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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not so sure why I didn't start this a long time ago, guess I am lazy. I got my Fj christmas '07. What a surprise, I had no idea that I was getting it. The kids got done opening presents, my wife handed me an issue of the Fj Cruiser magazine that Toyota puts out at the dealer. I thought cool, thanks?
Then handed me the keys!! I thought it was a sick joke....wrong. A couple seconds later my Father-in-law pulls up in it, an awesome looking black diamond with factory rock rails and brush guard. I couldn't believe it!! Here I am completely in shock.

It took a couple of months to find this place then I got the bug. Never really been off roading before, just some mud holes with some buds, thats it. I was hooked! First mod was a Magnaflow muffler and stainless steel tip, my stuff has to sound good.:bigthumb:

After that I started on the black out. Had to get her looking good.:rocker:
IMG]http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f272/JBell98/fj%20cruiser/img_0669.jpg[/IMG]

I wheeled it a bit stock, taking on my deer hunting woods and some pastures. Then came Buchanon's mudfest in Robertsville, MO.Buchanan's Mudfest What an adventure that was.:lol:
Didn't have a clue! I think I still am cleaning that nasty mud out from under her!! I slipped and slid everwhere. After this I just had to have a lift and bigger mud tires!

Well it didn't take long after and I was shopping for a lift and tires. I first went with Bilstein 5100 adjustables in the front and OME mediums in the rear. Now what tire to buy? Did as much research on here as possible and I kept coming back to Dragon's threads about the Firestone Destination Mt's. I got em and I love em!! They have a nice little hum to them and highway speeds but who cares they are a mud tire. They also are wearing very well I have a little over 30,000 on them and barely look used. Well they do have a bit of rock rash on them but nothing major.

I was really getting the itch to go wheeling. But I needed a few things first. Got myself a Cobra Cb and fabbed up a Bandi mount.

Of course I need a Hi-lift, just don't know where to put it, hmmmm. So I made this.

I bought the usual recovery gear, a 30,000 pound snatch strap, couple d-rings, shovel, hi-lift jack mate, axe on inside of rear door, cheap air compressor, blah,blah,blah.
Lets go wheelin!! I had heard that Toyota Trail Teams was going to be at "The Badlands" In Attica, Indiana. I thought that would be a great time and a great place to gain some knowledge.
I learned a ton about A-trac , how to left foot brake, climb big dunes and a bunch of other tips on off roading in general. Thanks Trail Teams:bigthumb: wish that program was still together.
More to come later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ohshi- did you really make a build thread? I though spenser was going to make one for you.

I still wanna know how you did your snorkel!
Yep thats right a build thread, can't believe it myself. The snorkel will have to wait my friend. It's an ancient chinese secret that only a few daring souls will know about. Are you a daring soul?:satan:
 

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fka luvshisfj
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Great looking rig...
 

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I love how you color matched the wheels to the body. Those look great. I'm normally critical of the people that do black outs, I guess it's from owning a TRD :lol:, but yours is by far one of the cleanest done ones I've seen. Great rig man.
 

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Yep thats right a build thread, can't believe it myself. The snorkel will have to wait my friend. It's an ancient chinese secret that only a few daring souls will know about. Are you a daring soul?:satan:
Hmm. Depends on how daring I need to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great looking rig...
Thank you kind sir!
I love how you color matched the wheels to the body. Those look great. I'm normally critical of the people that do black outs, I guess it's from owning a TRD :lol:, but yours is by far one of the cleanest done ones I've seen. Great rig man.
Thank you very much! I used Dupont's hot rod black for the black out. It has been very durable over the last couple of years. I have painted the wheels again though, lots of scratches from rocks and roots. That was a couple of months ago.....need paint again!!:lol:
Hmm. Depends on how daring I need to be.
How about hitting the rocks at Wash!ta next time? Is that daring enough? Be there or be square If you dare!:jester:

I forgot to mention that I put an All-Pro transfercase skid under her before the trip to the Badlands. I thought that was a very vulnerable area under the FJ and didn't want to take any chances. As you can see I have used and abused this skid and completely happy with it. No complaints whatsoever.


Since I was spending alot of my wheeling time in the mud and gunk, I was in need of a scuba mod and a snorkel. So I first did the scuba mod basically following Shadow Warriors thread this has all the info anyone needs to do this mod.http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...es/39539-scuba-driver-mod-breather-tubes.html Next was a snorkel. Now I have nothing bad to say about a Safari snorkel, many hundreds of people on the forum have them and think It works great. Well me being a self proclaimed tight wad and my love for fabbing stuff, thought I would give this a shot. I really didn't want to cut a hole in the fender even though I am a bodyman and could easily reverse the operation, I also didn't care for the plastic tube running down the side of the fender, just seemed like it could get smashed real easily. Here in the midwest we wheel on timber trails so trees are inches away all the time. So I did some research to find If anyone else had made a custom snorkel. I found a thread on another forum where the guy used vacuum tube and routed it through the right hand side of the cowl panel. I thought cool, I can do that.:bigthumb: I wanted bigger tube though, that vacuum tube just wasn't big enough. So my first attempt was 3" PVC, It worked well and served it's purpose for awhile, I just wasn't happy with the way it looked. Here is a link to that thread.http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...emade-snorkel.html?highlight=homemade+snorkel

I decided that 3" exhaust tube would be my next material. I bought two 90 degree elbows and started cutting, welding and shaping. I am very happy with this design, It has given me no problems for the last year and a half or so. It has had many tree branches hit it with no movement.

If my memory serves me correctly I added some angle iron skids to the rear Lca's around this time. They have worked great so far, I have slammed a few rocks on these with just some scratches, nothing bent. If any one is looking far a cheap way to protect there Lca's, this is the way to go.

:wave: By for now......
 

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You know, I just have to compliment you for being creative with your snorkel. I think functionally it works better than the other options I see. Obviously you put lots of thought into it. The fab work you did on the pipe is great. I am just having trouble getting past the sweeping curve. I know there aren't lots of options for where you can make it exit.
I will give you props for your ingenuity though.
thanks
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You know, I just have to compliment you for being creative with your snorkel. I think functionally it works better than the other options I see. Obviously you put lots of thought into it. The fab work you did on the pipe is great. I am just having trouble getting past the sweeping curve. I know there aren't lots of options for where you can make it exit.
I will give you props for your ingenuity though.
thanks
Don
Thank you very much!:bigthumb: You are right it's not the straightest exit, but it functions very well. This is kind of a funny story, after I posted that thread on here I had some aftermarket company contact me. They wanted me to send them my snorkel so they could reproduce it and in return they would give me a free version of my own dang snorkel.WTF!!:thinkerg: Boy they had balls!!
 

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Since I was spending alot of my wheeling time in the mud and gunk, I was in need of a scuba mod and a snorkel. So I first did the scuba mod basically following Shadow Warriors thread this has all the info anyone needs to do this mod.http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...es/39539-scuba-driver-mod-breather-tubes.html Next was a snorkel. Now I have nothing bad to say about a Safari snorkel, many hundreds of people on the forum have them and think It works great. Well me being a self proclaimed tight wad and my love for fabbing stuff, thought I would give this a shot. I really didn't want to cut a hole in the fender even though I am a bodyman and could easily reverse the operation, I also didn't care for the plastic tube running down the side of the fender, just seemed like it could get smashed real easily. Here in the midwest we wheel on timber trails so trees are inches away all the time. So I did some research to find If anyone else had made a custom snorkel. I found a thread on another forum where the guy used vacuum tube and routed it through the right hand side of the cowl panel. I thought cool, I can do that.:bigthumb: I wanted bigger tube though, that vacuum tube just wasn't big enough. So my first attempt was 3" PVC, It worked well and served it's purpose for awhile, I just wasn't happy with the way it looked. Here is a link to that thread.http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...emade-snorkel.html?highlight=homemade+snorkel
I decided that 3" exhaust tube would be my next material. I bought two 90 degree elbows and started cutting, welding and shaping. I am very happy with this design, It has given me no problems for the last year and a half or so. It has had many tree branches hit it with no movement.
Hmm. I know what you mean by trees being next to you at all times. If you're going up to hannibal this weekend then you'll see what I mean. I was thinking about doing a snorkel to cover up the dents BUT that would require me replacing the fender panel and I just don't want to so I might have to copy your idea.

What would you think about making another one (because I don't have a welder and the skill to) and i'll pay ya? :cheers:

How about hitting the rocks at Wash!ta next time? Is that daring enough? Be there or be square If you dare!:jester:
I'll be there! I'll tear up my rig for the pleasure of others i guess.
 

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That snorkel is sexy! Very nice job. If I were to need a snorkel I would definitley try and "steal" your design :lol: That looks a ton better than the Safari plus you don't have to drill through you fender. Props on the design and fab work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm glad you took that as I intended . It's a compliment to have a company wanting to replicate it
Congrats
Maybe you should have asked them for a percentage :bigthumb:
Don
Actually if it would have been a company i had heard of, I may have talked it out with them but this was basically some Joe schmo who said he mostly made aftermarket parts for the import tuner world. I guess i should take it as a compliment though.
Hmm. I know what you mean by trees being next to you at all times. If you're going up to hannibal this weekend then you'll see what I mean. I was thinking about doing a snorkel to cover up the dents BUT that would require me replacing the fender panel and I just don't want to so I might have to copy your idea.

What would you think about making another one (because I don't have a welder and the skill to) and i'll pay ya? :cheers:
I must say it's not entirely my idea, that other fella come up with it first I just took it to a different level. Yeah, I may consider making another one. I must admit it was a pain in the butt!! I'll let ya know.:bigthumb:
I am thinking of going to Hannibal on Sun. the 13th. Are you going Sat. or Sun.?


I'll be there! I'll tear up my rig for the pleasure of others i guess.
I do really want to make it down there again in the near future. I would work on some skid plates before you go.....unless you like a cracked t-case, smashed front dif, couple broken control arms and a bent shock mount. Nah, just kidding the rocks there are the soft variety.:jester:
That snorkel is sexy! Very nice job. If I were to need a snorkel I would definitley try and "steal" your design :lol: That looks a ton better than the Safari plus you don't have to drill through you fender. Props on the design and fab work.
Thanks again!! Seriously, I would love to see someone else build this snorkel. Honestly I can't believe no one else has?
 

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I do really want to make it down there again in the near future. I would work on some skid plates before you go.....unless you like a cracked t-case, smashed front dif, couple broken control arms and a bent shock mount. Nah, just kidding the rocks there are the soft variety.:jester:
Yeah, soft my ass! I just paid off the rest of the "Steal bomber" (i need a new name for it) so i've got a steady flow of money to throw into it. I'll do tires, suspension and wheels along with a winch and some skids before I come to wash!ta. I've torn up my rig enough for this year.

By the way, I'm completely serious about paying you if you'd fab me a similar snorkel as yours.
 

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Looking great Justin. Although you should put your skid buildup, sway bar disco, rear storage solution, lust for a rack, videos of you showing us up in the mud, the fact that you are willing to work for beer, that your truck has pulled out more trucks than times I've been out, and anything else I can think of in here.

In all seriousness your rig has been to places that most of us only wish we could go to. You did all of the mods yourself, even mounted your own tires, so what you have invested is small and the rig itself is very capable. That and the ARB can smash through things if for some reason there is not way around.

We should talk about a sway bar disco for my rig as the added articulation would be welcomed and I really don't want to pay through the nose :)

Your snorkel is one of the most functional mods for the truck since we like to play in mud and often times the water is fairly high as well. As someone who has taken a drill to the front fender and installed the safari I can tell you that Justin had the right idea, while I had the lack of skill. It is rock solid, looks good, and ontop of that was hand made!

Did you notice any big scapes or anything on the gas tank skid? If you were scraping your driver LCA mount then I'd assume the tank probably was close to the rocks as well?
 

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Nice build. I love your snorkel improv :)

We're going back to the Badlands this 4th of July if you are interested. No Trail Teams though. Just some friends.
 

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I too like your snorkel idea. :rocker:

Do you have any pics of the plumbing under the hood?
 

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Thanks, I didn't see the link to the other thread.:thinkerg:
 
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