Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc) - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
4x4 / Off-Road Tech This section contains all discussion related to taking the FJ Cruiser in Off-Road situations, 4x4 applications and any armor modifications.

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

Hi guys,

I am considering an FJ cruiser for a DD/adventure vehicle. I would like to do a front bumper, rock sliders, and skid plates for the vehicle.

I'm working on my budget for the accessories, and I'm wondering what bumpers, rock sliders, and skid plates you guys consider the best value in FJC accessories? The bumper should be winch compatible, but I don't need fog lights, extensive grille bars, etc. For the sliders and skid plates, I don't mind buying raw steel and painting them myself.

I want quality parts, but they don't need to be the top end of the market either. I had a terrible experience with Iron Bull Bumpers, which were neither quality nor inexpensive. Trying to avoid that this time.

Thanks for your guys' time.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 08:25 AM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

The First $2000 thread addresses this very issue in exhaustive detail.

What size tires will fit on my FJ?

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.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

Thanks, hadn't seen that.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 09:23 AM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

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TFin04 previously said: View Post
I am considering an FJ cruiser for a DD/adventure vehicle. I would like to do a front bumper, rock sliders, and skid plates for the vehicle.
Don't forget about suspension, the stock FJ coils aren't designed to hold all this extra weight. And tires.

If you haven't already bought the truck, let's talk about that as well. Are you ready to buy a plane ticket to fly to the right truck? Because that's our market now. Don't worry, plane tickets and gas are cheap. But some people just can't get over this mental block of being able to roll down to the nearest Toyota dealer and buy whatever they have on their lot.

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For the sliders and skid plates, I don't mind buying raw steel and painting them myself.

I want quality parts, but they don't need to be the top end of the market either. I had a terrible experience with Iron Bull Bumpers, which were neither quality nor inexpensive. Trying to avoid that this time.
A friendly bit of advice, and something I always tell the new folks who say they're on a budget: doing it right is always cheaper than doing it twice. Write it down, put it on a hat, sharpie it on the front of your checkbook, tattoo it to the back of your eyelids.

"Doing it right" requires some planning on your part. What kind of terrain will you be offroading on: sand, dirt, mud, smooth rocks (Moab), pointy rocks (Colorado). Different gear is appropriate for different places. Figure out where you want the truck to end up, and then draw a straight line between where it's at now and that.

This doesn't mean that you have to buy all of the most expensive stuff, but don't discount any one specific product just because it's more expensive than another similar product. And the best way to see what works is to ask "what kind of offroading will I be doing" and then look at the people already doing it. Join the regional subforum for where you live, attend a few FJ meet&greet's in person, see what everybody else has.

As for vendors, we can steer you to the folks you won't have a problem with. Aftermarket for Toyota is a small crowd so we all hear quickly who the flakes are.

So, action item for you: tell us a little more about where you live, what you plan on doing with the truck, how hardcore you want to get. And then we can make better suggestions.

Welcome to the club

Want to see what FOUR years (updated!) of offroading in Colorado looks like? Click Here

Join the Colorado FJ Cruisers Facebook page for Colorado mod days, trail runs and other organized events! Not from Colorado, but planning a trip here? Join up, we'd be happy to suggest some offroading locations for you or even coordinate a run with the locals!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

Yes, tires and suspension are accounted for. OME or Toytec lift (not a spacer kit). Tires will be an AT of some kind, haven't decided on specific model yet.

I live in the midwest, will travel highways most of the time as a DD, sand dunes a few times a year, fire roads a few times a year, off road park a few times a year, and snow for about 11 months out of the year (it seems ). Aside from the sand dunes and off road park, I don't intend to go looking for difficult terrain, only want a vehicle that can allow me to explore what I find.

I'm not opposed to traveling for the right one, but I have been searching within a few hours drive of me. I'm looking at 2008+ models under 100k miles around the $16k-20k mark. Would like locking diff/atrac/subwoofer and have found a number of vehicles that fit the above.

Well aware of buy once cry once, but I tried that with Iron Bull on a truck and didn't find out until after my purchase they were a terrible company.

Last edited by TFin04; 09-19-2016 at 09:38 AM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 09:41 AM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

There's a green 2010 on here at $19,500. Get that one.

What size tires will fit on my FJ?

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 #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 03:20 PM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

Another consideration is how handy are you? It can be much cheaper and sometimes turn out better if you do things on your own. (e.g. oil changes) You don't need to do a bunch of upgrades right away to do most of the off-roading you are talking about. FJs are very capable in their stock form. You will never truly be done making upgrades

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 09:29 AM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

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TFin04 previously said: View Post
Yes, tires and suspension are accounted for. OME or Toytec lift (not a spacer kit). Tires will be an AT of some kind, haven't decided on specific model yet.
If you plan on doing a bumper, you'll want one of the Toytec adjustable suspensions (Ultimate or Boss) to help correct the driver-side lean. The base model OME's are good -- I ran them for 4 years here in Colorado -- but they're not adjustable. OME does make an adjustable suspension (with remote reservoirs) but it's ~$2500 (I have it). But you can't really go wrong with the Toytecs.

On tires, resist the urge to just get BFG All Terrain's. The new KO2's have wider gaps to self-clean mud and snow, but they still have balancing problems and they're still not as good as Duratracs (mud tire outer tread, all-terrain inner tread). Show up to FJ Summit and a good 1/4 to 1/3 are on Duratracs, they're the real deal. I've been running mine for 4 years here in Colorado, over all kinds of terrain. A handful of the other tire companies (Cooper, Nitto etc) have now replicated the MT/AT tread concept.

If you've got very specific terrain requirements (i.e. sand all the time), there are better tires for that. But for the DD road miles, light offroading and snow driving you mention, a hybrid tire that's pretty good at a lot of things is probably what you want.

Quote:
TFin04 previously said: View Post
I'm not opposed to traveling for the right one, but I have been searching within a few hours drive of me. I'm looking at 2008+ models under 100k miles around the $16k-20k mark. Would like locking diff/atrac/subwoofer and have found a number of vehicles that fit the above.
If you plan on keeping the FJ for a long time, and doing a bunch of mods to it (sounds like you do), you might consider a 2010+ truck with lower miles. Price goes up, but they got a new engine in 2010 and fixed a handful of other things. All things being equal, a high-miles 2010+ for the same price as a 2008-2009 would still be preferable just for the updates.

200-300 mile search radius isn't bad, that's where I normally start and if you can find one in that range, good job. But I'd still compare whatever you find in that radius to the national market just to see how it lines up. Your best deal will come on a 4x4 truck in the south (Florida to Texas) at a non-Toyota dealership who probably regrets the day they ever took the truck on trade.

Good luck!

Want to see what FOUR years (updated!) of offroading in Colorado looks like? Click Here

Join the Colorado FJ Cruisers Facebook page for Colorado mod days, trail runs and other organized events! Not from Colorado, but planning a trip here? Join up, we'd be happy to suggest some offroading locations for you or even coordinate a run with the locals!

My CB Radio Install+Parts Thread

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 08:48 AM
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Re: Best value in off road protection (bumpers, sliders, skids, etc)

Trailworx tubed bumper, Bilstein 5100's, superflex 2" rear lift springs and RCI skid plates unpainted or look in the forsale section

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