Project Mall Crawler - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Project Mall Crawler

Prologue:
Spent the last 6 years doing my daily 60-70 mile commute in an 09 Audi S5 6 speed. The Audi is now well over 130K and want to stop driving it everyday for fear of the repair bills that will come if I continue to drive it like that much more. Decided to purchase an FJ to take over commuting duties for at least the next 1-2 years. Wanted something fun, cheap, reliable and I could modify. I liked the S5 buy there is not much you can do to modify it unless you want to spend a small fortune and have get a degree in weird **** germans carmakers do.

The Hunt:
Took me well over 2 months, 2 wasted 8hr round trips, lots of disappointments to find an FJ that had lower mileage in the price I was willing to pay. I was seriously fed up and about to give up when a local dealer 20mins away put one up for sale. The add was so new it didn't even have pictures yet up I just saw it was the mileage, history, and price I wanted only 20mins away. I went expecting to be disappointed again, only to find the best FJ I had seen yet. Even though it was a color lower on my list its condition made up for it. When I test drove it the rear-end had a pretty bad howl to it but the dealer was a big new Honda dealership that had taken it on trade 2 days before and promised the would fix it before delivery. So I signed papers and had to wait... and wait... 3 weeks it took the local Toyota dealer, the ended up replacing the whole rear differential.

The Canvas:
So here is the FJ I settled on after 2 months of searching.
2007 AT 4WD Titanium Metallic 78K miles
1-owner stayed in the same area it's whole life
Convenience Package
Upgrade Package 2
Completely stock(except stupid phone ram mount on driver side a/c vents.)
Paint needs to cut and buffed but pretty sure 95% will come out.








A Poser is Born:
I could try to lie to you and myself and act like I will be doing off-roading etc.., but other than maybe going out on the beaches of the Cape. The majority of this FJ's life will now be commuting the highways of Mass. Even so I bought my FJ to modify and have it look even more badass than the pack of modified Wrangler Unlimiteds at my office park. The 3" lift, wheels, and tires are already on order....

So all hail Project Mall Crawler!
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

The Yuppie needs fancy:

So I had drove the FJ exactly one day before I realized I had an issue. I no longer know how to live without hands-free bluetooth and navigation. Thanks to the great members on this forum they brought my attention to the Joying android radios. Radio installed super easy and my fancy needs have been meant... although leather and heated seats might be nice...





USB Port

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

Snowball Effect:

So the radio and sound system was suppose to be much lower on my list of things to do and honestly the stock system wasn't as bad as I expected. But once the radio became a priority and I changed it I got to thinking about the rest and did some research on here. Seeing what others said about the D-pillar speakers and hearing it myself I decided for the small money and time it would be worth trying to improve them.I decided to swap in some NVX NSP35 in the D-pillar.

Old vs New:




New 3.5" against unmodified stock bracket:


3.5" mounted to bracket after cutting the **** out of it:


The speaker cover ring cut so there is room for the new speaker:


Conclusion:
So I have mixed emotions about this after it is all done. First this ended up taking way more work than I planned on investing. Removing the speaker and bracket, cutting the bracket, reinstalling all of it was more a pain than most speaker swaps. The difference between these and stock was huge and you can absolutely notice the rear fill improvement. Ultimately it was not enough for me and I will end up putting speakers in the back doors at some point. Once that happens the sound these produce will all but be negligible so kind of a waste.
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

The Snowball keeps Rolling:

My plan for the FJ was always going to be 2 12's or 10's in sealed boxes I had just finished doing a full-system 3600watt 2 amplifier sound system on my 07 Tundra. After spending the last 3 weekends tearing apart interiors and running wires I wanted nothing to do with that nor spend that kinda money. I read on here about people swapping out the stock 8" sub and using a different amplifier off the stock wiring. This seemed interesting to me since I could do it without having to run new wires, use the stock woofer box, all the new micro amps I could mount it in the subbox like stock. Finally I have never done anything with an 8"woofer a my personal preference has always been to use 12" sealed as I find it the most versatile so it'd be a fun experiment and use a brand I never had before.

Stock vs Skar VD-8.4


Houston we have a problem...


When in doubt... cut a bigger whole!


Amplifier time!
NVX MVPA1 RMS 300watts 2ohms.
Dimensions: 4"W x 5-7/16"L x 1-9/16"H


Stock amp location


Clearanced for the MVPA1


Will it fit...


Not sure if you can make it out but I had to also cut the inside ring of the silver outer cover as it was too close to the VD-8.4


Skar gave me a decal so decided to use it



Mounted the amps so it won't move and then just cut the stock plug and extended the wires to the MVPA1. Now you just have to plug the subwoofer box into the stock connector just like your normally would it is completely self contained. Since my sub box had a few scratches I did a few things to try to improve the cosmetics while I had it all apart.

Finished Product
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Last edited by GTStang; 10-21-2017 at 06:29 PM.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 09:43 AM
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

I like how you did your subwoofer! Very cool! And also a good deal that you got that rear end replaced as part of the purchase deal!

And in the future you could always repaint it or wrap it to a color you like more!
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

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I like how you did your subwoofer! Very cool! And also a good deal that you got that rear end replaced as part of the purchase deal!

And in the future you could always repaint it or wrap it to a color you like more!
Thanks, I think long term I may still end doing a sealed 10" or 12" an 8" is very punchy but will just not boom as much without a very specific box design. I'm happy for now need to get my hands dirty and get the lift going soon.


Color is growing on me... saw a pic of one with a gloss black roof and really liked so may do that.

Last edited by GTStang; 10-22-2017 at 10:25 AM.
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 11:19 AM
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

Quote:
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Thanks, I think long term I may still end doing a sealed 10" or 12" an 8" is very punchy but will just not boom as much without a very specific box design. I'm happy for now need to get my hands dirty and get the lift going soon.


Color is growing on me... saw a pic of one with a gloss black roof and really liked so may do that.
Yep, paint your roof hot rod black and stick the black TT hood decal on to break up the silver a bit. Silver is a good color for hiding scratches and fading. Maybe some black or gunmetal rims later..
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 11:25 AM
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

Blacked out silver FJs look great!


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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

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cliffy previously said: View Post
Yep, paint your roof hot rod black and stick the black TT hood decal on to break up the silver a bit. Silver is a good color for hiding scratches and fading. Maybe some black or gunmetal rims later..
Not a fan of black wheels on silver but I agree, would of loved gunmetal wheels! Couldn't find one's in the style/size I liked so ended up ordering these. I wish they were darker on the non-machined parts. We'll see how they look when I get them may end up painting them a darker gunmetal color.

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Last edited by GTStang; 10-22-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Project Mall Crawler

The Soundstorm is Over:

Was actually pretty impressed with how the doors sounded on the new android headunit but at the very end of the power could hear them distoring. Since I went this far, it's an easy swap, and knew I would improve the highs decided to put in a set of 6.5" components. Went with CT Sounds 6.5" Strato Pro comps used them before and for the money I love them.

Too lazy to make my own brackets when these cheapies from Schosche work just fine just used some insualtion tape on the back to seal it.


Let me thank Toyota right now for this access cover which ended up being a great spot for me to mount the crossover.


Here is is all done in the door ready for the panel to go back on.


The stock dash speakers are acoustically more correct pointing towards the rearview mirror and I could of made a bracket to use that spot. I choose an acoustically worse set-up in the a-pillar but they are so pretty I wanted to show them off.



Conclusions:
The are a bit under powered by the android h/u which was expected they really come alive at the last 10% of the h/u. Cause of this they aren't louder than stock but the SQ especially on the high frequency is noticeably better. Eventually I will amp them but will do it at the same time with the addition of rear door speakers and maybe a bigger subwoofer.
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