Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm still relatively new (March 2016). This is my first build thread. 2011 Army Green Very Special To Me Edition. This is going to be a bit strange because I've already done most of the work! Quick background on me: I'm a musician at night. I play the drums. I needed something to haul gear after spending 16 years destroying mazda protege interiors. It was between the FJ or a scion XB and well...

I want to put this thread together because It seems like I did a bunch of really weird and detailed stuff that either doesn't exist on this site, or wasn't well labeled or organized. I'm talking *detailed* here. If you are going to do any work at all to the interior of your truck, this thread might be for you. If even ONE person learns how to approach something or figures out a clever trick and avoids hours of frustration and possible financial loss or general loss of sanity, then this thread has been a success. I'm gonna start at the beginning... but its going to take me a few days to put this together. I have a bajillion images that I'm having to resize for this thread, I can provide full size images if necessary. Mods please be gentle.

The basic rundown as follows:

1. Pull all the emblems because I like a clean look.
2. Bolt on some sliders for the inevitable parking lot wars.
3. Large audio install.
4. I have it all torn apart, might as well insulate everything. Emphasis on everything.
5. Well I have the panels out might as well do all of the lights. 18 bulbs and two headlights. I think the dash lights are the only things left.
6. Lets build a subwoofer box for the first time!

Day One. March 17th, 2016. A green truck on St. Patrick's Day. Bone stock except for the Baja Rack and Nitto Trail Grapplers in stock size.

For those of you not aware, this truck is a bit of a unicorn. 2011 supposed-to-be-trail-teams, but the tsunami hampered parts delivery and these are now called "Upgrade package 3" or jokingly the NSSE Not So Special Edition models. I think there are only 80-ish accounted for on this forum and I've only run across one other 6MT like mine on here... so maybe there are 10 6MTs ever? 46,000 miles upon delivery to me. Sat for about a year on a lot at Fort's Toyota in Pekin IL. Paid $29,991 before tax, title, fees and delivery.

Options on this particular truck:

Army Green (badass)
Blacked out trim.
Matching roof paint for the TT models.
Stock Steelies (The stock steelies are completely fire. I would I have traded alloys down for them.)
This truck didn't have rock rails, didn't appear to ever have them considering the condition of the threads.
May have had a stock roof rack on it at one point because there was some ghosting around the roof mounts.
JBL premium sound system. Six disc changer in the dash. Six speakers and a woofer. (The highest of fi, but more on that later... for a stock system its really not bad)
Didn't have the top of the dash mount compass gauges, not sure if it was supposed to.
Green interior seat inserts that are pretty slick.
I appear to have a locking rear dif, traction control, something called A-track and I think I have some additional options to the immediate right of the steering column.
It also came with USB and AUX inputs, not sure if that's also across all models of this year.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Next steps!

1. Spend most of a Saturday removing all of the emblems. I think if you want to do this correctly, you may still want to buff the paint out a bit when you are done. In the right lighting I can still see some ghosting.
2. Also try to flip the air damn around on the BAJA RACK so it doesn't say BAJA RACK.
3. Don't forget to replace the weather stripping on the rack air damn or its gonna flap in the wind like a sunovabiatch. This rack is LOUD.
4. In fact... Lets just take the rack off. Lets sell it to @camdz



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm learning all kinds of things about the previous owner. Like how they are apparently weapons-grade stupid and shouldn't be allowed to own anything that weighs 4330lbs and is capable of speeds over 3mph.

1. I have no drip channels. $500.
2. The mouth-breathers that installed the rack put metal to metal and chipped the paint, leaving rust spots. Paint the roof rail to rail. $400.
3. The aftermarket windshield leaks. $365.
4. Windshield guy broke the roof trim. $210.
5. Windshield guy forgot the lower trim doesn't come with the new windshield.
6. Windshield guy hates me.
7. Windshield guy managed to break 6 of 8 body clips holding the elbows on each corner of the windshield. $35.
8. Elbow pieces flapping in the wind on the highway on the way home from the body shop. Clap your hands say yeah!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Lets ride! Kansas Rocks. @xmarkx85 tried to show me how fast these things go on the highway out here. They are fast. 85mph in a brick.

Also see @camdz and @Iconic_

Ordered some sliders from Demello. It had been about 60 days at this point. Guess I'll be getting them in the mail literally the week after this ride. Makes sense.



gettin' stuck.



I got stuck twice, there was a dude in a razr (someone help me remember) who pulled me out of the first one.
Second time I got stuck sliding backwards down a hill. Dude in the dark green flat wrap (pictured left) winched me all the way up the hill. Mad props for saving me. Can't recall his name either.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ok. Demello Round Tube Sliders. Very cool product. Very well built. Very well wrapped and delivered... 64 days after I placed the order. Take the time frame they give you and double it. Don't expect the girl on the phone to be able to offer you anything. BUT MURICAN' MADE TAKES TIME BLAH BLAH BLAH. Yeah that's fine, but I still expect you to be able to deliver what you said you'd deliver. I went on trails for the first time with nothing. Got lucky. I suppose as consolation, the yahoos in my parking garage can mash their doors into these things all they want.

$530 Total. $75 for powder coat and $120 for shipping.

90 lbs of modern art! My apartment complex management folks (where delivery occurred) were a bit puzzled by this one.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Installing sliders solo, on your back, on a concrete floor of a storage mart garage space that's a foot wider than your truck, in 100F temperatures... sucks.

It is recommended to clean the mounting threads on your frame rails prior to installation but good luck getting to about half of them. I would imagine some anti-size and elbow grease will do the trick just the same.

Depending on how your sliders are gusseted, you may experience interference with your parking brake cable housings on each side. Again, this was something I had to dig for in terms of a solution. I don't think I have pictures of the "after", but essentially you're going to want to swap the two rear cable mounts, switch them back to front. Both sides of the truck. This gives you a slightly better angle as one of the cable mounts has a stand off away from the frame, but I think it produces another clearance issue with your rear body mounts. No issues thus far, but knowing what I know now, I'd lean towards making newer brackets out of something galvanized or weatherproofed in order to extend the clearance of the cable mounts. I want to say the instructions with pictures were available from a demello installation guide for these sliders. I found it on the internet.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
A proper shop! With a lift! I have my own bay here for a couple hundred bucks a month. Crazy old man lives in a shack he built in the back. Some nice cars here. I can store and wrench all I want 24/7. No AC still and its 95F inside, but at least there is space and a roof. I have some huge fans and some lights at my disposal. Have a shelving unit that I can leave here with my tools.

This is June 15th, I think. Day one of the everything build. I'm not aware of this yet, but I'm gonna spend about three months of nights and weekends in this building.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
She's coming along nicely! You going to make it out Oct 15 for Creepy Crawl? We should probably put those sliders to use.

And Jonathan is the guy in the wrapped green FJ. Good dude for sure, and I don't think he posts here. That was right before I got to pull a Jeep AND Bronco up a hill at the same time!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,581 Posts
Lets ride! Kansas Rocks. @xmarkx85 tried to show me how fast these things go on the highway out here. They are fast. 85mph in a brick.

Also see @camdz and @Iconic_
Hey that was a pretty good day, we need to do it again. You guys should have seen the look on the guys face at the check-in station. I was the first to arrive and the park was really quiet. We talked FJ's for a while and then you guys showed up with like 9 FJ's and Tacos! It was Toyota day for sure at KRRP.

I'll also go to the Creepy Crawl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hey that was a pretty good day, we need to do it again. You guys should have seen the look on the guys face at the check-in station. I was the first to arrive and the park was really quiet. We talked FJ's for a while and then you guys showed up with like 9 FJ's and Tacos! It was Toyota day for sure at KRRP.

I'll also go to the Creepy Crawl.
Stupid question - but I assume the creepy crawl is during the day? Just a funny name due to proximity to Halloween? Do we need to dress the trucks up somehow? Can i be an army guy?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,581 Posts
Stupid question - but I assume the creepy crawl is during the day? Just a funny name due to proximity to Halloween? Do we need to dress the trucks up somehow? Can i be an army guy?
It's pretty much an all-day event. Last year I was on the trails for 4-5 hours. Ate supper, and wheeled some more. There are a lot of big rigs there and they can be fun to watch for awhile in Carnage Canyon. They open a section of the trail around dark and you can go through in the dark with only running lights on. People on the trail try to scare you and it's setup to be "haunted" with Halloween stuff.

They have a truck decorating contest too.

http://www.ksrockspark.com/2014/10/ks-rocks-park-–-creepy-crawl-halloween-event/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Learning about this new sound insulation material. FatMat Megamat. Its like a dynamat product but I'd be willing to bet its stickier and more flexible. This is the beginning of a 100 sq ft kit that was about $240 shipped from amazon. Two 50 foot rolls that are foil back, 80 mills thick, light grey sticky side.

I thought I'd start with the rear swing out door. Panel clips around the outer perimeter, two screws just under each gas shock for the rear window. There is a lot going on here, large harness, control module of some persuasion, wiper motor, door actuator, lock actuator. I should also say that before I started this project, I bought a package of 50 replacement panel clips and ended up using probably a third of them, so not a bad eight dollar investment before embarking on a journey such as this.



Pulled the harness clips the best I could to get behind for insulation.



This how I'm gonna do the insulation because I want to. Something about this is very satisfying and meticulous, which is in my nature. I think in retrospect I probably could have found more opportunities to insulate the outer door skin but there were only so many access holes, plus factory insulation panels.



Went ahead and did the inside of the plastic door panel as well. Not sure how much good this did, but I wanted to take a stab at it. Hopefully it sticks to the texture of the plastic. No problem sticking to metal surfaces, its never ever coming back off again. I also did the back of the license plate because I noticed that since it only mounts on one side, it has a tendency to rattle. Speaking of license plates, after someone ripped my tag off of my week old plates, I cut the piss out of the new tag and mounted a plastic cover with two different kinds of bolts and nylocs. Nothing rattles now, even with the subwoofer thumping just a few inches from the door.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It's pretty much an all-day event. Last year I was on the trails for 4-5 hours. Ate supper, and wheeled some more. There are a lot of big rigs there and they can be fun to watch for awhile in Carnage Canyon. They open a section of the trail around dark and you can go through in the dark with only running lights on. People on the trail try to scare you and it's setup to be "haunted" with Halloween stuff.

They have a truck decorating contest too.

http://www.ksrockspark.com/2014/10/ks-rocks-park-–-creepy-crawl-halloween-event/
Ha! That's a trip. I was totally kidding but just about everything I asked about was true. I think I'm gonna wear my fatigues and get huge white star magnets for the hood/doors, even though it should technically be a rising sun flag (or just a red circle) because Japanese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Bonus shop pic. This my bay. I'm gonna stretch out and make a mess for a long time. I can almost walk here from my apartment, which is going to come in handy as the truck is going to spend the night a few times.

As mentioned earlier, there is a crazy old man who lives here, looks like an old burned out hippy with long hair and a long beard. His "day job" is drinking and ironically swapping out breathalyzer ignition interlock devices for folks who have DUI convictions. He tells the same stories on repeat. Sometimes he brings a cold beer. He has an old dog that forgets who I am every day and barks at me. He built a shack in the back corner that has AC, so I lucked out when it was hot and he would just be gone and leave me alone. Dude didn't have many folks to talk to. The actual owner of this shop is even older and has recently had a stroke, so this place is probably hanging by a thread. $200 month to month. Nice cars though, lots of classics. Lots of chassis, engines, parts, tools, junk. It works.

Things not to do: start a huge, several month long project when its 90-95 degrees indoors.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,926 Posts
Nice - used to live in the area prior to getting my FJ - what I'd give to have the garage set-up you have, we don't have that type of thing here in Cincinnati - it's all on your back off a concrete floor, and you know how fun that is!
Build coming along nicely - will be following
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Starting the interior tear down.

1. Pull the rear kick plate, half dozen screws. Begin to use the little tackle boxes with tape labels for organizing parts.
2. Pull both rear D-rings. If possible, I like to put the bolts back in the locations so I remember where they go and I don't lose them.
3. Pull the middle angled kick plate, just behind the rear bench seats. Two more D-rings. There are two super thin red plastic washers that you'll want to keep track of. It also looks like there are three bolt locations on each of the elevated supports, make note of any wear or dirt patterns because the D-ring bolts go on the lower outer threaded portions, its confusing.
4. At this point the entire rubberized floor will be loose and you can shimmy it towards the back of the truck and out, exposing the painted metal floor. Be careful here as all of the painted surfaces inside the truck are not cleared and are easy to scratch.
5. The bench seat backs are two large plastic panels that you'll need to remove prior to accessing the 14mm seat bolts for the vertical seat backs. The plastic panels are held on by the ubiquitous plastic body clips that you'll run into all over this truck. Just apply some force around the edges with your fingers, or use a panel pop tool (8 bucks at any auto parts store, I used the $hit out of them.

Its at this point that I'm discovering additional surprises left by the previous owner or dealer. Lots of red dust, dog hair and SURFACE RUST!

Seriously, unless this truck got wet and stayed wet, how does this happen? Throughout the rest of this build, I'm not going to encounter anything else resembling water damage from getting flooded or any more rust. I don't understand this situation, but here we are.





Pulling the woofer. The highest of fi. Paper cone 8'' with foam surround in an ABS molded plastic box with dual ports. I think there are four allen bolts that hold the plastic cover on the woofer box, and then it just pops off with huge pink factory claws. This system is kind of interesting. The dash unit is just a brain, no amp, just routes signals back to the amp mounted in the bottom of the woofer cabinet. There is a huge pass through harness that you'll have to unplug. I think there are two harness clips to pull. You do this... no more radio, no amp, no power. Head unit will boot up but no sound! Get ready for three months of nothing but the road.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Gonna skip a few steps ahead here.

1. I pulled the rear seats, 14 mm bolts.
2. Pulled the rear mini-seat belts for the rear bench seats, also 14 mm bolts. I like to put the bolts back in the holes the came from, again to keep them organized.
3. Freed up the bottom mounts for the rear cross body seat belts, also 14 mm with a strange shank to let the seat belt mount rotate freely.
4. Pulled the side panels. Two screws in the floor on either side of the rubber floor mat, you'll see them when you pull the mat) The side panels (charcol grey) are HUGE and go from the back of the suicide door all the way to the rear hatch. You'll see what looks like a seam but DON'T PULL TOO HARD as its plastic welded together as one piece. I broke one of the plastic welds but its not lost any structural integrity or gotten funky or out of line.
5. Unplugged the front seat air bag harnesses (I should say at this point i've always got the battery disconnected during all of my work)
6. Pulled the front seats, four 14mm bolts, four plastic covers cover the rear frame bolts, they just pop off. I'm gonna be replacing and pulling the front seat probably 15-20 times over the course of this project, so get used to it.
7. Popped the top portion of the center console (cup holders and stuff) then removed four bolts to pull the entire center console out.
8. Took my fantastic Ellis Precision shift knobs off and stashed them so I could pull the vinyl shift boot.
9. Popped the two-piece front door kick plates from each side.
10. Pulled both kick panels from under the dash, make note of a strange plastic headed, metal threaded bolt on each side. Also popped the left clutch foot rest from the drivers side under the dash.
11. This post is insane.
12. There are also two triangle shaped trim pieces that flank either side of the center console instrument panel. Keep track of the two funky panel trim panel clips.
13. center console instrument panel comes out with two screws.
14. The entire vinyl floor sort of clips into the wire harness runs on either side of the truck, they run under the door kick panels. I pulled it out through the back of the truck.

GUTTED. I drove it like this until the last week of the project. Just putting the drivers seat back to drive home.



This is most of an FJ interior, except the door panels, cream colored window frames, dash board, and headliner. Didn't pull the headliner because I figured I'd screw it up or get it dirty and I didn't think i'd get much out of insulation as most of my noise is tires and exhaust from the back.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
More surprises abound!

This is what a body plug is supposed to look like.



This is what a body plug is NOT supposed to look like... seriously wtf, there was a hole in my truck. Would have never found it unless I got up under a rack. I can't understand how they managed this unless they attempted to jack up here or it slipped and just happened to punch out this plug. It was so tucked between the frame and body I can't imagine it happened on the trail. The metal floor is raised a couple inches and stretched out. I'm going to hammer it back into shape the best that I can. I come up with a hopefully creative and long lasting solution a little later on.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Much cleaner now. Starting to experiment with Herculiner roll-on truck bed liner to protect some wear areas and places where metal is going to contact metal. I noticed that sediment had worked between plastic panels and the floor and caused some abrasion against the painted metal, sometimes all the way to bare metal. So I've identified some of those areas and masked / rolled on the bed liner. The stuff is pretty cool, its like black tar with junks of rubber floating in it. Pretty thick stuff, like honey. Didn't seem to run and pool that much. You better seal that can back up when you put it away or you get an inch of solidified rubber on top.

I've also started applying fatmat to the floor.

Seat mounts:



Middle rear angled kick panel mounts, you can see some of the sediment wear on the paint here:



And the fix for the repaired body plug. Cleaned, Bed-liner inside and under the truck to cover the bare metal, and RTV gasket holding the new body plug firmly in place on both sides. It should flex with environmental conditions and hopefully hold and not corrode.

 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top