Which FJC Seems the Better Deal - Page 3 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Let us know which one you get but don`t waste to much time trying to decide they go quick <img src="https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
Will do! I’m leaning Army Green at present.
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:54 AM
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Re: Which FJC Seems the Better Deal

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If I can get the Army Green 2013 down to $29.5, I’d prefer it though.
Another truck you might consider, that just popped up.

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...-26-500-a.html

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

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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If I can get the Army Green 2013 down to $29.5, I’d prefer it though.
Another truck you might consider, that just popped up.

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...-26-500-a.html
Wow - that’s an impressive 2011 TT. Thanks for finding and pointing it out to me, JB. I ended up going with the Army Green 2013. Exceptional just as it was described and advertised. I’m thrilled with it.

One question (I may need to search the forums): It has a full bolt-on front brush guard. The extra weight and protection I don’t need plus non preferred “look” equal a removal soon. Is there much of a used market for then? Also what are some of the best replacement options (bumpers and / or more of a bull guard - which one mechanic told me was, more or less, a “damage multiplier” in an accident for any vehicle they’re attached to)? Thanks again.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 07:31 AM
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Re: Which FJC Seems the Better Deal

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I ended up going with the Army Green 2013. Exceptional just as it was described and advertised. I’m thrilled with it.
Congrats! I figured you had picked one, since your last post was a few days ago.

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One question (I may need to search the forums): It has a full bolt-on front brush guard. The extra weight and protection I don’t need plus non preferred “look” equal a removal soon. Is there much of a used market for then? Also what are some of the best replacement options (bumpers and / or more of a bull guard - which one mechanic told me was, more or less, a “damage multiplier” in an accident for any vehicle they’re attached to)?
Less of a market here -- they're functionally useless, we typically opt for full bumpers and the shipping isn't cheap anyway -- and more so on Craigslist. My advice would be to price it aggressively locally and be happy when you're rid of it

I've helped to install most of the major bumpers made for the FJ, my top two picks:

ARB Bull Bumper

This is the battering ram of the FJ world. Comes in black or silver, these are (jokingly) built in Australia for running over Kangaroos (like deer to us). If you told me that my FJ had to hit a deer once in its life, I'd want this bumper over the rest. It is the most metal per dollar of any FJ bumper, it's also not the most stylish choice out there. The ARB also does something with the winch that I haven't seen on any other bumper: the mounting plate for the winch is vertical, putting the bottom of the winch pointing forward. This way your winch essentially pulls down, rather than sideways as the rest do. This requires specific types of winches -- the more barrel design that can be "clocked", i.e. the control / motor are turned to fit -- but you'll end up with probably the strongest winching platform out there as well.

Search around, the ARB's can be found new in the $1000-1100 range before options.

Expedition One Kodiak

This is the bumper I've had on both my FJ and now my new '18 4Runner. Their install process is easy, they sell the necessary related products -- washer bottle relocate -- and it's a large open design with plenty of room for different winches. The winching setup is standard flat bottom, I've recovered many trucks with mine and have no concerns over strength. It can surely take a deer hit, although probably not as well as the ARB. But it's a good looking bumper, bought from a great company. Expedition One frequently runs a big group-buy over the summers (@Expedition One you guys doing one this year?) which is typically when I've bought mine.

So the decision ^^^ here essentially comes down to form (Expedition One) or function (ARB). For me the Expedition One is enough physical protection and winching platform to be good enough for all the trail running I do, but it's far superior on looks. If you live in an area with a lot of deer, drive your FJ a lot at night and don't mind the looks of the ARB, it's hard to argue with the lower price as well.

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 #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up going with the Army Green 2013. Exceptional just as it was described and advertised. I’m thrilled with it.
Congrats! I figured you had picked one, since your last post was a few days ago.

Quote:
RisingSons previously said: View Post
One question (I may need to search the forums): It has a full bolt-on front brush guard. The extra weight and protection I don’t need plus non preferred “look” equal a removal soon. Is there much of a used market for then? Also what are some of the best replacement options (bumpers and / or more of a bull guard - which one mechanic told me was, more or less, a “damage multiplier” in an accident for any vehicle they’re attached to)?
Less of a market here -- they're functionally useless, we typically opt for full bumpers and the shipping isn't cheap anyway -- and more so on Craigslist. My advice would be to price it aggressively locally and be happy when you're rid of it <img src="https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />

I've helped to install most of the major bumpers made for the FJ, my top two picks:

ARB Bull Bumper

This is the battering ram of the FJ world. Comes in black or silver, these are (jokingly) built in Australia for running over Kangaroos (like deer to us). If you told me that my FJ had to hit a deer once in its life, I'd want this bumper over the rest. It is the most metal per dollar of any FJ bumper, it's also not the most stylish choice out there. The ARB also does something with the winch that I haven't seen on any other bumper: the mounting plate for the winch is vertical, putting the bottom of the winch pointing forward. This way your winch essentially pulls down, rather than sideways as the rest do. This requires specific types of winches -- the more barrel design that can be "clocked", i.e. the control / motor are turned to fit -- but you'll end up with probably the strongest winching platform out there as well.

Search around, the ARB's can be found new in the $1000-1100 range before options.

Expedition One Kodiak

This is the bumper I've had on both my FJ and now my new '18 4Runner. Their install process is easy, they sell the necessary related products -- washer bottle relocate -- and it's a large open design with plenty of room for different winches. The winching setup is standard flat bottom, I've recovered many trucks with mine and have no concerns over strength. It can surely take a deer hit, although probably not as well as the ARB. But it's a good looking bumper, bought from a great company. Expedition One frequently runs a big group-buy over the summers (@Expedition One you guys doing one this year?) which is typically when I've bought mine.

So the decision ^^^ here essentially comes down to form (Expedition One) or function (ARB). For me the Expedition One is enough physical protection and winching platform to be good enough for all the trail running I do, but it's far superior on looks. If you live in an area with a lot of deer, drive your FJ a lot at night and don't mind the looks of the ARB, it's hard to argue with the lower price as well.

Thanks so much, JB!

And, wow, the info and insight on the ARB and Expedition One bumpers is incredibly helpful - thank YOU!

A few questions:

Won’t I need to change my front suspension springs if I add either bumper? My understanding is the weight of either one will eventually cause sag. And is sag an issue with the bolt on bull bar I have on there now (which I’m soon to remove)? I’ve not really noticed any and the previous owner, who has an FJ Cruiser Forum badge on the grill (I need to ask him his user name), has had it on there for a while. Lastly, what are the recommenced spring updates (brand and “weight”)?

Thanks again and in advance!
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:56 AM
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Re: Which FJC Seems the Better Deal

There are aluminum bumpers available from DeMello and Aluminess that are light enough to not need heavier springs, although if you add a winch and steel cable you still might need boost your suspension. I have a DeMello aluminum bumper and a Warn M8000 winch with synthetic line and hawse fairlead that is, as a package, light enough that I don't feel the need for heavier springs. And the corrosion resistance of aluminum cannot be overlooked where I live in road salt country.

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:30 AM
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Re: Which FJC Seems the Better Deal

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Won’t I need to change my front suspension springs if I add either bumper? My understanding is the weight of either one will eventually cause sag. And is sag an issue with the bolt on bull bar I have on there now (which I’m soon to remove)?
Compared to a bumper / winch combo, the grill guard on there now doesn't really weigh anything.

Yes, to add a bumper / winch without the front end losing height you will need at least an upgraded front suspension. You can level the truck front-to-back with just the front suspension, or you can lift the entire truck with front and rear suspension upgrades.

Tons of discussion here on the forums about which lifts to buy and for what applications. Before looking at suspensions, my advice: figure out what you plan on doing with the truck first. Hard offroading, light offroading, just driving around town? Low speed crawling, high speed desert running etc. Look at what other people do with their trucks and see what interests you. Attend some local club meets, go on some offroading group drives.

You need to know where you want to end up before you budget for how to get there. When you know these answers -- what you want to do with the truck, budget etc -- then post a question in the Suspension Subforum to see what fits your needs and budget.

One final thought, I came up with this saying years ago. We see a lot of folks here who end up building and then rebuilding their truck multiple times because they didn't do this ^^^ ahead of time, or their budget was tight and they Absolutely Had To Have A Lift Right Now! The saying is: it's always cheaper to do it right than it is to do it twice. Any part you buy, put on the truck and take off later will sell for less than you paid for it. If you pay other people to do the work on your truck, even more so. That cheap spacer lift now for ~$750 installed is worth $100-150 in parts when you put the lift on that you should have started with.

The point of figuring out what you want, budgeting for it, building directly to it is to avoid doing things twice.

Good luck!
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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 #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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RisingSons previously said: View Post

You need to know where you want to end up before you budget for how to get there. When you know these answers -- what you want to do with the truck, budget etc -- then post a question in the Suspension Subforum to see what fits your needs and budget.

One final thought, I came up with this saying years ago. We see a lot of folks here who end up building and then rebuilding their truck multiple times because they didn't do this ^^^ ahead of time, or their budget was tight and they Absolutely Had To Have A Lift Right Now! The saying is: it's always cheaper to do it right than it is to do it twice. Any part you buy, put on the truck and take off later will sell for less than you paid for it. If you pay other people to do the work on your truck, even more so. That cheap spacer lift now for ~$750 installed is worth $100-150 in parts when you put the lift on that you should have started with.

The point of figuring out what you want, budgeting for it, building directly to it is to avoid doing things twice.

Good luck!
Serenity Now and JB, thank you.

I do like the Aluminess bumper and not doing any (much) suspension modification idea best. And it’s so true, JB - “measure twice and cut once.”

My applications will be light off-roading at most sticking to lake trails in the Land Between the Lakes area plus mainly daily driving including the highway between KY and Illinois (near St Louis) where my soon-to-be-six year old son lives part of the time with his mom.

So, my best evaluation of my current and future use and needs would lead me to think I would only want to add a lighter bumper with mounts for some lights while removing the current bolt-on, full bull/brush guard.

How does that sound?

Oh, and my console to the left of the steering wheel already has a blue-illuminated button (it’s not the button you see for the Toyota factory lights that could have been a part of the original roof-rack) for extra lights I assume were either on the FJ or is meant for some that can be added to the currently installed brush / bull guard.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:53 AM
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Re: Which FJC Seems the Better Deal

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RisingSons previously said: View Post
I do like the Aluminess bumper and not doing any (much) suspension modification idea best. And it’s so true, JB - “measure twice and cut once.”

My applications will be light off-roading at most sticking to lake trails in the Land Between the Lakes area plus mainly daily driving including the highway between KY and Illinois (near St Louis) where my soon-to-be-six year old son lives part of the time with his mom.

So, my best evaluation of my current and future use and needs would lead me to think I would only want to add a lighter bumper with mounts for some lights while removing the current bolt-on, full bull/brush guard. How does that sound?
There are really two main functional reasons to install an aftermarket bumper: deer protection, and to improve recoverability (i.e. front recovery points or mounting a winch). For what you're talking about doing, I'd skip the bumper for a year or two. Do what you want to do with the truck and see if there's ever a day when you say "wish I had a bumper today".

If, after a year or two, that never happens? Then you're good. No bumper, no winch, no suspension upgrade needed. A stock FJ / 4Runner can do all the trails at FJ Summit safely but one. No need to build a monster truck unless you have to

(by all means remove the grill guard, just saying you don't have to replace it)

Quote:
RisingSons previously said: View Post
Oh, and my console to the left of the steering wheel already has a blue-illuminated button (it’s not the button you see for the Toyota factory lights that could have been a part of the original roof-rack) for extra lights I assume were either on the FJ or is meant for some that can be added to the currently installed brush / bull guard.
You'd need to either find and follow the wiring or have an electrical specialist do it. Lights are typically mounted in two places: on the roof rack or the front bumper. Check for a hole in your roof / wiring etc coming out, if that's there then go with roof-mounted lights. If the wiring goes to the bumper, you should see mounting holes for the lights that were previously there (either that or they mounted to the grill guard?).

My advice on lighting: it's over-rated and over-priced for most applications. Technical offroading at night is dumb, you can't see anything. Driving down a country road at night? Turn on your brights and slow down.

Don't let me talk you out of more lighting if your use case justifies it, but same as with the bumper, try it with just your headlights first and see if you really need lights. If you do, buy good ones (Rigid) once and be done with it.
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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

Complete Guide to Buying and Selling an FJ Cruiser

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