610Nm of torque in a 1KD-powered HiLux that gets driven daily? Yep, really!
When you want to build up a HiLux and you’re one of those blokes who doesn’t leave anything alone as it was dreamt up and built by the manufacturer, chances are you’re going to have a list of mods four pages long. That’s exactly what Jeremy has done – building this up to what would arguably have to be one of the most capable and well built HiLuxes we’ve seen in a long time. Suffice to say this thing tackles anything thrown at it, can happily go ‘off grid’ for weeks at a time, and is still on daily duties. We caught up with Jeremy at Kinkuna Beach where we got to crawl all over his 4X4, and he even gave us a four-page print-out of mods for your reading and viewing pleasure.
Having bought the HiLux brand spanking new back in 2014, Jeremy wasted no time getting it built exactly how he wanted it… and with all the bits most of us dream of. Just finding places to put all of this stuff had us stumped, until we got to see it.
Being built to take him to Fraser Island every other weekend, and yet tough enough to walk through the infamous Pine Creek trails in Bundaberg, Jezz’s HiLux really needs to be seen to be believed. From the suspension components used, to the engine bay mods, to getting more fuel into the 1KD, to the complete fit-out in the back – he’s not left much untouched or unimproved.
This is Jeremy’s second ’Lux, and he bought this one for the same reason he bought the original: They’re a proven thing, with a track record to go with their fine reputation. This was just the upgrade.
First things first – the bar work. Jeremy’s running a TJM T3 single hoop bullbar up front, with a set of Southern Cross Fab Works sliders covering the sills, and an ARB rear bar with swing-away tyre carrier. In the front bar he’s got a Runva 12,000-pound winch and a set of SA LED spotties.
Underneath there’s a Phat Bars high-clearance bash plate looking after the sump and diff, with a TJM Pro Locker locking the rear centre up. Diff ratios have been swapped out to 4.56:1 to bring things closer to standard after throwing the 35s under it.
To the suspension he’s added a set of Bilstein 2-4 inch adjustable coilovers with EFS coils in the front, Superior Engineering shackles at the back and EFS springs holding it all together. For just that much more clearance there’s a 2-inch VMN body lift kit, which comes with fuel filler extender, steering linkage extension, body blocks and radiator drop brackets. Keeping the suspension geometry as close to standard as possible, Jeremy has thrown in a set of Cal Off-Road upper adjustable control arms and Monster Rides diff drop arms.
There is also a set of Performance Suspension outer hi-lift CV boots. The CVs then run down to a set of Fuel Boost 16×8 alloy rims, wrapped in BFG KM2s in 315/75R16.
Into the engine bay now, where we found a hi-flow airbox, filter and front mount with piping kit – all from PSICO; as well as a IHIF55V turbo, NPC heavy-duty clutch, 30% bigger injectors, and an ECU Shop Monster ECU with attached scan gauge and throttle controller. After having it all tuned up with the extra bolt-ons, Shane at 1KD Performance in Bundaberg managed to drag a whopping 190HP and 610Nm out of the little 1KD on the 315s! He’s also got the typical dual-battery controller with the extra battery tucked up out of the way.
Up on the roof, Jeremy’s got a Darche rooftop tent to the rear over the canopy, ARB Tradesman roof rack over the cab, and a 42-inch LION LED light bar across the front. There’s a 270-degree wing awning on one side, and the high-lift jack and shovel holder over the other. Out the back of the rack he’s got a set of STEDI 20W work lights for camping, and 6 x 10W work lights around the rest of the roof.
In the cab there’s more switches than you’d know what to do with. From locker switches, to spotties, to winch, and fridge. He’s also got the ECU mounted to the trans tunnel, with the throttle controller over by the right kick panel. You’ll find a boost and EGT gauge in the pillar pod, with a Uniden UHF looking after comms. Jeremy’s also added an ARB fridge monitor and winch controller port up on the A-pillar (we thought that was a pretty neat idea).
Now the canopy is where things get a little interesting, if not a little stupid. If there was ever a bloke who could squeeze every last millimetre of room out of a canopy setup, Jeremy is it; especially considering it’s a style-side tub and canopy, not a reasonably square alloy box job. It starts with a set of Outback drawers on the bottom, a 60L ARB fridge in its own cage with a rather neat way of not jamming up the cable, ‘stubbie holders’ holder next to that, and a bottle opener mounted to the wing. Directly behind the fridge cage, you’ve got a Travel Buddy 12V oven, ciggy and USB sockets everywhere, and a set of speakers out the back that run from the extra CD player in the tub (separate from the internal CD player). On the side of the fridge slide you’ll find a couple of hand-held UHFs, as well as the water tank outlet; and there’s an air tank outlet that has its own ARB compressor separate from the locker setup.
Round the other side of the canopy, Jeremy has built a full-blown electrical box that houses his Projecta DC-DC charger, fuse panel, a remote for the 3km of strip lighting he’s got in there, as well as a BM-1 battery monitor, Kenwood head unit, Alpine speakers, Clarion amplifier… and 400 switches.
Oh, he’s also added a set of computer fans on the box to stop it overheating when cranking out the tunes plus fire extinguishers just in case. Aside from all the light bars everywhere, he’s also fitted a poly and staino cutting/cooking top to the tailgate.
Jeremy’s advice and final thoughts
Jeremy’s advice for anyone building up a ’Lux like this is take your time, do it properly, and do it how you want it. Don’t mess around buying too much cheap gear because it often can be done better to your own requirements.
He tells us that a built auto and standalone ECU are next on the cards for the ’Lux. As he takes it further and further off-road, the auto will just make it that much easier.
It’s not often we see a HiLux done to the level at which this thing has been built. We see them built as tourers, work trucks, dailies, or play rigs. Jeremy has managed to hit every one of those aspects on the head… and truth be told, we’re looking forward to when he decides he wants another new HiLux and we get to see the new build – although maybe not for a few years yet.