Cheap ain't badass and badass ain't cheap
I've been a Toyota owner and loyalist for quite some time. My first interest in Toyota began when I was in high school when the 2nd gen Tacos came out. It wasn't until I got out of high school and got a real job that I was able to purchase my first vehicle.
I got way too impatient and ended up spending $21,000 on a 2007 4 banger Taco with a terrible spacer lift. I liked the truck, but it was the worst purchase of my life and it was a learning experience. I had it for about a year and a half until it got stolen and was found at the bottom of a 200 ft rock cliff. God damn thieves.
My next vehicle was a 2000 Toyota Tundra with a 3" Fabtech lift and ceramic headers. This truck sounded like a hot rod and hauled balls. I loved the hell out of her but unfortunately it was only RWD.
It wasn't until 2012 that I took an interest in the FJC. I never liked it before because I didn't know its capabilities and I thought they looked like they were built for soccer moms. My perspective changed when I saw a Sandstorm FJ modded to all hell at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I had to have one.
After long research and contemplation I decided to get my FJ. I wanted to do it right- buy bone stock and make it how I wanted it to be. And that's exactly what I did.
I went to the dealer and got the exact color that I wanted, Arctic, and haggled the dealer down from $35.5k to $31k.
Kodi is my daily driver, but I am not holding back on anything. This will be a sort of "hybrid" rig of some sort. It will be primarily designed as an expedition vehicle however it will also be geared towards rock crawling. You'll see what I mean when I get further into the build. The goal is to be able to get wherever I want....and back. :lol:
Since I've joined this forum I've been engulfed with priceless knowledge from the build threads of some of our most experienced members. After reading and rereading the build threads on this forum I have been given the knowledge to do this build the right way the first time. I am very grateful for this. The big ones that I've resorted to for questions and at times inspiration are:
This is how a cub becomes King of the Arctic!
As I drove it off the lot, grinning from ear to ear, I glanced down at the odometer and was assured that I was its only owner.
The next day I took Kodi out to a local off road spot to know what I was working with. We were defeated by some sewage-like mud, but I'm not the type to baby an off road machine whether it be brand new or not. After 45 minutes of my roommate and I digging on our hands and knees, an '08 FJ TT came through the trees out of nowhere and pulled us out. Apparently he saw us whilst driving on the highway and came to the rescue. This is where I was first introduced to the brotherhood of the FJ. Getting stuck won't be a reoccuring theme here.
I'm not a fan of the silver trim on the FJ, so I plasti-dipped it black. I also made all the badges red. A little color can be a good thing. I find the stock bumpers to be weak and ugly so I'm not too caught up in making them look better. New ones will be in the future.
Next up was the CB. I wanted this mainly for weather alerts and trail rides. But it could also be useful for emergency situations. I went with the Cobra WXST 75 with Bandi mount and 3M FireStick antannae for a couple of reasons. First, I plan to have quite a few mods inside the FJ so I didn't want to take up a whole lot of room right off the bat. Second, I eventually want to have a HAM and CB set up so I wanted the CB to be compact and readily accessible.
By now the mod bug had really taken a hold of me and I decided to get a couple more items.
Anzo projector headlights to set my FJ apart from those soccer moms on the road. I really dig the look of them, especially at night. After purchasing them I heard a few bad reviews about them but so far they've been good. I do however need to lower them a bit.
Additionally, I got a little something to supplement my lack of inclinometer: A Master Chief bobble head. Works just as well, if not better, than the inclo on the gauge cluster.
Kodi is being designed to be a fully functional, badass rig from hell. Which means tires and a lift are in order. But before that, I needed to make some room. I did the BMC with a buddy and I have to say, it turned out just as expected.
Next up- ToyTec 3" Ultimate
Installation when very smoothly. I do however have a 1/4" drivers side lean, and the suspension makes some creaky sounds on turns. I need to trouble shoot this for a bit. The ride is night and day and this is definitely a great product. Much tighter in turns, and minimal nose dive during breaking.
I decided to go with 305/70/16 Goodyear Duratracs for a number of reasons. The primary reason was the rating this tire has in winter conditions. I wanted something that would perform well in snow, ice, and lastly mud. The snowflake rating for this tire was a no-brainer. I also am very partial to the look of these, particularly the 305. I want Kodi to live up to his name and have a nice broad stance. I am confident that I will be more than satisfied with this tire, and Discount Tire Direct was the vendor of choice. With highly competitive prices, excellent customer service, and an unparalleled warranty, they won my business for a long time to come. The tires even arrived 3 days early!
As previously stated, I want Kodi to be broad. Which is why I ordered 1.25" Spidertrax spacers for the front and rear. Spidertrax has an outstanding reputation and this decision was easy. I do however wish they were red rather than blue but they aren't visible so it's not a problem.
12 fuse Blue Sea fuse box with custom bracket installed by Nestah