Recommended Posts

Hello, 

I recently bought a Lexus RX330 with AWD and want to know if there is a community around taking these on trails? So far I haven’t come across any and I am interested in finding others who are pioneers in building an off-roading Lexus! I have plans for bigger at least all terrain tires soon and want to know if anyone has done it yet? So far I cannot find any that will fit my current tire size P235 55R18. And when I say off road I don’t mean like a Jeep who climbs mountains I mean simple trails where you can stop, pull off and camp. With some rocky terrain where beefer tires would help immensely. The trail I have pictured is Crab Flat Rd, North of running springs if any of you are familiar with the So Cal area. 

8C9BA50D-08B5-4C19-A6D1-3CEE5618CC83.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is thread about "Lifted RX300 Big Tires", or something similar. 

If you read through that, you'll get a sense of what some members are doing.  Some members have gone on some pretty hard core routes and been OK.  It can be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, let me follow up.  I worked for years, maybe decades in Calif State Parks doing erosion and trail condition assessments.  I have driven just about every sort of off-road trail you can imagine.  Going off road is as much about mind-set as the vehicle.

Since you have a 330, you have a different sort of AWD than the RX300's and the 07~09 RX350's.  Your vehicle has a different transfer case and links between the front wheels and rear.  " 2nd gen 04-06 has the MFVA transfer case, and does not contain the viscous coupling mechanism, it is lighter and simpler than 1st gen model. (according to Toyota) "  What this means is that in your 330 all the smarts of the AWD system are electronic, and use the ABS to control wheel spin.  This is designated as TRAC in Lexus lingo.  And it can go to a place where it will throttle the engine back to very low power to prevent wheel spin.  But, occasionally you need to spin tires a bit and power through.  What to do?  Pull the TRAC and AVS fuses temporarily and drive on.  The fuses are under the hood in the fuse array.

I say this to demonstrate how one overcomes adverse off road conditions w/o calling for an expensive off road tow.  Anytime you are off the paved way, you have to keep your wits about you, and have some options.  But, as long as you do, you'll be fine.  The RX330 is a moderately capable vehicle.  With decent tires, it will go on all the "trails" you are describing, and many you are not even contemplating.

Things to have with you, and/or preparation.  Pull out your jack and lube the threads.  Make sure it works well and easy.  Nothing in the world is more frustrating than getting a bit sideways crossing a small drainage and have one wheel loose traction by 1/2", and you are not ready to deal with it.  Have some 1 foot square 3/4" plywood pieces in the back. Jack up the offending corner and put the boards under wheel - drive out of trouble - put your stuff away and carry on.  Have a flat ribbon tow strap in one of the cubbies in the back.  If you get stuck, just ask the next Jeep or Pick-up going by to tug you out, and carry on ...

Find a local indy tire shop that will help you select appropriate tires.  You can get pretty close to the suspension as long as you do not need to install chains for snow.  They can mount a +1 tire with some reasonable on-road & off-road tread and test to see if they clear.  If they do, get a set of four and you are ready to go.  I'd have a set setup for summer camping.  And I'd have a set of smooth riding road tires for the rest of the time.  An on-sale Harbor Freight floor jack and 4-way lug wrench will have the spare wheels and tires on in 20 minutes.  A wrecking yard can supply 4 OEM rims same as your current that will carry the new (and sharp treaded) off-road tires for summer season camping, etc.

Trane one of the kids or your wife/GF to get out and help you drive around obstacles and help you keep the tires planted while slowly maneuvering in tight place.  A spotter is worth more than $10K of vehicle mods out on the trail.  Yeah, it's macho to think you'll just bully through.  But smart trail drivers have a good relationship with a spotter, and can go many more miles in, and come back out more relaxed w/o vehicle damage 'cause 2 heads are better than 1 🙂

Have fun.  You car is fine.  Enjoy it 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Similar Content

    • By zach 03 gs300
      Okay so i own a 192xxx mile gs300 its an 03. This past 2 weeks its been missfiring, i think its an o2 sensor. Thats not my real issue. I have a battery light that flashes on i just replaced it too. Then i have an airbag light that comes on an goes away, at the same time my gauge cluster flashes on and stays off for a random amount of time. If i turn on the ac the battery light goes away and the air bag light goes away. Also if i try to use CC it wont work unless i turn on the ac. Also my check engine  light is on. Please help i was considering taking it to a lexus dealer to get dianosed. I dont really want too becauase im an automotive student this would be a good learning experience, but it seems a bit out of my league. My guesses are theres a short in the ecu.
    • By anna4
      Anyone experienced this problem or know how to fix it?
      My 2000 RX300 stock Pioneer stereo works with the CD player but there is no sound with either the FM/AM radio or the tape player. You can select Tape or radio but there is no volume regardless of what it says on display.
      I don't think it would be an amp issue since CDs play fine. I've been thinking about pulling out the stereo unit and resoldering everything but before I do I was hoping for some advice on what it might be and/or diagrams. I've checked and replaced the fuses (they weren't blown)
      Thanks!
    • By pfrass
      Can anyone tell me how to access this side marker light (the bulb under the amber lens)?
      It is front driver's side on 2006 GS300.
      Appreciate the help.

    • By onebratt08
      Husband owns a 2007 GS350 with a little over 100k miles.
      The other day, we spent the night out of town. When leaving the hotel, it was raining and cold, so he went to get the car. The car was sitting overnight in a dry parking garage. He spent only 5-10 minutes in traffic from the garage to pick me up. I noticed his passenger headlight was out. I informed him and since he was due an oil change, we made an appointment to have everything handled that afternoon at our local shop.
      Shop checked the car out and said they couldn't find a bad bulb, so it must be a bad ballast (they also said both ballasts were making noise, so the other one would be bad soon as well). Now the headlight works again with no problems. Shop has already ordered the assemblies for both headlights (wow, expensive!). Could the problem only be a bad bulb or ballast, or is it possible that maybe moisture from the rain got into the headlight and caused it to temporarily stop working? It started working after the rain passed and has been working since (and hasn't rained since).
      Car goes into the shop for repairs on Monday, so we need to know ASAP if we are or are not replacing the headlight assemblies. Any help is appreciated!
    • By RX 330 Owner
      After two previous failed attempts due to the wrong sized LED bulbs, I finally was able to swap out the original incandescent bulbs in the cargo area with LEDs.

      It makes quite a difference in illumination. I am very happy with the results. See the before and after image below.

      The LEDs I used were 28 mm, 12-SMD LED bulbs. These are replacements for DE3175 bulbs (which Mazda put in their Mazda 3 vehicles). The official lamp of the NX cargo incandescent bulb is DE3022, but the first LED bulbs I bought were much too long to fit in the cargo lamp fixture. The second bulbs were shorter in length (30mm) and were also DE3022 replacements. I thought I could make the 30mm bulbs fit, but they wouldn't. I then came to the conclusion that there is no standard length for a DE3022 bulb.

      Finally, I found these (http://goo.gl/AEGNMV) on Amazon. These particular LEDs are unidirectional so that it throws all the light into the cargo area (no wasted light as in the omnidirectional LEDs).

      Since this was my third attempt, I completed the cargo light conversion in less than 10 minutes.

      In the photo below, the left bulb is the OEM bulb, the new LED bulb is on the right. Although the SMDs are yellow in color, make no mistake, theses bulbs produce a very bright, white light...




      Here is a before (top) and an after (bottom) images I took of my cargo area with some personal items in there. I did not touch these items during bulb replacement... (click photo to enlarge)