2018 Lexus GX 460 Build Project: Ironman 4x4 America Goodies Ross Ballot - Apr 11, 2022 Our Lexus GX 460 build project has already seen huge progress. A good truck is a well-rounded truck. First, it has to function as intended, but it also needs the looks to back up that capability. That’s not an easy task, and it’s especially hard when the truck has to serve triple duty as a daily driver, ATV/UTV tow rig, and off-roader. That happy balance is the goal for our 2018 Lexus GX 460. Projects either happen as slow as continental drift or as fast as a volcanic eruption, and this was to be the latter. Fitting those 285/70-17 Toyo A/T IIIs on the Lexus isn’t as easy as it would be on a full-size rig. Enter Ironman 4x4, an Australian outfitter that has long been working on vehicles at home, and for the last decade has offered parts for trucks in the US. We selected Ironman’s Foam Cell Pro lift for the Lexus based on customer recommendations and the “do it once, do it right” mentality. With age comes wisdom, or at least with failed projects comes perspective. Our 2018 Lexus GX 460 started out bone stock.Upgraded suspension would improve the approach angle and give us the opportunity to upgrade our springs to handle a winch. At the same time, we’d make clearance for the new meats. Ironman 4x4 America’s Australian-style bumper and the Foam Cell Pro lift kit would simultaneously improve the GX’s capabilities off-road, towing, and as a support vehicle. Bright green springs hiding behind our Toyo tires and Motegi wheels are a nice detail.The Stage 2 lift kit includes low-maintenance, rebuildable 3-inch twin-tube shocks filled with oil and a foam sleeve. Nitrogen bubbles embedded in the foam help dissipate heat and pressure by increasing oil capacity. These shocks are enormous and easily double the size of the OEM dampers, which bodes well for longevity and how the Lexus will handle the extra load when towing. Additionally, the kit includes forged upper control arms (UCAs) for added strength and gaining the necessary additional caster. We like these for their looks, durability, and that they use OEM-style ball joints and bushings should replacements be needed. The Stage 2 kit is an excellent all-purpose full-suspension replacement setup.Ironman 4x4 AmericaIronman’s springs are custom-suited to your vehicle’s load. In our case, this meant the 2.5-inch lift performance load front springs and 2-inch rear performance load springs maximize ride quality. Ironman 4x4′s trademark color is bright green, and we’re not complaining. Along with the Motegi wheels, they give our Black Onyx GX 460 a needed dash of visual excitement. Ironman rounds out the suspension package with an adjustable rear Panhard bar and brackets to link up the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) setup. Ironman’s suspension kit offers benefits aplenty, which should help our GX 460 in both towing and off-roading scenarios.Installed, the kit netted 2 to 3 inches of lift to help us fit those Toyos, while adding clearance for crawling over rocks and keeping the GX’s underbody out of harm’s way. Better yet, it retained almost factory levels of comfort. With all said and done, we couldn’t be happier with how the lift kit turned out. The ride quality is phenomenal, only marginally stiffer than stock—and even that is likely isolated to the LT-rated tires versus the P-rated set we ditched in going to the Toyos. Either way, it doesn’t bother us one bit, and will settle down even more when pulling a trailer. With this amount of lift, replacement UCAs were necessary to get the alignment properly sorted.Lifting a vehicle helps the approach angle to an extent, but we knew that new suspension would only do so much. The Lexus’ OEM front bumper was woefully low and would be in the way at any obstacle the SUV would need to climb. We also wanted to add a winch, which was impossible in stock form. We solved all that with Ironman 4x4′s Premium front bumper. Not only does it increase the approach angle significantly, it easily accommodates a winch, and provides additional protection for the truck’s vitals. The drawback is that the setup adds 200 pounds to the front of the Lexus. We selected spring rates to handle the weight and maintain good handling characteristics. The Ironman bumper looks great, offers an improved approach angle, betters the front end protection, and easily carries our Warn winch.Speaking of safety, it’s reassuring to know that Ironman put this bumper through crash testing in Australia on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which is a GX with a different badge. Plus, it looks mean, has high-lift jack points, and includes integrated fog lights, running lights, and LED blinkers. We temporarily threw on a set of Amazon-sourced Hella 500FF driving lights, but have more exciting things in the works thanks to our friends at Lightforce. Knowing the crashworthiness of the bumper meets or exceeds the factory safety is a reassuring piece of info to keep in our back pocket.We can’t say enough good things about Ironman’s hardware. The front bumper install was a bear, but the build quality is excellent across the board. The Lexus handles both on and off-road alike just as well if not better than it did on the stock suspension. And that bumper gives the immediate impression that this rig means business. It’s a huge step toward our goal of a truck that will take us to any trail we want, tow anywhere we want, and maintain Lexus comfort with the proper rear height for towing without sacrificing any of the SUV’s inherent qualities. Our GX 460 has already come a long way.A quick shoutout to Brett and the team at The Custom Shop who made this build possible. It’s rare to find a skilled and knowledgeable crew capable of working on 4x4s in the greater New York City area, and that’s exactly what they are. The quality of the work speaks for itself and provides us with the confidence that everything was installed properly, with special care taken for all of the small nuances and intricacies of the work. Queens, of all places, is where we found excellent service in having components of our GX 460 build installed.Our GX 460 project is already coming together exactly how we hoped it would. Stay tuned for the next installment of this build series coming soon as we ramp up for the start of ATV and UTV season in the Northeast.