2018 Lexus GX460 Build: Out with the old, prep for the new


My 2018 Lexus GX460 has come a long way in the roughly two years I’ve had it. It has received mechanical, livability, armor, and technology updates thanks to many partners joining in on the project along the way. In this update I’ll run through a few miscellaneous things that I’ve done to it recently, from adventures to preparation for further upgrades.

Less is more

Much of the work done to the Lexus has involved improving ground clearance in the quest for better off-road capability. The factory approach angle is simply dreadful, and the departure angle isn’t much better. In my continuing attack on the truck’s stock components, it was time to trim the rear mud flaps. A few minutes with a Sharpie, a few more with the ‘ol Dremel, and voila; the job was done. Why do this, you ask? When coming down off of a rock or ledge, this “mod” eliminates the plastic immediately behind the rear tires that is likely to get hung up and potentially break off. Mud flaps look cool, but less is more here.

The next step was by way of preparation for the rock sliders, the installation of which means removing the factory running boards, associated trim, and the entry flood lights that are housed within the side step shroud. Removal was fairly easy, with the only hiccup coming by way of another reminder to always wear goggles or some kind of protective glasses when working on a vehicle. For the number of times that I’ve gotten dirt or rust in my eyes, you think I’d have learned by now. Needless to say, I did the rest of the job with my peepers covered.

Cleaning and prep-work

Having realized the underside of the truck was quite filthy from prior trips, it was time to clean it up a bit. Pro tip time (And by “pro” I mean amateur tip): A sprinkler shoved under a vehicle goes a long way to getting the muck off the frame and driveline components.

Speaking of trips, the GX460 once again proved an excellent companion for a semi-recent off-roading adventure. It handled the trails with ease, the Toyo Open Country A/T III tires providing all the traction I needed once properly aired down (17-18 PSI seems to be the sweet spot). While front and rear lockers would be nice, the Lexus didn’t flinch on the outing, and again impressed with its level of comfort to and from the trails.

Next up are some supplemental goodies for the truck, one in the form of the aforementioned rock sliders and the other by way of adding gauges to monitor some towing-related vitals. Stay tuned.

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