Builds gx2lc LC200 Build Thread - 'Roach'

Mar 27, 2021
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We needed a vehicle that would be reliable across 4 use cases:
  • Work: My line of work requires that I meet with customers all over the US. Having a Toyota badge and room to transport 4-5 adults in big cities is important.
  • Play: Weekends and Holidays hitting trails, surfing at the beach, etc. with pup in tow
  • Lifestyle: After the wife and I sold our home...the amount of uncertainty in our life greatly increased. This was intentional. We both have jobs that are flexible and wanted to take advantage of that to travel more ahead of starting a family. Our LC200 is the only physical asset we own and the only source of certainty in our life. We wanted something we could always depend on to turn on.
  • Everything Else: We've been most surprised with how the cruiser has been useful in ways that we didn't anticipate. Moved to a new city and need to transport a $100 couch from Facebook market place? No problem. 2 weeks of non stop rain in southeast Texas causing flooding? No problem. Need to a quiet place to work for a few hours? No problem. Running late for dinner with friends? Valet parked it right out front.
Why not a 4Runner? I certainly could solve most of those use cases for half the price with one. Per my user name, I previously owned the 4Runner's V8 big sister, the GX460 / LC Prado. I liked it, but felt a nagging sense that I had settled. I was just about to pull the trigger on building it out when I drove past my local Toyota store and saw a silver Heritage cruiser parked out front. I was compelled to give it a test drive... That was all it took. The cruiser freaking hauled compared to the slower GX. There was a lot of space with the third row seats out. It had all the safety features and full time 4WD that my wife would want

We're going to drive the wheels off this thing until the inevitable electric future comes into reality. The 500 mile range Cybertruck will probably revolutionize overlanding since it will make multi day comfortable (AC!) car camping a reality. But it will probably take a another couple of years to be delivered with Elon time. The Rivian R1S is also compelling with 14" of ground clearance and the tank turn capability. But it's first gen and will probably require non-trivial refinement to be reliable (which is normal for any 1st gen product). We wouldn't want to be early adopters for things that we need to depend on in remote places. Otherwise we would of bought a Defender ;)

Buying Journey:

I originally was set on the Heritage edition simply because I couldn't stand the chrome door molding and steps on the GX or the base cruiser. I prefer the slick look of the Heritage cruisers including blacked out headlights and minimalist grille. But the wife (and I) wanted the cool box and terra interior. We like the luxury of having cold seltzer on hand everywhere we go. So I purchased a CPO 2019 and spent ~$8k doing a Heritage conversion. That's some serious coin to spend on looks, but I'm satisfied. I have the feeling of completion that I was seeking, and perhaps also the only Terra/coolbox Heritage-like cruiser.

Name: Roach

Build Principles
  1. Modularity: Roach should be able to configurable for a variety of use cases. This means no drawer systems or dual battery or RTT. Will be using front runner boxes and goal zero yeti instead. Want to be able to go from a back country trip to transporting 4 adults to dinner with just a carwash in the middle.
  2. Sleeper Build / Aesthetics: These are antithetical goals given the bronze BBS rims and badges are blingy. Other than those, I wanted to keep the build low key and minimalist for work reasons and personal preferences.
  3. Easy to revert to stock: all the mods (except for the side moldings) can be reverted to stock fairly easily. If I do a bumper, I would probably to the Rhino 4x4 which (I hear) makes it possible to revert back to stock.
  4. Do not specialize: Being our only vehicle means everything is important. MPG. Ride quality. Mall crawl-ability and rock crawl-ability. Goal is to make intentional decisions to ensure that Roach can be a jack of all trades across use cases.
  • Headlight blackout
  • Heritage grill, surrounds, and fog pieces
  • Heritage side mirror surrounds
  • Side moldings delete
  • Third row seats delete
  • Toyo AT3 275/65/18 - 32.1" These are SL and weigh 42 lbs. Looks a bit small TBH, but maintains the stock fuel economy, super quiet, and have been great off-road so far. I keep wanting to do 33s and 1" spacer...but can't justify it given the performance to date.
  • Dobinsons MRA 3 way adjustable shocks 2" in the front and a bit more in the rear. I'm not loving the rake, but I suspect it will be handled when the next mod on the list is installed. Love the fact that it's adjustable. Driving it now is much more confidence inspiring, especially with my spirited driving style.
  • On order: 12.5G LRA subtank
  • Front and rear Blackvue dashcam hardwired
  • Naviplus Apple Carplay (9/10 highly recommend -- works better than a Mazda CX-5 we drove)
  • Ceramic coated
  • Up next / current in trip planning mode and will prioritize build features based on the trip we want to do. Thinking beach runs through the summer and maybe Baja towards the end of summer
    • definitely want to do onboard air
    • better lighting options
    • thinking about sliders and armor.
Performance so far:

So far, Roach kept up with the Jeeps on tight Northeastern trails, was a blast to bomb down Hill Country dirt roads, and can haul it to 60 on the highway. Downside is Roach doesn't fit within 6' 6" garage clearances.

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