he purchased his first car, a 2000 TJ Wrangler. Starting out with a bit of beach driving, Tom’s passion for camping and touring grew further as he started to look outside his local backyard and discover what an awesome country we have to explore. Tom purchased his Single Cab 2011 VDJ79 second hand with only a genuine bull bar on it. Here’s what he told us about his 79.

Why did you choose this make/model & what do you use it for?
Ever since they first came out in 2007, I wanted a VDJ79. The power, the torque, the somewhat old school technology in a new vehicle, and the look, it was all a big tick for me. I use it as a daily for work and also for a weekender and holiday tourer. To me, its a perfect all rounder.

Where has it taken you or what trips do you have planned with the car?
The 79 has taken me all over WA, from the East Kimberly’s down to the South West. Recently accomplished a massive trip covering WA, SA, VIC and the NT. Most commonly visiting the Northern Coastline of WA as its a favourite location of mine. Cape York and Fraser Island are 2 places which are on the list to conquer in the 79.

What exterior mods have you done? and what’s connected to it?
The 79 is covered with ARB gear. The list starts with the 60mm Big Tube Bull Bar, Side Rails and Steps. Bolted on the front of the bar is a set of ARB 32LED Intensity spot lights, 2x GME 6.6db UHF antenna’s, the 2m is great for distance on the long flat highways of Australia, the whip antenna is great for bush and dune work. ARB Deluxe Roof Rack. TJM Airtec 4″ Snorkel. ARB Diff Breathers mounted to the headboard. And my favourite, the Rhino Rack Foxwing Awning.

Can you explain your suspension and driveline mods?
The 79 is sitting on a 4″ suspension lift. In the front is 4″ King Spring coils, 4″ Superior Engineering shocks, Superior Engineering Adjustable Panhard Rod, 2 Degree Superior Engineering Caster Bushes (soon to install Comp Rods arms). In the rear I have constant 600kg Old Man Emu leaf springs, Superior Engineering Anti Inversion shackles and 4″ Superior Engineering Shocks. Superior Engineering extended brake lines front & rear. Under all that is a set of 315/75r16 tyres on King Wheels steel rims. I’m running -55 offset rims on the rear to correct the track width and 0 offset on the front.

What engine mods have you done?
I have a TORQIT 3″ straight through stainless steel exhaust. Cross Country intercooler, custom tuned Remap, Taipan XP Catch Can. Haven’t done too much in terms of engine mods as I’m quite happy with the performance the vehicles put out from standard.

What interior mods have you done?
I’ve replaced the factory seats with Ford BF XR Falcon seats. Wrapped them in custom made camo canvas Supafit Seat Covers. With the now empty space between the seats I’ve made a base and installed a Waeco 12v Fridge. 2 UHF’s, one used just on CH40 and the other used for personal and convoy channels. Outback Accessories roof console houses the GME TX3200 UHF and LED interior lights and drop down compartment.

Tell us about your rear setup.
I’ve got a custom made full aluminum 2 door canopy. Inside I’ve built it to essentially house all my camping and 4wd gear. Fill the fridge with beers and I’m good to go. On the driver’s side I’ve built 2 drawers to house recovery gear and air inflation gear. On the passenger side I’ve got the ARB 60L Fridge/Freezer sitting in a MSA Drop Down fridge slide. A 3 tall drawer unit housing all my cooking gear that gets done on the Weber Baby-Q. LED lighting above, lights up the whole canopy. I also run a Smartek 6 gas hot water shower on the rear wall.

What electrical setup do you have? 
On the front wall of the canopy I run my electrics. Inter-Volt DC-DC charger with a 150w Solar panel. All the 12v and USB outlets are monitored with a Main and Aux battery monitor screen. Also run a 300w inverter to power the small 240v appliances, primarily a microwave. Everything power wise is run through a Baintech fusebox, powered by a Bosch 95a/h deep cycle battery.

What is you favourite thing about the rig and would you change anything if you could do it all again?
Favourite thing about my 79 is the Rhino Rack Foxwing. Gets set up every location. Awesome shade and shelter from rain, hail or shine. The only thing I would change if I were to do it all again is to buy a tray replacement canopy. Just eliminate some of that unwanted weight.

Do you have any future plans for your rig?
The 79 is pretty well complete I think. I will eventually look into some under-tray toolboxes. All in all, I’m proud of what I’ve built and how its turned out.

Find Tom on Instagram @chooka_vdj79 for more pic’s!