We've modified the Land Cruiser to be as secure as possible. Here are some of the security features in depth. Brace yourself.
Tuffy Center Console
We decided to remove the original center console and put a steel, locking Tuffy console box in its place. Tuffy does not make a console for the fj80, so I bought one for a jeep and had to modify it. This basically involved cutting the whole bottom front of the box off (used a grinder with a cutting wheel) and then we welded a metal plate in it’s place. Also I modified the bottom bracket by cutting out a section on the top and sides. This allowed me to move the box forward enough to keep it out of the backseat area, and also made the bottom of the box tall enough to clear our smaller laptop power inverter (sine wave…) that I planned on mounting underneath it. I drilled new holes in the bottom of the box and got longer, smaller-threaded bolts so it would be able to be bolted to the factory holes that the original console bolted onto.
The box has been great so far. It's been nice to have a secure place to put our cameras and other electronics that we like to have up front often. We lock it up at military checkpoints, etc.
Steel Security Box
We made the painful decision to remove the back seats and leave them at home in order to have a custom steel locking box put in its place. This serves mostly as storage for tools and other stuff that we don't have to use very often. It had two sides to it so we don't have to take everything of the top if we need to access something. If I had it to do over again, I would have either cut the top to have three openings, or better yet put locking drawers in place of the top opening. Also I may have made it an inch or two shorter so when people do sit in the back then they wouldn't have to duck.
The external locks are great because with all the other security features we have, they are mostly pointless if someone can just punch out the locks and open the door. These were made by Calvin at Overlander Oasis in Oaxaca, Mexico. We thought of a variety of mechanisms to make these easy and practical for everyday use, and Calvin knew right away how to get this accomplished. His design included steel poles and custom brackets that allow us to slide the poles out of the way to store them when not in use.
He used galvanized steel for the poles so we didn't have to worry about rust or have to occasionally paint them. He welded tabs on the front of the poles and a steel cap on the back of them so they would be be able to be locked in place with a simple master lock. He made a catch on the back bracket so the poles couldn't slide it of the back, and they also lock in place so no one can lock us in. When you slide the poles forward, they completely cover the back door, and also cover the hole for the lock on the front doors. They then lock in place so neither door can be opened. On the tab on the pole, he smartly put a small notch underneath the tab so if someone tried to bend the tab then it would break before the hole for the lock. Click here to see more details.
We had our kill switch installed before we left Nashville. It is in an unspecified, secret location. :) It interrupts the circuit for the ignition signal which allows the cruiser to attempt to turn over, but it will not start. This has given us peace of mind that none can get in the car and just hotwire it and drive off. This is a must have if you plan on shipping your car or storing it for long periods of time in another country.
Security Window Film
Some places in Mexico, Central America and the US have a problem with carjacking and smash and grabs. Security film was a must because we do not want to be jacked. We were going to go with 3m security film for the car windows, but instead went with V-Kool security film. The v-cool also has UV blocking technology and that has helped so much with the heat (especially for our dog). We had it put on the windshield and all the windows except the back three, since those have been blocked completely off by the cargo barrier and steel mesh window screens. Watch a video about how the film works here.
We already had a cargo barrier made by Speski that is great to clip things onto and keep things from sliding from the cargo area to the backseat. We decided to get an additional custom extruded steel mesh piece put in place behind the backseat/steel box so we could have a fully locking, separate area to put things when the car is being shipped or stored. This was custom made in TN before we left. It is attached to the steel shelving system that we had made for the back cargo area, so it is all removable as one big piece.
Rear Double-Gate Bumper
Slee Off Road makes great products for landcruisers of all generations. We went with their double-gate back bumper to get the most functionality of the back of the cruiser. This thing is great. It has a spare tire carrier and hi-lift jack holder on the right side, and a ladder and jerry can holder on the other side. We opted to get the add-on rotopax swing out carrier so we could use both the ladder and jerry can holder (We have never used the ladder on the back though so I wouldn't recommend that unless it is your only ladder). I managed to get a 13.3lb propane tank fitted in a nitro-air tank holder on the left side as well. There is even a place to mount a light on the bumper, to which we mounted an IBS light onto. The backup camera sits under the jerry can holder.
Each gate has a pull-up pin that allows it to be locked in the open or closed positions. This is very important because these things weigh a lot when they are loaded up with our gear, and trying to hold them open or closed doesn't work if we are parked on an incline.
The best part about the gate is the security it provides. Not only does it block access to the back window, it also is lockable by a u-lock which makes it impossible to open...even with bolt cutters no one is getting in the back of our cruiser.
The Club U-Lock
The Club U-Lock fits perfectly between the light mount on the right rear bumper gate and the ladder of the left bumper gate. It is solid and can be taken off to be used if you need to lock anything else up like bikes, etc.
Locking Drawer System
We have the ARB outback safari locking drawer system in the cargo area of the landcruiser. Our kitchen is in the right drawer and our clothes are in the left. The ARB refrigerator is on an optional fridge-slide that's built into the drawer system. It is really nice and built well. The fridge and the drawers lock into the open and closed positions. Both of these drawers came with a lock and key. Here is a link to ARB's website to checkout the various configurations they offer.
Steel Window Screens
We decided to have custom windows screens made out of extruded steel for all of our windows. I did some measurements to get pricing so if you need them they are here. These were also made in TN before we left. We keep the rears screens in permanently and have the front four removable. They are handy, again if shipping or storing the car, and also if we are parked in a semi-sketchy area and want to leave the windows open for a breeze for Gracie. The stay in place either by just closing the doors, or if we put them in place for a long time then we can easily screw them in.
Viper Alarm System
We have a Viper Alarm System installed. We've had it worked on three times since we left and now it's finally setup the way we like it (In other words, make sure you get it installed by a Viper Professional). We had sensors put on all the doors and back gate, and also have the motion sensor and glass break sensor. If anyone even reaches their hand through an open window while it's on then the alarm will sound. The best part about this alarm is the remote start feature. We are able to start the car if it's cold and needs defrosting, but also when we are in the tent and want to turn on the heat or air conditioner for Gracie, then we can do this with the push of a button.
Steel Cable Locks
We have cable locks all over the car for a variety of things. We have one for the jerry cans and propane tank, another for the spare tire and hi-lift jack, and another for the top of the car. I like this one the most because I was concerned about someone stealing things from the top of the car. We ended up utilizing the combo of front runner boxes, maxtrax and a steel locking cable to prevent that. Basically the front runner boxes are smashed between the roof rack and the maxtrax, then I wrapped a steel cable through the rack and maxtrax so the boxes can't be opened unless you unlock the cable. It's worked well and so far no one has stolen anything from the top of the car.
Security Bolts for Rooftop Tent
We purchased the optional security bolts from CVT for our rooftop tent. This keeps someone from stealing the tent by simply unbolting the tent from the roof rack. They have a special key for removal if you need to take the tent off for any reason.
Chief of Security
This is by far our most important security feature. Gracie is extremely sweet but her growl says otherwise. She has gotten us waved right through many checkpoints.