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fidelityflip's NEWMAN

8546 Views 18 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  fidelityflip

Bought Newman stock with high miles(about 200k) for cheap as I was looking for a rig that could get me into a tight spot or two in order to camp, fish and hunt rocks. I needed a short wheelbase and 4WD. I really wanted a Toyota. Tacomas and (sadly)Jeeps were on my radar, but Newman was the right price at the right time. I knew nothing about FJs when I bought her, but the real 4WD and locking rear were high on my list of wants. I found the entire dealership maintenance record history in the glove box during my test drive and thought it couldn't get any better for the money they were asking. Little did I know at the time that I would fall in love with her. I've dumped more money than a sane man should into a high mileage vehicle, but she has never let me down. If I get another 100k miles out of her I will be way more than satisfied with my investment. So this is the story of Newman..

A little backstory on the name: NEWMAN is a girl. I know.. Newman was the name of a Beta fish we had, who was named before we found out she was a girl. Yeah, I know. She died, and so the family named the new FJ in her honor. I KNOW... Its her name, and I am required to fight anyone who wants to make a big deal out of it.

Most Current:


This picture is from my first big trip in her: All stock with brand new mud terrain tires in early 2018.

As of August 2019:

Newman has had only 3 real failures so far in my ownership, 2 of which aren't even really failures on her part.

The problems I have had:
1. Failed battery-made it home from a multi-day trip in the boonies. Got up next day and the battery was dead. Stone dead. Opened my eyes to how screwed I could have been. This moved the Dual Battery way up my list and quick.
2. Leaking Power Steering line-return line had a little rust spot on it. Must have whacked it a little installing front bumper. It started a leak which I didn't see the source of for several days. replacement line was cheap and relatively easy to fix. Should have added power steering cooler and inline filter while I was at it but didn't. Someday.
3. Seized brake calipers-this one is a bit of a design problem with the FJs I have learned. Both front calipers were seized on one side each. Stopping was garbage the first year I owned her, and go figure. I found the seized calipers when installing the drilled and slotted rotors. Fortunately AutoZone had rebuilts in stock for something like $80 each. I painted them up and put them in. Brakes muuuch better now.

Also of note: maint records indicate Toyota Dealership put in a new transmission at 150k miles so that is like new.

Current Mods:

Wheels and Suspension:
<removed>265/70/17 Falken Wildpeak Mud Terrain Tires (Meant to order 285s, major screw up on my part! full story: I ordered the tires, and while out of town Wife picked Newman up and drove her the rest of the week.. I got home, saw the tires and realized my mistake. No Turning back at that point..:mecry:
For Off Road: BFG KM2s 255/80R17 Pizza Cutters on Steelies
Currently for daily driver: 16" TRD Wheels with BFG KO2s 265/75R16
Drilled and Slotted Rotors: Powerstop Z36 Truck and Tow front, Z32 Evolution Rear and pads
Spidertrax 1.25 wheel spacers
OME Suspension Lift w/ Heavy Springs
Total Chaos UCAs
Rokmen Rear Lower Links
ECGS Needle Bearing Replacement Bushing

Warrior Products front and rear Bumpers
Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20068 Rock Slider/Step Bars
OPOR link guards

Gobi Stealth Rack w/ Drivers Side Ladder, HiLift Mount and Shovel/Axe mount
Garvin Trail Rack Spare Tire Mount Utility Rack
SmittyBilt RTT
DIY Rear Storage Shelf and Bins, ala: A near perfect rear storage solution for under $150...

Scuba mod.

SmittyBilt X20 10,000 Winch w/ Synthetic Rope
Smittybilt Portable Air Compressor
Bag-O'-Tools (Misc)
2 Heavy Snatch Blocks
4 5/8" Shackles
Tree Strap
Recovery Straps
ARB Speedy Seal Series 2 Tire Repair Kit
Full Size First Aid kit in Pelican Box

Optima Yellowtop AGM Battery(x2 for Dual Setup)
Alt-S Fuse Diode for AGM Battery
Dirty Parts Dual Battery Kit
High Power LED reverse bulbs
High Power LED mirror lights

40" Rigid E Series Double Row LED Light Bar - Roof
17.5" Vision X Xmitter Prime Extreme - Front Bumper
Pair of 4" Nilight Led Pods ($12 ?) - Rear Roof - Will probably get ripped off in the woods, but I was sick of tripping over them in the didn't make it through one rain storm parked in my driveway.
Pair of 4WDKING 4 Cree LED pods on back of roof rack.

Kenwood Excelon DNX695S
Waterproof Seat Covers
3.5" seat cushion for better forward visibility on trails

Waiting to install:

Thinking about buying next:
BudBuilt Overland Skids

Preferred Maint Tech:
Amsoil Severe Gear Diff and Transfer Case Fluids 75w-90
Mobil 1 Synthetic High Mile 5w30 Oil
Genuine Toyota Oil filter (have used Amsoil EAo15 Extra Large Filter without issue)
ZEREX Pink Radiator Fluid pre-mix
DOT 4 Brake Fluid
MaxLife Trans Fluid for Power Steering

Things have gotten really interesting as I have just bought a second FJ.... I will start a build thread for him soon. Lets just say NEWMAN will be a little more of a daily driver, as THE PIG will be taking me deep into wherever I need to go very soon..

The PIG thread.
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Nice rig! And hey who am I to make fun of a girl named Newman lol
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