Building from the Base...what would you do with 6K budget? (1 Viewer)

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Just got this southern 2004 LC beauty with zero rust and 167k miles. I've had 4Runners (2018 & 2020) but this is my first LC. I have a couple buddies with similar LC's that are built out so now its my turn. My goal is to enjoy the off road experience with the rest of ya so I think I know what my immediate need is but I want to hear from the pros.

So far I've....
1. Purchased ARB front bumper...its in transit

I think my Immediate need is...
1. Lift...2 or 3 inch lift...What do you suggest?
2. Tires...what's the best tire (for the $) for off road that still gives a good cruising feel?
3. Sliders...I think I have this covered
4. Rear bumper (not my priority yet)

What am I missing to keep this within my 6K?
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GTV

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Make sure maintenance is up to date first. Then remove the running boards, 275/70's on the stock wheels, 30mm rear coil spacers and a front torsion bar adjustment will make it look and wheel a lot better with almost no investment. Get to know it then you'll find out which upgrades will make the most sense to you and your use. Nice truck to start with!
 
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Make sure maintenance is up to date first. Then remove the running boards, 275/70's on the stock wheels, 30mm rear coil spacers and a front torsion bar adjustment will make it look and wheel a lot better with almost no investment. Get to know it then you'll find out which upgrades will make the most sense to you and your use. Nice truck to start with!
Maintenance is stellar on this rig...timing belt done at 88k. Great advice!
 

suprarx7nut

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Just got this southern 2004 LC beauty with zero rust and 167k miles. I've had 4Runners (2018 & 2020) but this is my first LC. I have a couple buddies with similar LC's that are built out so now its my turn. My goal is to enjoy the off road experience with the rest of ya so I think I know what my immediate need is but I want to hear from the pros.

So far I've....
1. Purchased ARB front bumper...its in transit

I think my Immediate need is...
1. Lift...2 or 3 inch lift...What do you suggest?
2. Tires...what's the best tire (for the $) for off road that still gives a good cruising feel?
3. Sliders...I think I have this covered
4. Rear bumper (not my priority yet)

What am I missing to keep this within my 6K?
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View attachment 2526675

Nice looking rig! Welcome!

1. No lift "kit" is best to start, IMO. Coil spacers (or new OME coils if you're adding weight to the rear) and crank the front torsion bars just a hair. Maybe .5-1". The 100 can do an awful lot with no lift. With the IFS, a small lift gets you down the path of diminishing returns real fast. Adjustable UCAs, diff drop, CV wear, on road performance degradation, etc... Also note, lift amount has nothing to do with what tire you can run on a 100 (within the typical 31-35" range).
2. Lots of options, but BFG KO2 is my go to. Nothing special, but good on the road, trail and even ok on snow.
3. Lots of good options. Support one of the enthusiast companies on the board.
4. I'm a big fan of doing the rear bumper early. It's a big investment, but the rear trailer hitch and bumper are going to get beat up real quick if you're on the trails much.

I'd set aside $2-3k at least for baselining and maintenance. Even if it's well-kept, things will come up. These are incredibly reliable, but they are not cheap to keep in great shape.

Oh, also winch. I consider the front bumper part armor, part winch carrier. If you wheel alone, a winch could really be a lifesaver.
 
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Nice looking rig! Welcome!

1. No lift "kit" is best to start, IMO. Coil spacers (or new OME coils if you're adding weight to the rear) and crank the front torsion bars just a hair. Maybe .5-1". The 100 can do an awful lot with no lift. With the IFS, a small lift gets you down the path of diminishing returns real fast. Adjustable UCAs, diff drop, CV wear, on road performance degradation, etc... Also note, lift amount has nothing to do with what tire you can run on a 100 (within the typical 31-35" range).
2. Lots of options, but BFG KO2 is my go to. Nothing special, but good on the road, trail and even ok on snow.
3. Lots of good options. Support one of the enthusiast companies on the board.
4. I'm a big fan of doing the rear bumper early. It's a big investment, but the rear trailer hitch and bumper are going to get beat up real quick if you're on the trails much.

I'd set aside $2-3k at least for baselining and maintenance. Even if it's well-kept, things will come up. These are incredibly reliable, but they are not cheap to keep in great shape.

Oh, also winch. I consider the front bumper part armor, part winch carrier. If you wheel alone, a winch could really be a lifesaver.
Solid info for sure!
 

ga12r1

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If you are going off-road I would suggest armor and recovery items first along with tires. 1a Tires, 1b sliders, 2 skids, 3 front bumper and winch
After that I would see what you think is necessary after wheeling some. I wouldn’t replace the rear bumper until you need to carry a larger spare or damage the factory bumper
As others have said a 30mm rear spacer and adjusting the torsion bars will get you going. Figure out what you want and need suspension wise after you wheel some.
Don’t throw money at things until you know you need them.
Armor, tires, and winch are needed to get you home. Some of the other things like rear bumpers and suspension can wait.

Armor and recovery are key.
 
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With $6k, I'd spend that all on a refresh and baseline on the rig. Just to make sure it drives close to new and it's as dependable as I can get it. That emptied about $6k for me.

I was once exactly in your shoes thinking I had $ for mods with my 2002 that had 170k miles at the time. Well, get your rig up to 100% spec before spending it on mods. That's the best thing you can do. Mods are pretty worthless when your 100 is old and worn out needing a bunch of stuff.

Even if you claim your 100 was maintained to the T, there's always something.

The best off-road experience isn't a modded up 100. They are nice to have but the best off-road experience is on a baselined, up to spec, 4x4 because it takes a lot of question out of the equation. Like previous comments have said before the stock 100 is a pretty damn good and capable 4x4.
 

saucebox

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If I had to build mine all over again, I'd start with the HID headlights, then do a set of drawers and fridge again. All three make any kind of travel better. Thinking just about trail use, rock sliders seem to have been the best dollars.

I'd also recommend the KO2s and consideration of the rear bumper early. Being able to put the spare gas outside the truck, and carry a full size spare...so, so worth it. If you're not doing very long trails, maybe less so.
 

ga12r1

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Oh, and about tires. I know it’s not the popular opinion but I can’t recommend a KO2. Especially for east coast wheeling. I’ve seen way to many side wall failures on KO2s. East coast trails are usually muddy, rocky, and wet. I would go with a Toyo MT and never look back. They are strong and have a heavy sidewall but they have good road manners.
 
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2nd'ed that KO2s suck ass. Can't recommend them for west coast desert stuff. They are too soft, and they chunk off considerably.

Also they cost a ton too. All you're paying for extra is that BFG BAJA CHAMPION logo to be plastered everywhere and all over motorsport.
 

suprarx7nut

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Oh, and about tires. I know it’s not the popular opinion but I can’t recommend a KO2. Especially for east coast wheeling. I’ve seen way to many side wall failures on KO2s. East coast trails are usually muddy, rocky, and wet. I would go with a Toyo MT and never look back. They are strong and have a heavy sidewall but they have good road manners.
2nd'ed that KO2s suck ass. Can't recommend them for west coast desert stuff. They are too soft, and they chunk off considerably.

Also they cost a ton too. All you're paying for extra is that BFG BAJA CHAMPION logo to be plastered everywhere and all over motorsport.
3rd for hopping on the anti-KO2s trend. Last 2 sets I had were pretty bad. Balancing issues and not tough enough for anything over gravel roads.

Ok, so as I've got a few months to ponder tires before I settle on something for my 17" Braid wheels.... how do you guys feel about the Ridge Grapplers? So far I'm thinking KO2 or Ridge Grappler, but the mud crowd could sway me if there's something as good on highway as the KO2...
 

DirtDawg

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Ok, so as I've got a few months to ponder tires before I settle on something for my 17" Braid wheels.... how do you guys feel about the Ridge Grapplers? So far I'm thinking KO2 or Ridge Grappler, but the mud crowd could sway me if there's something as good on highway as the KO2...
I’ve run the KO2s on my tundra and 100. Not a fan on either account. The tundra is DD/gravel roads only. I now run ridge graps on the tundra. Loved the first 25k, but now they are getting pretty loud. Great tire all around otherwise.

Personally, I think MTs are great if you can live with the shorter life and sometimes the extra noise. I LOVE my Patagonia’s. You can’t beat the price and they have been exceptional so far. Quiet on the highway, we will see how that goes with time.

Have you looked into the Tokyo RT? I’ve heard amazing things.
 

ga12r1

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Ok, so as I've got a few months to ponder tires before I settle on something for my 17" Braid wheels.... how do you guys feel about the Ridge Grapplers? So far I'm thinking KO2 or Ridge Grappler, but the mud crowd could sway me if there's something as good on highway as the KO2...
I agree 100% with @DirtDawg If you haven’t tried a set of MTs you should give them a shot. My last set of Toyo MTs were on pace for 60k miles before I destroyed them on my 7 week Moab/Colorado adventure. I think the noise isn’t bad at all and they ride good. Off-road they straight kick tail.
As far as a “hybrid” tire I’m intrigued by the Toyo RT. I would probably go that route if I didn’t go MT.
 
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I always thought of Nitto to be just a remarketed spin off of Toyo. Most of the truck crowd would think Toyo is Japanese and won't buy import stuff, along with a heavy dose of buy domestic sentiment. The Ridge Grappler is just a rebranded Toyo RT.

I've run Toyo MTs before, about 10 years ago. One of my favorite tires I've ever had. Heavy af (like 20lbs heavier than an equivalent sized AT), toughest tire I've ever run, and also the most expensive per tire and on fuel. Yeah I'd rock Toyo RT for a hybrid tire.
 

suprarx7nut

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I’ve run the KO2s on my tundra and 100. Not a fan on either account. The tundra is DD/gravel roads only. I now run ridge graps on the tundra. Loved the first 25k, but now they are getting pretty loud. Great tire all around otherwise.

Personally, I think MTs are great if you can live with the shorter life and sometimes the extra noise. I LOVE my Patagonia’s. You can’t beat the price and they have been exceptional so far. Quiet on the highway, we will see how that goes with time.

Have you looked into the Tokyo RT? I’ve heard amazing things.
I agree 100% with @DirtDawg If you haven’t tried a set of MTs you should give them a shot. My last set of Toyo MTs were on pace for 60k miles before I destroyed them on my 7 week Moab/Colorado adventure. I think the noise isn’t bad at all and they ride good. Off-road they straight kick tail.
As far as a “hybrid” tire I’m intrigued by the Toyo RT. I would probably go that route if I didn’t go MT.
I always thought of Nitto to be just a remarketed spin off of Toyo. Most of the truck crowd would think Toyo is Japanese and won't buy import stuff, along with a heavy dose of buy domestic sentiment. The Ridge Grappler is just a rebranded Toyo RT.

I've run Toyo MTs before, about 10 years ago. One of my favorite tires I've ever had. Heavy af (like 20lbs heavier than an equivalent sized AT), toughest tire I've ever run, and also the most expensive per tire and on fuel. Yeah I'd rock Toyo RT for a hybrid tire.

Noise is probably my #1 concern with the M/T. I'm just not on a trail often enough to put up with much tire noise at all while on the highway.

Toyo RT is a consideration. Seems very similar to the Ridge Grappler, but I like the Ridge Grappler sidewalls and tread pattern much more (through a monitor, at least). I'll keep an eye out in parking lots and see if I can spot an RT for comparison. From my brief google-fu, looks like the Ridge Grappler is basically a premium version of the RT.

Thanks for the quick tips! Hopefully this is all helpful info for @srvn4u as well!
 
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You guys are making me doubt my KO2 purchase from earlier this year. I was actually leaning toward the Toyo at one time but they were more expensive and the KO2 is like the default recommendation. Oh well.
 

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