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Discussion Starter #42
Greetings EasyStreet, Im considering an FJ, and wanted to get past the uneven back for sleeping, looking all over for a mattress or something made for it, several rabbit holes later, found your bed build. I must say, great job, so simple, inexpensive, no technical tools, anyone can build this! Thnx for sharing your problem solving abilities w the rest of us trying to get there. I LOVE "your" idea, and intend to use it. SIMPLE, AWSOME, CHEAP, PRACTICAL, SPACE SAVING, LIGHT WT, YEA! Sorry,,, Im all excited. Thanx again, Blessings upon you from dickie in VT.
You are welcome. I'm glad you like it and hope it works out for you.

Great work! Your build is YouTube famous!
Thanks for pointing me to this. I would never have known. To my knowledge no one had ever actually built one in the six years I had this up. Cool to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Tiny Update

Well this is less of an update and more of excuses as to why nothing much has happened. Don't worry though, all hope is not lost.

In September I traded in my Ridgeline for a new daily to compliment the FJs abilitys.

Its a 2004 VW Golf R32. If your not into Volkswagens this is a Mark IV R line car. The first of its kind really. Its the sportiest car they produced at the time, and the R cars still are. This is a 3.2 liter VR6 with a 6spd manual and AWD. It is awesome in every way. So basically this has been getting the little attention I've had to devote to cars. Its got 98k and needed a comprehensive fluid flush and shifter bushings plus a few other things to make it my own. Its a wonderful car, I love it, very solid. Build (more like overhaul) thread over on VW Vortex if anybody is interested. VWVortex.com - Robo47's Daily Reflex R32





Then in November we had our second little boy! He is quite the little man. The real reason I am telling you this will follow.



So we had a home birth with our son. This as you can imagine requires a decent amount of prep in case something were to go wrong, even though it rarely does. Part of this prep is to have an emergency bug out to the hospital vehicle ready to be climbed into. Well we selected the FJ for the job as it never lets us down and had the most cavernous rear compartment in case Mom and Midwife have to be stuffed in the back in a weird position. Needless to say I backed it onto our front porch up to the front door for maximum get outta town. Obviously we didn't end up needing this thankfully.

The next morning though I hopped in it to take my older son to daycare as we were going to have our hands full that day. In my state of sleep deprivation I had forgotten how close I had to park next to our large pot on the front porch. I pulled out, turned down the driveway, and the side steps knocked the pot over. The rear wheel promptly followed with a bump. I knew immediately the error I had made but it was over now so I continued on. My son kept asking "what was that?" for half a block, not taking my "it was nothing" for an answer I eventually had to explain (hes 2yrs old).



When we got out at daycare 4.3 miles later a piece of the pot still lay on the step. I also now realize how much I either need to upgrade to sliders or re-coat my steps.



Ok long story for nothing I suppose but I just wanted to share. So in the way of FJ updates I have begun accumulating lift kit parts. I have some Bilstein 5100s sitting in the garage and recently accuired some new in box SPC upper conrol arms from a memeber on this board. Thanks again 2010effjaycrewsir. When I get my springs ordered I'll be ready to start the slow install as I am sure life is only going to allow me 20 mins at a time to make it happen. But who am I to complain, I've got it pretty darn good.

 

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Re: EasyStreet's Titanium FJ Buildup and Travel Log

Love the Vdub! Great find BTW and I’m sure it is a blast to drive. They are little rockets. And congrats on the new son! Glad everything went Ok and sorry for the loss of the pot! Haha!
Can’t wait to see the transformation of the FJC once sleep becomes a normal thing again. Good luck!
 

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I'll be making one of these with the addition of drawers instead of cubby holes under the cargo area. One will be blocked out and organized like a tool box for recovery tools. Three tree straps, three snatch blocks, tow strap, snatch strap, winch extension, a couple blankets, small tool kit, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I'm glad to see so many people are still interested in the bed and platform build. Its funny because I kind of forget about it. Mine just sits in the back corner of my garage collecting dust these days. It really no longer fits my lifestyle, I have not used it in 4 years. With dogs and kids, we use at a minimum, our six man tent for the family outings. I still maintain it to be a good system for those with fewer dependents tagging along. My wife and I used it for several years before that. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
Up Up and Away!

Just a shot of our bikes loaded up and ready for some trails. You can kinda see that I repainted my side steps. Whole truck looks newer as they aren't all rusty anymore. Hopefully this will hold up until next year some time so I can upgrade to sliders.



Well after collecting parts as I found them and as finances allowed I finally had everything I needed to install my lift kit! Super exciting. With Bilstein 5100's patiently waiting since December 2017 when I got them on Christmas sale. Upper control arms purchased from a forum member in January, all I needed were my lift springs. This was stalled a bit as I ended up needing to do some work on my R32 after I broke the oil pan really badly. But it was finally back up and running after 7 weeks. During that time the FJ was my daily and that was bringing into sharp reality how badly the original 83k mile shocks were worn. As my birthday approached and the VW was back up and running I knew it was time to get the FJ ready before a number of big trips approaching in June. It was time, and I purchased the last bit I had been exercising so much control in not just putting on the credit card for months.

I opted for Toytec lift springs. I essentially built my own version of one of the less expensive lift kits that Toytec offers. Though I did not order the top spacers for the front strut assemblies. I prefer my vehicles to be a bit higher in the rear. Sacrilege to not want it level for mall crawling I know. Its mostly because when they get loaded then they don't have rear end squat. I hate squat. So the predicted moderate lift of 2-2.5in front and 2in rear lift seemed good to me. I ordered the springs on a Thursday morning. Toytec FedEx'd them that day and I got them by noon Friday, no expedited shipping or anything granted they were only coming from 80 miles away. Needless to say I was pumped and put 4 hours into the install that afternoon.

A couple of stock part comparisons, just because I like to see the differences. Especially in the coil windings vs heights and how its not directly proportional to height change.





Front assembly.







And of course the next day I was very excited and forgot to take pictures of the rear going together. Here are some completed shots though. This is only an hour after I was done.







At the moment its sitting 3in higher at all corners. Its been a week and a half. Need to drive it a bit more then get it aligned. I know it needs tires but that is going to have to wait for a bit. Planning on 285s at the moment. All in all considering the money I have into it and my personal 8 hours of install time I am very pleased. Hopefully will get to test it off road this weekend.
 

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imperial Cruiser, Reno, NV

Hello EasyStreet, I really like your post on the rear sleeping platform build. I am in the process of doing your build and want to thank you for your post. I have a question please concerning the 25 degree angle cut on the side and middle supports for the REAR PLATFORM. Can you please give me the measurements to get the 25 degrees. I believe they might be the same as the front platform (1 1/2" x 4 1/8") but not sure. Thank you.
 

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Thank you for the great idea EasyStreet! I just got done following your plans and everything looks great. However, a word of warning for anyone looking to do the same.

*Plywood should be 3/4 inch NOT 3/8 inch.

I should have known from the pictures that is was 3/4" but after setting up the top platform for a test fit I nearly cracked the whole thing in half. I'm going to try and remedy the issue by attaching another sheet of 3/8" to the top and bolstering the supports. Hopefully it works. If not I'll start over with the thicker plywood since it's still a great plan.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Re: imperial Cruiser, Reno, NV

Hello EasyStreet, I really like your post on the rear sleeping platform build. I am in the process of doing your build and want to thank you for your post. I have a question please concerning the 25 degree angle cut on the side and middle supports for the REAR PLATFORM. Can you please give me the measurements to get the 25 degrees. I believe they might be the same as the front platform (1 1/2" x 4 1/8") but not sure. Thank you.
You are Welcome. Here is a quick drawing with the height and width of that angled section you are referring too. I hope this clears up how big that relief needs to be.

 

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Discussion Starter #51
Thank you for the great idea EasyStreet! I just got done following your plans and everything looks great. However, a word of warning for anyone looking to do the same.

*Plywood should be 3/4 inch NOT 3/8 inch.

I should have known from the pictures that is was 3/4" but after setting up the top platform for a test fit I nearly cracked the whole thing in half. I'm going to try and remedy the issue by attaching another sheet of 3/8" to the top and bolstering the supports. Hopefully it works. If not I'll start over with the thicker plywood since it's still a great plan.

Thanks again!
You are very welcome. I am pretty sure I used 3/8" wood. Although it has been a long time since I laid eyes on mine. Ill try and dig it out tonight and measure it. I know I didn't use 3/4 but it could have been 1/2 or 5/8 possibly so I will check and update accordingly.
 

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No big deal either way. I had some extra plywood laying around so I just glued and screwed it to the top for added strength. I actually just finished getting the carpet on and installed into the rig a few days ago. Everything fits and looks great. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
No big deal either way. I had some extra plywood laying around so I just glued and screwed it to the top for added strength. I actually just finished getting the carpet on and installed into the rig a few days ago. Everything fits and looks great. Thanks again!
Looks great cocoloto! You are were right 3/8 is not correct. Mine is 1/2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
A few shots of the FJ on its first outing with the new suspension. Worked beautifully up McCallister and Wearyman.

But First! My wife got a flat on the way to work. The day before we were supposed to leave. Happened a few blocks from her lot. Was flat before she got there. Luckily a plug and patch and it was back on the road. Thankfully, as bad as I want to upgrade tires our bank account is not ready for that blow.



Ok onto the trip pictures.















And a shot from a couple weeks later before a 600 mile round trip to Wyoming for the 4th of July, all highway. Super loaded. Two kids, Two Dogs and our 12 Man Tent plus all the necessities for 5 days off grid with such companions.

 

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Thanks EasyStreet for sharing your brilliantly simple plans. My wife and I are looking forward to building our very own stowaway bed and enjoying a few seasons of trips together before our family grows. Your mods are fantastic and reading through your posts has left me positively encouraged. Many thanks and best wishes to you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Thanks EasyStreet for sharing your brilliantly simple plans. My wife and I are looking forward to building our very own stowaway bed and enjoying a few seasons of trips together before our family grows. Your mods are fantastic and reading through your posts has left me positively encouraged. Many thanks and best wishes to you and your family.
Thank you for the compliments. Good luck on your build and adventures. Kindest regards to you and yours.
 

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Nice work on the FJ.

What is the length of the sleeping area in the FJ before the seats are down and then again after they are down and your mattress is deployed. I'm wondering if a guy 5' 10" could sleep flat on his back or would he need to angle or sleep on his side with legs bent to fit in that space?

If it was just you solo or just you and the wife, would you remove the back seats when going on a camping vacation?

I read you had a Ridgeline. I'd be interested in you assessment of it's offload capabilities compared to the FJ. With BF Goodrich A/T tires, is the Ridgeline AWD capable of getting around off-road. I realize the approach angles on front and rear are not great as well the turtling measurement as it only has 8.5" of clearance. I'm considering holding on to my '06 Ridgeline and putting on some good tires for back country camping and travel in the rockies like you have done with the FJ but also realizing it can't do what the FJ does. By removing the passenger seat in the Ridgeline and leaving it in the garage, I can stretch out and sleep on the floor in the Ridgeline so it's possible to make this a solo camping vehicle. This is a cheaper alternative to selling for low dollars a low mileage a 06 Ridgeline that runs perfect and is very comfortable, decent mileage and so versatile with the bed versus trying to find a low mileage, affordable, good condition FJ. It would be nice to have both but I can only have 1 vehicle and it has to do it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Nice work on the FJ.

What is the length of the sleeping area in the FJ before the seats are down and then again after they are down and your mattress is deployed. I'm wondering if a guy 5' 10" could sleep flat on his back or would he need to angle or sleep on his side with legs bent to fit in that space?

If it was just you solo or just you and the wife, would you remove the back seats when going on a camping vacation?
Thank you.

With the rear seats down and the platforms in place the length is 59 inches from rear door to the underside of the rear seats that are flipped forward. With the mattress in and the front seats kicked forward I can comfortably sleep flat on my back at 6ft tall. In that configuration you gain about 7 inches over the top of the seat edges. Plus pillow/head room on the gear stacked behind the seats as seen in the pictures. A single person could always only flip forward the passenger seat and just sleep on that side.

If I go out by myself, or just my wife and I, we have on occasion removed the seat bottoms from the back seat in order to make more room for camping items. I have always left the rear seat backs in place though as that keeps my dogs contained well in the back of the FJ.

I read you had a Ridgeline. I'd be interested in you assessment of it's offload capabilities compared to the FJ. With BF Goodrich A/T tires, is the Ridgeline AWD capable of getting around off-road. I realize the approach angles on front and rear are not great as well the turtling measurement as it only has 8.5" of clearance. I'm considering holding on to my '06 Ridgeline and putting on some good tires for back country camping and travel in the rockies like you have done with the FJ but also realizing it can't do what the FJ does. By removing the passenger seat in the Ridgeline and leaving it in the garage, I can stretch out and sleep on the floor in the Ridgeline so it's possible to make this a solo camping vehicle. This is a cheaper alternative to selling for low dollars a low mileage a 06 Ridgeline that runs perfect and is very comfortable, decent mileage and so versatile with the bed versus trying to find a low mileage, affordable, good condition FJ. It would be nice to have both but I can only have 1 vehicle and it has to do it all.
As for the Ridgeline. I loved that truck, and wish I still had it often. They are great vehicles. People don't give them enough credit. The Ridgeline is great for back country exploring when you keep your expectations realistic. As you mentioned it does not have all of the capability of the FJ when it comes to pure off-road performance. Specifically prolonged very steep climbs and areas where lots of ground clearance is needed. (I.E. rock crawling) The Ridgeline however outperforms the FJ by far on washboard roads and mountain twisty roads. It also has way more volume for carrying gear and people. I'd say you really need to decide what kind of touring and trails you want to do before you can pick a vehicle. Keeping in mind how many places and hiking trail heads you can get to with a Ridgeline. FJs are great but the Ridgeline has its place. I feel you on letting go of a good Ridgeline to be hard, especially given the comparably inflated prices of the FJ.

All that said here is a little trip report I made over on the Ridgeline forum years ago. Might give you a bit of reference.
https://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/14-off-roading/44623-storm-trooper-off-road-adventure-leadville-summit-area-very-pic-heavy.html

Good Luck.
 

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Hi Easy Street I just want to complement you on your Adventures, creative ideas and superb images. I too will be using your bed design. Fantastic thread loved reading it. Wishing you guys all the best and lots more amazing expeditions. Best Simon
 
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