Land Crusier 100 Series GVM Upgrade

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 13:48
ThreadID: 55358 Views:31883 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Hi All,

I have had a few people ask how I went about upgrading the GVM on our Cruiser, and the issues we faced.

First thing to remember is that when you upgrade a vehicles GVM, it has to remain in an upgraded state until the GVM is lowered - that is tyres, rims and suspension must stay rated for the higher GVM - you can't put standard road tyres on the vehicle that can not support the full GVM even when the vehicle in unloaded.

My story.

Bought a 2003 LC100 Sahara from QLD. First hurdle was to get it registered in NSW. Now if this vehicle had been stock standard - no issues at all - but the Cruiser was far from stock with 2 inch lift, bull bar, winch, dual wheel carrier, long range tank, upgraded ECU, etc. But lets get serious - who wants to take a standard 4WD off road for a week - not me again ;)

After ringing a few engineers, we found one that would look at it (one guy said he had never passed a Crusier with air bags - so we skipped this guy) . Before we took it to him we had to get it weighed. This is our first issue. It weighed 2960kg without people, storage _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, only half the possible fuel and no camping gear. Tare is around 2500kg and GVM for a standard LC100 (inc Sahara) is 3260kg. 400+kg of accessories on the vehicle left a 300kg payload - no where near enough for a family of 5.

We went to this engineer, and he refused to pass the Crusier due to its weight and GVM limit (fair call on safety), so lets upgrade the GVM. This guy stated $10K for the brake test (even if it fails), $5K for emissions test (due to upgraded ECU), plus more $$ for other parts for the vehicle including new rear suspension.

Whilst we are not poor, there was no way I would justify spending $15k+ on a $60K vehicle we had just bought specifically because of its accessories and upgrade suspension.

My wife was so pi$$ed that she started looking through 4WD threads from every forum possible to find a solution. I love her sooooo much.

His name is John Burke from Specialised Vehicles outside of Camden NSW. John specialises in GVM upgrades and especially LC100's, and uses Firestone air bag suspension products. He has a great relationship with the RTA due to the high quality and standards of his work.

Total cost including RTA testing, RTA compliance plate & blue slip - $6094.00 - the only downside was that he had the Crusier for 5 days.

Why so cheap - to upgrade GVM in NSW you need the following modifications

- Heavy Duty front suspension
- Heavy Duty rear suspension
- 50mm suspension lift all round
- Reinforced suspension components
- 1500kg rated tyres and rims

Because the Crusier already had heavy duty suspension fitted, with 50mm lift and 1500kg rated tyres and rims, we just needed new rear shocks which John provided (Edelbrock IAS) as the shocks we had were the wrong type for this vehicle.

Our Crusier came with the following already fitted.

- ARB HD Torsion Bars w/50mm lift + reinforcement kit - Front
- Bilstein Custom value Shocks - Front
- Firestone C4 full air bag system - Rear
- Edelbrock IAS Custom value Shocks - Rear
- Toyota steel rims w/BFG MT 285/75R16 tyres (1500kg rated)

We now have a GVM of 3758kg - 500kg more than standard.

Now for other states, I have no idea on who to contact, but it pays to research and ask lots of questions first. The RTA was less than helpful, and Specialised Vehicles was the fourth engineer we had contacted.

I can not recommend John highly enough.
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Reply By: John S (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 14:00

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 14:00
PS - 3758kg is the maximum upgraded GVM for a LC100. To increase over this weight costs way too much to be an option.
AnswerID: 291772

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 17:55

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 17:55
Hi John. Good to see you have done it right. So many people just massively overload their 4B and either don't consider GVM or say 'she'll be right mate'.

Your experience shows the benefit of getting an upgrade done before registration if buying a new vehicle. I've recently gone through a bit of research on this for a new 70 Series cab chassis. Providing it is done before registration, a 400KG GVM upgrade can be done on the vehicle for about $3,100 including certification and compliance plate (OME). Lovell does an upgrade by 600KG (from memory) for about $3,900.

Under the circumstances you have done very well and will be a very rare fully loaded wagon not breaching its GVM.

Norm C
AnswerID: 291799

Follow Up By: Member - Dick (Int) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 20:42

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 20:42
In the past year I have had the GVM of my 79 Series Trayback and my 78 Series Troopy upgraded to 3,700kg by TJM in Newcastle. This was done as part of a suspension upgrade and it was a painless operation. No problems with the Engineer sign off, Blue Slip or RTA change.


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FollowupID: 557172

Reply By: Rossco td105 - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:13

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:13
G'day John,

Thanks for posting about your efforts. Vehicle GVM is something that is constantly on my mind as well. It's pretty easy to exceed the factory limit when fully loaded for an extended trip. I'll be investigating further.

AnswerID: 291834

Reply By: John S (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:13

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 21:13
It seems that if you purchase the upgraded suspension from one of the 4WD retailers, they want to help. But because I already had the upgrades, I kept getting palmed off - I guess no money in it for them, so why bother.

I think most of it is city mentality. If I was still in the scrub, then this would have been a non event.

But as I said, John has been fantastic. And I will go back to him in the future because it was trouble free.
AnswerID: 291835

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