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*** UPDATED PHOTOS ***

First let me say that Big Bill's install thread was a *huge* help in planning this install, and seeing how to take apart various things on the FJ: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/7685-cobra-75-wxst-bandi-mount-install.html

Equipment total cost - $195 + shipping:

Amazon.com: Midland 75-822 40 Channel 2 Way Radio: Electronics

Midland 75-822 CB Radio, I picked this radio for two main reasons, (a) it's all in the handset and not very heavy, and (b) its versatility to be both a handheld and an in-car unit by swapping the base and adding the small antenna (all included in the original box). The Cobra handset unit on the Big Bill combo page (below) is a fine radio, but I've found the install/removal to not be as clean as with the Midland. If you're going for a full-size CB radio, ignore this advice. The full size units tend to be better quality and more functional than the handset units, but they don't uninstall easily and for trail communications the all-in-the-handset units work great.

Complete Toyota FJ Cruiser CB Radio System "Big Bill Combo" at WalcottCB.com

1. HS818TNKT EZ Install Coax Cable and Antenna Stud (the perfect length, I had about 8 inches of extra cable for where I wired it to the center console, also make sure to get Part # HS818TNKT so it has the removable coupler for easier wire routing)
2. Toyota FJ Cruiser Bandi Antenna Mount
3. K1A Antenna Quick Disconnect

A quick note about the Bandi mount: It looks like the latest Bandi mounts have been redesigned to use a pass-through bolt (like the Boztec's), which makes installation much easier. However, many of these bolts rust almost immediately. So if you pick up a Bandi mount, go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a replacement bolt in stainless steel, and throw the provided bolt away.

FLEX4 Wilson Flexible Fiberglass Antenna
(Walcott link for Wilson Flex 4 Antenna broken, switched to Amazon link)

Wilson 4-foot flex antenna (the 3-foot has been discontinued, apparently), flexible enough to run without a spring. This is a big flexibility improvement over the standard Firestik that most people get, without being super flexible like a standard whip antenna. Run this antenna with just a quick disconnect and skip installing a spring.

Bulkhead - UHF Female to UHF Female - RF-7625 [RF-7625] - $4.55

Female-to-female bulkhead adapter, I drilled a hole in the center console and mounted this to take the antenna plug from the radio.

UHF Male to UHF Male - RF-7626 [RF-7626] - $3.86

Male-to-male adapter to make the final connection between the radio and the bulkhead adapter.

SO-239 UHF-Male Connector Protective Dust Cover (97510) - TestParts

I also found a small cap to cover the antenna plug when not in use.

The install:

Antenna + Bandi Mount. I used a knife blade to scrape the paint away for a grounding point here, I also popped off the top piece of plastic trim over the hinge for easier wrench access. Don't try to use an adjustable crescent wrench to tighten the Bandi mount screw, I found a fixed-size wrench that matched the screw size and was much thinner:



Antenna wire entry point - I cut a small hole in the rubber hose here and then ran the cable into the jack compartment. Using zip ties on the inside and outside help to secure the cable:



Running the wire from the jack compartment to the rear seat was the hardest part of the install, the picture below should save you some time. I pushed the seats forward, the exit point for your cable is where you see the rear hinge for the seat. Remove the plate behind the seat (two bolts then pull up), then pull the floormat out from under the plastic trim on the side. There's a screw there, unscrew it and it will give you another 1-2 inches of flexibility on that panel, which makes all the difference for pulling the cable through:



Once you have the cable coming out from under the rear seat:



Pull up the kick plates below the door (seriously, just put your fingers under the inside-side of them and pull up, they pop right off) and you will see a pre-existing channel to run the cable. I ran the cable from here to the bottom A-pillar, up past the fuse box and then over into the center console.



To remove the center console, remove your shift levers and just pull up at the back of the center console, it pops right up:



Once I had the center console off I drilled a hole for the UHF bulkhead adapter and screwed it through the center console. This lets you easily attach/unattach your CB when it isn't in use. To mount it I bought a little adhesive mounting clip ( Amazon.com: Samsonite SBCDM American Tourister Universal Swivel Cell Phone Belt Clip w/Dash Mount: Electronics ), and put the nub on the back of the handset with the adhesive tape that came on it. The clip on the dash didn't hold up very well using the adhesive though...so I used silicone adhesive and that worked like a charm.

When the radio is in use:



When it's not in use:



I was originally going to add another 12V plug next to the antenna plug, but it was much easier to buy a wired 2-jack splitter from O'Reilly for like $7:

Amazon.com: Vector VEC006 Hd Y Socket W/Fuse Dual: Automotive

SWR's tested in the 1.5 range out of the box, so I didn't do any tuning at all. I've been testing the range for the last couple of weeks and in smooth terrain without many obstacles I've seen 2+ miles at some points. So in the hills while offroading, the range is ample.
 

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Looks good.
 

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Nice, I used a dremel on the paint instead of a knife for both the Bandi mount and the hinge. Worked really well. Make sure you don't do too much on the Bandi other than the part that contacts the FJ, or else you'll get rust.

I like the idea of a cap while the antenna is not up. The FJ has a really good spot to put that, right inside the rear door on the hanger holder.

Second I found that after wheeling the upper bolt backed out a bit and I put another locking washer on top of the antenna before it went on the Bandi mount. This has secured the whole install.
 

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Nice, I used a dremel on the paint instead of a knife for both the Bandi mount and the hinge. Worked really well. Make sure you don't do too much on the Bandi other than the part that contacts the FJ, or else you'll get rust.

I like the idea of a cap while the antenna is not up. The FJ has a really good spot to put that, right inside the rear door on the hanger holder.

Second I found that after wheeling the upper bolt backed out a bit and I put another locking washer on top of the antenna before it went on the Bandi mount. This has secured the whole install.
Rust was my main concern with scraping the paint off, but I can't see any after I bolted it down so I think I'm set there. I've been looking for a place to stash the antenna when not in use besides just on the floor in the back, I was thinking about a couple of clips or maybe a bungie.

And yeah both of my antennas (the CB and the stock stereo one) backed out a bit after a day of smacking trees on the trail, I tightened them back down and they seem to be doing pretty good now.
 

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Nice writeup! I'm going to have to find a locking washer for my antenna mount too as it is constantly coming loose after a few hours of wheeling.

You've gotten over 5 miles of range with your setup too. When I called you last Sunday, I was at least that far away. :)
 
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Nice writeup! I'm going to have to find a locking washer for my antenna mount too as it is constantly coming loose after a few hours of wheeling.

You've gotten over 5 miles of range with your setup too. When I called you last Sunday, I was at least that far away. :)
I have a crescent wrench in my tool bag, we're gonna have to make "tighten up antenna bolt" a regular post-trip item on the checklist. I also had a go at the radio antenna and it's now nice and tight too.

Holy crap, you were 5 miles out when I heard you? That's a testament to both our radios, as I was parked halfway into that little canyon next to Bandimere.
 

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If i can sell off some of my music gear in time for the Summit this year I'll need to get a CB going. I appreciate the post. I may holler at you and see if you are around when I get to the install part. It'll be the first time running wires through the interior of a vehicle. The back looks easy. Not sure about the console. I may have bribe offers in hand. :)
 

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If i can sell off some of my music gear in time for the Summit this year I'll need to get a CB going. I appreciate the post. I may holler at you and see if you are around when I get to the install part. It'll be the first time running wires through the interior of a vehicle. The back looks easy. Not sure about the console. I may have bribe offers in hand. :)
The hardest part of the install for me was going from the jack compartment to under the rear seat, that took a good 30 minutes until I removed the rear floormat and unscrewed that screw. After that, 30 seconds and bam. The only place where my wire is visible is under the rear passenger seat, it goes back into the side molding about halfway under the seat and then passes under the kick plate to the A-pillar. Running it to the center console from there wasn't hard, if you reach around under the dash you can find a good hole to run the cable into the center console.

I'm always happy to demonstrate my install or help with yours, I don't drink beer so buy me a burrito and we'll call it even :).
 

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The hardest part of the install for me was going from the jack compartment to under the rear seat, that took a good 30 minutes until I removed the rear floormat and unscrewed that screw. After that, 30 seconds and bam. The only place where my wire is visible is under the rear passenger seat, it goes back into the side molding about halfway under the seat and then passes under the kick plate to the A-pillar. Running it to the center console from there wasn't hard, if you reach around under the dash you can find a good hole to run the cable into the center console.

I'm always happy to demonstrate my install or help with yours, I don't drink beer so buy me a burrito and we'll call it even :).
I recently quit drinking myself, at least for the foreseeable future. I'm sure I can manage the install myself. Was just thinking it would be a good excuse to start meeting people and might save me some time. :)
 

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Very nice write-up. Will be very helpful when I install my CB in the next few weeks.
 

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saw this in person, fantastic set up, will duplicate in a couple of weeks when all the parts get here! Thanks James!
 

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good job! i regret not going with the cobra right away as you can hide it in the glove box when not in use
I remember your radio when we were staging at Buena Vista for the run to Ouray, that's not a bad setup. You definitely sacrifice some functionality by getting an all-in-the-handset unit, and if I used my radio all the time or spent more time on the road I'd probably prefer a more traditional/functional one.
 

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Thanks for posting this up. I have a little bit different setup but your parts list helped me out big time1 Just waiting for the rest of the stuff to get here so I can install it.
 

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Thanks Jimmy. I have an old Radioshack handheld(everything in the handset) that worked o.k. for Cruise Moab when attached to an external Wilson magnet mount on the center front portion of the roof. I bought the antenna at Royce Electronics(Radio Shack) in Moab and they tuned it for free. Handheld is run off the 12v(cig. lighter) plug or AA batteries. When I upgrade, your Midland unit appears to be the way to go and still keep the portability.
 

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I have an old Radioshack handheld(everything in the handset) that worked o.k. for Cruise Moab when attached to an external Wilson magnet mount on the center front portion of the roof.
I've seen that antenna on other FJ's during group runs, I imagine it gives a little better range overall (with the antenna being higher) and I can definitely say that the install is faster haha.

The midland is a great radio, I really can't recommend it enough. Its not as feature-rich as the full size units but its very flexible if you need to move it between cars, run it as a handheld etc.
 

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Got mine yesterday James! Thanks again!


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Got mine yesterday James! Thanks again!
Sweet! Set the squelch then hit the SC button, and it will do a channel scan. That way you can find somebody close to check your signal.
 
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