Build: 1997 TRD Supercharged LX450 with OEM Lockers

Purchased: Nov 2011 w/ 120k rust free miles, trip started Aug 2012

Now: 180k



  • Synthetic Fluids - Flushed every system
  • Birf / Axle rebuild - Wheel Bearings, Trail Gear Locking Washer
  • Preventative Head Gasket replacement, Valve Job (stem seals), injectors cleaned, polished intake and valve cover
  • New Charcoal Canister
  • Silicone High temp hoses
  • new u-joints
  • PHH Bypass
  • Replaced Rear Valve Control
  • Rear main seal


  • Pioneer AVIC 930BT & backup camera & speaker upgrades
  • LED interior and Cree backup lights
  • UltraGuage OBD scanner w/ y-splitter
  • 3D printed TEQ Cupholder
  • Second Skin sound deadening and Thermal insulation
  • 8” Tuffy locking center console (custom welded & matching leather armrest)
  • WagonRacks custom cargo divider
  • WagonGear tailgate storage
  • Front seats reupholstered OEM color leather, added seat heaters


  • OME 4” Competition Springs
  • MetalTech upper & lower rear adjustable control arms
  • OME Sport Shocks
  • Slee HD draglink and tie rods
  • Cruiser Outfitters HD tie rod ends
  • Slee Front Control Arms


  • 1FZ-FE 4.5L with TRD Supercharger (rebuilt by JB Performance) with 3.0 pulley, and bypass
  • Factory Diff Lockers Front & Rear w/ CDL Switch
  • 4.88 Nitro gears
  • Front DC Drive Shaft


  • Frontrunner Slimline II rack
  • ARB Front Bull Bar Bumper
  • Armor: Metal Tech Sliders, Slee AC Dryer Plate, Slee E-locker Plate
  • Slee Dual Swing Rear Bumper with ladder & jerry can holder
  • Hannibal awning
  • Lighting: HIR headlights, KC-lites HID Flood, Rigid rear flood lights
  • 315/75R16 Nitto TerraGrappler tires


  • LRA 130L Long Range Main Fuel Tank replacement
  • 304 SS Header Down Mandrel Y-Pipe
  • Upgraded  & Extended SS Brake lines
  • Mean Green Alt & Starter

Cooling System:

  • new Koyo direct replacement radiator
  • FJ62 fan swap
  • JDM electric auxiliary fan
  • Upgraded Blue Hub Fan clutch w/ 30,000 viscosity oil
  • 100 series Hood Vents

Cooking, Food, & Water:

  • LifeSaver Systems Jerry Water Filtration: good for 10,000 liters
  • AT Combo Slide out
  • Partner Steel Stove
  • 47L ARB Fridge
  • Zebra Fabrication 20lb Propane Mount
  • Custom designed 6lb Manchester propane tank mount


  • IBS Dual Battery Set-up w/ Group 34's
  • Renogy 100W Flexible Solar Panel & CTEK MPPT Controller
  • 1800w Xantrex Pro Series Power Inverter: 0/2 gauge wire
  • BlueSea fuse box w 4awg
  • Scanstrut Deck Seals for the exterior wiring


  • Warn VR 12000 w/ Viking Synthetic line
  • Factor 55 thimble
  • ARB twin compressor mounted in quarter panel


  • Trasharoo
  • Scepter MFC's 20L Jerry Cans
  • Alu-Box
  • Fire extinguisher, orange vests, & safety triangle

One of the most fun aspects of pre-trip planning is the vehicle build.  In short, I found one of the most reliable and capable "pinnacle vehicles" ever offered in North America to build the rig from.  As with almost everything, vehicle choice comes down to compromise and what you are willing to forego (I wish it got better MPG).  I would highly recommend Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide route and planning guide by Chris Scott, to determine your own vehicle path.