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post #1 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

So… After a summer of bull**** that included lifting a Jeep XJ, dealing with the world’s worst shop, having to sell the XJ, Then a lengthy search for either a Jeep Unlimted, Xterra or an FJ we finally landed on the FJ. Just in time for the end of summer. 

We never thought that we could afford one and the ones in our price range on the Autotrader, Kijiji and Craigslist all had some type of issue whether it was mechanical or body or both. After test driving a few and dealing with numerous people that had posted FJ’s but were not motivated to sell… we saw one that was priced very low and had only 179,000 kms (111,000 miles) Jumped at it and the seller sounded surprised that he got a quick response. We were about to find out why. He mentioned: “I’ve been living out of it” paused then said “not literally” hmmmmm….

When we arrived to inspect the car we found it had some body issues (scratches along the side, chips all over the front of the FJ that were into the body and every corner either had a dent or scrape) The inside was drenched as in a panic he had taken it to hose out the interior. Clothes were all over the place. Soaked t shirts and the floor hockey bags in the back with dirty laundry in the cargo area. The stench of cigarettes and sand all over the head rests? Weird.

Anyhow we had driven a long ways so we thought why not. Test drove it and found that it was more than mechanically sound. But the cigarettes smell was thick and disgusting. I was ready to walk away but my wife was in! She was willing to put the work in with me. So we took the plunge and purchased the vehicle.

Did I mention it was an out of province vehicle with a broken tail light? So the light had to be repaired before it could pass inspection. Ordering it in would take a couple days. Cost for the inspection was $100 and the replacement light would cost $313.00. All in it would be $500. Something I could have done myself but the rush was that the seller was leaving BC in a week and the insurance paperwork he provided was expired. LOL! He did send us a digital copy of the current insurance though.

So.. fix tail light get the car inspected and try to transfer the ownership with less than ideal paperwork and get it done in a week. To be continued……
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Last edited by thesilkiest; 09-21-2016 at 12:34 PM.
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post #2 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 09:22 AM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

let the fun begin !
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post #3 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 07:09 PM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Yeesh! I hope this story has a happy ending..welcome to a new addiction.


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post #4 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Happy beginnings... It's been alot of work though.
cont....
Get on the horn immediately because of the time crunch but the part has to be ordered from Toronto. Ask the shop how long it will take to have the inspection done and the light installed. Owner of the shop: “How would I know?” Beautiful! I say thanks for your time and call another shop. Ask the same question… “about 2 hours” Done!
Start working on cleaning the interior of the FJ. Seats are wet, there’s this sand and grit everywhere, I find toothbrushes and those plastic handled floss things, there’s spilled and curdled milk under one of the floor mats, under the rear passenger seat there’s and orange crush cap which spilled everywhere.
Luckily there’s no carpet in most of the FJ. There’s this sediment brown buildup of what I think is dust and brown nicotine in all the cracks.
After 2 days of shampooing, vacuuming, scrubbing with brushes and qtips, using vinegar, charcoal, Windex, rubbing alcohol, Ozium (look it up) we have the FJ to the point where when you walk by it you don’t smell the thick stench of cigarettes oozing out of the truck.
The inspection after the light install went smoothly and the insurance was finally transferred without incident.
Weird… the prev owner was big on dental hygiene but was one step away from being a hoarder.

Also that Ozium is some magical stuff. Considered by some to be in the category of paraphernalia because of the effectiveness of covering up certain scents 

One thing though… Of all the things that is retaining the previous stink the rubber floor mats are giving us the hardest time.

Pics to come.
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post #5 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:29 AM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Fascinating read, we are awaiting new updates for sure. Keep at it, its entirely worth it! A buddy of mine got a used 2007 from a dealership that had dog hair everywhere and a strong cigarette smoke smell. It ran so well, he didn't care. He got the hair our and aired it out(and deodorized) significantly and much of the smell is abated. Its an amazing FJ that just keeps running after many, many miles on the OD. That engine is incredible. I couldn't pry that FJ from his fingers without risk of losing my life!

Soldier-on my friend!

Mike
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Last edited by MotioncontrolMike; 09-14-2016 at 09:31 AM.
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post #6 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:32 AM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

I hope you got a great deal on this FJ, the previous owner sounds like a literal dirt bag. Just remeber the FJ interior isn't intended to be "hosed" out, like the previous owner probably did. There are lots of threads/posts on here about why it's not a good idea. Here are a couple threads on how to replace the padding so it no longer smells.

Good luck with the cleanup, and share some before after pics when available.

bc_indiana's - 08TTSE Build "Oreo" -

Replaced the padding under the FJ's floor. It no longer smells like wet socks.
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post #7 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 09:55 AM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Share pics!

Where did you spray the Ozium? In the seats / headrests directly?

I bought my 07 used and on particularly warm days I can smell cigarettes. Normally not an issue, but I'd love to figure out how to get rid of the smell once and for all.

2007 Black Diamond 6MT - Level Lift - TRD catback exhaust - TRD Pro-stye graphite wheels - Trail-Gear Sliders

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post #8 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Thanks everyone... Some good information there.
Yes we saw the potential and after watching many car shows like Wheeler Dealers, For the Love of Cars, Gearz, Car SOS,etc... we realized that with a little elbow grease and alot of time you can get just about any vehicle back into good working order.

I'm so glad the wife did not see what was "hidden" the first few hours I put into cleaning up the car. Found about $14 in change though and numerous cigarette butts.

Yeah the prev owner seemed like a good guy but what a slob!

Re: Ozium: I used it like an odor bomb when we got it cleaned up a bit. Started the FJ, ran the AC on recycle, sprayed the ozium for about 4 seconds into the front passenger foot area. Sealed er up for about 5 minutes. Made a huge difference. When I drove it after the engine light, VSC lights came on but a quick disconnect of the neg terminal and I was good to go. Will monitor from here tho. WARNING: read up on Ozium before you use it. Some health hazards apparently.

For the seats we used the Turtle Wax with OXY upholstery shampoo. Anything we could wipe down was either Spray Nine or Windex.
We figure if we shampoo it a couple more times and some general cleaning from here we should see a huge difference.

Yup... That was the thinking. Engine (love me some V6) and Trans are running well we can manage\refurb the other things.

On the list to do when the interior is "acceptable" are changing of fluids
Transmission
Transfer Case
Both Diffs
So nice that there's a drain plug and I don't have to go through the RTV process I had to on the Jeep XJ.

After that pick away at coolant, steering fluid and brake fluid.

BTW we paid $12,250 Canadian for it (179,000 kms) but all in with the taxes and recent work, light repair and inspection incl. We're in at just under $14k Canadian. Also we plan on keeping this one til I croak so we're gonna invest some time and moneys into it now.

Last edited by thesilkiest; 09-21-2016 at 11:19 PM.
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post #9 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:28 AM
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Quote:
thesilkiest previously said: View Post
Re: Ozium: I used it like an odor bomb when we got it cleaned up a bit. Started the FJ, ran the AC on recycle, sprayed the ozium for about 4 seconds into the front passenger foot area. Sealed er up for about 5 minutes. Made a huge difference. When I drove it after the engine light, VSC lights came on but a quick disconnect of the neg terminal and I was good to go. Will monitor from here tho. WARNING: read up on Ozium before you use it. Some health hazards apparently.
Another thing you can try is to put those "fridge and freezer" baking soda boxes in the truck (you'll probably want a few in your case). Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Arm-Hammer-Ba...aking+soda+box.

They don't work immediately but, in a closed up car, they tend to absorb the bad smells over the course of a day or two.
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post #10 of 206 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: True cost of a CHEAP FJ Cruiser

Quote:
sdennie previously said: View Post
Another thing you can try is to put those "fridge and freezer" baking soda boxes in the truck (you'll probably want a few in your case). Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Arm-Hammer-Ba...aking+soda+box.

They don't work immediately but, in a closed up car, they tend to absorb the bad smells over the course of a day or two.
Did not know they came is a box for air freshening purpose. THANKS!
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