Where, or where to start……. well actually, the somewhat important upgrades are done. Only really 2 that need to be done now – and those being ARB AirLockers, and proper front and rear skid plates for the underside of our girl. The last few times I’ve had an oil change done, everyone always comments on how “bad” our current factory skid plates look. All I tell them – can you imaging what it would look like without them!!! But those 2 items will have to wait a while in light of the recent re-repair that we had to deal with.
So – what else. Well as it turns out – and nobody mentioned this to me at any point – but when you lift your vehicle, specifically Toyota’s – there is a really good chance that you’ll never get a proper wheel alignment done. I’ve had them done and they managed to get her really close….. but as I found out recently, really close isn’t good enough. You end up with accelerated tire wear and this could have even led to the failure of the rear driver side shock. (around the 4:23 mark). As well, it is recommended that you get an adjustable track bar for the rear. Since you are now lifted, the factory bar doesn’t allow for the added distance and will pull the rear axle slightly. This of course, leads to faster wear of all the bushing and linkages as I’ve now found out. So great – more stuff to buy!!! Oh and one more little tid bit – your front suspension isn’t immune to issues cause by a lift either. The factory upper control arms will not allow enough adjustment – so we are now looking at aftermarket ones….. and that’s a big bill. On the plus side, after the adjustable track bar and upper control arms are in – not only will we be able to get a proper 100% wheel alignment, but we should also have better flex!!! So… pro’s and con’s here……
Other goodies I’d like to lay my hands on – #1 – a rear bumper!!!! Yeah I know, we already have one – but its not functional for what we do. I’m sure you noticed the spare tire on the roof??? So yes it needs to support a 33″ tire, but that’s only part of it. It will also need to carry our hi-lift jack, a water jug as well as a spare gas can. Hence we are looking for a dual swing out style bumper. A single swing out bumper would have way too much weight on it and I’m pretty sure would fail in no short order. Not what you want to have to deal with hundreds of kilometers away from civilization. Full underbody protection for Fiona as well. I was considering going with Aluminum, but I’m just not 100% sold on that. At this point we are going to go with steel – somehow that just makes me feel better.
One thing I didn’t mention when I was talking about the AirLockers – we will be changing our gearing when we get those as well. On our trip to Montana, our girl really had to work towing the trailer up the hills or when there was a head wind. Our average mileage out of a tank of fuel is approx 400km, give or take. For that trip, the best we could do was 250km out of a tank. She worked really hard for those 4000+ km’s!
There are a few more items, but they mainly deal with the trailer. I’ll add that in a separate blog.