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#1 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:54 PM
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Wall-e


Left Hand Canyon
January 27 2013

http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=6


How It Started
I moved to Colorado September 2010 pretty much on a whim. I moved out west to pursue my passion for snowboarding. I figured I would come out here for perhaps just a winter and live the ski bum life. Everything changed once spring came around and the snow melted. I was also fortunate enough at the same time to land a very good job that financially enabled me to stay. Anyways, I was blown away by the opportunity out here just in general once summer came around. Of course, before long I got curious of off roading which is utterly limitless out here versus basically unheard of and illegal back in Maryland where I grew up.

Anywho.... I started looking around; long story short test drove jeeps, xterras, then decided to give the FJ a shot. I knew nothing about them but as soon as I took my first test drove it just seemed like a perfect fit. Needless to say, off roading in the FJ has quickly become my favorite activity. Call it my passion.

My "requirements" when finding an FJ to purchase were what i thought, relatively simple. Realistically, it needed to be used, bone stock, with as low of miles as i could find. I knew i had to have a 6 speed mostly because of where I live along with personal preference. Living up in the Rocky Mountains there is a lot of mountainous driving which takes a big toll on transmissions (particularly automatics). Other than that, I did NOT want black cherry, sandstorm, or of course, sunfusion. This build is also not for daily driving purposes.

The Day I Brought Her Home:

After looking and looking and some more looking, I finally realized that finding a 6 speed was damn near impossible! I was contemplating giving up when a friend of mine found exactly what i was looking for. Oh wait, except it was sunfusion... Well, I decided with all the modding i had planned, who really cares about the color.
Purchased August 2011
2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Sunfusion
Certified Pre-Owned
35,000 miles
TRD exhaust
Toyota rock rails
FJammer (no subwoofer)
Toyota roof rack
Toyota brush guard
Locking rear diff and ATRAC

***Disclaimer- The sunfusion has indeed grown on me and i think it looks badass!***

Now i have never been one to name vehicles but WALL-E for whatever reason has stuck. It came from my girlfriends dad of all people and thats just what its been referred to since!

Since being purchased, WALL-E has not seen the inside of a shop (except for alignments). Meaning I have done all the work myself or with the help of friends (again, except for alignments).

Suspension
OME 3" suspension (885 mediums front and rear)
All Pro rear lower links

Armor
Rocktec tube front bumper
All Pro rear link mount skids
Beat to Hell Toyota rock rails
Ricochet HD full set

Wheels/Tires
17" Pro Comp series 7089 wheels
285/70/17 BFG A/T KO - gave away
295/70/17 Nitto Trail Grapplers
home made body mount chop

Exterior
Eagle Eye halo projector headlights
Boztec CB antenna mount
4' Firestik CB antenna
Plasti dipped hood and basically everything else
Tinted all lights except headlights
Thule snowboard rack
Factory roof rack
Hi Lift roof rack mounts
SCUBA mod- Shadow-Warrior

Interior
Cobra 75WXST thanks to Jimmy-Buffets write up: jimmys cb install
RAM marine iPad mount copied from dockbox: dockbox RAM mount install
10# The Source C02 with home made mount. Thanks Layonnn: Layonnn's cheap c02 mount
Mpac pet barrier

Recovery
Superwinch EPi9.0
100' amsteel blue master pull
Die Hard Platinum group 35 battery
60" Hi Lifts extreme
Hi Lift base
Smittybuilt 30' Recovery Strap
an assortment of shackles
jumper cables

Other
Trasharoo
Staun Deflators
First Aid Kit
buncha tools
Go Pro/ mount

'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now

Last edited by vailTRD; 01-29-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:54 PM
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Re: Wall-e

The Story


My first 'mod' if you will, was within the first 2 days. It was to get rid of that damn seat belt beeping! It's my own choice, thanks Toyota. Another big thanks to bugs1961 for his beautiful permanent seatbelt chime removal. permanently disable all chimes

Not soon after, I decided the lift was going to be my first real mod. Face it, you need to lift an FJ. I decided on the Old Man Emu from Toytec Lifts because of affordability and quality. For the price i payed, the OME has done flawless. I can honestly vouch for this lift and say it has not given me any issues thus far. I am not hesitant (and have done so many times) to push the FJ to its ultimate limits. I found some cheap used 285/70/17 Big O Big Foots to replace the stock duncraps


Unfortunatley, I had to find out the importance of recovery gear the hard way. My brother in law and I decided to do some local trail riding with my FJ and his CJ. i got ****y and wound up stuck in some pretty thick mud. Cmon, we've all been there. We didn't have any kind of recovery gear so got very creative. There was some random string or shoe laces or whatever in the back of his jeep so we decided to 'braid' them together and make a tow strap. I was very lucky to get out of this one. I now have a Smittybuilt 30k tow strap and ordered a hi lift while i was at it.


One day a short while later, I was wandering through craigslist and found a great deal. Some dude out in Grand Junction (~ 2 hrs away) wanted to trade his black Pro Comp wheels for stock wheels so he could have a better trade in value. Since i was going for a blacked out look, I decided to make the drive out and swap the guy straight up. I ended up making out great because he had 285/70/17 BFG A/T's on his wheels with a lot more life left than my Big O Big Foots.

Since I got 'stuck' with Sunfusion, I knew i needed to black out whatever I could. 1 trip to Home Depot, 1 can of nite shades, and 4 cans of Plasti dip later- front/ rear bumpers, handles, side view mirrors, front side markers, tail lights- done. The plasti dipped hood came much later but we'll just cover that now so I don't have to talk about it again.

Beaver Creek Ski Resort in the background

Later on, with funds strapped and winter in the Rockies fully engaged, I got bored of not doing any mods and wanted something cheap to consume some time. I decided Shadow-Warriors SCUBA mod was necessary! RIP Shadow- never knew ya but you seemed like an FJ innovator.


With Christmas out of the way and some disposable income in my pocket, I decided a bumper and winch would be my next install. I love the pre-runner style, thus, leading me to choose the Rocktec bumper from TRDparts4U (great vendor to deal with) Unfortunatley, at the same time I ordered my Superwinch which i did not realize does not fit into the rocktec because of the top mounted solenoid. Oh-well.... Nothing a little cutting cant fix.

Chinaman Gulch February 2011
TrailDamage.com - Chinaman Gulch

Chinaman Gulch was my first real technical trail. After hearing a lot of bumping and grinding the whole day, I figured I would climb underneath to see if any carnage had taken place. To my relief all was well... aside from my drivers side rear lower link and mount looked a little worry-some. I knew from reading the forum a lot that the links should be replaced either way. I called up All Pro and got a decent deal on the links and link mounts.


Real quick lets back track to late january. It's a cold sunday evening. My beloved Ravens just lost the AFC Divisional Playoff game. The roads are slick but I need to go pick up my work truck from Big O Tires so I have it ready monday morning for work. My girlfriend drops me off 2 miles down the road from our house so I can pick up my truck after it was in the shop for the weekend getting new brakes. WOW, these brakes are new. I tap them once while driving across the Dillon Dam (Dillon Resevoir is where all of Denvers drinking water comes from). Not use to the new brakes i lose control and slide into oncoming traffic then BAM! what a ****ty day.... Thankfully, no one was hurt, nor did they try suing one of the largest corporations in the world (I work for Coca Cola). Thats like guaranteed large settlement!


Anyway, what i'm getting at is this caused me to have to use my personal vehicle for a few days. One of my accounts has a parking garage which i was very used to driving into with my work truck; not the FJ. Not realizing I was now in a different vehicle than I normaly am, I forgot all about clearance heights. My roof rack tore right out of it's mounts. Luckily, my snowboard didn't break, the Hi Lift didn't smash a window, and the holes that the roof rack mounts bolt into were not damaged. Easy 100$ fix, found another forum member selling one for cheap (sorry I forget your name).

After X amount of trail runs, I eventually realized how imperative a CB radio can be. I don't know much about wiring electronics but figured this could be a fine learning experience. The install was very simple, I just ordered the Big Bill Combo off walcottcb.com and plugged it up.
NOTE: If you are using a boztec mount, it does not work with the coaxial cable included in the Big Bill Combo. You need to order a 180 degree coax instead of the 90 degree coax.

Once summer came around again I knew i needed to step up the tire game a little bit. After much back and forth, I opted with the 295/70/17 Nitto Trail Grapplers. I am blown away by the rock crawl ability of these tires, the difference was black and white. Replacing the BFG A/T's with these meat balls made me realize a body mount chop was absolutely required.


Finally, June came. My first FJ themed birthday! My wonderful girlfriend took the lead on this one and let my parents know i needed a c02 system. They live back in MD so they just ordered The Source from TRDparts4U and shipped it to me. My super awesome girlfriend also ordered me some Staun Deflators (she also took us out for an awesome weekend getaway). Thanks to Layonnn, I didn't have to pay a stupid amount of money for an mpac side rack so i just kinda stole most of his idea and fab'd up my own.

Another cool birthday gift, something not on my to do list but still a fun mod to give my FJ it's own thing- my brother in law who's really into imports (mainly subarus) got me some cool projecter halo headlights. Not sure where he got them, but they look pretty bad ass.

Just before leaving for Summit VI, Coke gave all of its employees iPads. I downloaded an app called Gaia GPS which is great for off roading and not getting lost! While at summit, I met Kevin (dockbox) who showed me the route he went with mounting his iPad. I wasn't a fan of the floor mounted iPad mounts that RAM sells specifically for the FJ so i completely stole the idea of Kevin mounting his directly to the dash. takes a little drilling and cutting, but it turned out perfectly.


The Future:
The ongoing purpose for this build is to make it just as capable if not more so than any other heavily modded yet still road legal 4x4 out there. My ultimate goal, as a lot of you is to one day have an all new drivetrain. including, a solid front axle. Stay tuned, maybe we'll get there.


'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now

Last edited by vailTRD; 08-21-2012 at 05:07 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:55 PM
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Re: Wall-e

update 11/4/12:

Well, this build has been set on the back burner for the time being but I felt like doing a little update. Recently picked up a 1984 landcruiser fj60. Had no intentions of buying one but the price was right and I figured I could use it as a 'beater' for the time being and either find some inspiration on a build or just sell it for a profit.


Other then wrenching on that a bit (working on a clutch issue so it's drive able) not much has happened. Yesterday, went on a trail run with some of the Colorado crew. Hit up middle st vrain and coney flats. There was a surprising amount of snow. Living in Colorado, I'm fairly naive to water crossings which gives these trails their difficulty. It's mostly trails with rock obstacles.... We got to a point on coney flats where there was a deep crossing but it was pretty frozen.


After watching rubrsidedown romp around and try to clear the ice kind of successfully I thought it would be a fun idea to force myself through with my winch to the other side. Unfortunately, the ice was too thick and something had to give under the stress of the winch. The ice didn't give.....


I couldn't turn driver side and nor could I move forward or back.



Had to have FJess throw me her winch line and pull me out. I'm lucky I didn't have to get in the water but as soon as my hand touched that water I couldn't feel a damn thing! Took my a few tries to hook that on my receiver.


In the end, as you can tell from that first picture my cv joint way over extended and binded itself. Honestly, still haven't had time to look to see exactly what happened to the axle. Had to make the ~150 mile limp home and it would only drive in HL (or LL.. 6 spd) not really sure why. Maybe someone can explain this to me. We all know the 6spd are all time 4wd. Why would it only drive in HL or LL? It made a horrible grinding noise and would not drive in H. Anyways.... All in all a great day with a great crew and really, bet case scenario if something is gonna break and I already have a back up cv axle (thanks beach cruiser)



FJess, me, rubrsidedown, beach cruiser

'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now

Last edited by vailTRD; 11-04-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:56 PM
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Re: Wall-e

Update 1/7/2013:


So a few things have happened in the past couple months. Picked up a Mpac pet barrier from talltodd. Thanks bud!

Santa was very good to me this year! After much complaining of my beat to sh*t factory tin skids and my rats nest of a steel winch line, my beautiful girlfriend surprised me with a set of full ricochet skids and a 100 foot amsteel blue master pull winch line. I'll tell you what, this winch line is nothing short of top of the line.

From this:


To this:


And can't forget the winch line:


Beyond that, I found it highly necessary to compliment the new line with a reliable battery:

'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now

Last edited by vailTRD; 01-07-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:09 PM
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Re: Wall-e

Awesome looking rig keep it up!! sunfusion grew on me as well!

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:18 PM
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Re: Wall-e

Quote:
thebus previously said: View Post
Awesome looking rig keep it up!! sunfusion grew on me as well!
Thanks! Blacking it out is pretty much a must...

'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:38 PM
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Re: Wall-e

Trucks looking good with all the useful mods that you've done so far! You plan on getting some better sliders and some more belly armor? I figure where you live and play the trails are full of large rocks...You live in a area that I wish I did! Anyway looks like your having fun as the mod bug has bitten you.

Fabtech 6"+ OME 3" 20" BBS
Federal 35" M/T,1.25 spacers,Bushwhackers,Toy Outfitters bumper,All Pro Air Dam & sliders PIAA 540
Snorkal, Manik tailight guards,Midland 75-822, Bandi 3' fire stick, K & N filter,Locker on demand, ATrac hack, VSC & DRL switches, TRD Cat back, Scuba Mod, Garmin Nuvi, BlueSeas 6 fuse block,10.5K Recon Winch,Dual battery,leather seats,dual factory DVD players, Diamond trim, Source 10lb, Rubber mats. Swingout bumper,Mad Dog armor, EBC rotors,TRD pads,T-Rex grill
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:41 PM
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Re: Wall-e

Quote:
fj6high previously said: View Post
Trucks looking good with all the useful mods that you've done so far! You plan on getting some better sliders and some more belly armor? I figure where you live and play the trails are full of large rocks...You live in a area that I wish I did! Anyway looks like your having fun as the mod bug has bitten you.
Toyotas sliders are great! I just wish they were kick outs so my doors wouldn't bounce of trees instead of the sliders. Beefier skids are probably next. I'm just scared of the added weight and have been pretty lucky thus far.

'07 FJ Cruiser build
'89 FJ62- stock for now
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:45 PM
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Re: Wall-e

ricochets are pretty light its what i've got on mine

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#10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:45 PM
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Re: Wall-e

So you've had Wall-e for one year and have done a lot.

Knowing what you know now, what - if anything - would you do differently if (when) you do it again?
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