People ask me what was the best upgrade that I have done to the build of my 200 series LandCruiser…
Hands down it has to be the suspension upgrade.
I have fitted the Lovell 4000kg GVM kit, which allows me to keep my 200 registered here in Victoria with a GCM of 7500kg.
This means that in Victoria it keeps its full towing capacity of 3500kg.
Why did I go the 4000kg option and not the 3800kg?
To be honest, I knew that my 200 was going to be heavy. My full build is equipped with long range tanks and a roof top tent, as well as all of the other accessories that I have fitted along the way.
Then on top of that, add the tow bar ball weight and yes, its one heavy 4WD!
It wasn’t long ago that I actually put my 200 Series across the weighbridge, which was done with a quarter of a tank of fuel and just me in the vehicle.
At this stage I didn’t have the drawer system fitted either, so there was still a lot of weight that the vehicle would need to carry.
At the time it weighed in at 3260kgs. Add in the tow ball weight of 350kgs, then at least another 150kg for the drawer system, the dual AGM batteries, the fridge and the coffee machine.
Let’s not forget that I’ll be travelling with a full tank of fuel plus passengers. You can see how the weight was beginning to stack up…
I do tow a fairly large boat, and wanted to make sure that the 200 Series was also set up to be able to tow a large caravan if I wanted to, or for that matter came across someone who needed my help.
To me, knowing the vision I had in my head all along of how the build would unfold, the 4000kg GVM upgrade was really the only suitable option.
Since doing this suspension upgrade, I have found that there is another company that has come out with a 4200kg GVM upgrade, which includes a replacement rear differential in order to increase the axle loads.
This really is something that sounds great, and maybe in the future I may look at a replacement rear differential housing to add to my suspension setup.
I remember standing at the Melbourne 4wd show once. I was speaking to Dragan who is one of the State Managers for Lovell suspension. A customer interrupted our chat and actually said to Dragan that he was so happy that he chose to do the GVM upgrade.
It was only after that he realised that if he was towing his caravan and came around the corner and misjudged the turn and hit three parked cars, that he could have been liable for not only the damage to his 200 Series and his caravan, but also the three collateral vehicles.
At least when it comes to carrying the extra weight, we can sleep easy knowing that we are completely covered by insurance and are all legal and above board.
I do find the 4000kg option does ride a little harsh, as the Lovell kit uses the mono tube shocks and struts.
The springs are the same as the heavy-duty option, unless you go for the extra heavy-duty spring. But it seems it’s the shocks are what makes this setup stiffer, rather than the springs.
All in all, I’m extremely glad I have done the GVM upgrade and it is probably the best upgrade I have done – if simply for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that it keeps me legal and my insurance valid!