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About hewitttech

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    South Carolina (SC)

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  1. The middle shaft was shortened about 1.5 in. When it twisted and it pulled the front shaft backwards. I was able to cut about a 3rd of an inch off the front of the front carrier mount so the axle flange hardware would clear. There was still enough spines in the output to still seal so I filled it back up. On Sunday it took me 3 hrs to go 50 miles back to civilization. I was able to track down a totaled 03 awd on craigslist. The driveshaft was pretty much all that was left abs she would only take $20 for it. A road trip with my dad and a few hours later I had it swapped out and was back on the road. The funny part is I did my usual search for local GXs for sale and traded my 00 RX for an 05 GX the next day. Lexter 2.0 and I havent had to do any mods yet!
  2. So some blue devil in the oil and trans seams to have fixed it well enough for now. Yesterday i really could have used some frame sliders. We pulled the front shaft and ran out of front diff oil half way back to camp. She will not move with no oil in the front diff and none of the local salvage yards have an AWD. Guess i will be headed back to the river again for a "repair trip" soon.
  3. My rear main oil seal and transmission/transfer case input seal went out on the way back from my last trip. The oil leak was really bad but some blue devil rear main oil sealer did the trick in about 50 miles. The tranny fluid is getting worse and need to try some blue devil there. It is killing me that this might be the job that replaces my RX300, two stupid seals that would probably take me a few days to do. I have another trip coming up in a month and have started looking at a lower price GX470 as a replacement. The extra tow capacity and a V8 will is a must upgrade if we get a bigger boat in the next year or two, besides it is a true 4x4. It is essentially a land cruiser on a 4runner foundation and you can get them used for much less than a 4 runner which is amazing. If I decide to fix my RX I will be back, if I sell it I will probably head over the GX side.
  4. Very nice guys. I had another successful trip a couple weeks ago and glad I replaced both front struts before I left. I finally got the suspension driving perfect with no rattles, no hard spots in the steering, no wander and no instability up to 90MPH. Only got stuck once this trip, honestly though an F350 would have gotten stuck so I don't feel too bad.
  5. I know the 1999 and 2000 vehicles you could get a limited slip rear as an option before electronic traction control. I had a limited slip rear tacked down for $300 at one point. Closest thing i could come up with. The lack of either on mine is why i try to keep it out of anything serious. Even 1-2" deep red clay mud on some of the "roads" we go down can be tricky. Not many options for better 4x4 other than maybe engine and drivetrain swap to something out of a 2.7L 4x4 taco. Major major build issues which is where considering an lx,gx might be recommended.
  6. Those tires/wheels look good. What are you waiting for? I just replaced my front shocks again. The front right went out last fall's trip through the woods when i noticed it ot hard i think. Those were KYB made in the US and it lasted about a year. Replaced with Gabriel Ultras made in China we will see. I also finally installed camber bolts on all 4 corners. I put them all at max to counter the spring lift (-2.5deg i think). I could probably use a hair more negative but they are close enough. It made major major improvements to the on road handling and braking. We will see how it does offroad on my birthday trip thursday and friday.
  7. still trying to get in touch with that Aus. suspension company. No reply on ebay so I messaged and called them today. Too bad they are on the other side of the Earth. I really don't feel like having to call them in the middle of the night or have them call me back and wake me up.. oh well. the price of progress. Gotta get Lexter ready for the next outing in a month or so.
  8. Those running boards look pretty nice on there. I almost had a set of them but the guy didn't want to dig them out of storage for me. I could really use more of a rocker guard/sliders setup anyways.The exhaust comes below the body and body channel a good bit and I have smashed it a few times and it catches if you hit anything like a ditch. This last time out I curbed it right in the middle of the muffler and in the same trip when I hydro locked the engine the Y pipe came loose. 3rd time is a charm, I finally safety wired the nuts and bolts. Those strut mount spacers would be by far the easiest lift you could do! I couldn't find mount spacers anywhere when I was doing mine and doing it with the spring perch spacers helped stiffen the stock springs just a little bit. If I can get those heavy duty springs and still have a problem with my tires hitting the fenders when I hit something really really hard I might look for spacers again. For just a little more money than those I could probably have my machinist make some out of billet.
  9. I contacted these guys https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEXUS-RX-330-350-MCU38R-MY05-4X4-F-R-30mm-RAISED-COIL-SPRINGS/160720012716?hash=item256ba8c5ac:g:gL4AAOSwOgdYnVnc that Brickwall linked to to see if they could make a 40-50mm lift for my 00' 300. I am not sure what the difference is between the two and don't have the time to really check and see of the 330-350 springs would work for me. I will keep you posted.
  10. Welcome to the club. I like it! Yeah, please share a little more. I would like to see what you attached it to as well. Maybe a couple pics of the front on level ground so we can get an idea of your clearances. I would love a winch. I was thinking of incorporating a reciever hitch into whatever i come up with in the front for protection so i could use one of those small reciever winches front or rear. I need to find more garage and play time somewhere.
  11. Yeah, I haven't replaced the factory steel tube bumper yet thinking I would have to grab what i wanted anyway. Nothing as serious as your bumper more of maybe something like on a light baja. Just heavy enough for real protection if i catch a ditch. Those springs are a nice find! I am probably going to order a set and have them swapped when i replace my busted front shock. Second one i have busted but they are way cheaper than coil over. The rx project is currently in a now in maintenance only slot. I will post if i get those taken care of. birthday trip with it in a couple months.
  12. No. I don't think you will ever find anything bolt on for what we are doing. There was some stuff available when these were new but still nothing as strong as needed. I haven't had much time to play with my RX lately. She did finally get a new battery after my last hydrolock adventure though but that had been going bad for at least a year or two. I should have gone for the sealed battery but just couldn't justify the price of an Optima type. I have another trip coming up and still need to fix a busted shock and a bad rattle under the dash. I guess i finally knocked something loose and am really impressed how much abuse it has taken before something came loose. My latest thought for a skid plate is to go get one from a Tacoma or something like that and just fabricate the mounts. It might not be the prettiest that way but function over form. I don't think the lower of my AC condenser can take anymore physical damage. It is a miracle it doesn't have a hole the way it looks. It has been beaten so badly from running through all the brush and tall grass. I always thought brush guards were for looks. Now i really need one. Maybe Brickwall could fab us up a couple?
  13. That is awesome, good work. I for sure need a bumper, I don't have the factory metal bumper or foam behind the plastic anymore. It got smashed and I had to repair the passenger side bumper mount after skidding through a turn into a tree. I was thinking one that would just bolt to the factory mounts through holes cut in the plastic. Nothing fancy just something I could attach a nice skid plate to. I have already gone through a couple sets of the plastic fender and engine guard pieces. I found these today: http://dgrcoilovers.com/product/lexus-rx300-4wd-0003-dgr-high-performance-coilovers/ Not sure if they are available and I have some questions for the guys but man they are expensive. Thinking the "Track Version" should be beefy enough if I can get some input from them on the spring rates and if there is any +height adjustment and if they come with the camber plates or not. I found a site "BodyKits" that has all kinds of stuff for the RX but apparently making them look more like a race SUV is much more popular than off roading with them, that is where I found the DGR from Australia made in HK. Found some other funky Gecko ones on ebay for cheaper.
  14. It's looking awesome! I could use a lightweight bumper and skid plate for sure. Radiator keeps taking a beating when running through the tall grass/weeds. Is that a bumper for another application you are trying to adapt or was it custom for the RX? I now see there are full sets of strut spacer lifts on Ebay from Russia if anyone is looking for a really easy lift. Tallest I see is 40mm~1.5" which is what I have with my spring spacer lift. I would rather use something like that with stiffer springs but the spring lift does double duty. If only a set of custom coil overs with a camber plate didn't cost more than my RX. I have to drive about 2 hrs to the management area we play in and the way the camber is set for the trail can wear you out driving it on the road.
  15. Ok i am going to preface this with if do not have an RX or have anything useful to contribute please respectfully keep your comments to yourself. We already know our RX vehicles were not intended to be hardcore rigs. Ok, So i managed to hydro lock my rx this weekend. Luckily an easy recovery and didn't damage the engine. Pulled the plugs, shook out my k&n and Lexter fired right back up. I did lose an exhaust gasket and had 3 inches of water in the floor but hey, i will take it as collateral damage or at least the cost of the adventure and story. So this is getting to the point of obsurd but i am looking for thoughts on something like a snorkel or at least a better way to protect the intake from aspirating water. I really don't want to cut a hole in the side or have anything permanent and rediculous looking as an RX with a snorkel. I don't need it to run underwater or anything like that just a way of getting a little better protection than the low intake behind the headlight. The water i was going through was 2 maybe 2 and a half feet deep, not even over my tires. It is a well established rock and gravel road that occasionally floods with fresh clean swamp water. We were not going fast at all but plowed up enough water in the front of the hood it made it to the air box installe and drowned. If anyone has put any thought into a solution for the RX i would like to hear what you came up with.