August 2017 Member of the Month: Sanderhawk
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We'd like to congratulate Sanderhawk - Steve for being selected as the August 2017 Member of the Month!
Hayden: Tell us a bit about yourself (age, family, school/job, hobbies, where are you from, how long you’ve lived where, etc.)[Basically anything you’re comfortable sharing as if you were meeting someone new for the first time]?
Would like to start out by saying how cool is this? Never thought I would ever be member of the month so this is truly cool. I`m 50 years old i`ve been married to my beautiful wife for 31 years and I have 2 sons and a daughter all in their mid to upper twenties. I lived in Michigan as a kid and moved to California when I was 14. Lived in the OC for about 30 years and now live in the So Cal Mountains. I like to tell everyone I live above the clouds.
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Hayden: How/when were you first introduced to the forum and what made you decide to join?
I joined the forum in 2008 about 1 ½ years after I bought the FJ. I was at the gas station and a group of FJs showed up and of course we all got to talking and they were the ones that told me there was a forum for FJs. I had to join just to talk to others that also owned the most awesome vehicle on the planet.
Hayden: Is the FJ Cruiser your first off-road vehicle? If not, what was your/the first vehicle you took wheeling? And what led you to eventually owning an FJ?
The FJ is my first offroad vehicle . I could kick myself in the butt for not owning a 4WD my whole life. Its amazing the places you can go with this thing. I can go explore places where 99% of everybody else can`t. Funny story about how I ended up owning an FJ. I was actually sitting in my Mazda Protégé eating lunch when this big blue thing parked next to me. I`m thinking to my self what is that thing…. it looks really cool. I noticed it was a Toyota. I called my wife and told her I was going to stop at Toyota on the way home to see what it was. Needless to say I traded in the Mazda that night and drove my FJ home that was in August of 2006! Its my forever truck and i`ll have it for life.
Hayden: What modification is your favorite or is the most worth the money/time/effort that you’d recommend it to someone else?
I would say that my All Pro front and rear steel bumpers are my favorite mod. They were the first I got because I was never a fan of the plastic bumpers that came on the FJ. I would say my second favorite would be the Kings with resis on all four corners it makes for a nice ride.
Hayden: What upgrade is your least favorite, or what modification would you do differently if you had to do it over again?
I don't have to many mods I didn't like but my least favorite would have to be wheel spacers I had them, didn't like them, and then sold them. They made the FJ stance look nice but once you drive your vehicle for a long time you know where your wheels are on the ground and when I put the wheel spacers on that changed their position and I knocked the wheels out of alignment several times because the wheels were in a different position.
Hayden: Has anyone on the forum inspired your build or has been a go-to resource for you?
I don`t have anyone in particular that inspired me but like everyone else on here I probly have stolen…..I mean barrowed ideas from a lot of different rigs. This forum has so many different ideas
Hayden: Where all have you been with your FJC? What trail/park/location is your favorite?
Calico is my very favorite place to go. I can go shooting, offroading and mine exploring all in the same place.
Cleghorn is another favorite of mine and is actually only about 5 miles from my house.
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Hayden: What trail/park/location that you have not been to yet would you like to visit?
Wow I would love to go to Moab and Summit some year.
Hayden: What is your local FJ Cruiser community like? Do you have many get-togethers, trail runs, or wrenching days where you’re located?
I think we have a pretty good group here in So Cal. I don`t get to hook up with them a lot due to work but there is always trail runs going on around here. I have a couple friends that are very local to me and we get together and go explore the many little trails that are around my house.
Hayden: What has been the most memorable experience with your FJ Cruiser?
Hands down this is the most memorable in the FJ
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I did this being to cautious if you can believe it. I got to a ledge that was about a 3 to 4 foot drop and I thought there was noway I could drive down it. So decided to try and back out….I was driving on a V notch trail and the left side wheels slid down the hill and over I went. After it laid there for about and hour I decided to see if it started and it did. I cranked the wheels hard to the left and hit the gas. It fell back over on the wheels. I ended up having to drive down that 3 to 4 foot ledge which turned out not to be so bad. Man that was a lot of pucker factor for one trail. It did however make my truck the most fun vehicle I have ever had since I didn`t worry about scratches anymore.
Hayden: What has the FJCruiserForums done for you and what do you feel you contribute to the forum the most?
The forum has taught me many things. There are a lot of good people here. I have gotten advice on how to fix things as well as I feel I have helped a lot of folks with problems they might be having.
Hayden: What final advice do you have for someone new to the FJ Cruiser or the Forum?
I would tell a new person that your stock FJ is way more capable than you think. Don`t be in a hurry to do maximum mods you`ll get them soon enough. When its time for mods ask advice but get WHAT YOU WANT. You don`t have to have the most expencive parts known to mankind. More important than mods is keep up with your maintenance. Do it all on time and your FJ will last a long long time. This is my baby as it looks today.
Thanks for thinking of me for member of the month Its a really cool honor and I wont ever forget it… Steve