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Members Rig - Joe Mortelliti - 2003 120 Series Prado

Driver Details:

Marion and I live in Geelong Victoria and have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

The 4wd experience coupled with my passion for photography has us itching to be out on the tracks, camping and photographing. My images have been published in art calendars and coffee table books, magazines etc. Please enjoy a visit to……

In the last 12 months we went away on trips 11 times (we are semi retired). Four Vic High Country trips, a snow trip, Beachport/Robe trip, a couple of Otway trips, Portland sand dunes trip, etc, and fitted in a bunch of day outings IN ADDITION!!

I’m 55 and Marion is 52 , I can feel my body really slowing down but my brain still thinks l’m 30 and I’m not letting on otherwise.! As Bill Cosby the comedian says “the brain” and “the body” do not get along. For you younger guys Bill Cosby tells of how “the brain” comes up with these exciting and extreme fun activities… which “the body” is likely to suffer pain from…so he set up this dialogue between the brain and the body…funny material.

The Prado 120 is a July 2003 4lt Petrol auto GXL

It has travelled 40,000km not used much as a run-a-round transport

My passion, photography, the Jakaroo was a bit of a dinky toy, but got me started

John took this shot, his 80 and the 120 crossed this wash out with ease compared to others that followed .He sent me the picture which he titled …”Live Crawler”

Where did everybody go.?

Off set 16 inch steel wheels and muddies that slightly protrude from the body.
McRae sliders are lined up with tyre walls (Goodyear MTR”S) to provide significant body protection along entire length of 120.

The tyres are fitted up “dry” with tubes allowing for very low pressures to be run. 265/75R16 size tyres, speedo out by about 5kmh, this size tyre gives you about an extra 19mm under the diff.

Rear McRae steel bumper … the plastic bumper has “popped off” on 3 occasions,(hard rally driving… also blew off the lids on 3 yogart tubs and burst a packet of chips) last time it nicely cradled in the new McRae unit and no damage. Others have reported same problem with the 120 bumper. The replacement bumper cost was just over $1,000 when a lady backed into it when it was 3 month old.

McRae Storage setup. Cage, shelf, water supply, fridge slide, and temporary Bunnings plastic drawers strapped together on slide. Works real well @ $15 drawer. A bigger capacity McRae unit due soon to replace the Bunnings drawer’s almost completed.

40lt of water strapped to the cage behind the rear seats. Hooked up in series with breather. The cage is handy for cable tying spares etc

McRae front bash plate… and rated hooks. The bash plate saved my radiator in the next picture

As soon as Marion realized I was going to give this “wall” a go she pronounced “ NO WAY!.. I’m outa here!”, which in way was good because she took this action shot. I also got the120 over the top. The 17 other cars on the trip WOULD NOT have a go at this section… must admit in hindsight I would tackle this section  very differently next time.

My first 8 day trip to High Country and on Billy Goat Bluff Track… climbing to 1800M I’m losing water and heating up fast, and this is a seriously steep rough track!.

We find this bloody spanner inside the cowl behind the radiator core, punching holes in the core! belonged to the workshop who fitted some accessories just before I left..

As the damage was on the inside of the radiator it meant getting it out. The trip leader suggest would I be prepared to try pepper…I knew it worked as dad used to use it on his old trucks…so in went the Saxa pepper and the leak stopped. I did the next 3 days in High Country working under full load, climbing the likes of  Blue Rag and drove back home with the pepper still holding.

The trip leader was so pissed that he rang the workshop on the sat phone while sitting on the edge of that mountain, telling them we were 200km from civilization and up a mountain, and in 40 degree heat. He then handed me the phone and by the end of the conversation it was agreed that a new radiator would be waiting for me ready to fit as soon as I got back home…no charge…lots of apologies.

Easy speedy access to the roof rack, in my case to take pictures -Storage shelf with ability to tie on items eg.... can cart fire wood, maybe a gas bottle,fuel container,etc

This picture shows me standing on it...very secure footing...and I'm 100kg....Darren then climbed up onto the shelf....I'm not sure what he weighs...but it is a lot more than my 100kg....suffice to say it's darn strong. (Author's Note:   Until I see a photo of that, I don't believe it!!!)

Light pole.... within the ladder frame is a metal rod that drops into the shelf frame, providing a hook to hang a light from which is well above your eyes....distributing light without blinding you.

you can use a ratchet rope to get your spare up onto the back
of the vehicle as well, for those of us who may not be as young in the body, as we
may be in the mind ;-)

UPGRADES in addition to the pictures above…
  • Bilstein Shocks and Lovell springs-medium rated
  • TJM snorkel
  • Breathers an additional 2 required from memory
  • Dual Batteries
  • ARB rear diff lock
  • Compressor with air lines
  • UHF
  • Tradesman Roof rack…noisy bloody thing
  • Fridge socket… wired in to body.
What’s next?

  • I do not have a mounted front winch, but hey everyone else does!
  • McRae Short cargo barrier with storage to fit to cage shelf
  • McRae Pantry/drawer/ table unit to replace the Bunnings drawers currently used
  • Remove rear seats for future use
  • 120 faults
  • Plastic rear bumper pops off from time to time
  • Plastic inner gaurds keep popping off
  • Breathers fitted to only some required components
  • Factory bull bar could have better approach angle like ARB one…due to the activity in ‘picture 8 the approach angle on my factory bull bar got improved for the better.
Fitting of factory bull bar created problems as the inner guard was being cut. In some early cases I believe engine failure occurred to vehicles without snorkels due to the air intake having been exposed in the fitting of the bull bar, and then taking in water toi the engine

Thanks to Darren McRae for taking the time and effort to discuss and look at what was needed/wanted on my 120 and then creatively fabricate high quality products to meet those needs.