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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

Still yet to find an FJ, but I am still planning all the modifications I'd like to do. Hopefully once this pandemic passes I can get one. Anyway, I'm looking for a bit of advice on the modification process. I've been reading lots of the forums here and trying to learn and absorb as much as possible, only I'm still new to the workings of a vehicle and how everything interacts.

What I'd like to do is mostly overlanding with the vehicle and some off-roading--nothing too crazy though.

So far I've read about skids, rock sliders, rear links, suspension, and bumpers. I think the skids, sliders, and rear links make sense, but I'm trying to figure out the suspension and bumper relationship. At first I thought the OME 3inch lift with a new set of upper control arms would be a good match with the ARB front bumper with a warn winch, but I've been reading that I may need an adjustable suspension to actually have a bumper because of all that extra weight. I can't say I have lots of money to spend on mods, but I'd rather get it right the first time to avoid failure later. Any insight on the bumper to suspension relationship?

Also, can you mix and match parts from different vendors? For example, use the OME lift with ICON upper control arms, or should you do ICON lift with ICON upper controls? I'd think the ICON lift would match better with the ICON upper controls because they are part of a "stage." Again, not too familiar with lifts or anything.

Any thoughts are appreciated,
Wyatt
 

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So far I've read about skids, rock sliders, rear links, suspension, and bumpers. I think the skids, sliders, and rear links make sense, but I'm trying to figure out the suspension and bumper relationship. At first I thought the OME 3inch lift with a new set of upper control arms would be a good match with the ARB front bumper with a warn winch, but I've been reading that I may need an adjustable suspension to actually have a bumper because of all that extra weight. I can't say I have lots of money to spend on mods, but I'd rather get it right the first time to avoid failure later. Any insight on the bumper to suspension relationship?

Also, can you mix and match parts from different vendors? For example, use the OME lift with ICON upper control arms, or should you do ICON lift with ICON upper controls? I'd think the ICON lift would match better with the ICON upper controls because they are part of a "stage."
First off, on finding the FJ make sure to read the buy/sell guide. Search and buy nationally for the best deal, once we're able to fly again.

If your name matches your location :) then first let me suggest aluminum skidplates over steel, as those will handle rust from salted roads better.

When you do the rear links, also make sure to armor the front mounts. The front mounts aren't really breakable, but they can be deformed from impacts as the metal is not very thick. The armor upgrade doesn't work with every set of sliders out there -- the BudBuilt sliders on my 4Runner conflicted with the RCI rear link armor I bought, and had to be chopped a little -- so it helps to buy all your armor stuff from the same vendor. Any upgraded set of rear links you'd consider -- for 0-3 inch lift, non-adjustable etc -- should work with the link armor. Anything with a grease zerk or an extreme angle of flex (long-travel etc) may have a conflict.

As for suspension, the main issue with the base OME's is precisely their lack of adjustability. Your truck is going to lean to the driver side, they all do (gas tank + battery + you = uneven weight distribution). A polyurethane spacer on the rear and correctly adjusting your suspension on the front fixes that. I ran the base OME suspension on my FJ for its first 4-5 years, it was great, but it wasn't enough. On a budget, I'd suggest the Toytec Ultimate's for the front as the gold standard. Anything more expensive than these needs to justify its price. Some can, some can't.

On parts mixing, it works well in some places and not well in others. For on-a-budget builds with aftermarket parts designed to work with mostly stock parts, you're pretty safe. Those Icon uppers (I have the Icon delta-joint ones) will work fine with any other suspension (I have the OME BP-51's) because they don't integrate directly with the other parts of the suspension. The biggest dependency on parts is the bumper and the winch. But the ARB is a popular enough bumper -- it is the most metal for the least money, but it's not the most stylish bumper -- that finding a winch that works with it shouldn't be hard.

Once you settle on certain parts, post them here on FJCruiserForums and people can review for any conflicts. Good luck!
 

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Thanks for the reply and info.

Follow-up questions on the ToyTec Ultimate: I see you can get a thing called a diff drop with it. Is that needed? From what I gathered is that it helps align the front differential and CV joints. Is that correct?

On the OME a person can get the heavy load package. Because the Heavy Load OME isn't adjustable, I take it the truck would still lean and need correcting to offset the unbalance?
 

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FWIW here is my advice as someone who just got their FJ in November and who has never been an 4x4 enthusiast. I was like you when I was researching FJ's and all the different modifications I could make to it. I spent hours on this forum researching everything. But if you are just using it for "overlanding" and moderate offroading. I don't think you really need all that stuff. My FJ is a 2009 that was bought with the "offroad package" so it came with the OEM sliders as well as a skid plate and a slight upgrade in suspension. What I learned when I started driving it on offroad trails is that it is very capable as a stock vehicle and sounds like it should be able to do anything you need it do as is.
I would make sure it was good tires and maybe some rock sliders but if you are going to use it was a camping 4x4 maybe spend your money getting a better rack system to haul camping gear. Also if you are taking into the backcountry for long stretches of time with out a gas station you will want to extend your fuel range by getting some jerry cans or rotopax as it only gets around 13 mpg in 4x4.
 
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