GX 470 Upgrades: Icon Alloys, Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires

Jun. 09, 2017 By Josh Burns
We finally got the stock tires off and added our Icon Alloys and Nitto Ridge Grapplers, and SoCal SuperTrucks helped make everything fit.

Moving up to larger tires on any rig is sometimes a multi-step process. That is the case with our Lexus GX 470, as we planned to stuff larger, 33-inch tires on our rig but needed to get the vehicle up off the ground before we could fit them in the wheel wells without rubbing, and sadly that meant driving around town for a short amount of time on sad-looking stock road tires. With our Icon Vehicle Dynamics suspension installed, our OPOR Metal Tech 4x4 sliders and our Goblin Metal Tech 4x4 front bumper on, it was finally time to get our new Icon Alloy wheels and our Nitto Ridge Grappler tires on the GX.

When we bought our GX 470, the stock tires were the epitome of on-road rubber and offered no real off-road traction or durability. We took the rig off of pavement a few times and basically cringed the entire time worrying weíd shred the tires on even the mild trails we explored. When it came time to pick tires we decided to opt for something far more aggressive. Weíve already spent time on the new Ridge Grapplers, as this new hybrid tire bridges the gap between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain, and we like how quiet they are on the highway in spite of the aggressiveness of the tread design. Although the Ridge Grapplers are aimed at truck and SUV owners needing a heavy-duty tire in D and E load ratings, they also offer a C load rating, which isnít quite as stiff as those beefier D and E tires and will therefore offer a softer ride on our rig. We opted for a set of Nitto Ridge Grapplers in size 285/70R17 with a C load rating.

Icon Vehicle Dynamics may be most known for their suspension components, but the company also recently launched a new line of wheels under the name Icon Alloy. We liked the look and were happy to see they offered a Lexus/Toyota bolt pattern option, so we decided to go with the new Alpha wheel, which is available in both 17- and 20-inch sizes in a Black, Black and Machined and Gunmetal Finish. We decided on the Satin Black color to match our black-and-white Stormtrooper theme.

Veronica at Americanís Tire goes to work mounting our 285/70R17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers on the Icon Alloy Alpha wheels.

Tyler helps get our new wheels and tires balanced prior to installation. We were happy to see that the most weight any one tire needed is 3.5 ounces (and the least was 1 ounce).

The final touch before the wheels are mounted is to install the center cap on the Icon Alloys.

For the installation, balancing and mounting of our tires and wheels we headed over to our local Americaís Tire (Discount Tire most everywhere else outside of California). The team had us in and out in less than an hour. Veronica and Tyler went mounting our new Nitto tires on the Icon Alloys, and we were pleased to see that no tire needed more than 3.5 ounces of weight to balance (with the least being only 1 ounce).

Even with our lift, the oversized Nitto tires come very close to the body. SoCal SuperTrucks makes a body mount plate that fits the same Prado 120 vehicles such as the 4Runner, Tacoma and FJ Cruiser, and it will install in place of the section that will be cut to create more space for the tires.

Even with our Icon suspension upgrades, the larger tire-and-wheel combo was still pretty snug in the wheel well, so we headed over to SoCal SuperTrucks in San Bernardino, California, to perform a body chop mount on the rig. This modification is fairly common on Toyota, and in our case Lexus, vehicles that are modified for off-road use or run larger tires. The modification essentially opens up some additional room in the wheel well with trimming of the body mount. SoCal SuperTrucks performs this modification so often that they actually have their own Body Mount Plates for each application. Follow along with details below.

The body chop will be done right inside the back of the wheel toward the back near the driverís side door.

Holding the plate in place, trace the outline of it with a marker or Sharpe.

Remove the screws holding the line in place so it can be moved out of the way during the trimming of the body mount.

Using a cut wheel, the body mount is trimmed to open up a little more space for larger, oversized tires.

This is the chunk removed from the body mount.

After the cut is made, clean up the edges prior to installing the body mount plate.

After a few spot welds to hold the body chop mount plate in place the rest is welded onto the opening.

After the body mount is welded in place a coat of paint will help protect the new metal from rust.

The wheels are placed back on once everything is done.

The body mount chop provides roughly an additional 1/2 inch of clearance with our tires, so we have no worries about rub with our larger Nittos.

MORE GX 470 STORIES
Metal Tech 4x4 Goblin Front Bumper for Lexus GX 470

Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Metal Tech 4x4 GX 470 Rear Suspension Install

Lexus GX 470: Icon Vehicle Dynamics Front Suspension Installation

SOURCES
America's Tire
AmericasTire.com

Icon Alloys
IconVehicleDynamics.com
951-689-ICON

Nitto Tire
NittoTire.com

SoCal SuperTrucks
SoCalSuperTrucks.com
877-80-SoCal


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