First mod suggestions - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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Last edited by mightylump; 05-13-2019 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Noticed another thread.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 09:45 PM
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Re: First mod suggestions

Quote:
mightylump previously said: View Post
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

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 09:58 PM
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Re: First mod suggestions

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mightylump previously said: View Post
Other than some stickers and my Deb Proof patch it's a stock 2007 MT.
Great start!

Seriously, the Bilstein 5100 front shocks to level it will improve the ride on and off road and will make it look better to boot. I love the suggestion of some beefier tires, especially if you still have the stock ones.

Always remember that your new FJ is an awesome vehicle completely stock. Have fun starting the mods, and welcome to the forum!

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions!
Most of the fishing around here is pretty easily accessible. I'm looking to try and get back to some of the more remote fishing holes. Problem is I haven't been to them yet so I dont know what the terrain will be like. I've wandered most of the roads in the area with a pickup, a little with my 4Runner, and with a 1984 Honda Accord hatchback that I put blocks in the springs (that was a tough little car. That's how I learned how to replace suspension parts, never left me stranded but I bent the hell out of some stuff.) I'm hoping to get up some of the tougher trails this summer. I figured leveling it would be a good start. A beefier set of tires might be a good addition but I wouldn't mind getting a few more miles out of the ones on there. So far most of my "wheeling" experience was after a decent snow storm here where I drove around plowing through drifts and pulling people out. This thinks a kick in the pants in the snow. I debated some skids other than the stock ones, but I really cant afford to be to hard on it as it's my daily driver so I dont think I'll attempt anything too aggressive at first.
I saw the post for the first $2000 and there is some good info there.
I find myself browsing this forum on a nightly basis, so much info on here and I love the stories. It's awesome how great everyone is. I'm hoping to make it to the Summit next year with my son. It would be great to check out all the work and love folks have put into their Cruisers.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:19 PM
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Re: First mod suggestions

IMO....good tires is what you need.

Leveling the front is a misuse of resources, save your pennies and buy a decent lift that fits your driving. Buy one...cry once.

Sounds like your out on your own hitting your honey holes. I would spend some money on basic recovery gear (self recovery) watch some YouTube so you know what's what when the time comes.

If you can work with wood you can work with metal.

Welcome and don't be in a hurry to mod/spend cash.......it's a rabbit hole.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mikey, I have some recovery gear, Hi lift jack, some straps and shovels, watched a LOT of YouTube videos on self recovery (mostly because I appreciate the ingenuity people have). I am going to purchase some more things and upgrade a few things.
I'm still thinking about the leveling shocks. I know it's better to buy what I want once but it's going to be a long while before I can drop that kind of cash on my FJ.
As far as the metal work, the only thing that's really slowing me down at this point is I need to learn to weld again. I bout a small mig welder last summer from a buddy and I'm going to do some practicing this summer. Last time I welded was 28 years ago so I gotta refresh myself. Plus buy some more tools.
I am going to look at tires again though. Mine aren't in bad shape but I noticed this morning that there is some cracking starting to show up where the tread meets the sidewall. Not sure how old they are but there's a lot of thread left. Had a similar problem on some BF Goodriches that were on my pickup.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:00 PM
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Re: First mod suggestions

I would go with a OME 3" lift. Should be just under $1000. Then save up and get some 285 duratracs. Or Vice Versa but you will most likely need a BMC!

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! I didnt realize that's kits were that affordable. Anytime I've looked at lifts in the past for other vehicles it seemed they were all 2500+. The OME kits look like something I will definately consider.
I'm hesitant about doing a BMC. Makes me nervous. Going to keep watching videos for that.
You guys are great appreciate all the suggestions!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 05:36 AM
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Re: First mod suggestions

Front and rear recovery points and some decent recovery gear are the first purchases you should make if you're not just mall crawling.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Kevin! I'm adding some new recover gear to my list. I have a fair amount from previous vehicles but I'm going to replace some of it and buy some new stuff too. Thanks for the suggestion!
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