Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

41 - 60 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
130A Alternator Upgrade

========================================
=====
===== 130A Alternator Upgrade
=====
========================================


More electronics means you need more juice. More juice usually means a bigger battery first, which I've already done. With my eye on adding a refrigerator, I started to think about adding a 2nd battery and/or needing to charge a big battery fast. That needs more current from the alternator.

According to this post: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/691553-130-amp-alternator-all-model-fj.html#post8852137 the 130-amp (a 30-amp upgrade from the FJ's stock 100-amp alternator) OEM Toyota 4Runner "tow package" alternator is the exact same form-factor, just with a higher output.

They're correct! I bought Toyota part # 27060-31190 and it fit as advertised:



Left: Stock alternator.

Right: 130A alternator. Most but not all of the stock hardware that attaches to the alternator is affixed to the new one.

I had a bit of fun getting through the Magnuson supercharger's belt system - which sits in front of the FJ's own belt system - before I could even begin. Magnuson doesn't provide any owner's manual or maintenance guide for the 2010+ FJC supercharger as far as I know. Luckily it was just a matter of reversing the installation instructions for the bracket that holds the supercharger's belt tensioner... after draining the radiator and removing the lower main engine coolant hose which blocks access to the bolts and would prevent removal of the pulley bracket. Luckily, I was replacing my radiator at the same time so I wasn't too inconvenienced. I'm not going to say it's impossible but you'd have a very very hard time getting the bracket out, let alone the alternator, with the coolant hose still in place.




  1. pop off the plastic clips that hold the hose to the metal bracket in front of the pulley bracket
  2. de-tension the belt and remove it from the pulleys
  3. remove the two lower pulleys
  4. remove the bolts that were hidden behind each of those pulleys
  5. remove the bolt in the upper-left, behind the tensioner
  6. remove the bracket
To reinstall, follow Magnuson's installation guide (PDF), which includes torque specifications.

There are two bolts on the front of the alternator, which are easy to access and have large heads. Mine were somewhat siezed but there was plenty of room to fit a long breaker bar handle and loosen them. When I put them back in, I coated the threads with anti-seize.

Then there's the third bolt, that everyone who mentions FJC alternator replacement says is the hard one. They're not wrong. Remember that L-shaped bracket on the back of the alternator? It bolts to the engine block and it bolts to the alternator. The engine block bolt's head points out towards the left wheel well. The alternator bolt's head points back towards the engine firewall. You only need to remove one to free the alternator.

I chose to remove the engine-block bolt because I could not get any angle or leverage on the (siezed, of course) alternator bolt. Once I got the alternator out, I needed a 20" breaker bar to loosen the bolt that held the bracket to the alternator. Both of these bolts were replaced coated in anti-sieze.

Here's the bolt:



This is the tool combination I used to remove it: An angle-adapter socket on the end of a 20" socket extension.



To use it,


  1. Jack up the FJ
  2. Remove the left front tire
  3. Peel back the engine splash guards
  4. Insert the tool through the front splash guard area, while looking and guiding it in with your hand from the rear splash guard area


You should have easy access to the bolt and plenty of leverage to remove it. You could probably skip removing the tire if you used a ~40" extension...

After all that, there was finally enough clearance and play to be able to get my hand down to the alternator to remove the control connector and power cable. On my FJ, the supercharger coolant hoses and upgraded (and additional) power cables take up a lot of space above the alternator. In a stock FJ, you can fit tools and/or hands down to disconnect the alternator's wires first, but that was not possible with my setup.

From there it was just a matter of doing everything in reverse, being sure to clean bolts & pulleys and apply anti-sieze before reassembling. I also replaced the main serpentine belt while I was in there... definitely don't want to have to tear this deep into the engine bay again any time soon! Where Magnuson's install instructions said to use thread-lock, I skipped the anti-sieze and obeyed. Everything else though... I'm not going to have to fight the bolts next time!

Now there's one barely-visible piece hiding deep in the engine bay that's far more shiny and clean than its surroundings:



And it runs at ~14.7v (boosted voltage for the Odyssey battery) while starting up before levelling out to 14.1, instead of the previous maximum of ~14.3v.

(archive link)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
Interesting that you got a Tacoma alternator to fit. I always thought the 2010+ FJ’s had to use the 5th gen 4Runner 130amp alternator.
Gah, you're right, it's the 4Runner alternator. At least the part number (and link to the source post) is right; trust that, not me! Updating my post...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
CSF High-Performance All-Aluminum Radiator

========================================
=====
===== CSF High-Performance All-Aluminum Radiator
=====
========================================


I've always had a small overheat gremlin. Usually it just manifests in reduced air conditioning output after long days of wheeling in the sun. Sometimes it would happen in stop-and-go traffic in the Texas heat. At the 2018 FJ Summit, I overheated on a one-lane trail up to Pougkeepsie Gulch. "Overheat" in that case meant "engine coolant at 259 Fahrenheit and boiling over with the cabin heat running at maximum."

I had just recently flushed the coolant. I replaced the thermostat right after I got back from FJ summit. None of that seemed to help. I finally pulled my radiator out and it turned out that the entire bottom third - which mostly corresponds to the entire cooling surface for the automatic transmission fluid - was packed solid with mud. I always rinse out my radiator blades until the water runs clear as part of cleaning after going off-road but I guess water couldn't ever fully reach that part. What had probably happened is the ATF just kept getting hotter and hotter, unable to cool, and heated the radiator so much that it ended up putting heat into my engine coolant!



Left: Front of the old radiator after 45 minutes rinsing it while installed.
Right: Back of the old radiator after 45 minutes rinsing it while installed.

To protect against this, I got a fill plate for the space under my front bumper which had previously been open, exposing the radiator blades. That should reduce the quantity of mud getting into my radiator. To double-protect against this and eliminate the possibility of damage to my old radiator also being part of the cause, I ordered an all-aluminium, higher-capacity "High Performance" desert race radiator from CSF:



I ordered it (back-ordered, really) in July 2018. It arrived in early October. I waited to install it until I had a nice long weekend with good weather, which was early November.

Well it turns out that 2 of the 4 the radiator mounts had been damaged during shipping and couldn't be fitted. Crestfallen, I returned it and waited. In early February 2019, the replacement arrived, this time undamaged. The welding on the new one was also noticeably more thorough, intact, and well-done than on the original damaged one.



Left: original damaged mount
Right: new, undamaged mount (with more-complete welds)

The CSF radiator is claimed to be a drop-in replacement for the stock radiator, and it is! Installation was an uneventful reverse of the process of removing it. For what it's worth, I find the following order to be optimal for removing the radiator:


  1. Drain radiator
  2. Remove engine coolant hoses
  3. Remove transmission cooler hoses. Have thick, clean bolts ready: Stick 'em down the end of the hoses and clamp them in place with the stock clamps. Now you can move the hoses around and out of the way without leaking fluid.
  4. Remove the coolant reservoir
  5. Remove all of the fan shroud bolts
  6. Remove the 4 nuts holding the fan/fan clutch to its pulley (put anti-sieze on so this isn't hard next time)
  7. Lift the fan and fan shroud up together. You can't separate them 'till they're out of the engine bay
  8. Remove the bolts in the 4 radiator mounts in each corner of the radiator (put anti-sieze on so this isn't hard next time)
  9. Lift the radiator up and out
CSF proudly advertises their radiator's "signature 1-hour mirror polish" but it's almost completely hidden in an FJ - just two shiny silver corners poking out:




NOTE: The stock FJ radiator's petco ck has a wing nut that allows coolant to flow out a small, downward spigot when loosened. It is very accessible and easy to attach a hose to the spigot before opening the valve. The CSF radiator's petco ck is just a plug in the bottom corner. It will start squirting out on your hands the moment it's loosened as you quickly rush to attach a hose.



(archive link)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,476 Posts
Nice, did you buy the ALT new? It looks good.

Is there any downside that you know of running the aluminum radiator? Usually with mods there is a trade off you know what I mean? You need a separate, dedicated trans cooler right? My radiator looks almost like that right now but with mud. Luckily its cold right now which is also why I'm putting off cleaning it!
 

·
Forum Beer Miester
Joined
·
3,679 Posts
Nice, did you buy the ALT new? It looks good.

Is there any downside that you know of running the aluminum radiator? Usually with mods there is a trade off you know what I mean? You need a separate, dedicated trans cooler right? My radiator looks almost like that right now but with mud. Luckily its cold right now which is also why I'm putting off cleaning it!
I bought a 3 core for FJ40 similar to that one and it has the built in auto tranny cooler fittings for an auto swap. I’ve got a Hayden cooler sitting on my shop table for a year now I need to install, probably do it when I change my fluid again after Jambo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
Nice, did you buy the ALT new? It looks good.

Is there any downside that you know of running the aluminum radiator? Usually with mods there is a trade off you know what I mean? You need a separate, dedicated trans cooler right? My radiator looks almost like that right now but with mud. Luckily its cold right now which is also why I'm putting off cleaning it!
I did buy the alternator new. With some parts you can go aftermarket or used, but I intend to run this alternator hard and hot for a long time so brand-new OEM was the clear choice.

Downside for the radiator: Cost. An OEM-spec FJC radiator from Rock Auto is $70 - $170 tops, this was $350 plus shipping. There is a transmission cooler integrated into the stock radiator; the aluminum one also has this. I just connected the stock ATF fluid hoses to the same location on the new radiator. So my engine cooling and my transmission cooling both get a little boost from the improved capacity of the new radiator.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,476 Posts
the aluminum one also has this. I just connected the stock ATF fluid hoses to the same location on the new radiator. So my engine cooling and my transmission cooling both get a little boost from the improved capacity of the new radiator.
Good to know, yeah I couldn't find that info on that so I was wondering if it still had that feature.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
I just bought a trans Cooler from Cruiser Brothers . It is a bolt on unit made to Fit the FJ it is also made to work with the supercharger . I do not have it yet as they come from Australia. But it is a very nice unit . its made by a company called Wholesale Automatic transmission .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
URD Mark3 3" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust

========================================
=====
===== URD Mark3 3" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust
=====
========================================


FINISHED PRODUCT



WHY, THOUGH?

More-often than I'd like, I crushed my stock tailpipe on rocks. At least 3 times that I can remember, and each time I manage to reshape it into less of a round shape.

I wanted an exhaust system that was less-exposed, made of tougher stuff, and less-likely to get crushed closed if - or when, rather - it does land on rocks.

I chose the URD Mark3 3" stainless steel catback system:



It ticked all the boxes:


  1. High-tuck
  2. Thicker, stronger metal
  3. Angled exhaust tip won't fold shut if landed on
As a bonus, it


  1. was made of stainless steel so it wouldn't rust like my stock exhaust
  2. had two mufflers, promising a nicer sound than the stock exhaust
  3. was wider than the stock exhaust, which might lead to a small performance increase - more likely than normal on account of my supercharger.
Pricey, though! I selected it at the end of FJ Summit 2018, which was the second-most-recent time I flattened my tailpipe on rocks. I ordered it in early March and just finished getting it installed.

My box came with no instructions whatsoever. Ok, fine - how hard could it be? It's a catback exhaust in 3 pieces, for crying out loud!

Well! Turns out instructions should have mentioned the following:


  1. The system can only be installed back-to-front; there is no clearance to install the pieces starting at the end of the Y-pipe and moving backwards. The tailpipe must go on first.
  2. The clamps do not have a torque spec. The clamps are intended to be impact-driver'd until the steel deforms.
  3. The exhaust hangar for the tailpipe must be flipped upside-down from its stock orientation before installing the tailpipe piece.
  4. The new pipe follows a slightly-different track than the stock pipe; the ABS sensor wires will touch it. You'll need to bend the ABS sensor wire brackets & wrap them in heat shielding.
  5. The new pipe follows a slightly-different track than the stock pipe; the stock heat shields on the underside of the body will not be aligned properly. You may want to add your own heat shielding.
#s 2 and 3 I had to learn by e-mailing URD.

REAR HANGAR FLIP

Originally, I just put the new exhaust on the stock hangars (since, you know, there were no instructions). The hangar post rattled against the frame, and the tip rattled against the bumper. Flipping that hangar keeps everything properly clear and elimiated the rattles:

(From the front, looking towards the rear)


NEW ABS SENSOR WIRE HEAT SHIELDS

Here's the ABS sensor wire after bending the brackets. Note that it's now touching suspension linkage! Better that than exhaust, though. Obviously, I couldn't leave this as-is.



First thing I did was cover those wires in high-temperature protective plastic split loom tubing, then wrap all that in standard "for your car's wiring and small hoses" heat shielding:



However, I wanted to be extra-certain that this didn't come back to bite me, so I wrapped that portion of the exhaust pipe - the section that lines up with the ABS sensor wire - in thermal exhaust (header) wrap:



NEW BODY HEAT SHIELDS

Turns out there's this cool product that is adhesive exhaust/engine heat-shielding in a sheet, and you just cut it to whatever shape you need then stick it on. Once I noticed that the stock body shielding didn't line up with the new pipes, I ordered a small sheet. I cut it to shield the areas that had been shielded before, but from the new pipe locations (as best as I could). Recalling this thread about someone else melting their charcoal/evap canister after installing a new exhaust, I opted to be extra-cautious and shielded that box & the base of its hoses, too. Finally, just to make sure there wouldn't be any rattle, I slipped a small piece between the frame and the exhaust pipe, where it crosses over. Previously, those pieces weren't touching but were VERY close and would sometimes bump into each other while driving. Now, they're immobile against the heat shielding.

(New heat shield - covering stock locations from the new pipe route)


(New heat shield - stopping rattle against the frame)


EXHAUST SOUND

Marginally quieter. Marginally lower-pitch. I cannot hear the exhaust from the driver's seat anymore; I could barely hear it before.

Check out these YouTube videos for an exhaustive comparison of the sounds before and after:



PERFORMANCE

These dyno results were obtained with BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tires in 305/65r17 (part 00819) - 59.55 lbs each and Pro-Comp "La Paz" Series 29 17x8.5 6 on 5.5 wheels (part 5129-78583) - 39 lbs each. In all, there were 98.55 lbs per hub. Nothing in the powertrain or drivetrain had changed since my last dyno run except this exhaust system.



Note that the power comes on later than before. If you recall from my supercharger install, the supercharger initially brought power on much sooner by reshaping the power curves. This exhaust has... returned my power curves to their stock shape? Odd.



Woohoo, 1.3% extra torque!

(archive link)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
Rago Fabrication "Modular Storage Panel" (MSP)

========================================
=====
===== Rago Fabrication "Modular Storage Panel" (MSP)
=====
========================================


At the 2018 Lone Star Toyota Jamboree, Rago Fabrication was showing off their Modular Storage Panels for the Toyota trucks. I thought they were ingenious, and also exactly what I needed to secure my cargo against rattles and get it off the floor, freeing up precious trunk space.

The right-side panel doesn't fit in an FJ if you have a subwoofer back there, so I asked about buying a left-hand panel individually. At the time, they didn't offer such a thing. I checked recently and noticed their website offered individual panels for sale, so I grabbed a left-hand panel!

The included documentation said to watch the install video first, but I couldn't find an install video for the FJ Cruiser. The 4runner video was enough, though.



Then, I moved my fire extinguisher up





It is now out-of-the way of luggage on the floor of the trunk. Due to being mounted upright, as opposed to my previous horizontal mount, it also makes much less noise while driving.

(archive link)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Re: URD Mark3 3" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust

========================================
=====
===== URD Mark3 3" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust
=====
========================================


FINISHED PRODUCT



WHY, THOUGH?

More-often than I'd like, I crushed my stock tailpipe on rocks. At least 3 times that I can remember, and each time I manage to reshape it into less of a round shape.

I wanted an exhaust system that was less-exposed, made of tougher stuff, and less-likely to get crushed closed if - or when, rather - it does land on rocks.

I chose the URD Mark3 3" stainless steel catback system:



It ticked all the boxes:


  1. High-tuck
  2. Thicker, stronger metal
  3. Angled exhaust tip won't fold shut if landed on
As a bonus, it


  1. was made of stainless steel so it wouldn't rust like my stock exhaust
  2. had two mufflers, promising a nicer sound than the stock exhaust
  3. was wider than the stock exhaust, which might lead to a small performance increase - more likely than normal on account of my supercharger.
Pricey, though! I selected it at the end of FJ Summit 2018, which was the second-most-recent time I flattened my tailpipe on rocks. I ordered it in early March and just finished getting it installed.

My box came with no instructions whatsoever. Ok, fine - how hard could it be? It's a catback exhaust in 3 pieces, for crying out loud!

Well! Turns out instructions should have mentioned the following:


  1. The system can only be installed back-to-front; there is no clearance to install the pieces starting at the end of the Y-pipe and moving backwards. The tailpipe must go on first.
  2. The clamps do not have a torque spec. The clamps are intended to be impact-driver'd until the steel deforms.
  3. The exhaust hangar for the tailpipe must be flipped upside-down from its stock orientation before installing the tailpipe piece.
  4. The new pipe follows a slightly-different track than the stock pipe; the ABS sensor wires will touch it. You'll need to bend the ABS sensor wire brackets & wrap them in heat shielding.
  5. The new pipe follows a slightly-different track than the stock pipe; the stock heat shields on the underside of the body will not be aligned properly. You may want to add your own heat shielding.
#s 2 and 3 I had to learn by e-mailing URD.

REAR HANGAR FLIP

Originally, I just put the new exhaust on the stock hangars (since, you know, there were no instructions). The hangar post rattled against the frame, and the tip rattled against the bumper. Flipping that hangar keeps everything properly clear and elimiated the rattles:

(From the front, looking towards the rear)


NEW ABS SENSOR WIRE HEAT SHIELDS

Here's the ABS sensor wire after bending the brackets. Note that it's now touching suspension linkage! Better that than exhaust, though. Obviously, I couldn't leave this as-is.



First thing I did was cover those wires in high-temperature protective plastic split loom tubing, then wrap all that in standard "for your car's wiring and small hoses" heat shielding:



However, I wanted to be extra-certain that this didn't come back to bite me, so I wrapped that portion of the exhaust pipe - the section that lines up with the ABS sensor wire - in thermal exhaust (header) wrap:



NEW BODY HEAT SHIELDS

Turns out there's this cool product that is adhesive exhaust/engine heat-shielding in a sheet, and you just cut it to whatever shape you need then stick it on. Once I noticed that the stock body shielding didn't line up with the new pipes, I ordered a small sheet. I cut it to shield the areas that had been shielded before, but from the new pipe locations (as best as I could). Recalling this thread about someone else melting their charcoal/evap canister after installing a new exhaust, I opted to be extra-cautious and shielded that box & the base of its hoses, too. Finally, just to make sure there wouldn't be any rattle, I slipped a small piece between the frame and the exhaust pipe, where it crosses over. Previously, those pieces weren't touching but were VERY close and would sometimes bump into each other while driving. Now, they're immobile against the heat shielding.

(New heat shield - covering stock locations from the new pipe route)


(New heat shield - stopping rattle against the frame)


EXHAUST SOUND

Marginally quieter. Marginally lower-pitch. I cannot hear the exhaust from the driver's seat anymore; I could barely hear it before.

Check out these YouTube videos for an exhaustive comparison of the sounds before and after:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VD21DS6v4M https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XZwRGqGWT4


PERFORMANCE

These dyno results were obtained with BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tires in 305/65r17 (part 00819) - 59.55 lbs each and Pro-Comp "La Paz" Series 29 17x8.5 6 on 5.5 wheels (part 5129-78583) - 39 lbs each. In all, there were 98.55 lbs per hub. Nothing in the powertrain or drivetrain had changed since my last dyno run except this exhaust system.



Note that the power comes on later than before. If you recall from my supercharger install, the supercharger initially brought power on much sooner by reshaping the power curves. This exhaust has... returned my power curves to their stock shape? Odd.



Woohoo, 1.3% extra torque!


I can not wait to install my Magnuson !!!
What a sound I'm going to have with my Dougthorley headers
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
728 Posts
Great build.

I'll keep you in mind whenever I need advice on electrical!

So pretty much all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
Drifta Storage Drawers & Refrigerator Slide

========================================
=====
===== Drifta Storage Drawers & Refrigerator Slide
=====
========================================


At great expense after a long wait, a custom-built set of rear storage drawers with an integrated refrigerator slide arrived from Drifta, in Australia by way of Kakadu Camping, in Canada.

These things are the cream of the crop of rear storage drawer systems:


  • Lightweight wood, covered in carpet
  • Flush tie-downs
  • Perfect fit
  • Access ports for the rear inverter & jack cubby
  • Integrated refrigerator slide
  • Teflon slides, not metal bearing slides- no rattle!
  • Lockable
  • Includes folding camp table
I'd wanted a rear drawer system + fridge mount for a while and had combed through all the DIY builds, all the domestic (USA) prebuilt suppliers, and even done a CAD plan for my own build (and even ordered the metal, bearing slides...). None of it was ever going to (at least with my DIY skills & tools) come close to the quality and fit of a Drifta system.

So I said a prayer for my wallet, placed a custom order, and waited 5.5 months. Worth every penny. Perfect fit, 109 lbs of added weight, well-built, and they benefit from all of the "oh, we can make that better" experience that an outfit that builds these systems day in and day out for 4wd / overland rigs has. Even if I could build as well as they can, my first system would probably reveal a few "oh, well, I should've done it that way" things. Drifta's already figured those out.

Not much else to write; 6 bolts into already-existing threaded holes in the rear of the FJ and the drawers are rock-solid. The easiest modification-to-volume, modification-to-weight, and modification-to-cost ratios of anything so far.

Only thing, I guess, is that to get the drawers into the trunk without finagling, you ought to remove the plastic cover on the rear door. If you don't and you don't finagle, you may slightly damage the plastic.
 

Attachments

41 - 60 of 76 Posts
Top