As of Apr 2019:
In the Beginning
My first 4x4 was a '93 Toyota pickup, standard cab, 5sp MT, no options (no power steering, no A/C, no stereo, nada), and a small canopy on the back with side doors. I absolutely loved that truck, but after gutting it out in 90º+ heat for nine hours on the way home from the great eclipse apocalypse with the windows rolled up and the vent set to recirc to avoid the trail dust, I started thinking about something newer, safer, and air conditioned.
Things are going to start happening to me now!
Not long after that trip, a friend mentioned that his mom had a nearly new FJ sitting in her garage that she might be willing to sell. And so began The Long Wait...
...Fast forward a year and some change and I finally took possession of a 2011 cavalry blue FJ Cruiser. It has never looked as spiff as that first day, dripping with armor all and nary a scratch in the paint. But now it looks like it should—well-used.
During the shopping process, I mentioned to a colleague that I was looking for a new vehicle and considering the FJ. “You’d sell your truck to get The Jerk?!” she said, incredulously. “The Jerk?” I asked. “Yeah, everyone who got one for a while seemed to be a total jerk...” I thought it was hilarious—the name stuck.
2011 FJC, off-road package (I think this included the roof rack and Bilstein shocks), 6sp MT, 60k mi. Purchased new in Juneau, AK and then shipped to Oregon. I’m the 3rd owner.
My primary intent with this vehicle is car camping and exploration. I guess we call it “overlanding” now because car camping is not cool. I have relied heavily on various posts and build threads here as I continue to mod my FJ, so hopefully someone finds this thread useful as I learn more along the way.
FJ toyman rear lower shock skids
White Knuckle Off-road rock sliders
Cheapo clear door trim from Amazon
Iconic's rear recovery points, powder coated orange
Cheapo traction boards from Amazon (still waiting for a Maxtrax sponsorship. Any day now, I’m sure of it...)
Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack (84”x56”)
Blackout grill and all silver bumper pieces
Black door handles (I figured paint would wear through here, so splurged for black plastic)
Custom painted matte black roof
Auto Ventshade 894041 wind deflectors
Wet Okole seat covers with inflatable lumbar supports (“What are these...pumps for?” I have all kinds of creative answers)
DIY trunk cargo hooks & 3d printed covers
DIY cargo/sleep platform (extends 6’4” on the passenger side and 6’2” on the driver side)
Rugged Ridge floor mats front/rear
Rugged Ridge trunk mat
RAM phone mount on the windshield
Garmin Inreach mount on the windshield
TRD cue-ball shift knob
Under the hood
AFE Pro Dry S air filter
Northstar AGM battery type 27F
Diode Dynamics LED interior lights—red in the domes and white in the maps. (Red preserves your night vision and white lets you read maps without losing the red details which are usually important...)
All-pro CB antenna Bandi mount
4’ Firestick CB antenna
Uniden handheld CB radio (cheapo Amazon special)
Baofeng 3GT-GTP HT radio (ham)
Garmin Inreach Mini (Seriously, if you ever go out alone off-grid, this thing will save your ass if things go wrong. And your relationship. Being able to text your partner in the middle of nowhere is a huge stress reliever on long trips.)
King OEM kit with external reservoirs and adjusters, extended travel, 550lb springs
SPC UCAs, caster set to +4
Body mount chop with Metal Tech end caps
Rear: King OEM kit with external reservoirs and adjusters
ICON 2” lift springs, standard weight (approx 15% increase in spring rate over stock)
Tires & Wheels
Cooper Discovery 285/70-17
Spidertrax 1.25” spacers
Rhino Rack Sunseeker awning
Valpro (Wavian) 5gal fuel can
Harbor Freight limbing shears
Noco Genius Boost GB70
Cheapo electric air compressor from Amazon (will do all four tires without overheating. Good enough—I can buy 8 of these before I hit the price of an ARB twin compressor)
Cheapo hydraulic jack/stand from Santa