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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
.​

"We are not at our best perched at the summit. We are climbers, at our best when the way is steep"
-John W. Gardner


The Top of the World. Moab, Utah​


What's in a name?

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches"
-Proverbs 22:1.


For my rig, I went retro and named it after the man who put the Landcruisers on the map, literally.

"In July of 1951, Toyota Test driver Ichiro Taira drove a BJ prototype to the sixth of the 10 hikers checkpoints on Japan's 12,388 foot Mount Fuji. That was higher than anyone thought likely-or even possible -in a four wheel motor vehicle. Then inspired by a historic horseback riding feat accomplished centuries earlier, Taira drove to Okazaki City and up steep temple stairs. Taira's drive drew attention to the FJ*"
-Larry Edsall

Here is my rig:


Mincy Wildlife Refuge. Branson, MO​


The Top of the World. Moab, Utah​



Illinois Prairies​


^^^^^^^
Photo by Rig-57
McCaslin Mountain. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, WI​

Modifications


The rock rails are made by Trail Gear. http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/10154-my-trail-gear-slider-story-pics.html


The Cliffs Insane Terrain. Marseilles, IL​

The suspension system is OME885 Springs in front with N140S Struts, and OME895 Springs in back with N141 Shocks http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/suspension-tech/21966-ome-lift-sigh-finally-got-her-done.html

The wheels are ProComp Xtreme 7089 alloys http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/30272-dragon-cruiser-sporting-pro-comps.html and the tires are Firestone Destination 285/70/17 MT's http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/picture-media-post/20937-blizzard-fj-destinations-blast-pics.html

The Cliffs Insane Terrain. Marseilles, IL​

I chopped the body mounts for the tires to be able to turn fully. http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/21629-i-did-chop.html

The original Light Bar WAS the Dakar Bar (tweaked a bit) http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/13125-dakar-bar-stock-headlight-obstruction-fix.html until it rusted through. After that happened, I designed and built my own version http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/62650-home-made-light-bar-dakar-style-keep-simple-stupid-kiss.html


Lindenhurst, IL​

...and the Lights are PIAA 580 fogs and 580 Driving lights http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/12578-ahh-now-i-see.html


^^^^^Photo by FJSoHot ^^^^^
Mincy Wildlife Refuge. Branson, MO​

But then a Forum vendor The Toy Outfitters provided me with a custom bumper to fit my desired "look" and I did away with the light bars in order to don a new tube framed bumper




I extended the differential and electronic locker breathers as well as the transfer case and automatic transmission breathers to the front engine bay http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/29229-scuba-driver-rear-differential-breather-mod-4.html#post490785

Sept 07
I won the Bud Built front skid plate at Coon Creek Crawl.



The Badlands. Attica, IN​

12/1/07
Tacozilla is a forum sponsor and overall good guy. I called him and while ordering a Safari Snorkel I got impulsive and bougt a TRD Cold Air Intake and a TRD Exhaust

Christmas Comes Early


^^^^^photo by L8Apex ^^^^^
Willowbrook, IL​



Illinois Swamps​


3/1/08
Added Digger Links in the rear; upper and lower control arms. http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/suspension-tech/49471-taira-gets-digger-links.html


Illinois Backroads.​

Gear


I picked up a HiLift Extreme jack

The mount for the HiLift is made by FourTreks (It's incredibly made)




I purchased some Scepter fuel and water cans (Top quality!!! )


^^^^^^
Photo by Jeshua
Kokopelli Trail. Utah


Coon Creek. Dyersburg, TN​


Exterior Appearance

I swapped the mirror light bulbs and the headlights with PIAA Super White bulbs



I blacked out everything silver http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/14922-blacked-out-dragon-cruiser.html


^^^^^^
Photo by Jeshua
Kokopelli Trail. Utah​

Including the front bezel http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/20329-painted-bezel-thread.html


San Juan Mountains. Ouray, CO​
.


I debadged it, except for the Front "Toyota" and the back logo, which I moved south http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/22856-what-i-did-toyota-emblem.html



Illinois Prairies​

Interior

Added Black Billet aluminum shift knobs http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/38988-black-billet-shifters-mirror-light-covers.html

June 08 added
Sirius Satellite radio and a
Cobra CB


Kokopelli Trail. Utah



Lake County Forest Preserve, IL​



Summary
2007 Sun Fusion Toyota FJ Cruiser
Tires ......Firestone Destination 285/70/17 MTs
Wheels .....ProComp Xtreme 7089
Suspension ..... Old Man Emu OME885 Springs in front with N140S Struts, and OME895 Springs in back with N141 Shocks
Light Bar ...... Home Made K.I.S.S
Tube Bumper ..... Toy Outfitters
Lights ...... PIAA 530 LED down low and 520 up high Fogs and PIAA 570 LED Driving Lights
Rock Rails ...... Trail Gear
Air Intake ...... TRD Cold Air Intake
Exhaust ...... TRD Catback Exhaust
Snorkel ...... Safari
IFS Skid plate ......BudBuilt
Rear UCAs and LCAs ......Digger Links
Black Out ...... by Rustoleum
Hi Lift Jack ......Hi Lift Extreme
Hi Lift Mount ...... FourTreks
Fuel and Water cans ......Scepter
Satellite Radio ..... Sirius Sportster 5
Billit Aluminum Shift Knobs ...... Real Wheels
Billit Aluminum Mirror Light Louvers ......Real Wheels
AT, E-Locker, Differential, Transfer Case Breathers run to engine bay.
Front Body Mounts Trimmed
Headlights ......PIAA Super White H4
Mirror Lights ...... PIAA Super White LEDs
Decals ......Immortal Graphix
CB Radio ......Cobra

Fluids being used.
Motor oil ......Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-40
U-joints (Spider).....Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease
Slip Yokes ......Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease
Front Differential ......Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lube LS 75W-90
Transfer Case ......Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lube LS 75W-90
Rear Differential ......Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lube LS 75W-90
Fuel ......Premium Unleaded.

Off-Road Badges:
-Passenger side mirror wiggle from bouncing off of too many trees.
-Passenger side dents in door from bouncing off of too many trees.
-Passenger side wheel bearing replaced from either silt or sand penetrating the alleged sealed bearing.
(Maybe I should get rid of the passenger side)
-3 idler pullies replaced 1x from running through too many deep mud holes.
-ABS speed sensor replaced; torn up while driving in 'dry' and deep ruts (mud would have been preferred here).
-Alternator pulled, disassembled and cleaned by myself, due to sticking the whole front end of my FJ into a bottomless mud pit. The alternator was so full of mud it would no longer charge the battery.
-Gouges in my aluminum wheels from running in too many rock gardens.
-2/10/09-Driver side wheel bearing and passenger side inner tie rod replaced
-Jan 2011 - Passenger front wheel bearing replaced for the 2nd time. These are not very mud/water/silt friendly :)

Other Repairs Needed
-Torque Converter replaced under warranty. Everything else is the price that I pay to play.
 

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Sockless Superstar
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11,826 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Dragon
Rig keeps looking better. Quick questian. When you loaded your liquid containers what has the total wieght and was there any stress on the cross bars?
Thanks Bernd.

I don't know the total weight. There is no water in the black can yet, but I wanted to see how they would all ride. I may end up moving the third bottom cross bar back there to support them if it ends up bowint too much.
 

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Sockless Superstar
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11,826 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Dragon
Rig keeps looking better. Quick questian. When you loaded your liquid containers what has the total wieght and was there any stress on the cross bars?
I just figured it out.

Water weighs approx 8.345 lbs per gallon, making that one container (approx 5 gal) weigh 41.75 lbs

Unleaded fuel weighs approx 6.216 lbs per gallon, making the two containers together weigh 62.16 lbs.

Total weight filled should be about 103 lbs
 

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looks great as always dragon.
 

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Great rig Dragon. I have one question. Wouldn't the fuel/water cans ride better laid flat?
 

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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Rich 4

Thanks WeSaySo

Great rig Dragon. I have one question. Wouldn't the fuel/water cans ride better laid flat?
Maybe for wind resistance, but I would rather have the opening "up" just in case of spillage. There should be less "sloshing" around this way, too. Bundled like this in a cube they ride very nice. There is no additional wind noise at all (at least not that I can hear over the song that my tires serenade me with :D )
 

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Wow, Dragon. That is such a nice rig. I take my many hats off and I hope you see immitation as compliment because I will follow your lead on many of those mods. Just looks excellent. I hope to see the beast in person at the Summit, you are going right? I want to say more... cause it's such an awesome rig, but alas... i guess that will do.
 

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Dragon, your rig looks great. I thought you bought a front bumper from, I think Road Armor when they had that GB. I guess you are still waiting on it.
 

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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, Dragon. That is such a nice rig. I take my many hats off and I hope you see immitation as compliment because I will follow your lead on many of those mods. Just looks excellent. I hope to see the beast in person at the Summit, you are going right? I want to say more... cause it's such an awesome rig, but alas... i guess that will do.
Thank you sir. I really appreciate it. Photos taken during a sunrise always help :lol: Yes, I am going to the Summit. I only have 5 more working days until I leave. I'm getting so phsyched I may just need to stay in a cold shower until then. :eek:

Dragon, your rig looks great. I thought you bought a front bumper from, I think Road Armor when they had that GB. I guess you are still waiting on it.
Thanks. I did order the RA bumper.

I started thinking that I like the rig's suspension set up quite a bit the way it is. Off road this thing just goes and goes. On the road it handles SO well. The medium OME is just right with the light bar and lights up front. It sits the way I like and handles the way I like.

....so, I renegged on the bumper order (which would have meant I HAD to get a winch AND heavier springs) and decided to wait a while on it.
 

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Thanks Bernd.

I don't know the total weight. There is no water in the black can yet, but I wanted to see how they would all ride. I may end up moving the third bottom cross bar back there to support them if it ends up bowint too much.
I mount my jerry cans the same way you do, but I have them set in metal racks (connected to the cross bars with bolts that connect to backing plates). I put one on each side so they have greater support from the load bearing portion of the OE rack. In the middle I have a Pelican Case strapped down with lighter gear in it (to reduce the congestion in the back of the FJ on trips). PM me if you'd like me to shoot you a photo. I'm more comfortable with the fuel (and water) being in racks rather than just being strapped down.
 

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How many miles on the tires now.? They look to be holding tread pretty well. This is a concern for me as i still have the stock, but when i upgrade i need a tire that will last pretty good.
 

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Have you had any issue with the paint on the handles and such that get a lot of human contact, specifically regarding it feeling tacky when sitting in the heat or things of that nature? Some paints are more prone to this than others...
 

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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #14
How many miles on the tires now.? They look to be holding tread pretty well. This is a concern for me as i still have the stock, but when i upgrade i need a tire that will last pretty good.
I have about 12,000 miles on them. I rotate on the spare and rotate every 5,000 miles. From the reviews I have read, there is no reason why I can't get 50,000 miles out of these.

Have you had any issue with the paint on the handles and such that get a lot of human contact, specifically regarding it feeling tacky when sitting in the heat or things of that nature? Some paints are more prone to this than others...
No issues at all from hands or humans. I have had issues with branches while offroading and have done some touch up due to that (one little brush with a tree took off the black and the silver, leaving raw plastic :eek: )
 

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Dragon those are the best photos I've seen on the forum yet.

I also noticed you hid the rear emblems. Now that is sharp and subtle. I like how this is a stealth, no-bling rig that is all business, yet all your own.

It's not in your face. And the more you look the more there is to appreciate.... outstanding
 

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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #16
Dragon those are the best photos I've seen on the forum yet.

I also noticed you hid the rear emblems. Now that is sharp and subtle. I like how this is a stealth, no-bling rig that is all business, yet all your own.

It's not in your face. And the more you look the more there is to appreciate.... outstanding
That is high praise indeed, coming from the author of the most coveted rig on the web :)
Thanks very much. ...but I have a lloooooooooonnnnnnggggg way to go to have as killer of a ride as you do. :)
 

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Excellent pics Dragon.
I bet those dents would pop right out.
Take off the interior door panel and just push with a block o wood.
 

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First off, I don’t know how I missed this thread, I guess I’ve been to busy lately. Dragon, what a great presentation on the build of your rig. Beautiful pictures, you have done a lot of hard work and it shows. I can’t wait to see it up close and personal myself. I’m just in the first phases of my MOD’s. I have a very long list, and a very empty wallet. I have only done little things up to now, but I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on a suspension system. I know what you mean when it comes to bumpers, I have thought the same thing, when you buy the bumper, you have to spit out a bunch more cash for the winch too. It looks great buddy, I’m looking foreword to watching the progression on your build. I’ll be seeing you very soon my friend :)
 

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Dragon, it's always a pleasure to see new pics of Taira when I'm searching threads like Artistic Pics- incidentally, given birth by you.

Now we have all of your mod threads in one place-at least a link anyway.

Wait, is the Painted Bezel thread in there, too? Or am I brainfarting again and missed it.:confused:

Keep it up. She looks great and will look even better with the RA bumper.
 

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Sockless Superstar
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Discussion Starter #20
Excellent pics Dragon.
I bet those dents would pop right out.
Take off the interior door panel and just push with a block o wood.
Thanks Max. I've been deciding whether I should remove them or leave them there. They're kind of like .. well, like I earned them? Does that make sense?

First off, I don’t know how I missed this thread, I guess I’ve been to busy lately. Dragon, what a great presentation on the build of your rig. Beautiful pictures, you have done a lot of hard work and it shows. I can’t wait to see it up close and personal myself. I’m just in the first phases of my MOD’s. I have a very long list, and a very empty wallet. I have only done little things up to now, but I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on a suspension system. I know what you mean when it comes to bumpers, I have thought the same thing, when you buy the bumper, you have to spit out a bunch more cash for the winch too. It looks great buddy, I’m looking foreword to watching the progression on your build. I’ll be seeing you very soon my friend :)
The thread has only been up for a day. :)
Thanks for the kind words, my friend.
The suspension system may be your single favorite mod, because it affects this truck in such a positive way. I can't wait to see which way you go with it. See you in Ouray!!! :D

Dragon, it's always a pleasure to see new pics of Taira when I'm searching threads like Artistic Pics- incidentally, given birth by you.

Now we have all of your mod threads in one place-at least a link anyway.

Wait, is the Painted Bezel thread in there, too? Or am I brainfarting again and missed it.:confused:

Keep it up. She looks great and will look even better with the RA bumper.
Thanks man. :)
I added the bezel thread just for you :lol:
 
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