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Discussion Starter #2
Brian: Tell us a bit about yourself

Chris: I was raised on the Jersey Shore, and moved out West to attend college at Arizona State University. After college, I moved back to NJ, and tried the commuting to NYC scene, and was miserable, lol. I decided to take a snowboarding trip and visit a woman in Utah, and moved here about 3 months later. I never looked back! For the first 5 years here I was a straight up snowboard bum. More broke than the pope but probably happier than ever just living the dream haha.

My hobbies are snowboarding (Snowbird season pass holder for 15 years), exploring the vast Utah backcountry by truck, foot, and snowboard, fly fishing, boat trolling, camping, etc. Anything to ease a hyperactive mind!


Brian: Is the FJ Cruiser your first offroad vehicle? If so what led you to owning an FJC? If not what was you’re the first vehicle you took wheeling?

Chris: The FJ is my 3rd offroad vehicle. My first was an 86 Toyota Xtra Cab 4x4, the second an 02 Tacoma TRD, 4 door, 4X4, then the trusty FJ. When the tranny blew on my 02 Tacoma, I decided to get a new vehicle, and it was between a Tacoma or FJ. The FJ appealed to me for more interior space, a shorter wheelbase, and the full time 4WD with the MT. The tail end of the tacoma definitely got squirrelly on all the snow we get here.


The first vehicle I took wheeling was my mom’s Nissan Maxima back in high school, LOL, but I did some true wheeling in my 86 Toyota first.


Brian: What modifications have you done to your FJ Cruiser to date?

Chris: Too many costing me many $$$! I have front and rear LCNW tube bumpers, a Warn 9.5TI winch, Allpro Walker Evans 2.5 coilovers and rear suspension, Allpro uniball UCAs, Ricochet skids, Allpro rock rails, 285 Duratracs, Allpro high tuck tailpipe, Magnaflow muffler, AFE CAI, Skyjacker extended sway links, PIAA fogs on bumper, Baja Utility Rack, BMC, Freedom Window, Nakid flares in front, Wet Okole seat covers, Matte hood decal, white bezel, blacked out silver parts, Spidertrax, Springtail straddle and cargo box, etc, and I’m currently building an expedition trailer. Check out my build thread for the trailer


Brian: What upgrade is your least favorite? Or what modification would you do differently if you had to do it over again?

Chris: My least favorite upgrade…..I don’t have one. I stand behind everything I bought and would buy it all again. That is thanks to all of the useful advice and resources to research things on the forum ahead of time.​
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brian: What future modifications do you have planned for your FJC?

Chris: Future mods…I’ve got all the big stuff completed, but still want an LED bar for my roof rack, bigger tires (305s or 315s), beefed up rear suspension from the 2.0 shocks I currently have. All of my modding effort is going towards the trailer lately!


Brian: I’ve got to admit, every time I look online it seems like you are on the forums helping folks out. +7000 posts in a year and half of being on the forum has to be some kind of record! What is the best info that you’ve picked up in all those posts or that you’ve been able to share with others?

Chris: That's a lot of "Welcome to the forum" posts adding up :lol: I do spend too much time in the Blue Room, huh? The forum is my only form of social media so it's my outlet online, haha.


I have learned so much browsing the forum, and asking questions or taking part in discussions. I pretty much learned how to dismantle the entire FJ and put it back together. I could never have done all my mods myself without countless forum contributors advice and expertise.


Brian: Notice any significant changes in the forum since joining in Feb. 2012?

Chris: I'm surprised how many people seem to come and go. I'm never selling my FJ so I won't be one myself!


A whole new generation of FJers have flourished while I've been on the forum vs the previous "early adopter" crowd. Most of the original 06-07 folks are gone, and I think the vibe of the whole forum has changed to a different breed of FJer. I also don't see as many hurt feelings, lost tempers, and bans anymore, and think most of the bad behavior vanished completely even though I enjoyed the drama of some of it myself :lol:


Brian: Being located in Utah you’ve had an opportunity to meet a few of the forum members I’m sure. Who all have you met and at what events?

Chris: I have met a boatload of Utah FJers...Ferby, FJFred, FJX2000, dave(man), blackicebob, staticfilter, code man6, Ragnar, tjphotog, Helmut, etc! I've been in a few different runs here from Mineral Basin, Rattlesnake
, and Farmington Canyon all relatively close to SLC. We haven't set up a group Moab run....yet.


Brian: Where all have you been with your FJC? What trail/park/location is your favorite?

Chris: All over amazing Utah, and parts of WY
, ID, and NV. I'm definitely an expedition-minded wheeler for the most part and just get in the FJ, and explore the vast and empty wilderness and desert at every opportunity. I can hop in the FJ, drive 35 minutes west, and drive 100 miles on completely deserted back roads and canyons through the Utah desert all the way into NV via the Pony Express Trail or Transcontinental railroad trail.


I love technical wheeling too but in smaller doses. Mainly because it's still my daily driver too :lol: My favorite location for the FJ is the San Rafael Swell, Utah West desert, and South of a Moab to places like Beef Basin. 3 of the most remote and peaceful places to me on earth. You can easily go days without seeing another person and that's how I recharge and get down to earth again in the crazy world we live on too full of drama!


Brian: What park/location that you have not been to yet would you like take your FJ too?

Chris: There are a lot more Moab trails that I still haven't run even though I've been there about 20 times. I also would love to drive the FJ to the Yukon or the tip of South America. I wish I was on a trust fund and didn't have to work because I'd be doing it now :rocker:​
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Brian: Have you been to any events since getting your FJC? If so which was your favorite?

Chris: just the informal Utah events mentioned above, and a couple of Utah meet and greets. My favorite, and most challenging event was running from American Fork Canyon to Mineral Basin on a technical, granite loaded, tippy, and amazing trail ending up at the chairlifts on the back side of snowbird ski resort. I definitely have some badges of honor from that run, lol. Many Rocky Mountain pinstripes, a candy cane driveshaft



a big dent in my sliders, a bent rear LCA mount, and major gashes in the aluminum skids. I almost rolled the FJ that day as well. My whirlyball ball was off the richter :lol:




Brian: What has the FJCruiserForums done for you and what can the forum learn from you?

Chris: the FJ forum has made me my own FJ mechanic and saved me thousands in labor hours. I have met some great friends too and we meet up pretty regularly, sometimes consecutive weeks to help someone install a lift, work on a trailer, have lunch, etc.


I think the forum can learn from me how it might be a good idea to move out West when they see the beautiful surroundings in the excessive pictures I post :lol:


I don't think I'm a top expert on anything FJ except the passion, but have have acquired a ton of great knowledge and advice that I never hesitate to share. Most of my how-to advice is from hands on FJ work I have done myself, and learned the hard way. I figure I can save others from some of the mistakes I have made. I also have endless patience dealing with newbie questions, unless it's about the SHAKES :lol:


Brian: Has anyone on the forum inspired your build or been a go to resource for you?

Chris: Ferby has personally helped me the most living close by, with accomplishing my mods, turning wrenches, and advising and helping along the way. He has helped a number of other Utah FJers countless times on installs, etc.


Many others have inspired me from OC, to you, FJess, Palerider, Greggry with electrical advice, and last but not least Bigguy who seems to share similar interests in getting out in the wilds exploring so he has inspired me that way. Hannibal and Jeepconvert have been super-helpful advising me on restoring my 1953 utility trailer with tips, techniques, and advice. So many more than I can mention as well!


Brian: What has been the most memorable experience with your FJ Cruiser?

Chris: Mineral Basin pictured above :lol: I'll never forget it.


Brian: What advice do you have for someone new to the FJC or the forum?

Chris: strategically plan your mods, and don't baby the FJ. Use it for what it's intended for. Also if you want big tires, get them right off the bat, and don't ease yourself in because you will regret it.​
 

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G'day SD.
Congrats mate....
Great read ... with great passion ...
Deservedly recognised...
Cheers
Baz
:cheers:
:blueblob::blueblob:
 

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Congrats Chris! Very well deserved and great interview. :rocker:
 

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Congrats !!! You helped me out on a lot of mod questions !!!


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Well done.
 

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Congrats Smalldog! Brian your interviews are getting better and better.
 

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I can honestly say I look forward to these monthly member interviews. This was just as cool as the rest. Please keep it up.. If you have not chosen OC yet, please do. He is fantastic! Congratulations to both of you!
 

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Congrats! :cheers:
 
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