Lap of Australia - Truck Build - Outback Solutions Drawers
Elly and I installed our Outback Solutions Drawers into the back of the Landcruiser today. It took us around 5 hours, but was quite an easy job, and the end result is spectacular.
For an overview of how to install Outback Solutions Drawers into a Landcruiser 80 series GXL, read on!
The first step (which we have already performed prior to this photo) is to remove the 3rd row child/dickie seats. In this photo Elly is removing the bolts that will be used to mount the drawer frame to the chassis. In the 80 series the mounting points are the front dickie seat mounting holes, and the rear tie down points (drilled out to 10mm).
As an aside, the most useful thing in this photo (apart from Elly of course!!) is the Narva LED Palm Light. We’ve always just made do with a torch, but this little thing is great, as it has a number of ways to position it due to the fold out handle on the back. It’s also rubberised and quite small, so a few times I had it jammed between the sub-fuel tank and the chassis rail under the car while mounting the rear bolts and it came away without a scratch. Hopefully we don’t break down at night, but if we do, at least we’ve got a few handy LED lights like this to help us fix the problem.
The Outback Solutions system is modular, which means that you can mix and match all sorts of drawer types to suit your car and your needs. We went with a traditional left and right style setup, with a roller top on the left drawer that will allow us to mount our fridge direct to the roller top and have it sliding nicely on proper ball bearings, rather than flimsy furniture slides.
The system comes packed in its component parts. In our case that meant we had to join the left and right drawer frames together. That is done with a combination of reinforcing beams and bolts.
Another advantage of the Outback Solutions system, being modular, is that the same drawers can fit into almost any vehicle, and the only thing that needs to be changed is the trim pieces on the side. So if we were to ever change vehicle (by the way the only thing we’d ever change to is a 100 series) we can take these drawers with us.
This is one of the reinforcing beams used to join the two drawer frames together. In this photo you can also see the uncompromising quality that Outback Solutions puts into their drawers. The ball bearings are all top quality, all nuts are nylock nuts, all welds are primed for rust protection and the steel is cut and bent to perfection.
In this photo we are moving the A and B “hats” (the vertical C shaped beams) to suit the 80 series Landcruiser mounting points. From memory the A hat was 782mm from the plastic fascia, and the B hat was 152mm.
This is one of the rear tie down points where the drawer frame mounts to. The rear bolt is left in place, the front bolt removed, and the remaining thread is drilled out to 10mm. A 10mm bolt is then passed through the chassis, and 75mm x 40mm plates are used top and bottom for strength, specifically to prevent the nut beneath the chassis from pulling through the steel in case of an accident, when all the weight of the drawers and their contents would surge forwards.
This is the front mounting point. No modifications need to be made to this area, as the factory reinforcing is sufficiently strong, being that it is a seat mounting point and uses a 10mm bolt as standard.
The drawers have plastic stoppers that need to be removed in order to slide the drawers fully out of the frame. Here I am bolting the stoppers back in once we were ready to put the drawers back into their frames. The Narva light was handy to line up the threaded holes in the stopper through the metal frame of the drawer. Without it I couldn’t see a thing.
And voila! Just like that, the drawers are magically installed! Prior to this photo we installed the side trim pieces. The main left and right drawer frames are common among many models. The trim pieces on the far left and right are customised to your vehicle, and are the only parts that need to be changed if you upgrade your vehicle.
Elly and I are extremely happy with the quality of the Outback Solutions drawers. We had pretty goofy grins on our faces once we finished the installation, and had a good play with the drawers, sliding them in and out, locking them out, putting our weight into and on them. You can’t fake quality like that!
This is the front of the drawer frame. It would normally be hidden behind the factory middle row of seats. In our case we have made our truck a 2 seater touring machine, and the middle section of the car will have some custom fabrication done to hold some of our electrical equipment, a 10” subwoofer, audio system amplifier, water tank, and space cases.
The finished product looks pretty good to me. Check out the size of the drawer runners too - they run on full ball bearings, and roll beautifully.
The back section of the truck is coming along nicely. Once I finish the custom door trims for the front and rear door speaker enclosures, it should all look quite factory. I like my cars to appear as if they could have come off the factory floor, and not be too over the top.
This photo shows the side trim pieces that are customised to suit our 80 series. How about the fitment?! It doesn’t get much better than this!
The other side looks just as good. Beneath the top trim piece is quite a cavernous space, suitable for all sorts of things, including recovery kits, air compressors, inverters, battery chargers etc. The list goes on.
Double money shot! This is with both drawers locked out. The breaking force on the locks is 14kg, which requires quite a hefty nudge with the hip, or a good slap with the arm to unlock. This is perfect if you’re on a decline and you want to be able to access the drawers without them automatically and continually closing on you!
Now we need to fill them up with some goodies! We will have an article coming soon describing what we carry and where we store it. For now, we’ll just enjoy the clean carpet and nice smelling drawers!