Just picked up a GX470 looking for build advice

Denny Different

New member
I just bought an 07 GX470. My goal is to build out a rig that I can freecamp from while taking it into town and going to art shows to sell my fancy leather wears. So it really just needs to be able to do forest service roads and fire roads, nothing super technical.

So things I know I will need:
New suspension, well I know it has the original shocks which are 180k old. I am not opposed to just getting new oem ones but I imagine that there are better options. I figure that when it is loaded up with a RTT, all the stuff needed to set up at an artshow, all the inventory to sell at the show and stuff to live on, that its going to be heavy.
The power steering is leaking, but that is a question for Ih8mud.
I am looking for a good hard shell RTT or maybe make one myself (I know this guy who stitches heavy things for a living)
I dont want to lift much as I dont want to kill my daily driven MPG

Anyone have build advice?
I am LaserNomad over on IH8MUD.
 

Exigis

New member
+1 on the congratulations. My 2008 has +240K miles on it and is still running great. Since my rear air suspension went out, I did the rear 2" Icon coil conversion lift and the front Icon coil overs to level it out. I did not want something that could fail while I'm off road like the oem air suspension. I'm very happy with how it rides on the street, almost stock, and it's even better off road. I'm currently building an aluminum frame drawer/sleeping platform for our overland trips. We've gone camping in it with a temporary mock setup and it's great to just roll in and out with 5min setup time (fold chairs and put away cooking gear).
 

andrew61987

Observer
My recommendations:

1. Catch up on maintenance to get it in good shape
2. Good stock sized all terrain tires, even regular forest roads and do a number on tires. I prefer 5 matching tires on 5 matching rims with a 5 tire rotation every 5k miles. Ensures your spare is always equal in quality to the other 4, very important on forest roads.
3. Nothing more until you get out there are start to figure out first hand what you need
 
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Denny Different

New member
Yes I did but I have nooooooooo idea which email that one was associated with or the exact account name sooooooo, we went with the account I made when I was looking for an lr3 waaaaaay back in the day. Now that I remember it i might track that account back down or not I really have better things to do.

My recommendations:

1. Catch up on maintenance to get it in good shape
2. Good stock sized all terrain tires, even regular forest roads and do a number on tires. I prefer 5 matching tires on 5 matching rims with a 5 tire rotation every 5k miles. Ensures your spare is always equal in quality to the other 4, very important on forest roads.
3. Nothing more until you get out there are start to figure out first hand what you need
I just picked up a set of 5 FJC rims and tires but it was the original spare the rest are all with in 1-1.2 mm tread wear of the spare that has not been touched. So I might just pick up one and do the full rotation scheme. learn more about what I need out of tires and then buy some that matches my needs to a T. I bought this rig because maint is up to date and all done at the dealership no less! With records! Clearly they gave up on it when the power steering started leaking, and they didnd bother to fix a tpms sensor, but an aftermarket is a must have IMO.

Really want to know what suspension is needed for fire roads, would a stock refresh work, use bilsteins trd kit for an FJC, dobinsons are popular at ih8mud. I really want to keep maximum mpg/ on road performance as lets face it, it isnt like we have the canning stock route here in the states.
 
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Neosapian

Member
Denny,

How is your GX project coming along? I'm in the process of using, modifying and testing an '08 4runner V8 Limited which shares the same drivetrain and weight as your GX. This is my daily, and living in the Pacific Northwest, the majority of off roading that I see is Forest Service, Logging and old Mining roads up in the mountains. This is typically easy to intermediate terrain, reasonably well graded or at least user maintained trails, that you wouldn't necessarily need a beast of a truck to access.

Getting into it, I'd say tire size and tread design matter more than suspension, especially if you want to preserve fuel economy. I'd say stick with a 31-31.5" All Terrain tire, like the BFG K02, Cooper ST Maxx or similar tire known for low noise and exceptionally high durability. A good 265/75 or 255/75 tire on a 17" wheel will get you virtually anywhere you'd ever want to go. Add Bilstein shocks and maybe a leveling kit to manage a moderately loaded rig off road.

Assuming you don't plan to add 700+ lbs of steel bumpers and armor to your truck, Consider a conservative strategy, keeping it close to stock until you really feel the need to improve performance or clear taller tires. I did White Rim Trail with a bone stock 4runner with a shovel, tow strap, jerry can, tire repair kit and a tool box. No problems. When i calculated the weight of future mods, fuel, and water I'd eventually haul I decided more load capacity was necessary so I got the lift and 33's. I went with 33's because the lift and V8 will accommodate them plus the additional ground clearance and sex appeal matter to me.

I ended up with a 3" Old Man Emu lift with their Nitrocharger shocks, medium front and heavy rear springs plus 285/75r17 Cooper ST Maxx tires. I chose OME suspension because of their Australian reputation, customer service, and a very fair price point made possible in part due to their high sales volume and low warranty and return rate. More load capacity than a Bilstein 5100 / FJ swap at a slightly higher cost of entry. OME has a 2" lift that would probably work out perfectly for you.

If I were to do it differently I would have chosen a conservative lift with 265/75 All Terrains and spent the rest of the money on maintenance, a deep cycle battery, or other important stuff.
 
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Just to add to some of the comments here - I think a lot of us don't realize how capable these trucks are just as stock vehicles. I was just out in CO in Flat Tops and one of the guys brought his 100% stock 80 series (including running boards) and once out we realized his front shocks were literally just gone - it bounced like it had hydraulics in it when he was going up rough terrain. Yet he made the entire trip pretty much no problem, just a few pauses on occasion and a spotter. I haven't lifted my GX but really would prefer to get all I can out of the stock suspension before spending the money. And on this same recent trip, 3 of the trucks had the basic OME shocks, a 99 LX, a newer Taco and a 07 GX - all worked great. Unless your rear air bags are gone and/or shocks are done, I think you can just wait. Personally I like the adjustable shock dampening that's built in!
 
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