Best Mods for Prolonged Life?

Discussion in '120-Series Toyotas' started by CuddlyEbola, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    Hi all, I just registered recently, this community has an amazing amount of information, I'm seriously jealous of all the knowledge. I have a long way to go, never really modded cars at all, but hoping to get my feet wet soon. I just bought a 2005 GX 470 w/KDSS and 135k miles that I would like to turn into a capable rig for backcountry travel based in southern California.

    My first question is about prolonging the life of this car, I'd rather spend money making sure this car is going to last a while before spending it on mods. One thing I've seen is adding a tranny cooler and magnafine filter. Has anyone else done that and have input on it? Cost and installation doesn't seem crazy for what you get but like I said, I have no experience.

    Any other things I should think abut with this goal in mind? Dealer records show the timing belt was changed on time, both front axle seals have been replaced and currently getting the exhaust manifold looked at and hopefully replaced under ext. warranty.
     
  2. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

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    Baseline all fluids and look into a transmission flush since it is a sealed transmission. I wouldn't worry about the tranny cooler unless you are towing a lot or a heavy trailer. There isn't much to these vehicles to keep them going for several hundred thousand miles as long as you did your homework and bought a good used one that was given standard maintenance.
     
  3. Merlin2111

    Merlin2111

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    When you say baseline all fluids are you saying to replace all of them? Also the sealed transmission started in 04 I think. Are there any good videos of how to do a transmission flush online or is that something that should be left to the shop?
     
  4. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    Good points, I'm going to get the fluids done, and all air filters replaced. Sounds like the tranny cooler can be put on hold. Hopefully the manifold leak is the only major issue. One of the new axle seals started leaking again so they are replacing that as well. Dealer records on the car looked good, the only unusual service I saw was some issue with the dvd player getting fixed a couple times, but thats not a priority for me. Just trying to establish a solid baseline for longevity, all other ideas still welcome! Open to performance mods to increase longevity as well, those will be the next step. Was actually thinking about replacing the headers with performance headers since the manifold will have to be taken out anyways, but the mech I went to recommended against it so I need to research that more.
     
  5. Merlin2111

    Merlin2111

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    I know some guys have been putting on different exhaust systems. I am not sure if it helps with longevity but it can definitely help with the soccer mom sound.
     
  6. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

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    We have a really great mechanic here in SD and he always asked me on my 80 series how long did the original Toyota part last? My answer at that time was 12-15 years. So now I always just buy Toyota parts for maintenance. If it last another 12 years then you are golden. That seems like longevity to me!
     
  7. DanKunz

    DanKunz SILVER Star

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    If you have the tow package you already have a tranny cooler
     
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  8. little_joe

    little_joe SILVER Star

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    Having owned Toyota 4WD's for 21+ yrs now, the formula for longevity is simple: follow the maintenance schedule, use quality parts and fluids, and know that "performance mods" and longevity are sometimes contradictory. If you use the truck hard, follow the severe maintenance schedule.

    I stick with OEM for most critical parts plus some consumables (seals, oil and air filters for example); and use quality, proven fluids. Things like brakes/rotors, batteries, suspension I happily go aftermarket as these are proven to be "better" than OEM and often cost less.

    All in all, this makes for a predictable and boring experience - which is what I want. I want to get in, turn the key, go/stop/turn and enjoy the drive, wherever it may be.
     
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  9. White Stripe

    White Stripe

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    Well if you put on aftermarket headers make sure they are of good quality. Doug thorley makes good quality. I for sure wouldn't put new crappy factory exhaust manifolds on. Typically with headers their is some fab involved, so a good exhaust shop that is capable of doing that would be good to look for. As far as back country travel, typically aftermarket heavy duty bumpers with good recovery points, a winch, and rock sliders are a good place to start. Maintenence wise, a Trans flush every 60k is being more proactive for maintenance. Also test that it shifts into 4low relatively smoothly so you don't get to the trail and discover it won't shift.
     
  10. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    Would you mind recommending a mechanic down here? I went to TLC and they seem like good guys especially when doing the servicing schedule and regular maintenance, but they don't mess with aftermarket. Which is fine for now, but down the road I think I'll be wanting the expertise of a shop that has experience with that.
     
  11. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    Funny you mention the 4low shift, the first time I tried it it was really stiff, shifting from 4hi to 4low while in park. Did a little experimenting and it shifts into low much easier when the transmission is in neutral vs park, does that sound right? I read the manual and you're supposed to be able to shift while in either. And yeah the first project I'm going to do it trim the running boards like I've seen done in other threads, and make room for sliders.
     
  12. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    I'll have to check, but I don't think I do, don't remember seeing a tow hitch under there. I get to pick it back up today, they are replacing a manifold gasket failure and the poorly installed front axle seal. Luckily all within the 30 day warranty period from the dealer.
     
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  13. CuddlyEbola

    CuddlyEbola

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    Yep I know exactly what you mean. I'm getting rid of a dodge today that was always too exciting. Every time you got in, never knew if it would start or not.

    I'm glad you mentioned suspension as having dependable aftermarket options, I'll be moving in that direction once I am confident I have a good baseline. Probably going to try to mimic Scat Adams rig for the suspension.
     
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  14. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

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    For Orange County definitely Yotamaster and in San Diego contact SD Trux.
     
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  15. White Stripe

    White Stripe

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    Yes that sounds right. Then vehicle should be rolling a little at least as u engage 4low. It's harder for it to shift in park.
     
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  16. DanKunz

    DanKunz SILVER Star

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    Transmission in N for tcase shifting is best
     
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