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I have to begin with a sad story of the FJ that got me hooked, I found it in Houston, flew to get it and drove it back. The previous owner had Toyota paint all the silver inside and out to match the TRD wheels. 6mt, TRD, man was I in trouble!
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I only had it for about 6 months. I had done some minor mods, and just begun FJ research. Then I was cut off on an access road, and hit a curb sideways, rolled it, and ended up on the roof, had to cut myself out... Total loss. I couldn't find another FJ that would do, and went back to a GMC Z71 for a few years.
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I couldn't take it anymore. I started trolling the forum again, and stalking dealerships... Then I found this loaded beauty with 36k on it, and is covered bumper to bumper to 125k... Well, anything that I leave on it!
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After a over year of owning my FJ, I have done quite a bit, and have plans for much more! I have to give a big thank you to all the forum members here who tolerate us newbs hounding you for questions that you have forgotten about years ago. If weren't for you guys documenting your successes, and failures, guys like me would never have the confidence to take apart the entire interior of a car that I owned for about a week.
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The first steps were to black out the bumpers and grill. I taped off the body, and used Duplicolor Bed Liner to Paint. I was excited about the texture, until I tried to wash it. The bumpers and grill shredded the microfiber towels when I went to dry. Eh, thought I could put up with it. Within weeks, the paint began to chip. Sine I wasn't planning on keeping the bumpers too long, it wasn't much of an issue. I have since stripped them with airplane stripper, and plasti-dipped them. Have been fine for months.
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For the mirrors and handles, I splurged and got the black plastic. I knew I would want to keep these!
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I found a place in north Austin Called DYI Texas, for 40$ an Hour you can use a lift and a full tool set. Any other tools you can think of are available for rent.
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I decided to do a MBRP high tuck exhaust because I had crunched the TRD tip on my previous FJ. I had never worked on an exhaust before, and it went easy until I tried to get the last section over the axle. It seems they had welded the bolts to the last section of pipes. I took a saws-all to it, and it came right off. Putting the new one on was super easy. I'm not excited about the U clamps holding the system together, but until I learn to weld, it'll do. I do love the exhaust note on it.
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The tip is really close to the tow hitch, but doesn't actually hit it. And thats ok, that oversized tow system will be coming off real soon!
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While I had it on the lift, I took off the predator steps, and installed Metal Tech Step Sliders. I love the way they go with the factory lines of the FJ. They seem beefy as all get out, and am not worried about snagging them on anything.
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I went ahead and installed the AirAid box so now The AT-AT is breathing easy, and I want to get deeper and deeper into the belly of this beast. Mod bug getting worse....
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It was time for some creature comforts. A few things I like to always have handy is a flashlight, knife, and life hammer. The Maglight is mounted directly to the seat, while the other two are right under the E brake, for easy access.
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These two guys kept staring at me at the local parts store, so I took them home to see if they would fit. The T case was easy to attach with the adapter, and the included stopper. The gear selector needed some black paint to match his fat brother before I put him in. I had cut about three inches off of the stem coming out of the gear box, and then re-threaded it. The tricky part was threading it just far enough to have the handle stop where you want it to.
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I then Put in my old Mpac rear rack, center console, and purchased basket to match. Put on a cargo net, some quick fists, and storage is taken care of.
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Next up, I get brave, and decided to instal a Scangauge II. I had to splice and move my RSCA button to under the steering wheel first. Not too much of an issue. I am ok with loosing four button spaces, because I plan on keeping aftermarket switches separate from the factory ones.
I cut out the top four buttons, and fit the Scangauge. Cut a bit more room for the dual USB as well, here it is with sanded bondo.
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I painted it with texture paint and a clear coat for protection.
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Made room for my Cobra 75 chord and plug. It tucks away when not in use, and easily clears my leg when plugged in.
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Discussion Starter #6
I know that I could be shunned for this, but I am not a fan of the white roof, Plasti-dip to the rescue. A few hour to mask up, and 8 rattle cans later, nice and slick.
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I have some glossy spots on the roof that really bug me, and have since received an electric sprayer from Dip Your Car for Christmas, so I will be retouching very soon. The Dip has held up very well with tree scrapes on the trail as well as pressure washers.
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Discussion Starter #7
Next up was Bilstien 5100's, Superbumps, and Spidertax 1.25 spacers. No fun picture of this one, I decided to have these professionally installed.
But here is some shots of my test run to HF. Nothing too exciting because I was all by myself, just wanted to cruise and test some flex!
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Discussion Starter #8
I received my handles back from Nestor with white LEDs. I already had some Putcos from my old FJ, and plugged them all in. I had to get map lights, but not an issue. So white LED in the interior, reverse lights, license plate, and mirrors.
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The mirrors didn't match the color of the handles, and I couldn't figure out why, until I did some research. I realized that I needed to remove the diffusers in the mirror. That was a bit of a PITA, well at least the first one was... Man what a difference, no more blue tint, and much brighter...
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Now they even match the temperature if my Raybrig Whitesonic headlamps!
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Discussion Starter #9
For the stereo, I went to my local shop, and found a nice Pioneer HU that does blu tooth, and iPod playback, but I did not want a NAV system, so it saved me a few hundred bucks.
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They mounted a 5 channel amp behind the sub inclosure nice and hidden away. It is pushing Hertz component speakers, and a JL 8.
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While we were running wires, I installed a Bandi mount, and 18 feet of cable to a Cobra 75.
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Now that I was starting to get more comfortable with electrical wiring, I decided to put in some Hella Supertones that I painted to match the new emblem color. The wiring was easy, just running a relay, and six extra wires.
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Discussion Starter #10
I took a trip to SanAntonio to meet Todd at Diesel toys and he had me chopped and welded in 30 minutes. Great clean work and a beautiful final product!
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Disout Tire came through with a set of 285/70 17 Nitto Terra Grapplers. All of the little jobs and planning went well. No rub even at full compression!
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I have to say, I've really enjoyed reading through this thread on the evolution of your FJ. Looks great! Gave me ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, I am trying to not go too crazy until I pay it off, and/or run out the warranty. 100% daily driving, and functional on the trails. Trying to get ready for Texas Jamboree!
 

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Nice work on the build. :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanx!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Installed Rocktek armor this weekend. The shock link armor was easy peasy, but the front and rear link skids were a different story...
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The bolt hole in the rear armor would not align. It was hitting the shock mount on the outside of the axle. I had to grind of almost a quarter inch of the skid to get it to fit.
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With no room between the shock and the tire to fit my fat head, it was a lot of trial and error completely by feel. After an hour, and a ratchet strap to hold the axle in place, we were good to go.
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The front was easy enough to get on. I should have installed these earlier, I had already done some damage to the brackets attached to the frame.
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The problem was the included hardware to "bolt on" the armor to the frame, you need to thread through the frame. On the passenger side, I wove it through, and attempted to start threading the bolt through the hardware, PITA. With a heavy sigh I gave up and went to install the driver side, only to find that the gas tank was in the way. So a trip to a local welding shop, 20 minutes, and 40$ later, they aren't going anywhere!
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Discussion Starter #18
What do you do in your "spare time"?
When I'm not in the garage, I have to go to work and cook for people... I should be doing laundry though!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How much did you pay for the chop?
Where did you get those HVAC dials?
200$
Think they were Putco or Drake, been 5 years since I bought them...
 
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