Thread: Charliedontsurf FJ Cruiser Build...

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLee View Post
    To be perfectly frank, I would spend some time with it stock (or mostly stock) and see how much is actually necessary. ...
    This advice resonates with me personally. I cannot agree more. Periodically I have to remind myself that Im building my rig for practical use, not for Instagram. I find that weighing purchase decisions against that realization saves me money each and every time.
    Last edited by Neosapian; 11-11-2017 at 11:53 AM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neosapian View Post
    This advice resonates with me personally. I cannot agree more. Periodically I have to remind myself that Im building my rig for practical use, not for Instagram. I find that weighing purchase decisions against that realization saves me money each and every time.

    If I had the same budget as Charliedontsurf, I'd start by looking at a super charger and adding an extra 25 gallons of fuel capacity. Or look at some other truck platforms entirely. Whichever build path you go down - CharlieDontSurf - sounds like you've got yourself an awesome project ahead of you!
    Im happy you removed that last bit of advice. To super chargers on 2010+ Are basicly non existant. The FJC has plenty of power for the sand. Only practical reason to really have a supercharger.

    "Some other platformĒ why does this not suprise me.
    2010 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams 6MT
    TLCA #24463
    https://backcountryadventuretime.wordpress.com/
    IG:@backcountryadventuretime

  3. #13
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    Not particularly interested in supercharging it. In my experience this thing has plenty of performance to handle almost anything with the stock motor. And I would like to keep the engine as stock as I can for reliability purposes!

    As far as other vehicles we are looking at a used 200 series as well. Thatís the build we are both looking forward to! My wife and I arenít made of money but we donít have kids and we have some disposable income which helps with having fun hobbies...

    I have tossed around the idea of an 80 series but anything in good condition is pretty hard to find/sells pretty quick. I also love the Tundra, but Iím not going down that road.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliedontsurf View Post
    Not particularly interested in supercharging it. In my experience this thing has plenty of performance to handle almost anything with the stock motor. And I would like to keep the engine as stock as I can for reliability purposes!

    As far as other vehicles we are looking at a used 200 series as well. Thatís the build we are both looking forward to! My wife and I arenít made of money but we donít have kids and we have some disposable income which helps with having fun hobbies...

    I have tossed around the idea of an 80 series but anything in good condition is pretty hard to find/sells pretty quick. I also love the Tundra, but Iím not going down that road.
    Neosapian is going to respond with you should buy a limited V8 4runner and pay a ton for it because "toyota tax"

    The FJC is a perfect niche vehicle. PERFECT! PERFECT! (For its niche) people are going to try and talk to you out of it.

    But hold firm. Theres no reason to swtich. Heres why, at least for me why i LOVE LOVE LOVE the FJC and wont ever sell, at least until im 200 series rich, or they make that 80 series in a 3 pedal.

    More head room! Like you, im a big guy. 4R's/Tacos all felt to small. The Tundras are behemonths, not going to fit on a FS road very nicely and what happens when you have to turn around.

    Short wheel base! That comes in handy. Turning around a DC taco is hard and that long wheelbase makes going around boulders hard(er) when i can just go around like nothing.

    Sporty! The 6mt in mine and the 4.0 makes this thing shread snow and sand! So much fun to drive. The 200's and the 80s are going to feel like overweight pigs in compairison to the FJC.

    You got a-trac and a locker! Thats pretty much standard. Not standard on all the others, unless you buy the more expensive ones.

    They put the spare on the back already for you! You dont have to buy a tire carrier or mount on the roof to start! What now 4R??


    What they going to say to you:

    How do you see out of that thing? What about blind spots?

    To which you reply: how do you see around your spare tire carrier/rear loaded up with the kitchen sink? The FJC makes you learn to drive without that and your a better driver for it. You wont back into a tree because you already know how to drive without seeing. And everyone asks for spotters on rocks anyways so thats a mute point on that front also.

    What about the resale? Your destroying something beautiful!

    Your right! Resale is even more stupid then the tacos! These things sell for more then MSRP when they were new and they are getting hard to find. But...this is a good thing. Buy the full coverage insurance, then when you roll it down the mountain...20k worth of damage done and guess what, they will fix it. Becuase the bluebook says its worth too much, and the general rule with insurance is that if the cost to fix is less then 75% of the FMV, they fix it. So save your receipts.

    Those things are TINY! Where you gonna put all your crap?

    Easy: roof rack. You already decided on the RTT- the limited cargo space is only their perception. That frees up the rear seats and rear cargo area. The FJC is perfect sized for 2 people with a RTT. Ill admit anymore people is pushing it but in your case..you and your wife..theres no need for more. Why have the space for more crap you dont need? You cant sleep in a FJC but thats what the RTT is for.

    Toyota stoped making them becuase they were crap:
    No they were a limited run vehicle. 7 year run in the US. Look it up. They JK did not kill the FJC. It was Toyota. Your just jelious that toyota made something to out of the box and weird and didnt make another highlander / camary / corrola type car to sell to the masses. Some day collectable like an FJ40.


    THREE WINDSHEILD WIPERS! Drops mic

    To much coffee this am.
    2010 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams 6MT
    TLCA #24463
    https://backcountryadventuretime.wordpress.com/
    IG:@backcountryadventuretime

  5. #15
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    This sums it up pretty well

    39ED3A1B-4E07-4959-8583-79E2443FB13E.jpeg

  6. #16
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    I went with the FJ because I’ve wanted one for years. I could have purchased a new 4R but like you, I felt it was a little cramped. Just too narrow for me as I have broad shoulders. The FJ, while it technically has a little less cargo room in back, felt much more roomy and spacious. The biggest issue I have with it from the factory is the tiny gas tank. I wish they offered more of them in the US with the optional auxiliary gas tank. But nothing some Jerry cans or rotopax cant solve I suppose! And you’re right about resale. I was looking to other day and I’m pretty sure I could sell mine right now for almost exactly what I bought it for. And it has about 20,000 more miles than when I first bought it. That’s pretty good resale!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliedontsurf View Post
    I hear what your saying. Where would you recommend I start small at? I think the things I’ll be crossing off the list for now are the Steel plate under armor, rear bumper, sliders, and Shadow awn. The rest I think I’d still very much like to move forward on. Tent, new roof rack, bumper, winch, and new suspension will take me far I think.
    I have built several rigs as well and totally agree with many of the sentiments here. The FJ cruiser in stock form is hugely capable offroad. Moreso than you would guess... the rear locker, A-Trac, and decent articulation are probably more in stock form than 80% of the people need to get out and camp/overland. It all comes back to your uses... which is a hard thing to define because we often "want" to use our vehicle one way but time/money (or both) often end up moulding our interpretation into our reality.

    Through my 4x4 experience and several full builds, I will say that my favourite period of offroading and vehicle modification was with my old 98' 4Runner. I drove it stock for a short time but ended up with a small lift, 33" tires, some sliders, and a good set of lights on the front of the truck. After taking care of all of the preventive maintenance I added a rear E-locker and a small sleeping/storage platform in the back. The truck was light (no heavy armor), extremely capable, had good storage space, and was very reliable. It took me on some of the hardest 4x4 trails I have done to date, but also to some of my favourite camping locations with ease. It allowed my skill as an offroader to develop along with the vehicle and my uses. I later built the truck fully (skids, bumpers, winch, etc. etc) and although it looked awesome, the truck wasn't as fun as the simple version it was before. FWIW my new 4th Gen 4Runner build (after building an 80-series and a 1st Gen Tundra in between) now employs the strategy of keeping it light and running a tire size that suits my uses. I find myself exploring and camping more than doing technical 4x4 trails, so keeping the truck light and eliminating un-neccessary items has been a huge part of my build plan.

    Take it slow and think long and hard about how you will actually (time and money permitting) use the FJ. Build up from there.

    Good Luck!

  8. #18
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    I really appreciate al the feedback from everyone! Lots of great advice so far. I’m going to give this build a hard look while I still make one final decisions. I think perhaps some under armor isn’t quite necessary yet. Perhaps a new front bumper, sliders, and the suspension will be the way to go for now. I can probably get by without the rear bumper and under armor for now. I read quite a bit about how most people who wheel quite a bit end up using their maxtrax more than any other tool. Perhaps I can skip the winch for now and get by with some maxtrax and a highlift jack?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliedontsurf View Post
    I really appreciate al the feedback from everyone! Lots of great advice so far. Iím going to give this build a hard look while I still make one final decisions. I think perhaps some under armor isnít quite necessary yet. Perhaps a new front bumper, sliders, and the suspension will be the way to go for now. I can probably get by without the rear bumper and under armor for now. I read quite a bit about how most people who wheel quite a bit end up using their maxtrax more than any other tool. Perhaps I can skip the winch for now and get by with some maxtrax and a highlift jack?
    In my opinion winch should be number one. Depends on where you go, since a winch does nothing for you on a beach for example but its going to help out in alot more senerios. At least in my head.

    The highlift is a pretty important tool but its one of those things I would not carry it if I did know how to use it, and it demands the highest respect because that thing can break you. You can do alot with them, including make a bad situation worse.

    I have mixed feelings about the maxtrax. I have had them with me and others have had them when we go out, nevver needed them, never seen them in action. But I barely go out alone and they seem more directed twords self recovery, we always just hook up a strap and a quick tug gets the job done. That being said, I think I would have liked to have a set when I was almost stuck in the snow last weekend. But I also would have opted for the winch if I would have had the choice.
    2010 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams 6MT
    TLCA #24463
    https://backcountryadventuretime.wordpress.com/
    IG:@backcountryadventuretime

  10. #20
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    Great list and congrats on deciding to make the FJ an overlanding vehicle. I have owned mine since new in 2013 and its my daily driver and has taken me from the chicagoland area to Ouray and Moab 3 times and out to california also. So needless to say I am one of those guys that always wanted an FJ, bought one and instantly deciding how to upgrade. Mine has gone thru many stages so your smart in seeking advice. Your list looks good and afterall its your money and your rig. I would agree with what some have stated already, move the sliders up your list. I agree with sliders, roof rack, and your RTT. Front bumper of your choice winch and lighting (weather you use from your current lights on your rack or purchase new), minimal Icon 2.5 remote resie shocks on all 4 corners. Icon upper control arms. Metal tech rear lower control arms and skids, your shock armor. As far as skid plates, if your not going to be doing alot of rock crawling why not look at RCI aluminum skids. Then I would look up CHITOWN4x4 rear gas pax mount, and their rear power window kit. That would be a great start, then look into adding an ARB fridge and a foxwing awning or the one you stated., grab a skottle for cooking. And anything else as budget allows. Good luck with your build and cannot wait to see it finished.

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