Greetings! I know this has shown up a few times before and I have been reading through the threads but you guys have shared a lot of info and I could use some guidance narrowing down my choices.
I'm going to have between$1000 and $1500 to invest in my FJ. As far as usage goes, I dont plan on doing anything too intense. I mostly use it for fishing and exploring. It's rare that I have an opportunity to invest in my vehicle so I dont plan on getting to crazy as I dont want to damage it on a trail.
I've been thinking about starting with the Bilstein shocks up front to level it but after that I'm not sure where else to go. I'd like to avoid the bumpers for now, I cant really afford to have the work done in a shop so I'm looking for mods I can do at home. I have pretty decent mechanic skills but haven't really done any fabricating (with metal I'm a pretty good woodworker) and would be nervous about cutting off any part. I guess I'd really like to know what you are really happy having done given my price limit.
Otherthan some stickers and my Deb Proof patch it's a stock 2007 MT.
Thanks for answer this question again or if you have some good discussions you can link for me I'd appreciate it.
Of course right after I typed this I noticed another thread that had great ideas.
Not trying to duplicate a bunch of posts so no big deal if you're burned out on the subject. I dont mind sifting through the other posts.
What terrain are you fishing/exploring in with your FJ? Have you used it for this before? If so, is there anything about the FJ that felt lacking? Have you ever thought "I'd love to drive over there, but my FJ doesn't have the ___ to do it?" These questions should help narrow down what you might 'need' for your FJ.
If you're 100% stock, I'd say tires are where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately, good tires are not cheap, even with sales (Discount tire usually has at least 1 ebay sale a year, and they've got good manufacture rebates fairly often).
Other than tires, my primary concern is clearance. A lift would be my next suggestion. Ground clearance helps get the important bits away from the rocks and fit your new, beefy tires.
If you're in muddy/snowy/soft surface conditions where you're more likely to get stuck in mud than scrape on rocks, you might consider spending the lift money on a bumper (or hitch-mounted cradle) and winch and some recovery gear. The winch mounting systems for the FJC are actually pretty easy installs, just heavy.
TL;DR: Probably new AT or MT tires. Also consider a lift or winch+mounting system