Proud new FJ Cruiser owner looking for tips, suggestions, and recommendations.
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!
Silver '08 FJ Cruiser