The long awaited successor to the legendary Landcruiser 200 has arrived. After a long wait for a Landcruiser 300 Series VX, we managed to queue jump into a cancelled order and pick up a 2022 Graphite 300 Series Sahara. Graphite wasn’t our preferred colour, after having a couple of graphite LC200s in the past, but there is no denying that this is a classy colour.
First order of business was weight. Vehicle weights and GVM it a massive point of interest, with a large portion of modified 4WDs easily exceeding their factory maximum GVM. One of the difficulties faced in the past has been the difference between manufacturer stated kerb weights and ‘real world’ weights. The 300 series went straight on to the scales and weighed in at 2,663kg, compared to the declared kerb weight of 2,630kg, which was a really good start. With a maximum GVM of 3,280kg, this left us with a payload of 617kg, now to set about chewing that up…
After a couple of weekend trips in standard form, we kicked made a start to the modifications.
First up we pulled apart the rear interior to put in a tailgate light. We have found that the tailgate light was one of the handiest additions in the LC200, getting a good amount of flood light to go into the cargo area as well as throwing light around the back of the car. Whether it is hooking up the van at night, getting gear out of the back, or getting into the fridge, this tailgate light makes everything just that bit easier to deal with at night at the back of the cruiser.
We found that the Lightforce ROK20 Ultra Flood flush mount LED light would make a great option in the 300 series, with enough clearance behind the tailgate trim to ensure no interference with any of the existing wiring or door latch mechanisms. The end result is super neat and practical.
A Redarc Tow Pro brake controller and a couple of Anderson plugs to the rear for caravan charging and ESC got us off to a good start.
With no GVM upgrade options available for the Landcruiser 300 at the beginning, we added a set of front and rear King Springs for a small lift while keeping the factory shock absorbers. Once this was done, on went a set of Fuel Offroad Bronze ‘Block’ wheels in 18×9 with +20 offset, and a set of Maxxis Razr AT811 tyres in 285/65R18. This is a neat size for the 300, though the +20 offset puts some tread outside of the guards – not recommended from a legal or stone chip point of view!
After a long wait, our ARB Summit bull bar arrived and was whisked off to be painted to match the car. In our opinion, ARB have really nailed the styling of what they are calling their ‘Next Generation Summit Bar’ for the 300 series. We could say that up to now ARB’s bull bar styling has been… consistent, to put it politely. With other manufacturer’s putting more effort into styling, it was about time ARB did the same.
Critical to the Landcruiser 300 series is air flow, and the ‘MKII’ bull bar from ARB has ducting at the top and bottom, as well as a split pan design to allow maximum air flow, and ARB claim that all of their testing and validation ensures they can match the original air flow performance in a variety of conditions.
Inside the bull bar we fitted a Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum winch, and on the outside a pair of Lightforce HTX Hybrid driving lights, another favourite of ours.
The extra weight on the front was just starting to take its toll on the light front springs, so the King Shocks suspension kit arrived at the perfect time to sort this out. The King Shocks 2.5” diameter adjustable shocks with remote reservoir are arguably the pinnacle of 4WD suspension upgrades for these cruisers. The height adjustable front struts give the ability to trim the front height to account for extra weight on the front, comfortably giving the LC300 a 2-3 inch lift from standard height. The 20 stage adjusters on the shocks allow us to tweak the ride to suit the driver’s preference.