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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a little advice, planning to do the Rubicon Trail in July. My FJ is an 09 with 3" Icons Stage II lift, BFG KM2's (286-75-16), mounted on 16" Procomp steel wheels, Locking rear diff, no Atrac though, Ricochet skids covering the whole undercarriage, and Demello front and rear bumpers with a Warn M8000 up front. Anything else I should be looking to add?

Also appreciate any general advice from anyone who has done Rubicon with an FJ.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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one thing you want to do is go and buy an atrac button for 60 dollars or so and install it....there you go you have atrac now. Installation is about 3 min. Take off blank switch and install atrac switch.
 

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Bring a good spotter!
Very important. I've done the Rubicon twice. I suffered no body damage due to good spotting. If you don't have rock rails, you will need them. I ran it with 33" tires (305-75-17). When I ran it the first time during Rubithon 2008, the trail teams were our spotters and 33" tires were required.

GO SLOW!!!! take your time and don't hurry.
 

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Slow and easy. Your Warn will come in handy. The Fj is bound to get high centered. The Con has been one of my most memorable adventures in my FJ. Please do not go alone and carry extra parts. Enjoy it and post pics when your done. Pull up LastGreatRoadTrip.com and check out the rubicon videos. This will give you a great visual. Have fun.
 

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Sounds like you have decent protection so far.

Here's a few more items to look for:

e-locker skid (All-Pro)

Slider's that stick out past your body and have rear kickouts (All-Pro)
- This is important so you can pivot around some of the rocks and keep them off your sides
- Since this trip, the stock Toyota slider's were swapped out for All-Pro's sliders.




Take your time and ensure that you have a spotter with you that's really good and also walk the obstacles yourself all the way till you find a safe place to stop. You will be required to stack rocks to climb some of the obstacles. Ensure you put the rocks back where you found them after you've used them. (this is common trail etiquette in any backyard.)

You will be at first a little freaked out by all the metal scraping and banging. You'll soon start to learn which part of your Toyota is making what sound.

Keep a slow but steady momentum through the trail. Stopping at each bump or rock makes it more difficult for stock gearing to climb over the simplest of obstacles. (this is why it's a good idea to pick your line and walk the obstacles).

If you're not on a time schedule take three days to do it so you can enjoy the experience and take your time. First time can be mentally and physically gruelling.

You're required to have:
- Spill Kit
- Porta Potty with bags to pack out your poop.
- Garbage bags

Ensure you're camping at designated camp locations (IE: loon lake, Rubicon springs) If you can't make it this far you can camp on the trail but be sure not to venture more than (if I can remember correctly) 10ft off trail otherwise you can get a ticket.

If you see someone approaching in your rear view, find a good place to pull over and let them pass.

This is the only rear tight section that may dent the rear section of the FJ. Take your time through here, stack rocks under the driver's rear if needed to lessen the angle that the FJ is tipping into the pinch rock.


Take care on Cadillac Hill as it can be a bit of a challenge depending on conditions.

Bring lots of water!

Other than that enjoy the experience! Great views up there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice guys. It's much appreciated. Forgot to mention, I have Demello sliders and just installed Atrac switch today.

Rick
 

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I ran the Rubicon successfully w/o any body or other damage in a Jeep TJ that I previously owned. It had a winch, a 6" lift w/beefed up axles, modified trans/diff gearing, Rancho shocks and airbags, 35" tires and front/rear air lockers.

It can be done, but I would never consider running the Rubicon in an FJ because of its wider body and wider turning radius. There are some very narrow gaps and tight turns through boulders that a Jeep can negotiate much better than an FJ. Expect some body and fender damage (and the loss of one or more of the plastic silver wings), if you run it in an FJ.

Whether you use an FJ or Jeep:

-- a 6" lift is better than 3" lift;
-- 35" tires better are better than 33" tires;
-- Front and rear lockers are best; ATRAC w/rear locker is ok but not the same as a front locker -- I had to use front and rear lockers to make it up over the huge steps on Cadillac Hill;
-- A winch w/a deadman (PullPal), extra d-rings, tow chain, snatch blocks, line extension, line blanket and as many other accessories as you can carry could be a lifesaver;
-- In addition to rock rails, front (w/winch mount) and rear steel bumpers with 2 D ring mounting points would be useful; and
-- Full skids (or as much bottom coverage as you can afford) are also advisable.

An EXPERT spotter (not just your buddy) who has run the Rubicon more than once before is highly recommended. I ran the Rubicon w/a professional tour guide who WALKED the entire trail ahead of the group and who suggested lines that I never would have considered w/o him. None of the vehicles experienced any body damage, got stuck or required a winch recovery.

One driving tip -- drive SLOW and don't try to go directly OVER boulders -- run the gap along the walls between them w/your sidewalls instead.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck!!! :wave:
 

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Sounds like you have decent protection so far.

Here's a few more items to look for:

e-locker skid (All-Pro)

Slider's that stick out past your body and have rear kickouts (All-Pro)
- This is important so you can pivot around some of the rocks and keep them off your sides
- Since this trip, the stock Toyota slider's were swapped out for All-Pro's sliders.




Take your time and ensure that you have a spotter with you that's really good and also walk the obstacles yourself all the way till you find a safe place to stop. You will be required to stack rocks to climb some of the obstacles. Ensure you put the rocks back where you found them after you've used them. (this is common trail etiquette in any backyard.)

You will be at first a little freaked out by all the metal scraping and banging. You'll soon start to learn which part of your Toyota is making what sound.

Keep a slow but steady momentum through the trail. Stopping at each bump or rock makes it more difficult for stock gearing to climb over the simplest of obstacles. (this is why it's a good idea to pick your line and walk the obstacles).

If you're not on a time schedule take three days to do it so you can enjoy the experience and take your time. First time can be mentally and physically gruelling.

You're required to have:
- Spill Kit
- Porta Potty with bags to pack out your poop.
- Garbage bags

Ensure you're camping at designated camp locations (IE: loon lake, Rubicon springs) If you can't make it this far you can camp on the trail but be sure not to venture more than (if I can remember correctly) 10ft off trail otherwise you can get a ticket.

If you see someone approaching in your rear view, find a good place to pull over and let them pass.

This is the only rear tight section that may dent the rear section of the FJ. Take your time through here, stack rocks under the driver's rear if needed to lessen the angle that the FJ is tipping into the pinch rock.


Take care on Cadillac Hill as it can be a bit of a challenge depending on conditions.

Bring lots of water!

Other than that enjoy the experience! Great views up there.
Excelent advise,

big sluice is the only part of the con that scares the hell outta me. Having a good spotter and taking things slow really helped me. Have a great time




 

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WOW those are some tight trails with the FJ. Have fun go slow a high lift jack is always useful and you can drive right off them.
 

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WOW those are some tight trails with the FJ. Have fun go slow a high lift jack is always useful and you can drive right off them.
Whatever you do, please don't try to drive off the hi-lift jack like suggested above. This is not only unsafe and could hurt you vehicle, but also could hurt anyone around you.

My recommendation would be to research the trail. Talk to those who have done it in the past (several of them already posted) and gather as much information as you can. Find a good trail guide and take proper spares and you'll be good to go.
 

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I have been high centered many times and drove off the jack when there was nothing to winch to or stack under the jeep tires safely and never hurt anything or anyone. Why is it dangerous and unsafe? Anyone who would stand near it needs a good wack and I make sure no one is near it. LOL Its obvious its not ideal but sometimes when in the field ideal isn't available.
 

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Whole seperate discussion for another thread. I don't know how experienced you are with a hi-lift, but its basically a farm jack that has been used for ages. Ask anyone whos used them extensively for various applications (farm, offroad, etc.) in the past how "safe" they are. They are decent for their basic function and design, but once you start getting outside that (i.e. lifting multiple wheels up at once, trying to drive off the hi-lift), they become quite dangerous. Yes it might have been "ok" and not hurt anything in a couple instances which you used it, but there are always alternatives. I suggest giving hi-lift a call and seeing if they recommend driving off their jacks.

My point was that it isn't a good solution for use on the trail and I didn't want the OP to think its a "good idea".

Again to the OP, do the research like you are doing and find a group with a good trail lead to head out with. Take your time and enjoy.
 

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My point was that it isn't a good solution for use on the trail and I didn't want the OP to think its a "good idea".

Again to the OP, do the research like you are doing and find a group with a good trail lead to head out with. Take your time and enjoy.
Good advice and point well taken. They are very dangerous I totally agree :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Guys, thanks again for all of the advice. My wife has done Rubicon twice in her Jeep, so she'll be my excellent spotter. I did Moab last year with the FJ and the only damage sustained was some scrapes to the lower portion of the stock front bumper. With the list of mods I have, what is the likelyhood of sustaining damage, assuming I take all the lines correctly. Lastly, are there any good books or written guides to the Rubicon.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Guys, thanks again for all of the advice. My wife has done Rubicon twice in her Jeep, so she'll be my excellent spotter. I did Moab last year with the FJ and the only damage sustained was some scrapes to the lower portion of the stock front bumper. With the list of mods I have, what is the likelihood of sustaining damage, assuming I take all the lines correctly. Lastly, are there any good books or written guides to the Rubicon.

Thanks,
Rick
Depends on how your FJ is equiiped/modified; how good and "smart" a driver you are; how good and "smart" a spotter you have; and, how much "luck" you have. But, I would go in expecting some kind of damage so that you won't get upset if that happens and will be really happy and proud of yourself if it doesn't.

If you haven't seen them already, here's a link to a story with only minor rear body damage reported: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/general-discussion/63716-rubicon-ate-my-fj-my-story.html. And, here's another one where the reported damage was NOT so minor: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/93580-major-carnage-rubicon.html.

Good luck! :wave:
 

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You will want to upgrade your lower links, the first time you land on them they will bend.

Install lower link guards on the frame, they are great rock finders and will be thoroughly trashed.

Shock guards if you don't have them as they are great rock finders as well and will be thoroughly trashed.

And remember anything and everything will be thoroughly hammered after the Rubicon. The FJC doesn't sit that high with a 3" lift and 33's so you will be playing turtle a lot over rocks and get used to loud bangs as you will be doing that quite often coming off rocks and ledges.
 

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I have been high centered many times and drove off the jack when there was nothing to winch to or stack under the jeep tires safely and never hurt anything or anyone. Why is it dangerous and unsafe? Anyone who would stand near it needs a good wack and I make sure no one is near it. LOL Its obvious its not ideal but sometimes when in the field ideal isn't available.
The Hi-Lift Lift-Mate would provide a better solution in this scenario.


This little tool is highly under-rated as it can accomplish just what you've mentioned.

It allows you to lift a wheel and stack rocks under each wheel and un-highcentre your vehicle.

I use this quite a bit when in deep snow if there's a sun or wind crust built up that the Toyota may fall through and become high-centered.

They're not expensive either so it's worth adding it to the recovery kit.
 
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