Creasy Bear - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Member Build Ups Section for members to post their FJ buildups.

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Creasy Bear

It all started with the purchase, as all builds do. I was in the market for a new vehicle, and wanted something for hunting, overlanding, car camping, etc. While this is a work in progress, it will now be sucking every spare penny and moment I have, and my hobby has now turned into an addiction. There are some amazing builds in here, and I can in no way compete unless I sold my house and moved into my FJ. But this is a work in progress….

When I first called a dealership in 2014, I was informed they had a few remaining, but that I would be paying a premium over MSRP, so I decided to go the used route. Life happens, and things got in the way, but I finally made a purchase back in 2017. Here’s how it looked when I bought it…









After the purchase (likely should have done it first) I took it into my local shop to have a once over. They found a couple of things, for starters this is what they found on the filter…..



Then they informed me the suspension was no bueno, so I replaced the front and rear. This was mistake #1 , because I was an idiot. The previous owner told me it had a 1.5” lift installed, so without inquiring at the shop, I went ahead and got the suspension fixed, because I thought they were repairing the already lifted FJ. Turns out it was bone stock and a lesson to be learned on my part. Several lessons actually.

I happened to come across the Insane Audio FJ1001 head unit for sale here on the forum, I figured the price was far lower than new and it was a decent price in general, so I bought it. The instructions were very clear, concise and easy to follow, but it’s plug and play anyway.





Immediately after install, my stock speakers went to crap. So I got some Pioneer 6x9s and swapped those in, following Cement Phantoms thread that covered it perfectly
(https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...ers-doors.html).







The next issue I ran into while camping was storage, I found the rear cargo area to be lacking in functionality for me. I also wanted to run a fridge for the kids milk and food as opposed to a cooler. So I sat down and drew up plans for a rear shelf and fridge slide.

At the same time I also purchased and installed the MPAC fold down rail in the rear, which I really like. However I didn’t think about it at the time of purchase, but with the fridge, I can only mount equipment to half of the rack…

This was the first abortion of an attempt of the rear cargo area.



I immediately found it to be lacking, wasting space, and just not being very well executed. So I decided to follow the general idea of some other completed setups. That’s when I came across Dennx thread (https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...wer-build.html). His shelf looked amazing, and I wanted something similar in fit and finish.
So I redid my plans, and decided what I wanted and drafted a slightly different design. I wanted the following:

-Access to the rear compartment
-Fridge with a slide
-Shelf on top of the fridge
-Removable shelf (my wife wanted to occasionally carry strollers and the like)
-Firmly mounted to the body, even after removing the top shelf
-A locking drawer in the rear
-As close to the rear 12v as possible
-Decent fit and finish

And this is what I came up with…







The second attempt was so much better than the first. It’s still nowhere near as good as Dennx, but it was acceptable for my uses. It works out well, and with the butterfly screws on there, removal is easy and it only takes about 45 seconds.

Then I added my emergency kit, stuffed into an ammo can and strapped down.



It was at this time that the tires (which were on the FJ when I bought it and already fairly worn) had finally created a wobble, and were really just very worn down, so it was time to get some new ones, I settled on BFG 285s.



There is just enough wiggle room, and I haven’t noticed any rubbing or anything else as of yet.



Next up was a simple change, Plastidipping the silver interior portions, swapping the door handles, and Plastidipping the rear view mirrors. Since the passenger rear view mirror was broken, I didn’t care about how it looks until I replace it with the blacked out ones, but it let me see how it looked in person. I occasionally remove the plastidip and reapply, or sometimes leave it off for a week or so if I’m feeling lazy after removal.



I went on to Plastidip everything I owned… Thus the name was born…



I also got tired of carrying a key and the fob in my pocket, so I followed the instructions in TinCans post (https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...-fob-swap.html), and now I have just the key and fob, nothing else. No point in adding a pic of that, since the write up covered it completely, and mine looks the exact same.

After that I wanted to convince my wife to camping more often, so I got a RTT. I went with the Smittybilt XL, and sure it’s no James Baroud roof top tent or anything, but I think it’s awesome, and it was a heck of a lot cheaper. After the store owner delivered it to my house himself, I set it up that night. Installation was simple and straight forward and the directions were pretty decent as well and easy to follow. I didn’t need any help mounting it or anything. I just gutted it, mounted it myself and then put the mattress and everything else in and on one thing at a time. The image below isn’t from when I first got it, but I can’t find that picture, so this is from the trip we made shortly after purchase. It was fairly simple for an initial install, but very time consuming, cutting the bars, etc.



Then I dragged my wife and kids on a trip up the PCH, bottom to top and back (pic above). No set dates, nothing booked, just camping as we went, staying where we wanted (availability depending), and we never had an issue. Just plot a point on the map the night before. No cellphone, no GPS, no set timetable, nothing, merely a map and a general idea. My wife had to return to work, so she flew back from Seattle to Phoenix and I took the kids with me for the return leg. Immediately prior to the trip, I also installed refinedcycles jerry can holder (https://www.refinedcycle.com/JM1-Jer...-years-JM1.htm ) to drag around some spare water. I like it.



The rear cargo area held up pretty well during the trip, and suited my needs fairly well.



I got stuck in traffic in San Bernardino on the return leg, and had the joy of watching a kid throw a rock from the pedestrian bridge towards my FJ. With nowhere to go I got to watch it fly all the way down and crack my windshield.



The windshield was replaced while I was gone, and the guy didn’t put the clips in, so I lost a cowl while I was driving, and the passenger side stayed on only because of the antenna. So I had to order a new cowl and clips.
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Last edited by hihoag; 05-20-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Creasy Bear

The cowl and clips remain on the work bench; I will get to the one day….

Everything worked great on the PCH trip, no issues with anything that had been done at the point; however the trip showed me what I wanted to change next. I found the lighting in the cab and cargo area to be very poor, and since it was a $3.00 upgrade, I swapped the dome lights for LED, and the improvement was dramatic, made all the better by the low price.











Another issue I had was the fridge, more specifically the fact that it turned off every time the ignition was turned off. Meaning every morning we had tepid milk, and questionable eggs, etc. I wanted to make it a constant hot outlet, but I also wanted it to run off a second battery. That brought about the Dirty Parts dual battery setup, as well as the Odyssey 34/78PC1500DTA AGMO battery.



Prior to the install, I decided to clean the engine bay, which also gave me an excuse to buy a new pressure washer. The cleaning took a little over an hour, and in my opinion was worth it.





The install went well enough, the instructions were fairly simple but the included CD was not something I could utilize since I don’t have an optical drive, I had to resort to internet searches and contacting Dirty Parts. I will say that Larry was very helpful, even with my moronic questions.





Next up was a fuse box, since I was going to be adding all this stuff to my AUX battery, I may as well make it look clean now. Being a moron, I ordered the wrong length wires, and then got stuck with a bunch of work I had to take care of. That equated to many trips to O’Reileys, Autozone, etc. After a week of tearing away under there, and trial and error, I had finally wired up the engine bay and all my “gidgets and gazmos” as my wife put it.









I’m sure the wiring is all wrong and a driving fire hazard, but it all seems to be working fine so far….
I figured since I would be adding a constant 12v to the rear (rather than rewiring the outlet that came with the FJ), I may as well add all the electrical I wanted currently. So I bought some more parts, but in my haste, I didn’t keep track and ended up ordering doubles, extras, etc. One thing I wanted was a voltmeter for my second battery, so I ordered a Powerwerx voltmeter (https://powerwerx.com/panel-mount-segmented-volt-meter).

I was going to mount it in the Airbag sensor slot, but upon removing the sensor bracket, I found out that I couldn’t remove one without removing both, and if I removed both, then I would have a gaping hole left in my dash.



So I decided instead of adding my 3 prong outlet down low like I had planned, I would mount it in the other sensor location, so I began boring out the sensor bracket to fit both the voltmeter and the 3 prong.



This left me with a white background around the outlet, but I wanted a clean relatively stock look to it. So I took the old sensor screen and cut out the middle and popped the outlet in the middle. It fit ok, but I ended up having to grind down the corners of the outlet with a dremel to make it fit cleaner.





This all left me with a dangling board for the two sensors, and I was worried that removing it might cease their function, so I glued it to the bottom of the face, which kept it tidy and out of the way without dangling or removal.



That is not the final glued position, but I neglected taking a picture of its final resting place. I also neglected to take a picture of the inverter that I purchased and mounted in the middle console area, but there are a great number of threads that cover this in great detail that gave me the idea and the directions.

Installed it all worked out ok, I had some issues with the voltmeter being a constant on, but in the end I agreed with some others and I like that it runs all the time, because at camp I can check the battery with the fridge running without having to turn the vehicle on.

While I had everything taken apart, I also added a dual USB port up front, as well as one in the rear.

The biggest pain in the butt turned out to be adding a relay, and making it to where all the new jazz and the fuse box was switched to the ignition, so I didn't have a ton of parasitic drains. Turns out there was a stupid simple post already done by LandCruiserSteve, just took me a while to find it, that laid every single step out that even a moron like myself was able to follow (https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...on-w-pics.html).

The only issue I ran into was I used a 12ga wire at first to power the box, not enough juice and the inverter didn't work. Once I ran a 10 gauge, no problems at all.

Since I was doing all this electrical work and had no experience with it, I figured now was as good a time as ever to add a fire extinguisher. So I got Refinedcycles mount (https://www.refinedcycle.com/FM2-Fro...Tacoma-FM2.htm ) and a Kidde extinguisher.

Then I got bored and had some spare foam, so I cut out some foam for the drawer. This is not how I drive around, I hucked the foam after I was done, I just made this while the kids were napping out of boredom.



There is far more to come, but time and money require some waiting on my part, which my hemorrhaging bank account will appreciate, and I will add a few more picture tomorrow.

The list of work so far:

Cargo shelf
Pioneer 6x9s
Blackforest fridge
Insane Audio FJ1001
Dirty parts Dual Battery setup
Odyssy battery
Inverter
Added dual USB up front
Added dual USB in the back
Added 3 prong outlet up front
Added constant hot 12v in the rear (Fridge)
Added voltmeter up front
Plastidipped anything and everything
Fire extinguisher with mount
Jerry can mount in rear

Next up….

There is a lot more to come, lift, engine work, supercharger, bumpers, new roof rack, heated seats, redone leather seats, lighting, etc. etc. etc. Once I bite into something, I don’t let go until it’s finished. I had a ZX10R that I decided to work on, and close to $30,000 in parts later, I was finished.



My FJ is my new addiction; I just have to wait for the money to fund it….
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:58 AM
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Re: Creasy Bear

Nice set up so far. The storage looks good and is something I need to redo in mine adding a drawer below my fridge, I was looking at someone making it in steel but your build makes me again think ply would be fine. Question... with the raised lip at the front of the cargo area did you build only to that or compensate for the height change?

I love how well you secure everything you carry, I always hate to see potential hazards loose in a vehicle.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 02:20 AM
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Re: Creasy Bear

Wow - really nice tidy work there!
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Creasy Bear

Quote:
ZerosFJ previously said: View Post
Nice set up so far. The storage looks good and is something I need to redo in mine adding a drawer below my fridge, I was looking at someone making it in steel but your build makes me again think ply would be fine. Question... with the raised lip at the front of the cargo area did you build only to that or compensate for the height change?

I love how well you secure everything you carry, I always hate to see potential hazards loose in a vehicle.
Thanks. I took most of the idea from the other thread, I just tweaked it to fit my needs. Steel would be nice, I would love if I could get it done in ABS plastic or something to match the stock look. The raised lip was not the reason I added the base, I added the base to better secure the fridge when the shelf is removed. I removed the tiedown bolts from the cargo area, and replaced it with bolts and washers through the base of my shelf setup. This way it mitigates the movement and wobble when driving without the shelf installed. But I had noticed that my first design was all wrong, for many reasons, but the shelf was slanted because I didn't take the lip into account.

My intention for securing everything was less for safety, although that should have been paramount as a consideration, but more that my wife and I hate the noise of things shifting around and banging around while driving. The only thing I have noticed so far is my inferior fridge tiedown. The fridge occasionally shifts on the slide.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:35 AM
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Re: Creasy Bear

"...While this is a work in progress, it will now be sucking every spare penny and moment I have, and my hobby has now turned into an addiction..."

Congratulations, you have completed the first step that many FJ owners resist to admit.

Welcome to the madness! Good looking FJ and clean mods.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 09:06 AM
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Re: Creasy Bear

Great start!

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Good Movie . Why I remember the name of the bear I have no idea lol
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:40 PM
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Re: Creasy Bear

Nice work!

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has caused all the damage to my FJ.
~ Robert Frost





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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creasy Bear

Put the face back together today, it seems to fit together well enough, and doesn't look too much out of place, which is what I wanted.



Spliced together the wires and finally put the dual USB in... And since I ordered two, if anyone needs one, let me know.



And here's the fire extinguisher installed. It doesn't get in the way really, an the seat can still go all the way forward as well.

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