First off roading trip with my 100 series LX470

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Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Threads
15
Messages
66
Location
Missouri
Hello all!

First of all -- thanks to the MUD community for all the info I needed to choose a 100 series and then get it fully current on maintenance and operational (including AHC).

I just finished a 2,600 mile trip from St Louis Missouri to Moab Utah including White Rim trail in Canyonlands and Fins and Things trail. My 2003 LX470 is basically stock with 185,000 miles wearing BFG KO2 275/65R18 tires.

Comfort is outstanding. I drove 2 days of 900+ miles and it was effortless and surprisingly not tiring. These are great trucks for long travels.

I'm still a little uneasy about asking too much from the 16 year old AHC system so I left it in "N" throughout most of the White Rim -- the 2 locations I raised the suspension, the spotter indicated it was unnecessary. I never hit anything on "N" throughout the trail.

The rear springs are getting weak and with a totally packed cabin of camping supplies and people the AHC can't always lift into High position -- I found if I was slightly downhill, AHC could lift the truck much easier than flat or on an incline. Until I decide what I am going to do with the suspension, I'll supplement with air bags before the next trip.

I struggled a little bit at first shifting the transfer case between H and L -- struggled in the sense that I was always getting some light gear grinding due to the lack of synchros in the shifting mechanism. I found that shifting smoothly and quickly between H and L without stopping for any delay in "N" cured that.

Fins and Things I thought was a really big mistake but peer pressure got to me. Much to my surprise, staying on 4Low and High AHC setting only caused the trailer hitch to drag a few times. Otherwise, everything cleared and the heavily loaded truck climbed everything. Had a few times where I wished for proper locking diffs but A-TRAC (ungracefully) pulled the truck through every time.

The 4.7L V8 is insanely smooth and quiet. I replaced the timing belt and pretty much every bearing I touched along the way and it is the silkiest and quietest engine I've ever owned. Elsewhere I will post a picture of the low oil pressure gauge that still scares me although enough has been written about this being typical I'm trying to get over it.

I had all sorts of initial plans with aftermarket suspensions and sliders and locking diffs and such but, I have to say, the 100 series is incredibly capable right out of the factory and unless you're trying to keep up with the Wranglers running 35s or have some serious rock climbing planned, I'm not sure there's much that cannot be done with these stock.

Only real gripe is the usual miserable fuel economy and resulting insufficient fuel capacity for long off roading (200+ miles is possible if things sour on you on the White Rim). At 70 MPH, I did get high 14s - 15.0 MPG. At 80-85 it drops to 12-13 Off roading on the White Rim I was showing 9.5-10.5 MPG.
 
Pictures plz
 
The mileage matches my experience, both on and off the road. And you'll learn to live with the oil pressure. Spooky at first, but you'll learn what's normal . The first start on a very cold day—that's what feels like should be normal.

And @hickuptruck is right—surely you took a few pictures, right? :flipoff2:
 
I"m headed there in 2 weeks, post some pics, and any tips to help a first timer like me out. My main concern is once i enter Moab, and head all the way west to Zion NP, are there anywhere to stop for gas?
 
I"m headed there in 2 weeks, post some pics, and any tips to help a first timer like me out. My main concern is once i enter Moab, and head all the way west to Zion NP, are there anywhere to stop for gas?

No, there's no gas between Moab and Zion. And watch out for Indians too.
 
@FxFormat If you take the normal/Google route (interstate), there's plenty of places to stop. If you take the more scenic suggested route through Koosharem, there's gas there as well (but super small towns sometimes have only the regular grade, and it's usually 50-80 cents more per gallon than regular stops). Going through Koosharem puts you near Pando—well worth a look. The whole journey is just slightly over a single tank of gas, and there's plenty to be found in Moab, Green River, Salina, Richfield, etc.

1990163


Unless you're planning on an overland-style route to Zion. Definitely possible, but you'd need additional gas on board.
 
I have 2 jerry cans, 10 gallons of extra gas with me, i really want to take the dirt roads from Moab to Zion, stopping by the other parks along the way.
 
I have 2 jerry cans, 10 gallons of extra gas with me, i really want to take the dirt roads from Moab to Zion, stopping by the other parks along the way.

I'm planning a similar trip (as much dirt as possible) and am anticipating carrying 3-4 jerry cans. I'd rather arrive in Zion with 2 full cans that weren't used than none. Pulling a trailer, I'm getting about 11mpg on the highway. Off-road I typically get 10mpg. Figure the trailer will drag that number down to like 8-9mpg.
 
I did the same about a month ago. We spent a weekend down in Moab and did the shortened version of Fins N things. Had a great time. My truck is a 99 LX. I found 4L and locked center had no problems getting me where I needed to be. I had my AHC in High the whole time. This trip also confirmed for me that I will probably keep the running boards in place because my littler kids use them so much to get in and out of the truck and I didn't rub/scuff at any point on the trail with them. Just some of the bumper scrubs you mentioned. I will probably not do anything more wild with the truck than what I saw on that trail.
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I'm planning a similar trip (as much dirt as possible) and am anticipating carrying 3-4 jerry cans. I'd rather arrive in Zion with 2 full cans that weren't used than none. Pulling a trailer, I'm getting about 11mpg on the highway. Off-road I typically get 10mpg. Figure the trailer will drag that number down to like 8-9mpg.

Join me? I'll be there June 17th-24ish, whenever im done with Utah.
 
I have 2 jerry cans, 10 gallons of extra gas with me, i really want to take the dirt roads from Moab to Zion, stopping by the other parks along the way.

Very smart. Always best to be 'prepared'. For those without a rear bumper capable of carrying extra fuel, you can do the same thing with a good roof mounted rack. The fuel containers they have these days are so much better than the old Army Surplus cans they had when I was growing up. You can pack many of the newer offerings in just about any position. A can of water (in case of radiator trouble) would not be a bad thing either.
 
Very smart. Always best to be 'prepared'. For those without a rear bumper capable of carrying extra fuel, you can do the same thing with a good roof mounted rack. The fuel containers they have these days are so much better than the old Army Surplus cans they had when I was growing up. You can pack many of the newer offerings in just about any position. A can of water (in case of radiator trouble) would not be a bad thing either.

Or a long stuck.
 
Very smart. Always best to be 'prepared'. For those without a rear bumper capable of carrying extra fuel, you can do the same thing with a good roof mounted rack. The fuel containers they have these days are so much better than the old Army Surplus cans they had when I was growing up. You can pack many of the newer offerings in just about any position. A can of water (in case of radiator trouble) would not be a bad thing either.

Exactly. I carry 1 on the rear rack alongside a 5 gallon water can. The other 3 can mount on my Gamiviti roof rack or on the trailer. I also don't mess with the stupid spouts. I use a manual transfer pump with long hoses to move the fuel from the can(s) into the rig. That way, I don't have to remove/lift the 35+lb cans and don't worry about spillage.
 
I'm planning a similar trip (as much dirt as possible) and am anticipating carrying 3-4 jerry cans. I'd rather arrive in Zion with 2 full cans that weren't used than none. Pulling a trailer, I'm getting about 11mpg on the highway. Off-road I typically get 10mpg. Figure the trailer will drag that number down to like 8-9mpg.

Would you mind sharing a GPS route when you return? I keep dreaming about a solo trip (I don't have friends) through Moab but haven't figured out the most scenic route. Thank you.
 
I struggled a little bit at first shifting the transfer case between H and L -- struggled in the sense that I was always getting some light gear grinding due to the lack of synchros in the shifting mechanism. I found that shifting smoothly and quickly between H and L without stopping for any delay in "N" cured that.

Were you stopped? I always stop the car, put the transmission in neutral, then switch transfer case from high to low. Never had any grinding.
 
Good to read this, I'm about to take my 99 with 178k on about a 2000 mile road trip with some light off roading in GA. I haven't had any grinding when shifting into low range (I stop and put it in neutral) but I have had some weird times where I went to put the AHC from N to H and it wouldn't go unless I turned the truck off and restarted it (this has only happened after locking the center diff in N height mode....don't really understand that one.

Also, did you actually notice your LX go into the "extra high mode" when you engaged low range while in H? I tried it and the truck definitely didn't move. Do you have to put the truck back in park for it to go up higher?
 
Were you stopped? I always stop the car, put the transmission in neutral, then switch transfer case from high to low. Never had any grinding.
Yes I was stopped and had transmission in Neutral. I was initially getting it out of high range.....stopping in neutral....and then slowly shifting into Low range....usually got a "gears engaging without being synced" sound that was fixed by not stopping in the neutral setting. Basically, I was overthinking the process...
 
Good to read this, I'm about to take my 99 with 178k on about a 2000 mile road trip with some light off roading in GA. I haven't had any grinding when shifting into low range (I stop and put it in neutral) but I have had some weird times where I went to put the AHC from N to H and it wouldn't go unless I turned the truck off and restarted it (this has only happened after locking the center diff in N height mode....don't really understand that one.

Also, did you actually notice your LX go into the "extra high mode" when you engaged low range while in H? I tried it and the truck definitely didn't move. Do you have to put the truck back in park for it to go up higher?
I never noticed an "Extra High" movement.
 

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