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Well, what a night.

TL;DR: Didn't get the FJ

The very nice sounding car salesman I mentioned in a previous post, followed through with his deal and sent two guys to my house around 4:00pm.

The guys were cool as heck, both retired just do this for fun money, and the guy who drove the FJ LOVED it! I told them I scheduled a pre purchase inspection down at the Toyota dealer and asked if they wanted me to ride or drive. They opted to let me drive and they followed me.

We arrived just in time, I told the dealer I was running late, but this tech was JUST about to leave for the day. This was his last job. I thanked him greatly and waited in the lobby with the porters.

They stayed cool, made small talk, talked about cars, women, marriage and didn't notice my phone was BLOWING up with text messages from the sales guy.

"Everything good man?"
"drivers still with you?"
"is everything alright?"

I texted back and said "Yeah man! we're just at the dealership doing an inspection"

His reply "alright"

Service Advisor asks me if I want to take a look while its on the lift...uh absolutely.

The tech says the rust ain't bad, but it will need a new muffler, water pump and some maintenance work. He was extremely thorough, which is exactly what I wanted. He said he couldn't get the 4 wheel drive to work but he'll try again. I sat back in the lobby and chit chatted with the guys again.

The tech comes back in with a oily paper towel saying "bad news, you got metal in your rear diff" long story short it needs to be replaced.

I'm like this lady doing the calculations in my head and putting two and two together, that this ain't going to work out. I could see me putting $1,000 into it, and I could see the dealer knocking off $500 or something if the bill was like $2,000 of work, but I'm quickly realizing this is getting heavy.

The porters realize this too and tell me that it's no big deal they have to drive them back all the time, then the tech says "how far?"

"5 hours"

Then he gave him a "yeahhh, I don't think so look" like it wasn't going to make it.

F--k me.

They get all the paperwork together and hand me an repair estimate of $7,000. Yeah ain't no way they're knocking that off.

Now I have to do the rough call of telling this guy the news. I start saying "hey so, they have some mandatory work to pass VA inspection and also some work that needs to be done now the total is about $7,000" then I get cut off, by a not WV accent by the sales manager, Dickie.

I don't mind using Dickie's name, because he was a c--t. he basically told me the car is sold AS IS and that's what we agreed to.

First, no. Second, I'd never buy a 14 year old car, for $18,000 cash without having someone look at it.

Now it's cars sales, sure, but I did not expect that colorful of language to be said to me after I told him I'm not buying it for $18k.

Then he asks "I got two guys tied up and paying them $250.00 each, what are we going to do about that?!"

The audacity of trying to sell me a truck that needed a new rear and then guilt trip me into paying your employees. Lowest of the low. Especially since I asked multiple times with the salesman "what happens if this truck is not all it's cracked up to be"

I told the guys, "hey, Dickie's not happy" they said "aw he'll get over it"

They also said " I was just telling David, I never thought to do something like this before buying a car. You got your head screwed on straight"

Then they had to drive me home, where Dickie called them and I could over hear, oof Big Mad.

I drove my Prius to Chipotle and stress ate a healthy burrito bowl because I was so Razzle Dazzled.

Back to the drawing board. I just want a decent FJ.
------------------------------------------
List of Repairs for those interested:
  • Replace Rear Differential gearing due to metal debris in fluid and roaring noise: $4,050.00
  • Replace water pump due to leaking: $770
  • Replace exhaust after the catalytic converter back: $1,280
  • Replace both front axle due to leaking: $825.
  • Misc. Maintenance Total was: $1,470
  • Total: $8,395
thanks for reading, I think I'm turning my search more passive now. :( May reach back out to a fellow forum member and take a look at his.
I'm in SW VA and there are a fair amount of FJ's being driven here. I see them occasionally around here at the Used Auto Dealers, and they don't last. If I do see anything I'll let you know if you'd like. I was lucky enough to buy my 2013 Certified from the same Toyota Dealership that sold it New originally, and have had it happily since 2014 (only recent problem needs new battery- had original). When I got mine I looked for 2 years, seriously for the last year, and many Dealers were glad to put their FJ's up on a lift and send me eMail pics. No lift pics then no business. Some were rusted like crazy, and off the list. I really looked to see where they came from, especially ones bought at car Auctions up North. And check the CarFax for Airbag deployment, or any records of bad wrecks that may have been fixed or had frames straightened..It's a lot of work, but the right FJ will come your way. Some wreck repair will have been done off the record by cash, so won't show up- look for seams that don't line up, and repainted sections too. Sounds like you have done your homework from your opening information, and that's great. Great Job getting that W VA FJ checked by a mechanic. Look on AutoTrader, CarMax, the other places you mentioned and as many places as you can. FSBO can be a great buy if you get it mechanically cleared- a private owner should be able to eMail some decent pics of the inside fenders, and enough areas underneath to give an idea, even without a lift. It's gonna be worth it, hang in there. You just gotta be ready when you see "the one". But keep your Poker Face on- bargain tough and be ready to walk.

EDIT: Forgot to say I got my in Greensboro, NC. NC does not get a lot of snow, so the rust problem is minimal, IMHO. Make sure you check NC also!
 
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Well, what a night.

TL;DR: Didn't get the FJ

The very nice sounding car salesman I mentioned in a previous post, followed through with his deal and sent two guys to my house around 4:00pm.

The guys were cool as heck, both retired just do this for fun money, and the guy who drove the FJ LOVED it! I told them I scheduled a pre purchase inspection down at the Toyota dealer and asked if they wanted me to ride or drive. They opted to let me drive and they followed me.

We arrived just in time, I told the dealer I was running late, but this tech was JUST about to leave for the day. This was his last job. I thanked him greatly and waited in the lobby with the porters.

They stayed cool, made small talk, talked about cars, women, marriage and didn't notice my phone was BLOWING up with text messages from the sales guy.

"Everything good man?"
"drivers still with you?"
"is everything alright?"

I texted back and said "Yeah man! we're just at the dealership doing an inspection"

His reply "alright"

Service Advisor asks me if I want to take a look while its on the lift...uh absolutely.

The tech says the rust ain't bad, but it will need a new muffler, water pump and some maintenance work. He was extremely thorough, which is exactly what I wanted. He said he couldn't get the 4 wheel drive to work but he'll try again. I sat back in the lobby and chit chatted with the guys again.

The tech comes back in with a oily paper towel saying "bad news, you got metal in your rear diff" long story short it needs to be replaced.

I'm like this lady doing the calculations in my head and putting two and two together, that this ain't going to work out. I could see me putting $1,000 into it, and I could see the dealer knocking off $500 or something if the bill was like $2,000 of work, but I'm quickly realizing this is getting heavy.

The porters realize this too and tell me that it's no big deal they have to drive them back all the time, then the tech says "how far?"

"5 hours"

Then he gave him a "yeahhh, I don't think so look" like it wasn't going to make it.

F--k me.

They get all the paperwork together and hand me an repair estimate of $7,000. Yeah ain't no way they're knocking that off.

Now I have to do the rough call of telling this guy the news. I start saying "hey so, they have some mandatory work to pass VA inspection and also some work that needs to be done now the total is about $7,000" then I get cut off, by a not WV accent by the sales manager, Dickie.

I don't mind using Dickie's name, because he was a c--t. he basically told me the car is sold AS IS and that's what we agreed to.

First, no. Second, I'd never buy a 14 year old car, for $18,000 cash without having someone look at it.

Now it's cars sales, sure, but I did not expect that colorful of language to be said to me after I told him I'm not buying it for $18k.

Then he asks "I got two guys tied up and paying them $250.00 each, what are we going to do about that?!"

The audacity of trying to sell me a truck that needed a new rear and then guilt trip me into paying your employees. Lowest of the low. Especially since I asked multiple times with the salesman "what happens if this truck is not all it's cracked up to be"

I told the guys, "hey, Dickie's not happy" they said "aw he'll get over it"

They also said " I was just telling David, I never thought to do something like this before buying a car. You got your head screwed on straight"

Then they had to drive me home, where Dickie called them and I could over hear, oof Big Mad.

I drove my Prius to Chipotle and stress ate a healthy burrito bowl because I was so Razzle Dazzled.

Back to the drawing board. I just want a decent FJ.
------------------------------------------
List of Repairs for those interested:
  • Replace Rear Differential gearing due to metal debris in fluid and roaring noise: $4,050.00
  • Replace water pump due to leaking: $770
  • Replace exhaust after the catalytic converter back: $1,280
  • Replace both front axle due to leaking: $825.
  • Misc. Maintenance Total was: $1,470
  • Total: $8,395
thanks for reading, I think I'm turning my search more passive now. :( May reach back out to a fellow forum member and take a look at his.
Screw Dickie. Real salespeople want to sell you a good product because they value their integrity, reputation, and product. Dickie clearly has none of those.

Good for you, doing your diligent background work on the FJ with the pre-purchase inspection. Even though that situation stressed you out, you made sure you were not paying $18,000 for an FJ which needed @ $8000 more in repairs. Easy for me to say that you can't wait to finally find your FJ (I was there too). You'll find it! Just don't settle.
 

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Yo Dude, this is Flashy (Decals can be removed), but it looks nicely put together , and only 102,687 Miles. $15,500 (been there 14 Weeks -well listed that long on FB messenger...). and I cannot vouch for this Dealership in Winston-Salem, NC. That's probably just "Plasti-Dip" peeling off the roof- it's a removable plastic spray color. Not sure how far the wheels stick out past the fender flares? Make them measure. If the Specs look good, maybe get them to shoot you some underneath Pics for Rust? I'm looking over the other ones here and will report back: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser · Sport Utility 2D

EDIT: Private Owner not at a Dealership- getting the info now...BRB... 3rd owner, owned since 2017 (4 years) says no rust, just mud underneath (from when previous owner would take off roading... ??), a few scratches but evidently has touch up paint, no Zeitbart or rubber rust proof underneath- he says he just blackened transaxle to color match. Sounds like bought at Dealership where I bought mine in Greensboro by first owner- not certain. Has been in NC sounds like whole life? He said he did Mods: 3" lift, SCUBA, fender flares, KC Lights, Tinted windows, Flow Master Exhaust, FJ Decal. Denies Accidents..I think. I am NOT in any way affiliated with the seller, and you should check details yourself, of course- not responsible if I heard a detail wrong, or given any misinformation etc. OK? I said I had an acquaintance that could be interested. Hope this helps. :cool:. Are you in Fredericksburg VA or MD? I told him VA.....
 

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Well, what a night.
Back to the drawing board. I just want a decent FJ.
May reach back out to a fellow forum member and take a look at his.
What a night, is right. And from the outset you were wondering about the sense of driving it up.
All of your write ups have been good reading, too bad it hasn't paid off in an FJ yet.
Hopefully a WTB here will turn up a good one for you.
You are suppose to have the adventures after getting the FJ.
Good luck, the effort is going to pay off.
 
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Wow.... well at least you will have quite the story to tell about your hunt once you finally find one you like!
Yeah tell me about it!o_O

I'm in SW VA and there are a fair amount of FJ's being driven here. I see them occasionally around here at the Used Auto Dealers, and they don't last. If I do see anything I'll let you know if you'd like. I was lucky enough to buy my 2013 Certified from the same Toyota Dealership that sold it New originally, and have had it happily since 2014 (only recent problem needs new battery- had original). When I got mine I looked for 2 years, seriously for the last year, and many Dealers were glad to put their FJ's up on a lift and send me eMail pics. No lift pics then no business. Some were rusted like crazy, and off the list. I really looked to see where they came from, especially ones bought at car Auctions up North. And check the CarFax for Airbag deployment, or any records of bad wrecks that may have been fixed or had frames straightened..It's a lot of work, but the right FJ will come your way. Some wreck repair will have been done off the record by cash, so won't show up- look for seams that don't line up, and repainted sections too. Sounds like you have done your homework from your opening information, and that's great. Great Job getting that W VA FJ checked by a mechanic. Look on AutoTrader, CarMax, the other places you mentioned and as many places as you can. FSBO can be a great buy if you get it mechanically cleared- a private owner should be able to eMail some decent pics of the inside fenders, and enough areas underneath to give an idea, even without a lift. It's gonna be worth it, hang in there. You just gotta be ready when you see "the one". But keep your Poker Face on- bargain tough and be ready to walk.

EDIT: Forgot to say I got my in Greensboro, NC. NC does not get a lot of snow, so the rust problem is minimal, IMHO. Make sure you check NC also!
Hello fellow Virginian, I'm new to the state, but everything seems preeety preeety good. (besides property taxes of course, they get you one way or another).

Yeah that is a problem for my out of state and longer distance prospects, they know they are going to sell regardless it seems so putting in effort to get me to come down is like pulling teeth. I get it.

I would love it if you saw something to give me a shout. Man, you really lucked out/ were patient. It's so hard not to just settle. When I see the carfax and it says NY, CT, MA, OH I still inquire, but if they are not willing to work with me I just throw it out. Time is more valuable than money to me right now.

Thank you for the additional tips, I think I'm going to look at more FSBO now because these dealers put a bad taste in my mouth.

Screw Dickie. Real salespeople want to sell you a good product because they value their integrity, reputation, and product. Dickie clearly has none of those.

Good for you, doing your diligent background work on the FJ with the pre-purchase inspection. Even though that situation stressed you out, you made sure you were not paying $18,000 for an FJ which needed @ $8000 more in repairs. Easy for me to say that you can't wait to finally find your FJ (I was there too). You'll find it! Just don't settle.
Hell yeah, screw Dickie! I want to leave a Google review, but I'll wait a bit. I didn't sign any paperwork, but they do have my DL and address, don't want them being too salty and try to negatively impact my pristine credit with a bogus invoice. Thanks I will be patient!

Yo Dude, this is Flashy (Decals can be removed), but it looks nicely put together , and only 102,687 Miles. $15,500 (been there 14 Weeks -well listed that long on FB messenger...). and I cannot vouch for this Dealership in Winston-Salem, NC. That's probably just "Plasti-Dip" peeling off the roof- it's a removable plastic spray color. Not sure how far the wheels stick out past the fender flares? Make them measure. If the Specs look good, maybe get them to shoot you some underneath Pics for Rust? I'm looking over the other ones here and will report back: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser · Sport Utility 2D

EDIT: Private Owner not at a Dealership- getting the info now...BRB... 3rd owner, owned since 2017 (4 years) says no rust, just mud underneath (from when previous owner would take off roading... ??), a few scratches but evidently has touch up paint, no Zeitbart or rubber rust proof underneath- he says he just blackened transaxle to color match. Sounds like bought at Dealership where I bought mine in Greensboro by first owner- not certain. Has been in NC sounds like whole life? He said he did Mods: 3" lift, SCUBA, fender flares, KC Lights, Tinted windows, Flow Master Exhaust, FJ Decal. Denies Accidents..I think. I am NOT in any way affiliated with the seller, and you should check details yourself, of course- not responsible if I heard a detail wrong, or given any misinformation etc. OK? I said I had an acquaintance that could be interested. Hope this helps. :cool:. Are you in Fredericksburg VA or MD? I told him VA.....
Wow what a follow up. ASWH1, I really appreciate you going above and beyond to reach out. I did not expect that from anyone, so thank you.

For my sanity and moral reasons I don't have a Facebook, lol, but I sent my gf a message to send to him. Maybe we can get something set up this weekend. My sister live in Winston Salem, so I can make a trip out of it.

And that is flashy but like you said all removable and I was planning on wrapping the truck a little down the road anyway. 102k miles is great esp for $15,500. Good idea about the tires sticking out, I believe VA has a 3inch limit. NC it's whole life is spectacular too. I'm actually in Winchester, VA.

Let's see if he reaches out! Maybe another weekend trip and write up from me coming soon :geek:
 

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Yo Dude, this is Flashy (Decals can be removed), but it looks nicely put together , and only 102,687 Miles. $15,500 (been there 14 Weeks -well listed that long on FB messenger...). and I cannot vouch for this Dealership in Winston-Salem, NC. That's probably just "Plasti-Dip" peeling off the roof- it's a removable plastic spray color. Not sure how far the wheels stick out past the fender flares? Make them measure. If the Specs look good, maybe get them to shoot you some underneath Pics for Rust? I'm looking over the other ones here and will report back: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser · Sport Utility 2D

EDIT: Private Owner not at a Dealership- getting the info now...BRB... 3rd owner, owned since 2017 (4 years) says no rust, just mud underneath (from when previous owner would take off roading... ??), a few scratches but evidently has touch up paint, no Zeitbart or rubber rust proof underneath- he says he just blackened transaxle to color match. Sounds like bought at Dealership where I bought mine in Greensboro by first owner- not certain. Has been in NC sounds like whole life? He said he did Mods: 3" lift, SCUBA, fender flares, KC Lights, Tinted windows, Flow Master Exhaust, FJ Decal. Denies Accidents..I think. I am NOT in any way affiliated with the seller, and you should check details yourself, of course- not responsible if I heard a detail wrong, or given any misinformation etc. OK? I said I had an acquaintance that could be interested. Hope this helps. :cool:. Are you in Fredericksburg VA or MD? I told him VA.....
The guy from Facebook called me back, cool dude then breaks it to me:

"Just want to let you know this is a 2WD"

ME
 

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Dammit man. 😖
No one is going to have earned their FJ more than you.
haha, I think my scope would be more open if I wasn't trying to stay under $17,000. I've totally rationalized it with myself already to go $20k OTD so Toyota's plan is working.

I'm revisiting one I casted away back when I was bright eyed and optimistic. I took a look at this one last weekend on a whim when I was heading back from Fburg. This one has 99k mi but lived in Illinois it's whole life. The rust was there, but I'm going to spend (prolly) another $150.00 to get it inspected by the Toyota dealer in Warrenton.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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The guy from Facebook called me back, cool dude then breaks it to me:

"Just want to let you know this is a 2WD"

ME
HELL %#&....the **** I miss sometimes...So sorry
 

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1153417


Hope it's ok to post this. Found this tonight on FB Marketplace. If you set the location as Russellville AR, it should come up. You can zoom in on this photo and see the 4WD shifter. I just messaged the guy and it's available. Told him you might be reaching out and would want photos of the underside.
FB search tip: set various southern locations for the search since you can only search out 500 miles max.
 

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One a little over budget (asking almost $20K): 2010 army green FJ in Germantown TN 169K miles. He says it's a TRD pro but I don't know? Some guys just put the TRD stickers on.
(mods please let me know if posting this is a no-go)


1153418
 

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It wasn't your fault, on the FB marketplace it lists it as a 4WD.
Thank You for adding that. It's funny because normally I would ask if it looked "un Modded"...2WD is fine for some things but WTH is all that extra going on for when he likely can't get through a deep serious mud puddle anyway, even with a SCUBA IMHO (Maybe with the right tires? I don't know- trying not to be mean).. The photo that shows the shifter area has junk where the 4WD would be, but another pic you could see 2nd shifter is missing had I been tuned into it.). He had the good sense to buy an FJ, and it will be a nice car for someone..Sorry to waste your time man. Good luck in your Hunt!! You are gonna get a great FJ and you'll be so happy! Hang in there..I'm still gonna keep an eye out...
 

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Hope it's ok to post this. Found this tonight on FB Marketplace. If you set the location as Russellville AR, it should come up. You can zoom in on this photo and see the 4WD shifter. I just messaged the guy and it's available. Told him you might be reaching out and would want photos of the underside.
FB search tip: set various southern locations for the search since you can only search out 500 miles max.
Love all the support and help from you guys. Having my gf find these on FB now. (damn you zuck with your good deals). I'll send them a message. Question, how do you feel about those miles though in relation to the price? I'd much rather have a 169k with little rust than a 99k with rust cancer, for sure, but where should I draw the line?

Thank You for adding that. It's funny because normally I would ask if it looked "un Modded"...2WD is fine for some things but WTH is all that extra going on for when he likely can't get through a deep serious mud puddle anyway, even with a SCUBA IMHO (Maybe with the right tires? I don't know- trying not to be mean).. The photo that shows the shifter area has junk where the 4WD would be, but another pic you could see 2nd shifter is missing had I been tuned into it.). He had the good sense to buy an FJ, and it will be a nice car for someone..Sorry to waste your time man. Good luck in your Hunt!! You are gonna get a great FJ and you'll be so happy! Hang in there..I'm still gonna keep an eye out...
LOL, right, it's like a Hyundai Accent with a spoiler, bumble bee muffler, and "engine cooling holes". He was a nice gy though and he said " I got 3 trucks now and need to get rid of this one, so if you make me an offer, I may take it" ....so.... how much is a 4WD trans swap? haha
 

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OP, you asked: "Question, how do you feel about those miles though in relation to the price? I'd much rather have a 169k with little rust than a 99k with rust cancer, for sure, but where should I draw the line?"

Since no one else has responded to this yet, my two cents are that at no point do you consider getting an FJ with "rust cancer." Put it this way: the first thing you should look at or have looked at is the rust or lack thereof underneath. I don't know enough about FJs to tell you what's too much, though I've seen people post some pictures of what appears to be a LOT of rust, and I think "Oh, no waaaay I'd pay anything for that vehicle." I THINK you could always post a few pictures of potential FJs on here, and ask "Is this too much rust?" If you search for some threads on this rust topic (on this forum, or elsewhere online), you should be able to learn about what's "too much."

Then, once you have a few FJs with "acceptable" or no rust, you can compare them against each other in terms of price, miles, distance from you, etc. But my suggestion is that rust be the first deciding factor. When I wanted to buy my FJ, I told myself "I REALLY want this FJ, but if the Toyota mechanic looks at the rust and says it's a lot of rust, or too much, or anything like that, I simply do not buy that FJ, and I keep looking." Luckily for me, the mechanic said of the FJ underside "This is really clean."

I know it's more aggravating now to keep looking, but when your search is all over, you'll be happy you did.
 

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Status update, OP? Any luck?
 

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