Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I flew out to Virginia and drove it back to Texas and had an amazing adventure with my sister! Not a single problem the whole way back and it drives so smooth on the road. :grin

To top it off I have a bit of time to think on mods but the only things I can think of now would be seat covers and an LED upgrade kit. One of the side view mirror lights went out and someone told me yesterday I have a back light out so I'm going to look and see on the forum where I can get LEDs for my new-to-me FJ! Since it happened after the inspection was done and it passed I feel pretty lucky right now. I really love the contrast of the metallic gray with all black trim. Ironically my other 15 year old SUV isn't dead yet so when it's cold weather I may drive it and save the miles on my FJ Cruiser but right now I have no AC in the old SUV. It's tough in Texas without AC. While I'm not sure if my first trip will be to some nearby mountains or to Colorado to visit extended family I'm going to get the recommended basic off-road kit for newbies. First I'll make sure the current tires on it are up to snow and ice. I know the previous owner had no issues with it and there's plenty of tread left.

While it seems ridiculous to have two vehicles right now I just don't want to drive the FJ all day long all around town. Granted I knew that would be the case but it's weird to look at it and go..."You're my off-road apocalypse buddy and service calls are beneath you!">:D. If the old SUV is totaled then the other person will be crying because it's actually pretty stout and has a good safety rating. If someone hits my FJ I may be on the 5 o'clock news... Why anyone thinks it's okay that they should check emails or texts while driving is just such a careless way to get yourself or someone else killed. I don't get it. I've seen too many gruesome accidents that killed people. The worst ones involved distracted drivers or someone having a medical emergency (i.e. they should not have been driving in the first place).

After doing research I'm also looking at coating the bottom to prevent rust since I have no problem putting in my own sweat on this thing. Preferably no blood or tears should be needed. Most of what I have read so far has been reassuring in that I made the right choice in purchasing an FJ Cruiser versus anything else so far. My biggest issue is the incredibly annoying and uncooperative Texas weather. I park out in the elements and may get covered parking in the winter. Right now the FJ has a constant coat of dust and it bugs me since AussieJohn washed it and cleaned it out. It looks very sharp all nice and clean! :wink Now if only I could keep it that way!

I shall christen it in mud on the first off-road adventure! I'd also like to share a few things I learned on this experience if that's okay. :nerd

1. It's so much better in my opinion to buy from another person than it is to waste time at a dealership. I wasted so much time trying to negotiate and they refused to listen. Only one out of seven dealerships I went to before finding the FJ I purchased here on the forum even tried to negotiate with me on price. No, I didn't play the whole "monthly payments" game. I simply stated I will only pay X for this vehicle on the lot that you have. They didn't care to negotiate and I'm not driving all over the lower 48 when they won't negotiate on the phone or even act like they're really trying to sell the vehicle on their lot.

2. You don't have ridiculous fees to argue over. I have never seen so much sketchy nonsense on paper unless it's a dealership. I get the documentation fee but others were just rip-offs. Getting a loan to pay off the other person was a lot easier but I also chose to handle the TT&L on my own so that it would not be financed or put into a down payment.

3. High pressure sales tactics do not work on me. I test drove a 2014 FJ Cruiser in Army Green and while it was in great shape the mileage listed on the ad was over 1,000 miles off because the salesman liked it so much he was using it as a daily driver! Instead of buying it he really wasn't trying to sell it. The "out-the-door" price was over $31,000 for an FJ with over 94,500 miles on it! That was a big fat no and I walked away from that deal and many others due to price gouging. Since everyone and their mother is now reviewing the FJ Cruiser the prices have started going up and it's frustrating. That FJ when I last saw it listed went from $28,455 to $28,779 online. It still had the wrong mileage listed as well.

4. Financing. This is the biggest headache no matter which way you go but set your budget first and don't move from it. Not a penny, dime or even dollar. Check the NADA, KBB, and a VIN checker for value or packages. I wanted a 2014 originally because it was 1% less on my financing. However I found I could refinance it for a lower rate and then pay down the loan without any restrictions with a 2013 FJ too. Some lenders will penalize you for trying to pay off a loan faster FYI. They require a minimum set of months or years before you can pay more than the monthly repayment on a loan. Many lenders will not do loans less than $10,000 or on vehicles with over 150,000 miles on them.

5. Car insurance. Shop around and ask your current insurer about discounts. I got a few due to loyalty, safety, and multi-car discounts. I also paid a whole $2 more per month for a zero deductible on both vehicles.

6. Ask the seller to take the FJ to a shop of your choosing and call the shop. AussieJohn was very accommodating and he also had documented proof his FJ was in amazing shape with the 4x4 system. The shop even had an old FJ in the photos online and was very happy to talk to a guy named "Spider" about the condition the FJ Cruiser was in.

7. When/if buying from an individual make sure you know if you will have the vehicle shipped or if you can borrow their license plates. It's pretty hard to put plates on something you don't own and if you're changing states it's even more difficult. I was able to borrow AussieJohn's plates and drove my new FJ back to Texas. I think he should change his handle to AwesomeJohn but that's just my opinion. :wink

I paid the TT&L on Thursday, got my plates and sticker to put on and sent AussieJohn's plates back Saturday. I have to say after researching the unholy detail out of the next SUV to purchase I have zero regrets handing money over for this FJ. It's just so weird to drive away with a different set of wheels and be over the moon happy! I say this after getting three vehicles, all with serious expensive problems down the road. I wish everyone the best of luck out there finding their own FJ. Stick to your guns and be patient until you find that deal and great fit you've been looking for in an FJ. They are out there and ready to be outfitted to run off the road. Happy hunting! I'm so glad I found mine. :grin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,373 Posts
Congrats!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Congrats on your sweet '13 Cement. Welcome from the SoCal Hi-Desert!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here are some photos. I should have known better than to post without a few. It has the 16” rims on it and the tires are in very good shape. I’d say when they need replacing I may get a wider tire but I need to “test” these tires off road first. 😉 The Cement Gray does have a metallic glint to it but it’s subtle. I had a coworker ask me if I was getting ready for the apocalypse or something when they saw what I drove up in Friday morning. I think the towing is aftermarket but everything else is stock. I got the oil changed and everything checked over when I got back to Texas and a nice guy who bought bigger tires sold his spare tire cover cheap to me and congratulated me on my “starter FJ”. 😂 I’m very tempted to airbrush something on it. I have been warned that once customizing and modifications begin it can be hard to stop so I’m going to see how it does as is and go from there.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Congratulations Diana4x4! You'll love the FJ! The crawl control on that model is very nice (I've used it more than once over the years) and Cement Gray is absolutely my favorite color (although I may be a bit biased...). The 16" TRD rims with the rock beads are terrific looking and very durable. And the warning rings true - once you start modding an FJ it just goes on and on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Here are some photos. I should have known better than to post without a few. It has the 16” rims on it and the tires are in very good shape. I’d say when they need replacing I may get a wider tire but I need to “test” these tires off road first. 😉 The Cement Gray does have a metallic glint to it but it’s subtle. I had a coworker ask me if I was getting ready for the apocalypse or something when they saw what I drove up in Friday morning. I think the towing is aftermarket but everything else is stock. I got the oil changed and everything checked over when I got back to Texas and a nice guy who bought bigger tires sold his spare tire cover cheap to me and congratulated me on my “starter FJ”. 😂 I’m very tempted to airbrush something on it. I have been warned that once customizing and modifications begin it can be hard to stop so I’m going to see how it does as is and go from there.
Looks very nice. Yeah the TT has the 16" on it. I have 285/75/16 Ko2 on my TT, and they are fantastic.

Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I had my eyes on a 13 TT but the dealer did not budge on price, on top of that, they added another $3K in dealer fees, registration, admin, etc... My heart was broken but quickly as fate would have it, I found a 14 TTUE within days from a private seller. No dealer fees, just straight-up negotiated cost and taxes and a small tag transfer fee. I love my FJ just as all the people here. Welcome to the club.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,440 Posts
Welcome to the FJ Cruiser community
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
608 Posts
Howdie gurl! "Starter FJ"!! That's awesome! Locker, Atrac, nerf bars, and that's just a "starter" 4x4. I suppose that makes a Jeep a "starter quad bike".


Well done and welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Woot - the best color ever!

There is something special about flying somewhere to pick up a car and driving it back. Usually you would only do this for a special kind of car - like an FJ. I did it back in 2010 when I bought a BMW M5 from a dealer around Washington DC. 6 hour drive home (NC). It was a great drive.

Good luck and keep us updated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Congratulations on your FJ! I also just picked up an FJ and the modding bug already hit me with immediately putting in an order for a lift, wheels and tires. The cement color is very nice along with the blacked out accents. Have fun with your future off roading adventures.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top