2018 Lexus GX build

We blasted down to New Mexico to support the International Four Wheel Drive Trainers Association (I4WDTA), Testing For Certification (TFC). It is a grueling week of testing candidates on all things 4 wheel drive, adult education, presentations, and written testing. 3400 miles round trip, the GX drives well and is extremely comfortable. I would have been in serious pain for days had I attempted this in my old Taco.

Fuel economy was horrible due to the 34" tires and 3:90 gear ratio. The transmission rarely made it into 6th and 5th maybe 25% of the time. New gears and a locker will be coming after the holidays. Speaking with Carl at Nitro Gears, 4:56 and an ARB locker will be going in.


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We departed the Alvord bright and early with plans to camp just outside of Moab. We arrived in Moab early enough that we decided to push a few hours more hours south to make our Sunday drive day shorter. Bad idea! Just south of Cortez CO most of the land is tribal reservations and is off limits to dispersed camping. We ended up pushing 23 hours that day almost to our destination. We found an old county road and passed out for a few hours. We did drive by the Bonneville Salt Flats, had never seen them before this. Driving through Moab seemed so wrong not to stop for a few days. A80F5449-2B6D-49C2-9851-834C6F004FB8.jpeg 43698903-D793-425F-B63B-655BC5B39FA4.jpeg EDC8E5E1-EEB0-48BC-8082-440C74A8AD79.jpeg
 
We arrived in Tularosa NM late Sunday morning and immediately jumped into a Land Cruiser to scout trails for testing. I wasn't driving and don't remember anything from the trails that day.

The forecast prior to arrival was for low 70s and mid 40s at night. Mother nature had other plans. Monday was cool and then the rain, hale and snow fell and stuck around until Thursday morning.

My Oztent held up well and with the Mr Heater Buddy heater was very comfortable.
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Once home the mods continued. But first a little winter mountain driving preparation.

I hand cleaned the entire frame, and suspension components and applied Cor-Ban 35 corrosion inhibiting compound.

https://www.skygeek.com/zip-chem-cor-ban-35-corrosion-inhibitor.html

Brushed on the first coat then sprayed the second coat on to tie in the spots I couldn't reach with a brush. I wished I had done this first thing when I had bought the GX, would have been much simpler without mods. It takes about 24 hours to cure and dries glossy but the gloss will fade over time. This product has been in use in aviation for years. For around 60 bucks for the chemicals it's fairly inexpensive.

Lights 1.jpg
 
I don't care to where a headlamp and I have several very good ones, I just don't like to have to use them.​

While in New Mexico getting up prior to the sun this lighting project would have been super beneficial!

Prior to departure I had mounted my Rigid scene lights but didn't have the time to wire them.
I repurposed my scene lights and brackets from my Tacoma. The brackets I fabricated out of CRES steel .050" IIRC they fit the wide stance of the light better than what was commercially available. I simply routed the wires through the Front Runner roof rack drilled a few holes and ran the harness down the rear door jamb. I notched the right rear tail light housing, passed the harness behind the housing, then up under the body, along the frame to the sPOD controller under the hood. Pretty simple just a bit time consuming. Some may find this mod unnecessary but I use them all winter long ski camping. Along with some camp kitchen lights these will be used a lot the next 6-7 months.




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The camp kitchen lights will be used a lot more than just winter ski camp. For sure a year round item and with white/red LEDs very useful when the bugs are thick. I mounted them up high over the drop down table and routed the wire harness following the factory wire harness in the rear door. The circuit had been previously wired this past summer to the Blue Seas fuse box in the aft storage compartment above the air compressor. The wires were tucked away out of sight until the time arose to put them into service.

They are a Hella Marine strip light, surface mount with a built in switch, IP67 rated, red/white LEDs, 5 year warranty, and made in New Zealand. They are a bit expensive but are of good quality. I suspect to get long life from them, unlike some cheap china options.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS9TB5Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

lights 2.jpg lights 3.jpg lights 12.jpg lights 14.jpg
 
The camp kitchen lights will be used a lot more than just winter ski camp. For sure a year round item and with white/red LEDs very useful when the bugs are thick. I mounted them up high over the drop down table and routed the wire harness following the factory wire harness in the rear door. The circuit had been previously wired this past summer to the Blue Seas fuse box in the aft storage compartment above the air compressor. The wires were tucked away out of sight until the time arose to put them into service.

They are a Hella Marine strip light, surface mount with a built in switch, IP67 rated, red/white LEDs, 5 year warranty, and made in New Zealand. They are a bit expensive but are of good quality. I suspect to get long life from them, unlike some cheap china options.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS9TB5Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Thanks for that suggestion. Looks like it will fit the bill for what I am wanting for the 200 hatch. Saw your Amazon review too; shoulda kept the blue. ;)
 
The camp kitchen lights will be used a lot more than just winter ski camp. For sure a year round item and with white/red LEDs very useful when the bugs are thick. I mounted them up high over the drop down table and routed the wire harness following the factory wire harness in the rear door. The circuit had been previously wired this past summer to the Blue Seas fuse box in the aft storage compartment above the air compressor. The wires were tucked away out of sight until the time arose to put them into service.

They are a Hella Marine strip light, surface mount with a built in switch, IP67 rated, red/white LEDs, 5 year warranty, and made in New Zealand. They are a bit expensive but are of good quality. I suspect to get long life from them, unlike some cheap china options.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS9TB5Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

View attachment 53756 View attachment 53757 View attachment 53758 View attachment 53759
Two position switch to select the color?

I like the look of that a lot.
 
5-7 weeks? Dang, that's easy.

I'm on week 18 of waiting on my rear bumper from Relentless Fab, but I just received notice it shipped. I may get it sometime late this week or next week.

Edit to add: That is a good looking bumper, though.
 
5-7 weeks? Dang, that's easy.

I'm on week 18 of waiting on my rear bumper from Relentless Fab, but I just received notice it shipped. I may get it sometime late this week or next week.

Edit to add: That is a good looking bumper, though.
Speaking with fabricator we both realized there is an issue with the 2014 and newer reverse lights. They are low and swept forward 2013 and older are vertical.

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See the problem here Houston? Guess I can add a couple weeks.
 
Speaking with fabricator we both realized there is an issue with the 2014 and newer reverse lights. They are low and swept forward 2013 and older are vertical.

View attachment 53808 View attachment 53809

See the problem here Houston? Guess I can add a couple weeks.
The line that light creates looks like it should be pretty close to the cut line for the high clearance bumper. I think it'll look more natural and less like it was chopped.
 
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