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Discussion Starter #1
After owning the FJ for eight months now I figure it's time to begin a buildup thread. The story begins on June 16th 2009, a year after graduating with my Bachelors in Accounting from Oklahoma State University. I found myself with a great job amongst wonderful friends in Bartlesville, OK shortly after school ended. My love affair with the FJ had been going on since its initial production release and I have been reading the forum ever since.

I purchased the rig from Olathe Toyota, roughly three hours from home. I traded in my college workhorse an Olds Alero which I had put 50,000 hard miles on and started the journey with a 6 month old 6,000 mile FJ.

Out with the old:


In with the new:


I fell in love with the styling and immediately wanted to begin modding.


My first mod was a sticker that added at least 5 hp and set me apart from the two other Sun Fusions in town. OSU is only 1.5 hours away so I am back for football games, recruiting, and visiting friends often and had to show some appreciation to my school.



Next were some small convex mirrors to help with the blind spots. They are there but if you get to know your vehicle and take precautions blind spots really aren't an issue.


Why not have a little fun in the process of building a unique and more capable rig? I quickly found the limitations of the stock Dunlop tires but managed to drive through water, mud, and over small mounds.




After reading about sliders for sometime I decided to purchase some from Allpro because I liked the kick-out and they were having a sale. So far I have only used them as door ding protection and as a step so I cannot comment on their strength.
Before:



After:







 

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Discussion Starter #2
Being that the stock tires were not ideal for anything but highway driving some new ones were in order. This rig is my first true offroader (first 4wd vehicle was a Chevy Tracker ) so I wanted something that would perform well offroad as well as on. I decided on Firestone Destination A/T's in 285/70/17 from Hibdon tires in Owasso, OK. I went with load range D and have had great luck so far with them. In the future I will probably be going with a taller, skinnier tire to give a bit more ground clearance and less rolling resistance.

Before:

After:






I think they really filled out the wheel wells nicely, but the clearances were rather tight if you asked me. Still no rubbing though.


Now what would new tires be if they didn't get dirty??







The lift:
I chose the Icon 3" stage one kit because it was on sale from Demello and was one of the best for what I wanted to do with my rig in the future. I'll say that again, it was the best FOR WHAT I WANTED TO DO. Eventually the rear monotube shocks will have to be replaced and spring rate may not be what I want once I add a ton of weight, but it will do the job VERY WELL up until that point. The difference between the stock suspension and this was mind blowing.

First, you sit so much higher and it just makes the FJ look so much better IMHO. Second, body roll is decreased and the suspension feels firmer. I am not a fan of soft billowing rides so this one was perfect from the get go.

As far as alignments after the lift I was one of those people that could not get anywhere close to spec so I upgraded to UCA's below. Just about every spec was out and it was easy to tell on the road. The outside of my tires were wearing more than the insides, the ride was extremely jittery on the highway and I did not feel comfortable with it. When upgrading your suspension keep some budget money as a what if incase you can't get aligned properly.











 

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UCA's:
I chose to install UCA's from Icon because I wanted the best ( at least IMO ) and something that could evolve with the truck as I continued to build it up.

Didn't take too many photos of this stage as I was utterly frustrated. I learned my lesson with using 6 point sockets versus 12 point on the castle nut on the driver's side connecting the spindle to the stock UCA. Managed to strip that nut and ended up hacksawing it off. I was frustrated at the time but would rather do something myself and have a few set backs than pay someone to do it and not learn anything.

Alignment after putting on the new UCA's from Icon.


The mod bug bit again at Thanksgiving when I purchased an Aluminess front bumper with center hoop. I'm very concerned with adding weight to the rig for a few reasons: Fuel economy, longevity of parts, ease of installation/removal. This front bumper did a pretty good job of meeting all of my wants. I'll be honest at this point, I don't yet own a winch and I'm not 100% sold on the look of this bumper. My first love on the FJ was an ARB front bumper and I may end up trading someone for it mainly because of looks and how strong it is. Third favorite was the Toy Outfitters bumper based on strength and how minimalist it is. Overall I am very happy with the Aluminess bumper though and it does come with steel mounting brackets that attach to the sides of the frame for extra strength while winching.











In the above photos I was aired down a bit to 26 psi. I was fortunate to receive a small air compressor for Christmas and put it to good use. I don't think onboard air is in my future anytime soon but it will be nice to have an alternative to the foot pump.

Mods that I would like to add are:
Skids ( leaning towards Budbuilt )
Inchworm Lefty T-case ( Tummy tuck if that is the case )
Rear-bumper with swingout ( gets the weight off the door, possible place to store high-lift, shovel, anything else )
Gobi Stealth roofrack ( limitations now are money and how high the rig will be after it's installed )
CB - hopefully this mod will be soon
Winch - Another hopeful for a soon to come mod

Thanks for looking
 

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looks good....cant go wrong with the icons
 

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Looks good. Count me in for the offroad park adventure. We need to get a bunch of us locals together for a meet-greet, wheeling trip. :wave:
 

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I like the way your Aluminess bumper looks, have you found a winch for it yet?
I also like the idea the bumper is so light and strong, thinking about putting a light weight warn Rc90 in it. Wanted to get your opinion of the bumper first!
Thanks
 

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Thank you sir. I'm loving the color-matched snorkel, how did you get the paint to stay?
Well, I've gotten small chips here and there. I should've sprayed a layer of plastic primer first. For the most part, the several layers of Sun Fusion and clear coat have held up pretty well in a various conditions, from the hot SoCal desert to the freezing Utah mountains, for a couple years now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What did you do today?

A couple days ago I received a used Gobi Stealth rack from a fellow forum member for a great deal. Being the impatient person that I am I decided to install it alone today. The rack had hit a tree at one point in its life and instead of a mount being bent the entire rack was tweaked slightly. This wasn't too much of an issue, just had to install the brackets first and then put the rack then. All in all the rack went on pretty easy and looks great. Next up are lights for up top due to the insane amount of wind noise. I expected the wind noise so I am in no way complaining, just want to reduce it if I can. That being said if you know the most noise reducing lights then let me know.

What would this be without pics?










 

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Discussion Starter #16
The rack looks great! Can't even tell it was tweaked.
:cheers:
Definitely got my workout putting it up there, packing blankets came in very handy so I didn't mess up the roof, and with 2-3 inches to spare on the garage door, just means bigger tires down the road.

I know jack about CB's so may be in touch with you soon.
 

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really nice looking truck, i like how its just clean looking, nothing crazy about it which is cool
 

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Discussion Starter #18
really nice looking truck, i like how its just clean looking, nothing crazy about it which is cool
Thanks Fun_Machine! It is still a work in progress and I've really enjoyed bolting on parts thus far. I'm a minimalist so putting many stickers and bolting every piece of aftermarket equipment on wouldn't make the truck very appealing IMHO.

I see you have a CAI, have you had any trouble with it staying together at all? I have had mine on and now off to see if I can re-engineer a few things so its more reliable.
 
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