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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Post Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Hello all,

This is my first ever post to any type of forum, and I am just hoping to learn more about my FJ, and to receive some valuable input and insight from more experienced FJ owners.

Just two weeks ago I purchased my silver 2008 FJ Cruiser "C" Package (5-speed automatic) from a dealership for $11,000 (Canadian dollars) with around 260,000 kms on it (came with a trailer brake installed, and towing would cause much more strain on the engine, but I don't believe it was used much) Pretty much everything is in excellent condition, except for a few minor cosmetic things (couple scratches and scuffs on the hood, some on the body panels, and a few interior scratches, small dent to the rear bumper, mild corrosion on the rims, superficial rust on the frame, and minor hail damage to some panels). The vehicle had one previous owner who took it in to the dealer for servicing pretty much every 10,000 kms, with the most expensive repair being a ~$4,000 fix to some hail damaged areas. The vehicle came with small aftermarket lights on the front, and a very nice "Deluxe" ARB roof rack on top. I live in Alberta, Canada, so I get some pretty extreme weather sometimes, but it makes for much more interesting driving.

Firstly, does it sound like I got a relatively good deal on this FJ?
I am extremely happy with it thus far. The vehicle is far superior to my previous rides (2007 Ford Escape hybrid, 2004 Land Rover Discovery II, 2004 Mazda Tribute) in many ways, but the front-wheel drive system in the Mazda Tribute is unmatched thus far in terms of handling in snowy and other adverse road conditions.

Secondly, what sort of modifications would you all recommend I do to this beast?
Keeping in mind that I am a relatively poor university student, but I am working year-round (including ski coaching in the winter, so lots of snowy driving) so I can work towards some more expensive things. Also, I currently drive primarily on the highway (to the mountains and back for work, to university and back for school, etc), but I drive offroad pretty much whenever I get the chance. For example, during the winter I like to drive a portion of the journey to and from the ski hill on a frozen lake both to avoid potential speeding tickets and because it is so much fun.

Here is a small list of things I plan on doing to the FJ:
-New hood (potentially black, but I'm not sure how that'd look with a silver body)
-Additional and/or upgraded lights (had a few close calls with previous vehicles driving through native reserves with people, animals, and debris on the road during dark early morning drives to the mountains. Also might get some yellow-tinted lights to help with blizzard whiteouts which I face all too often, even got one less than a week ago)
-Different exhaust system (saw someone had a nice TRD setup which looked and sounded amazing, any suggestions?)
-Potentially a small lift kit (suggestions?)
-Remote starter for the super cold ski days
-Mud flaps (both for to help prevent throwing rocks at vehicles behind mine, and, admittedly, looks)
-Rear bumper replacement (any suggestions? looking for something decent and relatively cheap)
-Front bumper/bush bar (probably one with lights, but I am not opposed to anything at the moment, any suggestions?)
-New rims and maybe bigger wheels eventually
-Some sort of storage setup on the rear door, including an axe holder for convenience when camping and looks
-Way down the line I will probably get some rock sliders and such for crawling, and limit the damage done when I bottom out on a snow drift at 130 km/hr on a frozen lake (something I did in my old Tribute, causing the entire exhaust manifold to hang just a few inches above the ground and removing the majority of the plastic shield piece under the engine)

Here is the very small list of things I have done since purchasing:
-Neglected to use Premium fuel, only Regular and Mid-grade once
-Changed the rear diff fluid as the vent was rusted shut and some fluid had been forced out of the diff through the fill valve (old stuff was kind of dirty, but had no metal shavings in it)
-Endured the unnecessarily painstaking process of installing tail light guards

Thank you very much to anyone who gives any input, I really appreciate it!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:07 PM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun with this thing. Reading through your post, it looks like lights are a great place to start.

LEDs make great light, but they also make no heat, so maybe not so great in your winters when the snow will clog them up.

I have an Orangeboxx Fab molle rack for my back door. Fits my axe, machete, and a bunch of more stuff with no problem.

Lots of great lift options. Let everyone know more about your budget and offroading expectations and everyone can weigh in better.

If you add aftermarket bumpers you will probably need to put in stronger springs.

One other thing you might want to add to your list is armor for under your FJ. There are a number of options that will protect it from the front clear past the trans-axle. That may help you with those drifts!

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:21 PM
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:43 PM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome from Vancouver!
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 01:57 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome aboard!
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:57 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome to the forums! My advice would be to take some time and browse through the forums. There are so many questions that have been asked (to include the ones you are asking). Additionally, there are some great members up North! I'm sure they'll come out to say hi!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:26 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome ! . Tons of great info on here.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:26 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome fellow Albertan!

Sounds like you got a decent deal on your FJ.

First 2 things I would look at doing based on the driving habits you mentioned:

1 - A good set of tires. Duratracs are popular here because they perform well on snowy conditions and have decent highway manners. I am on my second set.
2 - remote starter - its Alberta after all

Hate to say it but buying mods for the FJ in Canada is frustrating. The price can become prohibitive once exchange, taxes and transportation are factored and there are vendors/companies who just wont ship to Canada because of the additional work.

If you have the store Uncle Wieners nearby - keep an eye out on there LED lights, they are constantly revolving their product and decent buys can be had.

Enjoy the FJ!
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:26 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Welcome
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:04 AM
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Re: Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Greetings from VT!
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