What should be my next few upgrades?

  • Second Winch for Tow Hitch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mobile CB Radio

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • YOU CAN CHOOSE UP TO THREE RESPONSES

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .

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San Moritz LR4

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Building Your LR4 to Hit the Trails

So, you’ve bought yourself the most capable “mall crawler” on the planet, the LR4 (LR3 included.) But…you don’t want to go the mall; you want to hit the great outdoors and take the road less traveled. You’ve already done the most important upgrade you can do, you ditched the loafers for a pair of “waffle stompers”.

And thus, the journey begins and the seemingly never-ending quest to upgrade your LR4. To transform your mall crawler into a purpose built off-road 4x4 tour de force.

And this is where I find myself today. Wanting to add additional enhancements to my 2012 LR4. Detailed below are the upgrades that I’ve added to date.

2012 LR4 HSE Upgrades
  • Tactical 4x4 Front Bumper w/ Line-X
  • Warn Winch, 10,000 lb.
  • Tactical 4x4 Rock Sliders w/ Line-X
  • Johnson Rods 2 ½” Lift
  • Compomotive 18” Wheels
  • Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T
    275/65R18 (32.5x11R18)
    • Frame horns were trimmed accommodate the 275/65R18 tires.
      The combination of 2 ½” lift, 18” wheels and new 275/75R18 tires, the ground clearance of the LR4 now reaches 14 inches.
  • Power Tank
  • Baofeng BF-F8HP, Handheld 8 Watt Radio - UHF & VHF
    • Weather Band, GMRS, MURS, FSR, FM, etc…
This now brings me to where I am now. What to do next and thus, I have decided to open the discussion to everyone at large. I thought it might be interesting to see what others think.
Please take the poll "Adding Upgrades to My 2012 LR4".
 
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djkaosone

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Sounds like you've done quite a bit already. I'd highly recommend full underbody skid plates, sump, transmission, transfer case (I can't seem to find one), gas tank, and rear diff (can't find one that I like). It's a peace of mind to have your investment protected.

After that, it depends on your needs. I choose roof rack to extend my real estate for storage and stuff. Then the rest is up to you.

Oh and I prefer bridging waffle boards, not the the typical maxtrac.
 

CRYA

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I did what you're doing now. I'm on the fence with all the under armor because I'm not rock crawling necessarily, more overlanding style off-roading. Assuming you're trying to build an all-around truck, I'd probably say you probably would want to consider either a roof rack or tire carrier. I added a custom fabricated tire swing to my T44 rear bumper as I don't think many people were impressed with their tire kit and I didn't want to deal with the winch and raising and lowering it if the worst case happened on trail.

I also have the Gobi rack which I love, and allows for my 270 awning, which you may also want to consider. Just my .02. Happy building.
 

BigBriDogGuy

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I agree on the roof rack. Good looking and functional. My second might be a towing setup. Load capacity is a bottleneck and I figure I could leverage tongue weight to bring more useful stuff. I envision a small, squat, covered utility trailer on a single 3K axle. Pack that full of gear and drop it in a central basecamp and "Bob's your uncle". I can unload gear out of the trailer and load it onto the roof rack for my little excursions. I figure 300 lbs. of tongue weight for 3,000 lbs. of gear (minus trailer weight) is a valuable tradeoff. The third one might be a second battery. My thought is without power you're dead in the water. Plus, there's lots of cool external gadgets that run off of electricity and you've got those 12v ports. It would be nice to be able to use them without worrying about draining your main battery.

Don't like the tire carrier. Agree they look sharp, but I like my visibility and easy access to the tailgate. Under armor was one of my selections because I figure one of the most damaging things you could do is tear up the underside of your rig. The drawback is the additional weight and if you aren't looking to challenge rocky terrain it doesn't sound like it's a factor. I've been scoping out the hidden winch setup because I like the look of the stock LR4 grill. Truthfully, when I got stuck in the mud, I'd have been better off with a rear winch. I figure if you drove forward and got stuck what good is it to winch yourself further forward and deeper into that same trouble? Seems like you would want to extract yourself BACK out of that mess.
 
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ftillier

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I've been slowly building up our LR4, but mostly my courage. My concern with lift rods and larger tires is that a suspension mishap on the trail could leave you stranded. I would recommend an SYA kit so that you can still drive on bumpstops if you lose air pressure. I stuck to the 255/60/19 Toyo AT3 for this reason. You could build an emergency air-up kit to allow inflating individual corners if things fail. For under-armor, much of the running gear is actually tucked up fairly high up in the undercarriage. The exception is the air tank and compressor, and gas tank. The latter has a flimsy skidplate, I think it mostly likely only keeps you from puncturing the tank, and you would get a big dent were you to make contact with something significant. I'm on the fence regarding adding the t44 tree sliders, but they are on the short list: protects the air suspension bits, while also protecting from side impacts. Next would be a hood-mounted solar panel to keep the battery topped up - mine is parked outside, and could benefit from it even at home. After that, a 2nd battery and some modifications to run all interior outlets off of that, rather than the main battery. Whether you need under-armor really depends on how gnarly the terrain you want to conquer is. Regarding a 2nd winch, I got a come-along rather than a winch, as it allows for pulling things off the trail in a way a winch would not (or at least not as easily).

With all the gear I tend to bring along, I plan on building a sleeping platform with storage underneath, including removing the 2nd row seats and using that for storage.

I like the prospeed sump/transmission/transfer case/rear diff plates, but I haven't yet won the lottery. I don't know if they'd play nicely with the T44 sliders, either. But I'm not doing anything that extreme yet, so I have time.
 

avslash

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My take on what is NEEDED, YMMV:

Fundamentally on these rigs if you are going to actually push them, you MUST protect the undercarriage. They are height limited by nature, and the strategy for some obstacles is quite simply to get a front tire on it and then drag the truck down the remainder of it. Any number of bits underneath there that don't react well to rocks and will leave you stranded if damaged.

A reliable source of compressed air that will go up to 150psi, and the fittings and understanding necessary to isolate an air strut and manually inflate it.

As stated above: HD WAFFLE BOARDS, not the flimsy assed things they sell at 4Wheel parts. Remember we are height limited? Those boards will serve to get that front wheel up on anything. They also serve secondarily as decking for your roof rack if you have one.

E rated tires. These things are HEAVY. Start adding stuff to them and they become more heavy.

At least one full sized spare tire.

A winch and related knick-knacks and the knowledge on how to use them without injuring yourself.

A jack. The factory scissor jack with the nub cut off, is actually very handy and will wedge nicely under any of the control arms to raise a tire.

A basic set of tools.

And, oh yeah, the understanding that if you really intend on the road less travelled that you are going to break, bend, scratch and stain the hell out of the thing. Stop thinking of it as "my Land Rover" and more as the drinking buddy who sometimes ****** you off, but that you know will lay a pool cue on someone's head for you if needed.

From there, I think it starts to get into personal preference and eye candy quite rapidly. I'm not judging, because lord knows I have bought plenty for mine.
 

djkaosone

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Here's why you want underbody armor. Sometimes on THE most basic trail, ship happens. You're limping off the trail with a busted air shock and an axle barely hanging in the cv joint to get you moving, you'll be glad to have some protection.

This is in limp mode with the SYA kit.
20230327_150331.jpg

The damage with deep gouges.
20230428_131321.jpg


This time I was somewhat prepared compared to my first outing and limped a mile out of a trail and home on bump stops.

Just sharing my experience for those that think under armor is a waste of $$, because rock crawling isn't on the their agenda.
 

San Moritz LR4

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OK - I'm sold on adding armor!! What was the cause of your suspension failure. I am going to tap into the air line on all four corners and splice in a schrader valve to fill the air suspension in the event of mishap.
 

avslash

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I suggest you run 4 loops of airline. 2 for front and 2 for back. From the associated air block fitting to the applicable strut. Pull the loop through to somewhere that will be easily accessible. I have my fronts coming from under the grille near my winch, and the rears through the cutout in the rear bumper. MUCH easier just to walk up to them when you're in the muck than fiddling around under the truck.

I actually suggest not even cutting the loop until you need it. Less chance of a fitting failing that way. Carry an assortment of quick connects and four premade schrader to to quick connect fittings and then if you need them, just use a razor to then cut the line and install your pre-made schrader fitting. Four less potential points of leakage until you need them.

The setup works. Saved my bacon above 13000 feet in CO last year when an airline burst on mine. 15 minutes to isolate the strut, air it up, and then wheeled for 4 more days and drove almost a thousand miles home on it.
 

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