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Discussion Starter #1
Okay… Looking for some guidance/assistance from you veteran FJ owners.

GM lifer here that’s flat out bored with pickups and needs/craves something different. I think I’ve been bitten by the FJ bug, but I’m not totally infected with it… yet! I’m still leery of taking the plunge and owning my first ever NON 8 cylinder powered truck. I still need my “truck” fix, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to necessarily be a pickup, so I’m seriously considering traveling off-road (literally) of my normal beaten path. Currently DD’ing a ’00 Silverado K1500 ECSB Z71 that’s really showing her age (201,000 miles plus on the odometer). I’m probably 30-60 days into researching alternative. I think I’ve narrowed my “short list” down to 2 or 3 vehicles based on my budget, current market pricing of said vehicles, and vehicles available in the “used” market. The FJ is at the top of my list.

I’m hoping you local guys can lend me some guidance, help, details, answers, etc… without too much of the dreaded “SEARCH ya damn noob!”

Let’s start with my budget and FJ search particulars:
1) Budget: ~$22k
2) Definitely has to be 4x4 with rear diff lock
3) Prefer it to be an auto tranny
4) I’d like to stay as low mileage as possible, but I’m not against a higher mileage (less expensive) FJ as long as it’s super, super, super clean and shows every sign of having been well maintained
5) I guess as loaded as I can get it :shrug:
6) Color preferences: love the Voodoo, Sun Fusion and Sandstorm. Could live with Titanium Metallic but would have a REAL tough time pulling the trigger on a Black Diamond, Brick, or Black Cherry

I pretty much scan Craigslist, Autotrader, and other online sites daily. I’ve run across a few local FJs that piqued my interest. I need to start looking at some in person and do some test drives. So here’s where some of my questions come into play…

What should I be looking for and/or avoiding?
1) Build dates to avoid?
2) I know to look for the fender buldge/cracks
3) Potential rear diff issues… Is this a “whine”? How easy is this to hear/recognize?
4) Inspect lower control arms for damage/signs of off-road “abuse”
5) What else??? Am I leaving anything out?

What’s the chances of me finding what I want local (in-state)? Do any of you guys have any good leads OR have an Oklahoma dealer that’s easy to work with (lol)?


Greatly appreciate any guidance/feedback you guys can give me. THANKS in advance!
 

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Welcome from Tulsa!

Call Tony Rodriguez at Jim Norton in Tulsa. Tell him what you want. They have a big selection, and had a Sun Fusion lifted, bumpered, winched, been off road, but certified, a week ago. It's sat on the lot for a bit.

He's the only guy I've worked with, personally.

Tony
918 859-5939

For what it's worth.

Subscribe to the Oklahoma/Arkansas subforum for future trail dates, when you acquire.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome from Tulsa!

Call Tony Rodriguez at Jim Norton in Tulsa. Tell him what you want. They have a big selection, and had a Sun Fusion lifted, bumpered, winched, been off road, but certified, a week ago. It's sat on the lot for a bit.

He's the only guy I've worked with, personally.

Tony
918 859-5939

For what it's worth.

Subscribe to the Oklahoma/Arkansas subforum for future trail dates, when you acquire.
Thanks Chris! I have a brother-in-law and sister-in-law that live over in Bixby so I'm not against swinging over to Tulsa to check one out. Looks like Jim Norton has quite a few 2010's that I doubt I can get them haggled down into my price range. :mecry:

There are 2 - '07s on their site that are prospects though. What do you think of these?

Used 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4X4 1 OWNER SHARP (White SUV) Tulsa, Oklahoma

Used 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 (White SUV) Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Sun Fusion "may" have been trailed more than I am comfortable with.



BTW, I've already been stalkin'/lurkin' the area meet/trail threads! LOL... I'd love to make it someday for sure! The Disney area looks freaking srs though... Eeeek!

Would I still get invite if I end up going the H3 route though? :ninja:

Not sure how much time I'll get to devote to another "toy". The wife isn't all that high on the current one I have. Of course it's a garage queen so the future truck will see more action by default.
 

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I have a Bixby address, as well.

I originally went for new, but opted for 08, because I thought pin striping wouldn't hurt as bad. I was wrong. Ha. Hurts new or used.


The 2007 early builds have warnings that I believe can be determined with VIN. I'll try to find thread on, and post here.

And I don't care if you drive a 2wd Pinto. If you want to off road, more the merrier.

If you find something in this market, I don't mind checking out, locally, taking pics, so on. Send PM, and I'll get it done.

Chris Delancy
 

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Welcome! Answers in Red:

What should I be looking for and/or avoiding?
1) Build dates to avoid?
The 2007 seems to be the one with the most learning curve on "issues"
2) I know to look for the fender buldge/cracks
Good
3) Potential rear diff issues… Is this a “whine”? How easy is this to hear/recognize?
I have only heard of them busting on the trails, not a whine. The earlier versions seem to bust the rear ring and pinion the most from what I can tell; however, the more weight you add to the vehicle, the more chance of it breaking on you. There is the throw out bearing on the MTs which creates a whine
4) Inspect lower control arms for damage/signs of off-road “abuse”
Yes, but I would replace the rear links anyways if you plan on wheeling.
5) What else??? Am I leaving anything out?
make sure all the 4wd "helper butons" are working (ie rear locker locks, a trac comes on). You could check under floor board to see if they have had water come in. Roof leaks from poorly installed roof racks. Window cracks forming...and a bunch of stuff you should look for on any other new or used car

What’s the chances of me finding what I want local (in-state)? Do any of you guys have any good leads OR have an Oklahoma dealer that’s easy to work with (lol)?


Greatly appreciate any guidance/feedback you guys can give me. THANKS in advance!
Good luck!!
 

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Just my opinion, but i would really avoid an h3, uncle had one he bought new and had to have transmission replaced twice by 100,000 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a Bixby address, as well.

I originally went for new, but opted for 08, because I thought pin striping wouldn't hurt as bad. I was wrong. Ha. Hurts new or used.


The 2007 early builds have warnings that I believe can be determined with VIN. I'll try to find thread on, and post here.

And I don't care if you drive a 2wd Pinto. If you want to off road, more the merrier.

If you find something in this market, I don't mind checking out, locally, taking pics, so on. Send PM, and I'll get it done.

Chris Delancy
Pinto?!?! Oh you're one of those 4wheelers that loves some carnage I see! Lmao...

I don't know how much off-road seat time I will get. With kiddos and a J O B that requires me to work an occasional/frequent weekend, I don't get much time to "play". I'm kinda anal about my vehicles appearance anyways, so I'll prolly avoid most tight trails... Unless you wanna see a grown man cry! But I'd be down for some fairly open mudding or snow drift busting! WootWoot!

I may take you up on your Tulsa scouting offer Chris. I doubt I will find a dealer that will take pics of known "trouble spots" and forward them to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Welcome! Answers in Red:

Good luck!!
Thanks Horns! Good recommendations... Hopefully, in the midst of all the potential purchase excitement, I remember to check all of this stuff!

Just my opinion, but i would really avoid an h3, uncle had one he bought new and had to have transmission replaced twice by 100,000 miles
Yeah, the only ones I am REALLY interested in are the Alpha's. Most of them tend to be out of my price range. The 5cyl is just weird to me, but the H3s are EVERYWHERE and they are inexpensive right now!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Welcome! Answers in Red:

make sure all the 4wd "helper butons" are working (ie rear locker locks, a trac comes on). You could check under floor board to see if they have had water come in. Roof leaks from poorly installed roof racks. Window cracks forming...and a bunch of stuff you should look for on any other new or used car
This may be a stoopid question, so forgive my ignorance and hold your laughter till the end... BUT, will it be obvious on a dry pavement test drive that the 4wd option buttons (and actual mechanical functions) are working? Meaning, will I be able to feel the rear diff lock? OR the A TRAC engage? If not, how do I "test" these?

Haven't had either of these in previous trucks...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dub Richardson Toyota did me right. Last I saw, there was a used sandstorm at Hudiburg.
Okay... Took some time at lunch today and went and drove the Sandstorm that is at Hudiburg. First time I've ever been in an FJ!


First, impressions of the FJ as a vehicle (coming from a GM trucks lifer).

1) FJs.ARE.TEH.****! I can see this being a very fun vehicle and keeping it’s appeal for quite sometime with me!
2) Driver and passenger front area is surprisingly very big and very roomy. I expected smaller. Back seat is cramped of course… but that’s where the kids go.
3) The cabin is nice and quiet! Doors seal really well…
4) The limited peripheral viewing in the cabin… really isn’t that bad! If anything it gives you this “I’m driving an effing tank… <cue Ride of the Valkyries> “ feeling! It’s just kickass. I drive with my mirrors A LOT anyways, so I didn’t have an issue with the blind spots. Of course it was only about a 20min test drive and I may or may not have ran over 2 grandmothers driving Buicks and a child or two on the sidewalk… Didn’t care cause I was up in the turret of a tank and enjoying it.
5) It did feel a little underpowered to me... But I'm betting I can get used to it. It’s got enough power to get on the hwy (at or above hwy speed) and you normally don’t do offroading at 70mph+ anyways (... or do you?!?!?). If I wanna go fast I'll just break out the garage queen...
6) The ride… the ride… well it was the ONE thing that surprised me the most! It was buttered up baby ass smooth! I.WAS.TEH.SHOCKED! Thought it would be very Jeep-like… It wasn’t.


The good, bad and the oooogly about this particular unit at Hudiburg Toyota.

The good = The dealer knew the vehicle. It was a local Orthopedic MD’s vehicle. They sold it to him (along with 3 other vehicles), they did 100% of the service on the vehicle. He drove it back and forth to Lawton 3-5 times a week for a couple years. Then brought it in and traded it for a newer one. It’s pretty damned clean! You’d thought the vehicle had 20-25k miles on the odometer, not 100k. It’s NEVER been off road… Hell, I looked underneath the hood and undercarriage and I’m 100% certain it’s never been off pavement… EVER! The rear compartment area was completely without scratches… looked completely unused. Engine bay was spotless. Looked pretty much brand new under hood. No FJ "known issues" that I could see, at all...

The bad = Had a nice little vibration in the steering wheel at hwy speed. Front wheel outta balance something terrible. The aftermarket leather interior… was UH TROE SHOUS! Yuck! It felt more like 1960’s vinyl. Again, 100k on the odometer, BUT it sure didn’t feel or look like it. Only a couple very minor paint scratches on the exterior, nothing big. The headliner had a couple scuffs, scrapes and gouges.

The UGLY = If my truck has $1500 worth of hail damage, then this particular FJ has $2500-$3k. Was fairly unnoticeable on the (somewhat dirty from the morning showers) tan and white but it’s still there and it still devalues the truck a good bit. Only a couple dingers on the sides of the truck, but the hood and roof were banged up pretty good.



You guys keep feeding me prospects if you hear/see them...
 

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This may be a stoopid question, so forgive my ignorance and hold your laughter till the end... BUT, will it be obvious on a dry pavement test drive that the 4wd option buttons (and actual mechanical functions) are working? Meaning, will I be able to feel the rear diff lock? OR the A TRAC engage? If not, how do I "test" these?

Haven't had either of these in previous trucks...
It will be tough to tell. If the light goes on, at least the actuator is working. Hell, I was on a trail for an hour before I figured out that four wheel drive was not engaging at one point.
 

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It will be tough to tell. If the light goes on, at least the actuator is working. Hell, I was on a trail for an hour before I figured out that four wheel drive was not engaging at one point.
See, you don't "need" a locker. Ha.
 

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^^ I'm kidding, Ryan.

To Op. I had a wheel out of balance, and I thought the front end was about to fall off (dramatic) so possibly issue.

I'm looking.
 

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Thanks Horns! Good recommendations... Hopefully, in the midst of all the potential purchase excitement, I remember to check all of this stuff!



Yeah, the only ones I am REALLY interested in are the Alpha's. Most of them tend to be out of my price range. The 5cyl is just weird to me, but the H3s are EVERYWHERE and they are inexpensive right now!
I would NOT buy an H3 my Ag teacher has one and it is a turd.... The plastic panel on the back of his seat fell off when we were driving down a gravel road.....
 

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This may be a stoopid question, so forgive my ignorance and hold your laughter till the end... BUT, will it be obvious on a dry pavement test drive that the 4wd option buttons (and actual mechanical functions) are working? Meaning, will I be able to feel the rear diff lock? OR the A TRAC engage? If not, how do I "test" these?

Haven't had either of these in previous trucks...
I'll give you the run down
Shifting into 4 Hi
1. put transm. int N
2. Shift 4x4 (transf.) into 4 hi (pull it straight back)
3. look at dash- in the bottom right there should be this lit in green


Shifting into 4 Lo
1. Now push transf. knob back and toward the right into 4 Low (it should curve forward like the path on the top of the knob)
2. Shift back into Drive
3. The VSC OFF button should come on its amber..
Now to check the rear diff.
1. Push the rear diff button. The rear diff image should flash a couple times (let off the brake and let it idle until lights stays red with no flashing)


A-trac
1. push A-TRAC button...


AND WHA LA!!!


Good luck hope you get a good one :rocker:
 

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^^ And if you don't do it all fast enough, cmw7373 about comes out of the passenger seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll give you the run down
Shifting into 4 Hi
1. put transm. int N
2. Shift 4x4 (transf.) into 4 hi (pull it straight back)
3. look at dash- in the bottom right there should be this lit in green


Shifting into 4 Lo
1. Now push transf. knob back and toward the right into 4 Low (it should curve forward like the path on the top of the knob)
2. Shift back into Drive
3. The VSC OFF button should come on its amber..
Now to check the rear diff.
1. Push the rear diff button. The rear diff image should flash a couple times (let off the brake and let it idle until lights stays red with no flashing)


A-trac
1. push A-TRAC button...


AND WHA LA!!!


Good luck hope you get a good one :rocker:
SWEEET! :bigthumb: Thanks man!!! You have earned a beer... Chris pay the man... Put it on my tab...
 

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^^ No can do, sir. Kids 17. How about a root beer. Ha.
 
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