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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I was hit by an older individual over the weekend which left my 09 Honda CR-V totaled and I am now looking for a replacement. I've always loved the FJ and decided that now is a perfect time for one. Realistically, my budget is no more than $13,000 (what insurance gave me...in the middle of purchasing a house so I don't have the extra cash to spend). I have found two potential candidates and I am asking for a some input from this community. I saw both vehicles while the dealerships were closed. Both have minimal frame rust. From some reason they both have marks and dents on the front drivers side bumper and the back passengers side. The rims on both are pretty terrible from bubbling, I don't really mind. With these high miles, is there anything in particular I need to look for?

First One: 2008, Base, Black, 156k miles, 11.8k
2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV | Used vehicle located in Cincinnati OH | VIN: JTEBU11FX8K019074

Second One: 2008, Base, Blue, 175K Miles, 11.9K
Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD AT for Sale in Mason OH 45040 Becks Auto Group

Again, any input is sincerely appreciated.
 

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Just from the pics, they both look pretty clean, the black one edging the Voodoo Blue out. However, I would look at the undercarriage for rock hits, dents, etc. Look for inner fender tears, engage 4WD hi and lo, as well as the locker to ensure the actuators are working. Look at CV boots, and make sure the trans shifts nice and smooth with no shudder, and try to look at the service history. Also, make sure you take it to an independent mechanic to do a used car inspection before buying. FJ's that are well maintained laugh at "high" mileage for other cars. The other thing I would bank on is doing a trans fluid swap, both diffs and the transfer case, plus lubing the zerks on the driveshaft upon purchase, there are DIY thread around here for all of them.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow! Thanks for the quick response, I really appreciate the advice. I forgot to mention the blue one has a well maintained service record (see included carfax link). When you have an independent mechanic look at it, would there be an issue/is it advisable to take it to a Toyota dealership? Generally, do most service shops at dealership offer this sort of service? Thanks again!

https://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistory/p/Report.cfx?partner=DCS_0&vin=JTEBU11F28K029422
 

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Wow! Thanks for the quick response, I really appreciate the advice. I forgot to mention the blue one has a well maintained service record (see included carfax link). When you have an independent mechanic look at it, would there be an issue/is it advisable to take it to a Toyota dealership? Generally, do most service shops at dealership offer this sort of service? Thanks again!

https://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistory/p/Report.cfx?partner=DCS_0&vin=JTEBU11F28K029422
Happy to help! You are right, the blue's service record is definitely more in depth, however you can run the VIN of the black on by a Toyota dealership to see if they have service records that were unreported to Carfax.

One thing that stuck out was that the steering shaft was repaired / replaced on the blue, I would see what that was about, and drive both to see if they exhibit a shimmy above 60MPH, should track nice and straight and feel solid. As far as the inspection, I went to the Toyota dealership, but most mechanics will offer it. I would go to one you trust.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Happy to help! You are right, the blue's service record is definitely more in depth, however you can run the VIN of the black on by a Toyota dealership to see if they have service records that were unreported to Carfax.

One thing that stuck out was that the steering shaft was repaired / replaced on the blue, I would see what that was about, and drive both to see if they exhibit a shimmy above 60MPH, should track nice and straight and feel solid. As far as the inspection, I went to the Toyota dealership, but most mechanics will offer it. I would go to one you trust.
Sweet! I had no idea about checking the VIN number at a Toyota dealership to look for service records, that's great. Thanks again, I really appreciate the help!
 

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Hope you came out alright from the crash! I'm a huge advocate for buying an FJ when people want one, but don't stretch your budget too much. The above advice is really solid. But you'll want to have some wiggle room to be able to take your rig out on the trail! :grin If anything feels off about either deal, don't be afraid to walk away. There are tons of people on here that can attest to waiting until the right time for the perfect FJ to come along. I waited 10 months to get mine if that gives any perspective haha One last thing, make sure every button/gadget works on the rig. It'll make you much happier about your purchase knowing you are squared away from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Definitely an interesting experience ( crash ). I plan to test drive them both tomorrow. I've been jotting down things to look for during the test drive and what has been stated above. Hopefully they perform well.
 

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You can also plug the VIN in on Toyota.com/owners for the same info.
Hey thanks Web, totally forgot about that! According to Toyota I owned 5 4Runners and 3 FJ's when I ran them through the Toyota Owner's site while shopping. :laugh Deleted them after though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Hey again guys! I just got done test driving this FJ and it was pretty awesome. I have to say parking is a real b*tch when compared to my old CR-V...my approach angles are all weird. Anyways, I do have a question regarding the 4x4 shifter. I wanted to test it out to see how it worked, after I engaged it three lights popped on abs, vsc off and (something else..cant remember) is that normal, even in reverse? Regardless, hopefully I can get the dealer down to 11k. Thanks again.
 

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Totally normal. It's basically telling you that you have engaged low range/4WD. You can drive with it in low range but try to do it over loose ground (gravel) to help prevent damage to the drive line components. Good luck in negotiations! Hope to see you around :grin
 

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I saw this one on Tuesday. No affiliation.

Has all the packages, super clean. Might be worth the extra couple thou to get a car from the West/Southwest.




 
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