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Old 20th January 2022, 22:24   #1
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Default Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Prelude

It all stared in 2016 when I was in manali for a vacation. My qualis got stuck in the side of the road unable to get out for a couple of hours. A 4x4 in that situation would have meant me being stuck for a couple of seconds.
After I returned back home, I planned and plotted as to what should I replace my qualis with. The planning and plotting continued for a year when I got a chance to pick up a Mobilio for a very good price. It had 7 seats, a capable diesel engine which gave class leading milage. It was too good a deal to miss out. So I convinced myself I didn't NEED a 4x4 for touring and I already had a 4x4 for my offroading adventures. So went ahead and got it.

Fast forward to 2019, a good 2 years of ownership with 30k+ kms on the mobiilo decided to take another trip to the North. Deja Vu and stuck in a similar situation, but this time i was carrying my recovery gear. Attached the shackle, connected my tow belt, found a willing tower and we were out in a few minutes, much quicker than earlier but definitely much slower than just switching into 4x4.

After returning home I had all but dropped the idea of having a 4x4 tourer, was happy with how things were.

Towards the end of the year I had 4 cars and 4 bikes while I was the only one who drove them all. 1 car was sold but the new owner hadn't picked it up by then. I was told to reduce my total vehicles to 4 or park them outside the building compound.

Out of my 8 vehicles, I only daily drove 2, my scooter when I was alone and my mobilio when I had to go with family. My Polo GT TSi was replacing my octavia and was going to be primarily the next daily driver and moblio was going to be relegated to just touring. My gypsy was only for the monsoons and offroading excursions. Onto my 2 wheelers. Apart from my access, all 3 we're parked for a long time. My KTM 390 was parked since 2017 after getting prepped as a track bike. My RX was parked since 2017 just turning it on and taking it for small spins in and around the colony. My Pulsar 220 was parked since 2012 after I seized it's engine and rebuilt it. So effectively I was paying for parking of 8 vehicles and using space for them but driving only 2. So i decided it was time to cut down.

I put up my mobilio and gypsy for sale and waited. A nice lockdown 1.0 later and successfully sold 3 of my cars, the Octavia had been collected by the next owner in December 2020. Sold the Mobilio in June 2020, the polo which was supposed to be the daily driver and replacement for the octavia was also sold for a bigger and faster car by july. End of august I had given up the rx and my KTM had changed its parking location. Luckily for me, the next owner of my polo hadn't collected the car so I didn't have to drive my gypsy on a daily basis. End of July I went and picked up my daily driver - Superb. By mid August, I sold my gypsy which was the last piece of the puzzle.
Now I had 1 scooter, 1 car for daily driving and 2 parked bikes. The bike would go soon, but next was the tourer and offroad car. Which had to replace the Mobilio and gypsy. Meaning it had to seat 6 comfortably while going over ANY terrain.

Interlude

After alot of contemplating and deliberating finalized on a old fortuner. I wanted a white or black fortuner which had under 1L kms, toyota maintained, single owner being sold by the owner for lower than market value. From august 2020 till Nov 2020, I had just 1 car which I drove everywhere while I waited for a good deal. Then at the end of November, found almost every thing I was looking for. The only tick it didn't have was it was just over 1L kms. 104726 to be exact.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221231.jpg

Come June 2021, the fortuner had proved itself a very capable tourer, by clocking a decent 5-6k kms or so. It comfortably sat 7, had boot space even with the last row reclined. Milage too wasn't that bad, 8-10 in city and 10-12 on highways. It was almost half of my mobilio but then it had double the cubic capacity too. Now it was monsoon, meaning this car's first offroading season. Ordered 33" MT tyres and a suspension lift kit from Dr Nano. Suspension. The suspension took a week to come in and I went for a Sunday offroading with a bone stock car, to know where I would be starting from. It wasn't half bad. Didn't do anything too serious and wasn't much wet so didn't get stuck much.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221425.jpg

The following week the suspension came in and was installed the very next day. Mid June 2021 was it's first wet offroad excursion. Side steps were removed and the car was 2.5" and 2" raise from the front and rear respectively. Still after all this, the front bumper scrapped everywhere, the car beached and got stuck nearly every where mucky. Needed to be winched out almost every where by much lighter vehicles who then had to anchor themselves on rocks and trees.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221447.jpg

So then I decided I needed a winch compatible bumper and a winch to fit in it. Ordered a winch and got in touch with Bat4wd to build the bumper. The next Saturday evening picked up my MT tyres and wheels. Went to a local tyre guy as all good tyre shops were closed by the time I got the wheels and tyres together. Took some 2 hours to fit the tyres onto the wheels and then remove stock tyres and wheels and replace these. The front inner fenders were touching in full lock. Same went for wheel arches. So at around 12 am in the night, sat to remove both the wheels arches and the inner fenders.. Next day the car performed much better. The car did get stuck in a couple of places, and it was because of lack of traction, but it wasn't the tyres fault, it was because of the differentials. Whenever the wheels would open fully, 2 wheels would have no traction so they would just spin and I wouldn't go anywhere. I would need to sometimes go into 2nd gear and launch myself and just power myself out.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221512.jpg

It took the whole of July to use the car more offroad, break stuff and make better protection for it.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221611.jpg

By the end of August I was planning a Leh Ladakh trip and I had already fitted metal front and rear bumpers. Upgraded engine guards. Installed rock sliders and the winch had already helped me and my friends alot.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221640.jpg

There was only 1 point I was getting stuck at, no diff locks. I had decent travel, the compressed wheel didn't have any more space to compress and so the extended wheel wouldn't touch the ground enough. The exact situation a rear locker should help in.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221742.jpg

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221749.jpg

So talked to Lambda and they agreed to make their first manually locking rear differential for the Fortuner. Bought and sent a full diff tube and they got onto work. My trip and their working worked pretty well and by mid October the locker was all but ready. Actuation was something we took sometime to figure as I would prefer a button rather than a lever but didn't want to spend for a air system. After a lot of research, settled for a lever system for now which will be electrified when I can find a powerful enough actuator/motor.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221808.jpg

Postlude

This brings me upto today. Used the car for over a year. Clocked 20k+ kms. It apart from a few issues here and there the car is literally bulletproof. I can now keep up with our offroad spec gypsys and jeeps. Sometimes I can go directly, sometimes I need to winch myself up, but I can go over ANY terrain while seating 6.

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221941.jpg


2 more random photos from our trip to Leh Ladakh

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221707.jpg

Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more-psx_20220120_221715.jpg

Last edited by abhayshanu : 21st January 2022 at 11:01.
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Old 20th January 2022, 22:53   #2
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Default re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhayshanu View Post
Some photos from the day I got it, till this weekend where I finally got to test the locker.
F5 on the keyboard gave up and yet, no pictures loaded. Where are the pictures?
Looking forward to seeing the beast man. Please do upload the pictures..
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Old 20th January 2022, 23:09   #3
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Default re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Hey bud, so you have the manual locking differential from Lambda for your Fortuner?

Details pls.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 07:21   #4
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 4x4 section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 22nd January 2022, 11:48   #5
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Really loved the vehicle apart from the rear bumper. I’m sure it serves the purpose, just doesn’t look good In my opinion! Other than that it’s a very capable vehicle much more comfortable than the rest off-roaders!
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Old 22nd January 2022, 13:08   #6
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by starter View Post
F5 on the keyboard gave up and yet, no pictures loaded. Where are the pictures?
Looking forward to seeing the beast man. Please do upload the pictures..
Yes sorry, for some reason the photos didn't get uploaded the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Hey bud, so you have the manual locking differential from Lambda for your Fortuner?

Details pls.
Yes, the first one yet. It works exactly the same as the one they have for the Gypsys and Jeeps


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjokhi View Post
Really loved the vehicle apart from the rear bumper. Iím sure it serves the purpose, just doesnít look good In my opinion! Other than that itís a very capable vehicle much more comfortable than the rest off-roaders!
Yes. The both the bumpers are form over function. Rear is to raise the lower limit of the bumper and add a higher and easier to attach recovery to.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 13:39   #7
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

This looks awesome & very functional to boot.
Just wanting to check, Can we drive this beast from Mumbai to Leh and back without getting into trouble with the authorities, is this all road legal ?

My Apologies in advance, however I am asking, cause i have a dear friend near Allepey in Kerala who just doesnt dare take his modified vehicle on the road. The poor soul has his heart set on a Spiti Trip since the last 3 years and yours truly is part of this grand scheme.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 14:00   #8
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Firstly, It's just amazing how well and rationally you have worked on the fortuner to unlock even more of its potential. Keeping aside the offroading part of it. I really wanted to know how one is affected in ownership when it comes to a deisel vehicle this old in relation to present day emission policies of the government (ban on vehicles older than 10 yrs in some places and fitness criteria in most)
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Old 22nd January 2022, 20:05   #9
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

We are on the same boat friend. Had the same feeling of disgust and hopelessness when I was denied entry into Atal Tunnel on 26th of Dec, 2021 in my 2WD Figo 1.5TDCI as they were only "Allowing" 4x4s and some bribe paying 2WDs into the Tunnel after Solang Valley, or rent a 4x4 for exorbirant prices.

As of now, I am getting my gypsy built and can't wait to roll down the tunnel blowing the tunes of my Straight Pipe AutoMech Exhaust and the smoke of my ciggrattes into the face of the bloody corrupted cops.

Truly insipration, your car and your intent, hats off!

Last edited by bhphog : 22nd January 2022 at 20:07.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 22:16   #10
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

That's an amazing build you've got there. How is the ride quality with the Dr Nano suspension compared to the OE ones?

Also, is the 2.5" lift enough to clear the 33" tyres? I presume they are 285/75/16? Did you have to do a body mount chop or front caster adjustment was enough?

Thirdly, have you also installed a front diff drop kit to reduce the CV angle?
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Old 23rd January 2022, 02:07   #11
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Default Re: Even more capable Fortuner 4x4 | Suspension lift kit, manually locking rear differential & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by nairanupg View Post
This looks awesome & very functional to boot.
Just wanting to check, Can we drive this beast from Mumbai to Leh and back without getting into trouble with the authorities, is this all road legal ?
Some states are more strict than others. For me I make sure to pass through GJ in the night and go from DL and CH outskirts

Quote:
Originally Posted by nairanupg View Post
My Apologies in advance, however I am asking, cause i have a dear friend near Allepey in Kerala who just doesnt dare take his modified vehicle on the road. The poor soul has his heart set on a Spiti Trip since the last 3 years and yours truly is part of this grand scheme.
Everything is possible, just planning is key. Most state cops dislike and aren't very tolerant of out of state modified vehicles. Night travel is good for escaping pesky cops and running in a cooler climate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z_3en View Post
Firstly, It's just amazing how well and rationally you have worked on the fortuner to unlock even more of its potential. Keeping aside the offroading part of it. I really wanted to know how one is affected in ownership when it comes to a deisel vehicle this old in relation to present day emission policies of the government (ban on vehicles older than 10 yrs in some places and fitness criteria in most)
MH doesn't outlaw owning or driving diesel vehicles, yet. So I'm safe on that front. If my vehicle was bone stock, I wouldn't mind venturing into places like DL, because from what I know, the rule is there can't be any DL registered diesel vehicle older than 10 years. Mine isn't a DL, I'm just a tourist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhphog View Post
We are on the same boat friend. Had the same feeling of disgust and hopelessness when I was denied entry into Atal Tunnel on 26th of Dec, 2021 in my 2WD Figo 1.5TDCI as they were only "Allowing" 4x4s and some bribe paying 2WDs into the Tunnel after Solang Valley, or rent a 4x4 for exorbirant prices.
It's actually for your safety, even with a 4wd, a novice driver might crash and find it difficult to maneuver on the slippery roads. A 4wd vehicle would just help raise your driving capabilities in those same conditions. If they were allowing based on bribes, that was wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhphog View Post
As of now, I am getting my gypsy built and can't wait to roll down the tunnel blowing the tunes of my Straight Pipe AutoMech Exhaust and the smoke of my ciggrattes into the face of the bloody corrupted cops.

Truly insipration, your car and your intent, hats off!
Hope you don't SPoA if you plan to drive cross country. It'll be a very tiring journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharc_biker View Post
That's an amazing build you've got there. How is the ride quality with the Dr Nano suspension compared to the OE ones?
The Nano suspension is firmer but not harder, so it's not as bouncy as it was when stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharc_biker View Post
Also, is the 2.5" lift enough to clear the 33" tyres? I presume they are 285/75/16? Did you have to do a body mount chop or front caster adjustment was enough?
After adding the front bumper and winch, both the front and rear are raised by 2". For normal driving, people have also installed 35" Tyres. But for proper offroading, when you don't want your tyres to rub the insides, I think these 33" are the limit. On full compression and lock, the front will touch a little, even with wheel arches removed and body cut a little, the rear on full compression is maybe a few mm away from touching. So anything taller or wider should touch when fully articulating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharc_biker View Post
Thirdly, have you also installed a front diff drop kit to reduce the CV angle?
No drop kit yet, Dr Nano is still in production of those. Ran my gypsy with a 6" Lift, the axels of that faired well, I'm confident a more robust toyota CV can handle a 3" Lift.
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