F J Cruiser

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Sandman
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F J Cruiser

Post by Sandman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:52 pm

If anyone has some input on this vehicle please share as I am considering buying one. I believe Don has one with some special features to improve off road performance. Tell me all about it!

Desert Cruiser
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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Desert Cruiser » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:37 am

Sandman: If you buy one here's some things I would recommend and why:

(1) Get the factory or dealer installed cold air intake. This is a permanent filter that you clean and oil. The stock filter is like all the other out there -- worthless for dust. The oiled filter will stop dust from getting into the engine. Don't get an after market cold air intake as they are not properly designed!

(2) Get the factory or dealer installed rock rails. They are heavily built and take a punishment saving your rocker panels which will be very expensive to replace. I've repainted mine several times on the passenger side. Still no dents.

(3) Get the model with the larger exhaust, (TRD) will let it the engine breath better, more hp. and better gas mileage.

(4) Get the off road package that includes the rear locker and A Trac. Also get the package that has the passenger side arm rest. Your rider will appreciate that. The A trac works great in tough situations -- it's stops a spinning wheel and makes the opposite one pull. Off course the locker can save your butt in a bad situation.

(5) Don't get the stick shift model as the 4 wheel drive train is turning all the time with that. The automatic is much better off road and on.

This vehicle takes premium fuel -- not a problem if you use a credit card that gives you 5% cash back as this brings the price down to between regular and plus. Don't use anything but premium or it will get lousy gas mileage and won't rum nearly as good.

They all come with the front end sitting lower than the back (not level) if you want to level it then here is a link to our site of Suppliers. On the top is Toytech they are the best to get a leveling lift from and very inexpensive too. And the springs and shocks are made by OME (Old Man Emu) which an Austrilian company famous for their springs. The front bumper on mine is made by All Pro Off Road and they are listed second on the page link I'm going to give you on our site. The bumper and skid plate (which has saved the vehicle numerous times) is worth every penny.
Don't put oversized tires on the FJ they will hit on turns when in a dip. BF Goodrich all terrain T/A in the stock size work great off road and on.

Here's the link: http://www.dustb-gone.com/links.html

Need anymore info just say so. I'll be glad to help.

Don....

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Desert Cruiser » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:55 am

Sandman: You may already know this -- the dealers are slow right now so approach them with this --

To sell you a vehicle you want the rock rails, cold air intake thrown into the deal for free. It worked for me.

Also when you buy the vehicle get the extended gold warranty with it at their cost! If you get it later it'll be very expensive, and it takes the coverage to 100,000 miles.

Don...

Sycamore
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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Sycamore » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:34 pm

Sandman,

some folks out of Vegas have an FJ club and a website, they do rides, etc. Seem like a fun, knowledgeable bunch of folks, they can probably help you with questions as well.

Sycamore

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Desert Cruiser » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:15 pm

Yes there is a lot of FJ groups around now, and most of them are on the FJ Cruiser forum ---
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/index.ph ... ive_topics

Thanks Sycamore

Don....

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by LeeVW » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:35 pm

Sandman,

A friend of mine has one. He uses it to pull his small Airstream trailer. He also put a receiver hitch on the front to accept a carrier for his '86 Honda Trail 110. All assembled, his rig is an interesting blend of old world proven concepts and modern design!

The FJ is a nice ride. Toyota has done well with their drivetrain in recent years. I believe the 4.0L V6 is the same as the one in the Tacoma, and is light years ahead of previous Toyota V6 engines. I had a '93 Toyota 4X4 with a 3.0L V6, and the 4.0L feels like a V8 in comparison!

The suspension is very good for such a heavy vehicle (something like 4,000 pounds?). I would leave it stock, TRD, or whatever they call it. The 3" Rancho lift I put on my '93 killed the ride.

About the only thing I really don't care for (other than the bulky nature of such a large vehicle) is visibility. Looking out the windshield (which is a few feet in front of you) feels more like watching a High Definition Widescreen than driving a vehicle. It is so short and long they had to add a third wiper (and the best windshield washer setup I have ever seen!). Visibility to the sides isn't much better, and visibility to the rear is almost non-existent. A backup camera helps a lot. My friend went with a blue tooth camera which he puts on the back of the trailer when he's pulling it.

I would consider an FJ when it's time to put the Dodge out to pasture, but I really need an open bed for the dirt bikes and for the gas cans when heading to the river, not to mention greasy engine blocks and various pieces of equipment.

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Desert Cruiser » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:03 pm

Lee VW: Sounds like you need a trailer? Lee is right a lift on them is not recommended. I lifted the front on mine 1 1/2 inches to level it out. The link I gave you above for Toytech is who to deal with for that. It won't change the ride at all just level it. As for the engine -- it's not the same engine that's in the Taco. It's got more horses, more precision made -- maybe because it's one of the few vehicles that's made completely in Japan. It'll also have more horses with the bigger exhaust and the cold air intake 273 hp on the dyno for mine. Oh and the weight is 4,300 lbs empty. The visibility took a while to get used too as it could be a lot better. Front and sides need improving, but never had a problem with the back. Oh yeh one other thing that's really important, get windshield replacement on your insurance, you'll need it. And Lee is right about the V8 feel, in fact I've blown off a few V8 pick-ups with it. You should really go test drive one to see if it's what you want. Oh one more thing, it will turn tighter than a jeep.

The drive train is very beefy and should last a long time. Their transmissions are bullet proof.

Thanks Lee you reminded me of some more things that Sandman should know.

Don...

LeeVW
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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by LeeVW » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:36 am

Don,

Yeah, a trailer would solve those problems, but I don't have room for one at the house. That's OK, I haul more stuff than people, so the extra seats are rarely needed.

That's a bummer about the V6! I was looking at the Taco 4X4 as a possible next vehicle, and I was hoping for that engine. My current truck (2000 Dodge Dakota 2WD) has a V8 with a puny 235HP. Torque is 295. As your numbers reflect, it is common for today's V6 engines to put out more HP than that. Torque will always be lower, but shouldn't be a problem. The new 4.7L V8 for the Dak has 302HP and 329 ft/lbs, but the truck is Fugly! I wonder if the manual six speed offered in the Taco makes up for the lack of power. My Dodge runs the 1/4 mile in the mid fourteens. Is that too much to expect from a 4X4 these days?

Ok, back to the Cruiser. What kind of gas mileage are you getting?

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by Sycamore » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:33 am

vegas bunch are at:

http://702fjcrew.net/index.php

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Re: F J Cruiser

Post by reptilist » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:20 am

I drive one of the Trail Teams Edition FJ's.
I like the vertical windshield for keeping a lot of the solar heat outside, the bad part is that it acts like a catchers mitt evertime someone on the road kicks up a rock. I got used to the low visibility thang (having to lean forward and look up at the streetlights).
Visibility to the sides is somewhat narrow though, the blind spots are significant.
I like the knobs inside...They are big and manly.
I have the brushguard and the lights that go on them....I might like the overhead lights better, unless they always need adjusting.
I like the rubber mats throughout.
The only thing I don't care for is the "suicide" back doors....Kind of a pain to load groceries or other stuff into the back seat. The back seats are kinda crowded if you have to carry teenagers.

It's the best vehicle I have owned though....

One other thing....With a short wheel base like this, coming down steep wet ramps can make you get sideways pretty easy.

I get 18 mpg on the highway, 20 mpg in the country.

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