Worth breathing new life into my '06 GX470? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Carolina
Hi Everyone. I've been lurking here for few weeks and decided make an account and introduce myself since I plan doing some work on my GX470 and I'd appreciate any input members here are willing to give.

I've owned my 06 GX470 (Black, non-KDSS, Nav, ML audio) about four years now. At the time I bought it, I was just looking for a truck that could haul a trailer for a move I was about to make, and then last me a few years after that. I came across a GX with 150k miles on it that was considerably less expensive than other options I was considering (mainly used 4runners). The dash was cracked and the front leather seats were showing signs of damage from baking in the Florida sun, but I was ok with that. I test drove it and bought it the same day. Fast forward to now (185k), the car is paid off and has served its purpose. The only problems I've had with it were one of the air bags got a leak and needed to be replaced, and just recently I needed to replace the alternator. I consider myself fortunate to have found this gem given that the circumstances that required me to buy it were less than ideal.

I've been wanting to get into overlanding/off-roading for a while now, and I've decided hold on to my GX and invest some money to make it moderately off-road capable so I cut my teeth and make all of the rooking mistakes in that before upgrading. I plan on doing a 3" lift and so far I've purchased:
  • Bilstein B8 6112 coilovers with 650lb springs for the front
  • B8 5160 - Shock absorbers for the rear
  • Dobinsons Rear Variable Rate Coil Springs (C59-675V)
  • Dobinsons Upper bumpstop/Isolator for Lexus GX470/460(BS59-562K)
and currently I have the following in my MetalTech cart about to be purchased:
  • Metal Tech GX470 Rear Coil Conversion Kit Stage 1
  • SPC Light Racing Lexus GX470/GX460 Upper Control Arms
  • ICON 2003-2009 Lexus GX470 Billet Aluminum Sway Bar Relocation Blocks (Necessary?)
  • Total Chaos 1" Diff Drop Spacers: 2003-2009 Lexus GX470 | 2010-2018 Lexus GX460
I know opinions are split on the diff drop. I haven't seen anyone say they suffered from not having it so I might drop it. For wheels and tires I'm looking at
  • KMC - KM101 Tempo 17x9, 6x135/4x5.5(6x139.7), OS: -12, BS: 4.53, Bore: 106.1; Finish: Satin Black w/ Gray Tint
  • Falken Wildpeak AT3W - 285/70r17, E rated
From setups I've seen on here, I think the offset should be enough to avoid any clearance issues. I'm hopping that most of the rubbing will be fixed by moving the front fender liner forward a couple of inches, and not require the bmc.

One thing that concerns me is the maintenance history of this vehicle. I checked the Lexus owners website and there are regular service records to 85k, then it looks like the first owner traded it in. There are only two records for the second owner - one replacing the battery and a second regarding the stereo. I've only done regular oil changes while I've owned it (sorry, I've learned a lot about this car in the short time I've been reading this forum). I looked under the hood and didn't see any sticker indicating a timing belt/water pump change, and I'm due for what should be the second one. I plan on replacing the timing belt, water pump and serpentine belt as well as replacing (and flushing if necessary) the transmission, transfer case, power steering and rear differential fluids asap. The radiator looks ok, but I'm also considering replacing it with the timing belt and water pump. I'll also replace the spark plugs. Any other suggestions of service or pm that I should do would be helpful; I'm still researching this. The car still drives great and I haven't noticed any fluid leaks. The power steering pump whirs at full lock, which is the only noise I notice that doesn't sound like normal operation. The wheel still turns smoothly and there is no noise in between.

I don't mind spending the money bringing the car up to date on its required maintenance if I can get a few more years of mostly trouble free ownership out of it - like I've had so far. However, I am worried about the possibility of problems resulting from neglected maintenance turning this car into a money pit. I figure the risk is low since I have it paid off and I can cut my losses and walk away at any point, but I'd appreciate any input or opinions regarding this.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
98
Location
IL
Hi Everyone. I've been lurking here for few weeks and decided make an account and introduce myself since I plan doing some work on my GX470 and I'd appreciate any input members here are willing to give.

I've owned my 06 GX470 (Black, non-KDSS, Nav, ML audio) about four years now. At the time I bought it, I was just looking for a truck that could haul a trailer for a move I was about to make, and then last me a few years after that. I came across a GX with 150k miles on it that was considerably less expensive than other options I was considering (mainly used 4runners). The dash was cracked and the front leather seats were showing signs of damage from baking in the Florida sun, but I was ok with that. I test drove it and bought it the same day. Fast forward to now (185k), the car is paid off and has served its purpose. The only problems I've had with it were one of the air bags got a leak and needed to be replaced, and just recently I needed to replace the alternator. I consider myself fortunate to have found this gem given that the circumstances that required me to buy it were less than ideal.

I've been wanting to get into overlanding/off-roading for a while now, and I've decided hold on to my GX and invest some money to make it moderately off-road capable so I cut my teeth and make all of the rooking mistakes in that before upgrading. I plan on doing a 3" lift and so far I've purchased:
  • Bilstein B8 6112 coilovers with 650lb springs for the front
  • B8 5160 - Shock absorbers for the rear
  • Dobinsons Rear Variable Rate Coil Springs (C59-675V)
  • Dobinsons Upper bumpstop/Isolator for Lexus GX470/460(BS59-562K)
and currently I have the following in my MetalTech cart about to be purchased:
  • Metal Tech GX470 Rear Coil Conversion Kit Stage 1
  • SPC Light Racing Lexus GX470/GX460 Upper Control Arms
  • ICON 2003-2009 Lexus GX470 Billet Aluminum Sway Bar Relocation Blocks (Necessary?)
  • Total Chaos 1" Diff Drop Spacers: 2003-2009 Lexus GX470 | 2010-2018 Lexus GX460
I know opinions are split on the diff drop. I haven't seen anyone say they suffered from not having it so I might drop it. For wheels and tires I'm looking at
  • KMC - KM101 Tempo 17x9, 6x135/4x5.5(6x139.7), OS: -12, BS: 4.53, Bore: 106.1; Finish: Satin Black w/ Gray Tint
  • Falken Wildpeak AT3W - 285/70r17, E rated
From setups I've seen on here, I think the offset should be enough to avoid any clearance issues. I'm hopping that most of the rubbing will be fixed by moving the front fender liner forward a couple of inches, and not require the bmc.

One thing that concerns me is the maintenance history of this vehicle. I checked the Lexus owners website and there are regular service records to 85k, then it looks like the first owner traded it in. There are only two records for the second owner - one replacing the battery and a second regarding the stereo. I've only done regular oil changes while I've owned it (sorry, I've learned a lot about this car in the short time I've been reading this forum). I looked under the hood and didn't see any sticker indicating a timing belt/water pump change, and I'm due for what should be the second one. I plan on replacing the timing belt, water pump and serpentine belt as well as replacing (and flushing if necessary) the transmission, transfer case, power steering and rear differential fluids asap. The radiator looks ok, but I'm also considering replacing it with the timing belt and water pump. I'll also replace the spark plugs. Any other suggestions of service or pm that I should do would be helpful; I'm still researching this. The car still drives great and I haven't noticed any fluid leaks. The power steering pump whirs at full lock, which is the only noise I notice that doesn't sound like normal operation. The wheel still turns smoothly and there is no noise in between.

I don't mind spending the money bringing the car up to date on its required maintenance if I can get a few more years of mostly trouble free ownership out of it - like I've had so far. However, I am worried about the possibility of problems resulting from neglected maintenance turning this car into a money pit. I figure the risk is low since I have it paid off and I can cut my losses and walk away at any point, but I'd appreciate any input or opinions regarding this.
Mr. Macready,
I think you have answered your own question in the last 2 paragraphs. If you have owned the GX for the last 4 years and it has not failed you, it should be fine to keep it. Like you said, if is much cheaper to bring the car up to regular maintenance and get at least another 5 years out of it than making payments for a new or another used car. Just do the baseline on it and just do regular maintenance from now on. Do all fluids (transmission, both differentials, transfer case, power steering fluid, and don't forget the blinker fluid :p), engine coolant (should wait til you do radiator/timing belt/water pump all together, so you don't have to drain it and refill twice or three times if you do all those separately), replace spark plugs, PCV valve, clean throttle body, lubricate driveshaft zerk fittings (all 6 of them: 4 + 2, see owner's manual for service interval), and you should be good to go. Don't forget, if you're getting new tires, replace and reprogram your TPMS (some guys choose to delete the system once the batteries on TPMS die), otherwise you'll pay separately for dismounting and mounting back the tires just to replace each sensor as it does dead, and don't forget the spare tire (that has a sensor too, so it should be replaced at a 10-year mark or sooner if battery is dead and your TPMS light is blinking). I think you are on track with replacing the suspension components. Once that's done, you're good to go for another decade or even longer!
Here's my experience with replacement of spark plugs - a pretty straight forward job:
Good luck, sir! I'm glad to hear you've decided to keep her! When it comes to the interior, you can always spruce it up with a Tesla-style infotainment system, vinyl wrapping the wood trim to the finish of your liking (silver, carbon fiber, pink, etc.), re-wrapped or a new steering wheel (eBay has a few options), and replacing the seat covers with new leather ones (around $200 each) or cheaper neoprene ones for durability and protection ($200 for front and rear seats), which will make your truck feel like new again! Keep it cause they don't make them like they used to, and you will never regret it!
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Carolina
Thanks for the response IwantPrado. I'll add the service items you mentioned to my list. I appreciate the TPMS tip too. I was going to ask to have my old sensors moved to the new tires. I'm also considering deleting them since I'll probably store a deflated 285/70/17 tire in the spare location, provide it will fit, so the light would always be on. I don't think TPMS needs to be working to pass a vehicle inspection in NC.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
4
Location
soledad
Hi, new to the forum. I just purchased a 2005 GX 470 w/140,000. I immediatly upgraded the suspension with the Ironman stage 3 foam cell pro's, and 285/75-17 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W, with Forerunner OEM TRD rims. I shattered a driver front CV axle on the top of a sand dune in La Paz Mexico. The CV axle only had 40,000 miles on it. Lucky Autozone had one in La Paz, $100. I'm thinking abouting getting a diff drop? Or carrying a spare CV. Any ideas out there?
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
98
Location
IL
Hi, new to the forum. I just purchased a 2005 GX 470 w/140,000. I immediatly upgraded the suspension with the Ironman stage 3 foam cell pro's, and 285/75-17 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W, with Forerunner OEM TRD rims. I shattered a driver front CV axle on the top of a sand dune in La Paz Mexico. The CV axle only had 40,000 miles on it. Lucky Autozone had one in La Paz, $100. I'm thinking abouting getting a diff drop? Or carrying a spare CV. Any ideas out there?
You may want to start a new thread so others can respond when they see your problem/question
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Carolina
Here's an update since this thread got resurrected. I got the lift installed - went with the RRW RR5-V wheels and Falken Wildpeak 285/70/17 tires, replaced the major fluids, replaced the TB/WP and took care of the other service items. I replaced the alternator (Tucson Alternator Exchange 240A), cv axles (CVJs) and brakes (Power Stop GX460 calipers and EBC rotors). I also installed new Depo sport headlights and a Diode Dynamics fog light HID conversion kit.

Before:
IMG_1267(2).JPG


After:
gx_12-14(2).jpg


gx_fog.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
98
Location
IL
Here's an update since this thread got resurrected. I got the lift installed - went with the RRW RR5-V wheels and Falken Wildpeak 285/70/17 tires, replaced the major fluids, replaced the TB/WP and took care of the other service items. I replaced the alternator (Tucson Alternator Exchange 240A), cv axles (CVJs) and brakes (Power Stop GX460 calipers and EBC rotors). I also installed new Depo sport headlights and a Diode Dynamics fog light HID conversion kit.

Before:
View attachment 2579121

After:
View attachment 2579123

View attachment 2579124
Here's an update since this thread got resurrected. I got the lift installed - went with the RRW RR5-V wheels and Falken Wildpeak 285/70/17 tires, replaced the major fluids, replaced the TB/WP and took care of the other service items. I replaced the alternator (Tucson Alternator Exchange 240A), cv axles (CVJs) and brakes (Power Stop GX460 calipers and EBC rotors). I also installed new Depo sport headlights and a Diode Dynamics fog light HID conversion kit.

Before:
View attachment 2579121

After:
View attachment 2579123

View attachment 2579124
Incredible transformation! There truck looks tremendous!
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Carolina
Looks great, I'm sure it's a blast to drive with the fresh suspension and other upgrades!
Thanks! I was surprised with how much the handling improved, even with the lift added. There's a night and day difference getting on and off the interstate with any sort of speed with the new setup.
 

IanB

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Joined
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Messages
4,398
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Winnipeg, MB
Thanks! I was surprised with how much the handling improved, even with the lift added. There's a night and day difference getting on and off the interstate with any sort of speed with the new setup.

Lift springs are pretty well always a higher spring rate than stock, so less bodyroll than you'd expect with an increase in height!
 

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