FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build



German for protection dog – Requires characteristics such as desire to work, courage, intelligence, perseverance, and a protective instinct. My German Shepherd and I thought it would be a great fit for the FJ.


April 2012




May 2011




July 2010





Trail Runs

2008

General Sams 11.9.08

General Sams 12.14.08



2009

Bravos Valley Off-Road Ranch (BVORR) 8.8.09

Thrill On The Hill (TOTH)

2010

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...as-cruces.html


And several Houston Happy Hours along the way



Before


After








History - I purchased the FJ in April of 2008 during my last semester at Penn State. I had decided that I would need something with additional space to move down to Houston, TX for work after graduation. Plus, at the time I had a 96 Honda Civic w/o AC (Removed due to the top mount turbo setup I put in – GT28RS). I spent quite a bit of money fixing the civic up…suspension, 99/00 front end conversion, complete JDM interior (Recaros), and the list goes on. However, it wasn’t a practical car for life in Houston.

I always liked the look of the FJ and had been interested in them for quite some time. After selling my civic I made a trip to my local Toyota dealer and they had about 5 on the lot. Unfortunately for them they didn’t accept the price I was offering to purchase it for originally. Tried to nickel and dime me over $500 on my first trip. Ended up going to another dealer who offered a lower price which the original dealer matched, and then on top of that I went through the Costco purchase program which dropped another grand off the car. Ended up purchasing the new 2008 Ti FJ for $26,500 when it was listed for close to $32,000.

I was quite happy with the purchase and told myself that at least I wouldn’t waste my money on modifying the FJ. That lasted about 3 months.



The following is a list of modifications that have been done to the base unit. As time progresses and finances allow I will be adding to this list and removing some items from it as well. The build strategy behind the FJ is to develop a vehicle system that will support expeditions with Me, my Girlfriend, my Shepherd, my Labrador, and her Vizsla (I'll be sure to let you know how expedition travel works out with 3 dogs..luckily none are full grown yet)


Exterior
Metal Tech Front Bumper w/ Steel Bash Plate (Winch Plate in Garage awaiting Winch)
Metal Tech Rock Sliders
Ricochet LCA Skids
Outrider Rear Link Skids
Metal Tech Tube Doors
GOBI Stealth Roof Rack
GOBI Rear Ladder
Safari Snorkel
FJNewb's SCUBA DRIVER Mod

Suspension
OEM Wheel Powder Coated Black
Pro Comp Xtreme Mud Terrain
Icon VD – 2.5 Coilovers
Icon VD – Rear Shocks and Springs
Camburg UCA
Icon VD – Rear Lower Control Arms

Lighting
PIAA 520i Yellow Beams (2)
7” Kragen HID (2)
32” Visionx Xmitter (1)

Electronics
Dual Battery Setup
Cobra 75WXST CB Radio
3’ Fire Stick w/ spring and quick release
Bandi Mount
Fujitsu T4410 Convertible PC (Multi touch screen)
GPS USB puck
Delrome TOPO USA 8.0
RAM Mount

Recovery
Hi-Lift
30’ Recovery Strap
Chains

Storage
Industrial Forming Locking Console Cover
Roto-Pax 4 Gallon Fuel Packs (2)
Roto-Pax 4 Gallon Combinational Fuel Packs (2)
MAF 19 Gallon Auxilary Tank
Pelican/Hardigg im3075 case

Safety
Adventure Medical Kits - Weekender Adventure Medical First Aid Kit (highly recommend)
Signal Flares
Gloves
Maglight
Axe/hatchet



Future Modifications

10/2009
Skid Plates - Bud Builts
Aux Fuse Block
Rear Bumper - Toy Outfitters Swingout or Metal Tech w/ Toy Outfitters Swingout modification
Winch - Titan Winch
Lights - Either 2 more 7" Kragens or redo the bumper setup with VisionX LED's Solstice or Double Stack Xmitters
Fridge - Still researching
Beadlocks
On Board Air


REVISED LIST 3/24/2010

Phase 1
Rear Drawer Storage System
Waeco Fridge
Fridge Slide
2nd MPAC Side Rack
2nd CO2 Bottle
Axe and Shovel
Awning


Phase 2
Long Travel Front Suspension
Long Travel Rear Suspension
Regear and ARB Locker
20z CO2 Bottle For ARB Locker
Beadlocks and New Mud Terrains


Phase 3
Differential Armor
Self Spotting Camera System
Lighting (Visionx or Lightforce)
Tube Fenders



Here are a few of the threads which I started and may be of value to others...

FJNewb's Scuba Driver Mod

Man A Fre Auxilary Fuel Tank Review

Educate Me: Inchworm + Regear + Front Locker

Rotopax Fuel Pack/Jerry Can

32" Visionx LED Xmitter Bar Product Review

Question Regarding Jeep Mirrors for MT tube doors.

Fitting 3 Large Breed Dogs into FJ


The following posts will contain reviews about the products I have on my FJ and more detailed images to go along with them.


Page 1 of 4




Last edited by FJNewb; 05-25-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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post #2 of 1877 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Page 2 of 4

Component Selection and Product Review


Exterior


Metal Tech Front Bumper


I decided to go with a tube bumper for a few reasons, but the driving factors were weight and approach angle. If I was going to be doing quite a bit of traveling I didn't want to add more weight than absolutely needed. The second aspect was enabling the best approach angle I could. While it may look like the Metal Tech tube bumper comes out quite far it actually is closer to the body then most plate bumpers. I chose to go with the Metal Tech based on their reputation and the fact that another user on here was getting rid of his FJ so I got a deal on it I couldn't beat. I like the fact that the winch plate mounts parallel to the frame rather than how some of the plate bumpers bolt on. Overall I am quite happy with the bumper and don't have any major complaints. I like how it hugs much closer to the body than comparable tube bumpers which stick out and don't look as clean.

Some might say it leaves your front end exposed, however you would have to hit some sticks at some pretty odd angles to have anything come near your radiator. Plus look at all the users on here who have them and there really haven't been any major incidents.

Overall I wouldn't hesitate to buy this product. The only other bumpers I might consider replacing it with down the line (if I wanted to switch it up for something different) are LCNW (similar to Athena's) or a FabFour with bull bar.






Metal Tech Rock Sliders

I went with the Metal Tech Rock Sliders to have something which would act as a step, still protect the body, yet not hit every single thing on the trail. It was actually my first purchase for the FJ. The sliders suited my needs perfectly for the original goals I had set out and have taken a few good hits and have yet to yield.

Down the line if I become more concerned about body damage I might switch over to some budbuilt custom sliders. In the end its a trade off between having a kick-out and not having one. As can be seen in the picture below if I had a kick-out I wouldn't have been able to continue on this trail due to a 3' drop off into the mud pit. The line I took in the picture looks a bit odd because there is a tree right next to the rear quarter panel on the FJ which made me hug the edge of the pit in the rear. But it does prove the point that the sliders give you some more flexibility. However, if I were to overlook a rock or tree it does put they body of the FJ at a greater risk.




Ricochet LCA Skids

This was the first product I purchased from Ricochet. In general the product was well constructed and extremely easy to install. I have yet to test these a great deal. But at TOTH they did there job without any issues. Once I've hit a few more trails with them I will be sure to post up more. Only complaint I have at this time is a lot of dirt and debris end up actually getting trapped on top of the skid and the LCA. Maybe some small drainage holes would be an improvement so that material could be washed out rather than having to go under the rig and pull it out with your hands.








Metal Tech Tube Doors

Out of all the purchases I have made for the FJ this is probably one of the top five. It makes driving the FJ a completely different experience and really more enjoyable. While I do enjoy the typical doors and the ever exciting "hell I hope my wheel is where I think it is and I'll just give it gas", the tube doors open your field of vision immensely. It is a huge help being able to see where you are putting the tires when offroading and it makes it a more fun experience in general. Only issues I have had with the doors is that the heep mirrors vibrate out of position fairly easy and the latch on the door can easily be bent which if it occurs must be bent back into place or else your stuck in the FJ. These two items can be overlooked for all the enjoyment they bring. Hopefully someone will offer a cover for these down the road so they can be used in the rain and year round.




GOBI Stealth Roof Rack

I went with the GOBI Stealth rack to offer greater storage capacity on the roof than the OEM rack. I liked the look as it followed the contour of the FJ's roof rather than being completely flat like ARB's or Baja rack. I know there are disadvantages to this if you wanted a RTT or something along those lines. However, this rack sits lower than all the competitions and is actually lower than the OEM rack. I am able to clear a 6'7" garage which I couldn't do with the OEM rack with 3" lift. In the end it met my needs and still allowed me to fit in the parking garage in downtown Houston. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product to anyone else. Ordered directly from Sandra at GOBI and she was more than accommodating in getting it to me within my needed time line.




GOBI Rear Ladder

Received the GOBI Rear Ladder for free as part of a special GOBI was offering which was similarly priced to a vendors group buy on this forum. Ended up receiving the best customer service from GOBI so I ordered through them. IMO the install isn't exactly the best method, but it works. I use the ladder more than I expect and it does its job. In the end it will probably come off the rig if I get a swing out rear bumper, as I am guessing they will be incompatible.

Safari Snorkel

At first I really didn't care for the idea of having a Snorkel on the FJ or like the look. However, after getting stuck with a good portion of the passenger fender under water I figured it couldn't hurt to have one. Really if you get into water up to the doors your going to have trouble regardless. It's more of a safety measure and I'll be adding doing the SCUBA mod in the near future to ensure the FJ is as protected as it can get during water crossings.





SCUBA Mod

I took quite some time to decide how I wanted to go about this mod. The major issue I had was the fact that I am not a fan of using barbed hoses or the red filter which Shadow-Warrior used. However, I saw ToledoFJ's post on how he purchased a kit which used pneumatic quick connect fittings. Having used them in the past for quite a bit of automation work I was sold that this was the way to go. These are air tight and less likely to leak than threaded or barbed connections. Unfortunately I couldn't afford the $200 price tag on the kit which Toledo had.

So I went about designing my on kit with manifold. It took quite some time to find and obtain all the parts for my design, but this is what I came up with.










Suspension


OEM Wheel Powder Coated Black


I had planned to get another set of wheels, but Fourwheelparts dropped the ball and after waiting 2 months for them to come in I decided to go an alternate route. Had the wheels powdercoated at SABS here in Houston. They came out great and have really held up well. Except for some recent rock scrapes from TOTH they still look new. These wheels are only a temporary place holder and will be swapped out for beadlocks down the road.

Pro Comp Xtreme Mud Terrain

Got a deal on these at 4wheelparts and overall have been happy with them. Running 285s and they have been on the car for around 10,000 miles. No complaints.

Icon VD – 2.5 Coilovers

As for suspension products ICON offers some of the top quality items on the market. So when an opportunity came around to purchase there suspension system at a discounted rate I couldn't pass it up.

Icon VD – Rear Shocks and Springs

Went with the ICON rear suspension as well. Down the road I might switch over to something a bit stiffer to compensate for the rear bumper with swingout.

Before


After



Camburg UCA

I would probably go a different route if I had to do this again. Cam burgs squeak quite a bit and seem to need lithium grease on the ball every few weeks to keep the noise down.



Icon VD – Rear Lower Control Arms

I will reserve commenting on these until I tested them a bit more. I want to give them a fair opportunity, after an initial shakey first run, before completing my review



Page 2 of 4




Last edited by FJNewb; 11-20-2009 at 04:55 PM.
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Page 3 of 4

Component Selection and Product Review Continued


Lighting


PIAA 520i Yellow Beams (2)


I received two sets of these lights from the guys I bought the Metal Tech front bumper off of. I initially had one set mounted on the top of the bumper as can be seen in some of the 2008 pics, but lowered them to the bottom corner's of the bumper. I like these lights because of the yellow driving beam (may switch bulb to fog beam) because it allows better visibillity in inclamete weather (rain, snow, fog). I decided that I needed at least one set of these on the FJ as bright white lights are really more harm in harsh weather.




7” Kragen HIDs (2)

This was the second set of lights I purchased and installed on top of the bumper instead of another set of PIAA's. They had great reviews on this forum and I purchased a set because of the great price. They are a really good cheap HID that basically equates to a flood light (The lights do not have great distance or throw). Initially I was really impressed with these lights, but since getting the Xmitter LED bar they look like flickering candles and you can't even tell if they are on when I have the Xmitter on. I may swap them out and do LED lights across the bumper. Either 4 - 6" Solstice lights or 2 - 18" Double Stack Xmitters




32” Visionx Xmitter (1)

Again this is probably one of those items that falls into my favorite top 5 purchases for the FJ. I ordered the 32" Xmitter Bar through IntenseFab and made sure with Jeff that I could return it if I wasn't happy with the lighoutput. He laughed, said "sure", and noted that he had never had one returned before. I now understand why. The light output from the Xmitter is unbelievable and simply blankets the entire area in front of the FJ with light. The one I ordered came with a Eurobeam setup and I have it mounted to my GOBI Stealth rack. On the drive to the TOTH we cruised through New Mexico from Texas overnight. This light made it look like it was daylight outside and you couldn't even see any of my other lights when this was on! Again well worth the money IMO.





Electronics


Dual Battery (Odyssey PC1500)

On top of the lights & electronics I have already added, I plan to install a fridge and winch in/on the FJ as well. Due to the current draw from all these items I decided it wouldn't be bad to have a backup battery. Especially with the increased amount of travel I'll be doing over the next few years it can't hurt to have redundent systems.

I went with CruiserLarry's Dual Battery Kit. The kit came with the tray and all of the wiring cut to length and great installation notes. The install was a breeze and I would highly recommend the kit to anyone looking to do this mod. I went with an Odyssey PC1500 Battery as my backup.






Fujitsu T4410 Convertible PC (MultiTouch Screen)

The multitouch interface allows me to simply flip the screen around and run it as a 'tablet' or simple touch screen if you will and I won't have to worry about dealing with the keyboard. While it is slightly heavier & larger than a netbook it does offer a DVD drive, 2.53 GHz processor, 3GB Ram, and a usable solid state drive (128 GB) not a measly 32GB like most netbooks offer.

Update: 3.24.2010 - Well let me just say I love this laptop paired with the delrome software. Now let me say that I hate Fujitsu's customer service. Being that I have ordered most of my past laptops from Dell I am quite familiar with their customer service and on site assistance. Let me just say Fujitsu does not match up. I went with the T4410 convertible because it could act as a simple touchscreen setup and be folded flat for a fairly reasonable price. Unfortunately I have had to send this laptop back twice now in the 4 months I have owned it. Once due to the touchpad going haywire and the other time was due to them not addressing another issue when I sent it in originally for repair. The wireless card would not find a network after the laptop went to sleep or hibernated. It was supposed to be corrected when I sent it in orginally but never was. All in all in the 4 months of ownership Fujitsu has had the computer for 2 weeks to do repairs. I am quite unsatisfied with their customer service.

I'll be sure to update once I have take this on a few more trips in 2010.




Delrome TOPO USA 8.0 & GPS USB puck

Great software with quite a bit of capability. We have used this now on two trips (one offroad and one back to PA from TX). It is great as it allows you to geotag all your routes and you can download detailed topo maps to track your routes with the GPS puck. I can share routes and images/video along the routes with friends or family. I've had one or two issue with this on Windows 7 as it was originally designed for XP/Vista, but overall I am quite happy.




RAM Mount

The big plus with this is that it offers a friendly way to mount the laptop and doesn't take up an enormous amount of space. I remove the adjustable portion which the laptop mounts on when I don't have the laptop isn't mounted. This keeps the annoying squeaks of the spring that holds the laptop out of my ears.

The only real knock I have on this setup is that it makes it impossible to remove and install the floormats. Not normally an issue but if you get them muddy and would like to clean them off it presents a big issue. This is the only downside to the product that I have to date.




Cobra 75WXST CB Radio

Went with the BigBill Combo because of ease of install and the reviews here on the forums. Quite happy with the system in general. Only problem is it is hard to hear even with it wired through my stereo when I have the tube doors on.


3’ Fire Stick w/ spring and quick release

Great product and easy to use. Makes it so easy getting into the garages and is simple enough to put on before hitting the trail


Banid Mount

Fairly easy to install, well made, and allowed me easy access to run the cabling through the rear door on the FJ and then in with the rest of rear door electrical wiring to the jack stand area.



Recovery


Hi-Lift


Honestly havne't used the hi lift once, so don't have much to say. The paint flaked off the base as soon as I brought it home so it has rusted slightly.

30’ Recovery Strap

Chains




Last edited by FJNewb; 03-24-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Page 4 of 4

Component Selection and Product Review Continued


Storage



Industrial Forming Locking Console Cover

After purchasing the tube doors I needed to increase the security of my vehicle. Especially when leaving it in the parking garage in downtown Houston. My solution was ordering the Industrial Forming locking console cover. The product gives the FJ just a enough protection to deter any unwanted theives.



Roto-Pax 4 Gallon Fuel Packs (2)

Another one of my favorite mods (until I pick up an Aux Tank). These fuel packs are low profile which allows me to carry them on the roof without much wind resistance. They are used extensively in the ATV crowd and have received nothing but compliments. I filled them up to nearly a full level before leaving Houston for TOTH in New Mexico. I never thought about it, but mid day on the first run I realized that the heat of the day and also the elevation increase caused the packs to expand to an extreme amount. I thought for sure that they had to leak. However, all four packs still were sealed perfectly. Several other at TOTH had leakage issues with your typical jerry can. Wouldn't hesistate to recommend these. You can fit 3 perfectly in the front section of the GOBI rack.






Roto-Pax 4 Gallon Combinational Fuel Packs (2)

See Review above - Only difference is that these are two interlocking 2 gallon packs.






MAF 19 Gallon Auxilary Tank

After driving over 2,500 miles on the tank I am extremely happy with my purchase.

At the Gas Station: Filling up the tank is a little tricky and varies from gas station to gas station. If the pump goes fairly slow both tanks fill up without the pump 'clicking off'. However, if the pump dispenses gas at a fairly fast rate the OEM tank fills up much faster than the MAF which causes the pump to 'click off'. You can still fill the auxilary tank, but it tank some time and quite a few click offs to get there. I think this is due to the diameter of the tubing which goes to the MAF tank and also the general flow characteristics of the tubing because of the bends, so most of the gas flows into the OEM tank

Travel: However, the tank is well worth the investment. Daily driving I can pretty much go three weeks without having to fill up. Long trips is where the tank really shines. We can basically drive for 7 hours or so before we need to fill up the tank which is really nice when traveling with the dogs.

For offroad: The departure angle is not affected at all by the tank even with an aftermarket rear bumper (I worked with Stan @ ToyOutfitters to ensure the rear bumper woudn't interfer). I did cut the fuel lines a bit short so it limited where I could mount the pump and it actually hangs a bit lower than I would like on the FJ. I may get another hose barb and some additional hose to extend the fuel lines and mount the pump up higher. The tank comes with an aluminunm skid which can be removed if you want. However, the overall construction of the tank makes it look like it could take a pretty good hit before sustaining any substantial damage. It is fairly protected anyways as it sits higher than the rear diff and hugs up against the charcole box.

The aluminum construction is nice as it will minimize corrosion comparered to using steel. I will probably sand the tank and paint it to help add some additional corossion resistance.






Pelican/Hardigg im3075 case
Review coming soon



Safety


Adventure Medical Kits - Weekender Adventure Medical First Aid Kit (highly recommend)

Comprehensive kit to cover most medical injuries. Has cards in each section which depicts what needs to be done in regards to burns, breaks, cuts, etc. I highly recommend it.









Page 4 of 4




Last edited by FJNewb; 12-24-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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post #5 of 1877 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 09:11 AM
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Nice FJ build!

'07 Voodoo Blue/6MT/Roof Rack/Towing Package/ALL-PRO-Front Bumper w/Prerunner Light Bar, Rock Guards, Full Skid Plates, High Clearance Exhaust, Ultimate Lower Skids/Metal Tech Rear Bumper/ICON Ext. Travel Remote Reservoir Front-Rear PiggyBack Reservoir Shocks-Shin Guards/aFe Pro-Guard 7 CAI/Doug Thorley Headers/Garvin Trail Rack/KC Daylighters/BFG AT/KO's 315x70x17 Tires/17 inch Steel Wheels/Magnaflow Exhaust/Man-A-Fre Extended Brake Lines/M-Pac Rear Mount/Power Tank/Manik Taillight Guards & Roof Rack Light Bar/Light Racing Adjustable UCA/Safari Snorkel/SCUBA Mods/Toy Outfitters Rear Upper Control Arms, Rim Stiffeners/URD Short Shifter/Timbren Bumpstops/Baja Rack, + a butt load more mods..
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Thanks Chris. It was great to meet you at TOTH and thanks for leading the trail run Saturday morning.

Hopefully I'll be able to make it back out to TOTH in 2010 and hit the trails with you guys. Also appreciate getting to to take a look at your MT rear bumper.



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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Nice rig! It looks even better in person!

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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

Great Build up thread B!

'16 TACO TRD4x4 Offroad Double Cab....

[SOLD]'08 BD, 2.5 SAWs, TC UCAs, Rocktek Tube Bumper, Rocktek Sliders, ATX Thugs, 285/70R17 Hankook Dynapro MTs, M-PAC Back Rack & Straddle, aFe Hi-Tuck, TRD CAI, Big Bill Combo, Diff jock strap, Agent Skulley Shifter, Custom Charcoal Canister
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

I have a question on the Metal Tech front bumper. Are you saying the bumper itself is the same whether you go with the winch or the bash plate? So when you don't want to lug around the winch, you just remove it and put the bash plate back on? If so, I think that I've found my bumper.
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Re: FJ Newb's Schutzhund Build

The big black 'bash' plate of the front of the bumper must be removed. Once you remove it there is a seperate mount for the winch which has metal grating behind it. The winch mount actually mounts in a different fashion to the frame. It would take an 30 min- 1 hour or so to switch back and forth between the winch and bash plate.

If your willing to do that everytime you want to hit the trails then it would be a good fit for you. I'll probably just leave the winch on there once I get one.



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