2017 GX 460 for North Central Appalachia

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Apr 14, 2021
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20
Location
Hyattsville, MD
I grabbed an off-lease 2017 GX 460 Premium with 26k miles in April 2021. It happens to be a “Certified Pre-Owned Lexus” for whatever that is worth which is probably a topic for a separate thread. I was coming off of a rusted-out 2007 FJ that I didn’t properly inspect for rust when I purchased it in 2018 -- I grew up in Arizona and was clueless that rust could be an issue. Despite my love for the FJ, I’m glad to be out of that rust bucket and into this spectacular vehicle. I thank all the folks in this forum for your posts and reference material that I spent weeks reading through during my pre-purchase GX decision making and subsequent build research.

I’m in the DMV area and love to head to the “mountains” in Virginia and West Virginia. With this in mind, I want to build my GX into a mildly capable offroader. What do I think that means considering a stock GX is already super capable? I want to add clearance, improve appearance, and go overboard, but not too overboard.

Below I include an overview of my progress with the GX in three sections:
  • completed,
  • actively researching/implementing, and
  • the projects that may come after.
Unless folks have different guidance, I’ll update these sections and follow with topic-specific posts as I progress.

Completed projects:
  • Running board delete (second week of ownership)
  • Noxudol undercoating by Automotive Protective Services in Fairfax, VA Car Undercoating In Fairfax, Virginia | Automotive Protection Services - https://apsrustandtint.com/services/rust-proofing-undercoating/
  • 3M Ceramic window tint on front drivers/passenger windows by APS
    • 50% tint is nice and legal in all the states nearby
  • Lexus hitch
    • Regret going with full hitch as I research tire upgrades considering storage room for spare
    • It also has been a huge headache -- I only can get 9 of 12 bolts in.
    • It’s probably obvious to most folks, but I advise against this route unless you need the full towing capacity.
  • Rexing dash cam (REXING V1P MAX)
    • 4K forward & 1080p rear,
    • cabling fulling hidden,
    • spliced power and connected under/behind console
    • For the rear camera, I routed the cable through the rear door, up to the top of the door and through the grommet with the existing harnesses. Super clean look that I haven’t seen elsewhere, but I probably haven't looked hard enough.
    • Great dash cam system, but on the more expensive side. Also, it's the only simultaneous 4K front + 1080p rear option I could find.
  • GROM VLINE2 (part of a ‘group buy’ over summer 2021)
    • Wireless carplay is a wonder. It’s an inconvenience that I can’t have radio + CarPlay, but I like the solution overall and would do it again.
    • Install was straightforward -- I followed the youtube videos.
    • I combined installation of VLINE and Rexing cameras, this added some convenience.
Actively researching/implementing:
  • Front camera with button activation
    • Taking advantage of GROM vline2’s VAUX input that automatically switches to video input when the video signal is powered.
    • Status: parts in-house and successfully demoed operation. Next up is installation when I have a few hours. I put the camera power button in the blank above the differential lock button.
  • Tires/wheels
    • Currently running the stock 18’’ wheels and 265/60/18 (30.5d, 10.4w, 6.3sw)
    • I think I will go with BFG KO2 in one of the following configs -- critique most welcome here, though I know this is an age-old question.
      • Would love to fit in:
        • 265/70/17 (32.2d, 10.8w, 7.6sw) with matte black TRD Pro 17’’ (PTR2035110BK, currently on sale new for $179 per from nearby dealership)
      • More conservatively sticking with stock wheels and (I think) compatible with Lexus hitch:
        • 265/65/18 (31.6d, 10.4w, 6.8sw)
  • Covert bumper (has the price been increasing?!?...oof)
    • I could probably get away with a 'simple' plastic trim to satisfy goals of this build, but the CBI product has such a clean look and adds substantial clearance and protection. I think it looks great on spadeupsleeve’s build. Nearly sold on this.
  • Sliders
    • RSG angled w/ kickout, full powder coat -- I’m nearly sold on these thanks to other build threads. It would be great to time procurement with a sale if they even have sales.

Projects after the “actively researching” topics are figured out:
  • Additional armor/protection
  • Mild upgrade suspension. I don’t think my garage clearance can handle much more after the tire upgrade.



IMG_3904.jpeg

(May 1, 2021 at Flagpole Knob, VA)
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
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Location
Raleigh, NC
  • Covert bumper (has the price been increasing?!?...oof)
    • I could probably get away with a 'simple' plastic trim to satisfy goals of this build, but the CBI product has such a clean look and adds substantial clearance and protection. I think it looks great on spadeupsleeve’s build. Nearly sold on this.
Why not the Victory Blitz bumper? You get a light bar cutout (and let's be real, there aren't many good places to put lights on these SUVs), access to reach up and de-clutch the winch, aluminum construction, and easier bumper cuts.
 
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Mid Atlantic
Welcome! I picked up an off lease 2017 in August 2020 with similar plans.

Ditching the OEM wheel/tire for something wider/lower offset goes a long way towards making the GX look as capable as it is. The factory wheels are sunk way too far into the fenders.

The GX doesn't have a ton of extra space in the factory spare location even without a hitch. I have 265/70/17s on my 2017 and that cleared the rear sway bar with no hitch receiver by pushing the tire all the way up against the rear bumper. I added the OEM hitch receiver and it's hilariously obvious that anything larger than the OEM tire won't fit.

I went with the OEM hitch receiver vs the smaller ones (Curt, etc) because I feel much better about using it as a recovery point. It also has a bit of a skid/slider built into it which at least looks like it will keep me from pulling the muffler or rear body work off. I'm looking into swingout tire carriers because that's how rabbit holes work.

I have a set of sliders and the Victory Blitz front bumper sitting in my garage waiting to install. Trimming the front bumper is the cheapest option but I feel it looks "incomplete". Hacking off bodywork is fine for an old 4Runner or something but this is a Lexus *swirls brandy glass*. A fuel tank skid is next on the list of armor and I will eventually replace the factory front skid with a full front/mid/transfer case set up.
 
Joined
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Hyattsville, MD
Welcome! I picked up an off lease 2017 in August 2020 with similar plans.
Thanks! Great to be here

Why not the Victory Blitz bumper? You get a light bar cutout (and let's be real, there aren't many good places to put lights on these SUVs), access to reach up and de-clutch the winch, aluminum construction, and easier bumper cuts.
And it looks more aggressive! Nervous about having to relocate the parking/prox sensors, but the reduced complexity of bumper cuts may outweigh that though. Thanks for the insight.

I have a set of sliders and the Victory Blitz front bumper sitting in my garage waiting to install. Trimming the front bumper is the cheapest option but I feel it looks "incomplete". Hacking off bodywork is fine for an old 4Runner or something but this is a Lexus *swirls brandy glass*. A fuel tank skid is next on the list of armor and I will eventually replace the factory front skid with a full front/mid/transfer case set up.
Agreed re: the cutting. Sounds good about your armor priority list.

Ditching the OEM wheel/tire for something wider/lower offset goes a long way towards making the GX look as capable as it is. The factory wheels are sunk way too far into the fenders.

The GX doesn't have a ton of extra space in the factory spare location even without a hitch. I have 265/70/17s on my 2017 and that cleared the rear sway bar with no hitch receiver by pushing the tire all the way up against the rear bumper. I added the OEM hitch receiver and it's hilariously obvious that anything larger than the OEM tire won't fit.

I went with the OEM hitch receiver vs the smaller ones (Curt, etc) because I feel much better about using it as a recovery point. It also has a bit of a skid/slider built into it which at least looks like it will keep me from pulling the muffler or rear body work off. I'm looking into swingout tire carriers because that's how rabbit holes work.
Haha, clearly a common frustration. I had the same thoughts about the OEM hitch re: protection from both ground and folks backing into me, but now thinking about ditching it. What I haven't seen in my tire size search is consideration of simply going larger (~265/70/17) but keeping the OEM tire/wheel for spare. Would a differently-sized spare, i.e. donut, harm GX while limping home? Remaining risk would be added difficulty returning from where you came from. I am not letting myself consider swing out carriers or the switch to Prado door just yet 😂.
 
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And it looks more aggressive! Nervous about having to relocate the parking/prox sensors, but the reduced complexity of bumper cuts may outweigh that though. Thanks for the insight.
Relocating the sensors is probably the easiest part of the whole process. Watch their (very, very thorough) installation video and they walk you right through it.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
195
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Mid Atlantic
Haha, clearly a common frustration. I had the same thoughts about the OEM hitch re: protection from both ground and folks backing into me, but now thinking about ditching it. What I haven't seen in my tire size search is consideration of simply going larger (~265/70/17) but keeping the OEM tire/wheel for spare. Would a differently-sized spare, i.e. donut, harm GX while limping home? Remaining risk would be added difficulty returning from where you came from. I am not letting myself consider swing out carriers or the switch to Prado door just yet 😂.
GX is full time 4wd differing tire diameters could have a pretty big impact on things like transfer case and center diff. Driving a few miles home on a smaller spare would probably be fine but I wouldn't go very far or very fast.

My spare currently lives in the garage and I'll strap it to the roofrack if I'm going on a long trip or to trails. It's a giant PITA so the swingout is a more permanent solution.
 
Joined
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Messages
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GX is full time 4wd differing tire diameters could have a pretty big impact on things like transfer case and center diff. Driving a few miles home on a smaller spare would probably be fine but I wouldn't go very far or very fast.

My spare currently lives in the garage and I'll strap it to the roofrack if I'm going on a long trip or to trails. It's a giant PITA so the swingout is a more permanent solution.
This. Unless your have a matching spare, then the spare should only be used to get yourself out of trouble and nothing more. Go slow and don't go long, just get to a place where a tow truck can pick you up.
 

r2m

Richard
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San Clemente, CA
Thanks! Great to be here


And it looks more aggressive! Nervous about having to relocate the parking/prox sensors, but the reduced complexity of bumper cuts may outweigh that though. Thanks for the insight.


Agreed re: the cutting. Sounds good about your armor priority list.


Haha, clearly a common frustration. I had the same thoughts about the OEM hitch re: protection from both ground and folks backing into me, but now thinking about ditching it. What I haven't seen in my tire size search is consideration of simply going larger (~265/70/17) but keeping the OEM tire/wheel for spare. Would a differently-sized spare, i.e. donut, harm GX while limping home? Remaining risk would be added difficulty returning from where you came from. I am not letting myself consider swing out carriers or the switch to Prado door just yet 😂.
DO NOT use a spare that is significantly smaller in diameter!!!
We did that inadvertently in the early 1990's on an all-wheel drive Toyota Previa mini van we had. It wound up the entire drive train and cost over $3k to fix (in 1990's dollars and for a Toyota). Fortunately it is was still under warranty so Toyota picked up the tab.
The ONLY place you can get away with a different size tire on an all-wheel vehicle like our GX's would be where the tire can "slip", e.g. dirt, gravel, snow, ice, etc. On drive pavement, you WILL ruin your drive train.
'nuf said.
 
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Welcome to the club.

I know it sounds like a hassle but buy a tap for the fastener size for the hitch mount bolts and run that tap through the remaining locations. Loosen the other fasteners and try installing the other three. Do not tow with it until you resolve this. The receiver hitch is also a great location for a hitch link for recovery.

 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Hyattsville, MD
Welcome to the club.

I know it sounds like a hassle but buy a tap for the fastener size for the hitch mount bolts and run that tap through the remaining locations. Loosen the other fasteners and try installing the other three. Do not tow with it until you resolve this. The receiver hitch is also a great location for a hitch link for recovery.

Thanks - great to be here!

I'm certainly not towing with it in its current state, but I am carrying a couple bicycles with it (nine M8/M10 bolts better suffice for that load!).

Unfortunately, the misalignment for the remaining 3 (of 12) is on the order of 1/8-3/16'' which is way too much to wedge in these huge bolts--so tapping new holes on top of the existing ones is probably not a solution though I may be misunderstanding your advice. What I have done: loosened all nine that are in and I am able to shift it around, but the slop I have goes the wrong way of course. The dealer I ordered it from (Bell Lexus of Scottsdale) doesn't want to replace it and, during my 30k mile service, my local dealer confirmed that it indeed doesn't fit properly and is probably a defective part. Reporting that back to to Bell Lexus leads to no response. 🤯. That concludes my dealership whining.
 

r2m

Richard
Joined
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Messages
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San Clemente, CA
I have this for my rig:
Amazon product

and this for my wife's 4x4 Taco:
Amazon product

She didn't need a whole bunch of recovery gear, just enough to get her or someone else un-stuck. This little package works great!
 
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I have this for my rig:
Amazon product

and this for my wife's 4x4 Taco:
Amazon product

She didn't need a whole bunch of recovery gear, just enough to get her or someone else un-stuck. This little package works great!


Low cost bidder.

Recovery gear is safety gear. Make wise choice, better yet spend a day, weekend or trip with a I4WDTA certified trainer in your area and make a educated decision. Driving and vehicle recovery can an will get out of hand. Know what to do.
 
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Thanks - great to be here!

I'm certainly not towing with it in its current state, but I am carrying a couple bicycles with it (nine M8/M10 bolts better suffice for that load!).

Unfortunately, the misalignment for the remaining 3 (of 12) is on the order of 1/8-3/16'' which is way too much to wedge in these huge bolts--so tapping new holes on top of the existing ones is probably not a solution though I may be misunderstanding your advice. What I have done: loosened all nine that are in and I am able to shift it around, but the slop I have goes the wrong way of course. The dealer I ordered it from (Bell Lexus of Scottsdale) doesn't want to replace it and, during my 30k mile service, my local dealer confirmed that it indeed doesn't fit properly and is probably a defective part. Reporting that back to to Bell Lexus leads to no response. 🤯. That concludes my dealership whining.
Those hitches are made on a jig in a (Toyota) factory that makes 10s of thousands a year. Though bad from stock is possible, it is highly unlikely that your factory receiver hitch is defective.

Try to install in on a friend’s GX, hell buy a forum member lunch and try it on there’s. I would venture to state maybe yours has been rear ended. If you lived in the Seattle area I would volunteer.
 
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Dash cam install notes

I got a Rexing dash cam, the REXING V1P MAX, since it was one of the only units I found that could simultaneously capture 4K forward video plus 1080p rear video. I installed this at the same time as installing the Grom Vline2 so there was some added convenience of having console and paneling removed.

Power line:

I routed the power cable from the unit on the windshield, across the top of the windshield, down the inside of the passenger side column, and behind/underneath the glovebox. Since I already had the center console torn apart for the Vline2, it was easy to split off power from the 12V source and attach an additional power socket for the power cord supplied with the camera. The connection is accessible from the hole on the left side of the glovebox that was made for the Vline2. It has been on my mind to update this configuration to pull power from its own circuit with an add-a-fuse option.

6-kYBSn7McllX5Zwn7PdGKUEQnsOTYtA8NBZfHixqykPWFULopc4iN272WhY4bEzqEyid-DEFY0ZtH2Iql51aSmxOenePmz-Ms4kB7MauyddTZKQyvruaVL5YFo-2Pr6U8l2hisM


Rear video line:

The Rexing rear camera cable was not long enough so I had to order an extension cable. I routed the rear video cable from the unit on the windshield, across the top of the windshield, down the inside of the passenger side column, underneath the bottom door thresholds, and pulled it through the 110V port so I could feed it through the gasket used for the rear door cabling.

ssghUS1xiG7VZik7hs-261tW5RpE3oVVa-V09B9hszqXO2KbCGnCfk-N_zX8ik-WS5UtTmU0C7SazZmTjC60oHYsIvuF586RemCqLaGOoi7woWtL-6UcjQhxTbDHdKzKnPV7pbFG


I routed the cable with the other rear door cabling up on the left side of the door, through the grommet on the top of the door, and to the center of the top of the window.

uw9yN-6-uelcLraKhSiL9quStmSrD8w0I9IBv7o83H-awGvzuGbjXMnpKiC0I8DsTMy-OGhAkOReJSd2RtlzRK0OKz2MOLLOITFcOJMbU0GB6e6FNaI5bERiuzhaXmbeE3fs3l-D



kbytk6UYdRauSM6RdFCbyF1xkhvXOy31KNHeY2hcmwvkUvsBHDh7Fo-4gfEgoBQ889h7_5TBNzoNXryUZ_ClyuASXNS5SosUVbptw5Mkzb0e96pGNPCtSTYX7yjEeLRKgiaDY_9S


gh5d7t2ESzbFOuZMe15trBe3wGvZXVqBZv42adM4NOHYhTP1zmarABDgPw1Pzta3BNJwpOPvgkU15T23wT3pLZhydfzG3sJz4VdwBazDll7dH5VYINooCMVKlw2HXh1JXEqfRUQX


While I had the interior black plastic molding on the top of the rear window removed, I noticed that one of the four bolts that hold the glass to the window hinges was very rusty and one was beginning to to corrode – see photo below. I’ll make a separate post about this.

Cy6XUBbF-11gSiwoVigrVILzb7rdR2nSYMGCTtTl0mLdOSl8A7rLg9r1PexOpIr9rsAQth7VHFvMW_W3dnsNxopwL69CeuyB_1oy6pLnrYyIywXnCOhjYWKlU7nRlstcHkBjPeiY
 
Last edited:
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I ended up putting my rear camera just to the right of the license plate hanging down. It’s on level with the factory camera and provides a great perspective.

Nice job with the work and write up. Hopefully it’ll help inspire more to get their hands dirty. I’ve almost completely disassembled the interior of my 460 a half a dozen times already doing various work and wiring. It gets pretty easy and quick after the first fine. Most of the panels and such make sense on how to remove them. Kudos to Toyota.
 
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VLINE2 install update

I followed the videos online and the installation went smoothly, so nothing much to report. The only detail I deviated from the normal installation was to get a USB extension for the occasions I may want to use the wired CarPlay option – at the time I didn’t know how reliable the wireless CarPlay would be. I routed it through the console and into the armrest storage box. I removed the box to dremel/file out a hole.

It’s been on my mind to make two updates:
  • Move the VLINE2 from the glove box to underneath the center console. I’ve seen this from at least one other person on the forum, but can’t find that post now. I have several months of runtime without ever needing to access the VLINE2 unit, so my confidence is gaining to make the switch.
  • Add a higher-current USB charging circuit – as MrTorgue pointed out in a post last May, VLINE2 USB is more of a ‘charge maintainer’ and it seems that GX USBs also lack current supply. One of the GX USB slots also changes the audio source on the iPhone to the GX from VLINE2/Carplay - annoying. I got a 3 A x 2 charger and considering putting it in the armrest storage box in a similar position as the VLINE2 port, just the opposite side:
  • Amazon product


Dash torn apart:
-PxZjkFMoc3LrV5hFlkhoYPcAMcdjKIid0eCAEqPPnY6LJWDsx0xwWgSyVmo1M1zWMU9cUhprkqasD6s5MrytQDFWXHNdMH5m_QmpDV4lWGXQ37QCdjDVm5LRiY-h0d_73lV2tAb


Placement of VLINE2 USB extension (I’m considering putting the high-current USB charger on the opposite side…drivers side):
lGhhOlcYUc24th9OVQxaZneIIhYY4mLs0n9WyhbsrxsvediBPjI7lDwaI93hRMWuBdQ2i2UNHMcRZTOjF6_l4Kh8p5oc4fkVMg8MOWFwSRA68ne8JSGBS1iq_qnX_MTuIU8rWV9t
 
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I may want to use the wired CarPlay option – at the time I didn’t know how reliable the wireless CarPlay would be
You should. My GROM is very unreliable with wireless CarPlay.
 
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You should. My GROM is very unreliable with wireless CarPlay.
My wireless CarPlay connection has been ~95+% reliable over the last ~four months! The only circumstance I have an issue (that I've been able to sort of correlate) is when I don't connect for a ~week or longer, then it takes a while to connect. Then it gets really confused when I try to connect via wire.
 
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You should. My GROM is very unreliable with wireless CarPlay.
Not sure if this is the same for you since my install is an '08 LC, but I was having bluetooth issues which led to unreliable CarPlay connections. I just updated Vline SW (not firmware) 2 days ago and it's been rock solid since... knock on wood.
 
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Not sure if this is the same for you since my install is an '08 LC, but I was having bluetooth issues which led to unreliable CarPlay connections. I just updated Vline SW (not firmware) 2 days ago and it's been rock solid since... knock on wood.
I’ve been running a wired connection since my last disconnect. My unit refuses to update over WiFi so I’m stuck with a wired connection.
 

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