January 2017 Rig of the Month: Iconic_
We'd like to congratulate Iconic_ - Devon for having the January 2017 Rig of the Month.
Hayden: Tell us a bit about yourself (age, family, school/job, hobbies, where are you from, how long youíve lived where, etc.)?
Iím both honored and excited to receive this award! First of all, Iím 21 and am 1 semester away from graduating college for Mechanical Engineering Technology which is something I definitely enjoy. Currently I work as an intern for a company that manufactures industrial drill rigs that take soil samples. Working over 30 hours a week while attending school full time means I donít have much free time during the week, but I usually have plans for wrenching or wheeling on the weekends. After living out in the country for quite a number of years my dad recently got a better job in the Kansas City area so my folks moved 175 miles away out there (they grow up so fast
) and I moved into the city of Salina to finish school which is a big adjustment for me after living out in the country.
Hayden: What is the story of how you got your FJ Cruiser?
My dad bought it back in í08. It already had quite a few things done to it by the previous owner. But it was quite literally a mall crawler for many years, never going down more than a dirt road while my folks owned it. I got my learnerís permit, and the FJ was one of the first vehicles I ever drove, and the first one my twin brother and I ever drove to high-school by ourselves. Later on I started looking for a vehicle to own myself, I original wanted a taco so I researched them a ton, then I wanted a 4th gen 4runner. Eventually my dad talked about selling the FJ and I realized it was the vehicle I wanted, sitting right in front of me! So I bought it from him and my wallet has hated me ever since! IĎm happy with my decision! I enjoy driving such a non-cookie cutter vehicle that I can take anywhere.
Hayden: Is the FJ Cruiser your first offroad vehicle? If not what was youíre the first vehicle you took wheeling
The FJ is the first vehicle Iíve ever wheeled or been in offroad. My folks had no idea what they were getting me into when they handed me the keys to this perfect condition blue machine! (neither did I) I took it offroad for the first time at a friendís house. I broke it in right and got tons of pin striping! Iím kinda glad I christened it like that, I would have been much too afraid to wheel it and get one scratch at a time. Now I donít care, it all buffs out anyway. My parents and co-workers think Iím insane for doing the things I do in ďsuch a nice vehicle."
But they are all fascinated by the offroad culture and enjoy it when I bring back pics and stories of our adventures.
Fab Fours Front Bumper with custom 2" hoop
Budbuilt IFS skid, Budbuilt Mid skid chopped in half and the rest custom. Check out this thread: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...tom-skids.html
All Pro Apex DOM Sliders without fill plates
All Pro Rear Lower Link Skids
Icon Front LCA Skids
Metaltech Offset Lower Links
Icon 2.5" Extended Travel Coilovers Upgraded with 700lb springs
Total Chaos UCA
Icon Shock Covers
Wheeler's Superbumps (with 1/4" Spacer)
Ditched front swaybar
Icon 2.0 VS Shocks
Icon 2" Springs
Metaltech Offset Lower Links
Skyjacker Extended Sway Bar End Links
305/70/17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R's (34's)
Stock 17" Alloys
Hayden 678 Aux Transmission Cooler
TRD Exhaust, removed exhaust tip
Doug Thorley Y-Pipe
TRD Front Brake Pads
Baja Designs XL80 Pair Spots (switched on with high beams)
Baja Designs Squadron Sport Round Wide Cornering mounted in bumper
Baja Designs Squadron Pro in Wide Cornering Lense mounted with DB Customz cowl light brackets
Baja Designs S2 Pro Flood mounted in center of spare tire
LED Strip Rock Lights
LED Strip Footwell Lights
Diode Dynamics HP5 in mirrors
Diode Dynamics HP3 License Plate
Philips X-treme Vision Headlight Bulbs
Cobra 75 WX ST CB
Bandi Mount w/ 3ft Firefly Antenna
Baja Rack Low Profile w/ custom painted wind deflector
Toyota Badges and Grill Bezel Painted White
Rad Rubber Designs Engine Splash Guards
LED Interior Lights
Wet Okole Seat Covers
Interior parts painted white
Dual USB Charger in console and 12V/USB outlet in rear cargo area
Sound Deadening Everywhere
MPAC Vent Rack
Homemade Basket Rack
Homemade Hatch Rack
Homemade Center Console Rack
Indel B Fridge
Warn 9.5Ti Winch with Synthetic Line
EZ Tire Deflator
ARB Snatch Strap (17500 lbs)
Wheeler's Wrap It Strap
Blue Factor 55 Hitchlink
Blue Factor 55 Prolink
Warn Snatch Block
TRED Pro Recovery Devices
Bandi .5" Body Lift
Cooper Bussmann RFRM 10 Relay, 40 fuse Holder
Viair 400P Automatic Air Compressor
Check out my build for an always updating list!
Hayden: Any key modifications unique to only your FJ Cruiser?
Lots! (Or at least some that are really rare
) Iíve worked as a mechanic, in a machine shop, and in a fab shop, so wrenching and fabricating is just as fun for me as wheeling. Having that knowledge and access to tools allows me to thankfully be able to build some of my own stuff, especially when $$ prohibits me from buying something on the market, I can make it myself for a fraction of the cost. I like being able to run my own parts.
My higher clearance skids are of my own design, documented in these posts: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...ml#post7178866
Iíve also made my own center console rack
, hatch rack
, and a cargo basket
Hayden: What modification has been your favorite or has been the most worth the money/time/effort that youíd recommend it to someone else?
Recovery gear, including winch. Comes in so handy to have the right tools when out on the trail. Close second is LED interior lights for cheap practicality.
Hayden: What upgrade has been your least favorite, or what modification would you do differently if you had to do it over again?
If I could do it differently I would go with a different exhaust than the TRD. Probably Dirty Deeds. The TRD muffler hangs so low. Luckily the previous owner bought that one so itís not so bad. Also I wish I had gone with the Squadron Pro version lights in my bumper. The sports are bright, but they don't project like the pro versions I have on my cowls.
Hayden: What future modifications do you have planned for your FJC?
The list never ends!
I have some ideas floating around in my head for a sheet metal cargo drawer/fridge slide and some custom stainless steel shift knobs. Rear superflex on the cheap with LT OME shocks is also on the list along with 5th gen 4runner brakes. I would like to add more sound deadening in the headliner eventually and I want some more basic camping equipment, solar power, wheels, tint, 2012+ taillightsÖÖ and maybe Iíll get around to fixing my windshield.
Hayden: Where all have you been with your FJC? What trail/park/location is your favorite?
Iíve been to Tuttle Creek ORV park, Kansas Rocks ORV park, Little Sahara sand dunes in Oklahoma, Moab Utah, and have done most of the trails around Ouray Colorado. Also many a dirt road in my area just exploring whenever I get the itch to wheel but canít make a long trip. I would say Tuttle Creek is my favorite because itís the closest at 1.5 hrs away since there are not a whole lot of places to go in Kansas and there are quite a few interesting ledges at the park. Iíve also had a lot of fun on trips to Kansas Rocks with the guys from K.C. But Colorado is also unlike any other place, there is something about being up in the mountains that I really enjoy. So they each have their attraction to me.
Hayden: What park/location that you have not been to yet would you like take your FJ too?
I really would like to try some of the harder trails in Moab. Top of the World, Kane Creek, and Hellís Revenge namely. We did more moderate to easy ones when we were there last, Iíve got a taste but Iím ready for more! Also the Mojave Road and Ghost Town tours sound fun, so I have been planning a trip to the S.W. and have been creating a list of things I want to do down there. I havenít officially made it to a Summit yet, need to add that one to the list too. In the future I hope to be able to take more cross-country trips with the FJ, but need to get out of school first!
Hayden: Has anyone on the forum inspired your build or been a go to resource for you?
There have been a number of folks on here that have helped me out or have been just flat out friendly! Baz for his helpful guidance when I post questions and his love for V.B., debFJVT for her kindness and conversations about FJ Summit and routes, the buddies I wheel with from K.C. and Nebraska, not to mention all the amazing pics everyone posts, making me only further desire to head out "west" with the FJ!
Hayden: What has been the most memorable experience with your FJ Cruiser?
Maybe when I drove it by myself for the first time to H.S.? (ďLoving every minute of itĒ was playing on the radio)
Or maybe the time I drove it with my date to prom?
Or when I wheeled it for the first time?
If I had to narrow it down to one, I would say my trip to Moab and Utah this past summer, specifically taking it up the wall at Poughkeepsie. I ended up going up the left side (where everyone stands), because the normal easy route was rutted out badly from FJ Summit. I floored it up to the top, made it the first time and it felt good. The group in front of us seemed impressed with the FJ. That entire camping trip for me is what ďFJ-ingĒ is all about. Itís like when you do something for the first time, you retain that unquenchable desire to make it happen, to push yourself further and get that same feeling again. That trip changed my outlook on the FJC. It's not just about what mods I can do to it, but where it can take me and the things I can do.
My Moab/Ouray camping trip starts about here in my build:
Hayden: Any additional thoughts about your FJ or FJ Cruisers in general youíd like to share?
Donít be afraid to use your rig! Dents can be popped out, scratches can be buffed out, but in the end the memories you have make it so worth it! Also make sure you search the forums and look for deals before buying anything new. I bought a lot
of my stuff used or with a steep discount and saved a whole lot of $$! Baja Designs lights, roof rack, TRED devices and mounts, lower links, front coils, fridge, AP sliders, CAI, snatch block, LCA skids, lower link skids. All discounted!
Feel free to ask questions in my build! Always happy to help.