Land cruiser with awning

Vehicle Owner

Monique Song

Vehicle Model

2005 LandCruiser 4.7L V8

Miles Driven

50,000+ miles

Build Overview

When I left my job in the corporate downtown office, I went to Australia for one year Working Holiday - the Visa that allows young people to work and travel before settling down. Like many people who have explored life options thanks to this Visa, my life changed completely through this experience.

I got this Land Cruiser for travelling Australia. I needed a vehicle big enough to carry my belongings, off-road-capable for exploring the outback, mechanically reliable for the long and remote journey, with the potential to bring back to Canada upon the Visa deadline. Which means it needs to be 15 years old in 2020.

Since my fund was limited as a young traveller, every part and modification has a functional purpose behind it. Hence I'm still running those factory steelie wheels that came with the car - an obvious difference from most built 4WDs you see on the road. Another part I still kept from the previous owner was the Rhino-Rack roof tray. Personally, I think it looked ugly but it did the job of carrying gear around Australia (I've attached one photo of the car in Australia so you can see the difference).

It wasn't until early 2021 I changed to the new Pioneer Platform which allowed me a slick low profile look and more mounting options. This is just to say that my modifications on this rig were very function-focused. Adding as I realize the need along the way.

Most of the modification was done in Australia where 100 series Landcruiser exists in every street corner and parts are easy to get. This is what I loved the most about this vehicle - reliable but still easy to get help when in need. Once back to Canada, it gets tricky. We never had 100 series in the market - the closest was Lexus LX470. Most parts require me to source globally. Regardless, I was able to get basically all I need for keeping me on the road. If one thing I'd like to change - that is the fuel consumption. I have an extended fuel tank to solve the range limit but that also adds extra weight. And people always ask me why I don't get a roof top tent... I am already over payload...

There are many things I love about this Cruiser. But after living in it and driving to many remote places, the limitations are starting to show - every fill-up hurts. Diesel may be a better option. Or perhaps, a different chassis altogether - something with more payload, perhaps a truck. Don't get me wrong, Land Cruisers are great. But just like how I built it, I'm learning new things every day with it.

Mods List

Suspension & Driveline

  • Terrain Tamer Pro Shock Heavy Duty Suspension 2″ Lift
  • ARB Air Lockers (Front & Rear)
  • ARB Differential Breathers
  • SPC Front Upper Control Arms
  • Airbag Man CR5052HP Air Suspension
  • Helper Kit for Coil Springs (High Pressure)

Wheels & Tires

  • General Grabber A/TX LT285/75R16 126R





Winch & Recovery Equipment

Land Cruiser in Artic Circle
Land Cruiser in Alaska Highway
Land Cruiser build from top view
Land Cruiser in a forest