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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Coming up on 3 years with the FJ and still in love(my g/f can attest to that:bangin:) I've been putting off doing a build thread until I had something substantial to show off but I'm bored so here goes.
**This build has also become a log of maintenance and repair work that has been necessary to keep Lucy running**
Never considered an FJ until I heard a buddy of mine talking about them. I had a Subaru Forester at the time that I felt always needed something fixed:


Spent about a month on this forum reading and learning while searching for my FJ. Finally found it in an eBay auction at a BMW dealer in New Jersey.

Auction failed to meet reserve twice so after the second one I wrote them and asked if we could make a deal at $21,500 and they accepted. Flew to NY and took the train to Newark. Did some paperwork, handed them a check and the keys were mine! Drive home was great, got nearly 22mpg.
2007 A/T with pretty much every option. Locking Diff, ATRAC, FJammer with sub, Parking Sonar, VIP security w/ motion sensor, passenger armrest, OEM skids, OEM rock rails, OEM roof rack, TRD exhaust, Manik brush guard and taillight guards. Perfectly clean inside and out(except for a wavy roof) and only 21,000 miles.


Mods started out small. Added additional 12v outlets front and back:

7inch backup camera custom mounted above mirror:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/77057-7-color-backup-camera-sams-club-99-a-4.html#post1531989

Before I even bought my FJ I was planning for this mod and as far as I know was the first to actually complete it:
Power rear window:rocker:
How To:http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/how-technical-articles/128520-power-tailgate-window.html
Still the coolest mod I have!

The main dilemma with this build is that I am a repair man and use this truck for work, sometimes as much as 20k miles a year. So until that changes, mpg sucking mods will have to wait.

The original Dunflops were wearing a bit thin and I was looking for a more rugged look. Did some looking and searching and a lot of hemming and hawing and ended up picking up a set of steelies from a member in Michigan and repainting them flat black. Then I mounted some Bridgestone Revo 2's in the stock size:


Summer of 2010 I got fired(blessing in disguise) and decided to drive out to Colorado and visit friends for a few weeks:






Also climbed my first two 14ers. Great trip! Can't wait to get back there with the FJ.

Also did a day at JeepSkool(now Southington Offroad Park) in Ohio
What blind spots?!?


After hitting the skid plate/brush guard so many times I needed to get her nose up. Decided to go with a set of Bilstein 5100 adjustables set on the 3rd notch. Before & After:

Nice and level and they ride better too.



So continuing with the cosmetic/functional mods:
Dome lights were replaced with LED modules from DealExtreme. Currently have 2x 48 LED in the front and 2x 24 LED in back.

Did the Amaezing hood decal:bigthumb:


Last summer got sideswiped on the highway. Not too bad, other vehicle's mirror dented and scuffed the front fender:

Kept the insurance check. It doesn't look that bad and I may just cover it up with a snorkel at some point:thinkerg:
Sad part is there is now an accident on the vehicle history and resale value is diminished. Guess I'll just have to hold on to it!:)

Blacked out the hitch trim, bumper wings and door handles.

Other than the little stuff, just routine maintenance(so easy on the FJ) and lots of driving.

This spring/summer has seen some more activity though:
Bought a used Ricochet bash plate w/ the FJ cutout from football751 :bigthumb:


Removed the Manik taillight guards to repaint due to rusting and decided to sell them when I realized what they were worth. Didn't like the big bulging red tailight so I dipped it:


Bought Outrider rear shock armor from Solarfuel (not installed yet):


It's still pretty civil due to being a daily driver but it looks a lot cooler now and has been tastefully(i hope) customized to look and function the way I want it(for now). I love my FJ and don't ever want to get rid of it!! Currently at 71,000 miles. Will probably need to do the brakes soon and am thinking about replacing the coolant and transmission fluid soon. It was an early build but so far no issues with rear diff or fender bulges(fingers crossed).

Wishlist:
Man-a-fre Oz Bogan front bumper
White Knuckle sliders
Lift(Icon extended travel front, metaltech long travel rear)
Pizza cutters on black alloy rims
More Ricochet armor
Diffused Rigid dually(s) for reverse lights
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: Hemi71cuda's Build

Continued...

And most recently, Sasquatch lights from Offroadgears.com w/ switches from OTRATTW:


Decided to name my build "Squatchy" based on the mod/photos above. Plus I thought it was really funny that the weirdo's on that Hunting Bigfoot show turned the name sasquatch into an adjective.

While I was wiring the switches, why not add some task lighting:


10/12/12: No photos but around 79,000 miles the rear brakes were grinding so it was time for a brake job. Ordered rear parts from AdvanceAuto Parts: Wearever Platinum pads and Wearever rotors. Fronts got OE parts ordered from SparksTRD. Front drivers side caliper had the standard seized piston, passenger side pins were apparently welded in place so both front calipers got replaced with NAPA Eclipse Remanufactured units($103/each).

Also noticed this while I was under there:


6/12/13
Time for an update. Have been doing/prepping for some larger maintenance projects. Just passed 90,000 miles. Flushed the coolant a few weeks ago. Have a new serpentine belt to go on hopefully this weekend and bought 14qts of tranny fluid to do a flush sometime this summer.

I knew the Revo 2's would not be able to handle another winter so planned to get a set of Duratracs put on before then. Jumped on Discount Tire's Memorial Day sale and treated myself to new wheels too for my birthday!

265 Duratrac on 16" Raceline Rockcrushers
Gonna run the Revo 2's through the summer to use 'em up but I did a quick mockup:



265/75/16C Duratrac on 16" Raceline Rockcrushers
I love em!

11/4/13 - Time for an update
Did the serpentine belt replacement this summer - man was that easy. Again, I love how easy it is to service this rig.
Also installed 2 significant mods:
PUREFJ(All-Pro) kickout sliders.
-as noted on my wishlist above, these were not my first choice. But they stick out the furthest and the free shipping deal this summer was too good to pass up. Used Rustoleum Textured spray paint which I feel is the perfect finish for sliders. OEM sliders were cleaned up and repainted at the same time and sold to a nearby FJ owner.

New Wheels/Tires
-Couldn't hold out any longer. Ditched the Revo 2/Steelie combo and mounted the new Duratrac/Rockcrusher combo which I absolutely love.

The Revo 2 held up really well. Must have had 65,000 miles on them and they weren't bald yet. Here is my longterm Revo2 review.
Steelies were sold to the same guy who bought my sliders.

Misc. Maintenance: Now at 98,xxx miles. Still need to do the transmission flush. I've had a few exhaust rattles to take care of. Recently tried to remove and raise my 5100s to the top notch but was unable to remove the lower shock bolt:( The shocks have 60,000+ miles on them so I guess I'll leave them be and possibly replace them all together in the spring.

I had been noticing a subtle, rhythmic vibration in the gas peddle for a while. It was so slight my only theory was the transmission and would be resolved when I replaced the fluid. However, as I got closer to 100k miles I started hearing some occasional clunking/rattling from the front end. It continued to get worse until it could no longer be ignored. I also developed some sponginess in the brake pedal. A visit to the dealership diagnosed all of this as 2 bad front wheel bearings. They wanted $1,100 to do the job. Instead I purchased 2 new bearing/hub assemblies from a guy on tacomaworld for $365 and tried to do the job myself. All bolts came loose without drama but I was unable to get the old assembly to part from the spindle. They must have developed quite a strong embrace after 7 winters in the northeast. A local shop did the job for me, total cost for 2 new wheel bearings and new seals on the back of the spindles: ~$800.

~105,000mi: Was on my way home when a whining noise from the engine began out of no where. Couldn't pin point it by ear until I looked at the voltage gauge. Scanguage confirmed that my voltage had dropped down into the 11's. Alternator is going bad. I was able to nurse it through the week and replaced it myself. Not a terrible task. I replaced it with a 130amp Tacoma unit(FJ is 100amp) that I got from O'Reilly's. It had been suggested that a new brush pack could likely get it back to normal for a lot less money but once I saw the condition of the old one I decided I'd rather start fresh:


Spring plans include a thorough cleaning, transmission fluid, and recoating my sliders:

5/9/14 ~106,000mi: Spring cleaning has been progressing. Cleaned all the winter filth off the interior floors, gave her a good scrub followed by some tar removal(ran out of cleaner). Did a tire rotation. To make things easier and quicker I decided instead of doing the DIY tranny flush I would just do several drain and fills. 2 done so far. Will do one or two more over the course of the summer. I have procured a place that will sand blast and powdercoat my sliders. Just need to get them dropped off. Added plans for the spring/summer is some more undercarriage rust treating.
Now over 70,000 miles on the front 5100's. No surprise that roads around Cleveland are total $hit. I can tell the passenger side shock is clunking a bit and I'm sure the ride has been suffering for a while. Need to order a new set of 5100's and get them on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: Hemi71cuda's Build

10/29/14 ~115,000miles Time for an update.

Sliders were sand blasted and powder coated in the spring. I'm still paranoid about winter driving tearing the coating up. These things aren't worth having to recoat every year. My idea was to cover the powder coating with rubberized undercoating spray. Thinking that the rubbery part would help deflect debris. We'll see how it works out. I'm also gonna look for a set of larger mud flaps to put on behind the front tires, just for the winter.

More exhaust rattles. Some of the holes around the mounting points of the heat shields are getting too big for fender washers. Had to cut some pieces out of scrap aluminum to hold them back up. A bigger job was the "donut gasket" between the cats and the catback exhaust. I identified a serious rattle coming from that union. The gasket was almost completely gone. Picked up a new gasket and spring bolt kit. Old hardware had to be cut off. The old bolts drilled out of their holes. Then the welded on nuts needed to be ground off the other side and replaced with a regular nut. Pain in the butt.


Broke a bolt removing the engine skid plate. Took a long time to drill it out and retap the hole.

A few times over the summer I notice my driver side rear wheel was hot. Even smelled it once too. Figured either the brake was sticking or wheel bearing going. Had a guy look at it but he didn't find anything wrong. I confirmed no play in the bearing. Eventually i could feel I had a warped rotor which confirmed it for me. I had done the rear brakes already at 80k but didn't replace the rear calipers. This past weekend I bought all the parts at Napa and replaced both calipers, rotors and pads on the rear. Also installed extended rear brake lines and extended the wheel speed sensor wires too in preparation for the new rear suspension which was going on on Monday.

10/27/14 new suspension components installed by local garage:
Front: Bilstein 5100 on top notch
Rear: ProComp 926514 long travel shock and daystar 1.5" spring spacer(trimmed down by me to ~1.25").
It's not full on long travel without longer springs and removing the sway bar. I only offroad like once a year so decided not to put any more $$ into it. But the shocks HAD to replaced so might as well take a step towards something rather than just doing a stock replacement. They also installed the Outrider lower rear shock armor that have been sitting in the garage for years.
I love the stance. Wish I had done this the first time I put 5100s on.

I think it's about as high as I would want to go while still running 265s

I learned a while back that my rear diff won't lock up anymore. Most likely due to one of the transfer case switches going bad. I've wired in a switch for the 'on demand diff lock hack'. I would really prefer to not have it but I'm just not willing to dump more money into this thing at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Hemi71cuda's Build

one more
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Updated.
 

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I'm glad you have a build thread. Truck looks great. All the older one are getting to the heavy maintenance miles. Depending on your region, you have different challenges to deal with. We are spoiled in the southwest, with not so much in the corrosion factor, to deal with. I will be interested to hear your impressions of the duratracks in snow/slush/ heavy rain. They look like the correct tread pattern to do well.
thanks for the update
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Updated. Seems to be an annual occurrence...
 

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Re: Hemi71cuda's Build

10/29/14 ~115,000miles Time for an update.


A few times over the summer I notice my driver side rear wheel was hot. Even smelled it once too. Figured either the brake was sticking or wheel bearing going. Had a guy look at it but he didn't find anything wrong. I confirmed no play in the bearing. Eventually i could feel I had a warped rotor which confirmed it for me. I had done the rear brakes already at 80k but didn't replace the rear calipers. This past weekend I bought all the parts at Napa and replaced both calipers, rotors and pads on the rear. Also installed extended rear brake lines and extended the wheel speed sensor wires too in preparation for the new rear suspension which was going on on Monday.
What does it smell like? AN ammonia kind of smell? like hair dye? I smell it on my FJ too when I accelerate:mecry: Really horrible smell haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Hemi71cuda's Build

What does it smell like? AN ammonia kind of smell? like hair dye? I smell it on my FJ too when I accelerate:mecry: Really horrible smell haha.
No. It smelled like overheated brakes. Yours could be some kind of mold in the air vents or maybe your cats going bad.
 
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