Builds 2008 LX Live Camera Car and Overlanding Build.

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Bought her on Dec. 7th with 180k miles for $18k, and she now has about 182.5k. She has been serviced solely by two different Lexus Dealers her entire life, and has been taken in at ~5k intervals for the most part. No accidents, radiator replaced at 150k, AHC flushed recently, new tires and PPI came up clean.

I honestly don't even know where to begin, other than to say that i feel very lucky to be in this position where i get to write my own 200 Series Build Thread. With that said, i have not thought everything out and things may change around depending on new information. My goal here is to have a place to gather my thoughts and lay down my plans for her for this upcoming year, as well as have a place to seek advice. Thanks in advance to the many of you who will be helping me through this process, and Thank You to the many of you who have helped me get this far. I look forward to an exciting year with you all!

First picture in low, 2nd in high. More stock pictures on page 2. I will also make a google photo album and link it here after it is done uploading if you want to see more pictures and at higher resolutions, as well as be able to see everything in one place.

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tominboise

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Congrats - sounds like a nice rig. If I was opening up the axles for a gear change, I would certainly take the time to add Harrop elockers to at least the rear, and probably front and rear. The ATRACs systems works well, but lockers work very well and eliminate the possibility of breaking anything with the ATRAC.
 
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Congrats - sounds like a nice rig. If I was opening up the axles for a gear change, I would certainly take the time to add Harrop elockers to at least the rear, and probably front and rear. The ATRACs systems works well, but lockers work very well and eliminate the possibility of breaking anything with the ATRAC.
Thanks brother. I appreciate the kind words and good advice.

I honestly would love to as a "while you're in there" project, but the thought of shelling out $2k extra in parts for rare situations is tough for me. I would gladly do the labor if i could afford the parts. One thing i should mention is that i keep a pretty modest income while working for the family business, at $15 an hour. The good news is they take care of all my living expenses so that i can use my income for the things i love. When i need more i can always ask for more as well and they will give it to me.

Slowly, but surely, she will get there!
 
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Let’s see it!
Will add pictures later, hopefully today boss. I want to find a good spot to take "before" pictures, and then in exactly 1 year i will take her back to the same spot to do "after" pictures. I can't wait to look back in a year and see how far she's gone!
 
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congrat's sounds like a lotta fun. A few bits of input i have:

• I'd highly advise if you are replacing the tires, to switch to 17" wheels. Price out five 34" tires at 20" compared to five 34" tires at 17" size. 20" tires are much more expensive and you'll have to shell that out every time you need tires. The difference in tire price would very quickly add up to what it'd cost you to pick up a set of 17" rock warriors (or icon 6 speed). 20" leaves you with very little sidewall, and very little ability to air down. To me, its a waste to shell out all that $ for 5 new 20" tires, for less capability. Easier just to do the swap now since you'll be changing all 5, and re-sell the 20" wheels to make up some of the cost.

• re-gearing I'd put further down on the list. especially if you can switch to a nice light wheel like the 17" rock warriors. I know plenty of guys rocking 33-34 with stock gearing and no complaints. I'm not saying eventually you wont want to after you add all the bumpers and aux tank and drawers and roof racks and what not.......but why not wait until you have that extra wait. Wouldn't be anywhere near my 1st priority upgrade. Not necessary for now

• water on the roof I wouldn't recommend. water is very heavy, and that much weight up that high is the last place you'd want it.
Heavy items are best down low and center if possible.

• rear bumper you might want to check out RLC. Semi-custom, he can do single or dual swingouts with whatever you want on them, for less $ than the competition. What you looking for i don't see the need to do full custom when there are so many options already available. Kaymar, ARB, and RLC and others all provide dual swing options. 2 spares on the rear? Overkill for travel almost anywhere in North America. It looks cool yes, but it'd take quite a special situation to be in a place so remote you couldn't get back to civilization with your 1 spare and a if needed a tire repair kit. I think if your doing dual swingouts you much better using the 2nd swing for jerry cans, max trax, water, hi-lift ect. get much more functionality with that than lugging around a heavy 2nd spare that there is a good chance will never get used in its life.

• sliders i didn't see on your list. That one I'd put up as a 1st or 2nd priority. The need for those comes real quick, and if you don't have, that 1st rocker damage coulda paid for you sliders easily.

In general its a process, and you learn as you go what you need and what works best for the type of travel you do. Priority wise I'd just throw some 17" wheels with KO2s, do your AHCm"lift" and get out there. Sliders if you can swing it. the rest is nice to have and may become needs in time, but really tires lift and sliders are gonna get you 90% of the places you could imagine going. 200's are amzingly capable even in bone stock form
 
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congrat's sounds like a lotta fun. A few bits of input i have:

• I'd highly advise if you are replacing the tires, to switch to 17" wheels. Price out five 34" tires at 20" compared to five 34" tires at 17" size. 20" tires are much more expensive and you'll have to shell that out every time you need tires. The difference in tire price would very quickly add up to what it'd cost you to pick up a set of 17" rock warriors (or icon 6 speed). 20" leaves you with very little sidewall, and very little ability to air down. To me, its a waste to shell out all that $ for 5 new 20" tires, for less capability. Easier just to do the swap now since you'll be changing all 5, and re-sell the 20" wheels to make up some of the cost.

• re-gearing I'd put further down on the list. especially if you can switch to a nice light wheel like the 17" rock warriors. I know plenty of guys rocking 33-34 with stock gearing and no complaints. I'm not saying eventually you wont want to after you add all the bumpers and aux tank and drawers and roof racks and what not.......but why not wait until you have that extra wait. Wouldn't be anywhere near my 1st priority upgrade. Not necessary for now

• water on the roof I wouldn't recommend. water is very heavy, and that much weight up that high is the last place you'd want it.
Heavy items are best down low and center if possible.

• rear bumper you might want to check out RLC. Semi-custom, he can do single or dual swingouts with whatever you want on them, for less $ than the competition. What you looking for i don't see the need to do full custom when there are so many options already available. Kaymar, ARB, and RLC and others all provide dual swing options. 2 spares on the rear? Overkill for travel almost anywhere in North America. It looks cool yes, but it'd take quite a special situation to be in a place so remote you couldn't get back to civilization with your 1 spare and a if needed a tire repair kit. I think if your doing dual swingouts you much better using the 2nd swing for jerry cans, max trax, water, hi-lift ect. get much more functionality with that than lugging around a heavy 2nd spare that there is a good chance will never get used in its life.

• sliders i didn't see on your list. That one I'd put up as a 1st or 2nd priority. The need for those comes real quick, and if you don't have, that 1st rocker damage coulda paid for you sliders easily.

In general its a process, and you learn as you go what you need and what works best for the type of travel you do. Priority wise I'd just throw some 17" wheels with KO2s, do your AHCm"lift" and get out there. Sliders if you can swing it. the rest is nice to have and may become needs in time, but really tires lift and sliders are gonna get you 90% of the places you could imagine going. 200's are amzingly capable even in bone stock form
Much appreciated brother, thank you for taking the time to write that.

I was considering keeping the stock rims in case i ever wanted to upgrade brakes, as the smaller rims are not big enough to fit big rotors and pads. At some point i will be towing a lot for work as well, but i can always rely on the brakes on the trailer itself. I was also thinking it was cheaper that way, since i did not need to buy another set of rims, but i did not consider the fact that the same tire sizes for 20s, costs a lot more. Thanks for this, and i will definitely seriously consider dropping down to 18s/17s.

I was just having second thoughts on the water on the roof, as i realized that it will likely cause rollovers at high speed turns when the water all swings to one side. Thanks for the reminder on that one. Also, i definitely did forget sliders and i am sure many other things. I did the post really quick this morning at work and plan on going back to edit it.

One of the main reason for double spares is exactly so that i don't have to turn around and head back into civilization if one tire goes out. Other reason is so i can have the option of swapping out the rear tires with more aggressive ones, like Mud Terrains, if i wanted to. It is simply a bonus that i think it looks pretty sweet. With the LR tank, i will have no need for jerry cans for gas, and the high lift and shovel can still be mounted in addition to 2 spares. There are many ways to mount max traxs, i was thinking above the light bar on the roof rack or behind it. I have seen them mounted on the side of 70 series under the gullwing windows as well. With those things considered, there is little left that could be more valuable than another spare in that limited space. The important part is that my rear bumper will have a sliding bracket to make mounting and dismounting/lowering and raising easier, so that i can swap out the rear ATs for MTs easily for muddy trails.

As it stands right now, the list is not sorted for priority, but i do agree with your order of things. Only difference is knowing that i will end up re-gearing, then i like to just go ahead and knock it out of the way and get more time out of the increased ride quality. I prioritize that a little higher but definitely after AHC sensor lift/tires/rims.
 
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Quick question, trying to grab a floor jack and jack stands. Any of these good?

Daytona 3 ton long reach - 24.25 inches max height
Daytona 4 ton - 20.25 inches
Husky 3.5 ton - 21 inch max

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Lol, why you need a low profile jack for a LX?

I have 6 ton axle stands and they barely reach the frame.
It sounds like a no limit budget build on a sub $20k LX. I could never fathom spending that on mods for equivalent or more than what I paid for the car. You've listed easily $20k additional on your LX.

If I were to do it:
Gears - you don't need for 33.5s-34s. The 6 speed will handle it. And you've got a 3.91 rear end already. 4.88s, you'll be revving sky high on the highway. ATRAC will be sufficient unless you're in really sticky situations. Thats easily $5-6k saved without gears and lockers. DIY for gears? No way I'd recommend anyone to do this part. Measuring and getting everything right in gears is something I leave to trans and gear specialists. Do something or measure the slightest bit wrong and you'll chew through a set of gears in no time.

You talked about a BBK? Save yourself the $3k + install. The stock brakes are sufficient for 34s. I'd recommend go 17s and to a 295/70/17 tire size of 285/75/17.

Here's what I'd do if I had $10k for just parts, maybe some labour
-Tires and wheels $2k
-Front bumper ARB + winch - $2k+ labour to install and wire
-Rear bumper -$3k, would skip the LRA tank and just have jerrys on the rear
-Slee AHC sliders - basically unobtainable still but out there
-Roof rack - $1200
-Snorkel - $500
-Whatever money left on drawers and electrical system
 
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Lol, why you need a low profile jack for a LX?

I have 6 ton axle stands and they barely reach the frame.
It sounds like a no limit budget build on a sub $20k LX. I could never fathom spending that on mods for equivalent or more than what I paid for the car. You've listed easily $20k additional on your LX.

If I were to do it:
Gears - you don't need for 33.5s-34s. The 6 speed will handle it. And you've got a 3.91 rear end already. 4.88s, you'll be revving sky high on the highway. ATRAC will be sufficient unless you're in really sticky situations. Thats easily $5-6k saved without gears and lockers. DIY for gears? No way I'd recommend anyone to do this part. Measuring and getting everything right in gears is something I leave to trans and gear specialists. Do something or measure the slightest bit wrong and you'll chew through a set of gears in no time.

You talked about a BBK? Save yourself the $3k + install. The stock brakes are sufficient for 34s. I'd recommend go 17s and to a 295/70/17 tire size of 285/75/17.

Here's what I'd do if I had $10k for just parts, maybe some labour
-Tires and wheels $2k
-Front bumper ARB + winch - $2k+ labour to install and wire
-Rear bumper -$3k, would skip the LRA tank and just have jerrys on the rear
-Slee AHC sliders - basically unobtainable still but out there
-Roof rack - $1200
-Snorkel - $500
-Whatever money left on drawers and electrical system
I was not looking for a low profile jack, i was looking for something with a decent throw/max height and something not too expensive and those came up first. I was just looking for advice.

I have been wanting to get underneath and start prepping and cleaning it for fluid film as well and decided a ramp is better anyways.

As far as the no limit thing. I make $15 an hour so there is very much a budget limit. However, i am planning this out for the entire year and trying to budget over the course of a long time. As i have explained before in other threads, i am lucky enough to not have any living expenses because my work covers everything, so my income of $15 an hour all goes into building my car.

It's what i like to do, and honestly if you think my car isn't deserving of everything i am about to do to her just because i only paid $18k for it, then you are in the wrong thread. I decided a while ago i wanted to build an LC as my dream car, and that's all there is to it. It does not matter what i bought it for, really. She is as deserving of everything as every other member's LX on here, and that's all there is to it.

I plan on keeping her for a long time, and at 182k she still has a ton of life left in her. Eventually i want to build an LC or another LX and guess what mods will transfer to the LC? Yes, most of these mods i am doing to the LX will be a direct fit for my next car 5-10 years from now.

The gearing i have put a lot of thought into, and the tires and tons of weight and the fact that i will be sometimes hauling a few tons of beauty products for work. I am adding a LOT of weight over the next year or two to this vehicle, and it was that in addition to tires that pushed me over the fence for gears. Once over the fence i decided that instead of paying ~1-1.5k in labor, that i will just attempt it myself.

I said i was considering keeping the stock rims in case i ever needed big brakes, and i am still trying to figure out if the big brakes will be necessary once fully built with all that weight added, and for those occasions when i am hauling products for work (will be pushing max towing capacity in some cases). It doesn't seem that it is necessary (stated in previous post) but i figured i would double check first. After all, this is a place to gather my thoughts and ask for advice. Considering it and spending 3k on it are different things (more like 1.5k for me since i do my own labor).

Also, no ty on the jerry cans. I want my 2nd spare where they would be, and my LR tank where current spare is. The stock range on the LX is terrible and a LR tank vs jerry cans... is a world's difference in terms of capacity and how easy they are to make use of.
 
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TeCKis300

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Great job planning the build.

If I may suggest as a systems designer, balance is key. Sometimes less is more. And more is just more, including the unexpected impacts in regards to weight and how that impacts performance, drivabilty, durability, etc. There's been all too many that have wound up building tanks over the years only to sell their rig as it no longer works well as a general use vehicle. As one that follows expedition videos and blogs, weight is a key factor to observe.


Tires - 285/60r20 (33.5") tires are a great all around size with plenty of sidewall without needing 17" wheels. If one finds they want more sidewall, I'd encourage you to go larger diameter rather than smaller wheel. 20's have their advantages to lateral stability for towing heavy and street performance. I'd also highly encourage you to check out Falken AT3Ws. At a significant cost savings, but more importantly great all around performance, including great snow and cold weather. Lookup reviews and you'll find almost unanimously that this tire gets rave reviews. Don't forget you may need spacers to clear the upper control arms and correct for scrub radius. I recommend 1" spacers all around. This helps with a wider track to improve lateral stability for lift, and keeps the wheels farther out to help keep terrain off the body.

Gears - 33.5" diameter tires doesn't really necessitate gears as plenty of people do without them. Including towing to full GCWR 14,645 as I do. If there were an opportunity with gears, it would be to source used factory 4.3s from the 100-series for rear and towing option tundra/sequoias for the fronts. 4.88s are aftermarket gears. My personal preference is OEM where possible.

Batts - checkout this recent video which truly is a masterclass in discussing considerations. I'd recommend my KISS strategy, and/or portable lithium battery. I use a Goal Zero 1000 for my car camping and RV camping. These batts are excellent in their portability, power density, and flexibility.


 
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Get the tallest jack you can find. And tall jack stands too. I end up having to put a 4x 12 under my jack stands.

and I have no qualms putting a big build on a lower price 200. Fundamentally the only upgrade a newer year has is the tranny. Just more $ available for building.
 
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Great job planning the build.

If I may suggest as a systems designer, balance is key. Sometimes less is more. And more is just more, including the unexpected impacts in regards to weight and how that impacts performance, drivabilty, durability, etc. There's been all too many that have wound up building tanks over the years only to sell their rig as it no longer works well as a general use vehicle. As one that follows expedition videos and blogs, weight is a key factor to observe.


Tires - 285/60r20 (33.5") tires are a great all around size with plenty of sidewall without needing 17" wheels. If one finds they want more sidewall, I'd encourage you to go larger diameter rather than smaller wheel. 20's have their advantages to lateral stability for towing heavy and street performance. I'd also highly encourage you to check out Falken AT3Ws. At a significant cost savings, but more importantly great all around performance, including great snow and cold weather. Lookup reviews and you'll find almost unanimously that this tire gets rave reviews. Don't forget you may need spacers to clear the upper control arms and correct for scrub radius. I recommend 1" spacers all around. This helps with a wider track to improve lateral stability for lift, and keeps the wheels farther out to help keep terrain off the body.

Gears - 33.5" diameter tires doesn't really necessitate gears as plenty of people do without them. Including towing to full GCWR 14,645 as I do. If there were an opportunity with gears, it would be to source used factory 4.3s from the 100-series for rear and towing option tundra/sequoias for the fronts. 4.88s are aftermarket gears. My personal preference is OEM where possible.

Batts - checkout this recent video which truly is a masterclass in discussing considerations. I'd recommend my KISS strategy, and/or portable lithium battery. I use a Goal Zero 1000 for my car camping and RV camping. These batts are excellent in their portability, power density, and flexibility.


Thanks for this, i thought it may have been the discussion from your thread that pushed me over the fence for gears, in addition to talking to my friend about how he blew his transmission soon after going bigger on tires. He went much bigger though, at 38s on his pickup. Even though i am going much smaller, his experience was enough to make me consider the long-term stress on the engine and transmission.

I am still trying to get a better picture of how everything affects the gears and in turn put additional stress on the powertrain, and from what i understand, even something seemingly insignificantly can add up to something significant if given enough time. I want to see how high i can rack up the miles on this thing, so long-term reliability remains at the forefront when considering mods. I can do without the extra grunt, and i can afford to sacrifice some of the ride quality (plenty to spare) from not regearing, but one thing i never want to do with this car is sacrifice reliability (unless someone donated a supercharger XD). I was thinking the additional stress from not regearing, will have an impact on overall lifespan of the powertrain? If it does not affect overall reliability, then i will definitely consider hopping back over the fence XD.

And got it on the Falkens, spacers, and the OEM gears from other models. I will keep an eye on ebay and salvage yards for Tundra/Sequoia gears. Good stuff, thanks!

I do want to ask you about whether or not i should sell the 20s like someone suggested, and go down to 17/18s so that tires are cheaper. I will look at the cost difference for the Falkens for 20s vs 17/18s and take it into consideration. If i never plan on upgrading rotors to a bigger size, then it seems there are more pros to 17/18s than there are for 20s. More air pressure flexibility and cheaper tires is pretty appealing!

Will definitely give those 2 threads a closer look, thanks for the heads up on that as well. Much appreciated!
 
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Get the tallest jack you can find. And tall jack stands too. I end up having to put a 4x 12 under my jack stands.

and I have no qualms putting a big build on a lower price 200. Fundamentally the only upgrade a newer year has is the tranny. Just more $ available for building.
OH i figured out what i wanted to do last night, and it's free! I decided i will recycle the trash pallets at work, and use the wood to build a drive on ramp. I really want to prep and clean the undercarriage for fluid film, and do not like the idea of crawling under there and doing it with jack stands. I figured with all this free wood i may as well put it to use and build a big drive on ramp!

Can't wait to get it built and show you!

Although i just realized that the drive on ramp is for everything but taking the wheels off, so i still need jack and jack stands for when i drop the diffs. Will take your advice for that!
 
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If you plan to seriously off-road sidewall is a thing. If you are seriously towing sidewall is a liability. Toyota sold an off-road rim for this truck, it is a 17. The tlc comes with 18. The lx is targeted at malls and sport use it has 20. There isn’t anything wrong with any particular diameter for general use, and there are certainly advantages for 20 in some situations. But off-road they’ll be nothing better than serviceable. It is hard to build and do everything, so you’ll have to decide what characteristics you want to accentuate.
 
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OH i figured out what i wanted to do last night, and it's free! I decided i will recycle the trash pallets at work, and use the wood to build a drive on ramp. I really want to prep and clean the undercarriage for fluid film, and do not like the idea of crawling under there and doing it with jack stands. I figured with all this free wood i may as well put it to use and build a big drive on ramp!

Can't wait to get it built and show you!

Although i just realized that the drive on ramp is for everything but taking the wheels off, so i still need jack and jack stands for when i drop the diffs. Will take your advice for that!
Be safe out there
 
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Be safe out there
I sure will brother, and i appreciate the reminder. I will ask my dad for advice with the process to ensure i am building something safe, and i will go over it with you guys as i go along. I will be doing work on it at the warehouse/family business, where there are always cameras and eyes on me at all times so that's a plus as well.

In addition, i am almost done setting up my mobile/IRL stream setup, so i can have a live feed/online backup of all the footage, for when i work on the car. This will make it easier for those who want to help to help, if they can see what i see. This will allow others, including you guys, to keep an eye on me as well (if youre bored!).

I have a body/helmet cam, and another on a stick for close ups. This will be the same live streaming/recording setup that i will use to give everyone on here a real close look at local LC/LXs in my area, and the same setup i will use to broadcast my POV of LCDC/other LC events. I'm gonna be that guy walking around giving everyone interviews about their cars at LC meets XD. Only thing left to do is figure out the bandwidth situation for when there is no wifi/in remote areas (likely bond a few cell signals).

Afterwards, i plan on taking all the live footage from working on the LX, and making it into DIY videos, and my hopes is that it will help others down the line. I would not be where i am if it was not for others who have done the same before me, so the least i can do is try to pay it forward. Anyways, my point is i have a lot of people watching over me and i will definitely play it safe on top, so you do not need to worry. Thanks again.
 
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Great thread, a lot of good discussion. If I end up with that 2009 LX that we talked about a while ago, maybe I'd be a guy to buy your current tires. The 2009 has a set of Nokians, two new, two bald. TBD on how it goes- thanks as always for your help!
 
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