We're continuing our Land Cruiser Prado build with more of what I do best, watching people work, and taking photos. If you don't remember in part one [link] we had a bit of trouble installing an ARB Deluxe Bullbar, and ended up needing to make a few small modifications to make it fit. In addition, we fitted a set of IPF lights in an "Aussie Style" configuration, and installed a Warn M8000 winch, with synthetic line.
Today we're going to be talking about tires and suspension.
Ideally, we'd have loved to go with a taller, 255/85/16 tire for slightly more ground clearance and better approach and departure angles, but it just wasn't going to happen with the small-displacement turbo diesel engine. When we first picked up the vehicle, it was fitted with a slightly larger than stock 235/85/16 tire, and there were situations where the vehicle was even sluggish with the smaller size. It was decided when the vehicle had been completely kitted out, and packed to the gills with camping gear, there would be too much sacrifice to gain just a little bit of additional ground clearance. A few weeks prior, Scott Brady had the chance to go to Texas and test Cooper's entire line-up. He was incredibly impressed with the performance of the Discoverer AT3 in conditions varying from mud to wet pavement. We were so impressed, we decided on a set of Cooper Discoverer AT3's in the current (235/85/16) size.
With gaining additional ground clearance out of the picture, we could still improve our approach and departure angles by-way of the slight lift gained with an Old Man Emu suspension system. The suspension system allowed us to fine tune our load carrying, compensating for the additional weight of the accessories we've added. With the stock suspension, even when in the "optional" sport mode, the Prado was still unpredictable at best, even when unloaded. The slight 30mm front, and 40mm rear lift, when combined with a stiff, but still comfortable spring rate, meant the vehicle was now level in turns, even when loaded.
Check out the detailed photos and captions for the entire story.
Don't all projects start with the UPS man? He's much like Santa for adults.
Section Width = 235mm, Section Height = 85% of Section Width, Rim Diameter = 16 inches.
The tread is aggressive, but not so aggressive that you'll get excessive road noise.
We ordered a set of genuine Toyota steel wheels, from Proffitt's Cruisers, which they had powder coated grey to match the vehicle. They turned out great.
The grey provides a nice look that matches the rest of the vehicle.
Here's the last picture of the Prado before the Old Man Emu lift was installed.
Toyota Mudflaps = Winning.
Most people don't realize that AT Overland does more than build Adventure Trailers. They have fantastic facility and some very, very skilled mechanics who are capable of building some of the finest overland vehicles on the planet. Here's the Prado on their lift, just after they started tearing into it.
The rotors will soon be on the list.
Dave holds the OME Nitrocharger shock before installing it.
Unfortunately, there was a steel sleeve that didn't allow the shock to be installed.
The Prado waits.
Clayton from AT Overland does a second inspection, could we be missing something easy?
A quick, and helpful call to ARB USA's tech team, and they instructed us simply to remove the steel spacer, confirming what we thought.
Minutes after our call, the suspension lift was on, it was a piece of cake for Clint (foreground) AT Overland's suspension expert, and Dave who assisted (background.)
The Nitrocharger shocks ready to go.
I managed to snap a cool shot of Carlo working on building a AT Overland Chaser Trailer.
Dave, double-checking his work once the Prado is off the lift.
Clearly, we had to test the road-going capability of the Prado right after all of these modifications.
Since Ray was taking the vehicle to the 2012 Cruiserfest—they decided to stop in Monument Valley and take some pictures.
The IPF lights can even make the day brighter!
Even though the bulk of the modifications are complete, be sure to stay tuned for more Prado adventures and upgrades.