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Thread: An expedition truck on portals...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location the news and ya'll know...

    Default An expedition truck on portals...


    after 4 years of research and a few times getting really close to buying something existing, like modified Volvo C303 portals, and a year of design and prototyping work with the guys at Killeraxles, itīs almost done

    All the work I had sofar done with Portal Tec had to be done again, as they sadly closed the shop before we could start building the G3 axles and the bolt-on portals which Iīd asked them to build for me.

    We are currently fitting these new bolt-on portals to my expedition proven Defender axles (the one in my Avatar) and these will then be fitted under my 130CC which will later undergo some further modifications to become a safe and reliable truck for a few solo trips in the coming years.

    You may ask yourself, why portals? Well, first of all, for the trips that I want to do, I need as much ground clearance as possible and want to stay with a reasonable and locally available tyre size. I will be driving 35" Cooper STTs for now.
    The stress on drivetrain and halfshafts is greatly reduced by the portalīs gearing. In our case itīs almost by 60%.
    The axles get wider by fitting the portals (add approx. 4" to each side) but by using wheels with a bigger offset the overall width of the Defender axles is only increased by about 2.5".
    Furthermore I wanted a tyre inflation system to control the tyre pressure. This system can be safely installed with portals.

    Further modifications will be again a external rollcage, 2 fully waterproof winches (currently in development by the guys who build these drop boxes), underbody protection for the gearbox and rear, 2nd fuel tank on the tray and a new dashboard to take all the additional instruments, the notebook mounts and the navigation equipment.

    I donīt want to have this in my Defender again...

    By summer it should be fully done as the first trip will be in late summer.

    So long,

    Last edited by Oilworker; 06-27-2013 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Georgia, USA
    I don't have any need for portals, but definitely interested in how it progresses.
    Tom Rowe

    Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
    in places even more inaccessible.

    62 88 reg
    67 NADA x2
    74 Air Portable - The Antichrist (tag 6A666)
    95 D1 5-speed
    95 D90 5-speed
    97 D1 Automatic

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Orange County, Ca
    Wow, that is sexy! Nice work, can't wait to see her all done
    2006 Tacoma Access Cab (SLOW build thread:
    2007 Suzuki DR650

  4. #4
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The KillerAxles web pages include this one, documenting a project that put Unimog portals onto a Jeep YJ's Dana 44 axles. The result is a stock-looking Jeep with 37 inch tall tires!

    Note: The page loads slowly. The text is in German, natürlich, since the KillerAxles headquarters is located in Schortens, a city near Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany.

    KillerAxles also has a shop in Ogden, Utah, where they prepared the axles for this this rock crawler using Unimog parts

    Read about this competition buggy here

    Looks like Tibus Offroad also makes lockers for American axles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Greenville, NC
    There is an expression here "you're loaded for bear" which applies very well.

    Interesting build, please post updates. Where are you going that will require that much clearence?
    97 Land Rover DI SD 5 speed- Camel Trophy-esq build
    04 Land Rover DII ARB, OME Med lift, seat heaters....
    64 Land Rover Series IIa-88 The origin of the insanity, gone to live on a farm in Virginia.

    It's not the destination that matters.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location the news and ya'll know...
    First trip: Russia, all the way up north to cross the Ural mountain range above the polar circle and then drive home via Ekaterinburg.

    Second trip: Up the Panjir Valley to the Lapislazuli Mines. I was close but I couldnīt get there all the way on my first trip in 2002 and Iīve tried twice after that.

    But hey, weīll see :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    these look similar to the drop boxes that maxidrive were making - are they using some of the maxi parts or is it an all new box?
    gas > mods

    D1 equal parts honkey tonk and slayer

    1977 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham. Factory Sure Grip 8.75 axle. 440 big block. 4 body trunk. Tikki torches, picnic blanket, martini kit. Discount coupon stickers to the Love Shop. Refurbished hood ornament.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location the news and ya'll know...
    They look similar because there arnīt that many ways to build a good drop box.
    I sadly was too late when I heared about the Maxi Drive bolt-on portals.
    Mal Storey had already sold his last 5 sets to Outback Import of France and was not going to make any more as they took so long to manufacture.

    Hereīs some images of the Maxi Drive portals:

    front drop box:

    rear drop box:

    Wolfgang Tibus developed his drop boxes using his experience with portals and portal conversions and we had a long chat about what I had learned about the MaxiDrive stuff and about what I was expecting from a portal conversion.
    I think that what he developed is amazing and will hold.

    There are quite a few guys out there that keep insisting that the Defenderīs axles are too weak, but they always think about extremes.
    Mal Storey told me that he developed his drop boxes for a tyre size of max 35" and he knew of no customer that had broken one of his drop boxes in "normal" offroad use.
    The ones that broke or more correct, where the axles proved to be the weak point, where being used with tyre sizes above 35" and/or in extreme offroading, like rock crawling, etc.

    The drop boxes that the Tibus family developed are for regular, daily use with "normal" tyre sizes.
    How strong they are is something that heīll test this summer in his rallye Defender 100" that heīs going to build and race.
    I will tell you about how mine did when I return from Russia :-)

    Weīll see.
    Last edited by Oilworker; 01-26-2010 at 03:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    ON, Canada
    This thread is really putting too many ideas in my head.
    - 2001 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4
    - 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0
    - 2005 Starcraft 11RT
    - Some indeterminate race car project (between whips)
    - My other car is in pieces

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location the news and ya'll know...
    May I ask which ideas? :-) Just out of professional curiosity ;-)

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