Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Dealer Negotiations/Test Driving This area is for purchasing help, dealer negotations as well as test driving impressions.

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Question Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Hi all! I am new here, and I hope this is the right place for this type of question.

I recently moved to Colorado, and have wanted an fj for as long as I can remember. (They came out when I was a teenager). I finally have the cash, and a good reason to get one!

I realistically need to stay under 18k all said and done, but I can't decide if it is better to

a) wait it out and find an FJ with some simple mods like the stock upgrade packages and/or upgraded bumpers or lights and spend the full 18k.

b) go for something in the 13k range and then upgrade some stuff over time.

I've already limited myself to nothing above 130k miles, and can sometimes find options near 100k.

There is currently a base 2007 fj that I could get for about 13k, with no extras (not even side airbags) and 130k miles, but it does at least have traction control.

There was an fj for 18k with a 2" lift, great front bumper and winch mount. The dealer said they replaced the rear pinions after getting it. It had 100k miles. It sold a day before I went to buy it.

I've read the buying guide (good stuff), so will look out for the fender bulge. At this price range I am dealing with almost all 07s. I also don't want to look further than 100 miles at this point.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 01:36 AM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

If you buy stock then you're more likely to find a vehicle that hasn't been wheeled hard and may be in better condition. Buying stock means you get to add the mods of your choice not those chosen by someone else.

If you buy a modded vehicle look closely at what has been swapped. A lift might save you some money if it is fairly new and good quality, otherwise it is worthless and you'll need to replace it anyhow. likewise anything else, if it is what you would have added yourself it has some value. price up the cost of adding it and then factor that into the asking price, bearing in mind that adding mods do not add that value to the total.

Personally I'd buy stock. work out what works for me and make it my own. modding is part of the fun of ownership.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 04:14 AM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Something I wish I had done was write out all the stuff I was looking for in a vehicle. After going the stock route and seeing all the good vehicles in the for sale forums and classifieds, I kinda regret jumping on a stock vehicle. It doesn't hurt that someone else started the modding. Just because it's modded, doesn't mean it's worse off than stock ones that are commuters. After joining the forums, I learned of typical FJ problems seem to plague any type of driver. So just make sure maintenance is up to date and performed on time. You might strike a deal on one that meets your criteria. Good luck with search.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 03:43 PM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

probably should have bought one before moving to Colorado. I think CO might have the priciest FJs and 4Runners in the entire country.

You can look at those with mods, but as ZerosFJ points out above, some of the modded FJ's have been wheeled hard. Aftermarket accessories add very little to a vehicle selling price. And 9 times out of 10, it is with stuff you wouldnt choose yourself. Lifts can be anywhere from $1.5k-$5k new if done right. If they are on a crappy spacer lift or if not done right, you will have more cost to rectify it than if you bought a stock FJ. And, I can tell you that there a lot different wheels, tires ,bumpers, sliders and armor where you will want exactly what you want and the likelihood that someone equipped an FJ exactly how you would have done it are very slim.

oh...and last thing...dont be posting pics and comments on social media about how awesome Colorado is. You'll see what I mean after spending some time out here.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 03:56 PM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

All FJ's have traction control BTW.

Starting with a blank canvas has its perks, but you can do it much cheaper by buying someone else's toy if budget is a concern, just make sure the mods are good quality beforehand.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 04:12 PM
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In terms of money, it’s universally understood that whatever you add to your FJ (bumpers, lift, etc), you’ll see minimal return when you go to sell it (same for most other trucks and cars). What could be $2000+ in bumpers alone could mean only $500-$1000ish price increase above blue book (that is a pure guess on my part).

So, if you’re able to buy an FJ with everything you want already on it, you will save money. However, there are two problems with this (as others have already pointed out). 1) Aesthetically, taste differs between people. 2) If they have the mods to wheel and abuse the car, did they? That’s where your inspection comes in.

If they have records of oil changes, diff oil changes, transmission fluid changes, and the undercarriage doesn’t look abused or rusted to hell, chances are pretty good that while they may have taken it off road, they could have been cognizant of not messing up their beloved ride (holy run-on sentence, my b). It’s a gamble, but it ultimately comes down to how much money you’ll save and if that savings is worth the gamble to you.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 07:05 PM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Whatever you buy make sure it has the locking rear differential.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Quote:
Iconic_ previously said: View Post
All FJ's have traction control BTW.
I don't know much about FJs, but are you certain about this? I was looking at this FJ: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...2815/overview/

I did a test-drive and noticed it doesn't have a traction control button. I think I also recall from the FJ 2007 ebrochure the traction control is an added option. I could be wrong though....

Zach
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 07:56 PM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Quote:
ZacharyD previously said: View Post
I don't know much about FJs, but are you certain about this? I was looking at this FJ: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...2815/overview/

I did a test-drive and noticed it doesn't have a traction control button. I think I also recall from the FJ 2007 ebrochure the traction control is an added option. I could be wrong though....

Zach
It is a traction control off button, but they all have traction control as standard, on my '07 I just can't turn it off without adding another aftermaket switch.

A-trac is the added option, it's an offroad assist mode that functions in 4Lo.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 08:08 PM
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Re: Buy basic and upgrade, or buy already upgraded

Hmm, Kinda makes my 07 look like a bargain...
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