Project Triton – Day 1

Here it is folks, Project Triton! Bought with real money, this Impulse Blue MQ Triton Exceed is the first ever Loaded4X4 project vehicle. We’re going to go through it like a ‘dose of salts’, junk the junk and replace it all with quality aftermarket gear, detailing the process as we go along.

We’re going to show you what you can do legally, possibly with some engineering approval being required, to build a super competent off-road and touring all-rounder.

Why the Triton we hear you ask?

Well, it hands down won our recent Facebook poll “Which 4X4 DC ute do you think we should buy?”, attracting 44 per cent of the vote. The runner up with just 18 per cent of the vote was the Hilux SR.

You can buy this visually improved L200 (Triton) Barbarian SVP in the UK. It’s okay but we’ll do better.

You can read about the Barbarian SVP (pictured above) here.

I also happen to think it’s the best value 4X4 dual-cab ute available right now. Out of the box, the Exceed comes with Mitsubishi’s excellent Super Select drivetrain and is one of only two of these types of utes (auto Amaroks are the other) that offer the choice of permanent all-wheel-drive. A diff lock is standard, the auto is a five-speed Aisin, straight out of the Pajero (it’s strong), there’s none of that 6-speed with two overdrives nonsense and the engine is a sweet little unit.  All of that for $44,000 on the road with window tinting – that’s ‘off-the-street pricing’ – makes HiLux and Ranger look well overpriced.

Of course, it’s not all good news, never is with cars. The Triton’s suspension is crap in my opinion, although David disagrees with me to some extent on this subject.

The driver’s armrest areas could well be lumps of wood for all the comfort they offer, the ‘leather look’ door trims in the Exceed look less impressive than the lower spec GLS items, there’s a couple of iffy bits of paintwork and the front passenger seat shakes over every bump, something that I expect will improve when the stock and extraordinarily undersized shocks are binned.

The Top Gear L200 (Triton) Desert Slayer was the subject of one of Loaded4X4’s most popular articles ever.

You can read about the Desert Slayer (pictured above) here.

And then there’s the looks. Roothy once described the MQ Triton as “a bucket with chrome handles” and he’s probably not too far off the mark in the opinion of most. The wheelbase is too short for the body and tray and the narrow width of the Triton is at odds with it’s length. But there’s plenty of potential looking to be exploited here, and the one thing the Triton isn’t is bland.

By the way, that short wheelbase and narrow body mean the Triton is right at home on narrow, twisting High Country tracks and this one will be seeing a few of those.

So with all of that in mind, this build is going to be about turning a stock MQ Triton into an off-roading and touring beast, that looks good!

First up, we’re going to drive it for a month or so and see how we get along. Then we are going to look at changing/adding/modifying the following, in no specific order;

New alloy wheels
New (larger) LT tyres (along with engineering certification if required)
Replace the suspension front and rear, including a modest lift
Fit a bull bar
Fit a rear protection bar
Fit rock sliders
Design and build some bar work for the tray that improves storage and offers some basic roll-over protection
Add some exterior lighting
Fit interior seat covers
Fit a 12V fridge in tray
Fit some serious underbody protection
Whatever else we think needs doing along the way!

We’ll document the build on this website, and include feature articles on each segment of the Project Triton build in our upcoming FREE eMag editions that you can subscribe to here – The Magazine

During and after the build we are going to put Project Triton to the test in the Barossa Valley at David’s Adventure 4WD test track, along with trips to the Victorian High Country, the New South Wales Snowies, the Victorian deserts and the Simpson Desert just to name a few destinations already locked in.

Stay tuned!

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