Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum, so decided to hit this section. I am looking at a sub 14000$ vehicle for trail road driving, snowed out roads, some mild offroading and of course long distance highway rides. The vehicle will see about 50% city, 45% highway, and about 5% time off the road (Every alternate weekend).

Off road time will increase when it snows.

I was thinking of playing it very safe and getting a 2007-2009ish 4runner, but that is sadly out of my budget. Bay area 4runners get very very expensive.
That brought me to getting either a Lexus GX 470
At about 13000$, I would need to spend 1000$ for a 2" lift to fit 32" tires and she is good to go. But there are issues. Like that audio system, and lots and lots of very nice things which can go wrong.

So that brings me to the fJ as a contender. Do you have any suggestions for a newbie. My requirements are
1. 32-33" tires possible with minimal mods
2. Reliability - Not very handy with self repair and don't own a lift so easy to repair at cheaper shops
3. Comfortable to drive on the highway (long 400-500 mile drives)
4. Rear diff lock
5. Enough rear clearance for snow chains (unploughed roads)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:34 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Welcome! It sounds like an FJ will fit your needs pretty well. There are two schools of thought on FJs. 07-09 FJs have a higher torque engine and a power band that comes on at a lower RPM. 2010+ FJs have more horsepower, but less torque but some people say that those engines drive on the highway better. The other thing you should know is that some early FJs had problems with fender bulges/rips, however that doesn't stop most people from buying one as that's just cosmetic. That was fixed in the 2010 and later models.

In order to fit larger tires on an FJ, you might have to do something called a body mount chop, however I was able to run a 285/70/17 tire on the stock vehicle without any modifications. You don't even need a lift unless you want to run really big tires.

Snow chains are only recommended on the rear axle so you are good there and there was a factory rear locker that is really useful on a lot of FJs. Just make sure the one you look at has it before you buy.

Good luck in your search!

Young, dumb, and blunt - Chris
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Thanks for the reply!
It seems the FJ is a very reliable vehicle, as much as the 4runner. I have already started searching, hope to find a good 16-17000$ specimen. Am okay with lower power
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Welcome aboard! Good luck in your search for an FJC.

'07 Voodoo Blue/6MT/Roof Rack/Towing Package/ALL-PRO-Front Bumper w/Prerunner Light Bar, Rock Guards, Full Skid Plates, High Clearance Exhaust, Ultimate Lower Skids/Metal Tech Rear Bumper/ICON Ext. Travel Remote Reservoir Front-Rear PiggyBack Reservoir Shocks-Shin Guards/aFe Pro-Guard 7 CAI/Doug Thorley Headers/Garvin Trail Rack/KC Daylighters/BFG AT/KO's 315x70x17 Tires/17 inch Steel Wheels/Magnaflow Exhaust/Man-A-Fre Extended Brake Lines/M-Pac Rear Mount/Power Tank/Manik Taillight Guards & Roof Rack Light Bar/Light Racing Adjustable UCA/Safari Snorkel/SCUBA Mods/Toy Outfitters Rear Upper Control Arms, Rim Stiffeners/URD Short Shifter/Timbren Bumpstops/Baja Rack, + a butt load more mods..
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:15 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

I would also consider the 03+ V8 4Runner.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Quote:
Archy Chris previously said: View Post
Welcome aboard! Good luck in your search for an FJC.
Thanks
I am looking at private sellers. I hope offering KBB (Good) price for 07-08 models would not be considered lowballing. I have seen carmax list such vintage cars for 15000-16000, so hoping for 14000 or less from private sellers

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I would also consider the 03+ V8 4Runner.
If I don't get the FJ, it will be a lexus. 4runner somehow does not excite
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 06:56 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

Hopefully you get the FJ..NOTHING really 'feels' like an FJ..the 4Runner and Lexus are great but don't have that tank-like feeling when your inside driving them because of the sloped A pillar.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 07:48 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

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I would also consider the 03+ V8 4Runner.
Than get gx470. Little bit heavier but badass after lift. This one is mine.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 08:41 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

If you are making long highway drives and drive faster than 70, consider the FJ's garden-shed aerodynamics in regards to gas mileage.

See the link below these words to see how highway speeds and lack of aerodynamics can cost you a small fortune in gas bills.

What size tires will fit on my FJ?

2016 North America Off Road Events

The owner's manual for your FJ is right here. <--- This is a link. Many answers to your questions are contained within.

See the relationship between highway speed and MPG here.

TLCA 5301
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 10:51 AM
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Re: Newbie looking for a Sub 14000$ rig - Snow, mild off road, some crawling

just a snow chain comment I have run heavy duty off-road chains stock on all 4 at the same time so your road chains shouldn't be an issue
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