We like the alpine loop, Imogen pass, Ouray, lake city areas best. On this years trip out I began looking at what vehicles the locals prefer for all around use, both on highway and off road and noticed that jeeps and fj's seem to be predominate. Since we drive close to 2K miles of interstate just to get there I am ruling out the jeep thinking the fj will be much more comfortable getting there than the jeep as well as more trouble free.
Hi Bob! I help run a Colorado-based offroading club for Toyotas. FJ Summit
is a 350+ vehicle Toyota offroading event based out of Ouray each year in July. So many of us here have extensive experience in the Ouray / Lake City areas.
I have been to 9 FJ Summits in Ouray, and have led trails and helped to train trail leaders at 7 of them. My equipment advice for the Ouray area: you need a 2.5-3 inch lift, 33-inch all-terrain tires (Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs are excellent) and some rock sliders
. Skidplates would be an insurance policy for the harder trails -- Imogene, Black Bear -- and necessary for the hardest trails -- Poughkeepsie. But for most trails in the Ouray area, you just need lift / tires / sliders.
Since you are FJ shopping let me suggest the buy/sell guide, here: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...j-cruiser.html
I wrote that ^^^ guide so feel free to ask me any questions here.
My question is if I find one all stock and buy it what will I need to spend to get it raised a bit in order to be able to get it off road. I am hoping some of you may be familiar with the area of the alpine loop and give me some guidance on how much lift, what size tires, etc I would need to be able to do it. I am 76 YOA and not wanting to do serious rock crawling, but very much enjoy getting offroad. I am also wondering how much I can change it without affecting the highway comfort and reliability.
There are essentially three tiers of offroading suspensions for the FJ:
1. Cheapest: Increases your ride height by a fixed amount. About $800-900 in parts, the Old Man Emu 2.5 inch lift is the basic suspension to start with here.
2. More expensive, but more functional: increases your ride height by a variable amount (via a threaded collar above the spring), but is useful if you add a bumper / winch later and need to handle the extra weight. About $1200-1400, the Toytec Ultimate / Boss are good baselines here.
3. Most expensive: height adjustable but also with a remote reservoir for additional suspension softness (adjustable rebound / compression). If your goal is comfort, these are the suspensions to look at. These start around $2200-2500 and go up from there. For me the best of this type of suspension are the Old Man Emu BP-51's, I have owned them on both an FJ and now a 4Runner. If you ever pass through Denver on your trips, you are welcome to swing by my house and drive mine.
For more questions about lifts, my advice would be to call Hugo at Toytec Lifts (303-255-4959). They are Denver-based, Hugo is an admin for our local club and is very knowledgeable about Toyota lifts.
And of course I would like an Idea how much money it will require to change a stock fj to the one that will do what I want so I can judge the value of ones I see for sale as far as stock vs already lifted and modded. I have a lift, well equipped garage and maintain our other vehicles ( 3 porsches and a vw ) and can do most of the labor myself.
The nice thing about buying someone else's modified truck is that you can get the parts at a fraction of their new cost. My own FJ with $13,000 in mods sold for market price (for the FJ) plus about 45% of the (new) mod value.
The problem with buying someone else's modified truck is that you don't know how well the work was done
. You may be buying a project. They may have driven the vehicle too hard and damaged some of the parts. Or they may have used cheap parts that you'll need to replace.
Happy to help with any other questions you may have!