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Old 06-12-2021, 05:58 PM #19666
zippinbye zippinbye is offline
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New On Forum; modding my GX vs. building a TJ Wrangler

Greetings from Las Vegas from a well-experienced off-roader in the Desert Southwest. Long-time Toyota junkie, with several cars and trucks clocked over 200,000 miles. I started with FJ40s before the cult-like insanity hit. The less than $15,000 I spent on three 40s in the 80s and 90s would have grown to more than $100,000 if I had kept them all. Speaking of overpriced stuff, I was into Gen. 1 Broncos before getting into Toyotas. I've had a lot of pickups of all brands and various SUVs and Jeep CJs too. Nissan Patrol and early Pathfinders were pretty capable in stock form. Despite thousands of off-highway miles under my belt, I've never had a rig with greater than 34" tires and a 4" lift, so my limits have been BLM roads (for all you youngsters here, that's an acronym for a huge U.S. government agency that controls the vast majority of undeveloped Western lands, not a politically-motivated organization having to do with matters of race), mild-to moderate trails, mining access roads and some seasonal snow-crawling. Very little rock-crawling, but I like it.

I've owned the 2005 GX 470 Sport with KDSS for about 12 years. It was a daily driver for many years - 170,000 miles or so on the clock. Now it's an extra vehicle and I'm setting it up as my tow for a Class A motorhome. Not sure 5000 lbs. is the best choice for that purpose, but it's what I have to work with. Hoping 8.9 liters of turbo-Cummins power won't be phased by it.

I was a member of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association from my FJ 40 days when I got the GX. I went to a local trail event with it and was almost laughed back home. Basically the same reaction I got from my buds when I showed up for duck hunting with my new pup a few years ago: "you brought a POODLE to go bird hunting?" Words eaten once he came trotting back to camp with a mallard drake in his jaws before even a shot had been fired. He wandered away when I was not paying attention, and stalked his own duck! Standard poodles are actually tough, smart dogs, but they catch abundant crap for looking pretty, kind of like the GX. Few laugh when they jump into action! same with the GX. On that first TLCA event, my stock GX with soccer mom tires pulled a Cadillac 500-powered FJ40 up a hill it couldn't top. That, and showing off the diameter of the front KDSS sway bar earned it some respect from club members. Some jokesters bought Land Cruiser Prado badges and used masking tape to fasten them over my Lexus emblems at the next club meeting.

Although I have considered finally acting on a long-time ambition of building a Jeep TJ, 1997-2003 or whatever the year was prior to canbus architecture (easier to accomodate an engine swap). Chevy LS power or a Cummins 4BT were part of the plan. By the time you do all the cool stuff to a TJ - engine swap, diff upgrades, 4 wheel disc brakes, good suspension, etc. - you have a nice rig, but it is not as smooth, quiet and cruising capable as a GX. And it's a lot more expensive.

I'm pretty much sold on some tasteful mods to the GX I already have. Talk me out of it!

When the GX was a DD, by wife said "no way" to a lift and big tires. But now that it's not a primary vehicle, I think I can get away with it. Keep in mind anything I do should be KDSS-compatible .

I think this system is bad-arse, so I do not want to decommission it. I think a 3" lift with airbag delete is a given. Having just replaced my airbags due to age, that's a bit of a waste to pull them off. Is there any way to retain them with a lift, in case I want to add weight (hitch load or roof top tent, etc.)?

I'm tossed up on tire size. 35s look great and would take me places I could not reach with 33s, but I think regearing would be called for, and braking energy challenges come into play, along with general driveability and mpg degradation. I'm willing to regear if that's the difference between 35's and not.

Since I do not play in mud or frequently go into deep powder snow, I prefer a more narrow tread and cross-section along with some height. I want something a lot skinnier than 12.5". I don't like the fat tire look and additional rolling resistance or additional leverage on spindles/bearings, etc. Plus, I'd like to use my stock alloy wheels. I actually like them, and the idea of saving some money. I haven't researched tires that meet my 35 x kinda skinny criteria yet; open to suggestions! Also, any thoughts on sticking with a stock or as much as 32" spare in the standard storage well? I know different diameters on the ground would not mesh well if I opted for any sort of auto locking diffs, and it would just be for limping home or to friendly territory. I'm not into wasting cargo space for a spare, unless I temp one on the roof as the magnitude of expedition might mandate.

Back to the GX vs. TJ debate; it's not even worth contemplating, right?

Thanks to each of you that took the time to read my long-winded intro, and can answer any of the questions above. Looking forward to receiving and sharing some great info on this site.
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:26 PM #19667
Worcesteroid Worcesteroid is offline
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I just want to add to this post an update. I have recently purchased a supposedly genuine Toyota arm rest (console lid) for my 4 runner from Miracle Toyota in Haines City, Fl. This thing is the biggest pile of crap I've ever seen. A cheap knock off would be an upgrade. Not only is it a knock off, it's an extremely bad knock off at that. I am going to report to Toyota that a dealer is selling cheap knock off parts it claims are genuine Toyota parts. The original has a metal hinge. This is plastic that just folds over. After so many folds it would just break in half. And the latch, which is plastic instead of metal like the original does not even reach the catch to lock shut. It just sits there and can be lifted without touching the latch. It's in the wrong spot. It does not have the extra little hidden compartment either. I suppose I could transfer the lid to the old one. But seeing how I live so close by I was actually considering bringing back to the dealer and shoving it up someone's ass. It would probably be a better fit than in my truck. Anyone else having problems with dealers selling cheap knock offs, and would Toyota do something to these people if I report them?
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:23 AM #19668
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First time T4R Owner

Coming from an always in the shop Focus RS. I just picked up a 2016 SR4 Premium 4x4, I hope to have better luck with it. Looking to learn and build mine down the road after much much more reading.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:43 PM #19669
BF Malone III BF Malone III is offline
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Hi, new member here. I have a 2001 4Runner that has had a series of unfortunate issues. I purchased it last July, around November the brake module went out. Had that replaced and back on the road for about 6 weeks and the transmission began slipping and having issues getting it to engage drive & reverse at times. I am torn between fixing it and just parting it out to recoup some of my money. Anyone have suggestions?
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:57 PM #19670
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Cool

Hello!

The plan is to buy a 3rd gen 4Runner, so I thought I'd join a related forum. After all, I do that with every other vehicle or hobby I get into. ;)

I'm in SoCal and am known on some other forums as headhunter. That was already taken, so I went with SoCalHeadhunter.

There are many things for me to learn and I look forward to participating in the community.

I have spent a lot of time off-highway over the years, but this will be my first Toyota. It feels weird to say that, because I've recommended the brand to a lot of friends and they've all been happy with them. I've known so many people who have liked their Toyotas that I thought it was time that I got one!

See you around!

Christian
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Old Yesterday, 06:21 AM #19671
JRRockwell18 JRRockwell18 is offline
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Long time listener, first time caller

Just got my first 4Runner, a 2011 magnetic grey SR5 with 101k on it. Ive owned a tundra for several years and loved it and when the time came I knew I needed another yota. looking forward to meeting people and learning more.
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Old Yesterday, 08:59 AM #19672
DevilIncarnate DevilIncarnate is offline
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Nice pics! Hope to make it down to Texas for both quail and hogs. I'm selling my 2011 T4R SR5 and hope to get a 2021 Off-Road Premium when the dealerships in the Chicago area have them in their inventories. The locking rear diff will be a big help. For travel and hunting I'm planning on a Truck Vault but would consider alternatives. Any advice for rock sliders? The Desert Does It seat jacks and compressor mount w/ARB compressor look intriguing.
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 AM #19673
shurmack shurmack is offline
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Hi All, Father in law gave me his 2005 2WD Limited 4runner in Stratosphere Mica. I'm super stoked and looking forward to making progress on it. This forum has already been incredibly helpful in getting through the first steps of doing much due maintenance.

First stop is suspension refresh including OME Springs and Bilstein 5100's. I'll be updating the suspension/photo sticky as soon as its done.

Thanks already for the help in getting keys programmed, replacement window seal part numbers, JBL Subwoofer accessing for repair/replace.
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Old Yesterday, 06:31 PM #19674
Nameless Now Nameless Now is offline
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Been lurking this forum for a long time and found tons of knowledgeable people and awesome builds. I am the second owner since 2013, to a '97 SR5. It currently has over 300k on the odometer and it still runs great. In the last 7 years I had only a few minor repairs with no sign of this vehicle stopping anytime soon. I finally joined the forum because I plan to make some upgrades to my bone stock 3rd gen. I look forward to learning more from everyone here.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 PM #19675
palominoponies palominoponies is offline
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Heyo

Hi! I'm new to 4runners and new to driving also, I'm very happy and lucky that my first car is going to be a toyota 4runner limited (2018). Currently my very suburban/urban mom has been driving it so it does have some miles and has yet to be driven through the mud but I wanna change that and pimp it out n everything c: anyways hi from GA!
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 PM #19676
PierreP4 PierreP4 is offline
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Hello from North Texas

Hello everyone, First time 4Runner owner. Just purchased it last Friday. 2021 SR5 premium 4x4 with the blackout package. Looking forward to my new vehicle.
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