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Expedition GX460

Discussion in '150-Series Toyotas' started by traverse, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. traverse

    traverse

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    After 110,000 miles, time to transform my Austin street cruiser into an expedition vehicle.

    I bought this 2013 GX new in August 2012 after owning three pre-2007 Tundras over a period of 12 years. I have to admit my wife picked it out. I was not crazy with the styling. Too refined. Too much plastic. But, we had to haul stuff--dogs, luggage, trailers, motorcycles, building materials, and teenagers. I have pulled a 4,300 lb Tige RZ2. I have carted 6 passengers all over the Rockies. The GX has always had a spectacular engine, drive-train and off-road potential. Its been a great urban warrior in Austin with monthly trips to the ranch and yearly to the mountains.


    Before deciding on a build, I looked around the truck and suv market, even classic land cruisers and defenders. I thought about a newer GX but the 2014+ grille is a deal-killer for me. There is nothing I wanted more than what I already have.

    So the plan is low lift, sliders, wheels, all-terrain tires, roof rack, bull bar and rear bumper.

    I am not a mechanic so the lift, wheels/tires are someone else's job.
    I am a newby so I scoured IH8MUD forums and contacted Slee, Cruiser Outfitters, Filthy MS, Redline, Snake Racing, Steeler4X4, ARB, MetalTech, SSO, BajaRacks, JP-Carparts, Texas Hitch and more.
    If I'm honest, I have to admit my ideas are from others on this forum. I will describe the build from an amateur's perspective, take advantage of feedback from the pro's and hope to encourage other newbys to take the plunge.

    Suspension

    I am a 51 professional and drive this GX to a parking garage everyday. There's only so much clearance. So, I went with OME's low lift package from Slee Offload (OME2883 & 2895E front and rear coil springs, N60080-S & N90010-S Nitrocharger Sport shocks and struts, SPC-25480 UCAs) and install by Texas Hitch. The OMEs mounted fine but alignment took a long time even with UCAs. They lifted the front 1.5" and the rear 3". The positive rake is a bit much, but Slee says it should come down some when loaded with a rear bumper. It might be a while to get a GX steel bumper but the positive rake does not bother me at this point.


    (OME low lift)
    (After OME low lift)

    Sliders

    I debated cutting the running boards vs. J150 rocker panels. I decided to order the rockers and keep my running boards in storage. I ordered from JP-Parts.com (75805-60060-CO & 75806-60050-CO RH & LH rocker panels, 75865-60010 x 4 panel retainers, 75865-60020 x 4 panel retainers, 76924-13020 x 2 mudguard retainers, 75867-12040 x 2 panel clips). After I finish mounting I will tell you if I ordered too much or not enough. I ordered on 11/14/17 and received the shipment from Japan in 10 days. Its not cheap. The same day they arrived, I removed the stock running boards. That took 30 minutes using a Torx -25 and phillips bit, 10 mm and 12 mm deep sockets, 6" extension and ratchet. I used a precision flat head and small channel locks to release a couple tabs and wiring harnesses. The GX460 running boards are very easily removed. I loosely test fit the right hand J150 rocker panel in 10 minutes, just to see that it will line up. It does. I am not permanently mounting panels until after I receive the rock sliders so they can be test fitted without the panels in the way. But, I will say that the J150 rocker panels extend much further down the wheel wells than the custom cut panels some of you are using. That was a surprise, and I don't know yet how that will work with the rock sliders. Will report back.

    (12 bolts and 5 screws per side to remove running boards)

    (boards off)

    (rocker 0n)

    Near Future

    SSO 4R rock sliders
    17" FN Wheels
    Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 tires
    Baja Racks basket (GX460 production 2018)
    Bull bar & rear bumper (no clue who)

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  2. Virgilus11

    Virgilus11

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    Looking good and great start.
    Metal tech makes a great front bumper for your truck.
    I would try another shop for the alignment. I have 2.5" of lift in the front with SPC 'c and the guys that did the adjustment did it real easy.
     
    traverse likes this.
  3. Nickk6

    Nickk6

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    Nice work so far. How come you opted for a higher lift in the rear? If the fronts adjustable, the car will handle much better level until you get your rear bumper on and if you are not having clearance issues, the extra ground clearance off road lets you glide over everything.
     
  4. traverse

    traverse

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    Thx Nickk6. I think the rake looks more positve than it really is because my driveway slopes down a lot. As far as I know, they aren't adjustable.
     
  5. FWTXM5

    FWTXM5

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    How would you compare the ride now versus stock?

    My wife has the same car in white. We bought hers new as well and now I’m considering getting one just like it to build into a expo vehicle. The 460 is really a great balance of utility and sport.

    I ask about the ride because so many are going with $3-5k coil over suspensions. Not too many guys to ask how the “standard” OME lifts compare.

    Good luck!
     
  6. traverse

    traverse

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    The stock suspension is a little softer, but not so much that my wife has commented. I feel more bumps with the OME kit, not bothersome. Our socialist spenders on Austin city council can't fill potholes, but it was hell on the stock suspension too. The alignment is spot on for now. Handling still precise. I like the driving position. (Surprised the hell out if my German Shepherd first time she jumped into the 2"+ lifted back.) I get a slight tire rub on the UCA on full lock hard braking. Its only happened 3 times in 3 weeks. I am running 275/60/18. I will be fixing the UCA rub with my next wheel purchase.

    BTW, SSO rock sliders arrived today, so looking forward to weekend.
     
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  7. traverse

    traverse

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    Rock sliders mounted. Bought SSO and very happy with them. They mounted perfectly. It took about 2.5 hours including hacksaw time on one steel KDSS cover. To explain how incompetent a mechanic I am, I have to admit that while on my back turning bolts, ratchet slipped and fell on my face. Just about knocked myself out. I briefly thought about leaving bare oiled metal but SSO recommended against. So, I masked and painted with bedliner black. The rock slider has just enough purchase to step on but I don't.

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  8. t100owner

    t100owner

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    Great write ups along the way. I have a 2013 in white. Have sliders on their way and your pictures give me hope it will be an easy process. I like the Prado 150 rocker panels, on the fence if I will go with them or trim the running boards. So far (haven't had it for a month yet) only mod has been removing the dealer badge :).
     
  9. traverse

    traverse

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    Thanks T100. I should not have bought the J150 rockers. They curve and extend so far down at the wheel wells that the SSO rock sliders ran into them. So, I have cut the rocker panels to clear the sliders, and will mount them soon. I wish I had cut the running boards like others have done on this forum.
     
  10. traverse

    traverse

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    Wheels and tires on! Sorry Nickk6 but I couldn't pass on your Six Shooters. Paired with Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 at 265/70/17. They rubbed until I trimmed wheel well moulding up about 6" behind the front tires. Now they fit great.

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  11. Nickk6

    Nickk6

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    That looks awesome!!!! I really do prefer the bronze on black...I would have just ruined that black paint on the trails by now. The aggressive tires are perfect pair but that's probably why you had to do so much trimming?
     
  12. traverse

    traverse

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    Yep, Dustin at FN Wheels helped with tire sizing, and I figured on cutting some. I've put on over a thousand highway miles now, and mileage may have slipped a mile per gallon. Blowing down I-35 at 75 mph, its two hands on the steering wheel.
     
  13. Nickk6

    Nickk6

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    Two hands on the wheel? Is it shaking or wondering? I've not done a lot of driving on muds at highway speed, but it should be pretty stable looking at how close those chunks are on the tires. I cruise at 70, but get up to 80 once in awhile and its really smooth and goes straight.
     
  14. traverse

    traverse

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    Wanders a bit, but not pulling. Not really cognizant of it unless in heavy traffic with trucks or zero shoulders.
     
  15. Nickk6

    Nickk6

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    Sounds about right!