Is an FJ right for me? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Is an FJ right for me?

I am really wanting an FJ, I live in rural wisconsin and need a truck that just wont stuck. I also overland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula once a year. I want a reliable daily driver that averages at least 17mpg on the pavement. I want something that makes my buddys 1997 jeep XJ look stupid on the trails. Also, right now I am driving an 05 hemi ram and it doesnt matter what I do, it rusts all to hell. If I proffesionally undercoat the FJ every other year, and get regular washes, is it still going to rust on me? I see less rust on toyotas up here in general. I am also interested in the pros and cons of the FJ vs the 4runners. I was thinking I want a 2011-2014 FJ for the new engine. Do the later model years get better mpg? What years are better? I have done alot of research but that doesnt compare to good advice from guys who know their vehicle and own one. I appreciate any help you can offer, thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

I have read about visibility issues and would plan on installing blind spot cameras or monitoring system and back up cam. I am an easy going driver on the pavement and am the type of guy to sit behind a tractor for a half hour rather than change lanes
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:27 AM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

Welcome to the Forum. You have asked for thoughts/opinions and boy....will you get them!

17 mpg - this will depend on you as a driver. There are folks who never see this number and then there are others who see better.

The newer engine does have an increase in HP but lower torque than the earlier engine.

Rust - A little maintenance and regular rinses will keep it at bay. I personally use Tremclad/Rustoleum spray paint on the frame/chassis bits IMO they work better than PO15 and similar products.

There are pro's/con's for every generation mostly minor. Basically the nuts and bolts/performance is the same across the board.....IMO.

The blind spot - really not as big a deal as people make it out to be. Are you in a fishbowl where you can see everything - no. Are you in '71 Ford Mach 1 where visibility is 0...no. Properly adjusted mirrors the blind spot is pretty minimal. You do have to spend more time using your mirrors on the FJ but its a quick and simple habit.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:33 AM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

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I live in rural wisconsin and need a truck that just wont stuck.
FJ is a good choice for that, being in Wisconsin your main issues are snow/ice in the winter and mud in the summer? Tires make the biggest difference here. Buy a good set of mud terrain's for the summer (Nitto Trail Grappler's) and a good set of snow/ice tires for the winter and you're set.

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I want a reliable daily driver that averages at least 17mpg on the pavement.
Reliable, absolutely. 17 MPG is hard, especially after you lift/armor it. My FJ, bone stock on street tires, got 20 MPG on cruise control from Dallas to Denver. By the time it was done -- 3 inch lift, 33 inch Duratracs, bumper, skitplates etc -- I was getting 15-16 highway. So if you want MPG on an offroader you should limit your mods and take it easy on the gas pedal. If you drive *a lot* and want a well-built offroader let me suggest buying the FJ for winter weather then buying a cheap commuter car (Prius etc?) for when you don't need the winter car.

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I want something that makes my buddys 1997 jeep XJ look stupid on the trails.
If most of what you're dealing with is mud then tires will be your biggest advantage. There is nothing inherently better or worse about an FJ vs a Jeep for driving in mud. For crawling on rocks etc then you start to get into the differences between solid axles vs independent front suspensions etc.

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If I proffesionally undercoat the FJ every other year, and get regular washes, is it still going to rust on me? I see less rust on toyotas up here in general.
It's possible that Toyota does better rustproofing on their frames than the domestic brands because of a $3.4B frame recall they had to do in the 2000's), but that's only a theory. As you know, all vehicles rust where you live, so any effort to help with that is a good thing.

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I am also interested in the pros and cons of the FJ vs the 4runners.
Same drivetrain (4.0L V6 + 5-speed auto), the 4Runner has 4 more inches of wheelbase and usable back doors, less blind spots, a roll-down back window, a nicer available interior (leather + factory nav). I switched from an FJ to a 4Runner in 2018 and don't regret the decision. If you ever need to put people in your back seat for anything, you'll greatly prefer the 4Runner to the FJ.

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I was thinking I want a 2011-2014 FJ for the new engine. Do the later model years get better mpg? What years are better?
2010+ is when they added the new engine, they also added crawl control in 2013 but you don't need that. No MPG change really, although the '07-'09 engine was tuned for premium (it can run on regular, it just loses power) and the '10+ engine is tuned for regular. So what performance you do get in the '10+ is a little cheaper. The "$10,000 decision" is basically between the cheapest '07 you can buy and the best '10+ truck that you'll want to keep and hand down to your kids.

Let me suggest the very excellent buy-sell guide to further answer these questions: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...j-cruiser.html

Long story short, expect to fly somewhere to buy the cheapest / best FJ, because it probably isn't within driving distance of you.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:19 PM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

I bought a 2010 4x4 FJ about 8 months ago. Previous owner lifted it 2.5-3 inches, and had 59 pound 285/75-16 E-range BFG's on it. Over a few thousand miles, I think I saw ONE highway trip in the 60-65mph range that broke into the 17's on MPG. Usually got 16.0-16.2 on most tanks, adjusting a bit for speedometer error.

I just installed some much lighter 265/75's, but haven't driven it enough to say if the MPG's improved.

I've had it in some mud and some REALLY soft sand so far, and never even needed to put it in 4-Lo. It is capable of going more places than I expect I'll ever go on purpose!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:56 PM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

Hi, and welcome ! I just purchased a completely stock, one owner, 2010 (not 2 weeks ago) with 171,000 miles. I need to check the door panel and see if the tires on my FJ are the same size as the factory, but my first tank of gas mpg was 19 mpg. This number is better then I hoped (if correct) but again not one thing has been added and I have like 18 or 20 pages of CarFax on all the services and oil changes by the previous owner being done at the dealer she bought it from. Due to a back injury, my Doc suggested (told me to) get rid of my motorcycle, I swear this is more fun to drive. If the FJ you find is solid and well maintained, and, you read the buyer/seller guide mentioned above. And Ref back here with questions (this place is a wealth of info, and fun/helpful people). You will do fine. THEY ARE GREAT RIDES.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:07 PM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

Fluid Film is a good rust preventing product.
I bought the kit that I use with my compressor. Takes me about a half hour to do a vehicle, including inside the frame rails with the different wands.
I have a 2012 Tacoma for my DD, and the underneath looks like new.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:43 PM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

the XJ looks stupid on and off the trails.....

the blind spot "issue" is manufactured, in my opinion. I've hit more things in the womans 2013 Jeep Unlimited. the only things I've hit in the FJ is the wall in the parking garage with the front bumper. To me, the mirrors are well designed, the windows in the rear doors are placed well and are easy to see out of from the drivers seat. I don't see as much as I do in the '84 C20 single cab but I've had no problems in the FJ in heavy traffic, moving traffic, parking garages or parking lots.
to be fair, there was a bit of getting accustomed to the layout of the FJ. but now, the Jeep feels cramped and tiny and hard to see out of.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 04:12 PM
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Re: Is an FJ right for me?

"the blind spot "issue" is manufactured"

Agreed. Before I bought my 2012 that was the main negative I read online. There is no blind spot in my opinion. The side mirrors are the size of frying pans. I have no issue making lane changes or any other type of maneuver.
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