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WORDS & IMAGES BY HARRY TEMPLE

THE OWNERS
Nowadays, when someone is talking about doing a ‘lap’, it is almost assumed that they are travelling in something that’s popped off the production line in the last decade. Does that mean that you can’t do it in something that’s 25 years old or more? Hell no. Chris and Steph are here to prove that just because it doesn’t have the factory equipped fancy sh!t afforded to new vehicles, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have the same experience. With the vision of escaping their day-to-day work routines and shifting to full-time travel around Australia, they have been hard at work saving over the last 18 months. Chris has been saying yes to endless overtime shifts behind the wheel of fuel tankers on the north coast and Steph has been methodically saving everywhere possible, as well as working long hours in the employment services sector. They will have been together for 10 years on the day they leave to start their lap. What a way to celebrate your 10th anniversary!

As you’ll see, they aren’t content to just bolt parts on. Each accessory has been through a meticulous vetting process and serves more than one purpose. As the build progressed and they posted updates across social media, they kept receiving the same questions. Soon enough they were thinking, “Why don’t we do some videos to answer some of the more popular questions?” That was 2017 – and led to the birth of the ‘Overland Obsessed’ YouTube channel and the subsequent community that formed around them and ‘Pedro the Patrol’.

ABOVE Overland Obsessed is the name they use across their social media accounts and it perfectly describes what consumes nearly every waking minute of their lives 

VEHICLES

THERE ARE MODIFIED 4X4S, AND THEN THERE IS THIS $100K GQ PATROL WITH THE LOT!

ABOVE The kitchen box hangs off one of the swing-away arms and incorporates all their cooking gear in an easy access box. It also houses a 32L fresh water tank and all their gas bottles in one spot

CUSTOM
GQ TOURER

It has to be a pretty insane GQ to end up within our pages, so what makes this modified GQ Patrol so special?

ABOVE The interior barely resembles a GQ. The seats and the door trims have been done in the same Recaro material

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TJM DISTRIBUTOR

NEW BRAND CATALOGUE OUT NOW! ENTER OUR COMPETITION AND GET YOUR FREE COPY BY SIGNING UP TO CLUB TJM TODAY.*

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THE VEHICLE 
GQs are getting a bit long in the tooth in 2019 – yet they are still commanding a premium when they appear unmolested on the second-hand market, especially when fitted with the venerable TD42. Just ask Chris and Steph when they picked up Pedro in 2013 for $16,000. He had a set of 35-inch tyres, a four-inch lift and a tired old forklift oiler with an aftermarket turbo kit that probably contributed to it giving up the ghost not long after. Finally free of his old owner and getting a reprieve from regular Rover Park thrashings, Chris opted for open heart surgery in the form of a completely rebuilt motor with GU factory turbo internals and an upgraded turbo.

Chris had the vision for this Patrol right from the get-go. I asked him where he drew the inspiration from. A fair bit of Instagram shopping was done but he hit home one major point: “Rather than get a GQ and end up looking at GUs and want to upgrade (the usual progression), I would rather make something the best version of itself that I can possibly make it”. Chris explained to me that he has always been the type to plan and organise his projects, a trait he has carried from childhood and explored further during tech drawing classes in high school as he wanted to pursue a career as an architect. There have been several different stages of the build and Chris stopped counting receipts a long time ago, but he puts a conservative $100,000 figure on Pedro since he came into his life.

BELOW All those mods and the engine bay isn’t even cramped #GoodOldDays

There is no shortage of power with the new heart

*Terms and conditions apply

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SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

THE MODIFICATIONS
In preparation for their adventure, all the modifications are concentrated around reliability. The rebuilt TD42 is running a somewhat contradictory 36psi of boost through a Garrett 3076 turbo and a 12mm pump sends more diesel through larger injectors, all kept cool through the larger alloy radiator and front mount PWR intercooler. Custom pipework can be found both inside and outside the engine bay, with a four-inch stainless snorkel supplying the fresh air, intricate intercooler piping ensuring maximum flow between components, and a three-inch stainless exhaust giving the donk plenty of breathing room. Chris is proud to report that all those performance mods have actually made the kettle run cooler and (touch wood) without issue. Even running all that boost, he still manages to stretch the fuel economy out to between 12-13L/100. Boasting a 168-litre capacity thanks to a handy sub-tank that means Pedro is good for around 1200km between drinks.

That is an impressive feat, considering how much weight the big GQ is carrying. To cope with the load, Kings heavy-duty five-inch coils take the weight on all four corners and are accompanied by 2.5-inch Kings remote reservoir shocks all round. If you noticed a bit of extra poke under the wheel arches, that’s because the GQ is now sitting on GU diffs. They’ve been braced, guarded and completely rebuilt, sporting a locker in the front and a tight LSD in the rear. A complete assortment of Superior Engineering arms keep the diffs in position and ensure the 315/75R16 Nitto Trail Grapplers are sitting squarely in the arch. The bigger rubber meant slower stopping times, until some Kangaroo Paw vented and slotted rotors with rebuilt TB48 twin piston calipers found their way onto Pedro. Now he isn’t going to turn a Yaris into a pancake. Rounding out the ride quality are a set of Airbag Man coil assist airbags, that double as a quick means of adjustment for levelling the rooftop tent.

ABOVE Not even afraid to admit that I am insanely jealous of the rear set-up - any red-blooded touring fanatic should be!

The Bundutec Bundutop rooftop tent was one of their larger investments. The electric opening design doesn’t come cheap, but when you are going to be living out of it for the foreseeable future, you can’t put a price on convenience. It’s sitting on top of a custom-made roof rack that also sports slimline work lights all round and a Foxwing 270 awning on the passenger side. To make the most of the extended camp stops, there is a 130W flexi solar panel on the roof of the tent, constantly charging the two 150Ah AGM batteries tucked in the sides of the drawer system.

Rather than get a GQ and end up looking at GUs and want to upgrade (the usual progression), I would rather make something the best version of itself that I can possibly make it”.

The Outback Touring System drawer set-up was another feather in Chris’s design cap, effectively doubling their rear space. Incorporating the Emu Wings into enclosed sections, they have created a nice square frame to fit three large drawers and a 60-litre Engle on a slide. In a stroke of ergonomic genius, the entire electrical switchboard is located in the passenger Emu Wing. CTEK D250s units are controlling the SMARTPASS electrical system and CTEK lithium charger to make the most of any available 240V sources. Up top there is a 2500W inverter to keep cameras and laptops ready to go at a moment’s notice. In case you thought that was everything, there is a 12V TV tucked into the remaining space meaning Mario Kart can settle any disputes at camp (or rather, start some more).

Up front, the false floor set-up can removed and seats put back in if necessary thanks to a well thought-out water tank design. The passenger side has ample storage for dry food, a shower set-up and assorted extras. The other side has an area for camera gear and a nice comfortable platform for Scout, a two-year-old bulldog that accompanies them on their adventures. They won’t be travelling in any discomfort themselves, with the best part of $10k worth of Recaro seats in the front. 35 percent tint keeps the cab cool and there are more switches in here than in most light aircraft. How they’ve managed to make it all look uniform and not haphazard is a testament to their design forethought.

ABOVE Looks like the pup will be travelling in comfort! Even has his own 12V fan to keep cool

ABOVE It’s the little touches that make the biggest difference

BELOW “Vote for Pedro … All your wildest dreams will come true”. Anyone? “Gosh”. Never mind, I’ll see myself out!

BELOW Mario Kart is a luxury usually only afforded to those sitting in their living room … not anymore

FUTURE PLANS
The planning and preparation that has gone into this Patrol is nothing short of phenomenal. If you can’t find me at any point in the next 12 months, it’s highly likely that I have stowed away in the back of Pedro, just to get another look at what I consider to be up there with the best touring set-ups in the country.

THE OWNERS
Nowadays, when someone is talking about doing a ‘lap’, it is almost assumed that they are travelling in something that’s popped off the production line in the last decade. Does that mean that you can’t do it in something that’s 25 years old or more? Hell no. Chris and Steph are here to prove that just because it doesn’t have the factory equipped fancy sh!t afforded to new vehicles, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have the same experience. With the vision of escaping their day-to-day work routines and shifting to full-time travel around Australia, they have been hard at work saving over the last 18 months. Chris has been saying yes to endless overtime shifts behind the wheel of fuel tankers on the north coast and Steph has been methodically saving everywhere possible, as well as working long hours in the employment services sector. They will have been together for 10 years on the day they leave to start their lap. What a way to celebrate your 10th anniversary!

As you’ll see, they aren’t content to just bolt parts on. Each accessory has been through a meticulous vetting process and serves more than one purpose. As the build progressed and they posted updates across social media, they kept receiving the same questions. Soon enough they were thinking, “Why don’t we do some videos to answer some of the more popular questions?” That was 2017 – and led to the birth of the ‘Overland Obsessed’ YouTube channel and the subsequent community that formed around them and ‘Pedro the Patrol’.

CUSTOM GQ TOURER 

THERE ARE MODIFIED 4X4S, AND THEN THERE IS THIS $100K GQ PATROL WITH THE LOT!

ABOVE Overland Obsessed is the name they use across their social media accounts and it perfectly describes what consumes nearly every waking minute of their lives 

VEHICLES

WORDS & IMAGES BY HARRY TEMPLE

It has to be a pretty insane GQ to end up within our pages, so what makes this modified GQ Patrol so special?

ABOVE The kitchen box hangs off one of the swing-away arms and incorporates all their cooking gear in an easy access box. It also houses a 32L fresh water tank and all their gas bottles in one spot

ABOVE The interior barely resembles a GQ. The seats and the door trims have been done in the same Recaro material

NEW BRAND CATALOGUE OUT NOW! ENTER OUR COMPETITION AND GET YOUR FREE COPY BY SIGNING UP TO CLUB TJM TODAY.*

FIND YOUR NEAREST
TJM DISTRIBUTOR

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BELOW All those mods and the engine bay isn’t even cramped #GoodOldDays

THE VEHICLE 
GQs are getting a bit long in the tooth in 2019 – yet they are still commanding a premium when they appear unmolested on the second-hand market, especially when fitted with the venerable TD42. Just ask Chris and Steph when they picked up Pedro in 2013 for $16,000. He had a set of 35-inch tyres, a four-inch lift and a tired old forklift oiler with an aftermarket turbo kit that probably contributed to it giving up the ghost not long after. Finally free of his old owner and getting a reprieve from regular Rover Park thrashings, Chris opted for open heart surgery in the form of a completely rebuilt motor with GU factory turbo internals and an upgraded turbo.

Chris had the vision for this Patrol right from the get-go. I asked him where he drew the inspiration from. A fair bit of Instagram shopping was done but he hit home one major point: “Rather than get a GQ and end up looking at GUs and want to upgrade (the usual progression), I would rather make something the best version of itself that I can possibly make it”. Chris explained to me that he has always been the type to plan and organise his projects, a trait he has carried from childhood and explored further during tech drawing classes in high school as he wanted to pursue a career as an architect. There have been several different stages of the build and Chris stopped counting receipts a long time ago, but he puts a conservative $100,000 figure on Pedro since he came into his life.

There is no shortage of power with the new heart

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

*Terms and conditions apply

THE MODIFICATIONS
In preparation for their adventure, all the modifications are concentrated around reliability. The rebuilt TD42 is running a somewhat contradictory 36psi of boost through a Garrett 3076 turbo and a 12mm pump sends more diesel through larger injectors, all kept cool through the larger alloy radiator and front mount PWR intercooler. Custom pipework can be found both inside and outside the engine bay, with a four-inch stainless snorkel supplying the fresh air, intricate intercooler piping ensuring maximum flow between components, and a three-inch stainless exhaust giving the donk plenty of breathing room. Chris is proud to report that all those performance mods have actually made the kettle run cooler and (touch wood) without issue. Even running all that boost, he still manages to stretch the fuel economy out to between 12-13L/100. Boasting a 168-litre capacity thanks to a handy sub-tank that means Pedro is good for around 1200km between drinks.

That is an impressive feat, considering how much weight the big GQ is carrying. To cope with the load, Kings heavy-duty five-inch coils take the weight on all four corners and are accompanied by 2.5-inch Kings remote reservoir shocks all round. If you noticed a bit of extra poke under the wheel arches, that’s because the GQ is now sitting on GU diffs. They’ve been braced, guarded and completely rebuilt, sporting a locker in the front and a tight LSD in the rear. A complete assortment of Superior Engineering arms keep the diffs in position and ensure the 315/75R16 Nitto Trail Grapplers are sitting squarely in the arch. The bigger rubber meant slower stopping times, until some Kangaroo Paw vented and slotted rotors with rebuilt TB48 twin piston calipers found their way onto Pedro. Now he isn’t going to turn a Yaris into a pancake. Rounding out the ride quality are a set of Airbag Man coil assist airbags, that double as a quick means of adjustment for levelling the rooftop tent.

ABOVE Not even afraid to admit that I am insanely jealous of the rear set-up - any red-blooded touring fanatic should be!

The Bundutec Bundutop rooftop tent was one of their larger investments. The electric opening design doesn’t come cheap, but when you are going to be living out of it for the foreseeable future, you can’t put a price on convenience. It’s sitting on top of a custom-made roof rack that also sports slimline work lights all round and a Foxwing 270 awning on the passenger side. To make the most of the extended camp stops, there is a 130W flexi solar panel on the roof of the tent, constantly charging the two 150Ah AGM batteries tucked in the sides of the drawer system.

BELOW Mario Kart is a luxury usually only afforded to those sitting in their living room … not anymore

The Outback Touring System drawer set-up was another feather in Chris’s design cap, effectively doubling their rear space. Incorporating the Emu Wings into enclosed sections, they have created a nice square frame to fit three large drawers and a 60-litre Engle on a slide. In a stroke of ergonomic genius, the entire electrical switchboard is located in the passenger Emu Wing. CTEK D250s units are controlling the SMARTPASS electrical system and CTEK lithium charger to make the most of any available 240V sources. Up top there is a 2500W inverter to keep cameras and laptops ready to go at a moment’s notice. In case you thought that was everything, there is a 12V TV tucked into the remaining space meaning Mario Kart can settle any disputes at camp (or rather, start some more).

Up front, the false floor set-up can removed and seats put back in if necessary thanks to a well thought-out water tank design. The passenger side has ample storage for dry food, a shower set-up and assorted extras. The other side has an area for camera gear and a nice comfortable platform for Scout, a two-year-old bulldog that accompanies them on their adventures. They won’t be travelling in any discomfort themselves, with the best part of $10k worth of Recaro seats in the front. 35 percent tint keeps the cab cool and there are more switches in here than in most light aircraft. How they’ve managed to make it all look uniform and not haphazard is a testament to their design forethought.

ABOVE It’s the little touches that make the biggest difference

Rather than get a GQ and end up looking at GUs and want to upgrade (the usual progression), I would rather make something the best version of itself that I can possibly make it”.

BELOW “Vote for Pedro … All your wildest dreams will come true”. Anyone? “Gosh”. Never mind, I’ll see myself out!

ABOVE Looks like the pup will be travelling in comfort! Even has his own 12V fan to keep cool

FUTURE PLANS
The planning and preparation that has gone into this Patrol is nothing short of phenomenal. If you can’t find me at any point in the next 12 months, it’s highly likely that I have stowed away in the back of Pedro, just to get another look at what I consider to be up there with the best touring set-ups in the country.