Land Cruiser converts, please weigh in on your post-conversion thoughts

For those who are wondering about the articulation of the G-Class, the lack of articulation is a result of 2 factors. First you have a very rigid fully boxed frame that looks like it belongs under a one ton truck. This restricts the frame and body from twisting. The main contributing factor are the swaybar. When disconnected or removed you can expect to get at least 10-12" of wheel travel on the front and rear in stock form.
 
Most definitely YES.

The rest of us suffer with 11-14mpg drinking premium fuel.


The traction control issue on newer G500s is something to consider, but please consider that even with stock tires the ESP kicks in at inopportune moments. So I would not worry about fitting larger tires, as ESP will always be breathing over your shoulder no matter the what, left foot braking is the answer to this problem.

Do you ever just turn off the ESP? If so what has been your experience? For me it seems to work out great when I turn it off.
 

koly

Observer
Most definitely YES.
The rest of us suffer with 11-14mpg drinking premium fuel.
I do a lot of freeway driving at speed, and the aero-efficiency of the G isn't the most 'slippery.'

That said, my gas logs report about 12mpg, but that includes a goodly amount of low range off-highway driving, and my odo is off about 10% due to the larger tires, so I'd guess I average in the mid-teens mpg-wise.
 

chris505

Observer
G aero:
In the world of commercial trucking here in the USA there have been some implementation of helpful aerodynamic aids as if late, at least here in the USA. We G owners should take notes, these simple side skirts and trailing edge "boat tails" can yield over 10% increase in fuel economy @ 65mph on the big rigs. Some in the industry say that figure would go over 20% if the truck and trailer combo had a completely flat belly pan.

My gas logs are around 11MPG, then add ~11% for my big tires and im also up to 13MPG.

Here is a link to pics of a g with some aero improvements, 1983 Paris Dakar winner... replica:
http://auto-geil.de/2012/12/05/essen-motor-show-2012-1982-mercedes-benz-280ge-jacky-ickx-w460-paris-dakar-rallye-fahrzeug/
 

hoser

Explorer
IF you are referring to the LX470 the things that make the G a better wheeler out of the box include.

You have the advantage of horsepower, lockers, approach and departure angles, ability to fit 35's with out a lift or re-gearing, crawl ratio, better visibility, better maneuverability, fording depth, front and rear solid axles, ability to lock the center and rear diffs in high range, Bilstien factory suspension, lower center of gravity and the ability to traverse 36 degree side hills. I am sure I missed a few but at the end of the day the G-class is more out of the box ready. That being said, there is no substitution for having a good experienced driver behind the wheel.
If comparing an '03 LX470 to your own '03 G500:

Crawl ratio
LX470 3.52 x 4.1 x 2.48 = 35.8:1 (not really great)
G500 3.59 x 4.38 x 2.16 = 34:1 (no better)

98-02 LX's have numerically lower crawl ratio and maybe that is what you were comparing to. But why not compare same year?

Maneuverability: I realize the G500 is narrower (and taller) than the LX and that may make it more maneuverable in itself. But narrower, taller AND a lower center of gravity? It's possible but how do you know? Are you comparing advertised specs?

I remember this thread on the G's rather poor turning radius... talked about here.

Turning circle:
G500 43.5'
LX470 39.6'

As far as fitting 35's, I think everybody has their own definition of how much rubbing qualifies as "fitting." The LX will rub on extreme articulation but many are okay with it. I remember Harold, 4x4ABC saying his 295s (33's) rub occasionally. Are you saying you can take a stock '03 G500, throw 35's on it and it won't rub under any condition? I'd be happy to hear that. If so, then what is the magic wheel offset, tire width, etc.

The '03+ LX will do fine on 35's without regearing as well.

I'm not saying the G-wagon is or isn't better out of the box. I'd just like the information to be as accurate as possible as I might buy a G one day. :ylsmoke:
 
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mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Why is it that everyone average 13-14mpg in there G500 and I get 18mpg. Am I the only one getting this type of mileage consistently? My cruiser only got 13 no matter how I drove it but my G500 does much better. Even today I got 17.8mpg on regular not supreme fuel.
As I've said a few times before, you are the ONLY G500 on the forums which sees this avg mpg, and there are plenty of others who live at similar high altitude. Yours must have been built on a very special day!
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
For those who are wondering about the articulation of the G-Class, the lack of articulation is a result of 2 factors. First you have a very rigid fully boxed frame that looks like it belongs under a one ton truck. This restricts the frame and body from twisting. The main contributing factor are the swaybar. When disconnected or removed you can expect to get at least 10-12" of wheel travel on the front and rear in stock form.
For those wondering, there is no rear swaybar stock on the G500, at least on mine.
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
If comparing an '03 LX470 to your own '03 G500:
Crawl ratio
LX470 3.52 x 4.1 x 2.48 = 35.8:1 (not really great)
G500 3.59 x 4.38 x 2.16 = 34:1 (no better)
98-02 LX's have numerically lower crawl ratio and maybe that is what you were comparing to. But why not compare same year?

As far as fitting 35's, I think everybody has their own definition of how much rubbing qualifies as "fitting." The LX will rub on extreme articulation but many are okay with it. I remember Harold, 4x4ABC saying his 295s (33's) rub occasionally. Are you saying you can take a stock '03 G500, throw 35's on it and it won't rub under any condition? I'd be happy to hear that. If so, then what is the magic wheel offset, tire width, etc.
Can you explain your math above?

I'm running about the most aggressive per Karl and Harald, and no rubbing so far; 16x7.5" 33et on 285/75/16(Karl and Harald are running Atik's at 16x7.5" 63et w/ 30mm spacer(=33et)).
 

hoser

Explorer
Crawl ratio = (1st gear transmission ratio x 3rd member differential ratio x LOW range t-case ratio)

This doesn't take into account the automatic transmission though.
 

koly

Observer
As far as fitting 35's, I think everybody has their own definition of how much rubbing qualifies as "fitting." The LX will rub on extreme articulation but many are okay with it. I remember Harold, 4x4ABC saying his 295s (33's) rub occasionally. Are you saying you can take a stock '03 G500, throw 35's on it and it won't rub under any condition? I'd be happy to hear that. If so, then what is the magic wheel offset, tire width, etc.
...
I'd just like the information to be as accurate as possible as I might buy a G one day.
My G's facts to add to the data collection pool:

2000 G, (1999 build year), 35x12.5x18r BFG MTs on stock rims (ET43 offsets), 30mm poly spring spacers on 13 year old stock springs/shocks. I get minimal rubbing on extreme articulation (fender liners are still intact without any mods/cutting/etc and 2 of the liners have smaller than dime-sized holes from the rubbing), and rubbing on steering components on hard right turns because I haven't bothered to adjust the steering stops. Turning radius in that direction has suffered several degrees (which took 1 turn to learn to avoid).

I am planning on replacing the spacer lift with an actual spring lift (ORC springs) and new shocks, but I'm not in any hurry - I might disconnect the swaybars at that point and add some new bump stops, but only to compensate for some rather 'spirited' high-speed off-highway driving.
 

hoser

Explorer
Thanks, Koly. I'm not going to assume the fenders/liners/etc on your 2000 would be exactly the same as an MBUSA 2004 but probably pretty close?
 

koly

Observer
Thanks, Koly. I'm not going to assume the fenders/liners/etc on your 2000 would be exactly the same as an MBUSA 2004 but probably pretty close?
To my knowledge, the only differences between my model year and most of the MBUSA (probably pre-2012/13 AMG "insanity-mall-cruiser-that-can-run-a-1/4-mile-in-under-12-seconds") are electronic traction control/ABS and interior accoutrements... Otherwise, the bones of the beast remain pretty much the same (tires and wheel offsets for newer models with low-profile 'celeb' style spinner wheels not withstanding).

As they are hand built vehicles, YMMV. But there's plenty of room for 35s without getting 'rubbed' the wrong way.
 
If comparing an '03 LX470 to your own '03 G500:



Crawl ratio
LX470 3.52 x 4.1 x 2.48 = 35.8:1 (not really great)
G500 3.59 x 4.38 x 2.16 = 34:1 (no better)

98-02 LX's have a higher (numerically higher and maybe that is what you were comparing to. But why not compare same year).

Maneuverability: I realize the G500 is narrower (and taller) than the LX and that may make it more maneuverable in itself. But narrower, taller AND a lower center of gravity? It's possible but how do you know? Are you comparing advertised specs?

I remember this thread on the G's rather poor turning radius... talked about here.

Turning circle:
G500 43.5'
LX470 39.6'

As far as fitting 35's, I think everybody has their own definition of how much rubbing qualifies as "fitting." The LX will rub on extreme articulation but many are okay with it. I remember Harold, 4x4ABC saying his 295s (33's) rub occasionally. Are you saying you can take a stock '03 G500, throw 35's on it and it won't rub under any condition? I'd be happy to hear that. If so, then what is the magic wheel offset, tire width, etc.

The '03+ LX will do fine on 35's without regearing as well.

I'm not saying the G-wagon is or isn't better out of the box. I'd just like the information to be as accurate as possible as I might buy a G one day. :ylsmoke:
I was just comparing 2002 models. Yeah the LX470 had a lot of changes during its decade long run. It's hard to say what year was best because of all the changes. From my recollection the 98-2002 had a crawl ratio of like 30:1. I think this 34:1 crawl ratio in the G500 is great for my needs. I do mostly overlanding but I will go rock crawling in Moab occasionally like I did 2 weeks ago. The Crawl ratio in the G500 is very deceptive because high range is not the traditional 1:1, it is 0.87:1. So when you shift from high to low it feels like there is a greater reduction. I do understand it is measured of the engine RPM but it feels and acts much more like 40:1 than the advertised 34:1.

Looks can be a bit deceiving, the G-class is about an 1-3" shorter than the Landcruiser depending on the model. The G-class looks tall because of it's low belt line and it's flat panels. While it is not a sports car, I love the low step in height because I don't have to help my kids get in and out of the car.

It's easy to get all caught up in the numbers, but just take on out on the street and trail and that will answer most your questions about any vehicle. Heck if you ever make it out my way I would love to meet up and go on an adventure. I love to go off-roading with people no matter what brand of vehicle they own.

Others who run bigger rubber will be able to better answer your questions.

Don't get me wrong, the G500 is far from perfect, but my biggest complaints are those that have not been mentioned. I hate how the Command system is intertwined with the vehicles display, the steering is heavy, and it feel like you constantly have to have your foot into the gas even though I get decent mileage out of mine.

No matter which of these two vehicles you have you will be a very happy man.

I hope this helps.
 
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