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Sockless Superstar
11,826 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Congratulations to Jim Deer (aka Jim_D): The May 2010 member of the month!

Bill: How long have you had your FJ?

Jim: Bought it the end of March, ’06 (so I’ve had it a little over 4 years). It has slightly over 58,000 miles on it.

Bill: What did you base your decision to buy it on, and how do you primarily
use it?

Jim: I switched to Toyotas in 1988 with the purchase of an FJ62. Had it for
nearly 4 years, then the FJ80 came out and I bought one (‘91 model). It had the same engine as the 62 (which was a dog), so when Toyota changed the engine on it in ’93, I sold it and got a ‘93. Had that until the FJ came out. I originally
planned on keeping the 80 but the wife started hounding me about having 2
large 4-wheel drive vehicles around the house. She won. When I went to the dealership (a friend of mine knew the owner, so a salesman was waiting for
me) I took one look at the FJ (it was part of the dealership’s first FJ shipment and was the only 4x4), figured I could live with black and told him I’d take it.
He asked if I wanted to drive it first and I said no, I’d drive it when I picked it up; probably the easiest sale he ever made. My decision was based on wanting
a vehicle that I could use as a daily driver and also do some serious 4-wheeling
in (and not have to pay a ridiculous premium for a bunch of costly add-ons that I had no real use for which were primarily designed for soccer moms).


Bill: Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, age, job, etc).

Jim: I’m 64, have a beautiful wife, two grown kids from a previous marriage, a 16 year old at home, and 4 grandchildren. I’m essentially retired (have been for a long time)
although I do some oil and gas investing.

Bill: Do you have future plans for modifying your FJ?

Jim: I’m sort of at a crossroads with the FJ. I want to build up a really serious off-road machine but I can’t decide if I want to do it with the FJ or buy an older 4x4 Tacoma and build a truggy out of it. I’m torn about which route to take. If I go with the Tacoma I’ll keep the FJ as is and continue to use it as my daily driver; so the answer to the question is I may or may not have future plans for the FJ. If I do then the plans will be major.

Bill: What music do you listen to while driving?

Jim:To say that I have eclectic tastei n music would be a profound understatement. My musical tastes run the gamut (I do draw the line at Hip Hop and Rap though). I attend, on average, upwards of 30 concerts a year. I buy lots of tickets and then invite friends that I think
might enjoy whichever show I’m going to (my wife has no idea how much
money I spend going to see music). When I drive long distances I just plug in
my iPod. I’m very selective about what music I put in my music library so even though there are over 2000 songs in there, I’m assured that whatever plays next will be something I’ll enjoy hearing. If I was forced to pick one type of music to listen to it would probably have to be the blues.

Bill: What has FJCruiserForums provided for you?

Jim:In the early days it was an invaluable source of information because the vehicle was so new that no one was making aftermarket parts for it yet. Lots of folks were frantically trying to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t as far as making it a more capable off-road machine. Learning how to engage the rear locker and ATRAC at the same time was extremely important for me (for those that aren’t aware, the two didn’t work together simultaneously on the early models). I found out the hard way about that one on my first trip to Moab. We were doing Potato Salad Hill and I engaged the rear locker to get up it, not realizing at the time that I was eliminating traction control to the front wheels. Lesson learned.

Bill: What do you believe you offer to the forum?

Jim: A small amount of wit from time to time; as well as 4 years of assimilating information about what you can and can’t do with the FJ. I can’t say that I have much technical expertise but I know who does and can quickly point someone in the right direction.

Bill: Who on the forum would you say has inspired you?

Jim: I can’t say that anyone has truly inspired me, but I do have a great deal of admiration for a number of people I’ve encountered here. I’ve also made some really good friends that I otherwise wouldn’t have made were it not for this forum.

Bill:What are your future plans in life (not FJ related)?

Jim:To grow old gracefully and do my best to keep my wife thinking she made the right decision when she married me.

Bill: What is your favorite off-road trail you have been on?

Jim:Tough question.
Probably Behind The Rocks in Moab. Mostly because of the abject terror it instills in a lot of experienced 4-wheelers. Next would probably be Moab Rim.
Spectacular trail with some formidable obstacles.

Bill: Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Jim:I spend my summers in Crested Butte, Colorado so that would obviously be my destination of choice.

Bill: Name 5 things you would do if you won the lottery.

Jim: I don’t normally play the lottery so it’s not something I’ve given much thought to. If I did play and was lucky enough to win, the one thing I can definitely say that I would do would be to start looking immediately for a ranch that possessed great hunting and fishing.

Bill: What is the most unusual thing about you?

Jim: Probably the fact that I’m fitter than many 20 - 30 year olds. I work exceedingly hard at it.

Bill: What other hobbies or recreations do you enjoy?

Jim: I’m a big cyclist. I’ve been running and then cycling to extreme for over 40 years. When I’m in Crested Butte during the summer I still do the same tough mountain bike rides I was doing 25 years ago (I just exercise a great deal more caution on the technical
stuff since I don’t heal up like I used to).

Bill: What is your favorite type of food?

Jim: Anything that doesn’t increase the size of my waist line.

Bill: What modification is the most valuable to you to date, and which
modification would you NOT do, if you had it to do all over again?

Jim: The one modification that I can quickly point to that saved my bacon was installing a front locker. I was going to lead a group of FJ’s on the Moab Rim trail several years ago and when I exited the parking lot to head up the trail my 4x4 system wouldn’t engage (the dreaded sensor malfunction); so I couldn’t use the rear locker and the front axle wouldn’t engage. I wasn’t going anywhere since the trail gets pretty tough from the get-go. I engaged the front locker and managed to get all the way up to the top (at which point the 4x4 system finally engaged). I made it through the really tough obstacles with power to one wheel in front and an open diff in back. Because of the 4x4 system’s propensity to malfunction I would encourage anyone who off- roads much to have a bypass switch installed (which I’ve now done). That way, if one of the sensors malfunctions (which mine have done on far too many occasions) and the system refuses to go into 4 wheel drive, you have the option of depressing a button in order to bypass the sensor and have fully functional 4-wheel drive. I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do again since I’ve been very thorough about researching the things I have done to my FJ.

Bill:What was the best day of your life?

Jim: Probably the day I married my lovely wife.

Bill: Finish this sentence: I, Jim Deer, ...

Jim: I, Jim Deer, value true friendship above all else.

fka luvshisfj
2,069 Posts
Congrats Jim..

Premium Member
540 Posts
Congratulations Jim! - Well deserved recognition for a great member. Really enjoyed reading the interview.

Premium Member
6,082 Posts
Good interview -- great choice for member of the month!

We want to see your extreme vehicle build out, Jim!

Premium Member
1,162 Posts
Congrats Jim. Yep, good choice for MOTM

After looking at the pics and then reading you are 64, I had to go back up and take another look. You are a testament to exercise for ones whole life. Wish I would have been smart enough.

Premium Member
3,571 Posts
Congrats Jim! Look forward to catching up this summer.

3,993 Posts
Schit you're older than me!
Congrats buddy, I'm still waiting for my member to be a member of the month.

Premium Member
1,985 Posts
Hurray Jimmy! Great choice. Hmmm, seem to remember getting some damage on Behind the Rocks with one JimD. One thing for sure, that trail's not crowded :rofl:

and on the Infamous Pre-Locker Moab Rim trip, although you seemed fine with two wheel drive :)

and next weekend?....

Or since you looked away for a second and missed it?

I always know the choice my friend Jim will make here:

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