'04 GX470 Adventures! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
79
Location
Oregon Coast
Hello all! New member, longtime lurker. I picked up a 2004 GX470 non-nav late last year as a new family-hauling off-roader as a replacement for my JK Unlimited Rubicon that my family recently outgrew. I've been off-roading Wrangler Rubicons for the last decade, and full-size trucks for the decade before that, but during a trip through the Alpine Loop in south-central Colorado last year I started developing an appreciation for the 120 series Toyotas. Ironically it was during that trip when my wife messaged me on my GPS communicator that she was pregnant, and the realization that the Jeep wasn't going to cut it anymore got my mind thinking of options. It just so happened that there was a lifted GX460 for sale down the street, which was well outside my price range, but that's when I discovered that not only was the GX470 within my price range, but they were going for equal or less than 4Runners here in southern Kansas. I kept that thought in the back of my mind for several more months until my wife also realized the Jeep was too small for us all, and then I started the hunt. Amazingly enough, there was a '04 GX470 with just barely over 100,000 miles just the way I wanted it - ash blue mica, non-nav, rear air conditioning, all stock, and in immaculate shape.
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Fast forward eight months, and I've so far taken it off-road in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho, almost all with the wife and kids in-tow. Amusingly, my wife never really cared for off-roading when we had the Jeep(s), but somewhere on this 3400 mile trip she suddenly decided that not only did she like going on trails, she wants to do more of it now! Fortunately, the kids loved it as well, and I think the main difference for everyone is that while the Jeeps were great when the trails turned serious, they were far from pleasant on the drive to and from the trailhead. Obviously this isn't the case for the GX, but what surprised me was just how competent the GX was on some of the more serious trails I took it on, especially considering it is not only 100% stock, but also that it is still on the highway all-season Bridgestones that I bought it with. Most of the trails I took it on were reasonably well maintained, especially in Colorado, but there were a few I hit in Utah where I figured not only would the tires let me down on the rocks, but that I'd beat the underside to death in the process. However, I'm happy to report that not only did it make it through unscathed, but it didn't even seem like it was working hard as it clambered up like a mule.
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All-in-all, I'm pretty happy with my purchase. Lucky for me, the GX had been meticulously maintained, had a fresh timing belt and water pump, and has since had all of its fluids swapped, transfer case rebuilt (it started leaking two weeks after I bought the car, and the Lexus dealer I bought it from did a full R&R on it for free! I can't say I've ever had service like that from a Jeep dealer, even when my Jeep was new!), and has been getting about a thousand miles a month put on it on average (compared to the Jeep that only averaged a little more than 300 a month, with most of that being trips to go off-road - I was one of those rare Jeep owners that used them for their designed purpose, not just to look cool to the neighbors or in a restaurant parking lot).

With all that said, I do have plans for the GX, as I do miss a few features of my Jeeps that, while I don't off-road in extreme fashion, have come in handy for the kind of trails I like to do. So my plans for the GX, in no particular order or timeframe:
  • 2.5" lift - After all I've read on here and some other sites, I'm not sure which kit I want to go with quite yet. I don't do extreme trails, at least not extreme enough that I think I need to go with Icon or Radflo. My Jeeps were mostly stock Rubicons with 32"-33" tires, so my goal is to be able to do with the Lexus what I could do with the Jeeps.
  • Rear locker - probably do an FJC 8.2 e-locker swap, if I can find one locally and reasonably priced.
  • Wheels - I'm loving the looks of the FN FX Pro wheels in bronze, though my wife is not a fan, so I'll probably end up with the grey.
  • Tires - I'm looking at a 255/75/17 BFG KO2. I've been running BFG KO/KM tires for nearly twenty years now, trying others every now and then but always coming back to the BFGs.
  • Sliders - I'm undecided between the Metal Tech OPOR sliders and the SSO sliders.
  • Winch - I'd love a hidden winch if SSO decides to do another group by, otherwise this one might just be wishful thinking at this point.
  • Roof rack - Undecided here.
  • Skid plates - Also undecided.
Tom

PS - I had to include a shot of my Jeep. It was the 27th car I've ever owned (the GX is number 32), but the first and only I've ever purchased new. I loved it, despite it being a FCA product and therefore lacking anything approaching "build quality", but times change and needs change, and I can't say that I miss it as much as I thought I might.
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Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
79
Location
Oregon Coast
Thanks guys. I was originally hoping to find a white GX, but now that I've owned this one for a while, I think ash blue mica is my favorite color for this model.

The build will probably be pretty slow, since the new baby is currently consuming all my former toy money in diapers and clothes, but I'm hoping to at least get one or two items knocked out before next summer so I can do some high altitude camping in the Rockies with my boys.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
518
Location
Bozeman, MT
Thanks guys. I was originally hoping to find a white GX, but now that I've owned this one for a while, I think ash blue mica is my favorite color for this model.

The build will probably be pretty slow, since the new baby is currently consuming all my former toy money in diapers and clothes, but I'm hoping to at least get one or two items knocked out before next summer so I can do some high altitude camping in the Rockies with my boys.
Congrats on the new kiddo! GX470’s are plenty capable stock. Just gotta get out there and have fun!
 

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