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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Hoss" aballas's '07 Voodoo

Update 05/17/2011 I'll be reserving the very top area here to show current progress on the rig (instant gratification)...I'll continue to do build updates in subsequent post... (if you're into the long reads)

Here's Hoss's current progress.... :)



Now back to the reading...

Since picking up my FJ last week I've become obsessed.... I'm constantly reading the forums looking for mods I might want to make, or cool hacks for the electronics. So I figured I might as well make a build-up thread to document my FJ's progression.

I don't have any plans to make it into a dedicated rock-crawler or anything crazy like that :)

I just want to make some mods to suit it for my purposes. I want it to be both a competent daily driver and a competent off-roader for the occasional gnarly stuff that I just can't pass up. :lol:


I decided on an FJ because I wanted something a bit bigger than my Suby Wagon, and I wanted to offroad a bit (may or may not have been influenced by my best friend's purchase of a 2011 JK). So I began shopping and came across this:



a completely pristine '07 FJ in Voodoo Blue (my favorite color), 5A/T 4x4 with rear diff lock, with 52K on the ODO... (about the same mileage as my '07 Suby...seemed like a good trade)

I picked it up last Monday from Washington Auto Mall in Washington, PA. Actually had a fairly positive experience there (I loathe stealerships) with a salesman who used to be a HS classmate of mine :)

Traded in my old Suby wagon... I'll miss her, but already love the new girl much more...




Here's my FJ the day I brought her home.... it was a little snowy to say the least, but it was good to see how it handled in the snow right off the bat, as I was worried I'd suffer a bit from the Suby (which was amazing and fun to drive in ice and snow). I've been impressed so far with the FJs abilities this winter, and much less impressed with WV-DOT's ability to maintain road conditions in the winter...





As far as mods go... I haven't done much yet, but I have tons of plans!

One thing I decided to do was make the cargo area a bit more friendly for my yellow lab Tsali... On her first ride she slid around like crazy on the plastic, and didn't have much fun... So I went to a sporting goods shop near my house and bought a large roll of cut-to-fit exercise mat (i needed some anyway for my bike trainer room). I measured the back cargo area and cut it to fit...



Also cut some holes for the cargo-loops (not pictured)

Tsali is much happier



Another thing I discovered, was that underneath the trash-can lid tire cover was not a matching alloy... It was one of the stock steelies...



so $90 on ebay later...I have this...also notice my rear glass mod... Breckenridge Brewery sticker, and Black Bear Burritos sticker (one of my favorite local hang-outs :lol:



Looks MUCH better, and satisfies my OCD need to have things match.. (the tire doesn't...but I can deal with that...for now)

I also discovered in my research of this wheel that they're the 17" alloys from the 4runner.. and aren't supposed to fit according to a few threads I found. That confused me because they're definitely on my FJ, with no spacers, and no rubbing whatsoever...oh well..

So there you have it... my (as of yet) nameless 2007 Voodoo FJ as she sits today.
 

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Voodoo is my favorite color as well. I originally wanted black when I bought mine but couldn't find one. Now I'm glad, the VDB has really grown on me.

Good luck on the build. Brace yourself or you'll end up broke like me with UPS delivering packages on the daily.:wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Voodoo is my favorite color as well. I originally wanted black when I bought mine but couldn't find one. Now I'm glad, the VDB has really grown on me.

Good luck on the build. Brace yourself or you'll end up broke like me with UPS delivering packages on the daily.:wave:
Haha! CRAP! Just what I need! I already have that unfortunate habit with all of my bicycles...(Just upgraded a bunch of stuff on my single speed mountain bike)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Actually ended up finding a set of the OEM TRD Rock Rails on Craigslist the other day, and went to pick them up today. :)

Turns out I bought them from forum member Mamba184. Thank you! It's much appreciated... one more thing I can check off the list now.

The install is actually still in progress...I only managed to do the passenger side today before it got to dark (and COLD!) to work outside....

I probably could have finished the job today, but to my dismay I discovered that EVERY SINGLE FREAKING mounting hole needed re-tapped... So a couple hours, and a trip to Sears later and I returned with a shiny new Craftsman Metric Tap & Die kit... after that things went pretty smoothly.... I like the look. Can't wait to finish it up tomorrow! :)





There's a few minor rust spots, but nothing major... Once the weather warms up I'll pull them off again and touch up the spots.. (I'm sure there will be more to come anyway)

Thanks again to Mamba184! :)
 

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Pleasure to meet you today. Looks like you're off to a great start with the mods! The exercise mat is a good idea. I'll probably try that for our dog. Keep posting as I'll be checking your progress frequently. :cheers:
 

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Looking good!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did a little test fit of the latest "mod". I can't wait for some good weather to actually get out and use it.

Yakima Sparetime 2 bike rack

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to forum member Cmaj7 for a set of OEM steelies at a GREAT price!! :)

Actually had a couple of nice days this past weekend and managed to get them and the spare I had laying around painted with some fresh gloss black...

They came out nice!



In the next couple of weeks (once I get my bonus) I'll be getting some rubber to put on them. I've decided on 285/70r17 Cooper STTs. Can't wait!

Unfortunately I'm having a center cap dilemma with the wheels... I managed to find this center cap on ebay from an old (unknown year) land cruiser... As an added bonus it fits the steelies perfectly. However, I'm having a hell of a time finding three to match since there's no part number on it. It looks REALLY good though...and I definitely NEED to find matching ones...







Meanwhile, my sticker collection on the (useless) rear window is slowly expanding haha!



 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yesterday was a really nice day here in WV....almost like spring....

So I decided to get out and enjoy it with a little work on the FJ....

I've spent a lot of time debating whether or not to black out the exterior bits.... I liked the look but really wasn't sure (plus it seems like EVERYONE does that). Then I got into the painted bezel thread and saw another option.... white. I liked that it was a nod to the original FJ40, and thought it would look great with Voodoo Blue.... so I bought some paint and went to work...

I found this paint... Krylon Fusion in gloss white... 4-5 coats of this with a couple of coats of Duplicolor clear coat...



Judging from the cap color I thought it would match the roof pretty close... turns out it was actually DEAD ON...I'm very happy with the results...















In between coats of paint I had some spare time... so I decided to tackle another project I've been meaning to get around to... Installed a "Fun" switch... (VSC/ATRAC Hack....the blue/yellow wire from Ruebarb's thread) :)

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got my new tires in yesterday....well.. 4 of them anyway. The 5th for the spare won't be in until Tuesday... I LOVE THEM! It completely changes the look and feel of the vehicle. I didn't think going up to 285's would make a huge difference in appearance, but it really does! Luckily, it doesn't seem like they rub on the body mounts... it is close though. I'm hoping once I level the front it will space it away from the mount a little further...














They're 285/70r17 Cooper STTs.... I'm very happy with them so far. It rained pretty hard today, and I was happy to test out their performance in the rain. I was pleasantly surprised that they did pretty well... (no worse than what I already had). I was worried a little about that too since I'd heard mud terrains weren't very good on wet roads...

The ride isn't bad either... it's noticably stiffer (these are D-loads..previous tires were C), but I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, and the infamous mud-terrain noise is really only a low hum not bad at all, and I listen to my stereo loud enough to drown it out anyway....

I am unsure about the pressure in them though.... The sidewalls say 65psi (cold) max... The shop put 50psi in them... both of these seem very high. What pressure should I run in these for on-road?
 

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I keep my KM2's at about 45 psi, but ive had them down to 25 psi on the road before and theyre fine
 

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Awesome stuff! It's given me some ideas for what to do with my Voodoo Blue FJ.

I'm not very car savvy yet, but the bezel paint is probably something I could handle. I like the white. it really makes it 'pop'. :)
 

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Love the white, very different. Isn't it a trip how tires can change the entire look of our rigs? Looking good so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys :) I'm really happy with how everything is turning out as well. Currently figuring out what I want to do for a lift since I realized I do rub a bit up front... Looks like I've caught the mod bug. Bad...
 

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rig looks good! Its nice to see another fj in wv!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a lot to update in this post.....

Many things have happened in the past couple of months.. Needless to say.. I caught the bug... bad..

Here's what went down...

My wheels and tires really started the ball rolling...they changed the look and feel of the rig so dramatically that I started to obsess about things I "needed" to do to further improve it....

So I started small....

Finally got around to ordering my ATRAC switch..



Then I FINALLY found a local buyer for my original wheels and tires, (fellow forum member Neandertal)... He proposed an interesting trade/cash offer to me (OEM roof rack...) so I couldn't pass it up...

Them came the roof rack install... I came here for the directions...which were very helpful... especially the part about not letting the captive nuts fall into the headliner.... :flame:



Needless to say.... not much fun... A few dozen beers and some creative new curse-words later I had this:



I even figured out a way to re-use my thule load bars and wind fairing from my suby.. I doubt i'll haul any bikes up there, but it will be useful for skis, and definitely cuts down on some of the wind noise..Eventually I'm going to ditch the OEM load bars in favor of a custom basket I'll be building...(in the works...just need to locate materials)

So..... Now that I had a roof rack I just couldn't drive around without making some use of it.... So it was back to searching the forums.

I bought a Hi-lift, a nice shovel and Fiskars splitting axe... I needed a way to mount them, and I wasn't about to pay (OVER $300!!!!!!!) for enough fourtreks clamps to mount them up there... I found a good idea in This Thread: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/83993-ax-shovel-mount.html , and decided to build my own... about $100 in hardware and some elbow grease and I came up with this:



Hi-lift mounts:



Ax/Shovel Mounts







In my mind... the only things really bothering me at this point were the CRAPPY plastic OEM bumpers.... I was able to do something about the front at least....(rear will be in the future as well)

I managed to snag a KILLER deal on an ARB from member WV_FJ... when I met him to pick it up he was very friendly and helpful, and had some great ideas for things to do to the rig. He even sent me some other cool FJ schwag in the mail the other day

Thanks Jay!!! I couldn't be happier

Onto the install....it was relatively painless.. There was a little bend in the driver's side from brushing a pole.. It was easily taken care of with a press... I'll re-paint the area soon... no big deal... I'm sure it will see worse at some point (Morgantown drivers are awful)

The OEM bumper came off easily..



Then the mounting brackets bolted right up. I didn't even have to tap any threads like I did for the sliders..



Bumper mounted...



Wiring the turn signals was a PAIN!!!!! But thanks again to Jay... he had some helpful suggestions that made accessing the wiring harness a LOT easier :clap:



IMO it really makes the FJ look like a capable machine instead of the plastic imitation it was before (I like steel...)

The stock springs did sag a little. About 1/2"... it's been driven about 1000 miles since the install so it's had time to settle. That will be remedied once I get my lift from another forum member doing a solid axle swap. (OME Heavy). I'll also be installing a set of all-pro skids for some more protection...

So there you have it... that's how it sits today.

This past weekend I even managed to get it out on a beach (Carolina Beach) for some camping with a couple of my buddies...good times :cheers:




















It even earned a name this weekend. I dubbed it "Hoss". I don't know why... I just called it that in my head while I was walking back to it from the inside of a gas station (saw plenty of those this weekend...:mecry:)

So that's Hoss!!! I hope you're enjoying my build thread so far.
 
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