Need some advice on which lift kit to choose

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Feb 17, 2021
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Southern California
Hi everyone, I have a 2017 Lexus GX 460 Premium that I want apply a lift kit to with bigger tires and wheels so I’m looking for a little advice on which lift kit to get.

I’ve looked at several lift kits and narrowed it down to the OME BP 51 kit or a Kings setup which is much more expensive or the Dobinsons MRR setup which I understand is quite popular with GX’s. I would also purchase UCA’s but I’m not sure if I need reservoirs or not.

I’m looking to do a 3” lift with 285/70/17 tires (I’ve settled on BFG K02’s). For wheels, I like the “poke” effect where the wheels stick out slightly (possibly a zero offset) for a more aggressive stance without the use of spacers so what width size should I get on my wheels in order to achieve this? Im also looking at method beadlock style wheels.

I’d like to do some off roading, no rock crawling, but perhaps some Baja style driving on sand dunes and some light trails but it still has to be comfortable on long road trips (I would love to retain the plush ride comfort of my stock setup) as this is my family vehicle.

So my questions are which of the lift kits are best for what I plan to use it for? Which ones are the most reliable and how many miles will it approximately last before needing a rebuild? Which ones work with KDSS that my GX 460 has?

I’m leaning towards the OME BP 51 kit because of the budget price of that kit (when compared to
Some of the other kits like Kings) and the amount of items it includes in the kit, so does anyone have this kit on their GX and how reliable has it been and is it comfortable on road as well as durable off road?

Thanks very much everyone!
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Another option would be the Ironman Foam Cell Pro. It's a great weekend-warrior kit. Since the shocks don't use high-pressure gas, they should be able to last longer without rebuilding compared to monotube shocks. I have this kit and really like it for my weekend warrior GX (pavement, fire roads, off road, and towing our camper). It usually goes on sale every couple of months for 25% off.

No matter what you do, it probably won't be as plush as stock. All of the aftermarket suspensions will be at least somewhat stiffer. The GX will handle better (less body roll, less nose dive, more control over bumps), but you'll lose a little bit of that luxury ride quality. I personally like the stiffer suspension and have not looked back.
 
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re: Lift - anything over 2" is reducing your articulation and effectively reducing your actual off road capability



re: tires - not sure on the 150, but on the 120, 285s are not at all worth the extra work/energy/cost to make them fit. I would rock 32s (and I do) That extra ½" of axle clearance won't make a difference off road, but you will lose 1-2 MPG, you will have a spare that doesn't fit, have to chop your body mount remove front fender plastics, etc. Not worth it IMO.

re; lift kit - unless you plan to do A LOT of serious off roading, you don't need reservoir shocks

re: "poke" - Skateboard stance is for hispanic dudes in full size Chevys who drive 100% pavement and say "bro" every other word, wear flatbill hats that match their shoes, and don't care about their paint-job. When I see trucks like this I think "wow that person is a god damn moron"
 

r2m

Richard
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Nov 1, 2007
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San Clemente, CA
Keep in mind what your end game is when you're getting your suspension.
Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Am I adding armor, if so, what armor?
    1. Front and rear steel bumpers
    2. Sliders
    3. Skid plates
  2. Roof rack?
  3. Roof top tent?
  4. Bed/drawer kit for the rear?
  5. Dual batteries?
  6. And???
These all play into what level of stiffness you want in your springs.
Even if you're planning on adding items that add significant weight in the future, like steel bumpers or sliders and skids, get the heavier rated springs and just deal with the (slightly) harsher ride until you get the extra weight added.
As I tell everyone on this forum, develop an end game plan as to how you want your rig to perform and look, which you have partially stated above.
If you haven't already, I'd suggest going through the build threads here: GX460 / Prado150 - https://forum.ih8mud.com/forums/gx460-prado150.271/?prefix_id=41
and find someone's build that you like or close to what you want and see what they've done. Don't be afraid to PM them or post on their thread to ask about what products and vendors they've used. 👍
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
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Location
Toronto, Canada
Keep in mind what your end game is when you're getting your suspension.
Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Am I adding armor, if so, what armor?
    1. Front and rear steel bumpers
    2. Sliders
    3. Skid plates
  2. Roof rack?
  3. Roof top tent?
  4. Bed/drawer kit for the rear?
  5. Dual batteries?
  6. And???
These all play into what level of stiffness you want in your springs.
Even if you're planning on adding items that add significant weight in the future, like steel bumpers or sliders and skids, get the heavier rated springs and just deal with the (slightly) harsher ride until you get the extra weight added.
As I tell everyone on this forum, develop an end game plan as to how you want your rig to perform and look, which you have partially stated above.
If you haven't already, I'd suggest going through the build threads here: GX460 / Prado150 - https://forum.ih8mud.com/forums/gx460-prado150.271/?prefix_id=41
and find someone's build that you like or close to what you want and see what they've done. Don't be afraid to PM them or post on their thread to ask about what products and vendors they've used. 👍
I just bought an 09 GX (still en-route to me) that I plan on doing a modest build on, mainly to make a "go (almost) anywhere" family adventure vehicle, BUT, I'm really concerned about losing on road quality, because with my current car, I hate highway driving because when I get up to speed, especially for long periods, I feel like the car is all over the place unless I firmly hold the steering wheel. Now, why is that relevant to a lifted GX? I don't know, I hope it isn't, but I've heard that lifted trucks can sometimes be very wobbly/unstable at highway speed. Is this true? I would only be looking to do a modest lift to support slightly bigger tires and any added weight I suppose. Will I be flying all over the place on the highway? Lol.
I don't mind a stiffer, harsher, ride, in fact, I think I prefer it, but I just want the truck to feel stable/straight when going 100km/h + (or 65m/h +) so that I don't have to hold on for dear life for 2 hours straight. (which I THINK is what a stiffer/harsher ride would suggest.. but again, I've just heard that lifted trucks can feel wobbly)

Also, sorry for the long ass question/reply, but you've said here to get the heavy kit, even if you don't yet have all that weight, but when I research the kits, they usually say to make sure you get the kit that supports whatever your load is. Is there any safety concern with the heavier kit and no load? Or will the truck just feel very stiff?
 

r2m

Richard
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
4,810
Location
San Clemente, CA
I just bought an 09 GX (still en-route to me) that I plan on doing a modest build on, mainly to make a "go (almost) anywhere" family adventure vehicle, BUT, I'm really concerned about losing on road quality, because with my current car, I hate highway driving because when I get up to speed, especially for long periods, I feel like the car is all over the place unless I firmly hold the steering wheel. Now, why is that relevant to a lifted GX? I don't know, I hope it isn't, but I've heard that lifted trucks can sometimes be very wobbly/unstable at highway speed. Is this true? I would only be looking to do a modest lift to support slightly bigger tires and any added weight I suppose. Will I be flying all over the place on the highway? Lol.
I don't mind a stiffer, harsher, ride, in fact, I think I prefer it, but I just want the truck to feel stable/straight when going 100km/h + (or 65m/h +) so that I don't have to hold on for dear life for 2 hours straight. (which I THINK is what a stiffer/harsher ride would suggest.. but again, I've just heard that lifted trucks can feel wobbly)

Also, sorry for the long ass question/reply, but you've said here to get the heavy kit, even if you don't yet have all that weight, but when I research the kits, they usually say to make sure you get the kit that supports whatever your load is. Is there any safety concern with the heavier kit and no load? Or will the truck just feel very stiff?
If you go to my build thread you'll see that my rig is just about MAX'ed out for load, tire size, suspension lift and just about everything else. My wife and could not be happier with the handleing, ride and comfort of it and we come form having 2 previous Landcruisers before that. We've gone from So. CA. to Maine and back in 9 days with some 1,000 miles days of travel and the only reason we've ever been sore getting out is more due to our age and not because of uncomfortable seats or ride.
Going through Texas with speed limits of 80 MPH, I had no problem cruising at those speeds. I don't like to drive faster than that because of all the gear, roof top tent and air I'm pushing, just kills MPG and it's a little harder on the drive train. I usually travel no higher than 75 MPH. We've even driven in some very strong cross winds with the roof top tent on, and it's never felt skittish or unsafe even when the big rigs were swaying in their lanes (and beyond).
Our ride is plush and comfortable and when we're off roading, airing down the tires to 12 psi, just swallows all the bumps with plenty of articulation and aplomb.
With a heavier suspension, yes you'll have a (little) stiffer ride until you get some extra weight bolted on, but that is all. The ride will not be so harsh that it'll be knocking your teeth out. Never drifts and holds a straight line as long as the road is cambered properly.
As long as you get your alignment as soon as the lift is put on, you'll be very happy with it.
 
Joined
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Toronto, Canada
If you go to my build thread you'll see that my rig is just about MAX'ed out for load, tire size, suspension lift and just about everything else. My wife and could not be happier with the handleing, ride and comfort of it and we come form having 2 previous Landcruisers before that. We've gone from So. CA. to Maine and back in 9 days with some 1,000 miles days of travel and the only reason we've ever been sore getting out is more due to our age and not because of uncomfortable seats or ride.
Going through Texas with speed limits of 80 MPH, I had no problem cruising at those speeds. I don't like to drive faster than that because of all the gear, roof top tent and air I'm pushing, just kills MPG and it's a little harder on the drive train. I usually travel no higher than 75 MPH. We've even driven in some very strong cross winds with the roof top tent on, and it's never felt skittish or unsafe even when the big rigs were swaying in their lanes (and beyond).
Our ride is plush and comfortable and when we're off roading, airing down the tires to 12 psi, just swallows all the bumps with plenty of articulation and aplomb.
With a heavier suspension, yes you'll have a (little) stiffer ride until you get some extra weight bolted on, but that is all. The ride will not be so harsh that it'll be knocking your teeth out. Never drifts and holds a straight line as long as the road is cambered properly.
As long as you get your alignment as soon as the lift is put on, you'll be very happy with it.
that's great to hear, thanks for the info!
 
Joined
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Mid Atlantic
Definitely check out the Tinkerer's Adventure video where he demonstrates how you start to lose suspension travel somewhere between a 2 and 2.5 inch lift. A 3 inch lift while maintaining KDSS and on-road comfort/behavior is going to take more than just high end shocks. You could buy $6,000 custom valved Kings and still have weird behavior from the truck because you need everything else like control arms, KDSS spacers, diff drops, panhard correction, etc to make the suspension geometry work right.

You probably don't *need* external reservoirs but most of the high end adjustable shocks have them. Just keep in mind the external reservoirs add more components to install, maintain, and be potential points of failure. They do look cool, and that's the most important thing. Any of the options you listed would be good choices for decent service life if you don't drive like a complete knob. I think the Dobinsons or Kings would be easier to service since BP51s appear to only be rebuildable by a handful of ARB-approved places.

I'm gearing up to finally pull the trigger on a lift and don't want to ruin the Lexus. So I will be going 2 inch Dobinsons IMS or MRA and installing front UCAs and a panhard correction kit at the same time.
 
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CO
I have bp-51s on my Tacoma and Ironman fcp on the GX… you can’t really go wrong with either. The bp-51s are adjustable, so you can really dial them in and change the compression and rebound based on your load out.

I have 265/70/17 on a 17x7 4 mm offset wheel on the GX and the side profile sits flush with the fenders… Tacoma has 285/70/17 on a 17x8 0 mm offset and there us a slight “poke” on the side profile. I’m thinking the GX would be the similar.

I have plans to replicate the Tacoma wheel and tire set up on the GX once I figure out which 33” spare tire carrier option I want to go with.

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Joined
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I have bp-51s on my Tacoma and Ironman fcp on the GX… you can’t really go wrong with either. The bp-51s are adjustable, so you can really dial them in and change the compression and rebound based on your load out.

I have 265/70/17 on a 17x7 4 mm offset wheel on the GX and the side profile sits flush with the fenders… Tacoma has 285/70/17 on a 17x8 0 mm offset and there us a slight “poke” on the side profile. I’m thinking the GX would be the similar.

I have plans to replicate the Tacoma wheel and tire set up on the GX once I figure out which 33” spare tire carrier option I want to go with.

View attachment 3035194
What pass is that? Looks like a great road!
 
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LOL Iron Man is perpetually 25% off. Literally every other week, year round. They are the Harbor Freight of lift kits.
Except Harbor Freight rarely gives out those 20% off coupons anymore (the days of $167 for a 2-ton engine stand are long gone). And Ironman lift kits are pretty good - very happy with mine so far.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
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Southern California
I’m looking to do a 3” lift with 285/70/17 tires (I’ve settled on BFG K02’s). For wheels, I like the “poke” effect where the wheels stick out slightly (possibly a zero offset) for a more aggressive stance without the use of spacers so what width size should I get on my wheels in order to achieve this? Im also looking at method beadlock style wheels.

I’d like to do some off roading, no rock crawling, but perhaps some Baja style driving on sand dunes and some light trails but it still has to be comfortable on long road trips (I would love to retain the plush ride comfort of my stock setup) as this is my family vehicle.

Hi there Ben While it might look cool, what you are thinking of is going to completely change the handling and ride of your vehicle. Tires and wheels alone are going to add a lot of rotating mass. I would go with no larger than 265/70 x 17 (same as 265/65 x 18). Then I would recommend no higher than 1.5" front and 1" rear.

Since you live here in SoCal give Accutune a call. They can set you up with some nicely valved Fox or King with and a set of rear 1" lift springs for about the same cost as doing the BP51 setup. Make sure you weigh your vehicle at the public scales with a full tank of gas loaded down and empty. Also let them know your driving style, ride quality and how much off road you do. This way you give Accutune the necessary data on what spring rates and valving is needed.

No matter what any member here leads you to believe, a 3" lift and the wheel/tire combo you describe is going to give you major maintenance/repair expenses down the road. Accelerated wear on components and lots of other modifications to make the rig drivable.

Longer front axles, KDSS issues with lean that need to be adjusted with front in preload and possible rear panhard hitting and limiting travel (even with KDSS spacers). 3" lifts are really maxing out your rig. Also the vibration of driveline will go up as well.

Also don't forget you will need to swap out diffs both front and rear to match the tire size increase. If you don't then the vehicle will be hunting for gears at highway speeds and the acceleration will be very noticeably sluggish.

Of course as long as you are aware of the ill handling traits on the highway, reduced mileage, cost and don't mind replacing parts at double or more the rate of a stock then it's all good. I think it's very important to weigh the pros and cons before modifying a rig as you describe.
 
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I have 285/70/17 KO2 load C w/ stock suspension and -12 offset. Body mount chopped, and victory front bumper w/ winch. No rubbing except when I get into the bump stops.

It doesn’t hunt gears on the highway, but I’m pretty chill on the skinny pedal w/ gas prices the way they are these days. Highway only, I can do 17-18mpg with the tires around 40psi. I can do better w/ stock tire sizes obviously, but these aren’t too bad.

I’m also researching my lift options, but I’m nearly done weighing it down.

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Thanks everyone for the replies!

After doing some extensive research and reading all your comments on this thread, I have decided to go with a 2”-2.5” lift using Fox shocks, possibly eibach rear springs (I’m still researching rear springs) and UCA’s (I’m also researching good brands for UCA’s so please let me know if you have recommendations). I also need the lift to be compatible with KDSS as well.

I’ve decided to not go with a 3” lift and keep the lift more modest to not deter from stock that much and avoid any issues down the road.

I will still go with 285/70/17 BFG K02’s on a method beadlock wheels, however I’m curious about going up to 285/75/17’s, so does anyone have experience with those tires?
 
Joined
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Since you live here in SoCal give Accutune a call. They can set you up with some nicely valved Fox or King with and a set of rear 1" lift springs for about the same cost as doing the BP51 setup.

Thanks for pointing me to Accutune! I gave them a call and they were very helpful in letting me know what I needed for my truck, which is why I decided to go with the Fox suspension. :)
 
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