I've had a 4x4 ever since I first started driving. I've had the wheeling bug ever since I first shifted a transfer case in that 85 S-10 almost 20 years ago. I went from it to an 87 Silverado and a 00 Jeep Cherokee. I've had other cars and trucks for DDs, but I've always had an adventure rig as well.
Earlier this year the Jeep was giving me a fit. I was really about 3 years out from being ready to buy something else, but the time had come. I was having a hard time finding any FJs locally, and told my wife I'd settle for a 4Runner, Taco, or Xterra. She said, "I don't want you to settle. You've wanted an FJ since you first saw one. That's what you need to get."
In May, I ended up finding an 07 in great shape with 80,000 miles on it. It had A-TRAC, the rear locker, the dash-top accessories, and a roof rack. Those were all the must-haves on my list. The previous owner had installed rock rails, a rear receiver, a Rough Country lift, and new tires. The only thing I could find wrong with it was that door speakers were blown and the cup holder inserts were missing.
I added a ScanGauge II, snorkel, and trailer wiring within a few days.
After that, I put it on the beach as quickly as possible.
Interior lighting, especially up front, is insufficient, so I converted it to LED. You can see here how much brighter the upgrade is over stock.
The beach driving had caused the trans temps to get higher than I liked, so I added a large transmission cooler.
The next glaring shortcoming was rear visibility at night. I added flush-mount LEDs to the rear bumper wings.
I tested out a homebrew awning before springing for the real thing.
I did a stealth installation of a 32" light bar behind the lower grille. It looks cool, but the placement really limits the amount of light output. It may be relocated at some point.
Most recently, I bought a rooftop tent, and that's where things get complicated...
I had the ladder and crossbars assembled and was ready to place the tent on top of the roof rack. It was heavy, but I felt confident I could handle it myself. That didn't work out, however, and I ended up tearing my right distal tendon, which attaches my bicep to my elbow.
Even worse than being hurt was seeing my new toy still sitting in the garage, so I arranged for my brothers in law to come help me get it installed.
With this injury, there are two choices you can make. Some people let it heal on its own. For the elderly or infirm, that may be a good choice. For anyone young or active, proper treatment involves surgery. Mine was last Wednesday...
I'm using the down time to shop accessories and to plan the next step of the build. A priority is adding a sliding tray for a cooler or refrigerator and a couple drawers for recovery gear, tools, and other goodies.
Pain is gradually subsiding and my range of motion is creeping back towards normal. I've not pushed any limits yet, but I typically heal quickly and feel certain I can be back to 100% by the end of the year.