Custom Land Cruiser Conversion - Part 3.

Botfontein, Cape Town, 27/04/2018

Today it’s the 27th of April and we are almost coming to a close on converting our car to the way we want it. We will probably need a few more days to finish the car so that we can start our journey. But first let us take you with us in what has taken place the last couple of weeks.

We ended our previous blog with us driving towards 4x4 Megaworld where they would remove the roof of the car and place a new roof designed and manufactured by Alu-Cab. This roof has a built-in roof tent which is accessible from the outside as well from within the car which we demonstrated in our video. They have also placed the 270-degree awning of Alu-Cab which will give shade or will protect us against rain. The roof conversion was done in not more than 2 hours. The only thing is that the glue needed to dry for 16 hours which was for us the reason that we didn’t stick around. The awning was placed later due to a problem with the bracket which didn’t fit our car.

The next day we went to Creative Caravan Worx to continue working on the cabinets for the next couple of days. Things moved slowly as it was tough to get it all fitted and to utilise the space as best as possible. But time was of the essence as we already planned the workshop at R&D Offroad. Working in the weekend and until late proved to be the best solution and on Thursday morning we drove the car to R&D for phase 2.

Phase 2 would consist of the following modifications:

- Place new second battery

- Place 800-Watt inverter

- Place battery charger

- Place switch which connects the first battery with the second (for example jump starting the car with the second battery)

- Place two 60W solar panels

- Place all power points (1 power point at the rear close the fridge, 1 USB power point next to the reading lights in our bed, 6 power points close to the battery)

- Remodel the cabling under the hood of the car and remove the old second battery

- Place two fog lights on the front bumper

- Replace the winch box to the centre of the bumper

Do to Easter Holiday nobody worked on the car from Friday until Monday which gave us some time to rethink what we needed to do on the car and discuss it with our fellow campers during a nice braai and beer evening on the weekend. It was a night to remember as Gary, our bush mechanic/cook/guide/all-in-one made some really nice food, where fellow campers brought drinks. The evening ended late with a nice camp fire while information was passed on to each other.

The day after Inge and I made a new plan for our car while we made a small tour to Wellington. We wanted to drive Bain’s Kloof Pass which would take as straight into the mountain onto a whining road. While driving up Inge and I looked down into the Kloof which was breath-taking, but also scary as there was no protection and one wrong move would mean the end of the car and us.

On top of Bains Kloof we stopped and we enjoyed a nice lunch while we wrote down the following changes:

- Change the 800-Watt inverter to a 500-Watt inverter as the inverter drains most power from the battery and we wouldn’t need an 800-Watt inverter

- Place two extra power points, 1 input so we can drain power from a campsite and 1 output so that we have power outside as well

- Place steering guard (4x4 Mega World couldn’t fit it onto our bumper as the steering guard needed to be remodelled)

- Place small kitchen light in the back of the door when we need to cook when its dark

- Put stronger lights in the two Hella lights on the front bumper

Arriving back at R&D on Tuesday they immediately started working on our car again. It took some time to get all the right parts and finish up everything nicely. Days past by at R&D while we learned a lot about the car from the mechanics. Although we had some minor set-backs, such as:

- The lights not working anymore

- The cables of the winch burned and flattened the battery as we were testing the winch

...we were positive that the car in the end would be as we had envisioned.

During the weekend Chris drove the car to Donny’s Car Security (Donny put a lot of thought into this name) to place an alarm into the car as well as an immobilizer. If people would break into our car or we would be hijacked the alarm and/or the immobilizer would do its work.

Work at R&D came to a close, so it was up to CCW to finish the job, with much help of us of course. While we where a way CCW already made a few drawers and gave everything a nice colour what could be painted. This speeded things up a bit, but as work comes to an end all the small things take most of the work and it was proven again as we needed to work the weekends as well from the morning until late in the evening.

On Wednesday the 25th of April we said goodbye to CCW with champagne and cup cakes to celebrate all the hard work everybody has put into the last 1,5 months. We are going to miss the team as we had a great time with them, but now we can finally start our journey.

To be really ready to hit the road we let Gary of O.W.L. (Overlanders with Logistics) had a check at the suspension and also to an overall check on the car. Gary found out that suspension at the back needed to be fixed and new bushes were bought. In the meantime, we brought the car to a garage to fix the leaves as parts of it where touching the body and where making a lot of noise do to the friction.

Today Gary is fitting al the bushes while Inge and I are trying to put everything into the car as we will start our journey tomorrow.

We hope that you will keep on following us as the real journey is just about to begin.

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