VEHICLES Custom 80 Series

After cutting his teeth with an old Mazda BT-50 and being bitten by the four-wheeling bug, Kyle wanted more. Specifically, he wanted a solid axle 4X4 to take on harder tracks. And he wanted it to be reliable. And it had to have pedigree in the tuning space. And it had to be as close to stock as he could get. See, Kyle wanted his new (old) 4X4 to be tailor-made to suit him. Enter the Toyota 80 Series.

From grandpa-spec to angry, Kyle Denton’s 80 Series has been built for capability and reliability – and to turn night into day…

Handmade Hero

WORDS BY JOSH NEEDS, IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

THE VEHICLE
After a lengthy search, Kyle eventually settled on a grandpa-spec Toyota 80 Series that had 33-inch tyres, snorkel and an old bulbar and that was it. It was perfect. Even more so because it was rust free. According to Kyle, finding an 80 Series without some rust is almost impossible these days.

Rust free and in good working order with around 430,000 kilometres showing on the odometer, Kyle’s 80 Series had the reliable but not rapid 4.2-litre turbocharged six-cylinder (1HD-T) under the bonnet. He wanted to stick with this engine (in its stock tune to start with) but the wheels, and the bull bar all got binned with only the snorkel staying.

Beginner to advanced

Private acreage customised for off-road training

Winch and recovery

Safety and safety gear tips

Meet fellow off road enthusiasts with a similar skillset

Got the vehicle, get the skills!

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

POWER AND PERFORMANCE
An 80 Series is never going to win a horsepower showdown; the dyno revealed 76kW and 277Nm at the wheels. Kyle said, he didn’t go for the 80 Series because of its power, rather he wanted something reliable and the 1HD-T with its CT-26 factory turbo is exactly that. Don’t get us wrong, jam enough fuel and boost into them and they’ll go like the clappers without going BANG. But Kyle wanted reliability above speed. For now.

The old donk gets fed fresh air from a Safari snorkel and makes its presence known via a PPD stainless steel three-inch exhaust with a high-flow muffler. The driveline is relatively untouched, but Kyle swapped out the 80 Series’ original constant four-wheel drive system for a Terrain Tamer part-time conversion kit with AVM free-wheeling hubs. The reason being it allows Kyle to run his 80 Series in two-wheel drive around town, reducing stress on aging parts: hubs, diff, uni-joints, and more – plus it’ll save him a touch of fuel too, as well as improving the handling of the 80 Series on-road. While Kyle did most of the work himself, the swap was a job for the experts at Berkeley Vale Auto. The brakes on the old girl have also had some work and are now sporting custom DBA slotted rotors and pads all around, providing added stopping power to pull up the extra weight. Read on.

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Standing tall, the suspension work on Kyle’s 80 Series is stunning. Running a PartsManDan four-inch lift kit, compatible EFS coils, mated to Fox 2.0 remote reservoir shocks (front and rear).

In the front, to make sure the lift doesn’t place any added stress on the thing, Kyle has fitted Comp Rods radius arms, sway bar extensions, and an adjustable HD Panhard. In the front, he has also installed a Fox steering damper to help take up some of the steering shock-loading on rougher tracks. In the rear, Kyle fitted HD upper and lower control arms, as well as an adjustable HD Panhard and sway bar extensions. Kyle said he went for the kit from PartsManDan because it provided him with a complete kit with all the parts needed that he could fit himself while using proven brands in the industry.

However, the build hasn’t gone entirely smoothly with some cracks in the chassis found around the steering box (#80life). Thankfully for Kyle, they weren’t too severe, and after some chassis bracing and weld repairs, the 80 was back to full health.

Although ground clearance doesn’t seem to be a concern with his four-inch lift, Kyle has fitted a Kaymar rear bar to get the spare out from underneath and onto the back of the 80 Series. Sitting alongside the spare wheel, Kyle has fitted a dual Jerry can holder and ladder, all on a single swing away arm. Up on the roof, to improve his storage options, Kyle has mounted a Shoreline4x4 alloy roof rack to try and keep the already high centre of gravity from becoming too much higher.

A 12,000lb Domin8r winch has been mounted onto the bull bar to pull him or any of his mates out of a sticky situation. Kyle also told us, no matter where he goes, he always carries a full recovery kit and boards (and you should too). To improve his night vision, the 80 Series runs upgraded headlights, LLA LED globes and a 17-inch LLA single-row light bar on the bullbar. On the front of the roof rack, he has gone a bit more extreme with a 41.5-inch XTM double-row light bar. Just in case they weren’t enough, Kyle mounted on the bonnet 40W LED pod lights with Bullseye brackets. There’s a 21.5-inch XTM double-row light bar facing backwards off his rack, as well as some 18W, LED work lights facing outwards on the underside of his roof rack.

To make sure he doesn’t kill his starter battery running his millions of lights, Kyle has set up a sophisticated 12V system that is controlled by a Redarc BMS-30 (Manager 30). The system runs not only one auxiliary battery but two with Kyle fitting two 120ah AGM batteries in the rear of his 4X4 and away from the battery-killing heat of the engine bay.

ACCESSORIES
Anyone spot the bull bar? Sure, it’s an off-the-shelf Opposite Lock jobbie but Kyle’s mounted it higher than standard to improve the approach angle and clear the indicator apron. He also wanted to have a single hoop, which he preferred the look of rather than either a full hooped or completely hoopless bar. Kyle told us, the bull bar is one of his favourite accessories because it’s one of a kind. Along each side, Kyle fitted Southern Cross Fabworks sliders that were just a straightforward bolt-on and protect the sides of the 80 while also providing a step to climb into the Mt Everest-height cab.

To make the front of the 80 Series more comfortable, Kyle binned the old Toyota seats and replaced them with the front seats from a Ford Falcon XR6 (FG), there’s a Pioneer touchscreen with Kenwood speakers and amp. For navigation, Kyle uses an iPad running the HEMA app. 

In the rear to keep everything organised is a custom-made, by Kyle, timber unit holding a set o aluminium Dunn and Watson drawers as well as a fridge slide (home to a Waeco CFX65DZ). Kyle removed the second-row seats and fitted a false floor with a net hanging from the roof for storing lightweight items. The flat, false floor can be easily removed if the second-row seats ever need to be fitted again. It doesn’t foul on his drawers or fridge slide. Storage, like exterior lighting, is clearly very important to Kyle and he’s added twin Molle-style seat organisers to the back of the front seats.

FINAL THOUGHTS
While Kyle’s 80 Series is already pretty trick, he’s got more planned for it. He’s got a GTurbo, front-mount intercooler, and ADS Injection injector pump as he shoots for 150kW and 500-550Nm at the wheels… yep, he’s enjoyed the reliability of the stock engine but now he wants a little more power. He’s also planning on fitting a set of Harrop ELockers to make the old girl even more capable with plans to finish off his home-made Emu-wing rear windows. Stay tuned at (@kyledenton21)

VEHICLES Custom 80 Series

WORDS BY JOSH NEEDS, IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

After cutting his teeth with an old Mazda BT-50 and being bitten by the four-wheeling bug, Kyle wanted more. Specifically, he wanted a solid axle 4X4 to take on harder tracks. And he wanted it to be reliable. And it had to have pedigree in the tuning space. And it had to be as close to stock as he could get. See, Kyle wanted his new (old) 4X4 to be tailor-made to suit him. Enter the Toyota 80 Series.

From grandpa-spec to angry, Kyle Denton’s 80 Series has been built for capability and reliability – and to turn night into day…

Handmade Hero

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

THE VEHICLE
After a lengthy search, Kyle eventually settled on a grandpa-spec Toyota 80 Series that had 33-inch tyres, snorkel and an old bulbar and that was it. It was perfect. Even more so because it was rust free. According to Kyle, finding an 80 Series without some rust is almost impossible these days.

Rust free and in good working order with around 430,000 kilometres showing on the odometer, Kyle’s 80 Series had the reliable but not rapid 4.2-litre turbocharged six-cylinder (1HD-T) under the bonnet. He wanted to stick with this engine (in its stock tune to start with) but the wheels, and the bull bar all got binned with only the snorkel staying.

Beginner to advanced

Private acreage customised for off-road training

Winch and recovery

Safety and safety gear tips

Meet fellow off road enthusiasts with a similar skillset

Got the vehicle, get the skills!

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

POWER AND PERFORMANCE
An 80 Series is never going to win a horsepower showdown; the dyno revealed 76kW and 277Nm at the wheels. Kyle said, he didn’t go for the 80 Series because of its power, rather he wanted something reliable and the 1HD-T with its CT-26 factory turbo is exactly that. Don’t get us wrong, jam enough fuel and boost into them and they’ll go like the clappers without going BANG. But Kyle wanted reliability above speed. For now.

The old donk gets fed fresh air from a Safari snorkel and makes its presence known via a PPD stainless steel three-inch exhaust with a high-flow muffler. The driveline is relatively untouched, but Kyle swapped out the 80 Series’ original constant four-wheel drive system for a Terrain Tamer part-time conversion kit with AVM free-wheeling hubs. The reason being it allows Kyle to run his 80 Series in two-wheel drive around town, reducing stress on aging parts: hubs, diff, uni-joints, and more – plus it’ll save him a touch of fuel too, as well as improving the handling of the 80 Series on-road. While Kyle did most of the work himself, the swap was a job for the experts at Berkeley Vale Auto. The brakes on the old girl have also had some work and are now sporting custom DBA slotted rotors and pads all around, providing added stopping power to pull up the extra weight. Read on.

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Standing tall, the suspension work on Kyle’s 80 Series is stunning. Running a PartsManDan four-inch lift kit, compatible EFS coils, mated to Fox 2.0 remote reservoir shocks (front and rear).

In the front, to make sure the lift doesn’t place any added stress on the thing, Kyle has fitted Comp Rods radius arms, sway bar extensions, and an adjustable HD Panhard. In the front, he has also installed a Fox steering damper to help take up some of the steering shock-loading on rougher tracks. In the rear, Kyle fitted HD upper and lower control arms, as well as an adjustable HD Panhard and sway bar extensions. Kyle said he went for the kit from PartsManDan because it provided him with a complete kit with all the parts needed that he could fit himself while using proven brands in the industry.

However, the build hasn’t gone entirely smoothly with some cracks in the chassis found around the steering box (#80life). Thankfully for Kyle, they weren’t too severe, and after some chassis bracing and weld repairs, the 80 was back to full health.

ACCESSORIES
Anyone spot the bull bar? Sure, it’s an off-the-shelf Opposite Lock jobbie but Kyle’s mounted it higher than standard to improve the approach angle and clear the indicator apron. He also wanted to have a single hoop, which he preferred the look of rather than either a full hooped or completely hoopless bar. Kyle told us, the bull bar is one of his favourite accessories because it’s one of a kind. Along each side, Kyle fitted Southern Cross Fabworks sliders that were just a straightforward bolt-on and protect the sides of the 80 while also providing a step to climb into the Mt Everest-height cab.

Although ground clearance doesn’t seem to be a concern with his four-inch lift, Kyle has fitted a Kaymar rear bar to get the spare out from underneath and onto the back of the 80 Series. Sitting alongside the spare wheel, Kyle has fitted a dual Jerry can holder and ladder, all on a single swing away arm. Up on the roof, to improve his storage options, Kyle has mounted a Shoreline4x4 alloy roof rack to try and keep the already high centre of gravity from becoming too much higher.

A 12,000lb Domin8r winch has been mounted onto the bull bar to pull him or any of his mates out of a sticky situation. Kyle also told us, no matter where he goes, he always carries a full recovery kit and boards (and you should too). To improve his night vision, the 80 Series runs upgraded headlights, LLA LED globes and a 17-inch LLA single-row light bar on the bullbar. On the front of the roof rack, he has gone a bit more extreme with a 41.5-inch XTM double-row light bar. Just in case they weren’t enough, Kyle mounted on the bonnet 40W LED pod lights with Bullseye brackets. There’s a 21.5-inch XTM double-row light bar facing backwards off his rack, as well as some 18W, LED work lights facing outwards on the underside of his roof rack.

To make sure he doesn’t kill his starter battery running his millions of lights, Kyle has set up a sophisticated 12V system that is controlled by a Redarc BMS-30 (Manager 30). The system runs not only one auxiliary battery but two with Kyle fitting two 120ah AGM batteries in the rear of his 4X4 and away from the battery-killing heat of the engine bay.

To make the front of the 80 Series more comfortable, Kyle binned the old Toyota seats and replaced them with the front seats from a Ford Falcon XR6 (FG), there’s a Pioneer touchscreen with Kenwood speakers and amp. For navigation, Kyle uses an iPad running the HEMA app. 

In the rear to keep everything organised is a custom-made, by Kyle, timber unit holding a set o aluminium Dunn and Watson drawers as well as a fridge slide (home to a Waeco CFX65DZ). Kyle removed the second-row seats and fitted a false floor with a net hanging from the roof for storing lightweight items. The flat, false floor can be easily removed if the second-row seats ever need to be fitted again. It doesn’t foul on his drawers or fridge slide. Storage, like exterior lighting, is clearly very important to Kyle and he’s added twin Molle-style seat organisers to the back of the front seats.

FINAL THOUGHTS
While Kyle’s 80 Series is already pretty trick, he’s got more planned for it. He’s got a GTurbo, front-mount intercooler, and ADS Injection injector pump as he shoots for 150kW and 500-550Nm at the wheels… yep, he’s enjoyed the reliability of the stock engine but now he wants a little more power. He’s also planning on fitting a set of Harrop ELockers to make the old girl even more capable with plans to finish off his home-made Emu-wing rear windows. Stay tuned at (@kyledenton21)

Contact us

Drop us a line, let us know if you've found any bugs, want to write a story for us, or even just say G'day.
Please enter your name
Please enter a correct e-mail address
Please enter a comment
Thank you! Your message has been sent.
Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again.

Share this article

Forward this page by e-mail or share it directly on social media.

Search this issue

Enter text in the search field below
Minimal length to search is 3 characters

Welcome to Unsealed 4X4

Are you hungry for the latest in 4X4 news, reviews and travel?

At Unsealed 4X4, we’ll give you up-to-date 4X4 news, reviews and how-to's to keep you in fine form.

Fullscreen