Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Rebuild of 2004 1HD FTE 78 Series Troopy for overlanding

Mar 9, 2010
Country Flag
This has been ongoing since purchased in Nov 2019

I will do a cut n paste from my LandCruiser Club SA thread

this is what it was when I got it

The First thing I did was to fit some arm rest cup holders
And removed the FUGLY Plumbing down the side of the truck



Then I had a nightmare when fitting the thermocouple for a EGT Guage
When drilling into the manifold (post turbo) the 3.5mm drill just didnt feel like it punched thru, then all of sudden thru. So i changed to a 5.5mm drill and started drilling, the CRAK and then the drill bit broke off in the manifold with a piece falling into the turbo (AARRGGGHHH)
Somehow i was drilling into an internal reinforcing rib on the inside of the manifold. So the manifold had to come off.
Then the cr@p started - broken studs, stripped nuts etc etc etc - You just cant make this sh1t up


Eventually I got the original hole welded up and drilled and tapped the thread for the thermo couple.
BTW trying to find a 1/8inch Tapered pipe thread tap in Cape Town was like looking for rocking horse poop.
Reinstalled turbo and manifold.
Notice the HeliCoil



Then when the thermocouple was finally fitted I had serious issues with the setup of the MadMan Engine Management System (EMS) that took nearly 2 days on the phone to the manufacturer to get it working. You just cant make this sh1t up
The gauge is mounted temporarily as Im still awaiting an OEM Dash Pod ordered from Yota to arrive.


Then I decided to change out all the old incandescent bulbs to LED. I did front, rear and side all LED. Click on the video link

While all this was going on i was studying in detail the instructions for the installation of the front mount Aussie PDI Intercooler
Doing pre intercooler and post intercooler EGT runs I can confirm that the fitting of the intercooler reduced the EGT's by 80-100deg.




Had some OEM Yota side stickers made up


Now its time to commence the MAJOR make-over
I dont like the look of the existing AluCab Hercules Pop top conversion - so it is being removed and the Alu-Innovations Pop Top is going to be fitted.
The Troopy is presently at Alu-Innovations have a hair cut, its windscreen returned to OEM and internal open heart surgery
The previous owner was a Wildlife Photographer and fitted a fold down front windscreen, this is being removed and returned to OEM Yota windscreen




The rear of the troopy will also have a complete makeover

And..... Also fitted a Catch Can - still to fit a diesel Pre-Filter


More to follow....
Been away on the Skeleton Coast jaunt

went to see the progress

The BMW 3 Series seats have been fitted

The Troopys got a new hat


Most of the other accessories and gull wing windows to be fitted are out for powder coating, the replacement windscreen has been ordered, the internal side panel water tanks were being welded up when I was there.
So work is progressing albeit slowly.

Decided to cut a big chunk out of the side of the Troopy - slide out fridge....



Work is progressing with haste now, the Left Rear window Gull wing (Kitchen) has been fitted, as has the Left front window Gull Wing (shower cubicle) been fitted.
The rear door drop down coffee station was also being fitted as was the 2 x 30Ltr internal side panel mounted water tanks.

The internal layout concept was discussed and will be layed out tomorrow.

The inside sides of the Troopy have been carpeted, The bathroom Gull Wing has been fitted, The Kitchen unit Gull Wing has been fitted, The rhs rear door drop down coffee station is in, the lhs rear door drop down wash-up basin is in.
And the final touches to the side pull out fridge slide are being done before it goes to panelbeater for repainting.

Pull out fridge slide

LHS Kitchen unit Gull Wing

RHS Shower cubicle Gull Wing

Sides of interior have been carpeted


LHS Rear door drop down wash-up station

RHS Rear door drop down coffee station

Some Update Pics

2nd Fridge slide (Drop down) and Kitchen Box installed. Frame for the other drawers still to be made.
Inbetween the 2 fridge slides there will be a cabinet of drawers extending up to just below the roof line.

Frame for drawers and side cavity boxes

The Freezer pull out slider with drop down door

Shower cubicle box
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

The 2 x 30Ltr water tanks are going in, one already fitted. The side of truck has been drilled for the water tank fillers
The left hand side drawer unit frame and drawers are done, the drawers internally are being carpeted.
Shelf over rear fridge needs to be attached and covered.

The sides, LHS for drop down table, and RHS for 10Ltr water Rotopax, has been drilled

Progress is being made albeit at a snails pace.







Left hand side water tank


Ive been in Middle East and Europe for the past 2 ½ weeks so I was quite anxious to see how much progress has been made on Troopy while Ive been away

What cant be seen in the pics is - all the side and rear windows have been tinted, and I decide to add an additional 40Ltr water tank under the chassis (to supplement the 2 x 30Ltr side mount tanks)

90% of the wiring has been installed for all the power points (12v and 220V) as well as water pumps and air compressor.
1 x MPPT100/30; 1 x DC-DC charger Orion 12-12/30; 800W pure sine wave inverter; 1 x 220V-12V battery charger compatible with Li Ion: Shunt for Victron Smart Battery Monitor.

The drawer for underneath fridge has been done, just needs its laminate front


Most of the drawers have been covered in laminate

These 2 Drawers are surprisingly cavernous (1.35mtr long) Im surprised how much they will hold

Power point installed into the Kitchen box

The additional drawers


Cover and shelf for the rear fridge
A Few Update Pics

Its starting to come together now.

Main storage unit with 6 drawers

Carpeted cover for drop down fridge slide

The two grocery / food drawers. The side cavity is for the 2 x Front Runner fold up chairs.

The drawer under fridge for gas cooker and Mandela Microwave.

2 x 220V socket outlets, 1 fed direct from shore power, and the other fed from Inverter

Fridge in slide

Electric windows installed.
ANOTHER UPDATE - we getting close to completion now.

Plan is, on friday its off to the panelbeater to have the windscreen replaced and to paint the side fridge slide drop down door.
Then it should be ready to come home

What isnt seen in the photos is the 3 x 120W PV Panels have been installed as well as the wood box that has a cool underslung table mount slide.

And,, theyre still busy with the tool cupboard that fits inbetween the batt box and the fridge slide. As well as the lockable steel safe for laptop, i-pad passports etc, mounted behind front passenger seat.
Also the left have side cargo mount slides have a drop down table - which has been sent out for painting.

Steering wheel has been recovered in grey leather - whoever did it - did a good job.

The centre console fridge has been fitted and wired.

The QuickPitch en suite shower cubicle has been fitted.

The QuickPitch 270Deg Awning has been fitted.

80% of the drawers have had their catches fitted and covers placed on

At the rear you can see the battery box top compartment with battery accessible under the cupboards false bottom. The inside of the shower cubicle box still has to be carpeted.

Inside the battery box compartment

I had 2 extra drawers made up to fit above the NL Freezer as this will always be access from side

The fused switch panel for all of the 12V system (lights, water pumps, air compressor, fridges, power points, inverter etc)
Small Update

3 x 120W Solar PV Panels mounted, together with wood box with underslung table mount slide.

The ensuite shower - with hot water system and shelf for towel and toiletries. Also inside on the top right shelf, there will be the water level guage that will indicate the remaining water level in the 2 water tanks (1 x 30Ltr & 1 x 70Ltr)

We have added ADDITIONAL rubber door seals, there is normally just a plastic extrusion here, this has been replace with this additional door seal available from Pro AutoRubber

This is the beige plastic extrusion that was removed and replaced with the additional rubber seal

The bottom drawer has had its cover glued on, the top drawer is awaiting its cover

I imported a C-Pillar 2 gauge Pod from Aussie to accommodate the Victron Battery Monitor and the Madman Engine Management System that monitors Turbo boost and EGT

This huge box is my tools, spares and Fluids storage box - its huge - bigger than the picture portrays. It will have a hinged lid.

This shows the side mounted drop down table beneath the kitchen gull wing

Well the Make Over is finally finished.

Ill run through and explain what the pics show.

Not seen in the pics but shown in previous pics, the 12V system is mounted inside the body side panel under the Gull wing en-suite shower box comprising:- Victron 12V 30A DC-DC charger, Victron MPPT100/30, Victron 12v -800W Pure sine wave inverter, Victron 220v-12V 15A battery charger (shore power operated) BlueNova 13V 218AH Lithium Ion Battery, Victron Battery monitor. All of the Victron equipment also has Bluetooth monitoring and setting.
Mounted inside the rear body panel is a NARDI 12V 390CFM 5bar 600W air compressor. All around the vehicle there are multiple Hella, Cig Lighter, USB and 220V (inverter and Shore power) outlets.
There is also a very well concealed lockable stainless steel safe that can accommodate a laptop and an I-pad and paperwork, and passports and wallet.

These 2 long drawers are for the food stuffs;- tinned veg, tinned fruit, biscuits, rusks, cereals, etc etc

This drawer under the rear fridge houses the gas cooker and the easily accessible containers of coffee beans, Cremora, sweetener. This also has a small sliding table top.

I still need to decide what will be kept in most of these drawers but there are 8 drawers in total


Above 1 column of drawers is a cubicle with a removable lid, this is intended for fruit

This hinged top opening box is for tools, spares, fluids etc - it is huge

Rear fridge slide extended and then dropped

The 12V fused circuit control switches

Stainless table mounted on slide underneath the wood box

VHF Radio and 12V power points, USB power points and Voltmeter mounted on roof console shelf

Drop down table for wash-up bowl

Rear door drop down table coffee station

Gas bottle mounted to rear door (bolted for security)

Gull Wing Kitchen box, houses;- Spices, sauces, cooking oil, plates, bowls, glasses, cutlery, pots n pans. HAs built in 220V outlet, + USB and also a quick-disconnect attachment for the piped gas for the gas cooker.

LHS showing drop down table, SIde, slide out fridge (Freezer) slider door closed

Fridge (Freezer) door open

Fridge (Freezer) slider extended

Gull Wing En-suite shower box. Has a Gas operated, 12V pumped hot water system

Mounted inside the en-suite shower box is a water level gauge that indicates the water level in the water tanks
Built into the side walls are 1 x LHS 30Ltr water tanks, 1 x RHS 30Ltr water tank, this tank gravity feeds into an additional chassis mounted 40Ltr water tank. Water is pumped with a pressure sensitive 12V water pump.

View into the RTT from inside the back (access hatch is open

Inside the tent
Fitted a set of recovery trax - doubt they will ever be required

Also I got in before the 40% import duty kicked in on imported tyres and fitted a set of 6 x 285/75 16 Mud Terrain Radar Renegade rubbers

What a great write up and terrific project.
Really nice to see it all in one place at one time rather than watching it real time as you build it.
I have done something similar with my Troopy although yours is a bigger project. (I ought to do a similar write up. Just off to Algeria on a trip so maybe in the new year).
I would love to know what your total weight is with all that kit. And why you need two fridges?
Anyway will reach out to you when I get back.
thanks again.
Great build up - thanks for sharing. Not seen a fold down toilet seat before, very innovative.

Great build, thanks for sharing. I have a Kronos roof on order, interested in the rack on top, is it integral to your roof as a permanent fixture? That’s how it looks.
:smile::smile::smile: Ha Ha Ha - not a fold down dumper ! ! ! its for the wash-up basin :smile::smile::smile:

The rack on top of the pop up is for carrying wood, there are 2 cargo tracks and the rack bolts to the cargo track.
There is also a stainless steel table that slides in underneath the wood rack

I see youre an FJ fan, I also have an overland kitted FJ Cruiser, Mine is the Khaki one on the Left
Last edited:
Short Update

Decided that the front Bullbar needed a spruce up - so the solution was to Raptor coat the bullbar

Rather than hours of sanding I removed the bar and sent it for sandblasting.

Then I gave it 2 coats of etch primer

Then it got 2 coats of Raptor Liner black

I dont like the lumpy finish most people get with the Raptor, I wanted a more fine textured finish, so I bought the Raptor Professional spray gun and then tested on cardboard until I got the texture that i wanted

Then I also fitted a Warn 12,000lb winch with Plasma rope
The finished item