November 2019 Rig of the Month Interview Continued
Hayden: How did you come to own your FJ Cruiser?
4 years ago i got hurt pretty bad racing , Certainly not the first time but for me that was going to be the last . After a little bit i found myself in sort of a depression . My entire life i have raced motorcycles and then worked as a Spec Ops Firemedic . I am still young and now retired and i can only Fish so much LOL . I had decided i was going to drive up to Alaska ( my dream trip ) and i am not really sure what i was looking up but i came across the X expedition overland guys , and i was hooked . At the time i had my Tacoma ,but i did not want to have my trail rig to be my daily driver . In it must have been 2007 i was in Tellico for the Great Smokey Mountain Trail Ride and a Friend of mine who works for Toyota brought a Brand new VD blue FJ , I believe he had 1 of the first to hit the US ? Anyways i thought it was pretty cool . He had used it to tow his FJ40 up . At the time i had the zebra stripped 4runner and was sitting at the bottom of Slickrock trail watching some other rigs attempt the climb and along comes a group of FJs all stock brand new . I was thinking how in the hell did they get those up here ? I was kinda laughing to myself because the guys were are decked out in FJ gear . pants ,shirts ,gloves hats, FJ Trail Team . I just sat and watched as these stock FJs went right up things that many including myself were struggling with in very built rigs . So for my Alaska rig i knew i wanted a FJ . I had not even sat in one or driven one but just knew it was what i would need . I found a VD Blue FJ 6 speed had a lift tires lights and some other stuff and at first i was set to get that but started thinking I do not really like the wheels and the tires sucked , i do not want to keep the lights ect so after all was said and done i would be replacing most of what i was buying . Pass I then seen a very Clean Black FJ all stock and was a DRs car . I bought it without even driving it , it looked like it was brand new .
Hayden: Is the FJ Cruiser your first off-road vehicle? If not, what was the first vehicle you took wheeling?
Firemedic831: No the Fj was not my first off-road truck . I have had so many its hard to remember all of them . I have had at least 30 Toyota 4x4s, a couple Blazers , 2 broncos, 1 old and 1 newer , several Jeeps ( Deb disregard that last part ) even a few Dodges, and VW baja bugs. In 1986 i had just got my DL and had a Toyota 4x4 on order i wanted a red 1 but they only had tan and white at the time so i was waiting for a red 1 . My Mom had seen a Black truck and told me to go look at it. It was a Chevy S-10 and had been all done up by the dealer lift wheels tires ect. and it had the v6. At the time that was really cool and it was fast, or so i thought, lol. I bought the S-10 and that poor truck took more abuse than any truck should ever have to. Back then though Trucks were growing and if you did not have 44s with 50 shocks you were lame . The S-10 was pretty much maxed at 31s .
2009 Fj Cruiser off road package
Radflo 2.5 coil overs
Icon upper control arms with delta Joints
TC spindle gussets
Wheelers off-road Red brake lines
Energy suspension Bushings Red
All New OE lower control arms ( looking hard at the TC expedition Arms )
Mid states wheel bearings
CVJ-axle High angle CV boots Red
456 gears with ARB locker ( maybe changing soon )
Radflo 2.5 long travel shocks with Resi
Metal Tech Med . Long travel springs
Metal tech Extended SS brake lines
Resz Fab Pan hard bar
Resz Fab upper links
Resz Fab Lower Links
FJ Toyman shock skids red
Opor Rear link mount skids
Marlin Crawler E locker motor skid red
ECGS FJ Dana 60 with 456 and ARB locker
Metal tech phantom stage 3
Come up 9.5 gen 2 seal winch
Resz Fab 2.5
Come up 9.5 gen 2 rsi winch
Demello hybrid sliders
Rear custom high clearance bumper
RSI steel skids Bash , Trans , TC ,
Iconic Fab Canister skid
KMC xdm 137 fmj Fisrt set of 16s they made
Cooper STT pro 315-75-16
Exhaust stock reworked for a High tuck
Atlas 4 speed transfer case (I have not installed)
Congratulations Jeff! So, that's the story behind the man I admire and take inspiration from. You spotted me at the 7-Mile Rim Trail (2018), and in Hell's Gate (2019) both in Moab, and made it unscathed! And your rig, a reflection of your dedication to the 4x4 community, and your superb career background. And to greet you in Filipino parlance - 'MABUHAY!'
Wow! Super sano FJ, Jeff, and congratulations! That white 4Runner with the red and orange remind me of a truck I once owned. It was an '84 extended cab, Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart edition Toyota. It came with the stripes, American Racing Outlaw IIs, and 31X10.50R15 BFG All Terrains, and a pre-runner bar on the front bumper from the factory. My 1st boss bought it brand new and by the time I got it, it was pretty wore out, but I'd always envied it. I never did really get it going as I was getting ready to move to Washington state at the time, it sat for about 4 years until a shiny eyed kid showed up after I had moved back. I made him a heck of a deal on it, he and his pa towed it off and I never saw it again, but it was truly something special and hopefully they restored it. Anyway, enough about me, this is your story. Great one, by the way! :cheers: