What upgrade to complete first (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 22, 2007
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947
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South Florida
 
 
Hey All,

I am torn. I have a few upgrades I want to complete for my 2003 Land Cruiser but I can't decide what order to do them in - money being the main issue.

Here is what I have in mind:

- Slee Rock Sliders
- Suspension lift (OME / Bilstein / Fox)
- MT Tires and Wheels
- ARB or Slee or Shrockworks (not likely) front bumper with winch
- Slee Skid Plate Kit

Do you think the order above should work (I probably have to do one at a time)?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
767
Location
Fort Worth, TX
 
 
tires then lift, then whatever. I would skip the wheels, but thats just me. After that...move on to the bumper, then sliders. If your like me, your plans will change as you get into it.
 

Trunk Monkey

Moderator
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Apr 27, 2003
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Salt Lake City
 
 
 
Second to money is use. If you're going to be wheeling it over rocks, I'd go lift, tires, sliders. If you're going to be doing more expedition style travel, I'd go bumper and winch for safety and recovery.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
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in the nappy dugout
i'd go tires, sliders, lift....Reason is you should get more lift with your tires than a 1.5" OME and you will get better traction to boot...it's a twofer. Then i would go sliders, b/c that s*** aint cheap to fix if you bash it up. Then a lift...
 

rusty_tlc

Dain Bramaged Member
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Jun 23, 2005
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Reno, NV
 
 
 
Base on the scrape factor I'd add a rear bumper in there somewhere. That's where most of my battle scars are.

I'd do the mods in this order, actually I am doing them in this order.
  • Lift
  • Diff Drop
  • Tires
  • Sliders (I got a great deal on a used set or this would have been done after the rear bumper)
  • Roof Rack
  • Rear Bumper
  • Front bumper
  • Winch

A rear bumper has a lot of advatges.

It gives you a place to get your spare out of harms way, the factory mount is asking to get shredded.

It also gives you a place for spare gas cans and a Hi Lift mount.

As I mentioned the factory bumper drags on everything, and I mean everything. If I didn't have a hitch the bumper would have been history within the first three trips.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2004
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vail
 
 
Where do you plan on taking it? that will dictate your build. Otherwise, sliders, winch, recovery gear.
 

ginericLC

Wagon Wheeler!
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Jan 29, 2003
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MH, IDaho
 
 
 
Sliders 1st!!! The front and rear bumpers most likely will not cause body damage beyond the bumpers from wheeling. The first rock you slip on could cause the rockers and door panels to be gone.

Then tires! Better traction is a must.

Lift!

Front ARB locker

Then Bumpers!
 

rusty_tlc

Dain Bramaged Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
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Reno, NV
 
 
 
Sliders 1st!!! The front and rear bumpers most likely will not cause body damage beyond the bumpers from wheeling. The first rock you slip on could cause the rockers and door panels to be gone.

Then tires! Better traction is a must.

Lift!

Front ARB locker

Then Bumpers!
So after the lift you can get a larger tire? Why not do the lift then buy tires that fit the rig?


Now that you mention it my very first mod was the ARB front locker, but that wasn't by choice. If I had it to do again I would have done the ARB before I ever took the rig off road.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
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9,699
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through the river and over the woods.
 
 
Went tires first since I have ahc and can lift on demand. Then I went stupid and bought front bumper sliders and skidplate all at once. Next is rear bumper and either roofrack or the rest of the skidplates. Oh and I did the diff drop while I had the skidplate off. Diff drop is highly recommended
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
947
Location
South Florida
 
 
Hey All,

I am torn. I have a few upgrades I want to complete for my 2003 Land Cruiser but I can't decide what order to do them in - money being the main issue.

Here is what I have in mind:

- Slee Rock Sliders
- Suspension lift (OME / Bilstein / Fox)
- MT Tires and Wheels
- ARB or Slee or Shrockworks (not likely) front bumper with winch
- Slee Skid Plate Kit

Do you think the order above should work (I probably have to do one at a time)?

Thanks.
Seems like everyone has a different take on this.

My reasoning was this: The sliders can be done independently without affecting other mods. Then I wanted to do the lift because I can run my 275/65/18 until I get 33s or 35s. I figure the bumper should be next since it is heavy and really requires the extra firmness of upgraded the torsion bar. Skidplates last as there are already basic skids on the LC.

Is my logic sound?

Thanks.
 

spressomon

glutton
Moderator
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Jan 9, 2005
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13,347
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Northern Nevada
 
 
 
The best strategy to modding, assuming you do not have the time and/or resources to do all the mods at once (like most of us here) is to think about where you will be driving your rig. Personally I would put sliders AND skid plates (Slee) at the top of the list, right after suitable rubber, if you are going to venture off of the beaten path: i.e. from gravel roads onto double track style trails. Where you live and play will certainly play into the mod hierarchy.

Given you want to play on some more aggressive (ambiguous term) trails I would start with an aggressive AT or possibly MT tire.

Make sure you have a relatively fresh and capable battery if your travels will take you into remote places: Prudent.

I don't know what year rig you have but a couple little mods that you can do that only take time and a little effort if you are handy: Do the t-case 7-pin mod so that you can run your rig in high or low range with the CDL locked (assuming you can't now); ditto for the rear diff mod if so equipped (so that you can run with a locked rear diff in high or low range).

If your off-roading is going to be any more than gravel/dirt trails I would put the ARB front locker conversion at the top of the list. This, generally, is just a ticking time bomb if you do more than mild trails (although good traction tires will help lower the risk of damaging the front diff assembly).

Make sure you have a capable jack, lug wrench and know how to use it: Practice before you need to!

If you have a trailer hitch on the rig now it will be your scraping point...that's OK and will generally do a good job of protecting the rear body/frame until you get a rear bumper. Front bumper would probably be one of the last mods.

Drawers, CB/2M/HAM radio, good GPS, recovery gear, etc. are all things you will want to get as you get deeper into this sport.

I would only go as tall a tire as you absolutely need. 35" can, depending upon your altitude of play and how picky you are about raising your effective gear ratio range, be more than they are worth. Generally speaking 33" is the best suited tire height without involving lots of additional expense, complexity and handling compromises. And I prefer tires in the 255-285 MAX width for real off-road work.

Just my $.02
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
535
Location
washington
 
i put on all the armor first .but put lift on the next weekend.
if you dont plan to do all at once id do lift first ..that thing looked like a football player with ballet shoes with just the bumpers.

have fun
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
159
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
 
 
Tire's 1st. But the tires will also determine whether you need lift with it and re-gearing.

I would put sliders next my list. I bust my passenger side body/door with a careless right turn onto a rock. So this is needed even for mild wheeling / expedtion style travel in my opinion.

If you plan to go on rocks then the ARB front locker is a must (guess how I know). As others have said, the front diff is a timebomb waiting to go bust. But before you do that you need to decide on your final tire size and lift. If you plan to go to 35s then a re-gear is almost necessary and that is best done with the front ARB. I ended up doing it separately and paid for labor twice.

Do all the small stuff that goes with the big mods as you do them (extending bump stops, adjusting the turn stops, putting limiting straps on shocks...).

Slee's diff drop should go with the lift.

Rear bumper next (get the rire out there, great place for putting lots of expedition type stuff. I've got my spare tire,hi-lift, one fire extinguisher, shovel, pick and ax, tow strap, base for hi lift, Ham and CB antenna storage when not mounted, and a small bag of recovery stuff and other assorted stuff on the rear bumper.

If you're going on rocks:
- Slee skid plates
- Angle iron welded onto the rear lower control arms (cheap mod)
- Front bumper and winch

btw - this is a never ending, more demanding than wife but immensely gratifying endeavor!

Welcome to the journey!
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
947
Location
South Florida
 
 
Thanks for all the great tips and advice. I think I will try to get the sliders and tires (33s) done first and go from there.

Question for those suggesting locker in front diff: I thought this was more an issue on early models with the 2 pinion setup. I have a 2003 with 4 pinion and ATRAC, etc. Hopefully it won't blow up right away.

My goal is to play around on easier trails in TN: Tellico Plains, Coal Creek, Uwharrie. I am also planning another cross country trip (TN to California) that will include some backcountry exploration.

I already have dual batteries, CO2 tank and tool kits - so I'm good in that regard.

What is everyone's opinion on putting 33s on my 18" rims considering the above. I don't think I ever want to traverse a boulder field in this truck.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Messages
9,699
Location
through the river and over the woods.
 
 
33s on 18s is alright, you'll pay more for tires and be limited to less of a selection though.

The front diff is still an issue apparently with the 4, just less likely. I wish I had one in but it's last on my stupid long list.
 

spressomon

glutton
Moderator
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13,347
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Northern Nevada
 
 
 
33's on 18" just limit your air down potential. But it doesn't sound like you would typically be on that type of trail anyway. However 255R85 16 (a tad over 33" diameter) are the bomb for anything but deep deep mud (OK...and high speed cornering on pavement :rolleyes:).
 

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