OE Long Travel 200

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Oct 9, 2018
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Montana
My now-wife and I moved to Montana two years ago. I wanted to give her the ability to confidently enjoy everything the state has to offer, without relying on having me along. I explored the reasons why we ended up with a 200-series here: The Last of the V-8 Overlanders

After the wedding trip to Baja Sur and back in my Ford Ranger, and some COVID-19-related delays, it's time to start modifying her truck. I'll be covering this in articles on Outside, but wanted to create this thread as a place to talk about the project with other enthusiasts.

First, we have two other vehicles: a 1998 Toyota 4Runner that we take out when winter conditions are particularly bad, loan to guests, and park at trailheads when we're going to be away from the truck for a few days (backpacking trips and similar); and a 2019 Ford Ranger that I've built up as our camping vehicle, and my work truck to support video shoots, hunting trips etc. So, the Land Cruiser's role is instead going to be as a nice daily driver and travel vehicle that will still need to tackle regular, challenging off-road and winter conditions. I want it to be peerlessly capable without compromising its manners or ease of use.

Because we spend so much time driving dirt, and because I want the 200 to be as comfortable and confidence-inspiring as possible, I figured the Tundra-swap front end was a good idea, and even convinced Toyota of that. They provided the OE parts to make it possible. I also wanted the install to be done right, by an actual expert, so brought Robbie Gordon's suspension guy up from south Texas to do it for us. Hudson Hall is probably one of the best suspension tech's in the country and will travel to do suspension installs. I don't think I could have figured all this out without him.

In addition to the Tundra lower control arms, tie rod ends, CVs, and other extraneous parts, Hudson and I opted for Tundra-spec Total Chaos upper control arms as the strongest possible option (the nature of this project is very much best-possible parts and decisions, no compromises), and Tundra-spec BP-51 coilovers for their ride quality, weather resistance, and long service intervals.

This being 2020, ARB is sold out of 200-spec BP-51 rears, so we're running the stock shocks and 440 LB OME springs (to support the rear bumper and 12.5ga LRA that're about to go on) until a new shipment comes in from Australia.

Other problems we ran into were trying to get zero offset wheels with 285/75r17 tires to tuck. There's just no way this front end works without the +56 offset of the stock wheels, and I just hate the look of the Rock Warriors. MLO is sold out of 17-inch Evo Corse's likely for the rest of the summer. BUT, I actually really like the look of the stock wheels, once they've been pushed out flush with the body. Running 1.25" Spidertrax spacers on the rear.

The end result of all that is +1.5 inches of width on each side up front, without a compromised scrub radius. Wheel travel has increased two inches. The outer sidewall of the tires is now perfectly flush with the truck's body. I don't understand why they don't just sell them like this stock. By the time we'd wrapped the install, my favorite tire shop was closed for the day, and today's Sunday, so I've only driven this thing about 25 miles so far. Given that limited mileage, ride quality and handling on the road feel 100% as good as stock, you just sit much higher. Very happy with that result.

I had 265/70-18 Falken AT3Ws (p-metric) on there already. We need to figure out a taller tire, but don't have much room for a wider one. Thinking 285/70-18s, unless anyone has a better suggestion?

The truck goes into Overland Cruisers tomorrow for ARB bumpers front and rear. Skipping the swingout in the rear so my wife doesn't have to deal with it every time she opens the trunk. Will run a matching spare in the stock location. Our road critter situation up here is insane and the ARB front is the best animal deflector out there. They're also installing Lightforce HTX2s, a Warn Zeon 12-S, and a Switch Pro 9100.

Future additions will be sliders, a skid plate, 4.30 Nitro gears, ARB lockers, and an ARB twin piston compressor. Looking into ways to shave the roof rails and sharkfin. Oh, and adding a Pelican 1700 between the rear wheel arches using the bolt holes left over by the removed 3rd row. That won't eat up dog space or add weight, but will give us just enough room to tote around recovery gear and other essentials. And we're stopping there. This should remain a reasonably light, reasonably aerodynamic, very civilized rig.

I'll grab a couple more pictures today, before it goes into the shop, then I have a shoot planned there later this week.

Special thanks to Carl Montoya, Ed Loh, Matt Glass, Owen Mesdag, and Graeme MacPherson for helping me figure all this out. And Toyota obviously.


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Mogwai

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Awesome. Check out the Yokohama G0003s in LT285/70R18 127/124Q. 34x11, narrow enough you shouldn't rub and all, and the tire is light in comparison. Alpha Equipt has some OE offset forged wheels, the load rating is a bit light but they warranty Soo?? I would stick to something between +25 and +45 offset.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Montana
Awesome. Check out the Yokohama G0003s in LT285/70R18 127/124Q. 34x11, narrow enough you shouldn't rub and all, and the tire is light in comparison. Alpha Equipt has some OE offset forged wheels, the load rating is a bit light but they warranty Soo?? I would stick to something between +25 and +45 offset.
Thanks for the suggestions. The least offset I see at Alpha Equipt is +35. Factory is +56, which is already flush with the body on this suspension. G0003s are probably a little aggressive for a vehicle I want to remain highway friendly. But yeah 285/70-18 or 275-70-18 are going to be the name of the game.
 
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Very nice!

(I assume the pictures were taken during install, but just in case: those top shock bolts don’t look tight.)
 

silverhorse

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I'm in the same boat... that is why i'm looking to run a narrow 33-34" tire --goodyear wrangler, KM3, Nitto ridge grapplers, KM2, all have "thinner" option. obviously wheel offset is going to be important-!
 

bloc

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What did you do for sway bar end links? I seem to remember some people doing tundra arms saying the stock cruiser parts bind up.. could be wrong though.
 
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What did you do for sway bar end links? I seem to remember some people doing tundra arms saying the stock cruiser parts bind up.. could be wrong though.
The stock ones fit perfectly. You can see one in one of the photos.
 
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Enjoyed your review and video on the Cruiser!

Hope you give us better pictures once the armor is on! You made the right choice with ARB. Substantially beefier and more protection than competitors. You also made the right choice with TC arms. Best out there IMO. Suggest heavily greasing the bushings before installing them with synthetic grease.

Why are you changing diff oil?
 
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Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
54
Location
Montana
Enjoyed your review and video on the Cruiser!

Hope you give us better pictures once the armor is on! You made the right choice with ARB. Substantially beefier and more protection than competitors. You also made the right choice with TC arms. Best out there IMO. Suggest heavily greasing the bushings before installing them with synthetic grease.

Why are you changing diff oil?
It's pouring rain today, and I haven't been able to get an alignment yet. Will grab better photos ASAP.

Lost a little diff oil when the CVs came off, so just topping up.
 

Mogwai

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Thanks for the suggestions. The least offset I see at Alpha Equipt is +35. Factory is +56, which is already flush with the body on this suspension. G0003s are probably a little aggressive for a vehicle I want to remain highway friendly. But yeah 285/70-18 or 275-70-18 are going to be the name of the game.
Rock warriors are a lower offset and stuff fine with the Tundra front end. Lots of guys rocking this setup. I have Tundra front end, +60 OEM wheels (2013), wheels are flush with the body, and no rub anywhere at full stuff.

And I hear you, the Yokos are technically MTs but they are mild in that regard and I hear pretty quiet on the road. These are my next.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Rock warriors are a lower offset and stuff fine with the Tundra front end. Lots of guys rocking this setup. I have Tundra front end, and 1.25" spacers, +60 OEM wheels (2013), wheels are flush with the body, and no rub anywhere at full stuff.

And I hear you, the Yokos are technically MTs but they are mild in that regard and I hear pretty quiet on the road. These are my next.
Rock Warriors look like they belong on a Saturn Vue being Craigslisted in Riverside.
 

Mogwai

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Rock Warriors look like they belong on a Saturn Vue being Craigslisted in Riverside.
Haha I'm not suggesting you get them, I'm just saying you can go +35 easily and still be "flush". The RWs are used mostly because they are forged, and some of the lightest wheels out there. The AEs are something ridiculous like 20lbs. But yeah if its just about the looks, maybe some methods? And it's becoming slightly easier to find a tall/skinnier tire, most say 34" is perfect for these vehicles without introducing other issues and/or need to regear. That said... The Tundra arms def help with clearing the sway bar, and you could go closer to 35 if you stay narrow. Good luck, I'm sure whatever you go with "she" will love it.
 
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Haha I'm not suggesting you get them, I'm just saying you can go +35 easily and still be "flush". The RWs are used mostly because they are forged, and some of the lightest wheels out there. The AEs are something ridiculous like 20lbs. But yeah if its just about the looks, maybe some methods? And it's becoming slightly easier to find a tall/skinnier tire, most say 34" is perfect for these vehicles without introducing other issues and/or need to regear. That said... The Tundra arms def help with clearing the sway bar, and you could go closer to 35 if you stay narrow. Good luck, I'm sure whatever you go with "she" will love it.
Honestly, +35 would poke, and likely struggle to tuck a tall tire in the front fenders.
 

Mogwai

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Honestly, +35 would poke, and likely struggle to tuck a tall tire in the front fenders.
You might be right, I misspoke above I'm not running spacers in the front only rear. RWs are +50, I think I've seen some +45/Tundra setups. Lots of info on this board and Tundra swap comes up a frequently, there's a bunch of combos out there that work.
 
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There is exactly one tire in 275/80r18. It's an AT by Kenda, I have a set and they are fine. Interco makes some narrow 33s if you want to go down the aggressive path.
 

silverhorse

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I should add in my earlier post I was referring to 17 inch tire sizes .........also a body lift might may help to help get the needed clearance to stuff the tire
 
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