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4-Corners Moderator
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2020 1st Quarter Member Spotlight: longtooth

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We'd like to congratulate longtooth for being selected as the 2020 1st Quarter Member Spotlight!

As you can tell from the change in title, starting in 2020 rather than alternating between Member/Rig of the Month features on a monthly basis like we have for the past few years, we will be doing these features every 3 months for a total of 4 each year. These highlights will be up to the interviewees discretion as to whether they want it to focus on them and their FJ or just the rig. It will be great!


Hayden: Tell us a bit about yourself (Family/pets, work/school, hobbies/interests, location, etc.)

longtooth: I am approaching the age where I can actually get my social security…LOL I have 4 kids and 2 grandkids, and all are doing well. I have worked in the oilfield all over the world since I was 17 – it has always been challenging and I have seen the world and been paid well for doing it. A few close calls though, but let’s not get into those. Most recently, I buried my 15-year-old lab at our farm – so no pets for a while.

My first 4WD was a 1983 Toyota longbed with the SR22. I needed the longbed to fit my enduro bike and had a lot of fun running trails without the bike. Got hooked on 4WD at that point. Through the years, I have had an International Scout, Chevy Shortbed, Jeep Cherokee, LandCruiser and finally the FJ. I have been on two separate trips to the Yukon and Eastern Alaska in the Toyota Truck and the LandCruiser – both were great, especially putting screws in my tires to do some running on ice in the Wind River area of WY. I spent a lot of time in the Middle East, running a Nissan Patrol (company vehicle) in Egypt and renting others in KSA and Dubai.

I live near Houston, and have called Louisiana and Texas home for many years. I own 40 acres in East Texas, which was cleared by my youngest son and I using the FJ. We pulled many 3-7” saplings out by the roots with this rig and the trailer hitch and low gear – we still use her for that. I have a business here in Texas doing oilfield engineering design and spend a lot of hours on oilfield roads, many freshly made with a bulldozer. My FJ hasn’t had any trouble doing that, and I have pulled a few 4WD trucks out along the way.

The FJ pulls our tandem axle trailer with our backhoe on it just fine; or the tractor and many ridiculously heavy loads. It has never been a mall crawler, even when I first bought it in 2007. Building my farm has been my ongoing hobby since 2008, and it allowed me to teach my son how to build a house from slab to rooftop. The FJ was in every bit of that and still is.

I guess we like 4WD, since SWMBO has a Wrangler, one son a TJ, another a Subaru and my soninlaw a Ford 4WD diesel truck. My FJ I named “HellB!tch”, but the moderators felt it was just too much for the forum, so I went to Dutch. She is HelTeef now,,,LOL


Hayden: How did you come to own an FJ Cruiser? Is the FJ Cruiser your first off-road vehicle? If not, what was the first vehicle you took wheeling?

longtooth: I was owner in another company, working as COO. Before that, I was working as a consultant, making a 45 mile commute 2x each day. So I bought a 1984 Honda Accord for the 45mpg it got. Once I took the position with the new company, my partners (all driving brand new Lexus) insisted I get a vehicle that “wasn’t a complete POS”. They gave me a huge car allowance, so I went down and bought a new FJ base model off the lot. That job got HelTeef paid for pretty fast.


Hayden: How/when were you first introduced to the forum and what made you decide to join?

longtooth: I was looking for answers just using Google WRT the FJ. The forum always popped up, and I would follow the link and browse the mods and read bits here and there. Having run into some issues and found answers on the forum, when HelTeef started getting ‘long in the tooth’, I joined up.[/B]:

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Mod List:

ARMOR:

Demello Front Bumper, hand fab skid plates, rock sliders and Jeep light bar mounted on top of front bumper

SUSPENSION/WHEELS/TIRES:

3” OME leveled lift, stock rims, BFG 34” KO2’s; BMC done; 1.5” spydertrax

ENGINE PERFORMANCE:

bone stock but did get HD radiator put in

LIGHTING/ELECTRONICS:

HD alternator; 2nd battery with solar panel charger; 2m HAM rig, Sony head unit; CB; set of handhelds; 2 rear lites on rack, 2 in bumper nacelles, 3 on top of bumper, 6 on lite bar on rack; interior winch control; scan gage mounted to grab bars for easy removal

EXTERIOR MODIFICATIONS:

Rack mounted hi-lift jack, rack mounted 7 gallon aux gas tank, rack mounted solar panel, rack mounted fishing rod holder, rack mounted traction mats, rack mounted shovel

INTERIOR MODIFICATIONS:

Gun rack for 2 rifles mounted to clothes hanger mounts in rear; air comp mounted in rear; complete metric tool kit mounted in rear; interchangeable blade hunting kinife mounted to front dash; bush knife and Fiskars hatchet mounted in rear; pistol pocket and cell phone pocket in Wet Okole seat covers; assorted “goody bags” mounted to rear door; extended handle ratchet mounted in rear; extra USB ports in dash; custom made grab bars in front; 500W inverter mounted to rear of console; portable battery charger for handheld GPS and handheld radios mounted in console; shifters converted to rubber boots

RECOVERY MODIFICATIONS:

6 front recovery points; 12K winch; fiberglass traction mats; 2 rear recovery points; clevis mounts for running winch underneath to rear

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Hayden: Any modifications unique to only your FJ Cruiser?

longtooth: AFAIK, the rack mount gas tank is unique, the rear rifle rack is likely unique, the grab bars are definitely unique; I use scaffolding clamps to mount most anything I want to my rack, which I posted about on the forum – I think I’m the only one who had used those. They work great when combined with Quick Fists or other home made jigs for hanging things on the rack. The way I stiffened the plastic fender cover in the rear to support my air comp is likely unique.


Hayden: What modification is your favorite or is the most worth the money/time/effort that you’d recommend it to someone else?

longtooth: Well, that would be the rack mount tank – out of the way, no pump to futz over and barely sticks out above the original rack itself. Saved my bacon 2x already, and you just flip the valve and wait for those lovely 7 gallons to get in the tank.


Hayden: What upgrade is your least favorite, or what modification would you do differently if you had to do it over again?

longtooth: I might dump the dash mounted 2M rig and CB, and install them in the flat dash under the passenger airbag if I were mounting them now.


Hayden: What has been your favorite thing about owning an FJ Cruiser?

longtooth: TBH – with the kind of hard work, rough roads and downright abuse that HelTeef has been through…well…there is this one word: RELIABILITY. Or else I would not be staring at my odo with nearly 350K staring back at me.


Hayden: Has anyone on the forum inspired your build or been a go-to resource for you?

longtooth: I have seen a lot of mods, so I guess I have to admit several were undoubtedly inspiritional. I tend to check many of them out, and then try to find a better or more flexible way to do those same mods. I am an engineer, so tinkering is in my bones. And since I decided years back to keep HelTeef, I am not fearful about resale value or putting holes in her if I want to – it's why they make grommets after all.


Hayden: Where all have you been with your FJC? What trail/park/location is your favorite?

longtooth: Padre Island to the southern sea wall was fun; the Atchafalaya levee during a hurricane was very exciting; spent many nights in the Ozarks being lost since the maps weren’t reliable on those old roads we were trying to run; and then there are so very many oilfield roads and tracks to run here in my area. Big Bend was also a good trip.


Hayden: Is there a trail/park/location you haven’t visited yet that you would like to take your FJ to someday?

longtooth: I want to take HelTeef to the Arctic Circle


Hayden: What has been the most memorable experience with your FJ Cruiser?

longtooth: Clearing land and building my farm with my son has given me a boatload of memories I never thought I would have, and the FJ is in every one. I don’t think a Wrangler would have lasted a year doing what we did/do, and remember that SWMBO owns a Wrangler – so I do get to compare really often!


Hayden: What do you enjoy the most about the FJCrusierForums?

longtooth: I enjoy putting in my 2 cents on things I have experienced or done to help others avoid pitfalls or help them find a better way to do what they want. I like seeing what others do to their rigs, because mine is going to need more work (like an engine) in the future. Engine is ok, but nothing lasts forever. It’s a really great resource, and the lack of flame wars and Spam is really nice.


Hayden: What has the FJCruiserForums done for you and what do you feel you contribute to the forum the most?

longtooth: I contribute any way I can – never refused a request from anyone. The forum has saved me a lot of money and time over the years, and helped me decide whether I should play DIY’er or let the shop guys get after it. I have no problem passing along things to anyone that wants my experience or opinion.


Hayden: In a world without new FJ Cruisers being built, do you plan on keeping yours forever or upgrading to a newer model ever?

longtooth: Is this a rhetorical question Hayden?


Hayden: What do you expect to be in your FJs future build-wise/travel-wise/etc?

longtooth: With the mileage, I have already been into bearings, rear oil seal, UCA/LCA, diff seal, evaporator coil, and more. My OME suspension is overdue for replacement, but I am contemplating a long travel kit as replacement, along with a swap to 4:56 gears. The rubber fenders are coming off, but I’m not sure what will go on – depends on how nuts I go with the tires probably. There is an engine replacement in the future, but I am going to shoot for a half million if HelTeef lets me – but not going to slack off the workload for that. I am going to fab a rear bumper in 2020 – I’ve trashed the stock bumper totally, and my receiver is welded in due to a wreck a few years back – most aftermarket rears are either too dang expensive or require me to remove that receiver.

Travel? There isn’t anywhere I won’t go in this vehicle, including the Yukon.


Hayden: What final advice do you have for someone new to the FJ Cruiser or the Forum?

longtooth: Don’t worry about asking dumb questions – don’t mean you are dumb; just means you don’t know something yet. You may get a few jibes thrown your way, but it’s no worse than guys talking smack over a beer.

 

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I Have a V-8!! Moderator
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Congratulations!
 

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Congratulations!!
 

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Congratulations!! Like your gas tank set-up. Would love to see more photos of this set-up if possible. What do you do when on the road and it starts raining? I've thought about buying a John Dow fuel station and mounting it on top but honestly have a bit of fear and reservations mounting gas tanks on my FJ. My idea was that on long trips the extra gas could come in handy and on offroad trips it could as well.
 

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トヨタ Master
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Congrats! Wish they would put these on the home page with the new digs.
 

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Congratulations mr. long tooth, and hellbitch! You have a great ride. Great adventures. . Sorry about your lab. That's a rough one.
Enjoy beating on that f.j. I'm inspired ✌ I've had my f.j since 2014. Bought her new. I call her the gray goose! I need to get her dirty more often. Not just salty. C ya
 
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