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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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looking at an 07 fj

Few questions for how they're doing on the trails:

-What do they need to get up to moderate vs. upper moderate trails out here? I know IFS can be a limiting factor and I've seen them get a bit beat up in Paragon, but I'm not familiar with the trails out this way.

-Is there any desert-esque or high speed wheeling out here where a long travel kit would come in handy? I could see this being extreeeemely fun.

Basically looking for something with some tow capacity, people hauling, and weekend fun potential, and having had an 89 pickup (22re ftw) I'm obviously drawn back to Toyota as my first option. If I can't find anything that's a reasonable blend I'll just wait until I buy a house then get a dedicated tow rig, and separate rig for the woods.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 03:44 PM
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They are quite capable in stock form. I'm not a big fan of the ATRAC, but a lot of people swear by it. Doing the hack to have the rear locked AND the ATRAC on gets you almost locked front/rear performance. Suspension setup is very nice.

The IFS is not (for most people) the limiting factor on a $30k rig you're making payments on - the willingness to take body damage is!

There are a few places, notably Walden Dunes, to run out a long travel setup. IMHO, longtravel IFS is the best "all around" solution, especially for Colorado where there are not that many extreme trails.

Downsides to the FJ are cost, size, and weight. They are fat pigs, no doubt about that. Automatic tranny 07's suffered from a bad batch of gears - see if the rear diff has been replaced if you're looking at an auto.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 06:12 PM
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There are few places I haven't gone in mine. On the scale of 1-10, my modified FJ tops out around 8, but that might also be the limitation of my skill level as well.

Weak points are the cross-over angle at the rear LCAs. I just blew my rear diff (known problem getting repaired under warranty.) Visibility out the rear sucks, but the mirrors work. Need to chop the forward body mounts to run 35's without rubbing.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Looking at a 6pd in particular, not a huge auto fan. Solid bumpers and rock rails + some good tires would be first, with the $$ of a good suspension to follow later. I'm not looking for a dedicated crawler, just something to tool around in and camp with on weekends. I'm having mixed reviews on this A-trac thing - sounds neat but not sure I like the concept. Kinda like having a DSG over a manual, sure it works better but there's just something about it. Could also be me not really trusting electronics in these situations either.

BTW - I love that generation Impala's, nice pick.

2007 FJ - 6 spd, skids, 35's
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 09:36 PM
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I was skeptical about the A-TRAC as well, but was surprised how well it works. Besides, there's a button: you can turn it on/off at will along with the rear locker The M6 would be great if it weren't full-time 4WD, and my knees are tired of working the clutch in traffic and skinny-pedal

Eric Ross
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ARB this and that, Warn this and that, OME this and that, Armor this and that, Recovery & Repair this and that...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well it all sounds good. I can handle the gas as I only drive to work when it's bitter cold or raining (which lately - been driving a bit). Besides, the S4 only gets like 22-24 mpg as it is. I found one at Greeley Honda that seems to be a decent fit...going for a test drive later this week. We'll see how it goes!

2007 FJ - 6 spd, skids, 35's
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 05:25 AM
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Hated them and then i got to drive the GF's. It drives great on highway and the only thing i hated about wheeling it was the fear of messing it up. Id say tires are not the best for trail runs if you get the non bfg tire. even then im guessing not the best. The front skid hangs as low as the front bumper on my maxima so id change that. Blind spots suck turning around. Other then that Atrac and the locker make it pretty cool but id still rather wheel an older minitruck. $30k for a rig with fresh factory paint +trees =

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 12:26 PM
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For the Record, Eric (FJCruzer) knows how to work the ATrack. And he does it beautifully. He also has learned the limits of the tipping point for the top heavy FJ. Wheel with him, (or Tony, or Jock or...) and they can all help you learn how to drive your rig and drive it well.

And the ride in the FJ is smooooth as buttah!




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 01:25 PM
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Yep, I would be happy to hit the trail with you. Like vwfastg60 pointed out though you'll need to come to grips with scratching the fresh paint and have some dings depending how hard you want to push it, but if you're like me I didn't have the time for a dedicated wheeler and I needed something to get my ass back and fourth to work and heck I just wanted an FJ since they came out.

If you go for it, my best advice would be to go for bare bones stock FJ, with the locker and A-trac, preferably an auto, it's a heavy mother and manual is a little harder to operate on the trails, but not impossible. If you can get the rock rails they're actually decent, if not you can pick up various after market bolt ons for half the price. Tires would be another concern, but not very many of the FJs on the lots come with the BFG option unless you're looking at the Trail Teams edition or one of the older TRDs and IMO most of that is fluff that you'll be replacing later anyway. You'll be surprised what you can actually do with the stock dunlops on the other models so don't be too concerned right away.

And yes, don't get the gray skid with it, it's a POS, you can add that and all the rest later.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Well, after awhile of kicking around I bit the bullet and bought 'er.
http://picasaweb.google.com/brandonr...eat=directlink
Is there a good 'yota or general off road shop in the Denver area that wouldn't mind me showing up and picking their brain on future plans (e.g. go big or go home vs. doing a build up in stages)? The tires on it are absolute junk so they will be the first to go (probably along w/ those rims too...). She's bone stock and needs the a-trac switch & hack added so that will be soon here too. Manual trans is what I've always rocked on the trail so I'm sticking to it, plus I have a hard time owning an auto as a dd. Am looking to do one of those super easy mountain passes I've heard about on the weekend of 9/17. Have a buddy w/ a 85 'runner that will tag along too. Looking forward to seeing some of you on the trail and getting back into wheeling in general!

2007 FJ - 6 spd, skids, 35's
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 09:56 PM
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AllPhase in Longmont is one of the better Toyota shops around, but you'd probably be better off talking to Eric (fjcruzer) and/or Jock (rockymtnhigh)

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 10:03 PM
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Don't forget ToyTec...

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 12:08 PM
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Welcome to the Toy 'FJ' world. The so-called Blue Room, is a great resource:

www.fjcruiserforums.com

I've tried to do most of the work on my rig myself. I've only used AllPhase once and it was kinda spendy, but nicely done body mount chop. ToyTec has been kind to a few of us as well, but I've only bought parts from them. Jock has had more experience with them. I think we're all fans of the techs we have on the forum and Brian (thefatkid) gets my business at the former Burt Toyota (now Groove Toyota.) Speaking of which, I need to have him look at something...

Eric Ross
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ARB this and that, Warn this and that, OME this and that, Armor this and that, Recovery & Repair this and that...
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 01:23 AM
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I am more than happy to give you any insight I may have, Eric knows more than I do by far, he was a big help to me with most of it. Most of the modification work was done right out of our garages, with the exception of welding, I won't volunteer anyone, but there's a few people on here with skills.

The blue room as Eric mentioned is a great place for knowledge on the FJ, lots of resources available, for work and help though right here is by far the best place, as well as the place to be for wheeling experience. Toytec as mentioned is awesome for anything suspension related to the FJ, Doug and the guys there will answer any questions or concerns you may have.

I am curious since you mention needing the a-trac switch, did yours come with a with the rear locker?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 05:53 AM
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Brandon, might want to check these out: http://denver.craigslist.org/pts/1347296922.html good price, I think they go for about $350 + shipping new.
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